The Law and the Prophets Were Until John – 1981, March

1981-03-The-Law-And-The-Prophets-Were-Until-John

HAVE YOUR EVER WONDERED WHAT JESUS MEANT WHEN HE SAID, THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS WERE UNTIL JOHN: SINCE THAT TIME THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS PREACHED, AND EVERY MAN PRESSETH INTO IT? HAVE YOU WONDERED HOW A PROPHET WITH AN OLD TESTAMENT ANOINTING COULD FIT SCRIPTURALLY INTO THIS AGE? I KNOW SOME OF YOU HAVE; THEREFORE, BY THE HELP OF GOD WE WILL TRY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, AND HELP YOU TO SEE GOD’S PURPOSE IN IT ALL.


WE WILL ALSO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT MATERIALISM, FALSE DOCTRINE, AND THE FAN IN JESUS’ HAND. READ THE ARTICLE, AND ASK GOD TO REVEAL THESE VARIOUS POINTS TO YOU, FOR AS LONG AS YOU ONLY HAVE A HEAD KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD: THE DEVIL WILL TAKE YOU AROUND AND AROUND, BUT A SPIRITUAL REVELATION WILL SETTLE YOU FOREVER.


TEXT – LUKE 16-16


We are not publishing this message just to be argumentative, but rather to answer some questions that various one’s have written me about, in the past year. I did not reply to the individual’s questions at the time, for I felt that time itself would present the opportunity to deal with them in a complete message, if the will of God moved in that direction. Now, as has been the case with other subjects, it seems that this is on my mind, and that it is time to give an answer. I just pray that God will give me utterance to get it all out for you, as plain as I see it myself. Now the question is this; Bro. Jackson, how do you reconcile your teaching about a prophet in this age with Luke 16:16? Jesus spoke about John the Baptist and the kingdom of God in that verse; therefore we will read the text, and take up our thought from there.


WRAPPED UP IN TRADITIONS


Open your Bibles to Luke 16:16, and let us see what there is in that verse that could trouble people so much. “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” People in our day are no different than they were in the day when Jesus spoke those words. When someone begins to teach something from the Bible, that is a little contrary to their old traditionally established religious teachings, they immediately close their eyes to any investigation of the scriptures, and spend their time finding fault with the person who would dare to teach something different. That is what the Pharisees did to Jesus. They just simply could not bear to hear Him teaching the people something that they themselves did not know anything about. In this particular setting, Jesus was teaching His disciples the value of true stewardship when the Pharisees began to deride Him. He looked over at them, and said, (15) “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Then He continued, and spoke the words which we are using for our text: (16) “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Some take that to mean that there could never be another prophet for any reason whatsoever, regardless of what we find written in other scriptures, and they are not always kind and gentle in the ways they disagree with you. That is why I have said many times, Religion is cruel. It was not the dope addicts and drunks, nor the bums, that cried, Crucify Him, when Pilot asked what they would have him do with Jesus. It was those religious people who were supposed to be a light to the Gentiles, those who had the lively religious oracles, and the law and covenant of God. Yet they crucified the very one that came to give all that a living reality. That which the law and the prophets looked forward to, they rejected. They spoke often to the Messiah that was to come and deliver them, and when He came, what did they do with Him? They rejected Him. When John, the forerunner of the Messiah, came on the scene, what did they do with him? They rejected him. Why did they reject them? Because neither of them came according to their pre-conceived opinions of how the scriptures were going to be fulfilled. Of course they wanted their Messiah to come, but they expected Him to be born of one of the elite families in their social realm; they could never accept the idea that God would allow such a worthy person to be born under the conditions that Jesus was born under. In other words, they were just like denominational Christendom today; they wanted all the benefits that the scriptures spoke of, but they did not want to walk in the light of truth that those scriptures contained. That same old religious spirit has passed right on down through every age, and in our day we see its efforts magnified. It seems that almost everyone you meet is religious, but very few of them know anything about true Bible Christianity. They love to speak of grandma’s religion and all of their religious works, but the very minute you mention anything about God sending a prophet to this age, they reveal what is hidden under their outer shell. “There is no such thing in our day,” they will say. Did not Jesus say, “The law and the prophets were until John, and since that time the kingdom of God is preached?” Don’t be trying to sell us on that idea of a prophet to this age. Jesus fulfilled all the law and the prophets, and gave us the plan of salvation; therefore, we do not need another prophet. How many of you have heard people talk like that? They are wrapped up in their traditions, and feel that God would never do anything without clearing it with their group first. I have news for all who think like that; God is not even in their little denominational club, and neither is He in these large denominational social clubs; He is in His true people, by His Spirit that indwells them, and He is revealing things to them that are hidden from the denominational clubs.


THAT ELIJAH ANOINTING


One thing that He has revealed from His word, that they (denominational people) cannot see, is Malachi 4:5 and 6, which speaks of an Elijah anointing that is to rest upon someone, and the purpose for that anointing. Let us read those two verses, (5) “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: (6) 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.” Brothers and Sisters: We all know that the great day of the Lord was when Jesus came in His first advent, and He is the very one who said, (Matthew 18:3-4) (3) “Except ye be converted, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this LITTLE CHILD, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” But what did Malachi say? “I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the GREAT DAY of the Lord.” Now that might not mean as much to us if we did not have the words of the angel of God that appeared to Zacharias, the father of John. But we do have those words, and they are found in Luke 1:15-17. (15) “For he (John) 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. (16) And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. (17) And he shall go before Him (the Lord Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elias, (or Elijah) to turn the hearts of the FATHERS to the CHILDREN, (This is what Malachi said Elijah would do.) and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” You will notice that the angel did not quote all of what Malachi had said; he only applied part of it to the ministry of John. Therefore, that still leaves something further for that Elijah anointing, on out beyond John the Baptist. We will get to that later, but right now I want to say something in connection with our text scripture, and I want you to pay attention to how I say it. John truly had an Old Testament prophet anointing, but he was not a prophet that was to write another book to be added to the Bible. His Old Testament anointing was for the purpose of introducing and ushering in another dispensation of time; he was a preaching prophet. He fulfilled scriptures for the first time, that had been hanging for years. He revealed scriptures that pertained to the first advent of Jesus Christ. Therefore, from the standpoint of his total ministry, you would have to conclude that he was a bridge between the Old Testament and the New, and he fulfilled precisely, everything that had been written of him in the writings of the Old Testament prophets. He came on the scene a little ahead of Jesus, and begun to call men to repentance. He prepared a people to receive their Messiah. He led them to a place where they could receive truth, in repentance and humility, as it is with a little child. When you tell your little children something, they do not stand there arguing about whether you have told them the truth or not; they just believe you. Therefore, since Jesus used that as an example, we would have to say that John was anointing to call some people away from their traditional concepts of the scriptures, and get them in such a state of mind that when Jesus began to teach them about the kingdom of God, they would receive it gladly. Now we all readily agree that John was a prophet, but he was a preaching prophet; he did not add anything to the chronology of the scriptures. The only record we have of his ministry, is what other New Testament writers recorded in their writings.


A TURNING POINT IN TIME


What did Jesus mean when He said, “The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached?” What He is actually having reference to, is the fact that until John’s hour, in order to be acceptable to God, everyone had to keep the law of Moses, and take heed to the words of the prophets that God sent. But John’s ministry marked a turning point for mankind; they would no longer be justified by the strict letter of the law of Moses and the prophets, for the kingdom of God was opened up to them, and that is a work of grace and mercy. From John’s ministry, on forward, no one would be compelled to keep the letter of the law for justification. The law was given by God, written by Moses, and ministered to the people by God’s servants, but it was only for the purpose of pushing man’s sin debt forward until such time as the debt would be paid in full. The law furnished types and shadows of the perfect sacrifice that would one day pay the sin debt for the whole human race, but once you reach what those types and shadows were pointing to, you do not need them anymore. That is exactly what Jesus was saying to the people. All of those sacrifices and offerings were pointing to the finished work at Calvary. Whatever each sacrifice typed, it was all fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The law was righteous, but man, being a sinful creature by nature, was not able to live up to the righteousness of the law. It was only as he fulfilled the mandatory obligations of the law that God reckoned life to him; therefore, it required a continual offering of sacrifices, the blood of bulls, goats, and so forth, but they could only push the yearly sins forward; they could never cancel the sin debt. It was a continual process, carried on through generation after generation, and century after century, all pointing forward to a time when God Himself would provide a perfect sacrifice, which would pay the sin debt for all mankind, from Adam all the way to the end of time.


LONG RANGE PROPHECIES


As time moved on, and the Israelites moved from one state of apostasy to another, God began to raise up prophets in their midst, to rebuke them for their evil ways, and turn them back to the Lord. You can find the names of many prophets recorded in the pages of the Old Testament, but they were not all writing prophets that would write and add to the chronology of the scriptures. Take Elijah for instance. He was a great prophet; much is written about him, but he did not write one paragraph of the scriptures. Neither did Elisha. They are only referred to as they lived and ministered in their hour of time. But when Elisha left the scene, God began to raise up another type of prophet. These were called prophesying prophets. They made long range predictions of things to come, even the great plan of God for the redemption of lost mankind was unfolded through the writings of these prophets. God would raise them up in their particular generation; they would rebuke the people for their departure from the word of God, and for their idol worship, and many times be the means by which God would deliver them out of hard circumstances. The Israelites were a rebellious type of people that were never consistent in following the word of the Lord; therefore, it was necessary for God to keep sending them prophets, but those same prophets that rebuked and ministered to Israel, also began to speak and record long range prophecies concerning a Messiah that would come to deliver Israel from her oppressors, and sit in the seat of David, ruling with a strong arm, and of a time of peace, and how all nations would come to Jerusalem to worship, and so forth. Just listen to a few words from Isaiah chapter11, spoken more than 700 years B.C., but carry all the way into the millennium. (1) “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: (2) And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord: (3) And He shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: (4) But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. (5) And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. (6) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” We will stop there, for in those few verses you can see how the spirit of God working through Isaiah the prophet, reached out into the future more than twenty seven hundred years prophesying things that would come to pass. Looking back to Isaiah 9:6 & 7, we find these words recorded, concerning Christ Jesus. (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. (7) Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” That little portion of scripture could help a lot of people get straightened out on the Godhead, if they would only absorb what is written there. Let us look at a couple more prophesies before moving on. More than 500 years B.C., Zechariah spoke these words, 3:8, “Here now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” That Branch is Jesus Christ, verse 12 and 13 in chapter 6, opens it up a little more. (12) “And speak unto him saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord: (13) Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the GLORY, and shall SIT, and RULE upon HIS THRONE.” Now turn back to chapter 4, and let us see there, something that will take us to Revelation 11:4, into the first half of the seventieth week of Daniel. Verse 1, “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, (2) And said unto me, What seest thou: And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick of gold, with bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: (here it is now) (3) And the two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. (skip to verse 11) Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof: (12) And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? (13) And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. (14) Then said he, These are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Remember now, These words were uttered more than 600 years before the apostle John, on the isle of Patmos, wrote the words we are about to read from Revelation 11:4. Let me say this, and then we will read that verse. No one prophet wrote the whole plan of God. One by one their writings were added to the chronology of the writing prophets. Each one wrote what the Spirit of God revealed to him, and not one of them ever contradicted what another one had wrote, and at no time did God ever have two of them on the scene at the same time. We are going to read that verse from Revelation 11:4, now, to back up Zechariah’s prophecy and you will see that at that time God will have two prophets on the scene at the same time. We will save most of our comments on that for the conclusion of the message though.


FULFILLING GOD’S PROJECTED PICTURE


When grace for the Gentiles runs out, and God again starts marking time for the Jews, the last week of Daniel’s 70 prophetic weeks will be in motion, and these two prophets will fulfill their role. Let us read verses 3 and 4. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothes in sackcloth. (4) These are THE TWO OLIVE TREES, AND THE TWO CANDLESTICKS STANDING BEFORE THE GOD OF THE EARTH.” An Old Testament prophet, and a New Testament apostle both wrote the same thing more than 600 years apart, and more than 1900 years, or maybe we should say almost 1900 years before the actual event takes place, figuring from John’s writings, in 96 A.D. Do not bother to say, Why will God have two prophets on the scene at the same time, for as God closes out this age both to the Jews as well as the Gentiles, getting ready for the millennium, you are going to see Him doing a lot of things you never thought He would do. Up to that hour, He has allowed people to play around with His word, build their great programs, and get everything so messed up, that it looks almost impossible for anyone to get over the mountainous heap of forms and rituals, to find any reality, but let me tell you, When God gets through shaking all of that, there will be nothing left but a pile of spiritual rubble. Only that which is anchored upon the revelated word of God will stand the final test. Your 50 years of Bible theology will all go down the drain. Jesus is not going to come according to your theology; He is going to come according to His word. Theologians have projected all sorts of theories as to why Jesus should have come so many years ago, and could not, because someone failed to do so and so. But that is not true at all; He will come again, exactly, and precisely according to the total plan of God for the ages. In other words, every verse of scripture that builds the whole projected picture that God saw when He counseled with Himself, before He ever started to create anything, must fall into place before He closes this thing out. He came the first time, according to His word, and the theologians of that day missed it, because their theology had them blinded to the word of God that was being fulfilled in their day. When He comes again, it will be the same way, for men love their denominational theories more than they love truth. They try to interpret what the prophets wrote, and the prophets themselves did not understand what they were prophesying by the Spirit of God. Now my point is this, Those prophets spoke under the anointing of the Spirit of God, not understanding the things they were prophesying, because it was not for their day, the apostle Paul who had a great revelation of what those prophets wrote said, “The natural man (a person without the Holy Ghost) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But, Bro. Jackson, that applies to the man of the world. Brothers and Sisters, listen to me. Anyone who tries to interpret the deep things to God apart from a genuine revelation by the Holy Ghost, is just as far from the truth as the man of the world who couldn’t care less. If you do not believe what I am saying, listen to some of the prominent preachers of our day, as they come on the radio and television teaching on the Godhead, and Revelation, and Daniel, and how man fell in the beginning, and you who are spiritual, will immediately see just how far wrong their interpretations are. These things to them, are just like the mystery of Christ (As it was called) concerning God’s plan for the salvation of Gentile people, was to the Jewish rabbis. Prophet after prophet, from generation to generation, spoke words that built into a mystical picture to those Jewish rabbis. They just simply could not understand those things, but they had their theories.


UPSETTING THEORIES


Listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the church of Ephesus. Ephesians 3:1, “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, (2) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you -ward: (3) How that BY REVELATION He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote before in few words, (4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ (5) Which in other ages was NOT MAN MADE unto the sons of men, as it now REVELATED unto His holy apostles and prophets BY THE SPIRIT; (6) That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” There are natural minded religious people, even in our day, that do not yet understand that the mystery of Christ (as spoken of in various scriptures) was revealed by the Spirit of God, to those first age disciples, 1900 years ago. In other words, understanding the scriptures in their revelatory scope, is more than just interpreting them with our natural mind. The Holy Ghost must put the pieces in their proper place, in order for the puzzle to become a beautiful picture. Those first age scribes and Pharisees had the writings of Isaiah, Joel, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and all the others, but they could not put the prophetic picture together. All they had were a lot of theories, which they had reasoned out in their seminaries. They were haughty, high minded, and felt that if anyone wanted to know anything about God, he would have to learn it from them, but, What happened? One day they heard that there was a crude looking fellow, out there in the wilderness of Judaea preaching, about the kingdom of heaven. I can just hear them responding to that news, “Who does he think he is? He is trying to teach those people about God, and he doesn’t even know how to dress himself properly. Some of you priests and Levites, go down there, and find out who that fellow is.” Old John was standing out there by the river of Jordan, REPENT YE: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND! People were coming from every direction to be baptized by him, for he was preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees in the crowd, he looked at them, and said O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring froth fruits worthy or repentance, and do not bother to say, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that god is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. He knew what they were thinking, so he just headed them off. “The axe is laid at the root of the trees, every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” They had never heard anyone speak like that. He spoke with authority, and without fear. When those priests and Levites asked, Who art thou? John said, I am not the Christ. What then? Are you Elias? No. Well, are you that prophet? (Meaning that prophet spoken of in Duet. 18:15, which actually was referring to Jesus Christ) No, I am not! Who are you then? We have to give an answer to those who sent us. What have you got to say about yourself? “I am the VOICE of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.” John is just fulfilling what the writing prophets had written about him. No more, and no less.


WHAT THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH DOES


When Jesus said, the law the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached. He was merely stating that the ministry of John was a dividing line between two dispensations. Before John came, those who followed the word of the Lord God, had certain mandatory laws they must keep, laws that were given to Moses, from God, for the Israelites. They had also, the writings of the prophets which spoke of things to come, some of which was concerning the very ministry of John. There stood John fulfilling all that was written about him, so they would have no need to look any further, for that, in the prophets. Then, since he was introducing, or paving the way for the Messiah that was to come, they would no longer need to look to the prophets for that. Jesus came, and those who had been prepared by the ministry of John, received Him. He taught them for 3½ years, then offered Himself as a sacrifice to pay their sin debt, and free them from the mandatory keeping of the law of Moses. Therefore, no longer would God’s servants point hungry souls back to the law of Moses, but rather to the cross of Calvary. You have to get that word UNTIL, straightened out in your mind. It applies to the setting of our text, but do not try to apply it to every other scripture, or you will run up against a brick wall. Technically the law was still in affect until the supreme price for man’s sin against God was paid at Calvary, but Jesus used the ministry of John as a marker between the old covenant and the new covenant, between the law age and the grace age. From John, forward, the message is different. Now the message is repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Then, on the day of Pentecost, after the sin debt had been settled, Peter took it one step farther. “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 Ghosts.” If we can get a true vision of what God did through the ministry of John, or the place that John had in what God did to open up the grace age, then we should have no problem understanding what that same anointing on another man was for, as the grace age begins to close out. If we can see how John faded into the background, and allowed Jesus to be magnified, after he had fulfilled the first half of Malachi 4:5 and 6, then we ought to be able to allow Bro. William Branham to fade into the background, and allow Jesus Christ to be magnified, after he fulfilled the 2nd, and last part of Malachi 4:5 and 6. Just as the fathers of John’s day had to be ministered to by that God identifying spirit of Elijah, in order for them to receive the gospel in childlike faith, so did the children, the spiritual descendants of those fathers, have to be ministered to, by that same spirit, that same God identifying anointing that was upon Elijah and John, in order for them to be returned to the truth that their spiritual fathers believed. That anointing is always the same. It cries out against apostasy, and points people to the true God. It reveals the true God to the people, but it never exalts the human vessels to try to take the place of God. It is only carnal minds that do that, because they are not able to spiritually discern what is happening.


KNOWN BY HIS FRUIT


Open your Bibles to Matthew, chapter 11, and let us see how Jesus vindicated the man, John, even though John had actually doubted in his mind, after he was put in prison. Now the text scripture was used for this message was spoken by Jesus, in 33 A.D., toward the close of His own ministry, but the setting of Matthew 11, was in 31 A.D., in the early stages of His ministry. John has been taken prisoner because he rebuked Herod the tetrarch, for taking his brothers’s wife from him, and for other evils which he had done, and in prison, John begins to wonder if that one he proclaimed to be the Lamb of God, was really who he believed Him to be. His doubts were very humanlike, but did not detract one thing from what he had been anointed to do previously. He had been anointed to awaken a people to the spiritual reality that their Messiah was coming, and he had done that. He was a voice in his hour. The Rabbis had their interpretations of how God was going to fulfill those scriptures pertaining to the Messiah, but when God began to fulfill those scriptures, it was not as they had supposed it would be; therefore God set a voice in the land, to cry out against apostasy, and awaken a people to the reality of what was about to take place in their day. As we pick up the setting here in Matthew 11, the multitudes have left John, and are now following Jesus. But there are yet a few loyal souls who are sentimentally attached to John, and we see two of them here, as we begin reading in verse (2), “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, (3) And said unto them, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” Jesus did not rebuke them, and find fault with John because he had doubted, He merely called their attention to the works that were being done by Him. He said unto them, (4) “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: (He did not take them to the scriptures and say, Now you read such and such, and you will know. They had been witnessing the miracles that were taking place, and John knew what the prophets had said He (Jesus) would do, when He came, so He just sent them back to tell John what they had seen and heard.) (5) 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.” That is what they were to go back and tell John. While they were gone, Jesus took that opportunity to vindicate John’s ministry. That causes me to feel that, if, while John was in prison, and could no longer stand and speak for himself, his life and ministry was vindicated as to what God’s purpose had been in it all, there should be a justifiable place in this age of perversion and confusion to stand and do the same for the human instrument that God made in this hour, to do much the same as John did then. If Jesus had come in His first advent, without John first coming to prepare the people to receive Him: then everyone would have missed Him. Likewise in our day, if that Elijah anointing had not rested on a human vessel, that stood calling spiritually asleep people out of their denominational traditions, and back to the word of God, we would all still be spiritually unprepared to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, or to be received of Him. He is not coming back for a people that is faithful to their traditional routines and rituals; He is coming for a people that has been washed clean by the washing of His word.


JESUS VINDICATES JOHN


Let us continue reading. After Jesus told John’s disciples what they should say to John, He added, verse 6, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (7) And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” Try to catch the picture of comparison here. You have all, no doubt, seen swampy areas where cattails and little bamboo canes grow up out of the water. The winds blow those little reeds in every which direction. That is like a man who preaches one thing today, and the next time you hear him, he is preaching something contrary, and so on, never able to stand steadfast. In other words, Jesus is asking the multitudes who had followed John, Is that the kind of man you saw standing out there in the water baptizing repentant sinners? Of course not. You saw a man that knew what he was there to do, and he did it without wavering, and without respect of persons. (8) “But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings palaces.” No! They did not go out to see one of those Hollywood television evangelists, with his two toned shoes, and his nine hundred dollars suit, and bushy, uncut hair, with half a can of hair spray holding it in place. What they saw was a man, dressed in a piece of old camel’s skin, who went around poking his hand in holes in rocks, getting wild honey, and catching and eating the legs off of grasshoppers. He ate wild honey and locusts. Surely you do not think those locusts were 5 or 6 pound creatures, running around out there in the desert, that John had to kill and cook up real nice before he ate them. No. They were just overgrown grasshoppers, but the point is this, John was not going to be obligated to anyone. He had a message burning in his soul, and his only concern was to preach it. Clothing and food were secondary. No wonder the elite of his day had such a hard time: it took a lot for them even to bear the sight of him, much less to believe that he was a prophet of God. Verse 9, “But what went ye out for to see? A prophet?” Brothers and Sisters: There are a lot of people who, when they give reference to Bro. William Branham who fulfilled much the same ministry as John, make much out of that verse. They build it to such exaggerated proportions, “Oh he was more than a prophet, he was God.” That was not the sense in which Jesus said that about John, so why should it be any more so, when it is applied to Bro. William Branham? Only a carnal minded Gentile could think like that. He was more than a prophet, only in the sense that he was chosen to proceed the Lord, and prepare the way for Him. Verse 10, makes that clear to me; I hope it does to you. Notice how, when Jesus said, and more than a prophet, He went right on to say, (10) “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” Malachi was the one who prophesied that. Don’t you think he would have loved to have been the one who would fulfill that prophecy? I believe he would have. Isaiah was the one who prophesied, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” Do you believe Isaiah might have been considered to be more than a prophet, if he had had the special honor of actually introducing their Messiah, to the children of Israel? I believe so. But that is all the significance I see in such a statement, and I do not believe Jesus meant for anyone to see more than that. Those other prophets had prophesied about a Messiah that was to come, but John had the special honor of actually introducing their Messiah, to the children of Israel. That is exactly why he was more than a prophet; he was that special messenger of Malachi 3:1. That did not make John, God. Neither did it mean that he had a better moral life than those other prophets, he just had a greater opportunity than they had. Malachi prophesied, “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: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” John was the messenger that would prepare the way for the messenger of the covenant, which was Jesus Christ. Jesus was the messenger, or mediator of a new covenant. Not a political covenant that would figure into the weeks of Daniel’s prophecy, but a covenant of grace, to replace that covenant which God made with the house of Israel when He led them out of Egypt. Paul explained it in the 8th chapter of Hebrews, beginning with verse 1. We will pick up verse 6, for our purpose here. (6) “But now hath he (Christ Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (8) For finding fault with them, He saith, 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: (9) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (Paul is quoting this from the 31st chapter of Jeremiah.) (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: 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. (11) 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. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (13) In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxed old is ready to vanish away.” I am taking the time to clarify this covenant that Malachi mentioned, so you will not try to apply it to the covenant of Daniel 9:27, which the Antichrist makes with Israel and other nations. The covenant Jesus mediated, was a covenant of grace, to replace the old covenant of the law. This new covenant is planted in the hearts of the children of God, by the Holy Ghost; thereby giving them a revelation of what the types and shadows of the old covenant pointed to. This new covenant is what Jesus had reference to the night He took the passover with His disciples. He passed the cup of wine to them, saying, 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. He was the mediator of this better covenant, and it was His very own blood that sealed it, or made it to become effective. No more would God be represented to the people in a box called the ark of the covenant. Now He is in the body of His word, dwelling in the hearts of believers. That makes Jesus Christ the mediator of a better covenant, just like Paul said.


GET THE STORY STRAIGHT


Brothers and Sisters, I want you everyone to pay attention to me now. There is not scripture anywhere in the Bible that makes room for a 3rd covenant! DID YOU HEAR ME? THERE IS NO SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS FOR A THIRD COVENANT! If there is a third covenant, there has to be blood shed to seal it. Where is that blood? The first covenant was ordained, and sanctified, by the blood of bulls and goats, all of which pointed to the perfect One that was to come. When He came, He set in motion, and sanctified the second covenant with His own blood, and the apostle Paul referred to that covenant, as the everlasting covenant; (Hebrews 13:20) that leaves no room for another one. I know some of you do not even know why I am saying these things, but I am going to tell you why. There are a lot of carnal minded people running loose in the world tonight, claiming to be some kind of spiritual leaders that have a great revelation, that Bro. William Branham was the mediator of a new covenant, a 3rd covenant. That is just as much Antichrist as praying to Mary. They are not satisfied to let him be acclaimed God’s prophet messenger to the Laodicean church age; they have to surround his name with some great mystery, claiming that he was more than that. But they cannot even keep their story straight, for in one breath they will say that he was a prophet messenger, to restore truth to the church, and then turn right around and tell you to lay your Bible aside, and live by the Spoken Word books, and particularly, by the Seven Seals book. Anyone with any spiritual insight at all would be quick to realize that if he was sent to return a people back to the Bible that they had gotten away from, he certainly would not be anointed to preach something that would take people out of the Bible again. That is just plain common sense, when you stop to think about it. I sat under his ministry for years, and I never heard him teach anything that was designed to lead people away from the Bible. What I heard loud and clear, above everything else he said, was his constant screaming, GET BACK TO THE BIBLE! GET AWAY FROM THOSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS! Some of you may not like to hear me talk about this the way I do, but I feel that it is important. We get letters, almost every week, from poor confused souls that have been beat over the head with some preacher’s spiritual club, and threatened, because they just simply cannot agree with all of this garbage that has been attached to Bro. William Branham’s name. I wish some of you would just take the time to read how God dealt with certain priests and monks during the Dark Ages, to get them back into the Bible, then tell me if you still think God sent a prophet to our age, to get us back out of the Bible again. If I am speaking to anyone that has ever been guilty of saying, I am going to believe what the prophet said, no matter what the Bible says, you are ten times worse than a Catholic priest. You will receive four-fold more judgment than any of them, for you have crucified the truth in order to reach such a place. If any of you think these words are bold; it is because I am alarmed at the way preachers are playing with crowds of people in this age. I am alarmed at the extreme measures they will go to, to dodge the truth. Truth is hated. The devil has always hated truth; he has always done everything he could to keep it hid, or to pervert it, and we are living in an age when he has plenty of help doing it.


WHAT CATHOLICS TEACH


I have always been amazed at how few words it takes for God to straighten up years of error, when He finally gets a person’s attention. I was reading a little testimony of a certain Catholic priest that lived in Montreal, Canada, born in 1809. All his whole life, God had dealt with him about the Bible. He was highly educated, and honored by the Catholic diocese of Quebec, as one of the most educated and eloquent speakers in the Catholic Church. (He was also a friend of Abraham Lincoln in his later years, and was the one that warned President Lincoln, not to let that spirit get in America.) On one particular Sunday, he was asked by the bishop to preach on the subject of why they pray through the virgin mother, Mary, the mother of Jesus, in order to get their prayers answered. They felt that he was highly qualified to deal with the subject, and he agreed to do it. As he stood before that great crowd of people, his message was to this affect. “What mother on earth does not love her son? What son does not love his mother? If a son loves his mother, and she comes asking him to reconsider some decision, he will usually do what mother wants him to do. We have all transgressed; we cannot go direct to Christ with our petitions, (Now you and I know we can, but this is how they had it all twisted out of place.) For He is royalty. You have to think of this in the same sense as if you had rebelled against an earthly king, and you wanted to plead your case; you first get a mediator, someone to go between and speak on your behalf. That is the way we plead our case before king Jesus, against whom we have transgressed. We know that the virgin mother loves us, and we know that she loves the Son, and that He loves her; therefore we believe that she definitely has the place as intercessor between us and Him. We believe that He will grant our petitions that His mother presents on our behalf.” He went on to expound on all the finer details of all that is involved, and had that great crowd in tears. (Modern day preachers enjoy telling sad stories that will get their congregations to boo-hooing, for then, they will literally stand on their heads proclaiming, what a great message that was, and he was no exception.) But what do you think happened when he went home that night, and kneeled down to pray and study? When he opened his Bible; it just fell open in such a way that his eyed looked directly at the words of Jesus in Luke 8:19-21. (19) “Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. (crowd) (20) And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. (21) And He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” When he finished reading those words, this priest went to bed thinking about it, and that same audible voice that had been speaking to him for quite sometime, said, Why did you lie? Why did you not preach my word? He had been praying night after night, Father, take that voice away. Don’t let it bother me anymore, not knowing that God was trying to get his attention. The essence of all this is, God finally got his attention through these few short words that Jesus spoke, and the man led more than 50 thousand souls out of that Catholic church system, and they settled out here in the state of Illinois. The Catholics ousted him, because he believed the Bible, and I see that same spirit among many that claim to be following Bro. William Branham’s teaching. If they were truly following Bro. William Branham’s teaching, they would love truth, like he did. They would love the Bible like he did. But, no! Many of them are ready to oust you from their assemblies, if they find out that you take the Bible as your final authority. That is why I say, Any person that would hold the Seven Seals book above the Bible is no different, and certainly no better off spiritually, than those Catholic priests who hold the word of the Pope above that of the Bible. What is the difference? You can believe me; God is not going to give anyone a revelation that will cause them to lay their Bible aside. To you who have done that, let me say this, You did not get your great revelation from the Spirit of God; it came from another spirit. Furthermore, I still believe the Bible, where it says, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Some of you have turned your backs on a lot of truth, and I am fully persuaded that God will hold you accountable for it. You cannot turn your back on truth, without paying the bill for it later. Bro. William Branham preached enough truth from the Bible, to put every true child of God back in the scriptures, but God also allowed him to say some things that has served to separate a lot of make-believers from among the flock, and you do not need me to point them out to you; just measure their message by the only yardstick that God has ever given, His holy, inspired word, the Bible.


OF THE SAME MIND


When Jesus vindicated John, He did it by the scriptures. John did exactly what the scriptures said he would do. He did not say anything that would take people away from the truth of the scrolls they had at that hour. “But there was a new covenant that followed, after those days,” some will say. Yes, but it was a covenant that God had announced by the mouth of His prophets, and it fell right in line with the scriptures. It fulfilled the scriptures. He was the messenger of Malachi 3:1, and Isaiah 40:3, and he was sent to announce something, and to prepare some people to receive what he was announcing. What was his message? Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. What did that mean? It meant, the law age is closing out; there is another dispensation being ushered in, and that dispensation, we all know, required the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, to put it in force. Jesus goes right on speaking of John, there in Matthew 11:11, and says, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” What a contrast! In verse 9, He had just said, “But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.” Who wouldn’t like to be looked to as a prophet? He was truly a prophet, and his great opportunity made him more than a prophet, yet the least one in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Why? How could that be? The kingdom of heaven is a dispensation of time, whereby the kingdom of God is in the hearts of His people, and His indwelling presence makes us sons of God. Therefore to be a son of God, regardless of how great or small, is greater than anything outside of that kingdom, for God has the same love for all of His children. Now the kingdom of God is not in you, until you receive Him by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but to have the very Spirit of God take up abode in you, is greater than anything that John ever was. That is just a simple fact, and does not detract anything from John, nor from what he did. In verse 12, Jesus goes on to say, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Many people read that verse, and apply the word, NOW, to our day, but Jesus made the application only for the few short months or maybe a year and a half, from the time John began to preach until the day Jesus spoke those words. John’s ministry began to open up this new dispensation, called the kingdom of heaven, but there was much opposition from the religious leaders of that hour, and they stood in the way of those who would enter in, causing them to have to force themselves with a steadfast attitude, I am going on; I will not stop, no matter what you do. There are always a lot of people opposed to anything new, regardless of whether it would be good or bad for them. They just simply do not want a change. These scribes and Pharisees were always out in the road, trying to stop those who were going to John’s baptism. No wonder Jesus said, What can I compare this generation to? John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Behold, a man gluttonous, and wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.” It is customary for Jewish people to drink wine, but you never see them getting drunk on it. However, the angel had said to Zacharias, John’s father, speaking of John, “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink,” so John was just fulfilling those words spoken by the angel. He kept himself separated from the customs of the people. He went to the wilderness, and ate wild honey and locusts, while on the other hand, Jesus was always eating and drinking with the people, and it was not unusual for Him to be in the home of what those religious leaders called, or referred to, as sinners. The human nature of John and Jesus were completely opposite. John was an isolationist, and liked to stay in the wilderness and in the desert. That is where he preached, and the people went out there to hear him. On the other hand, Jesus enjoyed being with people. He visited in the homes of various ones, talked with them, ate with them, and preached to them, and taught them, but they both did exactly what they were ordained to do. When it came to recognizing that old make-believer spirit in those scribes and Pharisees, they were both right to the point, also. John called them a generation of vipers, and asked them, “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Jesus called them serpents and vipers, and asked them, “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Jesus went one step farther and told a bunch of them that they were of their father, the devil. That was spoken to those great ecclesiastical trees, who stood there with their degrees branched out all over them. They just came out to make trouble, anytime truth threatened their hierarchy. John looked at them, and said, You bring forth fruit that will testify of your repentance: otherwise, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees, and every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire. His very words just simply cut a lot of those proud trees down.


LOVE AND HUMILITY EXEMPLIFIED


There are many things in the scriptures that may seem very insignificant to a lot of people, but they every one serve a certain purpose, and there are lessons to be learned from them. Take for instance, the Pharisee named Simon, that invited Jesus into his house for a meal. In such instances, it was customary for the host to see that the guests were furnished water to wash their hands and feet, but Simon had not even done that. Jesus sat there at the table just like He came in off the street, with the road dust still on Him. There came in also, a little woman who did not have a very good reputation in the city, but when she heard that Jesus was there, she bought an alabaster box of ointment, and came in, and stood at His feet weeping, and when her tears began falling on His feet, she dried them with the hair of her head. There is your lesson, or example of love and humbleness. It might not have been a very pretty picture, but Jesus saw it for what it was. On the other hand, the old Pharisee looked over, and saw what was happening, and said within himself, IF He were a prophet, He would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner. That old self-righteous Pharisee sat there choking on the sight of this, but just did not know how to deal with it. Jesus let it go on until the knot in Simon’s throat was about all he could take, then Jesus said, “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he said, Master, say on.” Jesus knew what he had been thinking, “IF HE WERE A PROPHET HE would know such and such.” That is just like this religious world of today. In their pious, self righteous, haughty ways, they act like they think any genuine man of God ought to just stop preaching and throw out any sinner who might come in to the assembly. But these are the very ones that the gospel is preached for. Those who feel that they are more righteous than the preacher can never receive anything, and Jesus knew exactly what was in old Simon’s mind that day. To get His point across to Simon, Jesus said, (Luke 7) (41) “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pense, and the other fifty. (42) And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (44) Jesus turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (45) Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.” In other words, (let me just paraphrase this) Simon, you did not even extend to me the usual and customary courtesies that a guest should receive, but this woman has gone much beyond that. Therefore I say to you, Her sins which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. He turned to the woman, saying, Thy sins are forgiven. Naturally that give those others even more reason to be critical of Him, and they said within their hearts, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? But Jesus looked at the woman, and said, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” In an incident such as this, you can find every kind of attitude being expressed. It just goes to show, no matter what you do, nor how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. Some will find fault with you if you eat, and others will find fault with you if you do not eat. Some will complain about the truth you preach, and others would jump right down your throat if they found you holding back the truth. Some criticize you if you have a nice car to drive, and there are always some who will criticize you, if you do not have a nice car. Saints: I am so glad that none of these are my final judge. Hallelujah! The same One that looked at that little woman, and said, Thy sins are forgiven; thy faith hath saved thee, is the only one that can render a true judgment, and my confidence is in Him tonight. Praise His name! I love Him. Old Simon was one of those proud Pharisees, one of those trees that John spoke to. We can only assume, as to why he ever invited Jesus into his home to eat, but it was probably done just to check Him out, and maybe to embarrass Him. He was not a disciple or he would not have been sitting over there saying within himself, ‘IF HE WERE A PROPHET, HE WOULD KNOW.” Nevertheless, the occasion furnished an opportunity for Jesus to exemplify exactly what the will of God is toward those who will humble themselves, and come to Him, no matter how sinful they may have been in the past. That little woman’s determination serves as an example of what Jesus meant by, “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” To go all the way with God requires a certain attitude and determination that could be described as violent. It is an attitude, I am not going to let anything stop me, no matter how much opposition I encounter. She could have looked at all those invited quests there in Simon’s house, and been afraid to go in, but she saw her opportunity to minister something to Jesus, to express her faith and love, so she went right on it.


STANDING FOR TRUTH


There are an awful lot of people who have the attitude, “If God wants me, He will drag me in somehow.” Maybe that is because they have received an out of focus glimpse of election and predestination, I do not know exactly why some people talk like that. But I do know, that when the Bible said, Go ye out to meet Him; it did not mean, just sit down somewhere and sit there until the Lord comes to get you. God requires us to step forth and take a stand for what we see to be the truth, and there is no allowance made for hurt feelings. Some will say, You just do not know how much I have been hurt, trying to stand for truth. From now on, I am just going to stay at home and mind my own business, and wait for the Lord to come. You had better watch out! That attitude does not display the kind of determination that possesses the kingdom of God. Do you not realize that if God be in you, He will not sit still? That is not the kind of attitude that got John’s head cut off, Stephen stoned to death, and Peter crucified upside down. If you truly are a predestined seed of God: when truth strikes your soul, you will stand right up in the midst of all those who persecute you, and still hold on to that truth. They could feed you to the lions, as in days gone by, but you can never give up that truth. If you think Christianity is all quiet and peaceful, with nothing to disturb your tranquility, you surely have never read your Bible. Christianity started out with a fight, and it will require a fight all the way through. I am talking about a fight with the enemy of our souls. Satan will not give up on you, as long as there is a breath of life left in you. Why do you think Stephen was stoned to death? He was stoned to death, because the head of the church, so to speak, the Sanhedrein, did not like what he was preaching. They were afraid they would loose their people. Couldn’t Stephen have just kept quiet, and still been a Christian? He was confronted by a satanically inspired gang that put him to the test, and when they could not cope with the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake, they dragged him up before the council, and set up false witness to accuse him. It was a situation where he either had to put up, or shut up, but he had something burning deep down within his soul, that would not let him shut up. He stood right up before the council, and said, (Acts 7:2-3) (2) “Men, brethren, and fathers hearken; (Listen to me!) The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, (3) And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.” He went on to give them a brief history of the dealings of God with Abraham and his seed, and brought the story right on down through the ages, and right up to their present hour. He told them about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus Christ, and how that Jesus fulfilled Deut. 18:15, where Moses had said to the children of Israel, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear.” As he came close to the end of his testimony, he really came down on them. In Acts 7:51, we read, “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. (52) Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: (53) Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” When they heard those God anointed words: they were cut to the heart, and began to claw at him, and gnash on him with their teeth. They screamed, stopped up their ears, (foamed at the mouth, I imagine) and all ran upon him at once. They cast him out of the city, and stoned him to death, while Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee, looked on. God was pleased with what Stephen had done, for he drew back the curtain of heaven, and allowed him to get a glimpse of His glory, and to see Jesus already robed with the right hand authority of God.


WHO WERE OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS?


That same truth got Paul into trouble many times after that, for even though he was a Pharisee named Saul, at the time of Stephen’s death, it was not long until God dealt with him, and humbled him, and filled him with the same Spirit that had made Stephen so bold that day. When you get over to the 23rd chapter of Acts, you find him standing before the council giving his testimony. He then had that same flame burning within his soul. That is the kind of affect truth will have when it strikes the soul of a predestinated seed. We will not all have to be tested to that degree, but you can take my word for it; Satan will test every one of you. Some kind of spiritual persecution will come upon every one of us to test our revelation, and try our faith. Regardless of how hard it may be on your flesh though; if you have a genuine revelation, you will not recant. In your heart you are going to say, It’s still right, no matter what they do to me. Peter, James, John, and every one of them had that same revelation in their soul, and they are the fathers that the ministry of Elijah was to turn us back to. If the ministry of Bro. William Branham has turned you to anything else, other than the revelation that those fathers had: you did not hear the message he delivered to this age. You have been listening to another voice. What I heard him say, was, I have preached the same thing Paul preached. Therefore I ask you, What did you hear? If he preached the same thing Paul preached, he preached that Jesus Christ was God manifested in flesh, and, that, in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. 2:9) Speaking through the apostle John, Jesus said, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13) How can you squeeze another God into the picture, without crucifying the truth Bro. William Branham restored us back to?


GREAT DAY – DREADFUL DAY


As Jesus continued to speak of John the Baptist there in Matthew chapter 11, He said, (13) “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (14) And if ye will receive it, THIS IS THAT ELIAS, (ELIJAH) which was for to come.” Now that verse 14, takes you right back to Malachi 4:5 & 6, and Luke 1:17, and verse 10, takes you back to Malachi 3:1, and when you get them all tied together, by revelation, you can see just how silly a lot of this religious junk really is, that is being crammed down people’s throats by so called, followers of Bro. William Branham’s ministry. Like we said earlier, Malachi was the last of the Old Testament writing prophets, but God spoke a prophecy through him, that has served as a great light to us, here at the closing of this age. It was spoken to the Jews, and they looked for that Elijah that was to come, but most of them failed to recognize him, when it was only His anointing that came, because it was on a man that, to them, just simply did not fit their preconceived ideas of what was to come. Let us read it again, (Malachi 4:5 & 6) (5) “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: (Before I read verse 6, there are two points I want to make. In Matthew 11:14, Jesus said that John the Baptist was that Elias that was to come, but He said it in the light of Luke 1:17, which only covered the first half of what Malachi prophesied, concerning Elijah that was to come. The other point is this. Verse 5, speaks of the GREAT and DREADFUL day of the Lord. Think about that for a moment while we read verse 5, and I am sure you will agree that the GREAT day of the Lord, is not the DREADFUL day of the Lord also. Therefore to get them pinpointed, which is what, is to realize that John the Baptist could not fulfill both parts of Malachi’s prophecy, even though it was spoken as one prophecy.) (6) And he (this Elijah) 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.” You can find other translations that read, “BEFORE I COME AND SMITE THE EARTH,” which seems more appropriate than the word LEST, which means perhaps, or maybe, or for fear that. We know from other scriptures that God is definitely going to smite this old earth with a curse, so the ministry of that Elijah spirit, in the 2nd part of its fulfillment, is to be accomplished BEFORE that day.


CHILDREN BECOME FATHERS


Now we learn from Luke 1:17, that the ministry of John was only 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, (or prepared for the GREAT DAY of the Lord, when He came in His first advent.) That still left the 2nd part of Malachi’s prophecy to be fulfilled by someone else that would have that Elijah anointing upon him, to turn the heart of the children to the fathers, before that DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD, when He comes to smite the earth with a curse. We are the children of the 2nd part, and we were to be turned back to the faith of our spiritual fathers. Now our spiritual fathers were the children of John’s day, and in that day when Peter, James, John, Phillip, Stephen, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and all those, were the children: the fathers were those Judiastic leaders that Stephen and Paul, and all those others, were constantly harassed by. You will notice that Stephen started his testimony, MEN, BRETHREN, AND FATHERS. John got the attention of those early disciples away from their Judaistic fathers, and prepared their hearts to receive the gospel as little children, just like Jesus said it would have to be received. Therefore, the children of the New Covenant, became the fathers in return. Those men received the gospel as little children, and by the leading of the Holy Ghost they were molded into the fathers of our faith. But as time moved out of that first age, Satan worked through various ones, to pervert that gospel message. Little by little, the simplicity of the gospel was replaced by strenuous rituals and routines, until it reached an hour when the children had very little of what those fathers taught. The reformation had restored it by fragments, but it was divided up among so many different denominational groups, that it just simply did not project a true revelation. One group had the just shall live by faith. Another had sanctification, another predestination, another eternal security of the believer, and so on down the line. But all of this truth belongs to the bride of Christ, so how was she to get it? God sent that Elijah anointing again, and this time, it was to turn the hearts of God’s predestined children back to the faith of their apostolic fathers. That is what Bro. William Branham’s ministry was to do, and that is exactly what it did. Anything that has been added to it was not his fault. He loved God; he loved the Bible, and he loved people. He loved people so much, that many times they took advantage of him, but he still fulfilled the 2nd part of Malachi’s prophecy about that Elijah that was to come, or we would still be wandering around out here somewhere, in an old cold, dead, denominational church system.


THIRTY, SIXTY & HUNDRED FRUIT


Now some might ask, What did John or Bro. William Branham, either one, do, that made them a prophet? First of all, in the case of John, let me remind you that Jesus said he was a prophet, even more than a prophet. It is true, he never wrote another book to be added to the other writings of the prophets, but he had that Old Testament prophet’s anointing, that cried out against apostasy of this age, and led many souls out of their old 3 god systems, and into a true revelation of the oneness of the Godhead. He was a God identifying, devil revealing prophet to this age. Furthermore, he collected the apostolic truths that were scattered around in so many different denominations, and presented them all in one package to the predestinated children of this age, to fulfill the 2nd part of Malachi 4:5-6. Why do we say, to the predestinated children? Simply because they are the only ones that will receive truth in a pure revelation. As far as his ministry, it was to the multitudes, just like the ministry of Jesus was, but in both cases, only a few ever received a genuine revelation. Jesus showed that in the parable of the sower that went forth to sow seed. (Matthew 13:3-11) Some seeds fell by the wayside, and the birds ate them, others on stony ground, and for lack of moisture, burned up. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns choked them, or smothered them out. But some fell on good ground and brought forth fruit, thirty, sixty, and hundredfold. After Jesus told that parable, He said, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Then Jesus revealed something to those who have ears to hear. In answer to their question, Jesus said to His disciples, “Because IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN.” Naturally, He was speaking of those Jews that would reject the gospel, in that particular setting, but when He explained the parable, the application of it applied to the whole grace age. Read verses 18-23, and understand, that only the good ground which brings forth fruit, 30, 60, & 100 is the predestinated children of God. The others, which are many, may receive the word, and appear for a while as dedicated Christians, but the very fact that they never bring forth any fruit to maturity, reveals that they never received a new birth experience. I know some of you do not want to believe that, but on the other hand: if we do not believe what the Bible teaches, we are no better off than anyone else that has missed the way of truth. The only one’s that ever make it, are those who believe the revelation of truth that comes forth in their hour. People ask, What about this one, or that one who died four hundred years ago? They did not have a revelation that God is one. They were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Did they go to hell? Listen to me, Brother & Sister: whoever you are that may have a question like that. This Bible, from front to back, speaks of a true and just God. I can find nowhere in it, where God ever held anyone accountable for something they knew nothing about. In every age, believers have been accountable to God, only for what was revealed up to their hour. Four hundred years ago, the reformation was in its early stages, and the oneness of God along with baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, were still lost truths of the Dark Ages.


THE FAN IN JESUS’ HAND


Looking back to John now, we want to look at two prophecies he gave, which are recorded in the scriptures, and still hang right over us. We will just take them from Luke’s account, so open your Bibles to the 3rd chapter, and we will pick up verse 16. As John stood there instructing those who had asked, What shall we do? Some of the people began to say, (16) “Could this be the Christ.” John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (17) Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.” Actually this was a three phase prophecy, and all three phases of it are still in effect, even though the Holy Ghost and fire part of it began to be fulfilled almost 2000 years ago. Everyone understands that Jesus Christ is the one who baptizes with the Holy Ghost and fire, and that this prophecy began to have its fulfillment on the day of Pentecost, Just 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven. Also, I am reasonably sure that most everyone understands, at least in general terminology, about the burning of the chaff, at the climax of His dealings with mankind. But I wonder just how many of you actually do understand the part about the fan in His hand? Naturally the thought conveyed here, is of an ancient threshing floor where the wheat was dumped, to be cleaned. The process was for some to stand there with paddles, throwing the wheat up into the air, and that would allow the wind to blow the chaff away while the pure grain, which was heavier would fall back to the floor. Now this purging of His floor is to be accomplished here at the end of the age, while Jesus Christ is still on the mercy seat in His mediatorial work. How will it be done? It is already being accomplished. Think back to John’s prophecy for just a moment. Who did he say would baptize with the Holy Ghost? Jesus. Whose hand was the fan to be in? The same one that would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire, Jesus Christ. Alright then, since He did not have to be present in corporal body to baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire, neither does He have to be, to purge his floor. His fan is in His word, and in His authority to allow human instruments to say things, right in the chronology of their sermons, that others take, and weave together, to make a fan. Naturally I am pointing to the messenger to this age, Bro. William Marrion Branham. God brought him on the scene with a message to put us back in the Bible. But his ministry is serving another purpose, also. While he stood preaching and teaching, under the anointing of the Spirit of God, he would lay everything right in line with the scriptures, everything pertaining to the subject he was dealing with, I should say. Now I know some of you are going to be offended by what I am going to say, but truth is truth, regardless of where it applies. Furthermore, it is fulfillment of John’s prophecy, so we will have to say that God ordained it to be that way. There were many times when the brother would be dealing with a particular subject, that he would throw in remarks, or statements, unrelated to what he was dealing with, and those statements would be contrary to what he had taught in another service. Those statements have become a fan, in his message, Oh, Brother Jackson: You had better watch out. That is God’s prophet you are saying those things about. I know he was God’s prophet; I have never had any trouble recognizing that, But I do know, that when a person says something two different ways, so that they cannot possibly be taken to mean the same thing, at least one of those statements has to be wrong. In his messages, are found many dual statements. By that, I mean, he would teach one a subject, and lay it right in line with the scriptures, then later, make reference to it in another message, and say it, or explain it differently. I have examined these dual statements through the years, and have always found that in every case, one of them was right in line with the scriptures, while the other became a fan, that fanned some off of the word. I would be more alarmed about this, if it were not for John’s prophecy, but knowing that every prophecy of the bible must be fulfilled, I just have to see God in it all. The great multitudes that follow God’s anointed seldom get a revelation of the truth that is being lifted up among them. Only a few catch a revelation, and the others follow the signs. That is why Jesus said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth into life, and few there be that find it.”


ONLY THE CHAFF IS FANNED AWAY


In the ancient winnowing process, if there were not sufficient winds blowing, artificial winds had to be created by fabricating, or weaving fans, usually from something like palm leaves, and have someone do the fanning as the grain was pitched up into the air. Winnowing was only to separate the chaff from the grain; the straw had already been separated, with a pitchfork. Therefore spiritually speaking, this separating of the true grain from the chaff, is only taking place in this message. The denominational straw is not even in the picture. They never reach the threshing floor. This threshing process is only to separate the genuine seed from the make believers, of those who have been called out of denominations already. That is why the fan has to be in this message; it is not needed until the grain is already separated from the straw. But if you know anything about wheat, you know that there is always a lot of husk hanging on to the grain, after it is separated from the straw, and that is what the fanning is to get rid of. When we give this a spiritual application, we must look at it like this. If you do truly have the holy Ghost, you will eventually get a true revelation of this word of God. But if you do not have the Holy Ghost, you are only a carrier of the letter of the word of God, and something has to separate you from the genuine born again believers. You heard the prophet preach, and you enjoy the spirit which you felt in those services; we all did. You heard him preach on the seventy weeks of Daniel, when he proved by the scriptures that there is still one full week (7 years) left to the Jews, and you yelled, Amen! So did I. Then you sat in those services when he preached on the seven seals, and you heard him say a number of times, that Jesus was cut off in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week, and that the Jews only have 3½ years left, and you yelled, Amen! Not even caring that there was a contradiction between the two statements. So was it also, with the conflicting statements about the prehistoric animals, and age, the way life was to be brought into the world, when the people of God would walk out upon the ashes to the wicked, and other things that he said in two different ways. Those who have the Holy Ghost will receive the statement that lines up with the scriptures, and leave those other statements to become a fan for the purpose of purging God’s threshing floor. Bro. William Branham was a voice in this hour, just like John was in his hour, but God allowed him to speak some things to fulfill John’s prophesy, as well as Malachi’s. Therefore, do not look for a corporal bodied Christ to walk along with a huge fan in His hand, fanning people off the word, no more than you would expect Him to be here in corporal body, to baptize you with the Holy Ghost.


THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH


Jesus committed unto the apostle Peter, the keys of the kingdom of heaven, saying “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” but Peter was never able to use those keys until after he had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and he did not receive the Holy Ghost until 10 days after Jesus had ascended into heaven, yet John had said that Jesus would be the one who would baptize them with the Holy Ghost and fire. We not only have the prophecy of John to look at, we also have the prophecy of Jesus Himself. In the gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 15-18, we read these words. (15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments. (16) And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; (THE HOLY GHOST) whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. (He is talking about the Comforter, the Holy Ghost that is going to be in them.) (18) I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU.” What was the prophecy, or promise, as we normally refer to it? You are going to receive the Spirit of truth, and He shall be your Comforter. He now dwelleth WITH you, but will soon be in you. We all know that He was referring to the Holy Ghost, which was the promise of the Father, prophesied by Isaiah, (44:3) and by Joel (2:28) and reconfirmed by Jesus in Luke 24:49. Then in Acts 1:4-5 we read, (4) “And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. (5) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” We are looking at scriptures that will definitely let you see that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, and the promise of the Father, are all one and the selfsame Spirit, and that it is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which is also the Spirit of the Father, and the way Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost was that He came back in Spirit form and entered into those believers, on the day of Pentecost, and He has been doing that for believers ever since. Now if we will go back to John 14:26,we will see just exactly what this Comforter is to do, once He is within believers. “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.” Let us also read John 16:13, in connection with this. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into ALL TRUTH: (Not into false doctrine and idolatry.) For He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” Alright now, let us think about this for just a moment. This Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is not only to be a comfort to us, but He is also to guide us into ALL TRUTH, TEACH US ALL THINGS, AND SHOW US THINGS TO COME. That lets me know that the little bride of Jesus Christ is going to know some things that the world will not know. It also lets me know why old Peter knew exactly how to use those keys to the kingdom that day, when three thousand Jews asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What he told them, unlocked the kingdom of God to them. Listen to his answer (Acts 2:38) “Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.” (The promise of the Father.) Peter was one of about 120 souls that had already received that promise of the Father, and they received it without the corporal body of Christ being present. Therefore, we must conclude that if He can baptize with the Holy Ghost without being present in corporal body, He can also use the fan to purge His floor likewise. Now, Brothers and Sisters, let me ask you something. How is He going to separate the chaff from the pure grain, spiritually speaking? Truth separated the grain from its old denominational stalk, but the truth alone will not separate that make-believer from the true child of God; they have to have something else other than truth to grab hold of, something that will shake them loose from the word, and fan them away. God just made sure that the prophet to this age fed both elements of his following. To those whom the Spirit of truth is teaching all things, he was God’s prophet, to turn them back to the faith of their apostolic fathers. But to the rest, he spoke statements that the Spirit of God has allowed, to become a fan in Christ’s hand. There is no need to get offended at anyone for saying that, for it is a fulfillment of prophecy, prophecy that could only be fulfilled among the generation living at the end of the grace age.


GIFT AND GIFTS OF HOLY GHOST


“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Nothing that I have ever taught or preached about Bro. William Branham, would be contrary to those words of Jesus, for everything that has been taking place since the days of John the Baptist, are things that were prophesied and pictured in the law the prophets. Even the ministry of Bro. William Branham, and the effects of the dual statements he made. The reason some people cannot see that, is because they have never received the promise of the Father, furthermore, they cannot receive that promised benefit, because their every thought is carnal; they do not hunger for righteousness; they only hunger for something new and exciting. Anyone who is going to move with God: has got to be open to whatever God does in fulfilling His plan for the ages. You just simply cannot put a period at the end of something that has been done already, and say, That is all there is; everything is fulfilled already, for I want you to know, that if time lasted another 100 years: God would still be revealing things to those who walked with Him. Let me say this also. Just because Bro. William Branham taught, that speaking in tongues was not necessarily evidence that a person had received the Holy Ghost, some of those who followed him, and hung on to his every statement, cannot stand to be in a service where someone speaks in tongues, even though that is definitely one of the gifts of the spirit. Some of them will say, I would rather have love for the brethren, than to speak in tongues. Why not have both, if the will of God moves that way? Every born again child of God should have love for the brethren, but that should not hinder anyone from receiving the gifts of the Spirit, spoken of by the apostle Paul, in 1st Corinthians 12:1-11, for the Holy Ghost bestows these gifts according to the will and purpose of God. The GIFT of the Holy Ghost is eternal life, but the GIFTS (plural) of the Holy Ghost, are those gifts of the Spirit that we find in 1st Corinthians, but none of them are to be taken as evidence that a person has the Holy Ghost, for Satan is a counterfeiter. He has a counterfeit for everything that God is doing in these days. He first tried to destroy Christianity by martyring Christians, but when he discovered that he could not do it, he formed another plan, that was to get inside the church structure, and counterfeit every manifestation of the Spirit of God. How did he do that? By planning make-believers, imitators, false prophets, and false teachers in every assembly of believers. Throughout the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th church ages, Satan was busy, through those make-believers, substituting creeds, rituals, and ceremonies in the place of the revelated word of God. In the 4th church age there was very little true light of the gospel of Christ left. Satan did his work very effectively. He put together a system that the whole world looks upon, as the church. Roman Catholicism is what represents the true church in the eyes of the world, but the truth of it all is, that it is Satan’s church. There is nothing about it that God will accept, and yet there are people who claim to be following Bro. William Branham’s message, that are just as far from the truth, as any Catholic pope or priest has ever been. There is no more salvation in the Catholic church, that you could order out of a Sears, Roebuck catalogue, and I know that you will say Amen to that, but how many of you know that God has withdrawn His Spirit from the protestant daughters of that system, and left them to return to their mother? That is what your ecumenical council is all about. It is busy reuniting all the harlot daughters with the old mother whore. (Revelation 17:1,5) Saints: Please do not think that I am picking on individual people; I am not. Most of them are what they are, because they have been raised to believe that what they are in is the true way. Their minds have been molded that way, and unless the grace of God gets into that mind, it will keep right on believing as it does.


A DEEPER CONVICTION


If God had not got the attention of men like Luther, Know, Calvin, Wesley and those other reformation leaders, you and I would no doubt be Catholics today. God gave the world a new covenant, a covenant of life, through Jesus Christ, and Satan changed it to a covenant of death. But in spite of all that; in every age there have always been a few people who had a conviction that they should live above what the general view of Christianity to be: God can usually use those people to hold up a revelation of truth before the world. In the Dark Ages, it was just a matter of living it, but since the days the reformation started, God has used vessels like that to restore truth that had been lost. Not only did God use men like that to restore lost truth to the body of Christ; there had to be men like Columbus also, a man who had something stirring within him, that would not allow him to follow the general line of thinking, for in his hour, most men believed that the world was flat, and that if they went too far across the Atlantic, they would fall off the end of the world. God used Columbus and his crewmen to pave the way for this new frontier land to be opened up. I have seen the exact spot, down here in the Caribbean where Columbus was supposed to have landed. It is called Discovery Bay. This new world discovery was just a little ahead of the dawning of the 5th church age, when God began to raise up men like Luther, Calvin, and Knox, who were all Catholics, but they protested that old ungodly church system that had been responsible for slaughtering thousands who would not bow to their form of religion. The reformation started in the early 1500’s, and just about 100 years later, in 1620, the first Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. They were not called Pilgrims at that time though; that name was given to them in the year 1793, well over into the 6th church age. When that 6th church age opened up, there had already been a country hewed out of the wilderness, called the United States of America, and in 1776 she fought a war with her mother nation. The Constitution of the United States was written just about the time John Wesley’s message was being proclaimed throughout all England, a constitution that guaranteed freedom of religion to all that came here. God was getting this nation ready to play her end time role in fulfilling prophecies of the scriptures.


MATERIALISM


From 1776 to 1900, America grew out of her pioneer stage. Her towns no longer carried that big frontier look, they began to take on a metropolitan image. St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, all these stood out, and became pace setters for a new way of life. As she come into 1900, America was also taking on an industrial image. She began to establish a trend of materialism. During the years from then until now, she has given to the world the automobile, the electric light, the telephone system, the radio, the television, satellites, computers, and on and on. During the early years of this period the Holy Ghost fell on some folks who were seeking God in a special way, and that ushered in the Laodicean age, the 7th church age. America not only received the Pentecostal message, she also produced the 7th church messenger, and heard the last day message. By the time God’s messenger delivered his message to this Laodicean Age, this nation had completely taken on an image that was foreshown in Revelation 3:14-18, which spoke of a literal church that existed in Asia, in the days when the aged apostle John was still alive. This church had been caught up in materialistic living, to the point where God was almost left completely out of the picture. They had become so self-sufficient in their materialistic ways of life, and so lukewarm toward God, that they were sickening to God, so to speak. Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth, John was told to write them. Why? “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with gods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Brothers and Sisters: That is a picture of America in the eyes of God today. All eyes are upon materialism. The generation that remembers when folks used to walk 3 to 5 miles to church on Sunday, will soon pass off the scene, if the Lord’s coming does not proceed it. People walked further to church in those days, than a lot of people are willing to drive, in our day, and they still had to hit the fields on Monday morning, but not before they had fed the stock, and milked the cows. They did not have those nice electric lights, but one things they did have was a respect for God. By the outward appearance, one might think there are more Christians today (from the percentage standpoint) that ever before in the history of this nation, for almost anyone you ask will tell you that they are a Christian, no matter how they live. Religion is very popular, but true Christianity is mighty scarce. Materialism has become the god of an awful lot of people. It was always like that with the people of Israel; when God would bless them with everything their hearts desired; they would turn from God to worship idols. It seems that people just do not know how to allow God to bless them, and still remain true to Him, and give Him first place. Nevertheless, just as the church at Laodicea received a message from God in that hour, so has the church AGE that was typed by that literal church, received a message from God. Anyone who will examine that message with a right motive, will see that it was a message to turn us back to the true covenant of grace that Jesus Christ sealed with His own blood. That message delivered to this Laodicean age, did not have one thing in it that suggested God would make another covenant with man kind to replace the present one. Why should He need to make another covenant, when the present one will accomplish everything that the prophets and the law ever pointed to? The keys to the kingdom of God are still the same keys Peter used 1900 years ago, and Pope John Paul II does not have them. His keys will not unlock revelated truth. If some lost sinner cried out, Pope John Paul II, what must I do? Would he reply, Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost? That is the only keys that will work, and they belong to the covenant that was made by the messenger that John introduced, Jesus Christ.


A VOICE FOR OUR AGE


Some of you will no doubt wonder why I keep stressing the fact that there is no scripture to substantiate a 3rd covenant. The reason I keep saying that, is because there is an element of people who are teaching that Bro. William Branham made a new, or another covenant, and everyone that would know God must come by his covenant. That is a lie of the devil. Don’t you believe one word of it. Those same people will use Malachi 4:5 & 6, to get your attention, and then try to feed you something else that could not possibly be related to Malachi 4:5 & 6. Just plain common sense would teach one, that the spirit of Elijah which came to turn us back to the faith of our spiritual fathers, would not establish another covenant that would take us back out of the Bible, and away from the faith of our spiritual fathers. Listen to me, saints of God! There is not time left to play around with the word of God, as denominational people have in the past. We are living in the closing days, or years of this dispensation, and true saints of God are being washed by the waters of God’s word. What ever is left, yet to be revealed to them, will be revealed by His Spirit, according to His written word which makes room for it to be so. This is the hour when God is revealing His word to His people, not hiding it even deeper to be discovered by the shrewdness of natural man. In other words, God did not send us a restoring, revealing prophet messenger to hide His word from the bride of Jesus Christ. Through Bro. William Branham, God did exactly in reverse, what He did to start the kingdom of heaven age. Coming from humble parentage down in a rural section of the state of Kentucky, Bro. William Branham had many experiences of God dealing with him in life, and just like John the Baptist stood in the Jordan river, calling men to repentance, and baptizing them, so did Bro. William Branham stand out there in the Ohio River baptizing according to the last revelation given to Pentecost, water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the gateway to eternal life. While baptizing, there in the river, a light came down over him, and an audible voice said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun my first coming, you will take a message around the world that will forerun my second coming.” Now if that was to be true, it was all because the hour had come for the last phase of Malachi 4:5 & 6, to be set in motion, because, as we all know by now, the last part of Malachi 4:5 & 6 was, he shall turn the hearts of the children to their fathers. Now our spiritual fathers were men like Paul, Peter, James, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and all those who carried the truth of the gospel in its unadulterated form in that first church age. That is what Bro. William Branham’s message turned me back to; he certainly did not turn me back to the faith of my genetic forefathers. I will admit there was a time when I thought that was what that scripture pertained to, for I looked at all the juvenile delinquency, and how teenagers were running away from home, and disobeying their parents, and thought, When that spirit of Elijah comes, it will reconcile all these homes. It did not reconcile homes at all. If anything, it reactivated the sword that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 10:34-39. Like I said earlier, that spirit of Elijah always deals with apostasy when it comes on the scene. Just as John was a voice in his hour to cry out against apostasy, and awaken an element of people for the first advent of Christ, so was Bro. William Branham a voice in this last church age to do the same thing, in preparation for the second coming of Christ. That is why Revelation 10:7, speaks of THE VOICE OF THE SEVENTH ANGEL. He was a voice, a messenger, announcing something to this seventh church age. What he announced was the soon coming of Jesus Christ, the bridegroom, and the catching away of the bride, the church of the living God, and I want to say this; it will all take place in this generation. Everything that John spoke of, was completed in a generation. That is why Jerusalem fell, and was destroyed before the last ones of that generation passed off the scene; John forerun Jesus Christ who spoke of certain things that were to take place in that generation. Likewise, Bro. William Branham’s message is forerunning His second coming, and He (Christ) spoke of certain things that were to be accomplished in the generation that would be living in this hour. (You can read Matthew 24 for a quick run down of what is to take place in a generation here at the end.) Bro. William Branham definitely was that Elijah, to fulfill the 2nd part of Malachi’s prophecy. But some have attributed a much higher purpose to his ministry, and they have become the ministers of idolatry which God hates. They do not like to hear me say that, but let me stress it even more. Anyone who believes and teaches that Bro. William Branham was God, is just as pagan as any Gentile ever was, before the gospel ever came to them, and their idolatry is just as abominable to God as when the Israelites worshiped idols in days of old.


AS I SEE IT


As I see it, the thing about Bro. William Branham’s ministry that has caused many people to actually believe he was God, was the gift of discernment whereby he could look into the lives of individuals, and know the secrets of their heart, just like Christ Himself. When they would sit in a service and watch that gift operate, they actually felt that they had seen Jesus Christ walking on the scene. It was God’s way of giving to the Gentile church, a manifestation, that only the Jews partook of in the 1st advent of Christ. Gentile people have not been privileged to know Christ after the flesh, as those first age Jews did, but God did give us a little display of that same Holy Ghost anointing to close out this dispensation, or I should say, in preparation to close out this grace age. I can say with complete victory in my soul, that the part of Bro. William Branham’s message that put this generation back in the Bible, is the message that will close out this grace age. I say it like that because it is obvious that some hear another message that took them back out of the Bible again. They did not have ears to hear what the Spirit was saying to the church of the living God. That is all you can say about it. To me, he brought a beautiful message; he explained that, that had never been clear to me before, and cried, Come back to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. Come back to one God revelation. Come back to that sanctified life. Be full of the Holy Ghost, and prove all things by the word of God. He put predestination in its place, and explained eternal security of the believer so simple that even a little child could understand it. He fulfilled exactly that scribe position, that Jesus spoke of, in Matthew 13:52. When Jesus asked His disciples, Have ye understood all these things? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then He said unto them, (Matthew 13:52) Therefore, every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. Brother & Sister: He went right back into the treasure, and brought out those old truths; the just shall live by faith, eternal security of the believer, predestination, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost, water baptism (according to Acts 2:38) in the name of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, and the fact that God is one, and not three, and that Jesus Christ is coming again as a bridegroom, and very soon. Then when it came to the new, here he come with the serpent seed revelation. They really got mad about that. Those denominational big wigs cried, That serpent seed doctrine is out of the pit of hell, but some had ears to hear what the Spirit was saying to the church, and that cleared up another mud hole, so to speak. Once you can see how that serpent seed fits into humanity, it clears up a lot of previously unanswered questions. Before long, here he came with the revelation of the first 6 seals, something else new. He laid it right out by the scriptures, didn’t he? Some think he revealed 6, and hid one of them to find later, but I say unto you, and I hope you hear well. They will not find the revelation of the seventh seal in any of Bro. William Branham’s sermons. That seventh seal is for a later time. When it is revealed: their time of playing around with truth will just about be over with. Even if they do see the error of their ways, it will no doubt be too late for it to do them any good. They will not admit that God placed a fan in Bro. William Branham’s message, but they are being fanned by it just the same. Now if it be the fan in Christ’s hand that is fanning them away, I want you to know, the husk, the chaff, does not come back to the threshing floor and mix again with the pure grain, after it has been fanned away. I hope you get the picture. Jesus started out the kingdom age saying, He that has ears to hear, let him hear, (Matthew 11:15) and the age is to end up with the same admonition. (Revelation 13:9)


ONE GOSPEL FOR ALL


Now let me say to you who have an ear to hear, Bro. William Branham was not another writing prophet, that left us additional scripture. He did not leave us one verse of new scripture; he was a revealing prophet. Yet I know certain ones who will say, The Bible was the word of God for Paul’s day, but Bro. William Branham brought us the word of God for our day. Saints: Beware of those idolaters. The word of God that Paul preached was for the Gentile church of all ages, but she got away from it, and that is why that Elijah spirit had to come again. We were on the brink of destruction when he cried out, Stop! Turn around! This same gospel that Paul preached, was preached by him, also, and it is the only gospel that Gentiles will ever have. Those who are made ready according to what is written in this old book, will be ready for the rapture when Jesus comes, and they will come back to earth with Him for the millennium, and all of that will still be fulfilling what is already written in the scripture we have. Therefore, let me say to you once more. The gospel for Paul’s day is also the gospel for our day. If we obey it, we will be acceptable to the Lord, but on the other hand, all who become idolaters will be rejected by the Lord, just like it is written in this time tested old book I hold here.


THE TWO WITNESSES


Now let me say just a few words about the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12, that will prophesy to the Jews for 3½ years, after Gentile time has run out. Never before, has God had two prophets on the scene at the exact same time, but then, He will have. They have been referred to as Moses and Elijah, and when you read what they will be doing during that time, you will understand why. That same God identifying spirit of Elijah will be revealing their Messiah to those Jews, and denouncing apostasy, and at the same time, their ministry will be accompanied by all the signs that God manifested to Pharaoh, through the ministry of Moses. They will be revealing things to those Jews that are not written in the Bible, but none of it will contradict the scriptures. They will reveal the Antichrist to them, warn them not to have any part with him, and tell them exactly where they should flee to, when that man of peace breaks his covenant with the nation, and begins to slaughter them. God will have a place prepared where He will protect and feed them, for the 3½ years of great tribulation, and those two prophets will tell them exactly where that place is. Now there is no place in the Bible that tells where that place is, therefore, that lets us know that God is going to be revealing some things here at the end time that have not been previously written in the scriptures. Just like those seven thunders of Revelation 10:3-4, which, in this hour has been explored by so many different one’s, but they still yet have not sounded their voices, therefore no one can tell you what they said. We will close this little message now, hoping that there has been something said that will help clear up the questions some of you had. Now let each and every one of us take our stand for truth as this age closes out, that we may be ready to meet the Bridegroom when He comes. Amen!

Holiness vs. Tradition – 1981, January

1981-01-Holiness-vs-Tradition-1

WHAT ARE YOUR CONVICTIONS CONCERNING HOLINESS? DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS JUST FOLLOWING A SET OF MANMADE RULES, OR IS IT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EVERY INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN AND GOD? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN SOMEONE MENTIONS HOLINESS? WE INVITE YOU TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN WHICH HAIR, TELEVISION, CLOTHING, MUSIC, ATTITUDE AND MANY OTHER THINGS WILL BE DEALT WITH. WE BELIEVE EVERY PERSON WHO READS THIS ARTICLE WITH A PROPER ATTITUDE WILL BE BLESSED.


DO NOT BE KEPT UNDER BONDAGE TRYING TO KEEP SOMEONE’S LAWS FOR HOLINESS, WHEN THE SIMPLE TRUTH FROM THE WORD OF GOD CAN SET YOU FREE. IF YOUR HEART IS RIGHT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT STRETCHING YOUR LIBERTY TOO FAR. KNOWING THE TRUTH DOES NOT CAUSE ONE TO SIN, IT JUST SETS US FREE FROM A FEELING OF CONDEMNATION IN THE PRESENCE OF NATURAL MINDED LEGALISTS. LET THIS ARTICLE HELP YOU EXAMINE WHAT YOU BELIEVE, AND YOU MIGHT FIND THAT YOUR CONVICTIONS DID NOT COME FROM GOD AT ALL.


I have been pressured for a long time now, to print something on the subject of true holiness, but I have held back from such a message because it is such a controversial subject. Far too many people have taken it upon themselves to set forth a standard of holiness for others to abide by; therefore in our present hour people who profess to have the Holy Ghost are actually arguing and fussing among themselves about what true holiness is, and it seems that most of them use themselves as the standard for others to come up to. That is why so few people ever agree, as to what true holiness is. In other words, “If you are going to be holy; you must do everything exactly like I do.” Have you ever noticed how many people actually have such an attitude as that? Do you know why? It is because they fail to allow the word of God to set their standards.


WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE?


By God’s divine leading, I will endeavor to give you something that will help every true child of God, have a proper attitude toward their brothers and sisters in the family of God. If you never learn how to consider others; you are cheating yourself, for the day will come that you will have to reap the results of your one-sided attitude. Furthermore, do not bother to say, I have the Holy Ghost; I know what true holiness is, for we are going to read about some people who believed that they had the Holy Ghost, yet they missed the mark. They erred from the word of God. It is not what you eat, nor what you wear or look like, that makes you holy; it is what motivates you, that God looks at. You can be holy on the outside and very unholy on the inside, and maybe you can deceive me, but you can never deceive God. He is looking right into your heart. We do not mean to insinuate that every person who is missing the true pathway of holiness is a conniving hypocrite, for many of them are just following traditional teachings that have been handed down to them. These are they that have the best chance of receiving help from a message such as this. Our purpose is to straighten up some areas of confusion by showing that true holiness is a principle of morality, spiritual attitude, and conduct that comes forth from within the heart of man, and that the opposite of that is self righteousness. Anyone out here in the world can put on a robe of self righteousness, but only Holy Ghost filled children of God, manifest righteousness from within their hearts.


WHITE-WASHED WALLS


Let us go to the scriptures now and give the word of God a chance to speak to our hearts. First we will read Romans 14:22-23, which we will use for a text scriptures. “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” I am sure most of you are familiar with the situation that caused the apostle Paul to write those words. He was a Pharisee, instructed in all the law of Moses and the prophets, and by his own confession he was strict to the letter, before his encounter with the living Christ, on the road to Damascus. Other sects of the Jews were known as Sadducees, Zealots, Essenes, and so forth. The Essene Jews were so strict and holy, they separated themselves from the overall body of Judaism and secluded themselves in caves down by the Dead Sea. You have heard much about the Dead Sea Scrolls in recent years; these were found in those caves. Yet it is known that Christ did not seem to be drawn to the Essene Jews. Probably the reason for this was because they were like a lot of so-called modern day Christians of our day. Because they believed it was wrong to take life: they refused to accept animal sacrifice which was as much a part of the law as anything you could mention. Brothers and sisters, be sure you catch this point right here. Their holy attitude rose above the word of God; they left the scriptures and charted their own course. All of the various sects of Judaism had their own particular formula for keeping the law of Moses, just like denominational Christendom of our day, and those Christians in the assembly at Rome were having problems because of it. First of all, this church was not founded by an apostle. It was started by those Jews who received their blessing in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, when the New Testament church had its birth. They returned home, to Rome, carrying a flame in their hearts, and that church was started as a result. That gave Christianity its start in that area, but as time went on, Gentiles were added to the body, and before long they had a conflict. Jews were very strict about the things which they ate. This was part of the Levitical law. But please keep in mind, what was written in the Levitical law was only to set a type of the purifying of the flesh, and was never meant to give anyone eternal life through its observance. Eternal life hinged upon obedience from the heart to what was written in the whole law of commandments and ordinances. The parallel to that in this grace age is total faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. God was setting forth in type, through the purifying of the flesh of those Jews by observance of the law, how He would purify the spirit of New Testament, grace age believers. Now saints, that is what it is all about. Regardless of what you may do, or what you may put on, if your spirit has never been purified, you are just like Jesus said about some Pharisees one day. You are just like white-washed walls, or whited sepulchers. They could white-wash the outside walls of those burial tombs, but that did not change the fact that within those walls was rotting flesh that would stink to high heavens if disturbed. In other words, what you see on the outside does not necessarily tell the whole story. I will readily agree that if the inner man is truly purified, it should reflect through the outer appearance, but the natural eye cannot look at the outer man and make a true judgment of the inner man. That is why make-believers are able to deceive so many people for such a long time. You know what I mean.


SHOULD WE EAT MEAT?


In this Roman church they had some folks who did not want to eat meat of any kind. They had determined to be vegetarians. We have people like that today, also. Why are they like that? Because they have the idea that we should return to the original, they way it was in the Garden of Eden before man sinned. It is true that in the beginning man did not eat meat, but you must remember, that after the flood, God gave a certain dietary law that made it permissible to eat meat. That in itself showed that the human body in its state of deterioration would need the protein that is derived from eating meat, to stabilize it. What are our food scientists crying, the world over, in our day? We must get more protein into the diets of undernourished people. We all know that modern science has found other means of supplying protein, apart from the eating of meat, but that does not change the fact that God allowed the eating of meat for the protein content that is so necessary to our deteriorating bodies. Therefore becoming a vegetarian does not in any way make a person more holy. If you want to be a vegetarian, that is your privilege, but please do not try to persuade revelated saints that such a way of life will make them more holy before God; they know better. It was the same situation there in that Roman church. Some had accepted Christ, but they had a hang-up about eating meat. Therefore Paul wrote, “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” (Rom. 14:14) He went on to admonish the spiritual ones in the assembly to accept such people as brothers and sisters in the Lord, without doubtful disputations, but they were not required to treat them as wise, strong believers. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 14:17) You may have some particular health reason, to abstain from pork meat, or whatever, but please do not take the Bible and try to make a doctrine out of what you do for personal health reasons. That is what your Adventist groups have done. They have taken certain things from the law, and they hold them over the heads of New Testament believers, like a club, thinking that they are going to make someone more holy. They are not going to make anyone more holy by keeping them from eating meats; so to cut the story short, let us go to 1st Corinthians 10:23, where Paul is dealing with this same thing.


USING LIBERTY WISELY


Judo-Christians and Gentile Christians always seemed to have a conflict about the eating of meats, and especially about meats that had been sacrificed to idols. That brings us to the verse we want to pick up here in chapter 10, where we will see what Paul’s judgment was, on the matter. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no questions for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no questions for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my LIBERTY judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” In this Corinthian letter, Paul is not dealing with a situation of whether to eat meat or be a vegetarian, but it is the same spirit that is causing trouble in the Roman church. No one in the Corinthian church seemed to have any problem wanting to abstain from the eating of meat: their problem seemed to arise concerning conduct in the presence of someone else who might be offended by their actions as they partook of certain things. These people were from a pagan background, where practically everything they ate had in some way been offered to an idol as a sacrifice. They had so many gods, it would be difficult to name them all. Therefore Paul says, If any of you accept a dinner invitation from an unbeliever, then eat whatsoever is set before you, and do not bother to ask questions about whether it had been offered to an idol or not, for with God those things are not important; He created everything, and everything belongs to him. Nothing that they would eat, could ever harm them spiritually, unless someone made a point to mention that certain things on the table had been offered to idols. In such a case, Paul says, it would be better not to eat those things, because of the conscience of the one who mentioned such a thing. Paul knew where he stood with Christ; therefore he could say, All things are lawful for men, but all things are not expedient. In other words, there are some things that are lawful, but they will not edify others who are observing. Some of our liberty that has been gained through a pure revelation of God’s word, could very well be a stumbling block to someone else. That is why Paul said, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no more flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1st Cor. 8:13) It seemed to be of utmost importance to Paul, to get this question settled in the minds of these people, for he went into much detail in dealing with it. Not only from the standpoint of causing a weaker brother to violate his own conscience, but also from the standpoint of not giving the unbeliever an occasion to accuse you, a believer, of partaking with the same motive that he himself was. The unbeliever may be eating meat that has been offered to the god of wisdom, (just for example) believing that to eat such would make him more wise. (That is how pagans are.) Therefore if he could get a Christian to partake of such, and remind him that the meat was offered to such and such a god, it gave him an occasion to accuse the believer of being no better than he was. Paul felt that it would be better for a believer to offend his host by not eating at all, than to give the unbeliever an occasion to say, Aha! I’ve got him now; he is eating meat to my god. Now some may ask, What has that got to do with holiness? Brothers! Sisters! These are the very things that many carnal, so called believers judge holiness by. That caused Paul to say, “Why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” He knew that eating meat that had been offered to idols would not make a person less holy, but because of the hang ups of others, he would avoid doing so in their presence. That is just plain consideration for the feelings of others who place importance upon such things. On the other hand, we should not allow trouble-making busybodies to place us under bondage by their pretext of being offended. Grace sets a true Christian free from the bondage of manmade laws, and the wisdom of the Holy Ghost in our lives enables us to know how to conduct ourselves in every situation.


YOUR HEART CONDITION REFLECTS


Certain Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus one day and asked Him, Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders, by eating with unwashed hands? This gave Jesus an opportunity to tell them a few things about their own ways. He called them hypocrites, and told them that they had made the true commandments of God of none effect by their traditions. He said further, You draw nigh to God with your mouth, but your heart is far from Him. Later, as He talked with His disciples, He said to them, It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles the man, for all of that will pass on out with the body waste, and that will be the end of it. But those things which proceed forth out of the mouth, these are what defiles, for those things come forth from the heart. Out of the heart of man comes evil thought, murders, adulteries, fornications, blasphemies and such like. These are what defiles, but to eat with unwashed hands could never defile anyone. Now brothers and sisters, if you want to read the whole thing word for word, you will find this account in Matthew, chapter 15, but my point is this, do not use such a gauge to determine whether other folks are holy or not, lest you be like the scribes and Pharisees who Jesus said would strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Their legalism always caused them to put true values in the wrong place, but none of that changed God one little bit, for He does not look at holiness through the eyes of natural man. You have heard different ones speak of having a heart condition, (speaking of a physical condition, of course) have you not? Let me tell you something; it is your heart condition that God judges holiness by, and nothing else. Furthermore if your heart is in the proper condition, it will reflect holiness through the outer man for the world to see.


WHAT ABOUT LONG HAIR?


I believe we have said enough about eating meat, so let us move on to another area of great conflict and trouble, HAIR. Some people have such rigid standards of holiness when it comes to the subject of how long a Christian woman’s hair should be, or whether she should cut it or not, but in other areas of Christian conduct they seem to be so loose. It just makes you wonder where in the world they got their convictions. There are even people who will judge an entire congregation by what they see on one or two certain ones when they come in the church house door: not even taking into consideration whether those persons are a part of the regular assembly or not; nor how long they have been coming, if they are. We do not stand at the door, inspecting those who come in, to see if their hair is the proper length, or if the dresses are long enough, or whether they go to the movies or not. Those are things we leave for God to take care of, as people sit and listen to the word that is preached and taught here.


We are going into the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians now, where we will deal with the subject of hair for a little while. Not to hurt anyone, nor to tear anyone to pieces, but simply to see what Paul is actually teaching there. That is the scripture, used by so many, who make their main theme, LONG HAIR. I am accused of teaching the sisters that it is alright to cut their hair off, but you who come here regularly know better than that. You also know that I do not condemn them to hell; if they trim off the dead, split ends of their hair. Regardless of what some may do, though, I will not put this assembly under a set of rules and regulations, as some have advocated. New Testament believers who have been restored to the word of God, do not need to be put under law; that is what the New Covenant did away with. Let us read our scripture now, starting with verse 1. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (It is alright to follow a man who is following Christ if it is by the revelation of the word.) Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (THE ETERNAL SPIRIT) Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesyeth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her ALSO be shorn: but IF it be a shame for a woman to be shorn (hair clipped close to head) or shaven, (cut off at the skin) let her be covered. (SEE VERSE 15) For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely (PLEASING OR PROPER) that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (SEE VERSE 15) Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have LONG HAIR, (THE COVERING OF VERSES 5, 6 & 15) it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have LONG HAIR, it is a glory to her: FOR HER HAIR IS GIVEN HER FOR A COVERING. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” Brothers and sisters, I realize, that is a lot of scripture to read all at one time, but it is best to get it all together, for Paul did not start out talking about one covering for the head, then wind up in verse 15, talking about a different king of covering. I hope you can see that, before we finish. Naturally we read that from the King James’ version of the Bible, for that is the one I use, but we want to examine these verses very carefully, and determine beyond a shadow of doubt, what Paul is referring to as a covering for the head. I can take you into certain areas of the world, Europe, Canada and even in the United States, where you will find ancient, established systems that require a woman not only to have long hair, but when she comes to church, she must have a hat, a shawl, or some other kind of head covering on, as well, and they interpret it like that from the scriptures we have just read. Now! Saints! We must come to one certain conclusion here. Was Paul dealing with two different kinds of head covering? Did he start out talking about hats and shawls, and wind up talking about hair? Absolutely not. By God’s help, I believe we can show, from the scriptures, enough to convince every soul that has proper respect for the word of God, exactly what Paul was dealing with in these verses.


HATS & VEILS DO NOT COVER FOR HAIR


If I used only the Amplified version of the Bible, and the Holy Ghost did not reveal anything beyond what those scriptures contain: we would have to expect every woman to have some sort of covering other than her hair, if she desired to set in this assembly, for that is the way those translators understood what they translated from the Greek language. Therefore I ask you plainly, sisters of Faith Assembly, Is that the kind of law you wish to be under? If Paul was dealing with hats, then every sister in here should have some kind of a hat on her head, no matter how long her hair is. Do you not find it very strange, that the church at Corinth was the only one that had a problem like this? The assembly at Ephesus had no problem with hair and hats. Neither did the assembly at Galatia, nor Thessalonica. There had to be a reason for the problem at Corinth, and that is what we will speak about next.


In the days of Paul, Corinth had been influenced by, and subjected to Roman culture. Look in your Geography books and encyclopedias; you will not find pictures of Romans with long hair, in most cases. Neither women nor men. It looks like they had very little hair, and had some sort of band around their heads, with a bunch of leaves stuck behind it. It will not take any more time describing hair styles, and I realize we do not have any scripture to prove what I am going to say to you, but there had to be a reason for Paul to be on a subject such as this, when he had no occasion to deal with it any place else. I believe those Greek woman in the church at Corinth, (having that Roman culture in their background) had begun to cut most of their hair off, and decorate their heads in the manner that you see in the pictures of that ere of time, so much so, that Paul was moved by the Holy Ghost to deal with the situation. But I am fully persuaded that Paul was not establishing a cloth covering for the head, or he would have taught it everywhere he went. I was confronted with a question on this subject, for the first time I went to Norway. Some people stepped up to me and asked, Bro. Jackson, What sort of covering is Paul speaking of, in 1st Corinthians, chapter 11? Should the sisters wear hats to church? Let me say this, If any sister desires to wear a hat, that is alright, but do not wear one because of these scriptures. You could wear a hat, so large, that no one could even tell by looking at you, whether you had hair or not, but if you have it clipped off short: you are uncovered, according to what Paul is teaching, here. Furthermore, if a hat is so important as a covering, then why did God not put a hat on Eve when He covered her loins with a coat of skin, and sent her, along with her husband, out of the Garden of Eden? You must remember, they were both naked, before they sinned, and God Himself, is the one that clothed them, properly, before He sent them out of the garden. If Eve had needed a hat, God would have given her one. He only covered the area of their body that they had sinned with, their loin section, so please do not strain at the covering mentioned in these scriptures, as though it should be a hat of some kind. The one word, veiled, found in some translations, is the root of much of the confusion connected with these scriptures. Therefore I want to show you where that word (as far as a head covering is concerned) got started. It all pertains to marriage; and from that, we will see where the wedding ring fits into the picture.


SHORN – SHAVEN – TRIMMED


I want you to get verses 5 and 6, in your mind now, and hold the thought while we deal with various examples. It says that every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is the same as if she were shaven. If she is not covered, let her be also shorn: but if it is a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. If you interpret this covering to be a hat, then you must read the verse like this, If the women do not wear hats, then let their hair be clipped close. (That is what the word, shorn, pertains to.) On the other hand, if it is a shame for the women to have their hair clipped close, or shaven, then let them wear a hat. Do you see where that will get you? While you think on that, let me say also, neither of those words mean the same thing as the word trim, but there are those who will inject the word, trim, and look down their nose at any sister that might trim a little off the ends of her hair. I do not care how much you may know about the English language, you cannot use the word, TRIMMED, in the place of SHORN, or SHAVEN. I have raised sheep, and I want you to know, I never did trim a sheep except to get cockleburs out of their wool. When you take the body of wool off, you shear the sheep. When you finish, it is shorn, but you would never say that the sheep has been trimmed. Neither do you shave a sheep, for to shave is to render completely bald. Anyway you look at these scriptures, you will eventually have to agree that Paul was faced with a religious tradition, there in that Corinthians church, and what he wrote to them was not to establish a head covering for women, but to straighten up their thinking on what a proper head covering is in the sight of God. You can go into certain areas of the world, even today, where they have a custom that requires all the women to sit on one side of the church , and all the men on the other side. Where could you find scripture for a tradition like that? Judaism functions like that, but let me ask you this, What did Christianity do for mankind? Did it put him further under bondage, adding more law and traditions, or did it set us free from those man-made traditions? You must realize that God’s plan of redemption is to bring us back to the place where we can fellowship God as Adam and Eve did in the beginning. If you will just stop to realize, that redemption is what all this is about, it will deliver your mind from a lot of foolish nonsense.


DISHONOR TO ONE – GLORY TO ANOTHER


Like I said already, much of the confusion is a result of various translations of the Bible. If you have ever examined the Greek and Hebrew sections of a good Concordance, you will have discovered that in many cases, the translators had to make a choice from many words that could be derived from certain Greek and Hebrew words that were spoken. Naturally their choice was only as good as their understanding of what they were translating. If they had caught Paul’s thought here in 1st Corinthians, chapter 11, they would not have used words such as are found in certain translations of the Bible today. I want to demonstrate this, by reading from a Greek to English translation, and let you follow along in your own Bibles, as I do. Starting with verse 4, I will read it as it is brought from the Greek to the English. “Every man praying or prophesying, having anything down over his head, shames the head of him, (shames himself) But every woman praying or prophesying, with head unveiled.” (Please notice that the word UNVEILED, is used. That is because of their customs and traditions shames the head of herself. For it is the same thing with the woman as having been shaved.) Now when we go to verse 14 and 15, we see what Paul wanted to implant in the minds of those Christians, for he goes right back to hair, and even calls that, the covering. “Doth not even nature itself teach you, (Nature, as Paul uses it here, is not referring to trees, grass, flowers and that sort; it pertains to time, common sense, and customary tradition. You young men would not walk up to a tree, and say, Tree, is it wrong for me to have long hair? Common sense, and honest observation is what teaches those who are teachable.) That, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him.” That is how you read those verses from your King James translation, but listen, as I read it from this one. “Does not nature itself, teach you, that a man indeed, if he wears his hair long it is a dishonor to him? But a woman, if she wears her hair long, it is a glory to her, because the long hair instead of a veil, has been given to her.” Brothers and sisters, that takes the tradition off. It lets you see that the veil was a tradition, added by carnal minds. Look at that again. “Because the LONG HAIR, INSTEAD OF A VEIL, has been given to her.” Paul goes ahead, in verse 16, “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” In other words, If you want to go ahead contrary to what we have taught you, that is your decision, but I will have you to know that we do not have any such custom, and neither do any of the other assemblies. If you want to wear a hat; wear it. But we do not have any such custom here, that would require you to.


GOD HONORS CONSISTENT CONVICTIONS


Now, let us consider the words, TRIM, SHORN, and SHAVEN, for the words, SHORN and SHAVEN are in relationship to the subject at hand, but the word, TRIM, is not, even though some try to include it. Only the Lord Himself knows, how many times I have been asked, Bro. Jackson: Is it wrong for me to trim my hair? Now in the early stages of my ministry, I tried to stay off that subject, realizing that it was one thing that too many preachers dwell on too much, but there came a time when necessity required that I take a stand on the subject. Therefore let me say again, as I have said many times before; Sisters, if it is just for the sake of trimming off dead ends and irregular strands, there is nothing wrong about it. On the other hand, if you are just looking for an excuse to whack your hair off, to make it more fashionable, or easier to take care of, please leave me out of it. I will not be held accountable for anyone who takes my statement and stretches it to fit their own desire. I personally feel that any sister who has the Holy Ghost, ought to have some consistent convictions on appearance and conduct for women professing godliness. Let me hasten to say this though. Please do not sit in the assembly and judge others, by your own personal convictions. You cannot produce scripture that will tell anyone exactly how long their hair should be. Furthermore if God required every sister to have hair a certain length, He would have to make sure that sister could grow long hair to that length. There are some, you know, who just simply cannot grow their hair very long; it just will not grow past a certain point. Does that mean that such a person cannot please God? Of course not. God will not require anything from you that is impossible for you to produce. I have known sisters that would stand before the mirror and cry, because their hair would just get so long, then begin to die, split and break off. God forbid that anyone would take it upon themselves to measure the righteousness of such a person on the merits if the length of their hair. I have seen pictures of women of the world whose hair had grown to the ground, but that certainly did not make them righteous because of it. Some people will do almost anything to get their name in the news. One day they will have hair to the ground, and the next time you see them it might be cut off above their ears; people of the world are like that. On the other hand, any sister who has the Holy Ghost ought to be able to take the head of hair that God has given you, and use it to glorify your head, and also your husband if you are married. You who only go by what someone else may tell you, ought to check up on yourself. Something is wrong. Why cannot God talk to your heart about some things? If we are so close to the end as it seems like we are, then surely God has some people somewhere who have some Holy Ghost convictions that will bring their lives in balance with the scriptures.


VEIL – SYMBOL OF MARRIAGE


I want to turn our attention back to the veil again for a few minutes. I am sure you all understand by now, that if Paul had been establishing some sort of head covering other than hair, every one of you sisters would need to be wearing such a cover, regardless of the length of your hair, and regardless of whether you are married or not. Do you all understand that? Alright then, Let us open our Bibles to Genesis 24:63, where we will begin reading, and we will see how the veil was used there. Eliezer, Abraham’s servant had gone to Mesopotamia, and brought back a young lady to be Isaac’s wife, and we pick up here, where they have just about completed their journey. 63 “Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold, the camels were coming. (He recognized those camels. He knew they belonged to his dad. He could identify every one of them by name; therefore he started toward them, across the field.) And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a VEIL, and covered herself.” She had been riding without the veil until she reached a point where she was about to be married to Isaac. Now I do not believe she had been riding in the hot sun, all day without anything on her head, but this veil was some type of cloth, that when she put it on, every other man knew that she was already spoke for. No doubt this instance right here was a starting point for a custom that has been passed down from generation to generation even to this very day; not because God said to use it, but men have made it a command, simply because they read that in the Bible. Down through the centuries, the veil has been used by many cultures of people to symbolize marriage, just like the little gold b and that we refer to as a wedding ring. When you go to the Middle East, you find that the Moslem women do not appear in public without the black veil over their face. It does not keep one from seeing their eyes, not the outline of her face, but it does signify that she is married. Her unmarried daughters do not need to wear such a veil. It is all a tradition of man; therefore I will use this occasion to refer back to our text, “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” The only way you can follow Paul’s advise, is by Holy Ghost conviction. For as long as you are just trying to pattern your life after what someone may tell you, you will be subject to the frustrations of trying to fellowship with others who do not agree with what you are doing. They will give their versions of holiness, and sooner or later you will begin to doubt, and question yourself, Which way is right? You will begin to condemn yourself and waiver. Then you may be found trying to make your own personal, outward appearance to be like those you expect to be in contact with from day to day. That is not what Paul meant by his instructions. You adorn yourself in such a manner that regardless of where you are, or who may see you, you can still have the answer of a good conscience before God. As for this veil thing, look what the Catholics have done with it. Certain orders of nuns whose choice was celibacy for the sake of their service to God, were taken, and sheared. Then they would put a veil over them which supposedly signified that they were married to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is absolutely a tradition of men. There is no scripture to support such a custom in New Testament Christianity.


PROPER ADORNING


As we look further into the scriptures we find both the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul writing about how women should adorn themselves, and their words are in complete harmony. Listen to Peter, first. (1st Peter 3:1-5) “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (or behavior) or the wives; (That just simply means that they do not necessarily have to have someone preaching to them at the time they come under conviction. Just beholding the godly life of his wife has broken down many a man’s resistance to the gospel.) While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (Listen to verse 3.) Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold; or of putting on of apparel.” Now let me stop right there and explain something before reading those next verses. Many people use that very verse of scripture to condemn anyone who wears a gold ring, watch, or any other piece of gold jewelry. That is not what Peter is dealing with at all. He is not saying that it is wrong for anyone to plait their hair, or to wear gold. If you use this verse to teach that, you would also have to teach that it is wrong to wear clothes. Read it again. That is what the word, apparel means. Now, do you see how ridiculous it is for preachers to use that verse to preach against gold rings and watches? Peter is simply saying that none of these things are what determine whether a person is holy or not. Well, What does? You may ask. Notice verse 4 and 5, and you will see. “But let it (your adorning) be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in SUBJECTION unto their own husbands.” Saints: I hope you can see, by now, that Peter was not speaking against anything, here, except an excess of stylishness. The Bible does not teach that Christian women should hide their beauty. It only teaches that they should be modest, without any flashy display of it. Women have always been a symbol of beauty down through time. If you disagree, I would invite you to go into the museum of antiquity, in Athens, Greece, and look at the marble sculpturing there. Those sculptors did not just imagine the feminine beauty they captured on that marble. They had living models, for in those days, they did not even have photographs. Therefore there is nothing wrong with beauty itself, but there is a proper way for beauty to be portrayed. When the Bible says, Glorify God in your body, it means just exactly that. If God gave you a certain beauty; then He desired to look upon that beauty, portrayed in a godly manner. But the devil realizes that, and he tries to harness your beauty for the world. It is up to every individual to present themselves before God in a way that will be pleasing to Him.


INNER HOLINESS SHOWS OUTWARDLY


Men are usually not looked upon as symbols of beauty, but rather symbols of strength and wisdom. It is only this modern, perverted age with it unisex ideas, that allows its women to cut all their hair off, step up beside the men, and proclaim, I can do just as much as you can. If you leave them in an office somewhere, that is true. But you put them out in a ditch with a pick and shovel, and you soon begin to hear a different story. They cry, discrimination of the sexes in a different tune then, for most of them just simply do not have the muscle for such work. God did not design the women for that kind of work, but if they must insist on equality, some of them at least, will have to pay the price. They cannot all have executive jobs, if it is equality they are looking for. That should be obvious. On the other hand, let me say this: you do not have to tell me that there are areas of the world where the women work right alongside the men; I know that already. I also know that it is not these women that are always demanding to be equal with men. Most of them would be glad to stay at home and tend to the house and the children, but circumstances dictate otherwise. That is why, or at least one reason why I will never take this Bible and try to Americanize my brothers and sisters who live in other countries. They have their own traditional customs and ways of doing things, and as long as their customs do not change the overall moral picture: I believe we should leave them alone. The purpose of a message like this is not so much to tear down a custom, nor to establish one, but rather, to make believers conscious of the fact that they ought not judge the holiness of others by their own personal convictions. We are endeavoring to show you what the Bible teaches on certain issues in the realm of holiness, but I hope you realize that just keeping the rules layed down by the preacher will not make you holy before the Lord. Only a right attitude and motive can accomplish that. People who are forever blaming the preacher when things go wrong for them, are not right in their spirit in the first place; therefore their first concern should be to get their inner being in harmony with God. After all, what shows up on the outside should be a reflection of what is on the inside. Then from an honest heart, if you need help in understanding what the scriptures teach on these things, God will see that you have ample opportunity to be instructed.


SARAH – A MODEL OF SUBJECTION


Let me say to any sister who may have the feeling that she should not even trim her hair at all: Sister: Do not trim your hair just because I said that there is nothing wrong with it. Please do not! But if their comes a day when your hair is down to the ground, you should not have to come and ask me if it is alright to cut some of it off. An extremity is an extremity, whether it be too long, or too short. The same principal applies to rings on the fingers, watches, and every other thing that people use to adorn themselves outwardly. There is a sensible, modest application. Then there is the extreme in all of these areas. A woman professing godliness will not need someone to constantly follow her around, Do this, and don’t do that. You all know what I mean. It is a matter of getting your head on straight. Peter used Sarah, Abraham’s wife, as a model of feminine, subjection unto her own husband, and mentioned how she called Abraham lord, but that did not infer that she never spoke her mind about anything. Let us read verse 6. He is speaking of how women of old were subject unto their own husbands, and in verse 6, says, “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” In other words be under subjection to your husbands out of respect and reverence for the word of God; not because you fear that which he may do in demanding it. Peter goes on to speak to the husbands, how they should conduct themselves. A believing husband knows that he is not to physically force his wife into subjection. Her respect for the word of God coupled with his proper attitude and behavior accomplishes that. But what about Sarah? How many believe she was a model that you could look to, for an example in feminine subjection? She absolutely was. But there came a time when she looked at Abraham and said to him, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: (Hagar and Ishmael) for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that SARAH HATH SAID UNTO THEE, HEARKEN UNTO HER VOICE: for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21:10-12) I can just hear ole Abraham, Lord: What am I going to do? Sarah has demanded that I send Hagar and Ishmael away, saying, that Ishmael may not be heir with Isaac. The Lord answered, Obey her. Do as she says. Now sisters, take that for what it is worth, but please, do not stretch it too far. There are some godly women who have a level head upon their shoulders, which allows them to speak in defense of things that are spiritually right, many times. That does not mean that they are trying to exercise headship. It just simply leaves room for the head to be reminded that he may be leaning too far the other way. Isn’t it wonderful that God can speak to us like this, out of His book? He does not have to hide anything from us. He can let us see a thing like what Sarah did there, and that still does not change the true picture of what Sarah portrayed in her overall role as a wife in subjection to her husband.


REGULATING “THINGS”


Now we are going to leave the subject of individual adornment, and go into our homes for another round of holiness. Let us just take a look at what we have there, and why we have it. Some people are so rigid on certain things, and that is why I said, Whatever you have, in the realm of personal convictions: you hold on to them, and abide by them. There are certain things that would definitely be sin to you, because of your conscience, that would not be sin to someone else. In other words, if you cannot get your conscience in balance with certain things that you see others doing, you may be a person that will wind up flat on your face, (so to speak) if you do the same things. Just listen for a minute, while I relate something that you might hear, in certain circles. “Did you know that Bro. Jackson has a television in his home? Oh! No! Surely not! I had a lot of confidence in that man, but, if that is true, I will never be back here again. Bro. William Branham said, If you have one of those things, you should take it out to the city dump, and blow a hole through it.” It is sad to say, but you can hear that kind of carnal talk among far too many who claim to be in the truth of this hour. I want you to know, that if you did not know William Marrion Branham, in his personal, human life: there were a lot of times when you could not possibly know what he was talking about. He knew that America is a nation of excesses, where human souls are being turned over to a reprobate mind. America gave television to the world. She has also given the world the space satellites. But know when there is something coming through that tube that is not fit to watch, and know how to turn it off. If you adults, and parents of children, do not know that, then, you certainly would be better off without one in your home. I will have to say this though; If you cannot regulate a thing like that: there is definitely something wrong with you. Some will say, I just do not want that environment in my home, before my children. I do not condemn you for that. I respect your judgment in the matter, but I am going to tell you parents something. You can shelter your children, raise them without a television in your home, and lead them around blindfolded, like a little pup: but if this country ever gets into another war, and your 18 & 19 year old sons get drafted into the U.S. Army, you will not be there to protect them, then. They will be thrown right in with every kind of perverted, degenerate kind of mess that humanity produces in this age, and if the grace of God is not with them, there will come a day when you will cry your heart out because you molded him into something that could not cope with all of that. High moral standard, and a proper code of ethics is not attained by burying your head in the sand and pretending that everything around you is lovely.


