The Falling Away – 1976, May

1976-05-The-Falling-Away

Reading in II Thessalonians 2:1-12, let us realize that Paul’s words to this disturbed church are true. Therefore, we need to plant these words deep into our spiritual minds and digest them properly. Since Paul absolutely knew what he was talking about, it behooves us also to understand what he was actually saying to these believers. There are many varieties of ideas people hold in regard to what they think Paul was actually saying, therefore, let us prayerfully examine his words in their true setting, and we too may greatly be surprised to learn that we also have been influenced by some of these preconceived notions.


PART 1


CORRECTING THOUGHTS CONCERNING RAPTURE


PAUL’S REVELATION


Earlier Paul had written unto the Thessalonian believers declaring that we shall not all sleep (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). And recall, he clearly stated in making such a statement it was strictly inspired by the word of the Lord. Where from the Old Testament could Paul possibly have arrived at such a statement? The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the arch angel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ would rise first. And we which remain alive would be changed and caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Being caught up here is the climax of our faith as well as our hope.


Theologically, we call this event the rapture-meaning the catching away, translation, or being changed. However, to Paul it simply was a gathering together of all the true believers, both dead and alive, those to be resurrected, and those to be changed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air.


RAPTURE NOT DIMENSION


No, the rapture is certainly not merely a certain dimension a believer enters into, it is actually a literal catching up in the air.


Since the scriptures refer to us as being translated (spiritually) into the kingdom of his dear son (Colossians 1:13), many today have formed the conclusion that we have already been caught up (as much as we’ll ever be). Then why are you still here? Why do you continually get more wrinkles in your face than what you had ten years ago! Why are you losing your teeth and why is more of the top of your head showing than ten years ago? It certainly doesn’t appear to me as if you have been bodily or fleshly caught up as yet! I grant you, you can be caught up out of all this religious confusion. You can be caught up into a new realm of thinking and so forth – Caught up into something glorious. However, as far as your flesh is concerned, it’s still here. Even Paul declared, (Ephesians 1:3), spiritual speaking, as believers we are sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. Please don’t ever confuse that with the rapture of the fleshly body, because physically your flesh hasn’t gone anywhere, you’re still here on earth! But concerning spiritual things, yes, in the spirit of Jesus Christ, in the spiritual atmosphere of God absolutely your inner man can be caught up in glorious things. Things that make the earthly surrounding seem dim and unimportant. But always remember, fleshly, you’re still here! And if Jesus tarries His coming you’re going to die. That flesh is going into the ground and back to dust from whence it came, and then and only then will your spirit being literally depart this planet and go somewhere into the presence of the Lord. I’m not saying that somewhere in 500 miles away, nor ten million light years away, No that’s not the point! Within the spirit world I grant you there are dimensions, yet bear in mind there are too many people who are simply jumping to conclusions and assumptions who absolutely have no scriptural connections whatsoever!


JONAH’S EXPERIENCE WAS REALITY


Remember when Jesus declared, as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of a whale (great fish), Jonah was not in some kind of a dimension! Instead, he was absolutely inside the stomach of a large fish where literal seedweeds and slick gastric juices were present. When Jonah’s body sank into the water where God had ordained that huge fish to be swimming and swallow him, that was no dimension. It was a reality! Thinking no doubt as he swallowed Jonah, what a delicious meal I’m about to have. Nevertheless, as Jonah hit his digestive tract something went wrong. The whale no doubt thought as he became nauseated, surely I’ve swallowed the wrong thing! God didn’t allow him to vomit Jonah up in the sea, instead he swam with him to a distant shore where he vomited him up. No, that was no dimension. It was very much a realty! And being gathered together in II Thessalonians 2:1 unto the Lord is also far more than a mere dimension. It too is a reality!


Let’s carefully examine Paul’s statement here because schools of theology have been guilty of making the Bible say things it had no intentions of saying. When people desire a certain thing to be a certain way all they have to do is think of it in that light long enough and whenever they read their Bible they can almost read it making it sound the way they are thinking. But you can’t do the Bible that way!


DISCUSSING TRANSLATION TO GLORY


Paul says in II Thessalonians 2:1, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now settle it once and for all, Paul is definitely not discussing your individual death, which will also take you out of this world wherein your soul is carried to glory to rest and wait unto the day of the resurrection of the body. No beloved, that’s not the kind of gathering together unto the Lord Paul has in mind here. Instead, he is discussing that glorious appearing of Christ for His saints. He’s discussing a revelation of Jesus from heaven wherein He will appear in the clouds and gather first the dead saints and secondly the living saints unto Himself.


BELIEVERS CONFUSED


(2) “That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us as that the day of Christ is at hand.”, (because it is not, and I will tell you why). 1900 years ago, a group of believers was becoming frustrated, enthused and all anxious, getting ready to leave here. Paul knew by the revelation God had given him that when that hour would actually arrive, it would first be preceded by certain world conditions and events that would definitely acquaint the believer with the so-called world conditions, and through that and that alone would the believer in that hour recognize the appearing of Christ was at hand. And that in turn would cause them to shake themselves and prepare for departure.


FRUITLESS TO ASSUME COMING ANY TIME


Saying this should not destroy any man’s enthusiasm to believe Christ could come in his life span, because Paul turns around and declared to the Corinthian church (I Corinthians 7:29), that because of the shortness of time and so forth, they should not do a certain thing. And even James stated the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (James 5:8). Therefore, did not these very men themselves believe that it was possible the Lord’s coming could be in their life span? However, when Paul stated here what he did in II Thessalonians 2, he knew it was fruitless to assume that Jesus is coming for our gathering together unto Him at just any old time. Evangelists through the years, using all kinds of psychology to shake up people to their need of God, (and I realize to a certain extent people do need to be shook to reality), have shouted Jesus may come tonight! Paul is setting these Thessalonian Christians straight concerning the coming of Jesus for them at just any ole time of day or night. Because he is fully aware of their enthusiasm and zeal in believing that the coming of the Lord was very soon, Paul knew unless their thoughts were checked, sooner or later these thoughts were going to lead them into fanaticism!


LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU


Continuing on in his thought Paul says, let no man deceive you by any means. Doesn’t matter whether that person lived in Paul’s hour, a 100 years later, 500, or even after 1900 years. Church, don’t let any man deceive you concerning this! For that day spoken of in verse 1 of Jesus gathering His saints unto Himself will positively not come except…..See how positive Paul is on that, no hope so, no maybe so, no perhaps so. No matter what anyone says or how much they would try to make it happen, or how enthusiastic someone might feel about the subject, there is definitely certain conditions God says that must first be.


EXCEPT – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?


Did you know the word except is a provisional word? The word except appears in insurance policies, and around that word except you better be careful and read the entire contents. Be sure to read and understand what the exceptions of the provisions are in the policies following the word except. Because, here Paul says that day won’t come except there first come a “falling away”. The first thing any believer is to look for before that day appears is a “falling away”. Later we will examine what they are to fall away from.


PART 2


TWO WORLD SHAKING EVENTS BEFORE RAPTURE


SATAN’S OBJECTIVE


However, first let us establish what is on the agenda before that day comes. First, we see a great “falling away”, and second that man of sin, the son of perdition, is to be revealed. There is your climax to what it’s all about. That’s the objective of Satan to allow the man of sin to be revealed. Verse 4 describes him as one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped.


DIABOLICAL MAKEUP


Here we see the man of sin, not only in his physical and psychological makeup, but we also see his philosophy. Showing his motive and objective is to be so demon possessed that his very outlook on life, his purpose of functions and so forth will be strictly so satanic that he is diabolically inspired. Careful now, that does not mean you’ll be looking for such a demon possessed creature that he should be in an insane mental institution. Oh no, quiet the contrary! It’s his philosophy of religion of life that is so satanic and deceptive. Having the personality to persuade, mislead, and deceive. It takes one like this to mislead and deceive the prophetic world. Nobody would follow a person ready for a mental institution, but someone with an opposite nature they surely would follow. Continuing on Paul says that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God. That’s the final end or objective! It’s the devil’s business to see that it happens.


JOHN’S REVELATION LINKED WITH PAUL’S


Does not Revelation 13 declare the whole prophetic world will worship the beast and also worship the devil who gave power unto the beast. Again it says all those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the devil when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. These statements shown in Revelation coincide perfectly with Paul’s revelation in II Thessalonians 2, concerning this man of sin. However, in Revelation 13 we see the day has already arrived when this man of sin, who is the son of perdition or destruction, is already fully manifested on the scene. The world in that hour, as it will be then, will definitely worship the devil because that’s the devil’s objective. Satan desires to be adored and worshiped, and through a certain world system in Europe, through certain world politics and world unity, all this admiration will be achieved. Through satanic miracles, through the political, scientific, and economic field, yes, all of that, Satan through that world beast system and man of sin who heads that government of the beast system will have deceived the entire prophetic world! And because the world is deceived they in turn worship and adore the devil. Not in the sense that they fall upon their knees thanking Lucifer for bringing about such a glorious hour, no, that’s not Satan’s way of projecting it. It’s simply the fact he will have so seduced them that they will literally give praise to this world system. The spirit of false peace is the spirit of that hour. Satan is behind it all and has allowed it to be brought in.


CHURCH HAD FORGOTTEN


Apparently the church had forgotten all about Paul having told them this earlier, because continuing on in verse 5, he reminds them that somewhere earlier he had previously informed them concerning this thing. In verse 6 he reminds them he also told them how this “falling away” must first come about, and secondly the “falling away” would definitely lead to the manifestation of the man of sin. As he reminds them again, it should be a reminder to us the “falling away” did not occur a thousand or 500 years ago, but instead it is going on today! Furthermore, we believe as we look upon the world in general, it shows us we are definitely living in that time, shortly before the coming of Christ. Is what we are seeing today not the very thing that should be sharpening our minds and opening our spiritual eyes! By what we are seeing today should it not behoove us to put on the whole armour of God and prepare ourselves through every means possible through the grace of God that we might be able to withstand the powers of the adversary within the evil day as we see this evil now coming upon the scene.


WITHHELD OR HINDERED – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?


And now, Paul says (II Thessalonians 2:6), “Ye know what withholdeth, that he (the antichrist) should be revealed in his time.” Two words particularly stand out here. First, withholdeth and you know what withholdeth; meaning to hinder, or hold back something. Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers that there was something definitely hindering or holding back this man of sin from actually coming on the scene.

 

 

HOLY GHOST HINDERING POWER


Are you aware what is doing the hindering? It’s none other than the Holy Ghost sent to the gentiles through the preaching of the gospel of truth in the dispensation of grace. Once God turned the gospel over to the gentiles, the Holy Ghost was working and is working among the gentiles to take out of them a gentile people (bride) to bear the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And while that Holy Ghost is working among the gentiles, He is also hindering or holding back this man of sin from coming on the scene. Doesn’t matter who preaches he could come, he simply could not! Sure, all of this has been preceded by many minor antichrists. According to Apostle John (I John 2:18) there were even (minor) antichrist appearing in the apostle days. However, it certainly wasn’t the one who appears at the end of the age called the man of sin, the son of perdition, not him! That man positively can not come on the scene as long as the Holy Ghost is working to take out a people for his name among the gentiles. That was His hindering force or power keeping him back. While the Holy Ghost was withholding or hindering, Daniel and Revelation both verifies there was to be a definite appointed time for this man, and it would be God’s will to permit it to be so, that the Antichrist should have his hour. Therefore, if it would be true that as long as the Holy Ghost is present working and convicting the gentile world of sin then that man of sin can by no means come to the forefront, take over, and rule because it is not yet his appointed hour.


SPIRIT OF INIQUITY ALREADY WORKING


Paul, writing around 54 A.D., called something here (the spirit of) the mystery of iniquity. The mystery of iniquity is only a contemporary name given to something already in existence in Paul’s hour. Remember, Paul, who stated this declared also in Ephesians 3:2-6, how God had made known unto him the mystery of his will concerning things which had been hidden from prophets in other ages! Isn’t it strange when Paul wrote the Colossian letter he stated the mystery of God is none other than Christ in you the hope of glory.


TWO SEPARATE MYSTERIES RUNNING PARALLEL IN KINGDOM


Therefore, the word mystery in the scriptures occurs on the basis of two separate identities. (1) The Mystery of God while (2) the second mystery is referred to as the mystery of iniquity. And don’t forget that both mysteries were running parallel. They were contemporaries (mysteries) onto the other. Wasn’t it strange in the opening of the first seal of Revelation 6 as God opened up the dispensation of grace giving it to the gentiles around 53 A.D., the spirit of Antichrist (represented by the white horse rider), also came out and began to ride parallel with the truth presented by the Holy Ghost! Why had Satan done this? His hope was to eventually gain an entrance or foothold into the mystery of God, that in doing so he would, up to a point, be able to succeed in destroying or confusing the mystery of God in its true scriptural identity from the world – by implanting something else erroneous within the structure of the kingdom of heaven. His mystery of iniquity which, in a sense, is still religious, would also still use the name of Jesus and continue to hold to certain things in the scriptures. Yet, through it all it would be a trick of Satan to establish a mystery of all his own in order to eventually deceive the world.


Thus, in the day of early Christianity around the beginning of the second church age, these two spirits finally became mixed. Such an event fits perfectly the second parable that Jesus presented in Matthew 13:24-30, where He spoke concerning the mystery of the kingdom of heaven being as tares planted in the field and so forth. The tares were sown by the devil among the good seed, which was the born again children of God; and was from then on allowed to grow together in the same field. Therefore, we can say that coming down through the other five church ages among the gentiles the mystery of God, as well as Satan’s mystery of iniquity, has continually run parallel through the ages until we reach the end of the age where at that time the Spirit of the Lord will no longer be working in deep Holy Ghost conviction among the gentiles – that conviction shall be lifted and the Antichrist come in like a flood!


TWO SPIRITS ENTWINED


Both spirits throughout the church ages have been so entwined that it has been difficult to determine or distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Satan’s approach was through deception that someday he would be able to succeed, as God permitted him to bring to the forefront his mystery of iniquity and set in motion or introduce to the world a Christ who, of course, would be none other than a false Christ, a prince who was supposed to be a peace maker or ambassador of peace who will deceive the entire prophetic world.


IN GRACE AGE SPIRIT OF INIQUITY RESTRAINED


According to Paul’s statement we realize the mystery of iniquity, to a certain degree, was already at work in his hour within the body of believers. The reason it could not gain a foothold to become the predominant thing as it will do in the end of the age was because the Holy Ghost, who is the predominant figure throughout the grace age, was withholding or restraining that spirit of the mystery of iniquity, never permitting it to triumph over the mystery of God. Because if you remember, Jesus declared earlier (Matthew 16:18) no matter what this mystery of iniquity would ever be permitted to do, it will never prevail over His church! True, it might be permitted to gain far more in number than the true church, but Jesus declared it would never be permitted to triumph over the mystery of God – the true church, and that is final!


TRUE CHURCH NEVER CONQUERED


The true church would never fall before its final onslaught (at the end of the age). Moreover, since there was to be a mystery of iniquity, and it is already seen working back in Paul’s hour trying to establish a foothold in the kingdom of heaven, this very same mystery of iniquity would eventually lead to the introduction of a “falling away” period, and that “falling away” would bring about such a wholesale sellout to Satan, it in turn would set the stage for the man of sin to come on the scene, at which time Christ comes for His own. Thus, before there can be an Antichrist, before there can be an actual catching away of the true church to meet Christ in the air, the world must first go through a “falling away” period. Now to get a clearer understanding of what that period of “falling away” will be like, we need to first re-examine briefly what the immoral and corrupt nature of the gentiles were like before the gospel came to them in the first century, because what they were before the gospel came, will give us some idea of what to expect they will be like once the Holy Ghost begins lifting His convicting power from them.


GENTILES’ NATURE AT 1ST CENTURY


As the gentiles in the first century began to hear the gospel, may I ask, what shape, religiously, were they in? Religious wise, our gentile ancestors worshiped deities of every description. For instance, had your ancestors been Greek, no doubt they were philosophers who, according to the scriptures, enjoyed the study of all manmade philosophies and theories. Had you walked through Athens in Paul’s day, you would have found the marketplaces and public gathering areas filled with Greek philosophers. It was their nature, according to the scripture, to ever be listening to some new philosophy. All this came under the heading of wisdom. Greeks enjoyed boasting about how much they knew. That is why Paul declared the Greeks seek after wisdom, but the Jews require a sign.


GENTILES DEPRAVED, IMMORAL


None of our gentile ancestral background can be bragged upon. Morally, the scripture declares the gentiles to a low, degenerate element of people. That is why for centuries the Jews looked upon gentiles as dogs or unclean creatures. God knew it would require far more than a ceremonial law to straighten us out, therefore, what would it require – it would require nothing short of a sovereign act of God’s grace to deal with our immoral ancestral background. Had God dealt with the gentiles on the basis of what we actually were in that hour, He would have destroyed us! By no means; according to I Corinthians 6:9-11, could He have accepted us into His kingdom, who were so guilty of such things. Those who did such-and-such could not inherit the kingdom of God, declared Paul. However, he continues by saying, but such were some of your (verse 11). But you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified – HOW? In the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. How were we cleansed – through the keeping of the law? Absolutely not!! Immoral gentiles were absolutely ignorant of the law of God which had been given to Israel. Gentiles were alienated from the grace of God. Then what would be the means whereby God would deal with the gentiles? Seeing they were so degenerate the law could not help them, it would be of necessity He would deal with them strictly through grace and grace alone. And on that basis of the unmerited favor of God, He sent the Holy Ghost unto the gentiles which began convicting them of the sin of unbelief.


BLOOD AND WATER – JOHN 3:5


The Spirit convicted them and they truly repented, and act which by-passed all the outward observances of the moral or ritual law the Jew had observed. The gentiles were able to step out of their filth and immoral way of life into the grace of God through true repentance of sin and accepting Jesus Christ and His shed blood. The blood of Christ, God’s son, cleansed our hearts or nature from the sin of unbelief, while the sins (plural) which were the sins committed in our flesh, or those evil deeds done in the flesh, were remitted or washed away through water baptism in His lovely name and gentiles received the same gift of the Holy Ghost that God had given to the Jewish nation.


MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BROKEN DOWN


According to Paul, Jews who now believed in Christ, were able to sit in the same assembly with the gentile believers. No longer looking upon the gentiles as dogs or something of a filthy unclean nature as the had in days gone by, for Paul declared in Ephesians 2, you gentile believers who were sometime afar off, have now been made nigh through the blood of Christ. The Spirit God, through the flesh body of Christ, has now broken down or tore away that middle wall of partition separating the two groups. The wall itself had made such a difference between Jew and Gentile, although in actuality both groups had been degenerate but now God has made out of the two groups, one new man, making peace through Christ. The Holy Ghost eventually completely left the Jewish nation, and in 70 A.D., scattered them to the four winds of the earth among the Gentiles.


CONVERTED DIGNITARIES CHANGE LAWS AFFECTING MORALS


For 1900 years we Gentiles have heard the gospel preached, and as the Holy Ghost has moved among the Gentiles, He has been watching over that gospel. As the gospel began moving among the nations like a growing forest fire, the Christian faith rapidly spread. Gentile nations, filthy and polluted as they were, began to be converted. Kings and dignitaries were also converted, though I grant you some kings were converted to a philosophy of Christianity, yet through the true conversion of dignitaries God used this as a means whereby He began to stem the onslaught of Satan among the Gentiles as He unloosed the cords of Satan which were holding the Gentiles in darkness, ignorance and superstition. God moved back those satanic powers of darkness whereby He could deal with the Gentiles on the basis of the gospel. And never forget, for 1900 years wherever this gospel of Christ had gone among the nations it had greatly changed and affected the morals of that nation. Beloved, it was not until after God had taken His toll of the predestinated and elected seed from among the Gentiles as it was in the day before the gospel came unto them. Like a sweeping tidal wave around this world, wherever the gospel has gone and was accepted into those nations, I repeat, it began to greatly affect their morals as well as their social and judicial laws of that country.


MOVING BACK IN


Now, all this immorality that once ruled the Gentile’s life is slowly moving back in once again to take over Gentiles’ lives as it did before! Why? How is this possible? Because it had been God’s way of holding back the tide of satanic powers which had imprisoned and ensnared the lives of the Gentile people, and as long as the Holy Ghost was working, or was present in convicting power, the Spirit was present for one purpose, and that was to see that the gospel message was declared to the ends of the earth. During this time the Holy Ghost would delay, hinder or hold back this one thing Paul referred to already working in his day which is called the spirit of the mystery of iniquity. While the spirit of God was holding back Satan’s power, He was busy gathering in the predestinated, elected seed of God chosen before the foundation of the world who were to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. However, one of these days, Paul declares, when God has gathered out the bulk of His seed making up the bride of Christ, this hindering presence of the Holy Spirit is going to cease, and when it does, God have mercy! The demon power which has been suppressed among Gentiles for centuries will then be unleashed to come back in among the Gentiles as they were before the First Century. This simply means the day is coming the Holy Ghost will no longer be hindering that spirit, however, He will hinder until time has arrived to withdraw His convicting power among the Gentiles.


RESTRAINING POWER LIFTED BEFORE RAPTURE


Yet we still hear people say, what Paul was actually saying here is, the Holy Ghost power which has been withholding this spirit will be lifted only after the church has left the scene and then the enemy comes in like a tidal wave. Just you remember, the enemy comes in like a tidal wave whenever the spirit of conviction is lifted off the gentiles, and don’t forget that lifting could well be before the church leaves the scene! Paul said the “falling away” and the manifestation of the man of sin would be revealed before God came for his church! Therefore, if you have been by one of those holding that opinion also that the Holy Ghost power restraining this spirit is not lifted until after the church is gone, I encourage you to reread Paul’s statement. Beloved, had the Bible meant it in that way Paul would have recorded it that way – this is exactly the way it would have read! Instead, it reads just the opposite, showing as concerning the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him, that day will not arrive until or except the “falling away” come first, and that “falling away” sets the stage for the man of sin to be revealed. AFTER THE CHURCH IS GONE, THAT IS BEFORE THE CHURCH IS GONE!


TRUE BELIEVER DOES NOT ENTER TRIBULATION


Are you telling me I am going through the tribulation, someone may ask? No, I am not, although I might add, if people don’t forsake these outlandish revelations they have dreamed up, somewhere some of these things are going to lead you off into the tribulation if you aren’t careful! Many have listened to every kind of interpretation concerning the seventy weeks of Daniel, and are still just as confused as ever. There can only be one true interpretation to Daniel’s 70 weeks. It can’t be just anyone’s idea or interpretation. What Paul wrote here is just as essential for the church as what Daniel wrote in Daniel 9:27, because somewhere through it all both sections of scripture deal with the Antichrist, that false prince, etc. It is basically important that we get these scriptures set in their proper setting whereby we may understand what each word means. If you believe there is only 3½ years left, sooner or later all this will lead you into such drastic confusion, just like people who want to say by 1977 the Lord will come. Are you aware if you believe the Lord will come in 1977, and that Jesus’ coming is to fulfill what Paul is discussing here, then face it, you have already lived through the majority of the tribulation! See, such ideas as this teaching concerning 1977, is what has led certain people to go off on these other wild revelations – such as the one I recently heard, that the rapture had already passed, therefore, in order for the living to make it now they must go to Jerusalem to get in the Hebrew bride as some have already done for that purpose! HOGWASH! The end of this age is going to produce some of the wildest and weirdest teachings Satan ever brought out of the pit. Why? Because he is after YOU!


MUST SEE PROFILE


Some will say, I don’t think it’s necessary to understand all these things. Well, it is strange to me, if I laid down a one dollar bill, you would know exactly what it was worth or what it could buy. You know it could buy so much bread or drink or help pay your light bill. But suppose I told you it didn’t really matter if you understand the buying power of a dollar! You would say, wait a minute Bro. Jackson, you might lay down your whole wallet of money for a certain item, wouldn’t you? That is right, so I am saying there are some things which are absolutely, basically important about this Bible that we do get digested in our soul. That is why they are placed in the Bible. Am I to understand every little detail? Beloved, you may never understand every little detail, yet at least for your soul’s sake, try to understand the profile of it. The profile alone will tell you what the object looks like. If you can understand a profile of something as you walk closer toward the profile of the object, you will be able to see the dimensional setting, etc. Such things as small details can be added as time goes on.


PART 3


FALLING AWAY LEADS TO MAN OF SIN


WHY FALLING AWAY COULDN’T OCCUR 50 YEARS AGO


If there is to be a falling away before the church is caught away, how is this “falling away” going to occur? Remember one important thing, 50 years ago the “falling away” could not occur and here is why. The very constitution and judicial laws of the U.S., as well as the governing judicial laws of many other countries of the world, simply would not have permitted. Many judicial laws, for centuries, have been derived at upon the basis of what effects universal Christian religion had played in its influence in these centuries. The church’s influence affected lawmaker’s decisions. The church, years ago, because of its prominent role in society, had set such a high standard in living, morals, etc., this caused the judicial laws to be obeyed which affected the lives of the church people. Such a high standard caused a man who was born, reared and educated in such a society to respect the laws of the land. Furthermore, the laws were definitely kept in force in those days. Fifty years ago you never saw teenagers in droves traveling the globe doing nothing but riding airplanes and peddling dope as you do today! Fifty years ago teenagers didn’t run around, they had nothing to run around for!


LIFE 50 YEARS AGO PREVENTED FALLING AWAY


Most teenagers after school had chores to do. Living in the country they fed hogs, milked cows, chopped wood, carried water, built fires, filled lanterns and helped Mom make bread. In other words, they were occupied in doing something beneficial. We are discussing this to show how mankind in that hour’s frame of thinking was molded into a certain pattern which made him more law abiding. Such a life pattern caused men in general to be easier, to be preached to than he is today. Fifty years ago teenagers weren’t carrying switchblades knives and snub-nosed pistols to school. Had they done so and were caught, 95 percent of the schools would have immediately expelled them and later the juvenile authorities would have locked them behind bars, not caring if they ever came out! No, by no means did that philosophy of law stop the criminal, but it sure did slow down crime from breeding so fast! Capital punishment never stopped crime either, but when they had it in force it made a person think twice before shooting someone. Whereas today in five years, since the death penalty has been declared unconstitutional, homicide alone has risen 50 percent. Why should the criminal care how many he shoots, what does he have to be afraid of? In a sense he is the only one protected! Shoot as many as he wants, with a good lawyer he might get only 20 years and then be released a little while later. Fifty years ago it was not so! If you got out you broke out!


FALLING AWAY NOT STRICTLY RELIGIOUS


Many people want to associate this “falling away” strictly with religion only, however, this is not true! The “falling away” first takes place in the society of the world, then pressure is placed upon the church world and made to submit and accept the standards set by the world. Let’s break this down by asking ourselves a question – How do we know we are living in the hour of that falling away? Secondly, where at first does this “falling away” take place? As I said, the “falling away” first takes place in the society of the world. Something always has to happen first in the world society and later the world applies pressure on the church world to accept the same. I grant you, in the nominal church world you have certain cold denominational religions which have spiritually died, seeing they have refused to feed or refuel the fire of their previous revelations of truth (with more truth) and have died out, leaving them strictly dormant and helpless to resist the power of Satan which eventually comes against them, compelling them to take the route they are forced by the world to take today! 25-40 years ago you would never have seen a Pentecostal church allowing their people to dress and look the way they do today! Pentecostal churches in those days were proud of their code of strictness in dress and appearance. Therefore, the “falling away” must be understood that first of all Satan begins to work on the society of the world in general, and later it is the world societies which applies the pressure against the so-called nominal church, making them accept what they have already accepted.


WHOLESALE SELLOUT – LONG HAIR


The “falling away” is manifested as such. It is a total wholesale sellout to the devil in general (first by the world, then by the church) of everything Satan has to throw at the people. For instance, when the Beatles from England appeared with their long unruly hair, that long unruly hair which is now in the church, did not begin in the church, no! It started in the world (England) down at an old swimming hole where these boys, being too poor to get decent haircuts, noticed one day when their long hair became soaking wet they resembled something which had crawled out of a cave somewhere and this inspired them! Their hair, long and flopping like cavemen’s hair, flopping in every direction took hold of the youth of this day, who in turn applied pressure upon the church to allow them to wear their hair this way to the services of the church also! Young men, if that is the way you like to wear your hair remember, your nature is a half brother to a caveman! But some will say, what does it mean in Psalms where it declared, anoint thy head? Remember, when Christ made reference to the Pharisees who enjoyed fasting and putting on such a public display of piety, Christ told His followers to do just the opposite. Don’t go around looking like you are in the dumps, instead wash your face and anoint your head! No, He didn’t mean to perfume it up either. Anointing means put something on it! Comb your hair and appear in public as though you haven’t been fasting. It didn’t mean you couldn’t use a little hair tonic. If you do it was alright, but for goodness sakes, look like a human being, not like something dropped out of the prehistoric world! That long unruly hair which speaks of rebellion and disobedience to authority (associated with dope traffic and hippies) started in the early 60’s with a bunch of worldly kids, and I look what a hair style they started! Shame on 60 year old men who cater after that. Fifty years ago a 60 year old man would never follow after hairstyles of teenage kids. Fifty years ago it would have been the opposite. The five teenage boys would have wanted to follow after the man, saying, I want to be like him. Not so today!


ROCK AND ROLL


Rock and roll music didn’t begin in the church either (although that is where it wound up), instead it began with Elvis Presley doing his vulgar wiggle which took hold in the 50’s and drove the youth of this world screaming mad. Newspapers portrayed girls becoming hysterical, ripping away their clothes…It is a spirit, the hour had come! Satan, knowing the hour had come, threw this spirit at the world. Yet remember, it takes time for the Bible to be fulfilled and for an entire generation to measure up to all God said they would become! But when you have a people going after such things, all because time is right, God simply says to them, help yourself!


MINI-SKIRT SYMBOL


They started their demon possessed beat called music, they started their long, unruly hair fads. Later on a woman declared, am I the only woman who feels she would like to go to bed with any man any time of the day as well as night. By this symbol (of this miniskirt) will people know all those who have that same desire I do! They will wear the sign which will be this dress I create. Therefore, she cut if off just below her thighs and became the princess of the miniskirt! Although some innocent to what they were wearing wore it simply because it was the style, nevertheless, it wasn’t long until almost every teenage girl in public schools was wearing one! Why? Because it was the style!


WORLD APPLIES PRESSURE


The hour had arrived in this modern age and the public schools embraced instantly all these fads now springing up in the world. Pressure is soon applied to the so-called fundamental Christian churches who, having refused to move on with God in truth, must now submit under pressure and move with the world! Living only for certain enrollments each year, though many still held to their previous conviction of dress code, soon they were crushed under the pressure and therefore yielded. If you don’t move on in truth with God sooner or later the fire of the truth you do have will simply die out, not being refueled by other truths to keep the fire going and the testimony hot. This fulfills exactly the words of Christ who said, take away that which they have and give it to another. God will give everyone something whereby they may begin to walk and fellowship with Him and know Him as a merciful God. However, if in that little measure of faith or revelation He gives you, you fail to yield it to Him, allowing Him to take you on into still more truth, more light and more fellowship of His word, sooner or later you will reach a stalemate and you will feel I have had enough, I am not going any further. Right there is where you die out and the pressure from without (in the world) will begin to squeeze that which you have within until there is nothing left!


DRINKING LAW CHANGED


No, it wasn’t long until the unruly, long hair fad and miniskirt were in the schools and then in the church. Next Satan began pushing through the legislature, because they declared our 18 year old boys had been old enough to fight in Vietnam, surely they wee old enough to drink beer and liquor also. Therefore, let them go into the saloons. Pressure from without caused state legislatures all over the U.S. to change judicial drinking laws permitting 18 year old to step into nightclubs and bar rooms along with the 21 year old to buy their booze. Personally, I have never seen an 18 year old who had will enough to know that if the stuff was harmful to him, he wouldn’t turn around and pass it on to a 12 year old. Usually a man past 21 has enough common sense to know if that stuff gets hold and bites him, he certainly wouldn’t want it to bite the younger kids, because for alcohol to take hold of the young, it seems to mold something into their spirit.


NO FALLING AWAY BEGINS WITH CHURCH


It wasn’t any time before the devil throws dope at the generation. Remember, the dope, booze, miniskirt, the rock and roll and the long hair, none of these which contributes to the “falling away” started in the church house, it started out in the society of the world. The devil, throwing all this stuff especially at the younger generation so rapidly, created what is known as the generation gap. Why had it all spread so rapidly? God, already knowing this, “falling away” would be the curse (Malachi 4:6) therefore, allowed it to rapidly blanket the earth shortly before His coming. This “falling away” would be responsible for bringing in the man of sin. No wonder Malachi declared God would send that spirit of Elijah (to the Gentiles) before that great and dreadful day of the Lord should come, and He would turn the heart of the end time children back to the (apostolic teachings of the) fathers lest he (God) would smite the earth with a curse.


CURSED GENERATION


What kind of curse? Remember, when God curses anything He always curses that particular generation which is involved, because somewhere previously He would have tried in a special way to show His mercifulness, longsuffering and gentleness to that generation receiving the curse. Showing them His kindness and goodness in a special way, giving them a special opportunity to know Him and miss the curse that is soon to follow. Therefore, if they don’t want to move on in truth, if the generation doesn’t want to accept His mercy through what He has to offer them, He will in turn, turn that generation over to a reprobate mind to simply believe a lie and be damned, to be lost! THAT IS THE CURSE! You can’t say He cursed the scientific world! They continually get smarter every day.


CHURCH CHILDREN OUTNUMBERED


Now watch what happened in your local schools where your church children attended, but were far outnumbered by the children of the world. Pressures from without now begin to pressure the church youth to line up with these fads and go along with the crowd of the day. It isn’t long before mommy and daddy begins to hear these words, can I dad, can I mom? However, because we have a generation today who mostly were forced because of one situation or another to be reared by babysitters, these poor children hardly knowing the love of a mother or father and practically disciplined by neither, naturally have no respect for the wishes or desires of Mom or Dad, seeing that loyalty and respect of the children for parents is not what it should be. The poor children have been made through all these years to look at a babysitter who wasn’t paid to discipline the child, only to see they didn’t run out the door, get lost in the dark and was fed on time, etc. With over half the school age children’s mothers working, it has been babysitters who practically built the character of the society of our youth! Remember, all this came about in ONE GENERATION! From without came the pressures which have forced and changed the church lifestyle, as well as the morals of our day! Social patterns of church going youth has absolutely been stripped and brainwashed in these public schools!


ALLOWING DEVIL TO ENTER FULL FORCE


About this time one atheistic woman whose hatred for God and prayer caused a bill to be passed removing the Bible and prayer from all state run schools. Removing the Bible and prayer from the schoolroom now allows Satan to enter into the school in full force. Since that hour you have heard nothing but dope, guns, knives, booze and all kind of moral breakdowns! Why? Because the church world each year continually backs up, giving an inch here, a foot there. Why? Because seeing they did not want to move on in the truth of God’s word they are given no choice but to be forced by world pressures to move with the world or lose their crowd! This is an hour in your generation that in yourself you can’t live different, you can’t buck this sweeping tide unless you are doing it for truth’s sake. The pressure of the world will simply sweep you under. If you live different, live it because God’s word says so. If it is not for truth sake and you try, sooner or later it will swamp, choke and isolate you from everything until you are forced to yield to the pressures of the day. Living different because it is truth, because it is Jesus Christ in spirit from in you, will be honored by the Lord!


Yes, the “falling away” first came from without, yet it brought such a pressure on the entire church world that the church world in general was forced to back up, back off, let down the gap and stop saying this or that until today the church world, from the outward appearance, looks no different from those outside the church circle. The only difference is, in certain respects, it may not have as yet reached the depth of extreme!


HONORING PROSTITUTES


Then from California, the state which discovered gold, has now discovered the devil in full force. Churches 50 years ago would never have stooped as low as this one church of the Methodist faith in California which permitted hundreds of prostitutes forming a union of their profession to hold their meetings in their church! Here was the one religious system which more than the others 50 years ago was teaching holy living! Why would a church even in California stoop so low to do such a thing. It is because the hour is here for the “falling away”! The pastor of this church has often bragged how his Methodist church set the pattern in San Francisco for the night clubs to follow. Could John Wesley return to the scene, and he was a man who resorted to physical force, no doubt he would do what Jesus did at the temple, or either take gasoline and a match and burn the building down. On and on such things, because truth has left, are still creeping into the religious world. See, that Holy Ghost conviction is lifting or leaving the Gentiles. People are losing their anchor and their stabilizing force because that is exactly what the Holy Ghost is!


Today we see the Holy Ghost lifting that convicting power, yet some will say, I believe the Holy Ghost will be here in convicting power until the church is gone. Beloved, I believe the Holy Ghost will be in YOU until the church is gone, but you can’t make the Bible say the Holy Ghost is going to be here in that hour convicting people of sin and still continually holding back all this evil force from sweeping in, NOT AT ALL!


NO GREAT CONVICTING POWER FOR GENTILES


No, understand this does not mean the Holy Ghost will leave the planet, of corse not. The Holy Ghost will always be here. It was here before the gospel ever came to the Gentiles, yet the Holy Ghost was not working in convicting power among the Gentiles. However, when the dispensation of grace came in respect to gospel truth, the Holy Ghost immediately went to work on Gentiles’ hearts and lives convicting them and changing their life pattern. As time closes out, this grace period for us Gentiles, this will no longer be the case where people fall under deep conviction or is even dealt with in such a manner as we have read about in years past, such as the great Welsh revival, etc.


I read how a certain man became so hungry to see God work, that because of the way people were living he decided to pray under a certain bridge for a certain length of time for God to move. The bridge where he hid and prayed stood at the entrance to town and there he asked the Lord to convict every person who passed over that bride. Sure enough, in the great Welsh revival every person who walked or rode over that bridge fell under such deep Holy Ghost conviction that hearing about the revival in the little town, they simply could not stop until they made their way to the meeting house and gave their hearts to God. But face it, you won’t see that anymore, that was the day the average man of the world, though not a Christian, (as we understand Christianity today) had respect for this book. It is not so anymore! Open infidelity against this book, boastful, hardhearted, stubborn, stiff-necked is the order of the day and it is all because the Holy Ghost is letting up in that convicting power. As the Holy Ghost, who has been withholding or resisting that spirit of iniquity lets up, Satan will now move in in full force bringing back in among the Gentiles all those evil things they had before! And recall, the devil has done it through the medium of the world because the time was right.


SELLOUT TO MATERIALISM


Satan brought the pressures against the carnal church world which, if you recall, is his own church system which he placed into the kingdom of heaven to buffet the true church. Satan now brings all this into his own church system, the system he has had all along. It was he who held these back from going on in the truth, now brings them down to a completely worldly level! This is done through none other than a great deception. That is why in this period of great deception we are seeing ministers, as never before, preaching about world affairs instead of about the conditions of the time pointing to the soon coming of Christ, or the conditions that man’s soul is in. With all these pressures pushing from without, all you need was the right time and the right people. An hour when people would live more for materialism than anything else, and isn’t that the modern philosophy today. Schools now having no respect for the Bible nor religion is teaching and training strictly for the materialistic realm of life! When one lives strictly for the materialistic things in life, what do you think that does to the human soul? The spiritual side has to go! The philosophy of our modern institutions of learning is, educate the youth for a materialistic world. Sad to say, modern youth today is trained only for a material way of life, embracing no concept of God consciousness whatsoever!


BRAINWASHING YOUTH


Naturally, in a concept such as this, morals will absolutely be very low in fact, the modern way of life, morals as we have known them, have been kicked out – they simply can’t survive in this generation! This brings about a complete brainwashing of our younger generation as they are slowly introduced to all these four letter words and such things. Isn’t it strange, they used this philosophy, that as long as the Bible remained in the schools the child was subject to religion. They say the child should be allowed to choose what they want to accept, therefore through special legislation the Bible is kicked out and now in turn these same philosophers forcibly subject your child to just the opposite and justify it all by saying, it is the child who should have the opportunity to choose what they want. Yes, but you may rest assured by the time these modern philosophers have finished teaching the child sex education, their four letter words, atheism, evolution, no God, etc., your child will be so brainwashed and subjected to their corrupt Godless, immoral way of thinking the child actually has no choice but to follow the Godless way they have been taught!


LAW TO PROHIBIT PARENTS DISCIPLINE


A bill now in Congress, if it is ever passed in this day of the “falling away” would prohibit you from bringing your child up as the Bible teaches in the ways of the Lord, because if your child under the influence of modern education is brainwashed and if your child should choose the image of modern youth and want to go that way, however they want to dress or live, and you say one word against it or you tell your child to do something and they don’t want to obey you, this law will prohibit you from correcting them! Then you tell me we haven’t been brought to a generation being cut off – we most certainly have! And this falling away has brought that particular way of life right down into the church circle! No, I didn’t say it had brought it into the church circle to the degree that it is in the world, but it has brought it into the church circle and now all these lifestyles, fads, new morals for a new society are all being accepted by the church circle. That group of so-called Christianity which is propagating under the name of religion using the name of Jesus and supposing to be the medium whereby man finds eternal life is swallowing all this hook, line and sinker!


MATERIALISTIC GOSPEL


Today they have become nothing more than an institution of religion, full of perverted ways of living insomuch they can no longer set a standard which is any different than the standard already going on on the outside of the church! Since now it is all within the church circle, the world recognized the church to be no better than they. Therefore, this weakness of conviction, this lowering of standards has even led the clergy, seeing they refused to go on with truth, to now recognize the fruitlessness of it all, and have turned to a life style strictly of material advantage! Such as a radio preacher from California like so many others today who have taken the very thing they once preached, this gospel of salvation, and now openly converted it into strictly a materialistic gospel preaching how all these worldly, material things should now all be yours, as if these things are the blessings of God saying God wants you rich, God wants you to have plenty, etc. Why, they teach indulgence worse than the Catholic Church did in the Dark Ages! This kind of promotion leads to all kind of religious gimmicks. Fifty years ago, had a man used such religious promotion of the gospel in such materialistic gimmicks people would have run from him! But not today because it is a spirit falling upon those who refuse to walk on with God! One by one they are picking up this materialistic angle. If you don’t go on with truth, sooner or later a spirit will take hold of you, because this is the day of the “falling away”! It invaded the society of the world and has now invaded the church circles!


This “falling away” is now on because God set a truth before them and they refused to walk in it, this has absolutely become a delusion. God will permit you to see this delusion and you will walk straight for it thinking it is the real thing!


A DELUSION


A delusion is a mirage which, from a distance, looks real. However, the sad part is, once you start toward it, it never in reality gets any closer, always remaining the same distance from you and that mirage or delusion that you grope after is always something that is going to be! It is always just before you, but it never materializes because it will always remain the same distance and will bring death! This is causing the church world to become so apostate!


NEW POLITICAL ROLE


Recently the 76 year old pope, I heard, made the remark it was possible he might resign. If he does resign the man next in line for that office, because of the role that office is destined to play in European unity and world peace, may possibly be a younger man, more vigorous in health, yet I say he will be a man who will have a modern philosophy of unity which will have more of a political overtone than ecclesiastical. He will dress that Catholic Church up in such a political role every businessman will want to join it. And because they have already taken to this charismatic move, rest assured this world is headed for an hour of climax like it has never seen before. If that next man is the man, then we are close. But remember, you can’t have the man of sin revealed until you first have the “falling away”. Today the world is in shape, it knows more than ever, it is desperately in need of a mastermind. It needs a man who has the brains and personality to be able to step on the scene and say to the world, brothers, this is what we need to do! Once you hear that type introduction being introduce to the world, WATCH OUT! It should cause every Holy Ghost believer to begin looking up knowing that at any moment Jesus could come. No, the bride will not go through the tribulation period, but according to Paul teaching, the true church is definitely going to see an introduction of that man of sin and his hour of false deception, being introduced to the world before it leaves.


PART 4


REVEALING MAN OF SIN BEFORE RAPTURE


4 TITLES TO SAME PERSON


Yes, it is this falling away that eventually brings to the forefront that man of sin also called the son of perdition, the antichrist, and the one referred to in Daniel 9:27 as that (false) prince of peace. Bear in mind, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the antichrist and false prince are simply four separate titles pertaining to this one and selfsame person – – Satan’s false, counterfeit agent. This man in turn introduces to the world that dreadful hour spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24:15-22.


WITHDRAWING DOES NOT MEAN LEAVING


The Holy Ghost withdrawing does not mean the Spirit leaves the planet, but merely lifts its convicting and retraining powers whereby these evil spirits, which once ruled the lives of the gentiles before the First Century but were restrained throughout the gospel dispensation of grace, now return in full force with as much evil influence as ever among the gentiles, because time has arrived for the word of God to be fulfilled, because this is the generation today whose hearts and minds will eventually be turned over to a reprobate mind believing every lying device Satan throws in their path!


Mankind today, though he has climbed higher up the tree of knowledge scientifically and culturally, yet morally and spiritually, he has crawled lower than practically any generation which has existed before him! This is the generation where crime, terrorism, vice, dope, immorality and the degenerate nature of mankind has stooped to its lowest ebb.


FOUR-LETTER WORDS ACCEPTED


Never was there such an hour when educated mankind looks upon and justifies four letter words as proper English to be used in the presence of women. Education today has taught these four-letter words to be a part of our language culture. 50 years ago were a man to use such words in public he would be looked upon more or less as a demon possessed person, though today they are accepted as an everyday language culture. Mentally, man has not become much more than an educated animal.


LAW CHANGED TO PERMIT IMMORALITY


This “falling away” may be identified by many phases of activities presently affecting mankind’s social, moral and spiritual welfare. Already we see the pressure satan has placed on the world, changing certain lifestyles and morals and now changing certain judicial laws to allow these various changes to be legal. Looking back over previous years and meditating on all these cultural changes made today which satan has introduced, we are aware he couldn’t have done this unless the generation it was all to be fulfilled in had been born. When these changes were turned loose we began noticing strict judicial laws slacking down. During the 15-20 years the Supreme Court has been constantly changing, revising and adding amendments to one law after another until today the Constitution has been amended so many times it no longer means what it was originally written to mean. Such changes made it impossible today for you to live and receive the intended benefits of protection as well as freedom to express your religious convictions, etc. This is a day when all these convictions and liberties are being rapidly snatched away, as satanic influences are slowly being introduced to replace those older convictions, as pressure is placed upon the people. The reason usually given for these changes are “but these things have failed to accomplish their purpose.” No doubt they may have failed to accomplish their purpose – of all they intended – yet I assure you jails were never as full as they are today! Fifty years ago when law was stricter, they were not running over!


DOPE WRECKS BRAIN


Youth today says, Dad drank his booze, why can’t I use dope? This statement doesn’t justify drinking, but I never heard of men who became liquor addicts who ever had their brains eaten up. But did you know drugs will make a mentally deranged person out of you and it takes nothing flat to do so in comparison to what liquor will do! There was a day it was considered a crime for youth to smoke marijuana, however today, because of the political legislative circles which cater to pressure, we now see our legislators begging our law officials to endorse the use of marijuana, saying it is not harmful to health when scientifically, doctors have already proved it is! We are living in an age of paradox, one voice screams there is no harm, while others cries out there is. These are some of the things we are noticing as pressure from without is coming against the church world. The religious institutions, which mostly already belong to satan seeing he has caused the world to look toward them and be deceived, and because it is the hour they should now begin to lose ground, we see things going on in the church world, practiced even in the pulpits that were not present before. Such things are rapidly causing the world and the church circles to become identified together in the same boat, proving still further we are definitely in that hour of the “falling away”!


WOMEN PREACHERS – IS IT SCRIPTURAL?


Granted, even though it has always been unscriptural, certain religious circle has always endorsed women preachers, yet most fundamental church circles who, because of what the scripture taught against it, knew it was unscriptural for women to usurp authority over the man or stand in any position of leadership (I Timothy 2:12-14). Everyone knows in this respect through the ages they have stood firm. In that one respect they remained true to scripture, however when we reached the hour there was to be a generation hit by all these satanic influences, because the church world had already refused to accept the message of truth, what did God’s word say He would do to them, He would send them strong delusions that would be so persuasive, so convincing that the church world would go after it. Remember, a strong delusion is a mirage, something that looks so real. Fifty pears ago you could never have witnessed any women make headlines coming down the aisle, especially in the Episcopal churches, contesting their denominational clergy saying, we also have a right to preach! Understand, that doesn’t mean women can’t be as spiritual as men, they certainly can , but if they are spiritual they will be obedient to the scripture. However, some live by this standard today, I don’t care what the Bible says, I know what I want! Yes, God says there will be a generation who would say they didn’t care what the Bible said. He said they would have a form of godliness, denying the power of the authority of the scriptures to change your life, your belief, to change your way of thinking. They would deny all that! What did the Bible say to do to such people? Accept them and let them have their way? Absolutely not!! The Bible says, from such turn away! Why? Because they will lead your soul to hell!


