They Are Not All Children – 1983, July

1983-07-They-Are-Not-All-Children

TEXT: MALACHI 4:5-6

 

I DO NOT EXPECT EVERYONE WHO MAY HEAR OR READ THIS MESSAGE TO BE OVERJOYED BY WHAT WE WILL SAY, BUT I FEEL THAT AFTER 18 YEARS OF UTTER CONFUSION AMONG PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE FOLLOWING A MESSAGE OF TRUTH, SOMEONE NEEDS TO SAY SOMETHING THAT CAN HELP ESTABLISH THOSE WHO DO DESIRE TO FOLLOW A TRUE REVELATION. THEREFORE I COVET THE PRAYERS OF GOD’S TRUE CHILDREN, AS I ONCE AGAIN OPEN MY BIBLE TO MALACHI 4:5-6, TO READ A VERY FAMILIAR TEXT AS A FOUNDATION FOR WHAT WILL BE SAID. NATURALLY YOU WILL HEAR ME SAY MANY THINGS THAT I HAVE SAID BEFORE, BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, I BELIEVE YOU WILL HEAR SOME THINGS THAT WILL CAUSE YOU TO EXAMINE YOURSELVES, TO SEE IF YOU TRULY ARE FOLLOWING THE MESSAGE OF GOD’S 7TH CHURCH AGE MESSENGER.

 

ONE MORNING LATELY, I HAD BEEN PRAYING AND READING THE SCRIPTURES, AND HAD ALREADY CLOSED MY BIBLE, WHEN SOMETHING WITHIN SAID, “OPEN TO MALACHI 4, AND READ.” NOW WE HAVE ALL READ THOSE FAMILIAR SCRIPTURE VERSES MANY TIMES, AND MOST OF US COULD QUOTE THEM, BUT I OPENED MY BIBLE AND READ THEM AGAIN, AND WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE ROOM, I SAID TO MY WIFE, “HONEY, THERE IS A MESSAGE COMING TOGETHER WITHIN ME, THAT I MUST PREACH SHORTLY.” I COULD SEE HOW WE HAVE BEEN READING RIGHT OVER THE VERY BASIC TRUTH OF THOSE TWO LITTLE VERSES. WE HAVE SEEN THE ELIJAH FULFILLMENT OF BOTH PARTS OF IT, BUT WE HAVE FAILED TO EXAMINE THE CROP OF B-E-L-I-E-V-E-R-S, OR MAKE BELIEVERS THAT HAVE ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO THIS LAST DAY MOVE OF GOD. WHAT DID THAT ELIJAH MESSAGE PRODUCE? TO WHAT EXTENT WAS THIS SCRIPTURE FULFILLED, AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE? IT IS A VERY SHORT LITTLE SCRIPTURE, BUT THAT JUST LETS US SEE THAT GOD DOES NOT HAVE TO TALK ALL DAY TO GET SOMETHING SAID. SCHOLARS CAN WRITE VOLUMES FROM WHAT GOD SAYS IN ONLY A FEW SHORT WORDS. IN OTHER WORDS, ONLY THE HOLY GHOST CAN REVEAL THE DEPTH OF TRUTH THAT IS ACTUALLY HIDDEN IN THE WORD OF GOD WRITTEN BY HOLY MEN OF OLD INSPIRED BY GOD FOR THAT PURPOSE. MALACHI WAS THE LAST OLD TESTAMENT WRITING PROPHET ISRAEL EVER HAD, AND HE CLOSED HIS WRITINGS WITH THE WORDS WE ARE USING FOR OUR TEXT.

 

Let us read the scripture now, Mal. 4:5-6, and begin our message. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to THEIR fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” There are two things that stand out, both in the first, and the last advent. It is FATHERS, and CHILDREN, then CHILDREN, and FATHERS. I believe the best way to approach this subject though, is to see what God had prophesied even before this was to be fulfilled, concerning the man upon whom this spirit was to rest. But first of all we must settle something within our own heart and mind. Is this Bible we carry, the sole source of authoritative scripture, or are there many books, all equal in authority with the holy Bible? Much to Satan’s delight, there are a lot of people claiming to be following this message of truth, who hold many books equal with, or even above the Bible. These are those who stir up confusion everywhere they go, and Bro. William Branham’s name suffers reproach because of it.

 

LONGSTANDING PROPHECIES FULFILLED

 

Let us look into the writing of Isaiah now, and read this prophecy that was recorded 700 years before Christ. Before Malachi, Isaiah looked down through the scope of time, in the Spirit, and prophesied these words, 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: (It sounds like someone is going to build a super highway right out through the desert, doesn’t it?) And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Brothers and Sisters: I hope you will notice that verse 5, in particular. It says, The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, but you have to realize that this is all tied to the voice of verse 8. It is those who are drawn to that VOICE, that will see the glory of the Lord together; not all flesh of all mankind. It is the voice, that does the preparing of the way, and not everyone will hear that voice. Furthermore, God gets in no hurry. It was 300 years between Isaiah and Malachi, and another 400 years before the actual prophesied event ever took place, and almost 2000 years more before Malachi 4:5&6, would be completely fulfilled. Let us read Malachi 3:1 now though, for we are laying stepping stones that should lead to a true revelation. What Isaiah called, a voice, Malachi called, a messenger. Notice now, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: (or look for) behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” That one verse spoke of two different messengers. The first was John the Baptist sent to prepare the way of the second which was Jesus the Christ. Jesus was the messenger of the covenant of grace that opened up the plan of salvation that included us Gentiles. We have been made partakers of all that was wrought at Calvary. That is what Paul was referring to in Ephesians 2:11-13, when he said, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision in by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made right by the Blood of Christ.” In other words, Before the advent of Christ, the Jews had a way to approach God, but Gentiles did not. That is why Paul wrote those words; he was reminding them, that before Calvary, Gentiles were without hope in God, for the covenants of promise were only to the Jews. But now, Praise God! We all have access to God through the messenger of the covenant of grace, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born, the spiritual state of the Jews who had the promises of God to look to, was just like the spiritual state of Gentiles today. There was one race of people, one little nation, all under the same covenant, yet they had ever so many different beliefs concerning the law of Moses, and that caused divisions among them, just like it is today, in the Gentile church world. They had the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which were the two major religious bodies. But they also had the Zealots, the Herodians, and the Essenes. The Pharisees were the most strict adherers to their interpretation of the law of Moses. They are the ones that enjoyed the great revival under the leadership of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and those coming out of Babylonian captivity. You read how they built the platform, and would stand up, and read the word of God, and the people would weep and repent. It lets us see that God was seeking to restore them back to His word, and in that particular generation, there was a zealous fervor generated in that direction, but future generations did not have that same zeal. Oh yes, in the flesh, they perfected certain religious rituals, but spiritually they were cold. They had their own interpretation of the scriptures that spake of the Messiah which was to come, the Elijah, and the certain prophet which would be like Moses, and they loved to sit in their synagogues and read about them. They had a very strict view of what true holiness was according to the law, and they loved to be recognized as a holy people, but their holiness was external. That is why Jesus and John always had to rebuke them publicly. Externally, you could not lay a finger on their lives, for they exerted every effort to be looked upon as a holy people. Saul (the apostle Paul) was a Pharisee, and by his own testimony, according to their interpretation of the law, blameless. But he later said, All those things that were gain to me, I now count them loss for Christ. In other words, when you have the true Spirit of holiness in you, you do not have to work so hard to appear holy. True holiness just automatically shows up on the outside.

 

TRUE HOLINESS IS WITHIN

 

Sometimes I just get to thinking of what those carnal minded Jews did to true holiness, and then I cannot help but compare it to what religious systems are doing in our very age of time. Starting right with the Methodists, to the Nazarenes, to the Pilgrim Holiness, the Church of God, the Assemblies of God, Free Pentecost, Pentecostal Church of God, and right on up to the Jesus name Pentecostals, they have all done the same thing to true holiness; they have murdered it, and made themselves a holy shell to wear externally. They put it on, and they take it off at will, but if you break that shell, you will find underneath it, something that is as carnal and mean as the old nature itself. They are religious, but they know absolutely nothing about true holiness. They claim to believe the word of God, but the sad part is, many of them are just like the Jewish Sadducees. They do not believe in the resurrection of the dead, nor anything else of the supernatural. Some of these Church of Christ preachers have publicly offered a thousand dollars to anyone who would heal certain people of their ranks. No, they are not offering to pay for healing, a lot of people would gladly do that; they are just trying to convince poor unstable souls, that there is no such thing taking place in our day. They even claim that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was only for the apostles of Christ, and all miracles ceased when the apostles passed off the scene. I do not know why such people even bother to read the bible. What benefit could such unbelievers possibly receive from God? Surely they do not believe that they will ever enter into God’s eternal rest. Hell is awaiting all such as deny the very hope of true believers. These modern day Sadducees shall not escape the wrath of God, for they go to great extremes trying to destroy the simple faith of those who believe that the word of God means exactly what it says. We do not try to build our lives around the supernatural manifestations of the Spirit of God, but we most certainly do believe that God still uses supernatural means to accomplish certain things of His plan and purpose. We leave all of this to God’s sovereignty though, realizing that we have no right to demand supernatural manifestations in our daily walk with Him. Neither do we look upon ourselves as being so holy that we must hide out in a cave somewhere, to keep from being contaminated by the world. The Bible teaches us that God called us to be a light in the world. We are not to hide that light under a bushel, but rather let it shine as bright as possible in this old sin cursed world. These “so called” Christians that separate themselves completely from the world, are worse than a soldier that is AWOL from his post of duty. God cannot even talk to them. Any religious extreme will put you out of communication with the Lord. That is why God had to send that Elijah Spirit before the first advent of Christ; most of the Jewish society was so set in their ways, that it took some preparation ahead of time, in order that any of them would be in a condition to receive Christ. Oh, there were a few such as Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, and certain others, that God could talk to, but they were certainly in a minority category; they were not in the main stream or religion. God looked upon the humble attitude of Zacharias, and saw something in him that He could not see in the other priests of that hour. Therefore He sent Gabriel to him, to announce something that was getting ready to take place. When Zacharias went into the temple to burn incense, there stood Gabriel the angel of the Lord, at the right side of the altar of incense, and he was afraid. But the angel said to him, “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” He said some other things to Zacharias, but verse 17 carries the main thought of what we are dealing with. “And he shall go before Him (the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elias (Elijah) to turn the hearts of the FATHERS to the CHILDREN.” Brothers and Sisters, please notice that Gabriel stopped quoting Malachi 4:6, right in the middle of the verse, and added a different statement, leaving the last half of verse 6, to be fulfilled by another man that would have that Elijah anointing upon him. Instead of saying, “And the heart of the CHILDREN to their FATHERS,” as Malachi did, Gabriel concluded his statement by saying, “And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Saints: There is a picture of the grace of God. He sent John out to get the attention of the people of his hour, both the religious as well as the sinners, and when a bunch of those publicans and harlots and other such sinners believed John’s message, repented, and was baptized, (Hallelujah!) They were justified before God. They were then, wise children, ready to walk with God, ready to enter into a new dispensation of time; for John’s ministry was before Calvary, and the New Covenant required the shedding of that innocent blood to put it into effect.

 

JOHN’S MINISTRY BEGINS

 

All right now, we have John the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth in the picture, a promised son, to an old couple that was childless up until then. God gave them a son, but they had to give him back to the Lord, for he had a work to do in the redemption plan of God, and when that work was finished, so would John’s life be finished, for King Herod had his head cut off just to please his wife, simply because John had said to him, It is not lawful for you to have her. But let us look at John for a few minutes, for I believe the picture of his life has been terribly distorted by your great theologians through the years. Most of them speak of him as though he grew up out in the wilderness alone. I cannot accept such a picture of his life. Of course, the Bibles tells us that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his Mother’s womb; therefore I do believe that God instructed him in many things as he grew up, but I also believe that he grew up, in the home of his parents, just like other boys did. He knew there was a work for him to do, and I believe he knew when the time was getting close, for that work to begin. I believe that is when he somehow just got to feeling like, I have just got to get alone for awhile. So he went down into the Jordan Valley, out into the wilderness, and when he reappeared, he was clothed with camel’s hair, and a leather skin, and eating nothing but locusts and wild honey, and he had the word of the Lord for those that went out to hear him preach. Now some of these Bible scholars have projected the idea that John joined himself to that bunch of Essene Jews, that lived down by the Dead Sea, but that theory will not stand the test, for John’s manner of life, and the way he dressed was completely opposite to them. They were vegetarians, and John liked those grasshopper legs. Actually, in my opinion, the only good thing those Essene Jews ever did was make copies of the scripture scrolls, and hide them in those caves where they remained until a few years ago, when a little Arab boy looking for his goat, came across them. But as I said earlier, those Essene Jews were two pious and holy, and self centered, to have anything to do with a wild looking character such as John. They lived in a holy shell, thinking that would put them in the will of God, but God had nothing to do with them. He just left them there in their little shell until the Roman army ripped it to pieces, and layed their camp waste. Now, do not misunderstand me. They were law abiding people. They were even stricter than the Pharisees; but they were a minority group, and many of their doctrines were completely contrary to the word of God. There was absolutely no marriage among those people, and if they managed to convert a family to their beliefs, they would break up that family in order to assure their celibacy. They also detested animal sacrifice at the temple, an ordinance of God. They were like a lot of people are today; they didn’t believe in killing anything, for any reason, so when you look at the whole picture, there was no way they were going to allow a character like John to lie down in one of their huts. He just simply did not match up with their holy standards. To most people, he probably looked like a wild man. But I assure you of one thing; he had a revelation, and he had a commission to preach it. Therefore when he stepped out into the midst of some people one day, preaching repentance, he was the voice of Isaiah 40, verse 3, the messenger of Malachi 3, verse 1-13, and the Elijah of Malachi 4, verse 5, to turn the heart of those religious Jewish fathers to the children. Now, did that mean that those fathers would repent, and follow the instructions of John as he prepared the way for the Lord Jesus to come on the scene? No. But their attention was centered upon what was taking place down there by the Jordan river. They either had to go themselves, or send someone, to find out just exactly what was taking place. Those that went themselves did not fool old John though, for he looked to a bunch of Pharisees and Sadducees one day and said to them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? You bring forth fruits that demonstrate repentance first. (That is not his exact words, but that is what he was referring to.) He said, Do not bother to say anything about Abraham being your father, for I say unto you, that God is able of those stones to raise up children unto Abraham. He didn’t stop there; he really got them told before he stopped. “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Do you think John was speaking of the natural fruit trees that stood there? No. He was using that terminology to speak of those great ecclesiastical trees that stood so tall. They knew what he meant. This is all a part of preparing the way for the Lord. Isaiah referred to it as a highway in the desert, and we all know that when you build a highway, you have to take down some trees that stand in the way, so just give this a spiritual application, and you will see the kind of trees that had to be cut down to prepare the way for the Lord.

 

WHERE JOHN PREACHED

 

Now let me say this, John did not give to the children, the faith they were to have; he just introduced them to the One that would give them the foundation, and the faith. That is why John kept saying, I am not the one you are looking for, but He is coming, after me. John was not trying to be anything himself; he was only fulfilling something he was born to fulfill. He was a voice in the wilderness. Let me try to give you a little mental picture of the setting here. The summit of Mt. Zion in Jerusalem is 2700 feet above sea level, and when you leave there, going to where John was preaching and baptizing, you go down, down, down for about 16 to 18 miles winding around crooked roads which in John’s day were nothing more than caravan routes from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley. By the time you reach the Jordan River you have descended approximately 4000 feet, for the Jordan Valley, or where the Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea is 1287 feet below sea level. Therefore we understand that John was not sent to literally build a natural highway over those mountain peaks from the Jordan Valley to Mt. Zion. He was building a spiritual highway in the hearts of some people. But how did he get the attention of the people? How did he get the first ones to come where he was? It is very simple; every stream of water always had (before bridges) a shallow place where it could be crossed by wading, or by ox cart, or whatever. That place was called the ford, meaning, a place where the river is crossable. The roads would always wind around through the terrain to that ford, and that is where old John went to begin his ministry. He would preach to the people as they crossed the river, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and he had the water right there, to baptize them. Now some would say, If the river was shallow, how could he baptize them? The Jordan was just like all other streams, in that way. You could have a shallow place where the water was only a few inches deep, and a few feet away it could be over your head. I guarantee you one thing, there were pools of water in the Jordan River that were deep enough to fulfill the purposes of God, and that is all that really matters. Furthermore, do not try to visualize a great crowd of people out there listening to John preach the first few days he was out there. In the beginning it was probably just one or two, or a half dozen at a time, but as they went on their way, and began to tell about him, that caused others to come, until people were coming from every direction to investigate this strange occurrence. Of course, there were a few Jews looking for John all along, for they knew what the angel had told Zacharias, but you have to remember, this is 30 years later. Many of those that knew first hand of the prophecy, had already passed from the scene in death. Nevertheless the Bible says that they went out to hear him from Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan. Among those who went to hear him, you could have heard many reasons why they came, but from among those that came, there were enough sincere ones to fulfill God’s purpose in it all. These truly repented, confessed their sins, and were baptized, and they looked for the One that John had said would come later. They were ready to receive Him, when He came. That is why John’s disciples came to him one day, and said, (John 3:26) “Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” Did that disturb John? Absolutely not; it pleased him. He knew his purpose had been fulfilled. Notice how he answered them. “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.” He showed no jealousy, nor disappointment, as you might find among preachers in our day. He was glad to know that the Messiah was on the scene for he looked for Him too.

 

EFFECTS OF JOHN’S PREACHING

 

I have stressed a certain point in other messages, that I also want to stress in this one. Jesus was not born, the incarnate God. He was the Son of God. He was perfect in every way, but for the first 30 years of His life, He was just that. He only became the incarnate God after He came to John to be baptized of him. When He came up out of the water, and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, and remained, He was then, the incarnate God. The Father was then in Him, but not before. Naturally some will say, But the angel appeared to the shepherds and told them, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” What about that? You have to realize that in the mind of God every prophecy is as a finished thing. Everything was spoken from the positive point of view, for with God, there is no doubt, nor hope so. It is just like Isaiah 9:6. Many who read that verse immediately apply all those titles to the little baby Jesus, when actually He was 30 years old before they were rightfully applied to Him. Nevertheless we have John at the river preaching, and baptizing repentant sinners, and this strange occurrence has caught the attention of the Jewish religious leaders in the headquarters at Jerusalem. The temple was at Jerusalem. All the records were kept at Jerusalem, and that is where the fathers were, the fathers that Malachi had spoken of some 400 years before. Now just exactly who were these fathers? Saints, you must see them from the standpoint of their spiritual identity. They were not just some Jewish men who had some sons. They were Scribes, priests, and elders who stood in the ranks of the multitude, but were spiritual overseers and guides to the rest of them. There is no genetic relationship included in the term fathers, as we see it used in these scriptures. Stephen used the term, and so did Paul. Men, brethren, and fathers, was the way both of these men opened up their defense before the Jews that questioned them. It was a term ascribed to a man in office. Therefore let us continue now, and see what effect John’s preaching had on those fathers. We have to look at these scriptures very closely to get the true picture of what Malachi’s prophecy covered. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children.” That is as far as John fulfilled this scripture, so we will hold the rest of that verse 6, for the proper time. We just want to think at this time, about what the first part of this verse really amounted to. First though, let me say this, many of those Jews that looked for Elijah, failed to understand that it was only the Elijah anointing that God was going to send. This anointing always dealt with apostasy. It was a God identifying spirit that always led men to repentance from out of apostasy. But let us look at the words heart, and fathers. We all know that the physical heart in man is only an organ that pumps the blood of life through the physical body, so it is not turned to anything. But on the other hand, have you ever heard anything with your ears, that just seemed to have a quickening effect within your innermost being? I am sure you all have at one time or another. I am also reasonably sure that you have experienced the opposite of that. You would hear something that would cause a little feeling of fear or fright within you, something of a negative nature. Either way though, you hear it with your natural ears first, and your mind must then decide whether it is of a benefit to you or not. In other words, your mind is like a transmitter, transmitting something that your whole being is affected by, and that is why those Judiastic fathers reacted as they did. I believe you are beginning to see what John’s preaching did to those old Judiastic fathers. For hundreds of years they had been on the same old repetitional merry go round, spiritually speaking, and all the time they were getting farther and farther away from God with their traditions, and their interpretations of the scrolls. But then word came to them, that there was a wild man down by the river, preaching about the kingdom of God. This caused their ears to prick up. What they were hearing was not necessarily a joyful report on their part, for they would first of all, question the authority of any man who would do what John was doing. Naturally the most prominent ones hesitated to go themselves, to investigate, but they did not hesitate to send others of their number to stand in the crowd as spies. Day after day, John stood at his post of duty down by the Jordan, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (The writers did not give the full text of John’s sermons, but I am sure he had many things to say to those who came out to hear him; good news for some, and rebuke for others.) As time passed, and the news spread, they were coming by the droves, and John was baptizing them right and left, as they repented and confessed their sins. Now, who was being baptized? It was not the fathers, yet. It was the down and out class of Jewish society. Spiritual dropouts, you might say. Jesus spoke of how publicans, harlots, and sinners believed John’s preaching, repented, and was baptized, and entered into the kingdom, and said to those others, But you are left without.

 

A HIGHWAY FOR THE LORD

 

We do not want to leave you with the idea that only prostitutes and that class of people came to John for baptism, but we do need to realize that it was not the Judiastic fathers that first came to him. It was the down and outers, that had just about lost all hope, spiritually speaking. Because of apostasy, spiritual death had set in, so God made the first move. (He always makes the first move.) He sent John with a message to restore something, and that something was spiritual reality, and hope in God. I can just see a lot of those poor souls, as they stood there with tears streaming down their cheeks, waiting for their turn to be baptized. John built that highway for the Lord while standing right there in the old Jordan River. It did not matter how high, nor how low they were, according to man’s standards, nor how crooked their lives were before. When John raised them out of the water, the high ones were made low, the low ones were elevated, and the crooked lives were straightened out. That is how the mountains and hills were made low, and the valleys lifted up, and the crooked made straight. It was a highway in the hearts of repentant sinners, where the Lord would have full right of way. God was not coming down, to ride up and down a highway from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea; He was coming to dwell in the hearts of a people that had been made ready to receive Him. Who were they? They were the children of Malachi 4:6. It is true that they were the children genetically, of that Jewish society, but that is not what gives them that identity in Malachi’s prophecy. Their Malachi identity, is that they were going to be children of God. Potentially they already were, in the mind of God, but the manifestation of it came about there at the Jordan River. Now John did not make them children, but he prepared the way for them to become children of God, and they came from far and near; it was not just a little group of local people from the immediate vicinity. That is what got the attention of the fathers. They just had to find out what was really taking place down there. Up until this time, John had been elevating the valleys, and straightening out the crooked places, but when those Judiastic fathers began to come into the crowd, he started blasting the tops off of the those mountains. With one huge blast he brought down a bunch of them; “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” In the churches of what the world looks upon as Christianity, they take plenty of time to honor those religious big shots. We will have Dr. So and So to read some scripture, and Bishop This and That to lead us in prayer, and all such like, but John could not have cared less about honoring anyone but God. Therefore He said also, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance; and think not to say within yourselves, (Be sure you get this point here.) We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” John knew that because of their natural heritage, these Jewish fathers were depending on the fact that they could say, We are Abraham’s seed. We believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We keep the law of Moses. But who are you? I’m just a voice. Hallelujah! The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. You hear the same spirit speaking in our day. I have heard people say, My mother was a saintly old Methodist, and so was my grandmother. Therefore I was born a Methodist, and I will die a Methodist. What was good enough for them is good enough for me. Listen to me, people, No born again child of God will say that, for we know that God does not judge us, nor favor us, just because our parents were a certain way. This is an individual walk with God. Your genetical background does not mean anything to God, as far as your soul’s salvation is concerned. Yes, those fathers came out to look John over, believing all along that they were children of God, just because they could trace their heritage back to Abraham to whom God promised a blessing to him and his seed after him. Saints, do not ever forget what the scriptures say about Abraham; He believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, and that is the only was any of us can stand before God, righteous simply by believing His word. We do not inherit righteousness from our parents, and neither do we earn it by any of our works; it is imputed to us when we believe properly. Not just any old man made doctrine, but the revelated word of God. So John called those big shot religious leaders exactly what they were, a generation of vipers. They did not know the first thing about the new covenant that was ready to be put into effect. Only those that were truly repenting, and being baptized, would be receivers of that new covenant. The only way any of those Judiastic fathers could ever become children of God, was to repent, and be baptized, for just simply being able to say, We are children of Abraham, would no longer be looked upon as having any spiritual benefit. There was a day when God would honor them as believers, if they wrote the law upon little emblems, and hung it on the door posts, and so forth, so they could see it both going in and coming out of their homes, and they honored it as God had instructed them to do. But here is a new dispensation coming into effect, with a new covenant that will replace the old one, and now God will only honor it. Notice what Paul wrote to the Hebrews about it, chapter 8; verses 6-13. We will not read it all now, but you can later. In verse 6, he speaks of how Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” On down farther we read, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” Now, notice verse 13. “In that he saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first one old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” In other words, God took His law down from the door posts, and was putting it in through the door of man’s heart into his innermost being. But it has to pass through the mind before the heart can receive it, and that is what God was preparing this lower class of people for. They were to be the children of the new covenant, when the old covenant was cut off completely. What do you think John meant when he said, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham? He was talking about revelation faith from among those stony hearts.

 

CHILDREN FIRST – FATHERS LATER ON

 

Now, coming back to Matt. 3:10, let us watch John cut down that old family tree that was so precious to those religious fathers. “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” That was like saying to them, You have trusted in your Jewish racial heritage until now, but God is going to cut that old family tree down, and from now on, only those who come through the baptism of the Holy Ghost will be children of God, and there is only one way to do that; you have to repent, and be baptized in water. Of course we understand that John was not the Holy Ghost baptizer, he was just the forerunner of the one who would do that. This is the reason he said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” But that is not all that He would do, for, listen to that next verse, Matt. 3:12, speaking of this one who is coming after John. “Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” This was John’s way of saying, I am not establishing the faith. I am not making a new covenant with you; I am simply announcing that the time is at hand for God to do it. John was not seeking to make a name for himself; he was only fulfilling something that God had raised him up to do. Now that did not keep some of John’s followers from trying to make him something more than what he was, but John himself did only what he was anointed to do. Those religious fathers who had always been in charge of every religious activity resented John, and resented what he was saying. No, let me rephrase that. They hated John, and they hated what he was saying even more, but there were some tender buds standing there, that would soon spring forth into life, taking the place of those trees that were being cut down. They did not know that, but God knew it. God knew what was going to be said that day, even before He ever created the world. Therefore to those Jewish fathers John was saying, Until now, you have read Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms, and all the law of Moses and you have twisted everything to fit into your traditions, but from this day on, you will have to submit yourselves to God in a different way in order to be accepted to Him. Did they do it, you may say? No, because they had another spirit on them. It was not the Spirit of Jehovah that had led them into all those religious traditions. It was not the Spirit of Jehovah that caused them to have murder in their hearts. They washed their feet and hands, and went through all those Levitical purification exercises, but their hearts were far from the God that gave those laws, therefore their religion was vain. They had clean hands and feet, clean pots and pans, and they said all the right things, but God was looking for some people whose hearts could be made clean also, and those fathers were too proud of their traditions and accomplishments to humble themselves, so they rejected God’s new covenant, and pronounced their own destination by doing so. That left the way clear for God to raise up some other men who would one day be looked upon as fathers, but first, they would be “the children” of Malachi 4:6, in the first advent of Jesus Christ. The only one of those fathers that we have any reason to believe might have been counted among the children, was Nicodemus, the Pharisee that came to Jesus at night, to avoid being seen by the other fathers. That in itself showed the pride of those Judiastic fathers. They loved being referred to as Dr. So and So, Rabbi So and So, and all of that, and you believe me, Saints: Religion is full of that sort still today, but not true Christianity. We are living in a new era of time. God will never call another young man to enroll in a Bible school to study theology. As a matter of fact, God has never called anyone to do that, but I will have to say, We have passed through an era when God worked through such men, allowing some of them to be carriers of certain Bible truths that were to be restored to His true body of believers in due time. This gospel did not start out being preached by the great learned men of that first age, and it will not end up being preached by that kind either.

 

GOD WORKS IN SIMPLICITY

 

Let me read you a few verses from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, and we will see what he had to say about the wisdom of learned men. (1:19) “For it is written. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed.” The preaching that gets men saved is something more than just a bunch of theories hatched out in a seminary someplace. Divine revelation is not something that can be published in three, or six month courses, and sold for so many dollars. It is free to all who will receive it, and it is preached by some of the most uneducated men upon the face of the earth, and no matter who preaches it, nor how much anointing they have, it still takes the Holy Ghost to make it a revelation to you. Notice verse 26. “For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” Why did God choose to work through such simplicity? Verse 29, tells us exactly why. “That no FLESH should glory in His presence.” If God allowed degrees of education to have any bearing on the effectiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then men who attained to certain levels of achievement in life would have somewhat to glory in aside from the pure grace and mercy of God. Hallelujah! I am so glad that God is no respecter of person. If He was like we have a tendency to be, then all the educated and important people in the world would have first chance at God’s bountiful gifts, and the rest of us would just simply have to get at the end of the line and beg for crumbs. That is not to say that there is not enough of God for everyone, but I think you know what I mean. It just simply comes down to the fact that God receives more glory working through weak and seemingly unimportant vessels. Praise Him! No wonder Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Notice that next verse, (Matt. 18:4) “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” That lets us see why those ecclesiastical fathers could not become children of God. They just simply could not humble themselves and come God’s way. They could not accept the idea that God would speak to the people of Israel without going through them first. I can just see some of them, with their head high, and their chest puffed out, “Who does this wild looking critter think he is? We have gone to school for many, many years to learn all the law and precepts of God, and this fellow, with no educational background, comes walking out of the wilderness claiming to be the voice of God. What kind of fools does he take us for? Does he really think anyone will believe him?” Brothers and Sisters: You have probably heard that very kind of boastful talk in some of the places God delivered you from. They still do it. The blind will lead the blind, as long as this dispensation stands. But let me ask you something at this point before going on, How many of you can see who the fathers of Malachi 4:6 were, in the first advent of Christ? How many can see who the children were? If you do not see who the fathers, and the children were in that day, you will never be able to receive a true revelation of who they are here at the end of the age. I will say this also; If you do not know what the faith of the apostolic fathers was, you will never know whether you have been turned back to it or not. In other words, you just simply cannot pick up a few remarks here at the end time and be looked upon as a revelated son of God, if you are void of understanding concerning all that proceeds a true revelation. John the Baptist knew what he was looking for. He also knew what he was doing, and why he was doing it, and you certainly have no reason to believe that he was trying to establish the faith that those children of his day were going to partake of . No. He was only carrying a message sent forth to separate them from apostate religion, and get them ready to receive the one that would initiate a new covenant with them. That was God’s way of rescuing a spiritual seed from an apostate system of death. John separated them from their old religious system, washed them up, got their minds open, and their spiritual eyes cleared up so they could begin to look forward to a greater unfolding of the purpose of God.

 

JESUS BAPTIZED BY JOHN

 

Let us go to John 1:15, now, and notice what was written of John there. This is the apostle John writing his record of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He starts out by showing that in the beginning, before there was anything else, was the WORD, and the WORD was God, and all things were created by the WORD. Even the cell of life that lay in the womb of the virgin Mary for 9 months, and was then birthed into life to be known as the only begotten Son of God. Then in verse 15, we read this. “John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” That simply means that the old covenant, the covenant of law, was given through Moses, but the new covenant, the covenant of eternal life is coming by Jesus Christ. Notice now. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John was not afraid to call Jesus, “the Son of God.” He did not have to be afraid that such terminology would destroy his revelation. That is why I say, it might do some of those apostolic Jesus Name people a lot of good if they would just call Him “the Son of God” once in awhile. It seems that once they saw the oneness of God, and that He truly was manifested in flesh, they were afraid to mention the Son any more, lest they lose the impact of that revelation. Listen, Saints: When we have a true revelation of who Jesus Christ really was, we do not have to be afraid to refer to the flesh man as the Son of God, for that is exactly what He was. Nothing can change that. The incarnation could never be any stretch of the imagination, make the flesh of Jesus the Father of creation. The Father is Spirit. That is why it could be said that, “No man hath seen God at any time.” You just simply cannot see a spirit. Therefore John was not afraid to say that Jesus was the Son of God, Peter was not afraid to say it, Paul was not afraid to say it, and neither am I. No wonder some of these people are called “Jesus only,” they only have part of the revelation of who He was. Alright then, no man has ever seen God at any time, only the Son hath declared. That means, revealed Him to those who had eyes to see. Verse 19, “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? (This was their big officials.) He confessed, and denied not: but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? (Meaning Elijah) and he saith, I am not. (He was not the literal Elijah, so he did not lie about it, even though he did know that it was the spirit, or we should say, the Elijah anointing upon him.) Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then they said unto him, Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah. And they which were SENT were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were don in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Right here is where we see Isaiah 40; verse 5, fulfilled. Let us read that verse at this time. “And the glory of the Lord hall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” How was it fulfilled? Turn back to Matthew 3:18. This will pick right where we left off, in John 1:29. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of Him.” He was immersed, not sprinkled, and it did not take place where the cart wheels were crossing; John had a hole of water somewhere close by that was deep enough he could bury those repentant sinners in water, and when Jesus stepped out there to be baptized, He was immersed the very same way as all the rest, but not for the same purpose, for He had no sin. Now John had already seen the sign that he had been looking for, so that is the reason he backed off, and said, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” But Jesus knew that He must be washed ceremoniously according to the law of Moses before He entered into the ministry that was set before Him, so He said to John, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he baptized Him, and this is where Isaiah 40, verse 5, comes in. Notice what it says. “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am pleased to dwell.” It matters not, how it was translated; for we know that it was at that exact moment, that the Father incarnated Him. From that moment on, the Father walked upon earth in human flesh, the flesh of His Son. Not only was there a voice heard from heaven, but there was another manifestation also; a dove descended from heaven and lighted upon Him. We say it like that, but what the scriptures actually say, if you caught it, was, He saw the SPIRIT OF GOD descending LIKE a dove, and lighting upon Him. The trinitarians grab that verse, and say, Here comes the Holy Ghost, thinking of it only from the dove view point. Now I assure you, it was the Holy Ghost, but you must always keep in mind, the Holy Ghost is the same Spirit that the Father is, so this was just the way that the Father chose to manifest Himself to the vision of those who witnessed the whole episode while hearing the voice from heaven. This was the glory of the Lord that was to be revealed, and all those Jews that had been out there listening to John preach, witnessed it together. They saw out there in the desert, what those Scribes and Pharisees thought could be seen only at Jerusalem, the glory of the Lord revealed. In other words, While they were out there picking on John for doing what he was ordained to do, God did an even more glorious thing among that gathering of people, and those religious leaders missed every bit of it, as far as any spiritual benefit is concerned. They just simply could not see God doing anything that seemed so ridiculous.

 

ALL ATTENTION TURNS TO JESUS

 

Those Jews could not see their great Jehovah dwelling in a human vessel of clay, yet that is exactly what He is redeeming His lost children, and restoring them back to, a time when He can dwell fully in every one of them. When you read the last chapters of Revelation: that is exactly what you see. “I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.” That will be the last phase of redemption when God finally places Himself fully, in all of His redeemed children. I want to take you back to the first chapter of John now though, and pick up John’s account of the events after Jesus was baptized. He did not go into the details of the baptism, as the other gospel writers did, he just picks up where Jesus comes off of His forty days and nights of fasting and testing, saying, “Again the next day after (I know that sounds like it applies to the next day after He was baptized, but we must remember that the other writers declare that the Father drove, or led Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil forty days and nights, so this is the next day after that testing has ended.) John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” When John fulfilled his part of Malachi’s prophecy, he turned all attention to Jesus, and those who were truly looking for the one John was point them to, followed Him, when they found out who He was. But there came the day when some of John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” That is when John began to rejoice for he knew that he had fulfilled his calling. He told them, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is what makes Malachi 3:1 really stand out, for this is the messenger of the covenant, that John was preparing the way for. He had come to preach, and now all men went to hear Him. How long did He preach? 3 ½ years. Who followed Him? Those who had repented and been baptized by John. Those Judiastic fathers did not get their lives changed, but there were some children that were cleaned up, and ready to follow Jesus, ready to walk with truth. It doesn’t take too much to get a large crowd of people following some man, but the question is, How many of them will follow the truth he stood for in life, after he is gone? That is the question, and that is where the problems arise. Some will turn back completely, others will try to find some other man that they can follow, and usually, only a few will actually keep their lives straight, and walk with truth. We will say more about that a little later, for right now I want to call attention to something Jesus prophesied to the city of Jerusalem.

 

DESTRUCTION AND DESOLATION FORETOLD

 

In Luke 19, beginning with verse 41, we read this, “And when He (Jesus) was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” This will let you see what can happen to people who hang on to their traditions so tight that they fail to take heed to the message of truth for their hour. When you go on over into chapter 21, you find Jesus telling His disciples what they can expect as they take their stand for truth. He tells them how they will be hated, and persecuted, and abused, and so forth. Then says, “In your patience possess ye your souls. (Some people never learn to have patience.) And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” He tells them of a time of great distress, and wrath upon the people, and how they will be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles, until their time is fulfilled, and such like, but let us see who actually benefitted by the warning and instruction He gave them.

 

WHAT GOD WILL ACCEPT

 

After Pentecost, when the church really got its birth, and the new covenant was in full force, certain men from the ranks of the new covenant children began to stand out as leaders in the church. Peter took the lead on the day of Pentecost, when false accusations were laid against those who had just received the Holy Ghost, but there was James, and John, and Stephen, and many others that stood to defend the faith of this new covenant that Jesus had activated and made effective by His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus was gone from the scene, and so was John the Baptist, but those Christians (the children of that day) had something in their hearts that kept them going on. Of course we understand that the gospel was first preached to the Jews, and God let it continue to be administered to that nation of people for several years, but He saw that the spirit of that old Judiastic system would never change, (He knew it all along by His great foreknowledge, but He allotted them sufficient time and opportunity, in order that they would be without excuse) so He began to unfold this great redemption plan to the Gentiles. The covenant He had made with Abraham would be fulfilled. Not only would Abraham have a natural seed, he would also have a spiritual seed. All who believe God’s word, and walk with Him in truth are the spiritual seed of Abraham. But what about that nation of people to whom Christ came? They were cut off completely, as the gospel was given over to the Gentiles. In 69 & 70 A.D. when the Roman army came in there, those pious Pharisees, and those holier than thou Essene Jews, that dwelt in caves down by the Dead Sea, died in their own blood, just like the rest. In the natural, they seemed to be the holiest, the purest, the most undefiled by the world, the most dedicated to God of all. But their righteousness was self-righteousness; it had no eternal benefit, and it furnished them no protection from that invading army. Was anyone protected? You might say. Yes. History tells us that not one Christian was left in the city of Jerusalem, when Titus and his army leveled her, leaving not one stone upon another. How could that be? It is very simple; they saw the signs that Jesus had told them to watch for, and they fled to the mountains, just like He told them to do. In other words, They reaped a double benefit by following the word of the Lord, while those others reaped destruction. I even read a book written by a Jew that was not even a Christian, and in it, he said, “All of the disciples of Jesus had already fled from the city of Jerusalem before the destruction came. Now I ask you, Who was holy among those that dwelt at Jerusalem? Who was clean and pure? Who was really serving God? Those who had believed the word of God for their hour. Those who by revelation, lived a simple, practical life, and were motivated from within a heart that was clean and pure before God. They escaped destruction, and all the rest died, either by the sword, or by the plague, disease, and famine that came upon them. God kept a few of them alive, to preserve seed, and they were carried away to Rome, in captivity, but all those self-righteous ones who thought they were serving God, and that God should be so proud of them, were destroyed. They rejected their opportunity to serve God in truth, so God rejected them, and God has not changed. He is still the same today. He is still rejecting those who reject the truth sent forth in their hour. That is why the religion that was good enough for your saintly old grandmother, is not good enough for you, in this hour. God is still on the move, and those who are accepted of Him, have to be willing to move with Him. What those Scribes and Pharisees were holding onto in the days of Jesus, was all God required from their forefathers who had followed the law of Moses out of a pure heart that desired to please God, but after Calvary, no salvation was wrought by keeping the law of Moses. The scriptures make it very clear that, in the first advent of Malachi 4:6, only those who were turned to children by the word of God, were accepted of God. Therefore I say to you by the word of the Lord, that in the second advent of Malachi 4:6, only those who are turned back to the faith of those first century, apostolic fathers, by the word of the Lord delivered in this age, will be accepted of God. That is why we are titling this message, “They Are Not All Children,” for we can plainly see what the word of God delivered to us by that Elijah in this age was supposed to do, and it is not doing it in the lives of all who claim to be children of God. That leaves one obvious conclusion. They are not all children, and we intend, by the help of God, to show you that they are not. What are they, then? They are tares. What else could they be? William Marrion Branham was not your church father. He was sent, with that Elijah anointing, to preach against apostasy, identify the one true God, and turn our attention back to what Peter, James, John, Paul, and all those early church fathers preached. He did that for me, and for a lot of you, but it is sad to realize, that a vast majority of those who followed his ministry, only left their denomination, to follow the word of the man, instead of the word of the Lord that he was trying to get us back to.

 

SOME ARE TARES

 

There will be people read this message, that will actually consider some of my statements to be blasphemous, simply because they are tares, and are not able to recognize truth when they hear it. Sure, they came out of denominations, to follow this message, but they still have the spirit of their denomination (which is a tare spirit) in them. Now let me clarify one thing here. The man that God used to bring forth the truth that these denominations are built around, was not a tare. The tares came later, and built a denominational fence around the truth. That is how they control it. Bro. William Branham, who came to this age with that Elijah spirit, to turn us back to those apostolic truths, was not a tare, but those who glorify his flesh, instead of following the truth he stood for, are tares without a doubt. He delivered the word of God to this generation, and you can do with it whatsoever you choose. You can either follow that truth, and be one of the children of God that he was sent to restore to the truth, or you can deify his flesh and be a tare. Only time itself will reveal for sure which is which, but I see some that seemingly have already gone too far in idolatry to turn back now. Only God knows that though. One thing I do know for sure, is that all who are truly children of God in this day and hour, will see Paul, Peter, James, John, and all of those apostolic fathers who defended the faith in their day, and they will love the man that pointed them back to the truth, and will defend his character, image, and purpose, but they will worship God, according to the apostolic truth that he pointed them back to. Let us read Malachi 4:6, for it is important that you remember what we are dealing with, so you do not miss the main points. Talking about the Elijah that was to come, it says, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, (that was John the Baptist) and the heart of the children to their fathers, (that was Bro. William Branham) lest (or before) I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Now that is what we are looking at, and we do not need to prove that Bro. William Branham was that Elijah which was to fulfill the second part of that prophecy, for that is generally accepted throughout the following of this message. It is only necessary that we understand what is meant by turning the heart of THE children, back to THEIR fathers. We have tried to help you see that the fathers of John’s hour were the last of the old law age covenant teachers. That is why they had to be made to see what John was doing, even though they could not find it in their hearts to repent and become a child, a child of God. Looking at the history we see, that as Jesus came back to Jerusalem just before He was crucified, every day He would go into the temple and preach. But then, one day, as He was leaving, going out over the Mount of Olives with His disciples, He looked back at that beautiful city, and the temple, and wept over it. In Luke 13:34, you read where He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Why would He say that? Simply because every time He went into the temple to preach, here would come that bunch of Pharisees and elders, questioning Him as though they really wanted to learn something, when really, all they wanted to do was trap Him. They wanted Him to say something they could use against Him. These are the ones that delivered Him to Pilot, to be crucified. These are the ones that stood there crying, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! It was not the man on the street that did those things, even though they might have been caught up in the excitement of it all. Nevertheless He could say, “Your house has been left unto you desolate.” Why? Because God, from henceforth would be found only in the hearts of His true people; He would no longer be found in that temple that they were so proud of. That natural building was only a type of the true temple of God, but those fathers of that day could never see that. That is why Jesus got into so much trouble when He said, Tear this temple down, and I will raise it up again in three days. He was speaking of the temple of His body, and they thought He was claiming to be able to build that literal temple back in three days, if it was torn down. Tares never get a genuine revelation of the word of the Lord, the most they can do is repeat what they hear, but it never becomes a living reality to them. Jesus was the first stone that was to be laid in the foundation of God’s new temple, for it is written, that He is the chief corner stone, but those fathers of that day could never see that. Nevertheless it was necessary that they all be shook by the message of the hour, for they were to be left without excuse before God. Were they looking for Elijah? Yes they were, but he did not come according to the way they demanded that he should. In order for them to have accepted Him, he would have needed to pass through their seminary, and be approved of them first. But I say to you, my dear brothers and sisters, God is not bound by anyone’s traditional concept of what He can, or will do. The only thing that He is bound by is His own word. He watches over that, to see that every jot and tittle of all that He has ever spoken will be brought to pass. That is the reason we can say with dogmatic authority, that anyone in this age who is a true child of God, will be separated from manmade doctrines, and returned to the pure unadulterated apostolic truth of God’s word, and anyone who is still holding to traditional denominational doctrines when this age closes out, is a tare, along with those of this end time message who have defied Bro. William Branham, and even those who may not have defied him, but are afraid to say or believe anything other than what he preached. Whether you want to believe it or not, before this age closes out completely, God is going to reveal a lot of things to the bride of Christ, that Bro. William Branham never did preach on.

 

WHOSE CHILDREN ARE YOU?

 

Now I want you to notice how Jesus spoke to the people of John’s day. In Matthew 11, John is in prison, and Jesus is preaching, and John sent two of his disciples to inquire of Jesus, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (The Lord had not shown John what his end would be, after he had fulfilled his God ordained ministry, so for some reason, a question came up in his mind, and he sent these two disciples to find out if he really had fulfilled his calling.) “Jesus answered and said unto them, God and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Now notice) And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, (This is where He vindicated John.) What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: not withstanding (nevertheless) he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Now the kingdom of heaven designates a period of time during which God will have His kingdom in the hearts of His true people, for the kingdom of God scripturally, is that kingdom in the hearts of redeemed people. The violent take it by force, lets us know that it is an uphill battle. We do not just simply slide right on through to glory without a fight. Verse 13, “For all the law and the prophets prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, This is Elias (Elijah) which was for to come.” There is his vindication for anyone who may have doubted He was that Elijah that Malachi spoke of. Now over in Luke 16:16, we read these words. “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the KINGDOM OF GOD is preached, and every man presseth into it.” That lets us see two things, John’s ministry was closing out the law age, and a new covenant was about to be introduced, and those who would be beneficiaries under this new covenant would have to press their way into it, for Satan would always try to prevent anyone who would try to follow truth. This new covenant was for a number of men, women, boys and girls, who were referred to as children, because they would be children of God under this new covenant, but as time progressed, those men who were the children of that day, became the fathers of the faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ which we are all partakers of, if we are true children of God, therefore it became the responsibility of the Elijah of our day, to call all of God’s children back to that original faith that was once delivered unto the saints, the gospel as it was preached by Peter, Paul, James and John, and all of those first age preachers, and apostles. The fathers of John’s day could not become children, because they were of the opposite spirit. They trusted in the virtue of being the natural seed of Abraham, but Jesus, when confronted by a bunch of them one day, said to them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” That is proof that they were of an opposite spirit, and so, also, do we have men of that opposite spirit claiming to be Christians in our day, and they are just as sure children of the devil, as those who Jesus spoke to that day. Why do I say that? I am really just saying what Jesus said to them, that day. In John 8:42, Jesus said, “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God.” It isn’t hard to find people today that think more of Bro. William Branham than they do of Jesus, so you tell me, according to the Bible, can they be children of God? If not, then whose children are they? They call themselves Christians. But are they? Could they be?

 

MANY MEN, BUT ONE REVELATION

 

It is very interesting to note that Jesus took the very elements of the Passover supper, which was celebrated under the law of Moses, and instituted an ordinance to be observed by the New Testament church, under a new covenant. He took of the bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, saying to them, “Take, eat; this is my body. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (or, as we would say, All of you drink of this) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” In 1st Corinthians 11:24, where Paul was conveying his revelation of this ordinance to the church there, it reads like this, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new Testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

 

“DRINK YE ALL OF IT”

 

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” This Passover supper, under the law, pointed forward to Jesus Christ, and what He would accomplish at Calvary on behalf of those that believed, and the Lord’s supper, as we refer to it, points back to Calvary, and what is already a finished work. We do partake of this ordinance in remembrance of what He has already done for us, but we do it with the understanding that there is no salvational virtue in the elements of this ordinance. It is an ordinance for Christians; it will not make a Christian out of you. This new covenant that Jesus put in effect gives every believer direct access to the throne of God without having to be represented by an earthly mediator. There is no priest upon the face of this earth, that has any more access to the throne of God than the most insignificant little believer who humbly prays from the depths of his hungry soul. Relationship to Jehovah was no longer hinged upon the fact that the person was a Jew by natural birth. Soul’s salvation is a personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, and no tare can experience it. When the 120 souls were filled with the Holy Ghost, in the upper room, there was no tares among them. All of them were true children of God, and it remained so for quite a few years, for the Lord Himself added to the church daily, such as should be saved, and they all continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, and in breaking of bread from house to house, for they had all things common. What a people! What a faith! The more that old Judiastic bunch persecuted them, the stronger they got, and the more were added to them from the ranks of them that had been held under the bondage of the law according to the traditional interpretation of those elders. But from the Bible itself, we only know of two from the ranks of those fathers, that actually came to Christ. That was Nicodemus, and Saul. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, for fear of those other Jews, but Saul was struck down on the road to Damascus, by the hand of the Lord , as he was going there to arrest any of the disciples of Jesus that he could find. He thought he was doing God a service by persecuting what he considered to be heretics, and all the time he was fighting against God. He had no use at all for the children of this new covenant, but the Lord stopped him cold in his tracks, and turned him around, and made him the apostle to the Gentiles. Did God violate his will, and force the new covenant upon him? No. God just got his attention long enough for him to see that he was going the wrong way, and he immediately became willing to turn around, and go with God. Was he of the ranks of those Jewish fathers? Yes, but he had a different spirit about him; he wanted to please God. There is always hope for a person who has a genuine desire to please God, no matter how wrong they may be. Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, by the Lord Himself, testified later, that he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, and blameless according to the law of Moses, but that he counted all of that as loss, that he might gain Christ. God gave that man such a revelation of His word, His will, and His purpose, that he spent the rest of his natural life trying to tell about it. He wrote most of the New Testament epistles that are in our Bible, and it is in his epistle to the Hebrews, and to the Romans, where we find election and predestination taught so clearly. He always carried a burden for his Jewish brethren according to the flesh, that they also might believe and be saved, and wherever he went in his missionary journeys, he always sought them out, and preached the gospel to them first. But his chief calling, was to be a light unto the Gentiles, a means of salvation to the ends of the earth, so to speak, and that still stands true even in 1983. His gospel has not been replaced with anything, as far as God is concerned, and it never will be, as long as there is any need for the gospel to be preached. Do you know how he got his revelation of the will and purpose of God? He went out into the Arabian Desert alone, and studied the Old Testament scrolls, and the Holy Ghost directed his thinking until he got the whole picture connected together. Then he went up to Jerusalem, and met with the other apostles, and the beauty of it all, is that he had the same revelation of the One God, water baptism, baptism of the Holy Ghost, election, predestination, and the foreknowledge of God, that Peter and those other apostles had. That proves to me that they all had the same teacher. Would you not agree? Then when they taught holiness, they did not have to hide behind some mask, as the Pharisees did, for they were holy from within, made holy through the revelation that God had placed in their souls. Praise God! It was a holy God living inside of His people. That is why Jesus told those Jewish fathers, “Your house is left unto you desolate, because there would be no further need for that literal temple until the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks was ready to be fulfilled. Starting with His Son Jesus the Christ, God was laying the foundation stones for a new house that he would dwell in, a house of flesh and bones, instead of stones and mortar. It was the apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians that said, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” How does He get in that temple? You may ask. By the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which in reality is the new birth that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. In 2nd Corinthians 6:16, you find Paul asking, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Now this is going to tear Satan’s kingdom all to pieces, and he knows it, and he does not like it, and he proposes to stop it one way or another. This new faith was threatening the Roman empire, one of Satan’s strong holds. It would bring about the destruction of all those pagan temples, and it would bring an end to Judaism, so naturally Satan would try to prevent God from ruling from within the hearts of His people, if there was any way to do it. That is where the tares come into the picture.

 

MAKE-BELIEVERS GROW WITH THE BELIEVERS

 

Now a tare is a make-believer, a child of the devil, pretending to be a child of God, and the churches are full of them today, but there were none of them among the ranks of the believers in the book of Acts, for those early apostles guarded against any attempt of Satan to pervert that true gospel, so he had to wait until after they all passed off he scene, before he could actually successfully sow his tares in this field of God. (The church) as early as 54 A.D., Paul wrote to the Thessalonians concerning that man of sin that would come upon the scene in the end of the age, and stated even then, that the mystery of iniquity was already at work. Then in 90 A.D. John wrote, in his little epistle, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whither they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” John thought the end was getting close, because he saw that spirit of Antichrist at work, but little did he know that it was only the beginning of what God would allow Satan to do for the next 1900 years. It was really in the second church age, that Satan actually succeeded in placing his tares in the congregation of the saints. How did he do it? Without those staunch guards of the faith to detect them, make-believers, falsely converted to the faith, were able to slip into the fellowship, and naturally, after they were in, the same Holy Ghost that fell on the true seed, also fell on them, and they could shout and dance right along with the rest of them. But they never could receive a true revelation. Instead, they began to inject their own ideas little by little until the church was plunged headlong into the period known as the Dark Ages. It did not happen suddenly; it actually took several hundred years for it to reach its worst hour of time. You know, that according to the 2nd parable of Matthew 13, once that tare spirit gets inside, it will grow just like the true crop, and actually the Lord said, “Let them all grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Why did God allow Satan to get by with a thing like that? It puts true believers to the test. Will they walk with God, or follow the crowd? Those tares were allowed to attack, and pervert eery true doctrine of the New Testament church, and the first thing they went to work on, was the one God revelation. They got that perverted into a trinity. The new birth experience (the baptism of the Holy Ghost) was changed into a formalistic ritual, and a holy way of life was pushed completely out of the picture. That does not mean that everyone was like that, for God has always preserved seed, but the ruling spirit in the church was like that, for it was tares running things during those Dark Age years. No true child of God would throw out the truth, but when your are outnumbered so badly, all you can do is live your own convictions, and let the rest do what they want to do. Therefore coming out of the Dark Ages was Martin Luther, a monk that God revealed an apostolic truth to. The just shall live by faith instead of by the word of the pope. Now remember, God was not restoring the faith of the fathers, He was restoring His children back to it. It took almost 500 years for Satan to rob the church of that true faith, and God has now been in the process of restoring His church back to it for about the same length of time. It was the restoration of God’s children to these apostolic truths that brought the Dark Ages period to its end, for every scriptural truth is light, and people simply cannot dwell in darkness, and light both at the same time. No, Satan had his millennium of darkness, and now the church of the living god has been restored to the light. The vast majority of world religion is still in spiritual darkness, but God’s true church is walking in the light of His word once again, HIS NAME, HIS WORD, HIS WORKS.

 

A MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTERS

 

Now let me ask you something, Saints: When Martin Luther began preaching, “The just shall live by faith,” was that a new truth? Of course not. The apostle Paul wrote that to the saints of Rome 1500 years before that. (Romans 1:17) Also, in Romans 5:1, Paul wrote, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This was an apostolic truth that God fed Luther’s hungry soul with. Just like I said earlier, God restored the church back to the faith of the fathers by degrees, just like she left it. The church did not go from light to darkness suddenly, so God did not bring her from darkness to light suddenly. He restored her to one truth at a time, and He did not have to use a tare to carry that truth. Luther was not a tare himself, but the moment he started to preach faith, the tares started gathering around him, Hallelujah! We have faith. Hallelujah! Faith is wonderful. You see, the tares will rejoice right along with the saints, and they will grow right along with the saints, but they can never become children of God. Once a tare, always a tare. You may have heard people say, I used to be a child of the devil, but now I am a child of God. But that is not correct. A person that was foreknown of God, was never a child of the devil; that person, before they come to a true salvation experience, is simply a servant of the devil, a prisoner, you might say. That is why they are referred to as LOST; they are lost from their heavenly Father. That does not mean that God does not know all about them; it simply means, that such a lost soul does not know where his true family is, and God always makes the first move, to draw that lost soul to Himself. Alright, so the tares began gathering around those true children of God that had embraced Luther’s revelation, Oh, this faith is wonderful, but we had better ger organized, so that we can better administer it to the world. It has never been the true children of God that founded these religious organizations; that tare spirit does that, in order to keep the truth they have from moving any further, or to keep those who have a certain truth from moving any further with God. Do you know why they can never move any further with God? When they organize, they write up their bylaws and articles of faith, and that is all they will allow, in their organization. Every one of them looks at themselves as exactly what God wants his church to be like; therefore they leave no room for God to add any further revelation of His word to them, so they rally around what they have, for a while, and then death and decay begins to strike their system. But all the while, they are affecting some people that are true children of God, and even though death strikes the system, the truth they organized around, never dies. It was the same pattern all the way through the Reformation. God would reveal an apostolic truth to a chosen vessel, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and on down the line, and the followers of that man’s teaching would take that truth, and build a denominational fence around it. That is exactly the way the devil wanted it. That is how these daughters of that old Roman Catholic whore were defiled. Now do not get disturbed at me for saying that, for it was the angel talking to the apostle John, in 96 A.D., that first called her that. He showed John the final judgment of that great whore, before the whore ever even came into existence. You can read it in Revelation 17:1-5, and you will see there, that this great whore had some daughters, for she is called, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. Those daughters are all of the religious organizations that have come out of the Reformation movement. When those daughters embraced a truth that separated them from the old Roman Catholic mother system; they were clean and pure, but before too long, that old tare spirit would get in, take over, build an organization, and cause the whole thing to commit spiritual fornication with the world. That made them harlots; they were no longer in a place where a holy God could entrust, nor impart divine revelation to them. Methodism, founded off of John Wesley’s holiness teaching was built into the most wonderful, and largest Protestant denomination upon the face of the earth, and that brings our little summary up to around the dawning of the 20th century, a point in time when Laodicea was just about ready to be activated. Laodicea is the age of materialism, the industrial age that has lifted the standard of living from where it remained you might say, for hundreds of years, to where it is today, in only a few short years.

SATAN’S HINDRANCES

 

As the age of Laodicea came into focus, God began to lead certain ones from the ranks of those denominations to an experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost; those that were hungry for more of God. Now let me say at this time, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was not given in the fulness of its potential. God withheld the revelational quality of the experience, and only moved in the area of the manifestations of the Holy Ghost, as pertaining to speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing, and so forth. In other words, That which pertained to the gifts of the Spirit. But no sooner did the true children begin to receive this experience, than here came the tares. They could sing, shout, speak in tongues, dance, prophesy, and anything else that the true children were doing. Now some will want to know how a tare, that does not have the Holy Ghost, could do all those things, but it is very simple. They have that counterfeit spirit in them, the same spirit that enabled Pharaoh’s magicians to duplicate all the signs that God gave to Moses and Aaron, down there in Egypt. But there came the day and hour that God was ready to test this experience they were receiving, and that was like dropping a stick of dynamite into a can of gasoline. Satan had finally succeeded in getting the one God revelation out of the church, in 325 A.D., and 1600 years later, here it came, right back. God dropped that apostolic truth right in the middle of trinity Pentecost, and brother, those old tares (bishops and presbyters) really let out a squall, Get that Satanic mess out of here; that is good for nothing but to split the church. That is like the pot, calling the kettle black. The devil sure is sly. He will say, or do anything, to keep revelation truth out of the picture. It is always his children, the tares, that raise the loud protest, and brand something of God as Satanic. The true child of God is hungry for truth, and they will not play with it for 18 years before receiving it. The sad truth is, Anyone who plays around with truth for 18 years, does not have anything in them that can receive truth by revelation. I think you know what I mean. Nevertheless the children of God began to receive the revelation of God’s oneness even in spite of all the opposition from the tares, so when the devil could not stop it, he just joined it, like he did all the rest, Praise the Lord, it sure is wonderful, to know that God is one, and not three persons. Hallelujah! This will be the greatest organization of them all, so that is where the church of the living God stood, as the man destined to be God’s prophet to this age grew to manhood. God had restored the church little by little, back to the apostolic truth that she had let slip away from her, but the tares were still running things. Here was all those beautiful truths that the New Testament church was founded upon, all fenced in and divided up, and if God did not do something those tares would sap the very life out of those true children of God that were scattered around in those systems. He could not perfect His church as long as it was divided up like that, and He could not call her to glory before she was perfected, so what did He do? Hallelujah! He raised up a prophet messenger, and anointed him to call His children out of those places, and lead them to see that the true church of the living God is not divided, nor built into a denomination. Who was that prophet messenger? His name was William Marrion Branham, born under very unusual circumstances, in a simple little cabin near Burkesville, KY. He was not a theologian. As a matter of fact, he did not have very much of society’s formal education, but he did have the hand of God upon his life from the time that he was a very small boy. We will not go into his life, for that is recorded in ever so many publications that can be obtained. What we want you to see from this message, is what his ministry fulfilled in the redemption process of God. We do not need to lift up his flesh, in order to lift up the purpose of God that his ministry fulfilled. I truly thank God for the day He sat me down at the feet of that man, for as I listened to him preach and teach, he pointed me right back to the apostles Paul, Peter, James, John and all of those other New Testament writers. He made that Bible that I once was afraid of, talk to my soul. Hallelujah! I could never feed my soul on Methodist Church doctrine after that.

WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM COMMISSIONED

 

It was in the year 1933, when Bro. William Branham, as a young evangelist, was baptizing some converts in the Ohio River, at the foot of Spring Street, in Jeffersonville, Ind., that God spoke to him, and commissioned him for his role in the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6, of the Old Testament. We started our message with this scriptures, because it is the most quoted, and seemingly the least understood of all scripture, among the following of this humble servant of God that fulfilled exactly, what he was called of God to fulfill. While he was baptizing, there in the river, just like John the Baptist, he heard a voice say, Look up. Look up. When he looked up, there was a great light hanging right there over his head. Then a voice spoke, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of the Lord, so are you sent with a message that shall prepare the way for His second coming.” What he would do, had to be worded a little different than what John did, for John was sent to introduce a physical man. But Bro. William Branham was not able to introduce a physical man. It is the message Bro. William Branham delivered to this generation, that is forerunning the second coming of Jesus Christ. John prepared the way and actually introduced a physical person in which dwelt the very God of all creation. There in the Jordan River, that day, stood both messengers of Malachi 3:1, one messenger introducing another one. But when you look at Brother Branham, you do not see two physical messengers. You see one messenger, with a message from the throne of God, sent forth to this generation, for the purpose of calling God’s people out of denominational bondage, and allowing them an opportunity to dress themselves up and get ready to meet the Lord. All of this had to be accomplished before the Lord would return in person to smite the earth with a curse, as Malachi 4:6 states, (or to smite all wickedness with judgment) Gentiles have never been privileged to know Christ after the flesh, but they can know Him, for He is living in the pages of a book, but the book has to be read under the leadership of the Holy Ghost, in order for the reader to see Him, and before Brother Branham came upon the scene to cry out against it, Satan’s shrewd tactics prevented that. God’s people were more or less forced to read the Bible through the eyes of their denominational system. Those who were so blessed as to see one God, and water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, were blinded to most of the other great truths of this new covenant that was introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ in His first advent, so that left God without a crop that He could reap from the pure seed that was sown.

 

GOD’S PROPHET ON THE SCENE

 

Now Brothers and Sisters: what we have to realize, is that God Himself is the only one that can change His covenant with man, and until He gives a new one: the old one is still in effect, and only those who meet the conditions of that covenant are acceptable to Him. Therefore I would remind you, that the covenant placed in effect by the Messenger John the Baptist introduced, was the last covenant God made with lost mankind that needed redemption, and only those who meet the conditions of that covenant will be acceptable to God. He has not changed the formula, not even by one word, since the day the church was given life there in Jerusalem, in that upper room. All of those first age Christians understood that, but they were not the crop that God would harvest, they were the seed, so to speak. When you plant a seed, you make sure you plant the kind of seed that you want a multiplied reproduction of at harvest time, and you cultivate and care for that crop until you do everything you need to, to get it ready to be harvested. Therefore I ask you, Do you think God, who is the author of perfection, would plant a church in the earth different than the kind He intended to harvest? That would be a careless perversion of His own law of reproduction, and only the devil is a perverter. But any person with spiritual insight could plainly see, that the church of 1933 was not like the church in the book of Acts. It was a long way from it, even after almost 500 years, since the Reformation started. What was the answer? How would God ever get an exact reproduction of that first age church? There was only one way, short of starting all over again. (And there was no scriptural provision for that.) He would have to do something to get the end time church back to believing exactly what that first age church believed. There is scripture for that, Malachi 4:5-6, our text. But who was there in the land that had a universal voice of authority, of the caliber that could turn the universal body of Christ around, and get them all going in the same direction? There was no one. But that was because it was not yet time for that, back before W.W.2. God would raise up such a man in due time, but it would not be his voice of authority over the church, that would get the job done; it would be the authority of the word of God in the message he delivered to this age, that would accomplish the purpose of God, long after the man himself had been taken from the scene. At the time God began to introduce Bro. William Branham to the church world, the Pentecostals had the greatest light, but that was still not what the church of the living God was to reflect back to Him. Some of those Jesus name Pentecostals that had the same evidence as the trinity element, were so set in their way, and so sure that they were what God wanted: they referred to the trinity as false brethren. When some of them came out to investigate Bro. William Branham, they were heard to say, IF THIS MAN TRULY IS A PROPHET, WHY DOES HE ASSOCIATE WITH THESE ASSEMBLY OF GOD TRINITY PEOPLE? They were like Peter, before God sent Him to the house of Cornelius. You must remember, he was not the messenger just to the Pentecostals; he was the messenger to the whole age. God still had children in all those denominational systems, and they had to hear their call to come out, and be separated from man made traditions. As Bro. William Branham preached from place to place, the big bishops and presbyters came out to look him over. They would sit there so proud, but they would see a display of the power of God that they just simply could not understand, and you would see tears come into their eyes as the light of God reflected from that man. I am not talking about the light of truth that he preached. Do you know what happened? They looked right into that light, and it was so bright, it blinded the. Why? They were tares. They were sold out to a tare system. The light of truth did not blind God’s true children that looked into it. No, it illuminated their souls. What was he doing out there? He was delivering a message first to call God’s children out of those systems, and secondly to turn them back to the faith of THEIR fathers. He was one of the endtime children that was to be turned back to the faith of the fathers. God raised him up from among the ranks of those who were to be turned back, and placed an anointing upon im that had never been displayed in that magnitude upon any man, since it was displayed in the life of Christ without measure. That still did not change the fact that he was one of the endtime church children. God raised him up at a time when a lot of the predestinated children were getting so fed up with manmade traditions, they were ready to become spiritual dropouts. I had just about come to that place myself, before I received the Holy Ghost.

 

SPIRITUAL RESTORATION PREACHING

 

You have heard me tell how I was turned down by the district superintendent of the Methodist church, as pastor of our little neighborhood church, because of educational requirements. That struck me such a hard blow, I determined that I would never preach again. I promised the Lord that I would still go to church, and I would still live for Him, but I would never preach again. About one week later, after I had prayed like that, I was so very discouraged, and that night, Jesus came to me in a dream. We had already started going to the tabernacle to hear Bro. William Branham, so a few nights after I had the dream, I had a chance to tell it to him. (I will not tell it now for lack of time, but it is in part 2 of the series we printed on Bro. William Branham, if any of you want to read it.) He only replied, Bro. Junie: Walk with God. He is getting ready to lead you out into deep water. He sure did that, for a short time later, He led me right into the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that gave me an altogether different outlook on things. Praise God! I have never been the same since. I am thankful to God for allowing me the privilege of sitting under Bro. William Branham’s teaching, and I could never find words to express my heartfelt feelings about it all, but one thing I do know for sure, he never said anything that caused me to feel like worshiping him. He always pointed me right back to the Bible. Every text I ever heard im preach from, was taken right from the Bible, and he always lifted up Jesus Christ, and was not afraid to call Him the Son of God, and the gospel he preached, was the same that Peter, Paul and all of them, preached. It makes no difference how important some of you preachers of this message may feel, if you did not hear that little man pointing you back to the Bible, back to the faith of that early church, there in the book of Acts, you missed the message he delivered to the children of God. He also had a message for the tares to run with, and it is obvious after 18 years since his death, that some of you are traveling the world over, with that message. That is why you refuse to use the Bible as the sole text book for what you preach. If you had truly been a partaker of Malachi 4:6, you would not want to use anything else. No. You saw a man display attributes of the God he served, and instead of seeing God, you only saw the man, and he has become your idol, and God hates idolatry. Before I even received the Holy Ghost, (according to the Pentecostal teaching) the Lord had already showed me, while reading the first chapter of Luke, that before Jesus would come again, that Elijah spirit would have to come upon the scene, and the first time I ever heard Bro. William Branham preach, I knew that he was that Elijah that was to come. He preached predestination, justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, along with eternal security of the believer, and that just about covered the main doctrines of your major denominations, and he showed by the Bible that all of these truths belonged to the true children of God. When he preached on the serpent’s seed, I said, That makes mor sense to me than Eve eating an apple. However I did not fail to notice that he did make what we refer to as dual statements, on certain subjects, from time to time, but none of that ever kept me from receiving what God anointed him to feed to the true children. Therefore the children of Malachi 4:6-B, do not find it necessary to quote Bro. William Branham every time they open their mouth, any more than those early apostles did the Lord Jesus Christ. They preached the revelation they received from Jesus without quoting His exact words, and I am here to tell you, that any true God anointed preacher of this age, will preach from that same revelation without quoting Bro. William Branham in every breath.

 

CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

 

I will never forget one time when we went over to the church of the Open Door in Louisville, to hear Bro. William Branham preach. He opened his Bible to Jude 3, for a text, and preached that the children of God should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints. He laid it down plainly, Get back to Jesus name water baptism. Get back to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Get back to the gifts of the Spirit, back to divine healing, and all the other teachings of the apostles. That is the faith that we should contend for. Brothers and Sisters: I can tell you as straight as you will ever hear anything, he was not giving us another Bible; he was leading us back into the one we already had, but had gotten away from the true revelation of. As I have already said, Some of you got so close to the light that shined through him, it blinded you to the truth of that light, and all you could see was the man that the light shined through. You can never see Ephesians 4, because you have never really seen Malachi 4. Now, to turn that right around, If you had really seen Malachi 4:6, in its end time fulfillment, you would be reading Ephesians 4, and shouting, God, help me to walk in the light of those scriptures. But no, you would rather have your Joseph. I know this will sting some of you, but there is not going to be any man’s blood on my hands. I am delivering my soul of a burden that I have carried for a long time. I know it will not help any of you who have to have an idol, but I believe there are yet some souls out there, that just simply have no yet heard the message represented from the revelation viewpoint. I pray that we can help some of them. You who went into polygamy after hearing Bro. William Branham preach on marriage and divorce, Do you really believe you heard the message that man preached to the bride of Christ? I would like to know just what fathers your faith was turned back to. That is the sort of thing I see in the Cain line before the flood, and in pagans before the gospel came to them. The children of Malachi 4:6-B have been led to the true revelation of Deuteronomy 24, and 1st Cor. 7, and they know better than that. You may say, I came out of denominations as soon as I heard Bro. William Branham preach. I know you did, but you still have a tare spirit, and you have nothing to feed to the true church of the living God. That is why we are titling this message, “They Are Not All Children.” It is true that we are all children of one spirit or the other, but it is obvious that not everyone that has followed after the teaching of Bro. William Branham, is a child of God. Some of you have clung to the children of God, like husk will cling to a grain of wheat. The messenger to this age did not change those religious systems, for the simple reason, they have a tare spirit, and they are on their way to hell, and I will have to say the same thing about any individual that never gets his spiritual vision turned back to the faith of our apostolic fathers, no matter what you can quote from Spoken Word books.

 

THE WEDDING GARMENT IS RESTORED

 

I just want to say before I close, I am not preaching like this because I am mad at anyone. But rather because it is truth, and there is not much time left for anyone to play around. Jesus is coming back for a church that has been restored to the faith of those first age Christians, and been purged of all former traditions, a church that universally, is receiving the same revelation of the word of God, and brought to that place by the ministry of Ephesians 4:11. In other words, Once the children are turned back to the faith of their fathers, God will raise up the five fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11, from among their own ranks. They will not have to search through Spoken Word books for something to preach either, for they will be hearing from God themselves. I will not even take the time to mention all the things that various one’s are teaching about our precious deceased brother, but I will emphasize that, our brother, and not our God. He will truly be resurrected from the dead, but not before Peter, Paul, James and John, and not even before those who die in the Lord tomorrow. So let us get things settled in our hearts, and start living the truth that the man was anointed to turn us back to, if we really are children of God. Do not take any part in this date setting, nor in trying to squeeze 7 years into a 3 ½ year period of time, for all of this is just plain nonsense. All of these date setters are still here, except those who have gone by the way of the grave, and Jesus is still waiting for the rest of the word of God to be fulfilled to the point of His return, before He returns. The wedding garment has been restored to the bride, and she is busy dressing herself, but some others are being thrown out according to the words of Jesus, because they do not have a wedding garment. The wedding garment for our day is the same as it was in Paul’s day. It is a robe of pure revelation of the word of God. Not a pure quote from one of Bro. William Branham’s sermons. The seventh seal is yet to be opened and revealed, and the seven thunders are yet to sound, and these are only for the bride of Christ. No quoter will even hear them. You who preach the prophet like the Catholic Church does Mary, are going to miss God just as much as the Catholic Church does. There is no difference. There was nothing wrong with Mary, and there was nothing wrong with the person of our brother. It is only what the Devil causes people to believe about the, that is wrong. Let us worship the Father of the one Mary gave birth to, (for His flesh was not God) and let us give proper respect to the instruments God works through, and above all else, if you do not remember anything else that we have said, remember this, Jesus Christ is Lord of all, Jesus Christ is the Messiah, Jesus Christ is the one that is coming again to take His bride unto Himself, and there is no private interpretation of the word of God. Amen.

Seven Churches Of Asia, Part 2 – 1983, March

1983-03-Seven-Church-of-Asia-Part-2

BROTHERS ANS SISTERS: WE ARE TRULY A PRIVILEGED PEOPLE. TO BE LIVING IN THIS HOUR OF TIME, AND TO HAVE THIS PRECIOUS WORD OF GOD REVEALED TO US AS MUCH AS IT IS, IS SOMETHING THAT MONEY CANNOT BUY. WE ARE TRULY FEASTING UPON THE MANNA THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD THAT WE COME IN CONTACT WITH EVERY DAY, THINK WE ARE CRAZY, BUT IF THIS IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF BEING CRAZY, I WOULD SURE HATE TO BE SANE AGAIN. HALLELUJAH! HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! IN HIS GREAT WISDOM AND FOREKNOWLEDGE, HE INSPIRED SAINTS OF OTHER AGES TO RECORD THE THINGS THAT WOULD COME TO PASS IN OUR AGE OF TIME, AND YET HAD IT COMPLETELY HIDDEN FROM THE GREAT SCHOLARS THAT HAVE SPENT SO MANY YEARS OF THEIR LIVES STUDYING IT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THEOLOGY, THAT NONE OF THEM EVER RECEIVED A TRUE REVELATION OF IT. JUST TO USE A VERY NATURAL ILLUSTRATION TO EMPHASIZE A SPIRITUAL REALITY, LET ME SAY THIS, WHAT MAY BE GARBAGE TO SOME FOLKS, IS LIFE GIVING, AND LIFE SUSTAINING FOOD TO OTHERS. YOU HAVE SEEN LITTLE CHILDREN, AND EVEN MANY ADULTS, FILL A LARGE PLATE WITH FOOD, AND THEN JUST SIT WITH A FORK, OR A SPOON, AND WALLOW IT AROUND EATING ONLY A FEW BITES, AND THEN IT IS DUMPED INTO A GARBAGE CAN. BUT YOU LET SOME FELLOW COME ALONG THAT HAS HAD NOTHING TO EAT FOR A FEW DAYS, AND WHAT HE FINDS IN THAT GARBAGE CAN BECOMES A GREAT FEAST TO HIM. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOUR GREAT SCHOLARS HAVE DONE WITH THE WORD OF GOD. THEY HAVE WRESTLED WITH IT, WALLOWED IT AROUND, PICKED OUT A FEW MAN PLEASING THEORIES, AND THEN DUMPED THE REST IN THEIR SPIRITUAL GARBAGE CAN. THEY HAD NO TASTE FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN WATER BAPTISM, NOR FOR THE ONENESS OF THE GODHEAD, NOR FOR PREDESTINATION, NOR FOR ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE TRUE BELIEVER, AND A GREAT PERCENTAGE OF THEM EVEN REJECT THE TRUTH OF THE NECESSITY OF RECEIVING THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST. BUT WE ARE LIVING IN AN HOUR WHEN TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE A CRAVING IN THEIR SOUL TO FEED UPON THIS HIDDEN MANNA, AND THEY DO NOT LOOK FOR A DOCTOR OF DIVINITY TO FEED IT TO THEM. GOD HAS AN ANOINTED MINISTRY OF APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELISTS, PASTORS AND TEACHERS TO DO THE FEEDING, AND THE ONLY DIPLOMA REQUIRED IS GIVEN BY THE HOLY GHOST. LET US KEEP THIS IN MIND NOW, AS WE CONTINUE OUR EXAMINATION OF THE LETTERS WRITTEN TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA BY THE HAND OF THE APOSTLE JOHN, WHO WAS IN EXILE ON THE ISLE OF PATMOS WHEN JESUS INSTRUCTED HIM TO DO SO.

 

PERGAMOS CONTINUED

 

We ended part one of this message, speaking of the hidden manna, and the white stone in which is written a new name known only to him that receiveth it (Revelation 2:17). We have pointed out the fact that the hidden manna is for us to feed upon in this present life, and the white stone with a new name, is for our life in immortality, for we do not need a new name in this present life. The 19th chapter of the book of Revelation is where our new name comes into the picture, for that is where we read of Jesus descending to earth with the armies which were in heaven, and in verse 12, it says that He (Jesus) had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself. I will just say this, The new name must correspond to what He is in His office work for the hour of time that is being fulfilled at the time. Therefore let it be understood that our new name is for the hereafter life, when we are in immortality.

 

ONE MUST BE LORD

 

Now at this time I want to call your attention to various things that were written by anonymous men that I have come across in studying history. I found where one man wrote, and explained the Millennium, just like we have published right back there in the article titled, “The Age of Regeneration.” When I read that, I felt just like stomping a hole through the floor, if I may express my joy in that way. I said, Hallelujah! Let these critics pull their hair out if they want to, for if I am crazy, at least there was one other man that was just as crazy as me. I do not know who he was; but listen to what he wrote concerning the Godhead, whether God is one, two, three or a half dozen. He is challenging the heretics who are teaching that God is more than one, and says, “As to whether there be one God or more, there is indeed much ambiguity, for not only do individuals differ among themselves, but also peoples and nations. But he who shall follow the guidance of reason, will understand that there cannot be a Lord, except one. Neither a Father, except one. For if God who made all things is also Lord, and Father, He must of necessity be only one, or one only, so that the same may be the head and source of all things. It is not possible for the world to exist unless all things be referred to one person, unless one hold the rudder, unless one guide the reins, and as it were, one mind direct all members of the body. If there are many kings in a swarm of bees, they will perish, or be scattered abroad after a while.” This man, whoever he was, lets us know what the basic issues were, in this great hour of struggle when Satan was trying to destroy the hidden manna that true believers were to feed upon. It also allows us to see that the sword of the Spirit, which is the truth, and the way it is handled, will always be used to defend the righteous and true child of God in his, or her battle against Satan and his heretics. This is the only way we can survive the many attacks of Satan when he is trying so hard to destroy everything, and every one that stands for truth. For what it really is when you know the truth of it, is a battle between two spiritual forces, the Spirit of God in the true believer, against the spirit of Satan in the heretics. This is how God keeps the channel open for true believers of every age to find the hidden manna. There is never a question as to who will win in a battle of this kind, for we should always remember what the apostle John wrote in his first Epistle, chapter 4, verse 4, when he was speaking of these Antichrist spirits, “Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” The Holy Spirit in us will always have the victory over false doctrine if we will just allow Him to lead us and give us utterance.

 

WHITE STONE – NEW NAME TO OVERCOMERS

 

Now Brothers and Sisters: Listen to a few more little excerpts that I will read from the many, many chapters this same man wrote concerning the great truths of the word of God. This next one is about the ending of time, as he refers to it, and the evils of the nations, just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He speaks of how the end will come, what will be accomplished by the wrath of God, and how the Millennium will be set up. Listen, “But when He shall have destroyed unrighteousness, (This is by the wrath of God in judgement) and shall have recalled to life, the righteous that have lived, even from the very beginning, He will be engaged among men a thousand years, (This is a Millennium) And will rule them with just command. Then, they who shall be left alive in their bodies (mortal men, and woman, and children which survive the wrath of God) shall not die; but shall during this thousand years, produce an infinite multitude of offspring, (Is that not what we wrote in our paper? I have been condemned by some, for saying that there will be babies born in the Millennium, so you can just imagine how I felt, when I read what this man wrote about it). And their offspring shall be holy and beloved of God. But they which shall be raised from the dead shall preside over the living, as judges. But the nations shall not be entirely Extinguished, but some shall be left as a victory for God. About the same time also, the prince of the devils, who is the contriver of all evils, shall be bound with chains, and shall be imprisoned during the thousand years of the heavenly rule in which righteousness shall reign in the world, so that he may contrive no evils against the people of God that shall be collected from all the earth.” Remember, Saints; This man wrote these things during that Pergamos age of time, which just proves to me that God kept a channel of truth open from that apostolic age, right on down to this very time, through those godly men who knew what it was to defend the faith with the sword of the Spirit. This was the age when worldliness, corruption and immorality of every kind was creeping in, to bring everything back, back, back, to a pagan, immoral society. As in every other age since then, not all that claimed to be believers, were over-comers, but there have always been a few from every age that were, and it was to these, that the promises were made. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone, a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” But to the church at Pergamos, and to the age it symbolized, these words were written, “Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them (the corrupt ones) with the sword of my mouth.”