WHAT IS EVIL?


My parents taught me certain principles of conduct, and things that were right, and wrong, without shutting me off from the rest of the world. I had the smoking habit, and I knew it was wrong, but when I went into the Army during W.W. 2, I was able to cope with all the drinking and gambling influences around me, without taking part with them. When we landed in the Hawaiian Islands, and many of the men went to the P.X. and bought beer, another fellow and myself bought a little cup of ice cream, and sat there on a rock eating it, while the beer drinkers made fun of us. During the months that passed, those fellows drank, got drunk, cursed, played cards, shot dice, and all the things that men do, and I kept myself apart from all of it. On paydays, I would send a little money home, and keep the rest, and many times, after some of those fellows had lost all their money, gambling, they would come to me, Jackson, can you let me have three dollars till payday? Brothers and sisters, I am just showing you that my upbringing did not cut me off from the world, but it did put something in me that stabilized me through all of that, even though I was not a Christian. Therefore I am saying to each and every one of you, The television is not going to send your soul to hell, but, if it becomes an obsession in your life, and you just cannot shut the thing off, then you had better do what Bro. William Branham said, blow it to pieces. Do not let anything capture you to the point where you have no control over it, and do not let the fact that you cannot control certain things, cause you to believe that no one else can either. That is not true. Some things that are a great blessing to some folks, can be a curse to others. Also, some things that were commonly looked upon as sinful, by Christians, in former days, are now commonly accepted by most Christians as very essential to our modern way of life. Let me give you a couple of examples. Years ago, down here in a little area called Dogwood, we attended a United Brethren church, when I was first saved. One morning, they asked me to teach Sunday school, and when the lesson was finished, an elderly man stood up, and said, Bro. Jackson, I am going to tell you something. What he told me, had no relationship to the Sunday school lesson, but here is what he said. “I am so many years old. I saw the first automobiles come on the scene, and I remember how the old United Brethren preachers would preach against them. They would get up in the pulpit and say, The automobile is a damnable thing. It is right out of the pit of hell. It scares the horses off the road, causes runaways, and they are wrecking up, putting lives in danger. That proves the thing is right out of hell. They would warn their congregations, never to get one of those evil contraptions, nor have anything to do with them. (That is why some of the Amish and Mennonite people still use horses.) When those old preachers died off the scene, the young ones came, driving an automobile, and the church went right on. It was the same way when the radio first came out. Those old preachers branded them as evil, because they advertised liquor and tobacco, but when they passed off the scene, the next generation of preachers was preaching over the radio, instead of against it.” Brothers and sisters, I hope you will let these little examples provoke your thinking, and cause you to face life as it is, with the thought of overcoming that which would be sin to you as an individual, instead of hiding from it. But, Bro. Jackson: Does not the Bible tell us to shun the very appearance of evil? Yes, it does. But you must keep your head on straight. A lot of what some people brand as evil, (or sinful) is only sinful to them, because their former teaching will not allow them to partake with a good conscience, and they expect everyone else to bow to their convictions. Saints, please do not misunderstand me. I believe every Christian should have some personal convictions, and moral standards, in this life, but they need to have a scriptural foundation for them, and they need to treat them as THEIR OWN CONVICTIONS, and never try to force others to abide by them.

 

 

You who believe that it would be wrong for you to have a television in your home, certainly do not need to get one, but I want you to know, that the television is a thing that is in the prophecy of the Bible for these last days. When you read Revelation 11:8 & 9, where those two Jewish prophets are killed, and their dead bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days, and the people of the whole world will look upon them, and not suffer them to be buried, surely you do not believe the whole word is going to travel to Jerusalem to see them lying there. Believe me; they will see them on the national news broadcasts on television. Now that still does not mean that everyone should have a television, for all who are truly of the bride of Christ, will not even be here on earth at the time those prophets are killed, but it does show that God fitted the television into future prophecy. You just have to look at all these things in the same light of what the apostle Paul said about eating meats and herbs. (Rom. 14:14) “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, and that there is NOTHING UNCLEAN OF ITSELF: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, (or sinful) to him it is unclean.” (Or sinful) The whole 14th chapter of Romans is good to read, when you start finding fault with your brothers and sisters in faith. There are just so many things that affect holiness, in one way or another, that it is almost impossible to mention every one of them, but you can be sure that the devil has twisted, distorted, and harnessed every one of them, down through the ages.


RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE SCRIPTURES


In Romans 13:8, Paul says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law,” and some have taken that verse to mean that a Christian should never finance anything, nor borrow any money. I have actually had people say to me, Bro. Jackson, I have never borrowed money in my life; I just do not believe in it. If any of you feel that way, let me ask you this; On what scripture in the Bible do you base such a conviction? I hope you have more than Romans 8:13. Maybe some of you who might feel that way, have never had to borrow money. That is well and good; God bless you, but I am one that has. I will always remember one time, when I wanted to put a furnace in my house, and my salary in the church was very small, so I knew I would have to borrow a little money, if I was going to do that job. I was praying about it, for I always tried never to do anything that would be in excess of what I saw my future potential to be. As I continued to pray about it, one night, I had a dream. I had said, Lord, you know what I need, and you know when I should do this, and in the dream, I saw myself standing in the Corydon, Indiana State Bank, when Mr. Miller was still alive. I was standing just outside his office door, waiting, and I could hear him talking to another person. After a bit, that man left his office, and Mr. Miller said, Raymond: Come in. I saw myself go in and sit down, and I could hear myself telling him what I wanted to do, and how much money it would take. When I finished, he said, Raymond, when you get ready to do it, come on in. That was the dream, and it was some time after that, before I felt that I should go ahead with the project, but the day I went to the bank to see Mr. Miller, that is exactly what happened, just like I saw it in the dream. I do not owe the bank for that furnace now though. To owe no man nothing, means, do not borrow, without paying it back. Furthermore, you should pay it back on the contract basis, and not wait until your creditor catches up with you and demands payment. You do not have to take my word for this; just open your Bible to Matthew 25:15-27, and read the parable of the talents, and you will see what Jesus said of the slothful servant that should have at least invested his master’s money with the exchangers, so that he could have received interest from the use of his money. In other words, they could have loaned the money and received interest, (usury.) That just goes to show, that borrowing and loaning is a part of the economics of our society. What we have to realize is that there are always certain men who will twist every truth of the Bible, trying to get someone else under bondage. It is all right to borrow money, or to finance a purchase, but it is not all right to fail to keep up with the contract agreement. Now, do not worry about what will happen if the rapture takes place before you finish paying for something you have bought; you are not going to take it with you. Some people ask questions like that.


CHECK YOUR CLOTHING


Brothers and sisters: True holiness is more than just a shell that we put on. True holiness is perfected, when you are inside, what you appear to be on the outside, if what you appear to be on the outside is in harmony with God’s principles of righteousness. Raymond Jackson has his faults, but by the grace of God, I try to keep them subdued, so that they do not rule my life, nor cause me to become a stumbling stone to you. My desire is to be a stepping stone, that may enable some to draw closer to the Lord. It is one thing to have faults, but there is something wrong with your experience in the Lord, if you do not appreciate His grace enough to try to better yourself. We should never allow anything to become an obsession with us. Take clothing, for instance. We are living in an age when clothing has become an obsession with many people who profess to be Christians. You do not need to have on a new dress, or a new suit every time you go some place, and certainly, Christian people do not need to be trying to keep up with the styles of the world. Back some time ago the miniskirts were popular. The worldly crowd started that fad, but it crept right into the churches. All you could see was women’s knees, everywhere you went. Then the styles changed, from extremely short to extremely long, but what did they do then? As the skirt length got longer, the blouse necks got lower and lower. Everything is designed with a sex slant, to grab the lustful attention of the opposite sex, and men are just as bad as the women, with their clothing. It makes me wonder, What will they come up with next? One thing that has become popular as the women’s skirts got longer is the slits up the sides. At first glance you may think a woman is modestly dressed, and then find out that her skirt has 3 slits that run practically all the way up. We encountered such a sight on our way into Canada recently. Walking down through the Toronto airport terminal, was a nicely dressed man, with what seemed to be a very modestly dressed woman, walking by his side. Her skirt length was about half way between her knees and her ankles, and at a distance you could find no fault with her appearance, but as they came on in and sat down, it became very obvious that the front panel was the only thing that hid the woman’s nakedness. When she sat down across from us, the whole underside of her body was exposed. All you can do is just bow your head to keep from looking at such as that. It is all a design of the devil, in this sex crazy age. Not all of those skirts are slit that far up, but if they are slit at all, it identifies with the spirit of that thing. Let me hasten to say this, now; Do not become legalistic about this, for I am sure that any right thinking person will know the difference between this kind of skirt, and others that may have always had a little ½ inch or 1 inch gap where the seams are, on the sides. There is nothing that can be done about how people of the world dress themselves, but Christians do not have to identify with them. Christians ought not display themselves in such a way as to draw sexy glances from the opposite sex, and you do not need a list of do’s and do not’s; all you need is some Holy Ghost convictions.


OPEN TOED SHOES


Now I want to call your attention to another extreme. Some preachers in times past, have preached so hard against women displaying themselves, sexually, that they have even forbade women to wear shoes with the open toe. They feel that a woman’s toes sticking out the end of her shoes is displaying herself in the wrong way. I sometimes wonder, just how silly some preachers will get before the end? I have never seen a woman’s big toe yet, that I felt would entice anyone sexually. I have always felt that any preacher who preaches like that should be prepared to go into Africa, India, as well as other places, and furnish shoes for all of those women. Saints: It is not whether your toe shows or not, when it comes to this thing of holiness. There are Christians in the world, who have never owned a pair of shoes in their whole life, and just to have a pair of little sandals would be the most that they could ever hope for. Could you say those dear souls are not holy? Shoes are just like anything else. They can reveal a lot about the individuals who are able to have any kind they may choose, but you can never set up a standard, and enforce it around the world. That brings us right back to our text. “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” I would never try to get any brother or sister to violate their convictions on these issues of holiness, but I do encourage every one of you to strive to bring your convictions into harmony with the word of God. If you believe that it is wrong to wear a wedding ring, it would be wrong for you to wear one, if you did it just because I said it was not wrong. But just as Rebekah put something on her head, showing that she was espoused, you owe it to yourself to display something, showing that you are married. Otherwise the man on the street sees you young married sisters, the same as any other young virgin. The ring could prevent a lot of ideas on his part. I wear a wedding ring myself, and I do it mainly for that reason, to show that I am a married man. I was asked to take it off one time, and for the sake of the preacher who asked me, I did it, while I was in his pulpit. But within three days, some of his people started coming to me, Bro. Jackson: Is it wrong to wear a wedding ring? That kind of puts you in a corner; you cannot be a hypocrite, yet you do not want to cause trouble in a man’s church, so I said, If you believe it is wrong, it is wrong for you, but to me, it is not wrong. Before long, that preacher’s wife told my wife, to tell me, to go ahead and wear my ring. The next time I went back there, you could see wedding rings all around the place, but deep in his heart, the preacher himself was stubborn. You know what the Bible says about stubbornness. That is what happened with King Saul, that made him go against the word of God, and here is what the prophet Samuel, had to say about it. (1st Sam. 15:22-23) “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and STUBBORNNESS is as INIQUITY and IDOLATRY. (Notice what a severe penalty he received.) Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” A person should have convictions that hare based upon the word of God, but stubbornness, and manmade traditions can never stand I the place of true holiness with God. Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. If you have trouble with your family, and your old friends, let it be because of a genuine conviction from the word of God, and not just because of something you may have heard me say. I hope you get the point.


HYPOCRITES – BLIND GUIDES


We have all read 2nd Corinthians 7:1, where Paul wrote these words, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God” and I suppose every extreme theory of holiness might have been instituted because someone read that particular verse. The real problem seems to come from carnal minds which read certain scriptures, then stretch the truth of that scripture, just like a rubber band, until it breaks and slaps them in the face. Every rubber band had a certain amount of elasticity, and within its limits, it will hold things together, compactly. But when you stretch it beyond those limits, it breaks, and whatever it is holding together, falls apart, many times, making a mess. That is exactly how a scriptural truth is. When it is applied within its scope, it will serve a good purpose in the plan of God, but when it is stretched beyond its true application, and carnal minds are allowed to play with it, sooner or later, you have a mess for someone to straighten up. We definitely are to be about the business of perfecting holiness both in our bodies as well as our spirits, just like this verse says, for without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. But like I have said over and over again, True holiness is a relationship between every genuine Christian and God; and it cannot necessarily be measured by man’s standards of holiness. There are some obvious areas in individual lives, where a lack of holiness can be detected, but there is no possible way that we can look at people, and declare that they are holy, for outward appearances and ways of life are very deceptive. If holiness was based only on outward appearances, then Jesus did wrong when he spoke to the scribes and Pharisees as He did. Listen. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, (whitewashed tombs) which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so YE ALSO OUTWARDLY APPEAR RIGHTEOUS UNTO MEN, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matt. 23:27-28) Do you see what I mean? He could speak to them like that, only because He was able to look inside their outer shell, and see what their heart condition was like. We have people, supposedly in this end time message of restored truth, who travel around from place to place, measuring holiness by what they see. Regardless of what part of the world they may be in, their measuring standards are the same. They dwell on the length of hair, the length of dresses, whether you wear jewelry or not, whether you speak in tongues, how high you jump when a fast song is sung, whether the men wear neckties, and whether the women wear shoes that cover their toes. Brothers and sisters, they have a list of do’s and don’ts a mile long, but they do not all dwell on the same things. They all have certain main points that they pick on. If they can get you to subscribe to their formula of holiness, you are a true child of God in their mind, but if you do not agree with them on every point, they will put you out of the family of God. At least in their mind, you are out. But listen, while I read another verse from this same chapter of Matthew’s gospel. Verse 23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, (in other words they followed their own little set of rules, which were alright as far as they went) and have OMITTED the WEIGHTIER matters of the law, JUDGMENT, (JUST JUDGMENT) MERCY, and FAITH: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” In other words, if our heart is right with God, we will not dwell on certain outward ways and appearances, and neglect other things that are just as important. Verse 24, applies to those who do. Jesus just looked at them, and said, “Ye BLIND GUIDES, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” It is not my responsibility to judge the eternal destiny of anyone; that is in the hands of God, but to those scribes and Pharisees who placed so much importance on their outward appearance, when their heart was full of deceit and ungodliness, Jesus said, verse 33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” I know that is strong language, but it was Jesus Himself that made the application, and He made it applicable to men whose hearts are so vile that they would destroy another man’s image and testimony, if he refused to bow to their set of rules.


CHURCH BUILT UPON WHAT?


Some of you may think I am speaking a little too plain about these things, but let me tell you something, The hour is late. Our time for playing around with the scriptures is running out. I have never said anything to deliberately hurt anyone. God forbid that I ever would, but there has to be a dividing line drawn somewhere, so people may have an opportunity to get their eyes opened, and see why they are following whoever they may be following. I have said many times, and I am going to say again this morning, Please do not follow my flesh, regardless of how much you may like me as a person. Without a revelation, you will miss God completely, even if you do and say all the right things as you go through life. Upon what did Jesus tell the apostle Peter that He would build His church? I know there are ten thousand different opinions as to what that rock is, but I hope all of you are able to see that He was speaking of the rock of revelation. He had just asked His disciples a question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Some of them replied, John the Baptist, others said that the people thought He was Elias, or Elijah, and that some thought He could even be Jeremiah, or one of the other old prophets. After hearing them report what the multitudes were saying about Him, He looked them in the face and said, “BUT WHOM SAY YE THAT I AM?” Peter always seemed to be the quick one to reply, or to act, so he blurted out, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We are in the 16th chapter of Matthew, and in verse 17, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” That simply means that no earthly man revealed such a thing to Peter. He knew it because the Spirit of God had revealed it to him. This caused Jesus to say, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (this rock of revelation, not this rock Peter, as some have understood it) I will build my church; (the rest of this verse gives a clue to understanding what the rock is, for anything that is built upon any man is subject to have the gates of hell prevail against it, but that which is a revelation to you is such a part of you, that the devil and all his angels can never take it away from you.) And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Those who have the word of God hid in their hearts by a spiritual revelation are not at the mercy of the devil and all of his angels, but anyone who is just following some man, without a personal revelation to stabilize them, are as helpless as a fly in a tub of molasses. The devil can run them up any old road he chooses to.


DO NOT PLAY WITH TRUTH


Now let me ask you, Are you in this end time message of restored truth, or are you just trying to play around with it like the denominational theologians play with their theories. This is not a message that you can play with. This message that so many people claim to have heard, from the mouth of God’s prophet messenger to this age, will place a demand upon your life, and require you to meet Bible standards in a holy walk with God. All who play around with it, get hurt. Many have been hurt already. Some of them have gone past the point of no return. They have departed from the truth that Bro. William Branham stood for, deified him, and given him the place that only the Lord Jesus Christ could ever have, and because of this, God must deal with them as idolaters. To a great extent, their conscience is already seared, as with a hot iron. They are branded, and regardless of who they may be, they should be treated according to Paul’s instructions in the 5th chapter of 1st Corinthians. As we begin reading with verse 11, I want you to pay attention to what is written here. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man THAT IS CALLED A BROTHER be a fornicator, or covetous, or an IDOLATER, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one, no, not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth THEREFORE PUT AWAY FROM AMONG YOURSELVES THAT WICKED PERSON.” Brothers and sisters, that is plain enough. Paul says, Do not keep company with such people; do not even eat with them. Many such people have been blindly led into such a place; therefore, there is hope for them if they will come to their senses, and return unto the word of God, but there are others that have gone too far. They will never return. You could preach to them until you become grey headed, and all they will do is look at you with a smirk on their face, as if to say, Preacher; God gave me this revelation. That is exactly what those idolaters will tell you, if you question them as to why they have elevated Bro. William Branham into such a place of deity. I have heard them say, You have to have a revelation of who he was. Saints! I praise God because I do have a revelation of who he was. He was a man, just like you and me, in the sense that he needed a savior. But he had a call of God upon his life that no other man among us had. He was commissioned to put us back in the Bible, where we could see just exactly what a Christian is supposed to be. He did what he was called to do, and he will receive his reward for it, in that day when God rewards His saints. God will not hold him accountable for the extremes that some have gone to with the words he preached. They have become idolaters by their own choice, they become subject to be dealt with according to Paul’s instructions. Saints, it is bad when we lose fellowship with people because of the truth we stand for, but I would certainly hate to be deprived of fellowship because some crazy, devil idea had grabbed hold of me, and true believers had to put me out.


WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION


Look with me, at some other instructions that Paul gave to believers in Thessalonica. 1st Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good, (That lets me know, that somewhere in our Christian lives, we have to reach a point where we know what good principles are.) Abstain from all appearance of evil (that means, abstain from those things that God calls evil, not just every little whim of some carnal minded person you may respect) and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Speaking of abstaining from every appearance of evil, reminds me of something that happened years ago, out in the state of Missouri. I was invited to a young couple’s home for an evening meal, and the young man was one of these fellows that is always doing some kind of bodily exercise. He spent fabulous sums of money, buying exercise equipment, trying to keep his muscles built up. He was very careful about eating the right foods, and taking vitamins, and all of that. When he found out that I drink coffee, what do you think he did? He went over to a cabinet, took out a bottle that had some little yellow pills in it, and said, Bro. Jackson, I do not mean to be offensive, but according to research findings, each cup of coffee has an amount of caffeine in it, which is equivalent to one of these caffeine tablets. Now what would be the difference between you drinking a cup of coffee, or just taking one of these caffeine tablets? I knew what he was driving at, this was not the first time I had encountered this sort of thing. I just took a little time to think, then I said to him, God knew when He made the coffee tree that some people would have a nervous type stomach, and coffee would not set well with them. But he also knew that some other people would have a stomach that could consume a barrel of coffee, without any adverse affects. These people might enjoy the taste of it, and also appreciate the warm stimulating feeling that a cup of coffee can give them on a cold winter morning. As a matter of fact, I learned to drink coffee years ago, when my sister and I had to walk 3 miles through the woods, going to school, on those cold winter mornings. A cup of hot coffee helped a lot. I have been drinking it ever since, and it has not affected my salvation one bit, and I do not believe it hurts my physical body either. If I thought it did, I would quit drinking it. Furthermore, if you think it would hurt you, then do not drink it, but please do not try to tie it to holiness. When the apostle Paul wrote to those Christians at Philippi, and told them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, it was this matter of holiness before God that he was referring to. We all know that there is only one way for lost sinners to be justified from their state of unbelief, that is, by faith in the shed blood fo Jesus Christ. We do not work that out; it has already been worked out for us, there at Calvary. But we do have to work out the affairs of our life, after we have believed, to bring our lives in line with the word of God. If you do not work out your own salvation on this question of holiness, you will always be under bondage to the devil, trying to follow some man. Brothers and sisters, what I am trying to get across to you, is that holiness is a personal relationship between every true believer and God; it is not just a doctrine with a set or rules to follow. Of course there are some guidelines to get you started on your Christian walk with God, but then, you must have your own convictions about what is right or wrong for your own personal life, and a lot of that is based upon the culture of your own society. When it comes to water baptism, for the remission of your sins, that is the same, no matter where you are. It requires you to repent first, and then be immersed in water, not sprinkled, and just pouring a little water on your head is not good enough either. You must be put under the water. That is the only way your baptism can be a type of burial. When you bury something, you put it under. Now God has one formula for receiving the Holy Ghost, (Acts 2:38) and there is no other formula, so you do not have to work that out. You just believe the word of God, and obey this one formula from the heart, and it then becomes God’s responsibility to give you the seal (the Holy Ghost.)


HOLY GHOST, NOT AN OPTION


When you receive the Holy Ghost, there is no certain manifestation that you have any right to expect. You may speak in tongues, then again, you may not. You may fall out under the power of the Spirit of God, but then again, you may not. It is up to God to give you the Holy Ghost with whatever manifestation pleases Him. The only important thing, is that you receive the Holy Ghost, not how you receive. The Holy Ghost is not an option in salvation. You do not have the new birth until you receive it. That is why Paul wrote as he did to the Romans. Look in the 8th chapter of Romans, beginning with verse 8, “So then they that are in the flesh (without the Holy Ghost) cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Bur IF the SPIRIT of him that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive, raise from the dead) your mortal bodies BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU.” That should help you understand why I said, The Holy Ghost is not optional. It is the Holy Ghost that places us in the body of Christ, and if we are not in that body, we are not of Him. Look at 1st Corinthians 12:13. “For by ONE SPIRIT (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one SPIRIT.” Brothers and sisters, we are either in the body of Christ, or we are not; it is as simple as that. If we are in that body, we have the Spirit of God in us, to enable us to have a holy walk with Him. But if we do not have that Holy Ghost experience, we are not in the body of Christ and whatever amount of outward holiness that may be displayed, is just a shell, and God will not accept it. Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, is to be constantly moving toward a Bible picture of holiness, not a human picture. We titled this message, Holiness versus Tradition, to keep the title simple, but what we are dealing with is true Bible holiness in contrast to man made traditional holiness. One is by the Spirit of God in true believers, and the other is by human zeal. That which is by the Spirit of God will allow for circumstances, but that which is by human zeal is rigid and unbending, without mercy, and without just judgment.


DRESS CONSERVATIVE


We have already touched on clothing, and I do not mean to be repetitious, but there is yet a couple of things I want to say. As you travel around the world, you become very conscious of the fact, that in every continent, there is a traditional type of clothing that identifies those of that continent. They are known by that certain style the world over. Therefore when you go into their part of the world, and convert them to Christ, are you to touch their dress style? Only that which might tend to draw immoral, suggestive glances from the opposite sex. Only then, would you interfere with their traditional style of dress. When Jesus Christ came into the world, He was manifested to the Jewish race. His natural genealogy was traced back through Jewish parents, therefore He did not dress like a Turk, nor like someone from the Orient; He dressed Himself according to the traditional life style, and customary dress of the Jewish people at that time. He did not dress Himself in such a way that when he walked down the street, His clothes made Him stand out like a sore thumb. If you did not know who He was, you could have taken Him for any average Jewish man walking down the street. I am certain of one thing though, He was dressed conservatively. Now when we say conservative, it must be understood like this; whatever the traditional custom in clothing may be, in any nation, God will accept that. When Paul, or Peter spoke of apparel, they were dealing with fads that pop up for 6 months or a year or so, until another one is introduced to take its place. The devil works in those things, most of the time to display the human body in some sex suggestive way. People who design things like mini skirts, or skirts with slits up the sides, or promote the image of the unbuttoned blouse, or the low neck blouses, do not do that to portray morality, decency and godliness; it is just the opposite of that. Therefore every woman who wears clothing like that, no matter how pure in heart she might be, is looked upon by degenerate mankind just like any woman of ill fame. If your style of dress identifies with that kind of image, what else can you expect? That is why I do not hesitate to say, No born again child of God will submit themselves to such an image as that. Just plain common sense is all it takes to know what conservative clothing is, in whatever part of the world a Christian may be living for God in. Over the years, living standards and modes of travel have brought about changes in traditional customs of dress; that is understandable. But that kind of change will always have a consistent pattern; it will not be one thing today, and something different six months from now. In other words, just for an example we will think about the American style of dress, back around the turn of the century, when the automobile first came on the scene. Up until that time people rode horseback, or in a buggy or carriage of some sort, that required a different style of clothing than what we are used to now, since most all of our transportation is motorized, and on good roads. The Amish and the Mennonite people are an example of those who refuse to change with the times. You will see them going down the road in a horse drawn buggy, where everyone else is driving a modern day automobile. You will usually see, in that buggy, a man dressed in black, with a low profile, wide brimmed hat, and the same style shirt and trousers that was worn in Holland, back in 1400. Their ancestors came out of the Dark Ages with convictions against worldliness, against worldly appearance, world fashions in dress, and everything else that seemed like worldliness to them. In almost 500 years, they have not changed their style of dress. They will not own an automobile, nor any kind of farm tractor or equipment, and they will not even have electric light in their houses. They are not all like that, not that strict anymore, but many of them still are. They will not even have window shades.


JUMPING OVER BIBLE TRUTH


I heard the testimony of an old Mennonite brother, back in the late 50’s. He told how a certain physical condition had caused him to go to one of those salvation and divine healing meetings. I forget now, who the particular evangelist was, but in that meeting, God got hold of him, healed his body, saved his soul, and filled him with the Holy Ghost. Then God got hold of his whole family, and saved them, but his testimony was that later, back on the farm, he was plowing corn one day, with an old horse drawn cultivator, and he could look out across the fields and see other farmers with their high powered tractors, plowing acres of corn in one day’s time. It made him feel that he was at a crossroads in life. He just stopped right in the middle of the field, to rest his horses, got off the seat, and took off his hat, wiping his brow, and saying in his heart, O Lord, if this condition was only changed. At that moment, he heard an audible voice speak to him; Go tell your people wherein they are wrong. It scared him. He thought someone had slipped up on him, and heard him talking to himself. He looked all around and did not see anyone, but then, he heard the same thing again; Go tell your people wherein they are wrong. Then he knew that God had spoken to him, so he did exactly that. He went right back to that old Mennonite church, took his seat, and waited for his time to give testimony and read scripture, according to their custom. When he finished giving his testimony, and telling them they were wrong about this, wrong about that, and wrong about tractors, electric lights, automobiles, and so forth; they held court right there in the church, and voted to throw him out. Now the point is this, they were so old fashioned in their lifestyle, that God could no longer talk to them, yet you could not say that they were not a holy looking people, from their outward appearance. That is why I said, You can get into a holy looking shell, and miss God altogether. In other words, you can get yourself so separated, that even God will have to pass you up. That may sound strange, but that is exactly what happens when individuals, or groups, just pick out certain things, and make a doctrine out of it. They always reach a point where they will jump over Biblical truth, in order to enforce their doctrine. The Shaker movement was a good example of that. They had what you and I call the Holy Ghost, but they got off course. They secluded themselves into colonies, practiced confession of sins, and community of goods, which you could not say is unscriptural, but they went on to demand celibacy, and equality of the sexes, which definitely required them to jump over many scriptures. For instance, Did not the apostle Paul tell Timothy, that the younger women should marry, bear children, and guide the house, without giving the adversary an occasion to speak reproachfully? Did he not also tell him that the women should learn in silence, with all subjection, and that they should not teach, nor have authority over any man? Yet this society of Shakers, or Shaking Quakers pushed women into roles of leadership. They had no formal statement of beliefs, but starting out in America with only a handful of members, somewhere around 1780, by the middle of the 19th century they had grown into eighteen colonies, with around six thousand members. History records that the Shaker movement was the most successful experiment in religious communitarian living in the New World. They were noted for their neat, well planned, and peaceful villages; their pure architecture and fine craftsmanship; their progressive practices in agriculture, and their concern for social betterment. They suffered persecution at times, because of their peculiar ways, but it was all in vain. They had jumped over too many scriptures, therefore God allowed the movement to die out. In 1959 there were only twenty nine known members of this society. It just goes to show, that when you leave the scriptures, no matter how holy you may appear, the day will come when you reach the end of your rope. Shakertown, Kentucky, today, is nothing more than a memorial of bygone days.


TOO HOLY FOR GOD TO LEAD


It seems that many people get to feeling so holy, and so close to God, they begin to feel that they do not need a scriptural foundation for what they decide to make a doctrine of. That was the case with these Shakers, on the issue of celibacy. In the year 1758, a twenty two year old young lady joined the society, which was then under the leadership of James Wardley and his wife Jane. This young lady was Ann Lee, a textile mill worker. Four years later she married a man by the name of Abraham Standerin, a blacksmith, by whom she had four children, which all died in infancy. Hers was an unhappy marital experience complicated by severe illness, and during these trying times the conviction grew upon her that “concupiscence” was a cardinal sin. (That, of course, is the condition of man and woman living together physically, intimately as man and wife.) She become convinced in her mind that this was strictly wrong, and that it was the cause of sin in the world in the first place. It was because of her influence that the discipline of this sect became so severe. But it was while she and some others were in prison, for disturbing the congregation of a church during worship services, in the year 1773, that she claimed to have a vision whereby she was divinely ordained to complete the mission of Jesus Christ, on earth. This would require her to repudiate, or abstain from every lust of the flesh. Her testimony was so powerful, that she was accepted as an inspired prophetess, and appointed leader of an order known as “The Millennial Church.” Ten months later, in the year 1774, seeking freedom of worship, Ann Standerin, with seven devoted followers, sailed for America. Coming from England to America, they settled first in New York, where they waited for an opportunity to open their testimony on the shores of the New World. Their big opportunity did not come until the year 1780, and Ann Standerin died four years later, but she left behind, American born converts, that expanded the movement until it reached its peak with about 6 thousand members, before it started its decline. During that time they spread into Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, as well as various parts of New England. They rebelled against the established church, because it condoned marriage. Saints! When you start establishing teaching like that, no matter how holy you may appear to be, you are stepping over the Bible to do it. What did the apostle Paul say, in Hebrews 13:4? “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” That scripture meant nothing to them; they converted whole families to their teaching. But sad to say, many times they only converted either the husband, or the wife, and this broke up that home. The men lived in separate dormitories from the women, and the children were placed in nurseries. There was no home life, as we know it. Brothers and sisters: when you go to that extreme in your holiness, you have left the Bible completely. God told Adam and Eve, to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. Then, after the flood of Noah’s day, God spoke to Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and the fear of you shall be upon every other living creature. It was at this time, that God told Noah and his sons, Every living thing that moveth upon the earth shall be meat for you, but do not eat flesh that still has the blood in it. This last part is for you that believe it is wrong to eat meat. It does not matter whether you eat meat or not, but if you teach, abstaining from meats, as a doctrine, you have left the Bible to do it. God never reaches into the leadership realm of movements like these, to pull out men who will stand for truth. No. He goes down the line until He finds some little fellow who is hungry for the truth, then He has someone He can lead, by His Spirit. That is the reason John the Baptist, did not come from the ranks of the Scribes and Pharisees. That is also why the messenger of this age, did not come from the high ranks of oneness Pentecost; they had already settled down upon their statement of beliefs, and locked all the doors and windows so tightly, that God could no longer speak to them. Then, when Bro. William Branham did come on the scene to fulfill his calling, Pentecost looked at him with a big bug-eyed look, and wondered how he could be of God, since he did not come from among their ranks. They thought they had all that God had to give, and they tried to lock the devil out, but that will not work for you. If you are going to be led by God in these last days: for goodness sakes, leave the door open. When you lock the devil out, you lock God out too. But if you will keep the door of your life open to God, He will make a fool out of the devil when he comes around.


HOW DENOMINATIONS BECOME SUCH


Did you ever take time to think about what causes a denomination in the first place? Every denomination that has ever been started has been the result of God reaching down into some old dead system, and dealing with the hungry soul of some individual that did not lock up his own heart’s door along with the system he was in. God leads individuals out of those old dead systems, through a revelation of truth that He imparts to them, but before long they begin to notice how the devil is harassing them. The first thing they think of is to lock the doors and windows, so to speak, in an effort to keep the devil out, but the moment they do, God is locked out also. How is that, Bro. Jackson? It is very simple. The devil is a spirit, and he gives people ideas. He causes some people to read the Bible and get strange revelations from it. Therefore to prevent such a thing from being mixed with the teaching of the church, they all get together and make a list of the basic Bible truths that they all stand for. This is what they call these articles of faith, even though we realize that not all of them are Bible truths; the devil has already been busy. Nevertheless what they commonly agree upon is all that they are going to allow in their services, therefore God is shut out along with the devil, for He (GOD) also, is a Spirit, and that is how He deals with human hearts, by causing them to see things in His word, that their denominational system does not see. The truth is, you will never keep the devil out like that; he gets in just the same, but God will not force His way into those old cold places; He just lets them go on and die, but He is ever looking for a hungry soul that has His heart’s door standing open for Him to enter. Now all of this should lead us to one conclusion; We can never keep the devil out of the church building, as long as people are free to come and go by their own will and choice. But every true child of God absolutely can keep the devil out of their personal life. How many of you know what I am talking about? There are always some who will not walk where I walk, but I am not the final judge of the matter. I will say this though, Brothers and sisters of this end time restored truth: If we will walk with God day by day in a true Biblical holiness, it will get harder and harder for the devil to sit among us. As perfection becomes more and more a Biblical reality, the devil has less and less room to move around in.


WHAT ABOUT MUSIC?


Let me say another thing or two, and then I will try to bring this message to a close. I want to touch on music now for the next little while. I had Bro. Neil Connolly play that song on his slide trombone for a reason. Five or six years ago, when Bro. Connolly was here, he was asked to play that song for us. It is a beautiful song to me. “Down from His glory, every living story, my God and Savior came, and Jesus was His name. Born in a manger, to His own a stranger, a Man of sorrows, tears and agony.” I did not know that the tune itself originated in Europe, years ago. But there was a man in the congregation at that time, that had come over from Norway. I had picked him up at the airport myself. While Bro. Connolly was playing that song, I saw the brother get up and start toward the platform. I met him, and checked him. He was wanting to say something. But I said, Not now, and lead him back to his seat. When the song was finished, and one of the preachers started to preach, (This was in our convention) the man came down to the platform and turned around, like he wanted to say something to the congregation. I went over, and said to him, Brother: Is there something wrong? Yes. He wanted to say something. By that time the preacher was already preaching, and I again said, Not now. Wait until after the service. He went back to his seat for a few minutes, but then got up, and went outside. He would not sit in the service. The deacons told me after the service, that they had taken him back to his motel room when he would not remain in the service. I went to his room to find out what was wrong with him, and this is what I heard, “The song that the brother played on his horn is a worldly song.” I said, “Brother, that is not so. That is a beautiful song.” But he insisted, “It is of the world.” Then I said, “How do you know that?” At that, he began to tell me how the song was written in Europe, so many years ago, and that it was a worldly song. It was a classical number, and it was worldly, and Christians ought not be playing it. I knew that whatever classical music America had, came from Europe, but I said, Brother, the only time I have ever heard that tune it was to the beautiful words known to us as, Down From His Glory. But he did not want to accept it any differently, and I thought to myself, This is where people can really get carried away. They think if any tune was ever associated with the world, that brands it as no good for God, and Christians should not play it. I realize that he did not hear the words that we sing to that tune, and this naturally made the worldly association, when he heard it played by Bro. Connolly, but that did not give him any right to be unreasonable, when I tried to explain the situation to him. I wonder how many of you sitting here, realize just how many of the gospel songs we like to sing, at one time or another, the tune to them has been used by the devil’s crowd? Does that make it a bad song? How many of you ever heard that little song, “Oh, I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes?” It is a worldly song, about a sailor that was far over the seas, and he is thinking about his love back home. It was not a vulgar song, like most worldly songs of our day, but it is a worldly song. Now, Let me ask you this, How many of you know that the tune to that song is the same tune that Roy Acuff sang, “The Great Speckled Bird,” to? The great speckled bird is the Bible in this song. Should we throw that song out, now that we all know this? If you feel that way, I could probably help you throw away a lot of your gospel albums that you love so much, for I can think of a lot of gospel songs that are sung to what, at one time, was a worldly tune.


Suppose we leave America with this thought, and go to the other side of the world. A few years back, there was a little country western tune came out, “Anybody Going to San Antonio, Anybody Going My Way.” I know some of you have heard that little song. Truck drivers enjoyed hearing it on the radio, as they drove along. It was not a vulgar song either, but it was a worldly song, not for the church. But when we went to Norway, we heard some young people singing a little song in church, and it was to that same tune, “When I Remember What He Has Done For Me, I’ll Never Turn Back Anymore.” We sat there listening to that little song, and I kept wondering, Now where have I heard that tune? Then I remembered it was the tune to “Anybody Going to San Antonio,” and then I wondered where the tune first originated? Which song had it first? It does not make any difference as far as I am concerned, for it is the message contained in the words, that determines whether it is a worldly song or a gospel song. Those young people had learned that little song in Germany. They did not know that the tune was used with any other words, just like I did not know that the tune to “Down From His Glory” was one that my brothers and sisters in Norway, would consider a worldly tune. Saints, we really need to keep an open mind about all these various things that are attached to holiness. The first thing you need to be conscious of, is that the church of the living God is universal, and that we Americans have no right to make a sin list for saints that live in a completely different environment than ours. God knows how to deal with every soul that is truly born of His Spirit, regardless of where they may live, and those that are not born again, can never be made holy in the sight of God, just by following your rules for holy living. Just let me say it like this, You follow your own rules, so that you yourself may have the answer of a good conscience before God, but leave room for the Spirit of God to deal with you, just in case you do not have all of your convictions built upon a solid foundation.


WHAT ABOUT DOCTORS AND MEDICINE?


For another example of extremes that some people are guilty of, let us consider divine healing. I have crossed paths with many people in the last 25 years who did not hesitate to express their viewpoint on divine healing. Many of them would say, so piously, If you believe in divine healing; then it is wrong for you to take pills, and go to doctors. Brothers and sisters, listen carefully to my question. Where did they get such an idea as that? In all of His 3 ½ years of preaching, Jesus never preached one sermon against doctors, nor against taking medicine. Neither did Paul, nor any of the other apostles. On the other hand, we do find where a certain woman had been ill with a blood disease for twelve years, and that she had spent all she had on physicians, and constantly grew worse, instead of better. In other words, she had a medically incurable physical condition. But when she heard about the miraculous power that worked through this man called Jesus, the Christ, she said in her heart, Oh, If I can only touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole. No one instructed her like that; it was a feeling from within her own heart. Therefore she pushed her way through the crowd until she got close enough to touch His garment, and at that very moment Jesus turned, and said, “Who touched my clothes?” She had hoped that she could do that without being noticed, but Jesus felt virtue go out of Himself, and that caused Him to ask the question. His disciples said, Lord, you can see all this multitude thronging about you on every side, and yet you say, “Who touched me?” About that time, Jesus looked over, and saw the little woman fearful and trembling, and said to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” The little woman was healed immediately, from a disease that physicians could not help her with, but did Jesus or any of the others, take that opportunity to condemn all physicians? You know they did not, as well as I know it. Let me tell you what probably did happen though. When Jesus went back to the Capernaum area, after the news of that had had time to spread, they probably had all the sick folks lined up waiting. It is such a common thing for people to feel that whatever works for one will work for everyone, I can just see them, Lord, just walk along here where we can all touch your garment. We are not asking you to pray a long prayer for us, just let us touch you. Does that sound familiar? Is that not the way many preachers of our day, promote such things? I am not making fun of them; many people have been healed in much the same way as that little woman in the scriptures, but I must point out one thing, That little woman was probably not the only sick person that touched Jesus that day, in all of that great multitude, so what was it that made the difference? It was her faith. “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 8:48-Mark 5:34) Every believer should know, that when that kind of faith reaches out to God, favorable results come back in return, but none of these scriptural accounts of healing, provide any reason for us to condemn a brother or a sister for going to see a doctor. People have such a tendency to take certain scriptures and use them for a club or a whip, just to beat someone else down, and make them feel bad. They all quote scriptures such as 1st Peter 2:24, which reads like this, “Who His own self (speaking of Jesus) bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” and they will say, If you are already healed, why do you go to the doctor? Brothers and sisters, it is alright to remind each other of the many benefits and provisions that are in the Bible, but it is wrong to do it in such a way that it becomes a whip, and brings feelings of guilt upon some who may need to go to a physician. I have always said this, If you can live above sickness, without going to the doctor or taking medicine, that is wonderful; may God bless your soul. But please! Do not condemn a brother or sister that has not attained such a place. Always allow room for the grace of God to work in every person’s life. Do not be so foolish as to think that God is helpless to deal with His true children when they need to move up a notch or two. What do we read in Romans 8:29? “For whom He (God) did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, (Jesus) that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” If God has predetermined to do a thing, Brother! You can be sure that He has away to get it done. Bro. Jackson, does that mean that we should not try to help each other? Of course not. Did I say anything against the children of God, helping each other? Everything I have said, has been to help you keep from condemning each other, and to keep you from condemning yourselves, when carnal minded people find fault with you. I have not said one thing that should keep anyone from obeying any scripture that God may reveal to them. Some of you who have grown more in the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ, may recognize many things in the lives of others that you feel should not be there, but it would be wrong for you to assume a pious attitude toward them, knowing that growing in the grace of God is a progressive process. No one reachers maturity suddenly.


DO NOT BE LIKE CAIN


Let us read a few more words that Paul wrote to the church at Rome, and then we will try to bring this little message to a close. Our hope, and our confidence rests in the ability, and the faithfulness of the one that called us to this great salvation by the wooing of His Spirit. Picking up verse 30, there in Romans 8, we read these words. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? WHO SHALL LAY ANYTHING TO THE CHARGE OF GOD’S ELECT? IT IS GOD THAT JUSTIFIETH.” God is able to carry us through, if we will just hold steady and depend upon Him. Let us not be as concerned about what other people may think of us, as we are about what God thinks about us. Let me read you a few verses from the little epistle of 1st John, beginning with 3:11. “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, WHO WAS OF THAT WICKED ONE, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because HIS OWN WORKS WERE EVIL, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER ABIDETH IN DEATH. WHOSOEVER HATETH HIS BROTHER IS A MURDERER: AND YE KNOW THAT NO MURDERER HATH ETERNAL LIFE ABIDING IN HIM.” There are some people who become so violent when they cannot get others to subscribe to their formula of holiness, they are almost like Cain, who physically slew his brother Abel. They may never kill you physically, but they will do everything within their power to kill any spiritual influence you may have with people. Why? Because their own deeds are evil. Their own heart is not right with God. Who would follow such leaders? Those who have drifted along through life without ever becoming grounded upon the word of God. Those who love excitement, more than they love truth. Those who hope for some material advantage, and those whom the devil has set in your assembly just for such an occasion. All of this is foretold in the scriptures, that those who love truth, and desire a holy walk with God, may be forewarned.


I am going to close now. I never had any intention of making a sin list for anyone. If you have a Bible, you already have a sin list. If you do not have a Bible, try to get one. Then just humble yourself before God, and ask him to show you from His word, how to conduct yourself as a child of God. If anything in this message leaves a question in your mind, do not hesitate to write us. We are here to help you, if we can. I have always felt that there is a Bible answer for every honest question that anyone may have, concerning their spiritual walk with God. Meanwhile, May His grace be sufficient for each and every one of you. Amen.

He Gave Gifts Unto Men – 1980, November


Introduction

IN THIS LITTLE MESSAGE WE WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND ALSO THE GIFTED MEN THAT GOD HAS SET IN THE CHURCH FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE LIVING ELEMENT OF HIS BODY IN THESE LAST DAYS.


WE WANT TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO WHAT MEN SAY ABOUT VARIOUS THINGS, THEN SHOW YOU WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT THEM. WE WILL ALSO SHOW WHY THERE IS NO LIFE LEFT IN THESE DENOMINATIONAL SYSTEMS OF RELIGION, AND WHY IT IS NECESSARY FOR TRUE BELIEVERS TO BE RESTORED TO THE FAITH OF OUR APOSTOLIC FATHERS.


WHEN YOU READ THE PARABLE OF THE THIRTY, SIXTY, AND HUNDRED FOLD, DO YOU THINK OF IT AS A GRADUATING PROCESS OF BELIEVERS? MANY PEOPLE DO, BUT THE TRUTH MAY SURPRISE SOME OF YOU. LET US JUST LOOK AT THESE THINGS TOGETHER, AND TRUST THE HOLY GHOST TO REVEAL TO EVERY HEART THE TRUE REVELATION THAT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD.


TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:4-16


Realizing that we are living in a day when so many people from so many different religious persuasions are saying, Jesus Christ can come any time now, and realizing also that most of them have based their opinions on denominational teaching, which is no more in most cases than just a log of man made traditional ideas, I am trusting God to help me bring out something that will allow true saints to see a clear picture. Nothing I could ever say would change the great multitudes of religion, but there is a truth that runs consistent with the word of God from Genesis all the way through the book of Revelation, and that is what God’s foreknown children are hungering for; therefore I ask you to pray that God will allow us to feed our souls upon that truth, that we may grow in the stature of our Lord Jesus Christ. As far as Jesus coming just any time now: I will repeat what I have said many times before. He could come for any of us as individuals at any moment. If so, those individuals will go into caskets and be placed somewhere to await the resurrection, but you can be assured, He will not come for the rapture of the church, until everything has been fulfilled that must proceed that event, and there are still a number of things that fall into that category. God will not get in a hurry and bypass some of what is written in the book. If He would do that, then we would not know whether we could place our confidence in Him or not. Our great hope is based upon our faith that He will fulfill every word that is written, regardless of how insignificant some of it may sound to the natural mind. To me, everything in the Bible is important. It was all written to accomplish some purpose of God. I realize that I may say some things in a message like this, that will not be agreeable to everyone that may read it, but I am set to stand for what I see in the book, regardless of human feelings. We would all do well to stop looking at the flesh side of things, and begin to realize that this book is written for the benefit of the inner man who was created in the image of God. It is God’s ultimate purpose that should be considered in all things, and that of course is the redemption and reconciliation of the inner man. The outer man (the flesh) is to be brought under subjection to the inner man which is spirit.

 

 

ONE LORD – ONE FAITH – ONE BAPTISM


Let us open our Bibles to the 4th chapter of Ephesians now, and see how the apostle Paul taught this body of believers, made up of every race, color and creed upon the face of the earth. We will also see how the Lord gave gifts unto men and set them in this great universal body, to function in His place until He does come for His redeemed church. He does not preach and minister to His church through angelic beings; He uses fleshly men, and He will continue to do so until the church is perfected, ready to ascend to glory. We will start with verse 4, in this 4th chapter of Ephesians. “There is ONE body, and ONE spirit, even as ye are called in ONE hope of your calling: ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Alright, first we see that there is only one body of believers in the Lord’s true church. Of course this word, body, is a figurative word, used by Paul to denote the tabernacle of God. In other words, that is a term applied, because God is dwelling in His people, His church. It has been so ever since the upper room experience of Acts 2:1-4, when the Holy Ghost was given to believers. You have a physical body, made up of many members, and each member of your body has its own particular function, and as long as every member functions as it was placed there to do; you have a healthy body. On the other hand, let one or more of those members begin to let down on their part; what do you have? You have a body that is not doing all that it was created to do. God created Adam and Eve perfect. There was not one flaw in their physical makeup, but when they disobeyed God’s word, and God sent them forth from the garden, out of His presence: it set a law of death in motion. From that moment on, humanity has had a death sentence hanging over it. That law of death coupled with all the sins of mortal men, has worked through the ages to produce some pitiful cases in the lives of human beings. It is easy for us to see what has happened to physical bodies when certain members of those bodies failed to function in their proper order, but I wonder, sometimes, just how many people actually make a spiritual comparison, looking at the church of the living God as ONE body with many members, and each member having a particular function in that one great body? Do they see what has happened to that body and what must take place in order for it to be restored to its original state? The first church did not start out with a dozen different faiths, divided into denominations, believing in three persons in the Godhead, and saying that it made no difference whether a believer was baptized or not. You can take my word for it; when the church started out on its journey through time: every last one of them believed the same. Every one of those apostles taught a pure revelation of the Godhead, and every believer was led to understand that it was the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ that would indwell them, giving them eternal life, and that this Spirit is the same sovereign Spirit that was in the beginning, before there was anything created. In other words, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is also the Spirit of the Father that dwelled in Him. Therefore there is only one body of true believers, and that body is made up of all those who have been filled with that same Spirit. That caused Paul to emphasize the fact that there is only ONE baptism, and that is the baptism of the Holy Ghost which actually puts the believer into the body of Christ. This in no way excludes water baptism for the remission of sins, but water baptism does not put the believer into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is what Paul is dealing with. Water baptism is administered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of all the deeds you have done in the flesh, that was against the will of God for your life. It shows that you are willing to die to the old man, and be raised from that watery grave to live a new life as a new creature in Christ Jesus. By this act, you are giving up to God, submitting your will to His will. That is what death to the old man amounts to. That makes you a candidate for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:38, where the apostle Peter proclaimed, “Repent, and be baptized (in water) 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.” Upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you not only have the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ in you; you have the Spirit of the Father also, for they are one and the selfsame Spirit. That is the reason Jesus could say to one of His disciples, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, (Jesus was speaking from the standpoint of a man, here.) And we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Now you do not receive two persons who take up their abode within you; you receive ONE SPIRIT, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which is also the Spirit of the Father who is to be worshiped, glorified, and served with a pure heart. “There is ONE GOD and FATHER of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:6)


ONLY GOD IS WORTHY


Verse 7, of our next text applies to every last person in they body of Christ, from the ministry all the way to the least person who is always so tormented, constantly saying, I am not worthy to be saved; Why would God love me? Brother! Sister! Stop tormenting yourself. You have no scripture authorizing you to feel that anyone is worthy of God’s great salvation. The scriptures clearly teach, that it is by grace, through faith, that we are saved. If you would just go back to Ephesians 2, for a minute, we will read verses 8 & 9, to see what Paul had to say about that. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It does not matter how good nor how bad we were in former days; if we have truly repented and received God’s gift of eternal life: all of our past deeds are as far from us as the east is from the west in the mind of God. There is not one of us who could honestly say that we were worthy of the gift of eternal life, but God does not want us to entertain the devil by constantly harping on our unworthiness. We should rather glorify and praise God for His mercy, and just thank Him for saving our wretched souls. Therefore Paul says, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Brother! That verse takes in every one of us. By His sovereign grace, God is cleaning up a people that He can have fellowship with. He wants us to fellowship Him from the standpoint that we are clean, washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of the atonement work at Calvary: we are able to fellowship our heavenly Father, and walk with Him in true holiness.


Out of those great multitudes that followed Jesus during His earthly ministry you would not have found very many who thought they were worthy. Those who thought they were worthy of God’s favor stood back and found fault with Jesus, and tried to prevent others from coming to Him. Those who followed Him were looking for some way to be rescued from out of their dilemma Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast 7 devils could have said, I am not good enough; I am not worthy, but remember, Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners. Those who are well need not a physician, said He. It is the sick who need a physician, and we were all very sick spiritually, when He reached down His hand of mercy and grace to us. That is why we ought to just be thankful and love Him, knowing that He first loved us.