NEW ROLE OF WOMEN


No, you can’t say because some women decided they wanted to preach in one movement that this is what is going on throughout the entire religious world, yet because of what was going on out in the social world as certain predominant feminine personalities who allowed that spirit to get on them, looked around the world in general and seeing prevailing conditions, their feelings became, “if I were in his place I would do it differently.” Therefore, beginning to converse with each other, women formed themselves into groups and began expressing themselves in one common voice and began pulling strings. No doubt back of the scene many a woman sits behind a politician dominating the entire setting. We are in that hour when women of the world in general have begun to say, we have been pushed down, suppressed and belittled long enough! Yet the Bible, which has never changed, says because of what Mother Eve did in the garden, womanhood could no longer have an equal role with man. Instead, as part of the punishment God laid upon womanhood, the secondary role is what she must live until the Lord Himself comes and personally lifts the curse.


CHURCH’S NEW ROLE – FREEING WOMEN


However, because of what all is going on in this equality field, women’s rights, etc., and since Jesus has not as yet personally come, the modern church world feels what they are doing for women, giving them an equal role with men, is the spirit of Christ now moving through religious circles to change the woman’s role – but it is not! It is a trick of the devil and the spirit of Antichrist. Because the same spirit that is in the world preaching woman’s liberation is also the same spirit that is in the church world, in religious circles doing identically the same things! When you see women demonstrating for equal rights, equal opportunities to be able to run for public, political offices, to hold governmental positions, standing and exercising in the same rank of identity, competing for jobs and such things, you can rest assured this has become the hour when the entire social human race is falling away from previous Biblical principles which once governed and stabilized the course of human history.


WANTS TO BE PASTOR


Why do you think in 1975 women from practically every free country met in Mexico City chanting to be identified for equal rights, equal opportunity, etc., because it showed womanhood has no more intentions of fulfilling her God appointed secondary role! And as worldly women began pushing for this, look what it released inside religious church circles. Naturally many women in the church never had a desire to be president, congressman, senator or even mayor, but what they would like to be is PASTOR OF THAT CHURCH! Why is it in certain church circles the older clergy have literally been challenged in the courts as certain young women who studied theology in certain colleges, and because of their little degrees in theology, marched down the aisles demonstrating to the congregation challenging the very authority of the pulpit, demanding equal rights and equal voice! Such actions set off a tremor down through the ranks of religion reaching into Rome and the pope’s office! Because of that pressure now being brought against the church, certain groups who never thought of opening their pulpits to a female preacher and mainly because they have lost their power with God in refusing to go on with God in truth, have no power, spiritually, to withstand such extreme pressure. Furthermore, because their congregations now so worldly, seeing the world and every perversion, every lifestyle, immorality, etc., is creeping in, they are no longer able to resist the pressure. The old clergy therefore throws open the doors, saying I give up, I am tired! This throws the door wide open for the female role to come right on into the church exactly as they did in the political role on the outside. On and on like dominos toppling one another, standards and conditions continue to fall until, were it not for the fact there has been a truth declared to this generation, absolutely everything within the religious realm would have continued to topple! This church world will now fling open her front doors to the devil and every perverted spirit which knocks on it, while truth is kicked out the back door. Modern Christianity will reach an hour when it will become worse than paganism 2000 years ago. The morals of the people will be no better than those of the gentile people 2000 years ago. People in church circles will be doing practically the same thing their ancestors did, only they will be doing it in the name of Christ and Christianity, whereas their ancestors did it 2000 years ago under the name of some false deity and their only excuse will be, times have changed. Yet, if you will allow Him in your life He will absolutely change your way of living and thinking. If God allowed us to get by with anything short of this word, we wouldn’t be fit to judge the world when He returns to earth for the millennium. If we aren’t able to handle the world this side of the millennium, how could we ever handle the world once Christ had definitely placed His bride in charge of it after she returns to earth with Him to rule and reign.


We know the “falling away” is here and will never become any better, according to scripture it is designated to grow worse. In this generation wherein judicial laws are continually being changed which affects morals, etc., how could the Holy Ghost possibly honor such laws? And if time continues another year or so gentiles will be living worse than ever. Time will come when what you hear being done in high schools and colleges will make you scream! This is an age when the devil’s philosophy is to educate the world for all the materialistic advantages of life and brainwash the reality of even the existence of God, let alone that there is a saviour and we as poor helpless lost creatures need Him. The devil doesn’t want you to believe that, thus we see these conditions now moving in.


DISHONESTY IN GOVERNMENT – WHERE IS IT LEADING?


Seeing we are in the “falling away”, sooner or later all of these things are going to bring such pressure, such unrest and such instability! This is a day the world over dishonesty rules in leadership. Dishonesty has made every government like a dead carcass. No government today seems to be a stable thing. Every leader is at one another’s throat. It reminds you so much of the old Roman Empire after the death of Nero. Emperor after emperor took the throne only to be assassinated or placed under such pressure they soon resigned, some lasting less than a year. From the U.S., Asia, Europe, the world over pressures in government, dishonesty, no stability – what an hour that is here, and everything must go down! Naturally, because there is no stability, no true character or image in the government, this has set off an image and a way of life that has all been passed down to the last stop, the church circles. Out of this attitude a new style of evangelism has arisen on the scene and also must play its role in the “falling away” which will eventually bring in the man of sin.


DAY OF PLAYING IS OVER


God help us all! If a man is sold out to God and truth is his only objective for preaching, God will help that man to stay out of the pitfalls of the devil. However, if truth is not his main objective for preaching then somewhere social prestige, fame, fortune, money, women, or something will get him. Rest assured, this is the hour Satan has his trap set. The papers and magazines are publishing sad testimonies of one minister after another who has fallen over money, women, social prestige, wine or something. Either you walk with God and uphold truth, preacher, or you are destined to play your role in the “falling away”! Either you will move on with God or you are facing an hour you won’t get by merely playing with the gospel. You won’t get by playing like you are a Christian. Sooner or later the pressure from without will come against you and it will break every fiber that is not fortified in Christ, it has to be that way!


MUST TAKE STAND


As we see all this coming and we recognize how the little nation of Israel is being pressured from every standpoint, this lets me know the Spirit of God is slowly withdrawing its convicting powers and restraining forces from all these satanic influences as all these satanic spirits are sweeping back into the gentile world as they were before Christianity come to the gentiles in the First Century. Scriptural-wise, Israel is being placed back into a time relationship, prophetic-wise, with God as He pleads for those dispersed Israelites to return home, back to the land He gave their father, Abraham. Does she yet know the Messiah? NO! Has she received the revelation of the time it actually is? NOT NECESSARILY! But from all over the world there is a call, Jew, come home! And as they are going home the whole gentile world looks on that one nation. Satan, through gentile nations, through world conditions, would like to pick that nation up and squeeze the very life from her. Sad to say, concerning diplomatic channels, our own statesmen from one point seems to have done everything possible to promise her protection. While on the other hand, seemingly undercover, our nation is doing everything possible to sell her down the drain! This definitely creates dishonesty and tension in world governments. People reach the point they don’t know what to accept or who to trust. When you begin to feel you don’t know who to trust and you don’t know who to turn to for help, you begin to feel like a lone figure walking through a world of demons. There is only one who can help you and that is the Lord. Therefore, somewhere soon the hour is coming when Israel will have looked to Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger for their last time. God is placing such deception in front of them to create a condition whereby Israel will have to withdraw from everything she has said or even promised to sign, saying from here on we stand alone.


The hour is also coming when every Holy Ghost filled born again Christian who knows what truth is will have to say in his heart before God, if need by for truth’s sake I will stand alone! That doesn’t mean you are saying only you and God are the only two in the universe, NO, but in order for you to make a stand you are going to have to take that attitude. It can no longer be as it has been in days gone by when people have taken this attitude, well if so-and-so does it, I will, or if so-and-so doesn’t do it, I won’t! Beloved, it will only take you three minutes in hell before you decide you would give anything if you hadn’t taken that attitude toward God’s word! The pressure will be far better here, that what it would be in the pit. The reward on the other side will be far more glorious. Therefore, I encourage you to take your stand for God and right today! What you go through down here will be nothing compared to the torture you will face in hell if you miss God in the end!


POWER LIFTS BEFORE RAPTURE


Keep in mind for the Spirit of God to stop suppressing or withholding these evil powers from rushing in among the gentiles, does not mean that the rapture must first take place before the Spirit will stop withholding or is taken out of the way of these spirits whereby the spirit of iniquity would then be allowed to go full blast. When He stops hindering these spirits, you are going to see it! Can you see it even now? The world is living, acting and doing such things today, had they done fifty years ago you would have needed far more jails to hold the people than what we have today because you would have gone there in nothing flat! And you would have remained there until you thought you could come out and act like a decent human being.


SATAN BEHIND IT ALL


When this falling away has reached a certain peak or depth of iniquity as it continues to take hold of the human race, that man of sin is going to be introduced. Thus, if you can see it has been Satan all along doing all this, first through the instrumentality of man in certain circles, using the judicial courts and educational circles, law administrative branches, etc., and second you can see hour he brought that over into the Ecclesiastical church branches I ask you, if Satan has been successful in using all this to mold the world for the hour of the falling away, don’t you think he can just as easily use the instrumentality of men through certain pressures and world conditions which he will also create, to eventually bring his man of sin in the front! Satan will create such world conditions that it will demand a new world order of politics, the re-writing of governmental platforms, etc., and that, beloved, whether you believe it or not is exactly what this world is on the verge of today! Then says Paul, shall that wicked (one) be revealed (II Thessalonians 2:3) whom the Lord shall (later) consume (at the end of the tribulation period) with the brightness of his coming. Naturally this speaks of the end of that man of sin. Recall, in I Thessalonians, Paul stated that the Lord shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and them who have pleasure in unrighteousness.


MOTHER & DAUGHTERS (ALL HARLOTS)


Back in II Thessalonians 2:9, Paul says that this man of sin whose coming will be introduced to this world is after the working of Satan. Therefore, when you see certain things going on in the church world today, those things which are producing strictly a denominational unity, just know that is not the spirit of God. But someone says, after all these religions have been preaching the same thing and how often have I heard them say, we are all going to the same place. No, beloved, we are not all going to the same place, that is another lie of Satan! Where in the Bible do we read such a thing! The Bible is filled with scriptures plainly informing us that the woman in Revelations 17:5 is a mother of harlots. Scriptures say she seduced the world by committing spiritual fornication with kings, dictators, etc., but one day that woman (the Roman Catholic Church) gave birth to some daughters who scripture declares were harlots also, and scripturally, their reputation as daughters wasn’t any better than the reputation of the mother! Then you say everybody is going to the same pace, OH NO!


“Whose coming (man of sin) is after the working of Satan.” See, it has been a satanic trick. Some of that trick he works through political power, some of it will work through ecclesiastical power, and some of it he will work through signs of every description, lying wonders and through all deceivableness of unrighteousness (especially) in them who perish, because they receive not the love of the (gospel) truth. Therefore, somewhere prior to this introduction of this man was the “falling away” from the truth which God has offered to the human race. And even back as far as 54 A.D., God says that (last generation) who is destined for destruction would not accept the truth, therefore, God sent this falling away unto those who receive not the love of the truth in order they might be saved or that they might escape the curse, the judgment, the condemnation that was destined to fall on them. And because they rejected the truth, it was for this cause, Paul says, God shall send them (that generation) strong delusions that they should believe a lie and be damned, who do not believe the truth and have pleasure in unrighteousness.


MANY MIRACLE WORKERS FULFILL MATTHEW 7


Many people the world over are grieved over the fact the world has lost one of the greatest female evangelists they feel the world ever had. I have often said I do not touch a person for all the good they feel has been accomplished, but many times we get questions asked, what about Kathryn Kuhlman? What about these things? Beloved, don’t ever say people weren’t healed, they were! Don’t every say people weren’t blessed by the Spirit, they were! Nevertheless, sad to say there are many people on the road to hell because they never saw the Christ in His real true purpose or objective. The Bible plainly says, and I know for such a statement my name will be mud to many people, nevertheless, when I stand before God I certainly don’t want to be responsible for having taught anybody something false such as those in Matthew 7:21-23 were guilty of. Yet according to Matthew 7, somebody in a generation must fulfill the words of Jesus spoken there! Those words left must be fulfilled because he says, many will come to Him in that day (of judgment) and say, did we not cast our devils in your name? There is going to be a generation who lived on this earth who saw just such characters doing those very things and what they saw accomplished is exactly what set off the fulfillment of Christ’s own words. When they said to Jesus, have we not cast our devils in your name, Christ never said you did no such thing! Why they even told Christ they had prophesied in His name, and undoubtedly they had because Christ never denied it. He never judged them but what they had done in the sense of casting out devils or prophesying in His name or doing many wonderful miracles in His name. No, but what He did was point a finger and say to this group, depart from me you that work iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU!


NEED OF A STABILIZER


Seemingly there will be many iniquity workers who did miracles, cast out devils and prophesy! People seemingly cannot differentiate what truth is nor how to digest it in the light of the word. Yes, there must be those individual characters who lived on earth who fulfilled these very scriptures! If you interpret all that goes on in the great evangelistic field as being God’s perfect plan for His bride, you might as well take this Bible and throw it to the wind, God simply didn’t mean what He said! But thank God He left you enough of a clue in this book to know what is truth and what is error in relation to the teaching of His word.


Therefore, is you happen to be in any or all these meetings and if someone’s eyes are opened remember, God did it! If someone received the Holy Ghost in one of these meetings, God did it. But beloved, when it comes to the point of what do you believe, this revelation of the word of God is what you are to believe! And if you fail to get that in your soul, rest assured somewhere down the road you are going to come up short. Never forget this, if God ever had a people He lived in, He built it on His word! Around this world there are people who have seen all kind of manifestations, yet because they have no truth to stabilize them, no truth of the word to line up behind, those poor souls will reach an hour of confusion and they won’t even know what to believe. And because of that discouragement and confusion they will turn their lives back to living after the world.


Many tonight, because of the death of this woman evangelist, will not know who to follow. They are discouraged and won’t know what to believe. As far as they are concerned their only crutch just died. It is almost as pathetic as the people in this message when Bro. William Branham passed away, when they lost their crutch or support.


HOLY GHOST – NEW COMFORTER


It goes back to the words of Jesus when He said it is necessary that I go away for if I go not away the Comforter can not come. If I go away I will send you another Comforter. Do you know what that Comforter was suppose to do, He was to get inside you and whatever the things was you had been leaning on for a crutch or support you don’t lean on it anymore! You lean on the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit! Beloved, you better have some truth to lean upon because if you haven’t truth to lean upon it won’t be long until discouragement, disillusionment, despondency, frustration, fear and doubt will begin slowly to engulf your mind in thinking. Either you will go after some far fetched unscriptural revelation or else the pull of the world will slowly take you back, back! But I know there is a truth in the earth and it is a standard therefore line up behind it! It is like a company of soldiers when the commanding officer blows his whistle and word goes forth certain companies are to fall in line, you begin to look and see where you are to line up. Unless it is in the field of combat when you are told to line up you will begin looking for a standard. The standard you look for is the flag for your particular company and when you see this flag, there is where you know to rally yourself. I will never forget years ago of having a dream and I heard voices singing.


LINING UP BEHIND (BIBLE) STANDARD


In my mind I knew when that song reached the last stanza I would be compelled to sing the last line of the song. As those voices sang that song down to the last word I heard myself saying, and what is a flag without a staff! Remember a staff is what you fasten the flag onto, then place it in the ground and line up by it. In other words, the flag is the gospel but without something to lift it up you might as well fold it up and put it in a box. Before you leave this world you are going to see the sellout, the “falling away” we have been discussing, and it is going to take its toll greatly out of the religious world! Considering those various instruments which have been used to play their role as they cast their image and leave their influence, it would not surprise me in the least if you saw the hand of God reach over and begin to remove them one by one. Such action would leave people disillusioned and confused and many not knowing which way to turn.


TRUTH ALONE WITHSTANDS


But I thank God for truth that is here in this Bible. It is going to cost you an awful lot to stand for truth in this hour. It will cost you your name; it will cost all the personal fame you have achieved in the social world. But beloved, I had rather know I had pleased God by standing for truth than to have a million dollars and ten thousand followers, and in the end wind up not knowing God nor His perfect will and have Him to say to me, as He will say to many who have cast out devils in His name, who have prophesied in His name and who have done many wonderful works in His name, “DEPART YE WHO WORK INIQUITY, I NEVER KNEW YOU! No, you can take this whole world but give me Jesus, the Truth, the Way and Life for in the end the truth will be all we will be able to stand on!

The New Birth – 1976, March

1976-03-The-New-Birth

There are all kind of teachings in the world today concerning salvation. And certain scriptures always seem to be more appealing than others to certain people. Some believe it is possible to be born again without the Holy Ghost, while others believe you must have the Holy Spirit in order to be born again. Still, others believe you must have the Holy Ghost plus the baptism of fire while others say, if you will only believe, then you are saved. And on and on the endless record of beliefs go. In the windup you are about as confused as when you started. The Bible has the answer but the important thing is, we must examine the word in its correct setting.

 

Contents

LEARNING TWO THINGS

 

In this study we desire to learn two things: (1) What the Holy Ghost is in relation to the new birth, (2) What it is in relation to placing you in the body of Christ, and for what purpose. Seeing the Bible does not confuse these things as every scripture must have its proper place in God’s great plan of salvation, we will also see what it is to be born again, converted or saved. We will see whether being born again, converted and saved is one and the self same work or is it separate operations in God’s plan.

 

Practically from the very beginning of Christ’s ministry it has only been the apostle John who gives us a clear recording of these things of which Christ spoke concerning the new birth. Having spent approximately the first six months of his ministry around the Sea of Galilee, in the upper Galilee area teaching in their synagogues, Chapter 2:13 records Christ goes to Jerusalem for the spring passover season where he meets Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler. (John 3:1-2)

 

PART 1 – CHRIST, HOLY GHOST BAPTIZER; JOHN, THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH

Timewise it has been approximately six months since Christ turned 30 and was baptized by John the Baptist in the fall of the year. John never spoke in great detail of this baptismal experience other than to mention when Israel first began going out to John at the Jordan, certain individuals inquired of him if he was Elias, to which he answered, NO! Art thou the Christ! Again his reply was NO! They further questioned, Art thou that prophet? And for the third time his answer was emphatically NO! Yet some may inquire, did not John lie when he denied being Elias seeing Luke 1:17 declared he came in the spirit and power of Elias? NO, John did not lie because they were questioning him concerning himself. Are you Elias? In the personal sense, NO, although the spirit of Elias did rest upon him. Hence he never lied. Because when asked, who are you, his answer was, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, ETC. That remark pertained to his person because John definitely was the individual prophet to fulfill Isaiah 40:3-4, concerning that voice crying in the wilderness. No one suspected in that hour, any more than they do today, that the spirit of Elijah could possibly rest upon an individual person without that person being the actual Old Testament Elijah himself. There is one coming after me, John says, whose shoe laces I am not worthy to loose. When he comes (referring to Christ) he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire, Matthew 3:11. No, this is not two separate baptisms because the Holy Ghost is also the fire of God and Jesus is the baptizer of this baptism!

 

 

That is all the Apostle John commented on concerning John’s baptism, but in chapter 2, John shows how Christ came up to Jerusalem for His first spring passover during His ministry wherein He cleansed the temple and performed certain unnamed miracles. His fame as a miracle worker over the past six months had rapidly spread throughout Israel creating great interest, and many Jews were attracted to Christ as is clearly apparent from the night visit by a Sanhedrin court member named Nicodemus, one of Israel’s great elders in Jerusalem.

 

CHRIST’S CONVERSATION WITH NICODEMUS

 

Nicodemus, the Jewish ruler in John 3, came to Jesus by night mainly because he did not want to be identified. His visit was by night in order not to endanger nor smear his reputation. Nicodemus was much like a certain element of religious people today who knows there has been something definitely gong on and now they are out investigating what is going on. As you allow that statement to soak in, may we say Nicodemus was all disturbed while the others were not. He had a question while the others did not. He was interested and felt that somewhere deep inside him there could possibly be a need in his life and he wanted to find out what the need could be met with. Therefore, in order not to injure nor damage his reputation, he came to Jesus by night.

 

Think of it, the very one who was mutilated and suffered shame on Calvary was unashamed to die such a death for us, yet how often do we find ourselves, although we have no name worth mentioning or any position worth discussing, often ashamed to be identified with him! If our name isn’t written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; if our image or reputation isn’t recognized by the grace of God, then it is only here today and gone tomorrow and soon passed into forgetfulness. On the other hand, if you are in the plan of God you are one destined for eternity.

 

KNOWING ALL MEN

 

Nicodemus’ visit by night was because there was a serious question in his heart. However, since Jesus knew everything concerning all men (John 2:24-25) knowing their thoughts, their questions, their background as well as their needs before they even spoke, scripture declared He never committed Himself unto anyone. He needed no one to inform Him concerning others because John 2:25 declares He already knew what was in man. And remember, only God alone can look upon a man and know everything concerning him. Nicodemus stood before a man (God in the flesh) who knew all things! Deep inside his heart lays a question and Nicodemus comes investigating what’s going on.

 

FIRST MAN TO HEAR OF NEW BIRTH

 

Nicodemus began his conversation by attempting to bestow great honor and flattery upon Jesus declaring, Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God for no man (the Greek says) can keep on doing these miracles (never once missing) that thou doest except God be with him. Wouldn’t such language delight most preachers! Yet it never impressed Christ in the least! Listen in verse 3 how Christ answers Nicodemus, “Verily, Verily say unto thee except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What a strange answer to such flattery! What a contrast! And believe me Nicodemus was not prepared to hear it. Perhaps had Jesus just briefly commented upon his flattery remarks Nicodemus may have been set more at ease, instead to suddenly hear such words blurted out completely threw him off balance! Nicodemus answered, can a man be born when he is old? Born again is merely a term Jesus threw at him. He could have easily said except ye be saved or as he once said to Peter, when you are converted strengthen the brethren (Luke 22:32). Why didn’t Christ use any of these terms on Nicodemus, seeing they all mean one and the selfsame thing! Instead, to him Christ says, ye must be born again!

 

FORMULA FOR NEW BIRTH

 

Using the word BORN carries with it a natural thought to birth. We see Nicodemus trying to grasp the meaning of the word BORN, attempting to give it a natural application. How can an old man be born again? Is it possible he could, the second time, enter his mother’s womb and be born! Listen to Jesus as he presents the formula to this special birth He calls the new birth. Except a man be born of water and spirit, Jesus says, he can’t have that new birth nor can he enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:4-5)! That which is born (from the mother’s womb or) of the flesh is flesh (verse 6). In other words, Nicodemus, I am not discussing anything concerning your flesh being born again because your flesh person can only be born once, I am giving you the formula whereby your inner man may be born again! Because as this natural life, which man is, has come from God through the sexual reproduction route of the mother’s womb, that life took upon itself the form of flesh as well as all the inherited, sinful, fallen nature and the punishment of death that was imputed upon Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

 

Since the fall, imputed sin and the death penalty has reigned in the flesh of man because Adam passed this death penalty and imputed sin through the blood stream down to every offspring born by natural birth. Thus, being born again for a second time carries no reference whatsoever to the flesh person being born again! But through this new birth mentioned by Christ is God’s way of getting to the fallen, depraved spirit of man which needs to be regenerated. Therefore, speaking of the two different births, natural as well as spiritual, Jesus continues by saying (verse 6) “That which is born of the flesh; is flesh (one birth) and that which is born of spirit is spirit (second birth). (7) Marvel not (don’t be confused, don’t allow your mind to become overwhelmed trying to carnally understand what I am saying) that I say unto you, Ye must be born again.”

 

EXPLAINING END RESULTS OF NEW BIRTH

 

This statement in John 3 is only the beginning of many statements spoken by Christ which definitely will later lead up to this new birth, which could not be consummated or actually happen until some three years later in Acts 2. Nevertheless, in John 3 Christ goes ahead and informs Nicodemus what the end results to this new birth would be like once it had happened. Verse 8 declares, “The wind bloweth where it listeth (wants to) and thou heareth the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whether it goeth; so is everyone born of the Spirit.” The birth of the Spirit is like that, you can’t see the wind but you can feel it. You can’t say the wind started blowing over here at this old house because you don’t know where the wind started blowing, you only hear it! In exactly the same manner Christ refers to the Spirit of God as it too shows its effect upon man’s life. As you see the effects of what wind does, likewise you are able to see the effects of what the Spirit of God can do in the life of an individual. You can see its end results. Take for instance a drunkard, up until the Spirit of God takes hold of that person, drunkenness has continually, day in and day out, been his way of life. However, one day God took hold of him and began working in his life. People looked upon him and began saying, something has certainly happened to that fellow to change him. Yet, like the wind no one can tell where that something that took hold of him came from, you can only see the effects of it. See why Christ referred to the spirit in that manner? The spirit you cannot see, though you are able to feel it, and furthermore you may see its effect but you are unable to tell where it came from.

 

Here in John’s gospel is recorded the first word ever uttered by Christ concerning being born again (by the spirit). Bear in mind these personal statements of his are only word terms as he is slowly beginning to build up this great thought that a man must absolutely be born again! From the time Christ began speaking those words in John 3 until his final closing remark concluding his earthly ministry (Acts 1:8), he never once deviated from that one continuous thought. Instead he continually added still more word terms of all which pointed to one and the self-same experience for the benefit of man’s soul, the new birth.

 

WORD REMOVES DOUBT

 

The world is filled with voices informing people how to be saved and what they must do in order to receive the Holy Ghost, yet through it all it has left a multitude of unanswered questions. I am thankful God’s word is so Holy Ghost inspiredly written that if God’s children could only see God’s will through His inspired revelated truth, it would show that the revelated word had been God’s way of leaving His child something to remove all this doubt and confusion from his mind. Nothing is sadder than confused souls not knowing what to believe or do.

 

BABYLONIAN TEACHINGS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONFUSION

 

Most of this confusion stems from our Babylonian background of various denominational teachings. That is why, beloved, in these last days shortly before his coming, God could not reach down and take a people out of all this Babylonian confusion calling that His bride church without first having done something in their behalf in order to call them out of all that confusion, not into another denomination, but into a spiritual fellowship with Himself whereby His word might now have full pre-eminence in their lives as the Holy Ghost takes that revealed word and seeks to teach them every word of truth in order to wash out all confusion, doubt and unbelief fulfilling Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:26-27, showing how Christ presents Himself a glorious church, having neither spot, wrinkle nor blemish having once washed her by the washing of water by the word.

 

CHEAP AND EASY WAY

 

We are living in an hour when the religious world hates the very thing Christ will use to wash His church, the word, and you are instructed today how to receive the Holy Ghost in the cheapest and easiest terms! Strange, isn’t it, and certainly noteworthy that when the Holy Ghost moved in the opening of the 20th Century upon honest hearted denominational people who were earnestly seeking Him, there was no easy method of instruction whereby you could receive the Holy Ghost! Every person seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost was told to forsake all and surrender your will to God, be willing to die out to self and pray and from that moment on it was strictly between you and God.

 

LEARNING GLOSSOLALIA PHRASES

 

However, note today you are told it doesn’t matter how you look or dress because it now all lays in the ability to be able to recite certain words or phrases. HOGWASH! They even have it worked down so simple today that they write the necessary words on a blackboard in order to teach you how to talk in tongues! Or if that isn’t perverted enough, they will send you a record with instructions to repeat these words! Strange, isn’t it, how one generation had to cry and travail before God, enduring great sacrifices in seeking God for an experience with Him, an experience which brought them only persecution and ridicule and now for it to be reversed! Suddenly the next generation can go around looking and acting like the world and talk in tongues also! Something somewhere is drastically wrong and it certainly isn’t with God, it is strictly something man has hatched up to deceive and blind hearts! Beloved, God hasn’t changed His word nor His methods. True, He has always had a variety of method as we will see, but He does not make it easy for one and difficult for another although it may at times seem that way.

 

HOLY GHOST COMPLETES NEW BIRTH

 

Leaving Nicodemus, who was told he had to be born of the water and spirit, we continue to examine still more words of Jesus concerning this experience called the new birth of the spirit. May we say that Nicodemus was not at this time born again, although he did become a sympathetic believer behind the scene. Concerning the Holy Ghost one must have in order to complete the new birth, we hear Jesus in John 7:37 still speaking of the spirit saying in the last day of the feast, if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink! Here Christ is still speaking of the spirit of God, only this time in another term. He is not speaking of the spirit in relation to the new birth itself as he did to Nicodemus. Instead, here in verse 38 he speaks of the spirit in relation to thirst, He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said… In other words, if you are going to be born again you must first of all believe something which is more than just a mere mental head knowledge belief. Christ is showing here it must be a scriptural belief that actually motivates you, something that can become a part of your inner makeup because it is vital to your spiritual inner man.

 

Verse 38, “He that believeth on me, AS THE SCRIPTURE HATH SAID, out of his innermost being (belly) shall (continually) flow rivers (and springs) of living water. (39) But this spake he of the spirit (John said around 90 A.D.) which they who had believed scripturally on Him would receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; (Spirit given at Pentecost 33 A.D.) because Jesus was not yet glorified.” But they were believing, someone says. True, they were believing potentially unto eternal life. The Bible can’t contradict itself, it doesn’t give one formula for one person and another formula for one person and another formula for another person. We must understand what the Bible is speaking of when it uses all these various terms to see what they all add up to. It is man who is guilty of taking these word terms out of the scriptures and applying them to his own doctrines leading men astray. Although six months before Calvary no one had received the Holy Ghost when this statement was made, John 7:38-39, nevertheless, it was the plan of God that these disciples who were predestinated, elected and chosen to be the body of disciples, not only would believe on him but remain loyal unto him until the Holy Ghost was given.

 

LEANING ON FLESHLY COMFORTER

 

Therefore, seeing Jesus had not been glorified in John 7, the way had not yet been opened up for the Holy Ghost to come into the hearts of people. Moreover, from here on out we are going to see something else, that is exactly how the disciples will begin more and more to lean upon the flesh of Jesus for a comforter or crutch. And Jesus being fully aware of this in John 14, an event only hours away from Calvary, now begins to take the Spirit of God and once again apply it still in another term, this time calling it, another Comforter. We shall see why he did!

 

We are all human and humans become attracted to one special person as a friend. Ofttimes this human can become a crutch or something to lean upon. By the hour of John 14, this is exactly what his flesh had become, a crutch unto his disciples. And he being fully aware of this knows that when his flesh is taken from the scene his disciples are truly going to up against it (will become discouraged) unless something else comes (say another comforter) to take his place or take the place of what he had, in the flesh, become to all of them.

 

COMFORTER NEEDED TODAY

 

Many are that way today. As long as the prophet to the age was alive and they were able to sit at his feet, hearing the word of God and seeing all the miracles – everything was fine. However, God knowing in the last days this same group of people must have something within themselves to lean upon and make them stand on their own two feet whereby they could actually say it is only Christ inside me, my hope of glory. It is no longer the flesh they lean upon but strictly the revelation of truth that has been brought which will stimulate their souls and encourage their hearts, placing something inside causing them to press onward, realizing no matter what happens there is something inside them leading them on into higher heights and deeper depths.

 

SPIRIT TO BE COMFORTER

 

Knowing all this (how they are leaning upon him for everything), Jesus now begins to speak concerning this same Spirit He referred to earlier as the new birth in John 3. Now in John 14:16, using still another term Jesus calls it the Comforter. John 14:16 is that part of his speech delivered while on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane, only hours before the crucifixion. Knowing that in a few short hours His disciples would be looking upon the flesh of their Comforter (the one they have come to lean on as a crutch) hanging on that cross with blood dripping from his side, fulfilling the scripture, smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. Speaking to His disciples concerning that same spirit called the Holy Ghost, the new birth and the water of life, He now speaks of the spirit in a new term in John 14:16, “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter.”

 

GLOSSOLALIA SLANT

 

Why did Christ refer to the Spirit as another Comforter? Because up until that hour HE had been their comforter. And seeing the hour rapidly approaching when He would be taken from them as they witnessed the most horrible scene of their life, told them this other Comforter would abide with them forever. I realize speaking of what the Father will send in verse 16 always stimulates the Trinitarians but please notice in verse 26, Christ said the Father will send the spirit in my name (Jesus) who shall teach you all things! Isn’t it peculiar in this great charismatic revival which claims the Holy Ghost is moving in such a mighty outpouring of the Spirit that it doesn’t teach them one thing about holy living, only teaches them how to talk in another language.

 

I do not deny in the overall structure of this movement, which is destined to lead the Pentecostals to Rome, there are those lone individuals whom God has placed His hand upon and because of where they have been religiously God will bring them right down through that avenue of teaching, straight into the truth of His revelated word! And because of that God will truly give that individual the Holy Ghost but remember He will keep right on leading them to the truth of the word! When that Holy Ghost comes into anyone’s heart it always opens up something inside the individual placing a deep hunger inside them for spiritual truth! Remember a person born of the flesh, as they grow they always have a hunger to consume food. Not only do they have an appetite for food they also have a thirst for water because it is the water that quenches the thirst. No wonder Jesus said, if any man thirst let him come to me and drink. The Spirit is what Christ gives to satisfy that spiritual thirst for spiritual things you must be alive or born again. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, Jesus says, they shall be filled!

 

PROMISE OF FATHER TEACHES ALL THINGS

 

Here are some of the closing remarks in Christ’s earthly ministry. The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name (Jesus) shall teach you all things! No, not just a few things, but ALL THINGS! But I don’t understand all things, someone says. Wait a little while and you will because it is the Holy Ghost’s business to teach and instruct you into all things. If you open your heart, allowing God to work His will in you, in His own time He will teach you all things.

 

PROMISE OF THE FATHER

 

Moreover we note this Comforter called the Holy Ghost is also referred to as being “the promise of the Father.” Where and why would it be referred to as “the promise of the Father.” In the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:33-34) Jehovah speaks through the prophet declaring, a new covenant will I make with the House of Israel after these days. In that time they will know the Lord’s way. I will come down and write my laws in their minds and plant them in their hearts. See, it is the Holy Ghost coming into the individual’s life with a revelation of what the law was pointing to. The law definitely pointed to the new birth. When the Holy Ghost came this was the fulfillment of what the law spoke thus fulfilling the promise of the Father.

 

HOLY GHOST STILL MAIN CONCERN

 

John 20:19 shows Christ after His resurrection, appearing unto those troubled, doubting, confused disciples somewhere over in the territory of Galilee. And note once again how the Holy Ghost is still His main point of conversation once He convinced them He is alive in the flesh. Verse 19, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled (in Galilee) for fear of the Jews.” Had not Christ shortly before His crucifixion warned His disciples they would soon be scattered, filled with doubt and fear, falling into disillusionment?

 

MEETING PLACE – GALILEE

 

Having left Jerusalem doubtful and confused, where, I ask you, had the two disciples on the road to Emmaus headed? They had headed home to Emmaus! But remember Jesus had not instructed His disciples He would meet them in Emmaus of Judaea or even Jerusalem after His resurrection. No, He informed them earlier He would meet them in Galilee and these two confused, dejected ones were traveling in the wrong direction from Galilee! The wife of Cleophas was none other than the sister of Mary. Pertaining to the flesh, this man was part of Christ’s relation and he was going after them!

 

SCRIPTURE BROUGHT JOY

 

By the time we reach the setting in John 20:19 somewhere in Galilee, not in Judaea or somewhere else, Christ enters this room through closed doors and appears unto very skeptical followers. Finally getting them over into the right meeting place in Galilee, Matthew, Mark and Luke records how much in doubt they all were following the resurrection. Throughout the day they had constantly heard all kind of reports. Earlier Peter and John had found the tomb empty. Mary and other women testified of having seen Him. The two men on the road to Emmaus give their exciting report of His appearance. Nevertheless, on a whole the disciples were still most skeptical. Entering the room Jesus sees His disciples still need more convincing that it is truly He in the flesh. Standing in their midst, saying peace be unto you, verse 20 declares, He showed them his hands and feet and even asked for something to eat (Luke 24:41). When that didn’t completely convince them, Luke says he had something that would! Taking the scriptures he opened their understanding. When your world has become topsy-turvy there is nothing like an understanding of the scriptures to stabilize you. Why? Because the scriptures are ordained to stabilize you in the midst of all kind of scorn! Expounding the scriptures and opening their understanding caused the real joy to come. John, not like Matthew, Mark and Luke who went into elaborate details concerning this event, cuts his portion short by saying, then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.

 

 

CONFUSION OVER VERSE 22

 

Having said, Peace be unto you, As my Father hath sent me so send I you. Note carefully in verse 21 how not only in His last message before going to Calvary He discussed with them this Comforter, the Holy Ghost. We see also in his first words unto this same group of disciples in Galilee after His resurrection He is still on the same subject! Verse 22, John says and when he said this he breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost! Certain people taking that one statement alone, separating it from all the other writer’s statements concerning what they had to say about this one event, declares, see here is where the disciples finally receive the Holy Ghost. And over on the day of Pentecost they were all baptized with the Holy Ghost, and on and on the argument goes.

 

DISCIPLES TO RECEIVE HOLY GHOST IN JERUSALEM

 

However, if we will only bring all our denominational beliefs to the Bible and make them fit the Bible instead of trying to make the Bible fit into all our scrawny denominational beliefs, we can remove all this confusion because note which district of Israel they were all in sitting in this room, they were not in Jerusalem but somewhere over in Galilee receiving a commission to go into all the world to preach the gospel among all nations, Luke 24:47 said, beginning in Jerusalem! Now keep in mind they are in Galilee and according to Luke 24:49 something else was suppose to happen before they leave Jerusalem before they can even begin preaching, and that is receive (future tense) the promise of the Father. Luke 24:49, which is the Holy Ghost! The point is, how can they receive the Holy Ghost in Galilee when they are suppose to receive it in Jerusalem?

 

NO EXPERIENCE RECEIVED

 

Jesus speaking in Galilee, according to John, said receive ye the Holy Ghost! Luke speaking of the same incident declared they would receive the promise of the Father (not in Galilee but) when they reached Jerusalem! According to Luke, who wrote both the Book of Acts and Luke, Jerusalem would be the designated spot the disciples would receive the Holy Ghost and Acts 2 shows they were at Jerusalem when they receive the Holy Ghost! Therefore, based on what Luke 24 records concerning this one incident, what actually, experience wise, did the disciples receive at that time? Experience-wise they received nothing! The experience of the Holy Ghost and new birth would come in Jerusalem! What then did they receive? First they had their understanding opened to the scriptural teaching of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Next they received a commission or commandment but with that commandment they were instructed not to do anything such as preach, not even to leave Jerusalem until they first received the Holy Ghost. And remember at this moment they are not in Jerusalem and won’t be for some time! They are somewhere in Galilee. It is the commission or an order to receive it!

 

From this point of conversation in Galilee it is still approximately 40 days until Christ will ascend to glory just outside Jerusalem on Mt. Olive, and remember, Christ never once changed His statement concerning the Holy Ghost to the disciples as to where they were suppose to be when they receive it! Had they received the Holy Ghost in John 20, are you aware Apostle Thomas was not even present! We will show in the next few verses that as far as an experience was concerned they had received nothing because they are still leaning heavily upon their Comforter and fleshly crutch! Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples (John 20:30-31) which aren’t written in this book, declaring many things which Jesus did during that 40 day interval before His ascension are not written but in a moment we will look at one that was written. Verse 31 says “these (certain ones) are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.” John 21 shows one such miracle he did by the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias.

 

CHAPTER 21 PROVES COMFORTER NOT COME

 

In order to furnish you with proof that the disciples had not as yet received the Holy Ghost this other Comforter, we see the disciples are still leaning heavily upon the flesh of Christ for a comfort and crutch! John 21 declares how Peter, Thomas, Andrew, James and John and two unidentified disciples having nothing to do, and certainly couldn’t preach anywhere until they had received the Holy Ghost, being restless as Christ had been out of their midst for several days, decided they would go fishing! It is during that forty day interval when Christ was openly showing Himself to His disciples while they are still in Galilee that we hear Peter say, I am going fishing. Remember, now they have already received their commission to preach, however they can’t preach anywhere because as yet they do not have the Holy Ghost! Note, in Acts 2 how the Holy Ghost preached through them once they were filled, 3000 were born again!

 

All these men going fishing remind you of someone returning to their same old trade. Peter and these men had not fished professionally in three years, nevertheless being restless, with nothing to do and as yet had not gone up to Jerusalem to receive the Holy Ghost and be born, again they now decided to go fishing. Christ had been out of their midst a few days, in other words, their comforter wasn’t around to be leaned on as a crutch. Seeing the other comforter had not arrived they surely needed someone to lean upon! Seven men fished all night and caught nothing! Good enough for them, they were not suppose to be back in the old fishing profession! Jesus took them out of that profession three years ago when He called them saying follow me, I will make you fishers of men. He never intended they return to the old trade. Already they had forsaken all to follow Jesus. In Matthew 19:27-30, Peter asked the Lord what would they receive as a reward seeing they had forsaken all to follow Him. Christ told them in the regeneration when He sat on the throne of his glory each one of them would sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

 

CHRIST’S FLESH, CENTER OF ATTRACTION

 

What a contrast! Already they have received their commission and gospel call yet not having Jesus around to lean upon and as yet not being able to go forth to preach the gospel, they decided to return to the old occupation of fishing! Next morning a stranger stood on the shore asking, children have you any meat? Not recognizing it was the Lord they shouted back, No! Cast your net on the right side of the ship was the reply and you will find. They did and such a multitude of fish was in the net they were unable to lift the net out of the sea! Peter knew that wasn’t a normal circumstance because normally fish at night come up out of the deep into the shallow water to catch their own food. And when the sun rises normally the fish go back to deep water. Remembering a similar instance a few years before when they couldn’t catch anything and was told by the Lord to cast their net on the right side and a similar thing happened, John says to Peter, it is the Lord! Old naked Peter forgetting all about the multitude of fish as well as the boat, quickly girded his fishing coat about him and jumped into the sea. Why? Because he couldn’t wait to get to his crutch! Remember, he was the one responsible for all of them being out there in the first place! Now he cared less what happened to the boat or fish because all he wanted to do was get to the feet of Jesus comforter and crutch. The other six disciples (John 21:8) brought the little ship and the net of fish to shore where Jesus had a fire prepared with fish laid thereon and bread. Again we see Jesus feeding with miracle bread and fish. Bring the fish you have caught, said Jesus. Simon drew the net to shore filled with 153 great fish. All that weight, and the net still did not break! Notice their comforter and crutch, the flesh of the Lord Jesus, is still the center attraction of their lives to lean upon! And when his presence wasn’t around they were most discouraged and their activity without Him was usually a flop!

 

 

CLIMAXING STATEMENTS

 

Turn into Acts 1:1-12 to see what Christ has, continually through the years, been building up to using the statement (John 3:3), “Ye must be born again.” Luke, who recorded both the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Holy Ghost through the life of the early church, picks up in chapter one where Christ concludes his 40 day interval following the resurrection. Note, here, briefly before the ascension, are recorded Christ’s final words concerning the Holy Ghost. Note, the first and the final day of this 40 day interval Christ refers to the Holy Ghost! Luke 24 tells while they were still in Galilee on that first evening following the resurrection how Christ informed them the Old Testament promise of the father would be given them while tarrying in Jerusalem before going forth to preach. Jeremiah testified how in the new dispensation the spirit of God would write His laws in people’s hearts and minds because the Spirit of God would be on the inside of them teaching them all things. Here Luke, (24:49) writing about that very promise of the Father, carries that same thought over into the Book of Acts to show how this great story consistently keeps building up as it goes off into the area of the church once the church is set in motion at Pentecost.

 

FINAL REFERENCE TO HOLY GHOST

 

Having mentioned it once again in Acts 1:4 Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but wait there for the Old Testament promise of the Father which Christ said, you have heard of me. Going back and picking up a statement of his forerunner, John the Baptist, to show how John’s ministry was the introductory voice or originator of the idea that Christ would be the one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost, Christ says in verse 5, John truly baptized with water but you (all shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence!) (Luke 3:16-17, John 1:33). Note Christ added the phrase, not many days hence! Verse 6-7 plainly shows the disciples have not received any Holy Ghost as yet because they are still a bit confused concerning their soon baptism of the Holy Ghost, thinking perhaps this special event will perhaps be the long awaited hour when God would restore the kingdom to Israel! Therefore, seeing them in this frame of thinking, how could anyone think they had ever received the Holy Ghost before this point!

 

HOLY GHOST IS POWER

 

Christ answers their question saying, it is not for you to know the times and seasons which the father has placed in His own power but ye shall receive power (to witness for me everywhere) after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you. And to think some people would go so far as to declare you may have the Holy Ghost without the power, when the Holy Ghost is the power of God! The first thing the Holy Ghost does in your life is give you power to live the victorious and overcoming life for Jesus Christ! That is why this same John who recorded this great subject concerning the Holy Ghost and the new birth later says in I John 4:4, greater is he (Holy Spirit) that is in you than he that is in the world. For some reason this particular term of being born again always stuck with John, because again he remarks in I John 5:4, whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. Why? Because Christ gives him the power to do just that. Again we hear his phrase saying, whosoever is born of God doeth not (as the Greek says practice) sin. Neither can he (practice) sin for His (word) seed remaineth in him, etc. (I John 3:9).

 

HOLY GHOST IS COMPLETENESS OF NEW BIRTH

 

Here we see Christ’s final words before His ascension to glory in Acts 1:8 telling the disciples ye shall receive power. Power is the working term of the Holy Ghost in the believer’s life. First off, as a person, the spirit which you are is the life of your flesh. Secondly, the spirit which you are is also the spirit which teaches you as it learns taking in what it does through the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, feel, smell. Likewise, is the Holy Ghost or spirit of God also a teaching spirit once that Holy Spirit has given the new birth unto your inner man. Here Christ says you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost (or Comforter) has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, all Judaea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Having finished this He was taken up in a cloud out of their sight and now more than ever they will need a comforter. Because as they stand gazing upon this fleshly body which they have seen do so many things, the one they have constantly leaned upon as a crutch, thinking they would always be with Him, is now ascending into glory, but not before instructing them not to leave Jerusalem until they first be endued with power from on high. Note, nowhere did Christ ever say, now you who want the Holy Ghost you be sure to remain at Jerusalem, and you who don’t want the Holy Ghost just go on your way! No, the Holy Ghost is the completeness of that new birth for every disciple! It is satan’s business to confuse people as to what the new birth is and what it is not, but the Bible puts it all together showing without the spirit of Christ in you (your hope of glory) you are none of his! (Romans 8:9, Colossians 1:27) Remember the new birth is not one thing while the baptism of the Holy Ghost is something else and then the baptism of fire still something separate.

 

If we can only comprehend how Jesus has instructed his disciples (on the first and 40th day) to wait at Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high, which is the Old Testament promise of the Father, before going out to preach the gospel, we can sum it all up by saying, Christ knew since they had not yet received the Holy Ghost they had not as yet been born again! Recall, only hours before Calvary (Luke 22:32), Jesus reminded Peter, after you are converted strengthen the brethren! Beloved, if the new birth or being converted or being saved was anywhere applicable unto any disciples before the day of Pentecost, then all Christ ever said prior to Acts 1:4-8 had no real value! Remember, all Christ was saying prior to Pentecost was merely a buildup that as they continue to hear His words they should believe on Him through these things because it is definitely going to be through these things that these disciples would find their way into that new birth Holy Ghost experience!

 

PART 2 – NEW BIRTH IN ACTION NOT MANY DAYS HENCE

Knowing now that it will not be many days off until they are to receive the Holy Ghost before leaving Jerusalem, they depart the Mt. Of Olives to wait out the next ten days with all these many statements concerning the Holy Ghost still ringing in their ears. Some ten days they waited until that day on the Jewish calendar arrived which marked the day of festivity called Feast of Pentecost, whereupon this day the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the power for service, the Holy Ghost fire which is absolutely the completeness of the new birth finally did come into their lives to fulfill the scripture where Christ said, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you (John 14:16-18). Obedient to the word of God the disciples, no doubt feeling lonely and at times discouraged, waited in the upper room. However, when they departed that upper room, full of the Holy Ghost and fire, they were no longer discouraged, in doubt, or confused and certainly were not in need of a fleshly comforter seeing they now had the comforter on the inside! With the birth of life now dwelling inside them from that day on they knew exactly by the power of God what to do in order to please God, because now with the Holy Ghost inside them they were born again!