 

Each age had a star messenger, but the messenger did not necessarily appear on the scene at the beginning of the age. Paul came on the scene at the beginning of that 1st age, but Irenaeus was already upon the scene when the 2nd age began. Then when you come to the 3rd age you find that the star messenger appeared later. The important thing about it all is that the star messenger always appeared in a strategic hour, when things were building up to a climax of some kind. Then it was a case of either repent for further existence, or else a shut door that would just let the whole thing deteriorate and fade away. Of course we must realize, that God was not surprised by anything that happened, for He knew how each age would come and go, even before the foundation of the world. That is why Jesus spoke the seven parables of Matthew 13; it gave a little preview of each age, during the dispensation of grace.

 

THE MUSTARD SEED

 

When we look at the 3rd parable (Matthew 13:31-32) we find only two verses of scripture given to it, but, oh what a message it carries. Let us read it, (31) “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: (32) Which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Now since this is the 3rd parable, it applies to the 3rd age, and we are able to look back and see how precise it was. Truly the grain of mustard seed is in reference to the first 120 disciples that received the promise of the Father, there in that upper room. One might have said, What can 120 people do in changing the course of the world? Therefore let me ask you, Have they done that? You know they have. As the 1st chapter of the book of Acts opens, we find where Jesus made a promise to His disciples, that they would receive power whereby they would be witnesses unto Him, not only locally, but unto the uttermost part of the earth. He did not explain to them, what to expect, He only told them they would receive it. So what did they do, they gathered in an upper room, in Jerusalem, where they prayed together, and waited until something happened, ten days later. All of a sudden the place was filled with the sound as of a rushing mighty wind, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. This was the promise of the Father that they had been waiting for, but did not know what to expect. This was also the Comforter that Jesus had promised to them, in John 14:26, and after they received this Comforter, this promise, this power, they did not have to be instructed how to react. No. They came down into the streets of Jerusalem speaking in tongues, and glorifying God. The Revelation of God’s word was flowing through them like water, and when the skeptics began to criticize, this gave the apostle Peter opportunity to preach his first sermon, and a result, another three thousand souls were added to their number. Brother! That grain of mustard seed really got watered that day, and it burst wide open with eternal life. That little bush really started growing. By the time the 2nd age was ushered in, the kingdom of heaven had put its roots into every Mediterranean nation of the old world. Then, by the time of the 3rd century, the kingdom of heaven had branches all the way from North Africa to the borders of Russia, from the borders of India, to Britain, to the shores of the Atlantic. That was what that grain of mustard seed had grown into, by the time of the 3rd century. But what did Jesus say would happen? He said that the birds of the air would come, and lodge in its branches. We could easily picture in our minds, a beautiful tree full of branches full of beautiful leaves, and a bunch of buzzards sitting on the limbs. Alright now, let us consider this other tree, which is the kingdom of heaven. Here it stood, casting its shadow across the whole earth, and the devil did not like it. He tried to cut it down by martyring God’s saints, and that failed. He only fertilized it with their blood, so what did he do? He began to gather up a bunch of vultures to lodge themselves in its branches.

 

Emperor Constantine

Emperor Constantine

When I was a little boy, growing up, there was a place close by, called Buzzard Roost. There was an old dead sycamore tree standing there by the side of a stream of water called Muddy Fork Creek, and any time the clouds began to get dark, and the storm winds started blowing, all the buzzards for miles around would come and light on the branches of that old dead sycamore tree. I am just using this for an example, to sort of illustrate what happened to the kingdom of heaven when the storm winds began to blow, in the Roman empire. Every buzzard (army generals, politicians, potentates) began to run toward this vigorous, green tree of this parable. They could see that it was something that had life. They wanted to take shelter in it, and what I am going to read from secular history will let us see how they took shelter. “In 313 A.D., Constantine and his colleague Licinius, issued the edict of Milan, which proclaimed for the first time in history, the noble principles of religious toleration. This edict placed the Christian faith on an equality with paganism. The conversion of Constantine is one of the most important events in ancient history. A Roman emperor, himself a god to the subjects of Rome, became the worshiper of a crucified provincial of his empire. Because of his own conversion, he thus favored the Christians throughout his reign, and surrounded himself with Christian bishops, freed the clergy from taxation, and spent large sums of money building churches.” We have seen the evidence of his church building efforts, as we toured the land of Israel. His mother also became converted to Christianity. Her name was Helena. She took vast sums from the treasury of the Roman empire, and built churches on the various sacred spots mentioned in the Bible, including those places where Jesus performed miracles, as well as His birthplace, and the place where He was crucified. Even though his mother Helena was in charge of getting the work done, this was the work on Constantine, the Roman emperor. I might mention also, that he had 50 great Bibles published. Many of them are yet in the Vatican library even today. They are under glass, and cannot be touched, but they are there, huge thick books. Now many people will say, Oh, he must have been a wonderful saint of God. No. He was not that at all. In his subtle, deceptive way, Satan used Constantine to accomplish many of the things he wanted done. This Roman emperor was just a tool in Satan’s hand. Constantine even abolished the use of the cross as an instrument of punishment, simply because Jesus was crucified on one, but that did not make him a true Christian. For many centuries the cross had been used by the Romans as an official means of public execution. It was already in use prior to the crucifixion of Jesus, and many true saints after that, also hung upon those old crosses until Constantine abolished the use of them. He also enacted a law that required Sunday to be a day of rest. That is why the Seventh Day Adventist accuse us of following a Catholic practice, because we worship the Lord together on Sunday. But I have already read to you, where the early Christians were already worshiping on Sunday, long before Constantine, and it told why. They worshiped together on the day of the resurrection of their Lord and Savior. Just like we have already said, Constantine made it a law, but the practice of Sunday worship was already in effect, by the early church. To them, the first day of the week marked the beginning of the new creation.

 

ARIUS V/S ATHANASIUS

 

I will now read another little excerpt from secular history. This is in relation to the Nicaea meeting, to settle the dispute over the deity of Jesus Christ. “Significant of the emperor’s attitude toward Christianity was his action in summoning all the bishops in the different provinces to a gathering at Nicaea, in Asia Minor, which is in Turkey. The principle work of the council of Nicaea was the settlement of a great dispute which had arisen over the nature of Christ. (What we are reading this time, is from secular history, and does not give as many details as the church history we have read before, but it does allow us to see that both accounts harmonize.) Some theologians headed by Arius, a priest of Alexandria, which is in Egypt, maintained that Christ the Son, having been created by God the Father, was necessarily inferior to Him. Athanasius, another Alexandrian priest, opposed this view, and held that Christ was not a created being, but was in all ways, equal to God. The council accepted the arguments of Athanasius, condemned Arius as an heretic, and framed the Nicaea creed, which is still the accepted summary of Christian doctrine. Though thrust out of the church, Arianism lived to flourish anew among many of the German tribes of people in that hour.” Let me say this now, in respects to this other doctrine. Using the doctrine held by this priest named Athanasius, the Nicaea council came up with the concept that Jesus Christ was the second person of the Godhead. They declared that God the Father was a person, God the son was a person, and God the Holy Ghost was a person. That gave them their blessed trinity, which has always been declared to be such a great mystery, that no mortal being could ever understand it. They are absolutely right about one thing. God being divided up into 3 separate persons, and all three being equal in authority, could certainly never be reconciled to the many scriptures where God has spoken in the singular (I AM, I WILL, and so forth.) How could one speak like that, if everything had to be agreed upon by three separate persons? It would have to be WE, in all those places would it not? It took Satan more than 300 years to get that doctrine established, but Constantine played right into his hands. Ephesus hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, but by the time you get over to Pergamos, those deeds have turned into doctrines. Then those doctrines were laid on the council table there at Nicaea, and out comes a trinity, which the Catholic church holds to be so mystical that it makes it sacred. I wonder if any of them have ever asked themselves this question, How could Mary have been with child by the Holy Ghost, and that child be called the Son of God, the Son of the Highest? If the trinity were correct, then Jesus would have needed to be anointed by both the Father, and the Holy Ghost, because they who teach this doctrine, believe that all three are persons, and that they are all equal in authority. However, since we know assuredly, that this trinity concept of God is a false doctrine, we also understand that when Jesus was anointed by the Holy Ghost, He was anointed with all the fulness of the great eternal God. He became incarnated of the God that created all things. Now technically we could not rightfully say that this made Jesus the Son, God, even though He was endowed with all the fulness of that Spirit which is God the Father, for throughout His complete ministry, Jesus speaking as the Son of God, always spoke of His Father that dwelt in Him, as in John 14:10. If I could say this without someone giving it a wrong meaning, We could say that the physical body of the man called Jesus, housed both the mind of the Son, and the Father. He had a mind of His own, but it was completely submitted to the will of the Father that swelled in Him. In other words, in the ONE PERSON Jesus, the Christ, we see the ONE GOD, which is Spirit, in the office work of the Son of God. Then we would call your attention to how this ONE GOD, on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus the Son had been taken up, and seated on the right hand of power and authority, returned to the disciples in Spirit form, to dwell in them. That is what caused the apostle Paul to write, concerning this great mystery (Philippians 1:27) saying that, It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Some have said, Is it God in us, or is it Jesus in us? My dear Brother and Sister, when you see how the Spirit of the Father, and the spirit of the Son blended together into one Spirit, then you will understand, that when you receive the Holy Ghost, you are actually receiving both, and when a believer is truly immersed (baptized) into, or by this ONE SPIRIT, then that believer becomes one with both the Father, and with the Son. This blending together of the spirit is just like mixing smoke from different brush fires, once it is mixed together, it is one smoke. That is what Paul was looking at, when he wrote Colossians 3:3-4, saying, (3) “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory.”

 

ONE GOD IN THREE OFFICES

 

In our message on the humanity, and the deity of Christ, we tried to show, how that before Jesus was baptized by John at the age of 30, He was not deity. He was simply a perfect human, just like we all would have been if sin had never entered the picture. He was a perfect human, because he did not come into this world through the normal man and woman relationship. His conception was of a divine nature, yet he came forth from the womb of a woman, just like all other little babies. Furthermore during the nine months that Mary carried him in her womb, he gained all of his human makeup from the very same elements that came from Mary’s human makeup. The important difference, and the thing that made him sinless and perfect, was the genes. God created an embryo in the womb of that virgin girl, bypassing the sin laden genes of all other humans. God’s own nature demanded that man’s sin debt be paid by the offering of a perfect sacrifice, and since it is impossible for mankind to produce such an offering, the loving Father Himself took the initiative, and by this creating process in Mary’s womb, allowed mankind to have such an accepted sacrifice. For the first 30 years of his life, the perfect Son of God was free to exemplify his perfect human nature before all mankind. He had a mind of his own, and could have done whatsoever he chose to do, but he always chose to do the will of God. But what we must see, is that the Father did not send His Son to the cross; He got inside him, and went with Him to the cross. Before the cross though, He allotted 3½ years of time whereby He would walk upon earth in this Son, and demonstrate the very nature of Himself, the eternal, and sovereign God of all creation. That is why Jesus speaking from His human mind would say, “The works that I do are not of me, but the Father which dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” It was not a human force that produced those miracles; it was the Spiritual force of the very God of all creation, that caused those created things to go contrary to the very law that governed them. Jesus the man, could not walk upon the water during the first 30 years of His life, but that night when His disciples saw Him doing it, what they could not see, was the very God that created the law of gravity inside that human form, ruling His creation to suit the occasion. In other words, to defy the law of gravity. Therefore we would have to say, concerning this ONE GOD, manifested in three offices, He was Father, in creation. The He incarnated His Son for the purpose of redemption, and thirdly, in the form of the Holy Ghost. He is in those redeemed ones, regenerating, and reconciling them back to Himself. In other words, we do not become exactly like Jesus Christ the very moment we receive the Holy Ghost, but when He comes in, He is there to work on our natural from within us, and eventually we will be molded into the very image of His perfect Son Jesus, who became the firstborn from among the dead. It is ONE GOD, in three offices. Of course I realize that some of you have heard these things many times before, nevertheless we have to repeat them for the benefit of all those who have not heard them before.

 

SATAN’S MILLENNIUM

 

Now let us bring out another technical point concerning translations of these various scriptures. For instance, there is Matthew 1:18, 20, where it speaks of Mary conceiving of the Holy Ghost. That term Holy Ghost, should have been translated Holy Spirit, for God is Spirit, and God is Holy, but the term HOLY GHOST should only be used where it encompasses both the Spirit of the Father, and that of the Son, for it was that blended Spirit of the Father, and the Son that came to indwell the disciples on the day of Pentecost. In other words, the term ghost, actually implies, the spirit of a departed one. That is why, when we receive the Holy Ghost, it can be referred to as receiving the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of Jesus Christ either one. It is all the same thing after Calvary. When He walked upon earth, after His baptism there at the Jordan, Jesus had the Spirit of the Father without measure, in Him. Within the one vessel of clay was every attribute of the great eternal God. On the other hand, we do receive the Spirit by measure. We receive a measure of the Spirit, that is always sufficient to enable us to be overcomers. For the measure we receive of God’s Spirit, is greater than the spirit of our adversary, the devil. That is why the apostle John wrote, “For greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” In the darkest hour of human history, between 500 and 1500 A.D., it seemed like the Spirit of God had left His church. But no, He just simply would not have anything to do with Satan’s church. He allowed Satan to have a Millennium of darkness, knowing that His millennium of righteousness was still out in the future. It took about 500 years for Satan to get his church clothed with their robes of formality, rituals, and traditions, and then he ruled her for 1000 years, until Martin Luther broke from her ranks with a message of restoration; the just shall life by faith. So it looks like God is allotting the next 500 years to restore His bride church back to what Satan stripped the early church of. Then it will be time for the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ with His saints in righteousness. That Pergamos church age ran right on into the Dark Age period of time, and the 4th church age, which was the Thyatirean age, ran throughout the Dark Age period, until later 1500 A.D., when God anointed Luther for his role in the Reformation. Naturally the fourth parable of Matthew 13, spoke of the 4th age, just as the first three parables spoke of their corresponding ages, and that is what we will look at next, for I feel that we have said about enough about Pergamos, the 3rd church of the seven, and the 3rd age of the seven church ages.

 

THYATIRA

 

Let us go first, to the 13th chapter of Matthew, and read the parable that actually pointed to the Thyatira conditions. As we read this parable now, please remember that the church is always pictured as a woman, and that would naturally be true of the false church also. Alright, we are starting to read in Matthew 13:33. “Another parable spake He unto them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Brothers and Sisters: I want you to know that the woman of that parable was the Roman Catholic Church, and meal has always been looked upon as the staple food of God. Meal makes bread, and the word of God is referred to in the Bible as bread. Therefore what we are looking at, is what Jesus said such a woman as the Catholic church would do with the word of God. Now we could look at the three measures of meal as three works of grace; justification, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Ghost, for we know for sure that the Catholic church completely destroyed the reality of all three. Her leaven is her dogmas. She destroyed the reality of ONE GOD, in three offices, and substituted her great authority to make Him three separate persons. She took away baptism by immersion, and put in sprinkling. She took away the Lord’s supper, and put in a mass. Then she took away the new birth, and put in church confirmation. Therefore regardless of how you type the three measures of meal, it still winds up to be the leaven of the Catholic Church, the woman of Revelation, chapter 17, which is referred to as a whore. We will see her in this 4th church age that we are about to examine, and we will see the type set forth in the church at Thyatira. In that church, they had a woman named Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, taught false doctrine, and seduced God’s servants, causing them to commit fornication, and to misconduct themselves concerning things sacrificed unto idols. In other words, she was running things to suit herself. That was taking place right there in the first age, only 40 years after the apostle Paul founded this church, and Paul taught plainly, that a woman should not teach, nor usurp authority over a man. As we have already said, One cannot help but wonder how a church that was so on fire for the Lord, and that was founded upon apostolic truth, could get so far off course in just 40 years. This church at Thyatira was in worse shape than any of the others, and that is exactly why the Lord Himself chose her to type the conditions of the 4th church age. Yes, it definitely was the Lord Himself, who chose the seven churches that John should write to, and it was He that chose the order in which John should write about them, and He told him what to write. Therefore we see a definite purpose of God in the messages sent to these 7 churches. Their conditions in 96 A.D., were each to represent the spiritual condition of a certain age, during the dispensation of grace. But how many Christians before this last church age, ever knew that these letters actually had a message that reached beyond those local churches, to an age of time that would have universal conditions corresponding to the conditions mentioned in the letters? In just a few short letters, Jesus spoke of spiritual conditions that would affect the church of the living God, in seven different periods of time, that would span a nineteen hundred year period of time. That is how long it has been since John wrote those letters, and naturally we believe that we are living in the last part of the last church age, the age of Laodicea.

 

STAR MESSENGERS

 

In the first age, the apostle Paul stands out as the star messenger to that age. It was his ministry that founded these 7 churches, and many, many more. But when the original apostles had passed off the scene, a saint named Irenaeus picked the sword of the Spirit, and stood out as the star messenger to the 2nd age. Then a saint named Martin in the 3rd age. History shows that he stood head and shoulders above everyone else, in that age. He fought against that Nicolaitan doctrine for all he was worth, but the church still plunged headlong into one thousand years of almost total darkness. Did anyone have light during the Dark Ages, some may ask? Yes, there are a few, but the general downward direction of the church was not changed until after 1500 A.D., when a monk by the name of Martin Luther was anointed of the Lord to take a stand against that old Roman Catholic spirit of darkness. But before we get to him, we have another star messenger to speak of, the star messenger to the longest church age of any, Thyatira. History refers to this man as St. Columba, an Irishman, and a man that had many miracles in his ministry.

 

FIRE IN JESUS’ EYES

 

et us go to Revelation 2:18, at this time, and read the letter that John was instructed to write to that church at Thyatira, the church that typed the 4th church age. Now, just like all the others, this letter starts out, “Unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write.” This lets us know that there was a man in the congregation that was charged with the responsibility of furnishing leadership to the rest of them. God held him accountable for the destiny of the church, for he was the one that would have the say, as to what affect this message from the Lord would have upon the church as a whole, or he was the one responsible for seeing that they heard it. Therefore let me say once again, This word ANGEL, has a twofold application. First, it was to be the bishop, or leader of a certain congregation of believers, and then, it would have a universal scope of application, as it applied to the star messenger of each different church age during the dispensation of grace for Gentiles. Another thing I will call your attention to, is how the Lord Jesus addressed Himself to the church at Thyatira. He did not identify Himself to the other churches in that manner. Notice now, “These things saith the SON OF GOD, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass.” Just keep that in mind, and we will get back to it a little later, after we get some other things connected up.

 

TIME MOVES WESTWARD

 

Knowing how time always moves westward, we want to see if that is not just as true with the gospel, and with the church ages, and so forth. The first church age messenger (Paul) was a Jew that had been schooled and raised as a Pharisee, but he was of Greek descent, coming from a place called Tarsus, a city in southern Turkey. His Greek background served to acquaint him with the environment of the Gentiles. He knew their culture, and their manner of life. He was very familiar with their worship of idols, and needed no one to explain to him what they were doing. Neither did he need any, other than the Holy Ghost, to instruct him on how to approach them with the gospel of Christ. He stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill one day, and said to them. Acts 17: 22 “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. (23) For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.” In other words, we can see that the star messenger to the 1st age, strictly had all the qualifications, and association right there in Asia to start the setting. Then we find that Irenaeus was the star messenger to the 2nd age, and Polycarp the bishop to the 2nd church, and they were linked to Paul moving from the first age to the second age. Then coming to St. Martin, the man commonly accepted to be the star messenger to the 3rd age, we see the westward trend. He was born in Hungary, but most of his work concerning the gospel was in France. However, he did establish a foothold in the island of England. He was an uncle to St. Patrick, the same St. Patrick that has a day set aside to honor him.

 

As I read from history how the ministry of St. Martin reached all the way to the British Isles, I was reminded of the great conflict that has raged between Catholics and Protestants there in Ireland for so long. We have had a tendency to think of the English people as one native type of people that have lived there for centuries, but they were not. History allows us to see that back around the first century, and into the second century, the people in the British Isles were called Britons. It was called the land of Brittany. But in later centuries as the gospel began to be proclaimed by various missionaries, having more or less Eastern and Asiatic influence, it made a difference. But let us just skip down a little of what history has recorded, just from early European history. The Anglo Saxons, which were actually Celtic people from out of the regions of eastern Germany, mainly like the people of Austria, Swiss and so forth, had migrated across the continent of Europe, into the regions of the British Isles. These Anglo Saxons also brought to Britain their heathen faith. Christianity did not come to them until the close of the 6th century. At this time more or less, intercourse had sprung up between the people of Kent (History shows that the areas now known as England were once called Kent.) Lying next to the continent and the Francs, and Gauls. Ethelbert the King of Kent, has married the Francish princess called Bertha, and he allowed his Christian wife from the continent, to bring a bishop to her new home, and gave her the deserted church of St. Martin, at Canterbury. I know you have all heard of Canterbury, in London. That is exactly where St. Martin had a church in his day. So this heathen king married a French princess from the mainland, who was a Christian, and gave her this particular church building that St. Martin had used, and before long, it was a place of worship with great influence. Queen Bertha’s fervent desire for the conversion of her husband, and his people, prepared the way for an event of first importance in English history. (It mentions the pope, and tells what happened.) There was a bishop sent by the Catholic church, (and Augustine was his name) with about 40 other monks, to the British Isles, and were given complete freedom in their work. The king, being already well disposed toward the Christian faith, greeted the missionaries kindly, and told them that they were free to convert whom they could. Before very long, he and his court also embraced Christianity, and the people of Kent soon followed the royal example. The monks were assigned a residence in Canterbury, a city which has ever since remained the religious capitol of England.

 

WHEN GOD MOVES – WE MOVE

 

Now Brothers and Sisters: We have read these excerpts from history, in an attempt to show why the British Isles are now coming into view, in relationship to this particular age. Because then, as we go into this fourth church age, and draw from this Asiatic church, which in 96 A.D., was only about 40 years old, we get everything that exemplifies the age to which it corresponds. St. Martin was an uncle to St. Patrick who came on years later. This St. Patrick was a man that really helped to Christianize the Irish people. Not that he was a star messenger, but just that he was a man who had a tremendous impact with the gospel message among those people. It all turned out to be Catholic, in years to come, but nevertheless he was mightily used. Then after the death of St. Patrick, years passed, and here comes an Irishman by the name of Columba, who according to history, was the star messenger to the 4th age, the age that this Thyatira church exemplified, the church we will read about, here in a few minutes. Before we go on though, let me say this for the benefit of any new people, you may get the idea at first, that I am just picking on individual people. That is not the case at all. It is just a case where, if we speak the truth according to the revelation of God’s word, it is going to cut across people’s denominational beliefs, for God has never intended for His true church to be a denomination. The truth is supposed to set us free from all of that. You could have gone to church all your life, and still miss God. Thousands upon thousands have been loyal to their particular churches, just like the Jews were, in going to the temple. Yet the Messiah they had been taught to expect, came right among them, and they failed to receive Him. They knew what was written in the scrolls, but when those prophecies began to be fulfilled, they could not see a thing. So it is today. Some people work so hard being loyal to a church system, yet they are completely alienated from true spiritual fellowship with God or man. The devil makes sure of that, for he does not care how much you may talk about Jesus, if you do not know the truth. Even in spite of adverse circumstances though, God is able, by the power of His Spirit, to knock on the hearts door of a particular individual here and there, and cause truth from His book to open up to them. Methodist people have said from time to time, Why is he always picking on the Methodist church, the Baptist likewise, and others? But let me say again, I do not pick on any of them, I just try to show from the word of God where they all missed the boat. I was a Methodist at one time, and before that, I was even baptized by the Church of Christ Church, but now I just have to thank Lord for opening up my eyes, and allowing me to see that it is not these denominations that He is coming back for. He is coming for people from every nation under heaven, that has allowed the Holy Ghost to lead them into all truth, just like Jesus said in John 13:13. I would like to hold the Bible up before the face of every denominational person upon the face of this earth, and say, Show me your denomination in here. Read me your articles of faith out of this book. They cannot do it. They can trace what they are following, back as far as their founder, and no further. Some of them even feel that there is virtue in belonging to an old line church; one that has a name such as Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and so on. But I am here to tell you, that if there was any virtue in an old name, I would want to join the Roman Catholic church. It is the oldest one of them all. Oh! But Bro. Jackson, we all know that they are wrong. Yes, we do. But when was the last time you stood before the mirror of God’s word, and let it reflect a true image of your spiritual soul? I am telling you, mortal creatures, We are living in the end time. YES! THE END TIME! It is high time we started getting ourselves dressed up in our wedding garments, if we expect to be in the bride of Christ, and that can only be done by those who have a true revelation of the word of God, which you will never find in any of your manmade systems. In the days of Jesus, the Jews were divided up into many sects, some Pharisees, some Sadducees, Zealots, Herodians, and such like, and they all failed to recognize who Jesus was, except for a few individuals. Brother, if you are going to walk with God in the light of truth, it isn’t up to you to choose the route you will take. You just make sure you hear the voice of Jesus, and start following; He will lead you in the path He has chosen, and I guarantee you this much, He will not lead you to join a denominational church system. That is exactly why I am not in the Church of Christ Church anymore, and also why I am no longer a Methodist. The true church of the living God is not a system; it is a spiritual organism, filled and led by the Holy Ghost whose indwelling presence is for the sole purpose of leading every true believer to perfection. He is the one that furnished the hidden manna for us to eat of, which is the true bread of life, the revealed word of the living God. Did the church at Thyatira have it, you may say? Yes. That is what it was founded upon, just 40 years prior to 96 A.D., but do you know what happened? They went just so far with it, and stopped, just like the Baptists, the Methodists, and all the rest. In other words, God does not want us to put a period to what we have, and stop. He expects us to be ready to move on, when He says, Move on. He demonstrated that when He led the children of Israel out of Egypt, going before them in a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. When He moved, they moved.

 

ONE TRUE MEDIATOR

 

Maybe now, we are ready to get back to Revelation 2:18, and look at the Lord’s message to the local church in Thyatira, before we try to deal with the age of time it portrayed. Let us read it again. “And unto the ANGEL of the church in Thyatira write, These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass.” Before we read the actual message to the church, let me just make a few remarks about why the Lord identified himself to them like that. From all the available evidence, I would say that Thyatira must have been a wicked city. Overall environment usually has a lot to do with what kind of people settle in a geographical area. Sodom and Gomorrah was a good example of that. It was an oasis in the Jordan valley where the right people like to go for retirement, and where perverted and immoral sorts, found a haven. But after a while immorality affected the whole society socially, so much so, that a man like Abraham would not stay there, and that kind will always attract others of their own kind. Thyatira must have been a wicked city like that. A city whose social environment attracted a low morals society of people. Nevertheless God did redeem enough of them to establish a church there. But over the years Satan hammered away at them through the environment of the city as a whole, and in 40 years time, it was hardly recognizable as the church founded off of the teaching of the apostle Paul. That is why the Lord identified Himself to them as He did. To the church at Ephesus, He was He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Then to Smyrna, He was the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive. To Pergamos, it was He which hath the sharp sword with two edges. But to Thyatira, It was the Son of God, who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet like unto fine brass. No church system upon the face of the earth ever used the term Son of God, any more than the Catholic church. That was because they made Him the second person of a trinity, instead of the Son of God in whom the Father was incarnated. I say, Why should He not have fire His eyes, when the Catholic Church, in that Thyatira age, has taken Him completely out of His mediatorial office, and elevated His mother Mary, to a position above Him? How do Catholics pray? Hail Mary, mother of God, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death. You never hear them pray, Heavenly Father, In the name of Jesus Christ, be merciful on me. All you ex-Catholics know Mary got all the attention. You know how you prayed. Why shouldn’t the Son be angry? I know you have all heard the old expression, That man is so mad, he has fire in his eyes. That is exactly what I see here, and the feet like fine brass, speak of how He took our place, and was judged for our sins. Now you may say, Was that church like that, in 96 A.D., when John wrote to them? As I have pointed out already, You cannot say that every deed was in exact likeness to the deeds of the age represented, but it was the same old spirit of Satan both in the church at Thyatira, and also in the Thyatirean age to follow later. The Lord knew what that perverse spirit was leading to. He did not have fire in His eyes at Ephesus. He did not have fire in His eyes at Smyrna, nor at Pergamos. But he did at Thyatira, and I believe we can understand why. Don’t tell me that the high priest can go on for hundreds of years, never being prayed to for intercession, yet seeing mortal creatures on earth, bypass Him, and pray to Mary. You find it in the Bible where God says, I am a jealous God. That applies to every situation where people rob God of His proper glory and honor. Trying to bypass the one and only true mediator between God and man, is just as serious in the eyes of God, as when people just outrightly worship idols. Therefore I ask you to just think about this for a moment. The Catholic church readily confesses that Jesus the Christ, was (and still is) the Son of God, but that is all they will allow Him to be. They have made Him into a little boy, subject to His mother, and robbed Him completely of His true recognition as the only mediator between God and sinful man. The very fact that He stood in judgement for you and me, gives Him the rightful position as our mediator, He has the authority to intercede for us.

 

 

FAITH WORKS – HUMAN WORKS

 

Alright now, I believe we can see why Jesus identified Himself to the church at Thyatira as He did, so let us read verse 19, where we will begin to catch the message He had for them. “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” Of course we know that the first works mentioned here, are works of true faith, that the Lord always looks at first. This is characteristic of all churches founded upon truth. But notice what He mentioned next. This word is not even mentioned in the other letters. In the Ephesian letter He said, You have left your first love. In that particular statement the translators had no difficulty translating the word used, into LOVE, instead of charity, which in the old English meant the same thing. But when they got to the word used in this Thyatira letter, they did not use the word LOVE, for in this case it was not the same undefiled love that the church at Ephesus had left. This church at Thyatira had no doubt fallen upon the idea of trying to convert the whole wicked city, and that naturally degenerated into a program, of what they considered to be good works. But the Lord does not look upon all our labors, as labors of pure undefiled LOVE, if we are just functioning as part of a program of seemingly good works. Therefore the translators left the word here, translated as charity, in order to make a difference. (Listen to me now Saints, Let us make this application only to these letters written to these seven churches, and not try to make it hold true every place the word charity is used in the Bible.) We all know that there is not a more benevolent organization upon the face of the earth, than the Catholic church, and of course they would say that it is the love of God that causes them to be so charitable. They build schools, hospitals, refugee shelters, and all such like, and the world looks upon them as being full of love and concern for humanity, but when you know the truth of it all, you know that it is all just a part of an overall program of religious deception. Now Brothers and Sisters: I hope none of you will think I am saying that there are no sincere Catholic individuals. That is not what I am saying at all. But what I would have you see, is that they are completely dedicated to a system of religion that has no life of God in it. They will serve the system faithfully all their lives, die in their sins, and miss God completely, because they never come to a true relationship with the only giver of eternal life. The pope, nor none of his cardinals, nor bishops, nor any one else, can ever impart eternal life to any one, no matter how sincere and faithful they may be. This is true, not only of the Catholic Church, but of her Protestant daughters also. Take for instance, the woman that stood on the street corner passing out tracts for her church, and then went home too tired to fix supper for her family saying, I have been working for the Lord all day, and just have no strength left in me. Do any of you believe that was a true work of the Lord? No, it was not. She was only being faithful to a program of her system of religion, and God wasn’t even in it. So this is what I see here at the church in Thyatira; their work, and charity, and service, and faith, had lost its purity. They were still doing the same things, as far as the natural vision could detect, but the genuineness of pure love and motives had left them. Their love had deteriorated from the true love that was present 40 years earlier. In other words Saints, when you get yourself wrapped up in a religious program, you become obligated to do the same thing for everyone. You cannot be led of the Holy Ghost as Jesus was, or you will have a law suit filed against you, or be kicked out of the system, or even be shot. Jesus Christ would heal one person by the direction of the Spirit of the Father that dwelt in Him, and pass up a dozen more that needed healing just as badly. Why? Simply because He would not do anything apart from the leading of the Spirit of the Father, no matter how worthy it might seem to the natural mind. Therefore for the present, I will just say that the word translated charity in verse 19, pertained to a perverted love, which was not the love of God at all. They had allowed the devil to so motivate their programs, they were functioning on a very low level spiritually. That is why you see two sets of works mentioned here. The 2nd set of works, which He said, was more than the 1st, was works designed strictly for humanitarian purposes, with no spiritual benefit whatsoever. Just look for instance, at all the schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and all such like, that have been built by the Catholic Church to promote their religious system, but tell me, How many souls have ever been led into a true relationship with the Lord through these institutions? Of course they have a vision. So do all these Protestant preachers who are involved in these great programs, but where does the Lord fit into it? That is the question. I will tell you this, a man like Phillip who went down to Samaria, and had such a outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon his ministry, would never be very popular among the religions orders of our day. For when the Spirit of God spoke to him and said, Go out into the desert, he did not say, But Lord, I cannot leave here now; Just look at all the people that are getting saved. No. He just simply said, Hallelujah! The Master is calling me. Good bye folks, I will see you later, and away he went. By the standards of world religion, a man would have to be crazy to do a thing like that, but God requires it, if He is going to be in what we do.

 

GOD PAYS HIS OWN BILLS

 

God does not require us to sponsor soup suppers, chicken fries, rummage sales, and all such as this, to support His work upon earth. The Bible says that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills, and I believe it. If you look at it properly, you will see that God created all things, owns everything also. He therefore can do with it whatsoever He chooses. As for myself, I have always felt that a God that could not support, and take care of His own, is not worth serving. That goes for having to beg for offerings to support what you are involved in, no matter how worthy it may seem, you had better check up to see whether you truly are doing a service for God, or not. I will tell you this much right now, The God of the Bible is not a beggar. Therefore if you are doing it, you are bringing reproach upon His great name. That is the same as saying, There are some things that God cannot do, and He will fail unless we help Him. Personally, I could never entrust my soul into the hands of such a God as I see portrayed by so many preachers of our day. Furthermore all these welfare programs, clinics and hospitals that are built by religious organizations for poverty stricken people, would be a wonderful thing if the government did it, but that has never been a commission of the church of the living God. Mark 16 verse (15) “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Not build hospitals and schools). (16) He that believeth and is baptize shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned,” (even if he is baptized.) This was the only commission given to the church, and anything you may read in the Bible that seems to justify anything else, was a ministration among the saints, and not a charity program set up as a means of trying to win people to the Lord. What did Jesus teach His disciples, in Matthew 6:30-33, concerning everyday life? Let us read it, (30) “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more cloth you, O ye of little faith? (31) Therefore take no thought (worry) saying, What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) For after all these things do the gentiles seek; (or unbelievers.) For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Does that sound like true children of God should ever have to beg for necessary things in life? Do you not believe God is able to keep His word? If you do, then obey His word, and allow Him to lead you into whatever He wants you to do, and He will pay the bill for it.

 

RELIGIOUS BLASPHEMERS

 

We have been to India twice, to preach the gospel, and some of the first questions they asked us was, Will you build us a school? Will you build us a seminary? Will you build us a clinic? Where in the world did they get the idea that we might do a thing like that? Simply because denominational missionary programs are launched like that. I will say this also, It would take a totally blind person not to see the need for all such facilities, and I am glad for them to have them, but my point is this, and I hope you have caught it, God never meant for the gospel to be preached in this manner. I have heard various ones say, You cannot get the spiritual attention of a physically suffering person, unless you take care of their physical needs first. But that is not true. You cannot find it taught in the scriptures. It is just the opposite of that. God sees the spiritual condition of the soul to be the first concern. If we take care of that, He has never promised to supply the needs of all the unbelieving people of the world, but He has promised to supply all that a true child of His needs. But we cannot make a true disciple of God with anything less than the truth that is revealed for our hour of time. But let me just give you a little example of what the gospel has been watered down to, by some of these big preachers of the world. A brother in the church handed me a little book the other night, and I read where some big preacher down here in Virginia made blasphemous statements challenging the fundamentalists, who he said were always dwelling on technicalities of the scriptures, such as whether Jesus was born of a virgin, whether He rose from the dead, whether He was God incarnate, and so forth. He said, “We do not have time to argue over such little details. We couldn’t care less, whether He rose from the dead.” Brother, I will tell you one thing, He wouldn’t have said a thing like that in the presence of the apostle Paul, and get by with it. Paul plainly said, Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead the third day, according to my gospel. Hallelujah! Now who wants to go up against Paul’s revelation? Paul would have said, Mr. I turn you over to the devil for the destruction of your flesh, that you may learn not to blaspheme concerning the word of God. If any of you think we do not have a bunch of religious blasphemers running rampant in our day, just turn on your radio, or your television, and listen to some of them. Most of them couldn’t care less about the major doctrines of the faith. All they are concerned about is preaching a little 5 minute sermonette, and taking up a large offering. It takes a lot of money to support their programs, and there is usually not two cents worth of spiritual help to be found in any of them. People just seem to get so wrapped up in what they are doing, they forget why they are doing it, and it just turns into a human effort, with God on the outside. He no longer has any part in it. So that seems to be what happened in the church at Thyatira, causing the Lord to say, “I know your works, and charity and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; the last to be more than the first.” They no doubt started a lot of fellowship programs, trying to win the worldly people of the city to the Lord. But that is not the way the Lord Jesus commissioned the church to do that. Neither is that the way Paul instructed Timothy. In 2nd Timothy 4:2, we find Paul writing to Timothy these words, (2)”Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound DOCTRINE; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” You may think that scripture just applied to a certain age, but I am here to tell you that Satan has tried to sidetrack every true work of God that has ever been started. Furthermore, history itself proves that he has had a lot of success in his efforts. In less than 40 years, he managed to get the church in Thyatira off course, and you must remember, they started out with an apostolic founded church. What happened? The same old thing that has happened ever since. Satan began to whisper into their ears. Your doctrine is too strong. You need to ease up a little until after you get people saved, and then you can teach them. Just tell them about how God loves them, and how he has already paid their sin debt, and all they have to do to be saved, is join the church. Isn’t that the same compromising, watered down version of the gospel that you hear in most churches today? Brother, if the truth will not get them in, you just as well leave them alone where they are. The only thing you can make otherwise, is a make-believer. There are thousands of ways to get people into your church fellowship, but there is only one way to get them born of the Spirit, and that is to preach the truth of God’s word to them, just like Peter, James, John, and Paul preached it. Whenever a preacher, or a church, get their mind set on winning a whole city to the Lord, they always depart from the true leading of the Spirit of God, and begin to institute programs. That is what the Catholic church did in the church age that this Thyatira church typed. They started building hospitals, schools, relief centers, and all such like, and said, We will convert the world, and what they could not do by charitable deeds, they did with the sword. That was their church program. The church in Thyatira did not go to those extremes, but they did depart from the pure gospel they were founded upon, and they allowed Satan to run the church, which we will see in the next verse we read, verse 20.

 

SELF APPOINTED PROPHETESS

 

After the Lord reminds Thyatira of what He knows, He continues saying, (20) “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which called herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” All seven of these churches had women in them, and I believe many of these women stood right there in Ephesus, and heard Paul preach and teach the gospel. I believe they learned proper conduct and principles both spiritually and naturally. I also believe there were true prophetesses in those churches. There is nothing wrong with a woman being referred to scripturally, as a prophetess. For we realize that Acts 21:8-9, speaks of Phillip the evangelist having 4 daughters that did prophesy. We also read of Anna a prophetess, in the account where Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to make an offering for him. But these women did not call themselves prophetess, their lives and service to God, caused others to refer to them in that way. God made them what they were. But we see here, that Thyatira had a woman in the congregation that called herself a prophetess, and she was doing the very thing that the apostle Paul forbade women to do, teach and usurp authority over men. The Lord said, You have allowed her to teach and seduce my servants. Now to teach in this case, is to explain scriptures, and to seduce, is to deceive, mislead, beguile, or take away certain convictions. That is exactly what happened in the garden of Eden. The serpent beguiled (seduced) Eve. In this case, when the Lord said, My servants, He was speaking of the ministry, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. A large church like this one, in that 1st age, no doubt had many preachers in the congregation. Not necessarily representing all five offices, but certainly some of them. In modern terminology of today, the Lord might have just said, That woman taught my clergy to commit fornication. Oh Bro. Jackson, surely you do not mean that literally. Yes I do! Get you some history that goes back 1900 years, and read how Gentiles lived in those days. They were pagans, they worshiped pagan gods, and a part of many of their worship practices included some sort of sexual involvement. Many of them were converted to Christ, and lifted up out of their former ways of life. But time has passed, and somehow this Gentile woman who claimed to be a prophetess, slipped in among them, and got their attention. She was a tool of Satan, of course, but I am sure she really put up a convincing spiritual front. More and more, she would prophesy among them, until they no doubt, looked upon her as some great woman of God. Her next move was to gradually inject some of the old pagan practices back into their worship services, until she actually had the preachers committing fornication with her. This, then, gave her power over them. (It goes on in Washington, D.C., all the time, in the political realm.) It was a literal condition in the church, and the Lord warned them of the consequences, but at the same time, this condition was setting a type for the spiritual condition of the 4th church age. Pergamos was guilty of some of the same thing, but Thyatira had the condition that typed the age when Catholicism would come into prominence. Once that spirit of the Thyatira church settled upon the world, somewhere around 500 A.D., it went right on through into 1500 A.D., and out of all that perverting of the gospel, came a clergy called the priesthood with the bishop of Rome being elevated to a position as the supreme pontiff, (pope) universal head of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then came celibacy of the priesthood. They made it a law. No priest was allowed to choose a wife. I have never yet been able to figure out how they justified that. The pope of Rome has always claimed to be the successor of St. Peter, and we all know that Peter had a wife. In Matthew 8:14, we find where Jesus came into Peter’s house, and saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever, and He healed her. Now I ask you, Why did Roman Catholicism adopt celibacy? I will tell you exactly why. She was following in the footsteps of her ancient, pagan religions. Those pagan priests did not marry, but they had what was called vestal virgins, that they had immoral relations with. In other words, they were the forerunners of the Roman Catholic nuns. The devil was very happy to get that pagan practice introduced into the ranks of Christianity. Now Saints, I realize that some of you may have trouble believing that a practice like that actually existed in what the world looks upon as the mother of all Christianity. But I want you to know that I have read some of the stories that have come out of Mexico, Cuba, Canada, and various places, concerning how those black robed priests used those young nuns as common prostitutes. Many young girls have wanted to dedicate their lives to the Lord, and have become nuns, only to find out after it was much too late, how those priests molested them. Some of you may say, Bro. Jackson: That is a serious accusation. I know. But it is the truth, and it is about time to take the wraps off of it, and let the world see what that old system is really run by. Most of them will not believe it, but nevertheless, it is the truth, and some will be helped by it. If any of you are hearing this for the first time, I invite you to open your Bibles and read the 17th and 18th chapters of the book of Revelation, and you will see that as early as 96 A.D., Roman Catholicism was already pronounced to be the mother of harlots, a great whore. That was before she even came into existence. Well, what are we supposed to do about it? Just do what the Bible says, if you are still a part of such a system, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4) In the 14th chapter it plainly tells us the communism is going to gnash on her, and burn her with fire. That is still ahead. Communism will destroy Catholicism, but Communism will never rule the world. It will be time for the King of Peace to rule the world. All other Empires have risen, and then fallen, but the power of the Catholic church as an institution, still remains. She has carried on her political intercourse with every form of government upon the face of the earth. Why do you think South America is in the shape she is today? I am talking about the political chaos, and wars. It is because the time is nigh, for the Catholic church to take a tumble. She has ruled in everyone of those dictators and potentates for centuries, but when that Communistic spirit began to hit this world, the Catholic church felt a tremor. It was worse than when Mount St. Helens erupted, and the fallout from this eruption has Catholicism worried. These struggles you are seeing in so many places, like Poland, are not between the devil and Christianity. It is just something the Lord is allowing, to set the stage for the week of Daniel. That woman of Revelation 17:3, must ride that beast until it comes time for her destruction, and right now, the woman (Catholic church) is busy calling all her Protestant daughters back home through this great ecumenical movement in the churches. Come on home, daughters. Let us be one, so we can fulfill the prayer of Jesus, in John 17. This old ill famed woman has many daughters, and the doctrines of every last one of them are an abomination to God. But God will wait until the week of Daniel fulfills itself, and then He will settle the score once and for all.

 

JEZEBEL REPENTED NOT

 

Now just to get our thinking back to our text, let me say once again, That Jezebel in the church at Thyatira, typed that old Catholic church that has been committing fornication throughout her whole existence. We mentioned what goes on between some of those priests, and some of the nuns, but you can be sure of this one thing, her spiritual fornication is the most abominable to God, of all. Therefore let us read verse 21, and see what God had to say about that woman Jezebel, before we go any further. (Revelation 2:21) “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” In other words, I would say that God no doubt dealt with her through His convicting Spirit, many times, but she failed to take heed, and now the Lord is saying, (22) “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” You must keep in mind, this letter was written in 96 A.D., still in the 1st age, but that age of martyrdom began to strike, this was the very thing the Lord was going to pull that church into. Because He intended to judge that evil which was in that church, by the great blood bath that hit the 2nd age, and that set the type for what He will do to Catholicism, as the great tribulation closes out this age. Of course some will say, But Bro. Jackson, most of those people are innocent. That may be true, but they have sold their souls to an Antichrist system, and God cannot overlook that. Neither will He overlook those blasphemous remarks from supposed to be, preachers, no matter how popular they may be. Satan has blinded their eyes, and is deceiving them into believing they are the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the word of God, which most of them have very little time for, tells us differently, and lets us know that they are the false church. God will burn that when it has run its course, along with all of its offspring. Brothers and Sisters, do not even think God was just having John write idle words to these churches. Every last one of them portrayed a true picture, or type of a particular age of time in the life of Christianity. Therefore I believe it will be beneficial to your spiritual stature, if you can just see these types in relationship to an age. God has allowed us this privilege here in these last days, so we can have an opportunity to prepare ourselves for what is just ahead. We must purge ourselves of all ties with these illegitimate systems, and dress ourselves with true righteousness, if we are a part of the bride of Jesus Christ. You can read Revelation 19:7-8, and you will see that the bride, or wife of Jesus Christ, is to make herself ready.

 

ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN BORN

 

As we continue here, with this local church at Thyatira, we must see how this woman by the name of Jezebel types perfectly the Catholic church that ascended to such a place of power over its people in the 4th church age. No doubt this woman presented herself as a very godly woman, to that church in Thyatira. She probably spent a lot of time visiting sick folks, helping the poor, and talking about how they should love each other. Then as opportunity opened up for her, she would prophesy good things to them, and no doubt, call attention to the other women of the Bible that prophesied. Naturally after so long a time, people begin to put a lot of confidence and trust in such a person. (The devil always takes time to lay the groundwork for his plots.) After she gained their trust, then little by little she could begin to lead them astray. Naturally she did not fool everyone, for in every church, there were always some who were looked upon as overcomers, and the promises were to them. But a great number of these Thyatira folks began to follow her, and look upon her as a great spiritual leader, a fresh voice from God, and she had no trouble leading them back into pagan practices, for some of them probably had not been converted from such practices very long. Furthermore it enabled them to win the favor of the other people of the city, for they were living down on their level. These things do not happen in a day’s time, but little by little Satan just strips down, and leaves them standing completely naked, spiritually speaking. They lose their vision, they lose their enthusiasm, and just simply fall into a ritualistic pattern. Jezebel had those men who were referred to as servants, eating out of her hand. She taught them that it was all right to commit fornication with her, (Naturally she did not call it that) and also, that there was nothing wrong with eating things sacrificed unto idols, and all such like. But she did not stop there, for as we read verse 22, we find that her relationship with them has gone past fornication, and it is now referred to as adultery. That speaks of a marriage relationship. Somehow she got the idea that she could marry all these men, and they fell for the idea. That is completely contrary to anything you could ever find in the Bible. Even in the Old Testament where polygamy was practiced, it was never a case where one woman had more than one husband, it was always the men that had more than one wife. So she has turned this completely around, and we see in verse 23, that children have been born to her. For the Lord said, (Revelation 2) (21) “I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. (22) Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her, into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; (Remember what this woman types, (Catholicism) and remember who the children of Catholicism are, and you will plainly see how all these denominational systems are going to wind up.) (23) And all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” It certainly looks like the Lord was going to make an example out of His actions against these evil ones here, for He said, “All the churches will know.” Brother, when that bloodbath of martyrdom hit the church, there in that 2nd age, God made sure that all this evil received its just reward. He judged it right there. Some of those old saints earned a martyr’s crown during that period, but many others, who were called saints, went down to the grave in disgrace as they earned their reward for their evil. God judged that particular church, because they strayed so far away from the original church. He had fire in His eyes, and He had a reason to be angry, for they had been founded upon the same revelation as all the other churches. They knew good and well that a woman was not to teach, nor have authority over men, and they had certainly been taught not to commit fornication, nor eat that which was sacrificed to idols, and here they were, doing just the complete opposite of every bit of it.

 

NICOLAITAN TAKEOVER

 

When you transfer what we see in this Thyatira church, over to the age it types, you can easily see why God would hate that old spirit of the Catholic church, for it has followed the same path of false teaching and fornication. Christianity started out pure, undefiled, and full of true works of faith, but when the tares started making their inroads into the assemblies of the saints, she began to slide down, down, down, until she could hardly be recognized as the church of the Lord Jesus Christ any more. That old Nicolaitan spirit which the lord hated, just kept eating away, until the clergy had conquered the laity. That put the church of the living God under a priesthood, instead of a five fold ministry like it started out. Go back and read the history of the Dark Ages, and you will see that those black robed priests so elevated themselves above everyone else, that they became feared by the laity of the congregation. They demanded respect and honor, and no one was ever allowed to say anything contrary to what they said, and get by with it. They dressed Christianity up like ancient pagan religion, and then Satan just sat back and ran the whole thing. The gospel was perverted until the church of that hour lived on the same level as the people of the world. When they got a convert, the only thing that was changed was his belief; his life style remained the same. In certain areas of the world missionaries would go, and gain converts; if they had been sacrificing chickens to some pagan God, they would still sacrifice their chickens, but in a different order. What was preached as the gospel in those days, had no life changing power to it. The old leaven had really done its work. We all know that leaven mixed into the other ingredients of bread, is to change the consistency of it. Leaven will cause those other ingredients to rise out of proportion, and that is exactly what was portrayed in that 4th parable of Matthew 13: 33 “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” The parable does not say that everything will be exactly alike, but rather like unto, or similar. In this case let us just say that the parable no doubt relates to the three definite works of grace. No, there is not three different ways to get saved, but there are three important phases of the new birth. You have justification, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Ghost. Infant baptism has no place in this, but the old mother of harlots, and many of her daughters have it just the same. The first thing they lost was the revelation of the Godhead, and as I see it, everything else in God’s storehouse is hinged upon that one thing. The Godhead revelation is the key to all of God’s storehouse of treasures. We would like to say also, that water baptism, by immersion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not just an option; it is an absolute requirement for true believers, no matter what you may have been told by some of these compromiser’s. When the Bible says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” that is exactly what it means. That is all God will accept in this hour when the truth has been restored to the church. Bro. Jackson: What do you mean, “the church”? I will be quick to tell you, that the church is not a building some place; for the true church is a universal body of believers that are following the word of God, instead of man’s tradition.

 

A WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN

 

The Catholic church will boast because she is the oldest religious organization, says she is the mother church. Now it is true that she is the oldest organization, and it is also true that she is the mother of all these harlot denominations, but she does not go back as far as the true body of believers that actually make up the church of the living God. As for being the oldest, the Bible shows that Methuselah was the oldest man that ever lived, but he sure wasn’t the most spiritual. No, the virtue is not in age; only a pure heart is acceptable to God, and he couldn’t care less about age. Neither does it matter so much to God whether all are able to pronounce every syllable of every word correctly or not; He knows what we mean. As for this woman named Jezebel that set the type of the Catholic church, I can just see her now, as she exerted her own influence and dynamic personality above that of the men in that church. I have, through earlier years, come in contact with various women preachers, and every last one of them have had a very dominating personality. It was though you could almost hear them saying, I may be a woman, but don’t you cross my path. You could not help but notice, in every congregation that had a woman pastor, how the men of that congregation would lose their masculine headship. They just sat like little poodle dogs, ready to do whatever she dictated to them. If they ever give one thought to what the apostle Paul said about not allowing a women to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, you could not tell it. But then, to the other extreme, is where we find churches that will not even allow a woman to open her mouth in the worship services. Both of these are wrong. God is not glorified in either case. Women may sing, pray, prophesy, shout and praise the Lord any time it does not interrupt the order of the service, just like the men may. They are just not scripturally allowed to interpret the scriptures, nor rule in the affairs of the church. In reality, Christianity was never meant to be a religious order with authority to rule over anyone. But do you think Catholicism every cared about that? She has ruled dictators for centuries, and only a few men ever dared take a stand against her dogmas, and domineering ways before the hour of the Reformation, and when certain ones did, that was God, giving Catholicism an opportunity of repentance, just like He did that Jezebel woman at Thyatira, but there was no repentance. These black robed priests have been worse than the Mafia ever even thought of being. They have much blood on their hands, to give account of before the very throne of God, before they are cast alive into the lake of fire. Now you may say, Bro. Jackson, I have known a lot of priests, that were never like that. Nevertheless they belong body and soul, to the same old religious order that has always been used by the devil to do his dirty work ever since she came into power. Revelation chapter 17, is not just referring to Catholicism of the Dark Ages, for John was being shown what her end would be. Notice what the angel said to him in verse (1), “Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgement of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters. (Verse 15, tells us that the waters upon which the great whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.) (2) With whom (the whore) the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (her doctrines). (3) So he carried me away in the spirit into to wilderness: and I saw a woman (a church is always considered in the female gender) sit upon a scarlet colored beast, (scarlet is that old Roman Catholic color) full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” We will not try to deal with everything we see here in Chapter 17, for we have other articles on that, but I do want you to see the Roman Catholic church in this description of that great whore the angel showed John, so let us read a little more. Verse (4) “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, (You may not see too much of that in the Catholic churches of America and Canada, but go to the old world, where Catholicism originated, and in every cathedral, some of them large enough seemingly to cover 4 city blocks, and their libraries, and museums, you will see everything garnished with gold, picture frames and everything. You could never even begin to estimate what would be the value of all that she owns and controls. It is just Satan’s way of using the “church” to disguise his plan of eventually controlling the wealth of the world.) having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (6) And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” All right, we will stop there. But I believe you can see that this great whore, the mother of harlots, was not just some little old honky tonk girl. What John saw was s sophisticated, aristocratic type of woman. This kind is always portrayed in their evening gown, split up the side, with low neck and back, and decked out with fine jewelry. This is the kind of woman that can usually get men to do anything she demands of them, even if it leads to their destruction. That is a perfect picture of the Catholic church, and do you know what happened in the years after 1500 A.D.? In a symbolic sense, she began to give birth to some offspring. The measure of the Spirit of Jesus Christ that was still present in that system, because of certain individuals, could stay there no longer, so out came a spiritual birth. Lutheranism, and then Methodism, and so on. Each of these were as a little child, innocent at birth, born of a truth that grew to maturity and served its purpose, but then became just like its mother. Except for the basic truths of their founding fathers, these offspring have generally the same doctrines as their ill famed mother, trinity, baptism, and such like. But God is going to kill those children with death. How? In the great tribulation, or as a climax to the great tribulation. In the last 3 ½ years of that week of Daniel, that Roman Catholic church, and all her protestant daughters are going to have a great big wedding, with the Antichrist. Yes, for 3 ½ years this western world is going to be under the spell of that woman, until she has fulfilled her last role. But at the end of that, God is going to turn those horns lose, and that protestant spirit will be destroyed along with Catholicism. Right there, God deals to every one of them according to their works.

 

OVERCOMERS PROMISE

 

Let us look back to Revelation 2:24 now, for God did have a message to the overcomers that were in the church at Thyatira, and that message applies to overcomers of the age also. (24) “But unto you I say, and unto the rest of Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. (In other words, God will require nothing more from them, that what they have already been faithful with. (25) But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. (26) And he that overcometh, (even in the Dark Ages) and keepeth my works (true works of faith) unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (27) And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; (with Jesus, in the Millennium) as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” Brothers and Sisters: That allows us to see, that even in the Dark Ages, anyone that could hear the voice of Jesus, and follow the convictions of his heart, somehow living above the moral filth and degradations of the multitudes around him, and walking in all the light he had in that hour, would have his, or her place in that church that will rule the nations with Jesus in the Millennium, according to Revelation 19. The Catholics thought the promise was to them, and that it had a present day application, so they ruled all of Europe with a rod of iron, in the name of Christianity, for 1000 years. That is why some say that Satan has already had his Millennium, and certainly we would have to agree, for that is a word that simply means one thousand.

 

There are many more things we could say about this Thyatira age, just like all the others, but I feel that we have said enough to help you get the parable, the church, and the age associated with each other, thereby enabling you to see other related things that will come to your attention from time to time. The Thyatira age ran all the way through the Dark Ages, to the time of Luther; therefore we are ready to look at the 5th letter, and see how it sets the type for the 5th church age. Naturally those of you who have never studied history related to these periods to time, would not be as quick to see how perfectly the different churches with their particular spiritual conditions set the type of spiritual conditions in their corresponding age. But some of you have, and I know you will have to say, Amen, when I say that we have a beautiful preview laid out right here before us, of the very age we are living in, the age of Laodicea, which we will deal with last in this message. For if the others lined up perfectly, so will this one.

 

SARDIS

 

The opening remarks in this letter are very different from all the former ones. (Revelation 3:1) “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” This is the age of the beginning of the Reformation, so let us see why the Lord would have John write such words to the church that typed this particular age. Sardis was an inland city, about 50 miles from Smyrna, located on one of the caravan trade routes. Naturally the lifestyle of the whole city was affected by whatever commerce and trade she had, and the lifestyle of that city as a whole, had a certain affect on this Christian church that was located among them. Therefore let us begin reading the letter John wrote to them at the Lord’s direction, and see if we can establish the reason why He opened the letter with these remarks. We are in chapter 3, verse 1. “And unto the angel (man in charge) of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, (He saith that to all of them) that thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead.” As we have stressed all the way through, the primary message was to the bishop or pastor of the local church, but in each letter, there was also a far reaching message to the age each individual church typed. And that would be directed to a man also. The man whom God would lay His hand upon to be the star messenger to his age of time. In this case it was Martin Luther, the first of many men that stood out in the Reformation. Coming out of the Dark Ages, God gave Luther the revelation, that the just (or justified) shall live by faith, instead of by the creeds and dogmas of the Catholic church. But let us notice at this time, how Jesus introduced Himself in this letter. “These things saith He that hath the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, AND THE SEVEN STARS.” Does that mean that God is seven different spirits? No. That simply pertains to the seven major attributes, or attributable names of the ONE GOD who is Spirit. Through the Old Testament, you find God called by these various names. Names that express what God was to certain individuals, or in certain events. (We published an article in which we included these seven attributable names, and why they meant.) Therefore when Jesus spoke of Himself like this, it was another way of saying, The fulness of the Father is in me, and what I say is not really me saying it, but the Father that dwelleth in me. Whatever Jehovah was in the Old Testament, is all invested in His Son Jesus, the Christ. When John first saw Jesus, back in chapter 1, He was standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, holding seven stars in His hand, and he was told that the seven candlesticks were the seven churches, and the seven stars were the angels of those churches. Not spirit beings, but men. Then in chapter 4, when John was caught up by the Spirit into heaven, he saw seven lamps of fire (candlesticks) burning before the throne of God, and it says there, that these are the seven Spirits of God. Now saints we have to be able to see the symbolism in these things, for is we try to make a literal application every time, we will get so far off course we cannot get back. When John was caught up in heaven, and saw this, Jesus was already seated on the right hand of all power and authority. Those seven lamp stands before the throne would have to pertain to something of the great eternal Spirit that had been invested in Jesus, the Christ. Therefore in chapter 1, where John saw Him standing in the midst of the churches, (candlesticks) He was dressed in the attire of a high priest. That identified Him as our intercessor. But He is also a judge, or the Judge of all judges, and that would be portrayed, or spoke of, with Him in a seated position, so just remember this, and above all, do not allow yourself to think of God as seven different spirits, and do not think of these seven spirits as angelic beings. Furthermore, in the book of Zechariah where the remnant came out of Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple, and when they found the cornerstone, they saw that it had seven eyes engraved in it. There is your seven spirits of Jehovah, symbolized right there in that cornerstone, and that cornerstone in its rightful position prefigured Jesus Christ, whom Paul says is the chief cornerstone, that was rejected by those pious builders called Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and so forth. Then in Revelation, He is the first and the last; He is the beginning of a new creation, which is called a new creation because of redemption, and not by an outright act of creation. When Jesus is referred to as the beginning and the ending, then right there is your cornerstone. Watch your contractors when they build these huge buildings. There is always one particular corner where all measurements start, and all measurements end. So as we see Jesus Christ, in relationship to these seven churches, let us not allow ourselves to think of it as an attribute of Christ in each church, but rather a full display of power and authority by the one in whom all these attributes are invested. In their beginning, those churches were presented a full revelation of truth, whereby they might have a proper foundation to build upon, but Satan got into most of them, and robbed them of their pure revelation, and the very one that imparted that pure revelation in the beginning, and that stood as their high priest, to intercede for them, will at the end, sit and judge all ungodliness, and cast the devil and all of his deceived ones into the lake of fire, so keep in mind the fact that we are talking about Jesus Christ. He is the one that said, I know thy works, to all of these churches.

 

DEAD WORKS BY DEAD PEOPLE

 

Now before we look at church number 5, let us look at the wording of Jesus’ opening words to the first four. To Ephesus, He said, I know thy works, AND (CONJUNCTION) thy labors, and thy patience, and so forth. To Smyrna, He said, I know thy works AND (CONJUNCTION) tribulation, and poverty, and so on. To Pergamos, He said, I know thy works, AND (CONJUNCTION) where thou dwellest, and etc. To Thyatira likewise. But when he came to Sardis it was different. (I believe this is important, and well worth taking note of.) I believe God is the author of perfection. He knows what He is saying, and how He is saying it. He is not subject to misusing words, like I am, so let us take note of the fact that there is no conjunction after the word works in this letter to Sardis. After only 40 years, this church has come to such a borderline of death condition, that He makes a difference in the wording of His message to them. (We are speaking of spiritual death, of course.) He still started out with, “I know thy works,” but it is obviously a different kind of works than those referred to in the other letters. “I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead.” He was not speaking of His name. No, absolutely not. They were just like those denominational churches of our day. They claim to have life; they call themselves the bride of Christ, but they are full of dead works. The Spirit of God is no longer in their system of religion, yet you will hear them say, Come to our church this Sunday, where you could can be blessed, or, Come, and enjoy our choir, we have the finest choir in the land today, and many, many other words do they use to entice unstable souls. But all they have is dead works, the life of God is not among them. Some who go to these places are just looking for good air conditioning in the summer, and good warm heat in the winter. They could not care less whether there is any real true spiritual food there or not. If the preacher uses proper words, they will praise him, and if he does not, they will go home fussing, I think it is about time we got us a preacher who has a seminary degree in theology, and knows how to pronounce Bible words. Brother So and So embarrasses me, the way he talks. Saints: That is just about all some people go to church for, they hear little else than mispronounced words. This is just some examples of what I believe the Lord saw in the Sardis church. He was not pleased with their works at all. He is not even referring to the original kind of works they started out with. That is just His way of saying, you claim to be alive spiritually, but you are dead. Now notice Revelation 3 verse 2, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: (He did not even bother to name them.) For I have not found thy works perfect before God.” In the other churches, they must have still had some true works of faith, but not this one. They were completely given over to man made programs, trying to convert the rest of the city to their fellowship. Their flame had gone out. All they had left was just a little flick of a coal burning down in one corner of the wick, so to speak, just stinking everything, and doing a lot of smoking, but giving no light whatsoever. Thinking of an old kerosene lamp in that condition, if you blow real hard, and fan it a little, there is a possibility of getting it to burn again. That is symbolic of what Jesus was referring to here when He said, “Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” It is sad that a church which started out right, could get into such a shape in only 40 years, but Jesus sees it as dying, with only a very slight hope of any life being restored.

 

HOLD FAST – REPENT

 

After telling them to strengthen what remained, Jesus reminded that church that they had been taught right in the beginning. Notice verse 3, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” Jesus knew they had been founded upon the teaching of the apostle Paul, as he stood for 3 years in Ephesus preaching the whole council of God. All of those 7 churches were started from the one revival there in Ephesus. The scriptures declare that all Asia heard the word of God during that time. Therefore this church was not following a program of dead works because they did not know any different, for they did. They just found that by leaving the name of Jesus out of their activities, their programs were more appealing to the people they were trying to win over to their church fellowship. This is why Jesus said, “You have a name,” but he knew it was not His name. So the admonition in verse 3 is to the few in Sardis which have not defiled their garments with what the church as a whole is doing. “Hold fast,” was to them, and “Repent,” was to the others. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” The Lord was making it very plain to them, that judgment was ahead, for He was not going to allow this condition to continue on forever. On the other hand though, He did make a promise to those who had been true to Him. Verse 4, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; (This was the minority, and they were not the ones that run the church programs.) And they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” These will have their place in the Millennium, right along with all the other overcomers of all ages. Hallelujah! It pays to serve God with all our heart, for he Keeps an accurate record. Another thing that we see, is that God always gives people a chance to repent, and get back on the right road, after they have gone astray. Maybe you cannot change the things you see wrong with the lives of other people, but certainly God expects you to hold fast to what you have, regardless of what others may do.

 

WHAT MARTIN LUTHER DID

 

At this point, I believe we should take time to see how the conditions in the Sardis church, typed the spiritual condition of the 5th age. It was the age of Lutheranism, starting in the early years of the 1500’s A.D. The world had existed in the darkness of Roman Catholicism for so long, that the name of Jesus Christ was completely out of the picture. The true formula of water baptism was no longer observed. The Godhead revelation as originally taught by the apostles of Christ was completely out of the picture, and so was the true experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. All the major doctrines of the Christian faith had been kicked out of what was called “the church” in that hour. Roman Catholicism had brought about death to the revelation of the scriptures. As far as the church of that hour was concerned, death hung over her. But God is never without a means to carry out His next phase in His plan of redemption, so His anointing fell upon Luther, a little spark of light that needed some fanning. He did not restore much light, but he certainly was used of God to get the spiritual condition of hungry souls pointed in the right direction. Most of what Luther did was write up a list of 95 things he saw wrong with the Catholic church. He hardly even touched the word of God. He saw in the scriptures, that the just shall live by faith, and that those who would seek to be justified by the works of the law are under a curse, because they cannot keep the whole law. Brother, what joy that brought to the hearts of those who were affected by this rediscovered truth from the word of God. When people have been ruled, and held under subjection by fear tactics, to a manmade system, release from all of that brings a time of great joy to their hearts. But enthusiasm along does not last very long before it begins to wear off, and a process of death sets in. What Luther started was dying, and God had to raise up men like Knox, and Calvin to keep fanning, and rekindling the fire. Predestination and eternal security of the believer added enough oil to the wick to keep the little fire burning, but none of that ever got very far away from the framework of Roman Catholicism. That is why then, that the whole thing could not live on, and really be a shining light, all the way to the end. Because sooner or later it would have to burn out, for the simple reason that the name of Jesus Christ was not in it. By His own words Jesus said, I m the way, the truth, and the life, so nothing outside of Him, could ever produce eternal life. God knows how to turn His own affairs though, and it was His purpose to restore a true revelation to the church little by little, just like she lost it. But you know, the sad part is when a church is dead and does not know it. That was the condition of the Sardis church. They thought they still had a great work of God going on, and did not even know that the Spirit of God had already left them. By the same token, the people of Luther’s move could say, We are the church, we have life in us, we are free to walk with God. But were they? They still had their trinity, 3 persons in the Godhead. They still had their same formula of water baptism, sprinkling (that substitute method) in the titles of God, instead of immersion in the name of Jesus Christ. They had catechism just like Roman Catholics, the apostles creed, and before long their clergy was even dressing just like the Catholic priests. So I ask you, Were they free? Did they have life? Was that all the church of the Lord Jesus Christ should have? We all know better today, but how were they to know?

 

WILL GOD BLOT OUT NAMES?

 

You will notice that the 5th church age was just a little more than two hundred years, and it took various men to keep the fire going, that Luther started, and when John Wesley came on the scene, he did not start a new fire, he just added a new supply of oil to the fire that was already burning. But do you know what? If God had never moved anyone to go beyond Wesley’s movement, there would be no life left from those movements today. Just look out here at the Methodist church, and tell me what you see? It moved on with God, when the movement as a whole would not go any further. Because Lutheranism would not move on with God, and make a complete break from political ties, and Antichrist doctrines, it was God’s purpose that it should die. It seemed like everyone of those movements would just push out so far, and then stop, and death would set in. Bro. Jackson: Are you saying that no one made it to heaven out of those churches? No! That is not what I am saying at all. We are dealing with the overall picture of the various movements, and what their end was; or will be, but we must remember that the grace and mercy of God is always extended to every individual that will walk in all the light God shines upon his, or her pathway, just as Sardis, where there were a few that had not defiled their garments, so has there been a few from every age that stood out above all the rest, therefore they receive their promised reward for overcoming. The thing that stands out to me in this Sardis letter, besides the points we have already mentioned, is that the Lord did not say to them, You have Nicolaitans among you, nor, you have Baal worshipers among you, nor any such thing as He said to the other churches. It makes it look like tares was about all there was in that church, except those few old-timers that had somehow held on to their former revelation, and managed to live true to the Lord in spite of all the other things that were going on round about them. The Lord said, (4) “These shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.” Now of course some will say, Would God really blot out a name from the book of life? Then you have others, when you are dealing with election, foreknowledge and predestination, who will say, Predestination cannot be a true Bible doctrine, or God would not speak of blotting out names from the book of life. This has always been a controversial subject, because there are multitudes of professing Christians, who have never learned to respect all of the word of God. They just read, and accept what they life, and as far as they are concerned, that is all there is in the Bible. Then they will look at their own kind, when they fall by the wayside, and say that God will blot their names out of the book of life. Brothers and Sisters: Listen to me. The Lambs book of life is not for man to write in, and blot out names, as he would, for the Bible clearly tells us that those who were chosen, by foreknowledge, were written in the book of life before there ever was anything else. Revelation 13:8 says, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, (the beast) whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Then in Revelation 17:8, we read these words concerning the beast. “They that dwell on earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” Now, Saints: Here is my answer. The Lamb’s book of life carries the names of all that have been elected in Jesus Christ from before the foundation of the world, and I can assure you that it has no blank spaces in it where names have been blotted out. You just have to realize that this warning was sounded in a church that was made up mostly of tares, and those tares looked forward to the same promises that the true seed looked forward to, and no man knows whose names is in the book of life and whose is not. Only God knows that, and His universal plea is, Whosoever will, let him come. He gave Cain that same invitation, but you must realize, He knew before the foundation of the world, who would come, and therefore could record their names in the book of life. But for the benefit of the tare element in that church, that believe a person can get saved any time they choose, and that their names are written in, when they make that decision, and that their names are blotted out when they fail to follow all the way with what they stared, God just speaks to them on that wise. But the true elect knows that his name was written before the foundation of the world, and that it will never be blotted out. In other words, Since the tares are in, He has to speak to them on the level of their understanding. If the church had stayed pure, like it was in the book of Acts, there never would have been such language as that used, for He would have been dealing with nothing but pure predestinated seed of God. But when the tares got into the churches, God’s admonition had to cover the whole picture, for He would not give anyone a hint as to who was predestined, and who was not. We only establish our predestination by doing what the scriptures tell us to do. Peter did say (1st Peter 1:10), “Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure”, but he was not saying that we should work, in an effort to get predestinated. What he was really establishing was the fact that if we are predestinated, we will have these Christian qualities active in our lives, that he mentions just prior to that statement. It is our hunger, and our search for truth, that really allows us to know that the Spirit of God is moving in our lives. A tare will eat anything, (spiritually speaking) and never now the difference, but a predestined seed of God will never be completely satisfied until they find a fountain of revealed truth springing forth from that ONE great eternal fountain. When you see people playing around with strange doctrines and things of the flesh that are contrary to the scriptures, and just flirting around with the world in general, that is a very bad sign. The scriptures put it like this, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” The predestined soul is not very happy unless he or she can see themselves being molded to be more like Jesus. One thing I am sure you have all noticed in the scriptures, even in the gospels; where Jesus would speak saying, “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.” Did you ever imagine that any of those people might not have had physical ears sticking out on the side of their head? Did you ever even wonder what was meant by such a statement? What it really meant was, only predestined souls will have the kind of hearing that will carry these words to the depths of his soul. Any of them could have heard the audible words, but only the predestined ones could hear what the Spirit was saying. That is why all seven of these letters to the churches of Asia ended like that, only those predestined souls that were still in those churches would be able to hear and follow the Spirit of God. All the rest were following something else. They were being led by a spirit, but it was not the Spirit of God. This is why Jesus said what He did in the 10th chapter of John’s gospel. Let us read it. We will begin in verse 25. “Jesus answered them, I told you; and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. (26) But ye believe not, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF MY SHEEP, as I said unto you. (27) MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, and I know them, AND THEY FOLLOW ME.” There is predestination, and here is eternal security. Verse 28, “And I give them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall never perish, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN (or devil) PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND.” If you have an ear to hear, you will not even argue about this, for you will know that it is the truth. Predestined seed do have an ear to hear. That is why they could sit in a Catholic church for years, and then one day, above all the carnal confusion around them, they could hear the voice of the Spirit of God, calling them out of it. Everything has its purpose, but sometimes God is the only one that can see the true purpose of certain things. Luther’s hour had its purpose, and God has sealed to Himself, souls that came through Lutheranism, but that Lutheran church system is dead. It will never have the life of God in it again. They may merge, and be the 2nd largest Protestant denomination, but they are still dead, and they are on the road back to mama. They had a name, that they were a living church, a living faith, but now they are dead.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

We find quite a different picture as we read the letter to the Philadelphia church. (The name Philadelphia, means brotherly love.) This church had held on to the name of the Lord, and kept His word with whatever strength they had left, and we must remember, all of these letters were written in 96 A.D., and they were dealing with present conditions in the respective churches. There are two extreme opinions in the church world today, concerning these seven churches of Asia, and the letters written to them. One group sees only seven local churches, that stood in need of admonishment from the Lord, in 96 A.D. They cannot associate them in any way, as setting a type for a future age. Then on the other side, is a group that does see them typing an age of time, but they try to literally apply every little detail they see in those letters, to the age they correspond to. Neither concept is completely right. We must endeavor to see the spirit that was working behind the scenes in those local churches, and then we will identify the working of that same spirit in the age that each church corresponds to. The deeds may not always be literally the same, but there will always be an identifiable parallel. There are always keys, to a proper understanding of the word of God. It is the same with the seven thunders, there in Revelation 10:3. I kept still for a long time, concerning those thunders, while others traveled the world giving out their version of what they (the thunders) pertained to. But finally, the last two words of that verse stood out so clearly to me, I felt it was time to speak. I have since, preached on them, and we have printed the messages, and I am completely convinced that THEIR VOICES, pertains to seven different men who will be anointed to speak on behalf of God, to the bride of Christ, just prior to the time of the rapture, after Jesus is off of the mercy seat. No one man could possibly fulfill that scripture, for there is no way that THEIR VOICES, could be applied to anything one man might say. THEIR, is a plural pronoun word, and VOICES, is used with it, and that is also plural, so let us just be sensible about this thing. In order for it to be as some would have it, the wording of that verse would have to be changed to read something like this, And when He had cried (the mighty angel of verse 1) another voice uttered seven thunders. But even if you read it like that, you are still in trouble, for this does not take place until Jesus is off of the mercy seat, the seventh seal is opened, and the little book (scroll of redeemed names) is in His hand fully opened. Even then, there is still verse 4 to deal with, “When the seven thunders (plural) voices (plural) I (John) was about to write.” That lets us know that John heard what those voices spoke, for he was getting ready to write it down, when he was told to seal it up, and write it not. Now Saints, if you will just stop to realize that John was projected in the Spirit, all the way into our age of time, and that he was standing at the end of the age, seeing and hearing these things, this will clear up in your mind. Here John was a type of the living bride church, that would stand at the end of the age, and heard, and understand, that which God anoints these seven men (thunders) to speak. I hope you can see now, that THEIR VOICES, could not possibly apply to one man. There is no symbolism that can be stretched that far. On the other hand, in the first part of verse 3, where you see the word VOICE (singular) used, that does have symbolic application. Symbolically, that identified the mighty angel of verse 1, for it says that “He cried with a loud voice, as when a LION roareth.” Jesus Christ, who has been in His mediatorial office for almost two thousand years, will soon complete that office work, and then chapter 10 will be fulfilled, and He will be just about ready to adorn Himself in His Kingly attire, for His rule upon earth in the Millennium, and the scriptures identify Him as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That is just another one of those keys we mentioned.

Seven Churches Of Asia, Part 1 – 1983, January

1983-01-Seven-Church-of-Asia-Part-1

SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH THE YEARS WE HAVE STARTED ON A SERIES OF MESSAGES, TO DEAL WITH ALL SEVEN CHURCHES OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 2 & 3, BUT FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER, WE NEVER SEEMED TO BE ABLE TO COVER THEM ALL WITHOUT GETTING STOPPED. I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO GO THROUGH ALL 7 THIS TIME, AND LET THESE TAPED MESSAGES REPLACE ALL THE OTHERS WE NOW HAVE. FOR QUITE SOMETIME NOW, THE LORD HAS BEEN DEALING WITH ME CONCERNING THESE CHURCHES AND THE MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT ARE PORTRAYED BY THEM, THAT ACTUALLY AFFECT THE VERY HOUR OF TIME WE ARE NOW LIVING IN. NATURALLY WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE LIVING IN THE LATTER PART OF THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE THAT WAS PORTRAYED BY THE LITERAL CHURCH AT LAODICEA, DURING THE FIRST CENTURY OF CHRISTIANITY, AND CERTAINLY THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO BE SAID ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR SPIRIT THAT IS NOW RUNNING RAMPANT IN OUR DAY, BUT WE ARE GOING TO START WITH THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS, AND GO STRAIGHT THROUGH.

 

The church at Ephesus was as different from the church at Laodicea, as night is from day. Therefore by taking a good look at Ephesus, the model church, we can see what Christianity was, before the tares got in to pervert the gospel message, and the doctrine of Christ. Then as we examine the dominating spirit of each church, we can see how they portray a steady decline of revelation truth moving right on into, and through the Dark Ages, and out on this side as God began to move upon certain men to restore truth that had been lost during those years. Ephesus was on fire for God, but Laodicea was lukewarm. The spiritual condition of those churches, and also the other five, represent the spiritual condition of a certain age of time in the dispensation of grace. Now, here we stand at the end of the grace age, and every one of the things that Laodicea was rebuked for are present in this very hour of time. This is an age of materialism, and lukewarmness toward God. Almost everyone you meet claims to be a Christian, but one cannot help but notice that the fruit of the Spirit of God is absent from the lives of most of them. Why? Simply because they do not have the reality of the new birth in their lives. In the first century of Christianity, or we will say, in the first generation of Christianity, a person would not dare admit they were a Christian unless they had the genuine product. In other words, something inside them that was so real it would even cause them to stand for Jesus Christ in the face of martyrdom. But in our day, there seems to be a certain material advantage in being known as a Christian. It is good for business, and politics, to be seen in church, and it doesn’t matter what church, for the spirit of this age promotes going to the church of your choice. In reality, that is a pagan concept of Christianity, for there is only one church, and it is a universal body of true believers that hold an apostolic revelation in their hearts of the word of God, and they are not a denomination. Different beliefs are what separates people into denominational groups, but the true body of Christ (the church) is made up of people from every nation, that all believe the same thing concerning the basic doctrines of the word of God. It is to these, and for these, that the New Testament epistles were written, so with these points in mind, let us open our Bibles to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, where we will begin to examine the messages sent to these 7 churches of Asia.

 

 

EPHESUS

 

In the first chapter, we see Jesus Christ portrayed as the high priest, holding the 7 stars in His right hand, and standing in the midst of the 7 golden candlesticks. That is how the apostle John saw Him in the vision given to him, there on the isle of Patmos. Then he was told that the stars in the right hand of Jesus portrayed the angels of the seven churches, (The word angel, carries a dual, or twofold meaning) and the seven candlesticks represent the seven churches of Asia. Now there were other Gentile churches at that time, for these were not the first churches of Gentile origin. In Paul’s first and second missionary journeys, there were established, churches at Iconium, Lystra and later, at Philippi, Galatia, Thessalonica, Corinth, and so forth. Therefore what we want to understand, is that the Lord Himself chose these seven particular churches for the purpose of conveying a twofold meaning, which we will see as we study the words written to each one, and make proper application by the direction of the Spirit of God. First, let us get the geographical setting. All seven of these churches were situated in Asia, which today is the country of Turkey. Some of them were in coastal cities, which means that they were in the sea trade routes, but not all of them. Those in the seaport cities did have the greater advantage though, because of the commercial trade, and so forth, and Ephesus was one of them. Ephesus was the capital city, a seaport city, and a famous city. It was also a city of much pagan worship, and a city where there was a large Jewish colony, but the city does not even exist today, and neither do any of these others. I have never been there, but I have seen pictures of these various sites, and they are all archaeological ruins today. Two thousand years ago, they stood as flourishing metropolitan cities though, and Ephesus stood at the forefront of them all.