 

PRAY – STUDY – YIELD


Now there are some who go from a state of feeling unworthy and condemning themselves: right over to another playground of Satan. These are they who are forever worrying about what they are, in the body of Christ. I do not know whether I am an elbow, a big toe, or what: I just feels so inferior. Did you ever hear anyone talk like that? Do any of you talk like that? I hope not. It is time for every redeemed child of God to begin to see themselves in the scriptures. If you will take time to see yourself as a child of God, that has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Ghost, you will realize that you need not worry about what you are; you can leave that up to God. It is who you are that makes the difference, and if you know that you are a child of God; you ought to be certain that you no longer serve as a tool for the devil. Bro. Jackson: Can a Christian be a tool of the devil? Any time you diminish the grace and mercy of God, and allow yourself to worry and fret about things that cause misery: that is exactly what you are. Do not worry about what you are, in the body. The head is what directs the function of every member of the body, so all we need be concerned about is that we are subject to the leading of the Spirit of God that is within us. When Paul spoke of the ministry he specifically layed out their offices, and their functions, but you will not find where he went into detail explaining how to know if you are a foot, a rib, or an ear. When he spoke of the gifts of the Spirit; he explained their function in the body, and gave counsel on the use of those gifts in his first epistle to the Corinthian church. To the Ephesians, he says, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” But when you go to 1st Corinthians 12:7, you hear him saying this, “But the manifestation of the Spirit (gifts in operation) is given to every man (that means every person, not just the men) to profit withal.” Saints, I say this by the authority of the scriptures. The Holy Ghost which is the very means by which you were placed into the mystical body of Christ, somewhere, somehow will show Himself in your life, but it is not for you to set the goal; your part is to pray, study His word, and yield yourself to Him. Whatever He does manifest though, is for the good of the whole body, and certainly not to be used as a personal toy. Some have abused those precious gifts of the Spirit, but they are going to have to stand before God one of these days, and answer for what they have done. Jesus spoke of some who, in that day would say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Though they had truly done these things, they never had that close intimate relationship with the Lord, and that is the standpoint from which He said, “I never knew you.” Be sure that the whole body may be profited. If the devil cannot persuade you to reject the word of God: his next move is the get you going in the wrong direction with it. He gets mad when Christians hold to the word and glorify God in what they say and do. What I really desire to impress upon every one of you though, is that we do not have any scriptural authority to expect any certain manifestation of the Holy Ghost as the evidence that He is in us. Just let Him manifest Himself in your life as it pleases Him.


WE ARE NOT REBELLIOUS ALIENS


When we come to verse 8, of our text scriptures we find Paul speaking about something of a higher order. Listen. “Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” You will notice that Paul said, “He saith,” so turn with me into Psalms 68:18, and we will read where David actually prophesied this by the Spirit of God. The very things we are preaching on, “He Gave Gifts Unto Men,” was prophesied by David. Let us read it. “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: (That means, He went down into Hell, preached to imprisoned spirits, set the righteous ones free, and took them to glory with Him) thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” Now that did not mean to imply that anyone would remain to be rebellious, once the grace of God has come to them, but it does express the sovereignty of God in His redemption provisions for His foreknown sons and daughters. Brother! I am glad that the Psalmist David, prophesied about old Raymond Jackson who is a descendant of Gentiles, who were looked upon by the Jews as heathen, pagan, rebellious aliens, and no better than dogs. Gentiles were the uncircumcised, that you read about in the Bible, and the Jews thought God could not do one thing for them. Yet one of their own, prophesied that God would give gifts to them, (the rebellious) and dwell among them. Once His grace comes to us and causes us to repent and receive Him into our lives by the baptism of the Holy Ghost and a revelation of truth, there should be no more rebellion in us. From then on, it should be His will, that is expressed through our lives. We are no longer aliens, cut off from the commonwealth of Israel, cut off from eternal life, and without hope; we are now of the household of faith, and our bodies have become the very temples of the great Jehovah God who first presented this gospel to the nation of Israel. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know? Praise God! When Paul was dealing with this prophesy, in Ephesians 4, he went on to say, (verse 9) “Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first in the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things,” (or fulfill all things) You might say, When did HE give gifts unto men? Those gifts are in the Holy Ghost that was given tot he disciples first, on the day of Pentecost, which you read of in the 2nd chapter of Acts. That took place seven weeks after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.


MESSIAH TO SOME – A DEVIL TO OTHERS


You will remember that when Jesus was tempted by the Pharisees and Sadducees one particular day, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven, and He answered them something like this, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” This is where Paul begins to pick up on what he is dealing with here in Ephesians 4. He was not a disciple during the earthly ministry of Christ, but by the revelation of the Holy Ghost he makes these scriptures come alive for these Ephesians. He picks up right where Jesus led His disciples out as far as to Bethany, blessed them, and ascended into heaven while they stood watching, and says, Now that He ascended, what is it that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth, and goes on to speak of how He must fill all things. In other words all prophecies and promises must be fulfilled. David prophesied that He would give gifts unto men, and Isaiah prophesied that He would show judgment to the Gentiles, (Isa. 42:1 & Matt. 12:18) and Jesus Himself, speaking to His disciples, said, “And I pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. (John 14:16-18) He knew those disciples who had learned to lean upon Him so completely, were going to need a comforter when His physical presence was taken from them; therefore He said, I will pray the Father, (not another person, but the sovereign Spirit) and He shall give you another Comforter.” Now this Comforter was also to be their teacher that would guide them, or lead them into ALL truth. He goes right ahead to reveal the identity of that Spirit of truth when He said, “I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU.” He goes right ahead in verse 19, and says, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” His physical presence ceased to be seen, but through eyes of faith we see Him. HALLELUJAH! Old Raymond Jackson has never seen Jesus Christ in the flesh; yet through eyes of faith, His great plan of salvation for my wretched soul is just as real to me as it was to those who actually walked with Him on earth. Just seeing Him with their natural eyes had no spiritual benefit; for many of those Jews who saw Him, spit upon Him, and later took part in crucifying Him. It just proves what He said about no one being able to come to Him without the Father (SPIRIT) first drawing him. He was everything the prophets had prophesied the Messiah would be, but it took more than just the physical eye to recognize it. Those whom the Father revealed Him to, worshiped Him, while others that had seen just as much, called Him a devil. Even Paul, the very apostle who wrote these epistles, before his conversion on the road to Damascus, persecuted Christians and cast them into jail; yet we find him later, (after he had been drawn by the Father) writing to the Philippian church like this, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, (Christ) and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus Christ is the central figure in everything that pertains to God’s great redemption plan for the ages. Therefore let me prevail upon every one of you to keep everything in its proper perspective. Do not allow manifestations of the Spirit to take preeminence over the word, and neither should you become so lopsided that you make no room for the Spirit to move, for all of the Bible must be fulfilled before Jesus wraps this age up. The will of the Father was accomplished totally, in His earthly ministry, but there yet remains to be accomplished a few things, before He comes back with the saints to rule and reign on earth for one thousand years. On earth, in His first advent, He revealed the Father to those who believed, and when He ascended far above all heavens, He left men behind who would continue His ministry, but He instructed them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high, power that would enable them to do the very same works that He had been doing. In Acts 1:8, we 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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This lets us know that without the Holy Ghost, people who try to do the work of God are just flapping their earthbound wings. Ten days after He ascended; He definitely began to fulfill the promises He had made to His disciples.


PERFECTION THROUGH GOD’S TRUE MINISTRY


When the Holy Ghost fell upon those who had tarried in an upper room at Jerusalem, it set something in motion that is still effective today. The grace age church of the Lord Jesus Christ was launched with that experience, and all the gifts and offices of that church are by the Holy Ghost. That brings us right back to our text scripture, where we will now read verse 11 & 12, of this 4th chapter of Ephesians. Here, Paul begins to name those offices, and tell what they are for, and goes on, in verse 13 to tell just exactly how long they will be effective in the body of Christ. Listen. “And He gave some, APOSTLES: and some, PROPHETS: and some, EVANGELISTS and some, PASTORS and TEACHERS: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (FOR HOW LONG?) Till we all come in the UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” That one verse, standing alone, should be enough to convince believers that the five fold ministry will remain in the church until the little bride of Christ is perfected, and ready to take her flight to the marriage supper of the Lamb. With that in mind: let us begin to look at the gifts of the Spirit that are in the church. First I would like to take a look at those gifted men of that era of time. God never set those men in the church to be worshiped or idolized; they were commissioned to do the work of God, but you can believe me: not one of them ever robbed God fo His glory and honor. Take Peter for instance. God, by a Holy Ghost vision, showed Peter something that caused Him to enlarge his scope and ministry in relation to the gospel. I am talking about the vision Peter had while on the housetop praying, at Joppa. God showed him that he should not call any man common or unclean, and then instructed him to go with the men who had come to lead him to Cornelius, the Roman centurion. When he was entering the house of Cornelius, the old Roman fell prostrate and worshiped him, but please notice that Peter took him up, saying, “I myself also am a man.” Here stood an apostle, a man who had walked the streets of Jerusalem, and sick old crippled folks who were placed along the streets where his shadow would fall upon them were healed as he passed by. We read in the book of Acts that the fame of this man went abroad throughout all the land. Why. Simply because, by the power of the Holy Ghost; he was doing the very same works that Jesus had been doing when He passed through their streets. In Matthew 9:20, we read where a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years was instantly healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. That is where her faith was, and God rewarded her faith. Then in the 5th chapter of Acts we read were a great multitude brought their sick and lame folks to the apostles at Jerusalem, and they were all healed. Some of them received their healing when the shadow of Peter passed over them, but we all know there was no virtue in Peter’s shadow. Neither was their any virtue in the hem of the garment Jesus wore. It was just a faith contact point on the part of those who believed like that. But if Peter had been like a lot of these television preachers of our day, he never would have refused the worship of old Cornelius, but rather, would have enjoyed it. Any true child of God knows there are no men on earth that should receive worship, and just thing; the Roman Catholic Pope who is supposed to be the successor of Peter, requires such worship from those who would approach him. I would have to say, Someone missed the boat somewhere. Peter would not stand for any such as that. It is a stench in the nostrils of God when carnal men cause human souls to be subjected to such as that. Jesus Christ is the only man who ever walked upon the face of this old globe whose feet were worthy to be kissed, and it seems that it took a harlot woman to recognize that. In the 7th chapter of Luke we read where a certain Pharisee named Simon, invited Jesus to his house for a meal, but he did not treat Him with due respect when He arrived, or he would have made provision for His dusty feet to have been washed. His failure to do according to their custom made way for a certain sinner woman to fall at the feet of Jesus and wash them with her tears, and then dry them with the hair of her head. Simon was very critical in his heart because Jesus had allowed such a woman to touch him, but Jesus knew his heart and reminded him of his own failure in the matter. He never did require anyone to kiss His feet, but he certainly did not rebuke the woman for doing it. On the other hand He did say, Woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. His feet were worthy to be kissed, but there has never been a pope upon this earth that was worthy of such worship.


AN APOSTLE IS ONE SENT


Alright, looking back to our text: “He gave some, apostles.” That word apostle, literally scares some people half out of their mind. You can mention the fact that God has placed some apostles in the church to remain there until the end, and they are ready to climb the walls. Their traditions, and their creeds just simply do not leave any room for an apostle’s ministry. In the first place; most of them have a very distorted idea of what a New Testament apostle is, anyhow. The word itself just simply means, one sent. Then, as far as that goes, practically all of the five fold ministry, at one time or another, was sent. When you read the book of Acts, you do not find where those prophets, evangelists, and so forth, just sat around twittling their thumbs; they were led by the Holy Ghost from place to place, just like the apostles. If there was any one of them that was more prone to stay in one place, it was the pastor. But as you read church history you find that there were times when these men had to stand at a post of duty and serve as a pastor, so do not get too technical about those things. Some get the idea, that as long as you are on the go: you are an apostle, but the minute you stand still, you are something else. How childish. These are the type of people who say that the Laodicean church age prophet messenger was a church age messenger until 1963, then, after that, he became a prophet. You will never find the Bible making any reference like that about the prophets of old. Take Jeremiah, for instance, chapter 1, verses 4 & 5, and you will see what I mean. “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Once those men began to speak forth the things of God, and that Jewish society began to recognize them, they looked upon them as prophets. They did not wait until a certain year to accept what they said as Thus Saith the Lord. It takes Gentiles to play with the things of God like that. The calling of God upon a man’s life is not subject to change every few days, or weeks; God does not have to repent and change His mind; His first decision is perfect every time.


GIFTED MEN AND GIFTS


Everyone who professes to believe the Bible readily accepts the fact that Peter, John, James, and those men were apostles, for they read where the Lord Jesus Himself appointed them personally, and they can somehow accept the fact that Paul was an apostle, even though Jesus did not appoint him personally, while He was upon earth. But when it comes to anyone else apart from the first age, being an apostle, they think that is just plain ridiculous. If they would just stop to realize that it was a divine act of God that called Paul; they would realize that a divine act upon the part of God could place a particular calling upon the life of anyone so chosen. When God first began to deal with Paul: he was an over zealous Pharisee named Saul, who at that time was persecuting Christians, and God used a man named Ananias, there in Damascus, in His dealing with Saul. This man was more like a New Testament prophet. Saul was led into the city, blind, after Jesus had appeared to him on the road, and God gave him a vision of a man named Ananias that would come in and put his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight. At the same time God gave Ananias a vision showing him what to do, so he went to the house where Saul was, and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, (He was sent also.) That thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” As we examine the scriptures in connection with these gifted men, we are also seeing the gifts in operation. You know what the gifts are, WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, HEALING, MIRACLES, PROPHECY, DISCERNING OF SPIRITS, TONGUES and INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES, and they are all operated by the Holy Ghost that indwells the true believer; therefore they are not confined to the ministry only. Anyone who has the Holy Ghost, has the potential for any of these gifts, and they all belong in the church, but it is not the will of God for the gifts of the Spirit to have the preeminence over the preaching of the word. That is why Paul said, “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” (1st Cor. 14:32) The gifts are to be operated in an orderly fashion, and never should be allowed to get out of control through over-zealousness.


SHEPHERD AND BISHOP OF OUR SOULS


I want to get back to the gifted men, or ministries, for a little while, here, and try to help some who have trouble understanding what we call, the five fold ministry. Some of them even think that God is going to raise up some more Old Testament type prophets here in these last days, but I can tell you of a certainty that He is not going to do any such thing. Whatever God has for His church is going to be exactly as Paul states in his Ephesian letter. Now I do not expect denominational church leaders to accept this, no more than they did Bro. William Branham as a prophet messenger to the age. Some of them have said, I will accept such and such a gift, (They enjoyed having Bro. William Branham pray for their sick folks, and the gift of discernment. They got the crowds of people they wanted.) But I cannot see that man as a prophet. It just boils down to the fact, that if a person does not have a revelation by the Holy Ghost, they are not going to accept much of anything except denominational programs. God is moving among His bride saints though, just like Ephesians 4, declares that He will. Those whom He foreknew are being perfected while the rest are running their man-made programs. The ministry that was in Christ is in the church today. Let me explain that. In Hebrews 3:1, Jesus is referred to as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. That He truly was. He was also a prophet. He was a teacher sent from God. He was a pastor, meaning shepherd. He is called the Shepherd and bishop of our souls, and Brother! If He was not an evangelist; why do the scriptures say that He was anointed of the Holy Ghost, and went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil? He traveled about, preaching, teaching, declaring the will and purpose of God, and establishing right principles and motives in the minds and hearts of believers. He was all of these ministries wrapped up in one body of flesh, but when He departed and sent the Spirit back to take the place of His physical presence: He took that of His ministerial ability, broke it up, and placed it in certain chosen vessels throughout the universal body of believers. These have the charge of ministering the word of God, and guarding the body of believers against the attacks of the adversary. Paul states explicitly that they are placed in the church “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, (Paul wrote this before there ever was any decline from the unity of the faith. It was prophetic, for a future generation that would be restored to what that first age had.) And of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” You can read the rest later.


A TRUE APOSTLE


I have said many times, if that 2nd generation of church leaders had not began to compromise and give way to the power of the adversary, the church never would have strayed from its onward and upward progressive course. They gave way to pressures from the adversary, and when the battle got to be too much, martyrdom marked the age. There was never another apostolic apostle (if I may use that term) after John passed off the scene. He was the last one that stood uncompromisingly for the word of God, exactly like it was revealed to those first apostles. There have been many down through the ages, that have been called apostles because of their outstanding ministries, but their doctrine was not free from the Antichrist leaven that had been mixed in, after those first apostles passed off the scene. There have been many outstanding men who have been instrumental in leading many souls into the kingdom of God, coming out of the Dark Ages, but there was not one true apostolic apostle among them. Some of them even died for their faith in martyrdom, just like the first apostle did, but that is not what you use to mark them as a true apostle. A true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ will preach and teach the word of God exactly like Peter, Paul and all of them taught it. If Paul could have lived in some of the ages since the decline of the church, and heard some of these men who claimed to be apostles, he would have surely said, Where in the world did you get that? He is the one that said, (in his letter to the Galatians) “If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Brother, he knew what they had preached was straight from the throne of God, and he warned those people against receiving anything from anyone that failed to measure up to what they had already been taught. Such a decline was destined to come about though, for Jesus had already spoken in parables, how the kingdom of heaven would go through certain changes. Read the 13th chapter of Matthew, and parallel those 7 parables with the 7 church ages. Then come back to Ephesians 4, and you will see why God has set these offices in the church. He is getting ready to reap the increase from the seed sown in that first age, and it will take a true five fold, apostolic ministry to bring the revelation of the word of God back in line with the way it was preached and taught in the beginning.


ANTI TRUTH IN ANTICHRIST


As we have said many times, God used many different men to restore certain apostolic truths to the church, truth that was lost during the Dark Ages, but none of those men ever got it all together in one package like Paul had it. It was scattered all around in various denominational circles. Then came the day when God anointed a little man by the name of William Marrion Branham, to collect those truths from these various circles, and present them in one package to those who would come out from those man made systems and take a stand for the whole truth of the word of God. He had a ministry that was the closest thing to the ministry of Christ, that man has ever witnessed, but please bear in mind the fact that he was not Christ, as some claim him to be. He was a man, born in sin just like all the rest of us, but he had a calling of God upon his life, and I say, He fulfilled that calling. I will defend the man’s character. I will defend his spiritual calling. I will defend his Biblical position as the prophet messenger to the church age, and I will defend his teaching, but I will not defend every remark that God permitted him to make outside the frame work and scope of the message he was dealing with. Neither will I defend the heresy and nonsense that some of these would be preachers promote as the teaching of Bro. William Branham. Most of them are unable to take what he said and line it up with the Bible; therefore all they have is a book full of statements, taken out of context, and used to their own choosing. To me, they are no better than some of those priests of the Dark Ages. Antichrist is Antichrist wherever you find it. If they were truly following Bro. William Branham’s teaching, they would be using their Bibles instead of a book full of statements, for that was the main theme of all that he taught; “GET BACK TO THE BIBLE.” You know that is the truth. Many people of this movement are just as blind as those people back there in the 5th and 6th century, and on through the Dark Ages; they swallow anything that is fed to them.


FALSE UNITY


If you will pay attention now, I want to try and show you something. Once that Catholic church was established as the universal church of Christendom, Why do you suppose they all taught exactly the same thing? Why did every priest that joined the ranks of the clergy, teach the same thing? Simply because they were taught that the church was supposed to be in unity, in oneness of belief and faith. That is why they all taught the holy trinity, the apostles creed, and so forth. Of course there had to be a few exceptions in order to fulfill what was written to that Thyatira church which typed that particular age. Certain monks of that Thyatira age were used of God to give that Catholic church an opportunity to repent and escape the judgment of God, just like you read in Revelation 2:18-23. That Thyatira church had a woman named Jezebel, which called herself a prophetess, who taught, and seduced God’s servants to commit fornication, and so forth. God went on to say, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 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; 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.” That is the exact type of the Catholic church; therefore God used certain monks to give her an opportunity to repent, but she (the Catholic church) continued onward in her downward course; taking away, adding to, taking away, adding to, until there was very little left that even sounded like what Paul taught. Everyone danced to the pope’s tune or he did not dance at all.


PETER’S KEYS TO THE KINGDOM


I wish someone would tell me why people are so afraid of a 20th century apostle, yet they do not hesitate for one minute to bow to a pope who claims to be the successor of the apostle Peter? Practically everything that Peter taught: he denies. He builds upon Peter’s authority, but he rejects Peter’s revelation. He claims to have Peter’s keys to the kingdom of heaven, but Peter’s keys were hidden in his heart; they were not hanging from a log chain around his neck. I dare say that 90 percent of universal Christendom, (as it is called) does not have the slightest idea what the reformation was for. It just goes to show that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, blind, and naked in a time when they think they have need of nothing. Luther had a genuine apostolic truth, “The just shall live by faith.” It got a lot of people out from under the clutches of Catholicism where they had been held captive, thinking the pope alone had the power either to forgive sins or to condemn their souls to eternal torment. Those Catholic priests were just like a lot of these attorneys of our day; they gambled with mens souls just like these attorneys gamble with human lives. They were either paid so much to pray a soul out of purgatory, or that soul was damned, so they taught. It was a glorious day when God gave Martin Luther that truth which delivered many captive souls from bondage. Let me make a point right here, now. Every preacher that received Luther’s revelation preached the exact same thing that he preached. Luther had to put up with a lot of nonsense, but he did not have a bunch of preachers running around contradicting him. It was the same when Calvin came on the scene with the message of eternal security of the believer. It was received with the same fervency and zeal in the Holy Ghost. You can be sure there were extremes with it, just like there is with every other truth, but God is not responsible for the extremes: He is only responsible for getting the truth of that revelation back out of the Dark Ages. It is always man, grabbing with the carnal mind without a Holy Ghost revelation, that runs to extremes.

 

 

DENOMINATIONS SHUT GOD OUT


The Methodists got their message from John Wesley’s revelation of holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. A man named Asbury came from England, and rode a mule up and down the Appalachian Mountain region, preaching the same message that John Wesley had preached to the coal miners in England. That is how the Methodist message came to the new world in the 18th century. There is a Bible college down here at Wilmore, Kentucky, named after the man who carried that message of holiness. Now these men such as Luther, Calvin, Knox and Wesley, along with others, were not apostles; they were reformers, or restorers, restoring apostolic truth back tot he body of Christ. Each time a little truth was restored, men took that truth and built it into a denominational system. That accounts for the fact that each of these systems have many congregations, and every one of them teach basically the same thing. They have printed their articles of faith, and all of their ministers are obligated to preach within that framework if they desire to keep in good standing with headquarters. When Methodists out in Topeka, Kansas began to receive the Holy Ghost, and reached the determination that they were receiving the same experience that those first disciples of Jesus received in Acts 2, they immediately began to call it, the Pentecostal blessing. Ever since that hour this has been referred to as the Pentecostal movement, and every preacher that has felt called of God to walk in the light of that Pentecostal message has taught it the same way. Naturally we are speaking from a general standpoint; there are always a few exceptions, but my point is that they all believe that there is to be a unity among believers. Their problem lies within their limited scope. Each one thought they were the ones that had the last word on what God is doing in the earth. From within those Pentecostal ranks there began to be further light received, the light of the oneness of God. The thought, Surely this is the last thing that God will do; we surely have it all. But as time progressed they formed into a denomination, and that in itself proved that there had to be something else, for if their revelation was to usher in the coming of the Lord, for the rapture of the church, they never would have denominated. They did denominate though, and built their Bible schools which produced preachers that all taught their message the same way. They had a truth that the Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and so forth, did not have, but when they formed into a denomination and drew up their articles of faith, they shut God out. There still had to be something else, something that would make room for Ephesians 4:11, for this fivefold ministry could not function within the framework of any of these denominations. That is why I say, From that first age all the way through to Laodicea, there has never been an apostolic ministry on the scene. It took all of those reformers, and all of those years in between that dark hour of church history and our day, to get the lost truth of the gospel message restored to the church. Up until the time that the messenger to this age delivered his message, there never could have been a five fold ministry. I am sure you will all agree that what Paul wrote about in Ephesians 4, has not yet had its fulfillment. What Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, leading up to the point where Christ would present the church to Himself, a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish, has not yet had its fulfillment. It is yet for the future.


SATAN’S KINGDOM TREMBLED


When you get a vision of the shape the church has been in, it is easy to see why Satan would fight so hard against Malachi 4:5-6. The messenger with that Elijah spirit, was not to be a reformer. His God ordained responsibility was to take all of those restored truths that the reformers had taught, and put them all back into the gospel message, making it the same as what those first apostles taught and preached. If we could have looked into the spirit world: we would have seen how Satan’s kingdom began to tremble when that little man began to expose Catholicism, and shine the light of truth upon those denominational structures with their man-made doctrines. He had every reason to tremble, for he knew that his time was getting short. He knew God was going to call out a people from those denominational systems that He could wash with the waters of His word until they are pure. These are they that will come to the unity of the faith, and grow up into full stature of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are they that will again have ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, and be ONE BODY of believers that have a true revelation of the ONE GOD and Father of all. Only recipients of the original gospel that has been restored to the church by that Elijah spirit of Malachi 4:5-6, will be among that number. There is no other message upon the face of this earth that can perfect a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture. The gospel is restored; the gifts of the Spirit are restored, and we are the generation that shall live to see the church of the Lord Jesus Christ perfected, through the ministry of these gifted men, this five fold ministry. Do not look for the multitudes of world religion to accept this restored gospel, though; it will be accepted only by those few who find that straight and narrow way that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:14.


GOD IDENTIFYING SPIRIT


Let me be very straight to the point about something now. The prophet messenger to this age did not give us another Testament; he simply pointed us back to the one we had already, the one that the church had strayed from. In the New Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ is that which was concealed in the Old Testament through types and shadows. It is revealed to us by His Spirit that dwells within us; therefore we have no need for another. You will not find anywhere in the Bible that even indicates He will give us another Testament for these last days. It is just the opposite of that; God said He would send Elijah, to return us to the faith of our fathers who left the Old Testament to establish the New Testament. That Spirit of Elijah has always been a God identifying Spirit, and when it rested on Bro. William Branham; that is exactly what it did. It revealed to this age that God is ONE SPIRIT, not three persons. It revealed that Catholic church as the great whore of Rev. 17:1, and called true believers back to the word of God that had been set aside while men followed man-made doctrines. Those who have been returned to the revelated word of God have no need of a Bible college to study theology, for Holy Ghost revelation supercedes all the theories that natural men have ever taught. Neither does it take a high school graduate to understand what the Holy Ghost teaches either.


PARALLEL SITUATIONS


The regathering of Israel process that God has used in these last few decades seems to be running parallel to the move of God with His grace age church. Around the year 1914, there began to be the tremor of a war springing up in Europe. During those years, God began to deal with the land of Palestine, which is actually the homeland of the people of Israel. This set a staging point. Just as Pentecost opened up the great spiritual realm of the Holy Ghost for the church, God began to deal with that geographical strip of land, getting ready to open it up to the people who were to return to that land, and during those same years God began to send His messenger forth, speaking to the people in those religious systems that were to return to His word. Truly there has been a parallel here for the past 30 some years. At the onset of their exodus back to the homeland, it was not the thousands that caught the vision to go home. Oh no! Many of them were leaving Europe just to escape the pressure that was upon them, but as time went on: there began to be a vision catch fire among them. By the time we came in to the fifties there were literally thousands of Jews all over the world who desired to flock to Israel; they were catching the vision of returning to the homeland. So also, was it with the messenger to the age. People at first, did not catch the vision of a messenger to the age of Laodicea. That is why I said, the other night, that denominational bishops and superintendents and such like, will never catch such a vision, because their eyes are closed to the light. They already have their theology; they already have their system; they have closed the door to anything else; therefore they will never go any further with God. Brother, any time a person refuses to accept more truth, they die, right in the very thing they have been blessed by God with. Just remember this, God never sits still; if you are going to walk with Him; you had better keep ready and willing to move on when He begins to stir your nest. I am thankful to God that He ever allowed me to catch a vision of this end time gospel light, and it thrills my heart to know that there are souls all over the face of this old globe that are catching such a vision also. They may be few in number, compared to the multitudes of world religion out there, but they are precious in the sight of God because they love truth. While the Jews were returning to their homeland, Gentiles who love truth have been returning to the apostolic gospel.


WHERE IS THE OFFENSE?


Ever since 1967 Western nations have constantly applied pressure to Israel to give up, give up, give up, but we know the truth, know that instead of giving up land, they must gain more, for they do not yet have all that God gave to them through the covenant made with their father, Abraham. If they should start giving up land: they would be going backward from what God spoke through their prophet Joel. God said, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army that I sent among you, and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” What that adds up to, is that He will not only restore to the Jews all the land they once had, but their cities are to be restored also, and their government. Then He will give them back their King which is Christ Jesus. There is a restoring process in affect not only for Israel, but for the grace age church as well. I hope you can at least see that Israel cannot give up land that is rightfully theirs, no more than a Son of God can give up a revelation that has been restored to the church. We have had our messenger to the age that has told us how to get out of denominations, and what to come back to, and what we have been restored to, is exactly what the five fold ministry will pick up and minister to the universal body of believers that make up the bride of Christ. Their ministry to the bride will lead her right into her scriptural position in the plan of God, clothed in fine linen, and washed by the waters of His word. Let me say this also; just as the denominations did not want a prophet messenger to the age, neither do those of this movement who preach from quotes, want a five fold ministry. They do not want the gifts of the Spirit; they would rather have church order. They condemn me for not accepting their church order, but I want to say this to them, If you teach church order, and give it scriptural authority, YOU ARE A FALSE PROPHET. Bro. Jackson: You had better be careful, talking like that, some will say. But let me call your attention to something that the apostle Paul said. In essence, here is what he said, If I yet preach circumcision just to please a bunch of Jews, then where is the offense of the cross of Christ? In my own situation, if I have to go along with these fellows, and preach a little church order here and there just to be friendly with them, and keep them off my back: then where is the offense for the gospel of truth that I am called to stand for? If any of you desire to be popular in this movement: you do not need to stay too close to me, for I am determined to stand for what I see in the word of God, and they do not like it. They do not like speaking in tongues, nor prophesying, nor interpretation of tongues, nor anything else that disrupts their church order, but I say, Did you come through the Pentecostal movement? Did you speak in tongues? Did you interpret, or prophesy? Then please do not throw that away; all of that belongs in the body of Christ. Did you used to have spiritual dreams? If so, then what is wrong now? That is all a part of restoration. Be like those spiritual Jews; do not give up what God has restored to you.


FACING REALITY


Some of you have heard me say, There is a holy people (JEWS) ordained to occupy a holy land, (ISRAEL) and a holy city, (JERUSALEM) and a holy spot (THE TEMPLE AREA.) All of that is very close to being a fulfilled reality. When God opens up the avenue for them to get that little holy spot: I believe the church will still be running parallel to them. God will somehow push back all the trash and nonsense, and drop the revelation into the hearts of some men whom God Himself has chosen to function in the offices of the five fold ministry. Some have said, Bro. Jackson: Where are those men now? They are right here in the body of Christ; it just hasn’t been time for them to be fully anointed yet. There were years in between the closing of W.W.2 and the time when the messenger to the age delivered his message. Likewise there have been years elapse since he delivered his message, but you can be sure those anointed men will have to fulfill their ministry to the bride before she gets out of here, and I believe the time is close at hand. Let me say also, anyone who cannot accept the ministry of apostles being restored to the church will deny the gifts also, in the end. Nevertheless, He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, and He gave gifts unto men. This is all in His word, and He is not going to take any of it out. Ephesians 4:11, is just as much for our day as Malachi 4:5-6, was for the years from the 1930’s up through 1965. I will preach this as long as God gives me breath. I will not follow your flesh, and I do not expect anyone to follow mine, but if you do claim to have the Holy Ghost, and you still want to follow church order; then, may God have mercy on your mixed up soul. You are as blind as a bat. This is plain talk, I know, but it is way past due. The only order you can find that Paul ever taught is recorded in chapter 12, 13, and 14 of 1st Corinthians. Therefore I implore each of you to study these chapters, and if God has placed a gift in your life, right here is where it is to be manifested; not in a back room someplace. You say, Why did the prophet have church order? It served two purposes. First, it was his corrective way to deal with an error in conditions, and secondly, because he never did change it, God uses it for separating purposes. I have seen men (in earlier days) that could jump higher than my head, and the very minute church order was made, you would have thought someone had poured concrete in their shoes. That is why I say, You will never be able to know whether a person has the Holy Ghost or not, by observing how high they jump. It is how they treat the word of God when they hear it preached that tells the story.


THE DEAD STALK


Because of the way I preach, and some of the things I say, some folks have the idea that I think I am the only person in the world that is right, and that everyone else is wrong. I do not mean for it to sound like that; I have never wanted anyone just to take my word for anything. I desire to see them search the word of God and allow the Holy Ghost to reveal the truth to them. The they will not have to line up with my word at all; it will be the word of God that they have lined up with. If you judge me by your denominational theology, you are bound to find a great difference, for I want you to know that when this Bible was written, there was no such thing as a Catholic church, a Baptist church, Methodist, Lutheran, nor any of the other brands that are in the world today. Believers were first called Christians at Antioch; not because they had some man-made title hung on them, but because they were Christlike in morality, spirituality and doctrine. They were walking in the fellowship of the Spirit of God, and none of them looked upon their God anointed ministers, as men that should be worshiped along with God. Only blind pagans do that. As far as divisions; the Corinthian believers started some of that, and when Paul learned of it, he rebuked them for it. Some of them were saying, I am of Paul; others, I am of Apollos, or Cephas, or Christ, but Paul asked them straight out, in his first letter, Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? The answers were obvious; therefore there should never have been any divisions in the body of Christ. Christianity started out with everyone believing the same thing. It was the deteriorating element fed into the church by that spirit of Antichrist that lowered the standards of believers and opened up their ranks to men like the Roman emperor Constantine, who was instrumental in substituting of the one God revelation, a three person godhead, which was later referred to as the holy trinity. Water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by immersion, was replaced by sprinkling or pouring a little water upon the person, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and by the time Luther began to protest that system that the church of the living God had been formed into, there was very little left, of what those first age Christians believed. Naturally as those various reformers received and delivered their particular message in God’s restoration process, those who followed their teaching felt persuaded to be called by their name, or by something that associated them with their teaching. Time allowed this change, but the word of God itself never has changed, nor has its purpose changed. It will still produce a body of holy people, all believing the same thing, that will one day be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air. Jesus used certain natural parables to express the various stages of the church through the centuries of time, and if we will pay attention to those parables we will know for sure that the end time church will be just like the one we read about in the book of Acts. It is just like a grain of corn that is sowed into the ground; the grain dies, and rots, an in its place stands a nice green stalk with blades and tassel, and one or two ears of corn wrapped in a shuck so tight that the actual grain is not even visible. Yet anyone looking at that stalk will say that it is corn. At that point, the corn itself is in the milk stage, but by the time it matures to the point where it can serve its intended purpose, the only thing of all of that, that will be reaped into the corn crib will be the increase from that one grain which produced all that we described, and it will be just like the original. There will be no life left in the stalk, the blade nor the tassel; that life that came forth from that original grain will have been conveyed through that stalk right into all those new grains, but the stalk itself has no more life left in it. Somehow this ought to convey a little picture of the route of the church from the time those first age saints were planted in the ground. Though their physical bodies were committed to the ground to rot, that Spirit of God that was in them did not die. After centuries of time had passed that life began to shoot forth through men like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and others, and for over 400 years there was life in those churches that were established from their teaching, but the body of Christ is moving into the maturing stage now, and all those systems are left just like the old dried up corn stalk. You might pull the ears of corn from the stalk and leave it standing, but you could never water that old dried up thing enough to get it to produce anything else with life, because there is no more life left in it. Does that help you see why we preach against denominations in this age when the church has already been called out from among them? It is not individual person that we speak against; it is the system itself. They can stay in those places if they want to, and they can scream, the days of miracles are passed; there are no more apostles, and never will be, but from their ranks, God has called out a people that will mature to be just like those of the first age. They will be as much like the original, as those new grains of corn were of the original seed. God’s word did not change during the Dark Ages; it will still produce exactly what it says it will.


WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS?


Most of the fundamental movements of religion believe many of the things that we believe. They believe in the resurrection: they believe in the rapture of true believers, and they believe that those who are raptured and resurrected will have immortal bodies, but they are missing the great scriptures that speak of how God is going to perfect His true body before the time for the rapture. Each one of them feel like it is their group that is going up, just like those scribes and Pharisees of the days of Jesus who thought they had everything that was available from God, but the truth of the matter is, Not one denomination will leave this world in the rapture. Why? Because they refuse to be washed by the word of God and dressed in a pure revelation of the scriptures. They are just like the gang that crucified Jesus. It was not the prostitutes, and gangsters that cried out to Pilot, Crucify him! Crucify him! It was those religious Jews that were always harping about Abraham being their father. When Jesus said, I am the bread of life that came down from heaven: They said, You are the son of Joseph and Mary whom we all know. They just did not want anything beyond what they had already. So is it with people in religious systems of our day. That is not to say that there have not been saintly people in them, in days past. There have been, and many of them died horrible deaths, because they refused to recant from what they believed and stood for from the word of God. That did not qualify them to be called apostles or prophets; they were not in that realm of revelation of God’s word, but their soul is just as secure, if they were walking in all the light available to them. Many people want to argue about these things, but I do not see anything to argue about. God is moving on, and all who are hungry, are moving with Him. If God does not show you something from His word; I would be wasting my time arguing with you. I appreciate truth, because God put a hunger in my heart for truth.


I WAS HUNGRY FOR TRUTH


I was a young boy, 14 or 15 years old, when I was first baptized in the Church of Christ church. I later moved from there, into another community where I began to see things that the Methodists stood for, that looked more scriptural than the way the Church of Christ taught. (Let me say this though, I saw many saintly people in the Church of Christ, back there in the 30’s and 40’s before God moved on past those systems.) Most of you have heard the testimony of how God dealt with my life through the years, but I just want to tell this part. When my wife and I were married, I did not know what God had done in the twentieth century. I did not even know there was such a thing as a Pentecostal move. Neither did I know that there were men who actually believed that God was still a divine healer, just like He was 1900 years ago. I had heard it mentioned, in the Church of Christ, but they would say, Oh, all those miracles ceased with the death of the last apostles of Christ. I was ignorant of all that. I did not know what God was still doing, but I became very hungry for truth. I began to read the Bible, and seek the face of God, and in my reading, I saw where Zecharias went into the temple to burn incense, and the angel Gabriel came and spoke to him concerning Elizabeth, his wife, who had been barren, unable to conceive. Zecharias became frightened, but Gabriel said to him, “Fear not, Zecharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” The angel went ahead and told Zecharias that this son would be great in the sight of the Lord, and that he would turn many of the children of Israel to their God. “He, (said the angel) shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, (This was a quote in part, from Malachi 4:5-6.) And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” You will notice that he did not quote the other part of that scripture in Malachi, about turning the hearts of the children back to the fathers; he only quoted the part about turning the hearts of the fathers to the children. I sat there, a Methodists boy, knowing only that God had saved me and forgiven me of my sins, knowing nothing of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, as I do now, and God put a revelation in my heart. Namely, if we are living in the last days, just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: God will send that spirit of Elijah again. I could see that the ministry of John did not fulfill both parts of what Malachi had prophesied. At that time, I did not know whether I was living in the generation that would see it or not, but I knew in my heart that Jesus would not rapture the church until after that spirit of Elijah had returned again. I had been born and raised, right here in southern Indiana, but I did not know that God had already set in motion the fulfillment of the very scriptures I was seeing there, until Bro. Glen, right here in the church, came down one day, and told me about the ministry of Bro. William Branham. When I heard that, I said, If this be true, then this is that Elijah that I have been looking for. I went to hear him preach, and I will say again, as I have said many times before, He made that Bible come alive to me. For the next 13 years I took every opportunity to sit under his ministry. That is why, when some of these fellows come around quoting Bro. William Branham, I respond to them as I do. I sat right there; I know what he said, and God allowed me to catch a revelation of what he meant, that many of these quoters never did catch. If they had caught the revelation, they would not use those quotes in the way they do. If there ever was a man on this earth who lifted up the name of the Lord, and gave God glory for what He was going by His Spirit through the flesh of a mortal man; that little man did. He never tried to build a kingdom for himself. Neither did he ever rob God of the glory and praise that was due Him, from the people who witnessed the miracles that took place. He would always say, I am just your brother; give God the glory. He never would have allowed all this idolatry that we see among those who followed his ministry, but now that he is gone, and cannot do anything about it; many of them will say things that would have broken his heart to hear them. They deify him, as much as they should deify Jesus Christ. Some have even baptized in his name, but none of this foolishness can ever diminish from the thing that God raised him up to do in this generation. He was anointed with that Elijah spirit, to call some people back to the faith of their apostolic fathers, and the very fact that we are here in this service today, believing as we do, gives testimony to the fact that he fulfilled his calling. What some of these others make him out to be is strictly in the hands of God. God is using their foolishness to separate His revelated people from all those carnal ones who followed Bro. William Branham’s flesh, without a revelation.


THE TEACHING COMFORTER


Now, just as John’s ministry introduced an era of time for the first advent of Christ, to fulfill the first part of Mal. 4:5-6, so did Bro. William Branham’s ministry introduce an era of time for the next advent of Christ. (This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled, Matt. 24:34.) John’s ministry was a launching pad, and following right on the heels of that, came Christ Himself, who picked up right where John had led the people to, and kept the momentum going for the next 3 ½ years until He was crucified. In the four gospels we read of His ministry during that 3 ½ year period of time, where he not only healed the sick, raised some of the dead, and fed great multitudes through a miraculous means from time to time; He also taught them many things, and promised them a Comforter that would teach them all things, and cause them to remember what He had taught them already. Brother, I want you to know, He sent the Comforter just like He promised, and we all know that the Comforter was the Holy Ghost that fell on those disciples who were assembled in the upper room at Jerusalem. In the Holy Ghost that came upon them, and filled them with His presence, was every ministry that was to benefit the church, from its birth all the way to the end of the grace age. Those men who received the Holy Ghost, did not have to go to a Bible school or seminary in order to fulfill the purpose of God in their lives. When the Holy Ghost got finished teaching them, they had a revelation burning in their hearts, and that revelation was not just for the ministry; every believer in that first church was taught the same thing. They had apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who ministered in the stead of Jesus, and every one of them had the same revelation. You would never find that kind of a ministry trying to cut each other down; they were all in unity of purpose, that is, building something for God. What they said and did was truly done in the name of Jesus Christ. No one tried to build himself an empire, or to be worshiped, as God, and neither did they exalt each other beyond measure. They kept Jesus Christ as the center of all activity. Do you see what I am getting at? Can you see what the true ministry of these last days is to be like? If you do not see what the ministry was like in that first age, and keep restoration in your mind, you could very well see some things in this hour that could deceive you. Now you know what I mean by that; some of those things that are going on in religious circles today seem so right, that those who have just been following the flesh of someone they have confidence in, will take off after it. Of course the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ will not be totally deceived, but she can avoid some hard knocks by a little closer examination of that which she might put her approval upon.


EXAMINING THE MINISTRY


Bro. Jackson: How do we examine these people who claim to be apostles, prophets, and so forth? I have always thought a great miracle worker would surely have to be an apostle. No. That is not what makes a man an apostle. Stephen was one of the seven men that was chosen to wait on tables; in other words, to help make daily distribution to the physical necessities of the people. But Acts 6:8 says, “Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” Then we read how certain men rose up against him, and disputed with him, but they were not able to resist, or cope with, the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake; therefore they stoned him to death. So you can see by that; it is not just a miraculous ministry that sanctions an apostle. Scripturally, Stephen’s ministry fell within the scope of the evangelist. Another one of these seven men was Phillip, referred to in Acts 21:8, as Phillip the evangelist, which was one of the seven. We read in Acts, chapter 8, where Phillip (when persecution scattered the church) went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Phillip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. Unclean spirits came out of many of the people that were possessed with them, and many lame and palsied people were healed, and a great number of them were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Even Simon the sorcerer that had held such power over those people in time passed, followed Phillip and witnessed all those miracles which were done by him, or by the Holy Ghost working through him. But none of this made him an apostle. As far as the church at Jerusalem was concerned he was a deacon; his ministry in Samaria showed him to be an evangelist, but nowhere is he ever looked upon as an apostle. What is an apostle then? An apostle could be none other than a man that God has somehow endowed with a spiritual understanding of His word in such a way that he can speak it with authority in instances where others are still uncertain about it. He will never be a man that will build for himself; he will build for the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul never built anything for himself, but what he had built for the Lord Jesus Christ; he was so sure it was right, he dared any man or angel to speak anything different than what he had spoken. That was authority speaking, Holy Ghost authority.

ONLY BORN AGAIN ARE PERFECTED


Some people will say, I believe that any apostle would have to be a Jew, because those first ones were all Jews. Please try to understand that when the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah, 1900 years ago; they opened the door for the fulfillment of all the prophecies that pertained to Gentile people who would be recipients of the grace of God. That is why we read Psalms 68:18. When the prophet David spoke by inspiration, “Thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men, YEA, FOR THE REBELLIOUS ALSO, that the Lord God might dwell among them,” the REBELLIOUS ALSO, pertained to the Gentiles who would be heirs of God’s great salvation. Gentiles had no inheritance under the law, for the law covenant was given to the nation of Israel only. Gentiles, in times past, had been rebellious, unclean aliens, cut off from the commonwealth of Israel, but now we have been made joint heirs with Jesus Christ through His precious shed blood; and therefore those gifts that Paul wrote about are for the grace age church, which is made up of people from every nation under heaven. The five fold ministry will not be limited to any certain nationality of people therefore, since the church is universal in scope. One thing I have always said though; the church will not be overstocked with true, God anointed, apostolic ministers. It may seem so, with all these various ones running around, claiming to be such, but they have not all been tried yet. You will remember that John was instructed to write to the church of Ephesus, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and THOU HAST TRIED THEM WHICH SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES, and are not, and hast found them liars.” (Rev. 2:2) That causes some to ask, How do you judge them, so you will know whether they are true apostles or not? There is only one way. That is by their teaching. No true apostle will be found teaching false doctrine. A true apostle will make the Bible come alive for those who are hungry for truth, and a false apostle will bring in confusion every time. It is up to each and every believer to make certain that they are sitting at the proper spiritual table, where they will be fed a true revelation from the word of God. Jesus made it very clear that His enemy the devil would sow tares (make believers) in the same field where His good seed was being sown, and that those tares would be present until the end of the age, when His reapers would gather them together to be burned; therefore we are to expect to have imitators among us for as long as we remain in this phase of our perfection. Furthermore, let me impress upon you the fact that only those who are truly born again, are being perfected; no one else can be. There are spiritual miscarriages, and spiritual abortions on every hand, for it is only those that have been baptized with the Holy Ghost, that are the born again believers, and you can only be born again, one time. The Methodists believe that a person can be saved today, lost tomorrow, and then saved all over again, but you will not find the scriptures teaching any such as that. IGNORANT AND UNLEARNED MEN


One of the things that thrilled me so much when I first heard Bro. William Branham preach, was when he took the old Calvinist doctrine, once saved, always saved, and made it come alive and line up with all other scriptures, for I had studied that, as a Methodist, and knew that it had to fit into the gospel, or it would not be in the Bible, and also predestination. Saints! Praise God! I want you to know, every doctrine that was taught in that early church: God intends for it to be taught in His Biblically restored church. That is what Paul meant in Ephesians 5, when he said that He (CHRIST JESUS ) would present the church to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Spots, wrinkles, and blemishes are all products of natural man’s handling of the gospel of Christ. Spots and blemishes are a result of false doctrine, and wrinkles are a result of going to sleep in your garment, but those whom God awakens, and cleanses by the washing of waters of the word of God: are predestined to sit at the marriage supper of the Lamb while the poor foolish virgins are giving their lives in martyrdom, during the great tribulation. Both the Wise Virgins and the Foolish Virgins will be clean and pure going into the millennium, but where the Wise Virgins are washed clean by the revelated word and caught up to be with the Lord Jesus before the great tribulation: those Foolish Virgins will have to have a blood bath in order to get their salvation robes washed clean. (Rev. 7:9-17) But let us praise God for the fact that the foolish virgins are not lost souls, as many believe them to be. Also, we should praise God, because it does not require a seminary degree in order to get a true revelation of the word of God. Many of God’s chosen vessels, even as far back as the days of the first church age, were looked upon by the educated folks as ignorant and unlearned men. That is how they look upon anyone who is unable to use their big words. I am well aware that my vocabulary is not acceptable to them, but I just praise God that it is acceptable to Him. That reminds me of something I heard a few years ago. A man from South Africa was telling about having a street meeting with a group of Full Gospel Business Men; I believe it was in L.A. California. He said, when he had finished preaching, and turned the service back to the local man in charge: this local man who was host to the gathering looked out into the crowd of people, and saw one of the prominent preachers of the city there in the crowd. Out of courtesy, he invited him to come to the microphone, and dismiss them with prayer. He was a well educated man, with his many degrees: therefore he opened his mouth with Heavenly Father, and began to go through his vocabulary of big words, and just then, one of those hard shelled bugs flew right into the man’s mouth. He gagged, and strangled, and coughed, and that was the end of his prayer. I never will forget what this brother from South Africa said about it, He said, that was God’s way of saying Shut up; I do not listen to that type of prayer. I do not tell this to belittle anyone. But it is a shame that we live in an age when men think that God is moved by all their carnal, intellectual verbal phrases. You may buy some people with that, but you will not buy a true Holy Ghost filled child of God with it. It is the same way with all the various things that Bro. William Branham made dual statements about. Some will try to reconcile both statements, and say that they believe them both, but those who are truly filled with the Holy Ghost will just simply go to the word of God to see for themselves which version is right, and they will do it without losing confidence in God’s chosen messenger to this age. God allowed those dual statements then, so they could be used later, to separate the chaff and husks from the true grain.


IN HARMONY WITH THE SCRIPTURES


Brothers and sisters: we have not yet seen much of what we are dealing with in this message. That is, the true apostolic ministry moving freely among the universal body of Christ. We have come a long way since Martin Luther began protesting that Catholic dogma, and I truly believe we are the generation that will live to see the church brought to perfection, but there are yet many things to be revealed to her by the Spirit of God, through His chosen ministry, ordained for this hour. There is not one thing that any of us can do to hasten the Lord’s coming, and believe me: He is not going to come for His bride before she has been perfected, but He is the one that regulates all of that. All any of us can do is just be ready to move when God says, Move. Now that perfection that we speak of, is not something that makes a person so super; do not picture it like that. Rather, it is that state of having our lives brought into complete harmony with the scriptures. We can still lose teeth, get grey hair, have our fingers turn blue when they are hit with a hammer, get older and even lose the rest of our hair, but that perfection will cause the inner man to be like Jesus, in attitude, revelation and conduct. There will not be a lot of stragglers as this thing winds down toward the end, for the ministry will be working from within the body universally. There will not be any need for an earthly bishop, for Christ Himself is the head of the body, the shepherd and bishop of our souls, and the high priest that continues to make intercession for us even to this very moment, for He is still on the mercy seat. Now some have the idea that if we are as close to the end as it seems we are, something had better start happening right away. Let me say this, When the time is right, God can make a fast work of whatever is left to be done. He is still a miracle working God.


SPIRITUAL WEAPONS


Back in October 1966, I asked a Jewish Rabbi this question, Do you believe the Jews will ever get the holy city back? His reply was, Many of the Orthodox Jews believe that the Jewish people will get it back, before the coming of the Messiah, but I have to say, If we are going to get it back, it will require a miracle. Even though it was obvious that he was a conservative, he was right about one thing, the miracle, but our God is a miracle working God. I say, if God can do a miracle like that, and the effects be felt by so many people who live in the realm of guns, planes, tanks, explosives of every sort; then just think what He can do for a people whose battle is not in the carnal realm. Our weapons are not carnal, but rather, spiritual. We are pressing toward a total spiritual victory, but do not try to run ahead of God. Israel could not have produced that 6 day war, 60 years in advance; it had to be at the exact time when God’s purpose brought it about. It will be the same with God’s five fold ministry; they will not reach their peak until time progresses to the place where God is ready for the next phase of His great redemption plan. We must face facts; there just simply is no way to hasten the rapture of the bride of Christ. You could get a group of people together, play fast music, shout, pray and dance until they all feel like the Lord should come for them just any minute, but none of them will get any higher than they can jump; and that will be only momentary. On the other hand, when God’s time is right, those who are ready will not have to be passing out tracts, praying, nor any other certain thing; they could be sleeping. I know this goes contrary to a lot of preconceived ideas of how things ought to be done, but it is high time we turn loose of those things we carried with us from Babylon. Presently, the ministry that God has set in the church is leading the little bride into a Biblical knowledge and understanding of His will and purpose for each life, and when they reach the hour where they take complete charge of the situation, it will be with a vision that God has placed within their hearts. In that hour, they will not care what the world thinks: each man will have a job to do for Jesus, and he will know that the time is short.