 

PENTECOST NOT HOLY GHOST

 

On the yearly Jewish feast day called Pentecost, 33 A.D., the disciples are seen having already tarried nine days in the upper room where the last supper was held before Calvary. Remember, the word Pentecost itself does not mean the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as some think. No, the event of Pentecost itself was a happy, joyous day full of festivity observed yearly by the Jews, rejoicing and celebrating the fact that God had again blessed Israel with a wonderful harvested barley crop. Pentecost, which had been observed yearly since Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, conquered the Promise land, was always observed 50 days counting from the day after the first Sabbath within the Jewish Passover.

 

FIRST FRUIT OF CROP & WHAT IT REPRESENTS

 

Each Jewish farmer, in accordance to Leviticus 23:9-11, would always go into his field before the Jewish passover began and gather out the first fruit or the first bundle of grain of his natural barley harvest, carry it to the temple where he always presented the first fruit of his crop to the high priest who would in turn on the days following the weekly Jewish Sabbath always wave that sheaf or bundle of grain before the Lord. We realize the waving of that bundle the day following the Sabbath represented the resurrection of Christ and the revelation which Paul received concerning Christ being the first fruits of them which sleep, awaiting, the resurrection stems from Leviticus 23:10-11, a yearly performance of bringing the first fruits of the crop to foreshadow and points to what God intended to do for his New Testament believers on that particular day called Pentecost in 33 A.D., 50 days after the resurrection of Christ!

 

WHAT PENTECOST FORESHADOWED

 

To commemorate this yearly feast day called Pentecost, according to Leviticus 23:15-17, held always on the 50th day following the waving of the sheaf offering, each Jewish family was required to bring two loaves of leavened bread made of meal taken from the recent harvested barley crop. The requirement was, the barley grain which make the two loaves of bread had to be taken from the same crop in which the Jewish farmer before the Passover cut out of his field his first fruits of the crop and carried it to the high priest for the wave offering held the morning following the Jewish Sabbath after the Passover.

 

BURNING BREAD AT PENTECOST

 

This yearly Jewish event of the sheaf offering or first fruits foreshadowed the exact day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the first fruits of God’s spiritual grain crop! Yes, 50 days after the wave offering each Jewish family always presented their two leavened loaves of bread (to the priest at Jerusalem) made from meal taken from the same grain crop wherein the first fruits had been earlier taken. Taking the two leavened loaves of bread to the priest, who in turn burned them on the day of Pentecost, also served as an offering unto the Lord. The day itself climaxed with a celebration of festivity, worship and singing praise unto God.

 

FIFTY DAYS

 

Christ’s disciples, having been told the first and 40th day before His ascension into glory they shall receive the Holy Ghost, are still waiting in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father when the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. had arrived (Acts 2). Scripture doesn’t say ten days after the ascension they received the Holy Ghost but we realize if Pentecost in 33 A.D. came 50 days after Christ’s resurrection, foreshadowed by the wave offering of the first fruits on the day following the Sabbath in the Jewish Passover (Lev. 23:10-11), and Christ remained here 40 days before ascending and ten days later according to Acts 2 the day of Pentecost had fully come, made 50 days. As Pentecost arrived for the natural Jew to present his two leavened loaves of bread to the high priest, being a type of sin still in the believer or in mortal man, and the high priest as usual was preparing to burn and consume with fire this leavened bread, 120 disciples sat in the upper room still waiting for the promise of the father, the Comforter, the spirit of truth, waiting for the power to live right the power for service and the power to witness, to yet come. The Jerusalem streets filled to capacity as thousands of Jews everywhere in Canaan land and surrounding Mediterranean countries are shown flocking into Jerusalem and the temple bringing their two leavened loaves to the high priest to be burned and as always, expecting to climax the day with great festivity, celebration, dancing, etc., commemorating God’s blessing upon the natural harvest grain crop that year. All this was a yearly foreshadowing of what God intended to do very shortly in that small room only a little farther upon Mt. Zion from the temple itself.

 

DISCIPLES FILLED

 

God was using such a natural yearly event to set forth a beautiful picture or a shadow of His spiritual plan of redemption He intends to present to Israel. On the temple grounds that early morning a huge bonfire blazes away ready to consume its first loaves of barley bread mixed with leaven which is to be offered unto the Lord, while in the upper room for some ten days 120 have patiently waited for God’s promise, therefore as the leavened bread began to hit the flames on the temple grounds suddenly the wound of a rushing mighty wind of the Holy Ghost came into that upper room! Moreover, according to Acts 2:1-4, the 120 sitting around were totally unaware of what to expect other than they knew the promised comforter would come and in obedience to Christ’s word there they waited. Like the wind, referred to in John 3, they had no idea from which direction it would come. Christ never told them you will hear a wind and then see licks of fire appearing over your heads, No.! Their only instruction was to wait in Jerusalem, yet while waiting much time was spent in prayer and meditation, conditioning their minds and spirits. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing whirlwind. Not knowing what to expect, they now hear it as it first fills the entire room before it begins seeking out each one of them to fill them. Over each head to their surprise they now begin to see appearing little licks of burning fire (called tongues of fire). Here was your Holy Ghost fire John said Jesus would baptize with! Keep in mind what’s going on down on the temple ground! A fire is also consuming bread, but the licks of fire in the upper room over their heads was God’s signification that He was accepting them the same as the fire on the temple ground was receiving the leavened loaves of bread! They were the product from the very bread of life, the very word Christ who had ascended to glory!

 

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

 

While below, natural Jews were ready to feast, rejoice and dance once their bread offering was given to the flames, and these in the upper room now being born again of the spirit were so taken up, excited, enthused they were simply lost in this glorious born again experience! Whether they danced the scripture does not say, but when they saw those licks of fire settling over each head the scripture declares they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and (after being filled) began now to speak with other tongues or dialects of languages as the spirit gave them ability to speak.

 

JOEL PROPHESIED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN

 

Why today does modern Pentecost declare when the Bible no where declares that TONGUES IS THE INITIAL EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST! Beloved, when the Holy Ghost was first mentioned in the Old Testament by the prophet Joel concerning this day of grace when God would pour out of His spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28-32) Joel saw exactly what God would do in the pouring out of the Holy Ghost for he said, “Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your young men shall see visions; your old men shall dream dreams, and upon my servants and handmaidens will I pour out of my spirit.” Why, I ask, could not modern day Pentecost have just as easily chosen one of these signs of which Joel mentioned here as being an evidence of the Holy Ghost instead of choosing tongues as their initial evidence for the Holy Ghost! The evidence doctrine of tongues, as taught by modern day Pentecost, never came from Jesus nor any apostle. Where then did it originate?

 

ORIGINATED 20TH CENTURY

 

Beginning at the turn of the 20th Century, in answer to prayer, God suddenly began to take hungry hearted Methodist, Baptist, etc., who diligently sought Him and inspired them with the ability to speak in other languages and they in turn are the guilty ones who said, this is the same Holy Ghost tongue speaking episode which took place at Pentecost. And that idea of theirs spread throughout the modern world, becoming a doctrine and is still popular today! Now up to a certain point, yes, you can say it is what took place on the day of Pentecost, however beyond a certain point, absolutely not! Because watch carefully, in Acts 2:4-7 we see they absolutely did speak in languages, however as these disciples, leaving that upper room, going into the streets, filled with the Holy Ghost, were definitely empowered to speak other dialects who, without interpreters clearly testify (in other languages) the gospel of Christ before a Jewish people of better than 16 different nationalities throughout the Mediterranean world! By no means was it anything like what is seen among gentiles in these last days! These devout Jews, born in dispersion understood perfectly the gentile national language of their own countries, yet coming to Jerusalem for these special feast occasions, they all spoke the mother tongue Hebrew.

 

FULFILLING JOEL AND ISAIAH’S PROPHECY

 

Standing in the crowded streets and understanding these gentile languages of the 16 nationalities represented, and knowing also the Hebrew language which all Jews spoke were also this 120 Galilean Jews from the province of Galilee who were never in the dispersion and could therefore speak only the mother tongue, Hebrew. This particular day will fulfill scripture such as the prophecy of Joel as well as Isaiah 28:8-9, where Isaiah also saw when the Holy Ghost would be poured out. Not only that, Isaiah also saw Israel’s religious polluted condition concerning all her rituals, even down into the first advent of Christ! For instance, what did Isaiah mean in Isaiah 28:8 when he said, all of Israel’s religious tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean? As far as any of the ritual ceremony themselves doing any service to God, they could not! It had reached a point Israel had absolutely polluted all her Old Testament rituals. Not only were they seen by Malachi as offering polluted bread on the altar and such, they also polluted the temple with moneychangers, etc. Thus, we see all their ceremonial tables described by the Holy Ghost as tables filled with vomit and filthiness. Tables that were suppose to have been consecrated and sanctified unto the Lord in order to render a holy divine service to God, now all polluted! Israel had so materialized or polluted it by offering crippled animals, polluted bread, etc., that God now looked upon the entire ritual itself as a mere program of man’s political corruption and likened the entire thing as tables being full of vomit. Whom shall we teach knowledge, verse 9 says, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine – a statement which can well apply to our day seeing religious leaders declare it is no longer doctrine we need, all we need is the love of God! Again there is two ways to look at this. Naturally, much knowledge puffeth up, Paul says, especially if it isn’t examined correctly. Yet on the other hand, how can you be filled with God’s love without somewhere being willing to open your heart and say Lord teach me your doctrine. If we love God we must love His word, else as the scripture says, how dwelleth the love of God in him.

 

Who are we to teach knowledge and understand doctrine! Isaiah 28:9 says, those who are weaned from all these primary rituals if they are ever to go on into deeper things. For precept must be upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. Now note especially verse 11 which pertains to what is happening at Pentecost in 33 A.D.! Isaiah 28:11, “For with stammering lips and other tongues will he speak to this (Jewish) people. And in all this, they will still not hear.”

 

TESTIFYING IN LANGUAGES

 

No, verse 11 wouldn’t happen in Isaiah’s day, but on the day of Pentecost, because here God is going to speak and will demand a Jewish race to listen. Speak, How? Through stammering lips (lips like a drunk man) and in other languages, etc. Now back to Acts 2:6-7, because that is exactly how 120 Galilean Jews are talking and acting. As these devout orthodox Jews from those other nations listen to the Galilean Jews from the upper room. They are actually to their astonishment hearing God speak unto them through 120 Galilean Jews speaking in different languages, languages by no means could the 120 who spoke strictly Hebrew possibly know anything about! God was personally speaking to their hearts. For instance, here stood a few dozen Jews from Rome listening to certain Galilean Jews who know no other tongue than the Hebrew tongue, speaking fluently to them in their own native Italian language! Not all the Galilean Jews were speaking Latin because all these visiting Jews outside Israel were hearing certain of these Galilean Jews speaking in their own national tongue also! Naturally such a phenomena causes questions to be asked in this most excited atmosphere. In the midst of this excited atmosphere as it began to build to a peak, the home Jews of Israel, understanding Hebrew only, had to try and pass this off. To them it sounded exactly like drunk people trying to talk. When Peter heard disciples being accused of being drunk on some new wine it ignited his soul. Addressing everyone now in the Hebrew tongue, which all Jews can understand, he shouts out, Men of Judaea and you that dwell at Jerusalem, we are not drunk as you think. It is only nine o’clock in the morning, but this is that which Joel prophesied about. And Peter proceeded to quote from Joel 2:28-32 telling how in the last days God would pour out his spirit and your sons and daughters would prophesy, etc.

 

USING NEW BIRTH FORMULA

 

Remember the multitude was only hearing one of the many manifestations of the Holy Ghost and the reason they were hearing this one manifestation of foreign languages was in order to fulfill Isaiah 28:8-9. God was using Isaiah 28:11 to launch Joel 2! Finishing his brief sermon, 3000 more orthodox Jews are now ready for the new birth. As Peter and the other brethren are asked by the 3000 what must they do, note Peter uses the formula for the new birth exactly as Jesus declared in John 3. “Except a man be bon of the water and the spirit he can’t enter the kingdom of God!”

 

3000 BORN AGAIN

 

Speaking strictly to that disturbed orthodox Jewish element from various nationals, Peter says, repent everyone of you (Acknowledge that from your natural birth you are a sinner). And already having softened this 3000 up by a tongue’s manifestation of the Holy Ghost in their own language wherein they were all born (2:8) it didn’t take this 3000 long to accept Christ as their Messiah and Lord. Finishing his sermon, he had already sowed enough word seed that 3000 Jews were ready for the new birth. Repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (or the gift of life) for the promise (of the father) is to you, to your children and as many as ye are afar off, even as many as the Lord God shall call. Peter at this point had no idea nor ever dreamed the full impact in later years the gospel reach would have once he had taken this same gospel unto the gentiles! Peter thought it was strictly for Jews only!

 

SAMARIA RECEIVES NEW BIRTH

 

Bear in mind we are now building up our thought around the new birth to see it in action. No, we aren’t teaching it from an evangelistic standpoint, but merely from a scriptural study to see it in action. Acts 2:38 is the new birth formula which links perfectly with what Christ said in John 3:5. Thus 3000 souls were taken out and baptized in water, it doesn’t say how many spoke in tongues, how many prophesied or how many later had visions, it simply said 3000 were added to them (Acts 2:41). And a few days later with the help of the first miracle in Acts 3, Peter preaches his second sermon and 5000 more are born again and added to the church. In Acts 8:12-17, several years later again see this same new birth formula used in Samaria as the Samaritans believed on Christ and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ under Phillip’s preaching, and received the Holy Ghost through the prayer and laying on of hands of Peter and John.

 

HOLY GHOST GIVEN TO GENTILES

 

Years now move on until Acts 10:44-48 enters the gospel picture. Here the Holy Ghost is ready to send Peter to Caesarea with the gospel whereby the gentiles may enter into the grace of God. As I said earlier, when Peter preached at Pentecost he had no idea gentiles would ever be brought into salvation. He never dreamed years later he would go the gentiles carrying this same gospel message of the new birth and that gentiles also would receive the Holy Ghost or the gift of life in exactly the same manner the Jews did years before on the day of Pentecost! No, the gentiles did not receive the Holy Ghost in the same manner the 120 did on the day of Pentecost in order to establish or confirm an evidence doctrine as some might think, but Peter, being a Jew and having the kind of feelings toward the gentiles that he had, would certainly require the same manifestation given to the Jews to ever convince his stubborn old Jewish nature that a gentile could actually receive anything!

 

Therefore, to clarify this let us examine more closely the setting to see how the gentiles in Acts 10 did receive the gift of life and were baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it required exactly the same operation of the Holy Ghost manifestation upon the gentiles as it had upon the Jew on the day of Pentecost because the scripture shows (in Acts 10:10-16) how dubious Peter was concerning gentiles before he went to Caesarea.

 

WORD OF SALVATION

 

Peter has been brought down to Joppa where we see him on a housetop in prayer and the Holy Ghost having already, several days before, given Cornelius at Caesarea, some 40 miles away, a visitation by an angel to send for Peter who would give him words whereby he might be saved (Acts 10:5-6, 11:13-18). Therefore, in order to prepare Peter’s stubborn Jewish nature for his unexpected gentile visitation God visits him in a peculiar vision. At the moment Peter was very hungry and God showed him a gigantic sheet filled with all kind of unclean animals, crawling reptiles, etc. God was using Peter’s own Jewish feeling and disposition toward gentiles to launch something. This sheet was lowered three times before Peter as the voice of God said, Rise up Peter, kill and eat. No sir Lord, nothing common or unclean has ever touched my lips, I am Jew, I have kept the law concerning unclean pork, etc.

 

PREPARING PETER FOR GENTILE VISIT

 

Amazing as it may sound, all these creatures, lowered three times in the sheet before Peter were all unclean creatures which the law plainly forbids Jews to touch. Peter says, I have never touched anything unclean. What I have cleansed, God says, call thou not common or unclean! Failing to understand that God had signified such a vision to represent the gentiles upon whom the Jews looked as unclean, Peter had no idea the vision was representing what the Holy Ghost was about to lead him off into. Coming out of his vision Acts 10:17-22 says, Peter hears voices below inquiring if a man named Simon Peter was there. Recall, a few days earlier the Holy Ghost had spoken Peter’s name to an unsaved Gentile 40 miles away in prayer. Cornelius will be the first gentile to hear and receive the gospel of Christ. Knowing Peter’s Jewish disposition, the Holy Ghost tells him to go with them doubting nothing.

 

PREACHING JESUS

 

As Peter walking into Cornelius’ home where he had already gathered a listening audience awaiting Peter’s arrival, Cornelius knells before Peter. Quickly jerking him up Peter says we are men like you, why have you sent for me? Relating his experience, Cornelius puts Peter on the spot and Peter knows nothing to do but preach Jesus, even to gentiles. Tell me dear soul, what could Peter do to make these people speak in tongues? In the first place his own disposition concerning all this is completely negative! He is skeptical of getting too close to unclean gentiles. Completely unaware that God had already spoken in the Old Testament of just such an event (the gospel going to the gentiles) up to this hour Peter had always felt this wonderful gospel was for Jews only, never once aware he was the man God chose to carry the gospel to the gentiles.

 

Suppose after Cornelius related his personal testimony of how Peter was to give him words whereby he might be saved he would have said, Peter, I want the Holy Ghost, give it to me! What else could Peter do but preach Jesus once he saw Cornelius had already gathered his family and relatives in to hear him. No, he didn’t bring any special charts or books, nor did he write certain words (glossolalia phrases) on the wall for them to repeat in order to receive something, because I want you to know Peter himself had no idea what was going to happen! The scripture plainly shows Peter and the six other Jews were dumbfounded and taken by surprise over what happened. I am glad Peter didn’t know because this makes it so much easier for God to do something himself.

 

PETER REMITS SIN

 

Becoming anointed, the words began rolling from Peter’s mouth concerning Jesus. Everyone sat there drinking in every word, which to them was definitely words of eternal life. God watched the attitude of the gentiles toward the message, seeing their enthusiasm and thankfulness that God had seen fit to include an unclean gentile into this wonderful thing, no they were not doubting, picking to pieces what Peter said, they were eating every word, when suddenly the gentiles became so drunk on the Holy Ghost they began talking in another language as they did at Pentecost (Acts 11:15-18). Seeing the gentiles speaking in other languages greatly surprised Peter and the six other Jews as we hear Peter remark to the other dumbfounded Jews with him, “who, (of you) can forbid water for these to be baptized also seeing they too have received the gift of life in exactly the same manner we did at the beginning.” Peter is a man very much sold on converts being baptized for the remission of sins in order to fulfill Christ’s commission in John 20:23 where he said, whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted. No, sins are not remitted by someone confessing their sins to a priest, they are remitted in water baptism only as clearly shown in Acts 2:38.

 

WATER IN NATURAL BIRTH

 

Imagine one of these Jews being like gentiles today saying to Peter, you don’t have to baptize these people, after all it is not essential. Don’t say water baptism is not essential, it is the plan of God. Does not the natural birth illustrate the spiritual birth? Then I ask you how essential is water to the unborn baby in natural birth who is laying in a sack of water, being protected against germs, injury, etc. during a nine months period before birth! That, beloved, is how important water baptism is in the formula of God for the new birth. It wasn’t enough for the devil to pervert water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ into a trinity teaching (325 A.D.), he now wants to remove water baptism completely out of the plan (formula). You might as well remove the Holy Ghost also! Some declare it doesn’t matter how you are baptized but teach the importance of the Holy Ghost. Why teach the importance of one aspect of the gospel if you can’t put it all together! Paul taught in Ephesians 5:27 that in the last day God would have a church with neither spot, wrinkle or blemish concerning His word, but would instead wash out every carnal idea and carnal revelation and place within her these spiritual truths!

 

WHY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

 

These Jews, Acts 10:48, baptized everyone of these gentiles without apology, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for remember Jesus is both Lord and Christ, not baptizing them as people are today who merely have the phrase of Matthew 28:19 repeated over them! Matthew 28:19 says, baptize in the (singular) name, not names as it would have read had Father, Son and Holy Ghost been three separate names of three separate persons. No, instead it says baptize into the singular name of the father, son and Holy Ghost.

 

SINGULAR REDEMPTIVE NAME

 

If you know the singular name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you will understand why every convert in the New Testament was baptized into the singular name or in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ which is the redemptive name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost on earth. Yet people without the revelation of what the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is, are quick to defend their position by saying, but that is exactly what Jesus said! True, and the disciples who were given that commission to remit sin in John 20:23 through water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 24:24, were the first ones to ever carry out what Christ said (carried out in Acts 2:38). Because these men knew the meaning of what Jesus said when He said use the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for baptism. It had already been revealed to them that the very one standing before them in flesh was none other than the Old Testament Spirit God who fulfilled Isaiah 9:6 saying a child would be born to Israel of a virgin. Get this, whose singular name is Jesus (Matthew 1:21) who could be called THE MIGHTY GOD AND EVERLASTING FATHER as well as Counselor, Wonderful and the Prince of Peace!

 

Jews never chopped God up in three separate pieces as did gentiles! Moreover in order to fulfill Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:19-23, all scriptures which pertain to one and the selfsame event when Christ presented His disciples the great commission, telling them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His singular name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ into all the world beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).

 

SON AND HOLY GHOST CAME IN ONE NAME

 

Irregardless of what the gentile religious world has done to God’s truth in butchering the singular name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we must realize that name is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who, as a flesh man, was not only the Son of God but also both Lord and Christ! Bowing before him Thomas worshiped Jesus as Lord God Almighty, John 20:28. What is the name of the Son? JESUS! And always remember, the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Ghost, was emphatically twice proven in Matthew 1:18-21 to be none other than the father of the Christ child because that which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Ghost! Moreover, Jesus told his disciples, the Spirit of Truth, who is the Father, the Comforter and the Holy Ghost, would come unto them (at Pentecost) in my name (Jesus). Earlier Jesus had informed the people that He as the Son had come in his Father’s name (John 5-43). Who is this mysterious Father of the Christ child? Matthew 1:18-21 emphatically declares, by an angel from heaven, the father to be is none other than the Holy Spirit who hundreds of years later was taught to be the third person of the Godhead!

 

JESUS – REDEMPTIVE NAME

 

But scripturally, what is the Father’s redemptive name on earth? It is none other than Jesus! You have only one name involved in the commission. Scripture declares Jesus came in the Father’s name and the Father, in order to take up His new office work at Pentecost as the Spirit of Truth in dwelling the believer, would come in the name of Jesus, the Son (John 14:26). Therefore, the redemptive name of the Lord God in flesh while on this earth was Jesus the Christ or anointed one!

 

The new birth came for the first time in Acts 10 to the gentiles. Turn now to Acts 19 wherein we will see even more of Joel’s prophecy in operation. Many years have passed and another man who also has received the Holy Ghost and carries the new birth within him is now on the scene, his name is Paul. He, too, had been baptized in water (Acts 22:16) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to wash away his sins committed in his flesh. You can’t show one convert out of thousands in the Book of Acts who baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus who is the Christ for any other purpose. Shame on men who, in order to draw large crowds from a Trinitarian religious world, will stand on the borderline of truth saying, God never called me to preach doctrine, he called me to preach unity! Therefore, I will be happy to baptize you any way you want to. What nonsense! Where did Peter, Paul or any apostle ever produce such HOGWASH! Why don’t men junk all this foolishness and return to the true formula used in the Book of Acts which absolutely matches the formula Jesus laid down to Nicodemus in John 3:5! After all they claim to have the same Holy Ghost the disciples received in the Book of Acts! Then why not accept the same formula for water baptism used also in the Book of Acts. It is simple, that baptism brings persecution and they do not want to lose their crowd. But Paul never had a program, he only had a call of God to be fulfilled among the gentiles.

 

SAVED IS BORN AGAIN

 

Do you know to believe properly and correctly, as the scripture has said, on the Lord Jesus Christ is to have the new birth? How can you truly believe except you have been born again? Your belief in Jesus Christ is going to produce the new birth, therefore the same man who told the Philippian jailor in Acts 16 to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he and his house should be saved, taking them to the water immediately, baptizing them, also said to the Ephesian church we are saved by grace through faith. Therefore, to be scripturally saved is to be born again. All of these terms mentioned earlier, are mere scriptural terms of the new birth. To be saved means to saved from sin. Saved from S-I-N (not sins) always refers to the SIN (or unbelief) of the old fallen nature which once controlled us (more on this later). In order to have eternal life we must have that new birth or Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

12 MEN RECEIVE NEW BIRTH

 

In Acts 19:1-5 Paul, having returned from Jerusalem back into Ephesus where before he had spoken once in the Jewish synagogue, finds 12 disciples who were converts of Apollos, a Jew who had come into Ephesus from Egypt knowing only the baptism of John or the baptism of repentance saying unto the people they were to believe on Christ who was to come. Aquila and Priscilla, whom Paul had left at Ephesus while he went to the Jewish Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, heard Apollos speak in Ephesus and realizing he did not have the full revelation took him aside and explained unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:25-26). Now it is time for Apollos’ 12 converts to also understand the way of the Lord more perfectly. Paul, finding these 12 disciples still waiting for the benefits of the Messiah, the Christ, asked them had they received the Holy Ghost since they believed or as the Greek said, when you believed? Now isn’t it strange if the new birth is one thing and the Holy Ghost is entirely something else why didn’t Paul ask them had they been born again instead of asking them had they received the Holy Ghost when they believed? They answered in amazement, why we have not heard if there be any Holy Ghost. That is quite evident because until Aquila and Priscilla got hold of Apollos and explained to him the way of the Lord more perfectly, he didn’t know the Holy Ghost had come either. No, Apollos didn’t even know what the fulness was.

 

QUESTIONING THEIR BAPTISM

 

Paul says unto these 12, well, seeing you don’t know anything about the Holy Ghost (who has been filling people, about 20 years, since the day of Pentecost) tell me how were you baptized? What an odd expression to ask someone in order to discover why they did not know anything about the Holy Ghost! O, we were baptized unto John’s baptism, said the twelve.

 

Note if you will please, Paul knows all about the baptism of John as did every Christian know completely the role and ministry of John the Baptist who had come in the spirit and power of Elijah. Wouldn’t it have been something had Paul asked, WHO IS JOHN? But Paul knew John was the forerunner to the first advent, the interlinking prophet, the one who was the spirit of Elijah. The early church knew John’s important position in God’s program, but they didn’t preach John, they preached Christ. Paul says in verse 4, John verily baptized unto the baptism of repentance saying unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after him, that was, on Jesus Christ. Furthermore, remember how John, speaking of Christ, had referred to Him as the one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire! In other words, John’s message was getting people’s hearts in the right condition and setting them up for the Holy Ghost, causing them to acknowledge they were sinners, telling them to wait for the benefits that is to come, waiting for the new birth! When will their new birth take place? When will anyone’s new birth take place? When they receive the Holy Ghost of course!

 

Recall, the Holy Ghost could not be given according to John 7:39 until first Christ had been glorified in dying on the cross as the ransomed price for sin, as His blood was freely shed for the sins of mankind, past, present, and future whereby the Holy Ghost, who was the life of Christ Jesus, had returned on the day of Pentecost to begin taking up His abode in the hearts of those disciples to be their comforter whereby they should no longer need to rely upon the physical man Christ to be the comforter, crutch or the one to lean upon.

 

Now they had him as the Holy Spirit inside them, guiding, leading, teaching, instructing and helping them all through every trial and test. Yes, the Holy Ghost, their new comforter who was spirit is now the one they lean upon.

 

Verse 5, when they heard this the twelve men were re-baptized. This time into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (plural). Often people coming out of denominational churches will remark, God saved me from my sins when I was in denominational religion. I know what God has done for me, He blessed my life. I was sprinkled or I was baptized in the trinity of titles as our church taught. Now please try to understand something, we are standing at the end shortly before the coming of Christ, and God has revealed truth that we may return back and line up our experiences according to scripture, therefore understand this message is not trying to un-christianize you, nor un-birth you nor, un-scripturalize you, however if you do have the new birth it is all because God is merciful to you. He still requires somewhere to bring your experience in line with scripture! You don’t have the experience that you have because you know anything or even because everything you know is correct. You have it simply because God loved you and He saw you were one of those predestinated children of His out there in Babylon wandering around. Therefore, God saved you in your ignorance as to what the real truth of the word is. No, He didn’t save you because you were right, but because He loved you. Therefore, somewhere along the line your testimony as well as your Christian experience may easily lack a lot of things, then again it may not! But to every honest hearted person may I say, if you want to get your birth scripturally oriented, that is, get all the saints out of it and bing it in line with the scriptures, you must do so because, beloved, we are living in days when certain things can easily spoil.

 

LINING UP EXPERIENCE WITH SCRIPTURE

 

Religion today is practically like everything else in the commercial world, it is so commercialized they can sell you about anything to make you believe you have eternal life, but I want you to know there is still only one true formula and though man changed, God never did and the formula remains as always, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you will receive the gift of life (the Holy Ghost). So no matter what your experience has been or how long in this last day you have lived for God, we are now living in the day when God isn’t trying to straighten up Babylon and bring it in line with the scriptures. No, He is trying to straighten up you and I to bring your experience in line with the word of God, because soon the antichrist will take hold of the reins of every church, every political system, every union as well as the entire monetary system of the nations as this gentile world closes out. According to scripture He will put the clamps on everything. In that hour, beloved, you will have to have more in your souls than the mere fact I belong to this movement or that movement. You are going to have to be able to look into the face of Jesus Christ straight through His book and be able to say, I belong to Jesus, He is in my heart and I know He is there because I have obeyed His word!

 

To obey only a portion of scripture instead to later on let the cap off your experience and there you may see a great spoil as we are already seeing in your denominational world! That is why church people who at one time had such a strict code of what they thought Christian conduct and their personal appearance out in the world should be like, now more and more because everything is spoiling and their experience did not match up to the book (Bible) when the Holy Ghost brought them face to face with truth, you see them now looking more and more like the world teaching that all you should do is love each other, but how are you going to love God without loving His word! I remind you, loving the word is not loving three scriptures and blasting the other scriptures because they do not line up with your theory of Christianity – – – IT IS LOVING EVERY SCRIPTURE, because one scripture is only a stepping stone to the next one! On and on like that until truth has formed an entire picture. It is the entire revelation that lives within your soul and Christ lives in that because that is exactly what truth was brought forth for in the first place. Therefore, Paul says in Acts 19, alright there isn’t any need in trying to patch up what the denominations or any group is doing, let’s just go right back to the scriptural formula Christ left for us in John 3:5, except a man be born of water and of the spirit . . . God hasn’t changed one bit, that is the original formula! Paul takes all of these twelve men and rebaptizes them, only this time into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. And some today will say what a waste of time, but to Paul it wasn’t a waste to rebaptize these 12 men. To him it was very simple, it was simply part of the formula and he wasn’t going to step over one portion of it! After baptizing them he laid his hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost and after receiving the Holy Ghost two gifts operated from the believer: tongues and prophecy.

 

God sent Phillip out into the desert in Acts 8:26-40 for one lone man to receive the new birth. After Phillip was invited into the chariot and they began riding along the road, he explained to the man all the scriptures pertaining to how to be born again. By the time he had finished his message they had reached a water hole and the man looked up and said, See, there is water what hinders me from being baptized? Phillip said, nothing if you believe. I do believe, he says, and down in the water hole went the man to be baptized for the remission of his sins done in the flesh. God was so pleased with Phillip’s obedience, instead of making him walk all the way back through the desert, He simply picked Phillip up and set him over in the place he wanted him to be.

 

SPIRIT GIVES GIFT WHICH PLEASES HIM

 

Paul took the twelve converts who had believed but were waiting for something good to happen, explained the formula unto them, rebaptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost came upon them and we see more of Joel’s prophecy in action. Nowhere in the Book of Acts wherever the Holy Ghost was preached and the new birth was explained, was any disciple ever told, now look if you fail to speak in tongues you just didn’t receive it! Whether you spoke in tongues or not was left entirely in the hand of God when he visited his disciples. God simply gave the Holy Ghost to those who obeyed him! According to I Corinthians 12, Jesus always gave the experience and Holy Ghost manifestation in the way and manner that it pleased Him not how it pleased the individual receiving it! The main purpose was for them to know that God had filled them with the holy Ghost and beyond any shadow of doubt that they had something they never had before! If they were a praying and seeking person, whatever manifestation or gift of the spirit that lay there in the structure of the Holy Ghost when the spirit entered their life, sooner or later that Holy Ghost is going to work and operate that very manifestation of gift He placed into their life when He entered. For as we shall see later in this study the spirit places the spiritual gift in the believer’s life which pleases only him! (I Corinthians 12:11). And as Paul says (I Corinthians 12:13) by this one spirit (Holy Ghost) have we all been baptized into one mystical body. Remember according to I Corinthians 12, the same Holy Spirit who came upon you to give you the new birth or eternal life is also the same spirit who at the moment of your new birth also placed you in the mystical body of Christ and whatever spiritual gift He desired you to have He placed that spiritual gift in your life at the moment of your new birth.

 

SPIRIT RESURRECTS BODY

 

Those who obey the formula, God is obligated to give the Holy Ghost, the spirit of life, the gift of God, the Comforter, the power for service, the Spirit of Truth which guides the born again into all truth showing them things to come! The Spirit is placed into your life as your teacher and comforter to lead you from the beginning of your experience in the new birth, down through your life and even into death. And according to Romans 8:11, will quicken your dead bodies and bring you out of the grave! According to Romans 8:11, the Holy Ghost seal will lay in that dead body though it be decayed, and one day that dead body will be quickened and brought out of the ground! The Holy Ghost is God’s seal, it is His way of showing He has accepted and placed His approval on the soul who has obeyed His formula of the new birth. Many will say, we are born by the blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is true we are redeemed unto God through the blood of Jesus Christ because the blood was the purchase price, however never forget, the formula of the new birth was plainly laid out by Jesus Himself who said, except a man be born of water and of spirit he can not enter into the kingdom of God! Others will declare, the new birth is merely accepting Jesus. In our age of the reformation as God has slowly, since the 16th Century, gone step by step into bringing the church back into still more light of the word, one could say it is all in accepting Jesus. But if we will be completely honest with ourselves, and being honest with oneself we must first be completely honest with God’s word. Always remember, any truth of God’s word expressed on this side of the reformation has absolutely been a working of the Holy Ghost to lead people into still greater light of truth whereby they may experience more and more of the fullness of Christ in their life.

 

PART 3 – HOLY GHOST OPERATING IN MYSTICAL BODY

 

Before closing let’s briefly examine I Corinthians 12, not from the standpoint of studying the nine gifts of the spirit, although we did see certain spiritual gifts in operation in Acts 19 when the new converts received their born again experience, but here we need to see the new birth in operation within the mystical body of Christ on earth. Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, a church he had earlier founded, seeks to correct certain situation which had developed in the local church primarily over the gifts of the spirit. Note the continuous spiritual phrase Paul uses for the church calling it a functional body, using as an illustration the human body with its many members.

 

HOLY GHOST OPERATION IN BODY

 

Paul declares three interesting things concerning the nine gifts of the spirit and their operation in the believer in I Corinthians 12:4-7. (1) There are diversities or different kind of gifts and all nine, which truly are different, are placed in the mystical body of Christ on earth by the one and selfsame spirit who divided them out among believers as He sees fit. Just as there are (2) differences of administrations of these gifts yet are all controlled by the same Holy Spirit or the same Lord, (3) there are diversities of operation of these gifts, but it is the same God who works in all in all – not three Gods, ONE GOD! God alone receives all honor out of this which is done and said by the manifestations, meaning the public display or outward showing of the spirit, is given to every born again person by the Holy Spirit and the particular gift the Holy Spirit sees fit to place into that individual’s life is the one he gets and it is given to profit withal (or the rest of the body).

 

Verses 8-10 names the nine different gifts or the things of Christ which are placed into the mystical body by this one spirit, and note how Paul continually declares one gift is given to one person, while another is given to something else!

 

GIVING GIFT THAT PLEASES HIM

 

Note verses 11-13 shows every born again person is placed into the mystical body of Christ as conversion by the same spirit who saw fit to give unto each believer the spiritual gift which pleases Him when He entered their life! That is the spiritual gift He intends for you to manifest in the body of Christ. Verse 7 and 11 both declare the manifestation or display of the particular spiritual gift you received when you received the Holy Ghost or the new birth is the particular gift out of the nine which pleases Him for you to receive, and the one He gives you is given to profit the rest of the body.

 

Based on that clear fact of scripture, verses 7 and 11, how can anyone say you are going to make the gift of tongues operate in every believer seeing every believer may not have the gift of tongues! Note, between verses 8-11 where Paul lists individually the nine gifts of the spirit how often he says, unto one person is given by the spirit the word of wisdom, unto another person also placed in the mystical body of Christ is given the word of knowledge by the same spirit who just presented someone else with the word of wisdom, to another person is given the gift of tongues and so forth. Eight times between verses 8 and 11 it is recorded “and to another” is given a certain thing, “and to another” is given something else by the same spirit! It is the Holy Ghost who divides the nine gifts to every person as He sees fit as He places them in the mystical body of Christ! And note, all these nine gifts in their fulness is what Christ was in the flesh! Now the Holy Ghost, as He fills every believer, takes what Christ was or the things of Christ or the nine gifts of the spirit and divides them up as He sees fit among the mystical body of Christ on earth!

 

SPIRIT DIVIDING HIMSELF IN BODY

 

Beloved, it is not enough to assume you have the Holy Ghost or assume that you are born again, you either are or you are not! Speaking concerning those who had followed the apostles’ doctrine we hear the Apostle John say (I John 3:2) “Now we are the sons of God and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be but we know when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” If you are one of these called, chosen and seen by Almighty God before you were ever born to be complete in Jesus Christ, then He knows through His foreknowledge exactly what you are as well as what you have the ability to accept and to walk in once the Holy Spirit has placed you into the mystical body of Christ. Therefore I repeat, it is the Holy Ghost who divides the 9 gifts of the spirit or the things of Christ in verses 8-11 to every individual allowing them to have only what He sees fit to give them and whatever gift they are to receive, they will receive it with that measure of the Holy Ghost when He enters into their life, causing them to be a part of the mystical body of Christ on earth.

 

MANY MEMBERED BODY

 

People often ask, what part of the mystical body are we? Recognizing the fact the human body is composed of many members, some members seen and some hidden, Paul uses that expression to show the function of the entire mystical body of Christ on earth. In verse 12, referring first to that natural human body Paul says, for as the body is one and hath many members so also is the (mystical) body of Christ. Remember we are now dealing with the relationship of the new birth once we have been placed in the mystical body of Christ to become a part of the (called out) church. Paul always referred to the church of God or church of Christ as a mystical body. The same spirit which gave us our new birth also in the same operation makes us to become a part of the mystical body of Christ on earth. See, the entire operation is accomplished by the same spirit who lives in the entire mystical body. Even my spirit lives in my entire fleshly body. Were I to cut off my finger I would still live. Although the life of the finger is no longer present, that life merely backs up. However, try to remove some vital organs relating to the spirit of life in the human body such as the heart, lungs, liver or even blood and see how quick the life of the body will cease to be! Such things can be easily likened to certain fundamental basic truths in the scripture. You disassociate or remove them from the plan of God and see how long it will take the Holy Ghost, the life of God to be gone! Whatever then is accomplished in the realm of religion is strictly going to be a substitute because no life will be present at all!

 

TWO EXTREMES

 

Dealing with the fact that by one spirit we are all baptized into this one mystical body of Christ on earth, we need to examine two Pentecostal extremes. One extreme says the moment you accept Christ you are born again and the baptism of the Holy Ghost is only for power of service, referring to it as though the Holy Ghost is an added optional to the believer. No scripture indicates the Holy Ghost is an optional thing! No, beloved, it is the very life factor of your soul’s salvation! The other extremes says water baptism is for redemption. But water baptism does not constitute redemption!

 

HOW S-I-N–S ARE REMITTED

 

Redemption in its entire completeness is not until the Holy Ghost is present in your life! Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is strictly for the remission of sins, sins which you as a sinner committed in your flesh. Recall in John 20:23, after Jesus appeared unto His disciples giving the great commission unto them, breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost He then said, whosoever sins (not SIN) ye remit they are remitted! What did He mean – REMIT SINS? How can anyone remit sins unless they have the authority to do so? Now understand Jesus was not giving the disciples authority to remit original sin because no man can ever remit original sin of the human nature, that can only be accomplished strictly through the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus alone remits the original sin of unbelief passed down into our human nature by Adam in the garden. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is for the remission of S-I-N–S (plural) which are only the sins which have been committed in the individual flesh of that person: drinking, smoking, adultery, lying, gambling, etc. It was only for the Remission of these S-I-N–S of the flesh that Jesus was giving His disciples permission or authority to remit in John 20:23 saying, whosoever S-I-N–S you remit they are remitted! Remember the only kind of sins an individual can ever remit, as spoken of in John 20:23, can only be accomplished or remitted through water baptism exactly as was accomplished in Acts 2:38.

 

Hebrews says, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of S-I-N. Note, here sin is singular and here the word remission carries no reference whatsoever to the S-I-N–S committed in the flesh which is taken care of through proper water baptism, but instead relates strictly to the S-I-N of unbelief produced by man’s fallen nature and can only be atoned for by the blood! That is why the animal blood sacrifice was ordained in the law because that Blood Water Spirit sacrifice spoke in types and shadows of the atonement to be made for the sins of all mankind, that is, the sin of unbelief produced by man’s fallen human nature or soul.

 

So many people are looking for the most from God they can possibly receive for the very least they can give in return. That is why many people are spiritually starved to death, always looking for something easy, wanting it placed right in their hand never willing to pay the cost through prayer and sacrifice or giving any part of themselves. Every walk of faith is going to cost you something. No, that does not annul the fact God’s gift of life is a free gift. It simply means that when He reconciles us unto Himself, giving us the Holy Ghost, we can’t take that gift and spend it carelessly, worthlessly upon things to benefit our flesh or natural life, because sooner or later we will realize he that soweth to the flesh shall reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit or that seeketh after the spirit soweth unto everlasting life.

 

BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY BY SPIRIT

 

We must accept the fact the Holy Ghost is an experience which is the completeness of our spiritual birth. It is also the spirit’s plan at the time of our new birth to then place us in His mystical body on earth. Therefore, I Corinthians 12:13 declares, for by this one spirit (irregardless to our nationality) we are all baptized into the one mystical body. When God saved the Jew He gave them the formula in which to walk, and when He turned to the gentiles He required out of them the same formula! When Peter left Joppa carrying this gospel to Cornelius’ house he never went there with charts and diagrams to explain how they could receive this wonderful gift! But thank God he did have a revelation whereby he could put this thing all together, and while he was preaching about it, once the beautiful picture was formed, he had no trouble getting people to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ or either receiving the gift of life. The same spirit who gives us the new birth also places us in the body of Christ and everyone in the body of Christ, irregardless to nationality, is made to drink into this one spirit! And today we hear Pentecostal movements saying, you must speak in tongues before you have the Holy Ghost. If that was true then everyone would have to speak in tongues before they could be born again and that would lead into quite a bit once we look into what is known as the charismatic or glossolalia move who teach you must speak in tongues I order to have this added blessing. Sure they tell you the Holy Ghost is for power to do miracles and the things of Jesus, however, for some reason they fail to recognize that the same Jesus who said these signs shall follow them that believe also said something just as important! I have yet many things to show you howbeit you are not able to understand them, but when the Holy Ghost, the Comforter is come into your life He will teach you all things! He will take all things whatsoever I have told you and bring them to your remembrance! You don’t understand what I am saying now, but later when the spirit is on the inside of you, you will! That is the purpose of His coming to show you things to come and teach you all things!

 

LEARNING TO WALK

 

Looking at the Holy Ghost in that light, we will begin to act like we have been born again, not simply waiting around to be born! No one cay say an unborn child is not life, it is life potential. But even after it is born and breathes on its own it can not live or exist without the help of someone! It grows daily in stature, knowledge and understanding and if we are born again into God’s family and in the body of Christ then the same Holy Spirit which gave us eternal life also placed us into the fellowship of His kingdom, for a while we too will walk like a baby. A baby, when learning, will often fall down but it doesn’t continually lay there and cry, it gets up and goes at it again! We as children of God must be much like that.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL COMPLEX

 

For the body is not one member only but many members. The foot cannot say, because it is not a hand I am not part of the body (verse 15). Such a statement as this Paul is showing certain psychological complexes which are often motivated from people’s flesh causing them to feel that they are nothing when irregardless where Christ has placed you in the body! Once you are born again, though we are motivated often by the psychological complexes, yet if you will permit the spirit to lead and teach you, somewhere along your Christian journey you will overcome that kind of complex. The Holy Ghost in your life, if allowed to lead you, will help you step over these great barriers, whereas you thought you were nothing and could do nothing, He helps you overcome. No you are not to make a public spectacle of yourself nor are you to hide yourself either. God wants us to be something wherein He may be glorified and the Holy Spirit will enable us to something that Christ can be glorified through.

 

BESTOWING MORE HONOR

 

Furthermore, Paul says within the human body, which he has likened to the mystical body of Christ, are certain members referred to as comely (lowly) parts and upon these comely parts we bestow more abundant honor. If we could only see what we are in Christ the Spirit could cause us to feel the strength of Christ within our lives. Because we fail to recognize the grace of God in our lives, Christians often live in fear. God hasn’t given us the new birth to make nothing out of us but instead to make SOMETHING out of us! Take that natural foot as a comely part for instance – – Nahum the prophet declared, how beautiful are the feet not beautiful from the standpoint of looking at an old boney foot, but instead God sees the beauty of obedience in those feet which carry the individual. Thus God attributes beauty to the obedience of the foot seeing it carries someone to preach the gospel. And if we place beautiful shoes upon our boney feet because they are so comely (lowly), I am certain that God having placed us in His mystical body, although we too may be in a lowly position, God will give us something to operate in the way of a gift of the Spirit. Potentially the gift was placed there in the believer’s life when the Spirit entered, however only as you dedicate yourself to prayer can this gift be brought out. Thus, no prayer life and no fellowship with God through His word you may rest assured whatever He gave you will never shine very brightly. We must be given completely into His hands that He may make something beautiful out of us.

 

WORSHIP IN THE BODY

 

Paul, in Ephesians 5:19-23, speaks of the body and the church being collectively the same thing showing that in the body or church is worship as we speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God, which doesn’t mean we are continually afraid He will beat us with a big club, but instead we recognize He is our father and knows how to correct us. Verse 22-23 “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and is the saviour of the body.” I repeat, Paul never chops the church and the body up into being two separate things. When Paul refers to it as a church he speaks about it as a collective called out element of people who have been born again by God’s divine formula and placed into the mystical body. The church or called out ones are called out of sin and unbelief into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ. However, when Paul refers to it as a mystical body he refers to the born again as many people, once sinners now reconciled from a sinful way, purchased unto God as a people that he, in the form of the Holy Ghost, dwells within. Thus these many individuals make up one mystical body for the purpose of the indwelling of this one Holy Ghost. As He distributes Himself, divided Himself separately as He sees fit, to each individual giving that individual the potential working of Himself whereby the individual through the life and fellowship of God, seek His will and grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ allowing the grace of God to perfect that life and fulfill in that life His purpose and will for them.

 

No, God isn’t skimpy in what He gave them because whatever measure of His Spirit, along with the gift of the Spirit, will be strength and life to that soul as it journeys through this life into the next!

The Catching Away – 1975, October

1975-10-The-Catching-Away

For ages, Christianity as well as the Old Testament Jewish saints have all believed that someday there would be a resurrection of the dead, but not until Paul’s revelation unto the church was it known the order of the resurrection and that God intended to have a translation (or catching away) of the living saints who were pleasing unto him. However, since Paul’s great revelation, the church now knows that the blessed hope (Titus 2:13) according to the revelation of scripture assures us, though our physical body be dead and decayed beneath the sod, when that hour arrives we have the blessed assurance our corruptible bodies according to Rom. 8, especially verses 11-23, as well as our spirits were included in the redeemed purchased price of Calvary and therefore also awaits the change from mortal to immortality! Somewhere before us, Paul’s revelation declares, there will be a “catching away” of a living realm of people. Just when, how or what all the glorious circumstances surrounding this event will consist of, I do not know! We only know what the scripture teaches and it teaches in many places since Paul’s revelation to the church, there is a resurrection for the dead saints and a translation for the living saints and both events are to transpire within the same time period.