 

PAUL PREACHED AT EPHESUS

 

It was on Paul’s 3rd missionary journey, that this door was opened for the gospel at Ephesus. We will not try to be exact, as to the years of Paul’s ministry there, but rather, we will just say that it was somewhere around 54-56 A.D., give or take a year or two. Actually all seven of these churches were established from the gospel fire that burned at Ephesus for three years while Paul was preaching there. He did not travel around to all seven cities, and establish a church as some may believe. It was the gospel message being preached at Ephesus that did the traveling to these other cities. It traveled in the hearts of hungry souls that came to Ephesus from all the regions round about to hear Paul preach. Now some who want to be contentious, claim that there is a contradiction in the Bible concerning the length of time Paul preached at Ephesus, but as for myself, I see no contradiction. In Acts 19:8, we find that he preached 3 months in the Jewish synagogue, and in verse 10, two years in the house of Tyrannus, and in verse 22, we find that he stayed in the area yet a while after that, probably in a pastoral capacity, so I see no reason whatsoever to dispute the three years mentioned in 20:31. But one thing is sure; Ephesus is where the revival fires burned, and all those other churches were established as a result of that revival. Paul may have gone later, to some of them, but if he did, the churches were already established. In the Old Testament tabernacle, one flame of fire lit all seven candlesticks, and that flame was never to go out, so here, we are allowed to see the reality of that type, as all seven of these candlesticks (churches) are lit from one Holy Ghost flame that burned at Ephesus. The scripture tells us that all they which dwelt in Asia, heard the word of the Lord Jesus Christ preached during the time Paul stayed at Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. But what we are dealing with primarily, is what the aged apostle John was instructed to write to these seven churches some 40 years later, which is 30 years beyond the death of the star messenger to the first age, Paul. By this time, (96 A.D.) John is an old man, the only one of the original apostles of Jesus Christ that is still alive. He had been loyal to the original revelation of truth that was imparted to them at the beginning, and the reality of it was still burning in his heart when he was put out there on that little island away from the main society of people. But he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and Jesus appeared to him, giving him a commission to write what he was allowed to see. Then, to the angel of these seven churches (the angel of each church) he was to write a specific letter, or message. This is why I said the word angel carries a twofold meaning, for it applies both to the angel messenger to each church age in the dispensation of grace, and also to the individuals who pastored those 7 literal churches that set the type for the church age conditions.

 

THUS SAITH THE LORD TO EPHESUS

 

Time wise, (96 A.D.) if the Lord is going to speak to these churches while some of the old patriarchs are still alive, concerning the things that they had been harassed by, it had to be done at this time. Jesus had spoken the seven parables recorded in the 13th chapter of Matthew, to lay right over the words written to these seven churches, and to exemplify conditions that would exist in seven different periods of the grace age, but these parables do not portray the great persecutions of Satan, against the church; they only show his deceptive tactics during the time when the spirit of Antichrist and the Spirit of God are running parallel. On the other hand though, these letters to the seven churches do speak of certain persecutions, and you will find that they identify with a specific age of time, which we commonly refer to as, the church ages. We are looking at the message to Ephesus first, so notice how it begins, Revelations 2 verse (1) “Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven gold candlesticks.” Now this was written to the ANGEL of the church of Ephesus, and we know it could not have been written to Paul, for he had been dead for about 30 years at that time, so that means that whoever was in the place of leadership in the church at Ephesus at that time was faced with the responsibility of leading them to take heed to these words from the Lord, or perish. Which they eventually did. In 96 A.D., when they received this letter, they were living in an interval of time which proved to be the beginning of a transition from the first age to the second. The first age did not just suddenly end, and the second age begin; it occurred during an extended transition period while the spirit of Antichrist was sowing tares among them. Little by little the church of Ephesus was slipping away from its former estate, so the Lord gives them a fair warning, and it is up to the pastor (the angel) as to how they will react. As we have said already, this church stands out from the rest, because this is where the Holy Ghost fire fell that eventually ignited a gospel fire in the others. No doubt, the church at Ephesus was the strongest work that was established in that area, and no doubt had a very large congregation both of Jews and Gentiles. In the writings of the Antinicean Fathers, it is brought out how many of the saints from Jerusalem, traveled to these churches, giving their testimonies concerning the things they had seen and heard during the time when Jesus walked among them. Therefore I would be prone to believe that the church at Ephesus was the main one that they went to. Naturally that being the case, every evangelist, or apostle, or whatever they might have called themselves, headed straight for Ephesus. How do I know that? Simply because verse 2 reveals it. Notice when the Lord had to say to them, “I know thy works.” We will take this one step at a time, and try to see what each thing pertained to.

 

WORKS OF FAITH

 

The first thing mentioned is their works, and I want you to know assuredly that He was not talking about how many times they had painted the church building, nor how many new roofs they had put on it. The works mentioned, would be works of faith. If a brother, or a sister needs a coat, see that they get one. If they need food for their table, see that they get it. Anywhere Christianity has ever flourished in any spiritual depth, there was both the rich and the poor in the assembly, and the needs of the truly needy were always met. This is one of the ways that God puts our faith to the test. The true faith exemplified by the Lord Jesus Christ will always respond in the affirmative to such needs among brethren. Do not ever allow yourself to think for even a moment, that the Lord just chooses the rich to be saved, and lets the poor go to hell. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Genuine faith is not based upon our station in society, but our surroundings will definitely put our faith to the test and genuine faith will always be compassionate. Then statural growth enables us to couple wisdom with our compassion. There was a situation in the early church that has caused much debate among Gentile Christians down through time, but you must remember, those who did this were all Jews, and Jews have always followed these practices for survival. I am talking about Acts 4, where all those that owned excess property sold it, and brought the money to the apostles for distribution among those that were needy. Many Gentiles have interpreted that to mean that those who owned houses and land sold everything they had, and divided the price of it among the needy. I assure you, that such a practice as that would not work for very long, for there will always be a tomorrow; therefore there always has to be some who have more than they need, in order for there to be help for the truly needy. That was simply a situation where those saints who owned real estate in excess of what they needed for themselves, sold it, and gave the profit to be used for the needs of others who were less fortunate, and God blessed that effort. The Jews did it like that, but when the gospel came to the Gentiles, another method was set up for helping the poor, and those poor saints at Jerusalem received help from them. (I Corinthians 16:3) Therefore let us look upon this word works, as something other than physical labors. Then let us notice that after works, He (Jesus) also mentioned the word labor. “I know thy works, and thy labor.)

 

LABOR OF LOVE AND PATIENCE

 

Again I want to say, let us keep the application on the spiritual side, realizing that the labor referred to here is the weight and pressure of dealing with ridicule, persecution, and all the other problems that can develop among a large assembly of people. You who have walked with the Lord for quite a few years will readily identify with the weight upon the souls of those who have the responsibility of dealing with problems that arise in the church. In the eyes of God, this kind of labor produces the same affect upon a person, as if they had carried shingles up a ladder all day to re-roof the church house. You do that for 8 hours, and I assure you , you will be worn out. But you will be just as worn out if you battle with spiritual forces all day long. In that first age, Christians were constantly harassed by Jews, as well as just plain ungodly men. Satan was trying to destroy every fellowship of saints, and at the same time, God was building in them spiritual character that would be able to stand up under any and all kinds of pressure. Through the pressures of everyday life, God’s children are moved to take on more of the stature of Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore the next term referred to here (patience) just naturally follows works and labors of faith. This patience is a attribute of God, and I am sure that you will readily agree, that many people are born into this world, and go through life, never having an ounce of patience. If you want your children to learn to exercise patience in this life, do not wait until they are a year and a half or two years to start teaching it to them. Not just patience, but whatever other traits you desire to see in them. When they get to be two or three years of age, and follow you around in a store, Mommy I want this, Mommy I want that, and have a tantrum every time you say no, you have waited too long to start your training, you already have a wildcat on your hands. Furthermore if you let them get by with such behavior, the day will come when they may tear your arm off, or something worse. I only use these natural illustrations to stress a point of truth, spiritually, because in everything, there is a natural and also a spiritual to be considered. Those who conduct themselves properly in the natural will have less trouble with their spiritual behavior than one who just runs wild and carefree in the natural. But we are looking at the word patience here, spiritual patience, that God desires to instill in every son and daughter of His. This is the kind of patience that helps us endure the many attacks of the devil, until God shows us what to do about it. One thing is sure, whatever God allows the devil to do to His children, will accomplish something in their statural growth if they learn to wait upon the Lord to show them how to handle the situation, and that is especially true, in the church. What did James say? James, Chapter 1, verse (2) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” In other words, spiritual patience is knowing how to wait upon the Lord, and that of course, will take you right to Isaiah 40 verse (31) “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” So you see, God allows certain things to come upon us, as His means of cultivating certain spiritual attributes that He desires us to possess. Therefore as He sent this letter to Ephesus, He acknowledged these attributes by saying, “I know they works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which evil.” In the various epistles, which were all written before this Revelation letter, the saints were always instructed on how to deal with evil. This was before the tares even got in the assemblies. The saints in that early age, were saints that would take discipline. Let us look into Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, and see what he said to them on this matter of God’s chastening, and its affect on true sons and daughters of His. In Hebrews chapter 12 verse (5) “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of Him; (6) For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” So there definitely does come a time in all our lives when God has to take us across His spiritual knee, and spank us. Oh, Bro. Jackson, God never has to spank me. If any of you feel like that, then maybe we should read a little farther. Verse (7) “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (Notice now) (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof ALL (not just some, but all) are partakes, then are ye BASTARDS, (illegitimate children-tares) and NOT SONS.” In other words, if you just simply cannot take correction, chances are very great that you are not a child of God at all. You do not have the nature of the heavenly Father in you, or you would not run from Him when chastening time comes. Very plainly stated, I might run from my neighbor, but I would never run from my father, and you can make your own judgement as to why you will not stand still and take correction. I will not judge you. One thing is for sure though; it does not help the least bit, just to keep on hiding from the truth. It takes truth to set a son of God free.

 

APOSTOLIC MINISTRY

 

Coming back to Revelation 2:2 now, we read, “I know how thou hast tried them which SAY they are apostles, and are not, hast found them liars.” Saints, right there is an important word placed within this letter to the Ephesus assembly, and it is the only one that contains this word apostle. Why would that be? First of all, this is the church where Paul, the first church age messenger stood. While reading in the Antinicean Father’s writings, I read where Polycarp, who sat at the feet of John, wrote to the Philippian church, around 100 A.D., just a few short years after the Revelation letter was written, reminding them of the things that had been taught by the great apostle Paul. As you read those records, it becomes obvious, that Ephesus was a church where whoever claimed to be an apostle, eventually showed up there, because they knew that God always sent His true apostles to that church when He wanted to impart to them further truth. As I have already said, Ephesus stood out in the forefront with the gospel message. They had been taught well, so they had a true revelation of the doctrine of Christ. That is why they were able to detect, and expose those false apostles that showed up there, trying to make a name for themselves. They just simply gave them the word test. All of God’s true apostles believed and taught the same doctrine.

 

They taught that God is one, that baptism should be administered to believers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that all believers should be baptized for the remission of sins of the flesh, and none of them sought to elevate themselves above the others. They were laborers together, working in a great building for God. When Paul wrote the first Epistle to the Corinthian church, he rebuked them because of divisions among them, saying, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? Some of you say, I am of Paul; and others, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but it was God that gave the increase. (He went on to say) He that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God: Ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.” When Paul referred to himself as a wise master builder, and how he had laid the foundation, he knew that he was the apostle to the Gentiles, and that it was his revelation of the word of God, that these churches were founded upon. Every last one of them was established upon the revelation that he had preached to them. But as time passed God used other men to minister to them further truth for their spiritual growth, and not one of those God sent men ever preached anything contrary to what Paul preached. They were all laborers together on God’s great building, (the church) which is redeemed souls, and not wood, stone and bricks. In later years, many Gentile ministers would feel led to go to Jerusalem, and minister to the Jewish saints, just as the Jewish apostles would go to the Gentile churches, and this brought about a condition whereby those who just claimed to be apostles had opportunity to get their foot in the door, and explains why the Lord spoke of how Ephesus had tried them, and found them to be liars.

 

FALSE PROPHETS – FALSE APOSTLES

 

Very early in His 3½ year earthly ministry, Jesus warned, (Matthew 7:15) “Beware of false prophets, which shall come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” He was speaking of a future condition that would exist as the devil began his program of sowing tares among the good crop of God. This Antichrist spirit was portrayed in the 13th chapter of Matthew, when Jesus spoke those 7 parables, all pertaining to a future condition. In the 7th chapter of Matthew, Jesus pursued the thought all the way to the end time saying, (22) “Many will come to me in that day saying, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, And in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And I will say unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Satan’s deceptive agents always appear to be very meek and humble, for that gains them the confidence of many people, but inwardly they are as ravening wolves, ready to devour the flock of God. Even as early as 90 A.D., when John wrote the little epistles, he could see that spirit working then. As he spoke of those that were Antichrist agents, he said, (1st John, verse 19) “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” I can just see some of those fellows as they would jump on the back of an old camel, and head for some of those churches such as we are reading about in our text scriptures. Coming into those churches, the first thing they would say is, “I am an apostle. I have just come from Jerusalem. I have been with Peter and the other apostles there, and I have been in the upper room, and ETC., ETC. That is exactly how some of these modern day preachers carry on after they have been to Jeffersonville, Indiana, and saw where the prophet to this age lived and preached, and after they have been to the cemetery where he is buried, and to the Spoken Word Publishers, to get an armful of books. After they do that, they feel that they are ready to circle the globe, straightening out the revelation of the bride of Christ. Most of them, find out just enough to make a fool out of themselves. Brothers and Sisters: It doesn’t matter whether you ever get to Jeffersonville, Indiana, or not, the thing that really makes the difference, is whether you get true revelation of the word of God, or not. If you never get a revelation in your spirit from the Spirit of God, you will never be anything that God will accept. Without that, all your labor is vain, and you have no eternal reward coming to you. Over the years, many of these fellows have tried to gain access to this pulpit, to promote themselves, but the Lord has always allowed us to detect them, and put them to flight, just like the church at Ephesus did, with those that troubled her. I have known of various assemblies that were constantly in an uproar, simply because they let every self ordained preacher that happened to pass their way, get into the pulpit and preach his version of the message to this age. But, Bro. Jackson, How do you know who to let in? Are you not afraid of turning away someone who has a true message from the Lord? Let me just remind you of something else that the apostle John wrote. It is found in 1st John 4:1. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Now Saints, John was not referring to a smoky mist over in the corner of the church building; he was referring specifically to preachers, or as in his day, self appointed apostles. How do you detect them? The same way the church at Ephesus did; you just simply find out if they are preaching the same revelation that the apostles of Jesus Christ preached. Now do not misunderstand me. They do not have to use the same verbal words, but one thing is sure, no true man of God will ever preach a contrary doctrine, and the others cannot preach very long without it. Besides that, they will usually give themselves away by the way they talk, even before they ever get into the pulpit to preach. Nevertheless, Ephesus tried them by this means and weeded out the false ones, and the Lord acknowledged it. Let us look at it like this, Ephesus knew that she had been established by a true apostle, and their minds were resting upon the fact. However, they had learned to respect the men that came from Jerusalem, and Satan knew it, and took advantage of it. He just got him some men who were already desiring to make a name for themselves, and made apostles out of them.

 

SATAN’S DECEPTIVE TACTICS

 

In 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15, we find Paul writing to these Corinthian saints, saying, (13) “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” The respect that the church at Ephesus had for apostles, made them a prime target for Satan to bombard with his tare sowing false apostles, and he no doubt kept them coming. Now Saints, please do not get the idea that those fellows could not preach anything at all like the apostle Paul preached, for that is wrong. As much as 90 percent of it could have been exactly right, but saints that have been taught properly will catch enough from that other 10 percent to know that there is something wrong. After each episode where one of those false apostles would get into the church and preach, they would just have to do some spiritual house cleaning to clear the atmosphere, but the point is, they took it patiently. They did not become frustrated and disillusioned, and throw up their hands. They labored under the pressure of that constant harassment, and with patience, they continued their works of faith, but 40 years of this, did have a certain effect upon them, which we will see a little later.

 

THE MODEL CHURCH

 

As we read Revelation 2:3, we find patience and labor both mentioned again. Notice, (3) “And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” That word borne is associated in this case with carrying responsibility. We could say, with patience they had labored under the weight and pressure against them because of the name of Jesus, and they did not faint (give up) along the way. They endured all their trials, and kept that name of Jesus Christ, a fire in their souls. So in their patience, they had been loyal to that name. Brother, this was a tested church. They were attacked by every Satanic spirit the devil had to throw at them. Why so with them any more than the others? Because this was to be the model church. They had to have every opportunity to set an example in overcoming the constant attacks of the enemy of our souls. This is how our perfection is wrought. Brothers and Sisters, listen to me; We have passed through an era of economics like no other generation has ever known. We will have no acceptable excuse when we stand before the Lord, if we do not hold on to what He has committed to our spiritual understanding, and life accordingly. It doesn’t matter whether we have a car to drive, no whether we have all the modern conveniences in our home or not; it is what we do with that revelation in our soul that determines whether we come out victorious or not. I am afraid that some who gauge spiritual wealth and happiness by how easy the Lord makes it for them to live, are going to come up short in that day. When the going gets hard, we should not give up; that is what the word faint pertains to. In Luke 18:1, Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to FAINT.” In 2nd Corinthians, Paul used the word, so let us read about two verses from chapter 4, just to catch the word, verse (16) “For which cause we FAINT not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man (spirit) is renewed day by day. (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” That one verse alone lets us see that these afflictions and trials will work for our spiritual benefit, if we will just not give up (faint) before we come out on the other side. In Galatians 6:9, Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” No matter how many preachers may have told the church at Ephesus, It would be all right to baptize using the titles instead of the name Jesus, they knew that Paul had re-baptized the original 12 disciples among them, because they had not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, according to Acts 2:38. Therefore they held true to that name, and labored to keep it alive among them. Now I believe you can see what these terms actually apply to, so let us move onto verse 4, and find out what the Lord had against the church.

 

FORMALISTIC ROUTINE

 

In everything else, the Lord commended the church at Ephesus, but then told them that He had something against them. Notice what it was, as we read verse 4. “Nevertheless I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” In reality, all the other things that they were commended for were built around the very thing that He is saying they have left. How can that be? I believe we can use a natural setting here, to illustrate the reality of this spiritual condition. It did not just happen there at Ephesus; it still happens. In the natural realm, a boy meets a girl; they fall in love, and after a period of time in which they have been dating and really getting to know each other, they get married, and start housekeeping together. Now all during the time while they were dating, they just could not see enough of each other, couldn’t hardly stand to be apart until the next date. But we all know that life is much more than that carefree way you feel during your courting days. One day there is a marriage, and suddenly there is responsibility that neither of you have ever had. Your love for each other causes you to assume that new responsibility with great zeal and fervency. Everything is approached with real joy and expectancy as you look to the future together. That is also exactly how it is living for God. When we first come to know the Lord we just cannot seem to do enough for Him. Our new found love just keeps us on the mountain tops, spiritually speaking. But God does not allow us to remain on the mountain tops forever, so He begins to bring us down to reality of life, and lay some genuine responsibility upon us, which in the beginning we accept with true joy of heart, just like the newlywed couple in the natural. But over a process of time, life in the natural can become very routine. We still do the same things, but not with the same joy and fervency. You still kiss your wife goodbye when you leave for work, and she still meets you at the door with a kiss when you come home, but it has become just a routine to you. What causes such a change? A few misunderstandings, a few disappointments, added responsibilities, financial reverses, and all sorts of things. Saints, we all understand that this is part of everyday life we are talking about, but we should also understand, that no matter what happens, our love for our mate should always be considered above everything else, in the natural. It doesn’t matter if you are 80 years old, you can still have that same love in your heart that you had when you were 20, and God is not pleased with any marriage that loses it. Neither is He pleased with any church that just goes through their formalistic routines week after week, and at the same time allows the fervency of their love for God to gradually fade into the background. When this is allowed to go on and on in a natural marriage, sooner or later, Satan sets a trap that eventually destroys the marriage. Then when you bring that same condition over into the spiritual realm, and allow it to go on and on without getting revived, somewhere down the road, Satan will have a trap set for you. So as we look to this condition at Ephesus, let me say this, If there was a need brought to their attention, they took care of it. If anyone was baptized, they made sure it was done according to Acts 2:38, in the name of Jesus Christ. If someone claimed to be something other than what they were, these saints would discern it. Whenever persecution and pressure was heaped upon them, they endured it with patience, but they had allowed themselves to fall into a formalistic routine to the extent that they were no longer motivated by the fire of that love for God which they started out with. They went to the assembly more out of habit and routine, than to meet and worship with their brothers and sisters in the Lord. Therefore in Revelation 2:5, the Lord says, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, (be genuinely sorry) and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Now He did not say He would remove the star; He said He would remove the candlestick. Of course we know that the candlestick represented the power and presence of the Lord in their midst. Therefore they were being warned, and if they would not repent, the Lord would just move out from among them, and they could no longer do anything by the anointing of His spirit. Let me hasten to say this though, He was not telling them to be baptized again, as some folks interpret that term first works. He was merely telling them to repent of their motives, and to return to their former ways, when they were motivated by a genuine love that burned within their hearts. In other words, they needed a revival.

 

NICOLAITAN SPIRIT

 

After Jesus rebuked the church for losing its first love, He turns right around, and commends them again, (Revelation 2:6) saying, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” He did not say that they had any tares, nor such like, in their assembly, but this does prove that they had been harassed by that Antichrist spirit for He says, you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. No doubt these spirits had begun to have an effect on certain ones’ attitudes, and maybe even caused some others to even consider using some natural means to try and get rid of the confusion that was looming upon the horizon. Saints, any time a church resorts to carnal remedies, trying to deal with spirits that trouble them, they have shut God out of the picture, completely. God wants to be in the picture so he can teach us some wisdom and patience, as these things arise. Beyond that, there are some things God will not let you have to tolerate, for He will warn you ahead of time, so that you can head it off as it comes down the road. That is how some men’s sins go openly before them. Whether God allows though, you can be sure it will serve a purpose in the redemption and restoration process of God upon this old planet. When this thing winds up, God is going to have some people perfected, and ready to rule with Jesus Christ in the Millennium. But those that will be perfected, will not be those that jump the gun and take things into their own hands every time a little something goes wrong. It is the responsibility of the ministry to make decisions as to what the church will, or will not allow. But many times, the ministry will have to wait upon the Lord longer than many think they should, in order to know what to do. This then, can bring about a carnal reaction from those who do not have patience to wait upon God’s answers. Sooner or later, that brings about a strain between the laity and the ministry. It did not happen in the church at Ephesus, for they were very determined that the Holy Ghost was going to lead them. But we certainly do see it in the Pergamos church. It is a situation where the clergy is exalted above the laity to the extent that they rule them with fear tactics. No record has ever been found of any group or sect of people that were known as Nicolaitans; therefore we must conclude that the spiritual mention of them pertains to a spirit of the devil that caused the ministry to conquer the laity. You can still see that old spirit at work out here in various religious groups. Some people do not dare go visit their relatives once in awhile, without getting permission from their pastor. Saints, you know a situation like that is not ordained of God. God knows the hearts of all those who miss church services for whatever reason they miss, and He is the final one that they must answer to. Your preacher has no God given right to forbid anyone to miss church services, nor to rule over their lives with an iron fist. Furthermore God’s true children do not need such supervision; they enjoy doing what they know to be right.

 

THE TREE OF LIFE

 

As we look back to the church at Ephesus for just a moment, and consider what the Lord said to her, we can well see why trials, tests and persecutions were allowed by the Lord in every church age. That is what produces a true soldier of the cross. One that has backbone, a strong faith, enduring love for God, and for others, and one that is trustworthy in the sight of the Lord. So let us notice this last verse to the church at Ephesus. Revelation 2:7 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the CHURCHES; (churches-plural) To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” In that symbolic language, to eat of the tree of life is to partake of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the life of the tree of life. The Holy Ghost is the seal of God whereby we are sealed unto the day of our redemption from this natural life, (Ephesians 4:30) and the Holy Ghost is the very substance of the new birth. Paul said, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:9) Therefore let us conclude this part of the message by saying, The church at Ephesus was made up of true believers. They all had the Spirit of Christ, and they gave no place for the devil’s ambassadors to work among them. But we must realize that by the time John was instructed to write these words to them, the first church age that they represented was on the threshold of passing on to the second age which was represented by the conditions prevailing in the church at Smyrna. Ephesus was pure, free from tares. The first church age was pure, free from tares, but the infiltration of tares among the body of believers after those original apostles passed off the scene, is actually what inaugurated the second age. He that overcometh has a promise of something to look forward to. That also lets us know, that in every age, no matter what the devil bombarded them with, there was always sufficient grace from the Lord for those true believers to overcome, and that is still true in our day. Just be sure you do not judge the whole of Christianity by what you may see someone doing who professes to be a Christian. You look into the book of Acts, and you will see what true Christianity is, for God’s standards have never changed. What Christians were in the beginning, is what Christians will be at the end time. But those who live to see the coming of the Lord will have a deeper revelation of God’s complete redemption process than those of the first age had. Not a different doctrine, just a deeper revelation.

 

SMYRNA

 

The Lord has no rebuke for the church at Smyrna. This church it seems, was a victim of much persecution, and poverty stricken as far as material wealth is concerned. But the Lord told them they were rich in those things that have eternal values. So let us continue reading, here in verse 8, and see what was said unto the angel (Pastor or leader) of this church. “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive; (9) I know thy works and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” As we said earlier, each of these 7 churches existed in the days when the apostle John was still alive. Also, the Lord specifically naming the churches in a certain order, and this was for a very specific reason, for as it turns out, the local conditions existing in each of the 7 churches, represented the general condition of an age of time that would fall within the scope of the grace age dispensation. Each one characterized a spirit that would correspond to the prevailing spirit of a certain period of time in following generations. Whatever that spirit of Satan did, or tried to do in those 7 churches, is exactly what he would be doing in the age of time that corresponds in numerical order to those churches. Smyrna was number two in the order given by the Lord; therefore her spiritual condition as well as the material wealth or poverty of the Christians in general, represented the general condition of that second church age, an age of tribulation, persecution, martyrdom, and much poverty. Let us understand also, that the general condition here in this church, reflected the overall picture of the whole city where it was located. In that day and hour, world travel was not like it is today. People did not run all over the world spreading their influence, and their material wealth, like they do today. Therefore the general conditions seen here, more or less represent the environment, or we will say the culture and general condition of the whole city of Smyrna, and Satan’s influence is definitely seen here. Smyrna was definitely not a city where one would go with the thought of trying to amass a great fortune in a short time. Economic prosperity was limited to a great degree because this was not a city of great commercial trade, like some of the others were. This church, in this city, was the Lord’s choice, to represent a certain spirit of Satan that would have its effect upon that second church age, after the tares began to get into the church universally and exercise their influence.

 

STAR MESSENGERS’S RESPONSIBILITY

 

Naturally the first application of the letter to the church at Smyrna was to the church itself right then, and there, and it was the pastor’s responsibility to see that proper action was taken after receiving it. But beyond that local setting was an age of time in universal Christendom that these same conditions would exist; and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the messenger to that age to also take the necessary steps in applying these words from the Lord. Which in this case was Irenaeus. He was the generally accepted star messenger to the 2nd age. He held the true revelation of God’s word up before them, to combat that spirit of Satan that was trying to destroy the church. Before going on though, let me just remind you once again that the conditions of these 7 churches, were conditions that existed in each particular church at the time of John’s instructions from the Lord to write to them, which was 96 A.D. In 96 A.D. conditions were existing in these 7 churches, each church portraying a different condition spiritually and materially from the others, that somewhere during the following two thousand years would correspond to the general condition of an age of time, during which time, the angel messenger to that age of time commonly referred to as the church ages, would be stirred in his heart to stand against that prevailing spirit of Satan with a message of truth from the word of God. Therefore I am going to read to you, a few excerpts from church history, that I have with me, so that you may hear some of what was written, especially concerning this 2nd age. But first, let us notice what the Lord had to say to this church. “I know thy works”. He said that to the church at Ephesus also, did He not? That lets us see that there definitely are certain works that the Lord looks upon, either good or bad, in every congregation of believers. That always reminds us of what the apostle James said about works. “Faith without works is dead.” Our works are not what saves us, but they do go hand in hand with the faith we exercised for that salvation, and it is our works of faith that actually portray character and concern, and the general condition of our spiritual lives. But just as faith without works is dead, so also is works dead if they are not accompanied by a corresponding faith. Faith and works are as inseparable as the Spirit of God and the word of God. Without the Spirit to quicken it to our own spirit, the written word of God is just a dead letter, and those who claim to have the Spirit, and do not have the word of God to stabilize them, have nothing but wild fire, which always leads to trouble.

 

POVERTY VERSUS RICHES

 

Alright, besides their works, the Lord also spoke of their tribulation and poverty there at Smyrna. If they had tribulation, that means they had persecution and trials to deal with, and on top of that, a lack of material wealth, for that is where the term poverty is applied. Spiritually they were rich; for the Lord Himself said so. That is a completely opposite picture from Laodicea, the seventh church, and the seventh church age. It just goes to show what the effects of Satan’s constant bombardment of truth are. Laodicea is the age of climax. Men have struggled for centuries, to climb the ladder of monetary success, and prestige, and we are living in the age where intellectual achievement has reached a peak, almost to the point of where God will actually allow it to go, before He calls an end to it all. We have put men on the moon, sent rockets into space to photograph Mars, Venus, and such like, and medical science itself has reached a great peak in trying to defeat a law of God set in affect when the first man and woman failed Him. They want to gain the supremacy over death. But they will never achieve their goal along those lines, for death is an appointment that every man has, and must keep. Only those who are lifted from this old earth by the Lord Himself will escape it, and those who are working so hard with their human efforts will not be among them. Nevertheless, intellectual achievement has ushered in an economic environment whereby the western world is living at its highest standard ever. That is why the Lord would say to the church at Laodicea, which is the church that corresponded to our age,(Revelation 3:17&18) (17)”Because thou sayeth, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (18) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,” and so forth. They were looking to their own self sufficiency more than to God who is the true provider of all that we have need of. It is Satan’s goal, to get man with his human achievements to leave God out of the picture, and those who do so, no matter how rich they may be in this world’s goods, in the eyes of God they are poverty stricken and naked, spiritually speaking. On the other hand, here were some people at Smyrna, probably just barely getting by, struggling to make ends meet, and on top of that, they were persecuted and abused, but because they had a strong faith, and a love for God that made them determined to stand, no matter what, the Lord said to them, “You are rich.” They were laying up treasures in heaven, just like Jesus taught in the gospels, treasures that could not be corrupted, and that thieves could not break in and steal. Praise God! That is the kind of riches I desire. If we will just be loyal to God, true to His word, and love and respect each other, He will see to it, that we are cared for in this life. He never promised us great material riches, but He used the grass, the lilies, the sparrows, and such like, to show how God cares for His own, and how He will care for them in life.

 

THE TARES ARE SOWN

 

Now as I have stated already, I know the seven parables of the 13th chapter of Matthew, the letters to these seven churches, and the seven church ages, all go together. But when I began to look at the words of the Lord to the church at Smyrna, knowing that the 2nd parable of Matthew 13, speaks of how the tares were sown among the good seed, I looked at the letter for quite some time, and then I saw that they had tares among them, but what He did say was, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” He did place that nugget there, and it says a lot, if you know what else has already been said to explain it. Now let us realize, this was a local church, a specific congregation of people. But it was to portray a condition that would exist in a certain age, and that age would be the one that Jesus portrayed by the parable in Matthew 13:24-30, the age in which tares got into the assembly of believers. (It will all clear up to you when I read some of these excerpts from church history). That church at Smyrna stands out though, because of their faith, and loyalty to God. Polycarp, who was a student of the apostle John, was the bishop of the church at Smyrna. He was a man that truly loved God, and that led the church to lay up treasures in heaven. But Satan was at work, and we learn from verse 9, that his presence was felt among them. As we look at the 2nd church age, which the church at Smyrna portrays, we find that Irenaeus was the star messenger to that age, and we read here in the history of the church, how he challenged the heretics in that 2nd age. Therefore even though we do not see anything specifically mentioned in the letter to Smyrna about that tare spirit, (heretics) we must realize that it had to be present, and that it had to be contained in that one little statement the Lord made about the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. You see, if you did not know anything else, you could never get that, out of such a mere mention of something. But I do praise the Lord for the way He leads and allows us to see certain things that are hid from the wise and the prudent, (the theological giants of religion). We saw from the letter to Ephesus, that Satan was trying to destroy Ephesus by getting the ministry and the laity at odds with each other, in other words, by getting attention focused upon rank and racial identity, bring friction into the church that would eat like a cancer to the deterioration of the body. But Ephesus was too wise to be trapped by such tactics; they sent those trouble makers on their way. We do know, from reading Acts 19, that the first believers at Ephesus were 12 Jewish men that were taken right out of the synagogue. They were Jewish men that had been baptized unto repentance, according to John’s preaching, but Paul took them, and expounded the gospel to them, baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ, and therefore, they became the first, or the beginning of the church of Ephesus. What I want to impress upon you now, is this, There were Jews in all those cities where these 7 churches were located, and I believe Jews were among the first to make up the ranks of converted Christians that followed the teaching of the apostles of Christ. This gave the Jewish people in those congregations a certain image of recognition by those Gentiles who were converted later, and also, at the same time opened a little crack in the door for Satan to try to get his foot in. Naturally it was made known that it was the Jews who had preserved through time the sacred writings, and the knowledge and revelation of the one true God. This, to me, says that the Gentiles of that hour (in the first age) had a certain reverence for a Jew that had been converted to Christianity. Did not Paul remind them of how blindness in part had been passed upon the Jews, in order that the Gentiles might be brought in, and made partakers of the gospel? I believe that is why these churches that were at the time of 96 A.D., made up mostly of Gentile believers, always tried to give place for the testimony of Jewish individuals that passed their way, claiming to be Christians. No doubt, those who truly were Jews converted to Christianity, were a great blessing and encouragement to the other believers, but that also opened up a way for Satan to slip in a make believer now and then. They would come by, claiming to be Jews, and many of them even claiming to be apostles, but those saints of Ephesus that had been taught so well by the apostle Paul, would not be taken in by them. They would discover their deception, and put them to flight. Therefore as we realize that what the devil tried to do in the church at Ephesus, is what he was trying to do throughout all of Christianity during that first church age, and then we look to the church at Smyrna which represents conditions present in the second age, it lets us see that he just kept on using those same tactics until he finally succeeded in getting tares (make believers) sown among the believers. By using that identity as a Jewish believer, or even as an apostle from Jerusalem, they could gain recognition in those assemblies, and that would give them an opportunity to slip in some of their own ideas. The Lord said those fellows were the synagogue of Satan. In other words, these make believers were Satan’s house of worship. I was reading some of what Iranaeus wrote about those fellows, and I noticed one statement in particular. He said, A naked lie is too easy to recognize as such. He was speaking of those fellows that traveled around from place to place spreading their false doctrines. Now I have heard many things from such characters as this, that I though was just about as ridiculous as anything that could ever be taught by someone claiming to be called of God to minister His word, but some of the things that were taught during the 2nd age topped them all. As they hacked away at the Godhead, they had about 6 or 7 steps involved in God condescending to the human role, in which He was called Jesus the Christ. No wonder the devil was able to do what he did in the third century. As long as that first generation of saints were alive, they could spot those phonies, but as they passed off the scene, and their children, and their children’s children were left to attend to the affairs of the church, Satan’s ministers were able to pull the wool over their eyes, so to speak, for they did not have the pure revelation that those 1st century disciples had. Satan just used the same persistence in sowing his tares, that Jesus taught His disciples to use in prayer. He just kept on until he got what he wanted, tares running the affairs of the church. Not just one local body, but universally, and your denominational systems are still that way today.

 

AN AGE OF MARTYRDOM FOLLOWED

 

Now let us read verse 10, (Revelation 2) of the letter to Smyrna. Remember as we read this, that this was written to just one local church, there in Asia. He is warning them of something that was going to happen to them, and that same condition would also exist in the universal body of believers in the 2nd century, but as far as they knew, it was just them, there at Smyrna. Let us notice what the Lord said to them. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” This truly did happen. Right there in that church in Smyrna, men were arrested, and taken to the arenas where they were usually fed to the lions to satisfy the blood thirsty cravings of those pagans who lived just to watch that sort of thing. Polycarp was the 12th martyr from that church there at Smyrna. He was the bishop of that assembly as time passed from the 1st age to the 2nd. Tares were in the churches by then, and universal Christendom was beginning to feel the effects of Satan’s plan to overthrow the true gospel, and substitute it with his own perverted version. But first, he would have to get rid of the rest of those true saints who still held a true revelation of the apostolic gospel. That is what martyrdom was all about. True saints from that hour and onward, were subjected to wicked trials, and much tribulation. So from that church right there at Smyrna, Polycarp was the 12th martyr who gladly accepted death rather than denounce the Lord Jesus Christ. In the letter to that church, Jesus had said, Do not fear those things which thou shalt suffer. Some of you will be cast into prison, be tried, and have much tribulation, but be faithful even unto death, and I will give the a crown of life. Brother, that is exactly what they did, for as I read these various accounts from church history, I see where they actually welcomed martyrdom. They counted it a privilege to die for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ. I want to read some of this in your hearing, so that you may better understand why that 2nd age was symbolized by a red horse rider in the seven seals. Blood flowed from the veins of those saints of God in the 2nd age as they stepped into those arenas just like a beast of sacrifice, which was symbolized in Revelation 4:7. John saw in the midst of the throne in heaven 4 beasts, and the 2nd one had the appearance of a calf, and we know that this actually symbolized the spirit of those believers who would actually welcome martyrdom when it came to them. God gave them grace to sacrifice their own lives in that bloody age of martyrdom, that began when Satan got the stage set. Of course we realize that Christians were martyred even from the very beginning of the New Testament church, but not with the widespread sweep that started in the 2nd century.

 

THE SMYRNA CHURCH WRITES

 

I am going to read some of the letter written by the church at Smyrna, describing the death of Polycarp their faithful bishop. He has been arrested, and is standing before the forum where he is confronted with an order to worship Caesar, and renounce his faith in Christ. He replied, No, I will worship the Lord Jesus Christ. But listen to this. As Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, Oh Polycarp.” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present, heard the voice. (I wonder how the people there in that stadium felt?) Then as he was brought forward, the tumult became great, for they had heard that Polycarp was taken. As he came near, the Proconsul asked if he were Polycarp, and upon confessing that he was, the Proconsul sought to persuade him to denounce Christ saying, Have respect to thy old age, and other similar things according to their custom. Such as, Swear by the fortune of Caesar, or, Repent and say, Away with the atheists. Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance upon all the multitude of wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hands toward them, and groaning, looked up toward heaven and said, Away with the atheists. But he said it with a different motive. Then the Proconsul urging him said, Swear by Caesar and I will set you at liberty. Reproach Christ! Polycarp declared. Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King, and my Savior? I will stop reading right there, and just insert a point or two. Naturally he was condemned to death, after that statement, but just a few days before he was arrested, he had a dream which he told to other brethren. In the dream, he had seen the pillow he was sleeping on, set on fire, so he had told these brethren, the next day, I know how I will go; they will burn me. They usually fed them to the lions in the area, but by the time his sentence was passed upon him, it was late in the day. The lions had already been put away, so that opened the way for his dream to be fulfilled. One of the lower officials said, Bring in the lions. But the man in charge said, The evening events are over, and the lions are already back in their cages. That necessitated his destruction by fire, so when Polycarp became aware of it, he prayed, and welcomed the fire. At the conclusion of his prayer, the men came with the fire, and Brother! Here is a beautiful testimony of a man endowed with the grace of God. Let me read it to you. As the flame breathed forth with great fury, we to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved alive, that we might be able to report to other what took place there. The fire shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr, and he appeared within, not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread which is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Morever we perceived such a sweet odor coming from the pike, as if frankincense or some other precious spices had been smoking there. (Saints, these are the things the Lord used to speak to that bunch of heathen in those days.) At length, when those wicked men perceived his body could not be consumed by the flames, they commanded that an executioner go forth and pierce him through with a dagger. Upon doing this, there came forth a dove, (symbol of the Holy Ghost) and a great quantity of blood, (which actually gushed out in such a way that it extinguished the flames, I read in another place) and all the people wondered, that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one. Having in our times, been an apostolic prophet and teacher, and bishop of the church which is in Smyrna, every word that came forth from his mouth, either has been already, or shall yet be accomplished. This is the blessed account of Polycarp, which was the 12th that was martyred in Smyrna. Now brothers and sisters, those twelve were actually the patriarchs of the faith that had pastored the church there. They had all been martyred, and Polycarp was the twelfth one.

 

WHAT HISTORY REVEALS

 

From Polycarp’s hour, as the second age really came into full focus, this same thing began to be a universal picture. Satan still continued to pervert Christianity from within, and at the same time, from without, tried to completely destroy every individual soul that held onto a true revelation of any sort. That is exactly why the 2nd beast (the calf) corresponds to the 2nd horse rider, (red) for the blood of the saints spilled upon the ground, as they faced martyrdom for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But one thing is obvious to anyone who read these various historical records, God gave them grace to die with dignity. They would walk into those arenas with their heads held high, and with victory in their souls, being thankful that they were counted worthy to share in the sufferings of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Naturally we have to go to other sources for much of this information, for it just simply is not written in the pages of the Bible. That is why I’m so thankful that many of these historical writings have been preserved through the years of time. Otherwise there would be many questions in our minds left unexplained. Much of what we know about Christianity and its adversaries passing from that first century into the second, and also from the first church age and on into the second age was written by Irenaeus the messenger to the 2nd age. He was born near Smyrna around 130 AD., and was taught by Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John. It was from the writings of Irenaeus that I read that about Jesus being the 6th stage of God’s condescension to human form. He was telling about how schools of Christian learning were springing up in that 2nd century, and some of the things they taught about the Godhead. Anyhow that was the first I had ever heard, or read of God being as many as 6 or 7. It is hard enough in our day, to deal with these who believe Him to be 2 or 3, so I do not envy those saints of God who had to deal with such a wild spirit as that. Of course we realize that it all comes from that same spirit of perversion, but you do wonder just how anything could get so far off course, so soon after the original apostles passed from the scene. Naturally as I read some of those things, my mind went to the parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13:24-30, where he said, “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” John was dead, Paul was dead, Peter was dead, James was dead. Those old guards of the true faith were asleep in Jesus, and the enemy of God sowed his tare seed (make-believers) among the wheat, (true believers) and went his merry way. Irenaeus wrote many epistles refuting those Antichrist teachings that were springing up throughout universal Christendom and I was reading also, how he sent certain men from Smyrna all the way into France evangelizing, but Satan was on the rampage. He had already enlarged his field of tares, and true Christians were being butchered like hogs in a slaughterhouse. Some were fed to the lions, and others were burned at the stake, as the devil tried his level best to completely destroy every trace of genuine Christianity, but God always preserved seed alive even in the darkest hour of Christianity, to shoot forth on this side of the Dark Ages. Let me say this also, No matter what anyone may think when they read those words written to the church at Smyrna, that particular church had a far reaching influence upon universal Christianity, and it was because of men like Polycarp and Irenaeus that would not shun their calling of God to stand for the truth.

 

SATURDAY WORSHIP OF SUNDAY WORSHIP

 

I believe we have said about enough concerning the church at Smyrna, so let me take a few minutes to deal with another point that I believe needs some clarification in the minds of many believers. Seventh Day Adventist people are always accusing us of worshiping on the wrong day of the week, and that has caused a lot of people to ask, Bro. Jackson, just where in the scripture, does it state that we should worship on Sunday instead of Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath? Those who teach Saturday worship have what they consider two strong points of argument. First they point out that Paul went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, to preach to the Jews, and of course that would be on Saturday. But let me remind you that Paul himself said the gospel was first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles. Therefore in every city where he went, Paul always went to the Jewish synagogue where he would present the gospel to the Jewish element before going to the Gentiles. Now Brothers and Sisters, think seriously. If you wanted to speak to Jews that had gathered to worship, what day would you choose to go into their synagogue when they would all be gathered together? You say, Saturday, and that is exactly why Paul went on Saturday; that was the only thing that made any sense. Secondly, those who teach Saturday worship are quick to point out, that it was the Catholic church that made Sunday worship compulsory, and from the standpoint of history, that is exactly right; the Catholic church did do that. But now let us go into the Bible and see what is written there. First I will direct your attention to 1st Corinthians 16:1-2, where Paul is instructing that assembly concerning the collection for the poor saints as Jerusalem. He says, (1) “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. (2) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings (collections) when I come.” Now I ask you seriously, Why would they come together for worship on Saturday, and then come back again on Sunday the first day of the week, just to take up a collection? Do you see how foolish that would be? Common sense tells us they took up the collection when they came together for worship upon the first day of the week (Sunday). Would you not say so? The Christians worship day had nothing whatsoever to do with Paul’s practice of going to the Jewish synagogue on their day of worship, to speak to them. His heart was heavy for his Jewish brethren in the natural. He never ceased to be concerned for them. But let us look at another scripture now, and then I will read you something from church history. Acts 20; beginning with verse 7, is what I want to read at this time. (7) “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (This might also serve to take the time limit off of how long we are allowed to preach.) (8) And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. (They were in a building, a place of worship.) (9) And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” I read all three verses there, just so you could see that the disciples were meeting for worship, in a building, upon the first day of the week, in the early age of Christianity. It was not a practice that was started by the Catholic church; they just merely adopted it, and made it law. But to add to what we have seen in the scriptures, let me read you what Justin the martyr, of the 2nd century wrote concerning the day Christians worship. “But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world. (Referring to the first chapter of Genesis) and Jesus Christ our Savior, on the same day, rose from the dead. For he was crucified on the day before Saturn (Saturday) the Jewish Sabbath, and on the day after that of Saturn, having appeared to His apostles and disciples. He taught them these things which we have submitted to you also, for your consideration.” Justin the martyr, wrote those words in the 2nd century, but I believe it is reasonable to conclude, especially since we have actual scripture to back us up, that worshiping on Sunday was a practice carried over from the 1st century when the first apostles were still alive. In other words, they had a revelation concerning the day of worship, just like Abel did, concerning an acceptable sacrifice unto the Lord God. Therefore let me say this to you, When we have so much to base our worship practice upon, we should not be at the mercy of unrevealed people who just want to argue. I would never hold these history accounts above the scriptures, but when they agree with what I see in the scriptures, I just have to thank God for a little more confirmation.

 

PERGAMOS

 

Coming to the letter written to the church at Pergamos, we will soon realize that the conditions in their midst even in 96 A.D., typed the conditions of an evil age that would follow. What was going on in that particular church was just a very small sample of what would take place in the age it represented, for its acts and deeds would be multiplied over and over again and again. There are many disputes and contradictions, as men try to establish exact dates when the church actually passed from one age to the other. That is because of the many overlapping conditions that makes it next to impossible just to say, This age ends here, and this one starts here. According to one of the Antinicean books, the dates attributed to that 3rd church age was from 316 just before the Nicean Council was held, all the way to 606 A.D., the council was held at Nicea. All sorts of ideas about the Godhead were being taught even in the 2nd century, but as conditions among the believers really began to reach a critical point, a priest by the name of Arius began to teach his version of the Godhead, and it caused such a stir, the emperor Constantine took it upon himself to call for a council meeting to get this question settled once and for all. By this time the trinity version of the Godhead was widely accepted, but not by Arius. He combated the trinity teaching with a version of oneness that was just as bad, or even worse, for he denied the deity of Christ Jesus altogether, saying that He was just another creature made out of nothing, like all the rest of us. He did not say much about the Holy Spirit, except to deny that He was God, but his doctrine became known as Arianism, and it caused such a fuss among the ranks of what was called the church, the emperor Constantine felt that is should be straightened out by a council of bishops. Of course they adopted the trinity version of the Godhead teaching, as opposed to Arianism, for that is what was taught right on through the Dark Ages and down through the years of Reformation, and even today, it is still a strong spirit that forces a trinity version of the godhead upon people. But we do have to thank God for preserving the truth through all of that, and for allowing us to be partakers of that truth here at the end time. Catholicism, as a religious organization, did not come into being until around 500 A.D., but that old spirit was on the scene long before then. The church in that 3rd age, no longer appeared as she did in that 1st age, for the tares were in control. The messenger of God to that age, history reveals, was a man by the name of St. Martin. He was a soldier in his younger days, more or less as a career, but inwardly, he had a compassion for the plight and needs of others. Therefore as a result of the feelings of his heart, the Lord came to him, and really gave him an experience of salvation, lifting him up out of a life of sin, and making him a soldier of the cross. He became a gallant defender of the faith in his hour, and it is known that his message reached all the way into the regions of Europe. But their battle for truth was basically the same as it is in our day and hour. It is still the Spirit of truth combating that spirit of Antichrist, as it has been ever since that first church age began to be infiltrated there toward the end of the age.

 

SHARP SWORD WITH TWO EDGES

 

Let us read what the Lord instructed John to write to the church at Pergamos, the church of that 1st age, that had conditions in it that would parallel the general spiritual condition of the universal church in the 3rd church age. In Revelation 2:13, we begin reading these words. “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” Have you been paying attention to the various ways the Lord identified Himself to these seven churches? To the church of Ephesus He identified Himself as He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. To the church at Smyrna He was identified as The First and The Last, which was dead, and is alive. But to the church in Pergamos, He which hath the sharp sword with two edges. Naturally the sharp sword with two edges is the word of God, and in that hour, the word of God was being contested by something that required warfare in the spirit. Therefore it seems that the Lord portrayed Himself to each church in a symbolic way to actually express something of the spiritual condition among them. In this case they had a condition existing, that definitely required the use of that sharp two edged sword, that could cut from either direction. Notice the next statement. He said the same thing to the others also. “I know thy works.” As we said before, that has to pertain to their true works of faith, not only as individuals, but also as a unit of believers. “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” That of course is having reference to the city of Pergamos itself. The Lord saw it as a city given over to idolatry, witchcraft, devil worship, worshipers of fire, and to immorality in general, and there was the church right in the midst of all of that, just like Lot down in Sodom. Read it carefully, for the Lord is not saying that the seat of Satan is in the church. It is the city itself that is the seat of Satan. The Lord could see that Satan literally controlled that city, yet here was a church of the living God, trying to uphold truth and moral standards in the midst of all that. He went ahead saying, “Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” I imagine Pergamos was a city sort of like certain cities in California in our day. California has become a state so taken over by demonic spirits, that almost anything that one could think of in their mind, is going on there. It has, through the years, been a state where people would go to get rich, and the devil has taken it over. When we see pictures, and hear of some of the things that take place in that state, we wonder how such a place could possibly escape the wrath of God, but then we just have to realize that their cup of wrath is not full yet, but one day it will be, for I believe the prophecy, which declared that a great earthquake would hit her, and that parts of her slide into the ocean. Why? Because she has become a sanctuary for every kind of evil spirit of the devil. Homosexuals and prostitutes are in high places in that state, and even in the so-called church. Prostitutes form their unions, and use church buildings to hold their conventions.

 

 

THINGS GOD HATES

 

Brother and sisters: I am not necessarily picking on California alone, but she has been in the forefront with these conditions and since I cannot show you the city of Pergamos, I have to use illustrations so that you can understand just what Pergamos was like. You can better understand why the Lord would say, I know that you are dwelling where Satan’s seat is. Their environment did not give them any license to do wrong, but it sure did make it hard for them to stay out of trouble, for Satan was consistently trying to destroy them. One thing in particular strikes you as strange. Here was the Lord acknowledging that they held fast to His name in this particular church, and in the very age that was typed by this church, the name of Jesus became a contested issue. His deity was contested, and also whether He was a true Son of God, or just an adopted son. Nevertheless the fact that Jesus was even mentioned, that they had held fast to His name, lets us know that Satan had been doing something in the church, trying to abolish His name from among them. Actually when you read 1st John 4:1-3, you will notice that as early as 90 A.D., the name of Jesus was already under attack, and John said that it was from false prophets who had gone out into the world, being motivated by the spirit of Antichrist. Then as we have already mentioned, in that 2nd age, Christian schools were set up, and that just naturally opened a door for these false teachers who loved to get hold of young minds and pollute them. They could not accomplish anything with saints who had a genuine revelation in their bosom, but if they could get hold of their children, and feed their perverted junk into their young minds, you can easily see how tares eventually got into the church, into places of leadership. You have the same situation even today, as in every age; where children grow up in the church, take part in everything that goes on, do everything that their parents do, but many of them never have a true experience of salvation. Naturally when the older ones pass off the scene and these are left to take their places of leadership, without the Holy Ghost in them to take the lead, they have to depend upon their natural mind, in whatever function they may have in the church. Therefore if they have been taught a perverted version of the gospel, some of it is bound to come out and mix in with the truth that may still be present, but over a period of so many generations, you can just imagine what could happen, and it did happen. Satan got into the church. No, it was not the revelated believers that became heretics; it was those who were void of the Spirit of God in their lives. You can look back to Jacob and Esau, for an example of how one set of parents could produce children that God would either love or hate. Some people argue that God loves every individual, regardless of whether they are a Christian or not, and I will readily agree that God loved you before you ever became a Christian, or you would not be one, but if we are going to believe the word of God, (the Bible) then we will have to agree that there are some ungodly individuals in the world, that God hates. What I want to impress upon you though, is this. These false prophets (tares) did not attack the way Christians dress, nor whether they walked uprightly in all the Christian virtues or not; the first thing they started hacking away at, was the revelation of the Godhead. If they can destroy that, everything else is a breeze for them. Now they can never rob a person of a true revelation that has already got past the mind, and into the spirit, but it is a known fact, that whatever you hold only in your mind, can be taken away from you, no matter how true it may be. That is the reason some people are always changing their doctrine; what they have been following was only in their mind. As time passed out of the 2nd age, and into the 3rd, those men of true faith began to take on a militant attitude in their defense of the gospel. That is why Jesus identifies Himself to the church at Pergamos, as He which hath the sharp sword with two edges, Now let us realize that when the Lord speaks of the church, He is speaking of only the true believers, and not necessarily everyone who sits in the assembly. That is why after commending the believers for holding fast to His name, and for not denying the true faith, He could turn right around and say, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

 

DOCTRINE OF BALAAM

 

As we said earlier, This church had only been in existence about 40 years at the time of this letter, and they already had these two conditions among them, that actually did not hit universal Christendom until the 3rd age. It just goes to show, that some congregations are easier for tares to slip into than others. It also confirms something that other studies have revealed. That is this. Forty years of time is just about what it takes, or we will say, is all the time that is needed for any group of people to reach a peak, or point where they will either go on with great determination, or start to deteriorate. The devilish city where they were located had a lot to do with their standards of morality, for Satan was continually bombarding them with every kind of perversion that could be imagined. Sooner or later, that sort of thing will bear an influence on a congregation. The Lord said, You have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam. That means that there were people in that congregation that actually believed and upheld this doctrine of Balaam, and you really have to go back to the book of Numbers to find out what that false prophet taught. He was sent out by Balak, to prophesy against Israel, because Balak did not want the children of Israel to come through that part of the land on their way from Egypt to the promised land. For fear of what might happen if they did come that way, he hired Balaam, a false prophet, to go out and curse Israel for a sum of money. (That reminds me of a lot of these preachers in our day.) Balaam agreed to go, but he told old Balak that he would only say what the Lord put in his mouth. Therefore as it turned out, every time he opened his mouth to curse them, he would pronounce a blessing upon them. Finally he told Balak that no man could curse them, but he had some psychology that would no doubt work. Balaam himself did not stay around to carry it out, but he told Balak what to do. He knew the holy standards that God had set among His chosen people, and he also knew that somewhere these people had a weakness in them, because of where they came from, Egypt. Therefore he told Balak, Get your young people to go out and entice the children of Israel to come over and worship Baal with them. It was all done under the pretext of just having some fellowship together; you see the same thing today. Their whole religious program constituted a feast, probably an elaborate meal, much festivity, the worshiping of a deity which incorporated the decking of an altar with flowers and feasting around a sacrificial ceremony. Then came the drinking and immoral acts of sex. The children of Israel were enticed into all of this, and God let them go for a while, but then the anger of God struck the camp of Israel. You can go to the book of Numbers and read how one man came in and found two people in the act of sex, and thrust them both through with a dagger to bring an end to the whole rotten mess. Therefore the doctrine of Balaam was his revelation, his psychology. For he knew how he could bring God’s displeasure upon the people of Israel instead of a blessing. So this practice in the church at Pergamos was not something new that the devil had cooked up, it was a carryover from centuries past. Gentiles, before receiving the gospel, had always lived like that. This is why the brethren at Jerusalem gave Paul such a set of instructions concerning Gentiles that had received the gospel. In Acts 15:19 & 20 we read it. “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollution of idols and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.” Some of the brethren felt that Gentile believers should be circumcised, and commanded to keep the law of Moses, but Peter reminded them that God does not require such a yoke to be placed around the necks of Gentile believers, and reminds them of the fact that even Jews who had been raised to keep the law, could not bear such a yoke. Therefore they all finally agreed upon these very important basic instructions. Keep away from fornication, abstain from idol worship, do not eat meat that has been strangled to death, and do not drink blood. These were all things that were very common to pagans, and that is exactly what Gentiles were, before they were converted to Christianity.

 

 

FORBIDDEN DIET

 

A lot of people will ask, What about these scriptures that speak of abstaining from eating meat offered to idols, and from things that have been strangled? First of all, meat that was sacrificed unto idols, was sacrificed to that deity to atone for something in their life. In other words, they offered the life of whatever it was, in an effort to appease that deity, and the other thing is, such meat usually has not been bled; the blood is congealed within. So that takes us back to Genesis 9:3-4. After the flood, God changed the diet of the survivors to include meat, saying to them. (3) “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. (4) But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” God established this law against them eating meat with the blood still in it, and that also meant that drinking blood was forbidden, but, especially in the day of Christ and the apostles, Gentiles were doing just exactly the opposite of that. Kosher meat (Jewish) even yet today, especially in Israel, is meat that the Jewish Rabbi has presided over the preparation to make sure it is bled out properly. They make sure the jugular vein of that animal is cut so that all the blood is pumped out, and then it is hung so that it will completely bleed out. On the other side of the picture, heathen Gentiles developed a taste for blood, and took great pains to preserve it, when they killed an animal. Even recently, I saw a program on television of a tribe over in Africa, and one of the things they showed, was how they would go out, in the morning, and pierce a vein in the neck of a calf, and catch the blood in a cup. Then they would go and mix that with warm milk and drink it for breakfast, just like you might, tea or coffee. That is completely against the law of God, and so in any other form of deliberately drinking blood, or eating it in some other fashion. When those Gentile pagans would beat an animal to death, and never bleed it, but rather, let the blood remain in the animal and eat it that way, they were going contrary to a law God made before there ever was a Jewish people. That was for the whole human race. Then someone else said, What about this meat you buy in the store, that still has blood seeping out of it? That little bit of red you see in meat like that, has nothing at all to do with the heathen practices that the early apostles were concerned about. It is not that you will become contaminated by thing like that, it is simply a situation where those that deliberately do those things that cross over God’s laws, bring a curse upon themselves. You check back through the historical records of time, and you will discover that any tribe of people that has ever lived like that, has had to suffer for it, and will yet suffer for it. Of course we do not know just how far those people there in Pergamos were going, along those lines, but one thing is sure, the Lord said they had some folks in the church that held the doctrine of Balaam, and He wasn’t at all pleased with the true saints for allowing such a thing in their midst. God would withhold His blessings from such an assembly; you can be sure of that. Now that wasn’t all that the Lord had against that church, for He went ahead to say, “You also have some there, which hold the doctrine of Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Not only did they have people in their congregation that believed it was alright to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to practice this free love thing, which is fornication, they also had some that held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

 

FALSE DOCTRINE AND CONFUSION

 

The church at Ephesus had been exposed to that Nicolaitan spirit, and they hated it, and refused to give it any place, yet here is another church, founded on the teachings of the same man they were, and they have these conditions in their assembly. In other words, what was just deeds that were hated, in the Ephesus church, is an actual doctrine of some of those of Pergamos. They were already returning to their former way of life, eating meat offered to idols, and to fornication, so naturally this Nicolaitan spirit fit the occasion perfectly. Any church that is not led by the Holy Ghost, is a church where there is always confusion, and where there is confusion, there is always a variety of doctrines being taught. That part is like the chicken and the egg; it takes a revelation to know which one was first. It does fulfill an old proverb about the dog returning to its vomit, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire, though, for they were returning back to the very way of life that the gospel supposedly delivered them from. No doubt this Nicolaitan spirit was trying to set up some kind of a priestly rule in the church, to deal with situations from a natural standpoint, before the Spirit of God could speak out to give direction. Some were probably saying, What the church needs is one bishop with the authority to settle disputes, and issue decrees for all the rest to be guided by. Of course that would leave the Holy Spirit out of the picture, and set such a difference between the ministry and the laity, that eventually, it would lead to human rulership in the church, rather than spiritual leadership. Can you see why God would hate such a spirit? The Bible says He is a jealous God. He wants to lead His people. He did not want their worship services to be cut and dried, with everything preplanned, and printed up in a bulletin. In a Holy Ghost led service, you never know what is going to take place next, nor what time the service will end. But this Nicolaitan spirit will plan the whole service right down to the minutest detail, so that even to say amen, would be out of order. Can you even imagine that the apostle Paul, or John Wesley would have conducted services like that? Some of their services lasted all night, and they were not planned ahead of time, to be like that either.

 

ROMAN EMPEROR – CHURCH LEADER

 

Brothers and sisters, it is easy for us to see how a condition like this could have gotten into the church universal, in the 3rd church age, which is placed between the years 316 A.D. and 606 A.D., but what is strange, is that such a spirit could get into a local church within 40 years of its founding, to the extent that it could establish doctrine. No wonder John could write the little epistle on 90 A.D., saying, There are many Antichrists already. He could see what was happening in some of those churches already. In other words, Satan sowed seed in the latter part of that 1st age, that really began to produce a crop over in the 3rd age, some 240, or 250 years later. It was the Roman emperor Constantine, that actually opened the way for that Nicolaitan spirit to rule the church. In the year 312, on the eve of a great battle, he was supposed to have had a dream or vision, in which he saw a fiery cross in the heavens beneath which was written, “By this sign thou shalt conquer.” He interpreted that to mean, that the God of the Christians was speaking to him. In other words, If you will accept this faith, you will be victorious. He had painted the Christian emblem on the shields of his army, and into battle they went, and came out victorious. That did it for him. He granted freedom of religion in the Empire, (made a decree that added Christianity to a long list of other religions) and established Sunday as a day of worship. In the oncoming years, he took a great interest in Christianity, and that is what led up to the Nicene council. He decided that the Christian bishops should be called together, to settle this Arian controversy over the Godhead, and to formulate Christian doctrine. This actually brought about a calm, took the pressure off of the Christians that had been laboring under persecution, and truly brought about a condition that corresponded exactly to the 3rd parable of Matthew 13. The parable speaks of time when the kingdom of heaven would be like a tree, whereby the birds of the air would come and lodge in its branches. That is exactly what happened, for these was a mass conversion of pagans, that began to swell the rank of Christendom from the very moment Constantine made his decree. Naturally as more and more pagans joined the ranks of Christians, doctrinal disputes became more and more intensified, so in the year 325 A.D., Constantine summoned the Christian bishops to meet in Nicea, for the purpose of settling these doctrinal disputes, and adopting a universal doctrine for the Christian church to follow. Naturally there were a few faithful pastors in that 3rd age, who would not even consider baptizing any other way, than in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they were out-numbered, so they stayed at home, and let the others go do what they were destined to do. The trinity doctrine of the Godhead was adopted, and that sanctioned using the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of Matthew 28:19, in baptism, instead of the name of the one to whom those titles belonged, (Jesus Christ) for the remission of the sins of the flesh. I will just have to say this, no matter what some may think, Any bishop that attended that council, sat there and allowed a Roman Emperor to dictate church doctrine to them, would have to have been a tare. But that just goes to show how strong that tare force was by then. In other words, Satan got his council meeting, Satan got his church doctrine established, and that led right on into Millennial rule of darkness. Praise God, I am glad Satan’s Millennial rule is already past, and that the glorious Millennial rule of Jesus with His saints is close at hand. We will not set dates as some have, but all the signs point to His soon return. Hallelujah! Bride! Look up! The day of your redemption is closer than you may think.

 

SATAN JOINED THE CHURCH

 

We have not said much about St. Martin, the man most commonly accepted to have been the messenger of God to that 3rd age, but history reveals that he was a most gallant soldier of the cross of Christ. His ministry was filled with many outstanding miracles of various sorts, but it is recorded that he was a humble man. Even such a man though, was not afraid to stand up in the face of his enemies and oppose their evil ways. Of all the men who stood for God in that hour, his ministry seemed to be vindicated in such a way that he stood out above the others, as the messenger to the age. Even his conversion was unique. It is recorded in history that the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a vision one night, wrapped in half of Martin’s robe, that he had cut in half and shared with a poor beggar by the roadside the day before. That vision is what was supposed to have turned him to Christ. He was born right about the time that Constantine included Christianity as one of the acceptable religions that the Roman Empire would recognize. Some might think that persecution of Christians stopped when Christianity became accepted by the Roman Emperor, but you have to remember, that the devil was not converted. He joined the church to defeat true Christianity, not to defend the apostolic doctrine it held. Every tare is an agent of Satan, set in the body of Christ, to do that body exactly what a cancer does to the physical body, just eat away a little at a time. They started gnawing on the Godhead and the name of Jesus Christ in water baptism, and went right on through every major doctrine of the Bible. Those men of God like Polycarp, Irenaeus, St. Martin, and many, many more, fought that spirit of heresy with all their might, but Satan always has the majority. The ranks of the wicked have always outnumbered the ranks of the righteous, but God allowed it to be like that. For when God gets ready to move, He takes the minority and puts to flight the majority, just like He did with Gideon.

 

THUS SAITH THE POPE

 

Before dealing with the last verses of this letter to Pergamos, let me say this, These 7 literal churches did not have every condition present in them, that was actually present in the particular age they typed; however they did have conditions that revealed the presence of the spirit that would dominate that age to came later. The seven parables of Matthew 13, show the gradual breakdown of the universal kingdom of God through Satan’s deceptive devices, taking it right on through the Dark Ages, and down through the Reformation to the very day we are living in. No wonder it took a prophet messenger, in this age, to get all of Satan’s mess sorted out from among the true doctrine of the Bible. That in no way is to say that he got rid of it, but he did sort it out, and identify it, even to the highest religious order of the world. True saints once again have a true standard to follow. Where did the breakdown of the true revelation start? These 7 letters, along with some words spoken by Paul, John, and others, let us know that even in the first age, that Antichrist spirit was already working, but did not make much impact until the 2nd age. The 2nd age was marked with mass martyrdoms, while the 3rd age was given more to two doctrines, the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, both of which God Hates. There will still persecution of true believers, and martyrdom in the 3rd age, but not like it was in the 2nd age. After men like Constantine added their influence to the Christian church, the main body that was still called, the church, was ruled more by pagan practices than Christianity. The Antichrist spirit had finally succeeded in causing people to turn back to their old pagan practices. Immorality was in the church, and a spirit that put too much difference between the ministry and the laity. These things were identified in the 7 literal churches of Asia in the 1st age, and they, then became universal conditions in the various ages of time their particular condition typed. As we said earlier, What was just deeds in Smyrna, was doctrine in Pergamos. Saints, I am sure you realize that not everyone was guilty of these things; for God has always had a few true saints in every age, but these were prevailing conditions of the particular ages of time they pertained to. What we see here in the Pergamos church itself, is that they did not reject these doctrines of the devil, like the church at Ephesus did. Therefore anywhere you find a certain doctrine taught, you will always find some people following that doctrine in daily life, and therefore it is reasonable to expect that doctrines split church bodies, and so on. It was Satan’s goal to split the body of disciples, and separate the clergy from the laity, projecting the clergy into a priesthood. When that was accomplished, the priesthood would have sovereign authority over the laity, and that would completely eliminate the gifts of the Spirit of God, and there would be no more Holy Ghost led services. As this condition began to be expressed in that 3rd age, it started out more or less as a competitive rat race among the major Christian centers, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome. Each bishop, just like in denominations today, trying to outdo the others, Each one trying to get the most in Sunday School, trying to get the largest congregation, or the largest offering, and all such like. All of this was Satan’s way of eventually elevating a man somewhere, who could be lord of the whole kingdom of God. Somewhere around 500 A.D., he finally succeeded; the bishop of Rome became the one, and eventually became recognized as pope, (papa) a man who would have the last word on anything pertaining to Christianity. That all took place in the 3rd church AGE, in the years between 312 & 606 A.D., so the admonition of the Lord in Revelation 2:16, was both to the literal church in Pergamos and to the church age that corresponded to it.

 

REPENT, OR ELSE

 

Notice what the Lord says here in this verse, “Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them (Who? All who hold to these adverse doctrines and practices.) With the sword of my mouth.” Alright, so the Lord has warned them, Repent, or face the consequences. He said, “I will fight against thee, with the sword of my mouth.” As we said before, That sharp two edged sword, is the word of God, that can cut from either direction. What did He mean? How would He do that? Who would he fight against? Not the drunks, nor the gamblers, nor the thieves, nor any other of such as these, out in the world. He was ready to draw His sword, and fight against His enemies, right in the church. They were planted there by Satan. Now that did not mean that the whole congregation was made up of tares, nor did it mean that the Lord was going to cut all the tares loose from the true people of God, for that would be contrary to the 2nd parable of Matthew 13, which says that they are to grow together until harvest time. But the Lord did anoint some saints to engage in verbal combat with those religious leaders and philosophers, that had raised up within the ranks of Christendom, in that 3rd age. St. Martin was a mighty warrior with that sharp two edged sword he carried, and as we have already stated, he is commonly accepted as the star messenger to the 3rd age. But do not forget, there were others, both before and after the star messenger came on the scene, that also defended the true revelation of the word of God. Why did they fight so hard for the truth? What was their promise? We will see that, when we finish reading the letter.

 

HIDDEN MANNA – OUR DAILY DIET

 

Let us finish reading, here in verse 17, “He that had an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Now we know that the children of Israel were fed manna 40 years in the wilderness, on their journey from Egypt to the promised land. They ate manna in the morning, and quail in the evening, for 40 years. They had no potatoes; they had no carrots, no tomatoes, green beans, nor corn on the cob, but they did have all they needed to keep them alive and healthy. Is this the kind of hidden manna that the Lord was referring to? No. But that manna that came down from heaven fresh every morning, was a type of the hidden manna Jesus was speaking of here. In the 5th chapter of John’s gospel, did not Jesus say, “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: If any man eat of this bread, he shall life for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world?” Did he not say that? Was He talking about cannibalism? Those Jews thought He was. No! He was speaking of those who would feast upon His word, and drink of His Spirit, and that is exactly what this hidden manna in Revelation 2:17 is. This hidden manna is not something they are going to get when they die; it is something for us to feast upon daily, the revelation of His blessed word. It is that truth that comes from above, by the anointing and unction of the Spirit of revelation. Satan does not like it, but true saints of God will die to preserve that privilege. The sword was necessary in that 3rd age, to preserve their food supply. Have you ever wondered how Shem preserved his father’s revelation, and the other two boys that were on the same boat with them, lost it? Shem’s descendants preserved a one God revelation, while Japeth’s descendants became converted to Christianity and those philosophers among them, became tools in the hands of Satan, to attack the true doctrine, and shut off the food supply from the heavenly storehouse. Many of those true saints gave their lives in martyrdom in their efforts to keep that supply line open, and to some, it looks like they failed. But I will have you know, God has always preserved seed, in every generation. Therefore the over-comers of every age, received hidden manna while they were still alive, and secured the promise of a white stone, with their new name written in it, that no man could read, except he to whom it was given. That, my friends, is your reward after death, but the hidden manna is our necessary food supply for our remaining days in this life. The white stone is symbolic of life in immortality. So let us feast upon the hidden manna, and thank God daily for it. Let us remember also, that the race is not yet over. There will yet be other saints who will have to die a martyr’s death. You can be assured of one thing though, God will never require anything of you, without first granting you grace sufficient for it, whatever it is. If you could just read what is written in history about some of those early martyrs, you would realize they had something other than just their own human strength. Besides that, many of them even had a glow of light around them, as they faced the lions, or the fires of martyrdom. Most of us have coasted through life without any real persecution, but we have no right to expect it to be like that all the way, for there has been a great price, and Satan is still trying to destroy it.

Humanity And Deity Of Christ, Part 2 – 1982, November

1982-11-Humanity-and-Deity-of-Christ-Part-2

THE HUMANITY AND THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST IS A SUBJECT OF SUCH A VAST SCOPE, WE COULD EASILY FILL A HALF DOZEN ISSUES OF THE CONTENDER AND STILL NOT SAY ALL THAT COULD BE SAID ON THE SUBJECT, BUT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO SAY ENOUGH IN TWO ISSUES TO HELP ALL THOSE WHO LOVE TRUTH, AND DESIRE TO HAVE THEIR REVELATION LINE UP WITH THE SCRIPTURES. FAR TOO MANY WHO ACTUALLY BREAK TIES WITH DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES, JUST CARRY MOST OF THEIR TRADITIONS RIGHT ON WITH THEM WHEREVER THEY GO. IT IS LIKE SOMEONE SAID, WE HAVE COME OUT OF BABYLON, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO GET BABYLON OUT OF US. BABYLON IN THIS SENSE SPEAKS OF CONFUSION, AND THEREFORE, THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF CONFUSION IS TO LEARN THE TRUTH, SO THAT IS WHY WE FEEL LED TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE. MAYBE IT WILL GET RID OF SOME BABYLONIAN TRADITIONS THAT GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HANGING ON TO. TRUTH OR TRADITION

 

Many of you who have come in the knowledge that there is no such thing as a trinity in the Godhead, still have a tendency to lean toward extreme oneness which in most cases is just as (pic. Of John baptizing Jesus) detrimental to spiritual growth as the former. Neither trinity nor extreme oneness ever leaves any room for revelation truth to penetrate their denominational walls, simple because they already have their articles of faith written, and that is all they are going to believe. That is why we say, God is not going to revive those places; instead He is just pulling His foreknown children out of those places; so, He can deal with them apart from their former traditions. Actually all of the spiritual perversion you could ever find in the world today can be traced right back to the Catholic church. They say that tradition is the word of God. But Jesus pointed his finger at the scribes and Pharisees, and said, You teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and we know that what they were teaching was their traditions. Of course they called it the law of Moses, but what it really was, if you will examine it closely, was a little of Moses commanded, and a lot more of what they had added to it. That made it the traditions of men, rather than the word of God. Men’s interpretations of the Bible have produced hundreds of different religious organizations, or denominations in the world, but have you ever stopped to realize that if all men actually received a revelation of the scriptures there could not possibly be more than one? True revelation of the word of God will point all that receive it in the same direction. Now, How many of you actually know what I am getting at? It is simply this, Just having the same Spirit that the early church had is not enough; we have to have the same doctrines, the same motives, and the same yielding to that Spirit for leading in all the affairs of our lives. This is what holds the body of Christ together. This is how we are perfected. You will never take on any of the stature of Jesus Christ as long as you continue to make your own plans and go your own way. Therefore if you are persuaded by the scriptures that you are called to be in the bride of Christ, then let those same scriptures teach you how to be led by the Spirit, just like He was. The voice from heaven which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” did not come just merely because Jesus was baptized; it was spoken to Him because His whole life had been led by the Spirit of the Father. He did not just start letting the Spirit lead Him when He was thirty years of age, He had always been subject to that perfect will of the Father. Now some may say, How do you know that? Well, you read the message, for that is what we are dealing with, as we look at the human as well as the divine side of Jesus Christ. Humanity and Deity of Christ, Part 2, November 1982

 

HARMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES

 

We concluded part one speaking along the lines of what was involved in the apostle Paul’s statement to the Colossians when he wrote, “For in Him (Jesus Christ)dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Naturally the human mind has a tendency to look at scriptures as though God just dumped all of Himself into that little vessel of clay and left the heavens vacant. But that is not the case at all. It simply means that He was incarnated with all the fullness of the Father to fulfill His office work upon earth as prophet. He did not exercise Himself in the role of Priest, nor King, at that time, even though it was prophesied that He would fulfill every prophecy that included these offices. I think most of you understand that, but let me just say once again, he has now been exercising Himself in the High Priest’s office for almost two thousand years through this age of grace, and it is drawing nigh to the time when He will come back to earth as King of kings. But there was no way for Him to fulfill every prophecy that was spoken of Him, all at the same time. In studying the scriptures, what we really need is an understanding of the various writers, and especially so in the New Testament, for God did not write these various epistles on the wall so they could just copy it down; He impressed their minds, but they had to use their own words and terms to describe what they saw in the Spirit. That is why we find terminology in some epistles that we do not find in others; it is because of the difference in the makeup of the writers. But there is one thing we can depend upon; they all had the same doctrine. You will not find anything in Peter’s teaching, that is contrary to what Paul taught, nor any of the others. But you will find that they each had their own way of expressing what they believed concerning the common faith. Now the Old Testament prophets spoke, “Thus saith the Lord,” by the unction of the Spirit that was upon them, which was quite different than what we read in the New Testament epistles, but we still have to realize that God did not cause them to speak words that were foreign to their own particular dialect and terminology. That would have created confusion, and it has never been the will of God for His people to be confused. It is only what carnal minded men do with the word of the Lord, that causes confusion. They get their minds upon one particular thing, and read right over many of the great details that actually put the picture together. Just like we said in part one. The Catholics teach that Jesus (as a boy growing up) was out creating birds and so forth, but if they would read the scriptures closely, they would discover that His first miracle was when He turned the water into wine, at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. I know that there are a lot of people who do not want to hear this, but it is the truth anyhow. Like I have said already in this message, If we have a genuine revelation of the scriptures, ourselves, we do not have to be afraid to speak the truth, for God Himself will vindicate it in due season.

 

BORN AGAIN

 

Let me go now, to the 3 chapter of John’s gospel, where we will pick up the testimony of John the rd Baptist, concerning Jesus the Christ whom he had recently baptized. In the first half of this chapter we read where Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus at night for fear of being seen by persons he did not want to know what he was doing. But in the conversation with him, we find Jesus using a term that has become so very common in our day, “born again.” Many people think a person is born again just by shaking a preacher’s hand, and becoming a member of their organization, but that is a far cry from what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” It takes a son of God, or a daughter of God to see the kingdom of God, for it is a spiritual kingdom, and just merely joining some man made organization does not qualify you. As we have said many times, To be born again is to be baptized into the body of Christ, and this is the very act that seals a person into that body and gives them the eternal security that so many people fight so hard against. That is the reason Jesus went ahead and said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” simply because that is what puts us into that great spiritual kingdom. Everyone likes to use verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” But it seems that so very few people who quote that verse, actually have a spiritual revelation of the depth of those words. Just merely believing Bible stories about Jesus will never gain you that promised everlasting life. You have to get it the same way those three thousand Jews in Acts 2, got it, by believing with the heart and obeying from the heart. Verse 19, lets us see where the real key to Bible salvation lies, for unless we recognize and follow that light, we remain in our sins condemned and unclean. Notice, “And this is the condemnation, that LIGHT is come into the world, (That light was in Jesus,) and men loved darkness rather than light, (why?) Because their deeds were evil.” Our deeds were evil because of an inherited nature to sin, but all who recognize and follow that true light, have their nature changed so that their deeds are no longer evil, but righteous. Actually though, if you would go to the Greek, and check this particular usage of the word evil, you would find that in this case, it applies only to those who are beyond all hope of believing, those ungodly men who actually hate God. That is what Jesus was saying in verse 20 and 21. But now we want to pick up verse 22, where the setting changes, and hear what John the Baptist had to say about this one he was sent to forerun and introduce to the nation of Israel.