DIRECTIONS COME FROM THE HEAD


God’s objective is, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (We are reading from Ephesians 4, so with Christ as the head, and the Holy Ghost as the channel through which revelation is dropped down to the body, of which the ministry is a part of; notice verse 16, how perfection takes hold to accomplish God’s purpose.) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Paul uses this illustration, paralleling the body of Christ with the human body, in order to impress upon us just exactly what scriptural perfection is. In the human body, every member is uniquely fastened together, so that in a normal body every member works harmoniously with every other member, doing what God designed the human body to do in the earth. Every member gets its instructions from the head, and everything that is done is for the good of the whole body. There is no jealousy among the members of the human body, and you will never find them scrapping over which one will do what; they every one function in their own place, in complete harmony, according to the signal that come down from the head. Think about this, and when you do truly see how perfectly this human body functions, with every member exactly where it belongs, and doing what it was designed to do, then you can see what perfection in the body of Christ is. That is why it is absolutely necessary for every member of the true body of Christ to take on the mind of Christ, stop striving for some other member’s place, and settle down in the place that God has given to you. If you are to be exalted in any way, let God do it. If you strive to be exalted, trying to fit into some other person’s place, you will no doubt be brought down with shame. God is working this thing out so perfectly that when His true church really begins to shine with this kind of unity, and oneness of mind and purpose; He will not leave her here very long for carnal men to tamper with. She will be ready for her flight. Where did anyone ever get the idea that Jesus would leave His perfected bride here on earth? What would be the purpose? It is only carnal man that sees the perfected bride of Christ on a great campaign, casting out devils, healing the sick, and raising the dead in a great revival sweep around this old world. The Bible does not teach any such thing as that. When the body is fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth: it will be for the edifying of itself in love. In the meantime we are to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, just like Paul said he was doing. (Phil. 3:14)


EVERY MEMBER FUNCTIONS


When the ministry has nothing but a true vision from the Lord, the head, so they, themselves are able to see, the body in return cannot help but see the Lord Jesus, the head, through their ministry. That is my way of saying, Everything that they build will be for the Lord. In such an atmosphere as that, those who are in the pews cannot help but begin to grow into healthy, vigorous persons, who in return will contribute something for the good of the overall body. At various times, the individual members will contribute something from the realm of the Holy Ghost, that will definitely show the Spirit of God is working for each and every person’s edification, and all within the scope of genuine love. In other words, we will not come to church just to have the preacher edify us; we will be conscious of the fact that the body needs each and every member, functioning in their own particular place, and if there is a particular need in my life, it will not necessarily be one of the preachers that deals with it. The Holy Ghost will move through someone in the congregation, to say, Bro. Jackson: You have been troubled about so and so. In a dream, I saw thus and so, and I saw how it has been affecting you. This is just a little example to call your attention to the fact that the whole body will be involved in edifying itself, in spite of the fact that so many theologians claim all those things ceased 1900 years ago. I will not argue the point as to whether the gifts of the Spirit ceased to operate in the church or not; that is not what this message is about. We are dealing with scriptures that let us know beyond any shadow of doubt, that the plan of God for His church did not cease. He is restoring everything that the original church had, and when the end time element of the church has everything that those first believers had, it will lead them into a realm of the Spirit that those of the first age never attained. They had no need to; for they were destined to lie in the ground until this last phase of God’s plan is completed.


THIRTY – SIXTY – AND HUNDRED FOLD


Verse 7, of our text, takes us back to Matthew 13:8. Listen. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” God did not give all of us the same measure of the Spirit of Christ. Speaking in a quantity sense, He did not give all of us a gallon. He gave to each of us according to our several ability. (Matt. 25:15). He did not give me any more of the Holy Ghost, nor any less than I needed. If there are times in life, when I seem not to have enough: that is my fault. It is not the absence of the Holy Ghost; it is the fact that I have not fully yielded to Him. He gives us our measure according to our ability; therefore we will never have more than we need, nor will we ever be shortchanged, and all spent out. His grace is sufficient for every hour, for every need, in every situation. This measure, that we are considering, fits right into the second parable of Matthew 13, how some brought forth an hundred fold, and some sixty fold, and some thirty fold. Brothers and sisters: you do not graduate from a thirty fold Christian to a sixty fold, and then on to a hundred fold. If you start out as a thirty fold believer, you will always be a thirty fold, because that is what God sees you to be. God deals with your life on the merits of what He sees your ability to be. Now please understand, We are not talking about salvation, we are talking about the measure of the Spirit of God that will be manifested through each believer. A thirty fold believer is just as much saved as the hundred fold believer; this is strictly dealing with the ability of the individual person to exercise the gift of the Spirit of God in his life. Doctrinally, the thirty fold will believe the same as the hundred fold, but I will say this, There will not be any thirty fold preachers. Now, that should not offend anyone. It just literally means that some people are slower in understanding the things of Christ to the point of working out their problems. Many times, the hundred fold Christians have more trouble understanding the grace of God working in the thirty and sixty fold Christians than they do about other things. It would help every one of us to be a little more fruitful in our daily lives, if we would just realize that there are measures of the Spirit of God among us, and that we are not all expected to advance at the same rate in our statural growth. The thirty fold Christian will definitely be a slower type person in working out his or her problems, but if you watch them long enough, you will see the grace of God reach down and get hold of the situation, and they will come right on along, and fulfill their part in the body. Every joint supplying, according to the effectual working in the MEASURE of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. That is what we are talking about.


EDIFYING ONE ANOTHER


Paul puts a lot of emphasis on this thing of edifying one another, and I am sure that most of you, at least, know why. To edify is to encourage, and there are times when we need to be encouraged, regardless of who we may be. There are times when the devil has dealt you a hard blow during the week, and you come to church feeling so badly beaten. You would like to say, Praise the Lord! But you can hardly open your mouth. I am sure we all know the feeling, but, Praise God, I am also sure that we do not have to continue like that for ever, if we are truly walking with God, for somewhere along the line: the Holy Ghost will move upon someone to encourage and lift you up. When you begin to feel lifted up in your heart, your situation falls under a new light. The devil may not give up right then, but the Holy Ghost that is in you is greater than all the problems he can heap upon you. That is why Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)


MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT


Let us got to the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians now where we will see more of what Paul is dealing with here in Eph. 4. In his Ephesian letter, he deals primarily with the ministry, and shows what that ministry will lead the body into, but back over in his Corinthian letter, we find the 9 gifts of the spirit, and how they are to work in the body of believers. These 9 gifts are all different from each other, and he specifically mentions that there are differences of administrations, but it is the same Lord that works through each and every one of them, and it is all for the benefit of the universal body of Christ. Certainly we understand that the gift of healing is not going to create the same effect as the gift of prophecy. Therefore we would have to say that the administration is designed by God to accomplish His objective. In verse 6, he says, “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” The anointing on one person, for one gift, will not be the same anointing that is on someone else for another gift, but regardless of what the anointing is for, it is always God who sovereignly inspires His children and anoints them to respond. Verse 7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” Brothers and sisters: That is a positive fact. Everyone that has ever been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Ghost, has that potential lying there within, to be used by the Lord in any of the gifts of the Spirit. You may be 60 years old, and never yet manifested any of the gifts, but if you live to see the hour that God has perfected His church, Biblically, something is going to cause a spark within your soul that will bring it about, for Paul said that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN. Naturally that does not pertain to every person in the true body of Christ, and the “profit withal,” pertains to the fact that whatever the Holy Ghost does through that person will not only benefit that individual, but it will also benefit the whole body of believers. When this thing gets to working in complete harmony with the will and purpose of God, you will not find the ministry doing all of the ministering to the body; it will be more like it was when Ananias ministered to Saul, after his encounter with the Lord, on the road to Damascus. In other words, what we must see, is that the gifts of the Spirit are for the whole body; not just the ministry. Then we must realize that they are for the edifying and strengthening of the whole body including the ministry. Do not think it strange when you come into the assembly and hear some sister prophesying. Though I realize there are those who would scalp me for saying such a thing: It is true nevertheless. Phillip had four virgin daughters that prophesied. (You can find that in Acts 21:8 & 9.) Therefore I ask you, Where do you suppose they did their prophesying, out in the corn field? Absolutely not; it was in the church. Do not ever think that Paul’s terminology, “EVERY MAN,” limited the gifts of the Spirit to the MALE MEMBERS of the body of Christ. For what he meant, he could have said EVERY PERSON. When he spoke of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, he was speaking only of men, for the Bible does not authorize women to function in these offices, but when he spake of the gifts of the Spirit, there was no sex stipulation. Let us read a few more verses, here, picking up with verse 8, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another various kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” (OR TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.)


RULING AUTHORITY BELONGS TO MEN


Remember, God is sovereign. He does not have to ask you and me whether we believe a thing is right, or not. He just states how it is, and it is up to every believer to fall in line with it. That is what it means to be a believer. But let me be sure every one of you understand that Raymond Jackson DID NOT SAY that it was alright for women to preach, teach, nor have authority over men. When it comes to prophesy, tongues and interpretation, and the exercise of these gifts, they are all to be judged by the word of God, for every true gift of the Spirit will line right up with God’s word. You will not find a true gift of prophecy, contradicting what you know to be revelation truth. As far as God’s sovereignty is concerned, He can, and does give dreams and visions to people who are not even Christians. Take Pontius Pilate’s wife for instance. She was no more than a pagan woman. Yet she had a terrible dream that caused her to warn her husband not to have anything to do with the crucifixion of Jesus. If God wants to get a message to the world, many times, this is the only type of person that they will listen to. Another instance was where a woman living here in the New Albany area dreamed of a terrible volcano condition out in the Northwest, maybe a year before it actually came to pass. The Courier Journal printed the article, but did not say whether the woman was a Christian or not. When Christians tell dreams and visions to the world, they usually will say, That is just another one of those fanatics, but when one of their own, or someone who is not identified tells of something like that, people of the world will take notice. Perhaps that is the only warning that some of those people in that area ever got, or ever will get. But the point is, God knows how to deal with people, whether they are saved or lost. He knows how to perfect praise from the lips of the saints, and He also knows how to cause the man of the world to say, That had to be God directing such and such, as they did after that tornado passed through this area 6 or 7 years ago, destroying so much property, yet killing only a very few people. You could hear them on the news telecasts say, We were spared by the hand of God. That did not mean that they had become, or ever would become Christians, but they did recognize the hand of God.


LIVE IN THE SPIRIT


Before closing this subject dealing with the gifts of the Spirit, I would like for us to look at the 12th chapter of Romans for a few minutes. You will never see the full magnitude of what we are dealing with until God has a people on earth that has sold out for truth, a people that cherishes truth, like a treasure, but let us listen to Paul’s words to the assembly in Rome. Verse 3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, (Paul is relying upon the fact that the grace of God in his own life had given him a little insight of the goodness of God in the lives of others.) To every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” That measure of faith given to every one of us by the Holy Ghost, should make us humble, and cause us to realize that whatever we may attain to in this life is only by the grace that God has bestowed upon our unworthy souls. We certainly do not have anything to become puffed up and proud about. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophesy, let us prophecy according to the proportion of faith.” Alright, We are all members in particular of the body of Christ and we do not all have the same office; therefore we ought not even try to be just like brother or sister so and so; we need to let God have complete control of our lives in order for Him to exercise us in our calling. I have been in places where everyone wanted to preach on divine healing, or on the power that the Holy Ghost gives ever believer, but as I look back at the ministry of that first age: I do not see them doing any such thing as that. You check up on Paul, Peter, James, John, or any of those early Christians, and you will see that their main theme was, how to walk with God in truth, how to be led by the Spirit, how to live in the Spirit, and such like. If we learn to live in the Spirit, we do not need sermons on divine healing, or how to become materially rich and drive Cadillacs instead of Fords. We receive those natural benefits that God has supplied, just by living close to Him. Now some people think walking or living in the Spirit is to walk around with their eyes closed, and have the Spirit say, Take 3 steps to the right, then turn left, and so one. That is not it at all. Living in the Spirit is just simply, not straying from the word of God. Seeking the will of God first is the key. Since we do not all have the same office, and since we have different gifts, we just need to commit ourselves into the hands of God and allow Him to use us as He desires for the benefit of the body. When you know that you have a genuine anointing: Do not draw back; let God use it.


RIGHT ACTS – WRONG MOTIVE


If you have a gift for ministering, Paul says, Wait on your ministering. Do not try to minster without the anointing. It is the same with teaching and exhorting, and if you have a ministry of giving, then keep it simple, and with a right motive and attitude. There is a right and a wrong way in every area of life. You can even do right things with the wrong motives, and miss the perfect will of God completely. I think of men like Oral Roberts that used to have such an anointing of God in his ministry. Back in the 50’s, he could preach for an hour to an hour and a half, in an old tent, sweat, take off his neck tie, and then pray for the sick, and God would heal many of them. I have heard many testimonies that came out of those meetings. That was before he had a university, and all those other material involvements that have no doubt been the cause of him forsaking the word of God he used to preach. After being in the battle field against the adversary all those years, it is a terrible thing when men just sell out for materialism. No wonder Jesus said, or will say, Depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you. The criticize Bro. William Branham and try to destroy his image because of all the foolishness that some have attached to him as they perverted the truth he stood for. He did not leave behind a hospital, nor a university, nor a faith city, but he did leave behind a revelation of truth that is helping put together a building for the Lord Jesus Christ. I praise God for that! Don’t you? I realize it takes a certain amount of the material things in life, no matter who we are, but I have always felt that we should leave our material provisions in the hands of God, and give our time and attention to the ministry He has called us to, and I believe that is according to the teaching of the apostle Paul who wrote, I believe it is 14, of the 27 books of the New Testament. He wrote those letters only after he had gone out into the Arabian desert and waited upon his ministry, just like he wrote to the Romans. He was no novice; he had the mind of God. What he said about ruling with diligence in verse 8, pertains to helps and governments which he mentioned in 1st Cor. 12:28, in dealing with offices in the body of Christ.


THE CHURCH WILL LIVE AGAIN


God has set in the church these various offices we have been dealing with, in this message on the gifts; and every one of these offices are to remain in the body for the purpose of perfecting that body until it reaches full stature in every aspect of the makeup of Jesus Christ. Likewise the gifts of the Spirit shall remain also, for what would those offices be, without the gifts of the Spirit? But, Saints: Let us endeavor to keep everything in its proper order, and whatever we do, whether in word or deed, let us do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the glory of God, without selfish motivation. The church will live again, just like Ezekiel’s dry bones, but she will not turn the world upside down as some believe; she will have leaving on her mind. Praise God! Let us live true to His word. Amen.

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Why The Virgin Birth? – 1980, October

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THIS IS A SHORT LITTLE MESSAGE, BUT I FEEL THAT IT CAN BE VERY MEANINGFUL TO SOME WHO HAVE NOT YET CAUGHT A REVELATED VISION OF THE VARIOUS POINTS WE WILL COVER.

MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN BECAUSE THEY READ IT IN THE BIBLE, BUT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHY IT WAS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR IT TO BE SO. THAT CAUSES ME TO FEEL THE NEED TO SHOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SONS OF GOD, WAY BACK BEFORE THE FLOOD OF NOAH’S DAY, THAT MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A BABY TO BE BORN OF THE SEED OF NATURAL MAN AND WOMAN, WITHOUT THE FALLEN NATURE, AND WITHOUT IMPUTED DEATH IN IT.

WE ALL KNOW THAT GOD IMPUTED DEATH TO ADAM AND EVE WHEN THEY DISOBEYED HIM WHILE THEY WERE STILL IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, BUT, HOW DID MURDER, POLYGAMY, DRUNKENNESS AND PERVERSION OF EVERY SORT GET INTO THE NATURE OF MANKIND? GOD DID NOT IMPUTE THAT TO THEM. WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS ALONG WITH SOME OTHERS, SO STUDY THE MESSAGE WITH A DESIRE TO FIND THE TRUTH OF THESE VARIOUS POINTS.

TEXT: ISAIAH 7:14

We greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom to know in the reality of the new birth is life eternal. There have been many little boys in this world who carried the name Jesus, but there has only been one that came into the world by a virgin birth, and declared to be the Son of God. He was different from all the other little boys that have been named Jesus, through the ages of time, for He had no inherited sin in His life. Why did He not have inherited sin? Because He was not born of the seed of fallen man. He was begotten of God when the Holy Ghost overshadowed the young virgin girl, Mary. That brings us to another question; WHY THE VIRGIN BIRTH? The answer to that question is of utmost importance; therefore we want to take a few scriptures from God’s word that will give us the answer to that question, and also allow us to see ourselves in His great work of redemption.

FOUR IMPORTANT POINTS

I have four specific points that I want to put in the message right here in the beginning, lest I forget them later. Point number ONE is this; To understand the virgin birth, and to know what took place in the womb of Mary, is also to know what took place in the garden of Eden. Point number TWO, Remember, there was no womb when God made Adam. He is a Creator. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) The evolutionists claim that man got his start from a little cell of life from an old swamp pond someplace. I will agree with them up to a certain point. God did form man from the dust of the ground, and He used a lot of water, for we all know that our human bodies are 97 percent water. Therefore, to me it does not matter whether it was a swamp pond, or a mud hole; it was still God that did the work of creation. Furthermore, He did not need some smart scientist there to tell Him what process to use; it was a sovereign act of a sovereign God. All of these many theories of evolution are the result of natural man trying to understand spiritual thing from a scientific viewpoint. There great laboratories and test tubes cannot possibly produce revelated answers to the many questions that have plagued men’s minds down through the ages. It is sad to say, but we are living in a day when thousands upon thousands of people’s minds are so numbed by all the theories of modernism, they will absolutely reject anything that cannot be proved in a scientific laboratory. From this sort come those such as would make a movie titled, In Search of the Historical Christ. Brother! You do not have to go about it like that! I found Him, or He found me, and revealed Himself to me, a long time ago, without all these modern methods of seeking Him. How many of you can testify likewise? Sure you can. He is real, in my heart, today. HALLELUJAH! AMEN! He is a wonderful savior.

Point number THREE, There still was no womb when the Lord God made Eve. He took a rib from Adam, closed up the flesh, and made the woman from the rib. This shows the power of creation, and establishes His position of Fathership, in relation to His creation. This is what established God, the Highest, an object of worship, in his position as Father. All source of life was derived from Him. He was not even God until after He had created something to worship Him. Prior to His creating acts, He was a sovereign Spirit, but He could not be God (an object of worship) until there was something to worship Him. When He created life: He became Father, and God. Point number FOUR is this, The virgin birth was not just an act of God for the purpose of demonstrating His power, as some folks think it was. That is as far as a lot of people want to go on the subject of the virgin birth.

He could have done that just to show His power, but we all know the sinful condition of lost mankind justified the action of God, when He did something to change the course of events of the lives of some. The some whose lives were changed, were those whom He foreknew before the foundation of the world. You can read that in the 1st chapter of Ephesians. You can also read it in Romans 8, verse 28 & 29. Did you realize that your name was recorded in the book of life before the world was ever even created? Not with pencil and paper, but in the great mind of God, who counseled with Himself and layed out the whole plan for the ages. I do not ask anyone just to take my word for what is in the scriptures, I invite each and every one of you to open your Bibles, and read with me, as we begin to lay out this message by what is written in the word of God.

PENALTY FOR DISOBEDIENCE

Our first scriptures, as we approach this subject, is found in Isaiah 7:14. We all know what the Lord spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden, and also to the serpent. After they sinned, God cursed the serpent, and said unto him, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, (meaning, the seed of the woman, Jesus, would bruise the serpent’s head) and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God cursed the woman who had been deceived by the serpent by adding pain and misery to her periods, and to her conception and child bearing. Then He cursed the ground, causing it to grow weeds and briars, and commanded Adam to earn his bread by the sweat of his own face. No longer would he have the serpent creature to do his manual labor for him. It was a sad day for them when God sent them forth from the garden with their heads hanging low, in shame and humiliation. They had disobeyed their Creator, and now they must suffer the bitter consequences. Now, listen to me, Saints. Please do not look upon this as though God sent them out of a certain geographical area that had a beautiful fence around it and a huge gate. That was not the picture at all. It may sound like that when you read it from the Bible, but the real truth of the matter is the fact that God just withdrew His presence from them. You hear people talk about how God placed cherubims at the gate to keep Adam and Eve from coming back in, but how many of you actually realize that there is no gate mentioned. It simply says that He (God) placed cherubims at the east of the garden, and a flaming sword that turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. It does not say that they were kept out of the garden. Do you know, if there was such a geographical area on earth then, that they were forbidden to enter, it would still be there, because the flaming sword is still there. Furthermore let me say this, There is hardly a foot of earth anywhere that men have not tromped through, all through the ages. It is true of course, that there was a geographical area designated as the garden, in its natural makeup, but there was something else that hung over it that made it more than just a natural garden. It was God’s divine glory and presence that made the difference. He withdrew that from them.

A VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE

Now, let us read Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Remember now, this sign was given for the nation Israel, for through this nation God would project a revelation of His oneness, and His deity, and His holiness. God had purposed that through that nation of people He would unfold and portray His plan of righteousness for the whole human race, both Jews and Gentiles. That is why He said to Abraham who was the natural father of that nation, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:2-3) Abraham who was called Abram at the time God first spoke to him, was seventy-five years old when God promised to make of him a great nation. He did not even have a son at the time, but God made him a promise and he believed the word of God. That is why Paul could write in his letter to the Romans, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3) That did not originate with Paul though; he read it from Gen. 15:6, “And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” In the 22nd chapter of Genesis we find where God said to him, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED: (why?) Because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Abraham demonstrated his faith in the Lord when he took his little son Isaac, whom he had waited 25 years for, and layed him on the altar for a sacrifice, all because God told him to do it, testing him. This took place more than 1100 years before Isaiah the prophet, spoke of that virgin birth more than 700 years before the actual event occurred, so this in itself ought to help people to see that God fulfills every promise that He has made, when the time for that promise to be fulfilled is at hand. Abraham did not know how God would bless all the families of the earth through his seed, but he believed God would do what He said He would do; therefore it was counted to him for righteousness, just because he believed the word of the Lord. You do not have to instantly understand everything in the Bible, in order to believe it. The apostle Paul told Timothy that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for corrections, for instruction in righteousness.” (1st Timothy 3:16) A true son of God will always accept the word of God as his authority to order his life by, even before he understands much of the doctrinal points of it. Spiritually, we learn just like children in the natural things of life: a little at a time, usually.

A SIGN TO ISRAEL

Now before the seed of Abraham could be a blessing as promised, that seed would have to be multiplied into a great nation. Then that nation would have their ups and downs while many years passed by, even centuries, but regardless of whether any of those natural seed of Abraham remembered what God had promised him or not, God remembered, and He caused His servant Isaiah, to prophesy to them saying, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” I suppose those Israelites were just like a lot of people in our day; no doubt, after Isaiah spoke those words, many of them began to say, Where do you think it will take place? I wonder what virgin it will be. I sure hope it is some of my close relatives. I am sure you could have heard all those statements and many more, but the main point is, over 700 years expired, and many generations came on the scene and passed on to their reward before that prophecy was fulfilled. By the time the event occurred, the nation as a whole has already lost their spiritual outlook as to what was supposed to take place. Isaiah 7:14, as we know it, had become just another scripture to them. They no doubt played with that scripture in their synagogues every Sabbath day, just like the theologians of our day do some other scriptures, not even realizing how important that prophecy really was. God was not just speaking to Isaiah saying, I will give you a sign; He was speaking through Isaiah to the whole nation of Israel, Behold, I will give you (the nation) a sign. But by the time God began to set in motion the order of events that would forerun the virgin birth, the nation of Israel was as divided on their interpretations of the word of God as the Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans and so forth. They all had their ideas, and their many different versions made the Bible seem like such a divided book, so they thought. That is the conclusion people come to when they try to interpret it with their natural mind. This caused Paul to write to the Corinthians, “But the natural man (or mind) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14) Therefore when God visited a young virgin: who in Israel before that, knew for sure where such an event would take place? They could have known; the wise men from the east who came to worship Him, caused Herod to ask the chief priests and Scribes, where Christ should be born, and they told him right away, “In Bethlehem of Judaea.” But until they were confronted with the question, they were too taken up with their rituals to even consider the reality of such a prophecy. How do we know that? Simply because at that time Jesus was almost 2 years old, and they had not yet acknowledged that this young child could very well be their long awaited Messiah. They knew what was written in the prophets about Christ that should come, but they were too carnal in their interpretations of those prophecies to recognize the fulfillment of them. By the time this prophecy of Isaiah was actually fulfilled, most of those Jews were probably too suspicious of Mary to even connect it up with prophecy. If you had been where you could hear: you would probably have heard something like this, “We thought Mary was such a nice girl, and just look at her. In spite of what is so obvious, she still claims to be a virgin.” There are an awful lot of people in this old world that would much rather believe the worst about other people, but they always expect other people to believe the best about them. You all know the kind I am talking about.

GABRIEL VISITS MARY

Let us go to St. Luke 1:26, where we will pick up the account of Gabriel’s appearance to Mary. “And in the sixth month (That is the sixth month since Elizabeth’s conception. Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.” We know, that in later years, when Jesus was choosing His disciples and called Phillip to follow Him: Phillip immediately 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. And Nathaniel said unto him, can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Let me just say that in my own words, the way I see it. I can just see old Nathaniel sitting there leaning back against the fig tree, just taking life easy, and when Phillip spoke to him of Jesus, Where did he come from? You know, some people are just like that; they judge you by where you were born, where you were raised, your family background, how much schooling you have had, your social status, and your financial image in the community, and if you do not measure up to their qualifications, it does not take them long to check you off the list. Therefore Nathaniel could have used much stronger language than just those words which are recorded in John’s gospel. We know that the average society in Nazareth under Roman rule, was just a small little village, and maybe the average family there was not very prone to live for God. A lot of the family structure could have been very low down and good for nothing in the eyes of people like Nathaniel, and that caused him to say, How could anything worthwhile come out of a blankety-blank place like that? Surely Jehovah would not let such a worthy person be brought up in a place like that. Phillip just merely said, Come and see. You all know the story, how Jesus spoke to Nathaniel, and how Nathaniel recognized that He truly was the one they had longed for. It all just goes to show that God does not look at people and places the same way natural man is prone to. He does not concern Himself with the filth of the city, nor the social status of its people; He looks at the heart and the mind of the individuals in that city; what is their attitude toward Him? That is what makes the difference. So here came the angel Gabriel, to a young virgin espoused (or engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. God did not have to send Gabriel down to the city court house, nor the town hall, to look up the records of this young woman’s character. He already knew all there was to know about her. In our day, if the FBI comes to investigate you, they will go to your Post Office, your grocery store, your neighbors, and so forth, asking questions about your character and your business, what you do, and where you go. They paint their picture according to the answers they get. But the angel Gabriel did not need to concern himself with all of that, for he already knew all about Nazareth and its people, and he knew which young lady of that little community had found favor with God, so he came directly to her, and said unto her, verse 28, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women.” This was a strange situation for Mary. We do not know exactly how old Mary was, at that time, but she was probably somewhere between 15 and 19 years old, and to be suddenly confronted with such a greeting from a stranger, troubled her. 29 “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” Why would she not wonder what was about to happen? This was not an every day occurrence that she was experiencing here. The natural impulse would have been to turn and flee, but the angel immediately said unto her, 30 “Fear not, Mary: (That was his first mention of her name) for thou hast found favor with God. (Notice how he got right to the point. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.” What kept that young girl standing there listening to this man? It was his appearance and salutation. He was not dressed like a Skidrow bum. His speech was clear and distinct in every way, and his very greeting caused her to know that this was something that God was doing. His very appearance spoke of a respectable, holy environment, and since he did not beat around the bush getting to what he had to say, there was not much elapsed time before he said, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. Therefore when he told her that she would conceive in her womb, and bring forth a son, and that His name would be called JESUS, she, no doubt, stood as if in a trance. The angel went on to say, “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 for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” I do not see how any trinitarian can read verses like these, and like those in Matthew, chapter 1, and still remain a trinitarian. In other words, if the Holy Ghost is a person, and God the Father is another person, then that means Jesus (whom they call the third person of the trinity) had TWO FATHERS. You will notice as we read these next two verses that the Holy Ghost comes upon Mary to cause her to conceive, (check Matt. 1:18-20, also) yet the Son that is to come forth as a result of that conception is to be called, the Son of the Highest, and we all know that the Highest is that sovereign Spirit that was, even before there was anything else. He is called God the Father, by those who believe that God is three separate, distinct person. Can you imagine people being so blind that they can actually believe a thing like that? That God is three. Yet many of us came out of those denominational systems that teach such as that. Thank God that He opened our eyes to see and understand the truth.

THE HIGHEST GOD

Let us read verse 34 & 35 now, for I want to call your attention to something here in verse 34. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, (In other words, how could I possibly be with child?) Seeing I know not a man? That girl knew what it took for a woman to conceive and bear a child. Her question proved that. How many of you believe they had sex education in their schools in those days? She was still a virgin, so where did she learn what she knew about such things? From her parents, of course. That is where those things ought to come from; then they would be taught with the right motive, and all this perversion would not be injected into the picture. This girl, Mary, had been raised in a home that kept the commandments of God over the door, to remind all that passed in and out that this family honored God, and kept His commandments. Her parents had instructed her morally as well as spiritually. She has not been subjected to the junk that is taught in schools of our day. Ninety nine percent of the people who author these sex education books, could not care less, how God looks upon what they are doing. They just want to teach a generation of young people how to live free and enjoy a life without all the restraints that were placed upon them by a former generation that had a little more respect for God, and higher moral standards. All this sex education in our schools is nothing more than a trick of the Devil, and people have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker, so to speak. Now notice how the angel answers Mary when she says, How can this be? “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.” What a conversation! Can you even imagine how that young virgin girl must have felt, as she stood there and heard those words? Surely, in her wildest dreams, she had never imagined anything like what she was hearing from this angel of the Lord. Like we said earlier, They had their prophecies pertaining to what was taking place here, but they had just about as many interpretations of those prophecies as we do in our day, of certain other prophecies. They had Pharisees, Saducees, Zealots, Herodians, and all such like, and we have Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Nazarenes, and so forth. In other words, spiritually, it was almost like the same picture as what we have today. All these denominations are supposed to be Christians, but they certainly do not all get the same revelation from what is written in the Bible. By the same token, all those people were supposed to be Jews. They were Jews in the sense that they were all seed of Abraham. They could all say, Abraham is our father, from the standpoint of their genealogy, but they sure did not have the same revelation that Abraham had. Most of what they believed was just traditional ideas of men, that had been given equal recognition with the scriptures of the Bible. It is just like that in the denominational churches of our day. They do not even want to hear about anything that they do not have included in their articles of faith. That is why the Spirit of God has gone out from them, and left them to be just like an old dried up corn stalk. Those who once carried a certain amount of gospel light when God was restoring the gospel back to the church, have failed to move on with God; therefore all they have left is just an old dried up, dead system of religion. Brothers and sisters, I know there are some who think we do nothing more than just find fault with churches, but truth is truth, regardless of what some may think about it. Furthermore, let it be understood that we are not picking on individual persons who may still be in those systems. God must deal with every individual before they can even come to truth; we all understand that. But religious systems themselves, are no better in our day than they were a thousand years ago. They are all religious harlots, according to the Bible. Now, there is no reason for anyone to get upset with me for saying that; I got it right from the Bible, and I had nothing to do with writing those scriptures.

DEITY ROBED IN FLESH

Now Gabriel had told Mary that she was going to be overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, and that she would bear a son as the result, and that His name should be called Jesus, and that He would be great, and would be called the Son of the Highest, and that the Lord God would give unto Him the throne of His father David. Anyone who will read those verses correctly can absolutely see the deity of Jesus. The life in that human vessel would be the life of God, but manifested in this manner in order to fulfill the office work of sonship, and would be called the Son of God, because He was begotten of God, without the physical union of human parents. Yet the physical flesh that would come forth from the womb of Mary the young virgin, would be identified with the lineage of King David; therefore He is properly referred to as the seed of David. We who believe the Bible record, know that He did not have an earthly genetic father, but because of this identity, He is going to pick up everything that was promised to David, and to his seed after him. Let us get these verses in our minds now, before we move on. Gabriel says, “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.” (Luke 1:32-33) Go to Isaiah 9:6-7, now, and we will read what Isaiah prophesied about this very thing, more than 700 years before it happened. “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. (What does a trinitarian actually see, when he reads that verse?) Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth EVEN FOR EVER. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Just suppose Mary had known nothing about the facts of life. What do you suppose her reaction would have been? Her response proved that she did know about the facts of life though. But remember, she was a virgin. She knew what she knew from having been taught those things, and I do not believe she had to walk around with her eyes closed in order to keep herself pure, free from the filth that might have been all around her. Young people in our day give out all kinds of excuses for submitting themselves to the devil’s entrapments, but I happen to know that God will give a person sufficient grace to overcome temptations if that person will keep their mind upon Him. You can ask Him to close your spiritual eyes, and at the same time, you can keep your physical eyes wide open, see all of the devil’s filth, and still keep yourself clean. That is why Jesus prayed as He did, in the 17th chapter of John. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them (believers) out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” May God help us to keep ourselves from the evil that is in the world, in this perverted and evil age. Just remember, Saints, Jesus has already prayed for you, (John 17:20) “Neither pray I for these alone, (His immediate disciples) but for THEM ALSO which shall believe on me through their word.” Brother! That included every person that would ever believe the gospel in any age! We are to live in the world, but not partake of the evil that is in the world. Oh! Brother Jackson: You just do not know what some of us are subjected to. Maybe not, but I know what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers in his first letter to them, chapter 10, verse 13, “There hath NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU but such is as COMMON TO MAN: (In other words, you are not being tempted in a way that no other person ever has been tempted, your temptation is very common.) BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will not suffer (or 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.” Yes, There is definitely a way to overcome, for every believer. You just need to look for God’s provision when the old adversary pounces upon you, trying to destroy you.

GOD IS ONE, NOT THREE

Brothers and sisters: Please bear with me. We are dealing with the virgin birth, but these scriptures open up a lot of different avenues that I feel we need to include in the message. I firmly believe that a person must have a true revelation of the Godhead, in order to understand properly, the virgin birth, and the virginity of this young woman opens up the door to deal with moral values and issues. Young people in our day are desperate for something worthwhile to hold on to; therefore we ought to give them every benefit of the word of God. I want to get these things said in a way that can be easily understood, and trust God to open up the understanding of those who have never quite understood just exactly how the virgin birth of Jesus was accomplished. I received a letter from a trinitarian person, the other day, that went something like this, We enjoy some of your articles, Bro. Jackson, but I am afraid you are not preaching the apostolic gospel. He goes on to remind me of a few instances where the apostle Paul speaks of the Father, and also, of the Son. Then he says, I have preached this gospel for years, and it is proven, there has to be three persons in the Godhead. THERE IS NOT THREE PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD! That is the words of a devil. No. I am not calling the man a devil; he is just deceived, but the spirit that projected that trinity teaching, certainly was not the Spirit of God, for we know that He does not contradict Himself, so it had to be a devil that started it. You say, But there is only one Devil. Yes. But he has many fallen angelic helpers that work with mortal humans, and they are all under his command. They were already at work in the first church age, trying to pervert the true revelation that Jesus and His apostles gave forth. That is why John wrote, (A.D. 90) “Even now are there many Antichrist.” (1st John 2:18) He thought because there were so many Antichrists (men preaching contrary to true revelation) in that age, that it surely must be the last days. Yet about 1900 years have passed, the Antichrists are still perverting God’s word, and Jesus has not come for His church yet, but we believe the time is getting close at hand. According to the scriptures, He will come in our generation, but He will not be coming for those who still believe that God is three persons. Ephesians 5:27, tells us that Jesus is going to present the church to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. If you still believe that God is three; you have a blemish. Many certainly did not believe that God was three persons. No Jew ever did, until after the Gentiles had played with the gospel, perverted it, and fed it back to some of them. Brother Jackson: My grandmother was a godly woman, and she always believed that God was three persons. Saints; Listen to me. We are living in the age when God has restored to His true church the revelation of the Godhead, so please do not try to base your own standing with God on your grandmother’s experience; it will not be acceptable. You are responsible for the present truth that is being preached and taught in your age. The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit which ever term you prefer to use, is none other than the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters, in Genesis, chapter 1, verse 2. Then I would ask you to please take note of the fact that this same Spirit spoke, and said, Let there be light,” (Verse 3) and He kept on speaking until He had brought the earth out of its chaotic state of existence, and made it fit for His next order of life which He would place upon it. That same spirit that moved upon the face of the waters when the earth was without form, and void; and engulfed in total darkness, went ahead and created the animals, the fowl, and all the living creatures that are in the world today, and the Bible calls that Spirit God. Jesus said, in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” In other words, He who some refer to as God the Father, is also the self same Spirit that they turn right around and refer to as God the Holy Spirit, thinking that they are referring to two separate persons of a triune Godhead. The very Spirit that is properly referred to as Father because of creation, is also properly referred to as the Holy Spirit as He works in the lives of His human creation in redemption, and it is this very Spirit that was the life of Jesus, the Christ. From the standpoint of the flesh, God who is Spirit was the Father of Jesus, because Mary conceived by the word of God instead of by a physical union with Joseph. But the life that was in that human flesh, was the life of God; therefore Jesus was not the 2nd person of a trinity; He was God, in the only human form that Elohim (God) had ever dwelt in. He was completely human from the standpoint of flesh, but He did not have imputed death in Him, because He was begotten by the Spirit which is God. Then we can say that He was completely God, from the standpoint of the life that was in Him. That is why the apostle Paul wrote, in Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Him (JESUS) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” That is also why Jesus Himself, said to Phillip, when Phillip said, Lord, show us the Father, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip? HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER: and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:8-9) Even that 10th verse in the 14th chapter of John should be enough to show people that the Father, and the Son are not two separate distinct persons. Listen. “Believest thou not that I am the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: (Notice now) but the FATHER THAT DWELLETH IN ME, He doeth the works.” Now tell me, Where did Jesus say the Father was? That is right; He said the Father was dwelling in Him. Did that mean that God was not omnipresent when Jesus was on earth? Absolutely not, but dwelling in Jesus was a full representation of the omnipresent God. He was man, but He was also God, and I do not mean to be repetitious, but I want to say this one more time; If the Holy Ghost is a person: then Jesus was not the Son of God, speaking from a genetic standpoint, for it was the Holy Ghost that came upon Mary. (Luke 1:35 & Matt. 1:20) Now read Matt. 1:23. “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.” That takes you right back to Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah prophesied it, and the angel of the Lord explained the prophecy to Joseph in a dream. Yes. It was the Holy Ghost that did something in the womb of Mary, that caused her to bear a Son that would be called, the Son of God.

MARY VISITS ELIZABETH

When Gabriel finished speaking to Mary about her own conception, he went ahead to tell her about something similar that was taking place with her cousin Elizabeth. Hers was not a supernatural conception in the same way Mary’s was, but she had been barren, and now, in her old age, God had opened her womb and enabled her to conceive of her husband. The angel told Mary about it, more for verification to her concerning the word of the Lord. He knew what Mary would do: just as soon as they got through talking. She would pack a suitcase, jump on an old donkey, and head for the hill country of Judah where her cousin Elizabeth lived with her husband Zecharias, to see if what she had just heard was true. As soon as she walked into Elizabeth’s home, Elizabeth opened her mouth and began prophesying to her. If there ever was any doubt in Mary’s mind, that got rid of it real quick. Mary would not need to doubt her experience after that. She could just jump up and down and praise God, for now she knew for sure that she had heard from heaven.

WHERE ALL LIFE ORIGINATED

We want to take this now, and deal with it from the common, logical, human reasoning side of it. Was the virgin birth to be looked upon as something God did just to show that He is a miracle worker? No. Not at all. Some people look at it like that, but you can be sure, Mary had no premeditated part in this. She knew absolutely nothing about any of it until Gabriel spoke to her. The Catholic Church claims (I believe this is right) that Mary was also born from a holy conception, in order for her to be looked upon by God in this way. That is not so. Mary, like everyone else, was a sinner because of her natural birth, and needed a savior, just like every other human soul that walked upon the earth. What the Catholic church teaches about Mary is all just a lot of nonsense, strictly traditional, and without any scripture to base their teaching on. Gabriel declared that she was highly favored of the Lord, but that is as far as we can go. I am sure that she was not the only virgin girl in Israel in those days, so we just have to realize that God was working out His purpose here, just as what He did in the garden of Eden was for a purpose. I stated in the very beginning of this message that there was no womb in the garden, neither for Adam, nor Eve. That is where God proved that He is a creator. He just brought forth life from nothing. That makes Him the author of all life, and therefore makes Him Father, because of it. Right there, in the garden of Eden is where you and I got our start, for all other human life on this old planet can trace their genealogy right back to the garden. Even all of the animal kingdom got their start right there in the garden. The difference is, everything at first was righteous and holy, but then something happened to change all of that. I pray that we can all have a spiritual mind, as we look into what transpired to change all of that. People who fight against the serpent seed teaching are just missing the whole picture completely. On the other hand, I believe anyone who is able to see the virgin birth in its true revelation, cannot help but see the serpent seed also. Do you not realize, as you read the first three chapter of Genesis and discover that something happened there, that changed their (Adam and Eve) standing with God, that the only thing God ever told them not to do, was not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? The day that you eat of it, you will surely die, said He. Now, everyone knows that Eve was coaxed by the serpent, to disobey the word of God and partake of that tree. But the great controversy is about what the partaking of that tree consisted of. At the insistence of the serpent, Eve partook, and then gave to Adam her husband, and he became guilty of disobeying God’s word also. This brought an imputed death sentence upon the Adam family, and all their offspring, of which we are. Death was passed from generation to generation from Adam’s day, right on down to our day, but there was a certain span of time when spiritual death was the only fallen attribute that Adam’s seed had. Think about that for a minute.

CAIN KILLED ADAM’S ONLY SON

When you go into Genesis, chapter 4, you find that Eve bare two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain was a tiller of the ground, and Abel was a keeper of sheep as they grew into manhood. Then there came the day that Cain murdered Abel, leaving Adam without a seed. Oh! Bro. Jackson; You must be mistaken, Cain was still alive. Yes, Cain was still alive, and his genealogy shows that he begat many sons and daughters, and as they multiplied upon the earth, they became inventors and craftsmen of every kind, but there was murder in that line. Lamech slew a man, following right in the footsteps of his ancestor Cain. But as you go into chapter 5, you find the genealogy of Adam, and Cain is not even mentioned in Adam’s genealogy. Do you think that was a mistake? Or are you ready to consider the possibility that Cain was not the son of Adam, as far too many take him to be? I say, if Cain had been Adam’s son, he would have been included in Adam’s genealogy. When Adam knew his wife again, and she conceived and bare Seth, she said, God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. Then when Seth begat a son, Enos, that is when men began to call upon the name of the Lord. It was these sons of Adam that began to call upon the name of the Lord. You do not find where any of Cain’s line ever did. Notice how these first few verses of chapter 5 read. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty five years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters.” Now Seth was born of these two parents outside of the garden relationship with God, but I want you to know, that boy did not have an attribute to curse, lie, cheat, steal, get drunk, nor have a half dozen wives. It is important that you take not of things like this. This was not the nature of Seth to do any of these things. However, he did have death in him. He carried that imputed spiritual death sentence, because his parents were outside of the garden relationship with God. When his sons were born, that death sentence was automatically passed on tho them, but they possessed none of those evil attributes; they were sons of God. They were sons of God, because Adam who was their genetic father, was a son of God. These men had spiritual death imputed to them, and at the same time physical death was at work in their mortal flesh, but they still called upon the name of the Lord. On the other hand, off over there in the land of Nod, there was another line of humanity, coming up. They are called Cain’s line. They were not sons of God. They were man, of the earth, just like much of what you see today, all brains and no spirit. That is the best way I know to describe them; they are smart men, but do not have in them a spirit to know God. Anything they cannot understand with the mind, they refuse to have anything to do with it. Brother! Let me tell you! There are some things you never will understand with the mind; you have spiritual understanding, by revelation. All who have the Holy Ghost are equipped to understand things that the great Doctors of Divinity will never understand. Most of them that supposedly believe in the virgin birth of Christ could never explain it to anyone, because they believe that God is three persons; therefore they could never get their explanation lined up with the scriptures.

SATAN’S NEXT SLAP AT GOD

Remember now, we are dealing with a subject, Why the virgin birth? So let us go on over to chapter 6, where we will see what happened to these sons of Seth, which are called sons of God. Satan had been keeping an eye on both lines of humanity, from the Garden of Eden, right down to that hour, and he finally decided that it was time to make his next move, and take another slap at God. He was not content to see these sons of Seth remain free, and continue to get revelation from God; therefore he engineered a plan to get them contaminated, and cause them to eventually loose contact with God. Notice what happened. (6:1) “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, (Cain’s line) That the sons of God (Seth’s line) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; (attractive to look upon) and they took them wives of all which they chose.” It was after these two lines began to mix, that the Lord said, (verse 3) “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Verse 4, really gives us a clue as to what happened when those two lines began to mix. “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME IN UNTO THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, AND THEY BARE CHILDREN TO THEM, THE SAME BECAME MIGHTY MEN WHICH WERE OF OLD, MEN OF RENOWN.” Here is the picture. Old Lucifer began to inspire those Canaanite women to parade themselves before these sons of God, and before long, they began to intermarry. When that happened the sons of God began to downbreed themselves. That generation remained to be pure sons of God genetically, but their offspring were quite another story.

I know what my critics say about me, but Bro! Sister! Please do not try to tell me that these daughters of men were Seth’s offspring. If you do; I want to show you what avenue you open up. You would be saying that every male child of Seth’s line was spiritual, but there was something wrong with all the females. Furthermore, What will you say about all those marriages in Seth’s line, before you reach the setting of chapter 6? Those marriages produced sons of God before that, and the time period was hundreds of years. But as soon as the sons of God began to marry the daughters of men, and children were born unto them; God began to speak of evil and wickedness among them. Anyone who cannot see that is a prime candidate for the apple story that natural minded people tell about Eve and the serpent. If the forbidden fruit that Eve partook of, and then gave also to her husband was nothing more than an apple from a natural plant life tree; then why did God cover their sex organs when He confronted them? Why did He not just cover their mouth? You who have a spiritual mind, know the answer to that. It was a sex for pleasure act, that God had forbidden them to partake of. They were commissioned to repopulate the earth, having sex relations only for the purpose of bearing offspring just like the animal kingdom, but the serpent, who was at that time a creature that walked upright, introduced Eve to the act for pleasure only. That is why God put a curse on the woman’s reproduction organs. He increased her periods, and added pain and sorrow to childbearing. He removed His presence from them, and they became earthbound. Their sin had the effect of separating them from God, which to be thus is spiritual death. Death became a hereditary thing. That is why every little baby that has ever been born into this world by a natural conception (or I should say, apart from the supernatural conception of Jesus) has had death in it. They did not become subject to it when they were born; it was effective from the very moment the seed waw planted in the woman. When you can see how separation from God came about; then you have no trouble understanding the necessity for the virgin birth of the one who was ordained to correct the situation, and open up the way for lost mankind to come back into the presence of God, which is to restore access to the tree of life that man was separated from. Before Adam and Eve sinned they were just as much a part of the spirit world as they were the natural. They were free to move in either realm until they disobeyed God. But when God drove them out of the garden, which was to send them forth out of His presence, they became earthbound. They no longer had access into the spirit world.

A PROPER SACRIFICE IS ACCEPTED

God killed an animal, and used the skin to cover their nakedness before He sent them out of the garden. From that very act, Adam no doubt received a revelation of animal sacrifice, and later, passed that revelation on to his son Abel. But old Cain, who was the son of Adam’s servant the serpent, never did get the revelation of animal sacrifice. That is why he tried to worship God with a basket of fruit and vegetables from his garden. He knew that there was a God, and he knew that God desired worship, but he had no spiritual revelation as to what God would accept. In other words, he is the father of all who try to worship God with their beautiful buildings, and their skyscraper steeples, and all the works of their hands. God would not accept that from Cain, and neither will He accept it from make believers of our day. On the other hand, you approach God with a humble attitude, and a spirit that will receive revelation, and He will have respect for your offering of praise, just like He did that animal of Abel’s. Those sons of Seth realized that, and they called upon the name of the Lord. They were direct descendants of Adam, who was a son of God. The only thing was, they had a death sentence hanging over them. But these daughters of men were women of the world. They lived strictly for the things of the earth, things of the flesh. They lived for style, and for the pleasures that a worldly life could give them, exactly like the vast majority of our day is doing. They were offspring of Cain’s line, a man who was a halfbreed. Eve was his mother; that gave him his identity with humanity, but Adam was not his father. The serpent that seduced Eve was his father; therefore he was not a son of God, and that accounts for him not being mentioned in Adam’s genealogy. Now attributes are passed from generation to generation through the genes; both from the father as well as the mother, but the family name is from the father’s side. Adam and Eve were both children of God; therefore they bore children that had no fallen attributes in them; they were sons of God, and that line of true sons of God continued for hundreds of years. But over on the other side, Cain’s father was the serpent, who had submitted his will to the devil, who Jesus said was a liar and a murderer, and the father of all such. That caused Cain to have all those fallen attributes; therefore he became angry when God would not respect his offering, and later manifested the attribute to murder, when he slew Abel. These women that began to marry the sons of God, carried all those attributes in their genealogical makeup; therefore all the children that were born from those marriages carried them likewise, even though their fathers were sons of God. From that time on every little baby that was born from those marriages had both the attributes of the sons of God, as well as all those evil attributes to murder, steal, cheat, lie and anything else that the devil himself would do. Those people had to choose whether they would do right, or do wrong. They had the attributes to do either one. That is why Noah, even though he found grace in the eyes of the Lord because of his life, was found drunk, after the flood. He believed God, and served God, but he had that attribute in him, and he allowed it to manifest. That is why the apostle Paul wrote as he did, in chapter 7, of his letter to the Romans. He was showing how those evil attributes were always present to cause a conflict in a person’s life, no matter how close to God they desired to live.

SERPENT SEED IN THE ARK

Let me prevail upon every person who would read this article, to read it with an open mind. A person with a closed mind will never get anywhere with God. Let me say this also; Please do not get provoked at me because I say that there is not a human being upon the face of this earth that has escaped the taint of what happened in chapter 6 of Genesis. For hundreds of years those two lines of humanity ran parallel without mixing, but when those mixed marriages began to produce children, it had a downbreeding affect on the whole human race. By the time God sent the flood, there were only eight souls that could be spared, and every one of them had those mixed attributes in them. We know that Noah did, first of all, because his father Lamech begat sons and daughters besides Noah, and all of them were destroyed in the flood. All of Noah’s sons had those mixed attributes, and so did all their wives, because all of their relatives were destroyed in the flood likewise. If you can see this; then you can see how the serpent seed came through the flood, and out on this side to produce great multitudes of humanity that have no time for God. Through those mixed marriages, the serpent seed got bred into the bloodstream of all humanity. No one has escaped it, except Jesus Christ himself. You hear these great Dr. So and So’s, as they stand so eloquently declaring that God is the father of every one of us, and that He is a God of love; therefore we ought to love on another, whether we believe the same or not. Technically they can say that God is the father of all humanity, because all life came from Him, including the animals. The serpent got his life from God, but he was not created in the image of God, and was not called a son of God. Neither was any of the other animals created in the image of God, but from the standpoint of creation God was their father. Now please understand me. I am not insinuating that educated people cannot be genuine Christians, but I will say this, Your education means very little to God, and it certainly does not automatically merit you anything that the Bible teaches must come by faith. I am sometimes accused of being against education. I am not against people receiving an education; I am only against the idea that education merits a person anything with God, or that it takes an educated person to understand and explain the scriptures. I dare say, Hell is filled with educated people who have taken it upon themselves to explain the scriptures. They may say, It does not matter whether we believe alike or not; we are all still children of God, but I am here to tell you that it definitely does matter whether we all believe the same thing or not. There are many scriptures one could read, but I believe 1st Corinthians 1:10, will be sufficient to back up my statement. Paul says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of the our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all SPEAK THE SAME THING, and that there be NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU: but that ye be perfectly jointed together in the SAME MIND, and in the same judgement.” God has never given two separate, contrary revelations on the same scriptures, and He never will. Intellectual minds come to various opinions, but true revelation brings every true believer to the same opinion, and it becomes more than just an opinion.