PART 1 – PAUL’S NEW REVELATION RAPTURE-THEOLOGICAL TERM


Each generation since the founding of the church at Pentecost has hoped they were that living generation who would see the dead in Christ rise first and the TRANSLATION or changing of living saints then occur. Though the word RAPTURE does not appear in scripture, being a mere theological term which actually means “the catching away,” we hear the word RAPTURE used far more today than the word TRANSLATION, although both words mean the same! As certain as the scripture in the Psalms, as well as the prophets, declared the Holy One would be the Messiah, be crucified and raise again the third day and ascend into glory, likewise does the scripture also declare that one day a people will leave this world and meet the Lord in the air, I Thes. 4:17. Paul, being the first apostle to the church to receive fresh revelation on the subject of the resurrection in I Thes. 4:13-18 as well as I Cor. 15:51-57 which has caused Christian people through the ages to base their faith in such a hopeful event which one day will become a reality.


REVELATION COMFORTS CHURCH


In order to console and comfort the church who was now (54 A.D.) losing their Christian loved ones to the graveyard and the living saints no doubt being depressed, not fully understanding what will now happen to the body of their dead loved ones, seeing the first generation as well as all other generations since, felt they would be the generation to see the return of the Lord to set up his kingdom (his millennium reign of which he often spoke of), Paul is particularly impressed to begin this wonderful, fresh line of revelatory thought he has recently received from the Lord which should comfort them concerning their dead loved ones (I Thes. 4:13-18)!


A DARK SUBJECT


Before the year 54 A.D., the early church, which Paul writes at Thessolanica, no doubt felt because of certain statements made by Christ himself of which they did not have the full revelation, caused them to strongly believe Christ would return in their generation. Since their loved ones were now dying off, what would become of them since their death? Recall up until Paul’s fresh revelation came on the subject of the resurrection, which now is known to also include the TRANSLATION of the living saints, little was ever known concerning this mysterious subject of the dead! Throughout the Old Testament, God had only briefly dealt with such men as Job, David, Daniel and finally Christ himself, who gave very little light on this great dark subject which contained much hidden truth! For instance, until Paul and John’s revelation unto the church, very little was actually known concerning the resurrection other than the fact that in the last day God would raise the dead. Some Old Testament scriptures even seem to imply there would be only one resurrection in which both the saved and the wicked dead would be raised at the same time. However, since Paul and John’s revelation to the church, we know that is not the true teaching of the scripture seeing there will be one thousand years of time between the two resurrections! For more information on this, feel free to ask for our article THE MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION.


DEAD RAISED FIRST


Beginning with Paul’s revelation which he records in I Thes. 4:13-18, in order to console the church we hear him saying in verse 13 “. . . now concerning them which are asleep, I would not have you ignorant that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Bear in mind the church up until this hour did not know Paul’s revelation on the subject nor did they know the revelation in its completed form which was later given to John on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D. better than 40 years from this time! In verse 14 Paul, reaching into the past to bring up a historical event, says if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, according to scripture (I Cor. 15:4) even so them also which sleep in Jesus — WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM! Verse 15 “. . . for this we say unto you (strictly by the revelation) by the word of the Lord” (remember what Paul is about to say, there is not one Old Testament scripture to back him up–it is fresh revelation straight from the Lord and comes to Paul strictly by a supernatural means of revealed faith). Continuing on, Paul addresses the living by saying, “we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not (in the least) prevent (nor hinder) them which are asleep” (in Jesus). Thus, we see Paul’s new revelation is–the living saints will in no way hinder, postpone or stall the coming forth of those who are asleep in Christ, because when that event goes into effect, note who it is raised first — it is the dead in Christ!


LIVING GENERATION AWAKENED FIRST


We are not here in this message discussing why the prophet to the age said, if people could only understand it even the rapture is already begun. I grant you scriptural wise, in order for there to be a catching away, those who are to be caught away will have to first be awakened with a message to the intimate fact that the event is just ahead. Why would God work so feverishly with one generation as he has in this one, causing a people to believe the event is so near when knowing all the time the generation would pass off the scene and the event would not be constituted until several generations later! No, God would not have any cause to awaken that generation to such a reality knowing they would all die off before it happened. God has dealt with this generation on the subject in a way he has never dealt with any previous generation concerning the “catching away.” Satan has taken the advantage in using certain statements not made clear by certain ones to confuse as much as possible the mind of the believer. Beloved, I may not be alive when it happens, but there is a generation of saints who will live to see it who will never die. Furthermore, I am aware, should I die tomorrow and you remain alive until that hour, you will not run off and leave me! Otherwise, we would have to destroy a lot of scripture, because Paul teaches in I Thes. 4:15 that those who are alive and remain unto that hour shall not prevent nor hinder them which are asleep in Christ seeing they will rise first and after that the living saints will be changed and together they will go to meet the Lord in the air.

 

 

TIME IS NO MORE FALSE TEACHINGS CAUSES ERROR OF SOME

There are certain characters today associated with this end time message who are openly declaring the rapture has already passed, yet these same characters are still here! Such a statement cannot help but remind us of what Paul declared concerning how Hymeneus and Philetus had erred concerning the truth by saying the resurrection had already passed and overthrew the faith of some (though not the elect). God does not permit the elect to ever be deceived because the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal — the Lord knoweth them that are his! 2 Tim. 2:17-19.


REQUIRING NO HELP


Now back to I Thes. 4:16 as we hear Paul say (by fresh revelation) “… for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first!” Bear in mind, God will not need any mortal man to stand out there and call the dead from the earth when he personally brings them forth, such as a man in India who claims to be the incarnated Son of Man ordained to bring the dead out of the ground! Just remember, scripture plainly shows God won’t need any mortal or immortal man to help in this procedure. When our Lord Jesus arose from the dead early in the morning on that third day, he did not need any mortal human to stand over him calling him forth from the tomb! NO, an angel came down whose feet touched the earth and caused an earthquake which rolled the stone away from Christ’s tomb. Why was the stone rolled away, someone once asked me seeing that the glorified body of Christ could easily pass through the rock. Christ appeared to his puzzled disciples through a closed door that night after he arose from the dead. Why then should the stone need to be rolled away? Who, beloved I ask you, would have believed that Christ had risen from the dead if his tomb had remained sealed with some huge stone placed over the entrance and sealed with mortar–An act of sealing which had been done to make it virtually impossible for his disciples to steal away his body to make it appear he had risen from the dead in order to fulfill his own prophecy that he would raise again. The stone was rolled away to expose the empty tomb to all critics who would dare investigate the report that Christ was not there, but had risen!


RESURRECTION POWER IN CHRIST


Therefore, Christ having conquered death, hell and the grave, has the power of resurrection within him and one day not only will call forth from the dust of the earth all those who have died in him, but will also change those living who, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost according to Romans 8:11 are also in him! Paul declared, if that same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, that Spirit will also quicken your mortal body, even if you are a dead saint. That Spirit, according to Paul, will quicken their dead bodies in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Together with the living they shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord, Paul says. He completes his fresh revelation on the subject by saying, therefore comfort thee one another with these words.


TWO PHASES OF COMING


Recall, the second coming of Christ according to Paul’s revelation, is in two phases. Phase One, he appears in the clouds and calls forth his bride from the earth. Later, Christ returns to this earth with not only his bride saints, but saints of all ages. For too long people have believed when the hour arrives for the Lord God himself to descend into the clouds to call forth his awaiting bride church, that at this time his natural glorified feet touches he earth. Scripturally this is not true! His feet in the first phase of his second coming do not touch the earth or why would it be necessary for the saints to be caught up to meet him in the air! They could easily meet him right here on the earth. Thus, in the first phase of his second coming where he appears in the air only for the church, he does not descend to earth because it is not yet time for him to take up the kingdoms of the world into his own power. In the first phase of his second coming, Christ appears strictly to the bride, portrayed as a bridegroom.


CHURCH WORLD CAUGHT UNAWARE


This misunderstood phase of his second coming is also referred to as Christ appearing as a thief in the night. A statement which has confused many, causing them to think Christ will slip up on the bride church! NOT SO! Remember, Christ comes only as a thief to the unsuspecting church world who knows nothing by revelation about what is going on! The bride is anxiously awaiting his appearing. She is not caught unaware! It is only the church world who is spiritually asleep to this event and does not nor will they ever understand it! It is this group who he appears unto as a thief in the night. I say and intend to prove by the scripture that when that blessed hour arrives for the translation of the living saints as well as the change of the dead in Christ—this event will not catch the living revelated disciples asleep nor will it catch them spiritually ignorant as to his coming and the fulfillment of this great event in their lives! Yes beloved, by the use of two separate events in scripture, we intend to prove those to be translated, such as the bride, will not be caught asleep, but will know what is transpiring in that hour!


PART 2 – BIBLICAL CHARACTERS THROW LIGHT ON TRANSLATION


The Bible declares there are two other biblical characters who were taken from this earth (other than the Lord Jesus Christ) who never saw death. Enoch, before the flood and Elijah, during the period of the Law. Both men left this earth without dying. Believe it or not, both men also new what was going on! Most people are aware of the events, although ignorant as to what all transpired surrounding their strange disappearance from earth! Yet, if you will examine both of these separate events, you will see God never slipped up on either one of these two men and carried them out!


NOAH BUILDS BY FAITH


Hebrews 11:7, that great chapter of inspirational faith declares by faith Noah built an ark for the saving of his household. Beloved, the same kind of faith that got Enoch translated, led Noah to build a boat! Remember, Noah wasn’t sitting around one day when suddenly he came up with this fantastic notion to build a boat, feeling it was going to do something it had never done before. THAT IT WAS GOING TO RAIN! Does faith cause you to look out into the future and paint a picture of which you have no understanding? Not this kind of faith spoken of throughout Hebrews scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!11! Heb. 11:7 plainly declares it was by faith (revelational, inspirational faith from God) which caused Noah to move with fear, obey God and build his boat. An act which proves it wasn’t Noah’s idea at all. God not only told Noah to build the ark but, did not even leave the specifications up to him how large the boat should be. God told him how many windows and how many doors to place in the ark, ONLY ONE! God even told him the kind of wood of which to build the boat and what to put in the cracks to keep water out. This kind of faith seen in the scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!


ABRAHAM WALKS BY FAITH


When the Bible declares that by faith Abraham journeyed into a strange land, did that mean one day he suddenly grew tired of living around Ur of the Chaldees and suddenly he jumped up and moved out on faith? Is that the kind of faith which moved him? Is that the kind of faith picture you see in Hebrews 11 portrayed by all these Old Testament characters? It is important we know, because scripture declares Abraham is the father of the faithful and we, by revelatory faith, are children or seed of Abraham, meaning Abraham’s children have this same kind of faith dwelling in their bosom! It is important we understand what kind of faith which got Enoch translated. What kind of faith moved Abraham into Canaan, even showing him the direction in which to go? God told Abraham to get out of his country and away from his kin and come to a land which he would be shown. Hebrews declared he did all this by faith. It was inspirational, revelatory faith that moved Abraham. The same kind which moved Enoch and Noah to act. Had it been Abraham’s idea, he might have left but journeyed toward the north or east. However, since it was God’s idea, God told him which direction to go. See, it was revelatory or inspirational faith which moved or inspired everyone of those patriarchs. Thus, by it being revelatory faith, we know it had to be something which God spoke placing the revelation in the bosom of each patriarch.


NOT PRESUMPTUOUS FAITH


Realize this special kind of faith is never to be classified with presumptuous faith which we so often see among the gentile religious world. If Noah, by faith, built a boat and Abraham, by faith, left Mesopotamia and by inspirational faith all these Old Testament characters did their great acts. What do you suppose it was that one day took Enoch off this globe? Do you think Enoch was out walking one day and suddenly said to the Lord, I am so tired of living around here. I believe if you would just inspire my faith enough, I would not have to die. I could just up and leave this world. Isn’t that about the way modern evangelists have painted the picture! Another modern idea of Enoch being translated is this; He was living the best he knew how when he was out walking one day and God slipped up behind him and took him off the earth. Mystified Enoch never even knew what was going on! What are you doing Lord, where is the ground? Why, I must be going up! Is that the kind of faith you see taking place here?


ENOCH TRANSLATED BY FAITH


What does it mean Enoch was translated by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God? Furthermore, we are told all the just lives by this kind of faith and if any man draws back from walking or living in this kind of faith, God declares, my soul has no pleasure in him! Let us examine Enoch’s life in its true setting. Remember, we said God did not slip up on Enoch and take him away without him knowing what was happening nor will God slip up on the bride saints and translate them out either!


SEVENTH FROM ADAM


Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered a child who by inspiration he named Methuselah (Gen. 5:21-24). The Apostle Jude was inspired to record a prophecy carried down through the centuries of time in which Enoch, the seventh from Adam, had prophesied concerning the Lord’s coming. Note the beautiful type of the rapture shown in the life and faith of Enoch who prophesied concerning the Lord coming with all his saints and was later translated. Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, not the 8th as he should have been had Cain been counted in the lineage of Adam, but because he cannot be counted, this makes Enoch live in the 7th generation from Adam. In the 7th generation, Enoch witnessed mankind stooping into his lowest social and moral perverted state of living. Such a decrease in morality greatly agitated Enoch causing him to begin questioning God as to the outcome and end of this terrible situation. Seeing this godly attitude portrayed by Enoch, God uses him as a true type of the bride saint who is to be translated at the end of the 7th gentile church age. Just as Enoch was the 7th generation from the first man Adam and was translated, likewise, this would represent the Lord God who would come for his own at the close of the 7th church age of grace, a period which began as the Lord himself, being the second Adam from glory, became the beginning of a new creation. A new creation means the plan of redemption to redeem or renew back to God something which had been lost through the fall of the first Adam. All these things run in true type. I am fully aware you can project a type just so far, therefore never stretch it beyond its purpose or until it won’t stretch any further.


GOD’S CHOICE IN ENOCH


God, seeing Enoch’s heart, his attitude and motive as well as him being one who lived in the 7th generation and witnessed all this social evil now present, no doubt said, I will use that man. Remember, we are studying the kind of faith that translated Enoch in order to know the faith which will also translate the saints at the end of the 7th church age and what they too may expect around this setting. In order that God may leave on this earth a type of the raptured saints taken out at the end of the 7th church age, a prophecy was given by Enoch which was carried down through the ages, but could not be fulfilled until the very end of the 7th gentile church age when as the prophecy said, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, etc. . .(Jude 14-15).


NAMING SON


At the age of 65, Enoch fathered a child who through inspiration was named Methuselah, a name which meant “when he is gone (meaning Methuselah) then it will come.” It what will come? God’s judgment would come. At first, God did not permit Enoch to know the full significance or impact of all that baby’s name carried. He only inspired him to name the child Methuselah, but knowing the meaning of the name and having no idea when the child might be taken, the knowledge of it at 65 began to fire Enoch up. Day by day, no doubt Enoch believed at any moment the child could be taken and that which the name represented could happen tomorrow. On and on, the baby grew until he reached manhood and still it hadn’t come, but it by no means discouraged Enoch. Aware of the reality of that name and constantly seeing the evil of the world growing steadily worse instead of better, it inspired his walk with God to become more dedicated. We are reminded of what Jesus said, as in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. Enoch is unaware that Methuselah will live to be the oldest man on earth, living almost one thousand years. Watching the years drift by until Methuselah is as large as his dad has by no means watered down the inspiration or revelation which caused Enoch to name the boy what he did. He still believes someday when he would come home and that boy was not around, it would mean God’s judgment would now come.


ENOCH PLEASED GOD


Enoch reaches 165 then 265 and Methuselah is still here, but each year and each century he lives he watches the evil grow continually worse. Yet, daily the revelation burned even brighter in his bosom. When my boy is gone then God’s judgment will come. such truth caused Enoch’s walk to become more dedicated until now he has the testimony that he pleases God. Heading somewhere toward his 365th year of walking with God, Enoch’s sincerity, loyalty and faithfulness is well pleasing to God. Did not Heb. 11:5 declare before his translation by faith that Enoch had the testimony he pleased God. How else could he please God other than by remaining loyal to the revelation in his bosom and standing steadfast, faithful and unmovable against the pressures and criticism as well as the opposition of his hour. At least God had someone down there he could put some confidence in. Here we need to read between the lines because scripture declares Enoch was translated by faith and inspirational revelation. Somewhere around 340 years of age perhaps the Lord said, I am going to give Enoch more revelation. No, Enoch wasn’t sitting out on a rock one day saying, I believe I could leave here if I could believe hard enough like some people supposedly in this message who say If I could believe strong enough some of the things the prophet said I believe I could leave here. You might as well stand in a wash tub and try to lift yourself.


MAKING IT DIFFICULT


It is most peculiar to me that the living are the ones who always want to make it so terribly difficult to be translated when your Bible declares it is so very simple for the dead to arise. If I had to do all the things certain people in this message feel you must do in order to be changed, I don’t know that I would rather not be dead when that moment arrived than to be among the living because scripture shows how very simple it will be for God to raise the dead. Believe me, He will have no more problem translating the living either. Watch the simple Bible picture. Enoch is not out somewhere straining his brain, imagining some sensational something that was unbelievable and impossible. No, instead he was simply enjoying living for God day by day. Now scripturalwise we are going to prove certain things to help remove much of the nonsense, the doubt and confusion collected in people’s minds concerning the translation because it was by faith Enoch was translated. By faith Noah knew the correct specifications to build the boat, what kind of wood to use and what substance to be used to fill the cracks to keep the water out. Yes, and what is more important, he even knew by inspired faith when time arrived for him to enter the ark. Now if you can see all those things were accomplished by inspirational faith, let us take a close look at Enoch who by inspired faith received a free air ride off the earth. Walking with God, cherishing the revelation in his bosom, being so loyal and steadfast and unmovable is the action that gave him the testimony that he pleased God BEFORE HIS TRANSLATION.


ENOCH INFORMS LOVED ONES


The day came and God gave him still further revelation. Enoch my son, as thou hast walked these many years faithful unto me and has greatly cherished the revelation I placed in the bosom concerning they son, I wish to inform thee the hour will come when thou shalt no longer be here. I have allowed thee to walk this way, unmovable, unchangeable, unfaltering, to leave thee as a testimony while the rest of humanity goes on its evil way. Seeing you have obediently lived this testimony before me and mankind, I will shortly come unto thee and thou shalt not die. Thou shalt tell thy family … Aren’t you stretching it somewhat, someone may say. Just follow me through the story and then form your conclusion. Thou shalt inform thy family, thou shalt inform thy son that when that day comes when I shall come for thee and thou art no longer here, they need not go looking for thee for thou shalt not be found. Isn’t it strange Heb. 11:5 declares Enoch, after the translation, was not found for God took him, showing somebody had to search for him in order to leave the report that they could not find him. Who went looking for him if he was not found? I don’t believe Methuselah or Enoch’s wife went looking. It was those critics or unbelievers who looked. Later we will prove by scripture it is always the critics who look and search. I see the day Enoch is now over 350 years old, sitting down with his wife and son saying, Wife you gave birth to Methuselah, you remember how the presence of the Lord inspired me to name the child. You know these 300 years since his birth we have lived faithful to that revelation. Now God has revealed even more to me about this thing. As far as myself is concerned, I will not be here when Methuselah goes, for God has informed me one of these days when I am walking in fellowship with him he will take me off this earth. I know now I will never die. When the day arrives and I don’t come home, don’t bother looking for me. You know I have always been faithful. I have never stayed away from home days at a time. I have always been home on time, therefore, when that hour arrives DO NOT come looking for me. Just let it be said the Lord took me!


CRITICS SEARCH FOR ENOCH


Finally the day arrives that God took him. I don’t know where he was or what he was doing, but when he didn’t come home for dinner or supper, no doubt Methuselah looked at his mother and said, he is gone. Enoch’s absence on the streets days later caused people to ask Methuselah where is your daddy? The Lord took him, was his reply. What do you mean the Lord took him? The Lord simply took him, therefore he never died. Nonsense, replied the astonished unbelieving critics. Days went by and still Enoch wasn’t seen around. I can hear those unbelieving critics–we will go and investigate, men don’t just disappear, your dad has to be around here somewhere! Remember, something happened to leave the testimony Enoch was not found. Roaming over mountains, examining every cave, the critics could not find him. They had to search for him because they did not believe the testimony that God had translated him. Heb. 11:5 declares he was not found. I can’t see Methuselah or Enoch’s wife wringing their hands over the criticism when they knew he had gone to be with the Lord without dying.


METHUSELAH LIVES ON


What about Methuselah, remember what his name signified! Methuselah was 300 years old when his father was translated. Methuselah was well over 800 years old when his grandson Noah received a revelation to build a boat. The hour was fast approaching when destruction of the world was on the horizon. Noah received his revelation and, moved by fear, began hacking and chopping away. The 120 years Noah and his son worked on the boat, Methuselah was still alive on the scene. The very year Methuselah reached 969 years of age, the ark was completed. That year Methuselah died and Noah and his family moved into the ark. No, Methuselah did not die in the flood, he died to fulfill the revelation of his name. When death finally did overtake the oldest man in the world and he had left the scene, judgment came. The year he died to fulfill the meaning of his name, that is the year God’s judgment fell. Noah, his family and all the animal kingdom of that hour entered into the ark, the skies suddenly turned black with black clouds rolling in from the west bringing God’s judgment. Beloved, dark clouds, though they are spiritual clouds, not atmospheric clouds, are on our horizon today also! With Methuselah now dead, God sends his judgment and for 40 days and 40 nights God’s judgment hit this world in the form of a flood of water. Everything in God’s program always runs true to continuity!


SECOND BIBLE CHARACTER


Let’s cross the flood and travel hundreds of years into the law age where we pick up our second man named Elijah, who is to be translated. Did Elijah know what was going on before his catching away or did God simply sneak up on him like people think God will do to the bride saints? Our story picks up with the showdown on Mt. Carmel near the close of Elijah’s ministry. I want to begin here in order to bring in Elisha and show you a beautiful type whereby we may see how everything is running in true continuity.


ELIJAH FLEES


In the Mt. Carmel showdown, (I Kings 18:38) God answered by fire and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice which resulted in Elijah having the heads of 450 Baal prophets cut off and thrown in the river. Word of this event reached Jezreel, the town where Jezebel, Israel’s queen lived. Hearing what happened to her prophets, she sent Elijah word saying, tell that old man by tomorrow at this time I will have his head. Elijah received the news, but not having any more “thus saith the Lord” at the moment to guide him, he did not know what to do, therefore he ran for his life! Such an event does not mar Elijah’s image in the least. He is still God’s prophet. It merely shows Elijah, without his anointing of thus saith the Lord, is like any other human being and would act like anyone else under a similar circumstance. God had not informed his servant what was going to happen after the 450 Baal prophets’ heads had been cut off. Here is where his revelation had ended and brother, Elijah is strictly on his own. Therefore, he took off south and arrived in Beersheba tired and exhausted where an angel provided him with bread. With that meal in his stomach and strength to go on, he traveled still a little farther and again fell asleep exhausted only to have the angel again awaken him with still another meal. This style of eating carried Elijah 40 days into the wilderness. Traveling only five miles per day, after 40 days would have placed him quite a distance into the wilderness. Hiding in a cave in the back side of the desert, Elijah was asked by the Lord, what are you doing here? Had God told Elijah to come here? NO! Elijah, fearing for his life like any man would, has come to this spot strictly on his own. A woman is after him. He has had 450 men killed, could he not handle one woman? It wasn’t the woman Elijah was worried about, he could have easily handled her, but there were quite a few military men who wouldn’t risk their lives to save 450 Baal prophets whereas they would gladly risk their lives for their queen. This is what disturbed Elijah, not merely the woman herself.


RETURN AND ANOINT 3 MEN


Therefore, after traveling 40 days to reach this cave, he hears the Lord say, Elijah I want you to return. On your way back you will anoint Elisha to serve in they house, to minister to thee (keep the house clean and such). Further, I want you to anoint Hazael to be King over Syria and anoint Jehu to be King over Israel. Although God commissioned Elijah to anoint all three men, scriptures show he only anointed Elisha and it was Elisha who in turn later anointed Hazael, King over Syria, and Jehu, King over Israel. God has told Elijah to anoint Elisha. Can you imagine Elijah leaving the cave pondering in his mind, who on earth is Elisha I am suppose to anoint? He did not have to ponder such a question for he knew who Elisha was. Somewhere their paths had crossed. Moreover, Elisha knew Elijah. Just like when the Lord Jesus, walking the shores of Galilee, called the sons of Zebedee saying, Come and I will make you fishers of men. Also, when he reached the seat of customs, there sat a tax collector named Matthew and Jesus is again heard to say Come and follow me. Don’t you think Christ knew who these characters were as well as they knew who he was, for already he had testified enough in those Jewish synagogues around the Sea of Galilee that his fame had gone forth. On that basis, these men, one by one, followed him.


ELISHA CALLED TO MINISTRY


With that in mind, watch Elijah leaving the cave and heading back. He knows exactly where Elisha is plowing his field with 12 yoke of oxen. What did Elijah do? Without speaking a word, Elijah walked up behind Elisha and merely struck him on the shoulder and kept walking. Looking at it from a carnal standpoint, you might see Elisha saying, Friend, what do you mean by that? No beloved, here is a beautiful type of how the Lord Jesus in later years would call forth his own disciples. Elijah has struck Elisha on the shoulder and we hear Elisha saying, wait until I go and bid mom and dad goodbye and I will follow thee. Elijah’s answer was, what is that to me and kept walking.


TESTING FOR REVELATION


Elijah approaches Elisha in this fashion to see if Elisha has within him a revelation of what is transpiring. Is he aware God has been dealing with him or to just what God has called him into? Watching Elijah move out of sight, Elisha dashes home, says goodbye to his parents, rushes back into the field, tears up his plow for wood to burn and sacrifices his oxen unto the Lord. Undoubtedly, somewhere before this event, Elisha has received a dream or vision because he certainly knows what is going on. He certainly is aware Elijah is God’s prophet of the hour and no doubt has in the past desired to work with him and here is his chance. No doubt, through some route God has shown the young man that when Elijah approaches him, it is his signal to drop everything and follow him.


ACTIVITY ON TRANSLATION DAY


Days swiftly pass as Elijah’s ministry is rapidly closing. Therefore, turn into 2 Kings 2 where we see time for God’s prophet has arrived when he too is to be caught away. Such an event as we are about to study, also sets forth in type the later catching away of the Lord Jesus Christ. Watch the setting unfold. The day arrives for the Lord to take Elijah away and may I again say just as with Enoch, God did not slip up on Elijah unaware. Having read this story, no one could say Elijah did not know what was going on. Elijah and Elisha together approached Gilead where Elijah said to his servant Elisha, you stay here for the Lord has called me to Bethel. Now, watch that operation of revelation in Elisha’s bosom as he says, as surely as the Lord liveth I shall not leave you. In other words, there is no way you will get away from me today!


ELISHA REVELATED ALSO


Approaching Bethel, a very important town in Israel’s history, we note a school of prophets or some Hebrew seminary students are shown approaching the two men and note what they begin to say. Their remarks directed to Elisha are, knoweth thou not this day the Lord will take away thy head from thee. What was Elisha’s answer? I know it, hold your peace! Now you tell me how Elisha knew that. God had been talking to him. I know that, Elisha said, don’t tell me anymore. Again at Bethel, Elijah urges Elisha to remain behind saying, the Lord has called me to Jericho. NO SIR, says Elisha, I am not about to leave you. We note he stays close to his side. Arriving at Jericho, I want you to again note what happened. Another Bible school has been erected at Jericho and a group of 50 seminary students from the school of prophets there in Jericho approached the two saying to Elisha identically the same thing he heard at Bethel. Isn’t it strange, Bethel was the spot where Jacob lay down one night to sleep and receive a great revelation from God. Therefore, Bethel later becomes an excellent place to build a Bible school where God’s presence once was. Do you catch the point? They are building on the virtue of the past. Reaching Jericho, they see another Bible school. Jericho also has a great sentimental spot seeing this is where the nation of Israel under Joshua crossed into the land of Canaan centuries earlier and the walls of Jericho fell down. Again we see them building a Bible school on the spot where virtue in the past has been. At Jericho we again see the seminary students coming out and what are they saying? Beloved, what they are saying lets me know in a general type as to what all the denominations are preaching today concerning the second coming of the Lord and the rapture of the church. In a sense, everyone of them are being inspired and enthused by it. Because we are living in that generation when it is going to happen, yet I am sure of one thing, everyone isn’t going in the rapture, only those who by faith please the Lord.


STUDENTS’ REVELATION


These seminary students at Jericho walked straight up to Elisha on the edge of town and repeat what he has already heard at Bethel. Elisha’s answer is the same, I know it, hold your peace. Again we see Elijah saying to Elisha, son you stay here, the Lord has called me beyond the Jordan River. Now we see not only Elijah and Elisha, but also two different schools of theological students are aware this is the day Elijah is to be taken.


WHY JORDAN CROSSED


Why did Elijah need to cross the Jordan River to ascend to glory? Remember, he is leaving the land of the living by the way of the east side, the same as the Lord Jesus who walked out of Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate and over to the Mt. of Olives, east of Jerusalem to ascend to glory. Elijah had to cross the Jordan whereas the Jordan is a type of death and his crossing the Jordan River was a type of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, it goes to show, as Elisha followed Elijah across to receive that power that Elijah had, he types the disciples who followed Christ remaining with him before and after his crucifixion and even followed him over to the Mt. of Olives as he ascended up and they too were to receive his power. After that, the Holy Ghost had come upon them. Later, we will see where these Bible students at Jericho dub their own revelation. The scripture shows these students followed them afar off because they desired to see what would actually happen. Elijah and Elisha finally reach the bank of the Jordan and Elijah struck the water with his mantle and it parted. No doubt those students said, did you see that, it happened again. Having reference to the time the Jordan River parted for the crossing of Joshua and the Israelites in the sight of Jericho centuries earlier. Stepping out onto the other side of the Jordan River as the waters close back, Elijah is that perfect type crossing the Jordan, of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Reaching the other side, Elijah says to Elisha, what would you have me to do for you? Master, says Elisha, grant that I may receive a double portion of that same spirit that rests on thee. You have asked a hard thing son, nevertheless, if it comes to pass that you see me when I go (showing Elijah knew all about his going, he had seen it by revealed faith exactly as had Enoch centuries earlier) if you see me go you know your request is granted. Here is that beautiful type of where the Lord Jesus took his disciples over on the Mt. of Olives and just before his feet began to lift off the earth he told his disciples, be sure you stay in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high for not many days hence shall ye be endued with power and ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem etc. Elijah crossing the Jordan had to set a true type of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as he now ascends from the east side of Jordan out of the land of the living onto the other side of death. Recall as the children of Israel centuries earlier had crossed the Jordan, they too had to die to the old ways of their life and to all old influences of Egypt. They had to die to its memory, to its influence and to its power.


ELIJAH CAUGHT UP


Elisha walking alongside Elijah, not permitting him for a second to be out of his sight, suddenly looked up into the sky and saw a fiery chariot descending like a streak of lightning and it parted the two. As those fiery horses whirled and Elijah was caught up, that chariot began ascending back into the air. Can’t you just see broken hearted Elisha standing there with tears in his eyes just like the 120 who watched Jesus go up. Elijah, ascending in the air, looks down and sees the little fellow standing there, his mantle fell from him upon the ground at Elisha’s feet. Watching him until he was out of sight like the disciples had watched Christ, Elisha, being a perfect type of those disciples who had gone to the upper room and received their power at Pentecost, reaches down and picks up that mantle of power which had been on his master. Ten days after Jesus ascended to glory from the east of the city of Jerusalem, the disciples also pick up the mantle of power.


ELISHA TYPES DISCIPLES


Reaching down on the ground, Elisha picks up the mantle, a type of the Holy Ghost power falling on the 120 at Pentecost after Christ’s ascension, for recall Jesus had said, for the things I do shall ye do also and greater! Coming back to the Jordan River, Elisha who has received a double portion of power said, where is the Lord God of Elijah and with that he smote the waters and once again they parted. On this other side of Jordan, that seminary group of Jericho still watching, saw Elisha strike the water and it parted for him. No doubt again bug eyed they probably said, did you see that, he did the same thing Elijah did! Was that not the scene of the church shortly after Christ’s ascension? Were they not doing the same things Christ did? Crossing back over the Jordan, Elisha now alone heads for Jericho and comes upon these same seminary students, only now they are doubting their own revelation as we hear them say, we are 50 in number who volunteer, being in excellent shape, as a searching party to hunt for Elijah! We will comb the mountains in search for him. Perhaps the Lord took him up and accidentally dropped him on some mountaintop! Looking at them as to the pitiful way they are treating their revelation, no doubt Elisha says, men you are wasting your time, you will not find him out there anywhere, the Lord took him.


STUDENTS DOUBT REVELATION


Isn’t that just like a denominational spirit, doubting the word of God! Only a short time ago they are the very men who ran to inform Elisha the Lord was going to take his head away that very day and now they doubt their own revelation. They actually wanted to look for Elijah to see if it really had happened. Insisting, pleading and begging to go to find out if it did really happen. I can see Elisha hanging his head, telling the unbelievers to go on. Fifty men in search for Elijah crossed the Jordan, only this time the waters didn’t part and for three days and three nights they combed those mountains, but Elijah was not to be found. Therefore, just as in the case of Enoch, somebody had to go looking for Elijah in order to leave the testimony to critics and unbelievers that he was not found. What good would it do for Elisha to simply declare Elijah was not there and that God had taken him. Meanwhile back in Jericho, the elders of the city approach Elisha, a type of the early church in action, telling him Jericho was a nice place, a summer resort with good vegetation, but had bad water. Other than smiting the Jordan to cross back over, here is one of Elisha’s first miracles performed. Bring me a new cruze of salt. It was bought to Elisha and it was cast into the water thus healing the water at Jericho. (A type of the church in action after the ascension of Christ once they had received power at Pentecost)


TRANSLATION TYPICAL CONVERSATION


Elisha remains in Jericho a few days until the searching party returns and the word goes throughout Jericho and surrounding areas that Elijah was not to be found. In order to show this discussion had been on everyone’s lips, watch the following scene. Elisha now leaves Jericho traveling north, no doubt headed for home. as he walked out of town, an insulting, disrespectful jeering group of kids began to say, go on up old bald head, go on up. What the kids were actually saying, if you think you are a prophet, why don’t you do the same thing, go on up old bald head, let’s see you go up too. Not only does this show Elijah’s translation had become a conversation piece in every home and school around, it also showed the disobedience and disrespect among the children of the hour. Some people have thought Elisha cursed these children and stood there until two she bears came out of the woods and devoured them. I don’t believe any human being could have been so cruel, especially a prophet of God. Undoubtedly, this gifted prophet is heading north out of Jericho when these kids began trailing him, poking fun, agitating and aggravating him with these jeering, slurry remarks, if you think you are a prophet, why do you not go on up too, old bald head. No doubt they trailed him northward still jeering and laughing when he finally turned and said, may the Lord God of Israel curse you kids. Now get away and leave me alone. By this time, no doubt, he had gone over the next hill out of sight when the two she bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of these kids to pieces. Surely that now lets the youth especially around Jericho know not to insult the man of God. Forty-two children had died, but Elisha wasn’t standing there enjoying such a cruel scene. No human prophet could have stood that.


CHRIST AND DISCIPLES PORTRAYED


God has put forth some beautiful types of the translation which will transpire at the end of the seventh church age. Question, did Elisha know Elijah was going? Did Elisha know when he was to be taken? Beloved, Elijah even knew by inspired faith where to go in order to be taken up, did he not. Jesus even knew the day he was going to leave this earth, did he not? That is why he took those disciples over on the Mt. of Olives on this certain day at this very exact hour and was giving them their last exhortation, telling them not to leave Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from on high when his feet began to leave the ground. Yes, God has set a beautiful type of the church in action of power as Elisha who had followed Elijah eastward across Jordan, picked up the mantle and a double portion of power fell on him. Likewise, did not the church after the day of Pentecost begin to do the same things Christ did? All this we say to prove a point. These two men, Enoch and Elijah, were to individuals translated to set a type of God’s plan which would be in the consummation of the ages when not only one person would be taken from earth without dying, but there would be many taken from this earth. Whenever that hour does occur, you may rest assured there will be some mortal living saints on this earth who also will have some spiritual revelation in their bosom as the word of revealed faith at that moment is going to be for further instructions concerning their translation.


PART 3 – BENEFITS OF BODIES OF TWO ADAMS – HOW BODIES BROUGHT FORTH


Looking still farther into this revelation of Paul’s concerning the condition of the fleshly bodies of the dead saints who will be raised up in the resurrection, we hear Paul telling the Corinthian church beginning with I Cor. 15:42 that the dead body sown into the ground was sown in corruption, but would be raised in incorruption. Sown in dishonor, but would be raised in glory; sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body (though never forget, that spiritual body will still remain flesh). There is a natural fleshly corruptible body and there is a spiritual (fleshly, glorified) body.


TWOFOLD REDEMPTION


Beginning with I. Cor. 15:45 let’s explore from a biblical standpoint Paul’s line of thought concerning these two individual bodies, first a look at the human fleshly body which we all received after the similitude of Adam once he had fallen, however, in the resurrection or translation that body will take on the nature of the spiritual fleshly body after the second Adam. For, bear in mind, when redemption was purchased at Calvary it was twofold, not only did it include the spirit of man it also included the mortal corrupt body of man and though man’s spirit would immediately be changed at the new birth, an act of being born again, that fleshly body which was also purchased would have to await its redemption and be changed either in the resurrection or the translation. Thus, the complete redemptive program of God, being twofold, cannot be complete until after the resurrection as Paul so clearly brings out telling the Roman church in Rom. 8:23-26 how the whole creation is groaning and travailing for deliverance. Yes, and even we ourselves who (already) have received the first fruits of the spirit as our down payment are now waiting the completion of the transaction, the adoption or the redemption of our body. For we were saved by (or in this) hope, implying our human body was also included in that purchased price. Now in I Cor. 15, Paul discussed the corrupt body which went into the earth that must be redeemed and changed which Paul declares will be raised in power and in the likeness of Christ’s own glorified fleshly body. Now we hear him declare in verse 49, as we have already borne the image of the earthy, through the power of the resurrection (or translation) we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Remember, according to verse 47 the image of the heavenly is (perfection) after the order of the second man who was the Lord of heaven.


BEARING IMAGE OF EARTHLY


What Paul is saying concerning the image of the earthly that we have already borne is, since the horrible fall which involved both Adam and Eve, mankind in his physical makeup has taken on a total earthy identity, an identity that could never have been applied unto mankind had Adam and Eve only remained in their true original state of being and in fellowship with God. Recall, in every respect their bodies were created perfect. Death did not dwell in them. In such a perfect state of being as Adam and Eve originally were before the fall, there was absolutely nothing in or about their makeup which would ever indicate anywhere in the future they would ever need to be changed. Why? Because they were already perfect and would have forever remained so had they only remained in that true beautiful fellowship with God and not fallen. Thus, always remember in the final analysis the purpose of God’s redemption (including both spirit and body) is always God’s method of restoring something to its original state of being. That is where the resurrection and translation fits into God’s program. Remember it is only the body that is changed in either the resurrection or translation, because the spirit man was already changed at the new birth, the body has to await its redemption.


MAN CREATED EARTHY


While it is true the scripture does teach the first man Adam was of the earth, earthy while the second man Adam was the Lord himself from glory (verse 47). Yet, we must never forget when God originally created that first man Adam, he created him not only perfect, but he also made him to be earthy, because God intended for man to rule this planet. Before sin entered the picture and Adam fell, it was not the original intention that Adam would live on the earth some hundreds of years and then take his flight on to some distant planet to become some superman! NO! Adam’s fleshly body in the beginning was made perfect in every aspect from the dust of the earth. The earthman was in complete unbroken fellowship with God, having no death or sickness dwelling in his bloodstream. He would have had the assurance of forever remaining in that eternal existence with God had sin never entered the picture. As time progressed forward Adam would have lived on eternally in that very perfect state of being. Not only that, every offspring that God would have presented to Adam and Eve would likewise have bore the same identical image and likeness of Adam in perfection, also living in that state of being, eternally, never ever having any necessity of some physical change in their body or given a better position because Adam had been made the very creature to rule this planet.


WOMAN SHARED EQUALITY


In actuality he was “God” not unto his own kind, but unto the animal world. Remember, we speak God in the minor capacity and not the major. In that hour before the fall, it must be remembered that woman also shared in equality with man. However, since the fall, for her role in the transgression as punishment for the act of sin, Gen. 3:16 shows woman lost or forfeited her equality and can never in her fleshly human lifetime ever be equal with man again. I know we are living in the last hour when Satan is trying desperately to push womanhood back into that role of equality and woman may succeed in forcing the courts, the law and the nations to yield and accept her in an equal capacity with man, but the problem is God will never accept her in that role because he is the one who cursed her! It was her fleshly life he cursed, therefore, in that sense she will remain cursed until she is changed from mortal or changed from this fleshly life into immortality. This is not stated to degrade Christian womanhood whatsoever. Nevertheless, such things as Equal Rights in all walks of life lets us know we are living at the end of human history when the devil is coming forth with his great surge of antichrist spirit. It is working feverishly in the political, ecclesiastical and every walk of society today. It has to be that way in order to lead humanity to deception and destruction.


SPIRIT MAN BORE GOD’S IMAGE


Yet I repeat, before the fall both Adam and the woman were not only created perfect, they also shared equality as well. Though man was of the earth earthy, his body was never formed with the intention of ever having to be redeemed. The spirit man Adam was originally created to have mutual contact with this earth, thus he was later given an earthly body in which to dwell. The spiritual being that Adam first existed as (Gen. 1:26-28) was placed into this perfect fleshly, earthly body formed in Gen. 2:7 to have contact with his earthly surroundings. Note, it was not Adam’s flesh which bore God’s image and likeness, it was only the spirit man (created in Gen. 1:26-28) who lived inside that perfect, earthly body who was the offspring of God. The earthly, fleshly body was formed by God only to give a home the spiritual man who at first when created in Gen. 1:26-28 was created with both male and female attributes within him and until the separation of those female attributes from the male attributes into another body, they lived together in perfect harmony in that one fleshly male body until the hour arrived when in order for them to fulfill their commission (Gen. 1:28) to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth together, God removed the feminine attributes from the male and placed them in a separate fleshly body, only designed differently to serve her role in motherhood (Gen. 2:21-25). The spiritual being, Adam, was commissioned to multiply, subdue and rule the planet, bringing everything under subjection to God’s divine plan long before he (they) was even placed in a fleshly body. Yet, we know that plan was disrupted by Satan and was never permitted to be carried out. However, one day after the resurrection it shall be.


FLESH TOOK DEATH PENALTY


When Adam fell, it was only his earthly flesh which after the fall could no longer bear anything but strictly an earthly image that took on the penalty of death. Human flesh now able to only bear that earthly image took into the human bloodstream the attributes of imputed sin which was also passed on into all their human offsprings, making it now totally impossible for any fleshly human being to ever be born in perfection or bear any of that heavenly image man first had. Therefore, God says there is no good in fleshly man, none is righteous (perfect) no not one. Everyone born of woman took on that total image of the earthy.


ANOTHER ADAM NEEDED


Linking up all these scriptures together and examining them in their proper perspective we can now begin to see why it was of necessity that there should come a redeemer (a fleshly man) into the world. However, in order for him to bear the image of the heavenly, he would have to enter into the human race through a different route other than sex because if he came the sex route he too would have introduced into his bloodstream the attributes of the fallen Adam: death, sin, sickness, etc.


BEARING SEPARATE IMAGE


Paul now refers to that second Adam (the perfect man Redeemer) as being the Lord of Glory who bore (for us) the image of the heavenly. Watch carefully as Paul differentiates between these two men, the first and second Adam who bore separate images. The second fleshly man Adam, bearing the image of the heavenly called Jesus the Christ was produced from a perfect created seed of man and a perfect created egg of woman by the Holy Ghost (the Father) and was born of virgin birth from the womb of woman; born without the usual act of sex not to accomplish on this earth what the first Adam in his original state was placed here to do. No, Jesus was not virgin born from woman as a perfect man-child, growing up into perfect manhood to milk cows, ride horses or any of these other things the first Adam was required to do. ABSOLUTELY NOT! As a matter of fact, the second Adam, Jesus the Lord of glory who bore the image of the heavenly (which the first Adam lost) was born on this earth to do just the opposite. HIS MISSION WAS TO UNDO EVERYTHING THE FIRST ADAM HAD BROUGHT UPON THE HUMAN RACE AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE PLANET ITSELF THROUGH THE FALL AND TO UNDO ALL THAT REQUIRED THE LORD OF GLORY HIMSELF TO BECOME THE SECOND ADAM. The first Adam was made flesh to rule the planet while the second Adam was made flesh through the virgin birth without a sex act to redeem the earth. Here we see the two different Adams in their role of bearing the image of both earthly and heavenly.


PERFECTION DWELT IN FIRST ADAM


Thus reading between the lines Paul says, because of that fall of mankind, through our natural birth we were able to bear nothing but the image of the earthly, the only image Adam could present to his offspring because of the fall and note it is cursed. Praise God, because of that second Adam we shall also one day bear the image of the heavenly, meaning we will bear that perfection shown forth by Christ the second Adam the lord of glory, perfection which once dwelt in that first Adam.


RETURN LOST IMAGE


Therefore Paul, through the resurrection or translation, is showing the purpose of God with that second man Adam was to give back to us the lost image of the heavenly. We get it back through the second Adam. Although we look forward to that day when we can proudly bear that perfection or image of the heavenly through either the resurrection or translation, we must never forget what man’s heavenly purpose was in being first created and that was man in his original perfect state of being (back with his heavenly image) was made to contact with the earth and rule over it. Therefore man was made for earth, not heaven although through his heavenly (perfect) image he could on earth fellowship heaven freely. Know this, man after his total perfection will then fulfill his original ordained role. Where? On earth not in heaven.


PRESENT FLESH CAN’T INHERIT KINGDOM


Verse 50 should show us how God feels about the way mankind misused his sex act for his own pleasure once becoming a fallen creature bearing only the earthly image. “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood (born of woman) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” What did Paul mean by this statement that no flesh and blood could inherit the kingdom of God? He simply means flesh in its present sinful state of corruption as it was born of woman cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Although it is true man’s flesh was redeemed also at Calvary, it must first undergo a change either in the resurrection or translation. It is totally impossible for anyone to inherit eternal life depending strictly upon the works of the flesh (which God hates) as being a basis to merit salvation. Many evangelical circles in the religious field have interpreted this passage thus, since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and seeing it is only the inner man who (they think) will inherit the kingdom of God, they take the position that in the world to come that man will more or less exist much like a spirit being such as angels do and his earthly body will be completely out of the picture. That is not the picture Paul is presenting because that would be completely contrary to what he had taught in other places. In Romans, he shows where your body will be in the picture, though it has nothing to do with your salvation, seeing it too must be redeemed. Flesh and blood in its present state cannot inherit the kingdom of God until God changes it. We cannot get into the Kingdom of God depending solely on the merits of the flesh to place us there. Nevertheless, if we have experienced the new birth, we must never forget our earthly body is destined also to be there as is so clearly taught in Romans 8, seeing it was also in the purchased price and also awaits redemption. We must depend entirely upon the merits of the new birth constituted through the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary. Nevertheless, that does not annul the fact that our earthly bodies are promised to be there also.


PART 4 – ORDER OF RESURRECTION


(1) The Shout (Message)


(2) The Trump


(3) Dead Raised


(4) Living Changed


Paul apparently has a different purpose in mind when writing to the Thessalonians than when writing to the Corinthians concerning the resurrection. We note in his writing to the Thessalonians who were apparently a little discouraged concerning their dead loved ones, Paul begins in I Thes. 4:16 giving the full sequence of the order of the resurrection, first it began with a shout and second the trump of God which raises the dead, etc. Whereas, with the Corinthians who need only a little reassurance, he did not begin with the shout, but instead with the trump of God (I Cor. 15:51) which the dead hears and come forth.


RESURRECTION AROUND FINAL WEEK


It is vital we note also in Daniel 12:2 that somewhere around the time Daniel’s final 70th prophetic week is set in motion, the archangel stands up for the people of Israel (Rev. 12:7-17) because Israel (under the antichrist) will enter into a time of trouble (Matt. 24:15-22) such as they (as a nation) never have before seen. According to Dan. 12:2, there is to be a resurrection of gentile people who have called on the name of the Lord. When the angel informed Daniel all that he did in Chapter 12, a Chapter which incorporates Revelation, Chapters 7, 12 and 14. Daniel nor any other Jew had any idea a gentile would ever call on the name of the Lord. Although Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah had prophesied concerning it, it wasn’t until Paul’s hour that the true revelation on these Old Testament prophecies concerning the gentile church which had remained a hidden mystery was now revealed (Eph. 3:2-6).