 

THE SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE

 

Jesus is no longer in Jerusalem where He encountered Nicodemus, for verse 22 says, “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them; and baptized. And John (the Baptist) also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: (All of those people wanted enough water to bury those who came for baptism, for the Catholic’s had not yet come into the picture with their sprinkling.) And they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” In other words, some of those fellows who had failed to catch a revelation of what was taking place were still hanging onto John. That would be just about the same thing as trying to be a good Baptist after having received a revelation of the Godhead and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When John introduced Jesus, the spiritual one’s left John to follow Jesus. That is as it should be, for God expects us to follow all the truth we have. If we try to lag behind, we will always be in some kind of squabble, just like these disciples of John. “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, (They are referring to the baptism of Jesus, and the phenomena that followed it.) To whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” What they said makes it sound like they were really feeling sorry for John, because the large crowd that once followed him was now following Jesus. From a human standpoint you can see how they must have felt, at least they ought to give John a little credit for what he has been doing, John did not feel like that though, for notice verse 27, “ John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.” John knew that it was the will of God for those who had followed him, to follow Christ (the anointed One) when He had introduced Him, so this did not disturb John at all, at least not at this time, for he went ahead to say, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” In other words, the best man is happy, because the groom is happy about getting a wife. John’s terminology fits the occasion perfectly, and John is happy, because he knows he is on the right track, and doing the right thing. He knows that he is to fade out of the picture and allow the one he was sent to introduce to get the attention of the people, so he goes ahead speaking, and says, “He that cometh from above is above all.” Now, Brothers and sisters: This is really the verse we have been building up to. All these others were just for a background setting, to allow you to see why John made such a statement. But the statement itself is what falls right into the scope of what we are dealing with in this message on the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ. Because of the many statements like this, made by Jesus and others, a lot of people have the idea that Jesus, the flesh Son of God, had a former existence with the Father, and then left that place somewhere in the heavens, to come down to earth to suffer and die for the sins of lost mankind. I hope we are able to convince you, from the scriptures, that all such thinking is strictly man’s ideas, and certainly not revelation from the scriptures. Therefore let me say it once again, That human physical body of a man, that walked out into the water, and was baptized by John, did not come down from heaven any more than any other fleshly body. It was made of the very same elements of the earth that your body, and my body are made of. Is that understood? It was the life of that body that came down from above. We are dealing with two different substances, one flesh, and the other spirit, so it is the spirit which is the life of that body that came down from heaven, and John knows that, so listen to him. “He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measures unto Him.” The Father in Him has opened up an unlimited flow of revelation and authority and He is now a walking voice that the omnipresent Spirit is speaking to man through. When John said, He is testifying of all that He has seen and heard, it simply meant that whatever the Spirit of the Father in Him desired for men to hear, that He spoke, for He was completely one with the Father., Therefore that which He spake was the true unadulterated word of God, and there would never be any need for anything that He spoke to be changed, nor ignored. Let me read that 34th verse again. “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” As we read the New Testament we are made aware of the fact that what we receive as a seal, to seal us in the family of God until the day of our redemption, is a measure of the same Spirit that Jesus Christ had without measure. The Holy Ghost we receive is the same Spirit that was in Him, but just not in the same measure. That is the earnest, or first installment of our promised inheritance. But it is more than sufficient to enable us to overcome all the forces of evil that are forever trying to destroy us. In one place Jesus said, “As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.” How did the Father send Him? By getting inside of Him. That is the very same way Jesus sends us out into a lost and dying world of sinful mankind with a message of redemption. By getting inside of us. When He sends us he will do the talking, and we will never have to arm wrestle anyone to an altar to pray. What man needs to realize, is that the efforts of our fleshly zeal are vain, as far as having any spiritual benefit. God does not need our help as some people foolishly claim, for surely we ought to realize that a God who could create by His own word, would not have to depend upon that which He had created, to the extent that He would be helpless if we fail to do certain things. He allows His redeemed children to be partakers of His great work of redemption, but that is a privilege for us, and it is by His own choice, and if we fail to do what we have opportunity to do, that will not defeat the plan and purpose of God, for He will just get someone else. These feelings of desperation are prompted by those who try to serve God without a revelation of His word. We know assuredly that this apostolic revelation did not originate in a theological seminary, and we should know by now that God is not working through those schools of religious theology to straighten out the mess that Gentiles have made trying to teach His word. It is being straightened up by the Holy Ghost working through some men who will no try to run ahead of Him in an effort to make a name for themselves. Yes, Even though we only have the Spirit by measure, that measure is all we need in order for God to give us a revelation and work through our lives for the benefit of other hungry souls.

 

PERFECT LOVE IN ACTION

 

Let us continue reading here in John 3:35, where John is bearing witness to the fact that God’s only begotten Son had received the Spirit without measure, therefore he says, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” As we have already stated, that simply meant that all things pertaining to the redemption of lost mankind had been committed unto Him. Verse 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John knew that everything they had been doing through the Law age was coming to a close. All those sacrifices and religious observances had been pointing to the very One that God had sent him to introduce. Therefore anyone who would come to God from this time on would have to come to Him through this Son, and those who refused and rejected Him would have no part in the eternal life He would impart to those who believed. That is the reason the apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:27, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” From now on this is the only name that God will recognize. Why? Simply because the name JESUS is a compound name that identifies God with His people. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” In Acts 4:10-12, we find Peter speaking under the anointing of the Spirit to the elders and rulers of Israel, and saying, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. (This was the lame man that lay at the gate of the temple daily, begging.) This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (Speaking of Jesus) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Is that not exactly what John the Baptist was saying as he stood there that day with a bunch of Jewish religious leaders listening? Those Scribes and Pharisees could only see Jesus as Joseph the carpenter’s son, but to those who believed Him to be the Son of God, was granted everlasting life. I have heard people (and you have too) with the same spirit on them that was on those Scribes and Pharisees, say, I do not see how anyone could believe that Jesus was God, when the Bible plainly states that He was the Son of God. You see, they are without revelation. They believe that Jesus is the second person of a trinity. They cannot catch the true revelation from scriptures that serve as keys to this great revelation of the Godhead. Take John 14:26, where Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, and read it with John 17:6, where Jesus was praying to the Father, and notice what the redemption name of God the Father is. He says, I have manifested THY NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” In other words, in one place you will find Jesus saying, It is my name, and then in another place He says, it is the Father’s name. So I ask you, Which is it? Is He confused? Should we be confused? Absolutely not. We should simply recognize the compound quality and scope of that name, and realize that the flesh man to which this name was given, was a walking, talking vessel in which the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God of all creation walked among His people. Those Scribes and Pharisees could not see Him as the anointed Messiah, the incarnate God, the Son of God, the perfect man upon whom was laid all the sins and iniquities of the whole human race, but, Praise God! There, were some that did. Hallelujah! He carried that old cross up Calvary’s hill, hung there on it, and died like any man would, but on the 3 day, He arose from that tomb of death, in the rd power and authority of the eternal God of all ages. Did He not say, No man taketh my life, I lay it down? Brother, when the hour arrived for that obedient Son of God to die like a lamb, then brother, He could not rely on those deity powers, He laid them aside and submitted unto death willingly, but not without some human feelings. Yes it is true, He could have called angels of heaven to save Him, but then, He would have ceased to be that perfect and obedient Son that had a mission to accomplish, and we would all still be lost in our sins, and without hope of salvation. When you read John 3:16, the next time, do not look at it from the standpoint that the Father as a person, sent His Son to give His life a ransom for man’s sins, simply because the Father loved us. You should also see the love of the Son of God who willingly took upon Himself our sins and our iniquities, that we might be set free and enter into the joy of eternal life. Now in 1 Corinthians 15:56, Paul said, “The sting of death is sin,” and Jesus had no sin of His own, but when He went to that old cross He had the weight of all the sins of the whole world upon Him, so you can believe me; It was an act of love on His part, love for the Father, and love for those whom the Father had given Him out of the world.

 

TWO MINDS—- BUT ONLY ONE SPIRIT

 

Now let us go to John 5:17, where we find Jesus Himself doing the talking. He had healed a man on the Sabbath day, and in verse 16, we read, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” It looked to them like He was just deliberately trying to cause trouble. It seemed that just about everything He did was just the opposite of what they expected out of the Messiah of the Jews. They looked for the Messiah that was to come, but they sure never expected Him to act like this man did. Jesus knew full well, that He was fulfilling everything that their Sabbath, and their sacrifices and holy days pointed to, but to them, it was a reproach. They thought the world would be better off without such a troublemaker as this, so they tried to kill Him. That same spirit is present in denominational religion yet today. You just let some fellow stand up and preach something that is a little contrary to their hand-me-down traditions, and they will cry out, Get him out of here; we don’t need that kind of preaching around here. They will say, That is of the devil, simply because it is contrary to their traditions, even if he is the most Holy Ghost anointed man that has ever walked in shoe leather this side of the Dark Ages. Brothers and Sisters: That is why you have heard me say, Do not be too quick to call something of the devil, just because you have never heard it before. W e are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before. We are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before, but you can count on this one thing, No man that is anointed of God to speak on His behalf will ever speak anything that will be contrary to what God has inspired other men to speak, and He will never go contrary to His written word. I will say this though, You will certainly have to have the Holy Ghost yourself to be able to know what is Thus saith the Lord. Those scribes and Pharisees could not recognize who Jesus was, because they had the wrong spirit, therefore they sought to slay Him, and get Him out of their way. But notice here in verse 17, what Jesus says to them. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” Now what did He mean by a remark like that? My Father is showing me something to do, and I am doing it. That is the best I can explain it, for the Father was in Him, showing Him to do these things. He never did just go around looking for something to do. Everything He did was something that was designed by the Father to accomplish a specific purpose. That is why He could say, It is not I that do these works, yet He could turn right around and speak of the works that the Father had given Him to do, saying, “That I do”. All through the gospels we will find Jesus speaking in such a way that the natural mind cannot receive it, for in one place He will speak as the Son of God, and then turn right around and speak something as though He were the Father. In other words, As the Son, He would say, I will pray the Father, and He will do so and so. Then He would say something like, Ask what you will, and I will do it. Do you see the difference? One is from the human side, and the other from the divine Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, yet both statements came out of the same mouth, and by the use of one set of vocal cords. Alright now, verse 18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” To those pious Jews that sounded like blasphemy, but are we not encouraged by the apostle Paul to think the same way? Notice Philippians 2:5-8, “ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” What form was he referring to? Spirit form of course. He was a true, sinless Son of God, and of the same substance as the Father. You have to look beyond the flesh to see that, for the Father did not Himself have a fleshly body to make the Son like unto. So Paul says that, being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but what did he say next? “But made Himself of no reputation; and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” That shows He did not come to be a King at that time, or He would not have assumed the role of a humble servant. Instead of riding white horses as a kingly type would do, He chose to be a servant to lost mankind. In other words, He never used any of the deity power and authority for Himself, it was always to portray the Father to the sea of lost humanity around Him. “And being found as a man, He humbled Himself, and because obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY

 

Now to those who always say, If Jesus had been God, He could not have died, let me say this. When you speak of death, what are you thinking of? The death that Paul was speaking of is simply a time when the Spirit of life leaves the body of flesh. The moment this occurs, the body is dead, for the spirit is the life of the flesh. The part of Him that was God could not die any more than that part of you and me could die. When we receive the Holy Ghost, we have something within us that can never die, our spirit. But I can promise you this, If time stands long enough, that eternal spirit of life will withdraw itself from our old bodies of clay for a season, and that fleshly body will be dead, and rot, and return back to the elements from which it came, and remain so until time for the resurrection of those who died with the hope of Christ in them. That brings us to Romans 8:11, where Paul said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Naturally those who do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them when they come to the hour of death, will have to remain in the earth until after the Millennium, when the wicked dead are raised up, and judged, at the great white throne judgement of Revelation 20:11. There is where the term, the second death, is applied, for all the righteous ones that are rejoined to their bodies in the resurrection before the Millennium, will never be separated from them again. Our resurrected bodies will be given immortality. That simply means that they are no longer death doomed. The spirit of life will never leave them again.

 

THE EYES OF THE FATHER

 

Let us return to the 5 chapter of John now, where in verse 19, we find Jesus speaking these words, th “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” This is a confirmation of the fact that before His baptism, He never did perform any miracles, for that is when the Father incarnated Him. From that time on, the Father would show Him a vision of what He should do. That is why He could say, What the Son seeth the Father do, He does likewise. That is how He saw Nathaniel sitting under the fig tree, a far distance away. The natural eye of the Son was limited to a certain distance of straight vision, just like the rest of us, but you have all read the account there in the 1 chapter of John, where, after Jesus had called Philip to follow Him, Philip st went to find Nathaniel, and said unto him, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” Nathaniel replied, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? (That little town did not have a very good reputation in those days.) Philip said unto him, Come and see.” As they approached Jesus, He said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!” (No deceit) That startled old Nathaniel, and he said, “Whence knowest thou me?” (We would say, How did you know me?) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee.” How did He see him? It wasn’t with natural vision or Nathaniel would not have responded as he did. It was by a vision of the Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, and Nathaniel knew that he was standing in the presence of someone that was not just another man. He recognized the source of what had been displayed, and answered Jesus, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Nathaniel received a quick revelation. Not only that Jesus was the Son of God, but that He was the King that all Israel had waited for, even though His role as King would be more than two thousand years off yet. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” What did He mean by that? What greater things was He speaking of? This same Spirit that had manifested this through the only begotten Son of God would one day dwell in some other sons, redeemed sons, and manifest the same things through many sons that was at that time being manifested through only one. Furthermore, I believe what He said about the angels of God ascending and descending, give more proof of the fact that angelic beings work in the realm of the spirit, executing the divine plan of God among mankind. But above all that we could see, or say about the depths of such a statement, Nathaniel as well as the rest would see greater things than this, manifested through Jesus a little later on. Was it not a greater thing, when He took a little boys lunch and multiplied it to feed thousands of hungry souls that had been following them for days without eating? Was it not a greater thing when He defied the law of gravity, and walked upon the water? I believe so.

 

AUTHORITY RELEASES POWER

 

In verse 20, of John 5, Jesus says, “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (He is speaking of spiritual quickening in this particular instance, for He has been invested with the authority to do so.) “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: (Brother and Sister: As we study the three judgements of God, the judgement seat of Christ where saints are judged for rewards, the judgement of the nations where Millennial subjects are chosen, and the judgement of the great white throne where all ungodly mankind is judged and condemned to final destruction, that is exactly how it is; Jesus is in control of the judging.) That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” You have to realize He was speaking to Jews that had always been accustomed to worshiping the great eternal Spirit. (The Father) and only Him, for that was according to the commandments, but notice what Jesus says in that next verse; things are going to be different from now on. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This passing from spiritual death unto spiritual life is the quickening that He was referring to in verse 21, so notice verse 25 now. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” (They will come alive with and through a revelation of what God is doing through His only begotten Son.) “For as the Father hath life in Himself; (He is the source and fountain of all life) so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” We need to pay close attention to this word AUTHORITY, for many times the word POWER, is used, when actually it should be rendered authority. It just makes good spiritual sense to realize that if the very Son of God could do nothing except by the authority of the Father, then no other one has any supernatural power other than what is hinged upon the authority of the Father. You say, What about the devil and his gang? Well, what about them? Those demons that serve the purpose of Satan, are actually serving a purpose of God while they are doing what they are doing, and they cannot do any more than what God allows them to do. God has authorized them to deceive people who have no love for the truth. God has authorized them to chasten the flesh of those who go astray from the right path. Surely you must realize by now, There is no power but of God, for He has created everything there is. Satan has perverted God’s creation, but even that was allowed by God the Father who knew that it would happen even before He ever created the first angel or anything else. There are no surprises with God, he already knows about every idle remark that you will ever make in your whole lifetime, and He has already purposed to forgive you when you repent of it.

 

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES

 

In verse 28, Jesus finally comes to the resurrection of the bodies of those who have suffered physical death for one reason or another. Listen to Him. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; (all these will be raised in the three phases of the first resurrection, before the Millennium) and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (These will be raised and judged, after the Millennium, and cast into the lake of fire.) I can of mine own self do nothing: (This is the Son speaking.) As I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Just as Jesus always did that which He knew to be the will of the Father, so should we likewise endeavor to do the will of the Father in all things. That is the reason the apostle Paul said, Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) He was dealing with the problem some of them were having about eating meat that had been offered to idols when he said that, but it simply means that we should examine everything we do, say, or allow, in the light of the scriptures, and be fully persuaded in our minds that we are not going contrary to the will of God. Our love for Jesus is tested by whether we keep His commandments or not, and His commandments are the commandments of the Father. Now let us skip down to verse 36, where He again confirms the fact that what He does is what the Father has sent Him to do. “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” Please notice that the word works, appears in the verse we have just read. That speaks of all the miracles He would perform during the entire 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry, from the time right after His baptism when He turned the water into wine up to the time after His resurrection, when He already had the fish on the fire to feed His hungry disciples that had fished all night. Every one of those miracles were performed at the will of the Father who desired to bear witness to the fact that He was the very God of creation, and therefore could do with that creation any thing that He purposed to do. The natural man Jesus, was not put here on earth to walk on water, nor to turn water to wine, nor to raise the dead, nor any other of the miracles that were performed during His ministry, except to bear witness of the Father that was in Him, and that the Father in Him might bear witness of the Son, for everyone knew that only God could do those things. Verse 37, “And the Father Himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. (Notice this) ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.” (An omnipresent Spirit does not have a shape.) John the Baptist, one day when he was preaching, said, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” It is written in the scriptures, that Moses was allowed to see the hinder part of God, but certainly we all know that what Moses saw was not the permanent form of the eternal God which is Spirit.

 

WHAT DID MOSES SEE?

 

That was only a temporary manifestation of His presence, to convey a message to an earthly recipient. Now in verse 38, notice what He (Jesus) said to those Jewish religious leaders who thought they were the only ones who had the word of God. “And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believeth not.” This next verse is one that has been long debated by many, but its meaning is very clear, for Jesus is speaking to men who pride themselves upon the fact that they know the law of Moses. You could compare them to a lot of people in our day that take such delight in being able to quote scripture, chapter after chapter, without ever missing a word, so let us hear what He said to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Now allow Me to paraphrase that verse for you. Go back and search the scriptures, for if you truly understood those scriptures you trust in, you would surely recognize me, for I am the one they are pointing you to. The types and shadows throughout the Old Testament continually pointed forward to the time they were then living in, and they failed to recognize what they had been looking for, when it came walking down the road. Do you know why? Simply because He did not come like they wanted Him to. It is the same with people who seek the Holy Ghost year after year. They have a picture in their mind of how they should receive, and they will not settle for anything else. If they believe they can only receive by speaking in tongues while lying under a pew somewhere, they will run to every prayer line they can get to, always looking for that particular experience, and God is not obligated to fill any such order as that. If you want the Holy Ghost, you just obey the word of God from your heart, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and God will do the rest . He will give you the Holy Ghost, but the manifestation will be according to His choosing. Those Jews wanted their Messiah to come riding a great white horse, smiting their enemies with a sword, and solving all their problems; therefore when He came riding in on a donkey one day, those theologians knew immediately that He was not what they were looking for, so they just waited for the right opportunity to get Him out of the way forever. But their scheme backfired on them; He didn’t stay in that tomb. Three days later, He was right back with His disciples. He was raised by the power of the very same Spirit that caused the waters of the Red Sea to open up, so Moses could lead the people of Israel across the dry ground.

 

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS CHRIST?

 

Denominational people through the years have pictured what they refer to as God the Father as an old white haired man, with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up in heaven, with His Son Jesus sitting upon another throne at His right side. Is that not right? Most of you have come out of those systems just like we did, and you know what I am talking about. But, Hallelujah! We now know that the Father is a Spirit, and had never had any permanent form, yet He had manifested Himself in theophany form on various occasions through time, like in Genesis chapter 18, where He appeared to Abraham in the form of a man. But Jesus the Christ is the only man that He ever incarnated to demonstrate His power, His nature, and His purpose and through which He would reveal His redemption name, His word and His works. No wonder Paul wrote what he did to Timothy, concerning Jesus Christ whom he had come to know personally after being struck down on the road to Damascus where he was going, to persecute Christians. Listen while I read a few verses starting in 1 Timothy 6:13, “ I give thee charge st in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, (you can read the prior verses to get the commandment.) unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in His (Jesus) times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; ( Jesus) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; (Now that light which no man can approach unto is the present Spirit which is the Father) whom no man hath seen, NOR CAN SEE: ( You cannot see a Spirit) to whom be honor and power everlasting.” John said, “In Him was life; (eternal life) and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” All those religious Jews could see, was the son of a man named Joseph, claiming himself to be the Son of God, and it so provoked them, there was no possible way for them to see that light of the Father radiating from Him. Just about 90 percent of the time, He was doing things contrary to what they believed, and I will say this, If Jesus Christ came walking into our present day society, as He did that Jewish society, two thousand years ago; almost everything He would do, would be contrary to modern day church formalities, simply because church formalities are mostly just a bunch of manmade traditions, like theirs were. Those first century Jews were privileged to have the very God of all creation walk with them, and talk with them, and they were so wrapped up in traditions, they called Him a devil. He gave sight to a blind man on the Sabbath day, and the Jews said. “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day.” The blind man that was healed, said to them, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing.” Do you know what they said to him? You were altogether born in sins, and now you are trying to teach us. So they cast him out. They did not want to hear such talk. Now it was the natural hands of Jesus that anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, but it was done by the authority of the invisible Spirit of the Father that dwelled in Him. On the other hand, when He kneeled there in the garden to pray before Judas betrayed Him, that was not the mind of the Father that cried out, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” That was the mind and emotions of the Son, reacting to what He could see just ahead. He had all the physical senses, nerves and emotions in His human makeup that any other human has; therefore He could react to death as any man would.

 

SCRIPTURE BEING FULFILLED

 

Let us go the 10 chapter of John’s Gospel, and notice verse 15, where Jesus is speaking of a certain th relationship between Himself and the Father. “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus is actually saying to them, I am going to have to give my life. Naturally that statement came from the mind of the Son, for as we said earlier, The Father dwelling in Him could not die. It simply means that the spirit of life in the Son will leave the body of flesh, and the body will be as dead as any other body that the spirit of life goes out of. From the standpoint of the Spirit substance of Jesus Christ, you need to realize that there were not two spirits in Him, for that which was the Father was so blended with that which was the Son, that as far as Spirit substance, they are only one Spirit, yet we do have to remember that there was two minds involved. But even though there was two minds involved, they were in such perfect unity, they operated as one. Brothers and sisters: I know this is hard for us to visualize with our natural mind, for we were all born in sin, and we all had a mind of our own, that we exercised to do our own will, but I want you to know for sure, that God is going to have some people upon this earth, and I believe it will be in our generation, that will take on the mind of Jesus Christ and be subject to all the will of God just like He was. The Bible tells us that He is going to present to Himself a glorious church, that will be without spot, or wrinkle, and that will be holy and without blemish. Brother, let me tell you something, That church will not be any of the denominational churches of this world; it will be one universal body of believers that has cast off all their denominational traditions, and allowed the Holy Ghost to wash them clean with the waters of the pure unadulterated word of God. Naturally Jesus was speaking to Jews when He said , I lay down my life for the sheep; so when He said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd,” that included us Gentiles, which before then were without God, and without hope in the world. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it (His life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (authority) to lay it down, and I have power (authority) to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Now what this really boils down to, is that He has this authority of revelation from the Father, but He will not go through with it until the mind of the Father says, Now is the time. He knew exactly when to go up to Jerusalem for this occasion, and He knew exactly how to present Himself. As the time approached for these things to be fulfilled, Jesus left Galilee with His disciples, to journey to Jerusalem. He went through every town and village along the way, preaching the gospel, and healing the sick, during which time, He told His disciples, The Son of man goeth to Jerusalem, and shall be delivered into the hands of wicked men, or cruel men, and shall suffer many things, and be crucified, and on the 3 day He shall arise from the dead. Then He told them, I will meet rd you in Galilee. Why was He talking like that? Because the mind of the Father, which is omniscient, is causing all the scriptures that foretold this event, to become activated. This is what made Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. As long as those prophecies were just on paper, that is all they wee; but once they were spoken from a mind that had been invested with a pure revelation, and authority to speak them, they became the living Word. From the human side, the Son knew full well that He was speaking like this, because He had been invested with the full understanding from the mind of the Father, of these things, and He was completely yielded to the mind of the Father, so He did not speak out of turn, nor speak amiss. Therefore as the mind of the Father flowed into, or through Him, that is what made Him the living Word of God. To the average Jew standing there, what Jesus said just set his head in a spin. His mind became so clouded with questions and confusion, he could not catch a thing Jesus said, so notice verse 19. “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad, why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” He was speaking truth, but it was contrary to their traditional ways, so all they could think of was, He has a devil in him; why do you even listen to what he is saying? It is no different today, You let a man get anointed by the Holy Ghost, and start preaching revealed truth from the word of God, and you will hear those very same words spoken, that were heard that day. Natural minded men will always speak evil of that which they do not understand, in the realm of religion. But there were some others listening to Jesus that day. Maybe they did not claim to know very much themselves, but they could recognize that this man was speaking with authority. He sounded like a man that knew what He was talking about. Furthermore, what devil could restore sight to eyes that were blind?

 

THE SPIRITUAL REALITY OF BEING ONE

 

Now go with me back to the 14 chapter of John. This time, we will start with verse 1, where Jesus is th speaking to His disciples as He approaches the closing weeks of His earthly ministry. “Let not your heart be troubled; (He was speaking to Jews, and the Jews had always believed in God. They believed that He was a Spirit that could come upon men like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and men like that, and they also believed that He would be upon their Messiah when He came, but they had their own interpretations of the scriptures that gave them such a promise, and the plain truth of the matter is, What they thought He would do, and what He actually did, were almost completely opposite. Even His disciples still had a lot of those old Jewish ideas in the back of their mind, so that is why He spoke to them as He did.) ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself: that where I am, t here ye may be also.” Oh how you hear this passage of scripture used at almost every Gentile funeral. They speak of it as though they believe God actually lives in a house. Brother! Listen to me! God is a spirit. He doesn’t need a house. Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool. God’s house is His true people; He dwells in them. A child of God could get into a space vehicle, and travel a million light years into space, but, do you know what? God would still be right there in Him. This earth is only a very small speck in God’s domain. That man out there in space could say, God, Do you see me now? The answer would be, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.” Bro. Jackson: If God is a Spirit, how can He have eyes and ears? Saints: these words were written to humans that need to hear something they can identify with. That is the very thing we are dealing with here in John 14:1-3. David also said in Psalms 34:16, “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth,” but that does not give God a face in the sense that you and I think of a face. It is simply an expression that declares a fact, and allows our human mind to grasp what is meant. When Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you, He could just as well have said, I am going to intercede for you, that you may have a portion of the same substance that I am, that I have of the Father. For He is in me, and I in Him, and I will prepare the way for you to be as I am with the Father. That place is prepared for us, but I can tell you for sure, It is not a great mansion in the heavens, or as some might say, next door to Jesus. That is a carnal picture of a beautiful spiritual reality. He has prepared the way for us to have a place in His Father’s great domain, free of sin, and of spiritual darkness. Through His intercession, we are reconciled back to that great eternal Spirit, so that we can have a spiritual dwelling place in the domain of Him who fills all of His creation. One day, when redemption is completed, every redeemed child of God will walk the face of this earth in a body that is immortal. In that day, every one will be invested with all the eternal authority and glory of the indwelling Father. God will again be in all His people in the fulness of Himself. In that day, there will be no need for the sun, nor the moon, for the glory of God will be the light that shines so bright, the sun and the moon cannot be seen, but they will still be there. They were out there before Adam and Eve ever sinned, and God is in the process of redeeming the earth back to what it once was. That is when Jesus will take his place at the head of the family, as our elder brother. But for the present time, He is still active in His intercessor’s office, interceding for all those that God foreknew from before the foundation of the world. That is the reason he could say, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The Father and the Son were of the same substance on the Spirit side; therefore when redemption is completed, and we are blended (by His Spirit) into that same substance, then, what Jesus said in John 17, will be a completed reality. The Father in Him, and He in the Father, and all the redeemed children of God in Him, and all blended into the same Spirit substance that the Father is; that is what makes it like that. When He said, “That where I am, there ye may be also,” it actually has a compound meaning. He is truly coming again to catch us away from this old earth for a little while, but the spiritual depth of His statement pertained to the completed mediatorial work that makes us all of one Spirit. He went ahead to say, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” But Thomas, one of His disciples evidently thought He was speaking of a journey around the world, or something like that, and he said, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Now I ask you, Saints, Is Jesus speaking of a literal trail that a person could follow? Of course not. These are parabolic, spiritual terms, that He is using. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” What is the Father? He is a Spirit, What is the Son? He is a spirit also, but He has a physical body, and when the Spirit which is the Father, actually incarnated the physical body of the Son, the Spirit of the Father, and the spirit of the Son became blended into one Spirit; therefore there will come a day, when because of the shed blood of the Son, and His mediatorial work since then, that same Spirit will blend into every individual one of His redeemed children, and that will complete the process that makes us all one in Jesus Christ, and one with the Father. You just simply have to clear your head of all natural interpretations of these scriptures, in order to truly see the beautiful reality, and spiritual benefit of them.

 

THE SON DISPLAYING THE FATHER

 

The Father is the source of all intelligence, and authority, and He has invested in the Son those same attributes, so that when Jesus the Son walked among men upon earth, they could see the Father. He went about demonstrating, or displaying the Father for all humanity to see. Therefore He became the way, the gateway to the Father. We can only see God in the fulness of His love, power, and authority, as our eyes are opened to see Him through the Son. Just imagine what He did in only 3 ½ short years upon earth, exemplifying the attributes of the Father. After John recorded just so many of the acts and deeds of Jesus, he concluded by saying, “There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be recorded every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” We could read every verse here, but there is one particular verse we want to call attention to, verse 11. Maybe we should read verse 10, first, because the disciples were still baffled by His terminology. Philip even said, “ Lord, show us the Father, and it will be sufficient.” But Jesus simply told them, that he that had seen Him, had seen the Father, and in verse 10, we read these words. “Believeth thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” They were looking at Him strictly as a flesh and blood man standing there with them, but Jesus wanted them to look beyond the flesh, and see the actual life of that flesh. Not only were His words in the words of the Father which dwelled in Him, but even all the works that He had been doing among them were the works of the Father. Then to further emphasize His position. He said to them, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.” You see, that was just backing up His previous statement. In other words, He could have just said it like this, You have seen me walk upon the water, and certainly you should know that a thing like that is not normal for a man to do. Only He who has all authority could defy His own law of gravity like that. You have seen me feed five thousand men besides the women and children with five little loaves, and two small fishes. Could not only the Father of all creation do a thing like that? Now I will admit, I used to think that little boy had been to the grocery, and was coming home with an armload of bread and fish, and just caught up in that huge crowd of people, but that was not a true picture at all. That little boy had just brought a little lunch along with him when he came out to hear Jesus, something the others had failed to do. But I am fully persuaded that this was all in the plan of God from the very beginning, for He had purposed to show Himself to lost mankind through His only begotten Son Jesus, which was the Christ. I can just visualize this scene out there on a hillside overlooking the sea of Galilee. Here stood 12 disciples of Jesus, 10 of them holding half of a little loaf of bread which was probably not much larger then a hot dog bun, and the other 2 each had a little fish in their hands. Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed a short prayer of blessing upon that food, and then He looked toward the 12 disciples, and said, Go feed the people. Now brothers and sisters, follow my thought for a moment. When He told them to, Go feed the people, all they had in their hands was a little boy’s lunch. It was not multiplying there in their hands, into a great amount of food. They had to step out there by faith, and start breaking off a piece of what they were holding, and hand it to those that came by. But do you know what? That which they were breaking off of never got any smaller. When they would break off a piece and hand it to someone, they would look back and they still had just as much in their hand as they did before they broke off a piece. Do you get the picture? God just kept on doubling the size of what they had left in their hands each time they broke it in half, and He multiplied what they handed the people. Brother Jackson: I always thought Jesus was the one that did the miracle. That is a natural way of thinking, but Jesus said that it was the Father dwelling in Him, that did the works, and we know that is right, but to the natural eye, it was the man Jesus, that did it all. That crowd of people no doubt really enjoyed eating, that day, for they were eating from an unlimited supply. That same omnipotent God that gave the children of Israel manna in the morning, and quail in the evening, for 40 years, was on the scene. Brother, I want you to know, There has never been that many quail in the Middle East since then. But for 40 years they ate quail. Now 1400 years later, the God of that pillar of fire that followed them, or that went before them, was standing there in the form of a man doing the same thing. Only this time, it is the bread and fish, and it was only done that one day, at that particular time, but the miracle was the same, for it fed all those hungry souls from a supply that they did not even know was available. When they were finished eating, Jesus told his disciples to gather up what remained uneaten, and I suppose they probably thought it would just be a few crumbs, and they could just put them in their pockets. But when they each got their hands full, they had to start looking for some baskets to put them in, and they each came back with a basket full of leftovers. Did all those people recognize God in what took place there that day? No. But some of them did, and it was for them, that God did it. It is just like Jesus said about the rain, It falls on the unjust as well as the just. The same rain that waters the wheat, waters the tares also.

 

THE FATHER’S NAME

 

Now let us go once again, to the 17 chapter of John, for a closer look at the prayer Jesus prayed. th Remember, He is praying to the self existent, omnipresent Spirit, the Father of all creations, and He has perfect understanding that the embryo from which He was born, was created in the womb of Mary His mother by the spoken word of this great eternal Spirit, and He knows that the name Jesus, which was given to Himself at birth, is the redemption name of the Father, and carries a compound meaning that encompasses all the attributes of this great God. Therefore let us notice verse 6, where He says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me: and they have kept thy word.” We realize of course, that the only name that was manifested, or put on public display, was the name JESUS, and we also know that the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Christians said, that this is the name by which the whole family in heaven and earth is called, and he also said in another place, that there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved; therefore the spiritual mind will accept the fact that the name JESUS, is the family of the whole redeemed family of God. T his is the name which Jesus revealed, for there was no other name involved in anything He did, or taught. It was not that He went around saying, JESUS is the name of the Father. He just simply impressed upon their minds that whatsoever He Himself did, was the works of the Father, and whatever He said, was the words of the Father, and of course everyone knew that His name was JESUS, and all those of whom He spake, also knew what Isaiah, and also the angel of the Lord said that name implied, “God with us.” The religious leaders did not accept it, but those that the Father had given Him, to manifest that name to, believed, and received that name, gladly. Naturally that brings out another truth that denominational people reject, and argue about, but predestination is an established fact of the scriptures just the same, whether they want to believe it or not. That simply means that only those who were foreknown in the mind of the Father, before the world was ever created, can believe. They believe and accept truth as it is revealed, and all the rest out here in this vast realm of religion are make believers. Do I know who they all are? No. and neither does any other mortal man, but God does. The most important thing though is that God knows every predestined son and daughter of His. That is still locked up behind the denominational walls of those make believers. He knows how to set them free, when the time is right. That is how we got free; it was not by our own doing, for God had to first show us something to get our attention, before we would even consider leaving all of that. Therefore what we are seeing here, (if we could just use a natural term that we all understand) is that Jesus was given a list of names of all the predestined family of God, and He must keep on interceding before the throne of the Father until that last one is born and comes to the hour of accepting his, or her family name. I know some of you do not like to hear this, but I did not write the Bible. I only tell you what is already written therein. Verse 7, “Now they (those predestined ones in that day) have known all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” In other words, none of this originated from the human nature of the Son of God, but rather from the Father that in dwelled Him. “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” That simply means that those true disciples which followed Him, were beginning to get a revelation that He was not just another prophet, born of sinful conception, like those prophets which were before Him, but that He truly was who He confessed to be.

 

GOD OR A DEVIL

 

In verse 26, Jesus says, “And I have declared unto them THY NAME and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Hallelujah! That is why that name JESUS is so important, and that is why the devil works so hard against it. Because it is the redemption name of the Father, which was made known unto the early church in the book of Acts. That is why they only baptized in that name. They knew there was no other name which carried authority to remit sins, except the name of the very God that had been sinned against. That name was given to the Son, and His disciples knew Him by that name. Therefore when they finally did receive the revelation of who He was, they could still meet Him on the street and say. Good morning JESUS, or Good morning Father. With the natural eye, all could behold the acts and deeds of this man called Jesus. But with the spiritual eye, those that were predestined could see beyond the human flesh, and see the Father working through this vessel of clay, to contact His lost children. But Jesus knew that those who received this revelation would not go without persecution. So in chapter 15, we find Jesus warning them of what to expect, and we will pick up in the middle of verse 20. “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my NAME’S sake. Because they know not Him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: (For they were keeping their traditional version of the law of Moses.) But now they have no cloak for their sin (because God has changed the order and they have refused to accept the change.) He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. (Now He re-emphasizes what He had just got through saying.) If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” What is He actually getting at , by a remark like that? He had healed a blind man that had been born blind, and that just upset the Sanhedrin Court. He healed crippled people, raised the dead back to life, and did all sorts of miracles before them. Yet they still would not believe. They are guilty of unbelief, because He had manifested the works of God before them, and they called Him a devil. God does not send people to hell for drinking, smoking, cursing, and so forth. He sends them to hell because of their sin or unbelief, and all these sinful habits are just merely things that people who are on their way to hell, do while passing through this life. Some of the most religious people that could be found upon the face of this earth, are headed for damnation, because their religion is manmade, and they have rejected the true way of eternal life. That is why I hate to hear people say, I believe exactly what my saintly old grandmother believed, and I know there has never been a more dedicated Christian upon this earth than she was. For the sad truth is, grandmother did not have an opportunity to hear the truth of God’s restored word to this age, so God accepted her for living what she had revealed to her, but people of our day cannot make it in on that. Because new light has been shined upon their pathway that puts them in the same category with those Scribes and Pharisees that rejected Jesus. In John 5:26-27, which we have already read, Jesus said. “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself: and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” Therefore by that same authority, He said to Peter, in Matthew 16:19, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” What were these keys? The revelation of how man could be reconciled back to God. Where are they today? Every man of God that holds a true revelation in his heart of God’s plan of redemption, is holding these keys and every man that is called of God to preach His Gospel, has that same authority to bind and loose, that was given to Peter. Therefore when God, by His Spirit anoints a man to preach that gospel to you. It will do one of two things, it will either open the door of eternal life to your, or bind you up with the rest of the tares, to be burned. Not necessarily at the moment you hear it, but that is the final result of rejecting present truth. Whether you die before He returns, or live until He returns is not the important thing; it is whether you accept or reject the revealed truth of God’s word for your particular hour of time. Those who reject truth are judged already, by their unbelief, but those who reject truth, and still remain alive when heaven is opened, and Jesus descends to earth upon a white horse, arrayed in a vesture dipped in blood, smiting ungodly men with the sword of His mouth. I am here to tell you, you are going to see some judgement executed. Naturally these terms are symbolic terms, but there will be no symbolism in the wrath of God that is poured out upon this old earth in that day; it will be literal, and it will be too late to plead for mercy, for there will not be any mercy. That is why the Bible says, Today is the day of salvation. When the Spirit of God calls an individual for salvation, that person does not have the option to schedule it for a future date. God does not operate like that. You just simply do not say, God I want to continue in unbelief for a while yet, but when I am ready, I will be a Christian. NO! Today is the day of Salvation.

 

PREVIEW OF JESUS’ FUTURE GLORY

 

In order to clear up something else that has been a puzzle to a lot of people, let us go to St. Matthew 16:27-28, and then on into chapter 17. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about taking up their cross, to follow Him, and so forth, and in verse 27, He says, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” We know that Revelation 20:12-13, describes what will happen at the great white throne judgement, where the books are opened, and wicked mankind is judged according to what is recorded concerning his works upon earth. The righteous are not judged here; this is strictly for the unrighteous, but this is what Matthew 16:27, pertains to, and that causes many people to wonder about the next verse, where Jesus went on to say, “Verily I say unto you. There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” Did He mean that some of those disciples standing there with Him would not die before the great white throne judgement takes place? No, that is not what He said, nor what He meant, for as we read right on over into chapter 17, we can see what He was speaking of, for His transfiguration was a little preview given to Peter, James and John, of His future glory that was two thousand years in the future. Nevertheless, though by a vision, they did see Jesus as He will be seen in that day, so let us read a few verses here. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.” That means, He separated these three men from the multitude, and from the other 9 chosen disciples, that they might witness what was about to take place. The Son had a specific reason for this, but the Son did not make the choice from His own mentality, it was made by divine leadership of the Father which was in Him. He was led to go up to this place to pray, just like He was led into the wilderness to be tested, after his baptism by John. So let us watch what happened after they got up there, Verse 2. “And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was as white as the light.” This lets us know that the Spirit of God made a display, or manifestation of the future glory that was to be imparted to, or bestowed upon His Son. Those disciples were allowed to see Jesus as He will appear in His Millennial glory, when the Father has invested in Him all authority to rule and reign, and to execute judgement literally, both physical and spiritual. Not only will He slay wicked men with the sword of His mouth, He will raise them back to life one thousand years later, pronounce their spiritual judgement upon them, and cast them alive into the lake of fire. That will be their second death, which saints will never have to face. Not because we are worth of God’s mercy, but because we believed the gospel, and accepted His Son Jesus, the Christ. According to John’s description, even Jesus’ clothing was changed to display this majestic glory. They were not just white, like a white piece of cloth, they were as white as the light. In other words, If any mortal man ever saw such a light as this, he would be turned stone blind, just like Saul was, when that great light shined down upon him, a light which he describes as being brighter than the sun. Anyhow, no matter what His apparel might have been that day, the majestic glory of the Father that surrounded Him made it appear to be whiter than the light.

 

JESUS’ PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE

 

As these disciples watched all this great phenomena, they saw something else. Notice verse 3. “And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias (Elijah) talking with him.” Luke goes a little further with this than Matthew did, and tells what they were speaking of, when Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus there that day. He says they spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Moses and Elijah did not come to talk with Peter, James and John which were caught up in this great vision, and awestruck by what they were witnessing; they came to talk with Jesus concerning the things which He would have to suffer at Jerusalem. Those disciples did hear what was being said though, or Luke would not have written what he did. I believe this was the Father’s way of preparing the mind of the Son for what was ahead. It is yet a few more months before the cross, but to the mind of the Son, has been added the knowledge of what is going to happen. On the way down from the mountain, Jesus instructed those disciples not to tell the vision to anyone until after He was risen from the dead. So now, let us go to the 10 chapter of Mark, verses 32-34, where Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem with His th disciples, and tells them what is ahead of Him. ”And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem: and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed: and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen to Him, saying. (Now notice what He tells them. You will not find this written in the Old Testament. Neither in the Psalms. This is the details of the events that will transpire when He gets to Jerusalem, and I believe this is what they heard there on the mount of transfiguration.) Behold, we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the Scribes: and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He Shall Rise Again.” Hallelujah! Praise God! He knows the finish of it all, even before it is set in motion. Isn’t it wonderful how everything just falls into place according to the word of God? This was not a man reading scripture, trying to bring something to pass. This was a man speaking with authority. He knows the mind of the Father, and it is the mind of the Father that is to be fulfilled, and He is completely submissive to it. No wonder people would say, Never has there been a man before, that spake like this man, for He speaks with authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees, Who has brought Him to this hour? The Father, the great eternal Spirit, the one that caused Him to walk on the water, to turn water to wine, to multiply five little loaves and 2 small fishes to feed more than five thousand hungry people, and the one that caused Him to raise Lazarus from the dead, after he was already stinking. All these things were done that the Father might be revealed through the Son. But now this unusual man is in Jerusalem facing another great hour, so let us turn to the 26th chapter of Matthew, where we will start reading in verse 36. “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” This garden of Gethsamane was sort of like a public park in those days. It was a place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, or Kidron, which lay right in line with the road worshiping people traveled between two mountain peaks. From Bethany, one would come over the Mount of Olives and descend down into the valley, and across the floor of the valley, and then up the eastern slopes of Zion into the temple gate, to the place where they were to worship the Lord. This little park like place called Gethseamane, was where people would say, Come, and sit under the Olive trees and see the beautiful flowers. It is written that many times Jesus resorted there to pray. So this day, Jesus has come to this place to pray before His betrayal, and He has brought with Him, apart from the others, these three chosen disciples, Peter, James, and John. Let us read verse 37, “And he took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying. O my Father, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me? Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” When He said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, that word sorrowful, is a word that describes deep depression, inner loneliness, or extreme sadness. Have any of you ever had feelings like that? It is just like there is a great vacuum inside of you. Well that was the human nature of Jesus reacting to this cruelness and death that He soon must suffer. Our emotions react like that when a heavy load is placed upon us. Many times you can just read it on peoples faces when you meet up with them. Some people just simply cannot hide their inner emotions. I believe we could have seen it on the face of Jesus that day, for He had in Him every muscle and nerve that any of 25 other normal human would have. The big difference is, here is one man that will not completely submit to all this discouragement, and just give up, saying, What is the use of trying to go on, like so many other people have done. He couldn’t give up in that sense, for He knew what lay beyond all this. He knew what glory would one day be His. Praise God, Saints. We should also take courage likewise. If He could look beyond all that grief and sorrow, and see the glory that lay beyond this great trial, then we likewise should, for the scriptures declare that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. Hallelujah!. You will not need a whip, you will rule with authority.. Now Saints, the point I am trying to bring out of this, is that this Son of God must go through the valley of decision, and come out victorious on the other side of the trial, in order to set a perfect example for you and me. He was born perfect, and He lived a perfect life, but He was not a perfect example for us until He had faced and overcome these certain tests in His life.

 

 THE FATHER NEVER LEFT JESUS

 

After He submitted completely to the will of the Father, Jesus came and found those three disciples asleep, and said to Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? He did that three times, and each time prayed that if the cup of death could not pass from Him, then let the will of the Father be done. In Mark 14:36, it is expressed like this, “And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” What a beautiful picture. You say, What is He crying about? Death is just ahead. Is He afraid to die? Yes, Death is a fearful thing. Remember: This man was not born to die for you and me. In other words, He had no death reigning in Him. In the mind of the Father, He was as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but from the standpoint of perfect human, He was not born to die. For the sake of illustration, let us just suppose He had never come to the Jordan to be baptized, and had just continued on as He had for the previous 30 years. He would have lived a perfect man through out all eternity, but you would never have seen any miracles from Him? He would have just been a perfect man to live, live, live, never to die. It is hard for us to imagine anyone living, and never having to worry about tuberculosis, heart trouble, arthritis, cancer, and all those diseases of the whole human race, but I assure you, He would never have had any trouble like that. In the 41 verse, of Mark 14, it says, “And He cometh the third time, and saith unto st them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.” He had prayed three times, and now His mind was made up. He knew what must happen, and He was now ready to face it. Now you have heard me say many times, You need to read all the Gospel accounts of these various events, in order to get a more complete picture of what actually took place, for each writer brings out some little detail that the others did not put in. Therefore let us go to Luke’s account for a verse or two. In verse 43, chapter 22, Luke says that while He was praying, “There appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed the more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Do you see why I wanted to include Luke’s account of this event? Do you really see? Let us look at it like this, If God the Father is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, why did He need to send an angel to minister to His grieving, sorrowful Son? To me, it is further proof that angelic beings, are helpers with God in all of His works upon earth. Luke says, in verse 45, “And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” He was taken from the garden to Caiaphas’ judgement hall, where all night long they ridiculed Him, struck Him, and blasphemed. Had the Father left Him? Absolutely not. Did He not put the ear back on the servant of the high priest, when one of His disciples cut it off with a sword? That was still the works of the Father which was still in Him. Father could not leave Him: they were now one Spirit. The Father just did not exercise His mind in this matter; He left Jesus to do the choosing from His own human mind. It was the human that faced Caiaphas; deity remained silent. Yet Jesus said to them, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” He could have done that, but if He had, that would have ended the whole process. That would have been as far as He could have went, for once He gave in to the demands of the flesh, He could never have finished the redemption work that was given Him to do. You see my point, do you not? He could not call angels to rescue Him from this situation, lest He kill the whole process, but that did not keep the Father from sending angels to comfort Him during His hour of great suffering. You must see though, that the angels just ministered to His Spirit. It is your spirit that works through your physical mental makeup. That mental part of you is like, we will say, your communication board between your flesh and your spirit, because your spirit is the very origin of intelligence. Therefore the angel came and strengthened His spirit, and encouraged Him. But through it all, the Father was still just as much in Him as He had ever been. Even when Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Father had not forsaken Him; He was still right there. As long as the spirit of life remained in that body of flesh, the Father was still right there in Him. But when the spirit of life left the body, and went down into hell, where was the Father? They were one Spirit; they never were separated. Do you catch my point? Down in the corridors of hell, He preached to those imprisoned spirits by the authority of that same commission, and He had the authority to set those captives free. Then on the third day He was raised from the dead by the authority of that same omnipresent, eternal Spirit that was one with Him. That is why the apostle Paul could use words like, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. The only thing that kept that body in the tomb for three days, was the fact that it had to be that way to fulfill the scriptures; therefore when the time was right, He who has complete control over all creation, just simply raised it right up from that tomb and rejoined body and Spirit, and it will not be one bit harder to do the same for every other person that has ever died having that eternal Spirit in them, when the time arrives for it to be done.

 

HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN

 

Now before we bring this message to a close, we want to look at some scriptures that deal with what happened after the cross. If you will open your Bibles to the 28 chapter of Matthew, verse 5, where th the angel that rolled back the stone from the entrance of the sepulchre is speaking t the women that came early to the tomb on the 1 day of the week. “I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. st He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. ( The angel is inviting them to come on over and take a look for themselves.) And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepluchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus me them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.” In this particular setting we have something that sounds like a contradiction. But we need to try to see what is portrayed here. For as this moment they hold Him by the feet and worship Him. “Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go unto Galilee, and there shall they see me.” Remember now, They were to go back to the disciples and tell something. Let us go to the 20 chapter of John, th and notice the very first verse. “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: ( Peter and John) and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. (John was in a hurry to get there, but he did no to inside.) And he stopping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. (John just refers to himself as that other disciple in his gospel account of what happened.) Verse 9, For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: (This lets us know that she had followed Peter and John back there, but had been a little slower arriving.) And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. (This was her second visit here.) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have lain Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She, supposing Him to be the guardner, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell where thou has laid Him, and I will take Him away. ( This lets me know that Jesus was speaking in a different voice than what they had become accustomed to hearing, or she would recognized Him immediately.) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni: which is to say, Master. (When He spoke her name, she recognized Him, But we know that He also walked along the road to Emmaus with two disciples, talking to them, and they only recognized Him by the way He brake the bread later.) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them. I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” This lets me know, that somewhere between His early arrival from the tomb, and the time when some of His disciples saw Him later, there must have been a transition of His person whereby His role as high priest was fulfilled in its first stage. He offered Himself on the cross; His blood was shed for the sins of lost mankind, but that did not complete the offering. The type is in the Old Testament. After the blood is shed from the sacrificial animal, out on the altar, the blood had to be conveyed by the high priest into the holy of holies, to make it a finished work for atonement. There, in the holy holies, is where the acceptance took place. Therefore Jesus, from this standpoint, after being the blood, and now being risen from the dead, He must assume the duties of the high priest, and cannot be touched until first , He has presented Himself unto the presence of the Father for the purpose of conveying this shed blood into the heavenly holy of holies. He was not yet going there to be the eternal high priest, but this part had to be finished before He could present Himself tot his disciples, and allow them to touch Him. That part should not be to hard to understand, knowing how the earthly high priests had conducted themselves fulfilling, or should I say, setting the type of that which Jesus was to fulfill with His one offering. That is the only thing you can get out of what He said to Mary, knowing that this part had to be fulfilled, and also, knowing that, in the other accounts, we read that they held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Now there certainly should be no contradiction, since we know the process by which this offering should be made, and knowing that none of these Gospel writers were obligated to give every detail that the others included in their record. I hope that is understood, for only carnal, argumentative minds go around looking for contradictions in the scriptures without ever trying to place them in proper context.

 

 THE GREAT COMMISSION

 

Now, let us go back to the 28 chapter of Matthew for what I want us to see next. Jesus has sent word th to His disciples, that He will meet them in Galilee, and those that guarded the tomb have gone into the city and made their report, and there is much confusion about what has really happened, so let us go to verse 16, and start reading. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Watch these words here, Something has happened. A transition has taken place, for now He is saying, All power.) Is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” What kind of power could this be? What is He talking about? Brother, those words He spoke earlier, “Father, glorify thou me,” have been fulfilled. That could not be granted unto Him until after He had hung on that old cross and fulfilled all of that part. Can you see that? That power, or authority lay in Him giving Himself as a finished work of sacrifice for the sins of man. Now He has been granted that which He prayed for, and that brings us down to the great commission in verse 19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” and so fourth. But I want you to know for sure, that the name which He was referring to, was the only name that has any redemption authority, the name JESUS. Let us go back to John 20:19 now, so we can see that these words were all spoken at the same time, and not at two different times. It is in this chapter that He said, Touch me not, when He was actually referring to what He must do in order to complete the sacrifice. Then in verse 19, it is now evening time, not early in the morning, so something had definitely taken place during the day, that has changed the picture. Watch what happened that evening. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” This was in the evening, but it was still the 1 day of the week, the day He arose, so after they recognized st Him, He again says, “Peace be unto you: (and adds) as my Father hath sent me. (That would be pointing back to His earthly ministry.) Even so send I you.” That links right up with Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” What actually is He commissioning them to do? They are to go forth into all nations and continue doing the works of the Father among mortal mankind, even as He has been doing for the past 3 ½ years. That is why He said, “These works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto the Father.” Now He certainly did not mean for anyone to think He would be defused, and cease to exist in bodily form as some believe. He has gone into the heavenlies, into the presence of the omnipresent, eternal Spirit, to mediate between God and man, but He still has His bodily form, and we shall see it when He comes for us, but in the meantime we walk by faith. Now notice John 20:22, what He said, after saying, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.” The Catholic church really leans hard upon that verse of scripture, but I assure you, Saints, that does not authorize the pope to forgive sins. Jesus was simply authorizing His disciples to perform the rite of scriptural baptism in water for the remission of sins of the flesh upon repentant sinners. Therefore if they had some reason to refuse to baptize a man, then it just stands to reason that his sins would be retained. But please keep in mind the fact, that baptism does not remit the SIN of UNBELIEF, the blood of Jesus Christ takes care of that the very moment we believe. You simply cannot be a believer, and an unbeliever both at the same time. So water baptism is for the purpose of remitting the sins of our flesh, and that can only be properly administered after we repent and believe the Gospel. Therefore let it be understood, that the disciples, at that particular time, did not receive the Holy Ghost. This was only a preparatory command, preparing their understanding, so they would accept the great commission, but keep everything in its proper perspective. The Father sent Him (Jesus) by getting inside Him, and leading Him, and that is the very same way Jesus was going to send them, but first they would have to have that experience of receiving the Holy Ghost, up there in that upper room where they were waiting. He prepared their minds for what was to be expected of them, and then He ascended into heaven, and left them standing, looking up, watching Him go from them. Since that time, He has been fulfilling the 110 Psalms, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” th But the word forever does not apply to time without end, for we do certainly know that there will come a time when He will cease to function in His office as high priest, for He cannot be high priest and King both at the same time.

 

GENTILES HEAR THE GOSPEL PREACHED

 

Let us go now to Acts, chapter 10, and see how the disciples preached this great revelation. We find the apostle Peter in the house of Cornelius, preaching to Gentiles. This is the first time Gentiles have had the Gospel preached to them. Listen, as we start reading here in verse 34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in every nation he that fearth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” Brothers and sisters: Peter had walked with Jesus. What he knew, he had received first hand. He was the spokesman on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were accused of being drunk on new wine. It was to Peter, that the keys to the kingdom, were committed. He had the authority to unlock the great mystery of the kingdom of God, and here he is, preaching to Gentiles, something he never would have dreamed of doing, but he is being led of the Spirit of God. (You can read it, in the previous verses here.) “The word which God sent unto children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached: (He is just pinpointing the time when Jesus Himself first began to preach. Not until after He was baptized by John.) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: (authority) who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (He was in Him.) Peter was a Jew, and he had a perfect understanding of the Godhead. Would you not agree? He is really saying these things as only a Jew would say them. I have always said, It takes a revelated Jew, to really tell the story. That is why God has ordained that two Jewish prophets go, and preach to the nation of Israel when the Gentile dispensation is completed. You can be sure of one thing, No Trinitarian is ever going to convert that Jewish nation, no matter how hard they may try. Listen, “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” Praise the Lord, old Peter knew how to tell it. He should have, he stood right there and watched it all.

 

PAUL REVEALING THE UNKNOWN GOD

 

Let us go quickly to chapter 17, where Paul can be heard. He is on Mars’ hill, preaching to a bunch of Greek philosophers. (The world is full of this kind today.) They were always looking to hear something new, and they were pagan worshipers, but listen to Paul tell them about the God He knows. Verse 22, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.” He had viewed that great shrine with all its garnished work, and faces of all kinds of deities, (gods). Those Greeks had dozens of gods they worshiped. Paul had viewed all those many faces and forms of their gods, and then he had seen this sign they had erected just to be on the safe side, and not neglect any god. It was to the UNKNOWN GOD, and that was all Paul needed, to get himself a sermon topic. He said, (just to paraphrase) I am going to tell you something about this UNKNOWN GOD, that you have been ignorantly worshiping, Listen to him, verse 24, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth life to all, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood (Noah’s all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, He was even familiar with their poetry.) For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the off spring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Brother, here was another Jew that could really tell the story, and he had not even walked with Jesus, as all the other apostles had. I assure you of this one thing though, When he spoke, those who heard him, knew they were hearing a voice of authority. He spoke of the Godhead, and also of the fact, that God in reality has no need of anything that man can do for Him. A sovereign Spirit has no need of man’s hands, yet He will use them, when they are dedicated to following His perfect will.

 

PROPHET—- PRIEST—-KING

 

In Hebrews, chapter 1, we find Paul again speaking. Actually this is his epistle to the Hebrew Christians, but I just want you to see how those early disciples spread this good news around the world. Verse 1, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (In chapter 2, we are made to understand that God used angelic beings to convey that word to them. 2:2-3) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, (for we know that the only person involved here is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.) And upholding all things by the word of His power, (authority) when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He walked upon the earth demonstrating the attributes of the Father, and then went into the garden and cried like a man. He walked up Calvary’s hill and died like a man. But then He went into hell, and said something that no other man could say, and three days later, His body was out of that tomb, and He is alive for ever more. He had been in His prophetic office for 3 ½ years. Now he has been in His high priest’s office two thousand years, and He will soon come back to earth to rule and reign in His Kingly office for another one thousand year period of time, but between now, and then, He will call His little bride away from this old earth for a little season, and when He returns to rule and reign, she will be right with Him. Revelation 19 shows Him returning to earth with His wife, and crowned, and robed, and smiting the nations with the sword of His mouth. What is He now? King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The great tribulation has run its course, all the martyrs have shed their blood, and it is now time for them to be resurrected, to reign with Christ and His wife through this one thousand year period of restoration, while the earth is being returned to its former state as it was before the fall of man. This only begotten Son of God has been faithful to perform all the perfect will of the Father, and now He is back on earth, in power and glory. God’s oneness has been displayed all the way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and this Son has put the AMEN, to every prophecy that has ever been spoken of Him, and yet multitudes have perished without ever seeing God in any of this. Has God been surprised by any of it? Absolutely not, He knew every bit of it, before there ever was a star.

 

 LOOKING TO THE END

 

Let me just sort of conclude this message by calling your attention to a few important points. We have dwelt on showing both the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, but many have asked, What was the difference between Adam and Jesus? Were they both Sons of God? Yes, the first Adam (as Paul describes them) was God’s only created son. But please remember, God is one Spirit, not two. He has displayed His oneness in every bit of this. To portray the beauty of His oneness, He gave Himself only one creation, one created son, one created earth, and so forth. He gave His created son a commission to replenish and subdue the earth. But in the very beginning, that commission was altered by sin. Sin brought death both physically and spiritually to His created son, and that death sentence was passed through God’s hereditary law upon all men, causing a separation from God, yet it was, and is, the purpose of God to have a family of people that He can dwell in, and fellowship with, as He did with Adam, in the beginning. Every living thing received its life from God, but it was utterly impossible for any man to begat a son free from the penalty of sin and death, and yet it would take such a Son of God to undo what had been done. What was God to do? He could not create another son, that would have marred the beautiful testimony of His oneness. (He knew what He would do all along, but mankind did not.) Nevertheless, there had to be a Son that would fulfill the will of the Father, and fill the earth with sons and daughters that God could have this desired relationship with. Therefore in process of time, He gave Himself one begotten Son. His name was JESUS. He merely created an embryo in the virgin womb of a young Jewish girl, and allowed His Son to be born of a woman through the same process of birth that all other babies pass through, only the conception was different. That made this Son not only the Son of God, but also the seed of woman, and you will recall that it was the seed of the woman that was to bruise the head of the serpent. When did He do that? Mainly, and most importantly at Calvary. Was the Father truly in Him? Absolutely. But not until after John baptized Him, when He was about 30 years of age. ( I would say, when He turned 30.) Who is the Father? The omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit that created all things. When the Father incarnated the Son, it was not to give the Son more life, but rather to embody Him with all the attributes of His Father. Did the Father ever leave the Son? Never, He and the Son were completely blended into one Spirit, just like smoke from two fires close to each other. Once that smoke from those two fires mixed together, they are from then on one smoke. That is exactly how it was with the Father and the Son; they were most emphatically, one Spirit. Yet that did not keep the Son from being able to exercise His own mind, as is evidenced in His prayers, and in much of His talk with His disciples, or maybe we should say, most of His talk. Yes the Father and the Son were one Spirit, even to the very moment that the Spirit left the body, there at Calvary, and went into Hell, to free imprisoned saints, and convey them into a heavenly paradise, and they were still one Spirit 3 days later, when by the authority of the Father, Jesus slipped back into that body, and presented Himself to His disciples who were waiting in Galilee. What was it all done for? To conquer death, hell, and the grave, and set redemption in operation. It is very evident that Satan is still loose in the earth today, but he is soon to be bound up for one thousand years, while this glorified Son of God completes the final phases of the process of redemption and restoration. That will bring us out, over in chapter 20,of the book of Revelation, and when that great white throne judgement is completed, and all the wicked and ungodly are cast into the lake of fire, we will be right on the threshold, ready to enter back into the garden of Eden. What you see pictured there in Revelation 22, is exactly what Adam and Eve fell from, when they disobeyed God. That holy city, the New Jerusalem seen coming down from God, out of heaven, in chapter 21, is none other than the redeemed bride, all having the eternal light of God shining forth from them. It is a beautiful picture Saints, and it thrills my soul just to think about it, and even more, when I realize how close we are getting to the next major phase of this great plan of God. May we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and be very sensitive to the Spirit of God in these days ahead, is my prayer. Praise the living God! Amen.

 

Humanity and Deity of Christ, Part 1 – 1982, October

1982-10-Humanity-and-Diety-of-Christ


SAINTS: I JUST WANT TO ASK YOU A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS TO SORT OF PROVOKE YOUR THINKING, BEFORE WE ACTUALLY GO INTO THIS VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT WE HAVE CHOSEN TO DEAL WITH. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE GODHEAD? DO YOU KNOW WHY JESUS HAD TO BE PERFECT MAN, IN ORDER TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE UPON EARTH? DO YOU BELIEVE HE WAS PERFECT IN EVERY WAY? WHAT MADE HIM A PERFECT MAN, AND WHAT MADE HIM GOD INCARNATE? WE INTEND TO ANSWER EVERY ONE OF THESE QUESTIONS, AND MANY, MANY MORE, GOING ALL THE WAY FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS, TO THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION, JUST ALLOWING THE HOLY GHOST TO MAKE THE SUBJECT INTERESTING AND BENEFICIAL TO US.


Text 1, Timothy 3:16


Many have tried in vain to explain the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ, simply because they themselves did not have a true revelation of the Godhead. You just simply cannot explain something that you do not understand. Then there are those who do have a true revelation of the Godhead, but are unable to explain it in a way that can be easily understood. Therefore by the help of the Lord we are going into the scriptures and endeavor to examine thoroughly, both the divine, as well as the human side of Christ. The early church in the book of Acts had a complete understanding of who Jesus Christ (picture of city with man speaking to group of people that a virgin shall conceive and call him Immanuel) was, and how He came to be as He was, but it has been the devil’s chief purpose to try to destroy every genuine revelation that those first age Christians held; therefore it is no wonder that there is so much controversy and confusion about whether God is one or three, and whether Jesus Christ was completely divine or not, in the church would today. The great theologians of our day have taken the Bible apart verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and even word by word, and they still do not know. Do you know why they do not know? Simply because they are trying to learn through their great educated minds, something that can only be revealed by the Spirit of God, to those who are able to receive revelation in their Spirit. Oh yes, It comes through the mind, but it is not your intellect that actually retains a true revelation, for if it stops in your mind, you are likely to trade it for something that sounds better when Satan sends one of his ambassadors to fill your mind with perversion.


You will hear people say, was Jesus really a flesh and blood man that could be tempted by the devil? If He was, then how could He be divine? Or you might hear something like this, If Jesus Christ was truly God, then it was impossible for Him to have been tempted of Satan. Brothers and Sisters: The bible lays it all out in such a way that it is possible to understand every bit of it. But you must remember this, Gentiles have never had the opportunity to know Him after the flesh, as those first age Jews did. We only know him by the Spirit, and that is the reason why education cannot produce a genuine revelation from the word of God.


TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE


We are going to use 1st Timothy 3:16 as our text for this message, but before reading it, I want to read two verses from Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers concerning his desire for all those who had never had the opportunity to sit before him personally. He desired (Col. 2:2-3) “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto ALL riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; IN WHOM are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” In other words, All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid to those who never receive a revelation of the Godhead. This is the key that unlocks God’s storehouse of spiritual treasures. This is the key to all spiritual wisdom and knowledge, so let us hear what Paul wrote to Timothy about it. (3:16) “And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” If this was the only scripture in the Bible that we could look at on this subject, we sure wouldn’t have much to go on, but on the other hand, this one verse is all we need in order to learn that the apostle Paul’s mind was completely settled on this great mystery that has baffled mankind for two thousand years. In other words, just to use plain language, here is what Paul was saying, Without any doubt whatsoever, this truly is a great mystery, how God was manifest in human flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles (Paul was the one that did that.) Believed on in the world, received up into glory. It is a great mystery to an unrevealed mind, yet God’s true children can understand it completely. Our minds can be completely settled on the subject just like Paul’s was.


ENMITY BETWEEN TWO SEED


Now we are using this one particular verse 1st Tim. 3:16, just as a foundational text, as we begin to explore this great mystery, through the pages of God’s holy word. Therefore let us go to Genesis 3:15, where we will begin our study on the humanity side of Jesus the Christ. What we want to find out, is whether there was anything about Him that could be literally looked upon as totally human. Naturally we are not speaking of sinful qualities, for He had no sinful nature at all. But did He have the ability to think, speak, feel, see and hear like any other normal man? Could he talk about everyday subjects like you and I, or was His speech confined to high and holy matters?


The truth of the matter is, when you really began to see Him as He was when He walked among men, there was nothing extraordinary about His appearance. The average Jew could never see Him to be any different in appearance than anyone else. Only those that had something to do with His introduction, saw Him to be different, but that was through the Spirit. In Genesis 3:15, we find God speaking to the serpent, after he had defiled Eve, saying, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: (Jesus the Christ)it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” First, let us establish something else. Just exactly what was this that came walking into the garden and confronted the serpent, Eve and Adam? Was it a man? No, it was that Spirit presence of the great, eternal, self existent God, that object of worship that we hold in our hearts and minds to be the creator of the whole universe. He was not born; He always was. He cannot die; He will always be. There is absolutely no kind of life that can exist outside of God. He is the Creator of all life. When you go out and dig fishing worms, God is the life giver to those worms. He is the source of all intelligence, all life, and all activity. Evolution is a dead man’s theory. They probe the crust of the earth looking for fossils to prove their theory, and without revelation, even what they find does not help them, for only the revelated mind knows why those fossils are there. Only a revelated mind can harmonize six thousand years of the history of mankind with fossils that are proved to be millions of years old. Only a Creator could set this universe with all of its many bodies, so precise that even manmade computers can tell where Mars will be in relationship with the earth, a million years from now. Yes, the worlds were framed by the word of God. What we see round about us is His thoughts put into action. He counseled with Himself before He ever began to create; therefore in the great mind of God everything is seen as a finished product. It is the same way when a man builds a house, if he did not have a picture in his mind of, what that house was going to look like, he would be one mixed up fellow. Can you imagine a fellow cutting boards and nailing them together all day long, saying in his mind, I wonder what this thing is going to look like? What kind of builder would he be, if in his mind he could not see the building as a finished product? Let us endeavor to see God exactly like that, in relation to all of His efforts bestowed upon we humans. If we were foreknown of Him, He sees us as we will be, not as we are today. But, Saints: Please do not visualize this great God as a person, for He is Spirit, He is sovereign, and He is omnipresent.


SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE


Now let us get back to Genesis 3:15, where God cursed the serpent, and spoke of a seed of the woman that would bruise his head, and so forth. Alright, so the woman would have a seed, and the serpent would have a seed; we surely have that much established right here. What God was saying, was that, somewhere in the ages to come, there would be a seed of woman that would come upon the scene, and His heel would bruise the serpents head, and the serpents head would bruise his heel. Naturally we understand that this is symbolic language, for when Jesus came upon the scene, there was never a time when this could have been literally applied. Yet we do know also, that as man has existed in this world, many times, the only weapon he had, to use against the crawling reptiles, was his heel. This natural identity helps us to make the proper spiritual application to this symbolic language. The serpent was not a reptile at the time God spoke those words to him, but that is when God stripped him of his arms and legs, so to speak, and sent him crawling off among the other reptiles, and today, man does not know which of the reptiles are descendants of the old cursed serpent. Nevertheless, in spiritual terms it was the devil that inspired the serpent to seduce Eve, that the promised seed was to strike a bruising blow to. Jesus the Christ was that seed, and it was His authority over spiritual forces that would do something to Satan. He had God invested authority to do what no sinful natured man could do. He was completely human, identified with all other mankind in every way except inherited attributes. Every other human born of woman, had sinful attributes, but here was a man, born of woman, that had no inherited sin. Why? Simply because there was none of mans genes in Him. That life cell Mary carried for nine months to birth, was a created cell, created in her without her going through the natural process of conception by a relationship with a man. We will say more about this later on in the message, but right now, let us go to the book of Isaiah for the next important prophecies concerning this seed of woman that was to be born.

 

A VIRGIN HAD A BABY


In Isaiah 7:14, we find these words spoken by a prophet that was a Jew, but the Spirit from which this prophecy came forth was not his spirit; it was the Spirit of Jehovah God, Elohim, the self existing, omnipresent Spirit. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” What was the sign given? Was it the fact that a young woman named Mary had a baby? No, that wasn’t the sign, for most babies are born of young women. The sign was that a particular young woman who was still a virgin, had a baby. That is where your scientists and all other carnal minds go astray; they will not admit that Jesus was born of a virgin girl, because according to scientific law, that would have been an impossibility. Naturally all such people in Mary’s day, looked at her very suspiciously, and whether they expressed it or not, they were thinking to themselves, there is something fishy about all this. But the sign was not for them, it was for those who believed in God; therefore they exert effort and influence to get the Bible rewritten, leaving out all the supernatural manifestations, and in the case of the birth of Jesus, they use terminology eliminating the word virgin, and just say, a young woman. But you know, and I know that the mere fact that a young woman has a son is not a sign to anyone. On the other hand, those that believed recognized the sign, and accepted the fact that Immanuel meant, God with us. We will see a little later, as we go into Matthew, that He was to be named Jesus, not Immanuel, or Emmanuel, as it is spelled in the New Testament. Actually the name Jesus has a compound meaning that speaks of the fact that God is in Him, to save His people. Of course there have been many little boy babies named Jesus, down through the ages, but they were named by the will of man, and not by a command from God. Isaiah was the first man that began to speak of the kind of woman that would bring forth this Son, who would be a full expression of perfect humanity, and at the same time, carry a name that was chosen by the Almighty God to express something else, the fact that God was in Him for the purpose of redeeming His lost people. This man Jesus, who was the Christ, the Jews Messiah, had a threefold work to do in revealing the Father’s name, His word, and His works, all of which we will call attention to as we proceed through the scriptures. “I CAME IN MY FATHER’S NAME” “O FATHER, I HAVE MANIFESTED THY NAME” “I HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEM THE WORDS WHICH THOU GAVEST ME.” NEITHER HATH THIS MAN SINNED, NOR HIS PARENTS: BUT THAT THE WORKS OF GOD SHOULD BE MADE MANIFEST IN HIM.” “IF I DO NOT THE WORKS OF MY FATHER, BELIEVE ME NOT.” These are just a few of the statements we will call attention to when we get over into the New Testament, but for our next reading, let us turn to Isaiah 9:6-7, where we will find that prophet of God speaking of this particular son that is to be born of a young virgin. One thing we cannot help but notice, is how Isaiah always spoke in a positive way. There was never any suppositional thought, or meaning. There was no room left for anything to go wrong that would mar, or change the picture. He spoke as though he was already looking at the finished product. You can read chapter 7, chapter 9, 53, and 61, and it is always the same.


DEITY QUALITIES IN THE NAME JESUS


Notice now, in chapter 9, verse 6, how Isaiah brings out the compound meanings of the name Jesus, for he was never called by any of these terms that Isaiah mentioned here. No one ever met him on the street, and said to him, “Hello Wonderful,” neither “Hello Counselor,” nor “Hello Prince of Peace” these were all encompassed in the one name of Jesus, so let us read it. “For unto us a child is born, unto a son is given: (These words are coming from Isaiah’s lips, but they are not his words; he is speaking a prophecy, as the voice of God; therefore we want to pay attention to how God spoke, using the word us, which shows that He was speaking on behalf of the people. But not everyone, only those who were looking for a Savior. He identifies with them, and says, Unto US a son is given:) and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called, WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.” One thing we definitely want to take note of is how this verse stresses the male side, a son, his, Father, and Prince. (I say that because of all this feminist movement in the world today. ) it was to be a man child, and the government was to be upon His shoulder, and the actual name that would be given to Him would encompass Father and Prince. This is where Emmanuel is broken down into the many characteristics that it holds. Another thing that you will notice, is that these are the characteristics of Elohim, as He would officiate in a governmental capacity. Now let me ask you this. When would Jesus be looked upon as Wonderful? I am sure it will be fully applicable when He sits upon His throne as King; invested with this great ancient authority. The whole world is going to behold the King, that there has never been one like, before. If the world had such a king today, we would not have all the bloodshed and chaos that is constantly in the news, for we read in the Bible, that the earth will be filled with the knowledge and glory of the Lord. Brother, I want you to know that when this old world is seen existing in an atmosphere of perfect peace, perfect health, and even the animal kingdom lying down in perfect peace, man will say, This is wonderful, and they will know why it is so wonderful. This Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, and King of kings is in control. A counselor is what the presidents, rulers, and political leaders of our day need, but they certainly do not want this kind of counselor, for all of His decisions will be based upon divine laws. This apostate society does not want divine law to govern fallen mankind in his mortality. They would rather wallow in filth and degradation.


TRENDS OF OUR DAY


A brother in the church handed me a newspaper clipping this morning written by some educated character, and he literally ridiculed religion. You get the idea from reading this article, that he more or less looks upon religion as a scourge to humanity. Of course we all know that many of the religions of the world are just that, but we also know that those who hold truth from God’s word, precious to their soul, are a blessing, and a benefit to any society, for they are the ones that hold back the Sodom and Gomorrah conditions that natural minded humanity tends to drift toward. Forty or fifty years ago, when truth and holiness was still reverenced by a greater majority, only a small percentage of the law enforcement people needed in this day and hour kept immortality and lawlessness within certain bounds, but in this hour of time there are no boundaries; humanity is running wild. The gospel has been diluted until it no longer has any bearing on what the world wants to do. Apostate religion is a promoter of much of the evil in the world today. Those who fight so hard for freedom to do as they choose, are mostly those who choose to do the devil’s business, rather than God’s business. The devil, by perverting their minds, will see to it. You just simply cannot put babies and rattlesnakes into the same crib and expect perfect harmony, without the babies being bit. You cannot educate rattlesnakes, and this world is full of two legged rattlesnakes, so to speak, and some of them have degrees a mile long. They are enemies of the very Creator that gives them the right to live. They are just like what we read in Genesis, chapter 6, great men of renown. Dean So and So, and Professor This and That, but in the eyes of God they are no more than worms. Saints: I have to talk like this, for this is my way of painting a picture before you. God must be supreme, reverenced and respected in the minds of some people that fear “Him”.


THE HEAVENLY PRINCE OF PEACE


Now this child that was to be born would be called, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. What? That child is going to be looked upon and called all of that? He certainly is. Through the history of time the sons of ruling kings have always been called princes, and most usually the king’s eldest son would be his ambassador of peace, sent to other kingdoms in an effort to establish peace. Do you catch my point? They were in a role as a prince of peace. That is exactly what Jesus Christ will be when He does come to establish that divine kingdom upon earth, or maybe I should say, in the world. He is the Prince of that great eternal King which is a Spirit, and He will be the administrator of divine law and authority in the earth. In one way or another, He will fulfill a role that will be in perfect harmony with all that has been prophesied of Him by God’s holy inspired prophets. Brothers and sisters, we are taking our time, not trying to rush through this message, and I realize I may say some things that could create a question in your mind. Don’t wrestle with it, because as we take this subject right on through the scriptures, you will see everything drop right into place. Just bear with me, and please do not allow the devil to set on your shoulder, because we are going to look at some scriptures the Trinitarians will not use, and some others, that the oneness will not use. They will not use them, because they do not know how to explain them, but we will use them, and allow the Holy Ghost to explain them. All of these scriptures were spoken by the Spirit of God, and through the years they have been perverted by the spirit of Satan, and the truth of them hidden in a lot of confusion in this Gentile world, but the same Spirit that inspired them in the first place will reveal them again in God’s true people. So let us read verse 7, of Isaiah, chapter 9. “Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” If you study the gospel of Matthew, you will see how this verse pertaining to the throne of David is applied. It seems that each of the gospel writers had a certain main point that they emphasized as they related what they saw and heard. Matthew dwelled more upon the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, He who would sit upon the throne of David, His father according to natural genealogy. Mark dwelled more upon the suffering servant aspect of His life and ministry upon earth, and Luke seemed to emphasize the son of man, speaking more of His humanity. But then when you come to John, you find him placing more emphasize on the deity side, proving that, He truly was the Son of God, and that God who is Spirit, dwelled in Him. You find this not only in the gospel of St. John, but also in the little Epistles of John also.


GOD IS FOREVER THE SAME


The Lord of hosts as spoken in Isaiah 9:7, is not referring to the man Jesus, but rather to the omnipresent Spirit that always stood by the Israelites. It is He, that makes sure every word of prophecy is fulfilled. It is these verses that continue to speak of God as a Spirit, that the oneness people try to avoid, since they do not know how to properly assimilate the oneness of the Godhead with scriptures that actually sound to the unrevelated mind, like God is more than one. When they read Col. 2:9, where Paul said, “For in Him (Jesus Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” they seem to feel that all of God was poured into that little body of Jesus, and that He (Jesus) is all there is. If that were so, then God would have ceased to be omnipresent when Jesus walked upon earth among men. It does not take much of a revelation to know that such an idea is completely out of harmony with all the rest of God’s word. For whatever God ever was, He still is, and He will always be, for He does not change; the scriptures tell us so. Well that remains to be the great mystery of the Godhead tot hose who do not know Him by a personal revelation. God ordained it to be like that, for He did not intend for natural man to learn all about Him. On the other hand, it is God’s will for every genuine believer to see and understand His eternal existence, and His many manifestations in this great plan of redemption. John certainly was not afraid to mention the Father and the Son. He was not afraid someone would accuse him of thinking that God is three persons. Neither is any other revelated believer. If you did not know better, there are times when you might think the apostle Paul was Trinity, as you read certain epistles he wrote. But then you have to realize that he also wrote the Colossian epistle which speaks of the oneness of God, and the fulness of the Godhead that was in Christ Jesus. He did not have to worry about being misunderstood, for He was writing to believers that understood His terminology. You just have to realize that these men did not just sit down with the idea of writing their particular portion of what we call, “The Bible”. Men in other ages have taken their letters and bound them all together into one book, and we have it as the word of God, the Bible, but when they wrote, they did not know they were writing the Bible. Even the gospel of Luke was a letter written to a believer by the name of Theophilus, and Luke’s purpose was that he might get the full recorded account first hand, from one who had perfect understanding of all that was commonly believed among the disciples who walked with Christ for 3 and 1 half years.

 

BOTH OF ONE SPIRIT


Let us go back in our Bibles to the 2nd chapter of Psalms, where we will pick up some prophetic words uttered by a little shepherd boy named David, the same David that later became king of Israel. No doubt he would just sit down and lean back against a rock and meditate upon the goodness of the Lord God while his sheep were grazing. Words like we find here in chapter 2, do not necessarily come to a person all at once. You might, in your daily meditations, receive a few words of a song each day, and then one day the Spirit of the Lord might move upon you to put them all together. I believe that is how it was with David. This was the Spirit of the Lord speaking, and it was in the form of a song, ( a Psalm.) Notice verse 7, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Was that the Lord speaking to David, “Thou art my son?” No. It was a prophecy concerning Jesus the Christ, who would be born, brought forth from the womb of woman just like any other little baby. The big difference would be in the process of conception, for as we have already stated, That which she conceived was by a creative act of Jehovah God, and it was implanted in a virgin womb that had never known a man in that way. She was engaged to a man called Joseph, but she was still a virgin. “This day have I begotten thee.” Paul even mentioned this verse of the Psalms in his letter to the Hebrews, but there are a lot of Oneness preachers who would not dare mention it, lest they detract from the deity picture they are trying to paint of Christ Jesus. I suppose we have all been guilty at times, of just avoiding scriptures that we feel might cause the person, or persons we are speaking to at the time, to fail to see the picture we are trying to paint before them, of the deity of Christ. We have just sort of excluded the flesh at times, but we need not do that, for all that are foreknown of God will eventually get the true picture, and the others cannot possibly get it, no matter how we present it to them. Truth is truth regardless of how it is understood, and the truth about the flesh of Jesus the Christ, is that every molecule of it was from the earth, just like yours and mine. It was not His flesh that was God. It was the Spirit of Elohim that indwelt Him, that made him God. Every attribute of the great God of all creation was in the little man called Jesus the Christ, and that is the reason Paul could say, in Colossians 1:19, “For it pleased the Father that in Him ( Jesus) should all fullness dwell.” When we are born again we receive a certain measure of the Spirit that indwelt Jesus, but none of us will ever receive the measure that He possessed, at least not in this life. The Bible says that He was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet He remained completely sinless through it all. You say, Could He have sinned if He had wanted to. Yes. He could have done anything that anyone else could do as pertaining to the human side of Him, but the beautiful thing about it is, He only wanted to do what would please the Father. Therefore he did everything He wanted to do. Jesus, who was the Christ, was the fulness of God manifested for the purpose of redemption, we understand that, but let me say this, The true church is to be the fulness of Christ, to represent Him in the gospel age, the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew chapter 13) As we said earlier, No Gentiles has had the opportunity to know Christ after the flesh, but through the true church, others are led to know Him by the Spirit that is in them, which is the very Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of the living God. Let me see if I can put this into words that will convey to you, exactly what I see. Jesus had a human spirit from the very day that the breath of natural life entered into Him, but, that spirit was not deity; it was just sinless. But the day John baptized Him in the Jordan, and the Spirit of the Father descended to Him, and was described as in the form of a dove, and the two were joined together, they became one Spirit. He did not have His human spirit over in one corner, and the Spirit of the Father in another; they were joined together as one Spirit, yet He could speak either as deity, or as human, as is detected throughout the gospels. One time He would say, I will pray the Father, and He will give it to you. Then another time He would say, Whatsoever ye ask in my name, I will do it. Therefore when we receive the Holy Ghost we not only receive a measure of the Spirit of the Father, for the Holy Ghost is that Spirit of Christ. There are many verses that one could look at, such as 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:17,19, Acts 2:17, 2 Cor. 13:5, and many others, but there is one verse that says it all, and that is Romans 8:9, Listen. “ But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of His.” Then you could read verses 10, 11, and 14, if you need more. But tell me this, When a person receives the Holy Ghost, do they receive two Spirits, one of the Father, and another of the Son? Absolutely not, for the Father and the Son are of one Spirit. That is why Jesus could us terminology like He did, in John 17:21, and 23. He prayed for all that would ever believe unto salvation, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” Now this is a verse that the Trinitarians like to use, for to them it sounds like the word US, applies to two persons. They have never been able to understand how Jesus could pray to the Father, unless the Father was another person. Neither can they understand how Jesus could be called God, nor how the fullness of the Godhead could be in Him and He would still pray to one He called, the Father. In other words, If He were God, then why would He pray to God? These are all questions of an unrevelated natural mind. But we will not boast because we understand these things, for it is only by the mercy and grace of God, that we are not still among them, thinking those same thoughts, and arguing about simple doctrines of the scriptures.