CROSS BREEDING

What happened in Genesis 6, can be better understood by some if you will just allow your thoughts to return to our present day, and think upon an example that I am going to give. Those of you who know anything about registered lines of cattle, for instance, you know that as long as you keep the Hereford and Angus breeds separated, the Herefords will be red with white faces, and the Angus will be coal black. But if you start cross breeding them, you will have calves born that will be all mixed up. That is exactly what happened in Genesis 6. From the sons of God there were born children that would do anything that the devil would have them do. These very sons of God produced children that had the nature to pervert life and live in moral degradation. Enoch the 7th from Adam walked with God and God took him, but Enoch prophesied by the name that he gave his firstborn, that the end would come when Methuselah died. That is what the name Methuselah meant, When he is gone the end will come. You can figure it out yourself. When Methuselah died at age 969 years, the flood came that year. Enoch did not know how long Methuselah would live; he just knew that he wanted to walk with God, regardless of what others around him did; therefore he kept close to God, and God took him to be with Him, long before the destruction by the flood. We also have a prophesy concerning the coming of Jesus Christ to judge this wicked old world the next time. As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the coming of the son of man. Those were days when mankind was given over to sensual pleasures, caring little about the plan and purpose of God. Jesus said that it would be like it was in the days of Lot. In the days of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire and brimstone, and swallowed up completely, so that there is no trace of those cities left, all because of perversion and ungodliness, and our modern society is following right along in their very footsteps, not knowing that the judgment of God is soon to overtake them. Brothers and sisters: I am glad to know that those who walk with God, as Enoch did, will be taken up like Enoch was, before judgment strikes this old world. Now let me ask you something. Why is mankind living like that? Why did they live like that in Lot’s day? And in Noah’s day? They did not inherit those attributes from Adam, nor Seth, nor any of their direct descendants; it all started after those Canaanite women became included in the picture.

EQUAL CONTRIBUTIONS GENETICALLY

I have had people say, Bro. Jackson, the father is what determines the sex of the child, thinking that would change the picture, but it does not. The gene of the father is what determines the sex of the offspring, whether it will be male of female, but when it comes to the soulish makeup of that offspring, the mother contributes just as much as the father does. Biologically, you know the process, and God ordained it to be so. Now I can touch two points right here. Many people who follow Bro. William Branham’s teaching like to take issue with me on the statement I just made. They will say, Bro. William Branham said it was God’s divine law, to speak the child out of the ground. Of course we know He created Adam from the dust of the earth, by His spoken word. That was an act of creation to produce the first man, because there was no womb to bring him into existence. Likewise, there was still no womb to bring Eve into existence. That is what I said in the beginning of this message. But, my dear brothers and sisters of this message for these last days, please remember that when God took a rib from Adam’s side and made him an helpmate, He designed that female to be a mother. When God brought her to Adam, he said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Now I ask you, Was Adam mistaken? Or was Eve designed to be a mother? Adam was not a father at that time, and neither was Eve a mother, but he prophesied that someone would be a mother, and someone was going to be a father. Adam already knew, and understood the divine commission that God had given to them, that is, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” He knew also, the process by which they were to fulfill that commission, and he certainly had no thoughts about speaking them into existence. I wonder at times if some of these people who teach such things, actually believe that God gave the woman a womb only after the curse was placed upon her? And if they know that she had a womb; what in the world do they think it was for, if not to bear children? God designed Adam and Eve physically, to be reproduce and fill the earth with sons and daughters. He meant for it to be accomplished through a husband and wife relationship. The only thing they did wrong, was to use the relationship for pleasure, (after the serpent introduced Eve to the pleasure side of the act) instead of just for the purpose of reproduction. When they disobeyed God’s word: they received as a penalty the very thing God had told them they would receive if they partook of the forbidden tree, and that was imputed death, nothing more. If it had not been for the crossing of the two lines, in chapter 6, Noah never would have been found lying in his tent naked, drunker than a hoot owl, so to speak. God did not impute that sort of thing into the Adam, Seth line; you can be sure of that. But after they began to beget children by those Canaanite wives, those sons of God recognized that their children had some attributes in their makeup that they did not inherit from their fathers. Then as the centuries rolled on, the sea of humanity became more and more corrupt. It got to the point where the Lord himself said, that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. When I read that, it makes me think of our day, for I believe moral conditions of our day are much the same as they were in the days of Noah, before the flood. When God looked down upon all that, He said, It repenteth me that I have made man, for He saw how perverted the whole human race had become. He saw polygamy, He saw drunkenness, He saw sodomy, He saw homosexuals, He saw robbing, stealing, killing, and every other thing that fallen mankind could imagine to do. As he looked upon all that ungodliness, He said, I will destroy both man and beast, and the fowls of the air. He was ready to wipe the slate clean, it seems. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Old Noah was a far cry from being what Seth was, but God knew what his capabilities were, and compared to everything else in that day, Noah was a righteous man. God knew that Noah would do whatever He instructed him to do; therefore instead of destroying everything, He said to Noah, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” (Gen. 6:14) He went on to give him the exact dimensions of the ark, and to tell him who, and what was to be taken into the ark, and to establish a covenant with him. Noah did everything that the Lord instructed him to do, and we do not find where he questioned the Lord about anything. (God delights in that kind of obedience.)

MARY WAS AN INCUBATOR FOR JESUS

Now you all know the story of the flood that destroyed everything that was not in that ark with Noah and his family, every living thing. This is where a lot f people who fight against the serpent seed teaching, rest their case. They will say, Even if there was such a thing as a seed of the serpent, the flood destroyed them; there are none on this side of the flood. This is where the study of the genes, comes fully into the picture. We will readily admit that all of Cain’s sons were destroyed in the flood, but we insist upon the fact that all of the evil attributes from that line had already been bred into Noah’s family; therefore every child that was born from that family carried the potential for every evil, rotten, low down act, that any of those pre flood people were guilty of. (You do not have to take my word for it; go to the library and study up on the law of heredity.) Time passed on for so many more hundreds of years while the earth was again repopulated from the seed of Noah, but every little baby that was born, had all those evil attributes in its hereditary makeup. That is why, when God was ready to fulfill His word and provide a redeemer for lost mankind, that Redeemer had to come into the world by the virgin birth. In the days of Joseph and Mary; there was not a man upon the face of the earth that could father a perfect child into the world. Likewise, neither was there a woman who, through natural conception, could bring forth a perfect child, one that would be completely free of any fallen attributes. Even if God supernaturally created a perfect sperm to fertilize the egg of a natural woman, that little offspring would still have those fallen attributes. That is why God had to go beyond just that, in order for Jesus to be completely free from all that. Even though Mary had never been defiled by the fallen seed of man, if God had allowed her egg to be fertilized when the Holy Ghost came upon her, genealogically, her offspring would have been no different than any other little baby born of woman, because Mary also had those fallen attributes. Saints: If you are following me; you should be beginning to understand why Bro. William Branham made the statement that Mary was just an incubator. Do you understand what I am saying? In order for Jesus to be free of all fallen attributes, God the eternal Spirit had to not only create a perfect sperm; He also had to create a perfect egg also. Now you might just prefer to say that God created perfect life in the womb of Mary, and allowed her to carry it for nine months, and furnish it nutrients from her body. Then birth it into the world by the natural process. Whichever way it was, that little baby boy that came forth from her womb, genetically was no relation to her at all, no more so than He was to Joseph. The average person who believes that Jesus was born from the womb of a virgin, just looks at it from the standpoint that God bypassed the male role only, in His conception. If that had been the case, it would have been the same situation that took place in Genesis, chapter 6, when the sons of God took wives of the daughters of men. It would have had the same genealogical result. That does not say that Mary’s character was bad; it simply reemphasizes the fact that her egg would have fed (I believe this number is right) 23 chromosomes of her hereditary makeup into that little fetus. Whether a person is good or bad in their moral behavior, has nothing to do with the attributal makeup of their offspring. Esau and Jacob should be enough to prove that, for they both had the same parents. Yet the Bible says that God hated Esau, and it was because of His attributal makeup, because we know that God does not hate a person without a reason. He is not moved to hate, by emotions, as some humans are. He hated Esau before he was even born, because He foreknew what Esau would do, sell his birthright. Other than that, as far as we can see in the scriptures, Esau seemed like a pretty good kind of fellow.

WHAT CHROMOSOMES DO

Every gene from the man, and every egg from the woman carry an equal amount of chromosomes that merge together to form the hereditary character of the child, or offspring that will come forth from that union. A chromosome is just like a gigantic filing cabinet, or a memory bank within a computer. Stored within those chromosomes which furnish the characteristics of the offspring are the attributes and characteristics of all its ancestors. It can have hair and a nose like its grandfather, teeth shaped like grandmother’s, eyes like great grandfather, and a smile just like dad. Saints, I am just using all of this to call your attention to what Satan was breeding into humanity, and to show you how he did it. You must face the facts squarely; God did not create His first son and daughter with these evil attributes; therefore the only way Eve could have birthed a son that would commit murder, was for her to have been defiled by some male that had those attributes in him. God did not impute those things into their makeup; He only imputed death. Some people read Romans 5:19 where Paul said, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous,” and they think that means Adam became a low down character after he was driven from the garden. He absolutely did not. He was still a son of God, and all his seed were sons of God, and none of them had any kind of evil attributes until after Genesis 6, when children were born to them from those Canaanite wives. If it had not been for what happened in chapter 6, we would all have death in us of course; that was imputed, but there would not be one saloon upon the face of this earth. There would be no need for jailhouses, nor policemen and sheriffs, because there would be no crime of any kind. If Noah’s family had not carried those evil attributes in their genes, every trace of evil in pre flood humanity would have been washed from the earth forever, but they did carry them, and now we have the same conditions upon the earth that were prevailing among mankind when God sent the flood.

GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON

Bro. Jackson: You said God had many sons, and the Bible says He gave His only begotten Son on the cross. That is true, but he key is in the word BEGOTTEN. He spoke Adam from the ground. That made Adam a created son, but he was still a son of God, and likewise, all his sons were sons of God, and so on. He created Adam like that, because there wan no womb to bring him forth from, and neither was there a womb to produce a wife for him, but every other human that has ever come into this world since then, has come by the process through the womb of the female. Humanity got off course through the womb of the woman; and therefore God ordained that the one that would pave the way to get us back on a true course should come by the way of the womb also. Pay attention to what I am saying now. God ordained that the Savior of mankind should come into the world just like all other little babes, but He would have to be free from all sin in order to be the Savior. We have already talked about the fact that no living man or woman could father nor mother the perfect child; therefore God Himself would have to do something different to produce that perfect child. That brings us to the point of His only begotten Son. Jesus was the only son that God Himself ever placed the cell of life in the womb of a woman to produce. He was born of, or from the womb of a woman, but He was BEGOTTEN (placed in that womb) by the Spirit of God. The Savior was to be of the seed of the woman, which according to all records of man, He was. According to the scriptures, He was also to be of the lineage of King David, which according to man’s history, He was, being as was supposed the son of Joseph, whose genealogy is traced all the way back through David, Seth and Adam to God Himself. (Luke 3:23-38) Now that brings us to the title of our message, WHY THE VIRGIN BIRTH? I believe you can see by now that God bypassed everything that had ever been defiled by fallen man when He begat His son Jesus, the Savior of lost mankind, even to the point of choosing a young virgin girl whose womb had never been defiled, to carry that little fetus and birth Him according to the normal process of childbirth. The angel Gabriel told her that she had found favor with God, and that she would conceive in her womb, and bring forth a son, and that His name should be called Jesus, and that is exactly what happened. She conceived (or received) life into her womb, but only for the purpose of being an incubator for a supernaturally formed fetus. We will not be dogmatic about the exact process of what God did, except to the point of insisting, that genetically, Jesus was not the son of Joseph of Mary either one. By the same token, He was neither Jew nor Gentile. But according to man’s records, He was the son of Joseph and Mary, which to be so, would make Him a Jew, and would place Him in the genealogy of David, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Seth, Adam and would fulfill all those prophecies concerning the one that was to come, even Genesis 3:15, where God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed (the SERPENT’S SEED) and her seed; (the WOMAN’S SEED) it (the WOMAN’S SEED) shall bruise thy head, (that was Jesus Christ) and thou shalt bruise His heel.” This 2nd Adam, as Paul called Him, bruised the head of the serpent’s seed, at Calvary, and opened up the way for fallen man to return to God. God foreknew every one of us who would ever believe the gospel and be saved, even before the foundation of the world, but we were separated from Him because of a sin debt that none of us could pay. The price for our freedom was the life of a sinless man, and there was not a sinless man upon the face of the whole earth. Even then, that price had to be paid willingly, Jesus was not forced to lay down His life; He volunteered. But Bro. Jackson, those people arrested Him, and crucified Him. Yes. But what did Jesus say about it? When Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of those that arrested Him, Jesus said unto Peter, Put up thy sword. Those that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 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 must be? (Matt. 26:52-54) In the 10th chapter of John, we read, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” (Verse 15) Then in verse 18, we read, “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.” That ought to be enough to show that Jesus was not crucified against His own will. In the earlier verses of Matthew 26, you find Him praying, just before He was arrested, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. All of the characteristics that lay in Jesus, came from God; therefore He did not have that fallen nature driving Him, forcing Him to exercise His own will above what He knew to be the divine will of the Father.

ONE EXTRA CHROMOSOME

I read an article some time ago, where scientists have ran tests on professional, hardened criminals in prison. (This lets us know that the devil knew exactly what he was doing, back in Genesis, when he got those two lines of humanity to crossing) and they have found that many of these hardened criminals, people who have been dealt with by the law, and it simply had no affect whatsoever on them, have one extra chromosome more than a normal person. That one extra chromosome would be something that would affect their nature, their attitude toward society, so severely that nothing seemingly could change them. Therefore I say to you, If scientists can prove a thing like that in our day, it ought to be clear, what the devil was doing back there in Genesis 6. He is not without understand on these things; he knows what area to work in, in his efforts to try and defeat the plan of God. Why do you think he inspired the serpent to work on Eve in the first place?

TEST TUBE BABIES

Let me say just a word to those of you who may think I have overstepped the word of God in this message. So many people have been taught that the virgin birth of Jesus was just a bypassing of the normal male’s side of conception, that they find it hard to believe, when we say that Jesus was not the genetic son of Mary either, no more than of Joseph. I would simply ask you to read up on the process of what is referred to as test tube babies, how they actually get their start. You who are familiar with the process, know how they take the sperm of a certain male, and fertilize an egg from a certain woman, start that life in a test tube, and then place it in the womb of the woman that will do for it, what Mary did for Jesus, carry it through the normal period of pregnancy, and then give birth to it, and the offspring that comes forth is known as the son, or daughter of that woman and her husband, yet genetically there is no relationship with either one. Now Jesus was not started in a test tube, but the rest of the process was as the situation just explained. When we first read of that test tube baby that was born in England, it was causing quite a stir among society, but we do know that this sort of thing is being done for couples who are unable to have children through the normal process. Therefore, whether some want to believe it or not, Mary was to Jesus, exactly what those test tube babies’ mothers are to them. The only difference is, Mary’s conception involved a creative act in her womb, by the Holy Ghost that came upon her, and the baby that Mary birthed in the world was the very Messiah that was to be born to fulfill prophecy. This was the only human body that the great eternal Spirit ever dwelled in. He was God manifested in human flesh, yet he humbled Himself and took upon Himself the position of a servant. Though He was ordained to be King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, He never did parade Himself around as a king or magistrate; He was a servant to humanity. Who was he? God Himself, reaching out with His hands, with His eyes, and with His words, dealing with fallen mankind for the sole purpose of conveying God’s divine thoughts to humanity. He was our bridge that spanned the great chasm between God and His lost children, and allowed us to come back to that great fountain of eternal life. There have been other men who have claimed to be God, and every one of them had followers that believed in them, but Jesus Christ is the only one of them that has stood the test, and proved to be perfect God in essence of Spirit, and perfect man, completely sinless.

DID JESUS HAVE HUMAN NATURE?

Many have asked, Did Jesus have human nature about Him? Absolutely. Remember when He had fasted 40 days and nights after His baptism, how the scriptures say that He was hungry? And how the devil came to Him and said, If you really are the Son of God, command these stones be made bread? Why did the devil approach Him like that? Because he knew that He was hungry. His human body was feeling the pains of hunger. He had the same gnawing sensation in His stomach that any of us would have. Then I would ask you to think for a moment, about how He always made His way to the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Their home was a place where He would stop over when He would go up to Jerusalem, to the temple, and He grew very fond of them, especially Lazarus. It seemed there was something about Lazarus that caused Jesus to enjoy being around him. You will remember also, how He wept when He was told that Lazarus was dead. That was His physical emotions expressing themselves. It just shows that He had the ability to cry, just like anyone else. Not because He was trying to put up a front, or trying to be sorrowful, and neither was He feeling the hopelessness that so many people feel at a time like that; He was simply expressing human emotions. He could see, hear, feel, taste and smell just like anyone else could; the difference was, He did not have any of the fallen attributes of man in Him. His whole purpose was to please the Father in all things. That is why He said, I do nothing of myself. What did He mean? He meant, as far as saying anything that pertained to the plan of God, the great eternal Spirit. He never mentioned anything without the anointing. But as far as His human side was concerned, He could eat fish, eat fruit, and speak of natural things, with the same mouth that would give out THUS SAITH THE LORD, when the anointing was speaking. He loved Lazarus, and liked being around him, but He only chose for His apostles, those whom the Father had appointed, human feelings were not considered.

THE CHILDREN’S BREAD

Now let us consider for just a moment, the woman of Canaan that came crying unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. She was begging this man, Jesus, to have mercy on her, and heal her daughter, and He did not even answer her. His disciples wanted Him to send her away; they did not like to have her following them, and bothering Him. But He finally said to her, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then the woman came near and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, help me. But he said unto her, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. What a statement. At times like this a person might wonder, Why would He talk to that poor woman like that? But He wanted to see just how determined she was, to get what she desired from Him. (As you follow the ministry of Jesus, you find many things that show His human nature.) If she had been like a lot of people; she might have said, “Bless God, I did not come here to be insulted. If you are going to talk to me like that: I will just go home.” A lot of people take that kind of an attitude, but an attitude like that will never get anything from God. When He said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs, that seemed to awaken something within her. She was just as witty as He was, and she answered back, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. Her answer, thou witty, showed humility on her part, and that touched His heart. She knew this man could do something for her, and she humbled herself before Him in that way, and that caused Him to say, O Woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (Matt. 15:21-28) That woman was talking to God, and did not even realize it. Oh, Bro. Jackson, He was the Son of God. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words THAT I SPEAK unto you I speak not of myself; but the FATHER THAT DWELLETH IN ME, He doeth the works.” (John 14:10) What does that verse say to you? “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in HIM, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col. 2:9-10) Notice what the apostle Paul said to the Phillippians. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (I do nothing except what the Father shows me.) Who, being in the form of God, (What form would that be? Spirit. God is a spirit) thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (Because He was the very thoughts of God, materialized in human flesh. When He walked on the water, He was walking on His own creation.) But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and made in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:5-7) When He spoke to the stormy winds that were tossing the little boat around, He was speaking to His own creation. Not that His body of flesh was back there before creation, but the life that was in that body, had been, before the world ever was. God is a Spirit, and that Spirit was in Jesus. That does not mean that He emptied the universe of Himself, just to dwell in that body of flesh; it simply means that the very life that God is, was being displayed and expressed in this human form. For an illustrative comparison, suppose someone would take a glass and fill it with water from the Pacific Ocean, and then walk up to you and say, This is the Pacific Ocean: That would not mean that the whole body of water of the Pacific Ocean had been poured into that glass, but there certainly would be a full representation of that body of water, in that glass. You would have the same thing in that glass that is still out there in the Oceanbed. If you can see the great eternal Spirit in Jesus, like that, you will understand how Jesus could say, The Father is in me, and know that even so, He was still omnipresent.

THE STRAIT GATE

Isn’t it strange that one Jew could see that Jesus was the Messiah they had longed for, and another Jew that had witnessed the same things, could only see Him as the son of Joseph and Mary? It just goes to show that people can see with their own eyes, and hear with their own ears, and still not have a revelation of what they have witnessed. Great multitudes followed Jesus, and partook of the miracles He performed, but only a few of them ever received a revelation of who He was. That is just how narrow the road really is. In His sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14) Brothers and sisters, it is sad to say, but there is a thinning out process in effect in our day. Those who have just followed along because of fleshly attractions, and do not have a revelation of the word of God in their spirit, are being shaken loose from the trueseed who were foreknown of God before the foundation of the world. Those whom the father foreknew, are sanctified through the truth, the revealed word of God. It is just like Jesus told Nicodemus, “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” You can learn to quote everything that you have ever heard about the word of God, but unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God, for that kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that can be entered into only by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. If you have it: you are sealed in, and if you do not: you are sealed out. It is just that simple. Now of course there had to be a time for every lot, but predestined soul to have that experience, and there may be some yet, who will. I do not know. But without it, you have nothing but the great tribulation ahead of you, and after that, the wrath of God. I am saying these things to those who have sat in the assemblies with the righteous, and have partook of heavenly things right along with them, and then allowed Satan to warp your mind, and cause you to fight against truth. I will not judge anyone myself, the Bible has already judged all who do such things.

To you who love truth , let me say this, Just hold steady while these spiritual winds are raging about you, for of all that the Father hath give to Him, Jesus will not lose any. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, (JESUS) that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29) I am going to close this little message, now, and use whatever space we have left to print some excerpts from “The Seed of the Woman” message we printed back in January 1977. Meanwhile, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 EXCERPTS FROM VOL. 9 NO. 1

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

SATAN WAS THE FIRST MURDERER NOT CAIN

Listen beloved, Cain killing Abel was by no means the first murder! No, Satan himself was the first murderer. He had to commit a murder somewhere in order to be condemned out of the category of the Lord’s righteous angels, because notice, when Satan enters the Garden of Eden he is already a fallen angel! Therefore the serpent talking to Eve is by no means the devil. The serpent before his fall, as a physical creature was much in physical identity or likeness unto man. Yet standing somewhere in the background was that spirit (the devil) waiting to take a slap at God. Satan moves upon this serpent creature and by controlling his intellect, his impulses, and emotions, begins to inspire the serpent for this terrible thing which is about to take place. And it is all the devil’s way at getting back at God by ruining his picture.

After the serpent stated what he does, the woman answered, we may eat of all the trees of the garden…meaning peach trees, apples, pears, oranges, etc. But concerning verse 3, may I say to any human mind who desires to say the trees mentioned here are of the same nature and relationship to those natural trees shown in verse 2, YOU ARE WRONG!

Under the inspiration of God, Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. By inspiration he received the law and was instructed how to build the tabernacle…build it according to the pattern shown in the heavenlies. If Moses saw the heavenly pattern in order to know how to build the tabernacle, then I am persuaded in writing the first five books, much of it was history of their hour, recording the events that Israel had just passed through. Yet Genesis goes back and brings up to date the time of Israel’s departure from Egypt. Therefore God inspired him to write the record of history.

TRUTH PERVERTED

Verse 3…But of the fruit of the trees which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Verse 3 shows the woman has already stated what would happen if they ate of the tree of knowledge, Verse 4…And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know in the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. In a sense he is telling her the truth, but he is telling her this to benefit a wrong motive! Now God (not gods) does know the difference between good and evil. Remember there is only one God, not a plurality of gods! Satan, inspiring the serpent creature, would certainly like to get this think into a trinity, wouldn’t he? Yes the serpent told the truth, but it is truth presented to deceive by, because we know for them to know the difference between good and evil, it certainly won’t be to their good, will it?

TO EAT IS TO PARTAKE

Verse 6…And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…Critics will ask why is all this worded in this manner? The answer is simple, God allowed it to be worded that way to cloak the whole story until the end of time. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for good, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The question can be asked, what did she eat or partake of? The serpent, this manlike creature, introduced to her the use of sex strictly on the pleasure relation basis. The serpent, since he could talk, was influenced to approach Eve and discuss this thing. And I want to say, this subject in its original plan of God, was one of the most virtuous, holy, and sacred things in the whole universe! It was God’s divine route and means to propagate and bring his family into existence. Adam was not born like that because there was no man. He was the son of God! Yes, within Eve’s body there was a perfect law of conception to set up and take motion. In Genesis, Moses said the serpent beguiled her! Did not the Apostle Paul, writing in Corinthians, tell also that Eve was beguiled? When writing to Timothy, Paul stated how the woman was not to teach nor usurp authority, but was to be under subjection, because Adam was not in the transgression, BUT IT WAS WOMAN! Transgression means to have gone beyond the limits or stepped across the line. It was God who drew a line and said, don’t step across it for the day you do, YE SHALL SURELY DIE!

Notice, the serpent never approached Adam, the headship of creation. No, he approached Adam’s helpmate because it would be through her a law would operate, as to when a sacred relationship between Adam and her would be performed, for the sole purpose of God bringing the two together for conception of producing children.

The devil comes along and through his serpent creature stands on the other side of the line, tempting her to cross over the line. The woman, having not crossed the line as yet said, this is what God said. But the serpent standing on the other side if the line says, now wait a minute. That is not so, for God knows that the day you eat thereof you shall become as gods. In other words, woman don’t you want to be wise? Finally this serpent caused her to cross the line as he introduced sex to her for pleasure. To her she knew the tree of life in its original makeup was only to be partaken of at certain times and that would only be when God said so, and then it was strictly for the production of children.

This serpent was a creature who looked like man, having an intellect much like that of man, yet was not man in the sense of being the son of God, as was Adam. Nevertheless, he had a capacity to talk and communicate with her, and he introduced this act strictly for pleasure. In actuality, the woman committed fornication with the serpent, becoming a transgressor to the perfect original law of God. She stepped across the line! Certain people like to hammer the woman down saying Adam did no wrong. Don’t fool yourself! Remember, the Bible never said Adam had to eat it! And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat. (Here carnal minds always say, see, she had to eat of plant life. Just hold your seat, and we will test your revelation to see whether it be of God or not. Just for the sake of argument we will say she did eat plant life. What then did she eat? Every tree of plant life that was in the garden is on earth today.) And did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Now if you say sex is to be the order then where did she do wrong in going to her husband? It was all because the act had been introduced for pleasure. Remember, it was only for God to bring the two together for the sole purpose for them to express their love to the other, yet it is also the heavenly creator’s way of perfect conception.

ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED

When Eve approached Adam, do you think she said, hon, lets make a baby. That was not in the question, yet I want you to know there is going to be two babies born. No sir, she approached him, lets make love, lets have a little fun! Adam probably asked, woman what have you done? No, Adam did not give into her on the first approach. Because, in Paul’s writing to Timothy he stated, Adam was not in the transgression, meaning he was not enticed to step across the border. Adam was certainly not beguiled! Being the headship of this earthly creation he was too smart for that! Romans declares the first man was of this earth earthy. Before Eve was ever taken from Adam’s side, Adam knew exactly what it meant to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. Therefore it wasn’t the serpent coming to him, it was his own wife but remember, he was not beguiled by his wife. Not at all! Romans 5 plainly tells us through the disobedience of one, many were made sinners. In what way were many made sinners? Adam disobeyed God. Disobedience means to refuse to obey!

Yes, you could say Adam stepped across the line but when he did it wasn’t because he figured everything would come out alright. Oh no, he knew it wouldn’t! Adam stepped across the line and on his part it was strictly an act of disobedience.

ADAM’S CHOICE

Let’s go back to the garden but remember the Bible is not specific in every word and all of its approaches, nevertheless Eve was beguiled. Oh yes, the serpent told her the truth but it was only to seduce her, to deceive her in order to defile her and commit this pleasure relationship which was fornication and that began the first act of fornication in the whole human race! When she obtained this knowledge she had already been beguiled and everything had become so turned upside down for her, she hardly knew anything. She could not help but come to her husband with this knowledge. They are the only two creatures in the garden. We do not know the entire conversation that transpired between Eve and her husband but he probably said, honey, you realize what you have done. I can’t do that. You know the Lord said we would die and as he talks to her, she knowing there is no way she can possibly step back out from under the penalty of this probably said, but honey I don’t want to die by myself. Here were two people confronted with the greatest test any two people has ever endured! There lay the decision of what would be the destiny for the entire human race. On and on she probably begged him. Picking up Paul’s revelation in Ephesians 1 we note how God had predestinated us in himself before the foundation of the world, therefore we can begin to see how Paul could write in Roman’s 8 saying that the creation was made subject to vanities not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected the same in hope. In other words, as Adam listened and looked toward the future, he couldn’t see any further than the end of his nose, yet remember he wasn’t beguiled nor misled. He looked at the whole scope about him, Me, living by myself, NO! If she is going to die, I will die with her!

Beloved, it had to be somewhat like this in order for Paul to declare in Romans 5 how Christ had to take upon himself the same. Adam set the type of Christ who is the seed of the woman and came into this world born of woman, yet perfect in the essence of flesh. However, he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh in order that in his fleshly body he might bear the sins of the entire human race. Why had God done this? Because as God looked down upon his fallen creation he didn’t want to be alone. He still desired a family of children. Therefore clothing himself in human flesh he came down it the likeness of man, came in the likeness of sinful flesh and took upon himself the same that he might die with us in order to redeem us (his bride) back to himself. See, even in Ephesians 1 all this was in the mind of God. Before ever there was a star, moon, or anything, this was all in the plan of God! No, it was not a question of whether Adam was deceived or beguiled, it was a decision he had to make, SHALL I DIE WITH HER? God, who created Adam, could have created him another helpmeet, couldn’t he? But had he done so God’s beautiful plan of salvation could never have been portrayed in the manner it was. That is why you must read between the lines. Therefore, as Adam partook of this we must remember he did not do so because he was beguiled, OH NO, he knew the very moment he committed this. He wasn’t saying to Eve, lets have a child. That wasn’t in his mind at all! Let’s make love for pleasure. So they did. When it was all over, not only Eve is guilty, but Adam also. Adam is the head of creation, therefore everything that goes on in the garden, he is going to be held responsible for. The minute their little love act is over they realize they are naked.

Shame on the critics who say she at an apple! Apples are eaten with the teeth and nothing went into their mouth! You know this is not the true story. For the sake of the critic, let’s say she did eat an apple. We realize the eating of the apple is merely a substitute of mankind to evade the real issue. But had they ate fruit from plant life, let’s see where it got them. Some fig trees were close by with good size leaves and realizing they were naked Adam took a bunch of fig leaves from the tree, which is plant life, and made them both a covering. Notice where both placed those fig leaves – AROUND THEIR LOINS! Had they eaten some fruit of plant life which is taken in through the mouth, why then did they not cover the mouths instead of the part of the body they did cover? The very thing they did was what got them into trouble. Note where they hid, going deeper into the garden they hid behind the trees of plant life. Placing fig leaves about their loins they hid themselves behind trees of plant life!

When time had arrived that God would visit them in the cool of the day, they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden coming to fellowship. And may I say, God is also walking in the evening time, talking to certain people telling them exactly what happened there in the Garden. It is his way of communicating. Thanks be to God because he sent that seed of the woman (Christ) to make it possible that we could be reconciled from the course of sin and death and be given the promise of eternal life and the resurrection from the dead. If that Spirit of God is in you here in the evening time of church history, it shows he is again walking among mankind seeking hearts who will fellowship with him.

Hearing the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden, they hid themselves behind trees. Suddenly this omnipotent, omnipresent God who knows all things, knowing what his children had done calls out to Adam. Sure he is fully aware of what has been going on but he calls out to Adam because he placed him at the head of creation. Perhaps the serpent is off somewhere now since the devil has gotten off him, wondering why he did such a thing. God never spoke first to the serpent who was to blame. He never called Eve first even though she had been beguiled but he spoke first to Adam the son of God who was hiding. Normally Adam would have been waiting for him. Oh, I don’t want to be hiding when Jesus comes. I want to be waiting for him. I want to be ready and listening for him. God said, Adam where art thou? Hands shaking and voice trembling Adam knows he cannot hide any longer. He said we are over here. Why are you over there, you used to meet me over here? We found we were naked and hid ourselves. Note the whole conversation is to Adam. He did not have to do it but he did anyhow. Adam disobeyed God; Adam went contrary to God’s law, willingly and with all knowledge of knowing what it would cost him.

SERPENT CURSED

God said, Adam hast thou eaten of the tree of the forbidden fruit? Adam began to pass the buck. Man simply will not face up to the fact of his own responsibility! Looking at his little helpmeet, Adam said, this woman you gave me, she gave me to eat. Nobody made Adam do that, he made the choice! Eve looked at the serpent and said, he deceived or beguiled me. He made it sound so good. She wasn’t pointing to a snake, she was pointing to an upright creature. Notice, the Lord God looked at him and did not say what have you done, he said CURSED ARE YOU! He cursed him placing him on the end of the line of animal creation. He put the serpent out there where the snakes are! Remember, it is not every snake out there that is the serpent. There are many species of snakes yet no two species will cross. But out there somewhere is one of those little fellows who is that serpent who crawled off on his belly. The question can be asked, did the serpent have a mate? Sure he did! Recall when God made the animal kingdom he made them male and female. What happened to his mate? She went with him. You say, I don’t believe that – when Korah and the others withstood Moses in the wilderness Moses said, separate me these fellows, and recall, their families there also and were slain.

SEED OF DAVID

Let us go to Romans 1 in closing. Paul writes to the Roman gentile church, though the first converts in this church were Jews who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and had gone back to start this whole thing. Basically, in those introduction chapters of Romans Paul is writing to those Jewish Christians at Rome. (Romans 1:3) Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. If Paul is going to call Christ the seed of Abraham in one letter, why is he calling him the seed of David in this one? Recall, when Israel returned into the land under Joshua and settled down, eventually they began to desire a king to rule over them. David became their second king and in 2nd Samuel 7:12-16 we see a promise that God gave to David. And when thy days be fulfilled and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. Naturally we know this was Solomon in the first aspect but he was not a man who could live forever. And thine house…now this goes to David’s royal seed line…and thine house and thy kingdom (meaning the right to rule) shall he establish forever. The house here promised to David is his royal household, meaning David became the father of a royal line of Israelites. See, God gave to Abraham a promise that in thee and thy seed after thee.

KING JESUS SEED OF THE WOMAN

According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. David died. Solomon built a temple. Solomon, too, pre-generated children. From that, come right on down through a royal seed line of kings and the last king in that royal line was King Zedekiah who was removed from the throne by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. His eyes were plucked out as he saw his own sons slain. He was taken to Babylon to remain as a servant or captive. Ezekiel prophesied there never would be another king sit on that throne. Zedekiah, the last king to sit there of the royal line of the seed of David, was an evil king. Ezekiel prophesied concerning that throne which Zedekiah sat on saying, God would overthrow it until he whose right it was to sit there come, meaning the seed of the woman, the seed of David (Christ) of whom God prophesied to David – he would come whose right it was to rule and reign. Then again would that seed sit on the throne. It plainly states in Micah as well as Jeremiah along with Isaiah, in that day he shall come and take his throne which is the seed of David and the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Why? He will sit on the throne of David as the seed of David. Doing what? Ruling the nations for all nations will go to Zion and Jerusalem to worship the Lord of hosts. As they go to see him, he is the perfect seed of the woman in which God ordained that the effects of the original sin and death should be completely atoned for an reconciliation for the human race should be accomplished through that perfect seed.

We pick it up by Paul’s revelation in 1st Cor. 15 how God has put all things under his feet meaning Christ who is the seed of the woman, the seed of David, the seed of Abraham, how God has put all things under his feet. Yet he turns right around and says, we see not all things under his feet, but we know this, according to Paul’s revelation when he comes in the millennium he would rule and reign until that last enemy which is death, meaning all the dead bodies of the wicked dead, etc., laying still in the crust of the earth, at the close of the millennium, that perfect seed of the woman had power to call the dead forth from the dust of the earth. When he passed from that millennium throne to that great white throne, that perfect one in which has been invested the authority to call the dead out of the ground, he will call the wicked from the bottoms of the sea, hell, and out of the dust of the earth. When everything has stood before the great white throne judgment, right there is where Paul’s revelation climaxes, for there as the dead stand before the great white throne and they are judged out of the things written in the books, the Bible says, whosoever name was not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire.

REDEEMED EARTH

When that great white throne judgment is all over, there are no more graves, hell is no more. Everything is in the lake of fire. Then we can see how that God through one obedient man who was the perfect seed of a woman, who was the seed of Abraham by promise and was the seed of David by promise has fulfilled all three aspects. He has brought redemption, not only to mankind but to the earth itself. When death and hell are cast into the lake of fire there are no more graveyards. Everything now that remains standing before the throne of God has eternal life. In Paul’s revelation it says, then shall the kingdom be delivered back up to God the Father, so that God again can portray himself back into creation, back among his redeemed children in the fulness of himself just he way it would have been had sin never been in the first place. Jesus then is our elder brother. He is the first begotten from among the dead. Therefore he holds a birthright. We all fall in line behind him!

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SUPERFETATION

It has become a medical fact throughout different parts of the world that women have committed such acts and each story involves an immoral relation. Each medical case I have studied over the past 10-15 years was where some woman yielded herself to an immoral relationship. One case was in Sweden, another France, still another in Arizona. From all over the world these reports are coming. Every case was where some woman gave herself in a close relationship of time to two different men and these men had separate physical characteristics. In most cases the fathers of the children did not belong to the same race. These cases have a medical term called SUPERFETATION AND ARE FAR MORE RARE THAN QUADRUPLET BIRTHS. This is what happened here. There was a wrong act committed and here is the penalty that comes out of it. Abel was the keeper of the sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. He had the nature of his daddy.

CHROMOSOMES

Now when a sperm comes into contact with an egg, it actually penetrates the egg’s cell membrane and enters the substance of the egg itself. This is the precise moment of fertilization, and it is here that another of Nature’s minor miracles takes place, for as soon as one of these 250,000,000 sperm enters the solitary egg, the egg becomes impenetrable to all the others. The sex and genetic characteristics of the child that results from this union are determined at this very moment. Here’s how: Every cell in the human body, including the primordial egg and sperm, contains exactly 46 microscopic bodies known as chromosomes. As the egg matures, its chromosomes become divided into 23 identical pairs, one set of which is discarded. As the sperm matures, its chromosomes also become divided into 23 pairs, 22 of which are identical and one of which is not. One member of this 23rd pair is known as an X chromosome and the other as a Y chromosome. The sperm then splits in two and now the mature sperm, like the mature egg, contains 23 chromosomes, so the fertilized egg contains 46, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. And since it is these chromosomes which carry the genes, the baby that develops from this union will bear genetic similarities (color of hair, size of body, etc.) to both parents.

When the sperm splits in two, however, its other half is not discarded. Both halves become mature sperm; one half contains an X chromosome and the other half a Y chromosome. If, as luck will have it, the egg is fertilized by a sperm containing a Y chromosome, the resultant conceptus will be male; if the sperm contains an X chromosome the baby will be female.

The Abomination that Maketh Desolate, Part 3 – 1980, September

1980-09-The-Abomination-That-Maketh-Desolate-Part-3

I WILL JUST SAY A WORD TO ANYONE WHO MAY RECEIVE THIS ISSUE WITHOUT HAVING READ PART 1 AND PART 2. WE ARE DEALING WITH A SUBJECT THAT WE BELIEVE COULD HELP STRAIGHTEN UP A LOT OF CONFUSION AMONG BELIEVERS OF THIS END TIME MESSAGE OF TRUTH. BUT ONLY GOD KNOWS WHETHER THOSE WHO REALLY NEED TO READ THIS ARTICLE, WILL OR NOT. NEVERTHELESS WE ARE TAKING DANIEL’S VISIONS, AND THE VISIONS OF JOHN THE APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, TYING THEM TOGETHER, AND FILLING IN THE GAPS WITH ACTUAL HISTORY THAT ENABLES US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT THESE SCRIPTURES PERTAIN TO. NATURALLY THAT REQUIRES PULLING IN MANY OTHER SCRIPTURES, BUT IT IS ALL FROM THE WORD OF GOD, THEREFORE WE MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR THE FACT THAT IT IS TAKING SO MANY ISSUES OF THE CONTENDER TO GET IT ALL INTO YOUR HANDS. OUR MAIN FOCUS IS ON THE ANTICHRIST WHO WILL APPEAR IN THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL WHICH IS JUST AHEAD OF US, BUT WE HAVE SHOWN HOW CERTAIN OTHER MEN THROUGH TIME HAVE SET TYPES OF THIS ONE WHO IS YET TO COME. FURTHERMORE WHETHER YOU LIKE TO READ HISTORY OR NOT, I STILL FIND THAT IT THRILLS MY SOUL JUST TO READ IN THESE HISTORY BOOKS HOW PERFECTLY PROPHECY FROM THE BIBLE WAS FULFILLED IN CERTAIN EVENTS THAT HAVE TRANSPIRED DOWN THROUGH TIME. WE HAVE ALREADY SHOWN HOW CERTAIN MEN HAVE SET TYPES OF THE ANTICHRIST WHO IS YET TO COME ON THE SCENE, AND WE HAVE SHOWN WHERE THE ANTICHRIST WILL COME FROM, AND HOW WE KNOW THAT HE WILL HAVE TO COME FROM ROME: THEREFORE WE WILL BEGIN THIS PART OF THE SUBJECT RIGHT WHERE WE STOPPED, IN OUR LAST ISSUE. WHEN WE RAN OUT OF SPACE WE WERE READY TO START DEALING WITH THE SEVEN HEADS WHICH HAD FORMED ON THE BEAST OF DANIEL 7:7, WHEN THE APOSTLE JOHN SAW IT OVER SIX HUNDRED YEARS LATER. DANIEL SAW FOUR GREAT BEASTS COME UP FROM THE SEA, EACH ONE DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER ONES, BUT THE FOURTH BEAST WAS THE MOST TERRIBLE OF ALL. IT HAD TEN HORNS, THEN A LITTLE HORN CAME UP FROM AMONG THE TEN AND SUBDUED THREE OF THE FIRST TEN. WE TALKED ABOUT THOSE TEN HORNS LAST MONTH, AND ALSO THE LITTLE HORN, BUT WE DID NOT GET TO THE POINT WHERE WE COULD EXAMINE THE SEVEN HEADS THAT JOHN SAW ON THAT SAME BEAST. THAT IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW.

 

SEVEN HEADS WITH NAME OF BLASPHEMY

Open your Bibles to the 17th chapter of Revelation, where we will begin reading with verse 8. Maybe we should read three verses from chapter 13, to get the setting. This is the aged apostle John, writing these words. Verse 1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, (Remember now, we already know this beast is the old Roman empire, the fourth kingdom that was to rule the world according to the words spoken to Daniel by the angel of the Lord, and John is seeing it all the way through to its end time role in the affairs of the world) and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (SOVEREIGN IMPERIAL UNIVERSAL RULER, This title was held by the old Caesars, and only God can rightfully hold such a title; that is why it is called blasphemy.) Verse 2, And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: (This shows that area of the old Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian, as well as the Grecian was all represented in this ten horned beast which had seven heads) and the dragon (the devil) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” When you read the 7th chapter of Daniel you find that he saw the ten horns upon the fourth beast, but he did not see the seven heads, so just hold that in your mind, and we will now go to Revelation 17:8, where the angel of the Lord is explaining John’s vision to him. “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the 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. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” There is only one city in the world, which sits on 7 mountains, or 7 hills, and fulfills what is written about this one; that is Rome. That was her great pride in ancient times, that part of her was situated geographically on 7 different hills. This 9th verse has a compound meaning though. First, it ties the 7 heads to a city that sits on 7 hills. But when you read verse 10, you find the angel declaring that there are 7 kings, or kingdoms encompassed in the overall picture. We are going to read the actual history that deals specifically with each of these kings, or kingdoms that came out of the one great Roman head. Daniel looked forward through time, and saw this great, most terrible beast, and he saw the ten horns, the ten separate kingdoms that would eventually be established within the area that would be ruled by Rome in the days of the old caesars, but he did not see how that one great Roman head would become 7 heads. That was reserved for the apostle John who was projected into the future time in his vision, so that he could look back and see all of this as though it had already happened. To John, it was as if he was living in the year 1980, and looking back through time, watching all this as it took place.

 

THE EIGHTH IS OF THE SEVEN

Let us read verse 10. “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. (11) And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” Remember what you read from verse 8. “The beast that was, and is not; shall ascend out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT (that is a spirit of Satan coming out of hell to live in, and rule the beast) and go into perdition,” (destruction.) In other words, John saw that same spirit of the devil that was on the ancient caesars, coming right back to that old beast system for its end time role, and then going to destruction at the appearance of Jesus Christ. The devil began to loose his power and influence which he exercised through those imperial chairs of Rome when Nero died. His death ended that long line of ancient caesars who were all related to each other. When he died, there was not a son, uncle, nephew, nor any other relative to take his place. Vespasian was in the Holy Land with his Roman army fighting the Jews, in 69 A.D. when word reached him that Nero was dead. He returned to Rome, leaving his son Titus in command of the army. But it was during the time that Vespasian was fighting in one of the cities of Northern Israel, that the Jewish historian, Josephus, surrendered to him, and when he came out to meet Vespasian, he prophesied to him saying, Vespasian, knowest thou not today, that thou shall be emperor, and thy son shall serve in thy stead? Vespasian just thought he was hearing flatteries, but before long, there came a messenger bearing the news about Nero, and extending to him a call from the Roman senate to return to Rome and take Nero’s place. Vespasian ruled awhile; then Titus ruled awhile, also Domitian, his other son, but they were military men. They could not rule with the same authority that the old Caesars ruled with.

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EXCERPTS FROM HISTORY

THE END OF THE GREAT ROMAN HEAD

69-96 AD

During Nero’s reign half of Rome was laid in ashes by a great fire, which raged for a week. But a new Rome speedily arose. It was a much finer city than the old, with wide, straight streets instead of narrow alleys, and with houses of good stone in place of wooden hovels. Except for the loss of the temples and public buildings, the fire was a blessing in disguise.

After the death of Nero the dynasty that traced its descent from Julius and Augustus became extinct. There was no one who could legally claim the vacant throne. The Senate, which in theory had the appointment of a successor, was too weak to exercise its powers. The imperial guard and the legions on the frontiers placed their own candidates in the field. The Roman world fell into anarchy, and Italy became once more the seat of civil war. The throne was finally seized by the able general, Flavius Vespasianus, supported by the armies of the East. He and his two sons, Titus and Domitian, are called the Flavian Caesars.

During the reign of Vespasian a revolt of the Jews was crushed, and Jerusalem was captured by Titus, Vespasian’s son. It is said, doubtless with exaggeration, that one million Jews perished in the siege, the most awful that history records. The Holy City, together with the Temple, was destroyed, and a Roman camp was pitched upon the spot. We may still see in Rome the splendid arch that commemorates this tragic event.

The reign of Titus is chiefly memorable for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities on the bay of Naples. After long inactivity the volcano of Vesuvius suddenly belched forth torrents of liquid lava and mud, followed by a rain of ashes. Pompeii was covered to a depth of about fifteen feet by the falling cinders. Herculaneum was overwhelmed in a sea of sulphurous mud and lava to a depth of eighty feet in many places. The cities were completely entombed, and in time even their location was forgotten. Modern excavations have disclosed a large part of Pompeii, with its streets, shops, baths, temples, and theaters. The visitor their gains a vivid impression of Roman life during the first century of our era.

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FIVE GOOD EMPERORS

 

Following the Flavian Caesars (that is what Vespasian and his sons were known as) was five other men who tried one by one to re-establish another line of Caesars, but as each one died and another took his place, the efforts of the former were abandoned to make way for the plans of the incumbent. These were known as the five good emperors; but not one of them ever established another line of Caesars. They were emperors, but not Caesars. Then, at the death of the last of these five men, the old Roman empire really began to crumble and lose its strength and authority. That is when the power of Satan began to diminish from the old imperial chair. I have followed the history all the way through, and every account shows that Rome got weaker and weaker as different men would be elevated to the throne, then assassinated, one after another for the next one hundred and some years, all the way down to Constantine.

Emperor Constantine

Emperor Constantine

For one long period they had what was known as soldier emperors, simply because they fought their way to the throne, only to rule for a short period before they were assassinated to make way for the next one. Naturally we cannot read all of the history on these, but we will try to fill in enough for you to see these seven heads on that Roman beast. Remember this as we go along through these periods of time, it is only those emperors who stood out as having authority that actually ruled men’s lives that make up the seven heads. The first five heads were these 5 good emperors, NERVA, TRAJAN, HADRIAN, ANTONINUS PIUS, and MARCUS AURELIUS. (We have history on them also.) Then you have a period of more than 100 years before the next head (No. 6) is elevated to the throne. Head number 6, was CONSTANTINE. He is the one that established the sixth form of imperial government. It was his efforts that linked church and state together for fellowship. He supposedly had a vision to which he attributed his conversion to Christianity. In the year 312 A.D. on the eve of a great battle, he is supposed to have seen a fiery cross in the heavens, and words beneath it which said, “By this sign thou shalt conquer.” He interpreted it to mean that the God of the Christians was telling him, if he would accept their God, he would win his battles and conquer. He had all his soldiers paint the sign of the cross on their shields, and when they went into battle, they won. This so filled his heart with joy that he returned to Rome psychologically converted to Christianity. He then issued a decree that the Christians should no longer be persecuted. Next he established Sunday as a day of worship, and some 12 or 13 years later, he called all the bishops of Christendom together at Nicaea, Rome to settle the great Arian controversy, and to formulate the Christian doctrine. That is where the doctrine of the holy trinity was established, and that is what laid the groundwork for the Catholic church, although at that time it was not known as the “Roman Catholic Church.”

 

ONE HEAD – THEN SEVEN HEADS

Before going farther let us be sure we understand what is involved here. Remember, as long as that succession of old Roman imperial Caesars continued, the beast just had one head, for as one Caesar would die the next family member in line for the office would just take over, keeping it as one great governmental head. But when Nero died and there was no family member for the authority to pass on to, that great imperial head was broken. Vespasian, nor his two sons were ever able to elevate themselves to such a place of authority. But each of the five good emperors made enough impact during their rule to be considered a governmental head. Each of them had a form of imperial government, but when the last one of them died, it was over 100 years before there was another man on that throne with that kind of authority for more than 400 years. Carlemagne of Germany was the next one, and he was head No. 7 on that old Roman beast which had only one head when Daniel saw it. In other words, Charlemagne established the 7th form of imperial government that ruled the world after the last one of the old line of Caesars died. He loved the Catholic church which was universal throughout all Europe. He was a military man, but was also a devout Catholic. His great moment arrived on Christmas Day A.D. 800, when he went to St. Peter’s basilica (as it is now called) for Mass, and Pope Leo 3rd, suddenly placed a golden crown upon his head, and all the people cried out, LONG LIFE AND VICTORY TO CHARLES AUGUSTUS, THE GREAT AND PACIFIC EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS, CROWNED BY GOD! He had desired to become emperor, so this was a dream come true for him. Therefore being a religious man already, and now becoming emperor, he did much in the way of blending church and state together. His efforts got the ball to rolling for another emperor after him, (Otto the Great) crowned by Pope John 12th, in 962 A.D. These two men were the advocates and founders of what became known as the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. But what did the angel tell John? (Rev. 17:10) “Five are fallen, (the five good emperors) and one is, (Constantine) and the other is not yet come; (Charlemagne) and when he cometh, he must continue a short space, (14 years — 800-814 A.D. Now, notice that next verse,) And the beast that was, (Remember now, you must picture John as being out here in the twentieth century watching that beast rise again for its end time role) and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” First let me say this, Do not try to picture 8 heads on the beast; it never did have but 7. Here is what happened; Charlemagne established the 7th form of imperial government, putting the 7th head on the beast, and as time progressed the Roman pope just reached right over and took over the last form of the old imperial government. That is why it says the eighth is of the seven. Those old popes just moved right into the old Caesar’s authority and made it church over state, instead of state over church. They did not call themselves emperors; it is just that over a period of time they elevated themselves to a position where they could rule mankind with that same authority that the old Caesars ruled with. We just read a little of the history on the power of the papacy in part 2 of this message, but from that little excerpt you can see what is written about Pope Gregory 7th. One of the things he claimed to have the authority for, was to dethrone emperors, and that is the kind of authority that exercised over mankind for hundreds of years during the period called the Dark Ages. Of course they still had emperors on the throne, but the title was about all they had; they could not go against the pope and get by with it. The popes cracked the whip and everyone else jumped. We will read some of this history now.