THE SHOUT


Thus, around the time Daniel’s 70th week begins, there is to be a resurrection of the dead. Paul in I Thess. 4 presents that order. First the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. Don’t look upon the Lord as descending in some visible, corporeal form, because it is not portrayed that way at all. The Bible shows many pictures of Christ when the Lord Jesus finally leaves the mercy seat where he now sits interceding, as shown in Rev. 5, with a sealed scroll in his right hand, a scroll which incorporates the redemptive names of the bride church of all ages. Christ in this scene is depicted in a twofold manner. (1) Not only did he remain seated on the mercy seat throne, but (2) he is also shown as a Lamb opening the seals on the merits that he had been a slain lamb on earth. When finally he does leave that throne after having interceded for every name that makes up the bride church, once they have all come in and have completely fulfilled their role as God intended, the next pictorial picture seen of Christ, he is shown on earth in Rev. 10:1-2 as a gigantic angelic spirit form being, holding his scroll now completely opened, shouting TIME SHALL BE NO MORE! His coming was to release the seven mysterious thunders to the bride church only, shortly before he takes her off the earth.


SHOUT WAS A MESSAGE


Thus, in Paul’s order of the resurrection, the shout comes first. The shout is not to benefit the dead saints, but the living saints. The trump, blasted by the archangel Gabriel, got the attention of the dead. The shout explained by Bro. William Branham is a message sent forth to these living people to awaken and shake them out of their Babylonian traditions, placing their faith back into the revealed truth, sometime before the trump is sounded to raise the dead in Christ. For too long, denominational religion has looked upon this setting as a shout, the sound of a trump, the dead in Christ raising, and the living being changed, all in a period of less than a minute. I grant you, when the dead in Christ are raised and the living are changed, each group in their order will be changed immediately, but the sequence of this order itself requires far more time than that. The shout is a message to the living which precedes the sound of the trump of God which raises the dead. God had to first send that shout or message into the earth to do something to awaken that living element of people out of their religious sleep and slumbering attitude and get them straightened up and aware of the event that is just ahead. The living element needed their eyes opened and their spiritual ears tuned to this event in order that shortly before the translation when those thunders are definitely to be sounded they will be in spiritual shape to hear them. Remember the last trump of I Cor. 15:52 is the identical trump recorded in I Thes. 4:16 which raises the dead first. In the Corinthian letter, Paul simply didn’t mention the shout which comes first. Imagine had there not been a shout at the end of the age to awaken the sleeping virgins, nothing to disturb them from slumber or awaken them to world conditions or refresh their thinking and understanding of the scriptures and they had continued to drift on in time totally unaware of anything about to happen, when suddenly the dead came forth. God would have absolutely caught the living element by surprise! At best, our reaction may still be one of surprise, nevertheless, when that hour arrives God will be doing something in the spiritual bosom of the living, whereby they won’t walk into that hour totally unaware of what is taking place. Like Enoch and Elijah, who both knew the moment to take that walk and where to meet the Lord, likewise will this end time element of people.


HOLY GHOST COURTS CHURCH


Why? Because God somewhere would have said something that had spiritually awakened them and they are now in a progressive revelation and under spiritual leadership of the Holy Ghost. It is Christ’s way of courting the living element. Christ in spirit form has courted the church down through the ages. He, in spirit form (the Holy Ghost), has made love, wooed and talked to the church, yet in these last days before the total windup, he is going to court her in a fashion she has never been courted before. There is nothing the living can do to assist or hinder the resurrection of the dead, because once that archangel, Gabriel, blows that trump, instantaneously everyone ordained to come forth will come forth from the dust of the earth (Dan. 12:2). May I remind you, the spirits of those dead Christians who are now with the Lord knows far more about when Christ shall return to resurrect their dead bodies than we living do. The trump sounds and the dead come forth THEN, Paul says, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. No, the living will not be caught by surprise or be ignorant to the progress as to what God is doing. Many will say, but the prophet to the age declared God will have to do something. Sure, God has to do something and the beauty of it is, HE WILL, but if our spiritual understanding has not been awakened to the reality of what God in His scriptures is doing this very hour, WE WILL NEVER HEAR THOSE MYSTERIOUS THUNDERS OR ANYTHING ELSE. That is why Satan is brainwashing and wooing the people to sleep to get them away from the scriptures which teach us how to conduct and prepare our self. It is the Bible which says he will perfect the living bride church (not those dead in Christ) by the washing of the water by the word.


PERFECTION FOR LIVING


Perfection is not for the dead remnant, it is for the living remnant who is ordained to be living at the moment when the change takes place. By divine revelation, those people will stand in every verse of scripture of the New Testament, therefore the shout or message is saying to the living, WAKE UP! GET YOUR EARS IN TUNE WITH THE WORD BECAUSE YOU ARE MOVING TOWARD THE CLIMAX! The living hear the shout, but the dead hear the arch angel with the trump and come forth. Certainly, if you had no idea what was taking place and suddenly deceased loved ones began appearing, you would be greatly surprised. Yet, when that hour transpires and all scriptures have been consummated, whatever God does in those thunders once he has left the mercy seat and is pictured in Rev. 10 as that gigantic spirit being with the scroll opened in his hand, those thunders shall prepare the hearts of the living not only to expect it, but to accept the raising of the dead. Thus, when the deceased come forth and the living are changed, they won’t have to stand there with their mouth gaped open. Seeing the dead come forth first only when the trump is sounded, we living can’t devise some wild revelation and run off and leave them.


FLESH ONLY IS CHANGED


Behold I shew you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but WE (believers) shall be changed. Please understand the word change here has no relationship to the inner man whatsoever being changed because the inner man experienced his change through the new birth (2 Cor. 5:17). I Cor. 15:51 is definitely relating to the return of Christ (in the air) when fleshly believers who are alive will undergo this change. Bear in mind, when we are changed, our flesh will not be changed into something or resemble something that bears no likeness of flesh. Your body will still remain flesh as perfectly illustrated by Christ when he arose from the dead and appeared through a closed door unto his disciples saying, be not afraid, it is I. A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have (Christ’s resurrected body was flesh). That flesh which lay in the tomb now resurrected had appeared in their midst. Remember, the translation nor resurrection is never discussing the inner man being changed, it is always the change of the outer fleshly man. For here we see where the redemption of the body is being performed. Paul continues discussing the fleshly body saying, we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. The last trump shall sound and the fleshly dead bodies shall first be raised incorruptible. For this corruption shall put on incorruption (referring to the dead) and this mortal (referring to living who is still subject to death) must put on immortality. Because, if Jesus doesn’t come and stop this cycle of death for those people also, they too would die.


POSSIBILITY – NOT DOCTRINE


Note Paul is discussing the change of the dead flesh as to when it will occur, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. At the sound of the last trump, the dead shall raise first incorruptible and afterward, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. Just how soon afterwards is not clear. In relation to this verse of the dead rising sometime before the living, I am fully aware of what Bro. William Branham said could be a POSSIBILITY and I am also aware of how so many make reference to this POSSIBILITY AS IF IT WERE AN ABSOLUTE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE. Therefore, try to understand what I am about to say. When the dead come forth from the ground, we know it won’t take Almighty God a week to get them out. NO, it is done in the twinkling of an eye. Furthermore note, the dead had absolutely nothing to do with their coming forth. They all came forth at HIS command (provided they can qualify for Rom. 8:11). Not one of them even needed resurrection faith to be changed or to be raised up. It will be done so quickly. How could a dead man believe. God signals and the dead come forth first. That instant they respond to his call. They are not even in the grave struggling or wrestling, trying to get up after he calls. Remember, no mortal man will be standing over the graves calling them forth either.


DEAD HEAR TRUMP


How could any mortal man call forth all the dead from the crust of the earth? He can only be in one place, but God is everywhere. Therefore, our main thought here is the time element required for the change in the resurrection, seeing the dead come forth first. Time required for the change is a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Remember also, when that last trump sounds no living man’s ears on earth will even hear it sound. Only the dead in Christ will hear that sound. Remember, there will absolutely be no struggling or wrestling on their part trying to get up. When that trumpet sounds, it will be so simple and easy for that human corruptible body which has laid there perhaps for decades or centuries, now completely decayed and returned unto the various elements of creation itself to reassemble and come forth from its resting place glorified and incorruptible bearing the image of the heavenly sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body and bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ. However, once again I must remind you. Bearing all this image of the heavenly does not mean we are now designed to live in the heavenlies. No, the eternal, incorruptible, glorified body as always is designed to live on this earth. Remember originally that is why God gave the spirit man an earthly body. It is to live here and inhabit the planet earth. Don’t misunderstand my thought. I am not bypassing the fact that for a brief period, we shall first be caught up into the heavenlies, nevertheless that is not our eternal destiny. That stay is only temporary. The fact that God, during that hour, will have resurrected those corruptible bodies from the earth, shows he is already in progress of preparing the earth, getting everything ready for the return to earth of those glorified saints. They return bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ himself seeing the Bible declares we do not know what we will be like, but John disclosed when he appears (in the clouds of glory) we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. Our bodies will then be like his, glorified and perfect. From that hour on, our fleshly glorified bodies will by no means be limited to merely earthly things because if you recall, following Christ’s resurrection, he could appear and disappear at will, which goes to show that great supernatural power incorporated into the resurrected or translated glorified fleshly man.


FELLOWSHIPPING ANGELS


Before the fall, no doubt, Adam and Eve, while maintaining that perfect state of fellowship with God when no sin, sickness nor death incorporated their flesh, could just as easily have had fellowship visibly with an angel who is a spirit being and a part of God’s great spiritual family as they could have fellowshipped each other. However, after the fall when man became totally earthly, bearing only the image of the earthly, God’s presence somehow or other left him. Death became a fact, sin was imputed into the bloodstream and flesh now becomes nothing more than a great veil to the inner man that shut him out from fellowshipping the other world. Therefore, he could no longer see at will the spirit world. The inner man Adam now becomes more and more engrossed in only the sight of his own earthly surroundings. Without the image of the heavenly, what a horrible prison house his earthly flesh has not become to him. Yet once again, praise God, when that day dawns that the old corruptible, fleshly body (of man) will be changed into his glorious likeness and being changed into that man’s glorious likeness we shall be able to contact the heavenly realm as well as the earthly realm. What glory there will be on earth as the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth in the same capacity that the water covers the sea.


NO STRAIN IF WALK RIGHT


This may sound shocking to some, especially to certain followers of this end time message who have become guilty of devising practically every kind of idea as to what they must do or believe or what they must wait upon from the grave in order to have rapturing faith to be changed. Though I submit to you, if we have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), if we live right, talk and walk right and that is about all I know to do anyway. Then I am confident when the hour arrives for the translation if we are among the living we won’t have to strain our self in the least to be ready to be changed. I am confident if the Lord, only by his word, without any help from anyone, can take care of that dead man, he can take care of me also. Tell me beloved, what will the dead do to change their situation. Nothing! the Bible in Rom. 8:11 has already settled it for them because Paul said, speaking of those who are to be changed whether living or dead, that if that same spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit which dwells in you. The thing you want to be sure of is to have that Spirit of Christ in your life and you be obedient to that spirit and everything else will take care of itself.


WHAT DEAD MAN INSPIRED ENOCH & ELIJAH


Many will declare, O but when the dead begin to appear on this earth to the living, that will give us rapturing faith. It is true the dead will raise sometime before the living are changed. The time interval I do know. The prophet to the age declared, not as a doctrine, but as a possibility though many choose to make it a doctrine, that it was possible the dead could raise as much as 40 days ahead of the living and appear unto them. Now that is only a possibility. That is not a doctrine and as a possibility I can accept it, because I have nothing against the fact the resurrected dead might come forth and appear to the living saints as they were seen doing at the resurrection of Christ (Matt. 27:52-53) if God for some purpose wants to do that. But tell me beloved, what got Enoch all enthused? Did someone from the dead come along and inspire him to get going to make the translation? Well, if the dead didn’t come by, what did stimulate him? It was the Spirit of God himself! Did someone from the dead come along and inspire Elijah to get ready to go? You know better! Well then, why on earth should I have to believe it just has to be somebody who returns from the dead to get me ready. I grant you, since the dead are changed sometime before, how much sooner I do not know. If a dead saint were to appear in their resurrected body to believers such as they did in Matt. 27 after Christ’s resurrection, it might do a lot of things!


BUILDING IMAGINARY DREAM


Nevertheless, I am also reminded of an illustration used by Christ concerning the rich man and Lazarus when the rich man pleaded for somebody to be sent from the dead to make believers out of his brothers on earth. Abraham told him, if they won’t hear Moses and the prophets who are preaching the word, they wouldn’t believe if one rose from the dead (Luke 16:27-31). I have nothing against this thing of seeing grandmother coming back in a resurrected body talking to me, but I tell you what I am terribly opposed to, as I am sure God is, and it is this thing of people wanting to reach out and build such an imaginary picture on this one possibility (of the dead having to show up to give you rapturing faith) when beloved, they continually walk all over what has taken place in the Bible. In respect to Enoch and Elijah, God’s two perfect types, no dead came by to inspire them to get ready to go nor did the dead inform the that the hour was near for their translation. Enoch, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Elijah, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Noah by revelated faith, knew when to enter the ark. Jesus knew when he would go and praise God, somebody here on earth will know one of these days when it is time for them to go also. No Beloved, God never slipped up on Enoch or Elijah and he won’t slip up on the saints to be translated. They are going to know where to be as well as what to be doing at the right time when Jesus is ready to fulfill what Paul’s revelation declares, not only in I Thes. 4:14-17, but I Cor. 15:51-57 as well. I believe God has already sent a shout into this religious world which especially awoke the wise virgins, Matt. 25:5 who will be composed of the living saints ready for that hour. That particular shout of Matthew 25 which awakened the sleeping virgins did not wake the dead saints because they are still sleeping in the ground, but it did wake a people to the intimate fact that this thing is going to take place out in front of us very soon. Therefore, we have to get awake to that fact and get the scriptures oriented and established in our soul which is shown in Matthew 25 as the wise virgins trimming their lamps. The revelated word of faith is like a compass to get our faith looking in the right direction for the event of the coming of the Lord. No, it is not me straining myself, it is merely us getting our mind in the right frame of thinking. Those biblical characters, Enoch and Elijah, who were translated were not straining themselves trying to believe this and that saying, Oh, if I could just believe hard enough or strong enough what has been said, I can make it. No beloved, they were simply walking in revealed faith with God. People make it sound so hard when actually it is going to be very simple. I am confident if God can take care of a dead man, he will have no problem taking care of the living.


COULD MATT. 27 CONNECT WITH LEV. 23?


Just remember, it is possible there can be a number of days involved between the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living, but if you try to lay that down as a doctrine, that it simply must be that way, I remind you that you have no scripture to support such a doctrine. We are only presuming it could be that way based on the fact it did appear in that manner when Christ arose from the dead and there was an interval of days which followed and the dead saints appeared unto many. We presume based on that, it could repeat itself in like manner, but to make it a doctrine, you have no scripture to prove it. Furthermore, we come back to this fact concerning Matthew 27. Matthew 27 had been only a type in order to fulfill a shadow which is portrayed in Leviticus 23:9-14 which shadow was fulfilled in reality with the resurrection of Christ raising on the first day of the week. Therefore, since the shadow was fulfilled during the first advent of Christ and if all of that in Matt. 27 went along to constitute the fulfillment of the shadow, then as far as saints resurrecting and appearing again unto the living as they did in Matthew 27, we really wouldn’t have a shadow now to be fulfilled in the second advent, would we? Nevertheless, bear in mind when we say the dead in Christ raises in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we are not necessarily declaring at that very instant when the trumpet sounds, out of the grave pops the dead and like a streak of lightening we which are alive and remain, are changed and immediately we are off for heaven. Nevertheless, when time does arrive for the living to be changed, you may be sure of one thing, they will all be changed together (instantly) and whenever they do leave this earth, they all leave together, both the resurrected and translated saints go up to meet the Lord in the air. This phrase, twinkling of an eye, spoken of in scripture applied strictly to bringing forth the dead from the grave, nevertheless in changing the living, God will certainly not be in any prolonged period of time.


SPIRIT OF GOD RAISES DEAD


Before that hour is culminated, every type of a wild fanatical doctrine will run to and fro on this subject and these teachings will absolutely have a tendency to confuse minds. Therefore, we must keep our minds spiritually stable and remember when something is a true doctrine you will always have scripture to back it up. When the dead come forth, they will not come forth in intervals, they will all come forth and be changed at the same time (likewise with the living) and there won’t be a message anyone can preach over their grave to bring them out. You can’t affect nor hinder in any manner God bringing forth the dead in the proper hour. Their coming forth depends entirely on whether or not they had that spirit within them which raised Christ from the dead. If in every age that true believer had the spirit of God in his life and he walked in the light of his hour and that spirit quickened to that individual believer that they were walking in all the light of truth as presented to them in their hour, though their bodies be in the ground the spirit of the Lord will bring them forth. That is the only assurance the dead can have of their bodies being resurrected when the last trump of God shall sound.


SAINTS TRANSLATED TOGETHER


It is you and I of the living who await the translation that Satan will try to tear apart and destroy with every doctrine he can send against us. It is the living who must keep their minds clear and open to the revelation of the scripture. Remember when the translation of saints takes place, they neither are translated a few here and later on a few more, etc. No, they too are all translated at once. I remind you the world will not be standing by watching. No, they won’t see you go although like with Enoch and Elijah, somebody will come searching for you to leave that testimony that you could not be found.


RAPTURE WON’T TAKE PLACE UNTIL


May I say, no need to look for that hour to be translated until first of all everything which has been declared in the scriptures which is to affect the true bride church in that hour has all been applied to her. Whoever that living realm may be will not only need to be perfected in the word, but furthermore, God will also have separated, purified and perfected each one of them to every extent of that revealed word of faith given unto them and has further removed from the bride ranks every soul who absolutely will not measure up to the true revelation and the scriptural values that the word of God declares the bride church must have before that hour. God will have separated from her ranks all this carnal riffraff which attached itself. Before the translation, those individuals will be found, either back in the world among the world tares or else somewhere out in the realm of the foolish virgins, but certainly not among the bride saints. That is the spiritual picture the world is left in once the living element of true revelated bride saints reaches that hour. Remember this, in October, 1975, there is none of the living who even knows when Christ is coming for his church. At this moment they have nothing to determine that event by. For the past ten years, people have assumed, presumed, set dates, etc., yet they are still here. Nevertheless, I am sure of this one thing, when that time is getting close for the change and translation, you may rest assured God won’t be slipping up on anybody. He never slipped up on Enoch nor Elijah, those two perfect types.


RAPTURE PAST SAYS NEW REVELATION


As if we did not have enough fanaticism to contend with, I recently heard a new revelation floating through this area. No, it did not come from the Bible, it came from various individuals’ private interpretation of something the prophet to the age had said. Beloved, this lets me know it is going to take nothing short of a revelation and not mere verbal statements to make it. You had better know by revelation of the spirit of God what that prophet said while here, or else you can find yourselves like multitudes are finding themselves, headed straight for quicksand! The new revelation was that the rapture has already taken place and now no one can be in the gentile bride church except they die. HOW FOOLISH! When the Bible said the dead in Christ raise first, then we (bride) which are alive and remain shall be changed. If the bride has already been raptured, then the resurrection of the dead has also taken place, because that happens first. Here is one thing which helped launch or promote such a false revelation. It is something they found stated in two different books. In the Church Age book it was recorded the seven thunders have already been revealed. Well, naturally if the seven thunders have already been sounded, they have also already been revealed. Based on that fact, certain individuals say, if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, and Bro. William Branham stated Christ would return for his bride church somewhere around the time the seven thunders of Rev. 10:4 are revealed, then naturally in their minds of thinking if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, the rapture also would now (by 1975) have already taken place. Such an idea would only be carnal logical thinking. The thing they don’t realize is this; that as yet (1975) the thunders have not sounded (not been revealed). By the same token, because the prophet also stated in the Seal Book there was only 3 ½ years left for the Jew and because the year 1977 is being used by so many for the termination of all things, certain individuals naturally began calculating back from the figure 1977 and they plainly see since we are already almost into the year of 1976, we have quite some time ago entered into and passed through the marginal line of 3 ½ years. Therefore, there is nothing left for them to say but that the rapture is already passed. No, they never received such a carnal interpretation from the Bible, their carnal theory like all the rest is taken from their own personal understanding of certain statements from these books. I go to the other book which shows THE THUNDERS HAVE NOT SOUNDED! If they have sounded, please tell me when Jesus is coming. The prophet said when the seven mysterious thunders sound (Rev. 10:4) they will bring us knowledge of when Christ is coming. When will that be? I do not know. God will reveal that in his own good time. People should stop probing at those unknown thunders.


THIEF APPEARING NOT TO THE BRIDE


Bear in mind our schools of theology have only looked at the scriptures presumptuously, yet when the time comes that there is to be a living people on earth to be the very recipient of this change which takes place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, it is these people and these people alone who will be privileged to hear the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders of which John heard, but was not permitted to write. Now let me show you why that moment of the twinkling of an eye will not slip upon the living saints. Oh, but does not the scripture declare someone says, he will come as a thief in the night? True, he does come in that fashion to many who only know by doctrine that one day he will appear for his church. However spiritually, those people are sound asleep. Potentially, they have the same scriptures the elect does, but it is only the elected who will have the awakening and revelation, the others will absolutely be as Jesus said; lest he come as thief and catch them asleep and naked.


CHRIST IN SPIRIT FORM


Bro. Branham, the prophet to the age, declared the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders would bring knowledge to the bride concerning the soon coming of Christ. With that thought in mind, turn with me to Rev. 10:2-3 for a few closing remarks. Here we see a picture where in the scripture is portraying Christ, not in his physical corporeal, bodily form, oh no, but in spirit form or angelic form, because what corporeal bodied man could possibly stand with one foot on the land and the other on the sea. This figure is none other than Christ in spirit form on the earth. But, what is he doing here on the earth at this point in spirit angelic form? The scene had to be portrayed unto John the Apostle in the spirit in this manner in order to show in reality that when Christ does appear to take away his waiting bride, when she shall see him as he is and be like him, where according to I Thes. 4, he will meet her in the air. Then if the bride is to meet Christ in the air and not here on the earth, it is there we will see him in that glorified body as the disciples saw him leave from the Mt. of Olives almost 1900 years ago.


THUNDERS SOUND


Therefore, keep in mind Rev. 10:2-3 portrays Jesus in spirit or angelic form. Know this, it is the spirit of Christ of earth to reveal to his awaiting bride the seven mysterious thunders which John heard, but could not write concerning them. What those thunders say will be heard by no one but the bride of Christ only, for it will awaken the living element to rapturing (revelatory) faith. There is nothing in this Bible which tells you what those seven mysterious thunders hidden in that seventh seal are, we only know when they sound according to the prophet to the age, they reveal to the awaiting bride knowledge which pertains to her departure, translation, etc. There isn’t a preacher this side of glory who can possibly tell you or even presume (in 1975) what they are. No one knows, but I know this, John in the spirit heard exactly what those thunders were or uttered but was not permitted to write what he heard because what he heard pertains to the little bride of Christ only and those thunders will not sound until Christ comes to this earth in this form shown in Rev. 10:1-3.


THUNDERS BRING RAPTURING KNOWLEDGE FOR BRIDE


Now picture Jesus if you will in his glorified, visible corporeal body standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea. There is no way you could possibly do that. You would have to see a gigantic super being, wouldn’t you? Yet, when Jesus appears in his glorified body and the bride sees him, it will be there in the clouds of glory as he will appear unto her only there portrayed as a bridegroom. That glorified body of Christ never touches this earth until sometime after it has appeared first in the air and taken off this earth the living bride saints who heard the sounding of the seven thunders which no doubt gave her her final instructions of revealed faith for the translation. Appearing to her in the air, he carries her to the wedding supper where she is united with him and then it is in Rev. 19 where you see him portrayed as returning to earth with all his saints. That is when his glorified foot of flesh touched the earth. There you see it all in its bodily makeup, however here in Rev. 10:1-3 you are not looking at Jesus in that manner, you are seeing him portrayed strictly in a gigantic spirit form with one foot on the sea and another on the earth. John had to portray it as that huge angelic being. Why? Because he is the master and verse 3 declares standing here in such a massive figure seen in the spirit cries with a loud voice as a lion roareth. Is not Christ the lion of the tribe of Judah. Who else would have the authority to roar in such manner? Now watch carefully- and when he cried with a loud voice seven thunders uttered their voices and John said he was about to write what the thunders uttered, but a voice told him to seal up those things the seven thunders uttered and write them not. Is it not strange God would actually allow something to be spoken, yet refuse to permit John to write down what was said when John had been commissioned to write everything which was, which is and is to come. Yet, there is something seen right here in Rev. 10:4 that John could not write although he heard it and knew what it was.


OPENED SCROLL INDICATES MEDIATORIAL WORK OVER


I ask you a simple question, did God make a mistake in allowing that thing to happen? Certainly not! If you read between the lines, here is what it is. Since John was looking at Jesus in gigantic spirit form here on the earth at the end of the age for the declaration of those thunders and the fact Christ had in his right hand an open scroll lets us know in that hour Christ will have completed his mediatorial work for the bride and has already left the throne as he is portrayed in his mediatorial work in Rev. 5. There the seventh seal in Rev. 10 is already completely broken off and the scroll which he holds in his right hand bears the names of the redeemed for whom he has been interceding. That scroll is here officially opened and he has not come for the very people who this scroll constitutes or is made up of. Therefore, because he has come for that people and cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth. The seven mysterious thunders can and will be announced at that time. Up until that hour, every doctrine will crisscross this earth, probing at these mysterious things saying pro and con about them until it has weeded away confused and wrecked people’s spiritual thinking, until eventually the only people left standing before God pleasing unto him will be that living element of people who have truly received the leadership of he spirit of Christ in their hearts. That hour has arrived and Christ has come forth to call, first the dead and change the living. In that hour those seven thunders will be announced and we will see then what this world will be like. That will be when, like Enoch and Elijah, knew where to go, in that hour we also shall know what to do to get ready for the change soon to take place in this old flesh. Therefore, as the dead in Christ alone hear the trump and is gloriously changed into his image in that moment in the twinkling of an eye, coming forth, how is it going to affect the living realm who are also awaiting that change. Recall when their change does come it too will come in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Now concerning the living saints, we know God will not be in the process of days changing their mortal flesh either, yet carnally speaking would it not seem to be more difficult or impractical for God to change that which as dead, decayed and returned to dust than it would be for him to merely change the living element. Consider a burned body now dead, its component elements already fused back into the gaseous forms of creation leaving only a carbon trace here on this planet. Wouldn’t it seem much harder for God to find and reassemble all these component parts of that human flesh, resurrect the dead into a glorious image of the second Adam, than it would be for him to merely change the living. Yet it seems it is this living realm that man always wants to try and make to be a far more difficult thing to be changed than the dead in Christ.


NOT CAUGHT UP IN INTERVALS


Some say it is all over and the bride of Christ is gone, yet because the dead are not up yet, I KNOW THE RAPTURE HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE! No, the dead won’t raise first and take off to glory while the living, caught by surprise, must run quickly and prepare themselves and then later take off. NO! Paul says after the change comes, the living and the dead, TOGETHER (not in broken intervals) SHALL BE CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. Perfection won’t be reached by the living and they have to wait around for months and years for the dead to finally come forth. I am convinced when the hour of perfection in that word has reached its climax and the last soul has already been brought into God’s complete program, there will no longer be any need for him to remain on the mercy seat. Stepping forth as portrayed in Rev. 10, with his open scroll, shouting as a lion roareth, TIME IS NO MORE, and the seven thunders ushered forth their message. What is said will be so simple that the bride, by revelatory faith, can move right into it. Every revelation preached and received out of this book has been preached to the man of the world, however, because the time factor is so short, what these thunders declare will never be televised, programmed over radio nor even printed. THE BRIDE ALONE WILL HEAR HER FINAL INSTRUCTIONS SHORTLY BEFORE THE DEAD COME FORTH AND WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN ARE CHANGED.


CHRIST PICTURED IN SYMBOLIC FORM


In Rev. 5 John sees Christ as a visible form, seated on the throne. People often ask, how could that be Christ seated on the mercy seat throne when the revelation of the seals has already been delivered by the prophet of God (1963)? Very simple, you believe in only one God, don’t you? James 2:19 and that God is Spirit being covering all space, not in human form as Christ is.


WHO IS SEATED


Who did John see seated on the mercy seat throne holding in his right hand a closed and sealed scroll, sealed with seven seals? He saw none other than Jesus portrayed in a High Priest role seated on the throne, serving in his mediatorial intercessory work for the believers of the grace age. About the throne is seen a great halo because remember the great eternal spirit who fills all space has taken Christ up and seated him on the right hand of majesty, power and glory (Matt. 26:64) Therefore, as your eyes behold him seated there in the position of the Father (that is on the right hand of power and glory) in his hand is a scroll rolled up and sealed with seven seals and the written contents on the inside. It is the scroll of redemption which constitutes all the names of God’s elect bride throughout all the ages of his intercessory work. Remember, because Christ is still in the process of interceding for the names on that scroll, there is no cause for the scroll to be opened. Recall, when he ascended into glory, to be at the right hand of power, millions whose names were already written on that scroll had never yet been born. Here we see the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world in operation.


LAMB BREAKS SEALS


However, when time arrived for the revelation of the seven seals binding the scroll to be brought forth here on earth unto a mortal, living realm, the question was asked in glory; who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof? John was about to weep because no one anywhere could be found worthy and the angel said, weep not, for behold THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH hath (past tense) prevailed to take the book and loose the seals thereof. Who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? Jesus the Christ, the very one seated on the mercy seat throne. John’s eyes glued to that figure seated on the throne, holding the scroll, is anxiously waiting for the Lion of the tribe of Judah to step forth and break the seven seals holding the scroll when suddenly it isn’t the Lion of the tribe of Judah he sees, but coming out of the midst of the throne, not from underneath, not from behind nor from the side, but where? RIGHT OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE THRONE John sees a Lamb as though it has been wounded, having seven horns and seven eyes step forth! But why was he announced as a lion and then appear as a lamb to take the scroll from him seated on the mercy seat throne? No such natural beast actually exists, it is a figurative or symbolical beast shown to John. In actuality, Christ is not even a lion, therefore, the lion is also figurative. That face the figurative lamb (who symbolized Christ’s office work on earth) had seven horns and seven eyes, these are none other than the seven spirits of God which were incarnated in Jesus Christ and prefigured in the Old Testament in the seven redemptive names of God revealed in the dispensations of time.


SYMBOLIC PICTURE – CHRIST NEVER LEFT THRONE


Seeing the figurative wounded lamb coming out of the midst of the throne signified to John as he looked upon Jesus seated on the throne as a high priest (yet never once leaving the throne throughout the symbolical picture) that Christ, as a lamb, broke the seals based on the merits that he was slain and crucified as God’s redemptive Lamb on earth. (John 1:29, 36) But recall Christ was introduced by the angel as the Lion of the tribe of Judah which was to be his next office work, for when he comes again, he will not be portrayed as a Lamb, but as a Lion. Where is Christ all this time? In reality, he hasn’t moved one inch from the mercy seat. It simply shows time had arrived that the great Eternal Spirit God is going to allow Christ to break the seals binding the scroll. The only question is, will the seals be opened on the basis that one day he would be a king or on the basis he had been a Lamb. Thus, we see it was on the basis he had been a Lamb on earth. Therefore Christ, our second Adam, serving in capacity of high priest received the invested authority from the Eternal Spirit based on his Lambship to begin breaking the seals. When Christ finally does leave the mercy seat he is seen portrayed as that mighty angelic figure in Rev. 10:1-2 shouting TIME WILL BE NO MORE and the sound of the seven mysterious thunders utter their voice to the bride shortly before the resurrection of the dead.

Their Word – 1975, September

1975-09-Their-Word

INTRODUCTION

 

Christ’s mission on earth had been to present the Father’s word to chosen apostles who were elected to carry on in His stead in the grace age and a prayer of blessing is given in their behalf in John 17. Christ permitted the chosen apostles to take His revelation and present it to the hungry multitudes who would believe on Him through “THEIR WORD”. Satan slowly through the years, worked his way into the church fellowship changing “THEIR WORD” over to his (the devil’s word), and through the antichrist led the church into the dark ages. Through the more than 400 year Reformation Period, God, by degrees restored “THEIR WORD” back among the believers. However, it was not until the end of the age when God sent the spirit of Elijah into the earth that all the restored teachings of the Reformation, which was the framework of the revelation of apostolic faith, should be taken out of denominational settings and all restored truth of ‘THEIR WORD” placed correctly and scripturally into one message and given unto a people at the end of the age. Thus, we examine the event of “THEIR WORD” which opened the age as well as closing it out.

 

Contents

PART 1 – GOD’S OBJECTIVE ACCOMPLISHED

PRAYING FOR APOSTLES

 

Turn with me to St. John 17, where is recorded the final prayer Jesus would ever utter concerning His disciples, as well as including the things of which He had accomplished throughout his 3½ years of earthly ministry. The prayer in John 17 further incorporates the things (doctrines) which He taught, the works which had already been accomplished, as well as the name of the Father which had been revealed and manifested unto the disciples. All this is seen right here in this intercessory prayer where He prayed for the future success of His disciples.

 

While in prayer, Christ made one very particular bold outstanding statement which we desire to look deeper into. Before we do, we note verse 21 shows Christ in prayer for His disciples whom He must leave behind to carry on in His footsteps, praying they might be ONE (in spirit, doctrine, objective, purpose, etc.) even as He and the Father are one! Yet in verse 20, and this is the verse we desire to discuss, Christ is heard saying – neither pray I for these alone (meaning His present day disciples) but for them also (future tense) which shall believe on me (that is on Christ and no other) through “THEIR WORD.”

 

“THEIR WORD” – WHAT WAS IT?

 

Notice please, Christ never said believe on me through MY WORD, instead He said believe on me through “THEIR WORD”. Such a statement must be examined to mean one of two things – either “THEIR WORD” is going to be God’s word, or “THEIR WORD” is going to be their own personal preconceived ideas.

 

CHRIST’S STATEMENTS CONCERNING HIS WORD

 

In order to receive a more accurate picture of what Christ is literally declaring by using such a profound expression as this, let us briefly mention various quotes or various little statements dropped off here and there by the Saviour throughout His personal earthly ministry. Since we won’t be using His entire quote or statement found in different verses, please do not think we will be taking these quotes out of their contexts, because in each case the entire verse where the quote or statement appears is absolutely built around the very fact of what Christ is making reference unto, and that is THE WORD which He speaks!

 

In John 12:48, Jesus says, “The WORD that I have spoken, the same (Word) shall judge him in the last day.” In John 14:24 we hear him say, “the WORD ye hear is not mine.” Well, if the WORD they were hearing was not His, then whose was it? Let us continue to read in John 14:24 which finishes that statement… “The WORD you hear is the Father’s which sent me.” And again in John 17:8 we see a similar statement concerning the Father, the great Eternal Spirit who fills all space. Christ, in prayer, says, “I have given unto them (disciples) the WORDS which thou gavest me.” Therefore, whose words has Christ been speaking all along the way? It is none other than GOD’S WORD!

 

Again Christ says, the WORDS that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life, (John 6:63). Therefore, when you wrap all this up it verifies one fact, Jesus the Christ is absolutely none other than an anointed vessel of clay through which the inspiration of Jehovah God, the great Eternal Spirit, might speak His WORD! Thus, we must understand Christ’s WORD, spoken to the disciples, is certainly not ideas which originated from His natural human side of clay causing Him to verbally or vocally speak what He did! No, because Christ further declares (John 5:19-20) I speak nothing in myself but only what the Father (great Eternal Spirit filling all space) shows me.

 

STATEMENTS OF FLESH NOT ETERNAL LIFE

 

Speaking nothing in myself but what the Father shows me, certainly has no intentions of implying Christ could not walk down the road and be able to carry on a normal earthly conversation with the disciples concerning something in a material way which they spotted while walking along the road without the disciples going overboard feeling every word Christ ever uttered had to be looked upon as though it was God’s word or word of eternal life! NO, there were certain things spoken by this man Christ which was conversation produced from none other than His natural fleshly side of life. For instance, I believe often Christ may have freely discussed a horse, house or beautiful flowers or something material with His disciples. Why shouldn’t Christ, who was totally man as well as totally God, be permitted to carry on such a natural earthly conversation without someone going overboard, feeling simply because He spoke it that every word which flowed from His lips could not be anything other than words of eternal life! Yet such conversation, though not words of eternal life, does show an expression of His human nature.

 

No doubt often while in the home of Mary and Martha, Jesus would make complimentary statements in reference to the fine meal the two sisters had prepared for Him. Again I ask you, would such a conversation concerning good food being served have to imply these WORDS were words of eternal life simply because He spoke them! Certainly not. Yet beloved, when it came to those very vital things, or shall we say, vital statements of which He taught those disciples statements which were of absolute necessity that those chosen disciples should remember, then it was such verbal statements as these which were absolutely God’s WORD – these were WORDS of eternal life!

 

APOSTLES RECEIVED WORD

 

Now I trust you are able to understand the difference between statements made by His flesh and statements which were definitely of the Spirit, statements which were the eternal WORDS of God spoken for the sole purpose of eternal life, because beloved, not every statement Christ ever uttered in His life time is to be considered or looked upon as the WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. Note that statement we previously mentioned, recorded in John 17:8, when Christ has climaxed His earthly ministry we hear Him saying – I have given them the WORDS WHICH THOU GAVEST ME! Note carefully what else Jesus said – and they (disciples) have received them! Given unto them THY WORDS incorporates 3½ years of teaching. Such a statement incorporates many statements, many parables, many illustrations or phrases, and once you have placed all that together, it all forms a very beautiful picture concerning the plan of God which was instilled into the human minds of those who heard Him.

 

ETERNAL LIFE IS

 

Knowing His earthly ministry is already completed. Christ the man, the anointed one prays this prayer recorded in John 17 where verse 3 openly declared what eternal life is! Christ says eternal life is to know the eternal Father (who is Spirit filling all space) as the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Here we see no one knows the Father save the Son and unless the Son will reveal who the Father is, NOBODY will ever know! It takes a revelation to know the Father! (I John 2:13) If Eternal Life is to know the Father and the Son, how does this come about. Study prayerfully Matthew 11:27.

 

We must realize the prayer is in behalf of all He has taught and accomplished through His earthly ministry and everything He has implanted in the life of these disciples as we hear Him say in verse 8 – Father, I have given unto them THY WORDS and they have received them. Note, the disciples have already (by faith or revelation) received the Father’s WORDS! In verse 4 of that prayer Christ declares, I have finished the work thou hast given for me to do. Note carefully verse 6 where he declares, I have manifested or revealed thy name unto these men thou hast given me out of this world.

 

THREE OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

Thus we see three outstanding things which were precisely important which the fleshly man, Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of God accomplished while here in His earthly ministry. Let us review them. (1) According to verse 4, He finished the assigned work, (2) According to verse 6, He manifested or revealed the name of the Father to His disciples, (3) According to verse 8, He says He has given the disciples ‘THY WORD”. And note, the man Christ, who was born of the virgin (Mary) says. . . and they have accepted all these things!

 

PART 2 – IMPORTANCE OF THEIR WORD

LEAVING MINISTRY TO MEN

 

Closing His earthly ministry with prayer we note something most important. We see from this final, great intercessory prayer, especially in behalf of those 11 disciples, (Judas Iscariot weeded out) that the man Christ, who is soon to be removed from the scene through His death at Calvary, is fully aware this great ministry He has begun must be continued on and furthermore He is aware the responsibility to carry on this ministry must rest upon the shoulders of other men, not merely ONE MAN, but MANY men, 11 men who have already received all the teachings Christ had spoken up to this hour! Therefore, we note the man Christ is in intercessory prayer for those original eleven chosen disciples (seeing Judas had already gone to betray Him). John 13:30-31. He concentrates on the eleven ordained ones to carry on in His stead. But wait, we note in verse 20 the chosen disciples are not the only ones Christ includes in His prayer for He now says, neither pray I for these alone (eleven chosen apostles), but for them also (future tense) who shall believe on me through “THEIR WORD”! Notice, the people will not believe on the disciples, but will be believing on Christ through the WORD SPOKEN BY the apostles.

 

WERE APOSTLES REPETITIONISTS

 

Now I ask you, will these men, in order to be accepted (by others) have to become repetitious copycats of every word Jesus spoke, or will they be free to minister as they see fit, using their own verbal expressions to present Christ to the world – let us find out if these men were repetitionists. We live in an hour when many people, because they are so carnal minded and do not understand what the prophet to the age meant when he said certain things such as, “Say it like I do, etc.”, feel that you and I are supposed to be mere repetitionists of verbal words of the prophet here at the endtime. How carnal can people be! I want you to know these apostles certainly were not, yet they too had to say it (the revelation of truth) exactly as Christ did, but they were allowed to express the revelation in their own words. I am going to show you these original men for whom Jesus prayed that people in the future would believe on Him through “THEIR WORD” were never mere verbal copycats, and furthermore, Christ never intended that one of His disciples in any age ever be a verbal copycat! Instead those original apostles were anointed vessels of God who had the revelation in their bosom of what Christ said, and furthermore, it behooves us today as believers to also have within us that same kind of revelatory picture or revelation of the spirit that burned within them, because if we do have the same kind of true picture or revelation of this true message of Christ in our souls, you may rest assured God gives you the liberty to express that truth in whatever way your human ability is capable of expressing it!

 

LIBERTY TO EXPRESS

 

One thing I know, if you have also received the same spiritual thought I have received in my spiritual mind, you are at liberty with God’s blessings to express that truth in whatever capacity or way the Holy Ghost would lead you to express it unto others! I, too, am at liberty to express it the same way I desire, yet remember in the final analysis (the end) I want you to know the revelatory thought of that truth of the gospel is going to come out exactly the same way irregardless who speaks it under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The vehicle of words used to get the revelational thought across will of course not be the same, yet the revelating thought expressed WILL BE THE SAME!

 

FEW VERBAL QUOTES

 

I’ll have you to know, after the birth of the church, there are very few places in the scripture you will ever find where Peter, James, John, Paul or any others of the fivefold ministry (especially the apostles) ever quoted or expressed the words of Jesus verbally, word for word, like certain people expect others to do today! Yet all this time who were these apostles preaching – JESUS CHRIST, OF COURSE! Christ prayed that others might believe on Him through their words as they expressed the truth to others in their own personal vocabulary.

 

GOD IS A REVELATORY SPIRIT

 

Paul, who never saw or heard Christ speak in the flesh knew Him only by the Spirit, certified to the Galatian Church, brethren (Galatians 1:11-12) the gospel I preach unto you, I learned it not of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. And remember that revelation was not delivered to Paul by any man (namely any apostle). How could Paul boast such a thing as this? God had to do it in this fashion in order to prove to Paul he was a revelatory Spirit.

 

Peter, on the other hand, was a man who did have the privilege of walking with Christ and hear verbally every thing He taught. Peter saw all things Christ did, though contrary to what many may think, Peter did know exactly how to baptize those 3000 converts on the day of Pentecost. He understood perfectly the revelation or Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:19, Luke 24:45-48, Mark 16:14-18, John 20:19-23, when he told those 3000 to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. No, Peter wasn’t confused, he knew exactly what to tell those 3000 who had been pricked in their heart, because note, he had the verbal words of Christ in his spiritual mind to inspire and guide him in what to say! I want everyone to realize Peter was at liberty to use his own human vocabulary and human ability to express to the 3000 what Christ had said during His earthly ministry. Because note, in John 17:8, Christ openly declared He had given the apostles God’s WORD and the apostles had accepted it! However, the above statement did not include the Apostle Paul, seeing at that time he was not of the number, therefore, with Paul the revelation came quite differently. Nevertheless, it was still the Spirit of Christ after having knocked Paul down on the Damascus Road some 160 miles from Jerusalem, which sent Paul into the Arabian Desert (Galatians 1:17) and when the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, finished with him down there, Paul came out of that desert with the correct revelatory picture drawn in his bosom exactly like the other disciples who walked with Christ, had drawn in their bosom. Please note, Paul, who declared he received his revelated gospel from no man but through the revelation of the spirit of Christ, was also baptizing converts just like the Apostle Peter was! Furthermore, I remind you, Paul who was taught by no man, taught also the baptism of the Holy Ghost exactly like Peter did!

 

NOT AUTHOR OF REPETITION

 

From what we learn or what we can see in these two separate ministries, let us know God who is Spirit certainly is not the author of repetition! Therefore, I want you to know God intends to draw the correct picture of His divine plan of salvation in every mortal human soul, and if we all get the picture correctly in our minds then under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost who planted the picture in us, God gives us liberty to express what we see in our own verbal expression of words! And as we stated, the revelatory thought of that truth will have to come out the same, although the working which carried the thought naturally is not the same.

 

DID PRAYER INCLUDE YOU?

 

When Christ, in prayer, made this profound statement, “neither am I praying for these (eleven apostles) alone, but for them also who will later believe on me through “THEIR WORD,” that included me and that included you, provided you, by revelation, have allowed the words of the apostles to be planted in your life! Throughout the first church age, especially during that first generation after Pentecost, things were known to have gone very smoothly. Allowed to speak in their own words, those men for whom Christ prayed were busy carrying the true message, not on paper, but by a living revelation in their bosom. They were men definitely filled with the Holy Ghost, filled with that same Spirit which Christ was and in which He also ministered and spoke. Therefore, it was this one Spirit God who is the very inspirational factor of it all. Thus if God, who is Spirit, is allowed to freely enter into minds of men and inspire those minds by His spirit, when something does come out of men’s lips it is going to be something which is consistent and you can rely on the fact when that man says one thing today, six months later that revelatory statement is still going to remain the same because GOD IS CONSISTENT!

 

PETER NOT REPETITIONIST

 

Watch Peter for a few moments and see if he is a man who is a mere repetitionist of the verbal words Jesus spoke. The church was born on the day of Pentecost and we are fully aware from scripture (John 17:20) the born again believers are going to fall in the hands of somebody who is required by Almighty God to be responsible for what they do as well as how they, the church, have heard it. Thus the day of Pentecost began when 120 Jews being filled with the Holy Ghost came staggering under the Power of God into the streets of Jerusalem, streets filled with devout Jews of every nation around the Mediterranean Sea. Sure, it was God manifesting His power through these 120 disciples in such fashion, yet when the question was asked, men and brethren, what must we (3000) do? How utterly foolish it would have been for a man in that hour to have stood there, looking dumbfounded at this crowd of hungry seekers, not aware of knowing what to do or say! Because I remind you, not one of these men had in their possession a single book they could quote from! Think of it, Peter did not even have an Old Testament scroll in his hand. The words he was speaking were pouring out of his soul under the anointing of the Spirit. Though Peter nor any of the early disciples had a book to turn to find out what those 3000 were to do, they were far better off than many who claim to be followers of this last day message! No, I am not against books, they definitely have their place, yet for the cause of Almighty God, isn’t it about time we got a revelation inside our bosom to guide us also! Remember, the man who wrote the Bible, especially the New Testament, before anything could be written in letter form it had to first be written in the hearts of those disciples! Had it not first been inspired in their minds it would never have been brought into the printed form in the first place.

 

EXPRESSING REVELATORY PICTURE

 

Something has been asked this big fisherman standing in the streets of Jerusalem, “Men and brethren, what must we do?” Does Peter know what to say? Does he know what to do? What about those other ten original, faithful, true disciples standing there, do they know what to do or say? (When we say eleven we are not referring to Matthias who was voted in.) Recall, Peter has earlier been chosen, (Matthew 16:15-20) to be the spokesman who was given the keys to unlock the kingdom or unlock the dispensation of grace referred to as the kingdom of heaven. The great multitude of the 3000 had heard and seen the power of God demonstrated in their behalf. A miracle of languages had been performed and it was there 3000 who had benefitted from it. God had spoken to each of these in their own home languages, not in the Hebrew tongue which all Jews know, but in the languages of the countries wherein they were born. God, speaking to each of them in their own home language wherein they were born, had created a question in their minds, therefore they questioned those chosen disciples, men and brethren, what must we do? The responsibility of telling this crowd what they must do is now going to rest upon one of those very men for whom Christ had earlier prayed in John 17 when He said, I pray not only for these, but for all those who will believe on me (at Pentecost and elsewhere) through “THEIR WORD.” Now we are about to see the importance of how they are permitted to minister in ‘THEIR WORD” because 3000 will soon be added to the church through “THEIR WORD”.