 

 

WHO IS THE FATHER OF JESUS


Go with me now into the gospel of St. Matthew, as we approach the time when this promised Son is soon to be manifested. Chapter 1, verse 18, is where I want to read from first, because this is the first mention of the name Jesus Christ, in the New Testament. But technically, what we will read from Luke’s gospel, where the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, took place a few months before this event here in Matthew. The angel did not appear to Joseph until after it became obvious that Mary his espoused wife, was with child, so let us read. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” So the events of Luke, Chapter 1, have already taken place, for that is where it is recorded, how Gabriel appeared to Mary, and told her what was going to transpire in her life, because she had found favor with God. Mary submitted herself to the will and purpose of God at that time, and it was not until she was found with child of the Holy Ghost, that the angel came to inform Joseph of what was taking place. This is another verse the Trinitarians like to use, for they will say. See there, there is more than one person in the Godhead, and they never stop to realize what a complex situation they come up with when they make the Holy Ghost a person, and especially a person separate and distinct from God the Father, which they also refer to as a person. I am sure most of you see it already. If the Holy Ghost is a person, and God the Father is another person, then Jesus had two daddies, if you will pardon my expression. They will readily confess that Jesus is the Son of God, the creator of all life, yet they never stop to realize that if He truly is, then God the Father, and God the Holy Ghost would have to be one and the self same Spirit, and not two separate persons. Another thing you need to remember is that the term Holy Ghost was never used until after the advent of Christ. Some people tend to think of the gospels as though they were diaries, written day by day as events occurred. That is not the case at all, for all except the gospel of Matthew were written many years after the crucifixion, and it is commonly believed that Matthew was written somewhere around A.D.37. The exact year of writing is inmaterial to the point I want to establish, and that is this, All these gospel writers picked up the pen years later, and recorded what they knew of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ upon earth, lest they all die without leaving a record of what actually took place. Therefore there are terms of speech used even in the very beginning of the gospel records, that were not even in use when the actual event being recorded occurred. That is always true in any record being written years after an event occurred. On the other hand, a diary is written day by day as events occur, and the terminology will always be that which is common in that particular day. I hope this little explanation will help some of you to better understand why some things are written as they are, and that you simply cannot read the scriptures straight through with the idea that you are following events as they occurred in a chronological order.


JESUS– A COMPOUND NAME


Now we will read verse 19. “Then Joseph her husband, (her husband to be, after finding that Mary was with child.) being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Before reading verse 21, let me just say few more words about the Godhead question. God, that is referred to as Father, is truly the Father of all creation. He is the very source of everything that exists. In Him, all life lives and moves, and has its being. He is Father because everything that has life originated with Him. He was the Creator of it. But after creation was finished, there was no more need for Him to continue as Creator, so He then began to work in His creation, but He remained to be that same Spirit being. Let us use a natural illustration to show His threefold function as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Just suppose you owned a financial institution, and you were president, secretary, and treasurer. You would have three separate functions, fulfilling the duties of three offices, but that would not require you to be three separate persons. There would be times when you would be referred to as the president, others, the secretary, and at other times, the treasurer, but none of those titles would be your name. Whatever you name might be, you would still be that, no matter what title you were called by. With God, each title is what He is, as He functions in that capacity. It just so happens that Jesus is that redemption name of the one great God who is Spirit; therefore when it came the season for Him to robe Himself in human flesh, to function as Redeemer, Savior, the sacrifice for man’s sin debt, that flesh and blood male child was given that compound name JESUS. It is spelled the same way as all the other Jesus’ in the world, but none of the others carry a compound meaning, they are just plain Jesus. We can draw another example from the man Jesus who was the Christ. He was and is called Savior, Redeemer, Lamb of God, a Healer, the word of God, and many other things, but He is still Jesus, one person. So as the angel is speaking to Joseph to enlighten him, and to encourage his heart, he is told that Mary has conceived seed of the Holy Ghost, (or by the Spirit which is God the creator.) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Now some will say, What happened to the Emmanuel that Isaiah prophesied about? What about the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace? That is exactly what I want you to see. All of that incorporated in the one name Jesus. All of these speak of attributes, but the name of the one that carries all those attributes of the Father, is Jesus. “And He shall save His people.” Who is doing the saving? The very Father who created them. When His people became lost, this was His way of coming down to their level, in order to speak to them face to face, walk with them and personally bestow His attributes upon them.


A PERFECT, SINLESS MAN


Let us just go to the first little epistle of John, and read what he said about this very thing. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life: For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (Listen to this next verse.) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, (Why?) That ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son of Jesus Christ.,” Was John referring to two persons there? Don’t you ever allow yourself to think a thing like that. John knew perfectly well that the Father was in the Son, and that to fellowship the Son was to fellowship the Father also. He said, We have handled Him, and our eyes have looked upon Him., and he knew that he was speaking of the very God of all creation, when he made that statement. So let us just go back to the first chapter of Matthew where we will see how John could make such a statement. As Matthew writes his account of Gabriel appearing to Joseph, just as soon as he finishes the sentence, “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people,” he goes right ahead and says, (verse 22) “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (he goes right back to Isaiah 7:14) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he (Joseph) called His name JESUS.” Joseph know exactly what to name that baby. He did not have to do as my wife and I have done; What will we name this one? Neither did he have to guess, as to whether it would be a boy or a girl; for that was already settled also. “She shall bring forth a SON, and thou shalt call His name JESUS.” That was all he needed to hear, for there is no record that he ever questioned anything that the angel spoke to him. Verse 24, lets us see that he was a man of action also, for as soon as he awakened from sleep, he did exactly what the angel had told him to do. Remember though, the angel had already spoken to Mary long before that, and explained the whole thing to her, and even told her about Elizabeth her cousin being with child in her old age, and that she was already in her sixth month. It is from Luke’s writing that we get the full impact of the human side of Christ, and it is important that every one of us get this fact of His humanity settled in our minds, and treat the human side as just exactly that. If you cannot see Jesus as completely human in every way, you can never have a true revelation of the Godhead. By that I mean, that there was no area of humanity that he came up short in. He had the five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, just like the rest of us, and he got his clothes dirty playing, just like every other little boy. The fact that he had a perfect mind without any of the hindrances of man’s fallen nature did not make him any less human, it just kept him out of undesirable circumstances that other humans get caught up in, because his mind was always occupied with proper thoughts. We do not have much to look at along that line, but we do have enough to enable us to speak intelligently about it, for even at the age of 12 years, (you have all read what he was doing) he was sitting with a bunch of scholars discussing things that other little boys his age would never even think about, much less know anything about. Then we learn that he went with Joseph and Mary, and was completely subject to them. In other words, he was a perfectly obedient child. You say, Well, there wasn’t anything normal about that, for all children are disobedient at times. You mean, every other child, every other child in the world has an inherited nature to sin, but since Jesus was born from a created embryo, he did not have anything in him that would automatically cause him to disobey like other children, yet he could have, for that part of Him was not God. As a matter of fact, if man had never fallen from his original creation, every child born into the world would have had a perfect mind, and a sinless nature just like Jesus did. That is how Adam was, before he disobeyed God, and God set a law in effect, that everything must bring forth of its own kind. Hereditary traits are transmitted through the genes of both father and mother to all their offspring, and from generation to generation. The potential for anything that any of our ancestors ever did lies within each of us through our genealogical makeup. That is why we are all under a death sentence from the moment natural life is imparted to us, simply because Adam and Eve had death imputed to them, because of disobedience. That will help you better understand why the embryo in Mary’s womb had to be created from both the male and female side, for if God had just supernaturally fertilized an egg from Mary’s reproductive organs, Jesus could not possibly have been without sin, for Mary had the same inherited nature to sin that every other offspring from Adam’s race had.


WHO HELPED GOD CREATE ADAM?


Let us go into the Gospel of Luke now, where in chapter 1, verse 26, we find the angel Gabriel speaking with Mary. “And in the sixth month (the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.” Let me just stop reading right there, and make a couple of observations that I believe are important. First of all, if you are paying attention, I believe you will catch something that will clarify Genesis 1:26, for you, if you have been prone to lean toward a trinity idea of the Godhead. In Genesis 1:26, “God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and so forth,” and all Trinitarians use that verse trying to prove that God is three persons, rather than one Spirit like the Bible declares Him to be. Well, Bro. Jackson: If God was not speaking to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, when He said that, who was He speaking to? He was speaking to the same ones He no doubt spoke to when it came time for the participants in the first advent of Jesus Christ to be informed, His angelic helpers. Gabriel did not come to Mary, Joseph and Zacharias, without a command from the Father to do so. Therefore I ask you, What do you suppose first took place when it came time for this great event to transpire? The Bible does not give us all of this, but I can believe that the Father said, LET US inform Zacharias that his prayer is heard, and that his wife Elizabeth shall bear him a son. In Luke 1:29, Gabriel said to him, “I am SENT to speak unto thee, and to show thee glad tidings.” God used the same angelic helpers to set the stage for the appearance of the second Adam (Jesus Christ 1 Cor. 15:45) that He used in the creation of the first Adam. If you can see this, it will clear up a lot of the muddy water that has been keeping the true light of God’s word from becoming real to you. Even the very next verse there in Genesis 1, declares that God is one, if people would just read on with an open mind. Pay close attention to every word of verse 27, as we read, and I believe you will see it. “So God created man in HIS own image, in the image of GOD created HE (GOD) him; (Adam ) male and female created HE (GOD) them” (Adam & Eve). Does that sound like God is three distinct persons, all three equal in authority, and all three agreeing upon everything that is done? Why do you suppose God is mentioned altogether in the singular, if He is more than one? Also, let me ask you this, Why is HE always mentioned, and referred to, in masculine terminology, if there was the remotest possibility that He could be feminine instead of masculine, as some of these Women’s Liberation movements try to claim? Saints: I am so thankful that God’s word explains itself, when we just simply allow Him, by His Spirit, to take our minds and lead us through the Bible. Hallelujah! What a great God He is! I love Him. What God created in His image, and after His likeness, was not a human form; it was a spirit being with the same attributes as the Creator, and He could say, After OUR image and likeness, because His angels were spirit beings also.

 

GOD’S WORD IS GOD’S THOUGHTS


While we are on the subject of God’s image, we just as well go into the Colossian letter where Paul was dealing with this very subject, and try to clear it all up while we are at this point in the message. We will start with verse 12, of chapter 1, so that we may pick up this thought. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath (It is already done.)translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: (Jesus Christ) In whom (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Let us be sure we realize that the “WHO” in verse 15, is Jesus the Christ, but at the same time we must also realize that it is not His flesh, that is the image of the invisible God; it is the Spirit man dwelling in that flesh. So now we will read verse 16, and that will require us to go to the first chapter of John’s gospel to get a clarification of who created all things. Notice here now, still speaking of Jesus the Christ, Paul says, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” To some, that seems like a contradiction of other scriptures, and to others it sounds like Jesus the Son of God, was with Him in creation, and even, that the Son was the one that did the creating, so that is why we want to read a few verses from the gospel of John. Notice verse 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Now verse 14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Naturally we understand that the flesh was the flesh of Jesus, but that only occurred two thousand years ago, when by the Word of God, or when the Word which was God, spoke, to create an embryo in the womb of Mary, the young virgin, and she nurtured it to birth. But what about the original creation, Why did Paul say, while speaking of Jesus Christ, that all things were created by Him? Brothers and sisters: You just have to realize Paul, having a revelation of the Godhead, and writing to saints that also had such a revelation, was speaking of the Father which dwelt in the Son, and was ONE with Him, when he said that all things were created by Him. As we go to the Greek to get the meaning of the terminology in John 1:1, we find that in the Greek, this WORD term, used here, simply means, “a thought, or concept,” and also pertains to the expression or utterance of that thought. So it was God’s thoughts that were with Him before there was ever anything created, and by those thoughts, were all things created. Therefore as we continue reading in John 1:2, let us be conscious of the fact that WORD, as used here, applies to the Father, and not to the Son, and if the Father created all things by his Word, then certainly, we know Paul the apostle knew that, and was not even thinking in terms of the Son, when he wrote that particular statement to the Colossians. John 1:2, “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; (still speaking of the Father) and the life was the light of men.” That life spoken of in verse 4, pertains to eternal life, and it is that eternal life that has become the light of men, for this eternal life in man, illuminates and makes know the very will and purpose of God. That eternal life has shined in darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it. The word darkness pertains to the sinful and evil world, and encompasses all of Satan’s demonic forces as well as all evil men. They cannot lay hold upon this light, for this eternal life is shed forth upon only those who were unknown of the Father before the foundation of the world. Verse 10 says. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” He (the Father) was in the world, ( in the flesh of His Son ) and the world was made by Him, (before there ever was this Son) and the world knew Him not. But when He came unto His own, He came in the form of a man, and His own received Him not. Instead of receiving Him, they allowed their very Messiah to be crucified.


WHO CREATED ALL THINGS?


I believe we have sufficiently showed that Paul could not possibly have been referring to the Son when he wrote to the Colossians, that all things were created by Him. Of course we do certainly realize that the Son of God was in the very Spirit image of the Father, but the Son (as the Son) was not with the Father in creation, except in His great mind. Even to say that the WORD was the Son, after the Son came into the World, is not correct terminology, for He was just the expression of that WORD, which, as we pointed out, pertains to the thoughts of the Father, in redemption. That is why He (Jesus) said, I only do what my Father shows me. Now let us read Colossians 1:19, and we will return to Luke. “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) should all fulness dwell.” Yes, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was a full expression of all the attributes of the Father. That is how God chose to walk among men. Not by vacuuming Himself from His omnipresent existence, and pouring all of Himself into His Son, but simply by filling His Son with the fulness of everything that He is. It is just like taking a half filled glass of spring water and filling it the rest of the way with salt water from the Pacific Ocean. Once you do that, you then have in that glass a full representation of all the mineral content of the Pacific Ocean, but you do not have all the Pacific Ocean in your glass. Yet you could truthfully hold that glass up and say, that the fulness of the Pacific Ocean was there in your glass. Do you see it? Every attribute of the Father was present in the Son. Yet from the standpoint of the flesh, Jesus was human in every way, and that takes us back to Luke 1:27, where Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” If I was going to Israel to find such a person, and I had never been there before, I would no doubt have to ask along the way, Could you tell me how to get to Nazareth? Then when I finally reached Nazareth, I would be asking someone, Where will I find a certain young woman named Mary, who is espoused to a man named Joseph? Do you catch my point? That angel knew exactly where to go, how to get there, and how to find the certain virgin named Mary. He made no mistakes. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: (Jehovah Elohim) blessed art thou among women. (The Catholics sure like to use this verse.) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” In other words, What sort of greeting is this? What is he getting ready to say? “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” Now even though Isaiah said, His name shall be called Emmanuel, the angel told both Mary and Joseph, that His name would be JESUS, so there was no mistake made. Emmanuel meant, God with us, but that was not to be the name He would be called by, for the name JESUS conveyed all the attributes of the Father, and came in perfect harmony with Isaiah 9:6, which gives many of the titles attributed to Him. As for myself, I find it very interesting in reading Isaiah 9:6, that God spoke in such a way as to be speaking on behalf of the people who would be looking for the Messiah, a Savior which was to come. “For unto US a child is born, unto US a son is given.” Simeon and Anna were both good examples of those in Israel who looked for, longed for, and lived for the day that their promised Redeemer would appear.


SIMEON AND ANNA IN THE TEMPLE


Notice Luke 2:25, what is said about Simeon. “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; (the deliverance, or Comforting) and the Holy Ghost, (If this had been written at the very time it took place the term Holy Ghost would not have been used; it would no doubt, have stated that the Spirit revealed unto him.) That he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ, (or anointed one) And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; (but only a few, recognized what child this was) A light to lighten the Gentiles, (Notice this prophetic promise to Gentiles.) And the glory of thy people Israel.” Actually this child was not yet God’s anointed one, but since Simeon was giving out a prophecy, everything is spoken in a positive sense. I can just see that devout old man standing daily in the temple compound, always looking with expectancy toward every little baby that was carried past him, for he knew in his heart that he would not die until his eyes had seen the Lord’s promise, the Messiah that was to come. In the natural,, there was nothing different about this little baby that Mary and Joseph brought in. He probably looked just like all the rest, to everyone else, but I believe that Simeon and Anna saw a light around him that others did not see. Besides that, the Spirit of God was present to say, (though not be audible words) This is the one you have been waiting to see. He no doubt walked to Mary and said, Madam: Would you please let me hold your little baby? Probably, tears of great joy began to roll down his cheeks as he held that little baby in his arms, and he began to pray, and magnify God who had been faithful to His promise. Then he said, Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace, according to your word: for my eyes have seen thy salvation. By the Spirit, he could see what this child was destined to become. Was salvation already accomplished? Only in the mind of God, but everything was moving forward toward that hour. Simeon would be a dead man himself, long before Jesus would ever hang upon that old rugged cross, and therefore would never see the day when Gentiles would be partakers of God’s great salvation plan, but he rejoiced to be able to see it in the Spirit, and to be able to hold in his arms the very little vessel that would one day, fulfill all that he had been showed by the Spirit of God. Let us read some more. Verse 33, “And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.” (Here was a man, revealing things that went far beyond what the angel of the Lord had revealed to them, as he appeared to them individually. This man stood there holding the little baby in his arms and began to prophesy as he blessed them.) Verse 34, “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel: and for a sign which shall be spoken against: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” The Godhead was not even in the picture at this time. Every mention of the Lord, and of the Holy Ghost, pertains to the one great eternal Spirit Elohim, which existed before there ever was anything else. This same Spirit had been dealing with an elderly woman named Anna, and she also appeared on the scene about the time Simeon handed the baby back to his mother, so let us read verses 36-38, and hear what she had to say, by the same Spirit that caused Simeon to prophesy. “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple (they were not actually allowed access to the temple itself, but to the temple grounds within the walls.) But served God with fasting and with prayers night and day. (Notice what Luke said about her.) And she coming in at that instant (right when Simeon was handing the little baby back to its mother)gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to ALL THEM, THAT LOOKED FOR REDEMPTION IN JERUSALEM,” all them that believed Isaiah’s prophecy, and trust in the Lord to fulfill it. God never has any missing pieces to the puzzle, He is putting together. Everything falls right exactly into place, and at the exact time it is supposed to. That is why we need not fear, nor be over anxious about the rapture of the church, and what my take place before then, for God is in perfect control of it all.


EDUCATION PRODUCES MAKE BELIEVERS


Alright, so the angel of the Lord told Mary that she would conceive in her womb, bring forth a son, and that he should be called JESUS, and then continues saying, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: (In other words, This child is going to be special child, and will be called the Son of the Highest. There, again, let me say, If God, known as the Father, is the Highest, then it would be impossible for there to be three, all equal in authority.) And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Actually time just passes from the Millennial age right on into the Eternal age. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Since we are devoting the time to this message to try and clear up a lot of tradition in the minds of God fearing people, let me just take this opportunity right here to point out the fact once again, that if the Holy Ghost, the Highest, and God, the Father, are not all one and the selfsame Spirit, then Jesus had more than one Father. I hope this is clear to all of you who love truth, for it is such an important point, in striking down this trinity doctrine that is so common among Gentiles. So just think about this for a moment, before we move on. Anyone that has common sense knows that whoever impregnates a woman, is the father of the child that comes forth, and both here, and also in Matt. 1:20, we learn that Mary was with child of the Holy Ghost, (the Spirit of God.) Therefore her child JESUS, having but one Father, and that one Father being the great eternal Spirit, the Creator, how can anyone possibly allow themselves to believe that the Holy Ghost was, and is another person of the Godhead? Even pagans, before the advent of Jesus Christ, knew that a baby, born of woman, had only one father, so how can people who profess to be enlightened by the Spirit of God, believe something that is absolutely impossible? Only the devil himself, could hatch up such a foolish bunch of nonsense. They (those who believe in a trinity)say that it is a great mystery, and that we are not supposed to understand it, and brother, it is a good thing that a true child of God does not have to try to understand such a senseless bunch of nonsense, or he could never have a minute’s peace of mind. You would never know who to pray to, you would never know how many thrones God has in heaven, nor what to expect when you get there. With a trinity concept of God, and a closed mind about the Godhead, the more you study the scriptures, the more confused you become. That is why these great Doctors of Divinity have to use such high and holy terminology, it is a disguise, to hide their spiritual ignorance. They did not get those words, and terms of speech from the Bible, I know that much; for the Bible is written in terminology so simple that even the uneducated can understand it, if they have the Spirit of God to guide them. Therefore I say to you, whoever you may be that looks to your education to reveal God to you, You are searching in vain. God cannot be found that way. Did not Jesus Himself say, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” That means that in child like faith we must accept Him, and allow the Holy Ghost to teach us what we need to know, instead of depending upon our education, or our situation in life. Some people have spent their whole life in church, so to speak, and they are still just as lost as anyone else, because they have never come to Jesus Christ the only way he will receive anyone. How is that, Preacher? Brother, there is only one way, and that is the way Peter pointed those Orthodox Jews to, in Acts 2:38, when they finally asked, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Peter answered them saying, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. All of those Jews were already religious, just like many of you, but they needed to be born again, in order to enter into God’s great redemption plan, and so do a lot of you. Your father’s religion, or your mother’s religion will never get you into the kingdom of God. It may keep you going to church. It may cause you to take part in all that the true saints are doing, but the sad truth is, no matter how much you do, if you never come to the reality of the new birth, you are just a hypocrite, a make believer. Now, don’t get offended at me, I am trying to help you. It is God’s word that requires you to be born again, in order to enter into the kingdom of God, and none of you should have to be told whether or not you have been born again. If you do not know beyond any shadow of doubt that you have, then the chances are great, that you never have. For the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons and daughters of God. (1 John 5:10, Romans 8:16) Therefore it you do not have that witness within you, your works in the church are vain. Romans 8:9, the last part of the verse says, “ Now if any man (or any person) have not the Spirit of Christ, he (or she) is none of His.” If you are too high up in church government to ever humble yourself and obey the gospel according to God’s only way, then you will live your life as a make believer, and die in your sinful state of unbelief, and the only record of your life upon earth will be dependant upon what people think of you, and that has no eternal value. To obey is better than sacrifice, says the word of God, regardless of who you are.


JESUS— OUR ELDER BROTHER


Now if you have followed my words this far in the message, and you still believe in the trinity, don’t blame me when you are rejected of God, for I have told you the truth, and I have not asked you for one thing in return. I have nothing to sell, and I am not trying to make a great name for myself; I am only trying to obey the call that I believe God has upon my life. If you have better words in which to express the truth of God’s word, then use them. You will not offend me in the least. I just have to use what I have. One thing I do know though, when we get to Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, we will be right back where it all started from, in the Garden of Eden, all believing in one God, and He will be all in all, just like the apostle Paul stated, in 1 Cor. 15:28. God will be back in His family in the fulness of Himself throughout all eternity. In 1 Cor. 15:28, Paul said, “Then cometh the end, when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He (Jesus the Christ) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” So, brothers and sisters: There will come that glorious day when Jesus will no longer have to function in the redemption offices, for all of God’s lost creation will be redeemed back to the place Adam had with Him before the fall. Jesus will then be our elder brother (Heb. 2:11) in the great family of God. Bro. Jackson: Does that mean that Jesus will lose something. NO. It means that we will gain something, so that we will be just like Him. It really is not a matter of Jesus losing anything; it simply is a matter where God’s Ambassador of Peace has accomplished His mission, and no longer has any need for the credentials He carried in the role of redemption. Does that mean that all of God’s redeemed children will be perfect, just like Jesus? That is what redemption is, returning something back to its original. When Adam was created, he too was sinless, and possessed the same attributes as the God that created him. That is what being in the image of God means. Adam was God’s first son, but Jesus was God’s first begotten Son. Adam was created from nothing, while Jesus was allowed to pass through God’s law of reproduction from the standpoint of His flesh. In other words, God bypassed the sex act between man and woman, and simply created an embryo in the womb of Mary, and then allowed the woman’s body to take it from that point. Therefore as far as the flesh of Jesus is concerned, it was made from the same carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and water from the earth, that all other flesh is made from, through what Mary ate and drank. By bypassing the creative law of reproduction, that is, from the seed of a man coming into contact with the egg of a woman, and just simply creating an embryo in the womb of Mary, by His spoken word, Jesus was born of woman just like all other little babies are born, but he was without any of the inherited attributes that all the rest of us have. It is a biological fact, that every little baby born into this world as a result of the sex act between man and woman, has equal hereditary attributes both from the mother and the father. At any rate, regardless of what terminology you may wish to use, to speak of it, God created a perfect life cell in the womb of that young virgin girl, and that is the reason, and the only reason that it can be said that Jesus was completely sinless, and perfect in every way. He had a Godlike nature, and in every way, attributes of God, yet he was not deity until the day John baptized him, and the Spirit of the Father who created that cell of life in Mary, descended upon Him from heaven, in the (as Luke described it) bodily shape of a dove. At that time, a voice came from heaven saying, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” From that time and onward, the great God of all creation was incarnated in the flesh and blood man called the Son of God. But all this talk you have heard about the eternal Son of God is incorrect, for until two thousand years ago, the Son Jesus, existed only in the mind of God. He was in the mind of God even before there was a son, or moon, or any star, and the very virgin that would carry that cell of life was in His mind also, but not until two thousand years ago, did this Son have any literal material existence. For a full thirty years this Son of God grew up in stature and maturity, and during that time, he spoke as the Son of God, just like at the temple that day, when Mary and Joseph had been searching for Him, and upon finding Him sitting in the midst of the scholars, both hearing them as well as asking questions of them, and when Mary inquired of His behavior, He said, How is it that ye sought me? Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? They did not understand exactly what He meant, but we can be assured that He knew who His Father was, and He was learning all about Him.


JESUS’ FIRST MIRACLE


Now the Catholics will tell you that as a little boy He was out creating birds and so forth, but I am here to tell you, that this perfect Son of God never did any miracles at all, until after He was baptized by John. I know that disturbs some of you, but I can prove it by the scriptures to anyone who will take the scriptures as the authority. It is true, as we have already pointed out, that all the prophecies about Him were spoken in the present, positive sense, but they only became effective when He was anointed to fulfill them. You will recall, that after He was baptized, He was driven by the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be tested by the devil. That is where He proved Himself to be the perfect Son of God. Before that, there were no miracles performed by Him. We go to the 2nd chapter of John to prove that. We find here that He is attending a wedding reception in Cana of Galilee, and when they ran out of wine, Mary came to Him and said, “They have no wine.” But, notice what He said back to her. “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” That was not God speaking; that was the Son speaking. He did not yet know what to do about it. He only knew that it was not yet time for Him to do anything except to continue walking obediently to the Father. But Mary just ignored His answer, and said to the servants, Whatever He tells you to do, that do ye. So now He has really been put on the spot, and the Father did not forsake Him, for about that time, He looked at those servants and said, Fill the water pots with water, and they did as they were told. Then He said to them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. I need not go on. You and everyone know the story. What they served from those water pots was the best wine that any of them had drank. Turning that water into wine was His first miracle. Verse 11, tells us so, but I want you to know, those words, “Fill the water pots with water,” were not the words of the Father. The Father and the Son are now a complete unity, if I may express it like that. The Spirit of the Father and of the Son are one Spirit, and from that time on, throughout the rest of His ministry upon earth, one time you would hear Him speak as the Son, and another time, you would hear Him speak as the Father. That is what Trinitarians are never able to reconcile. They hear Him praying to the Father, and they will say, There has to be more than one, or else He (Jesus) would be praying to Himself. Now, Saints, Do not allow your mind to be channeled into the devils’s trap. The fact that the Father (Spirit) dwells in His Son, does not eliminate the Son, and neither does it remove the Father from His omnipresence in the universe. Therefore even though all the fulness of the Father dwelled in Him, Jesus the Son was not looking within Himself when He prayed; He spoke to the omnipresent Spirit just like we do. Is that clear: Can you see it? I will use a little illustration, that may make this a little more clear to some of you. It will not be exactly the same, but it will allow you to see how one set of vocal cords can be used both by God and by the person whose voice does the speaking. A person could be speaking upon any human subject one minute, and the very next minute the Spirit of God could anoint him to speak, “Thus saith the Lord.” It would be the same vocal cords being used, in both instances, but the, “Thus saith the Lord, would not be from the human spirit of the person; it would be from the Spirit of God in him. The big difference here is, Jesus had the Spirit of God without measure, and we have only a measure. You can turn to John 3:34, and see what John said about Jesus Christ. “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” In other words, Here was a Son completely submitted to the will of the Father in all things, therefore the Father bestowed upon that Son, all power and authority to accomplish His mission and purpose, but when the Son exercised that authority and power to perform a miracle, it was from that standpoint of the Father rather than the Son.


JESUS’ THREEFOLD WORK UPON EARTH


Naturally this great subject of the Godhead, encompassing the humanity and the deity of Christ, is too big for any of us to comprehend with the natural mind, and that is what has caused religious minded people down through time, just to give a traditional interpretation to those things that they did not understand, and let it go at that. But tradition, in the spiritual mind of a person, is darkness, while truth in that same mind, is light. That is what John meant when he said that this light lighteth the pathway of every man, or is made available to every man, but all men are not going to receive that light, and that is where the condemnation is. Those who love darkness better than light, are rejected of God. Their traditions are not acceptable to Him. You may believe exactly what your saintly old grandmother believed, and still be walking in darkness, for truth has been made available to you, that was not present in her hour, and that is what God is looking at . The Scribes and Pharisees in the days when Jesus Christ walked upon earth, had their traditions which spoke of this great revelation that was to come, but when it came in such a simple fashion, they were not able to shake themselves loose from their traditions, to receive it. That great light was walking the streets of Jerusalem in the flesh of His only begotten Son, and only those to whom the Father revealed Himself, were able to see it. That is why Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father (the Spirit ) draw him.” The Jews were to see the Father, in Jesus, (John 14:7-11) but the disciples were to see Jesus, in the church, (John 16:16-17) Jesus had a threefold work in revealing the Father to the Jews of that day. For He was to reveal His name, His word, and His works. All this was in Jesus the Christ. In John 14:9, He said to Phillip, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Why did He say that? Because Phillip had just said, Lord, Show us the Father, and we will be satisfied. You have to have a spiritual eye to see the Father in me? That kind of intermingling would be impossible for anything except spirit beings. “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: (The Son talking) but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.” Now notice verses 13-14, how the name of the Father is revealed. The redemption name of the Father is the name of the Son, so He says, “And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I DO, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Why would the Father be glorified? Because it is by the power and authority of the Father, that the Son is able to perform feats that go beyond the realm of natural man. 14 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I WILL DO IT.”


HIS WORD— HIS WORKS— HIS NAME


Now notice verse 26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my NAME, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” It is by the authority of the Father, that the Spirit of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts. There are many scriptures that we could read, which show that Jesus’ mission was to reveal the Father to His creation, but for now, let us just read a few verses from John chapter 17, where Jesus was praying to the Father. In verse 3, we find, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the WORD which thou gavest me to do.” Here we see that He had been doing the WORKS of the Father, and in verse 6, we see that it was the Father’s name that was being revealed through Him. “I have manifested (made known) thy NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, (by foreknowledge and predestination) and thou gavest them me; and they have kept THY WORD. Verse 7, Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. Notice verse 8. For I have given unto them the WORDS which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” So it is the works of the Father, and words of the Father, and the Father’s name, that was being revealed during the 3 ½ years Jesus walked among men. Then when we go back to John 14:12, we learn something else. Not only did Jesus do the WORKS of the Father, but those who believe on Him will also do likewise. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the WORKS that I do shall he do also; and greater WORKS than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” That just allows us to see that it is God’s name, God’s word, and God’s works, that are revealed to mortal men, when the true Gospel is preached. But none of these are revealed through the preaching of man’s traditions. Trinitarians speak of God being incarnated in Jesus Christ, but they did not, and do not understand it, or they would not believe that God is three persons. They speak of the only begotten Son of God, and never once stop to realize the fact that if He were begotten of the Father, He could not possibly have had any part in the creation of the first man Adam. Bro. Jackson, the Bible says all things were created by Him. Yes, I know. We have already been through all of that, and you did not catch the revelation of it. All things were created by He(the Father Spirit)that dwelled in the Son (Jesus the Christ.) Brothers and sisters: It requires a spiritual revelation to walk with God in truth. For even the ancient Egyptians believed that the God of heaven was incarnated in flesh, but the flesh that they looked to, was that of a cow. I have seen the tombs where they would entomb their sacred cows. They were just as serious about their religion as any of you. Now you say, (picture of Take The Narrow Road In the Middle, THUS SAITH THE LORD)But that is just plain spiritual ignorance. I agree. But that is also what believing that God is three persons is, spiritual ignorance, likened unto paganism.


WHAT CAME DOWN FROM ABOVE?


Brother Jackson: I still do not understand how Jesus could pray to the Father saying, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was, if Jesus did not come down to earth from heaven. Even Jesus Himself said, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Alright, let us just go back to the birth of Jesus and look at a couple of realities, for when this message is completed, I pray that everyone of you will be able to see exactly, in what capacity God was in His Son Jesus, and also how He accomplished it, and in what way is He also in every born again believer. For centuries the Jews had been looking for the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning their promised Messiah, and they knew that their Messiah was going to be a man, a man anointed by that divine Spirit of God. But they, like religious people of all ages, gave the scriptures their own human interpretations, and closed their minds so tightly that they could not be opened to receive the Messiah when He came God’s way. By man’s reasoning, the birth of Jesus who was to be the Christ, should have been announced to the religious leaders of that day, but God who knows the heart’s innermost thoughts of every man, had a different opinion about it. In the first place He let Him be born under very obscure circumstances. There was no great preliminaries leading up to His birth. In fact Mary her self did not even know exactly when she would give birth to the little baby she was carrying, for she did not know at what moment in her life conception actually took place. That is why she left Nazareth, and went to Bethlehem with Joseph, to pay their taxes, without taking along anything for the little baby that would be born of her while they were there. This accounts for the fact that, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes when the shepherds went to see Him, which was nothing more than some old rags, the wrappings off of an old ox yoke that was probably hanging on the wall there in the stable. Do you think any expectant mother would be without little baby clothes, when that little one arrives, if she knows approximately when to expect it? We all know better than that. All right, so what did God do, when the little baby was born? He sent His angels to announce the birth of His only begotten Son, not to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, but to some humble shepherds abiding in the field with their flocks out on the Judean hillside. We have already touched on it, but turn back to Luke 2:8, and let us read a few verses. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory (presence) of the Lord shone round about them: And they were afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” When the angels left them, those shepherds immediately went into town to find the Savior that had been born unto them. They found Him exactly as they had been told they would, for there in a manger lay the little baby, wrapped in those old rags to keep him warm. Was He the Son of God at that moment? Yes, He most certainly was. For He, like every other little baby boy that is born into the world, is the son of the one that its mother conceived from, and we already know that Mary conceived by the Spirit of God, without the sex act that God’s natural law of creation works through. Therefore we can say dogmatically, Yes, that little baby lying there was already the Son of God. But right here is where I want every one of you to pay close attention to what I say. The flesh lying there DID NOT come down from above. Every molecule of it was from the earth. Is that understood? All right then, What did come down from above? What was with the Father in creation? The very spirit of life that was in that little body of flesh, is what came down from above. But that life was not deity at that time; it was just perfect human life exactly like Adam had before He disobeyed God, and had a sentence of death imputed to him. In other words Jesus was a flesh and blood human being, and the Spirit of life in that flesh and blood is what came down from above, but it was not the Spirit, Elohim, the Father of all creation. It was the spirit of life from that Spirit which is that source of all life. Maybe you could better understand, if you will just stop to realize that the spirit of life in every creature comes from that one great eternal, omnipresent Spirit called, The Father. But as we have said already, the thing that made Jesus sinless, was the fact that his conception bypassed the genes of Joseph and Mary, and came directly to the womb of Mary by an act of creation. That is why the Son could pray to the Father, and also speak of coming out from God. He knew exactly who He was. He also knew that He did hot have that Spirit of deity, until after He was baptized by John at the age of thirty years. He knew Joseph was not His paternal father, but He also knew that He was to respect him as His earthly father in all matters of respect and submission. Genetically, there was nothing in Him from Joseph nor from Mary, but from the human standpoint Mary was His mother, because she gave birth to Him. It was also proper and customary for Joseph to be referred to as His father; we all understand that, I am sure. But what is so hard for so many to understand, is how a child at age 12, could have such perfect knowledge and understanding of the things of God. Brother! That is how every one of us would have been, if Adam had not done what he did. As I said already, He had a perfect mind throughout all the years of His childhood, but He had to be allowed to grow up into manhood, and come to maturity before deity powers were bestowed upon Him. Then, even after the Spirit of the Father descended, and abode with Him, He still had to be tested and proved, in order to see if He would misuse those deity attributes. That is what the test in the wilderness was for, after He was baptized, after the Father had taken up His residence inside the Son.


THE CHOICE IS YOURS TO MAKE


Many people seem to have the idea that a child of God, filled with the Holy Ghost, cannot be tempted, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Actually, that is when the real temptation, or testing, begins. For you then have something in you that can resist the devil and all his demonic powers, but that something in you, will not force you to follow the right path every time you are tested. He is there to enable you to overcome, if that is your choice, and He is there to chasten you if you make the wrong choice, but He will not force your choice. Yes, He will influence your choice. He will flash scriptures before your face, and at times, even allow you to see what the consequences of a wrong choice will be, but the choice is yours to make. That is how it was with Adam. He was not forced to disobey God’s command, and neither was he tricked by the devil. He knew what God had said, “In the day that thou eatest thereof (or partakest) thou shalt surely die,” but he went ahead just the same, by his own choice, and thereby brought down a death sentence upon the whole human race. When Jesus was tested, there in the wilderness, the fulness of the Godhead that Paul spoke of to the Colossians, was already dwelling in Him, so that He could have literally turned every one of those stones into a tasty loaf of bread, but that obedient Son refused to use the supernatural power of God to satisfy a need of the flesh. You say, If the Father had already joined Himself to the Son, could He really have been hungry? Yes, absolutely. That did not change His flesh in the least. The human (flesh and blood man) Son of God still had to be fed and cared for just the same as anyone else. The big difference is, He did not pamper His flesh like we do. What He did as a Son of God was set a perfect example before all who would ever be faced with choices between right and wrong in this life. Not just as an adult, but throughout His whole life. It would be wrong for us to even think that He did not enjoy playing with other children as a boy growing up, for I believe there were certain things He enjoyed doing. But you can believe me, He was not out somewhere throwing rocks at His neighbor’s camels, stealing, nor shooting dice in a back alley. His mind was constantly occupied with how to please the Father, the great eternal Spirit. When we are born again, God desires for us to catch a true vision of this perfect Son of God, and pattern our own lives after it. No I am not talking about a supernatural vision by the Spirit; I am talking about us seeing Jesus Christ in the scriptures in such a real way, that His fervency to always please the Father will cause us to dwell more and more on pleasing the Father. That is a real part of growing into the stature of Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful thing, to know the truth. But it is a pathetic sight, to see people who know the truth, actually living below the moral standards of some ancient pagans. Then there is another element of religious people that spend all their efforts trying to be where they can witness or partake of some supernatural phenomena, and these never give any thought to the true doctrine of Christ, nor to proper Christian conduct and moral behavior. These seem to think of God’s gifts of the Spirit the same way a small child does a box full of new toys; they will play with one for a little while, then throw it down and try another one. Are you getting my point? I have actually been present in meetings where the gifts of the Spirit was used like toys, and I am sure that some of you have too, but it ought not to be so. Of course we all realize that babes in Christ do not understand everything there is to know about proper Christian conduct the first day they give their heart to God, but there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for such a person to go year after year without ever growing in the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ.


GOD’S WORD IS OUR DEFENSE


Now at this point, I want to explain something to you about the Godhead. We have used the scripture many times, even in this message already, where Paul wrote to the Colossians saying, “For in Him (Jesus Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” But how many of you actually realize that there are still some things that He who is eternal keeps to Himself? In order not to feel like there is a contradiction here, we must realize what Paul was looking at when he wrote those words. When Jesus walked upon earth among men for 3 ½ years, what was his purpose? What was He to accomplish? He was to reveal the mind of God the Father in all things pertaining to the salvation of lost mankind. During that time all the fulness of the Godhead pertaining to that office was bestowed upon Him. But you know the prophets spoke of Him not only as Savior and prophet, but also as High priest and King, so I ask you, Was He King, when He walked upon earth? NO, He was King to be. Was He High Priest? No, He was High Priest to be. Brothers and sisters: When He comes, God incarnated, to fulfill His role as King of kings, He will not conduct Himself as a prophet. When He was a prophet, He was meek and lowly, but when He comes as King, He will be swinging a sword. He has been before the throne of the great eternal Spirit for two thousand years interceding for all that would ever repent and turn to God, but when time comes for Him to leave that mercy seat, intercession will be finished for the grace age. Therefore when you think of Him in the fulness of the Godhead, you need to think of the fulness of the purpose of God, or the will of God that He is seeking to unfold. Whatever realm He is functioning in, you will not find God working outside of that dimension. But He will certainly be there in all the fulness of His great attributes unfolding the fulness of His purpose. When Jesus was ministering here on earth for 3 ½ years, He was not demonstrating how to be a perfect King, He was demonstrating to all mankind, how to be a perfect son of God, how to yield to the will of the Father in every situation. Bro. Jackson: How can we always know the will of God? Saints, God is not unfair; He will never expect any of us to go beyond what we know to do, but at the same time, we have no right to expect God to reveal more of His will to us, unless we are making an honest effort to walk in what we know already. It is a proven fact, the closer you follow Him, the better you will know Him. But do not ever get the idea that walking close to God will set you free from Satan’s sneaky attacks, for he will watch for every opportunity to try and trick you. Whenever you get to feeling a little low for some reason or another, he will be right there accusing you, you must have done something wrong. Surely God doesn’t love you anymore, or He wouldn’t let you suffer like that, and a million other things, but regardless of what the devil throws at you, if you know how to use the sword of the Spirit (The word of God) you will always be able to overcome. That is why Paul wrote what he did in (1st Cor. 10:13,) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” In other words, those who walk close to God will always have that sword of the Spirit handy to use, just like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him, there in the wilderness. When the tempter said to Him, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” But Jesus was ready with His sword, and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem, and sat Him upon a pinnacle of the temple, (Now the devil did not literally carry Jesus to Jerusalem and sit Him upon such an high place; he merely gave Him a vision) and saith unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Now the devil was actually quoting scripture to Him, (Psalms 91:11) but what did Jesus say to him? “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Some of these snake handlers ought to read that verse along with Mark 16:17-18, and there would not be so many of them dying from poisonous snake bites.) Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (by another vision) and said unto Him, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then Jesus saith unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” Now I hope you were paying attention, for I want to ask you a question. What power did Jesus use against Satan, that is not just as available to us, as it was to Him? Do not say, as some have, But He was God. That was not God being tempted, for God cannot be tempted with evil. You will find James saying that. This was the Son of God being tempted. The Father was in Him already, but He did not intervene. Everything was still up to the Son. This newly invested power and authority was there, but this Son of God overcame Satan the very same way He expects each and every one of us to overcome him, but our correct usage of the word of God. That is why Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:3-4, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I want you to know that there are very few times if any at all, that Satan will ever tempt you by speaking with an audible voice. It is the mind that he works through. Your vain imaginations do not come to you from the Spirit of God; they come from that other spirit that is the enemy of God. Yes, Satan is a spirit also, invested with certain powers, but those powers have become perverted, to be used for evil purposes that are contrary to the perfect will of the Creator.


JESUS SAID, FOLLOW ME


Now the father knew that the Son would not fail, but nevertheless, it had to become an established fact that the Son had been tested, and also how He overcame the tempter, or it could not have rightly been said, that in all points He was tempted like we are. Neither could Paul have written to the Hebrew saints saying, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” One thing I learned while I was in the army, was that an officer that had actually been in combat, spoke with a certain authority that could not be found in those that had just learned what they knew, from books, in a military academy. I will say this also, It is easier to obey the orders of an officer that will jump out of the fox hold and say, Follow me, Boys, and let’s get them, than one who sits back and says, Go get them, Boys. Are you getting my point? In Hebrews, Paul also wrote, that the captain of our salvation was made perfect through the things which He suffered, or through sufferings. In other words, He did not just say, Now all you that want to be saved, Get up and go do what I tell you, instead He said, Follow me. Sinful mankind could never have accepted that perfection and seen Him as a Savior, unless He too had been tempted and tested in every way that we are. The same one that refused to use supernatural power to satisfy His own personal hunger, a few months later, took a little boys lunch and fed a great multitude. Do you know why, or how? Because those people that had been following Him for days, without food to eat, were on the verge of dropping in their tracks, and when His compassion reached out to them, there was something in Him that just kept on multiplying those loaves and fishes. That same something was already in Him out there in the wilderness, but He refused to call upon that authority for the gratification of His own personal flesh. That pleased the Father to witness Him proving His example ship for you and me. After that temptation was completed, He returned in the power of the Spirit, or as another writer said, full of the Holy Ghost. Later when He returned to Nazareth where He was brought up, He entered into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read, as His custom was, so they brought Him a scroll of Isaiah, the prophet, and He read the portion where Isaiah had written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the scroll and handed it back to the minister, and sat down. He knew there would be a day of vengeance, just like the 2nd half of verse 2 says, but that would be later, so He did not read that part. Brothers and sisters: I am showing you this to let you see how the Son knew exactly how to yield Himself to every scriptural setting. He just rolled up the scroll, handed it back, and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” All that heard Him marveled at the gracious words He spake, but they began to say, Is not this Joseph’s son? You all know the story, how He knew exactly what they were thinking and whispering one to another, and said, “Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” He went ahead to remind them how Elijah had been sent to only one of the many widows in the land during the time of a great famine, and how Namen the Syrian was healed of leprosy when there were so many others in the land of Israel at that same time which also had leprosy, and they must have caught the point He was making, for it says, they were all filled with wrath and would have thrown Him down from a high hill, if He had not passed from their midst. It just goes to show that people whose motives are not right, cannot bear to hear the truth. Trinitarian preachers that are afraid they might lose their job unless they preach what the congregation wants to hear, cannot stand to hear the truth about the Godhead. They enjoy standing so piously, and speaking of the blessed holy trinity, and how God is perfected in three persons, all equal in authority, yet three distinct persons, each having his own identity.

 

Brothers and sisters: I hope you are enjoying these messages as much as I am. For as I search out these many scriptures that we are using to show the humanity, and also the deity of Jesus the Christ, it thrills my soul just to realize that God saw fit to lift me up out of man’s traditions, and put a revelation in my heart that allows me to wade through all the confusion of our day, and see God’s great purpose being perfected in spite of all that Satan can do. HALLELUJAH! Praise His great name. Some think He should be called Jehovah, others say He should be called Yahweh, and others, This and That, but in my Bible, His redemption name is JESUS, and I like what Paul said in Ephesians about the whole family in heaven and earth being named that, In Ephesians 3:14-15, he said, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” I was born into a family by the name of Jackson, so I carry the Jackson name. It is a family name, that wherever I go it still identifies me with that certain family. You each have your family name that identifies you with certain genetic family. Why then would anyone object to God having a family name by which all His redeemed children would be called? That is exactly what the compound name JESUS is, and I believe the scriptures will bear that out, as we continue looking into this precious book for the scriptures that show both the humanity, and also the deity of Jesus the Christ. We will not only see a perfect man seeking only to please the Father in everything He does, but we will also see a perfect God being exemplified through that same body of flesh. When the apostle Paul said, Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, he was not just speaking idle words, that is exactly what God’s purpose if for us. His whole plan of redemption is designed to provide Him with a whole family of redeemed children that will be just like Jesus Christ. Tradition has God’s redeemed children going to heaven, there to dwell eternally in the heavens more as just a spirit than in a human family here on earth that He could fellowship with, and He will still have that family. As I have said many times before, redemption is restoring back, not making something different. Some of His saints will be in heaven in their immortal bodies for a period of about 7 years, but others will not leave this earth at all. They will be right here throughout all eternity.

 

We are going to hold the rest of what we have of this message until our next issue, for there are just too many more important points to be brought out, to try to get it all in one paper. There are many things in the Gospels that Jesus said, and did, that we want to examine more closely before we actually bring this great subject to a close, so pray for us, and watch for our next issue. May God be with you everyone, to guide you, and to protect and provide for you in this evil hour.

Watching For The Rapture – 1982, September

1982-09-Watching-For-The-Rapture

SAINTS: I WANT TO ASK YOU ONE QUESTION BEFORE I EVEN START TO DEAL WITH OUR ANNOUNCED SUBJECT. IN WHAT WAY ARE YOU, AS AN INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER, WATCHING FOR THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH? THIS SUBJECT IS VERY MUCH TALKED ABOUT IN OUR DAY, BUT SOME OF THE IDEAS THAT PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE BORN AGAIN COME UP WITH, CAUSES ME TO WONDER IF THEY KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT IT. EVEN SOME WHO YOU KNOW SHOULD KNOW BETTER, STILL SPEAK OF IT AS SOMETHING THAT COULD TAKE PLACE JUST ANY MOMENT. IT IS MAINLY FOR THIS REASON THAT I FEEL LED TO DEAL WITH IT AT THIS TIME.

I BELIEVE WE HAVE SUFFICIENT SCRIPTURES TO PROVE TO ANY REASONABLE THINKING PERSON, THAT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD CANNOT TAKE PLACE JUST ANY MOMENT NOW. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE MESSAGE IS NOT MEANT TO GIVE ANYONE ANY REASON TO BE CARELESS, OR SLOTHFUL IN THEIR CHRISTIAN LIVING, FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MAY COME FOR YOU BEFORE THIS MESSAGE IS FINISHED. IF HE DOES, YOU WILL STAND IN THE RESURRECTION INSTEAD OF THE RAPTURE OF THE LIVING BRIDE. THEREFORE I HOPE YOU WILL ALL BEAR WITH ME AS WE LOOK AT THE MANY SCRIPTURES THAT SHED LIGHT UPON THIS SUBJECT.

TEXT 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18

In an age when so many people are talking about the rapture of the bride of Christ, the translation of the saints, the catching away of the church, and so forth, let us endeavor to make sure we understand the terminology, and also, exactly who it applies to. Many people in our day who claim to be waiting for the rapture to take them out of this world and into the presence of Jesus, could not possibly partake of that blessed event as long as they hold to their present theology and traditional beliefs. Jesus is truly going to to call some saints to meet Him in the air one day, and it probably will not be much longer, but not everyone that speaks of such an event will be a part of it, for the scriptures tell us that He will present to Himself a perfect church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. That, of course, will rule out all those who are trying to make it in on grandma’s religion, or some Trinitarian concept of what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. Our title for this message, “WATCHING FOR THE RAPTURE,” speaks of something every true child of God ought to be doing. Not with a telescope, but with eyes of faith, and a steadfast confidence in our hearts. To watch for that which the word of God tells us is coming, is not just a privilege we have; it is also our responsibility. But our watching must be based upon something more than just the doctrine of the translation; it must be because our lives are being lived according to the revelation of the hour, and we are ready to meet the Lord just any moment. Now please do not take this to mean that I am expecting the rapture just any moment, for as we have said before, there are still a few prophecies of the scriptures that must be fulfilled before that blessed event occurs, but those who are ordained to be in the rapture will not wait until all prophecies are fulfilled before they begin to make themselves ready to meet the Bridegroom. Yes, that’s right; if you are among that number it will be because you have made yourself ready; the preacher cannot do it for you. Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife HATH MADE HERSELF READY.”

TRIBULATION SAINTS NOT RAPTURED

The rapture will be the glorious climax of a certain people’s journey through life and time. It will translate those who are ready into the very presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they shall be with Him for ever and ever. But we are told to watch, and the Bible tells us how to watch, so that is what we are going to look at in the various scriptures we will read. Naturally we will be reading after the apostle Paul; for he was the scripture writer that had the revelation of how this journey will end for the bride of Christ. He did not have a revelation, or we will say His recorded revelation did not cover the foolish virgins that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:1-13, therefore what he wrote, was written to what he saw as the church of the living God, overcoming believers. He did not speak in a haphazard way. His objective was always consistent; and what he wrote to the various assemblies showed that he viewed all of them in the same light. It was he, who saw that there would actually be a translation of the saints. Jesus spoke of a resurrection for those who believed in Him, but He never gave any kind of order in which it would take place. Nor did He give any clues that would give anyone anything to go on; He only established the fact that there would be a resurrection. Therefore what Paul spoke concerning these things had to be spoken from a personal revelation given to him by the Lord Himself. There was no scriptures in the Old Testament that he could draw from as to the order of the resurrection, or the rapture of the saints, even though it did speak of a resurrection. Job, and David, and various others looked for a resurrection, but nowhere do we find any order given to it, or even who the beneficiaries will be, except in Paul’s writings, John, many years later as that first age was closing out, began to see things that would set in motion conditions which would enter in and run right on through to the end, making room for the fulfillment of what Jesus said about foolish virgins at the end time. In the book of Revelation, John tells of seeing a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues standing before the throne worshiping God, and he is told that this great multitude are those which have come up out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Of course that scripture alone does not speak of foolish virgins, but when you read it with Matthew 25:1-13, and Revelation 20:4, you will see that this great multitude not only consisted of martyred Jews from the great tribulation, but it also included those foolish virgins, people that believed in God, looked for the rapture according to man’s traditions, and failed to make themselves ready to partake of that blessed event. We will see more of the conditions that actually set the stage for foolish virgins as we go into the message, but now, let us go to 1Thessalonians where we will actually begin our study for this message, “Watching for the Rapture.”

STRAIGHTENING UP A REVELATION

Here we have an assembly of saints that have been taught by the apostle Paul, but like everyone else, their revelation had to be tested. Conditions will always arise that will test our attitude towards the scriptures, and how they are to be applied to our life. Our faith must run in true continuity with the scriptures that are revealed in our age, and many times we have to be reminded to check up on ourselves, and see if we are truly following a genuine revelation. From what we read here in 1 Thessalonians, I would say that a lot of them had begun to question the loss of loved ones in death, for they believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime, and no doubt expected all the saints to live to see Him. They were looking for the rapture, but somehow they just had not been able to see where saints would die before it took place. Therefore I can hear them, Bro. Paul: What is the meaning of all this? What has gone wrong? Paul had laid a good foundation for their faith to rest upon, but time itself takes it’s toll, so Paul writes them this letter dealing with various phases of the Christian life, and finally comes to the part about the resurrection, and the catching away of the saints in chapter 4, verses 13-18, so let us read some of what he had to say there. After exhorting them on how to walk and grow in the stature of Jesus Christ, dealing with proper attitude and conduct, he approaches the thing that seems to be bothering them the most. Verse 13,”But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, ( What a statement. Yet this is common terminology applied to those who do not have a revelation of the Word of God. We are to be enlightened scripturally.) concerning them which are asleep, (dead) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Brothers and sisters, God intends for His true children to understand that which they have faith in. Of course there may be things written in the book ( Bible) in a mysterious way, but in every age God has always revealed to His true people what they needed to know to enable them to walk in the light of their age. Furthermore let me say this, God has never intended for anything to be written in a mysterious way, to confuse the saints. It is to hide truth from the world in general, so He can reveal it to those who love truth, and have purposed to walk accordingly. You can rest assured if you are walking in all the truth that God has revealed to you, that whatever else is destined to affect your life will be revealed to you also. Naturally we are speaking from the standpoint of a dedicated life of holiness before God and man, and not just that we may know something for the sake of telling it to show how much we know. I believe you understand. What we are dealing with here, is just some of the basic things that Christians are expected to grow in, as they take on the mind of Christ in their daily Christian walk.

THE FIRST RESURRECTION

Notice verse 14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus (saints that have died) will God bring with him.” Let us understand now, that when Jesus comes fulfilling this scripture, He will not be bringing any literal bodies with Him. When Christians die, their bodies are entombed, but their spirit returns to the great eternal God, who is Spirit, and therefore will be present with God in spirit form only, when Jesus comes for the resurrection of the dead, and the translation of the living saints. Alright now, verse 15, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” You will notice that Paul is not giving reference to anything that he has read out of a book. He says this is by the word of the Lord, which means, by the word of revelation. What is revelation? It simply means that we now understand something that was previously unknown and mysterious to us. Paul had a revelation and could state positively that the living saints would not prevent, or hinder those who had not died in the faith from being resurrected when that time arrives, and to be in Jesus, is to be in Him by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to 1 Cor. 12:13. “For by One Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ( the body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” People in former ages did not have end time scriptures revealed to them in fullness; they were only allowed to see a little profile. Full understanding is only imparted to the generation of believers that will be affected by the fulfillment of these various scriptures. In other words, They will be the ones that will see the real beauty of them. God has this thing so precisely worked out, that once a scripture is revealed to you, everything else that you may have believed about it suddenly becomes history. God’s objective is materialization, in the end, of all that the church has only been able to see through eyes of faith while on her journey through time. Let me say also, Here in verse 15, Paul is not talking about when Jesus comes to earth for the Millennium; this is when He comes to ressurect the righteous dead, and translate the living element of His bride into His very presence. This will be the 2nd phase of the 1st resurrection, leaving the 3rd phase to take place immediately following the great tribulation; for that is when those martyred saints that will be killed because of their faith during that dark hour of time, will be raised to reign with Christ and His bride for one thousand years. Going into the Millennium, only the wicked dead will be left in the ground, and they will remain there until the last resurrection of Revelation 20:11-15, the great white throne judgment, where all the wicked dead are resurrected, judged, and cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. You will find verse 6, of that chapter saying, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the 1st resurrection: (Those that were raised when Jesus arose from the dead, those that will be raised when the bride is translated, and those tribulation saints that will be raised going into the Millennium.) on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him (Who? Christ) a thousand years. So you can see that there will be saints from every age taking part in the 1st resurrection, and most of them have understood very little about this event during their lifetime, but that will not prevent them from being raised to reign with Christ in the Millennium. ( A lot of people feel that we should not teach anything about the Millennium, but what we teach comes from the Bible.)

CAN JESUS COME ANY MOMENT?

I have heard evangelists down through the years of my life, say, How many of you believe in the second coming of Christ? Well naturally that is the Christian’s hope, so then they would say, How many of you believe He could come just any moment? It was all designed to work on the emotions of the people and get them down to the altar boo-hooing. (crying) but in reality they had not been enlightened to one single truth from the Bible. People have been moved psychologically, to believe, or accept certain statements that had no scriptural authority whatsoever. Right here, I must say again as I have many times before. Jesus Christ CANNOT come just any moment to rapture the church. He can come for any individual at any moment, and that is why we need to be ready and watching, but that route will take you through the grave, and you will stand in the 2nd phase of the first resurrection when the time does arrive for the rapture of the church. This statement does not take from, nor add to that which the word of God proclaims; it just simply destroys a lot of evangelistic nonsense. Even Jesus Himself did not know the exact day and hour that the rapture would take place, but I assure you, He knew what would have to proceed the rapture in order for all of the prophecies of the scriptures to be fulfilled. Now some will say, But Bro. Jackson, if Jesus Christ was God, why would He not know everything? You must first understand that Jesus Christ was God in the sense that the great eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation incarnated Him, there at the Jordan River when John baptized Him. Therefore we could say that the Father in Him absolutely did know everything, and everyone that would ever breathe the breath of life, but from the standpoint of the Son, which was the flesh man Jesus, we would have to understand that there were some things that had not been committed to Him when He walked upon earth in His prophetic role. Truly He did say,”All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” but that does not change, nor alter anything that we have said, and here is why. He was exercising Himself in His prophetic role then, He has been in heaven interceding for us in His role as high priest for almost two thousand years, and one day in the very near future He will don His kingly robe and fulfill those scriptures that proclaim Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords literally, instead of just spiritually, as He is to believers right now. So in each phase of His three fold office work He is invested with all power and authority in heaven and in earth in order to fulfill His redemptive work in the plan of the Father.

THE SHOUT

In the years prior to His first advent, some of those Jews might have thought that their Messiah could come just any moment, but you know, and I know that He could not come even one day before His appointed time, and that time was determined in the mind of the great eternal Spirit, His Father, the one who counseled with Himself before the world was ever created. On the other hand the very moment He arrived on the scene the Spirit of God announced it. Brothers and Sisters, these are some of the basic things that believers should be getting settled in their minds by now. Yes, He can come for me at any moment, but if He does, I will take my place among those that sleep in Jesus, and we will still have to wait until time itself has materialized to coincide with the mind of the great eternal Spirit. Therefore with this in mind, let us read verse 16, of our text, and please notice the three fold identify that Paul the great apostle to that first age, gives to His coming for the church. I believe Paul was actually seeing this in a visionary way. First he says, ” For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, ( and secondly) with the voice of the archangel, ( and thirdly) and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” This lets me know that when time has expired to the point for this event to take place, there is not one single thing that any man could do to hurry it up, nor to delay it, not even for one hour, for it is all activated from the heavenly realm. Now I realize that there is still a lot of confusion among the followers of Bro. William Branham‘s message about what the shout consists of, or what it is, but I will say this in defense of the scriptures, Whatever you term the shout to be, it is for one specific purpose, to get your attention. When you yell or shout at someone, it is to get their attention. That is why I am convinced that the shout has got to have a profound meaning, and that it is not to the dead, as many believe. If Paul here, was saying that the shout is what will get the dead out of their graves, then how could he justify what he said in Romans 8:11:? “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (there is your key; you must have that same Spirit dwelling in you before you die, that Jesus had dwelling in Him.) He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Do you see what I mean? It is that Spirit in you, that is going to give life back to your dead bodies, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you, so just be sure you know that you have been awakened to the reality of what is about to come. Furthermore, be sure you do not wake up and head in the wrong direction.

THE VOICE AND THE TRUMPET

Saints, I want to use a certain term right here, but first I want to be sure you understand that I am not speaking of three persons of the Godhead as a trinity minded person might be prone to do, for we know that God is one. Now here is my point. It is the three personages involved in verse 16. First I want you to notice that it is the Lord Himself, the God-man, our Lord and Savior that gives the shout. That is to wake us up to scriptural reality. But the voice of the archangel speaks of another being. God has followed a pattern of having certain great events announced by the voice of an archangel. Gabriel announced the birth of John to Zecharias, and how he would fulfill his part of Malachi 4:5-6. He also announced to Joseph how the birth of Jesus would fulfill Isaiah 7:14, and announced to Mary concerning the birth of Jesus and of John, and so forth, but my point is, there is a phase two of the total event commonly referred to as the rapture, and that pertains to something that is to be announced during an interval of time between the shout and the last trump. In the first advent setting, neither John, nor Jesus came on the scene without it first being announced by the angel of the Lord. But who was the announcement to? Not to the world; but only to those that would be directly involved in the event. I hope you are getting this, for this lets me know that there is to be something announced pertaining to this event prior to its occurrence, and it will only be heard by those who are to particpate. The drunks in the local tavern will not hear it, and neither will the tares that my be sitting among the saints, but if that same Spirit dwell in you that dwelleth in Jesus Christ, you, if you are still alive at that time, will hear it, for it will be something pertaining to the total event that you will need to know. But now we come to the third phase, if it may be properly referred to like that. This is a little hard to express in a way that will give a clear picture, because this trump of God is not referring to the God-man Jesus. It is referring to the great eternal Spirit. For He is the one that has the last word in every event. Throughout the Old Testament you will find the trumpet associated with the voice of Jehovah. Maybe I can use a little illustration that will help. In the old U.S. Cavalry, then the commander had the trumpeter blow the charge, every last one of those cavalrymen knew exactly what to do, and that was their signal to commence. Likewise, this verse 16, will have its fulfillment in the same manner. How did those cavalrymen know what to do when they heard that trumpet blow? You say, Why, they had been taught what it meant. Al right we have the same situation here. The shout awakens an element of people spiritually, the voice gets them ready, and the trumpet turns it all loose. It is by the authority of the great eternal Spirit that the trumpeter is being held from blowing the charge, and He is the only one that can give the signal, or word of authority to blow the trumpet. Therefore Brothers & Sisters, it is not the shout that the dead in Christ will hear, and it is not the voice of the archangel that they will hear; all of this is for those who are still alive when time for this event corresponds with God’s perfect time table. But Praise God! When that trumpet sounds it’s blast, it will be heard around this world, and saints from all ages will come forth out of the ground. Hallelujah!! There is not one thing that any preacher can do to change the present physical state of the dead man. Furthermore, the dead do not have to worry or even think about when the rapture is going to take place. He does not have to lay there wondering, How am i going to have faith enough to get up out of this grave? No, He has been laid to rest, having the seal, the security, and the promise, that the same Spirit which raised up Jesus Christ will also raise him up when the time comes. That is why the Bible tells us that the Holy Ghost is our rest. He is the promise that fulfills all promises. Therefore those who hear the shout and the voice of instructions pertaining to that cherished event will be those who are still living, having the Spirit dwelling in them.

WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED

Let us go to 1 Corinthians 15:51 now, where we find Paul dealing, not with the rapture, but with the resurrection of the dead. He says nothing whatsoever about a shout, nor does he mention anything about the voice of the archangel, for he is dealing strictly with the part that brings the dead back to life, the resurrection. Notice, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” Right here is where some people stop, for they go back and get the scripture where Paul, this same apostle, said to the Hebrews, in dealing with another subject, “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment,” and they will say, The Bible says we are all to die. They never bother to get the setting; they only take the words that were spoken. But when you stop to realize that Paul was dealing with the penalty for man’s sin in the garden of Eden, then you realize that after the death sentence was imputed to mankind, that has been the lot of every generation since then. But when you go into 1 Cor. 15:51-58, Paul is dealing with a time when God is again going to change the trend of things, a time when death will cease to rule over mankind. He is talking about a day when ( Picture: The Modern Councils of Churches That Claim to speak for millions of Protestants) death is going to be swallowed up in victory. He says, I am going to show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. He just puts the living saints, and the dead saints all together and says, We shall all be changed, and Praise God! We surely will. Now notice this next verse. He skips the shout, and the voice of the archangel, and goes directly to the sounding of the trumpet. ” In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” He doesn’t bother to mention the shout, nor the voice of the archangel here, because he is dealing strictly with the resurrection of the dead, but you rest assured, that when that trump sounds for the change it will be both for the living and the dead saints. Revelation of the word of God comes when the Holy Spirit helps us put one scripture with another scripture until a complete picture is formed of the thing we are looking at. That is why we have no right to expect every little detail of any event to be covered in any one place in the scriptures. But Paul is the one that had the revelation of the resurrection, and of the rapture, and therefore we can put complete confidence in what he had to say about it. Please remember though, that the last trump he mentions here has nothing whatsoever to do with the seven judgment trumpets sounded to the nation of Israel, beginning in Revelation 8:7, to vindicate the ministeries of God’s two witnesses to them.

INCORRUPTIBLE AND IMMORTAL

Let us yet look at the remaining verses of 1 Cor. chapter 15, and notice what Paul says in connection with the trump he is dealing with. Verse 53, he is explaining the change, so notice. “For this corruptible ( the dead) must put on in corruption and this mortal (That is those who are still living but have a death sentence hanging over them.) must put on immortality.” Immortality means that the death sentence has been removed and those that are left alive shall never die. 54 “So when this corruptible shall have put on encryption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall it be brought to pass this saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Praise God! Death is swallowed up in victory. For these, death will have no more hold, but death is not completely out of the picture, for there are yet many tribulation saints to be martyred in that dark hour of Antichrist rule upon earth. Nevertheless, for those that are changed according to the scriptures we have just read, death definitely is out of the picture. Therefore Paul went on to say, “O death, where is thy sting: O grave, where is thy victory? The stings of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Saints: There is total victory up ahead, so press on. Keep a strong faith in Him who is able to perform all that He has promised to them that love Him and follow His word. When the change is completed there yet remains the catching up, to meet the Lord Jesus in the air, to ever be with Him, and Paul says, that we should comfort one another with these words. That simply means that we should remind and exhort one another with the words of the believers hope that lies just ahead of where we are today.

DO NOT BE IGNORANT

Let us go back to 1 Thess. chapter 5, where Paul goes ahead saying, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. (Naturally he is speaking of years and months and anything that would give anyone any reason to set a date for this blessed event to take place.) For yourselves know perfectly that they day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night,” To some this might sound like a contradiction to our remarks about the previous verses, but to whom will He come as a thief in the night? Certainly not to those who are scripturally watching for His return. It is the world in general that He will come like that. As for those who are awaiting His return, certainly some of them shall be asleep, taking their night of rest, for when it is daytime on this side of the globe, it is night time on the other side. That is the reason He said there would be two in the field, one would be taken and the other left. It would be daytime in their part of the world. But then, He went on to say that there would be two in the bed, one would be taken, and the other left. They would be on the night side of the globe. But that is not what Paul is referring to here. He is speaking of a time when the people of the world are so taken up with worldly concern, that they will not even know what is happening until the wrath of God is upon them. Let’s let Paul speak to us now. Notice verse 3. “For when they ( Who? People of the world system.) shall say, Peace and safety; then cometh sudden destruction upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” The world has never yet come to the place where they could say, Now we will have peace and safety. They have tried, and they are still trying to get a world peace agreement signed, so they can sit back and say, Well now, for the first time in the history of mankind we do not have to be worried about war. We finally have peace and safety throughout the whole world. They will have such a peace agreement signed, but do you know what scripture that will fulfill? Daniel 9:26, when the peace agreement is signed, with the Antichrist overseeing it, and controlling it. How long will it last? Three and one half years, and then cometh the great tribulation upon those that are left here after the rapture takes place. We will say more about that when we get into 2 Thess., where Paul actually speaks of this man of sin, the Antichrist, that shall be revealed. We have had our U.N. Charter, and ever since the miserable thing was signed, we have had more bloodshed and turmoil then whole world over, so it did not produce a condition of peace and safety. Neither did the European Peace Pact, the League of Nations, nor any other effort, but they were all forerunners of the one that will seem to secure a peace and safety condition for the world, but Paul says, When this condition finally does exist; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child. What woman is there among you that can predict the exact time that your travail pains will start, when your time for delivery is drawing nigh? In this case you would be looking for them, but usually when the first one hits, it startles you, so that is what Paul used to exemplify the suddenness, or sureness of the (the Contender, Bro Turners picture and comments)worlds pain of travail. Having to depend upon the translators choice of words, at times, is a little unhandy, but we are sure that Paul’s revelation was consistent, and in line with all other scriptures, so we must make the application according to the total picture instead of just one verse that might sound like sudden destruction would be immediately following such a peace pact. That is why Paul started out by saying, Brethren, I would not have you to be ignorant. He made sure that they had every opportunity to understand what the Spirit of God had revealed unto him. Therefore in verse 4, of chapter 5, he could say, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. No, it will not slip up on a rev elated child of God, for they will be watching the signs that forerun what the Lord will do, and when the rapture takes place, they will have made themselves ready to meet their Lord; therefore they will not even be here on the earth just prior to that destruction. They will be with their Lord in glory. Therefore I say to you here in Faith Assembly, Let your mind rest at ease in the scriptures, and avoid this condition of spiritual darkness that is upon so many church going people of the world. They take what Paul said about the rapture, and lay it alongside what John said about a great multitude that overcame the beast, and so forth, and they become completely confused. You can hear them talk, and pray, and they do not know if the bride will have to go through the tribulation or not. They do not know if the rapture could take place tonight or not and they do not know if the battle of Armegeddon is the same as the battle of Ezekiel 38 or 39, or not. That is why I have been preaching on this Ezekiel conflict, and that is why I have said, You, as church, are not going to leave here in the rapture until you have seen Ezekiel 38 or 39 fulfilled first. It is a Middle East setting, but there will be far reaching effects that may very well drastically change our lifestyle. Nevertheless when it is over, Bride, you can know that the coming of Jesus the bridegroom, is close at hand. But not before then. Hallelujah! Brother, that war will let us know that the word of God is being fulfilled according to prophecies that have laid right there in the scripture through the ages. But only right here in this last age, has the true people of God been allowed to understand the significance in God’s total plan of redemption and restoration. Why are we privileged to know these things? Because we will be affected by them, and because we are children of the light. Why are we children of the light? Because we have been born again. Saints of other ages had no need to know exactly what would precede the rapture of the church, but we do, because we are living in the age when not to know would leave us in darkness. 5 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

WATCH AND BE SOBER. That word sober, is usually associated with, and is the complete opposite of being intoxicated with liquor. To be sober is to have your right mind, and able to think properly. Therefore when you give verse 6, it’s spiritual application, “Let us not sleep,” it simply means, Be spiritually awake to all that pertains to your hour of time. He says, ” Let us watch and be sober.” Well, you have to be awake in order to watch, and you have to be sober, (serious minded, level headed, spiritually alert) in order to know what to do about what you see.

BE SOBER

Do not ever think Paul might not have known what he was talking about. He was so sure of what he taught, he could preach it, and then just sit down, cross his arms, and defy any man to preach anything different. In the Galatian letter, he wrote. If we, or even an angel from heaven, preach anything different (any other gospel) let him be accursed. 7 “For they that sleep sleep in the night; (spiritual sleep in spiritual darkness) and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” In Revelation 17:1-2, we find John speaking of a great whore with whom the Kings of the earth have committed fornication, (spiritually speaking) and the inhabitants of the earth have been drunk with the wine of her fornication. (Her doctrines) This is a prevailing condition in the world today; but the true children of God are not a part of that spiritual darkness. 8 “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, (Not partaking of any of those doctrines of spiritual darkness; putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake (remain alive until the end) or sleep, (die, and must be resurrected)we should live together with Him.” The world is appointed to wrath and destruction, because their hope is wrapped up in man’s wisdom, and his great worldly achievements, but we that are of the day, (walking in spiritual light) have our hope in the integrity of the word of God that promises salvation to all who believe and obey God in this present life upon earth. armor of godOut lot is to be with Him while He is pouring out His wrath upon those who have ignored Him, or blasphemed Him. In the world of religion, there are those who are so uninterested they are not even drunk on the false doctrines of religion; they just want to be left alone, to sleep on in their spiritual darkness. But there are others that completely intoxicated with their doctrines and church programs in their state of spiritual darkness, and neither group has any idea at all as to whether the coming of Jesus is close at hand or not, from the standpoint of the scriptures. They have no spiritual armor whatsoever, but we are exhorted to put on the whole armor of God, keep awake, be sober, love one another, and comfort one another with the words of our hope of salvation, knowing that He who has called us into this glorious light, will perform all of His good pleasure on our behalf. We will not worry about our dead brothers and sisters who have died in the faith, for God will bring them with Him, and rejoin them to their resurrected bodies before anyone is caught up to be with the Lord. What a blessed hope.

WHY THE VOICE?

After Paul had no doubt received a reply to his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, it seems that he felt compelled to write them another letter in which he would go into more details, clarifying this subject of the resurrection and translation of the saints, and he refers to that event as, our gathering together unto Him. We are in 2 Thess, and we will begin with verse 1. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye 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.” Before commenting on these two verses, let me review a little of what we have already read from 1 Thess. 4:16, especially about the voice of the archangel. I consider it very important to our understanding these scriptures, to realize that there will be some saints alive at the end of this age, that will have something communicated to them by the voice of an angel of the Lord. I do not want to say very much about the shout, for we already have too many ideas floating around as to what the shouts consist of. But this voice of the archangel is something that carnal man cannot tamper with, nor duplicate. This voice is going to declare something to those living saints that will be partakers of the rapture. I mentioned this earlier, but now I want to explain exactly what I meant. The scriptures themselves declare that certain events will take place, even to the point of telling why, and in some instances even setting an order for them to occur, as in our text. But now, listen to me for a few minutes, and I will believe you will see something here. Just suppose that Elizabeth, after being barren for so many years, had suddenly began to feel a change in her body, without having first been told what to expect. She was an old woman, well past the age of childbearing; so what do you suppose she would have thought was wrong with her, when she began to feel that strangeness in her body, after conceiving seed that would actually fulfill scripture? I can just hear her crying to Zecharias, Honey, there is something wrong with me. Furthermore Zecharias never would have been struck dumb. He would have kept his voice, and just wondered what was wrong with his wife, but no. An angel had appeared to him sometime before that, saying, “Fear not, Zecharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him, in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Brothers and sisters: I want you to know, that Malachi 4:5-6, had been laying right there in their scriptures for four hundred years, and the people of Israel looked for this Elijah that was to come, just like grace age Christians have looked for the rapture, but if that angel had not appeared to Zecharias and informed him of what was taking place, would he have known: Would he have known what to name his son? Would they have known what purpose of God was to be fulfilled through their son’s life, if the angel had not communicated that information to Zecharias: Of course not. It was necessary for God to inform those who would be directly involved in the fulfillment of those scriptures, of the part that was not recorded in the written word. It was the same with Joseph and Mary, when time came for the Messiah to be born. The event was prophesied in the scriptures. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bare a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, or Emmanuel.” In Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” it goes on to speak of Him sitting upon the throne of His father, David, and so forth, and all Israel was aware of these scriptures, and they looked for their Messiah, but do you think that young virgin girl would have known what was happening to her when she began to feel the change in her body, knowing that she had never been informed ahead of time? You know very well, that she would not have known what was wrong with her. The scriptures that give the setting for such an event had been right there for over seven hundred years, but no one knew what generation that virgin would live in. Only God Himself knew what young virgin of the nation of Israel would bare a son that would one day be their Messiah. God had the young lady picked out, and no one need know anything in order for the Holy Ghost to overshadow her and cause a supernatural conception. But just suppose it had been done without first informing her: She was already engaged to a man named Joseph, she knew she was a virgin, and Joseph believed she was, so just imagine what great conflict of emotions the young lady would have experienced, if one day she began to feel the life of a little baby within her. Surely you do not think that she would have suddenly figured out that she must be the virgin Isaiah spoke of. I believe you can see why it was necessary for God to send His angel to communicate with her in this matter. It enabled her to look upon everything that would happen, knowing that God was fulfilling His word spoken by His prophets of old.

MARY HEARS FROM GOD

Notice, in Luke 2:26-35, what Gabriel actually said to Mary. “And in the sixth month (that was the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin;s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this would be. (He still had not given her the main message, therefore she wondered why anyone would be speaking to her in this manner) and the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. (Picture: stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord, man facing cross) And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The angel went ahead and told Mary about her cousin Elizabeth, being with child also, and then said, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Then Mary answered him, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word.” That angel of the Lord not only told Mary that she was going to conceive; he told her how she would conceive, and also that she would bare forth a man child, and even told her what to name him, and capped it off by telling her that He would be king, and that His kingdom would be forever. Mary’s only question was a natural one that anyone would have asked, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” But when she received an answer to that question, she immediately submitted to everything that had been presented to her.

THE ANGEL APPEARS TO JOSEPH

What the angel told Mary did not help Joseph any though, for when he discovered that she was with child, he determined that he should just quietly break their marriage agreement, and fade out of the picture, and do it in such a way as not to publicly embarrass her; therefore it was necessary for God to send His angel messenger to him also; in order for him to be a willing participant in this plan, for in the natural genealogy he would be looked upon as the father of this child Mary was carrying. We will not read that scripture, but you may want to read it later, how the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Fear not t take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 1:18-25) Alight, the instruments through which this great event would unfold have been informed, therefore they will not have to guess about anything that they should do. After the angel appeared to Joseph, he immediately did according to the word of the Lord, taking Mary to be his wife, but withholding himself from her until after the birth of this child. Then when the child was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed in a manger, what did God do to make his birth known? Out there on the countryside were shepherds keeping watch over their flock at night, when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them, with the glory of the Lord all around them, and they were afraid. But the angel said to them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host Praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” When the angels were gone, those shepherds went immediately to verify what they had heard, and when they found that it was all true they broadcast the news abroad, and caused many people to ponder in their hearts, just exactly what all that meant. Nevertheless the announcement was made that the Savior was born, so all that heard of it had their opportunity to know what was transpiring, and therefore did not need to be unaware of what was happening 30 years later, when Jesus came to John to be baptized of him.