 

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EXCERPTS FROM HISTORY

THE FIVE ARE FALLEN

96-180 AD

 

The five rulers – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius – whose reigns cover the greater part of the second century, are sometimes called the Antonine Caesars, because two of them bore the name Antoninus. They are better known as the “Good Emperors,” a title which well describes them. Under their just and beneficent government the empire reached its greatest prosperity.

The emperor Trajan rivaled Julius Caesar in military ability and enlarged the Roman world to the widest limits it was ever to attain. His first conquests were in Europe and resulted in the annexation of Dacia, an extensive territory north of the Danube. Thousands of colonists settled in Dacia and spread everywhere the language and arts of Rome. Its modern name (Rumania) bears witness to Rome’s abiding influence there. Trajan’s campaigns in Asia had less importance, though in appearance they were more splendid. He drove the Parthians from Armenia and conquered the Tigris-Euphrates valley. To hold in subjection such distant regions only increased the difficulty of guarding the frontiers. Trajan’s successor, Hadrian, at once abandoned them.

Hadrian distinguished himself as an administrator. He may be compared with Augustus in his love of peace and in his care for the interests of the provincials. Hadrian made two long journeys throughout the Roman world. On the frontiers he built fortresses and walls; in the provinces he raised baths, aqueducts, theaters and temples. Scarcely a city throughout the empire lacked some monument to his generosity. Hadrian left behind him the memory of a prince whose life was devoted to the public welfare – the first servant of the state.

The last of the “Good Emperors,” Marcus Aurelius, was a thinker and a student, but he enjoyed little opportunity for meditation. His reign was filled with an almost uninterrupted series of campaigns against the Parthians on the Euphrates and the Germans on the Danube and the Rhine. These wars revealed the weakness of the frontiers and rapidly growing strength of the barbarians. After the death of Marcus Aurelius the empire entered on its downward course. But before passing to this period of our study, we may take a survey of the world under Roman rule, during the two centuries between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.

 

THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE FIFTH AND SIXTH HEAD

180-284 AD

The period called the Later Empire covers the two hundred and fifteen years from the accession of Commodus to the final division of the Roman world at the death of Theodosius. It formed, in general, a period of decline. The very existence of the empire was threatened, both from within and from without. The armies on the frontiers often set up their favorite leaders as contestants for the throne, thus provoking civil war. Ambitious governors of distant provinces sometimes revolted against a weak or unpopular emperor and tried to establish independent states. The Germans took advantage of the unsettled condition of affairs to make constant inroads. About the middle of the third century it became necessary to surrender to them the great province of Dacia, which Trajan had won. A serious danger also appeared in the distant East. Here the Persians, having overcome the Parthians, endeavored to recover from Roman hands the Asiatic provinces which had once belonged to the old Persian realm. Though the Persians failed to make any permanent conquest of Roman territory, their constant attacks weakened the empire at the very time when the northern barbarians had again become a menace.

The rulers who occupied the throne during the first half of this troubled period are commonly known as the “Soldier Emperors,” because so many of them owed their position to the swords of the legionaries. Emperor after emperor followed in quick succession, to enjoy a brief reign and then to perish in some sudden insurrection. Within a single year ((237-238 A.D.) Six rulers were chosen, worshiped, and then murdered by their troops. “You little know,” said one of these imperial phantoms, “what a poor thing it is to be an emperor.”

The close of the third century thus found the empire engaged in a struggle for existence. No part of the Roman world had escaped the ravages of war. The fortification of the capital city by the emperor Aurelian was itself a testimony to the altered condition of affairs. The situation was desperate, yet not hopeless. Under an able ruler, such as Aurelian, Rome proved to be still strong enough to repel her foes. It was the work of the even more capable Diocletian to establish the empire so solidly that it endured for another hundred years.

Diocletian, whose reign is one of the most illustrious in Roman history, entered the army as a common soldier, rose to high command, and fought his way to the throne. A strong, ambitious man, Diocletian resolutely set himself to the task of remaking the Roman government. His success in this undertaking entitles him to rank, as a statesman and administrator, with Augustus.

The reforms of Diocletian were meant to remedy those weaknesses in the imperial system disclosed by the disasters of the preceding century. In the first place, experience showed that the empire was unwieldy. There were the distant frontiers on the provinces to be governed. A single ruler, however able and energetic, had more than he could do. In the second place, the succession to the imperial throne was uncertain. Now an emperor named his successor, now the Senate elected him, and now the swords of the legionaries raised him to the people. Such an unsettled state of affairs constantly invited those struggles between rival pretenders which had so nearly brought the empire to destruction.

Diocletian began his reforms by adopting a scheme for “partnership emperors.” He shared the Roman world with a trusted lieutenant named Maximian. Each was to be an Augustus, with all the honors of an emperor. Diocletian ruled the East; Maximian ruled the West. Further partnership soon seemed advisable, and so each Augustus chose a younger associate, or Caesar, to aid him in the government and at his death or abdication to become his heir. Diocletian also remodeled the provincial system. The entire empire, including Italy, was divided into more than one hundred provinces. They were grouped into thirteen dioceses and these, in turn, into four prefectures. This reform much lessened the authority of the provincial governor, who now ruled over a small district and had to obey the vicar of his diocese.

The emperors, from Diocletian onward, were autocrats. They bore the proud title of Dominus (“Lord”). They were treated as gods. Everything that touched their person was sacred. They wore a diadem of pearls and gorgeous robes of silk and gold, like those of Asiatic monarch. They filled their palaces with a crowd of fawning, flattering nobles and busied themselves with an endless round of stately and impressive ceremonials. Hitherto a Roman emperor had been an imperator, the head of an army. Now he became a king, to be greeted, not with the old military salute, but with the bent knee and the prostrate form of adoration. Such pomps and vanities, which former Romans would have thought degrading, helped to inspire reverence among the servile subjects of a later age. If it was the aim of Augustus to disguise, it was the aim of Diocletian to display, the unbounded power of a Roman emperor.

There can be little doubt that Diocletian’s reforms helped to prolong the existence of the empire. In one respect, however, they must be pronounced a failure. They did not end the disputes about the succession. Only two years after the abdication of Diocletian there were six rival pretenders for the title of Augustus. Their dreary struggles continued, until at length two emperors were left – Constantine in the West, Licinius in the East. After a few years of joint rule another civil war made Constantine supreme. The Roman world again had a single master.

 

THE SIXTH HEAD

324-337 AD

 

Constantine was an able general and a wise statesman. Two events of lasting importance have made his reign memorable. It was Constantine who recognized Christianity as one of the religions of the empire and thus paved the way for the triumph of that faith over the ancient paganism. His work in this connection will be discussed presently. It was Constantine, also, who established a new capital for the Roman world at Byzantium on the Bosporus. He christened it “New Rome,” but it soon took the emperor’s name as Constantinople, the “City of Constantine.”

Several good reasons could be urged for the removal of the world’s metropolis from the Tiber to the Bosporus. The Roman Empire was ceasing to be one empire. Constantine wanted a great city for the eastern half to balance Rome in the western half. Again, Constantinople, far more than Rome, was the military center of the empire. Rome lay too far from the vulnerable frontiers; Constantinople occupied a position about equidistant from the Germans on the lower Danube and the Persians on the Euphrates. Finally, Constantine believed that Christianity, which he wished to become the prevailing religion, would encounter less opposition and criticism in his new city than at Rome, with its pagan atmosphere and traditions. Constantinople was to be not simply a new seat of government but also distinctively a Christian capital. Such it remained for more than eleven centuries.

After the death of Constantine the Roman world again entered on a period of disorder. The inroads of the Germans across the Danube and the Rhine threatened the European provinces of the empire with dissolution. The outlook in the Asiatic provinces, overrun by the Persians, was no less gloomy. Meanwhile the eastern and western halves of the empire tended more and more to grow apart. The separation between the two had become well marked by the close of the fourth century. After the death of the emperor Theodosius (395 A.D.) There came to be in fact, if not in name, a Roman Empire in the East and a Roman Empire in the West.

More than four hundred years had now elapsed since the battle of Actium made Octavian supreme in the Roman world. If we except the abandonment of Trajan’s conquests beyond the Danube and the Euphrates, no part of the huge empire had as yet succumbed to its enemies. The subject peoples, during these four centuries, had not tried to overthrow the empire or to withdraw from its protection. The Roman state, men believed, would endure forever. Yet the times were drawing nigh when the old order of things was to be broken up; when barbarian invaders were to seize the fairest provinces as their own; and when new kingdoms, ruled by men of Germanic speech, were to arise in lands that once obeyed Rome.

Rome, it has been said, was not built in a day; the rule of Rome was not destroyed in a day. When we speak of the “fall” of Rome, we have in mind, not a violent catastrophe which suddenly plunged the civilized world into ruin, but rather the slow and gradual decay of ancient society throughout the basin of the Mediterranean. This decay set in long before the Germans and the Persians became a serious danger to the empire. It would have continued, doubtless, had there been no Germans and Persians to break through the frontiers and destroy. The truth seems to be that, during the third and fourth centuries of our era, classical civilization, like an overtrained athlete, had grown “stale.”

 

THE SEVENTH HEAD

800-814 A.D.

“THE BEGINNING OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE”

 

Charlemagne, the champion of Christendom and the foremost ruler in Europe, seemed to the men of his day the rightful successor of the Roman emperors. He had their power, and now he was to have their name. In the year 800 A.D. the Frankish king visited Rome to investigate certain accusations made against the pope, Leo III, by his enemies in the city. Charlemagne absolved Leo of all wrong-doing and restored him to his office. Afterwards, on Christmas Day Charlemagne went to old St. Peter’s Church, where the pope was saying Mass. As the king, dressed in the rich robes of a Roman patrician, knelt in prayer before the high altar, the pope suddenly placed on his head a golden crown, while all the people cried out with one voice, “Long life and victory to Charles Augustus, the great and pacific emperor of the Romans, crowned by God!”

Although Charlemagne appears to have been surprised by the pope’s act, we know that he wished to become emperor. The imperial title would confer upon him greater dignity and honor, though not greater power, than he possessed as king of the Franks and of the Lombards. The pope, in turn, was glad to reward the man who had protected the Church and had done so much to spread the Catholic faith among the heathen. The Roman people also welcomed the coronation, because they felt that the time had come for Rome to assume her old place as the capital of the world. To reject the eastern ruler, in favor of the great Frankish king, was an emphatic method of asserting Rome’s independence of Constantinople.

The coronation of Charlemagne was one of the most important events in medieval history. It might be thought a small matter that he should take the imperial title, when he already exercised imperial sway throughout western Europe. But Charlemagne’s contemporaries believed that the old Roman Empire had now been revived, and that a German king now sat on the throne once occupied by Augustus and Constantine. Henceforth there was established in the West a line of Roman emperors which lasted until the opening of the nineteenth century. The title of “Holy Roman Emperor” assumed by the later successors of Charlemagne, was kept by them till 1806 A.D.

Charlemagne’s empire was not in any true sense a continuation of the Roman Empire. It did not include the dominions in the East, over which the emperors at Constantinople were to reign for centuries. Moreover, Charlemagne and his successors on the throne had little in common with the old rulers of Rome, who spoke Latin, administered Roman law, and regarded the Germans as among their most dangerous enemies. Charlemagne’s empire was, in fact, largely a new creation.

The empire of Charlemagne did not long remain intact. So vast was its extent and so unlike were its inhabitants in race, language, and customs that it could not be managed only by a ruler of the greatest energy and strength of will. Unfortunately, the successors of Charlemagne proved to be too weak for the task of maintaining peace and order. Western Europe now entered on a long period of confusion and violence, during which Charlemagne’s possessions broke up into separate and warring kingdoms.

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BODY OF CHRIST

Now that we have the 7 heads of the beast John saw, settled in our minds, let us return to Revelation 13, for a few more remarks. You will notice in verse 1, that the word blasphemy is associated with the heads of the beast, not the horns. Those horns were symbolic of the ten various nations of Europe that had a king of their own at the head of each of them. But, blasphemy was never attributed to any of them, for those kings never did assume a title that in the eyes of God was a blasphemous title. Furthermore let us be sure we do not think of this word, blasphemy, as a curse word. It simply means that those heads (the emperors) held a title that only God has a right to hold. Only God, is a sovereign, universal ruler. Also, think back how the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, saying that He made Himself equal with God. That is how the word applies here. Then in verse 2, John is describing the body of the beast, and that lets us know that the body is made up of the areas of the other three beasts that Daniel saw. The leopard identified with the old Grecian empire, and feet like a bear, speaks of the Medo-Persian empire, and the mouth like a lion, bring in the areas of the old Babylonian empire, and the dragon which gave power to the beast is the devil. Daniel saw this beast going away from him through time. He saw it with one great head, and he watched it develop 10 horns, and he saw the little horn come up from among the ten, and that is where he left it. But John who types the living ministry of these last days, was projected into future time, so that he could speak of certain things as though they had already happened. That is why he spoke as he did in verse 3, where he says, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” That was the papal head that was wounded by the reformers, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Swingley, Huss, and its final wounding was by Napoleon Bonaparte. This wounding covered a period of about 300 years from around 1500 to 1800 A.D., and the healing is taking place in the twentieth century, yet John says, I saw it. Let me read another verse; then we will go into some explanations and examples. Verse 4, “And they (the world) worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Saints: Can you imagine any sane, educated person, if they were allowed to see Satan in his fallen state, actually falling down to worship him? Of course not. Yet John tells us that the whole world worshiped not only the dragon, but the beast as well. That is a setting of our generation. We are living in the very hour when that old beast is coming alive, coming right up out of the sea (from out of the sea of mankind.) Like we said earlier, those ten horns are ten separate kingdoms within the area that was once ruled by Rome. Now they are binding themselves back together through what is known as the European Common Market, a move which brings a body of that great beast back together again. There will come a day when those nations will all speak with one voice. That will be when God has put it in their hearts to line up behind the Antichrist to fulfill His will. (Rev. 17:17) The old papal head that had the deadly wound by the reformers and Napoleon will be completely healed by then. He will be back in power again. That is why Rev. 17:8 speaks of the beast as it does. In other words, the beast WAS, and IS NOT, and YET IS, speaks of the fact that even though there has been a span of time when there was no beast in power, it was not destroyed completely, and therefore will rule again, that same beast. Of course the individual people will not be the same, but the geographical area will be the same, and that same old spirit of Satan will be calling the shots. The eighth head that is of the seven will be a different man, but it will be that same office, for it was the power of the papacy that just moved right in and took over the 7th form of Roman imperial rulership, that actually made that 8th head, yet it remained to be of the 7th, therefore it did not put 8 heads on the beast.

CHARLEMAGNE LOVED THE POPES

 

Let me try to further clarify these 7 heads on that old Roman beast power. When we speak of certain men, Constantine, Charlemagne, and so forth, as being a certain head on that beast, it has to be understood that these certain individuals were the ones that stood out above the rest in each of the 7 particular forms of imperial rulership. The head was the particular form of rulership, but in each of these periods a certain man stood out above all the rest, and that is the ones we have named. For instance, take Charlemagne; he only ruled for 14 years, but his form of imperial government continued right on after his death. Let me explain that. He loved the Catholic church, and did everything he could for it. If you lived within the boundary of his domain, you were a Catholic, or else. The popes loved him, and he loved the popes. Therefore we are looking at a period of time when the emperors of Rome were so tied to the Catholic church that the emperors and popes were forever patting each other on the back. When a pope would die and a new one come for his coronation, the emperor would always be there to make an eloquent speech and personally endorse him. Likewise when an emperor would die, the old pope would be right there to place the crown on the next emperor. Therefore you must see this 7th head form of government as a period when the pope was for the emperor, and the emperor was for the pope, but the state was still over the church. However there came a time when the popes began to take the preeminence and exercise church over state. The same form of Roman government continued right on, but the popes were in the driver’s seat. That is why it says, The eighth is of the seven; they did not set up a new form of imperial rulership; they just took the upper hand over what was there already, and Satan is causing the popes to rule men’s lives like the old emperors used to do. This is that little horn that came up from among the ten horns. He did not put 11 horns on the beast for those 10 horns represented political power, and his is ecclesiastical power. Horn speaks of power, but it does not define the power. That is why, when you come to the 7 heads and you see something that looks like another head, just remember this beast is a political beast, and what looks like another head is that ecclesiastical power of the papacy which does not put another political head on the beast, even though he rules with just as much authority as the old Caesars ever did, (read your history of the Dark Ages from about the 10th century on) and because of his ruling power and authority that makes him ahead, but he is of the seven, or seventh political form of imperial government. The head is where the brains are; thereby causing the ruling one to be called the head. Now this is the head that was wounded, and that wound was inflicted by men who began to get revelation that caused them to know that Catholicism was not according to God’s true revealed word. As men began to get revelation from the word of God, they began to protest Catholic dogma and come out from under it. It looked like Catholicism was wounded to death, but our generation has seen a great reviving of this religious system which the Bible calls a whore. The ecumenical council of churches is serving to return all of the protesting harlots back to their old mother. (CATHOLICISM) This is forming a religious system that John saw and referred to as the IMAGE OF THE BEAST. (Rev. 13:15)

 

BEAST SYSTEM – BEAST MAN – BEAST SPIRIT

Brothers and sisters, I hope you have been able to follow this as we have presented it. One thing that is very important to your understanding is to remember that the term beast, is used in three different ways. That old imperial system as it was when Daniel first saw it, gained the first recognition, but then the term also applies to the man who heads such a system, and certainly we do not want to forget that there is a spirit of Satan behind this man, and that term also applies to that spirit, so you have a beast system, a beast man, and a beast spirit, and if you read the scriptures carefully you will be able to make a proper application. For instance: When you read Rev. 17:8, where the beast ascends out of the bottomless pit and goes into perdition, any right thinking person knows that this would have to pertain to the spirit of that system, a spirit that comes up out of hell, does its evil work and eventually is destroyed. (Perdition means destruction.) Now some of you may ask, Why did you start out calling Roman imperialism the beast, and then start talking about Catholicism being the beast? Catholicism alone, is not the beast. The body of the beast is made up of those 10 horn nations, but the result of the papacy exercising their authority over the state, has caused Catholicism to wind up in the forefront of it all. This message will let you see that when that papal office was elevated to the place where a pope would dethrone emperors and dictate the course of governmental affairs, that put Catholicism in the forefront of all authority, and the term beast, rightly applies to that system, and the head of the system will be revealed to the world as the beast man in the middle of that last week of Daniel. That is when Satan will anoint that world renown religious leader to reveal himself as a beast. A religious man with a wrong revelation is capable of anything that the devil might tempt him to do. This son of perdition is ordained to lead ungodly, but very religious men to destruction. True people of God cannot be led to destruction, and neither will they worship this beast nor his image, but the rest of the world will worship him, all whose names were not written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8 & 17:8) How will he lead people to destruction? By claiming to be the INFALLIBLE VICAR OF CHRIST and demanding complete obedience to his word, or face excommunication from the church. Unrevelated people who actually do believe in a God who is sovereign are afraid to go against his word. They are captured souls. That man’s title is just as blasphemous in the sight of God as the old Caesar’s title was. God himself is the only sovereign, universal ruler, and each of these titles of mortal men carry that meaning.

 

IMPERIAL RULERSHIP – POLITICAL HEAD

 

Let me say a further word about the emperors of Rome. Some still do not quite understand the difference between the time when the great beast of Daniel’s vision only had one head, and the time when that same beast had seven heads. I will be brief about this at this point. As long as Rome was ruled by the ancient Caesars (in other words, as long as that royal family passed the throne on down to the next one in line) the beast only had one head. But when Nero died there was no other family member to inherit the throne, so that ended the long line of Caesars and the one great political head. From that point the seven heads began to develop on that beast. When the angel told John that 5 were fallen, that was the 5 good emperors that tried to re-establish another line of Caesars, (in other words, another royal family line to inherit the throne, one from the other, as in the days of Augustus, Tiberias, Nero and so on) but none of them succeeded in doing so. Nevertheless each of them did establish a certain form of political government that caused them to be counted as a political head on the beast. The next outstanding emperor was Constantine. There were many other men who sat on that throne before Constantine, but he was the next one that stood out as a head, (one who made a drastic change in the form of imperial rulership) and when he passed off the scene; over 400 years rolled by before Charlemagne ascended to that throne, but none of those emperors in between Constantine and Charlemagne did anything that could cause them to be looked upon as the 7th head. It was Charlemagne’s form of imperial rulership that the popes began to exercise the authority of the papacy above. Charlemagne put the 7th head on the beast, and made way for the 8th, (ECCLESIASTICAL GOVERNMENT) but the 8th is not a political head; therefore the beast remains with only 7 heads, even though an 8th head was in control. I hope this has helped clear up these scriptures for you. The royal family of Rome was called Caesars, in Egypt they were called Pharaohs, in Russia they were Czars, and in Germany they were Kaisers, but when the last one of such a royal family dies, that does away with such a title. Rome has had emperors since Nero died, but they have never had another Caesar. Still, that blasphemous title stayed right with them, for it is the word, emperor, that means sovereign, universal ruler. By the same token the title POPE, carries the same authority. In the Roman Catholic Church it is applied to only one man at a time, and that man claims to be infallible, and as we read to you from history, that office claims the right to dethrone emperors or anyone else that he chooses, and only he has the right to change laws and so forth. Claiming such authority makes him a blasphemer. You say, But Bro. Jackson, it isn’t like that now. You wait until that head is completely healed; then if you are still around, you will see whether it is or not. It is sad to say, but there are a lot of Pentecostal preachers who know this, but they compromise and drift along with the crowd, afraid they will be branded as a fanatic if they tell the truth about what they know. Many of those preachers have even gone to Rome, had an audience with the pope, and stooped, or bowed down an kissed his ring. If that isn’t devil worship my name isn’t Raymond Jackson. Why do I say that? Simply because, only a spirit of Satan would allow and promote such as that. If those popes had the Holy Ghost; they would do what Peter did with Cornelius, “STAND UP, I AM ALSO A MAN.” No Holy Ghost filled man will ever accept worship from anyone; I say that on the authority of the word of God. On the other hand, any Holy Ghost filled person will sooner or later take a stand for truth, regardless of its affect upon their fellowship with old friends. I will say this also, We are fast approaching a day when you are going to be forced to identify with something; there will be no more middle of the road for you to travel in. Praise God! I am thankful to Him for opening my eyes and causing me to stand for truth. I could not recant now, even if I wanted to, for those Contenders have gone around the world, and all who read them, know what I stand for. I am already branded, but brother I know this, What I have taught has been from the Bible; it is not resting on some moral man’s opinions. If the authorities ever come in here and say, Why did you say that? I can just say, “That did not originate with me; I got it out of the Bible.” If it is wrong; you will have to say the Bible is wrong, I am not the first to say, The Catholic Church is a whore; (spiritually speaking) the Bible says it. I am not the first to say that Protestant churches are harlots, the daughters of the old mother church; the Bible declares it. I am not the one that attached the word, BEAST, to that system; the Bible has it written bold enough for everyone to see for himself, or herself. The fact of the matter is this, Bible truth has been stepped over for so long while men followed denominational programs, that many people are worshiping the devil already and do not even realize it. They think God is in their two to five million dollar buildings only, and that people like us are, just a group of heretics and fanatics. They have failed to take heed to the things they have heard, and therefore all the various Bible truths that God restored to His church through those men that they have named their organizations after, have escaped them completely. These are the ones who are healing the old papal head that was wounded with a deadly wound.

WOUNDED HEAD

 

Martin Luther preached, FAITH IN GOD INSTEAD OF THE POPE. That brought thousands of captive souls out from the ranks of Catholicism. Shortly after that another man drew his spiritual sword and began to teach, ONCE YOU ARE SAVED, YOU ARE ALWAYS SAVED: therefore John Calvin is known to be the reformer that God used to restore the doctrine of eternal security to the church. Knox taught, WHAT IS TO BE, WILL BE. That is predestination, and it is a true Bible doctrine to people who are revelated, so that they keep it in line with the foreknowledge of God. Just to think God would look down upon lost humanity, and then choose some to be saved and doom all the rest to be eternally lost is a wrong understanding of predestination. On the other hand: if you can turn to scriptures like the first chapter of Ephesians, and realize that God, through His foreknowledge knew every individual soul that would ever believe, even before He ever created the earth, then you will have no difficulty understanding how He could record every name in the Lamb’s book of life, even before the foundation of the world. It is the same with eternal security of the believer. Just shaking some preacher’s hand and having your name recorded on a denominational church’s record book does not give you eternal security. But if you ever truly are baptized into the body of Christ by the true Holy Ghost, (I say it like this only to call attention to the fact that there are many counterfeit experiences in the realm of religion) you can never be lost. Once you have that true seal, you are sealed forever, and that requires a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; just following the pope will not get that seal for you. As God restored these Bible truths back to the church: the power of the papacy over the souls of men began to diminish. The old pope and his system of church government received what looked like a deadly wound. This wound was by the sword of the Spirit, but I want to read you a little portion of history that will allow you to see how that already wounded head received a final blow from a military sword, some 300 years later. The title of this is, The wounding of the papal head by the military sword. This is from the writings of “Joseph Rickaby,” found in the Catholic Truth Society of London, called, “The Modern Papacy” P.1. IN 1793 on November 26, a convention of 17 bishops and clergy members made a decree to abolish all religion. This was under Napoleon Bonaparte. Then in the year 1797, when Pope Pius the 6th fell grievously ill, Napoleon gave orders that in the event of his death, no successor should be elected to his office. But the pope recovered. The peace was soon broken; General Berthier entered Rome on the 10th of February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic. The aged pontiff refused to violate his oath of office, and to recognize this decree by the French. He was soon taken out and hurried from prison to prison in France. Broken with fatigue and much sorrow, he died on the 19th of August 1799, in the French fortress of Valence, at age 82. No wonder that half of Europe thought that the papacy was dead, by what Napoleon had done. Another Catholic writer, “Cannon Trevor” says, The papacy was dead, and among all the Roman Catholic powers, not a single finger was lifted in defense of it. The Reformation had already been going on for over 300 years, but Napoleon struck the blow that got the attention of these various Catholic writers. When Pius the 6th died; it was more than 6 months before another pope was chosen, and he was not without his troubles from Napoleon, but he outlasted Napoleon and managed to bring about a certain amount of restoration to the Catholic church. But the old papal head received a wound that has not been completely healed yet. This came right in behind the ministry of John Wesley who rode horseback across England preaching holiness. He believed Luther’s revelation, that the just shall live by faith, but what he added to that, was that those who are justified by faith should also live separated, holy lives. (“For without peace and holiness, no man shall see the Lord.”) The new world had been discovered, and Methodist missionaries were coming here, traveling up and down the New England region, preaching the gospel to the extent that it was revealed to them, and brother, it had its affect upon human lives. From that hour of Wesley and Napoleon all the way up to W.W.I, the pope in Rome was just a figurehead; his power over human lives had been broken. During that time, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, all these vast areas that had, through the Dark Ages, been controlled by the power of the papacy, brother, they broke loose like a bunch of school children when the bell rings, and they spread their presence around the world. In history this is called the Colonial Era.

 

THE COLONIAL ERA

 

England built one of the largest maritime fleets ever known in the world, and around this world, here sailors began to set sail. The Germans went to Africa, the Portugese and Spanish went to South America, and all over this world those horns of Europe established colonial territories. England was one of the largest colonial powers in Europe. It used to be said, The sun never sets on the British flag, meaning of course, that somewhere in the world it was always daytime in an area that had a British flag flying. But World War I seemed to be a marker in time, concerning a number of things, the Colonial Era, the wounding of the Catholic head, and the restoration of the gospel of freedom, (but this gospel freedom affected mostly the new world.) That war was fought, and when the debris and rubble of it began to be cleared away, men’s hopes were focused on freedom and peace, but that hope was shattered when World War II broke out. Europe was shook and shattered, and much of it torn all to pieces, but that was God’s way of saying, Horns, Come home. I remember being in the Far East during that time. But no sooner than we got back home, we began to hear rumbles of what was happening in French Indonesia, then the Congo and North Vietnam, and on down the line. Those nations of Europe pulled their presence out of all those areas they had spread into, and the Colonial period came to an end. Do you know what happened then? Communism came right in on the heels of Colonialism. That, along with the war itself, caused those old horn nations to be compelled to unite themselves together to fight a common cause. This produced NATO, which is the military means to protect the whole European territory. Who are they protecting themselves from? Russia, of course. What does that amount to? You may ask. Simply this, Nine of those horn nations are already tied together in economic trade agreements, and the tenth is on the verge of making the reunion of the body of that old beast complete. Communism has just been a scarecrow to get the body of that old beast reunited. In other words, Communism is just a tool in the hands of God, and its purpose is to work out conditions that will fulfill the word of God. At the same time there has been a great move of unity being promoted among the ranks of religion. Therefore on the one hand you have the old political beast of Daniel and Revelation being revived, and on the other hand, spiritually, the image of that old beast is being molded together and given life. That is your ecumenical move in the religious circles, and the Charismatics are playing their part. Nevertheless this old world is standing right on the threshold of a condition that will usher in the Antichrist hour. No one wants to see another war, but the word of God must be fulfilled, and it declares that Israel will be attacked by forces from the north. God will intervene in that war and fight for Israel, but not before it has brought the world to its knees. (Read Ezekiel 38 & 39) World leaders will be more than glad to sign a peace agreement with each other, and they will all agree that the pope of Rome is the most neutral man that they can find to oversee such an agreement. The present pope may not be the one, but he is still young enough that he very well could be, if we are as close to the end as it looks like we are. He is looked upon as a humble, spiritual man, whose interest is basically in the souls of mankind, but one who could be trusted to mediate a world peace agreement because of his unique position. Believe me, Saints, that is exactly what is up ahead for this generation. I may not live to see Ezekiel 38 & 39 fulfilled, but some of our present generation who saw the little nation of Israel proclaimed a state on May 14, 1948, will live to see it, and I firmly believe that is what will usher in the Antichrist hour. When that happens the bride’s departure is close at hand, but please, Saints, Do not look for the rapture before that man of sin has been revealed. You have to step over the scriptures in order to do that, and if you have no respect for the scriptures: do not bother to look for the rapture. The rapture is only for those who are washed clean of all man made traditions, and that washing is by the word of God.

 

STANDING ON THE WORD OF GOD 

 

At this point I want to take time to fulfill a promise. I promised that we would calculate the actual days of time that it would take to fulfill the 70 weeks of Daniel, before, and after the advent of Christ. Most of you are already aware of the great controversy among those who believe Bro. William Marrion Branham was the Laodicean church age messenger. That controversy stems from statements that Bro. William Branham made in other messages, after he had already taught on the 70 weeks of Daniel, and proved by the scriptures that Jesus Christ was crucified at the end of the 69th week, which was weeks of years. I have always been the type that, when something has been proved to me from the Bible, I will not grab hold of a statement that is contrary, regardless of who says it. That is where the trouble lies. There are a lot of people in this message who try (in vain) to hold on to every word that this prophet messenger uttered. But I just happen to be the kind of person that refuses to believe that 3 ½ years is the same as 7 years, and there are a lot of people who resent that. Nevertheless, it would not matter to me if Bro. William Branham had said ten thousand times that Jesus was cut off in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel; he had already proved to me by the scriptures that He was cut off at the end of 69 weeks, and the Bible is what I take my stand upon. Now I have already explained how I first became interested in this subject, so I am just making these few remarks to lead into what we are going to do here. In other words, if Jesus had been cut off in the middle of the 70th week, as some of these folks argue He was, there would have to have been 486 ½ years of prophetic time elapsed since the Nehemiah decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. What we want to do is to see if it is possible to come up with that much time. You do your best to follow me in this time calculation, and I do not believe you will ever have a doubt in your minds again, as to when Christ was cut off to fulfill Daniel 9:26.

 

SEVENTY WEEKS ARE DETERMINED 

 

Let us first go back to the 9th chapter of Daniel, and read from verse 24, and following. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” We are not going to repeat everything that has been said already, therefore it will be to your advantage to go back to part 1, which was our July issue, and begin reading on page 5, paragraph 2, and that will bring you up to where we are going to pick up, right here. Like we said earlier, history is based upon, or recorded by the secular calendar which has 365 1/4 days to each year, and that is what we have to use here, even though we are going to be dealing with scripture that is being fulfilled according to God’s prophetic calendar, which only has 360 days to each year. Pay attention, and you will understand why we have to go about it this way.

 

CHRIST BORN IN FALL SEASON 

 

Secular history puts the Nehemiah decree into affect in the year 445 B.C., and we must start it in the month of March, which is the Jewish month, Nisan. Now we have 490 years to account for, and these secular years (SOLAR YEARS) begin on January 1, so we lose so many days of that first year down to a certain day in March, before we even begin. Then when you consider the fact that Christ (in order to fulfill scriptural types as well as scriptural facts) had to be born in the fall season of the year, that takes off some more days of B.C. time, and leaves you only 444 years and about 200 days, before the advent of Christ. We all know that the birth of Christ is what marks the dividing line between B.C. time, and A.D. time. That is why I have maintained that Christ had to be born during the fall season of the year 0-1 B.C., because the birth of Christ itself should mark the zero point in the division of time. However the Julian calendar (and that is the one history is recorded by) is so messed up, no one really knows how to go about correcting it. Many have tried from time to time, and they all come up with something different. But most of those who deal in such things have settled on the year 4 B.C., as the year that Jesus was born, only because they could not figure time backward and get any closer to the point than that. Actually in the mind of God the birth of Christ was at Zero point, but like I said already: you cannot just stop time, back it up; then start it all over again. But in trying to stretch every possibility to its limits, just to see if there is any way to come up with enough time for Jesus to have been crucified in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, I have satisfied myself that there is no way to squeeze in that much time between the Nehemiah decree and the crucifixion of Christ. The most time you can come up with, is 485 prophetic years when you give every advantage of extra days to that side, and you would have to have 486 ½ prophetic years for Him to have been crucified in the middle of the 70th week, when the Bible itself tells us He was cut off at the end of the 69th week, and when you cannot possibly squeeze in enough time to reach that far? Most of those people who claim to believe that, do not even care whether it is possible or not; they just want to say what Bro. William Branham said. That would be alright, if they would say what he said when he taught the subject from the Bible, but they prefer statements that he made later when he was not even dealing with the seventy weeks of Daniel.

 

B.C. YEARS SHOULD END AT JESUS’ BIRTH 

 

Brothers and sisters: I want to start right here, and approach this time question from a different direction, or from a different standpoint than any historian has approached it, at least to my knowledge. We can go right to the Bible and find out the age of Jesus, when He was crucified. Furthermore we know that God, the great eternal Spirit is the one that fulfilled this prophecy; and you should know that He was not keeping track of time by the various calendars of mankind. He has His own means of keeping time, and it never varies like men’s records do. The Nehemiah decree was set in motion according to God’s great plan, and the angel told Daniel, that after 69 weeks the Messiah would be cut off. Reread verses 24 and 25, in that 9th chapter, and notice that you have a 7 week period, (49 years) then a 62 week period, (434 years) and it is after this 62 week period that the Messiah was to be cut off. We accept the word of God, that Jesus was cut off at the end of this period of time that adds up to exactly 69 prophetic weeks. We can be certain also, that in the mind of God Jesus was born at exactly zero point in time, for it is His birth that actually divides B.C. time from A.D. time. We know also, that in B.C. time, records were kept by the life and reign of certain kings and rulers. In recording the birth of Christ they used those world leaders who were living at the time of His birth. Caesar Augustus was the one who made the decree that all the world should be taxed. Cyrenus was governor of Syria, and Herod, the appointed king over the Jews by the Roman emperor, was king in Judah, at the time of the birth of Jesus. History shows that B.C. time ends somewhere around the time of the death of King Herod, but like we said, history is recorded by men’s calculations of time. It was in the 6th century A.D. that different ones began trying to update the Julian calendar. But they could never get it worked out so the birth of Christ corresponded to zero point in time. They just had to leave the project, and say that Jesus was born somewhere between 4 & 6 B.C. Even your Scofield Bible, in the chapter that pertains to the birth of Christ has 4 B.C. at the top of the page. They just do not have records complete enough to pinpoint it. One common agreement between them though, is that Jesus was crucified in the year 32 A.D., and that adds even more confusion when you try to reconcile that with His age of 33 ½ years, and His birth in the year 4 B.C. Are you following me? The more you study these secular history dates, the more confused you get, so let us just set all this aside, and try to look at it from a different standpoint.

 

WHY 32 A.D. FOR CRUCIFIXION? 

 

The historians agree that the year 32 A.D. was the only year that the Passover occurred when Jesus could have eaten the Passover meal with His disciples, late on Thursday evening, been crucified on Friday, layed in the tomb through Saturday, and raise from the dead on Sunday morning in accordance with Bible records. In other words 32 A.D., according to secular history is the only year in that time span when those days match up with the Bible account of His death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore I believe it is justifiable for us to accept the year 32 A.D., as a beginning point for what we want to do. We are going to start with His crucifixion, and the scriptural records that we have, and figure the actual number of days involved in Daniel’s 70 prophetic weeks, and run them backward to their beginning point.

 

JESUS 3 ½ YEAR MINISTRY 

 

Open your Bibles to St. Luke 3:1, “Now in the FIFTEENTH YEAR of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pointius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Phillip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zecharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country round about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Just keep the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar in your mind, and we will drop down in verse 21. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. AND JESUS HIMSELF BEGAN TO BE ABOUT THIRTY YEARS OF AGE.” When was Jesus about 30? When He was baptized. Alright now, He was about 30 when He was baptized, and that had to be in the fall of the year if He ministered to that generation 3 ½ years before He was crucified. Some who desire to be contentious will say, How do we know He ministered 3 ½ years? We know He was crucified in the month Nisan, which corresponds to the last of March and the first of April on your calendar. That fluctuates back and forth over a period of 19 years before it hits exactly the same again, so we will just roughly balance it by keeping it half of March and half of April. Naturally that is in the spring of the year. But let us think for just a few minutes on what the Bible says took place after His baptism. First we find that He went into the wilderness for 40 days where He fasted, and was tempted of Satan. That takes almost 1 ½ months of our time. Then he returned to Galilee, where He was raised up in the city of Nazareth. The records show that during this time He began to choose His disciples. He went into the synagogues, in and around Galilee and Capernaum where He bare testimony to the Jews in those different places. He was also at a wedding at Cana of Galilee, where He turned water into wine. He also raised a widow’s son from the dead, in Nain. All of this occurred in the first 6 months after He was baptized. When He heard that John had been put in prison, He took His mother and His brethren and disciples and went to Capernaum. That brings our account of His life after His baptism into the spring of the year, for in just a few days they went to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. That is where He fulfilled Malachi 3, “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, (COVENANT OF GRACE) whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiners fire, and like a fullers’ soap.” That means He will be a purifier, and that is the first thing He did when He reached Jerusalem; He went right into the temple with a scourge of small cords and began to drive out all those that sold sheep, oxen, doves and so forth. He turned over the tables, and poured out the money of those who sold these things in the temple, saying to them, “Make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” What was He doing that for? He was purifying the temple. That was the beginning of the three full years of His ministry. He went up for the Passover, each spring after that, and the 3rd Passover He attended after His baptism, is when He was crucified. It would be unthinkable to say He ministered less than 3 ½ years, when all the types are 3 ½ years. Would you not say so? The two Jewish prophets of Rev. 11, will minister 3 ½ years, likewise the Antichrist will be allowed 3 ½ years, so why would Jesus have more or less? He surely did have His 3 ½ years also. I am convinced of that myself; I am just trying to say it so you will be convinced also, not just because I say it is a certain way, but because you have taken what I said and lined it up with the word of God.

 

483 PROPHETIC YEARS IS 173,880 DAYS 

 

I believe it is time for us to do some figuring now. We have established the age of Christ at the time of His crucifixion, to have been 33 ½ years, according to secular time, so jot down 33.5 and multiply it by 365.25, and that will give you 12,236 days, as the total life span of Christ. According to God’s timekeeping, that is the total number of days from point zero, to the time Christ was cut off. We will accept 32 A.D. as the secular year that Christ was crucified, for the reasons that have been explained already. Therefore what we want to do now is find out how many days are actually involved in the 69 prophetic weeks that have elapsed. When you multiply 69 weeks by 7, (7 years to each week) you get 483 years of prophetic time to account for, so jot down 483, and multiply it by 360, (that is a prophetic year) and you will have a total of 173,880 days from the time of the Nehemiah decree to the crucifixion of Christ. Now, leave that 173,880 days there, and subtract 12,236 days from it. (That is the life span of Christ.) Now you have 161,644 days left. That is your B.C. time. Regardless of what secular year the historians claim Christ was born in, there was 161,644 days of time from the decree that went forth to restore and to build Jerusalem, down to the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah. When you convert those days into secular years of 365.25 days each, you come up with 442 years, and 203 days. That 203 days is just over one half of a year. Now remember, we are accepting the year 32 A.D. as the year Jesus was crucified, so when you back up 33 ½ secular years, from the month Nisan, in the year 32 A.D., that puts you a year plus 100 and some days, back into what the Julian calendar calls B.C. time, therefore when you add that year and over 100 days, to 442 years, and 203 days, that will get you back to the secular year 444 B.C. Now it is commonly accepted that the year 445 was the year the decree went forth, but that is only because history books were written before man had an accurate means of calculating time. By the use of modern day computers, the calendar could be corrected, but what would you do with all the history that has already been written using our present calendar?

 

444 REPLACES 445 B.C. 

 

Here is what an English professor named Sir. Robert Anderson, an historian, had to say and why he said it. I will not go into all the details, but here is the result of his calculations. Using the accepted time of March 14, 445 B.C. and feeding the necessary information into the computer, the time correction that came back was 444, instead of the commonly accepted 445 B.C. Then he takes 444 years, and adds them to the 32 years of A.D. time, and gets 476 years, then breaks it down into days, and comes up with the same figures that we have over here. Therefore based upon what we have found out in all of this research, we know that there really was not 445 years back there before Christ, but even if there was, you would still not have enough time for Him to have been crucified in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week. There is no such thing in the mind of God, as B.C. and A.D. time, overlapping, because history has already been written, it has to be left on the secular records that Christ was born in the B.C. period of time, but certainly we know it was not as far back as 4 B.C. like they claim. I feel like we have proved that, by calculating the actual days as we have. Now some of you may figure beyond what we have already, so let me say this, If you take the life span of Christ, which was 33 ½ years of solar time, and break that down into prophetic years, you will find that He was just about 34 prophetic years old. Next, I want you to do this, take the first 7 weeks of Daniel 9:25, which is 49 prophetic years, that brings you to Malachi’s prophecy, (for he prophesied in the closing days of that 49 year period.) Now add the 34 prophetic years of His life span, and see if you do not come up with exactly 483 years, which is exactly 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks, and certainly could not possibly be 69 ½ weeks.

 

A STAR GUIDED THEM 

 

There are many more things that could be said to further substantiate what we have shown you here, but I do not feel that most of you will require further proof if you have been paying attention. However I do want to get at least one other thing in the message. The only thing most of your historians failed to work at in trying to calculate this time span of 490 years, was the overall length of the life of Christ. They seemed to be interested only in working from the point of His crucifixion, but not His total life span. But here is what I want to show you, or tell you; those who did try to establish a certain year for His birth seemed to want to use the star that guided the wise men to Jerusalem to inquire about the one that was born king of the Jews. These wise men came to King Herod and said, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east. Now here is where they get the picture more confused that it is already; they try to use a certain phenomenal lineup of the stars that took place in the year 7 B.C. (I believe it was 7 B.C.) As being the star that guided the wise men. Saints: It seems to me that any historian ought to know enough to know that no star lineup would hang around in the heavens for the number of months that it would have taken those men to travel the distance they no doubt came from. Those men traveled by camelback all the way to Jerusalem; and to follow a star, they would have had to travel by night. Therefore just suppose they came from the area where Ezra and Nehemiah came from. That would have been about a five month journey, but these men were astronomers; they could have come from much farther than that, maybe even India. It is very possible that they did. I realize some will say, But, Bro. Jackson, How could anyone in India know anything about Daniel’s prophecy? Saints of God, this is why it is so important for you to know what is in the Bible. It was not the writings of Daniel that stated so emphatically that one would be born in Israel that would be king; it was the writing of Moses. In the 24th chapter of Numbers, you will find where Balak was trying to get Balaam to curse Israel for him, but instead, he heard a prophecy to the affect that there would come a star out of Jacob, a scepter that would rise out of Israel that would have dominion, and would smite the nations, and so forth. All twelve tribes were still together when that prophecy was uttered. Therefore when those 10 northern tribes were scattered to the nations, (about 100 years before the other two tribes were carried to Babylon), they already knew that one day, there would be a king born in Israel. Some of those Jews ended up in Madras, India. That was the ones old doubting Thomas preached to when he went there. That is why I say, Those wise men did not have to get their information from Daniel’s records; they could have heard it from any of those Jews there in India, or wherever they came from. But my point is this, The star they followed had to be a supernatural star that guided them, for you will notice in Matthew 2:9 that the star they saw in the east, went before them, and came to where Jesus was and stood over the house. That is more than just a planetary lineup. Therefore you can know from that, that there is no reason to go back to 7 B.C. as a possible year for the birth of Christ. Furthermore I believe we have sufficiently shown by calculating the actual days involved in the period under consideration, that He would have been born in the fall season of the year 1 B.C. That would put it approximately 475 days into the B.C. period, and allow it to coincide with the year 32 A.D., which seems reasonable to accept as the year of His crucifixion.

 

THE HOLY GHOST IS THE REVEALER 

 

Some of my critics are bound to say, What about the chart that was used back in 1971, when you printed a message on the seventy weeks of Daniel? Brothers and sisters: My only reason for using that chart was to show anyone who cared to study it that there simply was not enough expired time for Jesus to have been cut off in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week. Even using 445 B.C. as a starting point, and 33 A.D. as the year of crucifixion, we could not get more than 485 prophetic years out of it, and it would have to be 486 ½ years to put you in the middle of the 70th week. When I hit onto the idea to figure the actual number of days involved, and run them backward, along with what we have found out about 444 B.C., and 32 A.D. it came out exactly as I had always felt it should. In other words, What is 445 B.C. in secular history, is actually 444 B.C. astronomical time. What thrills my soul though, is to know that God who is a perfect timekeeper will start that 70th week of Daniel precisely right on schedule, (His schedule) and we already know from studying the book of Revelation, and Daniel, what that week of time consists of. Knowing what is to take place during that week of time, has always made me wonder how anyone could think that half of it has already passed. It just goes to show how Satan can blind the eyes of those who follow some man’s flesh, without any revelation themselves. Saints, I just cannot stress it enough, Please do not sit here week after week, and year after year believing mentally what I teach, without ever getting serious enough about it to seek the face of God for a revelation of what you hear. If you just follow my human flesh, regardless of what reason you may have, God will allow something to come along sooner or later that will shake you off. Do you realize that the devil has ways to talk you out of anything that really is not a spiritual revelation to you, regardless of how right it is. Furthermore, there are some who expect to receive revelation, and they have never even received the Holy Ghost; that is out of harmony with the word of God. He is the revealer, therefore he must be in you, otherwise you just learn what you hear with your human mind. Even right now, there are no doubt many people who could tell you what is written in this message, and they could do it with a great degree of accuracy, yet as far as knowing deep down in their spirit that these things are true; they do not. Naturally we are not saying that you should know all about the history we have used, but as for the seventy weeks of Daniel, and especially the 70th week of Daniel, every true believer MUST get that straight, or you are still going to run into trouble on down the road. If in the days when Titus destroyed Jerusalem, those Christians had not known for sure what to believe, many of them would have no doubt stayed right there in Jerusalem behind those huge protective walls, and they would have been killed when those Roman soldiers finally broke through, or been taken as slaves, but history declares, that not one Christian was left in the city. They took heed to what they had heard. By the same token, if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had had nothing more than a mental understanding about the God that Daniel served, what do you suppose they would have done when King Nebuchadnezzar confronted them with an ultimatum, either worship his image, or be cast alive into this fiery furnace? There is such a decision just up ahead for millions of human souls; therefore it behooves us to know what we believe, and why we believe it. Do you think those people who have layed their Bibles aside, and based their salvation on mere statements uttered by a servant of God will have anything within them that can stand up to the Antichrist when he comes fully on the scene? The answer to that is very simple: anyone who has had no respect for the word of God when they had every opportunity to be guided by it, will certainly not have enough of God in them to stand up to that old man of sin; they will sell out for a morsel of bread and be damned. Why am I saying these things? It is my responsibility before God, to sound a warning to this generation. We are at the end, and all scriptures MUST be fulfilled. Nine nations are already in the European Common Market, and the tenth could be accepted just any time now. When that old beasts’ body is complete; you can believe that the time is short. Someone will push a button that will start a war that will bring the world to its knees. No they will not turn to God in that hour; they will turn to the pope of Rome, a man of peace who will seem to have a perfect solution for the world’s dilemma. World leaders will sign the peace and trade agreement, and the old pope will have the final word on all the agreements. Even the Moslem world in that hour will be compelled by circumstances and overall prevailing conditions, either to align with that, or else with the communistic forces of the Orient. They will not go for communism, so that puts them right in the same boat with Israel and the old Antichrist along with many others, and the last week of Daniel is on. That puts time exactly 7 years from the literal coming of the Lord, and marks the beginning of the period of time that God’s two Jewish prophets will be prophesying to Israel, smiting the earth with plagues, and warning people to flee from the beast, (They will know the truth when the world in general will be deceived). Spiritual minded people will take heed to what they have to say, but the rest of the world will hate them. That is the reason they make merry, rejoice and send gifts one to another, when the old Antichrist has those prophets killed in the middle of that week of time. They will be glad those two pests have been taken care of. Now they will not have to hear anymore about their God, nor have frogs in their beds, nor their water turned to blood. They think that will solve their problems, but what they do not know, is that the great tribulation is ushered in by the killing of those two prophets. Things will really be rough from there on out to the end. If a person has not stood for God before then, all hope is gone for that person. Those foolish virgins and Orthodox Jews that will be martyred during that time, will have already settled it in their mind to stand for their faith rather than submit to the beast in that hour.

 

EXTRA DAYS OF DANIEL 12 

 

Now open your Bibles to the 12th chapter of Daniel. There are some extra days there, that cause a lot of people to ask questions, so we want to get that in right here. This is dealing with the time that will be left for certain things to be fulfilled from the time the Antichrist breaks the covenant, kills the two prophets, and forbids the Jews to use their temple. Beginning with verse 7, Daniel says, “And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; (that is 1260 days) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, (Jews) all these things shall be finished. (8) And I heard, but I understand not; then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he (the angel) said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed til 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; (there is nothing in them that can understand; they are completely sold out to the devil) but THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.” The wise understand these things that are to overtake the generation because they have believed the word of God and all these things have been revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. There is a definite difference between just having something taught to you, and actually receiving a revelation of that which is taught. For when you go into verses 11 and 12, you find some extra days that could get you very confused if you were without a revelation on the time that is actually allotted to the Antichrist. Notice now, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, (that is the thing the Antichrist will do exactly in the middle of the week,) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (This will be the abomination that all the other types pointed to. This is where the old Antichrist moves into the Jewish temple, sets himself up and demands to be worshiped as God.) There shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” That is 30 days longer than the 3 ½ years that all other scripture allots to the Antichrist, and many people have asked, Bro. Jackson: Why is it worded like that: Let me read verse 12, then I want to explain it, for we have some more extra days here. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” That gives you still another 45 days, and causes it to sound like a contradiction in the scriptures, but here is one of the places where the wise will understand and the others will not. Verse 7, which speaks of a time, times, and an half (3 ½ years, which is 1260 days of prophetic time) is in complete harmony with all the other scriptures such as Dan. 7:25, Rev. 12:14, 13:5, that allow the Antichrist these certain specified days; therefore we must conclude that from the time the Antichrist breaks the covenant and sets himself up as God, he is allowed 1260 days. Then the 30 days, and the 45 days cover the period of time that God pours out His wrath upon ungodly mankind, and the period of cleaning up the temple, and the temple grounds, and rededicating the altar. All of this will be done before Jesus takes His throne for the millennium. Once Jesus takes that throne, the millennium is in motion. In other words, the thousand years of restoration has become effective. That is why it says, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days;” that runs time right into the millennium. Furthermore that verse is not pointing to the grace age believers who have been in glory with Jesus, and have returned with Him, to rule and reign on earth. This applies to the mortal people who have been kept alive and passed into the millennium, those who have been spared from all the plagues, and from the wrath of the beast, and have been allowed to pass into the millennium to repopulate the earth. Blessed is that person who reaches that hour of time as a mortal being. I hope you can see from this explanation, that the extra days in Daniel, chapter 12, do not contradict the other scriptures. Just remember this, Jesus will not go into that millennial temple until after all of the Antichrist’s trash has been cleared away from, and out of it.