 

VERBAL QUOTING WITHOUT REVELATION

 

Remember we are trying to determine from scripture whether or not these men were mere repetitionists and verbal quoters of what Jesus said or do they use their own words to express what Jesus spoke as the scripture said they would. I am not saying these things to be different, but ONLY TO BE LOGICAL. If all we are trying to do here at the end of the grace age is become a bunch of legalist, (mere statement quoters without revelation of what it is all about) then all I can say is, the ones with the sharpest minds are going to make it! Personally, I do not have that sharp a mind. This thing has to form a picture inside of me because I simply do not have the ability to remember all those quotes, word for word as some people expect you to do in this hour.

 

Let’s dramatize this Jerusalem scene as it might have appeared were it today. A question has just been raised and now Peter and the other brethren must tell the 3000 what to do. Here stands Peter looking at the other disciples, afraid to speak fearing he might not place his words just right; fearing his words may not be exactly as Jesus’ verbal words were, saying to the brethren, now what was it He told us to say? And they answer him back, Peter now be sure you speak what you are about to say exactly as He said it or we just can’t accept you as being in the message. Are you gouging someone Bro. Jackson? No, not unless you are that somebody who wants to live in such a manner as that, in relation of truth! I find it very strange, a big percentage of people in this message today, while they were in denominationalism you could poke any old thing down their throat and they would be as loyal to that thing as they could be. You could poke chicken suppers, rummage sales, teach them the moon was made of green cheese; you could poke all that foolishness down their throats, they cared little, they were most loyal to it. Yet when God, here in this endtime, came to get us out of all this scattered mess and present us with a truth that would get us somewhere, mainly back in fellowship with Him, most of the people wind up being a bunch of legalist rather than a group of realists!

 

ANSWER WAS REVELATION

 

No, you better believe Peter did not look at the other eleven and wonder what he was supposed to say or whether he had to quote verbally from the words of Jesus off page such and such to make the other disciples accept him as being in the message. NO, Peter did not even quote the great commission word for word as was declared by Jesus the night following His resurrection. But Praise God, Peter knew the sum of what that commission was, for he knew there was only one man to preach and that man’s name was Jesus Christ, because as Peter later said, (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

REVELATION OF COMMISSION

 

Peter knew by revelation Jesus Christ was none other than the Mighty God manifested or robed in flesh, II Corinthians 5:19, reconciling the world unto Himself. He, along with all the other disciples, had received the revelation of the Father’s name, as John 17:6-12 says, he had accepted it! And knowing this gospel of repentance and remission of sins should be preached in the name of Jesus Christ unto all the world, beginning at Jerusalem, Luke 24:45-48, may I ask you, where is Peter standing when this question, What must we do, is asked him and the other disciples? Peter is standing in the very streets of the city of Jerusalem where it was prophesied this gospel would begin to be proclaimed. Peter had all these statements which had been made by Christ over the last 3½ years in the back of his spiritual mind. Remembering all these saying and statements of Christ which he had heard, all this placed or compiled together had formed in Peter’s bosom a beautiful picture, and although his answer to those 3000 isn’t verbally word for word what Christ had spoken, when that question was put to him, Peter, without hesitation under the Holy Ghost anointing answered, repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.

 

GOSPEL STORY CENTERED AROUND CHRIST

 

I want you to know the whole sum of the matter is this, the gospel story is built around none other person than Jesus the Christ who not only declared I am the Way, but also said I am the Truth and Life as well. Beloved, no other living creature could have ever made such a statement as that, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND LIFE. Peter, Paul, James nor any of the other apostles could ever declare anything like that. They could never say I am that! No, not even the prophet, William Branham, could say I am the way, the truth and the life, although there are many, I am sorry to say, who absolutely try to make him say he is the I AM! That little man I saw and heard only declared Jesus was the I AM. Who else but Jesus could possibly say I am the way, the truth and life. No wonder salvation is totally around this one individual (around his death, burial and resurrection). No one else ever said I am the way. Paul the apostle was once heard to say, in the way which men call heresy serve I the Lord.

 

No, you never heard any Old Testament prophet or New Testament apostle every say I am the light. Who is the light? Jesus is! I John 1:7 says, if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. Note, it is only then, the apostle continues by saying, the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all (inbred) sin. Moreover, in order to cleansed from all (inbred) sin, somebody must somewhere begin to walk in the light of that somebody who is supposed to be the light of the world. All Old Testament prophets, prior to the I AM, pointed to Him. Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, who were all Old Testament prophets, spoke of Him as they pointed Israel toward Him, while the Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul (who called Jesus the and high priest of our profession) pointed all back to Him. The prophet messenger to the Laodicean Church Age also pointed men back to Him. Why? Because Christ is the Light!

 

REVELATION BURNS IN PETER’S BOSOM

 

Peter, on the day of Pentecost, said, repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. No, he certainly did not have to look around and shudder wondering whether or not he had worded it correctly and spoken it verbally word for word, as Christ stated it. The revelation of every statement Christ ever spoke was revelated and burning afresh in Peter’s bosom. Peter did not have to feel uneasy about his answer, wondering are they going to criticize me over it or disfellowship me because of the way I worded it. Had the others accepted Peter’s revelation of what Jesus verbally said in their presence? One thing is sure, he had quoted nothing verbally. In the background could be heard the other eleven disciples declaring, that’s right Peter, pour it on! Here much is going to depend on “THEIR WORD”, as to how these 3000 and others will be affected in days to come. We must bear in mind what they heard and accepted from the mouth of the apostles, though it wasn’t word for word what Christ had spoken, caused 3000 souls to be placed in the body of Christ that day! 3000 souls standing in the streets like so many today not knowing what to do, begging for an answer, what must I do! Peter quickly responded, repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for the promise is unto you and to your children and to all those (gentiles) who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

EXACT REVELATION OF COMMISSION

 

No where did Christ every say this in those exact words. Nevertheless, that is the exact revelation of all the statements Christ ever made concerning New Testament salvation! Here for the first time in the history of the church do we see a man giving such advice as this, saying to repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for something, for the remission of sins.

 

In relation to the great commission spoken by Christ in Matthew 28:19, the Trinitarian is often heard to say, I will take what Christ said. You may be shocked to know Peter also took what Christ said, although he did not take the verbal statement word for word as Jesus said it. And here is the beauty of it, Peter took the revelation of what Jesus said because all those various statements spoken by Christ had formed a beautiful revelation of truth and was burning brightly in Peter’s bosom. Peter also knew as Jesus had informed him earlier, that Christ was going to build His church upon nothing other than the rock of revelation. (Matthew 16:18) Therefore Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, took the revelation of the Holy Spirit, took the revelation of Matthew 28:19 upon which Christ declared He would build His church, while this carnal bunch of religionist today who want to argue has nothing either than a verbal expression to embrace! Sure, no one can deny they do not have a verbal quote, yet the pitiful part is they have no revelation to go with their verbal quote! You don’t find the other eleven standing there fuming and fussing with Peter saying, Peter, we can’t accept it because you did not say it right, you did not quote it verbally the way He spoke it! I would like to say to those people who always want to argue over the verbal expression saying they will take what Jesus said over what Peter said, especially the people who believe in a Pentecostal experience, it is a strange thing to me, you will accept Acts 2:39, but refuse to accept the first part of Acts 2:38. How silly can people be! You refuse to accept what Peter said in verse 38 about water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, yet you will turn around and accept what Peter said in verse 39 concerning the Holy Ghost! Why do they accept verse 39 and reject his statement in verse 38? It is because they believe in the Holy Ghost but not in water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins!

 

GAGING ON GNAT

 

How ignorant to scripture can people be! That is just like straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

 

Recall that statement Jesus made referring to the hypocrites of that hour, saying to them, you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, referring to how they treat the truth of His word. Did you ever see a toad frog sitting around at dusk, leaping up and grabbing hold of large hard shell bugs? That is sort of the picture Christ is speaking about, straining or gagging on a gnat, but swallowing a big camel. A toad will almost turn wrong side out just to swallow an old hard shell bug, something that is far too large to swallow. He will swallow it down and swell up. Ever hear that phrase, swell up bigger than a toad? Actually that is where this statement stems from. Isn’t that exactly how many of these religious church people are? Give them a little simple Bible truth of the gospel which should be easy to swallow and they will cough and gag and almost turn wrong side out over it. However, let something come along that is just as carnal as can be even if it is as large as the broad side of a barn, those individuals, like the old toad, will open their mouth wide enough to somehow swallow that thing down, when actually that thing should be far more difficult to swallow than a little simple truth would be.

 

WHY DISCIPLES SUPPORTED PETER’S POSITION

 

Therefore, when Peter stated what he did, may I say the support and loyalty from those other men toward Peter’s unheard of statement stemmed over the fact that within these men also lay that same true revelatory picture produced off the statements of what Jesus had taught. Therefore, they knew Peter was correct in his statement, though it was by no means a verbal quote of what Jesus had said. No, these men in the first age were not mere repetitionists of quotes, they were the recorders of revelation! These disciples of the truth had the true revelatory thought flowing through their very being, and as that revelatory thought burned on the oil of the Holy Ghost furnishing light unto their spiritual minds concerning the revelation of Christ, wherever these disciples went and questions were asked them concerning the revelation of Christ in this message, there were words which must absolutely be THEIR own WORDS which would flow from their lips, words which could never be looked upon as a mere verbal repetitious quote of Christ! See, it is the flow of the Holy Ghost through their own human personality which allows them to use their own human personality, which allows them to use their own vocabulary to express in their own words as their ability allows the revelation of this message. Moreover, under the Holy Spirit anointing a clear picture is painted in the minds of others whereby the listener could actually know what kind of revelation lay inside that person presenting them the truth.

 

NOT A FLOW OF VERBAL REPETITION

 

Speaking of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, Jesus said, out of your belly or innermost being shall flow rivers of living waters. Note, Christ did not say, out of your belly shall flow nothing but a constant continual stream of repetition of statements, out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water! There is quite a difference! Nevertheless, we must always bear in mind, there is definitely a place for a quote, yet I tell you where most of your quotes begin, after the person has entered into an argument! Certain people always become so concerned about a quote and it all winds up on the basis of a technicality in an argument! I have never heard much revelation come forth out of an argument, have you? There are some people you couldn’t convince they were wrong until you were gray headed.

 

SPIRIT MUST DRAW

 

Christ declared no man comes unto me except the Father draw him, John 6:44. Therefore, only provided the Holy Ghost is drawing or working with that person will he ever at some time listen to truth. On the other hand, if the Holy Ghost (the Father) is not drawing or working with that heart you could do your utmost to draw a picture of the thing in his mind, but it will mean absolutely nothing to him. Why? Because that person has no revelatory factor working within him! However, if God is working on that individual’s mind to draw him a picture and clarify his understanding, then you may rest assured after while a picture will begin to break through, a light will begin to lighten up the darkened understanding of the individual’s mind.

 

ALREADY IN BOSOM

 

The church was born on the day of Pentecost because this is the day Christ fulfilled His promise in John 14:17-18, when He declared the Spirit of Christ, which was with them should one day be in them. And may I say that every doctrine which was ever taught to that predestinated, ordained Holy Ghost filled, revelated church through His anointed fivefold ministry, get this, every one of those doctrines were already revelated and simply laying there in the bosom of those Holy Ghost filled disciples! That beloved, is why after Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Ghost into the life of the church they did not have to go around studying books in order to receive doctrines such as predestination, eternal security, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost or water baptism in Jesus Name or any of these other great truths! No, these doctrines were already in them, they already knew it because these teachings were laying present in their bosom. All they required was the watering of the Holy Ghost and the seed would sprout! God watched those truths through His anointed fivefold ministry, men who were allowed to express the truth in their own vocabulary. But sad to say, we live in an hour when many endtime people do not believe you should declare this message in your own vocabulary as you are inspired and led strictly by the Holy Ghost to do! On no, they are so carnal they believe because the prophet (who knew how people would twist the revelation) said, say it like I do, they think he meant the verbal word, therefore, you should spend all your time (even if you are in the fivefold ministry) doing nothing but quoting mere verbal quotes or making identical word for word statements of what the prophet messenger to the age said in his own verbal wording! We believe in a fivefold ministry, they say, provided that ministry will say only verbal words just like the prophet did. THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN A NEW TESTAMENT FIVEFOLD MINISTRY! It has been done in the history of the church. Show me one place in scripture where men ever found such a confinement. The Apostle Peter using his own words or thoughts, many years after the church had begun, expressed in his epistles the doctrine of election before the foundation of the world by the grace of God, saying that we were already fore-ordained, predestinated, chosen and elected in Christ before the beginning of all things. Show me where Christ ever worded it in that fashion, yet that is his revelation. Paul presented the same revelation of Christ through his own words in Romans 8. If you will note as you read and study an epistle, whether it is Peter, Matthew, John, Paul or any of the other apostles, you may be amazed to discover these men did practically no verbal quoting of Christ’s identical words. Therefore, I ask you, why would men be confined by the Holy Spirit in the endtime to use only verbal quotes of the messenger to the age who restored us back to the original revelatory teaching of the apostles, men, I remind you, who were given freedom by the Holy Ghost to teach the message using their own words, John 17:20, to get this same message across where others might believe on Christ! It is only the ignorance and spiritual blindness of man who make that confinement upon others, NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT! Ministers today have the same God given liberty to present the truth in their own vocabulary, provided they have a true picture in their soul as did the ministers in the early church to present the same truth you and I are supposed to be presenting today.

 

“THEIR WORD” CARRIED HIS REVELATION OF THOUGHT

 

With that thought now ever present in our minds that Christ said they would use THEIR (own) WORDS, John 17:20, in order to cause others to believe on Him and he asked the eternal Spirit to bless his request, we must always remember if this prayer request in John 17:20 is going to be answered concerning the blessing on ‘THEIR WORD”, though spoken differently from his own verbal statement, must nevertheless carry the same thought he is, or shall we say must carry, the same revelation of thought he was projecting. In other words, by revelation, His thought would so richly indwell the apostles as they spoke using their own words that “THEIR WORDS” would be carrying His thought! How, you ask, could such a thing be possible? Very simple. It is because the same Holy Ghost who Christ was is also in the apostles and inspires it all. The Holy Ghost is going to anoint those yielded lips of each apostle and cause those men, though they are using their own words, to carry or transfer the correct revelatory thought of Christ to the hearer, causing the hearer to receive a correct picture of grace and plant the revelation of Christ in their own bosom. Because they, too, by the Holy Ghost, hearing the anointed words of the apostles, would also catch the same revelatory thought which had first been expressed in the mind of Christ, thus “THEIR WORD” was used to transfer His thought or revelation over to the heart of others.

 

SPIRIT REVEALS ERROR

 

If an individual has the Holy Ghost in his life and he is preaching truth to others under the inspiration, the individual listening will soon be receiving what that preacher’s thought is, provided they also have the Holy Spirit. Now remember, in order to receive His inspired thought, it is imperative you have the Holy Spirit in your life, otherwise you will never receive the inspired truth coming forth in the inspired message. Remember also if you have the Holy Spirit and someone is trying to teach you false doctrine or false teaching, it won’t be long before you will know that person is off track. Why? Because the Holy Spirit in your life who is your teacher, leading you into all truth, does not intend for you to be led into error (only truth). That is exactly the way it was in the early church. It is the Holy Spirit who shows the individual error from truth (I John 2:26-27, also I John 4:6).

 

Here is another beautiful thing about the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the hearer’s life as well as the speaker’s life. If you are listening to preaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and you are familiar with scripture, many times you can walk right alongside the speaker in his thought and if the inspiration and anointing is truly heavy and you are very much wrapped up in the spirit of the speaker’s thought, oftentimes you can see exactly where he is taking that thought. That is the joy and glory in the Word of God. Because of the Holy Spirit in your life you are able to know what he is speaking about. On the other hand, how boring it is to hear some learned theologian with his monstrous phrases, reading through the Bible, merely quoting verse by verse without any Holy Ghost inspiration whatsoever. Sure, it is the letter of word but remember Paul, the apostle, taught the letter (alone) killeth, it is the spirit that quickens or give life to the word in your soul, fanning it into a burning revelation to furnish light whereby you may see where you are going spiritually.

SPIRIT RECALLS TO MEMORY

 

That is why I remarked earlier I am just like those original disciples, I have a poor memory, I am afraid if I had to depend on my memory I just could not make it. But I am so glad the Holy Spirit will call to our memory all the things we have need to remember, therefore, we do not have to rely on our human memory. Recall Christ in John 14:26, declaring to the bereaved disciples who knew He was going away, informed them when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost whom the Father would send in Jesus’ name, had come he would teach the disciples all things and bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever He had said unto them. Yes, I am so glad God is spirit who can enter our lives, teaching us and bringing back to our memory all things we have need of.

 

Even if you can’t write your name, much less read a book, provided you are born again and have the spirit of God in your life, you would be able to hear a man of God preaching under the inspiration, and provided that message is simple and down to earth and the minister is using plain, simple Holy Ghost language, you too could understand the message. May I say, this thing is so easy and so simple provided you have a revelated mind that the Bible itself declares, a fool need not err therein!

 

HOLY GHOST INSPIRED EVERYTHING

 

Thus studying throughout the book of Acts which presents approximately the first 45 years of the early church from its original beginning, you will note none of those men were mere repetitionists! None of those men were seen carrying books around to quote from, giving reference to a quote on pages so and so. NO, but praise God they did carry around something in their bosom and that something they treasured and guarded! It was the revelation of Christ in their soul! Let anyone come along in that hour of the early church with a contrary revelation and see how quick it was before that person was found out and exposed.

 

HOW GENTILES KNEW CHRIST

 

We come quickly over to the Apostle Paul who wasn’t one of the original disciples, to determine whether or not Paul was a mere repetitionist of statements. Paul, we know, was especially chosen for we recall the prophecy given over him by Ananias n Acts 9:15, 22:14, 26:16-18, how he would be a light unto the gentiles and a means of salvation unto the ends of the earth. Though Paul (the man) himself was never to be preached, it was the revelation of Christ he preached which was embedded into the hearts of men and women that wherever they dwelt they could live the reality of Jesus Christ through their own life. For the Apostle Paul declared, though we (referring to the Jewish nation) have known Christ after the flesh, henceforth (now addressing gentile Christians) know we Him any longer after the flesh. No gentile never had the privilege of knowing Christ after the flesh. Their knowledge of Him came strictly by the Spirit of Christ. Thus, the gentiles knew Christ only by revelation of the spirit, that revelation was delivered mainly through the anointed teaching of the Apostle Paul. Thus we see Paul himself was by no means a repetitionist of mere statements, because you must remember when Paul entered the ministry there was not one New Testament epistle by Peter, Matthew, John nor any of the others which had been written that hour. Paul, you recall, wrote possibly 13 epistles of the New Testament himself, but may I say, because that early church was so yielded to the Holy Spirit and what he taught through this fivefold ministry, as the revelation of Christ blazed in their bosom they were all able to live better, preach straighter with more understanding of the true message, walk straighter and be more yielded to the spirit of God without a single Bible school, without access to any books or even tape recorders than the greater percentage of the people in this last day message ever dreamed of being able to do.

 

HEADING FOR DEVIL’S JUNKYARD

 

No, I am not gouging when I say that I am simply staring the truth squarely in the face. It does not scare me in the least to say this because I see where people are headed, they are headed straight into the devil’s junkyard. Because with the spiritual attitude many hold to in this hour and knowing what kind of statements are already imbedded in the minds, they are not one bit better off than those in Roman Catholicism! As a matter of fact with the spiritual attitude many of them possess shows they are worse off than those in Roman Catholicism, and if God should tarry His coming another few years, that attitude will even worsen! They are simply void of revelation, yet no one can deny they certainly do not have a spirit leading them on deeper into apostasy and further away from the true revelation of the word, because they do. Yet as long as that early church stayed yielded to the spirit of God no heresy could enter in. Improper and erroneous revelations were quickly discerned out and cast aside.

 

PAUL’S REVELATION SURPASS PROPHETS

 

Note, when God called Paul upon the scene, according to his own testimony, he declared he was not taught the revelation of truth by any man, but strictly by the spirit of Christ. God imbedded into Paul’s life every doctrine, every precept, yes, and even revealed every hidden revelation of Old Testament scriptures prophesied by Old Testament prophets who, unbeknowings to them, made references to the grace or church age in their prophecies. Paul declared all these Old Testament scriptural terms pertaining to the grace period were revealed to the apostle office in the New Testament, and get this, things revealed which had never been revealed to any of the prophets of old! (Ephesians 3:2-9)

 

In Ephesians 3, Paul declared God had made all this mystery known unto him by the spirit, how the gentiles, through the grace age, would become fellow hears with the Jews in God’s great program. Paul taught his new revelation to the Ephesian church which, I remind you, consisted of both Jewish and gentile Christians, several years after he experienced the greatest three year revival in his entire ministry when all Asia was so stirred with the truth of Christ and the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 were founded off the revelatory light which sprang from that 3 year revival at Ephesus. The converted gentiles who only a short time before were pagans worshiping at a heathen temple, now sat in beautiful fellowship alongside the Jews, because now they also embrace a precious revelation of Christ in their bosom. They could see by revelation what Paul taught when he made mention how God, through the grace period, had not broken down the middle wall of partition between them, giving reference to the old law of commandments which works in and around the flesh. God has broken that down, Paul says, and taken the twain, both Jews and Gentile, and made for Himself one new man in Christ! Don’t you ever forget, had every one of those early Christians, both Jew and Gentile, of the church not had a personal revelation in his own bosom as well as had the Holy Ghost to open his understanding, those poor gentiles would never have known one thing concerning what Paul was talking about!

 

THE REVELATION AT PENTECOST

 

Isn’t it strange, Peter, who heard every verbal quote made by Jesus concerning the truth, never once used any of those verbal quotes on the day of Pentecost! On the day of Pentecost it was strictly by the revelation of the Holy Ghost which showed Peter how to baptize those first 3000 Jewish converts into the grace age, because Jesus, who was both Lord and Christ, is the revealed redemptive name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost seen in Matthew 28:19, and openly expressed in Acts 2:38. Isn’t it also strange that Paul, who was taught by no man, would baptize exactly the same way Peter did. (Acts 19:1-5) I remind you, Paul declared to the Galatian Church, after his conversion he did not go up to Jerusalem where the apostles were to confer with Peter or any of the other apostles as to what he should preach or how converts should be baptized. Instead, it was down in Arabia (Galatians 1:16-18) God taught Paul by the spirit all this message! And seeing Paul and Peter preaching the same, practicing the same, though they received it under two entirely different environments, provided beyond a shadow of doubt it is the Holy Ghost who is the instruments, as well as the inspirational spirit behind all this.

 

APOSTLES REVELATION SAME

 

Note, during that great hour as revelation was going forth, the early church had no need for Bible Schools. All that was needed was mere yielded vessels who were truly born again by the Holy Ghost. When God finished with Paul in Arabia, he too had the same revelation concerning Christ in his bosom as Peter had, and it had come by the revelation of the spirit unto both men. When Paul came on the scene baptizing, he too baptized every convert in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord as did Peter and the others. Paul’s converts, as well as Peter’s, had the Holy Ghost. Paul taught sanctification, Peter did also. Peter had walked with the flesh men, Jesus Christ, and heard Him verbally speak the message, Paul was able to walk only after the spirit of the man. Both Peter and Paul spoke of the day of the Lord as a day of fire. This and other things show us these men had one teacher and it was the Holy Ghost doing the teaching. But what was more important, each man was allowed by the spirit to present the gospel story of salvation in his own words and was by no means required to use strictly verbal quotes. Jesus promised after the Holy Ghost had come He would teach the disciples all things, bringing to their remembrance whatsoever He had told them in the past. Also showing them things to come.

 

We too should be just as dependent upon this same spirit to get the job done in this hour as was the early church in that hour, because the spirit is the leadership and inspiration of the church. Furthermore, the spirit is the life of every born again disciples. When everything you have ever clung to dies off, it is He who is the Comforter of our soul. Remember when those apostles, Paul, Peter, James, etc., had all been martyred during the first age, had the early church not had the Holy Ghost to comfort them, no doubt the church would have failed in its mission and stopped with the deaths of the apostles. Though the church loved the apostles dearly, because they had a comforter, they could carry on. When everyone, including the preacher, has died off remember Christ in spirit form, the Comforter, hasn’t died but is with you always, even unto the end of the age. I will be with you even in you, Christ said.

 

PART 3 – EXCHANGING THEIR WORD FOR SATAN’S

 

This one message of thought produced through “THEIR WORD” was greatly disturbing the devil as he watched it grow by leaps and bounds. No, Satan did not enjoy watching this in the least because if Peter said there was one God, Paul also said there was one God. The doctrines they taught carried the same line of thought. There was absolutely no division in any of the apostle’s letters. Things were definitely going too smoothly and Satan did not enjoy this, therefore, watch how the trouble enters the fellowship of the church.

 

ROCK OF REVELATION

 

We know according to Matthew 16:18, Jesus had instructed His apostles that He would build His church upon the rock of revelation, not upon Peter nor even upon the Catholic church as some have thought. No, the rock the church is built upon is strictly the rock of revelation! The devil has always had certain little tools he uses. All Satan ever needs to get a foothold in anything is for someone to desire or crave undue recognition and he has his foothold. Here is where it all started, Satan impressed someone to feel they wanted to be recognized in the church. The apostles never carried such a feeling. Beloved, if God knows you and I and we both have a kindred spirit, somewhere our trails will cross because birds of a feather flock together.

 

SATAN IN THE EARLY HOUR

 

It wasn’t long in the grace age before Satan and his group had come along saying the believers must be circumcised, Acts 15. In that hour circumcision was the problem. Then it wasn’t long until someone else wanted to be recognized and they started the unscriptural teaching the church must keep certain days as well as observe certain Jewish feast days as did Jews under the Old Testament. What does this all add up to? It is merely Satan’s way to add to or trying, shall we say, to perfect the already perfect revelation of God in Christ. It is impossible for Satan to perfect anything, he can only pervert the true revelation, the revelation of Christ is already perfect and needs nothing other than people to merely believe it as the apostles in their own words taught it! Note Paul’s words to the Colossian church where he openly condemns those teachings (Colossians 2:14-17) such as the church having to observe the Old Testament Sabbath, new moons day, meats, drink, etc., as was seen under the old covenant, things which Paul declared had been mere shadows pointing to good things to come in the grace age.

 

KINGDOM IS NOT

 

Paul also taught in Romans 14:17, the kingdom of God was not meat or drink but was peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Ghost! It was godly living inspired by the Holy Spirit. When the gospel of Christ came to an individual, the primary number one objective was, that individual could not live anything until he was first born again. Once he was born again that new birth would lead him into spiritual growth, not into first seeing how much he could learn! Oh no, but instead how much of himself or his life he could give or yield to God in order his earthly vessel containing the spirit of Christ could be separated from the world and set apart for God’s use.

 

SPIRITUAL MISFITS

 

Paul wrote to the Romans beseeching them not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:1-2) Beloved, in Christ you have a new mind. If any man is in Christ he is also a new creature, he is a new man! He has put off the old deeds and put on new ones. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17) Once the life of Christ has begun to be expressed in the believer, only then do they begin to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. But remember, when our knowledge has exceeded our right living, we will not only become a stumbling block to others, we also become spiritual misfits.

 

WHO IS PRESENTED?

 

I have seen people come into this endtime bride message which was presented to restore us back unto the revelation of “THEIR WORD”, and once they gained a little knowledge you would think they knew exactly how to convert the world. Yet bear in mind, as our main thought and objective in this study is “THEIR WORD”, you must remember, without the thought contained in THEIR WORD you won’t convert anybody to the one true God. I want you to know for many years in that early church “THEIR WORD” remained to be none other than God’s word. Whenever their mouths opened, “THEIR WORD” was spoken and someone saw Jesus Christ. Who does the world see today when we present the message?

 

PERSONALITY CLASH

 

Once a group of Corinthian disciples who had heard the word through various apostles got them selves all divided and confused over a personality clash, one saying, I am Paul, in other words, I hear only what Paul says. Another says, I am of Cephas, meaning Cephas is my preacher, I hear only what he says. Another says he is of Apollos, one of the latecomers, but nevertheless one who had influence in Corinth according to Acts 18, while still others declared they were of Christ. Paul was deeply grieved upon hearing this because he knew that kind of fellowship could never grow into fruitful, Christian living. No, he never unchristianized these Corinthian disciples, yet he did scold them for their inconsistency and lack of growth to grow beyond such carnal things.

 

Who is Paul, Who is Cephas, Who is Apollos, Paul asked this church? They are only men by whom you have heard “THEIR WORD” concerning Christ and having heard through “THEIR WORD” you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Now what is wrong with you people! Get your eyes off men and onto Christ where they belong! That is why Paul made the certain reference concerning baptism that he did (I Corinthians 1:14-17) to those gentile Corinthian Christians who were guilty of living in that kind of environment and argument. Is Christ divided? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? (I Corinthians 1:12-14) No, you were baptized in Jesus’ name, not the name of Paul! Paul continues by saying in verses 14-16, besides Crispus and Galus and the household of Stephanas, I thank God I did not baptize any of you else any should say I baptized in mine own name. Why would anyone have accused Paul of baptizing in his own name (Paul) if these people had all been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? In Matthew 28:19, there is not one name even mentioned!

 

NOT DESTROYING REVELATION

 

Isn’t it a shame today because Paul spoke what he did (verse 17) we have a carnal bunch of people who enjoy using that scripture to say, see, it is not important whether you get baptized or not! Beloved, that statement is strictly unrelated to Paul revelation concerning the gospel of Christ! Here he is only scolding and trying to correct a carnal situation of a personality clash in the church. No, he is by no means trying to annul his own revelation. Wherever Paul preached his revelation, anyone who ever dared ask him what must I do, always wound up getting wet! That example is clearly seen with the Philippian jailor and his family because these, like others, usually got wet in water baptism in a matter of hours after having received the message into their life. Recall when the Philippian jailor thinking everyone had escaped from his jail and knowing he could never serve the sentence of every man who was under his charge, (as their law stated must be done) looked down the corridor and saw the doors wide open to each cell, started to commit suicide when Paul screamed out, do yourself no harm for we are all here. (Acts 16:25-34) Trembling, he fell before Paul’s feet asking what must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou and all thy house shall be saved.

 

CONVERTS GOT WET

 

Taking them home, the jailor tended their wounds, and can’t you see his little family having the pure plan of salvation explained to them. With their stomachs now filled with a fine supper, Paul takes the jailor and entire household and baptizes them in Christian baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul was definitely concerned that all his converts would get baptized once they repented and received the truth into their lives. If that be true, and it is, why would Paul speak in such fashion concerning baptism to this Corinthian church. Paul was not trying to tear down his revelation but he did want to tear to shreds than old carnal idea that simply because one certain apostle or disciple had baptized them there was virtue in the name of that particular man. The virtue lays only in the name of Jesus the Christ and also in the individual’s obedience toward the act of baptism as their faith is placed in God through the revelation of truth.

 

DESIRING RECOGNITION

 

As that first age of apostles began to die off, men desiring to be recognized began to rise up and naturally because the devil did not want the church to remain under the revelation of the one God, seeing the rest of the gentile world already worshiped a plurality of gods, he wanted to make the Christian church do the same. Therefore, these men who desired undue recognition, Satan would raise them up and give them a false revelation. Some man would take the oneness of God, the true revelation of God, and push it a little way off the center of the road, resulting in confusion in the church, pushing that revelation farther and farther off the road of truth until it finally went into the ditch. We note by the year 235 A.D., the Roman Emperor calls all the bishops together and they vote in what they consider a revelation of the trinity.

 

SOMEBODY ELSE’S WORD ENTERS PICTURE

 

Now we begin to see where somebody else’s WORD other than the apostles word which had held the church on true course, now enters strongly into the picture taking the church completely off course and eventually into a thousand years of dark ages. See beloved, what you believe does depend on someone else’s word, doesn’t it? But to stay in fellowship with God also depends upon what we are willing to listen to. After the idea of a trinity or plurality of gods (325 A.D.) It wasn’t long until somebody comes up with the idea of CONFIRMATION. From here on, it is a continual getting away from ‘”THEIR WORD”, which had held the church on true course for centuries! Later they remove the correct water baptism according to the apostles and installs sprinkling in its place. From sprinkling came INFANT BAPTISM. Remember now, none of this is “THEIR WORD”, meaning the apostle’s word about whom Jesus prayed in John 17:20. Nor are these people included in Christ’s prayer because they haven’t believed on Him through “THEIR WORD”.

 

CHANGING STILL MORE

 

Later someone said let’s change some more. We will do away with the Lord’s Supper and make a MASS of it and sell it to the people. For hundreds of years Satan continued to take away from “THEIR WORD”, John 17:20, until we reach the 6th and 7th century, a time for the thousand years dark age period of the church when people would live strictly, not off the apostles word, oh no, but the word of some carnal men. What they had to eat was truly a long way from being the word of God. Now it was strictly the word of the devil!

 

PART 4 – THEIR WORD RESTORED BACK AMONG BELIEVERS

 

Such action continued on until around 1500 when God took hold of a man’s heart named Martin Luther, and quickened him to the revelation of “THEIR WORD” (apostles) that the just did not live by what the pope or church said, but the just are to live by faith (REVELATION). (Romans 1:17) God is now slowly leading the church after 1500 back to “THEIR WORD” (the apostles) because note, the thought of inspiration that Luther received from the spirit God lined up with “THEIR WORD” (Romans 1:17), the apostles word. A few short years later a movement of people moved out on that revelation, the just shall live by faith. They were at least free from that thought which held them bound for so long – faith strictly in the church along with a lot of other nonsense! Over the next 200 years as the church continued moving down through time, men who became reformation leaders, who were used by God to pull the church away from the devil’s word back to “THEIR WORD” (John 17:20), restored such biblical teachings taught by the apostles as ETERNAL SECURITY, PREDESTINATION AND SANCTIFICATION!

 

“THEIR WORD” BECOMES SCATTERED

 

Slowly, step by step, God through a period called the hour of Reformation has been leading and restoring the truth of “THEIR WORD” back midst humanity. True, all of these great truths are seen being restored, however, all of them are not able to benefit the church as a whole because all of these great restored truths of “THEIR WORD” were remaining separate and apart from the other restored truth, seeing they are found or embraced by various groups of people. People were denominating around these individual restored truths as rapidly as they were being restored back to the church.

 

RESTORING GIFTS

 

Finally the dawn of the 20th Century breaks and God in His sovereignty begins to place a deep hunger in people’s heart. As they hungered and thirsted after righteousness, God began to give the church a supernatural experience (of gifts). Suddenly they found themselves here in the 20th Century speaking in languages, languages which had not been heard of perhaps since various periods of the dark ages where ofttimes little tribes of people while in obscurity and under heavy church persecution found themselves speaking in other languages. However, it was never in pre-eminence as it would be now in the 20th Century, for now God would place pre-eminence upon it. Periodically here and there you also began to hear testimonies of outstanding miracles of healing. What did it all mean?

 

FRAMEWORK DOCTRINE

 

With the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ being restored back to the church along with the knowledge that God was one around 1913, and the others which had earlier been restored through reformation leaders over the period of the last 400 years of reformation, God at last had restored the entire framework of His New Testament salvation, or shall we say, restored the framework of “THEIR WORD” back into the earth! Little by little the church is coming farther and farther away from the devil’s word back to “THEIR WORD”. However, all these restored truths which people had individually used to form separate denominations were still separate and scattered among the religious people. No one movement seemed to want to embrace them all, although they were willing to accept perhaps one or two. God had restored a greater measure of the Holy Ghost beginning at the turn of the 20th Century, and recall, the scripture says the Holy Ghost is a teaching spirit to guide you into all truth. Watch what happens.

 

TESTING MAN’S DOCTRINE

 

We can only touch highlights, but time arrives around 1912-13, shortly before World War I, and it is time for God’s church to move on. The Holy Spirit is now ready to test mankind with a new revelation (new to them). For the Pentecostals have been teaching whoever speaks in tongues definitely has the Holy Ghost because with them they thought tongues was the initial evidence of the Holy Ghost! Everyone who had already spoken in tongues felt (according to their doctrine) they had the Holy Ghost, BUT DID THEY? Recall the Holy Ghost, among other things, is also a revelating, teaching spirit. God is now going to test man’s tongue theory as He presented them a deep revelation of truth out of “THEIR WORD”, and when He did many who teach God is one and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ said that new truth was of the devil.

 

This new Pentecostal Holy Ghost teaching was going strong throughout the earth (1912-13) when suddenly God began to speak to men in the Pentecostal ranks from the scripture, some by dreams and some by visions, saying unto those who carried the new revelation of the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the spirit, will you take my name, will you be baptized in my name? All this was the sovereign act of God to restore back to the church a portion of “THEIR WORD”which of course was HIS WORD! Unbeknowings to religion in this hour they were still embracing much of what the devil had emplanted into the church throughout the long dark ages instead of what God through His apostles had planted. Men began to see something in the scripture, as they got a revelation that there was only one true God and there was a true way to be baptized which had not been observed since around 325 A.D. when the church strayed from “THEIR WORD” to embrace the devil’s word. Such a revelation soon divided the trinity tongue speaking Pentecostal circles as great arguments developed among those who could speak in tongues. Since all claimed the Holy Ghost there should not have been an argument only rejoicing as they all entered into more of “THEIR WORD”. God took this new movement based around their new revelation of Acts 2:38, and established them in the truth of revelation of the oneness of God and the proper way of baptism. Remember, whenever God restored new truth it always brought great separation from other followers or church people!

 

PEOPLE DIVIDED INTO “ISMS”

 

What do we see universal Christiandom has become as we move out into the 20th Century? Why every one is still imbedded in every kind of an “ism”; Catholicism, Lutheranism, Knoxism, Wesleyanism or one of the two schools of Pentecostalism! See the church is all split and divided into all these “isms”. How can God take a church unto Himself which is scattered throughout spiritual Babylon? Face it, that is where you and I were located before God did something to awaken people in spiritual Babylon causing a people to look back to “THEIR WORD”. Now God is going to bring a people together around the word and let them see if what they had always believed was truth or error. Believe me, it is going to be some thrashing! God is fully aware He cannot come for His church as long as she is still embracing much of the devil’s word or is still in that kind of mess of ideas and teachings which is completely contrary to “THEIR WORD”.

 

You could not get a Methodist to teach Eternal Security any more than you could get a Baptist to teach Sanctification, yet both were important truths of “THEIR (apostles) WORD”. Many Baptists were just as sanctified as the Methodist, they just did not understand the teaching of it. And there were many of the good old Methodist who were just as eternally secure as were the Baptists in their revelation, they just did not understand the teaching of it. Many were just as much preordained before the foundation of the world as were the Knox or Presbyterian followers, they just did not understand the revelation of it. Thus were many of these various people in separate groups separated from all these truths simply because there wasn’t a true light on those teachings in that hour. God had reserved all the true light on the various framework doctrines of His salvation which He had been restoring during the reformation hour to be given at a certain hour when He would do something special for the endtime people and we would all come together and be restored back fully ro THEIR WORD (the apostles’ teaching)!

 

HUNGRY FOR TRUTH

 

I remember well hearing those Methodist Seminary teachers declaring Wesley said this and Wesley said that, until I had become so hungry for something else. One day I heard a Baptist minister on the radio offering a book on eternal security. After ordering and reading it I thought, there is still yet more truth than what I have heard in a long time.

 

Our Methodist pastor was called away for a while leaving me in charge of his charge of four churches. I thought, now is my chance to teach more truth. Taking Romans 8:29 for a text I taught PREDESTINATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY. I noticed they were getting nervous, but I never thought much about it seeing I too was a Methodist and all this was good sound Bible teaching we needed. I simply could not understand what was wrong with the people. The church superintendent came past one day and said, “Raymond, I enjoyed your talk and admire your bravery, but I don’t think it wise or nice to talk about something your church does not believe in. If I were you I would lay these teachings in the background.”

 

PART 5 – THEIR WORD RESTORED INTO ONE MESSAGE

 

For days I walked under condemnation when about that time a brother came by and told me about Bro. William Branham, saying he is a prophet and began telling me things that happened in Africa. He is going to have a weekend meeting in Jeffersonville, and I wish you would come. For days I had worked in he field and couldn’t get these biblical teachings I had taught off my heart.

 

Accepting the brother’s invitation to hear this man of God, whom many already felt was a prophet, I went to hear him. Eventually a little man stepped from the prayer room, walked to the Bible stand and prayed, opened his Bible and took his text from Genesis and he began to feed my hungry heart. He began to open my understanding of something based on the scriptures and it wasn’t long until he was on PREDESTINATION and ETERNAL SECURITY. When he finished that night I knew the things in my bosom were of God! Why? Because this little man took the scriptures and made them real. He made the scriptures come alive in my soul.

 

CHRIST IS THE MESSAGE

 

It wasn’t long until I realized this man had a message from God, yet the pathetic part was, many people got confused thinking the man himself was the message! There is a vast difference between the two though some, failed to differentiate between the two. No, he was not the message, Jesus Christ is the message. Christ has always been the message! But wherever possible the devil has always sought to belittle Christ in whatever way possible. For one thousand years the devil sold the world on the idea that Christ was not the Mighty God robed in flesh, (I Timothy 3:16) was not the one Israel would look for as the Messiah who would be Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Counselor and the one called Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6). Satan sold the world on the idea that Christ was the second person of the Godhead. God is the pendulum of the whole thing, but the devil wanted to belittle Him, making Him only to be the second person. And finally if that wasn’t bad enough he set his earthly mother over Him (Jesus) as His head! Blessed Mother of God, they say. Don’t people realize God never had a mother! In the beginning was God. Christ the man had an earthly mother, but not the spirit God. (Galatians 4:4) What a pathetic mess the religious world turned into as they forsook “THEIR WORD” (apostles word) and embraced strictly a program of the devil, filled with only carnal words and teaching! And if God had left the whole religious world as it was back there in the dark ages we truly would be in a mess! Spiritually speaking, we would have been a million miles from “THEIR WORD”, but God never intended the church to remain forever away from “THEIR WORD”. Only through “THEIR WORD” will we know who Christ and God actually is. Satan never intends for you to know who Christ is.

 

PROTESTANTISM PRODUCED MANY FAITHS

 

As time progressed through the reformation after 1500, through various reformation leaders God, little by little, was seen restoring “THEIR WORD” (truths taught by the apostles). Yet denominations continued to spring up everywhere around these restored truths, accepting some of these truths and rejecting others. It had boiled down to this kind of belief, you embrace your faith and I will embrace mine. This peculiar idea taught in Babylon concerning many faiths lacked a long way from being the unity and oneness to embrace only one faith which the early church walked in (Ephesians 4:4-6) as well as what the endtime church would be walking in, which Christ would come for at the end of the age. Therefore, it was of necessity that God would send a man at the end of the age with a very special office to do something for the church.

 

SENDING ELIJAH

 

For that work God intended to do we should examine a prophecy in Malachi 4:5-6. (5) “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: (6) And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Contrary to what you many think, John the Baptist did not fulfill all that scripture, only the first part as shown in Luke 1:17. Then who will fulfill the later setting of Malachi 4:5-6? It is not one of the two Jewish prophets clothed in the spirit of Elijah sent to Israel who fulfills this scripture. According to Revelation 11, that man does not restore the hearts of the children back to the fathers. The Jews converted under that ministry simply receive a revelation of who Christ is as seen by the fact they all have the father’s name written in their forehead, (Revelation 14:1). Without going into elaborate detail, since we have already published several articles on Malachi 4:5-6 showing how there are two different, separate time periods for that spirit of Elijah to be manifested on earth, we will simply say, the office of Elijah to restore the hearts of the children back to the fathers was not to be fulfilled until the end of the grace age, sometime before the church left the world. This office of the spirit of Elijah is to be a restoring office. The officework would restore the hearts of the endtime children of the grace age back to the original teaching of those apostles, or restore us back to “THEIR WORD” whereby we at the endtime might embrace that faith whereby we could be included in the prayer of John 17:20.

 

RESTORING CHILDREN’S HEART

 

Now I ask you, when God brings this spirit of Elijah on the scene, is He going to bring something out of obscurity which is so fantastic and so unrelated to the Bible that what he has to say would become a message completely and totally set apart from “THEIR WORD” (apostolic fathers of the faith)! Absolutely not. If that man brought such a message that was completely apart from the faith of the apostolic fathers then he did not fulfill B-part of Malachi 4:5-6 by turning us back to “THEIR WORD” or to the faith of our apostolic fathers, Paul, Peter, James, John, etc.! But Malachi declares this office of Elijah is ordained to turn the hearts of the children back to (the faith of) the fathers! With this Old Testament prophet office in operation at the end of the age shows me God is going to produce a people who will be in the same likeness of character, of spirit, of faith, of devotion and unity as were those early apostolic Christians who in the beginning lived off “THEIR WORD”. No, this man who came in the spirit and power of Elijah did not come with a revelation which would take people away from the contents of this Bible or “THEIR WORD”. That would be completely contrary to the purpose of Malachi’s prophecy concerning the sending of this spirit office. Malachi declared this man would turn our hearts back to the true faith of our apostolic fathers! Beloved, the man who filled this office never asked any human being to preach him, to exalt him, to lift him upon a pedestal. No, that man, who because of the Old Testament prophet office he fulfilled and being on the scene when he was, his office alone made him the church age messenger to Laodicea, he never once asked anyone to believe anything unscriptural. He asked only that we believe Jesus Christ was the same yesterday, today and forever! The mother church of the dark ages had diminished Christ from that high position and all her daughters had simply followed suit!

 

PLACED THEIR WORD INTO ONE MESSAGE

 

That man did have a message and that message was the revelation of how to take all these great restored truths of their word which had been restored through the reformation hour and tie all these truths back together, placing them all back into their proper setting into this Bible where they originally came from. William Marrion Branham, prophet messenger to this age, took all these great restored truths, and placed them all together in one message and told the church, as the apostolic fathers had taught the church all these truths in one message so must we of the endtime do likewise.

 

PROPHET DID NOT RESTORE FRAMEWORK DOCTRINES

 

Shocking as it may sound to some, this prophet messenger did not restore FAITH, did not restore PREDESTINATION; did not even restore ETERNAL SECURITY nor the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST or even the REVELATION THAT GOD WAS ONE and BAPTISM should be performed in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Well, if he didn’t restore any of that, what did he restore? Watch carefully. William Marrion Branham, under the anointing of God, was the first man since that first church age to ever take every one of these truths and place them all together giving them their proper place in the plan of God and preach them all in the same message. He is the first man to take these great restored truths over which people for more than 400 years had fussed, argued and disputed almost to the point of blasphemy, this man gathered up every one of these restored (hated and despised) truths of “THEIR WORD” scattered here and there and placed them all into one message, a Bible message, giving each truth its proper perspective in the framework of revelation and showed to the church how to embrace and TEACH THEM! When he did this, the Bible made more sense to people than it had in almost 1700 years. That is why this prophet would say, if Paul taught ONE GOD, SO HAVE I; IF PAUL BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THE LORD, SO HAVE I; IF HE TAUGHT PREDESTINATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE TRUE BELIEVER, SO HAVE I!

 

Many fundamental churches didn’t even know where the millennium was to be. They didn’t know whether it would be on earth, some other planet or in heaven or just where or when, or whether there would even be one. The prophet to the age said there would be a millennium and that millennium would be right here on earth! That is all he needed to say.

 

GIVEN SEAL REVELATION

 

Now to prove the fact this prophet did take the teaching of ONE GOD, SANCTIFICATION, BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST , ETERNAL SECURITY, PREDESTINATION and all these other restored truths by various reformation leaders and place them all together in their proper perspective, back in the framework of the Bible message, and teach them as a true revelated message of truth as taught by the apostles, look what God did, God caused this little man to receive a revelation of what the Seals in Revelation 6 were. No, these seals were not written in another book, they were written in the Bible. By pure revelation of the spirit, revelation, which I remind you had not been given to anyone in the church since the first age, this prophet broke that first seal, or that first white horse rider, and told us it was none other than that devilish old antichrist spirit which was seen rising up in the close of the first church age. Paul declared that truth in II Thessalonians 2:3-12 where he spoke somewhere around 55 A.D., declaring the mystery of iniquity doeth already work and Paul referred to the climax of this work as being in the son of perdition. While John the Beloved declared in I John 2:18-19, somewhere around 90 A.D. that there were already many antichrists plaguing the church. But please understand in John’s statement he is not referring to the major or main antichrist, (son of perdition, the one anointed to destroy) but of the minor antichrist leading up to that one.