OUR GATHERING TOGETHER

Brothers and sisters: I hope this helps you to understand why I say that they shout, and the voice of the archangel, as pertaining to the time of the rapture, is for the living saints at that time. The shout and the voice will get all the living saints ready for what will take place when the trump of God sounds to set the resurrection and the translation in motion. Paul had taught this to the Thessalonian church, and admonished them to comfort one another with those words, but something had been misunderstood somewhere along the line, and there was a feeling of unrest among those saints because of it, therefore in his second letter to them, Paul attempts to put their mind at ease. So now, we will get back to 2 Thess. 2:1, where we will begin reading, to see how Paul ties the resurrection, and the rapture to world condition. This lets us see that you cannot take this event called the rapture of the church, and apply it just anywhere, and at any time you please, no more than they could with the first advent of Christ, for the great eternal spirit hold those things sovereignly in His own power. Now notice verse 1,” Now we beseech you brethren, (He is not talking to the world, he is talking to believers and the word beseech did not convey the thought, listen if you want to. it strictly meant, you pay attention to what I am going to say.) by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, ( the rapture) That ye 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.” To be shaken in mind is to be disoriented, confused, full of doubts and fears, and unable to let your mind rest upon the truth of God’s word. Throughout the various realms of denominational religion one can find hundreds of opinions both in books and verbal statements, concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the rapture of the church. Some have the church raptured before the great tribulation, and others have her going through the tribulation. Therefore a hungry soul, without a genuine revelation on this event, could not find much rest in their mind. God wants our mind to be at ease, but most of us have been brought up through these various systems, and until we receive a genuine revelation about something, our mind is still subject to many of our traditional thoughts, and many times they bring on a state of confusion, and cause us to be unnecessarily troubled. That caused Paul to say, Do not allow this condition, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us. What exactly was he referring to? Simply this, no matter what you see or hear that supposedly comes from the realm of the Holy Spirit, if it does not line up with a true revelation from the word of God, do not allow that spirit to trouble you. No matter what word someone may have for you, if it does not follow continuity with the scriptures, do not allow yourself to become anxious nor troubled, not even by a letter from us. In other words, just because I wrote you that first letter, giving you the order in which the resurrection and rapture would take place, don’t you get all shook up, and sell your property, and go off someplace waiting for it to happen. (Various groups have been doing that, you know). That is not Paul’s words, but that is what he was getting at, for these forewarning spirits will always run ahead of the Spirit of God, and they can only succeed among people that do believe in the working of the Holy Spirit, but are without true revelation of God’s word. many people are claiming to have the Holy Ghost in this Laodicean age, but the very fact that so few of them are ever led into a revelation of the word of God proves in itself that their claim is not vindicated by the very spirit they claim to have. For as we have pointed out, over and over again and again, Jesus said, When He comes, He will guide you into ALL TRUTH. But Paul is writing to true saints that truly do have the Holy Ghost; therefore he knew that all they needed, was to have the truth presented to them, and that would settle it, so he went on, saying, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day ( the day of our gathering together unto Jesus Christ, the rapture) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

THE FALLING AWAY

Evangelists for the last fifty or sixty years have used the falling away part of verse 3, trying to scare people into joining their churches, and some of them could literally make the hair stand up on your arms, as they would paint their picture of a great falling away from Bible precepts, and in many ways, you would have to agree that in the overall scope of world religion, convictions have been slipping away from people for most of those years. But what Paul was talking about goes much deeper than that. He was referring to the kind of falling away that has been taking place among the people who were supposedly restored to the word of God by the message of the prophet to this age. Falling away from revealed truth presents a much more serious situation than just falling away from traditional religion, even if it is the same spirit behind both. We will see in verses 10 & 11, of this chapter, how God deals with people who have no love for the truth, But right now we want to lay our emphasis upon the fact that the rapture of the church is definitely tied to a world condition that must materialize first. There must be first a great falling away from Godly principles and convictions that have been founded upon the truth, and we are seeing that as never before. But then, there must be revealed the man of sin, the son of perdition. ( The Antichrist) Of course we already know what office he will come from, but we do not yet know if the present pope of the Roman Catholic church is the individual man that will fulfill that Antichrist role, or whether he is the one or not, we do know assuredly that he has been busy laying the groundwork for what is soon to materialize. The whole world is seeking peace, and we know there is not going to be any true world peace before Jesus Christ sits upon His throne in the Millennium, but this Antichrist person whoever he turns out to be, will help negotiate something that will pass off as a great world peace agreement, and by then the true bride of Christ will know who he is; he will be revealed to her. Therefore as this apostate condition prevails more and more in the overall scope of religion, the little bride of Christ will have her spiritual eyes and ears open, and she will know that the time of her departure is getting closer and closer. The world will not see it, because they are children of the night, but those who are children of the day will know what is about to take place. Does that mean that Ezekiel 38 and 39 might not hit until after the rapture? No, of course not. Do not allow these great peace overtures to lull you into a false sense of security; for that war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, must still be fought before this week of Daniel starts, in order for the time tables allotted to both to work out properly, God will not have Israelis burning weapons from that Ezekiel conflict, over in the Millennium, and Ezekiel 39:9, lets us know that they will be years baring up all those weapons that are left behind. We also know that the week of Daniel starts when the Antichrist peace agreement is signed, and seven years later, Jesus and His saints will be back on earth setting everything in order for the Millennium. Knowing the order of all these things that are yet to come is what keeps the born again children of God on a true course while the world is going berserk.

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

I cannot help but think back, how 20 or 30 years ago the church world in general still had some genuine Bible convictions and kept their moral standards up, and how they have let every kind of compromising, devil designed social program move in and replace them. The most effective tool the devil has used to accomplish this, has been the gospel singing groups of the past two decades. Most of them are no more living for God than a jack rabbit, but this generation loves entertainment, and they will sit there and listen to whatever comes along. They do not want to be classified with the hippy rock bunch out there, but they will accept that same beat, just as long as it has a few words to it that can be identified with the Bible. Those singers will get up there and swing and sway to that Satanic beat, and sing and talk about how they love Jesus. If they really loved Jesus, they would leave that junk alone. I certainly do not want to hear it: it does not entertain me one bit whatsoever. Saints: Just stop for a moment and realize where that beat came from. It certainly did not originate in the church, but the so called churches have accepted it, and thrown their doors wide open to whatever follows it in. You could take that same rhythm down here to these disco dance halls, and they would twist, jump around, and do what they do just as well to these so called gospel songs as they do to the others. The only difference is the words. You consider that along with everything else that is being done in the ranks of religion, and you will have to agree that the falling away is almost accomplished. These deteriorating spirits among church people are just like a bunch of maggots in an old dead carcass; they just keep eating away. Social programs, politics, and entertainment take up their time, and the word of God has no real place. Perverts have moved in and forced themselves into leadership positions, and a general trend of immortality and spiritual decay is dominating churches that formerly stood for Bible principles; therefore we would have to say that the falling away is upon us. Every area of life is affected by it, spiritually, morality, politics, social structures, economy and everything is affected by this falling away that precedes the Antichrist and the rapture. Women are demanding equal rights, not only in business and labor circles, but also in the ministry of the gospel of Christ, or maybe we should just say, in the churches, for they know nothing of the true gospel, or they would not be demanding equality in the ministry. But nevertheless, in spite of all that is going on in the world, we are admonished to comfort one another with these words that Paul has spoken. Our comfort and assurance comes from knowing that God is still in control, and that He provides for His own, no matter what the world may do. We are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are not to be deceived, because we know the truth. We will not expect the rapture to take place before its time, for we know what must precede it. That is how we properly watch for it; not expecting it to take place at any moment, but watching those things that lead right up to it. On the heels of this great falling away, Paul said, that man of sin would be revealed, this son of perdition who is also know as the false prophet.

FROM PEACE TO TERROR

Let us go on now into verse 4, and listen to Paul tell what he will do (this man of sin). “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” How he is not going to act like that at first, This is what he will be like once Satan has anointed him to fulfill his 3 1/2 year reign of bloodshed and terror. Before that hour arrives though, he will be a peace loving, hand shaking, baby kissing pope, seemingly doing everything possible to further the cause of world peace. That is how he gains the confidence of world leadership, and stands in a place to be chosen by them to oversee their great peace plan. Then after 3 1/2 years of overseeing this peace covenant, Satan anoints him to fulfill what Paul was describing here. That is when he will break the peace covenant, move into the temple of God in Jerusalem, kick the Jews our, and in every way possible project himself to be God. He will blaspheme and oppose everything, and everyone that in any way seems to be Godlike. That is when Jewish believers in God, and foolish virgins from the grace age will begin to be slaughtered because of their faith. The time of the great tribulation will be in effect, and all that Daniel and John wrote about, concerning that hour of time, will follow. It was not necessary for Paul to see everything that would transpire in connection with the falling away he mentioned, and the Antichrist that would follow. What he wrote to those Thessalonian believers was all they needed to know, for they would not be involved in any of the actual events that they were being told about, except the resurrection itself, and being caught up to be with the Lord forever. On the other hand, those of t his age who will be alive to witness the various events of the end time, needed to have more information than what Paul wrote. That is where Daniel and Revelation, comes into the picture. Neither one of them take anything from what Paul wrote; they just fill in the details. Now some will say, But, what about the temple? There is no temple in Jerusalem. Brother: Listen to me. Something is going to take place over there, that will give those Jews their temple spot, and I assure you this, When they get it, it will not be long before that temple is built and completed. It will not upset the scriptures if they are building that temple during the first half of the week of Daniel, but you can believe this, they will be offering sacrifice upon that altar long before the temple itself is built. You can confirm that, by reading the 3rd chapter of Ezra, and see what they did back then, before they even laid the foundation for the temple. They first established their form of ancient worship of Jehovah, and then they went to work building the temple. But let us get back to Paul’s letter. He says in verse 5, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? ( This proves that he had taught them concerning these things, but somehow it had just not broke through to them.) And now ye know what withholdeth that he ( the Antichrist) might be revealed in his time.” In our language of today one would just say, And you know that it is the Holy Spirit that is holding him back until his appointed time. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” This mystery of iniquity, refers to the spirit of Antichrist, and not to the literal man himself. Even in 54 A.D. Paul could see that the spirit of Antichrist was already at work. Then by 96 A.D. when John wrote the book of Revelation, Satan had already sent out minor agents, minor Antichrists to harass the church, but none of that pertains to this MAN of sin that Paul is writing about here. Of course the last part of that verse refers to the Holy Ghost,, for He is the one that will hinder, or prevent this man of sin from coming on the scene ahead of his appointed time, and when his hour does arrive, it will be the Holy Ghost that withdraws His holding power and lets him make his move. The Holy Ghost have been among the Gentiles for over 1900 years now, convicting and wooing them to salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, but there will come an hour when God has determined that His Spirit should no longer deal with Gentiles in this way. That is when the Holy Ghost will cease to hold back the spirit of Antichrist; therefore the man of sin will then be free to move upon the scene, and when he does, the true church will know him, he will be revealed. Time and conditions has produced his office; we know where he will come from, but as I ALREADY SAID, We do not know for sure if the man who presently hold that office is the man that will fulfill the role of this man of sin. Daniel 7 and 8 lets us know beyond any shadow of doubt that his office is established in and through the Roman Catholic church; the fourth beast system upon earth has produced that. We can say also, His office has been established gradually over a period of many years of time, but when the man himself is revealed, that will not be a slow gradual process. World conditions, and the demand upon him will allow him to step right into his end time role as the man of sin, this son of perdition, the Antichrist that is to come. This world is right on the brink of another terrible conflict, one that will have universal repercussions, and this time it will not be the United Nations that establishes a peace plan; it will be the pope of the Roman Catholic church, and if this present pope is still in office at that time, then it is he, that will fulfill this diabolical plan of Satan.

COULD POPE PAUL II BE THE MAN?

Let me just say a few words about this present pope. in the short time he has been in office, he (picture of man with black hat and the choice between Life and Death) has traveled more miles that any of his predecessors, making speeches to great multitudes of people. He has a profound way of speech. It seems that he is just able to melt the hearts of those who hear him. Furthermore, coming from Poland, he knows how to deal with, and co-exit with communism, and that is a necessary characteristic, in this age when the spirit of communism is so widespread. He makes speeches that just leave politicians and communist leaders standing in awe. Therefore all we need right now is another world conflict, and I can guarantee you, that if this present pope is still alive, and in good health, (able to travel about) his unusual personality, and his ability to get things done will project him right into the role as a world peacemaker, to fulfill the scriptures. World leaders will not be looking for a man who will point them to the Bible. Oh, no. They will be looking for one that will promise them more dollars, no more war, better security worldwide, and a brighter future for their families. It will all have a religious front, but there will be nothing spiritual about it. Now I realize some will say, Now Bro. Jackson: That all seems a little far-fetched, and to some, I am sure it will, but to those who are alert to the reality of what mass destruction could be wrought upon the old world, if nuclear weapons should begin to be turned loose, I am sure they realize the seriousness of what I am saying. I say, On such a brink of disaster, world leaders will rush to the negotiating table, and be more than ready to sign a peace covenant that will fulfill Daniel 9:27. Therefore the world is going to need a peacemaker, a negotiator, a mediator, and Satan will have certain man waiting and ready to step into his role, so that brings us back to verse 8, in the 2nd chapter of 2 Thess. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (this Man of sin) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” This of course, speaks of how the Lord will deal with this wicked one when He returns to earth with His saints to set up the Millennial reign, but that will not take place until the end of seven years that have been allotted to the Antichrist. In other words, this is when Christ comes back to earth to rule and reign, and not when He comes to rapture His saints in the beginning of this seven year period of time.

SELF STYLED HOLY PEOPLE

According to Revelation, chapter 19, all the armies of heaven will be with Jesus, when He comes back to earth to fight against this man of sin and all of earth’s corruption, and this time He will not come as a thief in the night to them. He will come in power and glory, taking vengeance upon all that is ungodly. When he comes to rapture His church, He will come as a thief in the night as far as the world is concerned, for they will not know what is happening, but when He comes back, seven years later, every eye will behold Him for He will be coming back in wrath. Brother I want you to know though, the last 3 1/2 years of that 7 years is going to be hell on earth, for that old Antichrist with all his evil forces will be stalking the earth with a death decree against all Gentile virgins, and all Jewish saints, and they will butcher them like hogs at the slaughterhouse. During that time evil and ungodly men will desire to die, and death will will flee from them. According to the 9th chapter of Revelation, the bottomless pit is opened up, and every tormenting spirit held therein is loosed upon earth to torment ungodly mankind. They wanted their great hour of manmade peace, and God will let them have it, but this is what it will turn into, hell upon earth. They will desire to die, but God will not let them die until their cup of wrath is full, and then Jesus and His armies will descend from heaven and destroy them. Verse 9 tells how this man of sin makes his appearance, and lets us know why the world at large will receive him so graciously. Notice, “Even him whose coming is after the workings of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Naturally this is speaking of political power, and not of supernatural power, and it is a known fact, that by political maneuverings, the Catholic Church is always able to stay on top of every situation. If you do not think I am speaking the truth, just go back and read your history books, and you will find that through the ages of time, in every conflict, the Catholic church always manages to end up on the winning side, even if she has to change sides. That is how she has maintained control over so many people through the centuries of time since she came into prominence. Verse 10, goes ahead describing the tactics of the man of sin who gains his power through political wonders that are brought about by lying and deceiving, and so forth. And with all deceive ableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; ( He will not deceive the true body of Christ, but he will deceive all the rest.) because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (or the lie) That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” It was necessary for God to send a prophet messenger to this age, to cry out against Antichrist systems, and point God’s true people back to His word. Otherwise we would still be sitting in our Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and whatever other denominational systems we were in. Furthermore we would be all wrapped up in this spirit of deceive ableness that has captured the multitudes. Where did it all start? It started when Rome put out her great plea for a united brotherhood. This ecumenical spirit was loosed upon mankind, and it is leading denominational religion right into the arms of old mother Rome. This Glossolalia, and Charismatic movement is leading it all right back to Rome, but it could not happen until after the had their opportunity to receive the love of the truth, and they rejected it. Therefore God Himself sends them strong delusion by certain manifestations which causes them to follow signs and wonders. He does it to bind them to that old religious system that the world looks upon as the church, so He can judge it all together when the times comes. All will be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness. Now please do not allow yourself to think that it is only those who love to go to the beer joints that are unrighteous. God will have mercy on that person a lot sooner than He will a self righteous, self willed, self styled holy creature. This is the kind of holy people that condemned Jesus and sent Him to the cross. This is the kind of people that actually made up false charges against Him, and cried Crucify him! Crucify him! Then when Pilate would have released Him, they cried, Give us Barrabbas. Therefore they are already condemned in the eyes of God, and their judgment lies before them. As children of the day, we can see these things that are taking place throughout the world today, and we know they point to the soon coming of Jesus Christ. But we also know that His coming has to be in accordance with the word of God, therefore we are watching those world conditions that will lead right into it. Jesus said, When you see these things, then lookup, for your redemption draweth nigh. Brothers and sisters: I hope none of you think we say these things trying to get glory to ourselves, for all glory, honor and majesty belongs to Him who died for us and rose again, that we also might have hope of redemption. Praise His wonderful name! Hallelujah! Yes we can, and should watch for the rapture, but we should and must watch scripturally, knowing in our hearts that God will not bypass one single prophecy of the scriptures in order to hurry it up for us.

GREAT TRIBULATION FOR WHO?

What we are going to look at now will not affect those who truly do go in the rapture, but since there is still so much speculation about the great tribulation, what it is, when will it be, who will go through it, and what is the purpose for it, along with two or three dozen other questions, I think it would be good just to take a little time right here, and deal with it. I heard a radio preacher trying to teach on it the other day, and he was having the whole week of Daniel as the great tribulation, and saying, But don’t worry, the saints will be raptured before that starts. Well, in reality he had one point correct; the saints will be raptured before the great tribulation starts, but not necessarily before the week of Daniel starts, for the signing of the peace covenant that also includes the nation of Israel is what will mark the beginning of the 7 year period of time known as the 70th week of Daniel. Therefore to give that whole week of time to the great tribulation, throws everything else out of its scriptural setting, so let us take a little time to examine this subject.

THAT CERTAIN PEACE COVENANT

This is definitely a teaching subject, so I am trusting the Lord to help me make everything clear and easy to understand, and above all else, scripturally established. First of all let me ask you this, Do you know where this great tribulation terminology originated? You do not find it in Daniel, where the events of it are first mentioned. Actually Jesus Himself was the first to make mention of it, in Matthew 24:21. It is a period of time associated only with the last half of the week of Daniel, when the Antichrist breaks the peace covenant with the nation of Israel. But first, there has to be such a covenant signed. The Roman pope may sign treaties with ever so many nations in the months and years ahead of us, but until the nation of Israel is included in one of them, please do not jump the gun, to start the week of Daniel. God Himself will start that week, for He is the one that keeps all prophetic time, and He knows exactly when to move men to fulfill His will, and when He moves upon the nations to sign that particular peace treaty, then we will have something precise to calculate remaining time by, for however long we are still here. In the meanwhile, we must calculate seasons by world events, especially in the Middle East. It is really a time for Christians to begin to be very wise. I just happened to catch a few minutes of the P.T.L.Club on TV the other day when Mr. Baker was interviewing people to build upon the rock kingdom, and I just thought to myself, yes, what you are saying is true, but you are looking at the whole thing through dollar signs; you are not taking heed to the words of Jesus. Do not ever forget that Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and Doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” Was Jesus having any reference to money when He said that? You know perfectly well that He was not; He was talking about Godly character and a pure revelation. But He also said, “And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.” That would be those who try to live a Christian life, but avoid the true teaching of the overall word of God. We are living in a day when people by the thousands, just follow anything that looks or sounds good to them, without even giving any thought as to whether it follows a pattern laid down by the Bible. The truth is, Most of them do not even know their way through the Bible, therefore they would not know how to test it by God’s word, yet they profess to be born again. That is a very commonly used terminology in our day, you know. Dear Brothers and Sisters: I hope you every one realize that none of us have anything to be proud about, for if the grace of God had not reached down and lifted us up, where do you suppose we would be today? I am thankful to the depths of my heart, for the grace that God has bestowed upon me.

DANIEL’S FOURTH BEAST

Let me get back to Matthew 24:21. “For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, (In every age, trials and tests have always been common, but none of them could ever be considered great tribulation in the sense that Jesus was speaking of here, for this is a certain specific period of time.) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Notice this next verse.) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Now saints, we need to realize that even though these two verses did truly have a type setting fulfillment in 69-70 A.D., to the Jewish people, that still was not THE GREAT TRIBULATION: that was just a projection of the spirit of this one that is just up ahead. You that have not read our article titled,”THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE, might want to get that article and read what took place in Jerusalem, in 69 and 70 A.D. But when you do, just remember this, the great tribulation that is yet to come will be much, much worse than anything that happened back then. That is what Jesus said, It will be a time like there has never been before, and there shall never be another time like it, and verse 29, lets us know that what took place in 69 and 70 A.D. in Jerusalem, was not it. Notice, “Immediately (not 6 months, nor 2 years later, but immediately.)after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken? ( This did not take place in 70 A.D.) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This definitely is not referring to Jesus coming to rapture the saints, for that has already taken place. This speaks of when He comes back to earth, with His church, and all the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, to rule and reign for one thousand years, right about the end of the great tribulation period of time. Nevertheless the last half of that week of Daniel will be the worst time this old world has ever known. We have to go back to the 7th chapter of Daniel to pick up the symbolic language where this period of time is first spoken of. Let me say this also, Every scripture in the Bible, that speaks of this period of time is in perfect harmony one with the other; there is no confusion. Here, in this chapter, Daniel describes a dream he had, in which he saw 4 great beasts come up from the sea and go through their cycle, and the fourth was the most terrible and dreadful of all. He even saw that fourth beast go through judgment and his body destroyed. He sees himself inquiring of an angel as to what all this pertained to, and he wants to know especially about this fourth beast, so let us pick up in verse 19, and be aware of the fact that this fourth beast was the old Roman Empire. He says, “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse (different) from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with is feet; (see verse 7 and 8) even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.” He watched that fourth world kingdom go through its cycle of changes; then after it had devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet, it was finally brought to judgment and destroyed. Brothers and sisters, that covers a great span of time, but it is a picture of what the old Roman empire did in the Middle East and Western Europe. When it says in verse 23, that it shall devour the whole earth, you have to realize that it is referring to the old world, where these great empire stamped their influence, and ruled and reigned with such authority. The Roman empire never did rule, nor devour the Orients. It never did penetrate beyond the borders of India; therefore it is strictly a Middle East and Western Europe setting. The only reference to the eastern nations is in the 16th chapter of Revelation, in connection with the kings of the east being brought to the battle of Armageddon, which is definitely the last war that will ever be fought on this planet.

THE LITTLE HORN

Saints, we just have to assume that most of you already know a lot of those things from history and from other articles we have printed, for we could never justify the time, nor the space that it would take to fill in all the details leading up to where we are reading, here in Daniel 7. The beast had ten horns that were in his head, and there came up from among them a little horn, before whom three of the other horns fell. This little horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spake great things, and his look was more stout than his fellows. We know from church history, as well as from secular history, that this is speaking of the rise of the papal power as it came up through, or from the midst of those ten horns of Western Europe during (picture of the beast with the littlest horn looking like a man with a crown on his head)the Dark Ages, until it finally reached such a place of power in Europe, just before the breaking of the Reformation period, that it literally took control of heads of state, and stamped down their authority, and he proceeded to change times, and laws, and such like. Do you know that the whole western world today, observes solar time by a calendar that was designed by the Vatican? We call it Roman time, but actually, it is Roman time that has been revised by the Vatican, instead of the old Roman ceasers. This little horn works out to be the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and that brings us to verse 21, which actually deals with the great tribulation. This verse could very well have a compound meaning, covering other periods of time, but its climax is in the last half of the 70th week of Daniel, for verse 22, shows that it continues until Jesus comes back to judgment. Notice now, “I beheld, and the same horn (that little horn) made war with the saints, and prevailed against them: (That is your Gentile foolish virgins and Jewish saints, that will be martyred during the great tribulation.) Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High: and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom,” Judgment is given to the bride of Christ, and she rules and reigns with Christ throughout the Millennium. As we continue reading, you will hear the angel explaining the 4th beast that was so terrible in Daniel’s vision. Verse 23, “Thus he said, The fourth beast SHALL BE the fourth kingdom upon the earth, (BABYLON, MEDIA, PERSIA, GREECE and then ROMAN; these are the 4 great world kingdoms that appeared as beasts in(picture of symbols of beast, ecclesiastical Babylon mystery) Daniel’s vision, and the Roman empire was the fourth.) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” The Roman empire went through many stages that made it different from the others, and finally, papal power gained the supremacy over the emperors, and that allowed that fourth kingdom to be ruled by what we now know as the Catholic church. But let us read some more scripture. Verse 24, And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: ( That is your ten kingdoms of Europe that made up the territory over which this Roman beast ruled.) and another shall rise after them; (the pope gains authority over political rulers.) and he shall subdue three kings.” The first ten horns on that fourth beast were political horns, ( horn speaks of power) and that is why that, even though it seems that this little horn that arises from their midst should make eleven horns on it, it really does not, for this little horn is ecclesiastical power, church rule. The Catholic Church took dominion over those kings of the old Roman empire. That is why this last horn that raised up from the midst of the others was so different from them; he was a religious power, ursuping religious authority. The apostle John in his vision, saw seven heads upon his fourth beast, and this papal head was what made up the seventh, for the seven heads were 7 forms of rulership over the Roman empire which was the fourth beast, that had ten horns. We will see how that 7th had was wounded, and how it was healed, a little later, but first we want to finish this scripture. Verse 25, “And he shall speak great words against the most High; and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given unto his hand until a TIME ( one year) and TIMES (two more years) and the dividing of time.” (another 1/2 year) This is a great tribulation setting, and it is those tribulation saints that shall be given unto his hand for 3 1/2 years to be martyred because of their faith in God. The length of time in which this shall take place is spoken of in symbolic language, but the time itself is not symbolic; it is literally 3 1/2 years of time, in which this devil incarnated pope of Rome will rule, and actually sit in the Jewish temple showing himself as God. Naturally this 3 1/2 year period of time is not called great tribulation here, for Jesus is the first to refer to it as that, but from these scriptures, we get our first glimpse of the whole picture that is revealed through other scriptures. Just reading here we do not know whether these saints of the most High are Jewish or Gentile saints, but as we go into the book of Revelation, we see that it is both. Also, it is from other scriptures that we learn what this symbolic mention of times breaks down to be, for as we get over in Revelation, we find it mentioned as 42 months instead of in this way.

WHAT SHALL THE END BE?

Right now, let us go to Daniel 12:7 for another mention of this time element involved. This is dealing with another experience Daniel had, and the answer that was given him when he wanted to know the truth of it. “And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand unto heaven, and swear by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half time; and when he (This he, is that little horn that arose from the midst of the ten,) shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” What things? You may wonder. Verse 1-6, speak of a time of great trouble such as never was before; it speaks of a resurrection, and of deliverance of all that have their names written in the book of life. So verse 7 answered the question of verse 6, How long shall it be to the end of these things? Daniel heard all of this, but that did not clear it up for him, so in verse 8, we hear him saying, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, What shall be the end of these things: And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” These things were written in a symbolic language enough to keep the wicked from being able to pick up the book and read exactly what was going to take place, yet the children of God, living in the generation that would see these things take place, have been led by the Spirit of God, to understand what they mean. Yes, the wise will understand, but this wicked and ungodly generation of perverts and murderers, will not understand. They will go right on in their self willed way until the end, and get worse and worse every day they live. Any time you have a society of people that demand to do exactly what they want to do, you have nothing but hell on earth, and that is exactly what we have today. Any man or woman in their right mind, would not want to do any more than what they felt would be right, and proper in the sight of God. It is the same with God’s angels; they are so thankful, and they love God so much, they only want to do what pleases Him. That, my Friend, is true freedom. None of those people that are always demanding their freedom, will ever know what true freedom is, for they are slaves to demon spirits, and what they want to do, and all the time, they think they are gaining freedom to do exactly as they choose to do. Well, God is going to let mankind have the kind of leader that will turn all these spirits loose, and that is when men will seek to die, and death will flee from them. God will keep them alive to partake of the kind of life they have been fighting to achieve, one that will allow anyone to do anything they choose to do, any time, and any place.

1260 DAYS PLUS 75 DAYS EQUALS?

Brothers and sisters: We are living in an hour when professing Christians can find a form of religion somewhere that will suit their desired way of life, pacify their religious feelings, and give them their social standing in society, but there is not much wisdom in that kind of a life,and certainly no salvation. That is a life of deception, one that just lulls you to sleep, and God moves on off, and leaves you. True, wisdom is knowing how to look at the word of God through the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Ghost, and knowing what hour we are living in, just before the return of Jesus Christ. We do believe the word of God, and we are persuaded that when He comes, He will find some true saints that have made themselves ready to be ushered into the wedding. These are the wise ones that will understand the scriptures we are looking at in this message. So now, let us look at verse 11, which is a confirmation of 9:27, that speaks of the Antichrist breaking the peace covenant and this is when the great persecution of the Jews begins again. 11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, ( the Jews will be driven out of their temple, and the old Antichrist will take control of it, and that will initiate the great tribulation period.) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. “You will notice that there is an extra 30 days included there, beyond the 1260 days allotted to the great tribulation. That is not a mistake, and neither does it cause confusion. I am persuaded that at the end of 1260 days of the rule of the Antichrist, Jesus will come with His saints from heaven, and begin to pour out His wrath upon this earth, but that will not be finished in a few minutes of time, it will run into days, and that will account for extra days in verses 11 and 12. Notice verse 12, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” That gives you another 45 days on top of the 30, which adds up to a total of 75 extra days between the end of the Antichrist’s allotted time, and the actual starting of the one thousand year reign of Christ upon earth. That 75 days will be the time elapsed during the wrath of God poured out upon ungodly mankind, then getting the planet back in order for the Millennial reign, and actually setting the Millennium in starting order. Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,” so we can see that everything is going to be terribly disrupted during that time, but when His wrath has accomplished it’s purpose, He will pull everything back into it’s intended order, and set about cleansing and sanctifying the defiled temple, getting it ready for the Millennium, for Christ Himself will rule from the temple in Jerusalem throughout the next one thousand years. We have already mentioned it, but if you will turn back to Daniel 9:27, with me, we will read that verse and see where he (the Antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many for 1 week, and in the midst of the week he will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, meaning, to break the covenant agreement, and start persecuting the Jews that have enraged him during the first 3 1/2 years of that week. 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for 1 week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Jesus Christ is the true Prince of Peace, and when He comes to earth to rule for one thousand years, it will be a rule of peace, and He will not have to get the nations to sign a peace agreement. He will establish peace by chaining up the old trouble maker. Satan. But this false peace maker will have to do it man’s way, but before he does, the scriptures will be fulfilled, 1 Thess.5:3, ” For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. There has to first come a time when the world will feel at ease, and begin to say, Well, we finally have peace an safety. God will let them live under that false peace for 3 1/2 years, and then it will suddenly become hell upon the earth, as the bottomless pit is opened, and all those tormenting demons turned loose upon wicked mankind.

WOUNDED HEAD HEALED

I have said it many times before, and I do not mind saying it again, I believe the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is what will so shake the world that their leaders will rush to the peace negotiating table, sign a peace pact, and appoint the pope of the Roman Catholic church as the overseer of it. Since the signing of such an agreement is what actually starts that last week of Daniel, I look for this old world to get a terrible shaking. The scope of Ezekiel 38 and 39 will be a lot greater than a lot of people expect. People of the world are going to feel that we are on the brink of total annihilation. You talk about shuttle diplomacy, that old pope is really going to be busy.Then when the agreement is signed, the man of the world is going to lean back and say, This is wonderful. This is what we have needed for so long. We can build houses now, and not have to worry about them being blown all to pieces. We can send our children to college and not have to worry about them being called to the battlefield as soon as they are finished. No wonder Revelation 13:8 says, “They worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast.” Now we know that no same person would be likely to bow down and worship him through their systems of religion, not recognizing the spirit of the man. Now while we are here in chapter 13, let us read verse 3, which speaks of the wounding of one of the 7 heads of that old Roman beast, and of it’s healing, and how the world responded. “And I saw one of the heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” When Daniel first saw that fourth beast it only had one head, but John later saw it with seven heads, and one of those heads was wounded unto death, but later healed. I will be brief, but maybe a few words of explanation will clear up any question you may have about these heads. As long as Rome was ruled by the ancient Ceasars (those of that royal family that passed the throne from one to the next in line) the fourth beast (Rome) had only ONE head. But NERO was the last one of that royal line of ceasars, and when he died there was no one to inherit the throne. From that point seven heads begin to develop on that old beast, and when the angel spoke to John, in Revelation 17, he told him that five were fallen. The seven heads were seven kings, and rulers of the Roman empire, after the death of Nero, and the five that were fallen, were the five good emperors that tried to re-establish another line of Caesars, another royal family) but never succeeded in doing so. Nevertheless each of them did succeed in establishing a form of political government that caused them to be looked upon as a political head upon the beast. They left the scene, and time passed, and Constantine was the next outstanding emperor that ever established any form of imperial rule that could be considered a head on that Roman beast. Other men sat upon that throne before Constantine, but he was the only one that could be considered head number 6, and when he passed off the scene, over 400 years rolled by before head number 7 appeared. His name was Charlemagne, and it was his form of imperial ruler ship that the popes began to exercise the authority of the papacy above. Charlemagne was the seventh head on that old beast, and the 8th head was an ecclesiastical head, and therefore did not put eight heads upon the beast, for only political heads were recognized as such. Therefore the beast continued to have only seven heads, but it was obvious that the eighth was in control. It was just a case of blending the seventh form of imperial rulership and ecclesiastical rulership together. Little by little the papacy took control of that seventh form of imperial government, and that is why the Bible says that the eighth is of the seventh. it was the wounding of that ecclesiastical head by the Reformation, that John saw, and he thought it should have been wounded to death, but along come eccumenicalism, and through the world council of churches, all the Protestant daughters have been led back to mama, ( Roman Catholicism) and in so doing, that deadly wound has been healed. The old pope is just about ready to resume his beastly rule. All he needs is that spirit of Satan that is to come up out of the bottomless pit, (Hell) enter into the man for the duration of his allotted time, (three and one half years of beastly rule in the last half of that week of Daniel) and then go into perdition. (Destruction)

CONDITIONS FULFILL BIBLE PROPHECY

Now some may ask, Why should such a peace loving man as the Roman Catholic pope in that hour, suddenly take on a beastly attitude, and conduct himself like a demon? I am convinced that during the first 3 1/2 years of that week of time, something will agitate him to the point where he can no longer contain his feelings, and I believe it will probably be the ministry of those two Jewish prophets that prophecy to the Jews for 3 1/2 years, and constantly warn them of what the pope is destined to do. In the eyes of the world, those two prophets will be nothing but troublemakers, stirring up trouble in a time of great peace, and do not forget who is overseeing the peace agreement. Why would he not be provoked to wrath by what they will be doing and saying there in Israel? They will be exposing everything, and everyone that had anything to do with that peace agreement, and the news media will be broadcasting it to the world. That is how the people of the nations will be able to to see their dead bodies lay in the street for 3 1/2 days without being burred. Television will broadcast it to the whole world, just like they have the incident in Beirut, Lebanon. The ministry of those two prophets is going to upset the whole social structure in Israel, and it will cause great feelings to swell up between the political Jews that agreed with the peace covenant, and the spiritual Jews that never have signed it. It will bring about a condition almost like the one that brought Titus and Jerusalem in 69 and 70 A.D. Jew against Jew, until it gets to the point where something has to be done about it. The old peace promoting man of sin will be forced to make his move, for 3 1/2 years of those two prophets is all he will be able to tolerate. That is when Satan will make his move. While the old pope is building up certain human feelings toward those two prophets that are causing so much disturbance, old Satan will take him over, and that is when the blood bath starts. He breaks the covenant, has the two prophets killed, refuses them entombment, and begins a widespread persecution of the Jews and anyone else that professes to believe in God. That is what is meant in Daniel, when it speaks of the overspreading of abominations. It is the ushering in of excessive hatred. In Daniel 12:7, it speaks of scattering the power of the holy people, so even that far back, it was prophesied that this satanic instrument would do something to scatter the children of Israel. What else could that be but Israel fleeing for her life in the dark tribulation hour? (Rev. 12:6) True saints know what he will do to gain the confidence of world leaders, and that is why Paul could say, That day of our gathering together unto Him ( Jesus Christ) shall not come except there first come a falling away, and that man of sin be revealed, that son of perdition, the Antichrist, false prophet, and false peace maker. He was not teaching that the church would go through the tribulation, he was just using the beginning of that peace agreement as a sign factor for believers. When you see these things taking place, Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. He also told them that God has not appointed them to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. The wrath he was speaking of, will be the great tribulation therefore somewhere about the time of the signing of that peace treaty, the living bride saints will be caught up to be with the heavenly bridegroom, Jesus Christ. That leaves on earth, the foolish virgins, and the Jewish saints, to face martyrdom at the hands of the Antichrist forces. These Jewish saints that will be martyred, are not the same ones that will receive the message of the two prophets, for that group are the ones that will flee into the wilderness to hide for 3 1/2 years. Daniel saw that little horn speaking great words against the most High, and said he would wear out the saints of the most High. Therefore those who cannot see the foolish virgins of Matthew 25:1013, as being saved, get in trouble trying to explain how the church can be raptured before the great tribulation, and yet have the Antichrist wear out the saints of the most High during that time. Then when they get to Revelation 7:14 and see that great multitude, some from every nation under heaven, that purged themselves through martyrdom during the tribulation; they just have to say, Well, we will let time itself reveal who they are. Brother: I thank God that I know already, for I would not rest with such uncertainty in my soul, Will I go through the tribulation, or will I not? Let me just say this, and we will bring this to a close. From every nation under heaven, there will be saints raptured to be with Jesus during that tribulation hour, and from those nations there will also be foolish virgins that will be martyred during that time, and also there will be some people left alive upon earth, good moral people from every nation under heaven that will pass into the Millennium to repopulate the earth. But we do not learn these things just drifting along nonchalantly without ever allowing the Holy Ghost to teach us, and neither can we make ourselves ready for the rapture just drifting along like that. Jesus Christ is coming back for a God fearing, truth loving, Bible studying, praying, Holy Ghost taught church, that has followed all the truth that was revealed in her hour, and that is why I say, young people; Do not get so wrapped up in material things, that you neglect your own soul. Go ahead and build houses, plant potatoes and prepare to live here another twenty or so years if that should be the will of God, but do not neglect to have your soul ready to meet your maker before the sun goes down tomorrow, it that should be His will instead. No, the rapture cannot come that quick, but He may call you as an individual, therefore be ready, regardless of the cost to your flesh. Watch for the rapture, but watch scripturally instead of traditionally. Do not allow yourselves to be sidetracked by signs and wonders, for God still has tare bundlers out there. They are speaking in tongues, praying for the sick, and supposedly doing God a great service, but they have no love of the truth; therefore God Himself is sending them strong delusion, that they might believe the devil’s lie and be damned.

Keep your eyes upon the Middle East, and especially upon the nation of Israel, for all the present signs are pointing toward Ezekiel 38 and 39, and the rapture will not be very far beyond the climax of that. May God bless you. Amen.

 

In Search of the Evidence – 1982, August

1982-08-In-Search-of-the-Evidence

WE ARE LIVING IN A DAY WHEN THE TERM, “BORN AGAIN,” IS SO COMMONLY USED, THAT IT IS TAKEN VERY LIGHTLY AMONG MOST CIRCLES, YET TO BE SCRIPTURALLY BORN AGAIN, IS TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND THAT BRINGS UP ANOTHER CONTROVERSY. HOW CAN WE KNOW WHO IS, AND WHO IS NOT, AMONG THOSE THAT PROFESS TO BE? FURTHER STILL, HOW CAN WE KNOW BEYOND ANY SHADOW OF DOUBT THAT WE OURSELVES HAVE THE HOLY GHOST? DO YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE THE HOLY GHOST JUST BECAUSE YOU SPOKE IN TONGUES, OR BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE TOLD YOU THAT YOU DID? ARE YOU ABLE TO LINE YOUR SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE UP WITH THE WORD OF GOD? WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE, AND WHAT DO YOU HUNGER FOR? I JUST WANT TO PROVOKE YOUR THINKING FOR A MOMENT, FOR WE ARE GOING INTO THE SCRIPTURES AND ENDEAVOR TO ANSWER WHATEVER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ALONG THIS LINE, FROM GOD’S WORD. EVERY SINCERE PERSON OWES IT TO HIMSELF, OR HERSELF, TO BE ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED FROM THE SCRIPTURES WHETHER HE OR SHE HAS THE GENUINE HOLY GHOST, OR THE DEVIL’S COUNTERFEIT.


I RECEIVED A VERY SAD LETTER FROM A YOUNG MAN WHO SAYS THAT HE CAME AND TALKED TO ME ON THIS SUBJECT OVER TWO YEARS AGO. I VAGUELY REMEMBER IT AT THIS TIME. BUT HE TELLS ME HE HAS BEEN SEEKING THE HOLY GHOST ALL THIS TIME SINCE THEN, AND JUST CANNOT RECEIVE. OF COURSE HE IS SEEKING THE EXPERIENCE FROM THE UNITED PENTECOST CHURCH (U.P.C.) STANDPOINT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES AS THE INITIAL EVIDENCE, AND HE IS REAL DISTURBED BECAUSE THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. NOW HE FEELS THAT PERHAPS IT IS BECAUSE HE HAS LIVED SUCH A WICKED LIFE THAT GOD JUST DOES NOT LOVE HIM ENOUGH TO GIVE HIM HIS SPIRIT. HE TELLS ME ALL OF THESE THINGS, BUT HE ENDED UP ASKING ME, WHAT IS WRONG, BRO. JACKSON? WHY CAN I NOT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST?


I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM ANOTHER PERSON QUITE SOME TIME AGO THAT ALSO ASKED ME A QUESTION CONCERNING THE HOLY GHOST EXPERIENCE. THIS QUESTIONS WAS, BRO. JACKSON, IS IT TRUE THAT BRO. BRANHAM SAID, A PERSON COULD HAVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST AND STILL BE LOST AND GO TO HELL? NOW, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WHEN PEOPLE ASK QUESTIONS LIKE THAT, YOU NEED SOMETHING MORE THAN MAN’S TRADITIONAL OPINIONS TO ANSWER THEM WITH. THEREFORE, I AM GLAD THAT THE WORD OF GOD SUPPLIES US WITH THOSE ANSWERS WHEN WE NEED THEM. WE KNOW HOW THE WORLD OF RELIGION GOT INTO SUCH A MESS OF CONFUSION: IT IS A RESULT OF MEN NEGLECTING THE WORD OF GOD; THEREFORE, THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY OUT OF SPIRITUAL CONFUSION, AND THAT IS TO GO BACK AND GET EVERYTHING IN LINE WITH THE SCRIPTURES. THAT IS WHAT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO DO AS WE PRESENT THIS MESSAGE, SHOW WHERE EVERYTHING STANDS IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S WORD.


TEXT: ST. JOHN 7:37-39


THIRSTING AND DRINKING


Let us open our Bibles to the 7th chapter of John, where he records something that Jesus spoke as He began to open up the subject, or idea of an individual receiving the Holy Ghost. Notice verse 37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Saints, that word cry, does not mean that Jesus was standing there crying tears, it simply means that He screamed out,  “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, AS THE SCRIPTURE HATH SAID, (the Old Testament) out of his belly (or innermost being) shall flow rivers of living water.” We find verse 39, in parenthesis, explaining what Jesus meant in verses 37-38. “But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that BELIEVE ON HIM should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” From those three verses we see two very important things. First Jesus give the Holy Ghost a water identity. Did you know that water is the most vital to your physical health and strength of the elements that make up our human body? You can live longer without food than you can without water, so this water identity of the Holy Ghost really stresses the absolute necessity of the Spirit of God in us in order for us to be spiritually alive. Then there comes the question, How do we receive the Spirit of God? (The Holy Ghost) That is the other main point in the statement Jesus made. We must believe on Him according to the scriptures; not according to man’s traditions. In the days that Jesus spoke those words, those that heard Him only had the Old Testament scrolls that spoke of a Messiah to come, a Savior, a Prince of Peace, and so forth, but by the scriptures they had at that time, those who were spiritually inclined were able to recognize Him, and know assuredly that John the Baptist was not just trying to put something over on them when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Only those who were awaiting their Messiah according to expectations aroused by the scriptures were able to recognize and accept Him, and that speaks of the hunger and thirst after righteousness, that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:6. Let me explain what I mean. Water itself has no nutritional food value, but it is the vehicle that carries the nutrients, and also keeps the body cool and stable. The lack of it sets up a thirst in your system, a craving for a drink, and only a drink of fresh water will completely satisfy that thirst. Other liquids are sometimes taken in place of it, and they help, but usually you will still crave a good drink of water even after drinking something else. Now, let us look at the Spirit of God from this water standpoint. Just the Spirit alone does not furnish us with the spiritual nutrients that are required for a new birth, and for a healthy spiritual being. The word of God is our spiritual food, and His Spirit is the vehicle that carries, distributes, and stabilizes. Therefore, just as your natural body requires food and water for its continued existence, so does your soul require the completeness that comes only from a Holy Ghost birth, and a regular Holy Ghost feeding from the word of God. Some want God’s word, but care little about His Spirit, Others want His Spirit, but care little about His word. Then there are those foreknown-of-God souls, that hunger and thirst after righteousness, and they must have both, and they will have both. Some of them have been taught wrong, like the young man who is trying to receive the Holy Ghost according to U.P.C. requirements; therefore, it takes them longer than some others who just simply open up to God, and receive whatever He has for them, without instructing Him how to give them what they need. Does not the scripture say that God already knows what we have need of, even before we pray? Would that not pertain to anything we have a right to expect from God? After all, who instructed Him on how to speak this old world out of chaos, out of its without form and void condition of Genesis1:1? Should such a God need to be told how and when to give a hungry soul the Holy Ghost? I think not.


SEEK THE GIVER OF GIFTS


The reason some people never get what they are praying for, is because they are praying for someone else’s experience. They want it just exactly like Bro. So and So got it, and never stop to realize that God cannot be obligated to give them someone else’s experience. That would be just like a Ford car (if it could speak) demanding Chevrolet parts be installed on it. You must always seek the Giver of the gifts, and not necessarily the gifts themselves. Once you have the GIFT GIVER inside you, you have the potential for any and every gift of the Spirit that is mentioned in the scriptures. In I Corinthians 12:11, Paul says that He (the Holy Ghost) divides to every man severally as He will, and tongues is one of those gifts that he mentions, so anyone who demands to speak in tongues as the evidence that he has the Holy Ghost, is just simply opening himself up to the possibility of receiving the devil’s counterfeit experience. When we look at the 11th chapter of Hebrews, we find a long list of people that obtained a good report, or we might say, that established a good witness. How did they do it? By faith. Faith is what? The word of God. Notice verse 6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, (In other words, they cannot doubt the existence of the holy and sovereign God.)and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Brothers and Sisters: that is why many times, only a half dozen or so, out of a congregation of 900 people will actually hear the word of God with their spiritual ear, and follow Him all the way, the others were not hungry for God, and thereby could not exercise faith to lay hold upon His promises. That three thousand Jews that became pricked in their hearts on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached a little short sermon to them, were hungry and thirsty. When they asked Peter and the other apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter simply answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” What does it say about them? Did any of them say, I will have to speak in tongues before I will believe I have received? No, they did not. Notice verse 41, “Then they that GLADLY RECEIVED his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”


YOUR OWN PERSONAL FOUNTAIN


Some people sit in church for years never have any hunger nor thirst for the things of God. Yet right in the midst of them, there will be a soul that is getting so hungry and thirsty that they actually begin to crave something to satisfy. That is how God gets His people out of denominational systems. When a person gets hungry and thirsty for natural food and drink, what do they do? They begin to look around and ask questions. They don’t just sit down somewhere and say, I sure am hungry and thirsty, I hope someone will come by and give me something to eat and drink. That would be very foolish; would it not: I know what I do at such times. I begin to inquire, Where can I get a cold drink of water? Where can I get a hot dog, or a hamburger? Are you listening to me? If you are truly hungry for the things of God, will you not do the same thing. Most of your inquiry may be of the Lord, in prayer, but you will at least be searching for that true spiritual food. You will not just sit somewhere wishing for it. That is the reason Jesus said, if any man is thirsty, let him come unto me, and drink. You must come to the source. Alright then, so you seek that living water that can quench the thirsting of your soul. When you find the true supplier of that which you seek, and you drink of Him according to what the scriptures have authorized, from that time on, you will have that bubbling fountain springing up from within you. “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” You will not have to go looking for that source any more, for it will remain with you always. What did He say in another place? “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” There are people speaking in tongues in every nation around this old globe, that do not have that thirst quenching Spirit of Jesus Christ within their soul. How do I know that? Simply because Jesus said that the Comforter, (the Holy Ghost) when He comes will teach you all things. He does not come into you just to enable you to shout and dance and have a good time. That is part of it, but there is a lot more. Two of the gospel writers, Matthew and Luke, quoted John the Baptist like this. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me (Jesus Christ) is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”


HOLY GHOST AND FIRE


Now, hear me, the Holy Ghost baptism, and the first baptism are not two separate experiences. When you get one, you get both. God is Spirit, and the Holy Ghost is God, and God is light, and in Jeremiah 23:29, we find that God’s word is like a fire. Of course, some people only think of fire from the standpoint of its consuming affect, yet as well as giving light, fire is also a cleansing, purifying agent. Therefore, to receive the true baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, is to receive a thirst quenching, light giving, purifying Spirit within your soul, that will take the things of Christ and make them a living reality to you. The Spirit of God and the word of God are inseparable. In reality you cannot have one without the other, for it is the Spirit that sheds light upon the word in order that we may receive it as a revelation. God’s word is spoken of, in the sense that it is bread, the bread of eternal life, that which satisfies your hungry soul. Then when you compare these things with what you know from the standpoint of the natural man, any time we eat to satisfy our hungry pains, we immediately become thirsty; we need something to quench your thirst. That is the reason it absolutely takes both the Spirit and the word to make a soul healthy and complete. In the days when Jesus Christ walked among men upon earth, He spoke words to them, and they heard them with their natural ears, but they did not receive a spiritual revelation, except on rare occasions, until after the Holy Ghost was given on the day of Pentecost.


THIRST QUENCHER – COMFORTER – TEACHER


Let us read John 14:25-26, Jesus speaking says, (25) “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. (26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Before He ended His earthly ministry, Jesus impressed upon His disciples the absolute importance and necessity for them to receive the Holy Ghost. He calls Him the Comforter, and that is exactly what He is. He does not come in, to disturb and confuse you; He comes in to comfort and teach you, and if He is truly in you, HE WILL TEACH YOU. Now, Brothers and Sisters: Are we to believe that Jesus was talking about two separate experiences in chapter 7 and chapter 14? Absolutely not. He is speaking of different functions of that one and self-same Spirit that all true believers was to receive. (Was to be baptized with) God is like a fire in the sense that He gives light, consumes foreign matter, and purifies. He is like water, in the sense that He quenches our thirst and bubbles up from our innermost being like a fountain. But He is also a teacher and Comforter. Jesus knew those disciples loved, and leaned upon His physical flesh. It took His physical contact to encourage and keep those disciples going. (Man is much like that today. As long as he has a leader, some personality to hold on to: Brother! He will go around the world. But you let him lose sight of that person and he will go to pieces.) Jesus knew the hour was coming when they would have to have something other than His physical flesh to hold on to; therefore, He was leading them to the place where they could recognize His spiritual presence that would be inside them, not just in their midst. At the time of His speaking these things, it was just like a foreign language to them. They did not understand it at all, but He spoke it to them just the same, knowing that once the Comforter had come, all these words would come alive to them. He did not have to worry about them stumbling over His statements, for the Comforter would pick up right where He left off, and quicken them to their understanding. Now some may ask, Just how does the word Comforter mean the same thing as the word teacher? Let us just think of it like this, Many times, the reason we need a comforter in the first place, is because we just simply do not understand. You all know how that works. There are times when our burden seems so heavy that we may wonder, How will I ever make it through this? But along comes someone who truly understands our situation, someone who can feel our very emotions, and with a heart of compassion they can speak a few words that will just lift all that pressure off of us. That person is a comforter. Not THE COMFORTER, but A comforter. The very presence of such a person brings a calmness to our emotions, and helps us stabilize our course. When we sing that little chorus, “Jesus is all I need,” we are not thinking of his physical presence with us; we are thinking of His Spiritual presence, and the fact that He is the supplier of our every need. He is not in us just to comfort us, if He were we would never learn anything that would help us mature spiritually. Those who desire the Holy Ghost just for the sake of speaking in tongues, and for the good time they can have, never grow one inch in the stature of Christ. You can listen to them testify year after year, and almost know word for word what they are going to say, when they get up. They have no hunger, nor thirst for anything else. They will speak of the Holy Ghost as their Comforter, but you never hear of Him teaching them anything. Some of them may tell something that they say He taught them, but they would fight you if you told them that God was not three persons, or that the holy trinity is Catholic doctrine, so you tell me, Based upon true revelation of the scriptures, does such a person have the Holy Ghost? If so, then why has He not taught them who He is? Jesus said, When He comes He will teach you all things. Brother and Sister: a true revelation of the Godhead is a beginners lesson. That is part of the foundation what we build upon, the most vital part of our foundation.


WHERE LIFE BEGINS


Let me explain at this time why, even though the Holy Ghost is a thirst quencher, we still get thirsty again. We must understand though, that getting thirsty again does not mean that we must keep coming back to get baptized with the Holy Ghost all over again. No. There is one baptism that puts a person into the body of Christ. That is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to I Corinthians 12:13, and even though He is a thirst quencher according to the words of Jesus in your text, He still makes sure you retain your spiritual ability to thirst. He keeps that activated. It is through your spiritual thirsting and hunger, that He is able to lead you into ALL TRUTH. Those who are satisfied just to speak in tongues, cannot be led very far by the Holy Ghost, if you know what I mean. If you don’t know what I mean, I will tell you. If the Holy Ghost is truly in you, He will cause you to hunger and thirst for more of God. When you receive the Holy Ghost, you have not reached a climax in your spiritual life; that is where your spiritual life actually begins, a life of growth and progress. As you begin to hunger and thirst for more of God, the Holy Ghost in you, sheds more light upon the word, and that encompasses one phase of the fire aspect of the Holy Ghost. Anyone who allows their mind to get hung up on one thing, will go no further with God. They are just like an old cow tied to a stake with a short chain. That old cow will just keep going around and around the stake until all the grass is either eaten or stomped into the ground; then all there is left is just bare ground to roam over. The devil has an awful lot of people staked out with a short chain in this hour of time. They do not have a sprig of anything fresh to chew on, spiritually speaking. I could start naming those that claim to have the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and if you could get them all together, you would have one big fight on your hands, doctrinally. Literally, evidence is proof, so why do those who claim to have the proof that they have been baptized with the Holy Ghost, not agree on the basic doctrine of Christ?


UNDERSTANDING BRINGS SPIRITUAL GROWTH


I have heard some Trinitarians from time to time, as they would be confronted with Acts 2:38, say, I would rather take the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19, anytime, than to take the words of Peter who actually denied knowing Jesus when He was arrested. To that I will just say, If they are so eager to take the words of Jesus, then why do they not have what Jesus said the Holy Ghost would be, to those who receive Him? Why do they not have a teacher within them? Brothers and sisters: you know, and I know that something is wrong. They want the Holy Ghost for certain specified benefits, but they will not let Him come in and take over their lives. They will not let Him tear down their old sectarian interpretations and creeds and establish them in the revelated word of God. I want you to be sure and catch the importance of what Jesus said here in John 14:25, so I am going to read it again. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring ALL THINGS to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Not only will He teach you all things that shall come up in the future, but anything that has been said in the past and not understood will be re-called to your remembrance, and understanding given. Why? Because that is His primary function in a believer’s daily life. God does not want His people to be ignorant of His word, His will, and His purpose. We are not admonished in the scriptures to grow in theology; we are admonished to grow in grace, and in the knowledge and stature of Jesus Christ. Out here in spiritual Babylon (confusion) they will wrestle you down to the altar, practically force you to repeat after them what they refer to as the sinner’s prayer. Then they will beat you on the back, shake you chin, speak in tongues, and have you repeat it, and then tell you that you have just received the Holy Ghost. Then they wonder why such a person is so often found back out in the world practicing his same old sinful habits. Need I explain it to you? What did such a person receive? I grant you this, that now and then a truly hungry soul will come that route in their search for reality, but such a person will not stop there forever. As the Holy Ghost begins to put a hunger in their soul, they will first begin to ask questions of their pastor, their Sunday school teacher, or anyone else that they respect, and finally, when they have failed to receive an answer that will satisfy their hunger, they begin to search outside of the denominational structure, and that is when the Holy Ghost will lead them to truth. One thing is sure though, Such a person will not receive the Holy Ghost just because someone beats them on the back and shakes their chin. If they do truly receive, it will be because of their hunger for righteousness.


DARKNESS CANNOT PRODUCE LIGHT


I heard a news commentator interviewing a man that had been occupied with some job in your nation’s capital, a man that was supposed to have been recently converted, according to his own testimony. As he was questioned about his present outlook on life, and his present plans, he said he was getting ready to enter, I believe it was some Baptist seminary, to study theology. The Bible is so unlimited, he said. Brothers and Sisters: that is the truth. The Bible is unlimited, but I hope you will believe me when I tell you this, The Bible is not meant to be a religious text book, so you can study religion, and then use it in politics, or for some worldly gain. God is not saving souls just to turn them loose out here in Babylon for some preacher or politician to use them. If you think He is, then you are in worse shape than those we are talking about. Of course there are people who will jump up and say, You do not have a vision for souls, or you would not talk like that. I will just turn that remark right around and say, Your vision for souls will never amount to anything more than a lot of confusion, until you get your own life in line with the word of God. You will never get one soul into the kingdom of God until God begins to deal with that soul to draw him. Did Jesus say, in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day?” What good is your vision for lost souls, if you yourself do not know the truth of the gospel of Christ? Can your traditions save him? The early church had a vision. They had a commission, an objective, and they had the qualifications, and materials, to present a true witness of Jesus Christ. They weren’t giving out Satan’s perverted hand-me-down religion; they were preaching, and testifying according to a true revelation of who Jesus Christ is, and what He accomplished at Calvary for lost mankind. Isn’t it strange that they did not have any Bible schools in that first age of Christianity, if God only works through such places now? You who are spiritual already know the answer to that questions, so let us move along to our next scripture.


SPIRIT OF TRUTH


Let us turn to St. John 15:26, where we will find another term applied to the Holy Ghost, by Jesus, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, (not another person of the Godhead, but the sovereign Spirit which is God,) even the Spirit of TRUTH, (I want you to notice this term, SPIRIT OF TRUTH,) which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.” What would He tell them? That Jesus was the second person of a triune Godhead? I dare you to find such a thing in the Bible. Alright then, let us see just what Jesus has said about the Holy Ghost up to this point. We have FIRE, WATER, COMFORTER, TEACHER and now, TRUTH. Why did He keep referring to Him in a different way, by a different term? It lets me know that those who do truly receive the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost, have something within them that will do a complete job. He will be to you everything you need to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ, and present you spotless, and without a wrinkle or blemish on that blessed day that we are longing for. In John 6:35, Jesus said, “I am the BREAD of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” You will never hunger and thirst for soul salvation again, but your hunger and thirst will be for a closer walk with God, and to be more like Jesus Christ. Well, how do we eat of this bread of life? What is it? It is the revealed word of God. A person could go to a Bible school for 10 years, and still never eat one bit of that bread of life. Why? Because this bread is only for those who are born again, and to be born again is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and most of those who feel such a need for theology have never had this experience, or they would not be where they are. He would lead them into truth, and out of their Bible school. They would throw their cigarettes away and dress right, and be concerned about what kind of image they portray. I remember years ago, when the Spirit of God was still among the Methodist people, God would get hold of a lost soul; that person would go to church and get saved, and the Holy Spirit would lead them into that sanctified experience according to the light they had then, and they would not need anyone to tell them to throw away their cigarettes, and chewing tobacco and alcoholic beverages. The Holy Ghost would tell them. But what do you see, passing those places in this day and hour? You can see them flip their cigarettes as they go up the steps to the church house door. You can see their women going in dressed in their lib-suits, slacks, blue jeans and you name it. They go into those places to learn the doctrines of John Wesley, and to pacify themselves, because they feel that a person ought to go to church at least on Sunday morning, but the FIRE, THE LIGHT, has moved off and left their system dead, and they still do not know it.


NO HOLY GHOST FILLED CATHOLICS


Brothers and Sisters: Going to church ought not be just to fulfill a ritual once or twice a week. The Bible teaches us to assemble ourselves together, and it is important that we do so as often as we can, for this is where the Holy Ghost works among the body of believers in various ways. This is also where we are taught the things of God. We would not even suggest that a person could not be a born again Christian if they did not assemble with other Christians, for we know that there are precious souls that are denied that privilege for various reasons, but if you are where you can, and you just simply do not feel the need to, you had better check up on your spiritual experience with God. Furthermore, I want to put some emphasis on this 26th verse, in John 15, for the sake of those who read it so lightly. When Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of truth, brother, that ought to tell us something. He will not tell one person that God is ONE, and then tell someone else that God is three persons, a holy trinity. I will not tell you that you could not receive the Holy Ghost until you understand the Godhead, but if the spirit you received lets you go through life believing that God is three persons, you did not receive the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth. I will go one step further if you can receive it. There are not Holy Ghost filled Catholics, no Holy Ghost filled Baptists, Methodist, Lutherans, nor any such like. Jesus said the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth, and I know, and am fully persuaded that He will not be in a person and allow them to keep on being Catholics, Baptists and such like. There was a day, when God overlooked all those denominational titles, and just dealt with the hungry souls that carried them, while He was preparing them for more light that was still to be restored. But we are living in an hour when the light of God’s word has led His true children out of those systems and the systems are without life. Those hungry souls that came to the Azusa Street mission came as Baptists, Methodist, Nazarenes, and all such life, but when God gave them the holy Ghost, slain many of they , and laid them on the floor speaking in tongues for hours, they did not leave there with their denominational titles; they left as new creatures in Christ Jesus, even some of those that just came in to find fault and criticize. Many of those people, up until the Azusa Street hour, thought they had everything God had to offer, yet Christianity at that hour spent more time fussing over doctrines than they did worshiping God. But when it was time for more light to be revealed, God began to put a hunger, and a thirst in many of them. Well, if there is a thirst there, we know that God will always have what it takes to quench that thirst, so as these began to seek Him, they would wind up speaking in tongues. What was it? They were receiving the Spirit of Truth in a measure. Now, Bro. Jackson, in the light of Acts 2:4, how can you make a statement like that? Just be still until we get to Acts 2:4, and we will see. There are a lot of Pentecostals that believe in Acts 2:4, but when they get over to Acts 2:38, they don’t believe any more. Does that help answer your questions? Acts 2:38 is actually the door to Acts 2:4, and a lot more. I remember years ago, the Canada brothers would sing a little song, “If you believe in Acts 2:4, and you don’t read any more, There’s an eye watching you. You’ll have trouble at the gate, about Acts 2:38, So, if I were you, I’d make a change.” It has been a long time since I heard anyone sing that little song, but it is the absolute truth. I sometimes wonder how many of you, when you speak of the Holy Ghost, are you speaking of Him just from the supernatural standpoint? I believe in the supernatural power of God as much as any of you, but I also realize that there is a lot more than that involved in a dedicated, Spirit filled walk with God. He can knock you down, pick you up, spin you around, heal your sick body, show you visions and dreams, cause you to speak in tongues, prophesy, and a lot more, but He also wants to lead you into all truth, and into a life of true holiness where He can order your footsteps moment by moment. Carnal man is always trying to pull God down to his carnal level, run everything through a traditional pipeline, and make a doctrine out of everything God does. I never worry too much about what the Holy Ghost leads a person to do, just as long as that person does not try to make a doctrine out of what they do.


SPIRITUAL HOUSE CLEANING


Many times I have listened to Pentecostal folks as they would deal with other people and hear them say, Oh, when the Holy Ghost comes, He speaks for Himself. Of course, I know what they mean, but in reality, Jesus said the Holy Ghost would not speak of Himself but would magnify the things of Jesus Christ. In other words, the Spirit would not be magnifying the Spirit, but rather, the word of God. Furthermore, the Holy Ghost being the Spirit of truth, He is quite capable of correcting error wherever it may be, for one thing is sure, if there is a mistake, it did not originate with Him; He does not make mistakes. Any mistake, either originated from the human spirit of man, or from the devil, the adversary of God and all His true people. The Holy Ghost will definitely correct error though, for He remains to be our Comforter, and there is little comfort to be realized, when we are out of step with God. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He also said, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” Brother, and Sister: when I see people sad, confused, bewildered, one thing I know, they need a Comforter, and they have not yet found Him. He is never far away; It is just that many people have never opened the door of their mind enough to allow Him to take over. He does not like to come into your life with restrictions hanging on the wall; He wants you to throw the door wide open and say, Lord, you come in and take control. Do anything you want to do. That is the only way He can be your Comforter. He must have the privilege of rearranging your spiritual house to suit His taste. You do not have to worry though, for He is a good interior decorator. He will not throw out anything you need, and neither will He leave your house a wreck. He will get everything in perfect order.


SPIRIT OF CONVICTION – REPROOF – JUDGMENT


Alright now, as we move into the 16th chapter of John’s gospel, beginning with verse 7, and reading down through verse 11, we find Jesus saying something else about this Comforter that is to come. Listen, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” Jesus continues to use the term, Comforter, even as He tells of what He will do among all mankind, and I believe what He says here in these verses is to back up what He said in John 6:44, “No man can come unto me, except the Father (the great eternal Spirit) which hath sent me draw him.” Therefore, notice what the office work of the Holy Spirit is, as pertaining to lost mankind. He said, “It is expedient for you that I go away.” That word, expedient, means necessary. In order for the Holy Spirit to come on the scene and fulfill His office work, the flesh man (Jesus) would have to be off the scene, for the work described in these next verses is a universal work, not to be limited to what Jesus would do as He walked upon earth in those days. Verse 8, “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, (To reprove, is to convict. He is convicting the world of their sin of unbelief. Not everyone; just those who were foreknown of God from before the foundation of the world.) And of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not of me: (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: (11) Of Judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” What causes a man of the world to just merely go his own carefree way through life? Unbelief toward God, of course. What causes a person that has live like that to suddenly become God conscious? The convicting power of the Holy Spirit, as He begins to convict and woo that person. Before the Holy Spirit moves upon the scene and does His work, you could talk your head off to such a person, and they would still not have any time for God. You can ask them, Don’t you think it is about time for you to get right with God? But their reply will be something like this, I don’t have time for anything like that right now. Besides, I have done too many bad things in life; God don’t want me. He wouldn’t have any pity of a person like me. These are just excuses. It doesn’t matter how rotten and ornery a person has been in their past life, when they repent God will receive them. But the truth is, they cannot repent until the Holy Spirit begins to convict and draw them. Genuine soul salvation is not something you can sell to people like apples and oranges; it is a free gift, and only God Himself knows who will receive His gift of eternal life. Now the Holy Spirit does not get hold of a lost man and just begin to convict him that it is wrong to drink, smoke, gamble, and such as that. What He works on, is that person’s unbelief. When their unbelief goes out, so do all their ungodly habits begin to go also. That person will begin to have different desires, different cravings. Those old habits will cease to satisfy. That hungering in their soul can only be satisfied by a good spiritual meal from the table of God’s word.


RIGHTEOUSNESS


The next phase of this convicting process deals with righteousness. The Jews of that hour thought they had the inside track on righteousness. They felt so holy, and from the outward appearance they did look holy, but inwardly they were as mean as snakes. Underneath all their holy paraphernalia stood men crying, Crucify him! Who does he think he is, calling us children of the devil? There stood the Righteousness of God in their very midst, and they were only interested in seeing Him put to death, so they would no longer have an accusing finger pointed toward them. Only the Holy Ghost can convict individuals, and show them what true righteousness really is. Most of us have lived to see people put on their righteous front, wear their Sunday school pins, and go to church for a few minutes at least once a week. Some of them will have their whole chest decorated with these Sunday school attendance pins, look and talk so holy, and try to make you feel so worthless, if you are not one of them. Yet God is not interested in any of that. He couldn’t care less if you have your chest decorated like a soldier that has just returned from the war. People who delight themselves with such as this, do not know the first thing about true righteousness, therefore when the Holy Ghost comes, He does not bother that fellow. He started to Sunday school as a very small boy, and he has had this man-made standard of righteousness drilled into him all his life. Now he is an old gray headed man, walking up the steps of the church house with a cane, wearing his pins, and thinking about all of his achievement awards through the years. He is completely dedicated to all that is meaningful to him, but somehow the Holy Ghost has never seemed to tell that old fellow that he is going the wrong way. If you try to talk to him, he will stand there quivering, leaning on that old cane, and say, Listen son, I have been in Sunday school all my life; I have done this and that, and so on, so don’t try to tell me that I am wrong. I have memorized almost half of the Bible, and I have spent hours and hours discussing the scriptures with Dr. So and So, and we agree upon everything, and besides, Where did you go to school? You try to talk to him about some of the deeper truths of the Bible, and he will say, I don’t think we have to know all of that in order to be saved, and go to heaven. Why does he talk like that? Simply because the Holy Spirit has never convicted him, or shown him what true righteousness is. Now to you who may think I am making fun of such people, let me assure you, I am not! Except for the grace and mercy of God I could be just exactly like that. Nevertheless truth is truth, regardless of who it hits. Some of you may have relatives that are just exactly like that; I cannot help that, but I can tell you the truth about it.


I will never forget, when I was a little boy, going to the Church of Christ church, at Borden, Indiana. They always had the Lord’s supper following the morning service, and one of the deacons that would get up there explaining how to prepare yourself and get ready to receive it, had all the tell tale signs of a tobacco chewer. He would go through all of his ritual just the way he had been taught. But as soon as the service was over, and he got out the church house door, out would come his plug of tobacco, and his knife to whack off a chew. Cars, in those days, did not have windows that rolled up and down, so he could just spit tobacco juice all the way home, and never have to worry about rolling down a window. Who will the Holy Ghost convict of righteousness? Those that He is drawing. If He convicted the whole world, then the whole world would throw away their tobacco, beer, wine, whiskey and all such like. He will convict people from every nation in the world, but certainly not all of the people of the world.


JUDGMENT


Let us look at the judgment aspect now, for a few minutes. “Of judgment, because the prince of this world if judged.” What a trial. What a judgment. The real judge of the world was judged by the world. That, in itself, shows just how much or how little, those religious people of that hour knew about truth. They had very little concept about what true faith in God was, and what true righteousness was, or what true judgment was. All of their programs were run by natural minded men; the Spirit of God had no part in it. Their judgment was not even according to the law of Moses; it was according to their traditions. Therefore, this Comforter that Jesus spoke of, was not only going to reprove the world for their unjust judgment; He also, would teach some folks how true judgment should operate. With Him dwelling in believers, Paul said that the saints, (true believers) would judge the world, even angels, and therefore should be able now, to judge matters among ourselves, without having to go outside the body of believers. Jesus is saying these things to His disciples, preparing them for His departure, and for the coming of His Spirit that would lead their lives into all truth and understanding. Then notice what He said to them in verse 12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” What did He mean? Simply this, He had many spiritual things to impart to them, deeper things. But He knew, that without the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, they did not have anything in them to understand with, so let us notice verse 13. “Howbeit (nevertheless) when He, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whosoever He shall bear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” As I said before, I like this term, SPIRIT OF TRUTH. When you go back to John 14:6, Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” That lets us know that the SPIRIT OF TRUTH is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when He is in us, we are one with Him, and with each other; just like He prayed in John 17:21. Therefore from within a believer, He can guide that person into ALL TRUTH. That does not mean that He will force you into truth. That is not what a guide does. In the natural, a guide is someone to lead you, or assist you in what you desire to do. So as it also in the spiritual realm; when you reach a point of hunger, or desire. He is right there, to lead and assist you. One big difference, compared to a guide in natural things, is that He knows our limitations and abilities, and will never try to take you beyond your limits. (That is the reason you have 30, 60, and 100 fold Christians, in the parable of Matthew 13:3-8.) Collectively, He guides the church as a group, but personally, He guides every individual believer according to their own abilities. Brothers and Sisters, we need that calm, careful, loving presence, as we journey through this life, for we are traveling on a pathway of life that we have never traveled before. I readily confess that I do not know a thing about it, and I am so thankful to have a guide that I can depend upon, one that is well qualified.


WHERE IS GOD’S HOUSE?


When you go on a tour, and land over there in Israel, and the tour guide meets you, and takes you to your bus, he will always introduce himself, or in some cases, herself, and from that point on, you are looking to that guide to assist you, and to teach you. They do not necessarily have a revelation of all that they know about the various places they will take you, but one thing is sure, they can tell you WHAT took place at those points of interest. It seems like Ben Meyerstein, just goes out of his way trying to make each tour as meaningful to us as possible, and that is exactly what the Holy Ghost does for every believer that has purposed to follow Him. He goes out of His way in order to guide you into all truth, and also to sit you down and teach you, so to speak. In other words, we need a guide when we are on a journey, and we are on a journey, but from the standpoint of also being our teacher, sometimes it is necessary for us to sit down, settle down, and be taught of Him. You can draw another parallel of spiritual and natural right here. A guide will lead you to a certain point, then when he has everyone’s attention, he will take time to explain, or teach what he knows about that place. Now that takes my mind back to the UPC people. They followed the guide to the truth that God is ONE instead of trinity, like the Assemblies of God teach. But they have never stopped long enough to be taught anything else by Him. They are busily passing right by God’s storehouse of revelation. They spend so much time rejoicing over their initial evidence, (speaking in tongues) they do not even realize that they have actually stopped right in the doorway of the kingdom of God. They have no idea whatsoever about what is inside. They talk about their mansion in heaven, and have never come to the knowledge that every true believer is a mansion where God dwells. “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” That is the absolute truth. God’s true people are the house of God, and He lives in every one of them. There are your mansions; believers that are filled with the Holy Ghost. “I go to prepare a place for you.” Where did He go? Did He go into heaven with a load of bricks and stones to build mansions for us? Is that what you think He meant? Let me tell you where He went. He went to Calvary, wore a crown of thorns, and shed His precious blood. For what? To prepare a place for us in His Father’s house. If He had not prepared a place for us, we could not be where we are today, in the house of God. (In His great body of believers.) Now to you UPC people who think you have all that God has to offer, I will say this, If you live to be a hundred and twenty years old, you will still not have all that God has to offer, for His word is a storehouse of spiritual nutrients, and there never comes a time in this natural life, that we have received all that it is possible to receive from the Lord. There is always something else that the Holy Spirit can teach you. But Bro. Jackson, I thought you said, He would lead us into all truth. That is absolutely correct. In every age He has led true believers into all the truth that pertained to their age, but those that are privileged to live until Jesus comes to catch His bride away, will know things that no other believer has ever known before.


WHO SHOULD BE GLORIFIED?


Jesus said that the Holy Ghost would not speak of Himself when He came, so where does that leave some of you who are forever glorifying the Holy Spirit that you claim to have received? If He is in you, then why is He not doing what He is supposed to do? “He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” In other words, He will point the believer to Jesus Christ and the redemptive work of God, and anything in the future that would be beneficial to believers, He will show also. But every believer ought to be persuaded in his heart that the Holy Ghost is not in them to go contrary to what Jesus said He would come to do. Certainly we are not publishing this message to diminish anything from the true work of the Holy Ghost, but rather, in an effort to help you better understand just exactly who He is, what He is doing in the world today, and what the true evidence of His presence is. Therefore, if you will bear with me, we will just allow the scriptures themselves to answer your questions on this subject, for we want to give every attribute of the Holy Ghost full recognition, but in its proper place, and at the proper time. Thousands upon thousands are walking away from the real truth of the scriptures, and just using a little text, of a verse or two here and there in an effort to give their man-made programs a scriptural identify, but genuine Bible believers are getting wise to them. I am becoming more and more convinced every day, that Pentecost of today, even though it is still less than 80 years old, is far from being in the will of God. Their own systems and programs are proof that the light and fire of the Holy Ghost is leaving their camps. He is leaving every system of religion, and leading every predestined soul out with Him. Naturally I do not want anyone just to take my word for anything that is said in this message, so that is why I feel it is so important not to leave out any verse of scripture that will be beneficial to our understanding as we deal with this subject. So let us go to the 20th chapter of John, where we will begin reading with verse 19.


PREPARATORY COMMAND


I do not know if you have ever noticed this or not, but it was John that actually put the emphasis upon these various statements made by Jesus. It seems that he just picked up every one of them, the very minute Jesus began to speak of a Comforter to come. He picked up every term that Jesus attributed to this Comforter, and wrote it for believers to read later. When Jesus spoke of a Comforter, the water of eternal life, fire, light, a guide, a teacher: it seems that John’s heart was picking up every word of it, and it was really speaking to him. What we are going to read now was one of the last statements Jesus made before His departure from the earth, so let us notice what He said, and what He did, and try to understand the significance of it. (19) “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst of them, and said, Peace be unto you. (This was the evening of the same day He arose from the grave.) (20) And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: (Now right here, comes the commission for going out to preach the gospel, but we also see here, the preparation and condition that would put that commission into effect.) As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (22) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Brothers and Sisters, I want to be sure you realize that there was no experience of receiving anything at that particular time. No one received anything other than a preparatory command, that was given to condition their thinking, and to alert them to what was to come later. Up to this point He has only told them to receive something. He has not told them what to listen for, nor what to look for, nor how they would feel when they received; He only told them to receive it. No man had ever had the chance to doctrinalize the experience, therefore their minds were completely clear and void of man’s contamination. That is the true beauty of it all. There was no possible way they could maneuver each other in order to speed up the process, all they could possibly do, was just obey what Jesus told them, wait until.

 

 

PROMISE OF THE FATHER


We must read Luke 24:29, and Acts 1:8, more or less together now, in order to catch a complete picture of what has been said to these disciples. Luke wrote both the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, but at different intervals of time, therefore even though both of these statements were made at the same time, they were not recorded together, so let us read Acts 1:8, first. Beginning with verse 4, Jesus has instructed those disciples to wait at Jerusalem until they receive the promise of the Father, and told them what the promise of the Father was, and when you get down to verse 8, you read, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Verse 9, lets us know when these words were spoken, just before He ascended into heaven, so let us now read Luke 24:49, to get the rest of the picture together. He has just been reminding them of how the law and the prophets are being fulfilled by what is taking place, and telling them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name, and we learn from Acts 1, that they are not to begin this work until after they have received power from on high, or the power of the Holy Ghost. He told them that they were witnesses of those things, and then said, verse 49, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Then verse 51, lets us know when those words were spoken. He told them all those things standing right there on the mount of Olives, just before He was parted from them, and received up into the clouds. But this promise of the Father is what He had actually been talking to them about for 3½ years, so it was not something new that He sprang upon them right at the last minute. Back over in John 7:37, where we started this message, He was speaking of the promise of the Father when He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” The only thing is, this outpouring of the Holy Ghost, recorded in Acts 2:4 could not take place just anywhere, and at any time; it had to coincide exactly with a certain feast spoken of in Leviticus, the feast of Pentecost. That is why Jesus told those disciples to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they received power from on high. He did not tell them just exactly how long they would have to wait, He just put their faith to the test by letting them have only those promises and instructions. Yet He, Himself, knew it could not take place until the feast days which typed and shadowed this event were fully come. Naturally the place where this festivity always took place, was Jerusalem, so that is why they were told not to depart from Jerusalem until they had received this power from on high.


POWER FROM ON HIGH


This word POWER, that Jesus has now used for the first time, gives us another term that He has applied to the Holy Ghost. This speaks of the supernatural side of the workings of the Spirit they are to receive. There are other scriptures where this word, power, simply means authority, but in this particular setting it literally means, power, for when you take it to Mark 16:20 and Hebrew 2:4, you find that wherever these first age believers witnessed of the things they had seen and heard, the Lord worked with them, confirming their word with signs, and miracles, and wonders, but according to His own will. How did the Lord work with them? By the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost. Brother, I will guarantee you one thing; they were not preaching an evidence of speaking in tongues. That was just one of the spiritual manifestations that followed when people believed and obeyed their testimony. But my point is, the power side of the Holy Ghost was manifested wherever those first age Christians witnessed of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not going around bearing witness of the power of the Holy Ghost though; they were truly giving testimony and witness of what they had seen and heard, and how it fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and the Holy Ghost was on hand to back up their testimonies. In that first age, those disciples could bear witness, and give testimony of what they had seen and heard with their natural eyes and ears, as well as with their spiritual eyes and ears. That is what it means, to bear witness, or to bear testimony. You tell what you have seen and heard. Well, what about Gentiles that have never had any visual contact with the Lord Jesus Christ in the natural? Can they bear testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ? After they have been baptized with the Holy Ghost they can, for He, inside your vessel of clay, is the illuminator, the revelator, the teacher. Anyone who has the Holy Ghost can say, I know who Jesus is, He is the Christ, the Jewish Messiah that was to come. Within Him dwelleth all the fulness of the eternal Godhead. That is why the scripture says that no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. It takes the Holy Ghost to give that revelation to us spiritually. Therefore, we can know beyond any shadow of doubt that when some believe God is three persons, and others believe He is only one, one group has to be wrong. Someone is trying to bear witness of something they know nothing about. Do you believe the Holy Ghost would tell one group that God is ONE; and tell another group that God is three persons? An awful lot of those that believe He is three persons are speaking in tongues and claiming to have the Holy Ghost, so what is wrong? Most of them have followed signs instead of the word of God until God has given them over to strong delusion. I don’t know who is who along that line, but I do know this, There will not be one person in the rapture of the bride of Christ, that still believes God is three persons. You can mark that down. That little bride is to be perfected before she is caught up to be with the Bridegroom, and God is not perfecting those that reject the revelation of His word for this last age. That is why you have heard me say so many times, You simply cannot make it in on grandma’s faith; you have to have a personal revelation of your own, and that will correspond with what God is doing on the earth in your age.