 

REVEALING WHO MYSTERY RIDER IS

 

When the prophet, by revelation, taught these seals in Revelation 6, his teachings made more sense and fell in line better with the scripture and church history that what all these theologians are declaring who want to place those seals at the time of great tribulation at the end of the age! The revelatory teaching of the first four seals by the prophet was all built around who that mysterious rider was, first seen riding the white horse in the first seal. The rider of the first horse is the same rider seen on the other three horses, only the other horses are different colors to illustrate what effect the antichrist had on the Christian church as he rode down through church history, or rode down through these first four seals and plunged the religious world into the dark ages. The name of the rider of the four various colored horses was Death, and Hell followed with him.

 

When that prophet took church history and built past church history around those first four seals, that completely vindicated it and made the revelation he had received a proven fact. Did that make church history to become scripture? Not at all. Your Bible is the only book of scriptures. Church history only proved the accuracy of the revelation. Thus the historical facts only proved what the revelation of the seals was saying, to be true. The first four seals spoke of what has already transpired and church history has already recorded for us all these historical events which were brought out in the first four seals in a living people of this hour who did not live back in those times. History simply declares what has been. What we see briefly written in the scripture is more thoroughly covered by church history concerning that period of time, the scripture can, by no means, go into the detail church history does.

 

CART BEFORE HORSE

 

Allow me to close with this probing question to every honest heart who follows this endtime message in order to be restored to the revelation of “THEIR WORD” (our apostolic fathers). If you were to go out into this world preaching salvation to sinners who would you preach? The answer should be, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore I warn you, if you go forth to help convert sinners to salvation but spend far more time informing the sinner that God has sent a prophet, etc., than you do telling the poor lost sinner 2000 years ago a man by the name of Jesus Christ came and died to save them, we have absolutely placed the cart before the horse. We are going down the road backward.

 

May I say, “THEIR WORD” (the apostles word) which you were restored back to by the office of the spirit of Elijah resting upon a gentile prophet is just as real, just as vital, and needful today as “THEIR WORD” has ever been. If God can find some people who are simple minded enough to allow Him to paint a true revelatory picture in their spiritual minds as to what this little man did say while on earth, are you aware these people today would not have to be mere repetitionists! Of course not. No one else in church history ever had to be. If that prophet to the age were still alive today you would find him preaching out of the pages of that Bible.

 

No doubt having made the statement the prophet to the age did not restore FAITH, PREDESTINATION, ETERNAL SECURITY, SANCTIFICATION, etc., some of you may be as the brother I received a phone call from who had naturally heard just the opposite, he asked the question, If the prophet didn’t restore all these things, what did the scripture mean in Matthew 17:11 when the disciples asked Jesus, Why do the scribes teach Elijah must first come and RESTORE ALL THINGS! Jesus answered truly, he must come and restore all things. The man asked, what did Jesus mean by that statement?

 

DID NOT RESTORE ALL THINGS

 

Allow me to caution you by saying that even with the coming of the spirit of Elijah on a gentile prophet office at the end of the age he did not restore all things by any means. He came and took all the Bible truths that had been restored through the reformation and placed them all back into one message. He even broke the seven seals of Revelation 6 and brought into light what the reformers could not because of their hour, and just as in John’s ministry when that spirit of Elijah restored all which was necessary to be known in that hour in order for believers to be ready for the first coming of Christ, likewise did the spirit of Elijah on this gentile prophet office restore all things necessary for the endtime Laodicean saints, or true seed, to be ready for the coming of Christ to receive His bride. He restored all the mystery necessary to the endtime people to fulfill Revelation 10:7. He restored all things that was necessary for the gentile church to be ready for Christ’s coming yet the restoring work did not cover the restoring of all things!

 

3RD PHASE FOR JEW

 

What about after the gentile church is secretly gathered out and the gospel returns back to the Jew to gather out the 144,000. Never forget, that spirit of Elijah will be in that hour also in Israel resting once again upon another Jew, and once again he will do some more restoring, and during that appearing will complete the restoring of all things of Matthew 17:11. One Jew who is referred to in Revelation 11 as one of the prophets will have received the spirit of Elijah while the other Jewish prophet in Israel who gives the antichrist a fit of rage received the spirit of Moses, and together what a work they do. In that hour the restoring work of the spirit of Elijah completes the words of Matthew 17:11, THAT ELIAS WILL RESTORE ALL THINGS! In that hour he will restore all things necessary for the 144,000 who are to receive the revelation of who Jesus is, that He is God, to fulfill Isaiah 9:6, etc. With that final operation among the Jews, that completes the mighty office work for the restoration spirit of Elijah!

 

Therefore, do not think for a moment, as so many have, that Matthew 17:11 applies strictly to the office work of Bro. William Branham, it does not! Bro. William Branham restored what was necessary for the gentile bride church to know, yet he restored nothing to the Jews which is the final step in God’s restoring program.

 

The prophet took these restored truths of “THEIR WORD” given to reformation leaders, which had all this time remained through the hour of protestantism separate and blocked off from their proper perspective in scripture through denominationalism. This prophet restored back those truths blocked off by protestantism into their proper revelating setting within the proper framework of the scripture. I repeat, it is the first time any man has ever done this since the days of the apostles! This was his message! It was to tell poor mankind, scattered throughout all this Babylonian religious denominational manmade systems, how to get himself free from all that mess and get back to the revelation of “THEIR WORD”, which is none other than the word of God; to get into Christ, the Word whereby God can begin to lead our lives and place His great merciful arm of love about us, to teach and instruct the church in order to lead and guide us whereby we may grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and in fellowship with Him, so we could all walk in the same revelation and see God alike. And the holy scriptures or “THEIR WORD” would once again become the ruling factor of the church. Even if the day came they would burn your Bible, that revelation of the word would be in you. The scripture says, being born again not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed, which is the engrafted word of God. Engrafted means it is the revelation of God’s thought which is recorded in “THEIR WORD”, embedded in your spiritual life and mine. Thus if the revelation is in your spiritual mind you can’t help but live and respond to that revelation of “THEIR WORD”, which is Christ’ word, that now feeds your soul and caused your soul to react back to “THEIR WORD”.

The Three Woes – 1975, July

1975-07-The-Three-Woes

Today we are approaching a subject about which for years I searched for the answer, tried to link together certain verses of scripture in the Book of Revelation. How often we read over something, never once laying any importance on some certain word (such as woe) when that may be the very word which holds the key to unlock the hidden mystery. The word WOE found in Rev. 8:12-13 under the fourth trumpet, certainly has no reference to the term Whoa used in the sense of stopping a team of horses. No! On the contrary, Webster’s Dictionary defines WOE as relating to extreme sorrow; to extreme grief. As a matter of fact, WOE used here indicates to be immersed (covered) in grief or sorrow.

Dan. 9:27 and Dan. 12:1-13 both speak of this great hour of extreme sorrow and extreme anguish (the WOES). Jesus in Matt. 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 uses many statements which referred strictly to the work of the anti-Christ in his relation to Israel during the middle of that 70th week. Christ called the period of 3 ½ , the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, a time of trouble coming upon the earth (especially for Israel), a time such as had never been before nor would ever be again. This period spoken of by our Lord, recorded in Matthew, Luke and Mark is actually Christ’s own way of discussing that precise time period during the middle of the week when those THREE WOES of Rev. 8:13 are announced. Matt. 24:15-22. Remember, in relation to this final 70th week, we intend to show what event on earth triggered these WOES, secondly at what time during the final week these THREE WOES were announced and administered and finally, just what are these THREE WOES and how they affect mankind.

FOURTH TRUMPET JUDGMENT

Rev. 8:12-13 where the THREE WOES are pronounced follows the blast of the fourth trumpet angel who is none other than the fourth trumpet judgment angel who, because of what is transpiring in Jerusalem during the middle of the final week, smites a third part of the sun, a third part of the moon and a third part of the stars. As the third part of all this was darkened, the day shone not for a third part neither did the night.

WOE SPOKEN THREE TIMES

Verse 13 declares I (John) beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of the heavens saying WOE, WOE, WOE, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound! Bear in mind what WOE means, extreme sorrow, extreme grief or being immersed in sorrow or anguish. Nowhere in Revelations has the word WOE appeared until introduced following the sounding of the fourth trumpet angel. When it was introduced the word WOE was spoken three separate times. This lets me know there are to be three separate and distinct WOES and all three WOES relate to what Jesus called the time of trouble such as the world had never seen. Better still, the THREE WOES are sounded in the hour when the world is brought strictly under satanic control. Hence, the THREE WOES pertain to no other time period. These Three Woes are poured out as the result of what the anti-Christ did in Jerusalem when he breaks his covenant with Israel during the middle of the 70th week!

PART 1 – EVENTS OF FIRST 3 ½ YEARS LEADING TO WOES

ANOINTING ON TWO JEWS

The chart is equally divided off in two separate sections, each section having a 3 ½ year period, totaling seven years. It illustrates how once this final 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy officially opens by the anti-Christ making a covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), that two Jewish prophets begin prophesying in the land of Israel. Rev. 11:3 declares for a space of one thousand two hundred three score days, these two Jewish prophets who are God’s witnesses in Israel, prophesy in sackcloth. According to Rev. 11:6, during the days of their (3 ½) years prophesying to Israel, these two prophets have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they desire. Smiting the earth with plagues is not to be looked upon as some suppositional thing, because they are literal plagues which will affect nature, vegetation as well as atmospheric conditions, even to closing up the heavens where it rains not and also turning water to blood there in the Middle East. We can think of only two such prophets in all Israel’s history anointed with such miraculous power as this and that was Moses and Elijah. To clarify once and for all who these two Jewish prophets are and at the same time show how the sounding of these first three trumpet angels’ judgments of Rev. 8:7-11 relates strictly to the ministry of these two prophets who, during the first half of the 70th week, are smiting a third part of the earth (mainly the Middle East) with plagues, are absolutely not the original Old Testament Moses and Elijah returned to this earth, but instead are none other than two Jewish prophets in Israel anointed with two of the greatest anointing of God ever expressed upon earth, anointing which rested upon both Moses and Elijah and may I say, without question these anointing are two of the greatest ever to rest upon a prophetic office which rested upon the Prophets, Moses and Elijah.

ANOINTING OF MOSES & ELIJAH

Remember, when God anointed Moses that anointing carried a threefold purpose (1) it was to bring forth an exodus for the Israelite people (2) it was to establish a law and give Israel a prophetic word which she had been without for over 400 years. However, when God anointed Elijah with a prophetic office, it was during a time when Israel was in national apostasy. Israel had forsaken the law and word of God which Moses had give her. Elijah’s was a prophetic anointing to challenge that nation Israel who had drifted into national apostasy, to return to God. It was an anointing to restore back to the people something they had lost (remember the contest at Mt. Carmel) The anointing resting on Elijah, not only closed the heavens for 3 ½ years but challenged the very people who should have stayed with the word of God to return to the word.

SIMILARITY OF EVENTS

This lets me know these are the two special supernatural anointings, which will once again reappear and rest upon two Jewish prophets, as Israel enters into her 70th and final week of time (last 7 years). Look at the similarity. Although the Jew in that hour will already be back in the land, we realize the anointing of Moses will not be used again to plague Egypt (turning water to blood and so forth) or even be used freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage and escorting her through the Red Sea, nevertheless the needs are very similar. The two anointings will be expressed and manifested during a period when God has been steadily returning Jews to the land from every corner of the globe. Beloved, that in itself truly is the greatest exodus Israel ever had. Secondly, the fact that it is the spirit of Elijah resting upon one of the two Jews shows that those Jewish people who did return to the land by the hand of God returned from among the gentiles to fulfill all scripture, and spiritually speaking, the hour Israel enters into her final 70th week will find her in the greatest hour of apostasy she has ever faced. We do not mean to imply there will not be any true, sincere, orthodox Jews in Israel. Sure there will, but they will only be in the minority. The nation or the majority (even now) lives in apostasy. Israel, having been dispersed among gentile nations, returns to her homeland bringing with her many theological ideas concerning the Holy writings and her prophets Israel returned bringing with her more modern interpretations and theological ideas as to what their prophets of old meant. Never has there been an hour in Israel’s history when she was any more in apostasy than today (Example, offering a hen or rooster on the day of atonement instead of a lamb as they are commanded for the sins of the people) Spiritually they are in apostasy while physically they are in an exodus. Therefore such a setting as this, an exodus as well as apostasy is the perfect setting for the reappearing of these two great anointings which rested on Moses and Elijah of old.

WOES EXPRESSED IN MIDDLE OF WEEK

According to Rev. 8:13 the three dreadful woes of extreme anguish were announced once the fourth trumpet angel had sounded, therefore, I ask you, according to prophetic time which will be going on earth, exactly when does the fourth trumpet angel sound precisely in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week!!


SOUNDING OF THE FIRST THREE TRUMPETS

Briefly let’s acquaint ourselves with the operation of these first three trumpet judgment angels in Rev. 8:7-11 to see whether or not their ministries are separate judgments being poured out, apart from the judgment ministry of these two prophets. Recall, these first three trumpet judgment angels were announcing their judgments in glory however, when their judgments were released to actually hit the third part of the earth, that judgment released, was administered strictly through the ministry of these two Jewish prophets who were striking the earth with plagues as often as they desired. Let’s just see if that is scripture; let’s see if these first three judgment trumpet angels of Rev. 8:7-11 are doing anything more than announcing judgments which are actually being expressed or fulfilled through the earthly ministries of these two Jewish prophets during the first half of that week!

A SEPARATE EVENT?

First, If trumpet judgments sounded by these first three angels are something entirely different and completely apart or separate from the ministry of these two earthly Jewish prophets, then look what you are going to run into. We are dealing with precisely the same earthly time period when both the ministry of the two prophets as well as the three judgment angels were in progress, and secondly, if these three angels ministry are separate, then they are doing nothing but a re-run or repeat or re-enactment as to what these two Jewish prophets are already doing on earth. Beloved, if they are separate works as some think, then you would have the three judgment angels sounding their particular judgment to be felt or expressed on the earth and then along would come the two prophets with their ministry almost repeating identically what the angels in the first half of the week had already done.

JUDGMENT VS. WRATH

Remember all 7 of these angels (Rev. 8 and 9) sounding trumpets are judgment angels, not wrath angels. For an illustration between the judgment of God and the wrath of God let us examine Moses in Egypt. Did not he, in Egypt, by the hand of God turn water into blood? What was God doing? He was pronouncing judgment (not wrath) upon Egypt. Moses, God said, speak to the dust and lice will come forth. What was that? More judgment upon Egypt. I ask you, did any of these many judgments against Egypt bring Egypt to repentance. You know they did not. Speak to the waters Moses and they will bring forth frogs. What was that? Still more judgment upon Egypt. However, note, when God destroyed Egypt’s might (her army) in the Red Sea, there beloved has much more than judgment administered, that was his wrath being poured out.

COVENANT SIGNING TRIGGERS WEEK

Try to visualize these two Jewish prophets in Israel, fulfilling not a wrath ministry but a judgment office work against Israel soon after Daniel’s 70th week is triggered into motion by Israel signing a special peace and prosperity covenant with the anti-Christ for seven years. Recall, that final week cannot possibly begin until the anti-Christ signs that covenant with Israel. True, he signed with other nations also, but that signing did not affect prophecy. Signing with Israel triggers that 70th week. Dan. 9:27.

UNIFIED EUROPE

However, before this 70th week begins, something has happened in Europe and for survival sake the frightened European world will be forced to do something quickly. Out of what the Western world does, however soon it may be – 12 months or 3 years, whatever, the world will be introduced to that long prophesied European 10 nation beastly system. When that Western European beastly system with seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13) is finally formed in Western Europe, becoming that long prophesied united (Roman) beast system of the old resurrected Roman Empire it will be headed up under one head who by that hour has successfully united all the ten political governments of western Europe into one powerful government; united also all her economies into one and also, that one apostate church system is already formed portrayed in Rev. 17, which for a period of time will ride this beast before later being thrown off and trampled to death under its feet. The head is non other than the anti-Christ, the pope who in that hour becomes the voice or mouthpiece of this powerful beast system of Europe before the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy (to affect Israel) begins. In actuality it will be an hour for man’s final effort for survival, political, monetary and military. True, it will be mankind’s way of mustering every ounce of his political efforts hoping through it somehow to be able to survive. After 6000 years of constant struggle this will be mankind’s culmination day. However, little does the world realize it is also to become Satan’s coronation day because when that hour arrives which officially opens Daniel’s 70th week, naturally the economical pressure in the Middle East will be most severe. If you think Israel is hard pressed today, just wait until time arrives which opens this final 70th week, especially as the world’s economy becomes more and more strained, even reaching the breaking point.

ISRAEL SIGNS UNDER PRESSURE

By compelling present world conditions existing in that hour, little Israel will be forced to side with this beast system. Yet bear in mind, the spiritual orthodox Jew will never have any part with what is transpiring. It is only Israel’s political or apostate Jew, who for survival sake, will unite with it signing this covenant agreement (thus beginning her final and 70th week.) It is the political Jew who can not see his being re-gathered back into the land has had any definite fulfillment of prophecy, who goes for it. That is the Jew who grabs this opportunity offered by the man of sin for survival and peace.

FULFILLING PROPHECY

Such an act begins the fulfilment of John 5:43 where Jesus declared before the ruling Jews to whom he was attempting to present himself as Messiah God – I come to you in my Father’s name and you did not receive me (as Messiah God). But the savior looks further down in that hour when Israel will already be in their 70th week and continues saying, but if another come in his name you will receive him. And with open arms during that hour they will receive the anti-Christ who comes in his own name. However, the complete fulfillment of Christ’s statement will not appear until the middle of the week when the anti-Christ presents himself as their Messiah God and they accept him. As the covenant is signed, according to Dan. 9:27, the 70th week officially opens. The Jewish race who in no way appreciates the Catholic Church nor cares anything for the pope will nevertheless, in that hour, in order to preserve their monetary system that apostate Jew will be willing to bow to anything. Why not? He can easily accept this period of peace and prosperity under the anti-Christ as his Messiah, after all to many Jews in Israel today the coming of the Messiah is nothing more than a period of peace and prosperity. That is what the anti-Christ promised: peace and prosperity.

WEEK OPENED UNAWARE

When the man of sin signs this covenant with Israel, neither he nor Israel is aware this signing has officially opened the 70th week of Daniel, because whatever signing the anti-Christ did before with other nations had absolutely no bearing on scripture whatsoever, it is only this particular signing with Israel that officially opens the70th week and brings God’s two prophets upon the scene rebuking Israel for what she did. It is the signing with that nation (Israel) that automatically displeases God and we begin to hear these seven trumpet judgments in glory blasting away during that week. Keep in mind, not all the Jews in Israel are apostate Jews because one element knows why he is back in the land and is impatiently awaiting for what they believe to be the first coming of their Messiah God. What the apostate Jew did in signing the covenant angered God and set off the 7 judgment angels in Rev. 8:9 to blasting away.

ANGRY GOD SENDS PROPHETS

No sooner is that covenant agreement signed (Dan. 9:27) than God, now so displeased with Israel’s actions, sends these two great anointings, on two Jewish men in Israel who begins rebuking Israel. Beloved, are you aware if we are living in the day of Christ’s soon return, these two Jewish prophets are already on this earth and although no one knows who they are or what area of the earth they may have originated, one thing is for sure, they won’t be nine year old kids in that hour. They are two Jewish men with a basic purpose, they known who they are, what they are supposed to do and they well know once their work is completed the anti-Christ is going to kill them. Furthermore, they will know what God has been doing among the gentiles even before their hour as well as what God is doing in their hour and most of all, what he will be doing in the near future. They will not preach, taking a text from a certain chapter in the Bible as men do today, instead they prophesy. They foretell things to the Jew in that hour, things which are imminent, things which are pending, things to happen in just a few short months and years; things God’s people will soon be facing in Israel as well as what Jews throughout the world will soon be facing. Standing in the streets of Jerusalem they will pronounce judgments.

JUDGMENT OF APOSTATE JEW

Ask yourself the question, on whom and for what purpose do they pronounce judgment? It is against those apostate political Jews who favored the signing of that agreement. This judgment is God’s way of trying to correct that political Jew for his wrong and error in linking up with that system. Can’t you see that nation in her political endeavor during the first half of that 70th week. Today, Israel is truly prospering. She may have a high inflation rate of 35 per cent and pay 86 per cent of her salaries for taxes, but as far as her crops are concerned she is flourishing. Already, she is exporting all kinds of fruits and vegetables into the Common Market nations of Europe who one day forms into this beast system. Recently, Israel signed a pact linking her more closely into the Common Market nations, enabling her for a considerable period of time to export all her fruit and vegetables into Europe for sale. Yet, in that hour, because the political element of Israel links up with the anti-Christ who heads up the European Common Market system, this greatly displeases God, therefore watch what he does.

AFFECTS MIDDLE EAST

As the final prophetic week of seven years opens, God is angry! The first three trumpet judgment angels in Rev. 8:7-11 sound their trumpets and for 1260 days on earth through the ministry of those two prophets, a third part of the world feels the effects. A third part of the vegetation and water is affected. Note beloved, it is only a third part of this world which is affected by what these 3 judgment angels and two prophets are doing. This lets me know what is taking place on earth through the sounding of those first three trumpet judgment angels is happening only in the Middle East where approximately one third of everything in the world is. No, the sounding of these three angels will not affect the entire planet earth, only a third part. This by no means even affects the Far East where today dwells your oriental race of people who will be busy preparing for Armageddon, which comes at the end of the 70th week.

WHY NOT FAR EAST

Why does that ministry not affect the Far East, your oriental race, referred to in Rev. 16 as the kings of the East, which definitely is the one side of the communistic picture seen coming to Armageddon. Recall, none of these four world beast powers or empires of Daniel 7:1-28, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece or Rome, ever ruled the Far East where dwells the oriental race. Therefore, when those first three trumpet angels expressed their judgment powers in the earth, their powers being actually ministered through the authority of these two prophetic offices in Israel, affecting only a third part of the world. Therefore it was bodies of water around Israel which become blood, not in the Far East but Middle East!

DROUGHT AND FAMINE

Did not Rev. 11:6 declare these two prophets had power to shut the heavens? Did not the Prophet Elijah bring such judgment against the ten northern tribes in Israel declaring, it will not rain until I call for it? You remember the story of what happened in Samaria, they all practically starved. Though today Israel has plenty of food, in that hour when those two prophets get through prophesying judgment upon Israel, you will not only see her barley and wheat fields drying up and parching but her forests also. In Joel 1:19 he prophesies the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. Not literal fire but the fire of drought seeing no rain will come for 3 ½ years during the days of their prophecy. When that spirit of Elijah stands in Jerusalem prophesying during the first half of that 70th week, accompanied by that spirit of Moses, naturally that political element of the Jew is going to be humiliated and furious as Pharaoh was down in Egypt. I can see those two prophets clothed with these two great anointings saying, alright, if you do not believe we have THUS SAITH THE LORD, you will believe us next year when you try to put out your crops and nothing will grow.

STRATEGY DURING FIRST HALF

Remember after that signing, for 3 ½ years while these prophets are busy prophesying in Israel, the anti-Christ himself is also going to be quite busy. For a while everything in the western gentile world will be prospering and the average man of the world is content saying, what this great leader has to offer is just what we have always needed. During the first part of that week (first 3 ½ years) peace and prosperity to a certain degree will reign, but wait until later (last 3 ½ years) it turns out to be a false peace for the world. At first the man of sin will be a most eloquent man, a great speechmaker filled with wonderful promises for a glorious future of peace. The western world is saying, we need to be united. But let me tell you one thing, God sure did not want Israel united with this thing. Yet since she did unite, two prophets stand in her midst and for that first half of Daniel’s 70th week they not only prophesy but also smite that part of the world with plagues!

JEWS SEALED

According to Revelation Chaps. 7 and 14, while these two men prophesy during the first half of the week, there is going to be a selected and predestinated element of Jews who will receive a revelation. It is no other than the 144,000 Jews from the House of Israel (Rev. 7:2-8). Today, at present, according to the latest American Jewish Yearbook we are told throughout the world the Jewish population stands at better than 14,150,000. More than 5 ½ million (estimated 5,730,000) of these Jews live in the U.S. constituting 2.8 percent of the population. And get this, this figure is by far larger than that living in Israel! Israel has a Jewish population of 2,806,000. There are more Jews in American than in any other country of the world, including Russia who still has 2,680,000; France, 550,000; Argentina 475,000; Great Britain, 410,000; and Canada with 305,000; that is not including persecuted Jews in Arab countries as well as other places.

SACRIFICE ALTAR REOPENED

You must understand, all those Jews will never return to Israel, however, there will be enough returning that 144,000 can be sealed in with a revelation delivered by these two prophets. The seal of the living God is the Holy Ghost (Eph. 4:30). Who knows, some of these other Jews may go to Israel in that hour and be fortunate enough to hear those two prophets seeing Israel will, in the beginning of her 70th week at least have her sacrificial altar in her hands (Dan. 9:27, 12:11), whereby she may offer animal sacrifices unto Jehovah and a Jewish temple in the process of being built will certainly stimulate Jews throughout the world as they no doubt will be called upon to make great contributions toward the rebuilding of that temple. 144,000 predestinated seed of God in Israel during the first half of the 70th week will hear a revelation as well as received the seal of God, the Holy Ghost. That is why Rev. 7 pictures 144,000 of these people from the tribes of Israel sealed in their forehead and later Rev. 14 pictures this same 144,000 in an entirely different dramatic setting. Because later in Rev. 14 John saw that same 144,000 standing on Mt. Zion with a lamb (where Jerusalem) having their father’s name written in their forehead. Not written with an indelible pencil, of course not, but with the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. Note their obedience to the Spirit because it says they follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth. Don’t literalize that, that is not 144,000 men of Israel trailing around behind a natural lamb! Then what is it? It is this special 144,000 who heard two prophets somewhere during the first half of that week, now with the Spirit of God in their lives, following that Holy Ghost wheresoever he leads them. Have you ever wondered where he would lead them? Don’t think for a moment these 144,000 are going to be sidetracked to sit it out on the bleachers until the millennium reign begins. No, these are servants of Jehovah and they have a job to do. That job will be getting a definite message to the millions of Jews still living in dispersion out in the gentile world and that message must be delivered quickly. No, it is not by any means a Salvation Message. It is not a message of grace whatsoever, it is a warning message to have nothing to do with this beast system in that hour seeing it has turned completely satanic (after the middle of the week).

FIRST HALF NOT TRIBULATION

Their job comes in the latter half of that prophetic week. Keep in mind, the first half of that 70th week can be very peaceful and is never spoken of as a time of tribulation because during that time the western world will be quite busy establishing their unification of one world government as well as their one world religion, etc. Yet may I remind you, God has other plans and this new world order under the anti-Christ isn’t going to progress very far before God steps in and disrupts it. Two prophets are prophesying in Israel pronouncing judgment and fulfilling those first three trumpet angel judgments in Rev. 8:7-11. According in Dan. 9:27 somehow the orthodox Jew in Israel has gained access to his old ancient temple grounds.

ERECTION OF TEMPLE UNNECESSARY

Yes, as that period of the 70th week is officially opened, by some means the orthodox Jew gains possession of his holy spot and animal sacrifices on the altar will have already begun, because remember, it won’t be necessary for the Jew to have his temple built at that hour, although probably it will have begun and with modern equipment it shouldn’t require too many years before completion. Nevertheless, the Jew will not wait for that temple to be erected to be again offering sacrifice because once that sacred rock altar now covered over by the Dome of the Rock falls into his hands he can immediately begin to offer sacrifices unto Jehovah. Thus, the first thing the orthodox Jew will do, after having received his temple ground where stands the sacrifice altar, is to do exactly what his ancestors did when they returned from Babylonian captivity under the prophets Zachariah and Haggai. Neither did they have a temple in that hour, yet once they found that sacrificial rock among the rubbish they began to sacrifice animals upon it several years before the second temple was ever rebuilt. As a matter of fact they hadn’t been back in the land two months before they erected an altar and began sacrifices. Such an act as this automatically places Israel on grounds of worship and communication with Jehovah. Later they erected a temple, wherein the priest could further function in his priestly administration.

GAINS TEMPLE GROUND

Thus according to Dan. 9:27, 12:11 scripture which doesn’t mention their temple as having been erected as the 70th week officially opened, although it does discuss the ability of the Jew being able to offer sacrifices on his sacred sacrificial altar, known today as the rock of Moriah. Once again as the Jew begins to offer burnt offerings unto Jehovah and as smoke raises from the sacred altar with a true ordained sacrifice burning upon that rock offering sacrifices once again places the nation back on the basis of a true scriptural fellowship with Jehovah. May I remind you also whenever God has a prophet on earth to benefit Israel as a nation, when they were in their homeland there was always an animal sacrifice on that sacred altar.

REVELATION THROUGH PROPHETS

Yes we are fully aware although there will be blood animal sacrifices on the sacrificial altar according to Dan. 9:27, the blood sacrifice on the altar itself has nothing whatsoever to do with any Jew receiving the true revelation of who Jesus Christ is ABSOLUTELY NOT! That revelation comes strictly from God through those two prophets, nevertheless the fact there is a continual sacrifice laying on the altar during the first half of that week speaks only that Israel has come in line with the Old Testament law which Israel, as God’s chosen people of old, was always recognized by and required to walk in. That altar setting only enables Israel as a people to now begin having fellowship with God whereby he may remove the veil from their eyes, especially the 144,000, giving to them the revelation of various scriptures. See, God doesn’t bypass anything he does everything exactly according to the pattern of the word. No we haven’t forgotten our subject of the THREE WOES, but seeing the THREE WOES do not appear until the middle of the 70th week, we began in the first part of the week working our way up to the middle where soon we shall see the operation of the THREE WOES. I can see that nation during the first half of that 70th week as the orthodox Jew, now with his temple ground in his possession, begin to fellowship Jehovah. Two mightily anointed Jewish prophets appear following the signing of his covenant in Dan. 9:27, standing on that ancient temple grounds prophesying and warning the people of the judgments to fall upon their nation as a result of what their nation did; telling them how displeased God is with it all, warning them what is soon to take place, seeing their good time is almost to be turned into a nightmare.

PART 2 – EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE OF WEEK PRODUCES WOES

Timewise we have reached the middle of the week. 3 ½ years or one thousand two hundred sixty days have passed which has actually concluded the ministry of these two prophets. Their job is finished. Nevertheless, the sealing away of the 144,000 has already taken place and in certain circles, a great revival has stirred Israel. Undoubtedly this stirring revival irritates and agitates greatly the man of sin, seeing such a revival sets off a social disorder or social disruption throughout the Jewish world. It causes an international as well as a social and political disturbance among the Jewish people which forces the anti-Christ to step in and change things as the anti-Christ makes his move against Israel, Dan. 9:27, 12:11 declares half of the prophetic week of seven years has passed, one thousand two hundred three score days. These two Jewish prophets have successfully brought spiritual life and revival to one element of Jews while at the same time brought plagues (Rev. 8:7-11) which is God’s judgment against the political Jew. But I ask you, did these plagues striking a third part of the earth (in the Middle East) cause the political apostate Jew to repent – THEY DID NOT! Instead he continues right on his own chosen way feeling everything is fine Israel has her temple area, more than that, Israel has her covenant of peace and prosperity with the anti-Christ and although the plagues against the land have been severe, the political minded Jew is still satisfied to allow things to remain as they are. Because of such an attitude, God must somehow judge that apostate Jew even more severely. Watch what he does.

ANTI-CHRIST MOVES IN FOURTH TRUMPET SOUNDS

Conditions have now so developed in Israel where in its necessitates action by the man of sin, Satan’s little prince to step in and do something and it is what he does in the middle of that week in Jerusalem which caused that fourth angel in the spirit world to smite a third part of the heavens, black out a third part of the moon, sun and stars whereby a third part of them gave no light and the day shown not for a third part as well as the night. It is then we hear in Rev. 8:13 the angel flying through heaven saying WOE, WOE, WOE to the inhabiters of the earth, ‘WOE’ meaning extreme sorrow, extreme misery, extreme suffering will come against the inhabitants of the earth. When? In the middle of the week! Why? Because God’s anger is so kindled against Israel for what she now does that he smites the third part of the heavens! We note with the first three trumpets, a third part of the earth was smitten, however, with the fourth trumpet God struck the heavens and pronounced THREE WOES to follow.

WOE ANNOUNCED UNDER FOURTH TRUMPET

Watch carefully what this man of sin does in the middle of the 70th week. The moment the anti-Christ is forced by conditions in Israel to do something, he automatically fulfilled Dan. 9:27 as well as Dan. 12:11, once he has destroyed Israel’s privilege to sacrifice. We are in the middle of that prophetic week and note in the middle of that week, the angel sounds the THREE WOES following the fourth trumpet blast when the anti-Christ destroyed the orthodox Jew’s privilege of being able to offer sacrifice, Satan’s prince, the anti-Christ desecrated the altar by rendering it useless. Dan. 9:27 declares he takes away the (daily) sacrifice from off the altar as well as stopping the evening oblation. The evening oblation is incense being offered up unto God at the evening time.

ALTAR DESOLATE – HOW LONG?

The Bible even tells how long the Jewish altar will remain desolate (useless) Dan. 12:11, a thousand two hundred ninety days, a period of 30 days over the allotted 3 ½ years for the great tribulation to run its course. Then once again the altar becomes useful for a millennium purpose. Blessed is he that waiteth, Daniel says 45 more days, which comes to a thousand three hundred thirty-five days. Seventy-five extra days in Dan. 12:12 added to that space of 1,230 days or the last half of the week, are days which by no means relate to the actual sacrifice itself, but seeing the anti-Christ himself being the abomination that maketh desolate polluted this holy area for the last 3 ½ years of the 70th week. Those days relate strictly to the cleaning up process or the rededication of the temple as well as the rededication of the altar. These extra days places you well over into the millennium reign when Christ is already on earth. Remember Christ will never step into that temple, though it was built for him, nor will he permit a sacrifice to go upon the altar to serve strictly for the millennium purpose until first all this cleaning up and rededicating process is completed. That is why you have those extra days mentioned in Dan. 12:11-12 past your normal Jewish 3 ½ years or 42 months. The altar shall be used again.

TEMPLE BUILT BEFORE MILLENNIUM

Some say they do not believe the Jewish temple is to be built before the coming of Christ. Well if the temple isn’t to be rebuilt before the coming of Christ, then please interpret. Rev. 11:1-2 which shows John being instructed to take a reed or measuring rod and go measure the temple, measure a temple, which I remind you is not the spiritual temple of God, whose house we are in the grace age if we have the Holy Ghost abiding in us (I Cor. 6:19) John was instructed to measure the actual temple of God. When the word of the Lord came to John on the Isle of Patmos, Herod’s temple lay in ruins! As a matter of fact all Jerusalem lay in ruins in 96 A.D. But an angel told John to rise and measure the temple, the altar and them that worship therein. Verse 2 says, but the court which is without the temple leave out, measure it not for it is given unto the Gentiles and the holy city shall be trod under foot forty and two months. This 42 months beloved is still future. For someone to tell me where, after 96 A.D. or anywhere in Israel’s past history was Jerusalem ever trod down by Gentiles for only a small period of 3 ½ years, as John says Jerusalem will be trodden down here! Some think the Jewish temple is built after Christ comes to reign for a thousand years and not during the final week of Daniel’s prophecy. How ignorant people can be to scripture. If the temple is not built until after Christ comes, then somewhere during the millennium you will have to say the Gentiles will overrun the temple area for forty-two months. What wild ideas some have concerning scripture.

ABOMINATION STANDING IN HOLY PLACE

Once the anti-Christ stops the daily sacrifice there in the midst of the week, he sets himself up in the temple being rebuilt and Dan. 12:11 refers to his act as the abomination that maketh desolate. Christ, picking up that very statement, elaborates further on it in Matt. 24:15 saying to the Jewish people facing that dark hour in the middle of the week, when you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (Dan. 12:11) whosoever readeth let him understand; let everybody in Judaea (Israel) flee for their lives into the mountains because then (for 3 ½ years) shall be great tribulation, etc.

DESIRES HONOR PAID IN SAME SPOT

Really brother, do you believe the anti-Christ will literally sit in the temple in Jerusalem? Well, how many believe that Jesus will sit in the temple in the millennium? Sure, Ezekiel 43, 44, and 45 that covers the anointing of the most holy. Remember, whatever God promised for mankind’s benefit, Satan will always run first with his counterpart. Recall how Zech. 14 declares every nation must go up to Jerusalem during the thousand years reign on to that temple area and worship the Lord of Host, keeping the feast of the tabernacles. Well, the devil wants the same honor and he wants that honor paid to him on the same spot of ground, in the same identical building! Because the Jews rejected the first manifestation of Christ, the Lord gives them the anti-Christ as a curse. This is God’s way of dealing with the apostate element of the nation. Then turns around in the millennium and gives that hour to the spiritual course of the nation. During the middle of the week he breaks his covenant and sets himself up in the temple of God. When he does God immediately releases hell upon the earth.

WHAT TRIGGERED 4TH TRUMPET

The fourth trumpet judgment sounded as the anti-Christ reached out and struck Israel’s altar and worship there in the middle of that week, took over the temple presenting himself as God and the apostate Jew went along with it! Whatever took place in the holy land by the middle of the week has caused the anti-Christ to go to Jerusalem and break his word to Israel. Remember Dan. 9:27 says he broke his own covenant. Israel never broke it! The apostate Jew was very content with the covenant and the true orthodox Jew never accepted it in the first place. It was the anti-Christ who broke it. He made the agreement for a period of seven years, but saw it was benefitting the Jew far too much, therefore after the covenant had been in existence for 3 ½ years which brought prophetic time up to the middle of the prophetic week, HE BROKE IT! He not only broke his word but the apostate Jew accepted him as Messiah God and this sets off a chain reaction in the heavens as the forth trumpet angel is heard to sound smiting a third part of the sun, moon and stars, the THREE WOES on mankind are pronounced.

APOSTATE JEW ACCEPTS ANTI-CHRIST AS GOD

Why are THREE WOES pronounced on mankind at this very hour? It is because the anti-Christ moves into Jerusalem and into the temple, setting himself up as God and that apostate Jew agrees to go right along with it. Why shouldn’t he, as it has already been stated the apostate Jew feels the coming of the Messiah is nothing more than a period of prosperity anyway and as far as the anti-Christ is concerned up to this hour, he has given his kingdom that prosperity and peace. Nevertheless once that anti-Christ touches the altar and stops the sacrifice in behalf of the orthodox Jew, he fulfills Rev. 11:1-3 as he will also cut off the ministry of these two prophets. Having taken away the daily sacrifice from the altar, Paul’s revelation in 2 Thessalonians says the man of sin sets himself up as God in the temple and is worshiped as God (2 Thess. 2:3-4). But what makes God so angry is the apostate Jew in Israel who he had already plagued for 3 ½ years accepts him as their Messiah God. This brought the FIRST WOE! Speaking of the hour during the middle of the week, Revelation declares everyone in these various areas where his influence is felt (including Israel) whose name is not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will worship the beast when they behold the spirit of the beast which was and is not, yet is, Rev. 13:8. However, please note, he does not call upon the world to worship him as God until around the middle of week! Because it is not until the middle of the week that he moves into Jerusalem and takes over. Then his whole kingdom, including the apostate political Jew who feels the Messiah is a period of peace and prosperity, will worship him as God.

TREADING JERUSALEM 42 MONTHS

Bringing his international police force into Jerusalem fulfills Rev. 11:2, where under his authority the Gentiles (his police force) tramps the streets of Jerusalem for 42 months. The orthodox Jews are no longer allowed access to the temple area because the anti-Christ has set himself up in the temple declaring himself to be God. Such action immediately sets up a hatred among the orthodox Jews and this still further agitates the anti-Christ, who by this hour according to Rev. 12:13-14, becomes a (wild) beast seeing he has now completely become the incarnated devil himself as Satan who was earlier cast to the earth has completely possessed the man of sin and intends to give Israel a bloodbath. Such satanic hatred against Israel will now usher in a period of 3 ½ years of pure hatred against the Jew as a race of people.

4TH TRUMPET SOUNDS IN MIDDLE OF WEEK

Notice the fourth trumpet angel sounding its judgment did not affect anything on the earth as did the first three trumpets. It is your celestial elements affected by the sound of the fourth angel’s trumpet! Get this, in the middle of the week that carnal political Jew accepted the anti-Christ as their Messiah God there in the temple to completely fulfill John 5:43 having every intention of still going along with the anti-Christ even though he broke his covenant with Israel! Such action greatly angers God and God will use this very diabolical thing to further speak to Israel. Becoming angry over what the political Jew has allowed, the fourth trumpet angel blasts forth in the middle of the week and God smites, not the earth, but a third part of the sun, moon and stars wherein they will not shine for a third part of the day.

MIDDLE EAST AFFECTED

Where will this darkness be primarily expressed on earth? No doubt in the Middle East only! Probably this darkness can not even been seen in the rest of the world only in the Middle East because the anti-Christ is in the Middle East committing this diabolical act and what is worse, those apostate Israelites go along with it! Thus is the Middle East, primarily Israel, this dark celestial shadow will hang. It is God’s way as a sign to the nation, you accepted the devil’s agent as Messiah, all right, if this is what you wanted this is what I am going to give you, only more than you ever dreamed possible! For the last 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week my voice won’t be heard anymore through a prophet, therefore I am going to give you literally hell on earth. Why do I say hell on earth? Because no sooner did that fourth angel sound his trumpet a blast that no natural ear heard, God smites a third part of the sun, moon and stars, now we hear the THREE WOES sounded.

WOE NUMBER ONE

HELL LOOSED

FIFTH TRUMPET

Rev. 9:1-12


Watch closely what happens, the fifth angel sounds his trumpet and with it we see the FIRST WOE released on earth. What do we now see coming up out of hell? In the middle of that final week the fifth angel sounds his trumpet releasing the First Woe upon the inhabitants of the earth, releasing for that first five month period extreme anguish, extreme suffering, extreme sorrow, seeing earth no longer wants to worship God but Satan instead. God himself said to the fifth angel, release that first WOE, Rev. 9:12. Did any natural man hear it when it was released? Absolutely not! But the spirit world heard it. The fifth angel sounded and all hell heard, eager to be turned loose upon the earth, whereby they might torture mankind. It is symbolic of course, because there is no place on earth with a huge hole that you could say here is the entrance leading to the bottomless pit. No, John is strictly seeing a symbolic picture but it shows hell to be opening up and freeing every demon spirit as God calls for them to come forth. As the bottomless pit opens, verse 2 says, a smoke rose from the pit as the smoke of a great furnace and the sun was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. Look at that dreadful darkness which rose from this pit in the middle of the week as that man of sin broke the covenant, set himself up in the temple as God and demanded all mankind, including apostate Judaism, to accept and worship him as God. When they do, God immediately releases every devil in hell. God seeing the world including apostate Israel desires to be ruled over by Satan’s man of sin, simply says, you like all that so much, I am going to give you 100 percent of all the devil is. Therefore to accommodate you, I will empty hell just for you and turn every demon loose on the earth. Yes, Israel is included in this because basically the overall picture prophetically concerning the week is primarily concerned with Israel.
 

TORMENT MANKIND

John watched this dramatic sight unfold. The bottomless pit open and these locust like creatures who were demons coming forth. Why are they described as resembling locusts? In the spiritual sense these demons are going to have the same effect upon the flesh and the spirit of mankind in their torturing ability and affects similar to that of a natural locust working and stripping away the leaves and grass of natural vegetation. They simply gnaw away until they have devoured the very thing they are gnawing upon. Verse 3 shows why it is spoken in this manner – And there was given unto them power as a natural scorpion on the earth has power. And note they are commanded not to hurt the grass nor any green thing of the earth, trees, etc. These two prophets’ ministries fulfilling the sounding of the first three trumpet judgments had already accomplished that. These things of torment will only affect man in his physical and spiritual makeup. In verse 4 they are commanded not to hurt vegetation but only to torment those men who did not have the seal of God in their forehead. Recall this sealing came during the first half of the week and this statement proves the 144,000 Israelites were already sealed in and are exempt from this tormenting five month period. Only those unregenerated people who had already aligned themselves with the anti-Christ system, accepting him as God were tormented. Note verse 5 and to them it was given not to kill them, only to torment the unregenerated five months and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion as he strikes a man. In those days man shall seek death and shall not find it, desiring to die, but death flees from them.

FIVE MONTHS TORMENT
These demons are strictly for torment. No, they do not create heart trouble, cancer, etc., these diseases are already here. They literally work on the mentality and spiritual makeup of man, act as a tormenting restless disturbing thing. Listen to the Lord commanding them to hurt mankind during that final 3 ½ year period, their torment is as a torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. A scorpion sting makes man so miserable, so sick, in such misery, aching, running a high fever. It does not necessarily kill man, yet for hours he is so miserable going through such aches and fever he may wish he was dead. However note, in these five months mankind to be tortured cannot die. Man will actually seek suicide to try and escape the pressure of these tormenting spirits yet God won’t permit him to go through with it.
SUICIDE LEADERS
Amazing how little pressure mankind can actually stand. You would be surprised to know the tens of thousand of people who because of one tormenting pressure or another, can not cope with life and would gladly commit suicide to escape reality. In America alone (in 1975) some 55,000, according to officials, will commit suicide. Suicide rate season runs highest following the suicide of a famous personality. Statistics show for the first three months after Marilyn Monroe committed suicide the rate of suicides rose over 35 per cent above the natural trend. The rate of increase above normal depends upon how well known the celebrity was. What does it mean? Simply that thousands of people desire to commit suicide but do not have the courage, however, let a famous celebrity lead the way and it furnishes courage for thousand of others. Just think, if man can hardly stand his tormenting pressures today when he can die, think of the extra agony that will be added during that special five months after the middle of the 70th week when God has become so disgusted with mankind he won’t permit any man to die. Picture that FIRST WOE being poured out on mankind. During the first five months of the last 3 ½ years of the final week, everything in hell will be loosed and allowed to come upon earth to invade and infiltrate a society who has shown or expressed more than anything, by accepting the anti-Christ as their God that they wanted a satanic rule over them. The purpose of this infiltration is to make life so miserable, so unbearable for unregenerated mankind, spiritually, mentally as well as physically, that he would gladly seek death to escape it but God simply won’t allow unregenerated man to take the short cut out. Here is WOE number one. When did it strike the earth, in the middle of the prophetic week.
TWO FOLD PURPOSE
Actually these released demons have a twofold objective. Not only will they torment mankind five months but as that period of the final portion of the week (last 3 ½ years) draws nearer to its climax, these same devils will become confusing spirits to help throw that entire Western European beast system, headed by the man of sin, into a total state of confusion and unrest, no doubt fulfilling Rev. 17:16-18. While the same time will help prepare the world for Armageddon, including the nations of the Far East oriental people, who by this late hour will all be under their own form of Communism. Never think a devil causing a severe headache can not do something else they sure can, they sure can. Once these tormenting demons are released on earth and serve their five months purpose, watch what the scripture says their final objective is Rev. 9:7, and the shape of the locust were like unto horses prepared unto battle. And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold and their faces were the faces of men, and they had hair as the hair of women. Women’s long hair on a man’s face, This is not said to discredit any young man but are you aware when you see those long haired characters walking the streets today you could well be looking at a physical shadow of what John actually saw in the Spirit. It is pathetic when you can not tell a man from a woman.

SON OF PERDITION ANOINTED TO DESTROY

With man’s face and hair of a woman and teeth as teeth of lions, verse 9 declares them to have breastplates as it were breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings were as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. Here they take on a military characteristic. Verse 10 says their tails were like scorpions and there were stings in their tails and their power was to hurt men five months. In verse 11 we learn these creatures had a king over them who is the angel of the bottomless pit and that captain and king is the devil whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon but in the Greek is Apollyon. Notice carefully what this name signifies. It brings out the fact of what Satan will be doing in the windup or showdown. This name signifies the devil who is both Lucifer and Satan actually is a “destroyer” or “destroying angel” showing destruction and you associate that word perdition with the son of perdition meaning one ordained to lead to destruction such as was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ. Therefore when Satan entered Judas Iscariot, Satan anointed him for the purpose to destroy Jesus, thus causing Judas in scripture to be referred to as the son of perdition. However in this particular setting of the middle of the week when Satan fully enters or anoints the man of sin (as he did Judas) we see that man of sin now take on his role as the son of perdition which means one ordained to lead to destruction. True, mankind had desired this very hour (or rule) nevertheless it was still Satan’s plot, through his man of sin, the son of perdition to now take mankind down the pathway of destruction. God, now disgusted with mankind allows Satan to lead mankind, who he had already rejected, right off into destruction. Satan’s plan is carried out through his agent, now called the son of perdition, because the anti-Christ is not only Satan’s mouthpiece but after the middle of the week has become the very incarnation of this spirit itself. Bear in mind, this son of perdition role does not apply to the anti-Christ until the world reaches the middle of that final prophetic week when he breaks that covenant of Dan. 9:27 and Dan. 12:11 and becomes specially anointed for the kill. It is only then God says I will give the world the most horrible experience mankind has ever endured, I will literally turn hell loose upon the earth, giving them all hell has to offer. Here the devil is allowed to incarnate himself in his agent because in that hour Satan has already set his trap and as far as God is concerned it is already over and finished seeing he won’t lift his hand in behalf of any intervention following the death of his two prophets. The objective is now to take mankind straight to destruction and while leading them down that road to destruction Satan and his demon hosts will have the privilege of slowly tormenting mankind, making life miserable for him because at the end of this last 3 ½ years God intends to destroy all of them during the hour of Armageddon anyway. Thus with the anti-Christ’s broken covenant in the middle of week, we see the first WOE released as hell is turned loose. May I say all three of these woes are sounded and administered directly as the result of what the anti-Christ does in the middle of that week.

WOE 2 & 3 WHEN AND HOW EXPRESSED

Rev. 9: 12 declared, one WOE is past, behold there comes two WOES more hereafter. But the question is in relationship to the final week, where are the other two WOES placed? For years I searched the scriptures trying to see in the light of the scripture relating to this final week, just where, when and how these Woes were to be expressed. Were they to be divided out over the entire final 3 ½ year period of time or just how were they to be expressed. In other words where in the week were they to fall. Was I to understand that one Woe was to be expressed now and then sometime later in the prophetic week another Woe would be released, etc., or did they possibly overlap one another. How the other two woes were expressed still remained to be the question.

6TH TRUMPET CARRIED NO WOE

I took note while reading the sixth trumpet angel it was odd that you did not find the second Woe mentioned anywhere in that trumpet. When God gave the answer I saw these three Woes were all connected into that same time period used to express the fifth trumpet blast there in the middle of the week. Three things were accomplished in the middle of that week and these things constitute the three Woes! These Woes were to be released consecutively, one after the other, falling precisely in the middle of the week. Woe number one is hell being turned loose as the anti-Christ moved into the temple area and those apostate Jews accepted him as God. Two more Woes are to follow. Beloved, as hell is turned loose on earth, your second and third Woes are set in motion.

WOE NUMBER TWO – DEATH OF PROPHETS

What is the second Woe? It is none other than the killing of the two prophets by the anti-Christ which silences the intervention of God for the people in the middle of the week according to Rev. 11:14 and the third Woe is that bloodbath against Israel for 3 ½ years. Therefore, reading the sixth trumpet angel’s judgment, we see no where is the second Woe mentioned. Because remember the effects of the sixth angel will not climax until Armageddon at the end of the 70th week. For the second Woe we pick up Rev. 11:7 where Israel’s two Jewish prophets have just completed their ministry during the first half of the prophetic week, ministering and plaguing the Middle East for a period of 3 ½ years. Did the political apostate Jew repent? They did not. But thank God that 144,000 men received the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. There were some spiritual Jews who received some very important information which will benefit them during the last half of the week, which shall be discussed more thoroughly under the third woe. Now let us establish the second Woe. Time wise, as Rev. 11:7 begins they are at the middle of the week. And when they (the two prophets) shall have finished or shall have completed their testimony (note that is past tense), the beast that ascended up out of the bottomless pit killed them. Here is the Apostle John’s method of describing the spirit of that beast which comes up out of the pit because it is only the spirit of the beast which could come up out of the pit, the body of the beast cannot, only a spirit can do that.

SPIRIT OF BEAST

Therefore it is the spirit of the beast of that old resurrected Roman Empire, which comes up out of hell and embodies or entwines itself around that European beast system of 10 nations as well as the man of sin who is the head of the government of that beast system. This simply becomes Satan’s way of embodying himself or characterizing himself to act out his diabolical purpose primarily against Israel. Thus John says, that beast (spirit) that ascended out of the bottomless pit makes war against them (the two prophets) and shall overcome them and kill them. When, during the first part of the week? Absolutely not!! Because Rev. 11:5 declared during the days of their prophesy (3 ½ years) no one can hurt them seeing if anyone tried the fire (of judgment) proceeded out of their mouth to destroy them. That fire naturally is not a literal fire but is the fire of judgment of the spoken word such as was spoken by Elijah when fire fell and burned up 100 soldiers (2 Kings 1:9-15) in the days of Israel’s apostasy. However, note after their 3 ½ years, once their ministry is completely finished, they can be killed. This shows as long as the anti-Christ is only in the preliminary stage of that week, working out his final plan of take over, God is giving those Jews a revival in Israel during which time nothing can harm these prophets. However, once the revival has accomplished its purpose and God is finished with his two prophets, we see the means and way God has of allowing their ministry to be fulfilled. See, it is time for the fulfillment of Dan. 9:27 and to allow the devil to do all his diabolical work in deceiving the world, presenting himself as God in the middle of the week and soon to lead his followers to destruction. The devil there in the middle of that week, working through his agent the anti-Christ, reaches over, breaks the covenant with the Jew, denying their right to sacrifice, kills the two prophets in the same time period as we see God has now released two of the three WOES announced under the fourth trumpet. Trumpet number five released Woe number one. The anti-Christ, having now become the beast man, reaches out and kills those two prophets, not in some great prison yard but out in the streets of Jerusalem.

SPIRIT OF JERUSALEM

However note, there has such a spirit taken over in Jerusalem by the middle of the week that God does not even refer to this great city by its rightful name Jerusalem, instead gives it two other names which reveal the spiritual setting as it prefigures what the city will be like in that hour. Verse 8 says, and their dead bodies shall lay in the streets of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord was crucified. What does Sodom and Egypt mean in relation to Jerusalem in the middle of the week. Sodom you remember was a wicked city destroyed long ago and Jesus most certainly was not crucified in Egypt. Therefore these two names (Sodom and Egypt) reveal the spiritual setting showing the moral situation of the people of the city themselves by the middle of the week. As the world reaches the middle of that week, although they have had a great revival in Jerusalem and 144,000 men have been sealed in, nevertheless in a moral sense those Jews who rejected that message but accepted the anti-Christ as God, are possessed with all those idolatrous Sodomite spirits which have been released and running loose. There is in that hour such a spirit of idolatry which affects these blinded political apostate Jews in the fact he worships the anti-Christ as God in their own temple, the political Jew having rejected the two prophets’ message and accepted the anti-Christ as God is now living (as far as God is concerned) in a far worse spiritual and moral condition in their makeup or image before God than the sinful people he destroyed in Sodom. Therefore because of the idolatrous presence of the anti-Christ having moved in makes Jerusalem the filthiest city, both morally and spiritually, as she becomes the cross road of world travel. In that hour in the middle of the week in Jerusalem, you have two conditions simultaneously because as the anti-Christ breaks his covenant he places Jerusalem under his strict Gentile control to fulfill Rev. 11:3. For 42 months Jerusalem will be in bondage and because the two prophets were killed the voice of God will be silenced from any further intervention for the next 3 ½ years. Jerusalem now truly becomes a city of international travel.

WATCHING THE DEAD

Vs. 9,– and they of the people and kindred and tongues and nation shall see (no doubt by satellite television) their dead bodies lie in the street 3 ½ days and shall refuse to allow their dead bodies to be placed in graves for 3 ½ days the world stares upon these dead bodies. Much is heard today concerning communication satellites, that is where pictures and words bounce off a satellite and is seen and heard instantly in all parts of the world. The world will be able to see by television as well as hear by radio these facts without delay. The dead bodies lay in the street and the whole (prophetic) world sends gifts one to the other because they are glad to see these two men dead, because of the plagues which had been placed on them. However, they will only lay there for 3 ½ days, long enough for their bodies to bloat because since the world is making such a big to do over this, God intends to get glory from the very same thing. The world who has been rejoicing over the death of these two men is soon going to have their rejoicing shattered, God is going to speak from heaven and these two men will stand on their feet. No doubt TV cameras will be trained on this sight when it happens. Wonder what the evening newscasters of the news media will say that night concerning their raising from the dead leaving the earth and ascending to heaven? The Bible declares in verse 13 and the same hour (in the middle of the week) there will be a great earthquake. Where? In Jerusalem and Israel. It seems that whenever a resurrection takes place in the land of Israel, the earth just has to rejoice (remember the resurrection of Christ and the great earthquake that followed.) In this earthquake 7000 men are slain and a tenth of the city falls, and the remnant gave glory to God. Although that is true it does mean that they repented and got right with God. Many people today when they see a phenomena occur will acknowledge it had to be God, but it does not make them serve him. What else could they say, it happened there before their very eyes. Now watch closely, verse 14 declares the second Woe is (now) past and behold the Third Woe comes quickly. What is the second Woe? It is when the anti-Christ kills those two prophets in the middle of the week. It is God’s way of saying, you killed my prophets so now you will see my hand no more until 3 ½ years later because now the world will literally have hell on earth. That is what these Three Woes are relating to. All Three Woes relate to the action of the anti-Christ in the middle of that 70th week. No, the earth will certainly not be a joyful place in which to live.

WOE NUMBER THREE – BLOODBATH

We approach the third Woe, and remember it is not some condition developing which happens way out toward the end of the week. It expresses itself right along with Woes number one and two. However, note the third Woe is not mentioned in the same manner the other two are mentioned, nevertheless, it is the last time the word Woe ever appears in Revelation. Our third and final Woe also released in the middle of the week, is seen in Rev. 12. John, looking in the heavens, saw something. There appeared a great wonder (or symbol) in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. What is John looking at? True, he saw the profile of a woman but what he actually sees is the woman’s silhouette as she is so precisely standing in the sun or the glory of the sun is actually what shrouds her, becoming her outer garment. Looking under her feet John saw the moon. John is looking upon the nation of Israel which one day will truly be clothed in the sun when she appears in all her millennium glory. But the moon under her feet shows the nation had passed through 1400 years of the law age which was a foreshadow of better things to come, although it was the gentiles (not Israel) who would receive that better things to come, meaning the grace age.) That same law which testified of the grace age being given to the gentiles spoke also in Hosea, Amos and other prophets of the millennium when all Israel would be saved and shine as a nation in that age. Moreover the fact John saw the woman clothed in the sun did not signify Israel was clothed in the grace age. No, she is only clothed with the glory of Christ when he sits in the millennium, therefore every verse throughout Chapter12 must be interpreted in its proper perspective. Israel, having passed through over 1400 years of the law, prefigured in type by the moon under her feet, that same law tells us that the devil will try to destroy Israel in the middle of the 70th week, but God will save her. He is going to preserve her whereby she will sit in the millennium as a glorified shining nation, fulfilling all of God’s prophecies which he promised her by all his prophets, pertaining to the kingdom age. Christ, her Messiah, will not sit in New York City, he will sit in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion, on the ancient throne of David in order to fulfill Ezek. 21:27 where Zedekiah, the last king of the royal seed line of David, was taken and along with his royal seed was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. God said he would overturn and overturn and overturn, meaning the kingdom of Israel would simply consistently be done in this manner until he would come whose right it was to rule. God would give him the royal diadem which would no longer be signified by two broken tribes of Israel and Judah but under the kingdom of Christ these two sticks (or diadem) would become one and Christ would rule and reign for a thousand years.

WOMAN WITH CHILD

Staring at the woman, John noticed she was with child, crying in travail and pain to be delivered. How could anyone think this pregnant woman could possibly be the church when the church was always spoken of as a virgin. There is no place in scripture which says the church is with child. The church isn’t even married yet. She won’t be married until Rev. 19, but this woman was heavy with child. In fact she was crying to be delivered. It is none other than the nation Israel which after 1400 years of the law age had already conceived by the mouth of her prophets who dropped off the seed of the word of God, those prophetic promises of God such as out of Zion shall come forth a ruler who will rule my people. He will come forth out of Bethlehem (for that is where he will be born). He will be called a Nazarite, etc. Out of Egypt he will call his Son to name only a few prophecies Israel was pregnant with. It is these many prophecies which is the seed word of God which produces this manchild. In the hour of Christ’s birth Israel was under that last beast power to ever rule the world. Furthermore, this resurrected Roman rule will also be the last beast system seen in the middle of the week who tromp, tromp, tromp over her land. Since 606 B.C. until the period of the Romans, it had been some 600 years that Israel was first out of the land then back in, scourged, overrun, slaughtered, etc, and now Israel was desperately wanting her Messiah. The time had arrived when the woman must give birth to the child. Note, under Roman rule the manchild was born. All prophecies concerning this event had come to pass.

RED DRAGON AND ROMAN EMPIRE

Verse 3 picks up with still another aspect of the story. There appeared another wonder in heaven and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon its heads. It’s tail drew out a third part of the stars from heaven and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered for to devour her child as soon as it was born. Brief review: In the heavens stood this pregnant woman, in pain and ready to be delivered of child. In another place stood this great red dragon, all this is none other than a heavenly reflection of the old earthly Roman system down here on earth in which Satan had embodied himself. If the woman is a symbol and a reflection of a nation of people, then so is the red dragon. The dragon is a symbol and a reflection of earthly forces in earthly systems in which Satan has embodied himself for the sole purpose of getting at God, in order to seek to hinder the fulfillment of God’s word. Remember when God’s word is fulfilled it will be fulfilled through people. Likewise, Satan who opposes it, must therefore oppose the word through people. The fact John saw this dragon having seven heads and ten horns certainly wasn’t the picture of Rome in 96 A.D. nor at the time of Christ’s birth but it is the picture of the Roman Empire in its entire complete embodiment and characteristics as it will be in the last days. What John is looking at is none other than a reflection of all this as it is seen in heaven, because all this is definitely the plan of Satan. John is reviewing the overall profile or picture of what will be going on down here on earth, however, only time itself would literally fulfill and characterize it as it would all be displayed on earth.

RULES NATIONS

Verse 5 – and she brought forth a manchild who (later on) was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Rev. 19 depicts that scene of the second coming of Christ taking place after the close of the great 3 ½ year tribulation period, (falling in the last half of the 70th week), saying, out of his mouth goeth a sharp two-edged sword with which he smites the nations and begins to rule (the smitten nations) with a rod of iron. Thus Rev. 12:5 shows the approach to the first advent of Christ and the nation Israel pregnant with the prophecies of the first advent. In a little town called Bethlehem, some 6 miles from Jerusalem, a baby was born king, who would literally rule the nations. Potentially and basically during the advent of Christ, God gave Israel accessability to their Messiah and King, however, note when Christ came riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, 33 A.D., a dramatic event which according to the prophet of this age, completed the 69thweek of Daniel’s prophecy) Christ was not announced as Saviour of the world, instead the prophecy of the event said (Zech. 9:9) behold your King cometh unto you riding on a donkey. No, he wasn’t announced as Saviour of the world and when he was crucified the inscription placed over His head did not read, saviour of the world, but JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS! Therefore during His first advent He was given to Israel but Israel crucified their King. This lets me know the devil (the old dragon) used that old ruling body of apostate political Jew during his hour to deny and refuse Christ. Israel was under the Roman rule and authority when the apostate Jews compelled the Romans to crucify Him. It was non other than the devil working through that old political system of Jews, that set up His trial, laid the plot and handed Christ, their King and Messiah, over to the Romans who in turn crucified Him. Naturally the devil thought he had Him. The dragon thought through this act, they had destroyed God’s Word wherein He could not fulfill His promise of kingship. But what saith the scripture? And she brought forth a manchild who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up unto God and to His throne. Recall, on the third day Christ rose from the dead. God, knowing Israel as a nation would reject Christ on the basis of His kingship, instructed His prophets, Hosea, Isaiah and even David in the Psalms to prophesy concerning how Israel would reject Christ at His first appearing. And because of that God would take the kingship away from Israel and in order to fulfill His role as Saviour to the world would now give His salvation to the Gentiles who for 1900 years has enjoyed salvation through God’s grace. Nevertheless we too have become guilty of playing with the Gospel story as Israel became guilty of playing with the writings of her prophets. Israel with her schools of various interpretation of theological ideas was so preoccupied arguing over these theories, they simply did not know when Christ came the first time. However, had they been paying close attention to Daniel’s prophecy concerning the 70 weeks they should have known their Messiah King was on earth. That’s why God gave them Daniel’s 70 weeks or that period of time that they might know and understand when time for the Messiah had arrived.

CHURCH AGE BETWEEN VERSES 5-6

In Rev. 12:5 what does his being caught up into heaven speak of? It speaks of Christ’s resurrection and 40 days later ascending up on high which now completed His first advent. This statement closed out verse 5 and please note here God has stopped or cut off the nation from his program because between verse 5-6 lays the duration of over 1900 years of seven gentiles church ages. In 70 A.D. Israel was removed from the land and scattered into the four corners of the earth where she would remain for the duration of the grace age, Israel, God’s timepiece, was now cut off or stopped from all other prophecies pertaining to the messiahship and the king for this duration. God simply stopped his time clock concerning her. God, giving to the gentiles the salvation He had offered Israel, fulfills Paul’s revelation in Rom. 11:25 where Paul declared, brethren, I would not have you ignorant that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in.

MIDDLE OF WEEK

Here we must point out Rev. 12:6 picks back up the story of Israel over 1900 years later. This time the story is picked up in the middle of her 70th week. The reason is because of what was accomplished by the ministry of the two prophets in Israel during the first half of the prophetic week. Bear in mind we live in the generation which saw the political rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948. No, that was not the spiritual rebirth of the nation at all, only the political rebirth. Because the nation had to first be politically reborn whereby a portion of the scattered people could be brought back into the land before this final 70th week of time could begin.

WOMAN FLEES

Verse 6, and the woman fled into the wilderness where she hath a place prepared by God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred three score days. At what point of this final week did the woman Israel flee? Watch it because this tears down many carnal ideas concerning this week. Verse 6 picks up the story right in the middle of the week, still allowing 3 ½ years to be fulfilled. Note verse 6 describes one aspect of this woman fleeing into the wilderness. Watch how the scripture now goes back and brings out to build up the picture, because from now on it will be dealing strictly with the final half of that 70th prophetic week. The woman fled for a period of a thousand two hundred three score days.

MICHAEL STANDING UP

Verse 7 carries us back briefly to the beginning of that week when the two prophets appeared on earth. This fulfills Daniel 12:1-2. Daniel, in Babylonian captivity, was greatly disturbed over the future of his people (the Jew) and was asking the angel concerning the outcome of it all. The angel instructed Daniel (Dan. 12:1) that at that time shall Michael stand up, the prince of thy people (Israel) and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was before (Matt. 24:21). The angel continued, nevertheless, even though there will be a time of severe trouble as has never been before, everyone whose name is written in the book will be delivered (into that desert place). Well we know the 144,000 of Rev. 7 will be sealed away during the early ministry of those two prophets in the first half of the week. True, the spiritual core of the nation (not political) is awakened, revelated and made ready for this time of trouble which comes in the latter half of the week. God simply will not revive the political element of the nation because they continued right on in their merrymaking way and accepted the anti-Christ as messiah when he moved into the temple and declared himself to be God. It was because of these political apostate Jews that caused God to pronounce these three Woes on the inhabitants of the earth in the beginning of the last half of the week.

WAR IN HEAVEN

Looking again at this woman, John says in verse 7, there was a war in heaven. John watches a heavenly scene taking place in glory as the final week opens down on earth. Therefore, you may place both Dan. 12 as well as Rev. 11:7 right over the beginning of that 70th week. Now watch something, there was war in heaven. Michael(who stood up for Israel) and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan). Satan we all know is the prince of the power of the air. No, he does not rule God’s abode (heaven) but he does fill the atmosphere around this planet. Paul declared Eph. 6, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness. Our atmosphere is not only charged with righteous angels, it is also filled with demonic power. Therefore, as the final week begins on earth in the Middle East and things start taking shape in the heavenly atmosphere, remember, once the anti-Christ signs that covenant with Israel that officially begins or opens that 70th week and you only have seven years of time left. At this time Michael the archangel, Dan. 12:1-2 stands up for Israel. Michael’s assignment is to watch over Israel and guide the nation through her darkest hour of history. As Michael stands up I can see him draw his sword as he meets the devil, his adversary and a great conflict begins in the heavens. While on earth during the first part of that week things between the anti-Christ and the world system are shaping up. In the heavens a constant warfare goes on. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought with his angels and prevailed not. Neither was their place found anymore in heaven. What does that mean? It is simply God’s way of saying Michael, time has come to clean house, go drive the devil out of the atmosphere. On earth there is seven more years left of time. Therefore let us start cleaning house up here. Thus Michael began cleaning house, that is basically driving out every devil which has its mind centered on Israel because once that week begins it is Satan’s plot to choke Israel to death and destroy her whereby she cannot fulfill the scriptures that will bring Christ unto his rule and reign for the millennium. On earth as the first thousand two hundred three score days progressed forward in the prophetic week, a war is going on in heaven. On earth two prophets are prophesying, smiting the earth with plagues and bringing judgment against the political side of the Jew and the nation. The middle of the week has finally arrived and Michael has gained the victory as Satan loses the battle of the atmosphere.

DEVIL CAST OUT

Although Satan lost the battle in heaven God allows him 3 ½ years holiday on earth. Since Satan is the king of all fallen spirits, he is the captain of every creature mentioned in Rev. 9 coming up out of the bottomless pit. The nations of the earth by the middle of the week have aligned themselves with this political genius, the anti-Christ, when time arrives for him to break his covenant with Israel causing God to release his three Woes on earth. Verse 9, (In the middle of the week), the great dragon was cast out, the old serpent called the devil and Satan who deceived the whole world. He was cast out into the earth along with his angels, verse 10, and I heard a loud voice saying in heaven (in the middle of that weeks) now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ for the accuser of our brethren is cast down who accuses them before our God day and night.

OVERCOMERS

Beloved, time on earth has come during the middle of the week to see who has the goods. Bear in mind this cannot apply to the bride church, the bride of Christ is gone, therefore this verse cannot apply to the bride of Christ to see if they have the goods. She is at the wedding with the groom. Why is it stated in this manner? The reference refers to earth, it refers to the foolish virgins and those Jewish saints as well who were awakened during the hour of the two prophets. In other words, in the middle of the week when Satan is cast down and all hell is turned loose for the expression of that first Woe and God is no longer on the scene to actually show mercy and intervention through his two prophets seeing they had been killed (Woe No. 2), it has now reached the time that whoever has the goods in this hour must now prove it. You see, those would be the ones who had the salvation for that hour yet, bear in mind, salvation in that hour is not a salvational grace message as you and I know today. Some people think the only individuals going to be saved for the millennium is the bride of Christ and the 144,000. God have mercy on such a foolish way of looking at the scripture. Speaking of that darkest hour, verse 10 says, now is come salvation. No, it does not mean down here on earth during the last 3 ½ years they will have a great revival and people be saved as they were in the grace age before the bride left, they will not. The hour on earth has arrived which is going to prove who is right because we were told in verse 11 and they (who was referred to in verse 10) overcame the devil by two means, first by the blood of the Lamb and second by the word of their testimony. These two terms or expressions indicate that only two separate classes of people on earth can fit in this category in verse 10. They are the Gentile foolish virgins of Matt. 25 who in that dark hour will overcome the devilish beast system (by the blood of the lamb) once the anti-Christ takes over in the middle of the week, declaring himself to be God and sets out to annihilate every God fearing believer left on the face of the earth who missed the rapture of the church. Beloved, there will be a blood bath hit this world that will make the blood bath in the Dark Ages look small. Now what about those who overcame by the word of their testimony? Who are they? These are Jews. Recall when the prophet to this age interpreted the fifth seal and showed the unidentified souls under the altar were not Gentile saints but instead were Jews who were slaughtered between 1939-45 in Hitler’s hour of purge. Naturally not all of the six million Jews slaughtered by Hitler was seen under the altar, of course not, but those slaughtered who had been true to their God were there. Every soul under that altar was given a white robe (after he got there) not on the basis of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God having cleansed them for sin, No, they were blinded unto this salvation until the fullness of the Gentiles come in according to Paul’s revelation in Rom. 11:25, 27 God blinded Israel in order to bring in the Gentiles. But they were there under the altar of God because of the word of their testimony (they were devout Jews and because of that God said their testimony merited them white robes). Those martyred Jews of Europe, killed in Hitler’s purge were heard pleading under God’s altar, how long, O Lord, will thou not avenge our blood? Not all killed in that purge went under God’s altar, by any means, but those who did are heard crying out unto God for revenge. In their hearts, they knew Jehovah should do something about the situation.

REST A LITTLE SEASON

Recall they were given white robes and told to rest just a little season until their brethren should be killed as they were. When it said, yet a little season, that did not mean 100 years later. Yet a little season until your brethren shall be killed in the same manner you were, lets me know from the closing of World War II until the reign of the anti-Christ over the Jew would not be a long period of time, only a short season. Thus the little season in Rev. 6 under the fifth seal connects right here in the middle of that 70th week when they (the Jews) will overcome that anti-Christ by the word of their testimony and by the blood of the Lamb (gentile foolish virgins). And note many will die because it says they loved not their lives unto the death.

THIRD WOE, WHAT IS IT?

Verse 12, Therefore, rejoice ye heavens and ye that dwell in them. Oh, I want to catch this word, WOE, because here is your third woe put into action in the middle of that week. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. This third Woe is non other than that horrible blood bath brought about beginning the middle of the week. The third Woe is that persecution against Israel set forth immediately by the anti-Christ in the beginning of the last half of that week to literally destroy Israel as a nation of people. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil (who lost the battle in the atmosphere with Michael) has come down unto you having great wrath because he knows he hath but a short time (3 ½ years). Now with that third Woe pronounced in the middle of the week, let us back up temporarily. Whatever the devil now hopes to fulfill in the last 3 ½ years on earth, he must do it through his agent the anti-Christ who is the head of that world beast system described in Rev. 13 as the beast coming up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. And get this, a body like a leopard, feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. This latter description shows this beast has now incorporated the Middle East nations which once had been the territories of the ancient Babylonian Empire, Media-Persia, Grecian as well as Roman Empire which had its revival in the last days and was shown to be the head of this beast. But did you know none of these four empires ever ruled the Far East where dwelt the Oriental people? Rev. 13 shows the picture of the revival of the old resurrected Roman Empire, through which Satan will work, mainly against Israel to close out God’s prophetic picture. The minute that anti-Christ, the devil’s agent on earth, breaks that covenant with Israel, he is turned loose on earth and the two prophets are killed. Seeing the battle in heaven has already been won, Satan is kicked out of heaven into earth in the middle of that week. Imagine Satan and all his imps from hell being turned loose on earth and not a prophet around anywhere to pray for the people. Thus for 3 ½ years the world will have nothing but hell loosed on earth with no intervention from God. With the death of his two prophets, his voice for 3 ½ years is silenced and there will be a time of trouble such as never has been before. Now kicked out of heaven for 3 ½ years Satan now possessing his agent, the anti-Christ, sits in Jerusalem with his huge army to do his every command. The earth will not only be bathed with the blood of the Jewish martyrs as in Hitler’s purge, but the devil, through his agent will also cut off every Gentile foolish virgin. Because in that hour, if you don’t bow to the system you already know the penalty. Therefore I hope you see the three Woes are definitely now something dragged out over the final 3 ½ years, instead they are simply the formula by which God unfolds the unleashing of Satan’s power for 3 ½ years. God having now cleared the atmosphere of the dragon, not what Satan does.

PERSECUTING THE WOMAN

Verse 13, And when the dragon saw he was cast on to the earth he persecuted the woman (Israel) who brought forth the manchild. Beloved, this is why it is stated Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. Why persecute Israel and no other nations? Simply because Satan does not want certain scriptures to be fulfilled. He does not want God to set up his Messiah kingship and the millennium reign to begin. Remember at this hour that reign is only 3 ½ years away, therefore Satan feels Israel must not survive; every Jew must be annihilated. Immediately following the tribulation of those days, Matt. 24:29, Rev. 6:12-15 Jesus declared, the sun shall be darkened and the moon withdraw its light. The powers of the heaven shall be shaken, the stars shall fall as a fig tree cast her untimely figs and every mountain and island shall flee away. Beloved, when that 3 ½ years closes out, completing the 70 weeks of Daniel. God will have counted off the days for the reign of the anti-Christ seeing he only allows Satan to rule in this manner for 42 months and not one day more. Persecuting the woman who (past tense) brought forth the manchild, lets me know it was Israel back in Verse 2, giving birth by prophecy to the messiah, the king of Israel during his first advent. And to the woman was given two wings of a great eagle. When was this done? Right in the middle of the final prophetic week. These two wings of an eagle, what do they represent? All of us know an eagle means a prophet, right? Therefore, these wings of an eagle are symbolic meaning the message of these two prophets which she had already received in the first part of the week. No this part does not refer to the whole nation of Judaism, but only that element of Jews who were awakened by the message of those two prophets. The wings of an eagle were given to the woman in order she might fly into the wilderness for safety. No sooner was the devil cast onto earth then he persecuted the woman who fled.

WOMAN FLEES TO DESERT PLACE

Some feel the place in the wilderness to which she fled is none other than the old ancient city of Petra, located in a boxed in canyon down in Arabia, the old ancient place of the Edomites. Why beloved, every Arab knows where that place is. No, they will not flee into some boxed in canyon, that would be the worse place they could go. The anti-Christ would for sure bottle up that hole and cut them off for good, but God has a place prepared in this earth for that true spiritual Israelite who was revelated during the first half of the week. When that anti-Christ broke his covenant and killed those two prophets, those spiritual Jews already had the revelation where and when to go. When they saw this they knew it was time to leave Israel. The fact the two wings of an eagle was given to the woman shows it was given to the spiritual revelated seed of the woman only and not unto the whole house of Israel in the sense of every Jew. Because, don’t forget you have the largest number of Jews (5 ½ million) living in America alone. It is to that true predestinated seed of God who were given those two wings of an eagle that she might fly into the wilderness into her place. Just as certain as God, but his word, had already prophesied that out of Zion in Jerusalem would come forth one who would rule his people by his same word he had already predetermined and planned a place of refuge and safety for that spiritual revelated Jew. Those two prophets knew where it was to be and told the spiritual element where to go to be nourished for time, times and a half time. That terminology beloved carries you right back to Daniel. For a time, times and a half of time is Daniel’s language describing the dreadful hour to come upon Israel ( 3 ½ years) Dan. 7:25.

EXCESSIVE HATRED

The minute the devil’s power is cast into the earth and all hell is loosed on earth and God is no more on the scene to intervene through his two prophets that anti-Christ is ready to choke out the very existence of Israel but those spiritual Jews already know where to go. By the dozens they leave Israel as the anti-Christ cannot stop them. After they are gone watch what verse 15 says the devil does – And the serpent cast out of his mouth water like a flood. This terminology portrays a flood of wrath released by the man of sin. It fulfills Dan. 9:27 when the beast prince breaks the covenant with Israel and causes the overspreading of abomination that maketh desolate. Abomination in Dan. 9:27 means excessive hatred and desolate means to render void. Such a scene of excessive hatred against Jerusalem and the Jew is characterized by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Assyrian 168 B.C. when he offered a sow on the altar, followed by extreme persecution, and further typed by Titus in 70 A.D. in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and is culminated when the anti-Christ literally fulfills it hoping to totally exterminate the Jew. Verse 16 says, referring to the fleeing spiritual Jew, and the earth helped the woman. Naturally as John watched all this, seeing it only as a figure, no doubt there was some kind of hole or something in the earth which did open up and swallow the water whereby it could not get to the woman. But how in reality will it be fulfilled? Such a scene lets me know somewhere on this earth there is a nation which will open up its doors to these spiritual Jews.

PROPHETIC WORLD

Someone may ask, won’t the entire world be going under this Roman beast system? I do not mean to shock you with this answer, but the answer is NO! But doesn’t the Bible say the whole world did? Yes, but you must remember it is the whole prophetic world, not the entire literal world because the entire world would take in also all the Far East nations of the world. None of these four world beast powers (Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece or Rome) spoken of in Daniel ordained to rule the world, not one ever ruled the nations of the Far East, the orientals. However, every one of them did rule and fulfill their role in the prophetic world, mainly Europe and the Middle East. Always remember they had absolutely nothing to do with the kings of the East or your oriental people who meet the anti-Christ’s army at Armageddon. Your oriental people was never any part of any one of the four world beast systems nor will they ever be. These oriental people never once enter the picture until Rev. 16 and that is strictly for Armageddon where God is pictured as placing them all (both armies, 200 million men) into his winepress of wrath and getting into the press himself walking up and down on the grapes, squishing juice from the grapes as a result human blood flows to the horse’s bridle in the valley of Jezreel in Armageddon. Back to Rev. 12:16, The earth has opened up its mouth and swallowed the flood. (A nation has opened up and taken in these fleeing spiritual Jews.) And verse 17 says the dragon was angry with the woman, hating her because he knows he has but a short time. If only he could succeed in killing off those spiritual Jews everywhere who believe in Jehovah and who believe in God’s plan he could then be successful in annulling the fulfillment of the Messiah and his kingdom reign. This you recall was Satan’s purpose in the crucifixion when he truly thought he had Christ where he wanted him. But Christ rose from the dead thus once again Satan will make a desperate attempt to get rid of those millennium scriptures through destroying Israel. He is so angry with the woman he goes forth to make war with the remnant of her seed who kept the commandments of God.

PERSECUTING WOMAN’S SEED

That beloved is none other than the Jews in dispersion outside the nation Israel who are still living in Gentile nations for recall, many of these Jews never return to Israel, seeing the largest amount of 5 ½ million remained in America. Yet you have enough to return to Israel to fulfill Rev. 7, where the 144,000 received a revelation and became stimulated with the wine of the Spirit under these two prophets, although it was not until Rev. 14 that you see the same 144,000 Israelites revelated in the first part of the week, going forth now in the second half to do something for God. The minute the covenant is broken in the middle of the week is a signal to that revelated 144,000 to quickly get out of Israel. Those 144,000 Jews, described in Rev. 7 as having received the seal of God which is the Holy Ghost (Eph. 4:30) while those four angels remained holding back war and strife in the Middle East (Rev. 7:1) until these were sealed, are none other than virgins.

VIRGINS AND LAST MESSAGE

(They have not been defiled with woman.) That does not mean these 144,000 men have never been married. It simply means they are Jews who have never been proselyted to any of these Gentile Babylonian daughters (Rev. 17:4-5) missionary programs. They were revelated and sealed strictly by the ministry of two prophets. These 144,000 are servants of God. Rev. 14 reveals them in that hour as standing on Mt. Zion following the Lamb withersoever he goeth. This shows that number has the Lamb’s spirit, the Holy Ghost in their lives and they follow the leadership of the Holy Ghost. It simply means that in that dark hour, their hour of being used has arrived and they have a message for the rest of the millions of Jews in dispersion as they will be going to the Jews in dispersion telling their brethren all about this diabolical system, and to stay away from it. Recall how the Jewish apostles sought out the Jews in the first century offering them the gospel of grace. Likewise the 144,000 go to these millions of Jews still in Gentile dispersion, because soon the anti-Christ will be coming after them. Again we repeat, they do not go with a message of salvation. That anti-Christ is going to do everything he can in every nation over which he has power and authority to carry out his diabolical plot. He will literally seek to destroy that Jew for verse 17 declares, he went to make war with the remnant of her seed who kept the commandments of God, Note: and also those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Who in that hour has the testimony of Jesus Christ? None other than those Gentile foolish virgins who were left behind, who simply were not ready when the rapture took place. What do these 144,000 Jews tell the other scattered Jews? Remember their message is not one of salvation such as we saw in the grace age. They won’t be telling the people like Paul and Peter did repent and be baptized, etc. Their urgent message to the Jewish brethren in dispersion will be, do not accept any part of this beast system. They are telling mortal man, whatever you do, do not accept or worship this beast system, you worship God. I don’t care what the anti-Christ tells you to do, threatens you or even kills you, don’t you align yourself with it. The revelation of these Jews in that hour will be to tell mortal man how to be preserved in order to live under the glorious reign of Christ when he returns. Remember when Christ and his bride returns, revealed from heaven riding white horses, Christ destroys every many and woman who identifies themselves with that beast system. These millions of Jews in dispersion will be no exception if they worship this beast (man) who declared himself God there in the middle of the week. Thus these Jews going to their brethren in dispersion carry the last message this world will ever receive. It is not that God is on the scene doing signs, miracles, etc. No during that last 3 ½ years the world will see no more of the display of God, they saw his last operation through his two prophets who were cut off in the middle of the week but through this message delivered by the 144,000 will be God’s way of preserving a few mortal men whereby when Jesus does sit in his kingdom there will be a living fleshly remnant of each nation who never bowed their knee to the anti-Christ system. These, God will preserve as a seed or for the new age to rule and reign over while the rest is cut down. For does not Rev. 19 plainly declare when Christ comes, out of his mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword with which he should smite the nations. Smiting the nations signifies that Christ at the close of the 3 ½ year tribulation period pours out his vials of wrath (Rev. 16) on the beast and on his kingdom by bringing together the kings of the Far East against the beast of Western Europe and her allied territories (Middle East) along with every apostate thing into Armageddon. Armageddon as shown in Rev. 19 is simply God’s way of allowing mankind, as far as his military might has advanced, with it destroys one another.

PART 3 EVENTS OF FINAL 3 ½ YEARS

THE 6TH TRUMPET RELEASES FOUR ANGELS

Examine the sixth trumpet even though it does not carry a Woe, just to see where it sounds and what happens once it does. Its sounding loose the four angels bound in the river Euphrates. For what purpose? To go forth to prepare any army for battle, a number of which excelled 200 million men. Here was Armageddon in preparation. Note the sixth angel sounded immediately following the fifth angel, not some 3 ½ years later when the effects of this sixth sounding was felt. Beloved, these angels were to prepare for Armageddon and that cannot be done overnight. In reality it will take a better part of the remainder of the week (3 ½ years) to prepare such an enormous army for battle where the effects of the sixth trumpet can be felt by the end of the week. You don’t jump up overnight, find a cause for war and prepare 200 million men for battle. No sooner was the first Woe sounded (under the fourth trumpet) than the fifth trumpet immediately sounded, releasing hell on earth. Then immediately followed by the sixth angel sounding his trumpet and note, what took place, it released those spiritual forces to begin the preparation for that Middle East war, setting the stage of war between two communistic camps.

GEOGRAPHICAL BARRIER

The River Euphrates where these creatures were pictured as bound (or not being allowed to operate) has always served as a geographical barrier between your Far East nations (oriental race) and your Middle East nations. Recall also around this Euphrates area is where mankind’s original history as well as the prophetic picture and the plan of salvation all got its start. The fact that these four angels are pictured bound in the Euphrates River does not imply they have been bound and struggling for centuries trying to free themselves. Certainly Not! This is a symbolic picture, but remember according to Rev. 7:1-2 something had to first happen in Israel before these angels could be released to prepare the war of Armageddon. Perhaps, Rev. 7:1 can throw some light on this setting under the sixth trumpet as it also pictures practically the same setting only in a little different manner. In Rev. 7:1-2 we saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth (winds represent war and strife) on the earth or the sea or any tree until something happened. That was until the sealing of the 144,000 with the seal of God in their forehead could first take place, which remember took place in the first half of the prophetic week. Next came an angel bearing that seal the 144,000 are to be sealed with, which is none other than the Holy Ghost, Eph. 4:30. The sealing took place in the first part of the week, before the four angels were released under the sixth trumpet in the middle of the week although the effects of that trumpet is not fully realized unto the end of the week.

FAMOUS BATTLEGROUND

Time has arrived for the preparation of that final war in the Middle East called Armageddon. Why the Middle East? The valley of Armageddon or plains of Jezreel, Josh. 17:16, Israel’s largest and most fertile valley, was in the B.C. period the most famous battleground in the world. Laying in a triangle shape approximately 15 mi. x 15 mi. x 20 mi. the valley of Jezreel and the plain of Eschelon at the foot of Mt. Megiddo was the scene of wars with the Egyptians, Hitties, Israel, Philistines, Assyrians, Syria, Persia, Greeks, Roman Crusaders, Turks, Yes, and even the British under Gen. Allenby (1918) have marched and fought on these plains. The ancient town of Megiddo guarding the pass which formed the easier caravan route between the plain of Sharon and the Valley of Jezreel was first a royal Canaanite city. No less than 20 cities have been built on this 13 acre hilly site. In Solomon’s day the city was a fortress. The importance of the city is whoever controls it, controls the valley. This area has witnessed many international conflicts of nations. The battle of Armageddon will be the final land war ever to be fought in this strategic passage. How strange mankind would at the end of civilization return to his original area where great international struggles of nations in the past were fought. When civilization started moving from east to west, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., we also see wars involving nations moving westward also. For centuries mankind’s wars were fought on the continent of Europe because as mankind moved slowly westward, so did his wars. World War I and World War II on the 20th Century were fought primarily on European soil although World War II extended into the Far East with Japan where the U.S.A. remained in a struggle in the Far East through Vietnam and Korea for better than 30 years. Wars continually in the Far East now show mankind has swung westward as far as he could go and is slowly returning the area of the Middle East where his origin was and his B.C. wars were all fought. The youngest of all the western nations of the world has recently closed a shameful, embarrassing chapter of her American history, the defeat of the Vietnam War, a 30 year war is finally over in the Far East. A war which divided and bankrupted the greatest, youngest western nation on earth. Europe who colonized the Far East was run out years ago. The U.S. who had no colonization interest to protect in the Far East as did France, Belgium, etc., was nevertheless, the last of all the western nations to leave. Since the 50’s America who has drained herself in two Far East wars trying unsuccessfully to block the advancement of Communism is also being pushed completely out of the Far East picture, giving way to the very thing she fought, while Communism like a creeping cancer slowly soaks up the Far East. The next major war involving nations will be none other than in the Middle East.

MANKIND’S CIRCLE

Thus when the sixth trumpet sounded in the beginning of that final 3 ½ years, four angels are immediately released from the Euphrates River to go forth and prepare nations for that final land war. Where? Right back in the Middle East, the area of man’s beginning. Mankind, made his circle continually pushing westward until finally he circles back to the Middle East for his final struggle of existence. These spirits released in the last half of that week began to set in motion political conditions between the western European world and that of the eastern oriental world (namely the Far East nations who will soon all be under Communism) by preparing strife and conflict between these two different elements of Godless governments. On one hand will be the Godless European beast system consisting of western nations who by the end of the week has ditched Catholicism for some form of Communistic theology all of their own. On the other hand, from the Far East comes the kings of the East, another communistic camp. All that part of the oriental world is pictured in Rev. 16 preparing themselves for the dreaded conflict of the Middle East where 200 million men are slaughtered in the Valley of Jezreel in the Battle of Armageddon. The European western world of the beast system for the first 3 ½ years of the week rode triumphantly while in the Far East your oriental race also had been rising rapidly higher and higher, embracing their own special brand of communism and seeking to make a name for themselves. The day is coming when they definitely make a name for themselves. For centuries they desired to and under Genghis Khan the oriental race tried desperately to make a great name, planting their influence upon the western world and almost succeeded. Had it not been for that German Emperor, Charlemagne, who turned the tide, driving him out of Europe, you would have had a far greater mixture of the oriental blood and influence mixed into your western world than what you have today. Nevertheless, since Charlemagne turned the tide and ran Genghis Khan and his oriental armies out of Europe, the yellow race has never been able to stamp their influence on the western world at all. Yet for centuries in the Far East that yellow race has constantly fought among themselves for preeminence. Scriptures refers to the yellow race as the kings of the East who come against that western arm under the man of sin at Armageddon. The far eastern world battling against the western European world for supremacy. Loosing the four angels bound in the Euphrates River is God’s way in the last half of that week of eliminating that ancient geographical barrier dividing the Far East from the Middle East.

TWO GODLESS CAMPS

John described that scene of slaughter at Armageddon from God’s viewpoint in this manner (Rev. 14:14-20) there sat one in the clouds likened unto the Son of God with a sharp sickle in his hand. And an angel was heard flying though the heavens saying, thrust in thy sharp sickle and reap the clusters of the earth (in the closing of the 70th week) for the harvest of the earth has come, and he thrust in his sharp sickle and reaped the clusters of the earth and cast them into the winepress of the wrath of God. Beloved the winepress of God is none other than Armageddon. It is God’s way and he knows how to bring them all to Armageddon, doesn’t he. Two forms or camps of communism, each desiring to conquer the other. Therefore beloved, when that European beast consisting of those ten Western European nations rises up and destroys the woman (Catholicism) which rode her back, Rev. 17:1-18, these nations themselves, disgusted with Catholicism in Europe somewhere in the final half of that week accept their own form or brand of socialism or communism. Recently a U.S. Senator declared if things continued as they are going, Europe would be under communism in less than ten years. Even today we are seeing communism pressuring the many governments of Europe for social change. Portugal recently swung to the Vatican, the government is better than 33 percent communistic. Recently a poll was taken in England which showed only 26-28 percent of their population even believed in God. Many nations (over a third of the world) have already fallen to the communistic ideology of life. Remember both sides came to Armageddon with a motive but God came with an objective and that objective requires 200 million men to be slaughtered and the blood to run to the bridle of the horses.

FOUR BILLION

Where will so many men come from? The world in April, 1975 topped the four billion population mark. Presently there are over 800 million people in China alone and close to 700 million in India. That is a good start. Before everything closes out in that entire Far East, they will all be under the communistic hammer and sickle. The Far East will be under one great communistic camp. Therefore may I say, while both the anti-Christ and God (through his fifth trumpet) is giving mankind hell on earth in the second half of the week, once that sixth trumpet is sounded those spiritual forces are released going into the earth stirring up strife and preparing the two communistic camps for Armageddon. When that final 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th prophetic week reaches its climax, it will be time for the anti-Christ’s road to have reached an end and God will bring, from the effects of that sixth trumpet angel blast 200 million men to Armageddon for slaughter. In actuality the sixth trumpet shows the effects of the Euphrates River the same as does the sixth vial. No sooner does the anti-Christ break his own covenant then immediately the sixth trumpet angel sounded and those four angels were loosed whereby throughout the last portion of the week they might prepare the great host of armies who are eventually brought to Armageddon and fought in the very end of the week. As Armageddon is in progress at the close of the week, God speaks to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field saying, come and east flesh of dead captains of the mighty, the rich, the bond, the free, etc. Eat the flesh till you be full and drink blood until you are drunk. Joel’s prophecy shows this also Armageddon is God’s cleaning up process. The Bible declares the rest who are not slain through this process were slain by the sword which proceeded out of his mouth at his coming. That is unleashed wrath. Though death he destroys them.

7TH TRUMPET

Naturally John saw also the seventh angel blow his trumpet yet the effects of it wasn’t to be expressed until the end of the forty-two months. Reading carefully the sixth seal and the seventh trumpet, along with the seventh vial in Rev. 16, you will note all three speak of the coming of the Lord. Yet we are fully aware there is not three separate phases of Christ’s second coming. Christ comes under the sixth seal because when that seal is expressed in its earthly and celestial fulfillment the sun became as black as sackcloth of hair, not like it occurred under the fourth trumpet when only a third part of the sun, moon and stars were all smitten. However, according to the sixth seal and Matt. 24:29-30 when that sixth seal becomes applicable for fulfillment to be expressed in the celestial elements and in the earth, the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair and the moon becomes as blood and the stars from the heaven fall to earth and the heavens shall literally depart as a scroll. At that time shall appear the sign of the coming of the son of man in great glory. What does the heavens departing as a scroll, as well as everything else blacking out portray? Remember the old theater houses before the days of motion pictures, as the play on stage was ready to begin, all the lights in the auditorium dimmed and everyone’s attention was focused on the stage where the play was ready to begin. Reading again the sixth seal and comparing it with the seventh trumpet, beginning with Rev. 11:18 declares the nations were angry and thy wrath is come and the time of the death that they should be judged. Observe, it is not here he is coming because his coming is seen over in Matt 24:29 immediately following the tribulation of those days (42 months). There the sun is darkened, the moon withdraws it light and the power of the heavens mightly shaken. Then shall appear the sign of the son of man coming in power and great glory. Paul declares in 2 Thess. 1:7-10 at his coming, Christ is revealed from heaven in flaming fire in the hour of his great appearing with the celestial elements blacking out, watch what happens. Like the playhouse. God first turns off the great celestial lights and they stay off long enough for this earth to make one complete revolution and then he appears in flaming fire right from the stage of glory. The sixth seal declares, the mountain shall shake and the islands shall flee away. Now if you will read the seventh vial of wrath (Rev. 16) you will see the rich men, etc., run to the mountains and rocks and cry out, Hide us from his wrath. The sixth seal, the seventh trumpet and the seventh vial all unlock the great revelation and the closing out of the great judgments and wrath.

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?