NO SALVATION WITHOUT HOLY GHOST


Now let me say a word to some of you who may still think a few are going to make in into the portals of glory without ever receiving the Holy Ghost. Why would Jesus and the apostles stress the importance, and put so much emphasis upon the necessity of believers receiving the Holy Ghost if God was going to accept some without it? I would like to ask you also, Why do you think the apostle Paul would write to the Roman believers and say, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His,” if it isn’t essential? You will find that in Romans 8:9. Then, in verse 14, he said, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” From inside them, of course. In verse 11, he said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Need I remind you what your lot will be, if the Spirit of Christ does not dwell in you in this life? I think you know already. This is not just some little game God is playing, trying to see just how many He can get over on His side. I assure you, He already knows who will believe and obey His word. He knew that before He ever even created a star or anything. By the same token, if He already knew who would believe and obey Him, He also knew who would not; therefore, just as believers are predestined to eternal life, unbelievers are foreordained, or predestinated to condemnation and destruction. But I do believe; I just don’t believe we all have to believe the same thing, in order to be saved. Mister: You are living in the wrong age to be talking like that. God has restored the truth to His true church; therefore, end-time believers absolutely must believe the same thing, and they will. There is no doubt about it, Revelated people are not going to believe you have the Holy Ghost, just on the mere fact that you can speak in tongues. Demons can speak in tongues also. I want to call your attention to a couple of verse in II Corinthians 11, where Paul is writing of false apostles, deceitful workers who transform themselves into the apostles of Christ, and he continues on, in verse 14, saying, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no thing if his (Satan’s) ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” The end for evil workers is destruction. Jesus was asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Do you know what His answer was? (John 6:28-29) “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”


LOVE ONE ANOTHER


I am reminded of another statement Jesus made, and how carnal minded people have applied it, so let us read John 13:35, at this time, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Jesus, speaking of the kind of love God has for His children, opened up an idea that carnal mankind has used to its limits. When you take that verse of scripture out of its context, you can put it into any denomination of religion, or even in a lodge, and they will build something that looks real, for it is within your human nature to love something. But, listen to me Saints: When Jesus spoke of this love one toward another it was not even to be applied in the category of humanity, aside from the recreated spirit within. The kind of love must first be exercised toward God, before it can be exercised among each other, and to love God is to love His word. If you do not have a love for the whole word of God, your love is as counterfeit as a plastic horn. True love will first put you in tune with God, and outside of that, there is no divine love, all you have is human love, and that can be very deceiving. Catholic priests and nuns have gone out, all over the world to work among poverty stricken humanity, and on the surface one might think this is exactly what Jesus was talking about, but I can assure you, that it is not. Just a few months ago, I noticed where they were giving praise and recognition to a certain nun, because she had spent so many years of her life in India, working among poverty stricken people. They heaped a great amount of praise upon her, for her love and dedication in all of this, and the world of religion looked upon her with great admiration. What a sacrifice that woman has made, was upon their lips. Now, Brothers and Sisters, you may get sore at me, and some of you may say, Bro. Jackson, you are just too hard hearted, but I must tell you this anyhow, That was not a love deed motivated from the fountain of love from above. Jesus was none other than the love of God, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (WHAT? is hungry, might have a good hot meal fixed for them? Oh, NO.) BELIEVETH ON HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That means, that anyone who recognizes that he is a lost sinner, whether rich or poor, and believes and obeys the gospel of Jesus Christ, will not perish in hell, but will have everlasting life. The man, Jesus, who was the Christ, was the living example of the love of God, yet there were many poor people around Him constantly, that He never lifted a hand to help. Then when some criticized a certain little woman that had anointed His feet with a little box of ointment they said should have been sold, and the money given to the poor, Jesus said, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.” Saints: I am not against helping the poor, but I am saying these things trying to show you that this is not what Jesus was speaking of, in that scripture verse we read. God will change the poverty situation in the Millennium, but in the meanwhile the church has the responsibility of reflecting the light of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. If man’s problems are ever to be taken away, he must first step into that light. If God could get into the hearts of all of mankind, you would not have multi-millionaires on one hand, and poverty stricken ones on the other. The Bible says that in the Millennium, every man shall sit under his own vine, and under his own fig tree, and shall eat the fruit thereof. They shall build houses, and inhabit them. They will not be disposessed by some mortgage holder. The Psalmist said, “I have seen the wicked in his great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.” God is getting ready to cut those old wicked trees down, and shortly thereafter, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” but meanwhile the love that causes one to know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, must be a love that radiates from the inward presence of the One that would not be there, if we did not first have a genuine love for His word. No wonder the scripture says, “thy word O Lord is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathway.” When the Holy Ghost dwells within, and has control of our lives, we will not be running here and there, seeking the praise of other men. We will first seek to please God in all that we do. Then, our prayers will be something more than, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” We will learn to talk to God in an informal way, right from the depths of our soul. Shame on the person who claims to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and still prays those little memorized prayers, or is so formal and stiff collared the he cannot express his true feelings to God from the depths of his soul.


WHO WILL FOLLOW THE SHEPHERD?


It doesn’t matter what color our skin is, nor where we came from, nor what language we speak; when the Holy Ghost comes in and takes over our life, we then, and then only, are capable of exercising the kind of love one to another that Jesus was speaking of. The true people of God are many people, but they are not to be a people of many minds, for the apostle Paul said, “Be ye all of the same mind.” That simply means that God’s true people will all believe the same thing; they will not have different doctrines to fight over, as we have seen so much of, in denominational churches. Furthermore, you will not hear a person that is truly filled with the Holy Ghost say, I love God; but that serpent seen doctrine is out of the pit, or I would rather be baptized like Jesus said, than like Peter said. You cannot pronounce their eternal destiny, for God can always get hold of them, but you can know that such a person does not have the Holy Ghost fountain within to draw their words from. These are the kind that like to stand up and testify, I am saved, sanctified, and on my way to heaven, but they are like an old terrapin that has pulled his head inside his shell, and is afraid to stick it out again; they have closed their minds to the voice of God. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” He also said that sheep know the voice of their shepherd, and a stranger they will not follow, so will you please tell me how a person could have the Holy Ghost in their life, and still be afraid to hear the voice of God, as He speaks through His servants in these last days? Regardless of what some of you may think, the real sheep are those that are filled with the genuine Holy Ghost, and you will find that every one of them love the word of God, and they are not afraid of the truth. Those who are afraid to hear anything different than what they have always believed, could not possibly ever be ready to meet the Lord in the air, for those who will arise to meet Him, will have heard some things that they did not know before, from those 7 thunders of Revelation 10:3-4, things that the bride will need to know. Speaking in tongues won’t help you then, for only a pure revelation will be acceptable to Him. That is the only thing that the gates of hell cannot prevail against.


RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST


We want to get back to the 2nd chapter of Acts now, and try to finish what we were saying about those that received the Holy Ghost there, on the day of Pentecost. All of the various phases of this feast of Pentecost pointed to the time when God would send the fire of the Holy Ghost to consume those that had offered themselves to him. As we said already, those that waited for the promise of the Father, there, in that upper room, did not have the slightest idea of what to expect, and neither did that group that was gathered in the house of Cornelius. The angel of the Lord God appeared to Cornelius in a vision, and said to him, Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. Now Cornelius sent for Peter, but he did not have the faintest idea of what he was going to hear, and even Peter as he went with those men, did not know what he was going to say, but the Holy Ghost inside him did the talking, once he entered into the presence of those Gentiles that were gathered there. What happened? They had what we call, a Pentecostal experience. Yes! They did speak in tongues, but Pentecost does not refer to speaking; it refers to feasting. That is what Pentecost was, to the Jews, a feast in the natural. But to that 120 believers that had waited there, in that upper room, it was more than a natural feast. To them, it was a spiritual feast. They had been hungering for righteousness, and now, they were being filled. Therefore, at this point let me ask you, Why did not the rest of the great multitude that followed Jesus receive this experience also? You say, Because they did not obey the instructions Jesus gave, “Tarry in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from high.” Alright then, What right do any of you today have to expect to receive the Holy Ghost, aside from the instructions given in Acts 2:38? I hope you are getting my point. Jesus did not tell them where, in Jerusalem, they were to wait; that was their option. Neither did He tell them what day the promise would come; that was His option. But they were all in one accord, and in one place, when the time arrived. They all remembered the words of Jesus, and they believed Him. They believed He would send the promise of the Father, but there is no record, that any of them had any preconceived notions about what the experience, would be like, so what happened? Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting (S-I-T-T-I-N-G). I just wanted to be sure you all caught that, for there are a lot of peculiar ideas around, about what position one must be in, in order to receive the Holy Ghost. The sitting position was their option also. Did they all hear the sound as of a rushing mighty wind blowing? Yes! Does that mean that everyone who receives the Holy Ghost will hear it? No! But some do, and that is God’s option. I read an article not long ago, where one fellow was completely convinced that a person could not receive the Holy Ghost unless they were lying on the floor, under the pews. He said, It takes that, to get the pride out of you. Maybe it took that to get the pride out of him, but there is no reason to make a doctrine of his own experience. My point is, There is no certain physical posture for receiving the Holy Ghost. God is looking only at your heart. There is no certain manifestation that we have any right to demand as proof, for every promise of God is conditioned upon our faith. We must believe that God will do what He said He would do when we do what we are instructed by His word to do. Furthermore, if you are going to require the same manifestations that those first 120 disciples had, then you cannot stop just with speaking in tongues. You will also have to hear the wind sound, and have the cloven tongues, as of fire, sit upon you. Now I hope you still remember the other scriptures we have already covered, for to the spiritual minded person, they prove beyond any shadow of doubt that to receive the Holy Ghost is to receive the fire also. It is not two separate experiences. But as we get back to what so many refer to as the initial evidence, let me remind you that when those disciples spoke in tongues, they were speaking in understandable languages, as many as 16 different ones. For all of those Jews that had gathered from these various places each heard someone speaking in the language of his home country. They were not just jabbering, like you might hear around the charismatic circles of today.


TEACHER AT WORK


Another thing we want to point out, is that, even though this experience was taking place for the first time, Peter did not have to go get a Rabbi to tell him what had happened to them. No! That teacher went right to work, doing just exactly what Jesus said He would do. Peter stood right up, and said, This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, and he went right ahead and quoted those scriptures from Joel, that were being fulfilled. How did he know that? The teacher that he had just received was calling things to his remembrance, and teaching him. Those disciples had walked with Jesus for 3½ years, and they had already witnessed the fact that He arose from the grave, but during those first 40 days after the resurrection, their very actions proved that they still had need of something more than just what they had learned from Jesus by their own natural understanding. Why do I say that? Simply because one time when they had not seen Jesus for a few days, Simon Peter, tired of waiting around, said, I am going fishing, and the others immediately said, we will go too. They just simply needed something to lean on. Jesus had been their crutch for 3½ years, and all they had to do was just follow along, but when He left them alone for a few days, they started to go back to what He had called them away from. They, like so many in our day, just simply did not have anything to hold them. They went back to their fishing, and fished all night long, but they did not catch anything, for they were fishing out of the will of God. Jesus knew where they were though, and came to them the next morning, saying, Children, have ye any meat? They answered, No. You know the story there, but I just used this in order to emphasize the fact that even though they had heard Jesus teach for 3½ years, and even though they believed Him, without the Holy Ghost, none of it meant very much to them. On the other hand, after what happened there in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, they never again found themselves so bored that they had to go fishing, just to have something to do. When you read the book of Acts, you get the idea that they were all very busy from then on. Brother and Sister, the loving reality of having the living Christ within us is a blessed thing. That is why I have always enjoyed that very special song, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me, and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart, You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.” Now just speaking in tongues will not put that joy, hope, and confidence in your soul that gives you this living reality. That is why we can say today, that the evidence of the Holy Ghosts in a person’s life, is what He does to bring that life in line with the word of God.


OUR REST


The Holy Ghost is our spiritual Sabbath. When He comes in, we can rest from all our worries. We never have to worry any more about whether we are a child of God or not. We never have to work any more, trying to get save. Instead, our testimony is, I am saved. I am resting in God’s promise. Hallelujah! Praise His name. It is not the tongues that give the rest; it is His indwelling presence, and the revelation of the word of God that He imparts. I thank God for the tongues part, but I thank Him even more for the revelational benefit. The devil can take your tongues experience right away from you, and in some cases, people that have spoken in tongues in times past, don’t even want to hear any mention of it today. Do you know why? They had the tongues without the reality of the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost. They never could find complete rest in the promise, and promises of God. Those who do, can say with the apostle John, Now are we the sons of God. We do not know exactly what we will be like, but we do know that when Christ comes for us we will be like Him. Praise God! We no longer have to hope that someday we will be saved. The Holy Ghost makes that a reality to us. This is the rest Isaiah spoke of in Chapter 28, when he said, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will I speak to this people. (What people? Jews, of course.) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” Those local Jews could not hear, but 3000 Jews from other areas of the world, that had come to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, certainly heard, believed, and obeyed. But tell me, Do you think God was establishing an evidence of speaking in tongues, just because those early disciples did? Furthermore, if what happened then, is to be looked upon as the initial evidence, and no one has the Holy Ghost unless they have that evidence, then you automatically eliminate thousands and thousands of people that you do not want to eliminate, for they have not spoken in an understandable language, as that 120 disciples did, there at Jerusalem. You just simply cannot listen to a lot of jabbering, and say, This is that which took place at the beginning. On the other hand, when you get it settled in your mind, that speaking in tongues, in any matter, does not prove the presence of the Holy Ghost, you can then appreciate the gift of tongues, without giving it pre-eminence over the other gifts of the Spirit. Prophesy is the same way. Some over zealous people will prophesy right out of their own human spirit, without the Holy Ghost having anything to do with it. Then you will hear some prophesy, by the unction and anointing of the Holy Ghost, that have never spoken in tongues. What does that do to your initial evidence? Saints: I hope more of you are beginning to realize that there are other gifts of the Spirit, other than speaking in tongues, and that they are divided to every believer according to the will of God, just like Paul said in 1st Corinthians 12:11.


SIGNS BUT NOT EVIDENCE


When reading Acts 2:4, you should pay particular attention to the way it is written. They were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, AND (conjunction) began to speak with other tongues, AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE. In Acts 4:31, you see another manifestation of the Holy Ghost, THEY SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS. Then in Acts 19:6, still another, THEY PROPHESIED. Brothers and Sisters: We are not saying anything, trying to rule out tongues as a gift of the Holy Ghost; we just want to help you get them in their right perspective. Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was a doctrine taught by those early disciples, but you can find no place where tongues was ever taught as a doctrine; they were only mentioned as a gift of the Holy Ghost along with the other gifts. Naturally, anyone who receives the Holy Ghost could speak in tongues, but so could they also interpret tongues, prophesy, speak a word of wisdom, or anything else that the Holy Ghost in them purposed for them to do. In dealing with the gifts of the Spirit, Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 12:7, saying, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN (or woman) to profit withal.” Sooner or later the Holy Ghost will manifest His presence in a believer’s life, but we have no scriptural authority to demand any certain manifestation. Furthermore, if you yourself have to have some sign given to you, in order for you to know whether you have received this promise of God, then you are putting the cart before the horse. Does not the scriptures teach us that our faith must be the substance of that which we expect to receive from God? Why do you suppose Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, laid so much emphasis upon faith, if God was going to prove everything to us with signs and evidence? Turn over to the 11th chapter of Hebrews for just a few verses. “Now (when? Now.) Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence (You want evidence; a positive faith based upon the word of God is all the evidence we should need) of things not seen.” (When we are able to see or hear something with our natural eyes and ears, we do not need any faith to believe it.) (3) “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Your evolutionists do not have faith in God; therefore, they cannot possibly understand anything about creation. We hear a lot of remarks about how Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice, and Cain did not, but have you noticed that Hebrews 11:4 says, “By FAITH Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which (By what? His faith) he obtained witness that he was righteousness.” Notice verse 6 now, “But without faith (Faith in what? The word of God.) it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” I hope you caught all of that. Not only must one believe that there truly is a sovereign God, but they must also believe that He is a rewarder of those that seek after Him. A clearer understanding of that particular verse might come forth, if it had been translated, you must believe that He will keep His word. Some people cannot believe that they will receive what they prayed for, because they are not sure that God really will do what the Bible says He will. That is the same thing as not having faith. Others will read a promise from the Bible, but they are not sure whether it applies to them or not, therefore they can never exercise faith to lay hold upon that promise. How do we know whether it was written for the nation of Israel, and so forth. If you are wondering about Acts 2:38, it was spoken, and written to individuals that would believe the gospel, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Of course it was spoken to Jewish individuals, because they were the ones that asked the question, “Men and brethren, What shall we do?” But later, when the gospel began to be preached to the Gentiles also, that same provision was right there for them. As a matter of fact, what Peter said in verse 39, included every Gentile that would ever believe and obey the gospel. Notice now, 38-39, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of SINS, (plural) and ye shall (What?) Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (39) FOR THE PROMISE IS UNTO YOU, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF, (That was we Gentiles.) Even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Brother, that opened it up to every hungry soul that would ever be convicted by the Spirit of God. Trinity Pentecost will only read Acts 2:4, claim tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and take their unmovable stand right there. The oneness element of Pentecost will include Acts 2:38-39, in their articles of faith along with Acts 2:4, but they, like the trinitarians, will read the rest of the chapter without ever seeing anything else in it. What about verse 42? How can they miss that? “And they (all those that believed and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.) continued steadfastly in the apostles’ DOCTRINE, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Verse 44 tells us that all that believed were together, and had all things common, and verse 46 tells us that they were all in one accord. There were no doctrinal differences. They all believed the same way. When one of the apostles stood up to present a revelated understanding from the word of God, he did not have to worry about half of the congregation getting up and stomping out of the assembly. Do you know why? They all had the Holy Ghost. He was in this one over here, doing the teaching, and he was in all those who were listening, saying, Amen. That is what John was referring to, over in 1st John 2:20, when he said, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” We started out on John 3:16, that is the milk of the word, but the Holy Ghost will not allow a true believer to go through life sucking on a spiritual milk bottle. There comes a time when He says, Now, I am going to take your bottle away, and fix you a plate. I hope you understand my little illustration. When Peter began to quote Joel there, that day, those orthodox Jews knew they had read those words many times, but they never before knew what they meant. Yet here stood a man speaking with authority telling them what they meant, and the Spirit of conviction came upon them, and they were pricked in their hearts, and immediately they wanted to know what they could do about their condition. This was Peter’s first opportunity to use the keys to the kingdom, that had been committed to him. (Matthew 16:19) So after he had swung that sword of the Spirit for awhile, he was ready to unlock the gate and let those hungry souls in. On the other hand, those local big shots did learn a thing from all that they heard, for the Holy Ghost was not convicting them. From them, was taken away that which they seemed to have had. Up until then, they had sat in the seat of Moses, with, Thou shalt not, Thou shalt not, and every orthodox Jew was subject to those laws, but from this day and onward, those that believed and obeyed the gospel will no longer need to hear, Thou shalt not, for they now have something in them that causes them to say, I don’t want to, I don’t want to, instead. God’s laws are written in the hearts of true believers, and that is why the scriptures say, that we become a law unto ourselves. When we do wrong, the Holy Ghost within us, will let us know right away, that we have done wrong. No! We don’t have to go somewhere, and get saved, all over again; it is just a matter of being repentant, and asking the Father’s forgiveness.


ETERNAL LIFE


Contrary to what an awful lot of people believe, once a person has been truly sealed by the Holy Ghost, they could never be lost again. That is where the reality of eternal security of the believer comes in. You cannot be spiritually unborn any more than you can be unborn in the natural. In the natural, a person can die at any time after birth, but in the spiritual, one who is born again by a spiritual birth can never die spiritually, for their new birth has given them eternal life. But, Bro. Jackson: Can a person that is truly born again still commit sin? Brothers & Sisters: The new birth experience is not an automatic exemption from all wrong deeds in the flesh. If it was, Paul would not have spent so much time admonishing the various assemblies on proper Christian conduct. What you must remember, is that all of these instructions in the New Testament epistles were written to born again believers. They were the only ones that needed to know how to bring their flesh under subjection to the recreated spirit within; and live a life of holiness unto the Lord. Read the 5th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and you will hear Paul say, Deliver that man into the hands of Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. That tells me that he is a son of God, standing in need of chastening for his wrong doing. You do not have to be afraid to face the truth, if your heart is right with God, and if your heart is not right with God, just covering up the truth will not help you any, for God is only looking at your heart. He knows what you are saying and doing, but your final destiny is determined by what is within you.


WHY RESTORATION WAS NECESSARY


Now in order to clear up, and shed light upon some of our remarks in this message, I want to give a little summary of what happened in between Acts 2:4 in that first age, and Azusa Street in this age. The church did not lose the Holy Ghost all at once, and neither was the Holy Ghost restored back to the church in its fulness all at once. What those hungry saints at Azusa Street mission received was the same Spirit that was received in Acts 2:4, but not in the same measure. In that first age, believers received the Holy Ghost, in its fulness of all the attributes; therefore, their revelation was pure, and there was no cause for disagreement about doctrine, and the manifestations of the Spirit, and it remained so, as long as those first generation watch dogs of the faith were still alive. They had no tares among them, for Satan could not get in to sow the seed. All of those men that were in that upper room on the day of Pentecost were ever watchful over God’s heritage, but they did not live forever. Somewhere in between about 66 A.D., and 90 A.D., Satan got his foot in the door and began to sow some seed of discord among believers. I was just reading in the antinicean father’s commentary where it was speaking of a certain person rising up to speak against water baptism, even as early as the 2nd century, and the writer of the article, called that person a scorpion. Do you know why? Because such people as this are afraid of water. Scorpions, centipedes, and that type of creatures are dry land creatures. He said that anyone that could get such a revelation would have to be a scorpion. But the first goal of Satan was to get rid of the primary doctrine of the Christian church, which was their one God revelation. Gentiles had always believed in pagan gods by the dozens, a god for everything, instead of One God for all things, so this is where Satan began his campaign. He just began to send out certain men that very gradually sowed seed of false teaching among believers, a little here, a little there, and a little somewhere else. Then as people began to open up their minds to some of these different ideas, the revelational attribute of the Holy Ghost began to be weakened in the church. Therefore, the Holy Ghost did not just leave them all at once. Actually it took place over a period of about 500 years, going into the Dark Ages. That is just about the same length of time that God has used in restoring the Holy Ghost attributes back into the church. But even though the Holy Ghost with all of His potential is being restored back into the church, there is still one great difference. After those tares were allowed to get in, they will remain in the assembly of the believers right up to the very end. We know that from the parable of Matthew 13. Also, I want to say this, the Holy Ghost never did completely leave the church, for He was always present to preserve life, to keep the church in existence. He just withheld His attributes, and allowed the people as a whole to have what they were looking for. But for the most part, what was called, the church, was not the church at all. It was mostly tares. A tare is not necessarily a bad person; they are just imitators of genuine Christians. They have another spirit, but some of them, as far as outward appearances, live just as clean as any Christian. Nevertheless, this is what took control of Christianity, or we will say, of the universal church, and led her into the Dark Ages. But praise God, we are living in the age of restoration, and have been privileged to witness many of the last phases of God’s restoration back to the church, what that 2nd generation of Christianity began to let slip away from them. She will eventually be restored completely to her spiritual heritage, and the Holy Ghost will again manifest all the fulness of His many attributes. We already have all of the major doctrines restored, and we are standing right on the threshold of seeing His power restored also. The Pentecostal systems, including the Assemblies of God, Pilgrim Holiness, Pentecostal Church of God, UPC and whatever else there is out there, are the last bunch of harlots God has to deal with. He left those other systems years ago, after they carried the torch of restoration light for their period, and then went to seed on the revelation God gave their founder.


Brothers and Sisters: We are a privileged people, to be allowed to witness what we have in these past decades. We have seen the rise and fall of many men that at one time had a genuine anointing of the Spirit of God upon their ministry. We have seen the great crusaders of men like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborne, and many others. We have heard the pros and cons of many doctrines of the scriptures, and many of us were privileged to witness God’s vindication of a certain little man called of God to set those doctrines back in their proper order in the church. Yet even among those who supposedly have been restored to the apostolic faith of our spiritual forefathers, we still find a lot of people following the signs, and searching for the evidence of the presence of the Holy Ghost. Many of those that seemed to uphold the truth that we stand for, and that spoke in tongues, and prophesied, have now turned aside to follow something else, so I ask you plainly, Are you still searching for some kind of evidence, or will you just simply believe the word of God, cast your care upon Him, and allow Him to manifest the Holy Ghost in your life according to His own sovereign will? This is a subject that could be stretched out for many, many services, for the scriptures that could be used are almost unlimited, but how much scriptural proof do believers require? Then how could any amount of scriptural proof help a person that has no confidence in the word of God? I believe we have sufficiently shown, by the scriptures, that the only evidence of the presence of the Holy Ghost that can be trusted is the kind of life that is projected by those that He truly resides within. If He is in you, He will set a standard for you to measure up to, and it will put your life right in line with the word of God. It may take a long time for Him to get us free from all our former teaching we received out there in spiritual Babylon, but with Him, time is not the important factor. He is after a pure product that can be presented to the Lord Jesus Christ spotless, and without wrinkle or blemish of any kind. He knows what He is doing, so trust Him. May God bless you all. Amen!

When God Is Sanctified – 1982, January

1982-01-When-God-Is-Sanctified

I HAVE PREACHED ON THIS BEFORE, AND WE HAVE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF IT IN PRINT, BUT IF THE LORD WILL ENABLE ME TO SAY TO YOU, WHAT I SEE HERE, I BELIEVE IT WILL PUT A PICTURE TOGETHER THAT WILL HELP YOU SEE WHAT IS SHORTLY TO COME TO PASS, ESPECIALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I WANT TO USE THE LAST FIVE VERSES OF THE 39TH CHAPTER OF EZEKIEL FOR A TEXT, AND TITLE THE MESSAGE “WHEN GOD IS SANCTIFIED.” NOT THAT GOD HAS ANY NEED TO BE SANCTIFIED IN THE SENSE THAT WE THINK OF SANCTIFICATION, BUT HE IS THE ONE THAT WILL BE SET APART, IN THE SIGHT OF MANY NATIONS, WHEN HE INTERCEDES FOR ISRAEL IN THIS GREAT CONFLICT. WE WILL BE USING MANY SCRIPTURES TO SUBSTANTIATE WHAT WE SAY, FOR YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SEE, RIGHT FROM THE PAGES OF GOD’S HOLY WORD, THAT ALL OF THIS WAS PROPHESIED MORE THAN 2500 YEARS AGO. FURTHERMORE, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SEE THAT THE EVENTS OF EZEKIEL 38 AND 39, HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, WHICH WILL BE FOUGHT IN THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION OF THE 70 WEEK OF DANIEL. THIS WAR WILL BE FOUGHT PRIOR TO THE TH BEGINNING OF THAT WEEK OF TIME. AS A MATTER OF FACT, I BELIEVE THIS WAR WILL BE WHAT SHAKES WORLD LEADERS TO THE POINT WHERE THEY ARE READY AND WILLING TO SIGN A PEACE COVENANT THAT THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE THE OVERSEER OF. IT TOOK A WAR TO BRING THE “LEAGUES OF NATIONS,” INTO BEING, AND IT TOOK A WAR TO GET THE “UNITED NATIONS,” ESTABLISHED, THEREFORE IT IS PERFECTLY IN LINE WITH SCRIPTURAL PROPHECIES TO BELIEVE IT WILL TAKE A WAR TO GET THE ANTICHRIST’S PEACE COVENANT SIGNED. NOT JUST ANY WAR, BUT THIS VERY PARTICULAR ONE. DO NOT EVER THINK GOD DID NOT HAVE A SPECIAL REASON FOR ANNOUNCING THIS PARTICULAR WAR; HE DID. I BELIEVE WE CAN SHOW WHAT IT IS TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE PURPOSE OF GOD, AS HE PREPARES THE WORLD FOR JUDGMENT, AND WHY HE WANTED HIS CHURCH TO BE ABLE TO SEE IT COMING, AND KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE. IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS, THAT WE ARE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT ALL THE DISTURBANCE OVER IN THE MIDDLE EAST, IS LEADING UP TO. IN OTHER WORDS, THE STAGE IS BEING SET ALREADY, FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF EZEKIEL 38 & 39, THEREFORE YOU NEED NOT LOOK FOR ANY PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO ALL THOSE PROBLEMS YOU HEAR OF, IN THE NEWS. THESE ARE JUST FORERUNNING THE BIG PROBLEM THAT IS ON THE WAY. EVENTS TO COME

 

Let us begin now, by reading our text scriptures, starting with verse 25, in chapter 39. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, (This has to be a time when all twelve tribes are sufficiently represented back in the land of Israel, and therefore, never could have been so until now.) And will be jealous for my holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land. And none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from my people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands. (Naturally this speaks of a time when all twelve tribes have been gathered back into the land, out of dispersion.) And am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: (The word heathen, applies to Gentile nations where the Jews have been 2 in dispersion for 2700 years. That is about how long the ten Northern tribes have been out of the land.) But I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.” Now that 29 verse reaches all the way over to Revelation, chapters 7 and 11, where the two th witnesses reveal Jesus Christ to the house of Israel, and the 144,000 servants of God are filled with the Holy Ghost along with another great house of Israel, and the 144,000 servants of God are filled with the Holy Ghost along with another great host of believing Jews. God intervenes for them in this war in such a way that they cannot help but recognize that it was He, and while He has their attention, He sends His two witnesses among them, and through their prophecy, verse 29 is being fulfilled, and the last week of Daniel is being checked off, on God’s great calendar of time. The world is locked in a great peace covenant that will be broken by the old Antichrist after it has been in affect for 3 ½ years, and we all know that the next 3 ½ years after that, will be hell on earth, for every demon out of the pit, will be turned loose upon earth in those days. Some people think things are bad now, but I want you to know, that those who are still here during the last half of that week will look back and long for a return of the days such as we are seeing now, but it will do them no good, for their time will be running out. God’s mercy is still available for all who will receive it, but in that day, it will be only His wrath that mankind will partake of. When the Antichrist has fulfilled his days, God will pour out His wrath upon this old earth like never before. But what is so beautiful is that He has told us ahead of time what is coming, and has offered a way of escape to all who would accept it. That is why, not one soul that has ever lived can rightly accuse Him of being unjust. After all: when you are given a choice, with the consequences of each choice clearly stated, if you make the wrong choice, who is to blame?

 

GOD SPEAKS TO LAND

 

Ezekiel was a contemporary prophet, prophesying to the whole house of Israel. He, like Daniel, was among the captives carried to Babylon; therefore they, like the apostle John, prophesied while out of their homeland. Ezekiel’s prophecy followed Daniel’s by a few years, but you will not find one thing in it that contradicts anything Daniel spoke concerning the seventy weeks of years during which God would deal with Israel because of their transgressions. As we study these various scriptures, you will see for yourselves that everything they each spoke, harmonize perfectly. Furthermore we will run them right into the book of Revelation where the apostle John recorded the climax of all that Daniel and Ezekiel spoke of. But for the present, let us devote our attention to this prophecy of Ezekiel. God had given him an insight as to why the two southern tribes had been carried away to Babylon in captivity. He knew the ten northern tribes had already been out of the land for more than one hundred years. You can read in the 15 and 17 chapters of 2 Kings, and see how the Assyrian empire, through two invasions, had already th th nd captured, and carried to Babylon the ten Northern tribes, so that they had already been on their dispersion journey for more than 100 years before the two Southern tribes were taken. You can just imagine how conditions of being constantly sold and traded as slaves had pushed those ten tribes further and further from their homeland. That is why you read in Hosea, that the ten Northern tribes would never be restored to their homeland in tribal identity, until the latter times. Brothers and sisters: We are living in those latter times, and that is why this particular war is to serve one specific purpose. Ezekiel’s identity is with the two Southern tribes, and you will recall that it was these Jews that were brought back into the land to prepare for the first advent of Christ, (the two Southern tribes) in the first thirty some chapters, you will find Ezekiel dealing with present day conditions of his day, the purpose for which the two Southern tribes have been given over to their enemies and so forth, and the chastisement for their transgressions. Then, when you get over to chapter 34, you find a drastic change. He begins to lay out a beautiful picture of restoration, mercy, and forgiveness. In chapter 36, the prophecy is to the land itself. It speaks of how, in the last days it would be restored to its rightful owners, and how it would be tilled and sown, and how men would be multiplied upon it. Saints, I want you to just think about that for a moment. Those ten 3 Northern tribes have been out of the land for almost 2700 years, and the two Southern tribes for almost 2,000 years, yet God says that it will be restored to its rightful owners. Let us just take a moment to read a few verses from chapter 36. Notice verse 9, (speaking to the land) “For behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: and I will multiply men upon you, ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, EVEN ALL OF IT: (that means all twelve tribes) and the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you men and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you AFTER YOUR OLD ESTATES, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Let them talk about giving it back to the Arabs, all they want to; God says the twelve tribes are to inhabit it according to their old estates. How much plainer could it be written? You might like to read the whole chapter later, but for our purpose in the message: let us go to verse 22 and read a few more verses. This is to the people of the house, or nation of Israel. “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake which ye have profaned among the heathen, whether ye went. (While in dispersion among the Gentiles; they have profaned the name of the God they are supposed to worship, but God has His way of receiving recognition and honor, and we are going to see some of the ways He does it, before we finish this message.) And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen (Gentiles) shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” You will notice that the word SANCTIFY, appears in this chapter, in connection with what God is going to do for Israel, but I want you to know that His great name has not yet been sanctified in the house of Israel to this date. There are a few orthodox Jews that have a strict religious code, but even then, they have so traditionalized the writings of Moses in their interpretations, that it does not bear a true message to them. If those orthodox Jews had a true interpretation of Ezekiel’s prophecy: they would have an altogether different view, and vision of the present day conditions all around them. This in no way annuls the fact that they believe they are back in the land to receive their Messiah; they believe that. It is just that they are so blinded because of their traditions, (which is a result of their misinterpretation of the scriptures) that God will do something to get their full attention, and we know what that something will be; it will be the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, which is much closer than a lot of people want it to be. I am not looking forward to the war itself, but I know it must come before we can see that blessed event we are longing for, therefore let us delight in the precise way God fulfills every prophecy of this old book, and just be sure we are ready for whatever is next.

 

LOVE AND PEACE, THEN WRATH

 

When you read chapter 36, and know that God is going to give back to them all the land that He promised to their forefather Abraham for an everlasting possession, and then you read this Saudi Arabia peace proposal for the Middle East, you can rest assured that they could not care less what the Bible has to say about it all. One thing they proposed was that Israel give back all the occupied West Bank land they acquired in the 1967 war. This would be given to the Palestinians for a state, making Jerusalem the capital. This would rip Bible prophecy all to pieces. If such a thing as that would take place, we would have to say that Ezekiel 36, is a long way off yet. Brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that Ezekiel 36 is hanging right over the Gentile nations today. They just simply do not realize it. What is looked upon as the church in this modern society, is all hung up on love. They could never bring themselves to believe that God would use a war to accomplish His purpose. Oh, no, He is a God of love. They read the New Testament and cannot see anything but a God that loves everyone. They will tell you, Jesus was a man of peace; He did not believe in wars. They only read part of the book. The same Jesus that rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey as a man of love and peace, will one day come again, in wrath, taking vengeance on all ungodly mankind. As King of kings, and Lord of lords, He will execute wrath upon His enemies, smiting them with the sword of His mouth. Just read Revelation 19:15, and see 4 if you can discover the fact that this same Jesus which was so meek and loving in His first advent, is going to return in wrath, to smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. He came the first time to exemplify the nature that God desired to lift us unregenerate people up into. But God knew the world in general would reject this great gift of life; therefore He also recorded, for all to see, what would be the consequences of rejecting life. Those who do so will see the wrath side of this humble man that never lifted a finger to defend Himself when He was on earth as the Savior of lost mankind, for He will be executing the wrath of the great eternal Spirit.

 

TRUE ISRAEL CLEANSED

 

Notice verse 24, now, what god is saying to the people of Israel. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into YOUR OWN LAND.” Does that mean that God will just give them back part of their heritage, and allow the Arabs to have all the rest? Every one of you know better than that. It is a pity that world leaders do not know it. For over 30 years now, God has been doing just exactly what He said He would do, and He is doing it precisely to fit the scriptures. During that same period of time, He has been doing something for us Gentiles also. He has been awakening us from our spiritual sleep, and returning us to the apostolic word of God. Verse 25, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.” That sounds like Revelation 7:1-8, 11:1-6, being applied. Would you not say so? This is exactly what will be taking place when those two prophets come on the scene there in Israel. This chapter makes it very clear, as to who will finally possess those disputable areas of land we hear so much in the news about, all the time. Therefore it matters not what Mt. Reagan, nor anyone else does or says; that land belongs to Israel, and we are living very close to the time when she is going to possess all of it. How will she get control of the rest of it? Some will say. This is in the hands of God of course, but I would invite you to recall to your memory how she gained control of the land she took in only six days, in the 1967 war. That was such a miracle, that even military men said, “This was an act of God.” You never hear any of them open their mouth about it any more; for they are too bound by world opinion to defend Israel’s rights. That is why you need not expect that issue to be settled by negotiations among politicians. When they get the rest of their land, it will be in such a way, that God will be sanctified before the eyes of many nations. However, you need not expect any mass conversions among Gentile nations because of it, for it will only serve to awaken an element of mortal people, and get them in a state of God-consciousness, to prepare them for the Millennium, and especially to make Himself known to Israel. One can only speculate as to how a bunch of educated, scientific-minded, atheistic Gentiles would record these events in history. I am sure a lot of them will have to hang their heads in embarrassment, but it will not mean that they are turning to God for salvation.

 

JOSEPH AND JUDAH REJOINED

 

Going into chapter 37, you find that Ezekiel’s prophecy turns from the land, to the people who will inhabit that land. In July 1977, we printed an article titled, “Forgotten Valley” in which we dealt with this 37th chapter in its full scope. You will find in verse 11, that this valley of dry bones represents the whole house of Israel that has been scattered among the nations for hundreds of years, but are revived and restored as a people. In their long period of dispersion, they had nationally died and went into a state of forgottenness. This is why God likened them to a valley of dry bones. But then we see that these bones are brought to life, with their flesh and sinews restored to them, and God is prophesying to them, what He will do to them, with them, and for them. Notice verse 19, what Ezekiel is to say unto them. “Say unto 5 them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, (that pertains to the ten Northern tribes, where the tribe of Ephraim was the predominate tribe,) which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, (that would be the other nine tribes of the northern kingdom,) and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, (Judah was the predominate tribe of the two Southern tribes) and will make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” I am sure most of you realize that this stick symbolizes the sceptre of the king, and that it does not mean, just any old stick someone might pick up. This sceptre symbolizes the authority the king holds over his subjects, but way back in B.C. time (I believe it was around 931 B.C.) That sceptre was broken. At Solomon’s death the kingdom became divided. Solomon’s son Rehoboam ruled in his place, but because of Solomon’s sin, God had already prophesied to Jeroboam which was the son of a servant, that ten tribes would be taken from Solomon and given to him to rule over. Thus the kingdom became divided and was never to be reunited again until the time of the end. Judah, under Rehoboam, kept Jerusalem as the city of worship, and the ten northern tribes under Jeroboam, established Samaria as a capital. They set up their own worship, and no longer went up to Jerusalem to worship as the former custom had been. About 350 years later, Ezekiel is found prophesying that the broken sceptre would be made one again, but little did he know then, that his prophecy would not be fulfilled for more than 2500 years later. Hallelujah! What a God we serve! He never forgets a promise, like we are so prone to do. Joining the stick of Joseph with the stick of Judah is God’s way of saying that the kingdom of Israel shall be no longer divided, so let us notice verse 21, and see what God was to do first, to accomplish this thing. “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them (WHAT?) One nation (WHERE?) In the land upon the mountains of Israel; and ONE KING shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.” Naturally this will not be a completed picture until Jesus Christ sits upon the throne of David, ruling them, for He is that one King that shall join them back together, and make them one nation again, and that is a Millennial setting. This is what Hosea prophesied; (We read it from the first chapter, just the other night, how the children of Israel would be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head) it was all symbolized through the names of his family. God works in strange and mysterious ways to fulfill every word that He has ever spoken. There may be times when we do not completely understand what He is doing, nor why He is doing it, but there is never a time that we cannot put our complete trust in Him. Everything He does, works for good to the true people that are called by His great name, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.

 

PROPHESY TO GOG

 

Brothers and sisters: We have just pulled a few verses from chapters 36 & 37, to lay a little platform for the main thrust of our message. In these two chapters, we see Israel being resurrected from their long forgotten state of dispersion among the nations, and we see their land being restored to them, but we do not see God being sanctified in them, in those two chapters. That is yet ahead, and that is what we want to deal with as we go into chapter 38. Let us begin right in verse 1, with our reading. “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” Saints, I want to be sure you get the picture, here. Almost 600 years before the first advent of Christ, God reached into the future almost 2600 years, to name a people that had never even been thought of, and tell what He would use them for in His final dealings with the nation of Israel, just before going into that last week of Daniel. Up until, we would say, the past 150 years, Russia had very little mention in history. She made very few headlines in the 6 newspapers of the world. Their largest headlines concerned the Bolshevik revolution, around the year 1917, out of which emerged the USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The communistic spirit took over. Now Russia is very much in the headlines, almost daily. The stage is being set to fulfill these scriptures we are reading, God is putting it in the hearts of the world leaders to bring about conditions that will fulfill His purpose, (confirmation that God will do such a thing is found in Revelation 17:17.) We are living in the very hour that these two chapters are coming into their place for fulfillment. Israel does not yet have her temple grounds, and this in itself is proof that there must yet be another shaking event take place, through which this shall be accomplished. No. It will not be Armageddon. I am aware of the fact that many of you have Scofield Bibles, and that he includes these two chapters in with those that actually do pertain to the battle of Armageddon, but you can be absolutely sure of this one thing; Ezekiel 38 & 39 deals with a war that has no connection whatsoever to the battle of Armageddon. This sort of confusion runs rampant throughout the ranks of denominational religion; therefore none of them are in a position to know what time it is, dispensationally, and that is why so many of them are trying to crowd the events of 7 years of time, into a 3 ½ year period of time. (CONFUSION V-S REVELATION) Saints, do you realize what a blessed privilege it is, to be able to read God’s great time clock for the age we are living in? Israel had Daniel’s seventy weeks, that should have let them know when to expect their Messiah, but their traditions had them so busy, and so blinded, that they could not discern the time they were living in; therefore they rejected and crucified the very one they were supposedly waiting for. In other words, He did not come according to their traditional, Gentile expectations, so they rejected it. Now I ask you, Where does that leave denominational Christendom? It is sad to say, but great multitudes of them are headed for the lake of fire. Even the foolish virgins are locked outside the revelation, and must give their lives in martyrdom, because they bypassed their opportunity when it was presented to them. You can hear them on radio and television, talking about how Jesus could come for the rapture at just any moment, yet we know good and well that the rapture of the church cannot precede Ezekiel 38 & 39, nor the message of the 7 thunders of Revelation 10:3, etc., etc. Those who teach it so, will invariably run into a time problem, trying to make time for all the rest of the scriptural prophecies to be fulfilled. Do not despair though, for God has everything running right on schedule.

 

HOOKS IN THEIR JAWS

 

Let us take a few minutes to identify the characters if verse 2, before we read further. Gog is the ruler, or prince of the land referred to as Magog. Now the area of land that this name applies to mainly, is the area associated with the names of two sons of Japheth which was a son of Noah. When you go back to Genesis chapter 10, and read the genealogy of the sons of Noah, you will find that Meshech, and Tubal were two of the sons of Japheth. There are other names mentioned, further on down in the chapter, but they are not the names of the leaders, they are not the originators of this war. God’s message is to the chief prince of the land identified with Meshech and Tubal, which is identified with Russia. I was showing someone an old encyclopedia the other night, in which it showed that the people of Meshech later became known as Muscovites, and today they are the people of Moscow. The city was named after the people that were then known as Muscovites. Let me use a comparison here. The capital of the country called Jordan, is a city called Amman. Do you know where the name Amman originated? After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, when only Lot and his two daughters escaped alive, the daughters got Lot drunk, and through acts of incest with him, they both gave birth to sons. One gave birth to Moab who became the progenitor of the Moabites. The other daughter called her son by the name of Benammi, and he was the progenitor of all the children of Ammon. Therefore the capital city of Jordan today, derives its name from the ancient Ammonite people, just like Moscow comes from the ancient Moscovites, which were descendants of Japheth. I have not yet been able to trace TUBAL, to any certain area of land, to my satisfaction, but one old dictionary did refer me to the Tiberians were, we would have to associate them in the area of the Baltic countries, bordering, or in the southern section of Russia. (I am still 7 searching this out.) Certainly we must keep these two, Meshech and Tubal associated together, for, notice verse 3; after Ezekiel is instructed to prophesy against Gog. God then continues thus, “And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: (You will notice how he leaves the land, and brings out the identity of the people involved.) Persia, (basically Iran) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; and the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands; and many people with thee.” Brothers and sisters, we know that Russia is not going to open the scriptures and believe anything that they could read therein, but if they did, they would see for sure that they are licked before they even start. Their destiny in such an endeavor was announced more than 2600 years ago, therefore there is no reason whatsoever for a true believer to be confused, nor worried about Ezekiel 38 & 39. God has a purpose in all of this, and He has allowed His Gentile church the privilege, of knowing in advance how it will all turn out. Great multitudes of people will realize for the first time in their lives, that there truly is a God controlling all of which they have so carelessly associated with pure chance, under the shadow of what they call evolution. We readily give evolution its place, but only with what God (the great eternal, sovereign Spirit) created. We can see how the one pair of everything that Noah saved in the ark has evolved into many species upon the face of the earth, but we do not have to be in doubt as to how the first pair got here. Praise God! A believer can learn in just a matter of minutes, something that great scientific minds have spent their whole lives searching for. All we have to so is open our Bible to Genesis 1:1, and start reading. Hallelujah! The things of God are so pure and simple, great intellectual minds can never humble themselves enough to believe what is so clear to a child of God.

 

 MILLENNIAL SUBJECTS PREPARED

 

Now saints, listen to me. The days of preaching to Gentiles is just about over. You can preach to young people these days, and they will just sit and stare off into space; it just simply does not penetrate. The simplicity of the gospel cannot get past all the other junk that they have crammed into their minds in this modern society of atheism. Of course we all realize that the stream of faith would one day, have to run out, in order for God to bring this thing to a close. In other words, there has to be that last Gentile soul somewhere, sometime, in order to fulfill the words of Paul, concerning the fulness of the Gentiles. (Rom. 11:25) But please do not think, just because I said that, that God will not still be the master of the whole thing; because in it all, He is going to prepare a remnant of natural people from every nation, to move right over into the Millennium. The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ was, and still is for the purpose of preparing Him a bride, but there is coming a day when that bride will be ruling with Him, over an element of natural people, a people that has been prepared for their hour some way other than by the preaching of the gospel, as we have known it. Yes, God will be sanctified in the eyes of many people through the events of this Ezekiel 38 & 39, war. When God gets finished wit this great army of Russia and her allies, the Russian brand of communism will no longer be a threat to anyone. That will leave the way clear, for this Western Europe version of communism that the old Antichrist will use in his hour. Saints, it is a wonderful thing, the way God showed all this, through Ezekiel, Daniel, and John, hid it from the scholars, and revealed it to His church right at the end time.

 

WEAPONS AND PEOPLE

 

Now I have read articles where some men have told about how Russia is becoming the greatest breeder of horses, and they point out that it is for the purpose of fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy, “I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen,” and I have no doubt that from Russia’s standpoint, she sees a certain strategic advantage in having good horses, but I am wondering what Ezekiel would have wrote, 8 if he had seen an army tank, or helicopter, weapons carrier, and all the other mechanized infantry vehicles of our day? These words were not in his vocabulary, so what would he have written? We cannot give a literal interpretation to words such as these. We know they will be coming with much horsepower, for that is how all your motors and such like, are rated, but do not give a literal interpretation to horses and horsemen, here, nor to swords, shields and bucklers. What chance would a man with a sword in his hand, have against another army equipped with M-14 rifles, or whatever they are using now? This should help us to be more realistic about these things. Russia and her allies will come against Israel, but you can be very sure, they will not limit themselves to armor and weapons of twenty five hundred years ago. What did they use when they went into Afghanistan to take control? That should tell us something. The same kind of logic belongs to the reference about Persia, there in verse 5. What at one time was Persia, is now Iran, and they are not yet in the Soviet lineup, but everything is taking shape for it to be so. It all started when they overturned the government of the Shah. Under his leadership, they were a proWestern nation, and in sympathy with the Israelis, and also sold oil to Israel and the United States. He equipped his army with U.S. military equipment, and looked this way for friendship. It was such a tragedy and such a pitiful situation when those radicals who overthrew his government, took all those hostages and held them for so long, yet we know that scripturally, something had to happen to get that nation turned around, and in the lineup with the land of Magog, the MOSCOVITES, before time for this Ezekiel war to be fought. Concerning the Shah; they have screamed, around the world, about all the people he tortured, and how many he had executed, but you do not hear them say one word about all those that have been slaughtered by that miserable character Khomeni, since he took command. Furthermore he does not know the first thing about running the country. If there ever was a religious fanatic, he is one. Many of his own politicians have fled from under his control, and have made statements to the effect that he has set the country back 1400 years, at a very crucial hour of time. All we can say now, is that God is permitting it, because the country has to reach such a weakened condition that Russia will no doubt, be compelled by world conditions at a certain hour, just to step in there and do what she did in Afghanistan. Those who kept up with the news 8 or 9 years ago, will remember that conditions in Afghanistan back then, were just like they have been, in Iran, ever since they overthrew the Shah. Without positive leadership, the became so weak, and so divided in purpose, that Russia finally just moved in, and took over. Therefore it is my judgment that Russia will never stand by, and let Western nations step in there, when Iran gets to the place where she just simply cannot stabilize her government in any way. They will be ready to make their move. That will put Iran right where Ezekiel 38:5 says, Persia (Iran) will be. Just remember this, Any mortal human could make a mistake in judgment, but God Himself told Ezekiel what to say here, and He makes no mistakes.

 

RUSSIAN ALLIES

 

Let us consider the other two nations mentioned there with Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. Brothers and sisters, there was a time when the United States had strategic air command bases in Libya. But I remember that when Israel fought that 6 day war back in 1967, and the U.S. did not do anything to hinder her, Libya broke all diplomatic relations with us, because she was ready to get involved in the whole thing. This rearranged the whole picture, and put Libya in a complete pro-Russian lineup. She has been a menace in the Middle East ever since. This Qadhafi is feared by everyone, because he is a fanatic, a radical, ready for war, and yet does not have enough men to fight a war. He has plenty of those petroleum dollars, to buy Russian equipment with, and he stays in the news headlines a great percentage of the time, all of which seems to make him a very important man. But the thing that gets my attention the most, is the fact that God, through Ezekiel, prophesied, 2600 years ago, that this little nation would be in the lineup with the Moscovites, in these last days, coming against Israel. As for Ethiopia, there was a time when they had a king, “HALLI SALASSE,” who claimed to be able to trace his genealogy all the way back to the queen of Sheba. I do not know anything about that, but I do know what happened to him 9 and those who were loyal to him in his government. The communists came in there, undermined his government, formed a coup and took over the government. Then they exterminated Salasse, many of his family members, and all those who were loyal to him. The world never did know just how much suffering there was in Ethiopia, to turn them from a pro-Western nation in sympathy with the United States and the Western world to the largest Russian equipped army in the Middle East. Nevertheless that put them right in their place, in the scriptural lineup against Israel. You might find it interesting just to look at a world atlas and see where Israel is positioned in the midst of this lineup of her enemies. The last part of verse 5 says, “All of them with shield and helmet.” That means that they are prepared for war. They are all equipped with Russian made military equipment. Also, as we go on into verse 6, we see Gomer and Togarmah, added to this lineup. When you take the time to search it out, you find that Gomer is actually the land of Turkey, and the house of Togarmah is Armenia. Therefore we need not wonder where Armenia stands in all of this, for ever since WW I, Russia has practically dominated them, but beyond all else, we have Ezekiel’s prophecy to show us exactly where they stand. Now we have some other names to consider as we go on, but let us read verse 7. “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” Naturally this is speaking to the main leader, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself.” For over 30 years Russia has been preparing for something. From her standpoint, she is preparing herself, with the thought of one day taking over the whole world. Little by little she is reaching out, and naturally God is allowing her to be successful with it, while she is getting her forces together to fulfill this prophecy, but that is as far as she will ever get, with her plans for a world takeover, when she comes into the land of Israel to take a spoil and God Himself intervenes on behalf of Israel. When the allied commander of the WW2 period of time, gave East Germany to Russia, it greatly troubled a lot of people who tried to reconcile it with prophecies for the end time. Now from the standpoint of natural reasoning, that never should have been done, but from the standpoint of prophecy, right where the iron curtain divides the East from the West, is as far as the old Roman empire boundaries ever reached, so from that standpoint everything is all right. Nevertheless from that day until now, Russia has been constantly preparing herself for a day that is just ahead. It is her aim to rid the world of every form of religious belief in God, for she is atheist to the core. Even though they do not believe in God, we are reading a prophecy that is for them, and it will be fulfilled whether they believe it or not. God says, You get ready. You are the leader; you are the troublemaker. In other words, she is to be the guardian of all the rest, and that is the exact role she has been in for many years now. They do the supplying, and they do the guarding. That is why the scripture reads like it does, “Prepare for thyself, and all the company that is assembled with thee.” A little country like Libya could never fight a war with Israel by herself; she would not last a day and a half, but when they join with Ethiopia, Russia, and all those others, they will be feeling pretty good about their endeavor. The valley of Hamongog is waiting to receive their dead bodies though, and God is waiting until then to be sanctified in the eyes of many people. Now many people have asked me about this valley of Hamongog, “Where is it?” The word itself simply means the multitude of Gog. Wherever it is, it will not be known as the valley of Hamongog, until after it becomes the burial grounds for the great multitude of Gog, when they are slain, there in Israel.

 

RUSSIA’S VISITATION

 

Notice verse 8, God still speaking to Russia. “After many days (2600 years) thou shalt be visited: (I believe God is visiting Russia; not in the way that we would like to think of it, but in a way that is causing her to rise up and fulfill scriptures,) in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, (This is why we included chapters 36 & 37, so you could see what God has prophesied to the land of Israel, and to the people that would be restored to that land) against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the 10 nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” Naturally we believe we are living in the latter years that this verse refers to, and we see Russia, that she is in a position to fulfill all that is prophesied of her, but I wonder just how many of you are actually aware of the fact, that it was the United States that kept Russia from being overrun by Germany during WW2? I have read stories, how our old obsolete P-39 airplanes was what saved Russia, against a German attack. Our supplies are what saved her. For what purpose? So she could fulfill this scripture. America has been an instrument in the hands of God in many ways, but she has followed a pattern set by other nations, and departed from the kind of faith in God that our founding fathers enjoyed; therefore she will have to suffer the consequences along with all the rest, when God pours out His wrath upon the nations. But that is not what we are looking at, here in Ezekiel. We are looking at a situation where God is restoring all of the land back to the people of Israel, that was promised to their progenitor, Abraham, and his seed after him. Practically the whole world is against such a thing, and many of their reasons sound so right, if you do not know what the word of God says about it, but one thing is sure, no matter what any of them say, or do, Israel will get back every inch of their promised land. Russia, nor anyone else can ever drive them out of it again. It is because of world opinion being what it is, that God will be so greatly sanctified through what He does on behalf of Israel. Do not ever think this will be some little insignificant skirmish that will be treated lightly by the press. No. It will be just exactly the opposite. God is going to magnify this event to the extent that great men the world over will stand in awe, and will admit for the first time, that there truly has to be a living God in control of things after all. The world is going to know then, that there is a God that rules from the heavens, and that He puts up whom He will, and also, that He takes down whom He will. In the meanwhile, you who may read this, and scoff at it: that is your privilege. If you want to be an atheist; that is your privilege, and if you want to side with Russia, go ahead. But when the hour of her visitation comes, if that is what it takes to cause you to turn from your atheism, there is no hope for you then. Those whom God chooses to live in the Millennium, will certainly not be any of those who have previously fought against Him, while He was dealing with Gentiles through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when mankind is exerting every effort to eliminate the mention of God in connection with anything whatsoever. At the same time, they are crying about over-population, and saying that we cannot possibly raise enough food to feed everyone in the very near future. Monetary systems are going bankrupt, and almost everyone seems to have the feeling that something is about to happen that will drastically change the whole picture, but very few of them know what it is. Every true believe should know that God has everything under His control, and that every true child of God will be provided for, no matter what happens, but there are still an awful lot of believers, that do not yet know what is coming. That is why we are printing this article. I realize that we have dealt with almost everything we deal with here, in other articles we have printed, but in the light of present world conditions, and the fact that these two chapters are just before us, perhaps there are some who can be helped by having the picture put together as we desire to do in this message. God has been fulfilling chapter 36 & 37, for the past 30 years now, getting everything, and everyone in proper position for the fulfillment of 38 & 39, and I do not expect Him to wait forever, once the stage is set. You will see what I mean, when we read verse 9, a little later. But first let me mention a couple of things in the last half of verse 8. It speaks of gathering the people of Israel out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste. Up until a few short years ago, that was the state of the land of Israel, just waste land. Throughout the centuries of time that the rightful owners have been in dispersion, the land of Israel has lain desolate, just a wilderness type of seemingly waste land. Empire after empire has through the years, possessed it, but somehow or the other, God has always kept them from farming the land. God wanted the land to rest, until its rightful owners returned. Those of you who have been over there in the last few years, would surely have to testify that the land must have regained its strength, for you have never seen more beautiful fruit and vegetables grown anywhere else in the world. It is no longer a waste land.

 

ATTACK LIKE A STORM

 

Another thing that I notice here, that could cause some to wonder, is that it says they are brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Now in reality we all know that there has not yet been a time that it could be accurately said, they were dwelling safely in their land. They have been constantly harassed, and have had to fight ever so many times, just to hold what they have already, so what is meant by that statement? Simply this. They are safe, in the sense that they will never again be conquered and driven from their land. They have fought many battles since God began restoring them back to their land, but never to the point of defeat. Always to the point of victory, and it shall continue so. If we are in time where all the signs indicate we are, they could not even give that land away. They are back there, preparing for this very war, and many of them have no thought whatsoever about what the word of God has to say about their future. That is why verse 9 is so meaningful. Notice what it says, remembering that this is what God is saying to the Russians. “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land.” This very verse lets me know that the world will not have a six month warning, when Russia gets ready to make her move. A storm usually comes up very suddenly. Most of the general public have very little warning, if any at all, when a storm sweeps through. That is how this thing will come about. World conditions that must transpire to set this thing up, have moved at such a slow pace, in most respects, that peoples hearts are becoming hardened, and they are treating the whole process just as a normal nominal procedure. Yet one day it shall break forth suddenly, just like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in Dec. 1941. Their attack came just like a storm, and so will this Russian attack on Israel, for God Himself said it would. “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” All her bands, pertains to all her satellite nations that have lined up with her. “Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought; And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, (FOR WHAT PURPOSE?) To take a spoil, and take a prey.” Brothers and sisters, with all that is taking place in the world today, there is not one doubt about the fact that Russian leaders have it in their minds to protect all their interests in those Middle East countries. They have armed Syria, Libya and others, getting themselves into position where they feel that they can take control of the wealth of all the Middle East. Naturally they will realize that Israel must be conquered also, if they are to succeed in such a plan. Furthermore we do know that Israel is building up and inhabiting all the old ancient cities and villages that have lain waste and desolate for so long. Also, as they build them back, they are omitting the walls, for they know that those walls will not keep out tanks and rockets and such like. They are truly gathered there out of the nations of the world, and they certainly do have cattle, and large dairy herds. They also have beef cattle, and sheep, and great agricultural enterprises, and you would have to say, They are dwelling in the midst of the land.

 

WHO IS SHEBA AND DEDAN?

 

Verse 13, mentions some more names, but it is interesting to note that these are not in the lineup with Russia. Notice. “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, (unto Gog, or Russia) Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” Saints, this is a very interesting verse, right here in the midst of this prophecy. Sheba and Dedan applies to the people of Saudi Arabia, and you will notice that they are not making any kind of threat against Russia; but rather, they are asking a question, “What have you come to do? Have you come to take our silver and gold, and our cattle, and so forth?” Brothers and sisters, the gold that Russia in interested in is that BLACK GOLD they are pumping up out of the earth. Saudi Arabia to this present time, is still very much against Israel holding that land, and she is very scared of Russia coming into the Middle East, knowing that their great oil output would no doubt make them a target sooner or later. Russia would rather control all the oil of those Middle East countries, than to own all the bank accounts of the whole world, for with that oil she could make the whole world bow before her. Therefore it will be their black gold that Russia is most interested in, but in order to get control of that, she will need to conquer the people and everything they have. What we are saying is, It will not be their gold and silver, and their cattle and such like that Russia has her eye on. In ancient times, when an invading enemy came in to take over a territory, the wealth of the nation was looked upon in terms of gold, silver, cattle and other such goods. That is how the invading forces supported themselves a lot of the time. But this will not be the case with Russia. She has her mind fixed upon world dominion, and she believes that controlling all that Middle East oil would put her in that position, so she is after their black gold. Most of the Western world is almost completely dependant upon Middle East oil for their present way of life, so why would not a nation like Russia, desiring world dominion as they do, have a greedy desire to control all of it? Now for the sake of giving you something more than just my word, let us go to the 25 chapter of th Genesis, where we will pinpoint the identity and land association of Sheba and Dedan. This picks up where Abraham (after the death of Sarah, and after Isaac’s marriage to Rebekah) took another woman to be his wife, and gives the names of the sons she gave him. “Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat SHEBA, and DEDAN. And the sons of DEDAN were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummin. And the sons of Midian; Eppah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. (Now notice where these went when they went out from Abraham.) Verse 5, And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.” Now you remember, I am sure, how God made a covenant with Abraham, and his seed after him, giving him all the land that He had showed unto him, for an everlasting possession, and how God established the fact with him, that Isaac was to be his heir. His seed was to be called through Isaac, the promised son born to him by Sarah, in her old age, after God opened her womb to receive seed. Therefore Ishmael, born to him by Sarah’s maid, who was actually his firstborn son as we would look at it, was forbidden by God, to be Abraham’s heir, so Ishmael is out of the picture here, when Abraham gives gifts unto the sons of Keturah, and sends them eastward from where he dwelt. Saints, when you look at a map, eastward from where Abraham was, you will see Saudi Arabia. Then, if you can get an old Bible atlas such as I have here, you will see most of the names of these sons of Keturah, right there in Saudi Arabia. Your Scofield Bible maps will show you some of them, so it is reasonably simple to satisfy our minds about the identity of Sheba and Dedan, but we are still left with the merchants of Tarshish. Who are they, and how do they fit into the picture here? That is what we want to look into.

 

MERCHANTS OF TARSHISH

 

I have read from different historians who claimed that these merchants of Tarshish were from the British Isles, but I could never quite accept that to my satisfaction. The very fact that it refers to them as the merchants of Tarshish causes me to feel like, whoever they are, it is because of their international trade with Saudi Arabia, that they are included in this lineup. Two radio preachers that I read after, both claimed that Tarshish was England. But, Brothers and sisters, even though my mind might like to accept that, when I tried to look it up, I realized that in the 6 century B.C. when the prophecy was spoken, there th was no country identified by the name of England, not even Germany, France, nor Italy existed as a country then. For centuries, you only had Nomadic tribes of people, moving from here to there, constantly at war with one another, trying to gain certain territories, which later were established as nations. There 13 is a lot that could be said about certain areas and their inhabitants, but for the purpose of moving on in the message, let me just say this. All of Europe today comes from Japeth, not Shem, nor Ham. If you are of German origin, you are a descendant of Japheth, but that does not mean that you are Russian. If you are English, you are a descendant of Japheth, but that does not connect you with the land of Magog, nor in any way make you Russian. Because Japeth peopled both the North and the West. That of course is a result of later generations migrating westward. What you need to realize is that in this message we are dealing with where the genetic roots of this Japeth line was first planted, when they were scattered upon the earth after the tower of Babel account, in Genesis, chapter 11. Various descendants kept migrating, naturally. I was reading in one place where the descendants of Gomer which was predominantly Turkey, migrated westward, and came to the areas of Germany, France, and even to England. It said, that is why certain people in England and Wales refer to themselves as the ancient Gomerians, or something like that. But that in no way connects England with Turkey. Therefore let us keep each identity where it originally belonged for the sake of the accuracy of applying this prophecy. Coming back now, to the merchants of Tarshish, the Edward Robinson Bible Encyclopedia, as well as some old maps, showing the probable settlements of the descendants of Noah, show Tarshish to be along the southern most part of what is the country of Spain. Now with that thought in mind, let us take a look at what we have here. In our day, there is not much commerce between Spain and Israel, but according to what I have been reading, in ancient times, the Tarshish people traded with the Hebrews in the line of copper and brass. However this is not so, in our day. Southern Spain grows their own oranges, just like Israel. They both export oranges and such like. My real point is, They do not trade with each other. The merchants of Tarshish have no need to go to Israel. Time and conditions has brought about a change of commerce, and the merchants of Tarshish, (SPAIN) and all the young lions (that would no doubt apply to outlying, or neighboring areas around Spain,) are mainly dealing with Middle East oil, instead of copper and brass, and their dealings are not with Israel. The lifeline of Europe today, is not Joppa oranges, it is oil; out of the Middle East, but not out of Israel. Saudi Arabia pumps more oil to the Western world than any other Arab country. The war between Iran and Iraq, has almost brought their oil export potential to a standstill. Their refineries have just about come to a complete halt. That leaves Saudi Arabia right out there as the main supplier of oil to the West. They have had huge pipelines running across the desert land for years. Before so much of Beirut, Lebanon was torn up by the war, oil tankers took on oil from those pipelines, there at Beirut. But that is just an example of what can happen. If something, or someone should destroy those huge pipelines that transport that oil across the desert, you can just imagine what the consequences could be in the whole Western world. Therefore I believe what we are looking at here in verse 13, is Saudi Arabia and their oil merchants in Western Europe, with Spain being the primary one that is mentioned here, but including the others by the mention of all the young lions. Like we pointed out earlier, they do not put up a fight with Russia; they just ask a question, “Have you come to take a spoil?” Don’t ever think these nations of the west are not extremely concerned about what might happen if a terrible war broke out in the Middle East. They know that some fanatic could have those oil lines blown up, just any day now, and that would cut off the oil flow to the Mediterranean. If that happens, the oil would then have to come completely around the Saudi Arabia peninsula, and through the Suez Canal. Then if they managed to sink a ship in there, the next route would be all the way around Africa. That would certainly cause the merchants of Tarshish (merchants of the world) to ask Russia such a question, What have you come to do?

WHY HELP SAUDI ARABIA?

 

Why do you suppose it seemed so important for us to sell those radar planes to Saudi Arabia? To monitor all the activity in that area of the world. If you would ask Saudi Arabia, Why do you want them? You would hear, We want to be able to monitor what the Russians, or any other potential enemy would 14 do, in and around our borders, and especially in the area of the Persian Gulf. The thing that troubles Israel most about that, is the fact that those planes can serve more than one purpose. They can track more than one airplane at a time. Israel would never be able to put a plane in the air, without them being able to track it. Therefore from Israel’s standpoint, it is easy to understand why they would not want them to have such information. Some of the things they have needed to do in order to protect their interests, have been accomplished through secrecy and surprise. On the other hand, it is easy to understand why it seems to the advantage of this country, for Saudi Arabia to be able to know what is taking place around them. They are the next main strategic point of value in the Middle East. It is important that this country, as well as Western European countries, do whatever is necessary to keep them out of the hands of our common enemy, Russia. With Libya, a pro-Russian satellite, and anti-Israel, and Iran in the condition she is in, you can see where the oil potential for the rest of the world lies. Qadhafi according to news articles and reports, is the most fanatical person in the Middle East. Not that he himself has so much power, but because he is in a lineup with power, he is a potential threat to the leaders of the whole free world. As far as this war of Ezekiel 38 & 39 goes though, it cannot take place until all their satellite nations are in perfect alignment with Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, for Gog is to be a guard into all the others. One thing I am convinced of, is that this Ezekiel war sets up conditions for the last week of Daniel to go into effect. Because of its suddenness, and its scope, and the mass destruction, leaders of the nations of the world are going to be anxious to sit down, and hurriedly negotiate and sign a peace pact. They will not know that it is a seven year peace agreement to fulfill Daniel 9:27, but God will know it, and that is exactly when He will start marking off two consecutive periods of one thousand two hundred and sixty days each. One period for world peace and prosperity, (it will seem so to the world) and the other period for the great tribulation, which is the time of Jacob’s trouble. We will say more about that a little later, but for now, let us continue on by reading verse 14.

ISRAEL DWELLING SAFELY

 

The prophecy to Gog continues on, “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, SHALT THOU NOT KNOW IT?” They surely will know it. It will be eating at them like a cancer. Like we said already, This does not mean that Israel does not yet have her problems with terrorists, for there is hardly a week goes by without some sort of incident, buses blown up, roads mined, and all such like. In spite of all their guards and precautions, it seems that the terrorists continue to find ways to get through into Israel, and then out again. But the real point of this verse is the fact that, since 1973, it seems that those other Arab nations, except for the terrorists, have given up the idea of driving the Jewish people out of the land. They are dwelling there, feeling secure, and safe, as far as being taken over by an enemy force. She, as well as her enemies, is aware that she has the advantage. None of those Arabs have what it would take to overthrow her. She knows it; they know it; and Russia knows it. That is why it says, “In the day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?” That is exactly why Russia will have to make her move against Israel. Because she stands in the way of what they plan to do. Therefore Russia is making her necessary moves now, to get her allies lined up, before she fulfills verse 15, which we will read next. “And thou shalt come from thy place out of the NORTH parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that he heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” Brothers and sisters, I feel that it is very important, that we understand what this war is for. There is not another war written in the scriptures, like it; and there have been many wars. Go back and read of the wars that Israel has fought through the ages of time. None of them were like this one. Titus was allowed 15 to go in there with a great army, and lay everything waste, without God intervening, in 70 A.D. It will not be like that ever agin. This will be a miracle war of such magnitude, that God Himself will literally be sanctified in the eyes of people that do not, at this very moment, know whether there is a God or not. Those people, along with multitudes of others, will be heard saying, Only God could do a thing like that. Many who have never been sure whether to believe in creation, or evolution, will suddenly come to the realization, Now I know for sure that there is a living God; and therefore I believe he created the world, and all that is in it, just like the Bible says. From such as these, God will preserve an element of people from every nation, that will be privileged to live right on throughout the Millennium. God will also use this war to purge the minds of a lot of Jews that have been fed Gentile junk, all the years while they were still in dispersion. They will be ready to listen to God’s two prophets when they arrive upon the scene in Israel. Do not even allow yourself to entertain any thought about this begin the battle of Armageddon. You will see as we go into chapter 39, that the dead carcasses from this war are going to be buried. Israel will be hiring men for continual employment, just to bury the dead. For seven months they will be busy burying dead bodies, and for 7 years, they (Israel) will be burning weapons that have been left there. You will not find anything like that following the battle of Armageddon. The fowls of the air are invited to come down and feast upon the dead bodies from the terrible battle, just like this one, but with no burial provision. Also because of something that Malachi wrote, we know that the righteous will be walking upon the ashes of the wicked, which lets us know that many of them will be consumed by fire. The closing verses of Revelation 19, is where it pictures dead bodies strewn throughout the land, and the fowls invited to feast upon them. Also, Jeremiah said (25:33) “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Seeing that there is no particular area, nor effort to bury the dead, after the battle of Armageddon, this in itself should be enough to keep folks from getting the two battles confused, and trying to make just one out of them.

 

WHEN GOD GETS MAD

 

If the two prophets of Revelation 11:3 should show up in Israel tomorrow, they would hardly be noticed. But by the time this war with Russia is climaxed with intervention from God, scores of young people who never have a thought about God, will suddenly be ready to learn everything they can about this might God that has fought for them when the land was covered by enemy forces. At this time, I expect the Moscue of Omar to be destroyed, freeing Israel’s temple and altar spot so they can begin offering up sacrifices to Jehovah, as that week of Daniel starts. Satan has been busy for centuries of time, trying to stamp out the knowledge of God from among the human race, and in just a little short span of time, through the events of this Ezekiel war, God will bring to nothing all his efforts that he has expended upon this generation. Saints, if you can just grasp what God is doing in these days, a picture will unfold before your spiritual eyes, that will thrill your soul. I know some of you have wondered where God would find natural mortals worthy to live throughout the Millennium. We all know that if the bride of Christ is going to rule and reign with Him during this time, there has to be someone for them to rule over. Is that right? It says, they will be judging the nations, so that has to be natural people, not resurrected immortals. Gentiles have had the gospel of Christ for almost two thousand years, through which, an element from this dispensation has experienced the new birth, a spiritual process through which they are made into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and they will rule with Him, over the nations. (Rev. 2:26, 12:5, 19:15, 20:4, 21:24, 1 Cor. 6:2-3) Here are a few of the many references that let us know that. We also know that no st person who has rejected the gospel will be allowed to live through that period of time. Therefore there has to be some people somewhere upon the earth, that have not been faced with accepting or rejecting the gospel. They must be morally fit to be spared, and they have to be some from all nations according 16 to Matthew 25:31-32. Now I ask you, In the light of the rest of Matthew, chapter 25, where could such a people be found, unless something happens to change the present trend toward atheism and Antichrist dogmas? We have already stated it. There are countless numbers of people in the world that actually do not know whether to believe in creation or evolution, because they simply have not been convinced in either direction. They are not necessarily against either one; they just simply do not know. That is why God puts so much emphasis upon being sanctified in the eyes of the heathen. (The word heathen, applies to Gentile people.) He will be recognized, and acknowledged, and set apart in their minds for the first time. It will be too late for them to experience the new birth, for that dispensation will be closing out. But it will not be too late for Jesus and His bride to judge them, and usher those into the Millennium, who are found worthy. Many of them who have never heard anything good about the Israelis, will have great compassion for them, after they witness what God does for them in this Ezekiel war. They will be ready and willing to hide them from the Antichrist beast during the dark hours of the great tribulation when Israel is fleeing for her life. That is the basis upon which they are judged worthy to inherit the kingdom, there in Matthew 25. In other words, God will allow Antichrist forces to rule the world for a period of time, but He will never let Anti-God rulers attain world domain. Russia is anti-God, and God is using their Marxist brand of Communism as a tool to chasten many areas of the world that have been careless with the gospel, but He will never let the age close out with 90 percent of the world holding atheistic viewpoints and ideas. He has His way of changing that trend, and that is what we are looking at, in these two chapters of Ezekiel. Verse 15 tells us where Gog will come from (out of the north parts) and that it will be a mighty army that shall cover Israel like a cloud might cover the land. In verse 16, He goes on to say, (just paraphrasing) “The heathen (Gentiles) of the world will know me, when I get through dealing with you.” Not only the Gentiles, but also a great number of Israelis will come to know Him, or at least, that He is, that there truly is a God that fights for Israel. We do know who will be holding the reins in Russia when this hour arrives, but whoever it is, just try to imagine God saying to him, verse 17, “Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he of whom I have spoke in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? (Israel) 18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.” Brother, when God gets mad it is going to be just too bad for someone. The world has never seen God mad, yet. But He is going to be mad one day soon, if I may use such a term. 19 “For in my jealousy (Jealousy over who? Israel of course.) And in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” That does not mean that God is doing this to get even with the Jews for something. No. Not that at all. Let us read verse 20, to complete what was actually said. All right now, a great shaking, “So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.” All of that lets us know that God’s presence is going to be very evident in that hour.

 

AN URGENT APPEAL

 

Brothers and sisters, I absolutely believe, with all my heart, that only such a war as this, could break the spell Satan has on the world today, and change their course. I know it will not change everyone. There has to be a political element of people that will not be changed from their present way of thinking, or you would never have the peace covenant of Daniel 9:27 signed. Such a great shaking will have two affects. It will awaken one element of people to the reality of a living God, and it will scare another element into a hurriedly negotiated peace agreement, hoping that such a move will prevent a thing like that from ever happening again. Their search for an impartial mediator will lead them to the pope of Rome, and he will turn out to be the Antichrist that Jesus, Paul and John spoke of. Rest assured, brothers and sisters, 17 everything that is taking place in the world today is serving a purpose of God as He prepares to wind this thing up. That Marxist spirit is sweeping through the continent of Africa; it is invading every little country in South America, and even our own country is filled with their agents who are trying to destroy our way of life, and set us up for a target. I have a letter at home from one of the youngest senators in our government. He is making an appeal to young Americans to write their senators and congressmen, and try to get them to do something about what is going on in our colleges and universities. I will endeavor to relate to you, the contents of his letter. He said, I am the youngest statesman in our government. I attended Harvard University, out of which has come some of the greatest political leaders, doctors, lawyers and scientists that our country has ever known. He went on to say; But in my first semester there, when we went into one of the classes, the young instructor addressed the class on this wise. I want you to know, I am not a liberal, I am a fanatic. I am out to help overthrow this government, or any other form of government that differs from Marxism. The sad thing about it all, he went on, is that we have no less than ten thousand of these Marxist instructors in our colleges and universities, playing on the minds of our American youth. He went on to say, I have young children growing up, that I hope can enjoy the same kind of America that we have known in the past, but I am afraid that unless immediate steps are taken to assure that, it will never be so. Unless our young people wake up to what is taking place and demand changes, our precious freedom is doomed.

 

STEPPING STONES FOR RUSSIA

 

Saints, the first thing they try to destroy is any faith one might have in God. Then they destroy the image of the home, and after that, the image of America’s government, by the citizens. It is a gradual process whereby they get control of young minds, and then they just twist them in any direction they choose to. I do not know how many of you keep up with things like the condition in San Salvador, and other such places, but when you look at a map, you will notice that San Salvador is just a stepping stone for communism, in their efforts to work their way into this country. It would be San Salvador, then Guatemala, then Mexico, and then this country. It just adds up to the fact that we are living in a time when this spirit is being turned loose, to set the stage for God’s judgment upon the earth. However, as I have already stated, I am convinced that in this generation, God will allow this war to be built up to such a magnitude that the whole world will feel its effects, and many of their young people will be awakened to God-consciousness through His intervention. That is the main purpose of it, that God may be SANCTIFIED in the eyes of many people. Let us pick up verse 21, where we will begin to see how He is going to accomplish that. “And I will call for a sword against him (GOG) throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God.” This is symbolic language, which means, out of all the nations that still have a knowledge of God, or a reverence for Him, and who refuse to knuckle down to that kind of atheistic spirit. Notice now. “Every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” Saints, that does not mean what it sounds like. It means, every man’s sword shall be FOR THE DEFENSE of his brother. If you think of this as every man against his brother, that would mean that God called a sword against Gog, and the whole Western world began to kill each other. In other words, what I am saying is this, you cannot call for a sword to defend the cause over in the Middle East, if all those that the call went out to, just began to kill each other. No. The western nations will be given their chance to rally to the cause, and it will not be a situation where they get involved in killing each other, for the whole west will have a stake in what takes place there. Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish will not be in an immediate position to defend their rights, themselves. That is why they ask Gog the question, What have you come to do? Are you going to take a spoil. Will you carry away our silver and gold, and our cattle and goods? But if Russia is allowed to do this, the whole Western world would be affected, therefore they cannot just stand idly by, and do nothing. Now let us see what else Gog is going to be confronted with. Verse 22, “And 18 I will plead against him with pestilence (Brother that could be hornets, bugs, frogs, lice, or any number of things, just like in Egypt, in days of old) and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” We remember reading how God rained down great hailstones upon Egypt, when Moses was down there to lead the Israelites out of bondage. These hailstones will not be for the purpose of tearing up the crops of Israel, but his is how God Himself will conk some Russian soldiers on the head. God’s icemaker can make some pretty big ice cubes, you know. Not only will He pound them with hailstones, but He will also rain down upon them fire, and brimstone. That takes one back to Genesis 19:24,where God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. Natural man has robbed God of His recognition, and glory and honor in many ways through the ages, but this will be one situation where the whole world (not every individual) will realize that only God Himself could do such a thing, to accomplish such a purpose, so He truly will be magnified in their eyes. 23 “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” God’s emphasis on the whole thing, is that He might be recognized, set apart in the minds of many people, and glorified. After all, Why did God create man in the first place? Certainly not just so the Devil, old Lucifer could have some fellowship. No. God created man for Himself, for His own fellowship, so why would He not do something to turn things around when they get too far out of line?

 

LET US BE PREPARED

 

I believe we have sufficiently covered the main points of chapter 38, so now for a little while, let us look at this 39 chapter, for it goes hand in hand with 38. We are not setting any dates for any of these events th to take place, for anyone who believes what is written in the Bible, also knows that God has not given us those dates and times. We only have signs and seasons to guide us, and to prepare our minds and hearts for what God will do. Realizing the shape that this old world is in right now, I would have to say this, If God waited another 10 years to bring about this war, it would still be too soon for a lot of people who are supposed to be believers. They would still not be ready. They are too taken up with materialism. Brother! I want you to know, when those nuclear bombs start striking, your fine homes and shiny new automobiles will not do you one bit of good. Even if you survive, you will not be able to enjoy any of this, sitting somewhere in a bomb shelter. Bro. Jackson: Do you really think this war will include nuclear warfare? Yes, I do. I believe that will account for the fire and brimstone aspect of what is taking place. Not that God could not do such a thing supernaturally. We know that He could. But I believe nuclear warfare will come into the picture. It will not destroy that little land of Israel, but I believe the U.S. and Russia, could both be hit with some of it. Ezekiel focuses attention on the land of Israel as the target, but brother, this thing encompasses the interest and participation of many nations around the world. We have already explained why. If Russia was allowed to overrun the Middle East, there would be nothing to stop her from taking over world dominion. The lifeline of too many nations is attached to those oil lines, for the world to stand idly by, and allow her to do a thing like that. Because of what she has been used for, America will be one of the first ones to answer the call when God calls for a sword against Gog. America has been instrumental in rebuilding Europe, in order for those ten horns to be in a position to fulfill their end time role in prophecy. She has been in Middle East affairs, in Korea, Vietnam, and in one way or another, had a voice in affairs of nations around this world. Therefore when this Ezekiel situation arises, she will not be as slow to recognize her necessary role, as many of these other nations may be. Let us go on to chapter 39, for the present time, then maybe we will have some more to say about the role of various nations, a little later.

 

A GREAT SLAUGHTER

 

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, Brothers and sisters, if we have confidence in the word of God, this gives us hope. This gives us something to hold on to, when it seems that everything around us is crumbling and falling) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” That 2 verse really stands out. For such a short war, something terrible would have to happen in order for nd 5/6 of those enemy forces to be destroyed. It says, Only a 6 part of them are left. Just think about that; th 2600 years ago God caused His prophet to utter those words; I will turn thee back, and leave but one sixth part of thee. With God, it does not matter how long ago He spoke a thing, it will still come to pass. “And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thy arrows to fall out of thy right hand.” This is the same language God caused Hosea to use, concerning the ten northern tribes of Israel, and what would happen in the valley of Jezreel. When God speaks like that to a person, or a nation, it literally means that they are licked even before they start. “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee.” That means Russians, Persians, Ethiopians, Libyans, Turks and all the rest. No wonder they have to set aside a great valley in Israel, as a burying place for these people. Brother, they are going to be slain by the thousands. “I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord.” There is no contradiction here. This does not mean that all these dead bodies are going to be left for ravenous birds, and the beasts of the field to devour. Otherwise we would not be reading, that He gave them a place of burial, a little further on in the chapter. But you have to realize that with so many thousands of dead carcasses strewn upon the mountains, and in the fields, these birds and beasts are going to reach a lot of them before the burying party does. A few months ago, we read where someone had written articles about a certain type of vulture that has been multiplying in Israel, in recent years. They connected it with this scripture we just read. Now, verse 6, “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.” I cannot help but believe that this is that first and brimstone of verse 22, in the previous chapter. In other words, nuclear retaliation. Not only upon Russia, but also upon those nations that border the land of Russia. We have a tendency to think of isles as little dots of land out in the ocean. But if marginal references mean anything to you, it also applies to coasts, which could mean bordering nations. I, for one, believe that is what the inference points to, here. So we can read that verse like this; I will send first on Russia and those nations that border her. That gives a different picture of the whole thing. Poland is getting a terrible shaking right now. She is already a bankrupt nation, with very little hope of recovering, and it seems that she is destined for Russian intervention. (As this message is being prepared for the press, conditions in Poland are much worse than when these statements were made back in August and September 1981.) God is letting these conditions develop, one by one, getting everything in line, as the hour for His judgment draws nearer. Not that I have any particular information on this subject, but I have said that I do not believe any form of communism could last much longer than 100 years. Something from within will rise to destroy it, for communism itself destroys initiative. It destroys the will of its people, and God never meant for individual souls to be just tools for some super state. If you lived under communism, and invented something, it would belong to the state. You as an individual would never receive any benefit from it. That is just one example, but let us continue. Verse 7, “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord; the holy One in Israel.” Brother, those Jewish children will not be wearing T-shirts with, “I WAS BORN TO RAISE HELL” on them, after that. Let me explain that remark.

 

WHAT DEFILES US

 

When we were leaving Norway to come home, we were taken by bus to an old military airport, that being a place that was equipped to handle the big 747’s. As we waited there in the terminal we became aware of a large group of Jewish boys and girls waiting there also. We learned that they were from the U.S., from New York, New Jersey, and even some from Missouri, and other parts. They had been in Israel for a number of months on one of those student study plans. Now I would never want to be guilty of belittling anyone from a racial standpoint, but we come to find out that the reason we were delayed from departing, was because those young folks had demanded kosher food be served on the plane. You know what that means. It had to be food that was prepared a certain way, blessed by the Rabbi, and so forth, in order that it not pollute their little stomachs, according to Levitical law. But I am here to tell you, when we finally were allowed to board the plane, I have never seen such carrying on, out of children before. Then what made it even worse, and gave occasion for my remark was that they were wearing T-shirts with various things lettered on them. Some of which had those words, “I WAS BORN TO RAISE HELL.” I just thought to myself, Why would anyone that conducts themselves like they did, whether Jew or Gentile, make such a fuss about what they eat? For it is not what goes into our mouth that defiles us, it is what proceeds out of our mouth, for it comes forth from our heart. But, Praise God! There is coming a day when God will not let any true Israelite pollute his holy name any more, a day when they will understand why there ever was such a thing as kosher food. Now notice verse 8. In the mind of God, He looks at all this as a completed picture. Therefore He is just awaiting the right hour for its windup. “Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.” Verse 9, lets us know what the inhabitants of Israel will be doing for the next seven years after this thing is over with. “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand staves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.” Brothers and sisters, I want to say this once again. After Armageddon, there will not be seven years left to clean up the mess, before the Millennium starts, but after this battle ends, Israel will be busy burning weapons and shipping crates and all such like for the next seven years. You just must try to imagine how much of all such as this, an invading army would bring with them. But the last half of verse 10 lets us know they will not be burning those useful things that are left behind. They are to take a spoil from those that came to spoil them. Naturally Russia will not bring cattle and sheep, and such like, that they can take as a spoil, but they will bring hundreds of new tanks and trucks, as well as other types of machinery that Israel will take to themselves and use. They will also take from the dead the valuable trinkets, and anything else of value that they have with them, for it says that they will rob those that robbed them. Verse 11, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: (That will be somewhere along the coast of the Mediterranean) and it shall stop the noses of the passengers.” Brother, Sister, that means that valley is going to stink something awful. But notice something else. “It shall stop the noses of the passengers.” That looks, or sounds like there is still going to be tourists going to that land when this is all over with. It seems to keep stressing this word, passengers. Therefore in the time between this war, and the last half of the week of Daniel, tourists will no doubt flock to Israel, maybe even more so than in the past, for this will focus the attention of the whole world upon that land.

 

VALLEY OF HAMONGOG

 

Ever since Israel became a state, the land has become more and more a tourist attraction, and it seems 21 that every war they have fought since then, has just served to draw the attention of more and more tourists to their land. Every war has produced many testimonies that have served to attract attention, and this one will be the greatest attention getter of all. People will want to see where all of this actually took place, so they will continue to come. All right, it will stop the noses of the passengers; “And there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The Valley of Hamongog.” Not only do they give them a cemetery there in Israel, they even name it to be a memorial. This is where Russia came to her end, when she met God face to face, so to speak. 12 “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown (widely acclaimed and honored) day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God.” Just try to imagine what those Israelites will be saying and thinking while they are out there burying those dead soldiers. They will be remembering how all those Ethiopians and Libyans poured into their little land at the same time Russia and Persia, and all those hoards poured in from the north parts. My, what a predicament to be in. Surrounded on every side. “If God had not intervened, what would we have done?” No wonder it says, “I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God.” He will be acknowledged, not only be Israel, but also from Gentiles from many nations. “And they (Israel) shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. An the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall be set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonath. Thus shall they cleanse the land.” Beyond any shadow of doubt, I believe these scriptures prove that this is not the much talked about war that will end all things. These scriptures allow us to see that Israel will clean up the land and continue their tourist trade projects. People of the world talk about the battle of Armageddon, not because they are spiritual minded, but because there has been so much said about it, and they are smart enough to realize that the present trend of greed and moral decay would have to lead mankind to a brink of destruction before too much longer. But very few ever looked at this war of Ezekiel apart from that one. They read some of the same language pertaining to both of them, and fail to take note of the rest of the language that definitely sets them apart, as two separate wars, to accomplish two different distinct purposes. One is to sanctify the Lord God in the eyes of a lot of people that have been prone to speak of Him only as a historical figure. The other is to fulfill the judgment and wrath of God upon all wicked and ungodly mankind. He will be cleansing the earth of all filthy, perverted, wicked and ungodly humanity, leaving only those that are moral and upright enough to pass into the Millennium. Therefore in the light of all the scriptures we have, from which to base our remarks, I am bound to say that there will be AT THE LEAST, seven years of time between the end of this war of Ezekiel and that war called, the battle of Armageddon.

 

SECOND DEATH

 

Naturally we know that at the end of one thousand years, which is the duration of the Millennial reign of Christ, God will have to cleanse the earth again, for there will be babies born throughout that time, and they will be born from parents that pass to them, through the genes, every potential attribute that has ever been found in mankind throughout his history upon earth. This of course immediately proceeds the great white throne judgment which God immediately sets in effect, whereby He will raise all the wicked dead from every age, to have their final judgment pronounced upon them, (the lake of fire) just before ushering the whole earth into the eternal age, the eighth day, which is the new beginning. This will be completely different from what it was with Noah and his family, for God will have purged out of the human race, every trace of sin and perversion. There will be no evil attributes carried over in the genes of mankind this time for they will all have been bred out, during the one thousand years of Christ’s righteous reign upon earth. 22 You can read about this, in chapter 20, of the book of Revelation. I would also invite you to read verse 8, of the 21 chapter, which says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, st and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Overcomers will inherit all things, but any who fall into this category have only the lake of fire and brimstone to look forward to. What a contrast. Brothers and sisters, the reward for serving God with our whole heart, is so great, that our vocabulary just cannot find proper words to speak of it.

 

BANQUET TABLE IN ISRAEL

 

Let us return our thinking to the remaining verses of Ezekiel 39 now, that we may get the complete picture of all that is involved. “And, thou son of man, Thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come: gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.” Yes there will be the flesh and blood of mighty men scattered upon the face of that land. Just think of all the military officers of the armies of all the different countries that are named as taking part in this attack upon Israel. Many of them will have their chest swelled out, so proud that they have been chosen to lead and command certain regiments of this great attacking force, yet they will die right along with all the rest, and the vultures could not care less what their status was in life. The sad part is, that they could have avoided being a part of all this, if they would have only had faith in this 2600 year old prophecy in this blessed old book. If they could not go AWOL, and get on Israel’s side, at least they could pray that they be spared, among the one sixth part that is allowed to live. “And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus shall ye be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God.” Now Saints, you must realize that there is a certain amount of symbolic language involved here. God is not literally going to set up a table in the land of Israel to spread those dead carcases out on. Neither will those vultures be eating what we think of as a chariot. But the word chariot comes from a word that also means team, which better fits the setting. But the main thought here, is that everything, and everyone comes to the same end, strewn upon the mountains of Israel. Right there is where the vultures, and the beasts will find their great feast. So do not let this symbolic language give you any trouble. God has never written anything for the purpose of confounding a genuine believer; therefore a believer should never become overly disturbed about any of the language of the scriptures, whether it is all understood or not.

 

THREEFOLD PURPOSE

 

As we read verses 21 & 22, you will find that a threefold purpose of God is going to be accomplished through the events and outcome of this war. Notice now. “And I will SET MY GLORY AMONG THE HEATHEN, and all the heathen shall SEE MY JUDGMENT THAT I HAVE EXECUTED, AND MY HAND THAT I HAVE LAID UPON THEM. So the house of ISRAEL SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD from that day and forward.” Never in all the history of Gentile people, has that spirit of atheism been so prevalent. When you think that after two thousand years of preaching the gospel, we have reached such an hour of atheism as we have, it could cause one to wonder, Just how could this be? But now, just think for another moment what the vast majority of the population have uppermost in their minds, pleasure, pride, prestige, material wealth, science and the great achievements of mankind. Teaching a concept of a living God to their children has been so secondary, that it is no wonder their 23 minds have been a choice playground for those who would like to get God out of the picture all together. They believe, and have taught, that the miracle of the Red Sea becoming a frozen wall of water, allowing the Jews to cross over on dry ground, is all a myth. Likewise, they call it a myth, concerning the walls of Jericho that came tumbling down at just the right moment, and also the manna in the wilderness, and the water from a rock, but God is going to change a lot of minds about all those things one day very soon. Many of those school teachers and professors will not even want to go back into their class rooms and face their students, after this. Then when they do go back, some of them may want to take a Bible to use, instead of their atheistic text books. Not all of them will be affected like that, but enough to accomplish God’s purpose. He will set his glory among the heathen, and that does not apply just to those naked tribes in the jungles of this world like some people are prone to think. Brother I want you to know, a person could have a dozen educational degrees, but if that person does not know God, he is still a heathen in God’s eyes. Therefore thousands of these are going to be made award of the fact that the Bible is right after all, and from those that do acknowledge God in all of this, will come an element of people that will be chosen to pass on into the Millennium, and those who do not properly acknowledge God, will wear the mark of the beast when it is forced upon believing mankind.

 

REVIVAL IN ISRAEL

 

All right now, the next thing we see here is that all the heathen shall see His judgment. Upon what? Russia of course. Russia and all those that come with her against Israel. What God does here against the enemies of Israel, will remind Bible believers of what He did for them in the days when He brought them out of Egypt, and into the promised land. Then, knowing what a warrior God has been on behalf of Israel in past days, we have a generation of people who want to teach that God does not believe in war, that God does not believe in capital punishment, and that He is just a God of love and peace. Well, I believe He is a God of love and peace too, but I am persuaded that He knows how to deal with those who do not follow His principles of love and peace. God’s grace, and mercy, and peace is for those who will abide by the principles that go with it, but His wrath and judgment are for those who follow a course of ungodliness and evil. They think that fools a lot of people is His longsuffering patience. He does not have to get in a hurry. He brings everything forth at a precise time, to accomplish His overall purpose. Just like what we read in verse 22, “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.” Brothers and sisters, right there is where the revival is going to take place. What a beautiful setting for God’s two witnesses of Rev. 11:3 to walk into. That nation will be ready to hear the truth about Jehovah when they are awakened by this great event. While the rest of the world is taken up with their great peace plan, Israel will be given her opportunity to hear the word of the Lord, and receive the Holy Ghost. They cannot be left with the same understanding of God that their forefathers had three thousand years ago; those two prophets will be there to bring them up to date. All of this is for the latter days, and we are living in those latter days. Actually there was no reason for Bible scholars of former generations to understand these scriptures that are literally just for our day. That is why they have been treated so lightly in the past.

 

REWARD FOR MARTYRDOM

 

Let us read verse 23. “And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.” Now this is all recorded throughout the pages of the Old Testament, various accounts of God’s dealing with Israel, and why, and these 24 various prophecies have foretold what the end of it all would be, but all too many have just skimmed over them, as though it was just so many words to fill up space in the Bible. But when God’s hand stands out so marvelously in this Ezekiel war, many people are going to dust off their Bibles, and begin to search for whatever else they may be able to learn from it. When they do, they will find out exactly why God has allowed the Jews to be treated as they have been, throughout all the years of their dispersion. Many of them will read things in Daniel and Revelation, that will help them a little later when the mark of the beast is introduced. Even after grace to Gentiles is terminated, and God has turned back to the Jews with His convicting presence and power, foolish virgins and Jews in dispersion can still read things in the Bible that can direct their course, and let them know not to take the mark of the beast. Then when that dark hour does arrive, and the mark is a reality, God’s 144,000 Jewish servants will be scattered throughout the nations warning them also. That is why, when you read Revelation 7:9-17, you find there a great multitude that has gotten the victory over the beast, and come out on God’s side after all. Oh, yes, they will have to suffer martyrdom, but their reward for it is eternal life, and the privilege of being resurrected to live with Christ and His bride throughout the Millennium. (Rev. 20:1-6)

 

JOEL 2 FULFILLMENT

 

Beginning with verse 25, we find the prophecy reverting back to bring up to date what is happening, and why. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, (Using the word Jacob right there, is His way of encompassing the whole house of Israel, meaning all twelve tribes) and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.” Verse 27 speaks of the hour when they are all back in the land. “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.” Praise the Lord, when this war is over, there will be no more reason for returning to their old ways, that is, to be scattered among the nations. These scriptures also let us know that there will not be an outpouring of God’s spirit upon them, until Revelation 7:1-8, 11:3-7, when the two prophets are on the scene. Brothers and sisters, we will be bringing this message to a close shortly, so let me remind you once again. Chapters 38 & 39, should always be read in conjunction with 36 & 37, for it takes all four of them to give you a profile of what God is doing to get Israel ready for her spiritual outpouring, and the rest of the remnant of the nations ready for the Millennium. Now when I say, spiritual outpouring, I am referring to Joel 2, for this is when chapter 2 of Joel’s prophecy really comes to a climax. When Peter used this reference on the day of Pentecost, almost 2,000 years ago, that was only a partial fulfillment, for in those days they did not experience the other signs that go along with it, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke, the sun turned to darkness, and the moon into blood. You say, What do all these signs mean? It means that Jehovah is on the move. We read Hosea 1:11 earlier, which speaks of the whole house of Israel, coming up out of the land, (the land of dispersion) appointing themselves one head, (Jesus Christ) and the great day of Jezreel, which actually pertains to the reconstruction of Jezreel. It was nothing but a swampland for years and years, but it never shall be again. They are already growing some of the most beautiful fruits and vegetables in that valley, that you have ever seen. There are still probably three million Jews in the land of Magog, many of them actually claiming to be descendants of the ten northern tribes that were carried away by the Assyrians, in the 7 century B.C. and Hosea the prophet said these Jews were never to be th looked upon and brought back until the last days. There are thousands of them behind the iron curtain 25 that want to go home, yet Russia has let out only a few, and then only at a great monetary expense. Jews in other parts of the world have had such advantages, that many of them have no desire whatsoever to go to Israel to live. Many who have gone, have returned to their good life in the western world later, simply because they could not adjust to that way of life. I believe that by the time this Ezekiel conflict is finished, the world’s economy will be so wrecked, those Jews that have gone to Israel will not have anything in the western world worth returning to. God knows how to do these things. Turn in your Bibles to Hosea 6:1 and we will find a cry of the Jewish people. It is a cry of the spirit of these people, after centuries of dispersion and oppression. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us.” How did He tear them: By allowing their enemies to overrun them. If you think He did not tear them, please read our article, The Abomination That Maketh Desolate, where we printed actual excerpts from Jewish history showing how they were starved to death, and how some of them even roasted and ate their little babies. They threw dead bodies over the wall, where they just lay and stank. When they finally were captured, they were sold as slaves, and eventually scattered to the four winds. Even Titus, a pagan, Roman army officer, proclaimed, This cannot be anything else but the wrath of their God upon them. All right, then, When will He heal them? When will He bind them up? This is symbolic language. It says, “He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days (2000 years) will He revive us: (by sending them two prophets and pouring out the Holy Ghost upon them) in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (In the Millennium.) That is when Jesus Christ will rule from Zion for 1000 years. It was Micah that wrote, “The law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Then Zechariah wrote, (14:16) “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Why? Because He will literally rule from the throne of David. That is why Hosea wrote the prophecy, “And we shall live in His sight.” What beautiful prophetic language we see portrayed here. Their two days was two thousand years of being scattered among the nations, and that third day will carry them right into the Millennium.

 

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM

 

I want to read you a few verses from Acts, chapter 3, where Peter is found preaching his second sermon after their experience on the day of Pentecost. Notice what he says to them in verse 19. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Their individual sins will be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, under the ministry of those two witnesses of Rev. 11:3. Because Rev. 7:1-8, shows 144,000 men, being sealed with their Father’s name. This great outpouring of the Spirit of God that brings such a refreshing from the presence of the Lord will cause literally thousands of Jews to get a true revelation of who Jesus Christ really is, their long awaited, and once rejected Messiah. Not only does Peter speak of a refreshing, he also speaks of restitution. Let us read verses 20-21. “And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heavens must receive (or retain) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Naturally this takes place over a period of time, but actually the last thing Peter mentioned was the first thing that began to be set in motion, the restitution of their land to the Israelites. The second thing is their refreshing, and the third is when Jesus returns in literal bodily form, to sit upon the throne of David, during which time Israel will be lifted up into her Millennial glory where she will fulfill the way John saw her in Revelation 12:1, “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon (law age) under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Israel will truly shine, in the kingdom age. She brought forth a man child (Jesus Christ) who has become King of kings and Lord of lords, and 26 she has been completely restored, and is once again represented by all twelve tribes (twelve stars.) It took an evil man like Hitler to get them in the notion to go home, but from that incident, the way was opened up for Jews to return to the land of their fathers, and through a process of thirty some years, God has just about enough of them back there to bring Ezekiel 38 & 39 into focus. All through the centuries while they were in dispersion, the Jews would celebrate the day of atonement with a certain ritual that would always include these words, “Next year in Jerusalem,” but it has taken many centuries for that “NEXT YEAR” to arrive, and I imagine many of them gave up hope, but those who have held that hope surely must be excited in these days. Naturally we do not know exactly what it will take to get that Moslem mosque off of their sacrificial rock, but we do know that very soon, something will. Hallelujah! Those that first returned to the land, have had to fight to hold it, for those Arabs were determined to drive them into the sea, but those Arabs have discovered that they do not have what it would take to do that. That is why Russia will get her chance, no Arab nation is strong enough to attempt such a thing, without Russia leading the way. I will just say this, they are all in for a great surprise, simply because they have not read, or believed what God had His prophets write concerning that land and those people for these last days.

 

ENEMIES TREMBLE

 

Let us go back to Micah 7:15-17 for just a moment. Notice now, “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him (Israel) marvelous things.” Naturally that is comparing what God would do for Israel in the last days with what He did for them at the Red sea, and at Jericho, and so forth. Notice this 16 verse, the affect it will have upon the nations, the Gentiles. “The nations shall see and th be confounded at their might; they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.” I know you have seen people slap their hand over their mouth in moments of great surprise, and at times when they were observing something they could hardly believe. It has already happened in Israel’s 1967 war that only lasted 6 days, and it is going to happen again when this next one is fought. 17 “They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall BE AFRAID OF THE LORD OUR GOD, and shall fear because of thee.” That is Israel’s defense, “They shall be afraid of the Lord our God.” You will remember how Joshua sent two spies to view conditions at Jericho, and how an harlot named Rahab hid them from the king’s men that came looking for them. In Joshua 2:8, let us notice what she said to them. “And before they were lain down, she came up unto them upon the roof; and she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, (It is too bad some more people of our day do not realize that, it would save them a lot of fretting and fussing) and that your TERROR IS FALLEN UPON US, AND THAT ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND FAINT (or tremble) BECAUSE OF YOU. For we have HEARD how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed, and as soon as we heard these things our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in Heaven above, and in earth beneath.” This is the affect the Red Sea incident had on those that heard of it, and God caused Micah to write, that it would be like that again in the last days, so you can see why leaders of the nations of the world will rush together, and work out some kind of peace plan; they will be scared half to death, after witnessing what takes place in Israel. Russia will no longer be a thread to any of them, but their hearts will be trembling because they have been made to realize how quickly this old world could be destroyed, if they do not get everyone settled down, and get their fingers off of those nuclear panic buttons. Their peace plan will quiet things for a few years, while a lot of them think Armageddon has already been fought, but sad to say, for all who are not ready to meet God in judgment, Armageddon will be just a few years away, and Israel will once again have dead bodies lying everywhere. 27 That is when the valley of Jezreel will have blood running to the horses bridles. This is where God’s wine press is pictured: on ly the wine will be blood. Brothers and sisters, it is all, right here in the book. We do not have to imagine, nor guess about what all this Middle East turmoil will lead to. Therefore I would only say to believers, be sure you keep your head on straight as the pressure mounts, and keep your trust in God. To anyone else I will say this, Your time left to get right with God is very short now. He will not wait another hundred years. May the Lord be magnified in His true people in these days. Amen.

Certified Seed, Part 2 – 1981, November

1981-11-Certified-Seed-Part2

AS WE GO INTO THIS PART OF OUR MESSAGE WE WANT TO SHOW HOW THE AUTHOR OF LIFE DWELLING IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS ACTUALLY CAUSED THEM TO EXEMPLIFY JESUS CHRIST IN THEIR DAILY LIVES, AND SPEAK WITH THE SAME AUTHORITY HE SPOKE WITH. WE WILL FOLLOW THE ROUTE OF THAT ORIGINAL CHURCH AS IT GOES THROUGH ITS PROCESS OF REPRODUCING ITSELF AND RETURNING A PRODUCT JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL. WE WILL SHOW WHY WATER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DEFINITELY IS A PART OF YOUR NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE, AND IF YOU REFUSE IT, YOU HAVE MISSED THE MARK. YOU WILL ALSO SEE HOW THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND WHY THE WORD ITSELF WAS NOT FLESH.


FIND OUT HOW TO RECEIVE THE PROMISES OF GOD, AND WHY SO MANY FOLKS FAIL TO RECEIVE, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT MEET THE CONDITION THAT PROCEEDS THOSE PROMISES. WE WILL ALSO SPEAK OF WHAT THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE HOLY GHOST ARE, AND ENDEAVOR TO SHOW HOW SATAN HAS COUNTERFEITED THEM AND DECEIVED GREAT MULTITUDES. WE SHOW THE TRUE REVELATION OF A PARABLE THAT HAS BEEN MISAPPLIED ALL THROUGH THE CHURCH AGES WHILE IT WAS USED BY SATAN’S HYBRID CHURCH. THEN, LASTLY, WHAT THE MESSAGE DELIVERED BY BRO. BRANHAM TO THIS AGE WAS MEANT TO ACCOMPLISH.


To continue our message on “Certified Seed,” let us just pick up right where we left off in our last issue. We were talking about what the second Adam (Jesus Christ) was commissioned to do upon the earth. The first Adam failed to carry out his commission upon earth, and that is what necessitated the second Adam’s presence. The first Adam was supposed to reproduce seed with all the qualities that God had created in him, but by the time he reproduced seed, the most important quality of all, was missing. His sons did not have eternal life abiding in them. Why? Because God had replaced it with death, in Adam, and he could only reproduce from what he himself was. He was a son of God because God created him; therefore his sons were sons of God also, but that eternal life of God was not present in them. Instead of reproducing miniature creators that would know how to rule the rest of God’s creation, Adam fathered earth bound sons with a death sentence hanging over them. Now we all know that death is the opposite of life, evil is the opposite of good, and dark is the opposite of light. God is life, God is light, and God is good, but He has an adversary named Lucifer, who is also called Satan, and the devil, who is always represented by darkness because his deeds are evil, and there is no good in him. He was not always such, for God created him perfect, just like He created Adam, perfect. According to Ezekiel 28, he was a beautiful angel of God that allowed his great beauty fo fill his heart with pride and self esteem. His great wisdom was corrupted by his iniquitous motives, to the point where he proclaimed, “I will (I WILL) ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” God cast him down to earth from his high position, never to be restored again, and from that moment on he has worked against God in every way he has imagined to do, and God has allowed it (with certain limitations) to test the faithfulness of every son of God that would ever set foot upon earth. The first son of God that was placed on earth with a certain command, yielded to one of Lucifers evil schemes when he was tested, but in process of time, another Son of God was tested in every area that a man could be tempted, and He yielded not, and therefore became the Redeemer of all God’s lost children. He did not redeem any of the devil’s children; but He paid the price of redemption for every child of God that has been held captive to sin all their lives because of the first Adam’s disobedience. If Adam and Eve would have held to the word of God when they were tested, like Jesus did when He was tested, there never would have been anything running wild and uncontrollable upon earth. God created everything perfect, and only Adam and Eve were given a free will whereby they could choose between the perfect will of God and their own will. Every other living thing was to be controlled by them. Under their control, there never would have been any downbreeding of any seed; neither plant life, animal life, nor human life. When Adam lost control to Satan, everything plunged into a downward trend, and has continued so ever since, with little exception. Only those who have been redeemed through the ages have been checked from their downward course. All of this is a result of death that was imputed to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God’s word. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, had no death in Him, yet He had to taste death for everyone else who would ever be redeemed. There was no perverted nature whatsoever about Him, yet the Bible says He was tempted in all points where we are tempted, yet He yielded to none of it. Satan was allowed to come against the physical side of Jesus in order that he (Satan) might be convinced that there was one Son of God that would not forfeit His original, God qualities. He overcame Satan the exact way that each and every believer is authorized to overcome him; using the written word of God. When Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread when He was hungry and weak from a forty day fast, He overcame, saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” When the devil tried to get Him to cast Himself down from a pinnacle of the temple in order to prove that He was the Son of God, he (the devil) even quoted scripture saying, If you are truly the Son of God, cast yourself down, for it is written, He (God) shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus came right back and said, “It is also written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” That would be just like jumping out into the pathway of a speeding automobile in an effort to prove to someone, that you have a guardian angel watching over you. When you go against the word of God to do a thing like that, you actually forfeit your right to such protection, just like those people who handle snakes trying to prove that they believe St. Mark 16:18. Some of them may handle snakes without ever being bitten. I do not know about that. However I do hear about some of them that do get bitten. You take my word for it, that scripture is not a provision for you to play with snakes. God does not give one scripture that contradicts another one that is already written. Do not allow Satan to trick you into trying to prove that the word of God means what it says. You are not required to prove that God will keep His word. You just obey it, and let God Himself do the proving. If you want God on the scene, just obey His word and He will be there. He never needs to be forced to honor His own word.


WORDS OF AUTHORITY


Jesus Christ the second Adam was man according to the flesh, but He was every bit God in essence of Spirit. He looked no different than any other normal Jew of His day, yet we know that He was not a Jew. He walked the same, combed His hair the same way, wore His clothes like other men, and made no attempt to glorify His flesh like we see so many doing in our day. What was it then, that made people sit up and take notice? It was the words that fell from His lips. Just about every time He spoke, those old scribes and Pharisees would get riled up and cause trouble. How does he know words like that? He never attended the seminary. Praise God! He had the Spirit within Him that all words originated from. He could have gone to their seminaries and taught them a few things. Naturally they did not have anything in the days of Jesus that they called seminaries, but they had that same spirit that today is found in man’s great schools of religion. Those proud Pharisees thought it would be altogether impossible for a man to teach anything about God, if he had not graduated from one of their schools. That same spirit is on your great “Doctors of Divinity” in our day, yet they are the ones that are missing God completely. They have a head full of theories, but no revelation that can get them down from their self-esteem, to the place where God is. Martin Luther was a man that tried desperately to find the peace of God through education. He had a “Doctor of Divinity” degree bestowed upon him, but it was only after he heard the voice of God, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH,” that he began to find out where God is. That eventually caused him to be branded as a heretic, and put his life in danger, even to the point where many thought he would be burned at the stake, but his soul had found refuge. His greatest degree was bestowed upon him by God Himself when He spoke to him by the audible voice. This of course was the beginning of what we call “The Reformation,” as Luther began to protest that system of Catholic dogma. This was God’s avenue whereby He would restore lost truth to the body of Christ, for many others followed Luther’s example and protested that system of religious dogma. It took more than four hundred years, but little by little God restored the church to the place where she would accept a prophet messenger that could set her on a straight course, and get all of this restored truth sorted out, and put together into a pure revelation. Naturally my use of the word church, applies only to those who are willing to be led by God’s Spirit, and definitely not to the church systems of our day. These systems teach that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, but they have no revelation as to how He was God in the flesh. They are hung up on the idea that God is three persons, and they try to reconcile the scriptures which teach that God is one, by saying that all three persons of the god head, agree in one. That is just as pagan as it can be, and yet I was one of them until God got hold of my life and turned me around.


THE AUTHOR OF LIFE


The man called Jesus Christ was God’s original seed for redemption. He lived God, He talked God, He demonstrated God because He was God. Nowhere in the Bible will you ever find any authority to call Him the second person of the Godhead. He is the only PERSON of the Godhead. God, who created all things, is a sovereign Spirit, and not a person. (John 4:24) Of course we realize that the natural mind will not receive divine revelation. It is only the mind that God has dealt with, that can grasp spiritual truth. Anyone that has a sharp mind can memorize what they hear, and tell it as often as they wish. That is what a tare will do when they are sitting among true believers; therefore you cannot tell for sure about a person, by what they say, and God Himself is the only one that can search the heart of man. But time itself reveals a lot to us, for a genuine born again believer will not throw their convictions aside every time the going gets a little rough for them, or when they are faced with a temptation. God never promised us that living for Him would be an easy life, and neither did He promise that we would not be faced with temptation as long as we live. He did promise that we would never be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, without Him making a way for us to escape. (1st Cor. 10:13) Our way of escape from Satan’s temptations and snares was secured for us at Calvary, when Jesus Christ who submitted to none of Satan’s temptations, yielded Himself to be taken by an angry mob and delivered up to be nailed to an old rugged cross. He tasted of death for every man. Not because He yielded to temptation, but because He yielded to Satan’s boastful brag, “I dare you to lay your life down.” By yielding Satan’s terms there, He proved once and for all that He was God, in the flesh of a man. Only the author of life can raise a dead body from the grave, and put life back in it. Jesus said to Martha concerning her brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) In the verses we just read, and in the verses we are going to read, the sovereign voice of God is heard proceeding from the lips of Jesus; that same “I AM” that spoke to Moses at the burning bush. (Exodus 3:14) In John, chapter 10, beginning with verse 14, we read, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE. (His true sheep do not call Him the second person fo the trinity.) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, (that is all of us Gentiles who believe) and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I LAY DOWN MY LIFE, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN, AND I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT AGAIN.” Is it any wonder that He could appear to the aged apostle John, when he was banished to the Isle of Patmos because of his personal testimony, and say to him, “I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the first and the last?” (Rev. 1:11) Then in verse 18, we read, “I AM HE THAT LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD, AND, BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; AND HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND OF DEATH.” John was an old man when Jesus appeared to him there on the Isle of Patmos, but one thing is sure; he had carried a revelation in his spirit ever since the days he walked with Jesus through the land of Israel, witnessing the miracles, and hearing what Jesus taught the people that followed Him, so he did not stagger in unbelief when that sovereign voice began to speak from behind him. Brothers and sisters, if you could only realize how important it is for every child of God to have a genuine revelation in these last days, you would not wonder why we dwell so much on certain things. Satan is going to throw everything he has, at you, in these closing days of Gentile time, and your faith in God’s word is going to be put to the test as never before. Much heartache and despair could be avoided if God’s people would just get His word settled in their hearts once and for all. It is sad when God has to turn one of His sons and daughters over to Satan and allow him to destroy their flesh, so to speak, in order to wake them up to the importance of a life of righteousness. Do not allow your understanding of eternal security of the believer, to cause you to be careless with the way you life. Eternal security is a precious doctrinal truth, but it is only applicable to those who believe and obey the word of God. In other words, It is not for those who are forever premeditating to do something that is right on the border line between good and evil. Those early Christians made every effort to depart from everything that had an evil appearance. They did not look to see just what they could get by with. Their faith in Christ set their souls on fire, and they sought to separate themselves from their former ways. It is just like the scripture that says, How can two walk together, except they agree? Saints it does make a difference who you pal around with, both religiously and naturally. Running with a religious person who is sold out to an Antichrist spirit, can be just as harmful as running around with a worldly minded, carnal thinking person. Jesus said, I came that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly. That simply means that a genuine faith in Him will give a person more than just fire insurance to keep them out of hell. I could never make anyone into the image of Jesus Christ, but I can assure you of this much; His word can, if you will obey it from your heart.


ORIGINAL CHURCH REPRODUCING


Jesus said, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the door; therefore whatever can be seen in Him, the church is to be a reproduction of that. Once Jesus arose from the dead, blood had been made available, water had been authorized, and all that was needed then, was the Spirit to quicken it, giving it life. That took place on the day of Pentecost, first with the 120 that had waited in an upper room, and a little later with three thousand other souls that gladly received the gospel. The great eternal Spirit looked upon that 120 that obeyed the voice of Jesus. He knew they truly had come through the blood; they knew why it had been shed. They stood right there and watched it, and in their hearts, they wanted to do exactly what He had told them to do. All they needed was the Spirit, to give life to their revelation, and once they received it, you could not have persuaded them to sell out, for anything in the world. They were originals. They were the absolute first to receive the “born again” experience. They were reproduced from the very living Christ Himself. Let us watch now, how this seed was to reproduce, and keep on reproducing itself. Not genetically, but redemptively. Peter who preached the first sermon after the Spirit was given, did not go to school to learn how to preach. He was an ordinary fisherman before Jesus called him. He talked like a fisherman, and probably smelled like one. In other words, he had no theological degrees. But when he finished preaching his first sermon under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, three thousand Orthodox Jews were pricked in their hearts. They were educated men, schooled in all the orthodox teaching of Judaism. None of them came expecting anything like that, but after listening to Peter, they became troubled in their souls. Their Judaism could not comfort them. Therefore they cried out to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? If Peter had been like so many preachers I could name, he would have just said, Shake my hand, sign our church register, and be sure you start paying your tithes, and everything will be all right. What did he say? Repent! “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” That is the only salvation formula you can find in the Bible, this side of the cross. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Those that gladly received his word were baptized: and that original church had already reproduced, and grown to more than three thousand souls. Do you think they took any pride in their theology after that? I can just hear them now, as they went back home to their own country, (They were there from at least 16 nations of the world) telling what had happened in Jerusalem, during the time they were there, and how their own lives had been changed by what they saw and heard. Just reading between the lines, you know they had some trouble back home. But what they got was real, therefore they did not chuck it aside, just because of persecution. That is how the Christian faith was carried to many areas of the world, strictly by those who heard the gospel from Peter, there at Jerusalem.


WHY PROPER WATER BAPTISM IS NECESSARY


Now for you that always have the question, Why is baptism essential to our salvation? Let me just plainly remind you that the word of God says it is for the remission of sins. The sin of unbelief is not used in the plural sense. It is always singular, and that is what the shed blood of Jesus Christ cancels out when you become a believer, but the baptism in water is to remit, or cancel out all those sins of your natural life, all those things that you did, and allowed that were contrary to God’s pure way of life. That is why it is reasonable to assume that if a person refuses to be baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ, that person has not fully believed the gospel. Repent, and be baptized was Peter’s answer to those who inquired, What shall we do? That was the two conditions layed out to them, and verse 41, tells the rest of the story, there in Acts 2. “Then they that gladly received the word WERE BAPTIZED.” Some have said, I have always lived a good life, and do not feel that I need to repent of anything, nor to be baptized for that reason, for I do not have any of those bad habits. Romans 3:10-11 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Verse 23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Let me just say this straight out, If the Spirit of God is dealing with you, Acts 2:38 should be all you need, to get you started in the right direction, but if you have a self-righteous attitude, you evidently are not being wooed by God’s Spirit, and to immerse you in water would be of no benefit to your soul. When the apostle Peter wrote later, concerning the answer of a good conscience before God, his application was to those who have been under conviction because of sin, and from the heart, they have obeyed the gospel; therefore they have the answer of a good conscience before God. The scriptures teach that we were born with the nature to do wrong. It is hereditary, and there are no exceptions. If it had been possible for men to settle their own sin debt with God, then Jesus gave His life in vain. His sacrificial offering paid the sin debt for lost mankind, all the way back to Adam and Eve. All those of the Old Testament era that obeyed from the heart, the word of God for their day, received the benefit of the redemption price Jesus paid. They looked forward to their promised Redeemer, and since Calvary, all men look back to that finished work that was accomplished there.

 

 

GOD AND MAN IN ONE


Modern science is forever studying the chemistry, the biological identity of every living thing, so let us just analyze the New Testament church, and see what it is made up of. It was the product of originality, a produce of God’s own law of redemption. Jesus Christ was none other than the incarnate God, God manifested in human flesh. His sole purpose in taking on that robe of flesh was that He might redeem His people from their sins. You will find that in Matthew 1:21, where the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, concerning Mary’s conception. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” God in human flesh, lived as a man, walked as a man, preached as a man, displayed the characteristics, love and power of God, then willingly went to the cross to die like a man, in the place of fallen man, to become the God of redemption. Naturally it was only the body of flesh that died, for that is what death is, the condition of the body, after the spirit of life has departed from it. People have a tendency to forget that many times, when they hear someone say that Jesus was God. They think only of the flesh, and say, If He had been God, He could not have died. Now, Friend: You must understand first of all, that God is a Spirit. He has never been anything else, and He will never be anything but Spirit. It was not the flesh of Jesus that was God; it was that Spirit of eternal life that was in Him that made Him God. He was both God and man. We have already explained how God created within the womb of Mary, an embryo, that had neither the genes of Mary nor of any man. (She was a virgin.) She carried the child through a normal period of pregnancy, furnishing the necessary elements for its physical body. That gave this Son of God physical substance just like any other human, and from the same source as any other human, yet from the genealogical standpoint He inherited nothing from Mary. His life was the very life of God; therefore it is perfectly accurate to say that He was God and man. Let us notice how John expressed it in his gospel. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” When you examine those first three verses, all you can possibly find there is a sovereign Spirit, speaking, Let there be light, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, Let there be this, Let there be that, and so on, through six creative days. John laid the foundation there, then moved right on to speak of Jesus Christ who is a full expression of the omnipresent God which created all things by speaking. We pick up with verse 11, and hear John say, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that BELIEVE ON HIS NAME: (Notice now) Which were BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Now we come to verse 14, (“and the Word was made FLESH, and dwelt among us.”) and that causes a lot of people to associate flesh with verse 1, but there was no flesh in the picture until Mary gave birth to Jesus. The way the Word was made flesh was by God’s spoken Word that created that embryo in the womb of the virgin, Mary. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Now as many as believe on Him, or receive Him, are given power to become the sons of God, and it is by a birth that is completely of the will of God. That is exactly what happened to the 120 that first received the Holy Ghost. They had believed on Him, but they did not at first have that Spirit of God to give life to what they believed. When they did receive it, that completed their “born again,” by the will of God, experience. From that time on, receiving that life giving Spirit has been automatic to all who obey Acts 2:38, from the heart. Of course we all realize there are a lot of people immersed in water, that never receive the Holy Ghost, but that is because God searches their hearts. God will not give His Spirit to a tare, just because he goes through all the proper channels in a visible way. Jesus expressed it clearly in Matthew 5:6, where He said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” That 120 were hungering and thirsting, and they were filled, and a little later, another 3000 were filled. How do I know? By the word of God. If you believe what is written, every little detail does not have to be spelled out. They asked, “What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” We then look at verse 41, which says, “Then they that gladly RECEIVED HIS WORD were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them (unto who? The 120 of course) about three thousand souls.” Two things stand out. First they met the condition. That puts the obligation over on God. He then must honor His own word of promise, which we know that He will never fail to do. Secondly they were added to the church, which is the body of Christ, and 1st Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body, (the body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”


MEET GOD’S CONDITION – RECEIVE HIS PROMISE


Listen to me, Saints: That early church knew who Jesus Christ was. They never argued about whether He was the second person of the trinity or not. If you asked them who He was, you would hear, He is the very God of heaven. There was no such thing as a trinity in those days. It took that Antichrist spirit which came later, to introduce that heathen concept of God. In one of the little epistles of John, he wrote, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” To break that down, it simply means that anyone who denies the deity of Christ, is of the Antichrist spirit. Paul wrote to the Colossians, (2:9) “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Every characteristic of God was expressed through Him. He was the very manifestation of the invisible God who could not be seen with the natural eye, but for 3 ½ years His disciples walked and fellowshipped with the very God Jehovah, that no man had ever seen. The apostle John opened his first little epistle, talking about that life which was in the beginning, how it was manifested, and how they saw with their own eyes, and handled with their own hands that Word of life. They soon learned that He was the master of every situation, and came to lean upon Him completely. He became their crutch, because they were just natural men who recognized that they were privileged to fellowship with deity. Yet in spite of all that they knew about Him, if He had not sent His Spirit back to indwell them, they would have very soon been scattered to the four winds. Even Peter, the most outspoken one among them, became afraid and denied that he even knew Jesus, the night Jesus was arrested. But ten days after He ascended to heaven, Jesus fulfilled a promise He made to them. (Luke 24:49) ‘And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” They received that promise on the day of Pentecost, a feast day of the Jews that drew people to Jerusalem from many areas of the known world at that time, and when that Spirit got inside of them, suddenly there were 120 disciples of Jesus, who were as brave as lions. No more would Peter hide from the crowd. No more would he deny that he even knew Jesus. When they stepped out into the street speaking in tongues and glorifying God, some of those pious Jews began to mock, and accuse them of being drunk. What did old Peter do? He stood right there in the midst of them, and said, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” He quoted scriptures to them until he got their attention. Then he came around to Jesus of Nazareth. He said something like this, (You can read it in the 2nd chapter of Acts.) Jesus was approved by God by the many miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you. Yet ye have taken Him, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, but God raised Him up, loosing the pains of death. Now He is seated at the right hand of God and exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Hearing all that Peter had said in those few minutes by the anointing of the Holy Ghost which was then inside him, the hearts of those three thousand orthodox Jews were pricked with conviction. They knew they had been listening to a voice of authority therefore they cried out, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Their question was the same as what the old Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, twenty years later. Not the exact words, but the same question. He said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They answered, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. They took that opportunity to preach the gospel to him and to all that were in his house. We are in the 16th chapter of Acts right now, and I want you to pay close attention to this next verse, (33) for to me it proves that those early Christians emphasized the importance of proper water baptism in the salvation experience. Notice now. “And he (the jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” His whole household believed, and was baptized that very night. It was the same with the Ethiopian eunuch that Phillip preached Christ to. The first thing he wanted to do was get baptized. Then those modern day preachers have the nerve to stand up and tell folks that baptism is not essential to their salvation; and that it is just a testimony of what has taken place in their life. Tell me this, Who was this eunuch testifying to? There was no one else around except Phillip. Brother! When you leave out baptism, you have left out an essential part of the gospel. That is why we should not hesitate to answer just like Peter did, “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, (That is the absolute condition upon which you are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost. First you repent, then you get baptized for the remission of all the unholy deeds of your life.) And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” You do not have to beg God to keep His word. You just meet the condition, and He will automatically perform His part, without you even asking Him to. Genuine faith in God, will lay hold upon a promise from His word, just like Abraham did concerning the son God promised him. Also, genuine faith will see Jesus Christ like Thomas finally did. After he got a chance to see the pierced hands and side of Jesus, he cried out. “My Lord and my God.” Jesus then said to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: (Believed what? That He is both Lord and God.) Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Every person that has experienced the new birth since those early days of Christianity, has had to depend upon the written testimony of those who did see with their own eyes, but they all had to know who Jesus is, in order to have such an experience. In verses 30 and 31, of the 20th chapter of John, after telling about Thomas, John goes ahead and says that Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, that are not written, “But these are written, that ye (you and I) might believe that JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD; and that believing ye might have life through HIS NAME.” We are living in a day when great multitudes of so called Christians are proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and they are deceived into believing that they are born again because of it, but when you examine their testimony, you find that they look upon Him as the second person of a trinity of Gods, and we know that such a belief about Him in our age, after God has restored the truth of His word, will not produce the new birth. You can turn on your radio or television on Sunday morning, and hear a dozen different versions of what they call the gospel of Christ, yet there is only one true revelation to be preached about Him.


PERVERTED SEED MARS PURE REVELATION


In the first age of Christianity, every apostle, every prophet, every evangelist, pastor and teacher that went out, preached and taught the same thing. Of course they used their own words, but the revelation was exactly the same. They sowed good seed and God’s law of reproduction produced a good crop. They had no Christian seminaries to go to; any man who felt a true calling of God upon his life for the ministry, just sat right in his local assembly until such time as his calling was vindicated by God. He did not have to run off to a school somewhere, to learn how to preach; he just kept his place in his local assembly until his revelation of the gospel was complete, and then, the Holy Ghost in him already knew how to preach, or teach, or whatever his ministry was to be. Every local assembly was taught the same thing; therefore it was not necessary for anyone to go looking for a better place to learn about God. In those days the devil tried to use Judaism to kill all the Christians, and when that did not work for him, he used Paganism in an effort to kill all of them, but the harder he tried, the more they ran into the arms of Jesus. As many of those Christian martyrs died, they could be heard crying out, “Jesus, forgive them, they know not what they do.” The stubborn will of those old pagans began to be broken down, and the Holy Ghost would get hold of them, and bow their heads, and bend their knees, and bring them to the plan of salvation. They could not conquer that early church, because Christ was in it. They lived and demonstrated the power of God just like Jesus did, before the devil finally succeeded in his plan to sow perverted seed among them. That is what I meant earlier, when I said, that the devil did the same thing to the body of Christ, the second Adam, that he did to Eve who was from the body of the first Adam; he managed to plant a wrong seed in her, that kept her (the church) from reproducing herself according to the original pattern. We have said many times, that the church at Ephesus was the model church. Those other six, found in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, were all lit from the gospel fire that burned at Ephesus during the more than two years Paul preached there. In Acts 19:10, we are told that all Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus during that time, both Jews and Gentiles, so Ephesus was the model church. But by 96 A.D. when the Lord appeared to John, on the Isle of Patmos, the church at Ephesus had already begun to depart from their pure revelation. Something had drawn their attention away from their first love. They were instructed to remember from whence they had fallen, and repent, and return to their first works; or else. They had already been receiving seed from that Antichrist spirit, and it was seed of death, just like Eve received through the serpent when she was still pure. That Nicolaitan doctrine, through a gradual process, sowed death among them until by 325 A.D., the church was in so much confusion and turmoil, that the old Roman emperor Constantine, called together a council to establish doctrine for the church to be guided by. That is commonly referred to as the Nicaea Council. What a tragedy! There they had a carnal minded old Roman emperor presiding over a disputable number of bishops, somewhere between 270 and 318 in number, and they had met there at Nicaea to deal with Arianism, which is referred to as a fourth century heresy. The trinity teaching did not originate at the Nicene Council, for in 318 A.D. a fellow named Arius began teaching a doctrine that became known as Arianism. He denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, and claimed that He was only a creature, made out of nothing like all other created beings; therefore He could not be God. He asserted that there is only one person in the godhead, and that one person is the Father. He said very little of the Holy Spirit, except to deny that He is God. It is easy to understand why there was confusion in the churches, when a fellow teaching something like that, had already gained a following. It just goes to show how the devil can pervert things when he is given any right of way at all. Now Arius had something in him that caused him to know that God was not three person, but he no doubt, tried to straighten it out by carnal reasoning; therefore his doctrine was just as detrimental to the truth, as the trinity teaching could ever be. Christianity is founded upon the revelation that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. If you take away His divinity, you have no foundation left. Even Constantine knew that, and he thought he would get it settled once and for all. That is why he called the council together at Nicaea. They branded Arius as a heretic, and adopted terminology that declared the Son of God to be of the same substance as the Father. Over a period of years they finally got their trinity doctrine worked out, but we always point back to 325 A.D. as the year that Satan struck what he thought was a death blow to the church. He succeeded in getting all those bishops to sign a universal creed, that was void of revelation, and only a half truth, and therefore such a church could never again reproduce anything that would resemble the original church in Acts. Death has struck the church. You all know what happens when seed is cast into the ground; it dies. God’s law makes that a natural process. It dies from its original identity. Now let us go right back to St. Mark 4:26, and read that scripture again. Then we will go to St. John 12:24, and catch another one to complete the thought. Notice, “And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” There are some key words in these four verses that can open your understanding. First, He said the kingdom of God is like this. Now we have already settled it; the kingdom of God is His church. Alright, so God knew, when He planted the church on the day of Pentecost that it would go through a process of death, but He also knew He had set a law of reproduction in motion. Any seed planted in the ground would eventually reproduce itself back to the original. (Now saints if you are following the thought, you are beginning to see that what happened to the church was no surprise to God.) What did Jesus say? First comes the blade, or stalk. No farmer ever plants corn or wheat just to harvest a stalk that springs forth from it. That simply points to the fact that Jesus was not going to return for the rapture of the church in the days of Martin Luther, nor John Wesley, nor any other of those leaders of the Reformation. That was the stalk from which a replica of the original church would come later. But please notice the real point of verse 29. “When the fruit is brought forth, IMMEDIATELY he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” When the true church of the living God is finally restored back to the very image of the original seed that was present in the book of Acts, she will not be left around very long for Satan to tamper with. “IMMEDIATELY HE PUTTETH IN THE SICKLE, BECAUSE THE HARVEST IS COME.” Remember, Jesus used this parable to show what the kingdom of God would be like.


MULTIPLICATION OF A GOOD SEED


The more I think about how hard the devil has worked for 6000 years, against the plan of God, the more wrapped up I become, for I can see that in spite of all the efforts of Satan and his carnal gang of perverts, God is still going to have what He set out to have in the beginning. Satan has made a mess out of everything along the way, and in the midst of all of it, God has still been able to receive glory and honor unto Himself, in one way or another. It thrills me to see how God is going to have a finished product, just exactly the way it is portrayed right here in His book. When you read and realize how much of what at one time was prophesy, and now it is history, it makes those prophesies that are yet to be fulfilled even more exciting. We are living in an age when just about every time you turn on the national news, it just makes the prophesies of the Bible come right up before your eyes, and when you take a good look at this world of religion, you can certainly understand what Jesus was talking about in the parable of the tares that was sown among the wheat, or the children of the wicked one, that was planted among the children of the kingdom of God. Let us read that one verse from John 12:24 now, and see if we get it connected up with our thought. Jesus spoke these words just a short time before He was to be arrested, and later crucified. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” This parable spoke of His own death that would soon be a reality to those that loved Him, yet there was no way for them to know that at the time. We read it, and it is so clear to us. He was God’s original seed that was to be planted in the earth, and from that one seed, God’s law of reproducing with increase, would raise up many seed in His place. A grain of wheat just laid up someplace, would never reproduce itself. It would remain singular as long as it was left there. Yet if you take it, and plant it in the ground, a law of God will go to work on it, and the first thing you know, you have a whole handful of seed from the life of that one seed. Do you see what a beautiful picture Jesus actually painted here? The first crop from that one seed amounted to one hundred and twenty, and the first crop from that 120 amounted to about three thousand. Praise God! This was CERTIFIED SEED. It was guaranteed to reproduce a good crop. Hallelujah! There the life went out of Jesus, as He hung there with a cruel mob watching, but just a little over seven weeks later, that life was being demonstrated through 120 souls that were exemplifying the very likeness, the very characteristics, and attributes that were in Jesus. This is what the seed of the woman had reproduced. They were certified, just like He was. Their parental background was registered in heaven. Through redemption they were exact copies of the original seed. Their revelation was pure, their motives and outlook on life was the same as His, and God was so interested in keeping that seed pure in those days, He even killed two people just for lying. Satan could not tamper with the pure revelation that was in that first generation of Christians. He killed a lot of them, but he could not pervert their revelation. They went into the ground glorifying God. Jesus Himself had demonstrated to them how to die with dignity. Hanging there on the cross, He cried out, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. It must have tore the hearts out of His disciples who witnessed the events of that day. The very one they had placed so much confidence in, coming to such an end. What they failed to understand from what He had taught them, was that this was not the end; it was the beginning of God’s great redemption process. He knew that He must die, in order for that life in Him to spring forth in others, but they had not understood that.


MEETING THE RESURRECTED JESUS


Those two fellows that Jesus communed with on the road to Emmaus were a good example of how His disciples were affected. Jesus came up beside them as they walked along talking about all the things that had happened, and said to them, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? Cleopas answering Him, said, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast thou not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? (He was really giving them a chance to tell it all.) And they said unto Him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” (They had their mind on a material kingdom, and their hopes were shattered by His crucifixion.) Jesus let them talk on for awhile, and then He said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” Then He started with the writings of Moses, and expounded the scriptures to them of all the things that were written of Him, and they still did not recognize Him until He sat down to eat with them, and when He blessed the bread and brake it, and gave some to them, their eyes were opened, and they knew who He was. He then vanished out of their sight, and left them to talk among themselves again, but now their conversation is different than before. Listen to them. “Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” They are all stirred up now, and head right back to Jerusalem, to all the apostles. Then while they are telling what happened, Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of them saying, “Peace be unto you.” But it scared them half to death. They thought they had seen a Ghost. He finally got them settled down a little, by showing them His hands and His feet, where they had been pierced. He ate some fish and honeycomb they gave Him, and then He took them right to the scriptures saying, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.” After taking them through the many scriptures that spoke of Him, He then opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, (we are in Luke 24:46) “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE and REMISSION OF SINS should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” After telling them what was to be done for the benefit of lost mankind, He reminded them that they were witnesses of all that had taken place in those days, and then said unto them, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” After speaking these words, He led them out as far as Bethany, lifted up His hands, and blessed them, and while He blessed them, He ascended up into heaven. He left those disciples standing there gazing up into the heavens. Two angels, which were in their midst also, said unto them, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) It is no wonder all those first century saints expected Jesus to return in their life time. After witnessing the fact that He had risen from the dead, why would they not expect Him to return immediately to finish all that they knew the Messiah was supposed to do? Nevertheless they returned to Jerusalem according to His instructions, to wait for the promise of the Father, and during those days they chose Matthias to take the place of Judas with the other eleven apostles.


ENTERING THE BODY OF CHRIST


In the first chapters of the book of Acts we see this great process starting. These disciples of Jesus have a commission to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name, among ALL NATIONS, beginning at Jerusalem, but they had to wait for something they did not yet have. In Acts 1:5, we read where Jesus said to them, concerning the promise of the Father, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” When they began questioning Him about the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, He answered, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” By this, they knew they were to receive the Holy Ghost, but they still did not know what kind of an experience to look for, so they just went back into the city and waited, like He told them to do. I do not know what they did with their time, while they waited, but I imagine they spent a lot of time rehearsing the events of the past few days, and in prayer. One thing we do know, though, ten days later, when the day of Pentecost had dawned, they were all assembled together in an upper room, (about 120 souls) and they were all in one accord, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing might wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Here comes the promise of the Father, so let us notice what happened. (Acts 2:1-4) “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, (not unknown tongues) as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Now they were ready to preach. They had all the degrees and diplomas they needed. Jesus had taught them for 3 ½ years concerning the scriptures, and now they have the same Spirit in them, that was in Him. When they went out to preach, it was actually Jesus Christ still working. The only difference was that He was using different vessels. It was His Spirit, unfolding His nature, displaying His characteristics, His attributes, and such like, and wherever they went, people knew they had been with Jesus. Furthermore, not a single one of them had been to school to learn how to preach. They had the preacher inside of them; all they had to do was let him do the talking, just like Peter did, when he went to the house of Cornelius, in Acts 10. No one had instructed him, how he should preach the gospel to this group of Gentiles. Up until then, Jews and Gentiles had no dealings with each other, but the spirit had said to Peter, Arise and go with the men that seek thee, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. Brothers and sisters, it is such a shame in our day, if you even mention being a minister, the first question you hear is, What school did you go to? I will never forget something that happened while we were still in the Methodist church. Our student pastor was going to take another church, and that would leave us to get someone else. Some of the people said to me, Bro. Jackson: Would you take the pastorate, if we talk to the district superintendent, and get his approval? I said that I would, and when Sunday afternoon rolled around, time for the spring conference, the district superintendent came down. The men from different churches talked to him, and finally, some of them came out where I was, and said, we are sorry Bro. Jackson, but he would not consent to it. He said the Indiana Methodist conference had ruled that all upcoming preachers, seeking a pastorate, must have at least two years of college, or so much seminary training. In other words, they must be trained for the job. I went home from that meeting, very discouraged, knowing that I had no educational degree to offer on my behalf. I did not know any Greek, nor Hebrew, but I did know what my Lord had done in my own life. So down in the old cow stable that evening, just before time to get ready to go to church that night, I looked right up through all the spider webs, and everything in that old barn, and said, Lord, if that is the way it has to be: I will never preach again as long as I live. But I will do my best to live for you, no matter what. I said, Lord, I just do not believe I need to go off to school somewhere, in order to be able to tell people how to become a child of God. That very night, I had a dream from the Lord. Jesus came to me in that dream, and let me know that I was going to receive the Holy Ghost. Days passed, and I did not know for sure what it was all leading up to. Then it began to dawn upon me that I was on my way out of the Methodist church. In reality, I was really on my way in, into the body of Christ. You know what 1st Cor. 12:13 says. We have read it many times. “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body, (the body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” If you have never had that baptism, you are not in the body of Christ. Saints, I am so glad He saw fit to deal with my life like He did. I appreciate it from the depths of my heart. It just goes to show, that God is still running His program; man only thinks he is running it for Him. Natural men take the time to get the whole program legislated, and recorded on the books. They set up their rules and regulations, how the whole system is going to operate and be disciplined, and by the time they get all of that done, God has already gone off and left them. But by then, they are so busy with their rituals, they do not even realize that He is no longer among them. That is why Revelation 3:20, portrays Jesus standing outside the door of Laodicea, knocking. The Laodicean age has programmed the Spirit of God right out of the picture. It has come down to an individual thing. Notice what He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any MAN (or person) hear my voice, and open the door, (that would be the door to your heart,) I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The church systems will not let Him in. He is locked out. But, thank God, those who are on the inside, and hear Him knocking at the door, can let Him into their own personal life. That would be those who, even though they are still sitting in those systems, they are disturbed, they have a gnawing hunger in their spirit for something they are not receiving. They hear what is going on, but they have their ears tuned for some other sound, somewhere, and when they hear that knock on the door: praise God, they are ready to respond. “Raymond Jackson, you come, and go with me.” That is exactly how it happened. He let me know that I could no longer stay in that Methodist church, going their way, to serve Him. “God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit, and in truth.” You just simply cannot do that, as long as you are trying to keep up with the programs of some church system. When you find that straight and narrow way that leads to life, it will always lead you out of spiritual Babylon.


MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST


As we return to our main thought now, just remember this; when you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you have received the selfsame Spirit that was the life of Jesus Christ; therefore it ought to begin to do in you, what it did in Him. It caused Him to order His whole life, completely submitted to the will and purpose of God. When that 120 disciples came out of that upper room speaking in tongues and glorifying God, no one looked at any of them, and said, There is Jesus Christ. No. Physically, they were still who they always were, but inside them, was the same God that had been in Jesus, when He walked with them. The only difference was in their genetics. Physically they still had fallen attributes, but spiritually, they were just like Jesus, “CERTIFIED.” In them, was God’s Spirit, God’s life, God’s nature, God’s characteristics, and it was all being demonstrated wherever any of them went. When the apostle Paul told the Romans that the kingdom of God was not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, he said a mouth full. There is no real comparison, that the human mind can comprehend. Trying to visualize how a sovereign, holy, righteous God would pick up an old drunk, out of the gutter, clean him up, and allow him to become a temple of God, is almost more than the natural mind can cope with, but, Glory to God, it is a reality. Those twelve apostles of Jesus were just plain men, fishermen, tax collectors, and such like. The religious people of their day probably would not have given them the crumbs from their table, to keep them from starving to death. Yet Jesus, knowing their hearts, called them to follow Him, and in three and one half years of time, they became spiritual giants. They knew more about God than all the Scribes and Pharisees put together. They never found it necessary to put on long robes, and stand on the street corner, praying long prayers, nor any of the other ritualistic practices of those pious religious leaders who were supposed to be representing God to the people of their day. None of these men stood out in any great way until after they received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. After that, the picture really changed. We have already talked about Peter’s sermon there in the streets of Jerusalem where the first three thousand believed and were baptized. Next we see Peter and John, on their way into the temple to pray, and they stopped to heal a lame man that had been lame all his life, and that gave Peter an opportunity to preach another sermon. It got them locked up over night, but another five thousand souls believed the gospel. The following day, when they were brought before the high priest and his kindred for questioning, the rulers of the Jews asked them, “By what power, or by what name have ye done such a thing?” Just listen to the fellow that tried to hide the night Jesus was arrested, for fear of these same rulers, but here he is a short time later standing right in the midst of the whole gang of them, full of the Holy Ghost, and ready to meet them every one head on. Acts 4:8, we pick up his answer. “Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. (Notice how personal he gets with his words.) This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Peter laid the word on that gang of seminary graduates, just like Jesus did, over in the 8th chapter of John. When the session was over they turned Peter and John loose, but they commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, Judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Brother, they had something shut up inside them, that would not let them keep quiet. Every time a door was opened, out came the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just to show you how these “certified seed” reproduced, let us notice two or three verses in the 5th chapter of Acts. After Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost, and were struck dead in their tracks, great fear came upon the church, and upon all that heard of their fate. Those people knew that if they were not genuine, they had better stay clear of what was going on. There were no make-believers in that crowd. Verse 12, “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (just like it was when Jesus walked among them. He was still doing the same works among the people, but through many different vessels of clay, instead of just one.) And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them; but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” We will not read any farther, but this is where they brought their sick folks out into the streets on beds, hoping that at least the shadow of Peter might overshadow some of them as he passed by. People possessed with all kinds of unclean and evil spirits were brought into the midst of them from other cities round about Jerusalem, and they were all healed. By this time the church numbered into the thousands. But you know what happened; Satan’s gang arrested them again, put them in prison without even a trial. That night, the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said to them, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” Early the next morning they went right to the temple and taught the people, just like they were instructed to do. Later, when the high priest and his council finally found them, and had them brought before the council, the high priest said, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? Now you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Do you know what their answer was? “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Those apostles started right in, and preached another little short sermon that cut those pious Jews to the heart. This gang did not repent though; they had murder in their eyes. They began trying to find a way to slay them. They could not do it openly because of the multitude of believers. By the counsel of one of their notable doctors of the law, they decided to just beat them, and turn them loose, commanding them not to speak in the name of Jesus anymore. They left that council rejoicing because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. Then they went right back to the temple, and in every house where they could, and continued to teach and preach Jesus Christ. The only thing that could stop those first age Christians from preaching and testifying about Jesus Christ, was death itself. Satan did not have enough threats to shut them up.


LIFE ITSELF DOES NOT DIE


Some people feel that the church is already restored back to its original image, and others believe that we are foolish, even to expect that it ever will be. I have news for both groups. What we have just read, showing the reality of the living Christ in those early disciples is all we need, to know that the church has not yet been brought back to its original image, and the scriptures we are using from St. Mark 4:26-29, is all we need to know that it will be restored to that image, before the rapture (harvest) takes place. I am criticized and ridiculed because I teach like this, but I am fully persuaded by the scriptures, that before the church of the living God is ever taken to glory, she will again have literal, living apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, just like she did in that first age. She started out a perfect church, and she will end up a perfect church. That is exactly what Jesus was setting forth in that parable. Brother Branham did not have to say so; Jesus had already said it. We are going to take that parable step by step, and by the help of God, show you exactly what Jesus meant by what He said, and show you what part Bro. William Branham’s message to this age, played in the overall picture. Some of you believe that Bro. William Branham’s message was to perfect the church, but I hope to show you just exactly what it did do, as we once again look at this parable. (Mark 4:26-29) “So is the kingdom of God, (the church) as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Since Jesus used this agricultural parable to set forth a spiritual truth: if we are to understand that truth, we must follow the life of that seed corn through its process of reproduction. Literally, when you plant corn, it is just a few days until you see the little green shoots coming forth from the ground, so to make an application to the church, that sleeping and rising night and day has to be that people from generation to generation will fall asleep, and others will rise to fill their place, and then they will fall asleep in like manner. But through the whole process, the life of God which has been set in motion, never dies. It is destined to bring forth life in some kind of identity. Alright, so it should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. When you study the natural vegetative life, you do not know exactly what goes on, down there in the soil. About the only thing you know about it, from the time you plant it until you see it coming up again, in another form, is that it first dies. Once it dies, then that life that was in it comes back in another form. It never looks like the original at first; any farmer knows that. But you give it time, and I promise you, it will return to its original likeness. “The earth bringeth forth fruit of herself.” That means that the earth has within it the potential, the elements, the nutrients, so that when certain established seed laws are met, those elements will respond and give forth that which is required. God knowing that there were other predestined souls to come forth in this world of lost mankind, just let the right seed fall to the ground. Hallelujah! From that original seed, others are destined to come forth, that will rise to walk in newness of life, and in the fellowship and likeness of Jesus Christ.


EXAMINING A STALK OF CORN


Two thousand years ago when the true gospel hit this pagan, Gentile world, sinners began coming to it, because the elements were lying right there. The Jews had already received it, for it was presented to them first, according to the foreknown plan of God. Not every Jew, but those that were predestined. As we examine this parable, we immediately discover that Jesus did not break it down to show every detail. He just gave a general picture. “First the blade.” That is not to mean that it has just one blade. No matter whether you are talking about wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, or whatever, the blade here, mean, the stalk. A stalk of corn will usually have 4, 5, or 6 blades on it. A little stalk of wheat 3, 4, or 5, but never just one. He simply uses the word blade to show that the stalk comes before the ear, and the ear is the head, where the grain is going to appear. The ear itself is a general term, whether you are dealing with wheat or corn. With corn you are dealing with a cob, but with wheat, oats, or barley, you are dealing with what is called the head. This is the area where the kernels will form, which is actually the multiplied seed that you are waiting to harvest. Again, I ask you plainly, Why would Jesus use such an infallible, parabolic illustration, to tell us what the church is likened unto, if in reality the church is not going to return completely to its apostolic likeness? Any preacher who has the Holy Ghost ought to be able to study the parables of Jesus concerning the kingdom of God, and settle his mind on the fact that God is going to harvest a church that is exactly like the one that we read of in the first chapters of the book of Acts. Not only doctrinally, but every fiber of it, all of what it is made of. “First the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear.” There are two different realms of vegetative growth involved here. Once the law of nature establishes that last blade on the stalk, you could never pour enough fertilizer and water around it, to cause it to put forth another blade. The law of life in that stalk will not allow it. The next thing is the head or cob, whether it is wheat, or corn. But even after the complete ear or head is formed, it still has a cycle of maturing to go through before it is harvested. Let us just look at a stalk of corn for a minute. After the last blade has formed on the stalk, and you see a little tassel forming in the top, look down below the top blade and you will see a little thing forming there. We call it a shoot. Right there, is where the ear is going to be. As you watch from day to day that little ear gets larger and larger. Do you know what is happening? There is a little hard thing forming inside, called a cob. We do not plant corn just to get a cob, but we have to accept the cob as part of the reproductive process. Neither do we plant corn, to get a tassel, but we have to accept it anyhow. Farmers have to be able to recognize what is taking place, lest they become disillusioned by what they see in their fields. It is the same with this parable. The Holy Ghost in any born again believer, should cause them to realize that we are living in a day when there are changes taking place in the realm of religion, and those changes are not giving life to Catholicism. Neither are they giving life to Protestantism either. You can pray and fast until you drop dead, but you will never see those denominational church revived again. Methodism is dead. It is a dead blade. So is the Baptists. Oh, Brother Jackson, you must be wrong; we just built a new church building, and we are getting new members every week. I don’t care if you did, nor if you get ten thousand members, your system is a dead blade; it will never have life again. You cannot force something beyond the laws that God has set to govern it. Looking right back to the parable and to the stalk of corn, I promise you this, When the kernels begin to appear on those corn cobs, death is striking that stalk. It starts at the bottom and works its way up. Then, “When the fruit is brought forth, (that means when it reaches its matured stage) immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Brothers and sisters, that word harvest has no reference whatsoever to lost souls. It applies to the reaping of the finished product. The finished product incorporates lost souls; that is what it is all about, but it is lost souls that have been found by the preaching of the gospel, and they have been washed by the water of the word of God, and brought to a perfected stage. Therefore we must establish in our minds, the fact that Jesus used this parable in reference to the overall kingdom of God that would go through such a cycle of death, and then be restored to its original perfectness and caught up to heaven. Naturally when we speak of the early church being perfect, we are not speaking of perfect flesh of anyone other than Jesus Himself. But their revelation, their doctrine, their outlook and potential was just exactly what God wanted. That is why we can say that the seed that was planted back there was certified. It was pure in every aspect, because it came right out from the life of God. As for the flesh side of the individuals that made up the church, it will take on its perfection in the resurrection, when He harvests the whole church. Therefore let all who read this message; be aware of the fact that God’s first concern is to get our inner man cleaned up and get us looking heavenward. Then He can talk to use and lead us so that we bear fruit of the Spirit of our creator. That is just the opposite of our former estate where we were on a continual downward course of decay and debotchery, following after Satan’s evil devices. When He gets us looking up, yearning and thirsting to be more God-like, then He can talk to us supernaturally. He never talks to anyone through theology, He has nothing to do with any of that.


SATAN’S HYBRID RELIGION


After poor old Martin Luther had completely exhausted himself studying Catholic theology, and wore out ever so many pairs of pants crawling around, in his prayer rituals, he became so disheartened that he was actually weeping inwardly, and that is when God spoke to him supernaturally, “Martin Luther: The just shall live by faith.” It had been right there in the Bible all along, but it had to be quickened (made alive) to him. That true revelation made all of his theology useless. That is why he went and sold everything, and bought the field where the treasure had been lost. He no longer needed all that ritualistic junk. In other words, we could say he had a yard sale. Of course we get this from one of the parables Jesus spoke, found in Matthew 13:44, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” You remember when we were explaining the hybrid process with corn, I said that every now and then you would find a stalk in a field of nice corn, that had actually produced a little bunch of kernels that looked just like the maize the Indians raised. In other words after all that hybridizing, every now and then, out comes something that resembles the original product that you started with. After Satan had hybridized the church for over a thousand years, trying to breed out any genuine Godlike quality that was in it, out popped Martin Luther with something that resembled the original. If the devil had not been allowed to throw the church off course, she would have been gone a long time ago, but it was in God’s purpose to allow it to go like it did, because of predestined souls of this 20th century. Satan crossbred the original seed as it began to die, and as a result he came up with a church system that has been a mockery to God’s original for over a thousand years. When we were talking earlier about how you get a hybrid seed, you will recall that I said, a hybrid seed is not produced in just one year; you have to keep replanting and remating with something that has the desired qualities you want in your seed. That is exactly what Satan did with the church. He kept on planting and replanting until he bred out the one God revelation, and came up with three Gods. That fulfilled the parable where Jesus said, Let them grow together, or we will say, It put the parable in effect. There you had a condition where true seed and perverted seed had to exist side by side, but Satan saw to it, that Christianity was pollinated with every kind of perverted doctrine that his evil mind could produce. Out of his cross breeding emerged the Catholic church. Catholicism is Satan’s hybrid religion. There is very little, if anything at all, that resembles Biblical Christianity. You certainly cannot say that the five fold ministry in the apostolic church was a priesthood, so how come Catholicism produced one? You do not read where the early apostles imparted the Holy Ghost to believers by placing a little wafer on their tongues, so why do the Catholic priesthood go about it that way? If those poor souls receive any spirit at all, it is a spirit of paganism. Catholicism is a cross between the foundation of Christianity and ancient paganism. They took the original gospel and just kept on pollinating it with perversion until a trinity came up in place of one God. Sprinkling in the titles of their trinity came up in the place of immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every major doctrine of the Bible was bred out of that hybrid seed. Predestination, eternal security, holiness, baptism of the Holy Ghost, true repentance, all of what made that early church perfect, had been bred out of what stood in the place of that early church. As a result, the world went through the darkest period of human history, commonly known as the Dark Ages. They laid down the sword of the Spirit, (the word of God) and took up a literal sword. You have read of the so called Christian crusades. Those poor souls either had to become a Catholic, or have their heads cut off. About seven miles from where Bro. Strommen lives, in Norway, is where the king of Norway fought against the Catholics that had been converted. (Every year they have a reenactment of that.) Those that had been converted to Catholicism were going to force Catholicism throughout all of Norway, and their king refused to become one of them. That is how carnal minds read Matthew 28:19-20. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” They went out with literal swords instead of the sword of the Spirit, to make disciples of every nation. But like every other hybrid seed, if you keep on planting it, every now and then an odd ball will pop out. That odd ball that popped out somewhere around 1480 and 1490, was Martin Luther. That just goes to show that no matter how dark it gets, God will always preserve a little glimmer of light somewhere. Out of all that hybrid seed, here was one that showed traces of that ancient nature of the original seed. He was going back to the old open pollinated nature, which is God’s law of genetics in force. The church that died way back there, had put out a new shoot from the ground, and here was the first blade. Brothers and sisters, let me remind you again, as I have before; that a parable does not cover every detail of what it is setting forth, so just remember this, take the profile and allow the Holy Ghost to fill it in for you. With this stalk of corn we can only give you a profile of the route the church followed from its inception right on through the ages, but I am persuaded that there is much truth revealed in these parables. Pay close attention to the process of growth and maturity, and you will be able to understand why some of the people you have had so much confidence in, through the years, have fallen by the way side. You must remember, that if Jesus used such a parable to show the route of the church through time, there has to be people fulfilling every phase of this reproduction process. On a stalk of corn, you have the blades, the shucks, the cobs, and the tassels that will never be harvested as the product for which you planted the seed. Even the pollination that once had its place right at the top of the stalk, after it has served its purpose, falls to the ground and rots. I am telling you this ahead of time in order that you can be more mindful of what is taking place as we follow the growth of that stalk of corn.


BLADES AND SHUCKS


Satan had his Millennium; one thousand years of darkness, death to the true church. That original seed laid in the ground a long time, but just as the parable says, “The earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, (stalk) then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” What is it? It is that law of life recycling, and brother, you can never get reincarnation out of this, for it comes back to exactly what it was in its original. All right, so here is Martin Luther, the first blade on that stalk, with justification by faith. A little later, you see another blade on the stalk. That is John Calvin, with eternal security of the believer. Then another, John Knox with predestination. Then around 1700, John Wesley with sanctification of the believer. Now none of this actually measures up to what it was in the book of Acts, but within it is that potential. Just let it grow and watch what happens. If you will try to visualize an actual stalk of corn, you will get another lesson, for each of those blades go in their own direction out from the stalk. Is that not what happened with these restored truths that all belonged to the same body of believers? Each reformer had a following that took his revelation, and pulled off to themselves and built a fence around what they had. But that was right in line with the parable, for the blades on a corn stalk stand out there nice and green and full of life until that life is needed in the actual ear of corn that will form on the stalk later. God used those various movements to carry the life of that original church, though none of them had anything more than just fragments of the original. Out of every one of those movements, came some genuine believers that walked in all the truth that was available to them in their day, and God accepted them. Like we said earlier in the message, God never requires more from anyone, than what they have access to. It is those that flatly refuse to move on with God, that He goes off and leaves. He just lets them run their little programs and reproduce as many like them as they can, but they can never produce a son of God. Most of what you see out here in this world of religion is nothing more than spiritual abortion and miscarriages. The birth that they get so excited about is illegitimate birth. They have been playing around with Satan. Bro. Jackson, why would you say a thing like that? Simply because the apostle Paul said it first. He was the apostle to the Gentiles, and wrote more of the New Testament epistles than anyone else, and when he wrote to the Hebrew assembly, (Heb. 12:6-8) he said this. “For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” That simply means, you are church members, with a religious philosophy, and religious ideas, but it is all carnal, you do not have the reality of the Spirit of God that it takes to give life. I do not say that to deliberately hurt anyone; I am only interested in telling you what the Bible says. Time has proven that you can take any truth, and go to extremes with it, and miss God altogether. Therefore some took Calvin’s eternal security, and allowed the Spirit of God to keep them in the middle of the road with it, and God accepted them, but those who just made a legalistic doctrine out of it, God rejected. It is as simple as that. It was the same with Knox’s predestination, and Wesley’s sanctification. Wesley accepted what God had been restoring through these other men, but he added, “We believe also, that without peace and holiness no man shall see the Lord.” A man who truly believes, should separate himself from the filthy practices of the world and live a holy life before the Lord. That is what Wesley taught and it sparked a great move of God. That was your fourth blade pushing out there on the stalk. It wasn’t very long until that blade fulfilled its purpose and came to a standstill though. When it became obvious that Methodism wasn’t going any further, out came another blade, the Nazarenes, which actually came out from Methodism, and then, another, Pilgrim Holiness. All the blades were getting into position on the stalk. What is it? The church of the living God, coming back to its original. Hallelujah! Back to its open pollinated identity. She is no longer a hybrid; she is leaving that. Oh, Satan is still planting, but he did not get these others cut down, and they kept on growing. Then out on the end of all that, came what is known as the Pentecostal revival. This was not blades. This was the little shucks beginning to appear on the upper portion of the stalk. (Follow my thought now.) As these little shucks begin to appear we can say, Right there is where the corn will be. But in reality: there is nothing at all present yet, that even resembles corn. For years though, Pentecost actually believed they were that actual original, in likeness, all because they spoke in tongues. Brother, the world is full of people who speak in tongues, today, but they are a far cry from any apostolic identity. That original church did not major on speaking in tongues; their main objective was to be just like Jesus.


TONGUES AND EDUCATION – TWO DECEIVERS


Saints: There are two or three things that I mention quite a bit, and some of you may get the idea that I am against them completely; therefore let me take a moment to assure you that, first of all, I am not against a person getting an education. Everyone should, if they have the opportunity. I am only against the idea that education means anything to God. There are not enough educational degrees in this world to draw you any closer to God than someone else who maybe can just barely read and write a little. That is all I ever mean to imply when I say something along that line. Secondly, I very often say something about all this emphasis that is placed upon speaking in tongues, and some of you may think I am against that, but I am not. Speaking in tongues is a genuine gift of the Holy Ghost, and it has its place in the life of a born again believer, but shame on you, if you believe speaking in tongues proves that you have the Holy Ghost. Demons speak in tongues more than the Holy Ghost ever does, because it is one of Satan’s avenues of deception. Even this character that publishes one of these smut magazines, speaks in tongues and thinks he received the Holy Ghost, but how much is their tongue speaking changing their lives? That is my question. If what they received was a new birth experience, it will clean their lives up, pull them out of spiritual Babylon, and away from sodomy, and every other perversion of God’s original. God does not need pictures of naked women and men, and all those filthy stories to return His true church back to its original identity. The sad truth about it all, is that Christendom as a whole has drifted so far from God, they do not even care any more. That is why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that God would send strong delusion on those that have no love for the truth, that they might believe Satan’s lie and be damned. When people get so careless, or so obsessed with their religious rituals, that they have no love for truth, nor for God’s standard of holiness, God Himself will send delusion upon them, and they will think everything is alright, when in truth, they are on the threshold of spiritual disaster. I hate to say it, but there are thousands like that, all around you, wherever you go. They will talk religion with you, but they will not accept revealed truth from you. That is why I say, we ought not try to tell everything we know, to just anyone who wants to discuss or argue religion, for many times, you will be casting your precious pearls before swine, if you do.


POLLINATION MESSAGE


Let us return to our parable now. We have the little shuck on the stalk, so next comes the tassel. Are you following me? Do you remember what the tassel does? I know yo