 

WHERE ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? 

 

I will ask you to open your Bibles to the 29th chapter of Revelation, for a little look at what takes place immediately after the Antichrist has used up his allotted time of 1,260 days. Beginning with verse 19, we will see what is taking place during the 30 days of extra time that Daniel 12:11, speaks of. I realize this will be nothing new to many of you, but for the benefit of those who may not know exactly where to place these scriptures, we need to include them in this message. I have come to know also, that many people hear certain things over and over again and again, and yet, when a little question is asked, they seem to be completely blank on the subject. That just lets me know that many people just simply do not listen to what is being said. If you were talking about clothes, money or some other materialistic thing, they would listen and remember, but when it comes to the word of God, their mind is a million miles away. I have always said, you do not have to understand ever little detail in order to have an understanding of a subject. As children of God, we can understand, if we have a desire to. I dare say, if I pulled out my wallet right now and said, I have 3 one dollar bills in here; just about every person under the sound of my voice would be able to tell you how many one dollar bills I said I had. Here is what I am getting at: some people come to church, and while the message is being preached, their mind is playing around all over creation. Physically they are in church, but their mind is somewhere else. They do not remember a thing that was preached.

 

AFTER 1260 DAYS OF THE ANTICHRIST 

 

Brothers and sisters, we are living too close to the end for our minds to be a million miles away from those things that could be beneficial to our well being. When those first bombs explode, if you are left alive, I guarantee you one thing, you are going to have your mind on something other than straightening up your dresser drawers, shining your car, and balancing your checkbook. You will be taking inventory, am I ready to meet God if the next blast gets me? Saints, there are serious times ahead. We ought to be very thankful that God has allowed them to develop very slowly, so as to give mankind an opportunity to take stock of themselves. Those who are wise are not devoting all their time to planning their next ten years in the materialistic realm. First, they are making sure that everything is in order between them and God; then if He allows them to have another ten years, they will take care of themselves.

 

ARMAGEDDON – THEN JUDGEMENT 

 

Alright now, let us begin reading. (19:19) “And I saw the beast, (let us be sure we take a good look at the word B-E-A-S-T, here in this verse. In this case we must look beyond the Antichrist himself. Naturally you can call him a beast man, but I want you to know, there is no one human individual that is ready to take on all the armies of the world. The picture here, is what will take place when Jesus comes back to the earth with all His saints, after the great tribulation has run its course, so the beast here in this verse is absolutely Europe. John saw this whole conglomeration as a beast.) And the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.” These kings and their armies of the world outside of Europe. They are all gathered here, fighting the last battle that will ever be fought, (ARMAGEDDON) when they look up to see Christ making His descent to earth. That is when they leave off fighting each other, and turn to fight against Christ and His army from heaven. As we read this next verse you will see that the word BEAST, actually goes beyond all that military might, and all that human flesh, and applies to the spirit of all of that. Let us read it. 20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” This is two spirits that are cast into the lake of fire immediately upon the return of Christ to the earth. One is the spirit of that overall beast system, and the other is that spirit of Antichrist that has helped bring that beast system into existence, through time. In this verse, also, you find the image of the beast mentioned. That is the World Council of Churches, and we know that there is a spirit behind all of that, but only two spirits were cast into the lake of fire. Do you wonder what happened to that other spirit? The image of the beast only had a short duration of time. By the time these events are occurring, the spirit of that image has already been incorporated into the beast itself. That is why there are only two spirits to be dealt with. If you can get the picture here; you will see Jesus with all His immortal saints descending to earth, while all those European forces along with their allies are locked in a struggle for conquest (The battle of Armageddon) with the Oriental forces that have met them there in the land of Israel. When they see Jesus descending from heaven, they naturally will not want to see His victorious conquest, so they turn on Him, only to have the two spirits cast alive into the lake of fire, and all the human flesh slain by the sword of His mouth. Do not think of that as though Jesus was walking around literally cutting people’s heads off. He is smiting them with judgment, but nevertheless, their physical existence is destroyed in that way. That is what verse 21 pertains to. “And the remnant (all the human element of those armies) were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with the flesh.” Verse 18, even includes their horses, when the fowls of the air are called to feed upon all this.

 

GOD’S WINEPRESS 

 

Now tell me, Is Jesus going to be picking up kings, generals, and leaders of those forces, and casting them into a lake of fire? Of course not; this is God’s winepress. They will fall dead one on top of the other until the blood runs to the horses bridles, according to Revelation 14:18-20. Then, when Christ brings judgment upon the nation by the sword of His mouth to end the battle of Armageddon and destroy wicked humanity, He immediately layed hold on the devil, who was the mastermind of all those Antichrist and anti-God forces, and chained him up, and cast him into the bottomless pit. By that you can see that not even the devil is cast into the lake of fire with the spirit of the beast and the spirit of the Antichrist, before the millennium. Verse 7, in chapter 20, tells us why. He is kept chained up for one thousand years while the earth is being repopulated and restored to its original state, then he is turned loose for a little season, and allowed to go out and test all those mortal beings who have been born during the time he was bound up. After he has had opportunity to deceive a great multitude of those people, and gather them to battle against the saints of God, fire comes down from heaven and devours the people, and the devil that deceived them is cast into the lake of fire. From there, the great white throne judgment is set, and every evil and wicked person from Cain all the way to this judgment hour, will be resurrected to stand before the great judge of all mankind. This is when death and hell must release the dead that they have retained, to be judged and cast into the lake of fire. By the way; this should prove that hell is not eternal, as some suppose that it is.

THE MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN

 

Now let us back up a little, back to the 17th chapter of Revelation. Some have thought that the Catholic church is the beast, but I want you to see that the Catholic church is the great whore that has committed fornication with kings and potentates of the earth, and has made the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication. She rides the beast, but she is not the beast herself. Likewise, you do not just say, Europe is the beast, nor the Antichrist is the beast, without realizing that it all has to be brought together to make up the overall scope of the beast. There will come a day when Catholicism is swallowed up by the political forces of the horns of Europe, so Catholicism alone is definitely not the beast of Revelation 13 & 17, but she is the mother of harlots (PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS) and abominations of the earth, so do not get too carried away by the fact that many of her priests and nuns are speaking in tongues and sponsoring the charismatics. They are just trying to get her harlot daughters to come back home, to Rome. Those denominations are in existence for the same reason that Israel was in Babylon. God allowed those Jews to be carried away to Babylon because when they were in their own land, they allowed too many other things to crowd in between them and God. They failed to keep the word of God to the point where their revelation was destroyed. Instead of walking with God in the beauty of true joy, freedom and truth, they substituted rituals, ceremonies, and pagan ideas until God, after giving them ample warning, just had them scattered among the nations. Why did He do that? It was so they would come to realize just what they were missing, while they served as slaves to pagan Gentiles. That is also exactly why the church of the living God was scattered among denominations, or into denominations. She forgot the real joy of walking with God and fellowshipping Him in the Spirit, and it led her right into an age of darkness, coming back out of that darkness has produced all of what is called denominational Christendom, and the true element of Christianity has been scattered throughout these systems, just like the people of Israel has been scattered among the nations. Therefore in this generation, the people of Israel have been returning to their land, and the Gentile bride has been returning to the truth of God’s word. She is finding that she has not stomach to feed upon all those leftovers that the denominations are cramming down people’s throats. Every true child of God has something within them that requires fresh meat; (spiritually speaking) the message of the reformers alone, is not enough.

 

WHAT WAS MEANT

 

To you who listen to the tapes, I want to clarify a statement I made in one of the messages on this subject. I said something like; “You know how these critics are always following along, saying Bro. Jackson is not preaching the message of Bro. William Branham, (because I preach that the life of Jesus fulfilled only 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks, and there is still one full week of time left to the Jews, and I said,) They are not telling me anything, I know that.” Now what I meant was this; I do not quote from the Spoken Word books, and try to say everything exactly like he said it. I heard him preach, and God gave me a revelation in my soul, a spiritual revelation, so that I do not need to quote Bro. William Branham, word for word, I can say, The Bible says so and so, and not feel condemned for not quoting. Some of these poor souls who feel that they would be blaspheming if they did any more than quote the prophet, are under more bondage than any of those souls who are still out there in denominations. These have sat under truth, and then been recaptured by that same old denominational spirit; We only say what Luther said; we only say what Wesley said, and on down the line. What is the difference? Any man who would hold to 3 ½ years when the scriptures clearly show that 7 years remain to be fulfilled, just because Bro. William Branham said 3 ½ years a number of times, is a man without revelation. He is trying to hang on to the coat tail of a dead man. There is only one chance for all such people, therefore if they do not repent of their idolatrous ways, get on their knees and seek God, for a revelation of His word, they will go the way of all the rest who have refused to move on with God. I should not have to tell you what their end will be. If there was a way that these people could take the Bible and prove me wrong, I would be glad for them to do it, but they will not use the Bible; they can only say, But, Bro. Jackson: Bro. William Branham said thus and so. Like I said before, I know what he said; I was there. Furthermore, Brothers and sisters: every man that is called of God to stand for the truth, has a responsibility before the one who called him, to take his Bible and whatever else is available, and search out these things that cause a difference of opinion. It is not sufficient in this late hour of time just to say, I have never made a study on that subject. Saints, I do not mean to sound hard, but there is a lot at stake here as we see this old Gentile age closing out.

FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS

 

We are going to bring this message to a close now, for I believe you have been given enough to help you find the truth if that is what your soul is hungering for. If there are still questions in your minds, honest, sincere questions, then feel free to ask them. We will do our best to answer them, but we are not interested in striving with anyone. We stand for what God reveals to be the truth of His word, and that truth is made available to all who desire to receive it. Our Contender messages are sent, free of charge to all who request to be put on our mailing list, simply because we believe it is ordained of God, for His truth to be made available to those who hunger for truth.

In closing now, let me reemphasize something I have already said. We are living in a crucial hour of time. There is a nuclear confrontation just ahead, and some of this generation will never live to see the rapture of the bride because of it, but I pray that your desires are as mine. That is, if the bomb takes me out ahead of the rapture, Lord let my soul be ready to meet you when it happens, so that I will still go up with the others who have stood for truth. May God bless you. Amen

The Abomination that Maketh Desolate, Part 2 – 1980, August

1980-08-The-Abomination-That-Maketh-Desolate-Part-2

IN PART 1 OF THIS MESSAGE WE CONCENTRATED ON THE FIRST HUMAN VESSEL THAT SATAN USED IN FULFILLING, THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE SCRIPTURES. THAT, OF COURSE, WAS ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANIES, THE SYRIAN WHO DESECRATED THE HOLY PLACE OF THE JEWS IN THE 2ND CENTURY B.C. WE ALSO ENTERED INTO AN EXAMINATION OF THE 490 YEARS OF PROPHETIC TIME THAT FALLS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL, THAT PERIOD OF TIME WHICH HAD ITS BEGINNING POINT WHEN NEHEMIAH WAS COMMISSIONED TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM AND REBUILD THE CITY, WHICH HAD BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN A PILE OF RUBBLE EVER SINCE NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S ARMY DESTROYED IT, SOMEWHERE AROUND 600 B.C. YOU CAN READ ABOUT THAT DESTRUCTION IN THE LAST CHAPTER OF 2ND CHRONICLES AND IN THE CLOSING VERSES OF THAT CHAPTER YOU WILL SEE HOW THE LORD STIRRED THE HEART OF CYRUS, THE PERSIAN KING, TO HAVE THE TEMPLE REBUILT. WE COVERED THAT IN PART 1, THEREFORE WE WILL ONLY REMIND YOU THAT THIS DECREE, OR COMMANDMENT TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE, WAS NOT THE COMMANDMENT THAT ACTIVATED THE FULFILLMENT OF THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL. YOU WILL FIND THAT THERE WAS MORE THAN 90 YEARS BETWEEN THE DECREE TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE AND THE DECREE TO REBUILD THE CITY, SO DO NOT GET THE TWO DECREES MIXED UP. ZERUBBABEL ACCEPTED THE CYRUS DECREE TO BUILD THE TEMPLE, BUT IT WAS NEHEMIAH WHO RECEIVED THE COMMISSION FROM KING ARTAXERXES TO REBUILD THE CITY. YOU CAN READ THAT IN PART 1 OF THIS ARTICLE.


IN THIS ISSUE (PART2) WE WILL CONTINUE OUR EXAMINATION OF THE EXPIRED YEARS, OR WEEKS, OF DANIEL’S 70 WEEKS, AND WE WILL ALSO SPEAK OF THE 2NDHUMAN VESSEL THAT SATAN USED TO FULFILL, THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE, SCRIPTURES, AND PRINT SOME JEWISH HISTORY THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT IS RECORDED IN HISTORY CONCERNING THESE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN USED BY THE DEVIL IN HIS ATTEMPTS TO RID THE WORLD OF ALL JEWS. BROTHERS AND SISTERS: THIS WILL HELP YOU, IF YOU WILL ALLOW IT TO. I CANNOT GIVE YOU A REVELATION, BUT WITH THE HELP OF GOD, I FEEL THAT I CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NECESSARY INFORMATION THAT GOD CAN USE TO GIVE YOU A REVELATION. JUST TAKE YOUR BIBLE, AND THE INFORMATION THAT YOU WILL FIND IN THIS ARTICLE, AND GO BEFORE THE LORD IN PRAYER, ASKING HIM TO OPEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING, AND YOU WILL FIND THAT HE IS EVER READY TO DO JUST THAT. HE WILL NOT GIVE YOU A REVELATION TO FIT YOUR OWN PATTERN, BUT HE WILL GIVE YOU A NEW PATTERN, IF YOU WILL JUST LEAVE ALL OF YOUR PRECONCEIVED IDEAS OUT OF THE PICTURE. LET US CONTINUE WITH THE MESSAGE NOW.

GOD KEEPS TRACK OF TIME

Alright now, I hope you all understand that it is God who is watching over the time. Malachi did not gather the people together, and say, Seven weeks of Daniel’s prophecy have been fulfilled, so get ready for the next sixty-two weeks. No. He just came on the scene as that first 49 years came to a close, and gave those Jews a stiff rebuke for the apostasy that they had fallen into. They had that great revival under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah in the early years of that 49 year period of time, but by the time Malachi began to prophesy to them, those days of revival were completely out of the picture. They were rebuked for their abominable ways. Through His prophet, God pleaded with them to repent, and warned them of the consequences of their corrupt ways, but to no avail. After the prophecy of Malachi, the Bible is silent for the next 400 years, but this is the 400 years of prophetic time that brings us right down to the birth of Christ. That is why it is necessary to go to your history books to find out what took place during those years between the time Malachi prophesied and the angel’s appearance unto Zecharias, the father of John the baptizer, who was the forerunner of Christ. God was keeping track of the time though, regardless of the fact that there was no writing prophet on the scene, therefore when 400 years more were almost expired, God sent His angel to Zecharias, announcing the fact that his prayer had been answered, and that his wife, Elizabeth, would conceive and bear him a son, and that his name should be called, John. Six months later he appeared to Joseph and Mary, and spoke to them about the conception and birth of a son, and that His name should be called, Jesus. When that little baby was born, 449 years of the 490 years of Daniel’s prophetic years had expired. Naturally you will not find this in your history books, for as we have already pointed out, history was recorded by the solar calendar, which has 365 1/4 days to the year, and our calculations are according to prophetic years which have only 360 days to each year. That is why I say, it is God that watches over time, and every prophecy is fulfilled right on schedule. That is why we know that the 70th week of Daniel will begin at exactly the right time, and will run for exactly 2,520 days, with the first 1260 days given to the two witnesses of Rev. 11:3, and the last 1260 days allotted to the Antichrist, the beast of Rev. 13:4-5, because God Himself is watching over time.

HOW PROPHECY IS FULFILLED

I have been asked many times, Bro. Jackson: Will the Antichrist literally sign a peace covenant for exactly one week (7 years)? I have always said, and will say again, I do not believe there will be any specific stipulation in the agreement, that it is to run for a period of 7 years. I believe God will have put sufficient pressure on the politicians of this old world, so that when Ezekiel 38 & 39 is fulfilled, and dead bodies are piled on top of each other in the land of Israel, those politicians will be more than ready to sign any kind of a peace agreement. They will be so scared, they will be saying, Brethren, we have to do something to prevent a thing like this from happening again. Therefore, just as they formed a Paris peace pact, just as they formed a League of Nations, and a United Nations, so will they sign this peace agreement. All of these measures have been taken in an effort to prevent further wars, and none of them have worked, but they will still try again. They will be pressured into signing up with the Antichrist, but they will not know that he is the beast man of Revelation 13:4, until it is too late. (Remember, this beast has a threefold application. It applies to a spirit, it applies to a man, and it applies to a system). Only the people of God will know what his true identity is from the very beginning; the world as a whole will be thrilled to death with their great peace agreement, and with the world recognized religious leader who is watching over the agreement. Now, brothers and sisters: Listen to me! The Antichrist will not be 3 years ahead of those two prophets. Please understand this, no sooner than that peace agreement is signed, those two prophets that God has been schooling someplace, will be anointed to step on the scene in Israel and begin their 1260 day ministry. Nothing runs ahead nor behind the word of God: everything is precisely, right on schedule. When Caesar Augustus made that taxing decree, he did not know that there was a certain little baby that must be born in Bethlehem, so who do you suppose was really behind that decree? Only God could have timed it so perfectly. Augustus did not know he was an instrument in the hand of God, doing what he did in order to fulfill prophecy. Neither did Joseph and Mary know that this very act would be the cause of prophecy being fulfilled. They went to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, and meant to be back home before the time for the baby to be born. She left all her little baby clothes at home, because she did not expect to need them before they returned. This was all in the plan of God. Why? Because God had determined to give those sheep herders a certain sign to identify that little baby by. We know Joseph was not a pauper; neither was Mary. You can believe she had been knitting, knitting, knitting, getting ready for that blessed event. I imagine she had all kinds of pretty little things made, but they were all back home in the drawers. Therefore the angel of the Lord said to the shepherds (Luke 2:11-12) “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.” Brothers and sisters: God did not suddenly get the idea to have all these things work out like that, after He found out that Augustus was going to make that decree. No. He worked circumstances so Augustus would make the decree. I hope you get the point. The word of God must be fulfilled; and God does not depend upon human instruments to keep track of the time for Him; He does that Himself. As the first 449 years of Daniel’s 490 years passed, God made sure that everything was in order for the birth of the Jew’s Messiah, which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There had to be a right Roman Emperor on the throne, a right man and a woman in Nazareth, a reason for them to go to the right city at the right time, and there had to be many things set in order ahead of time, those little Jews would actually go to pay their taxes. All the governors and administrators had to receive their orders by means of the various carriers that served them, and all the preparations for collecting this extra tax took time, so everything had to be working toward a certain point for a certain time, and only God Himself could have worked it out so perfectly. By the time that little baby was born 449 of those prophetic years had passed. The next 33 ½ years covers the growing up of the Christ child, His baptism at about the age of thirty, His 3 ½ year ministry, and his crucifixion. This brings us into the year 34 A. D. Naturally history always has it that Jesus was crucified in 33 A.D., because they do not deal with the half year, six months, five months, nor anything like that but we are sure that Jesus was born in the period of time that would have been the ending of another 400 years from the time of Malachi’s prophecy. Then His life span covered another 34 prophetic years making a total of 483 years of prophetic time that has elapsed since the Nehemiah decree set that time measurement in motion. After the 62 week period of time the Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself. He was crucified at the end of the 62 week period of time, leaving exactly one more week to be fulfilled. That is the 7 year period of time we want to take to the New Testament. Let me say this, Later in the message we are going to calculate the actual number of days that would have been involved in the 69 prophetic weeks that have expired already, and compare them with solar time measurement.

FOREWARNED AND READY

Some of you, here at Faith Assembly have heard the various points of this message many times; I realize that. But in order for us to get it put into printed form, for the benefit of saints who have never heard it before, I must cover the subject thoroughly. Furthermore when we printed the message back in 1971, dealing mainly with the 70 weeks, our mailing list was not even half what it is now. Therefore with so many more readers who have not read the article at all, and with the knowledge that we are so much closer to fulfillment of the last week of the seventy weeks: there are many more things that we want to include in this article, that we did not put in the other one. Naturally I do not know who among those who will read this article will actually be among those who are raptured before the great tribulation starts. Neither do I know how many foolish virgins will read it, but I will say this, If you study this article, and it turns out that you do not go in the rapture; there are some things in here that can help you face the conditions that will exist at that time. I intend to show you also, how those Jews who believed what Jesus told them, escaped death at the hands of Titus and his Roman army in 70 A.D., and how that it all hinged upon what God had spoken through His prophet Daniel. No. I am not saying that foolish virgins can escape death; they must die in order to seal their testimony, but their psychological condition can be better if they know what is written in the word of God. The history we are going to use in this issue will back up what we want to say about certain fulfillments of prophecy. The little Jewish history book deals strictly with the last 400 and some years of their Old Testament period, from the time of Malachi’s prophecy on down through the first advent of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Naturally it closes then, because the Jews were taken into captivity. The other source of our information is, Bloss Ancient History, compiled in the light of secular history, but notations are made to show where certain Bible prophecies were fulfilled. For instance, the footnotes will direct you to read Isaiah such and such, or something from Jeremiah, or Daniel and so on. Saints, I am glad there were some men of old who regarded the Bible as being authentic. I have my doubts that you would ever find such footnotes in secular history books written in our day. They would not ever dare to mention anything about Bible prophecy being fulfilled, and they would laugh at you if you did But there is coming a day, and we believe, very soon, when the greatest intellectual brains that have ever lived will have to bow their heads, bend their knees, and confess that Jesus Christ is none other than the Lord. They may have been atheists, agnostics, evolutionists or whatever, but when Jesus Christ splits those clouds and they see Him coming to earth with power and glory, that will put an end to all atheism. It will chill the blood in every evolutionary mind, and all their theories will leave them. Praise God! I thank Him for revealing truth to me; don’t you?

GOD REVEALS PRESENT TRUTH

It is so thrilling to see how, many times, between two verses of scripture there will be a great span of prophetic time, even hundreds of years, and it is written like that to confuse great, educated minds. They build their theories and argue and fuss about them, and God reveals those hidden keys to His people by the leadership of His Spirit, when they love truth, and they are living in the hour for that truth to be revealed. God is the one that jumbled the scriptures in such a way that natural minds cannot understand them, and He is the only one that can unscramble the revelation that is hidden therein. Daniel 9:26 & 27, is a good example of this, for there is over 1900 years of time between the events of verse 26, and that of verse 27. When someone just reads straight through the two verses they would not realize that, unless they already had some revelation of what is being dealt with there. Like we have already pointed out: the destruction of verse 26, took place in 70 A.D., under Titus, and the covenant of verse 27, is still out in the future, and will be confirmed by the Antichrist, a prince whose authority originates in Rome just like Titus’ authority did, and who will be motivated by that same spirit of Satan that motivated Titus. Naturally these prophecies were concerning God’s dealing with the nation of Israel, and they were given to them, but the nation as a whole failed to prosper by what God spoke through His servant Daniel. They failed to recognize their Messiah when He came, and as a result of their rejection of Him, they had to suffer destruction, death, and dispersion, all over again. Nevertheless, the prophecy still stands, and there are those who will yet benefit from it as individuals. Those who believe the word of God have enough revealed to them to steer their course through these uncertain times we are living in, and we are thankful unto God for the accuracy of Bible prophecy. Just like in verse 25, of Daniel 9, where it talked about the street being built again, and the wall, even in troublous times: if you could see a map of the old world as it was in those days, you would better understand what those troublous times really were. Syria being to the north of the land of Israel, and Egypt being to the south, and west, great armies were constantly traveling through this little narrow strip of land that ran parallel to the Mediterranean Coast. Many battles were fought there as those armies would meet. Therefore the rebuilding of the city through that 62 week period of time was literally done in troublous times.

ISRAEL – A BATTLEGROUND

The reason so many great armies passed through that land was because of the limited water supply and food potential. Any other way they could have gone was across the Jordan river into the country that is called Jordan and all the way down into Saudi Arabia which is nothing but vast desert land. Armies will always avoid lengthy travel through such places. They look for the most vegetative routes that have adequate water supplies. That caused the land of Israel to be known as the bridge between Asia and Africa, between Asia and Europe and so forth. Great caravans constantly moved along these land routes, right on through the land of Israel and into Egypt, Africa and so forth, so that the land was never without a lot of activity and trouble. If they tried to deny access or refuse passage to one of those kings with his army, it was only an invitation for that king’s fury to be turned loose against them. Besides all of this they had a corrupt priesthood to contend with. We mentioned already, how those priests would play politics, how they would buy their office for great sums of money. When the price was right those Gentile governors would take some soldiers, arrest the incumbent priest on false charges and put him to death, making that office available to the priest who had payed to get it. Of course he not only had to pay for the office; he also had to agree with their politics. That is why you read in Daniel, about flatteries and such like. It was political graft. I could read a lot of history to you about such things, but that would take too much time; therefore I pray that you will just believe that I know what I am talking about, when I tell you these things. You will not find these specific accounts written in the Bible, but if you can take my word for these things that I have learned form history, it will help you to see more clearly the things that are written in the Bible. Some of you may even say, I don’t need to know all these things; all I need to know is how to be saved. That is your privilege if you choose to take an attitude like that. I will just say this, The whole Bible is the word of God; it is the bread of eternal life, food for believers to grow on, and at the same time, it will make a tare sick at his stomach, if you know what I mean. If Israel, to whom the 70 weeks of Daniel was given as a yardstick to measure time, had had proper respect for the scriptures, they would not have been caught so spiritually blind when their Messiah came to them. They were sound asleep with their little sanctimonious rituals when Bible prophecy came walking right down the street one day, in the form of a man. He walked right into the temple grounds, threw down the money changers, kicked over chicken coops, pigeon coops, and lamb pens, and with a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple saying, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” What were they doing there? They were following their carnal religious routines. What was Jesus doing there? He was fulfilling something that was written in the prophecy of Daniel. Their Messiah had to be on the scene in order to be cut off at the end of the 62 week period of time. God had given them a way to know approximately when He would come to them, and they ignored it, just like Gentile religion as a whole is doing right today. The Antichrist will come on the scene, confirm the peace covenant with many nations, and Gentile religious leaders will think it is so wonderful, when if they would have taken heed to the word of God: they would know that 1260 days later, a time of trouble such as the world has never seen would be set in motion. Instead of laying down their rituals now, while there is still time, and crying out to God to allow His word to be a lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their pathway; they will wait until it is too late, and cry for mercy, but death itself will be their only escape. Why? Simply because they have not had an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to true believers in this age. When you go to the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the book of Revelation, and read what John was instructed to write to the 7 churches of Asia, you cannot help but notice how each one of those 7 messages ended, “HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES.” You say, Did they not all have ears? They all had those things sticking out on each side of their head, but they did not all have spiritual ears that would take heed to the word of God.

JESUS INSTRUCTS BELIEVERS

At this time, we are going back into the 24th chapter of Matthew, and read some words that Jesus spoke to His disciples one day when they asked Him some questions concerning what was ahead. In verses 15 and following, we read this, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, SPOKEN OF BY DANIEL THE PROPHET, stand in the holy place, (WHOSO READETH, LET HIM UNDERSTAND:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which be in the field return back to take his clothes. An woe unto them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” First, I want you to notice that right in your Bible, in verse 15, speaking of something Daniel had spoken, there are 5 words in parenthesis, WHOSO READETH, LET HIM UNDERSTAND. There was a reason for those words being injected into His statement. Also, we want to find out exactly what Jesus had in mind when He said, “WHEN YOU SEE THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE STAND IN THE HOLY PLACE.” He certainly wasn’t speaking of a grace age church building; He was speaking of the Jewish temple, on Mt. Zion, in Jerusalem. That is the only place on earth that this scripture can pertain to. Do not try to apply it any place else, geographically. That holy place was desecrated by Antiochus, and again by Titus, and will be again, by the Antichrist, but in every case it applies to the exact same spot, the Jewish temple, on Mt. Zion, in Jerusalem. We are going to show you from the scriptures themselves, and also from the excerpts taken from history books, that Jesus was preparing the people for the time when Titus with his Roman army would set type number 2, of the abomination of desolation that will hit in the last half of the 70th week of Daniel. But first, let us go back to the 9th chapter of Daniel and read that 26th verse again. Like I said before, This is a key verse. “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, (crucified) but not for Himself: (It does not say anything here, about Him raising from the dead, but that was not necessary at this time. The point here is that His crucifixion climaxes the prophetic period of that 62 weeks of years.) And the people (notice now, AND is a conjunction word. Another thought is being picked up right here, And the people) of the prince THAT SHALL COME shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Please pay close attention to the fact that this prince in verse 26, is not the same Prince as you see in verse 25, Jesus the Messiah is the prince of verse 25, but this other prince is a future prince that shall arise on the scene, and this verse lets us know that there are some people who are to be identified with this future prince that shall come. What were the people of that prince going to do? Destroy the city and the sanctuary. Now we know this is referring to something that was to take place after Jesus had been cut off at the end of that 62 week period of time, and we also know that the prince which is to come (the Antichrist) is not going to have a people that will destroy the temple, or sanctuary that he defiles, for the Bible teaches us that Jesus will cleanse that temple and sit in it, in the millennium. Therefore what must we look for? We must apply this to a time when the sanctuary of the Jews was destroyed, after Christ was cut off, and before He comes to rule an reign on earth. There has only been one time that this could apply. That was 70 A.D., when Titus and his army made a total destruction of the city and the temple. Alright, the prince is yet to come. Verse 27, lets us know that, for he is to confirm a peace covenant with many, to set the 70th week of Daniel in motion, but the people of that prince, lived 1900 years ago, for that is when they destroyed the city and the sanctuary. Now we come to the identity of the prince that is yet to comes. Who were the people that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? They were Romans of course; we all know that. Then that means the prince that is yet to come (THE ANTICHRIST) must be identified with Rome. Right? Pay attention to how I say this now. Some of you have heard me say that the Roman Catholic Pope who will fulfill Daniel 9:27 and be known as the Antichrist, does not necessarily have to be an Italian. Their scriptural identities stem from where they get their power and authority. The Roman army that Titus positioned around the walls of Jerusalem, were not all Italians. Some of them were Germans, some French, as well as Spaniards and who knows what else, so it was not their racial identity that made them Roman soldiers; it was where they got their authority from, and that was Rome. Therefore the pope who will fulfill the Antichrist scriptures could very well be Polish, but he will not get his authority from Poland; that will come from Rome, making him a prince of the very people who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. I hope you can see the picture clearly now. Just keep the identity of those people who destroyed Jerusalem under the leadership of Titus, tied to the prince that is yet to come, and Daniel 9:26 & 27, will not be a mystery to you.

BELIEVERS TAKE HEED

As we look back to that 26th verse for just a moment, notice the rest of the verse. “And the end thereof shall be with a flood, (flood is symbolic of persecution, and that is exactly what applied to those who were left alive.) And unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Those desolate conditions, as far as the Jewish temple is concerned, have lasted for more than 1900 years. Many of you have been there; you have seen the Moslem mosque that is built over that sacrificial rock, there on the Jews temple grounds. That word WAR, literally should have been translated, WARS, for it means, unto the end of the wars (plural) that will follow such a period, desolate conditions will prevail. Nevertheless that is what Jesus was having reference to when He spoke to His disciples there in Matthew 24:15-20. Do not go beyond verse 20, with your 70 A.D. application, for this is one of those places where there is a great span of time between two verses that are written together. Verse 21, jumps all the way over into the 70th week of Daniel, and picks up the great tribulation. You really should read Luke 21:20-24, along with Matthew 24:15-20, in order to get a better picture in your mind. Let me read two of those verses before I say what I want to say about them. Luke 21:20, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the DESOLATION thereof is nigh. (This verse gives a clearer picture than Matthew 24:15, so notice what He told them to do when they see such a condition.) Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains.” That is exactly what Matthew wrote, verse 16. If you will go back and read the first verses of Matthew 24, you will see that Jesus was speaking only to His disciples when He spoke these words, and history reveals that, not one Christian was left in the city when Titus’ army finally broke through. We are going to read some history in a few minutes, that will allow every one of you to see for yourselves, that this is where the words of Jesus which we have just read were fulfilled, (70 A.D.). Let us get the rest of these scriptures here, and compare them with Luke 21. “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: (in other words, flee to the mountains immediately, do not take time for trying to save your furniture, or anything like that.) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Now look right over to Luke 21:22, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (Just stay right there in Luke for the next two verses) But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.” We will read the history, and you will see the sadness that young mothers faced, how that, as the siege continued, little babies were roasted and eaten. That fulfilled Deuteronomy 28:57, which was written many centuries before that and stated, “And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall EAT THEM for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.” None of this pertained to the disciples of Jesus; for every last one of them did exactly what He told them to do; they fled to the mountains. But sad to say, every Jew that failed to take heed to what Jesus told them was caught right there. They stayed in Jerusalem and fell victim to Daniel 9:26, when the city was literally laid in ruins. That is what Luke 21:24, is speaking of. “And they (not the Christians) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Earlier in this chapter you find where some of the disciples were admiring the beauty of the temple, and Jesus hearing them said, “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Brothers and sisters, I hope you are getting the picture as we point out these prophetic utterances. Jesus spoke these words about 37 years before it actually was fulfilled, but when you are dealing with prophecies of the scriptures it does not matter whether it is 37 years or 3700 years, God is the one who keeps the records and works circumstances that bring about the fulfillment of His word. God showed Daniel the things that we are writing about, in various visions which troubled him greatly. Then He sent an angel to explain the visions to him and from those explanations we have learned much. From our history books we have been able to pinpoint two of the periods of desolations as having passed already. At least the initial fulfillment of the first two are in past history, and the events of them hit exactly as they had been foretold in prophecy; therefore we ought to expect the events of the third period of desolations to be exactly s the scriptures declare it will be. Why do you suppose Jesus quoted the prophet Daniel there in Matt.24:15? For one thing it was a further vindication of the accuracy of that prophecy, and besides that, He wanted to remind them that if the nation of Israel had studied Daniel’s prophecy as they should have, they would have been prepared and expecting their Messiah when He came to them.

EXCESSIVE HATRED

Turn to Luke 19:42, for a few more verses relating directly to this 70 A.D. siege of Jerusalem. Because of the Jews transgressions, and their failure to accept their Messiah, Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and prophesied about 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.” Just as I said earlier: Titus did not go there with the intention of destroying Jerusalem. He was a Roman general, the son of Vespasian, and he was commissioned to put down this Jewish revolt. In other words Vespasian, his father, became Emperor, and put him in command when he went to take Nero’s place. It was during the time that those Jews fought so furiously against his army, that Titus was anointed to fulfill all those scriptures that had been written against them. That same spirit that had been exemplified by Antiochus more than 200 years before, was now on Titus and his army. If you will look up that word, ABOMINATION, in your Webster’s dictionary, you will find that it is a word that pertains to excessive hatred. It does not pertain to a dirty piece of pork meat. What we are dealing with here is excessive hatred that maketh desolate. In this setting, to be made desolate, is to be deprived of inhabitants. Jesus could have said, When you see that period of excessive hatred existing against this holy place, then know that your enemies are set to destroy, totally, and flee to the mountains. When we read this history a little later, you will see how those Roman soldiers fought with such fury, and such hatred for those Jews, it literally fulfilled the abomination that maketh desolate, because they destroyed the city and the sanctuary, and more than one million Jews perished. Of those that were left alive, thousands were sold on the Roman slave markets, and scattered into all nations. Just think. All of this happened to them because of their rebelliousness, and their failure to accept their Messiah in His first advent. Remember when they were leading Jesus up to Calvary, how some of the women were crying and feeling sorrow for Him? Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.” Every mother with a small child, and every expectant mother, had the constant fear that her little baby might be roasted and eaten. What an end for any people to come to! Especially a people that had been projected as a light of God to the world. God brought all this upon them simply because they refused to be a light. That ought to make some people shutter, when they stop to realize that the grace age church is also supposed to be a light to the world. Brother, I tell you truthfully, this so called, church has been everything else but a light when you measure it against the overall world condition. I thank God that my faith is not resting on a man made set of religious rules. Praise God! I also thank God for allowing me to know that genuine believers of this age will escape the great tribulation that is somewhere just up ahead. It all hinges upon whether people believe the word of God with a true revelation. Those Jewish women who failed to take heed to the words of Jesus, had to suffer through that terrible siege against Jerusalem, but every person who believed what they heard, kept their eyes open, and fled to the mountains when they saw the conditions that Jesus described. This great destruction, and abomination took place after God had already stopped measuring time to the Jews with Daniel’s 70 weeks yardstick, but when that last week of time is inaugurated, revelated saints of God will know that in just 1260 days another period of abomination will be set in motion against the Jews holy place. You might even wonder how it could possibly be worse than what we are going to read here in a little while, but Daniel 12:1 calls it a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, and I believe what I read here; do you? I rejoice to read the rest of that verse too, for it says, ” And at that time (the great tribulation) thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found WRITTEN IN THE BOOK.” Unbelieving Jews will be slaughtered by that beast system in that hour, but Revelation 12:6, tells us that those Jews which believer(because they have listened to God’s two prophets) will flee into the wilderness, where God has a place prepared to feed them for 3 ½ years. They will not be running from Antiochus; neither will they be running from Titus; they will be running from a man that the world as a whole has been looking to as a great religious leader and man of peace. Who will it be? I will not give you a name, but I will give you a means to identify him. Whoever the Roman Catholic pope is, in that hour, will be the man. He will be the man of sin, the son of perdition, the wicked one, the Antichrist, the little horn of Daniel 7:8, and on and on we could go, but you should have the picture by now. There will be some reason for him to go to Jerusalem in that hour, for Daniel 11:45 says, “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” In 2nd Thessalonians 2:8, it tells us how he will come to his end, by the brightness of the coming of the Lord. There will not be a hand laid upon him; he will be destroyed, or consumed, by the word of judgment that issues forth from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes back to earth with His saints.


Brothers and sisters: There is so much that could be said in a message like this, that it makes it hard to condense it to a size that will not become boring to some. Nevertheless we are trusting God to help us say enough to help every sincere believer see these prophecies in a true light. What we are showing you about Antiochus Epiphanes the Syrian, and Titus, the Roman general, is to enable you to see how accurate the prophecies of the Bible really are. By seeing how perfectly these other prophecies have been fulfilled right to the minutest detail, we ought to be able to look at the prophecies that are before us, (prophecies that will be fulfilled in our generation) and get a picture in our minds as to what is coming. I feel like this portion of history concerning the fall of Jerusalem under Titus, in 70 A.D., can be a real eye opener when you see how terrible the conditions of it were, and then realize that there is yet to be a time that the Bible declares will be worse than it was then. At this time, let us read these portions of history, then we will point out some things that you should pay special attention to.

EXCERPTS FROM JEWISH HISTORY
THE FALL OF JERUSALEM 70 A.D.

Their city was strongly situated by nature, and was surrounded by art with three strong walls and many lofty towers, the most remarkable of which were those of Antonia, Hippicos, Psephinus, Phasaelus, and Mariamne. The first wall was 17 ½ feet thick, formed of stones 38 feet long, and was considered to be almost impregnable. It was guarded by ninety towers built of the same solid masonry. Commencing at the tower of Hippicos, it ran directly north of the tower of Psephinus, then bore by the monument of Helena, to the Fullers monument. It then turned into the valley of Kedron, where it joined the inner wall under the Temple. The second wall began at the Gate of Gennath, on the west, intersected the lower city, then ran towards the north-western corner of the tower of Antonia. This citadel stood alone, on a high and precipitous rock 90 feet high, at the north-western corner of the Temple. The third, or inner wall, was that enclosing Zion. It started from the south-western porticoes of the Temple, ran first south, and then turned westward till it joined the tower of Hippicos. It then ran southward to Bethsur, along the ridge of the valley of Hinnom, to the pool of Siloam, then turned onwards to the Temple, which it rejoined at its eastern portico. But strong as were these wall, impregnable as were those towers, there was one work, which for situation and defense, far exceeded them-the Holy Temple. This stood upon a lofty plateau, the eastern and southern sides of which were precipitous, while the other sides had been walled in to the height of 500 feet, and the space filled in to form a foundation for the structure. On this gigantic base uprose the Temple walls, strong and lofty, enclosing the cloisters and corridors which surrounded the sacred edifice; a mass of masonry uniting strength with beauty, and presenting the aspect of an impregnable citadel. Such was the strength of Jerusalem, against which the Romans encamped on that memorable Passover of the Vulgar year 70, when the siege commenced. Vespasian was now Emperor, and the war was entrusted to his son Titus. The forces of the invader consisted of the three legions which had served under Vespasian, recruited by the five legions so beaten by the Jews in Cestius’s time. He had also twenty regiments of foot and eight of horse, besides vast multitudes of Arabs, altogether about 50,000 men. Titus stopped at Gibeath-Saul, about five miles from Jerusalem; and, taking an escort of 600 horses, proceeded to reconnoitre the city. The gates were closed, all seemed peaceful and quiet, and not a man appeared. But as the squadron turned towards the Tower of Psephinus, a band of the defenders rushed out at the gate, near the tower of the women, and cut off Titus from his men. Advance and retreat were equally impossible, for the enemy surrounded them, but, with great personal intrepidity, Titus dashed in among his assailants and cut his way through. Next day he advanced his troops to Jerusalem. The twelfth and fifteenth legions were encamped in front, the fifth behind them, and the tenth on the Mount of Olives, six furlongs from the city. The besieged, looking down upon this formidable array, wisely resolved to suspend their private feuds, and unite in a vigorous defense against the common enemy. This resolution, however, was but shortlived, for on the eve of the Passover, when Eleazar had opened the avenues of the Temple to the great concourse that came to sacrifice John of Giscala found means to introduce among the worshipers some of his men. These, drawing their concealed weapons, fell upon Eleazar’s party and the assembled multitude indiscriminately and slew in every direction, until the court was filled with blood. Eleazar’s party was thus annihilated. He and the survivors of his band submitted to John, who now saw himself sole master of the Temple and its precincts. He had now only a single enemy within the walls, but that enemy gave him considerable trouble by his activity. Simon’s attacks became more and more vigorous; the civil warfare raged more fiercely than ever, and was only suspended when it became necessary to deal a blow against the common foe. Such a necessity soon presented itself. The tenth legion commenced the siege works at the Mount of Olives, and were engaged at their trenches. Their arms were piled, because they expected no attack from the Jews who were so busy fighting among themselves. Whether or not the Romans were culpably negligent, this fact is historical; they were surprised and thrown in confusion. The attacking Jews rushed forward irresistibly, and the Romans were forced to fall back from the site of their proposed camp. The safety of the whole legion became imperilled, until Titus arrived with reinforcements, and drove the assailants into the valley of Kedron. Later in the day, when the troops returned to their works and resumed their operations, another vigorous assault was made by the Jews. They dashed furiously across the valley, carrying everything before them. The whole legion took to flight, except the guard surrounding Titus, when, perceiving the perilous situation for their general, they rallied and returned to the charge. The Jews contested every foot of ground, but they were at length completely repulsed. The Romans now set about leveling the ground between them and the city, by pulling down all the houses and ridges, cutting down all the trees, and even cleaving the rocks that stood in their way from Scopos to the tomb of Herod and the Serpent’s Pool. In this work so many hands were employed that it was accomplished in four days. While this work was in progress, Titus sent the besieged some offers of peace, which they made a show of accepting only to delude the Romans within their reach. Contrary to orders, many of the soldiers entered the city and escaped with great difficulty. The Jews also practiced a stratagem. They pretended to be driving out of the gates all the advocates for war, and mounting on the walls, clamored loudly for peace. Titus then sent Nicanor and Josephus with new offers, but the ambassadors were attacked, and Nicanor was wounded, while the besieged danced on the ramparts with joy at their success. This decided Titus to begin the assault in earnest. He removed nearer to the city, established himself at the distance of a quarter-of-a-mile from the tower Psephinus. He determined upon attacking near the monument of John, where the first wall was lower and where there was considerable force. Josephus relates that at the siege of Jotopata, he saw a stone ball strike off a man’s head at a distance of 600 yards. When the mound had been driven up to the face of the wall, then the battering ram was introduced. This engine was most powerful; and when well-directed, shook the walls with the force of a large cannon. Against these operations of the besiegers, the business of the besieged was: 1st. To destroy the attacking towers by fire-either by throwing fire balls made of lighted pitch, or by discharging burning arrows and spears; 2ndly. By means of their own catapults and ballista to impede the operations of the enemy; 3rdly. To sally out against the workmen; 4thly. To undermine the embankments and 5thly. To parry the blows of the rams either by putting buffers formed of sacks of sand or wool, or by catching the head of the ram in a rope to arrest its force.


Titus had divided his army into three battalions, each forming an embankment of its own. Between the embankments he placed his archers, and before these his machines. In the attack the tenth legion most distinguished itself by constructing ballista, which threw stones of half-a-hundred weight to the distance of two furlongs. These balls, however, were visible from their whiteness, and the Jewish watchmen cried out in warning, “The bolt is coming,” thus enabling the besieged to avoid the blow. When the Romans discovered this, they blackened the stone, and thence-forward these missiles, thus rendered invisible, crushed not merely single men, but numbers at a time. The Jews replied to this cannonade, shot for shot. They had the siege-engines which they had captured from Cestius, and these they plied with uncommon fury, but they were so ignorant of their use, that they did but little execution. They harassed the enemy most by frequent sallies. But the Roman missiles made terrible havoc before the rams were brought into play. When all were ready, three of these engines were advanced, and began their battering. The effect was to strike terror into the hearts of the garrison. They gave up their disputes, and hastened to the battlements to defend them. Side by side they worked and fought with emulous valour. They launched fire upon the machines, and missiles against those who worked them-they sallied out and tore away the wicker screens, and slew the men protected beneath them. At last the ram belonging to the fifteenth legion brought down the corner of a tower, when on a sudden the Jews, as if terror stricken, suspended their operations. The Romans, congratulating themselves upon their success, dispersed themselves about the works, when suddenly through an unperceived gate, at the tower Hippicos, the whole united force of the besieged came pouring forth with flaming brands to set the machines on fire. The Romans gathered hastily, but Jewish valour prevailed. The besiegers were put to flight, and a terrible conflict took place around the engines. Some of the soldiers from Alexandria remained to defend these, and they fought desperately. Titus soon arrived with his horse, and he retrieved the fortunes of the day, killing twelve men with his own hand. This sortie thus repulsed, the attack continued, until the wall began to give way before the assault of the largest battering ram to which the Jews had given the name Nico, the victorious. On the 7th Iyar, a fortnight after the commencement of the siege, a breach was made, and the Romans entered. The Jews abandoned its defense, and retired to the second rampart. Titus now removed within the first wall to a position near the so-called camp of the Assyrians, and immediately gave orders for the attack of the second wall. Here the conflict became more terrible. The Jews fought in defense with the most dauntless courage. John ane his adherents fought from the tower of Antonia, and the northern cloisters of the Temple. Simon and his party guarded near John’s monument, and fortified it up to Hippicos. Now were they contented with defense; they made frequent and vigorous sallies. These sallies were repulsed, because the Roman discipline gave their soldiers strength and solidity; but from their ramparts the Jews fought with immense advantage, owing to their fertility of resources, and their personal heroism.


Sufficient of the outer wall having been cleared to enable Titus to advance his engines, the rams were now brought up against the second defense. The point of attack was the central tower of the north wall, which was soon terribly shaken. The men who were in it made a signal of surrender and at the same time sent Simon word to be ready to give the Romans a warm reception. Titus discovered the stratagem, and returned more vigorously to the assault. The Jews set the tower on fire, and flung themselves in the flames. Still the ram continued its sure work of demolition, until the tower fell, and the second enclosure was taken on the fifth day of its attack. This conquest laid open to the Romans that part of the new city where the braziers, woolstaplers, and clothiers’ warehouses were situated. They were now in the streets of the city; and for their own safety, they might have been expected to demolish such portion of the houses as would give them uninterrupted communication with their bases. Titus, however, resolved on lenient measures, and left the streets as he found them, restraining his men from pillage. But the garrison did not permit this opportunity to pass neglected; they fell upon the troops who had entered the city with a furious rage. From the houses and the courts they fought. From every street and gate they poured into the closure, the Roman soldiers fleeing before them, and making vain efforts to escape through the narrow breach. Titus hastened to their aid; but all he could accomplish was to place his archers at the heads of the lanes and streets, and thus gain time for his beaten soldiers to retire outside the wall. Thus, the Romans after capturing the second line, were repulsed; a success which so raised the spirits of the Jews, that they barricaded the breach, and defended it against the enemy for three whole days. On the fourth day, however, they were compelled to retire, and Titus once more entered. He immediately pulled down the northern portion of the wall, and garrisoned and the southern towers. Two walls had now fallen, and a large portion of this city was in possession of the Romans, but still there remained to be taken the most important works. These were, the formidable tower Antonia, the Temple, a very citadel from its position, and the stronghold of Zion. Titus suspended the siege for four days in order to give the Jews time to determine on submission. During the interval, he held a review of his troops, and distributed to them their pay and provisions. The legions marching with glittering shields and gay accoutrements, the cavalry decked out in their gorgeous trappings, formed a magnificent spectacle to the proud Romans, but a sad one to the crowd of Jewish beholders in the doomed city. These assembled upon every eminence; the entire length of the walls was lined with spectators, every roof was crowded with the multitude of gazers. Titus expected that this display would bring the Jews to terms, and probably they would have listened to the new overtures which he now made. But he was, unhappily, indiscreet in his choice of a messenger. He sent Josephus, the historian, the ex-governor of Galilee, the man of Jotapata. To such an emissary that Jews naturally refused a hearing. They received him with bitter invectives, and drove him back with flights of arrows. This effort for peace proving fruitless, Titus resumed the offensive on the fifth day. Assigning one embankment to each of his legions, he directed two against the castle of Antonia, and two against the upper city near the monument of John. As we have seen, the first position was defended by John of Giscala and his Zealots, while the latter was guarded by Simon. These leaders were provided with 300 catapults and 40 ballista, in the use of which the besieged had become more proficient.


The condition of the non combatant inhabitants had become fearful. Famine was rife. Corn was nowhere to be seen, the granaries had long since been destroyed in the civil conflicts, and the search for food now grew severe. Anyone who seemed sleek and hale was concluded to have secret stores. His home was visited; if nothing was found he was tortured to confess his hiding place; if a secret store was discovered he was punished for not producing it on demand. If anyone could purchase for half his property a single measure of wheat or barley, he did so, and ate it in the most secret part of his house-ate it either raw or half-cooked. No one now laid a table for a meal. Wives would steal the last morsel from husbands, children from parents, parents from children. Mothers would rob their pining babes of the milk nature supplied for their sustenance by consuming it themselves. Any kind of food was readily acceptable, and when obtained it was eaten in terror and peril, for robbers were sure to be nigh to seize it with violence. If a house was closed, suspicion was immediately excited that eating was in progress, and the marauders burst in to pluck the crumbs from the mouths of the eaters. Old men were scourged till they surrendered the morsel to which their fingers clung desperately; and women were dragged about by their hair till they gave up what they possessed. Children were seized as they clutched their miserable morsels, and were whirled round and dashed upon the stones. Starving wretches would creep near the Roman posts, heedless of all danger, in order to pick up some miserable refuse, but they were sure to be waylaid and plundered, if not murdered, on their return. These were the afflictions which the lower classes suffered from their defenders. The richer classes were accused of treasonable correspondence with the enemy, of conspiracy, or of intention to desert, when they were sure to be despoiled of their wealth as a punishment. After being plundered by Simon, they fell into the hands of John, or vice versa; so that between the two leaders the victims were thoroughly stripped. As Josephus describes it, “They drank to each other out of the blood of the citizens, and shared their corpses between them.” In respect to the supply of food, it is evident that provisions could not be introduced through the investing force, any more than Paris could be revictualled through her German girdle. To intercept any such attempt, the Roman commander ordered a detachment of cavalry to cut off all who descended into the valley. The starving Jews who had thus sallied out in quest of food were captured and summarily put to death. Five hundred persons a day were crucified, till there was no room for the crosses, and no more crosses for the victims. Titus pretended to pity their fate, but said he had no men to spare for the safe custody of so many prisoners. It was a military necessity. The Jewish soldiery delighted to point out these acts of Roman cruelty to their peace longing citizens, as a foretaste of Roman mercy. Titus sent back some prisoners, with the sword hand lopped off, and charged them with suggestions for submission, but the Jews scorned to submit. From their ramparts they shouted defiance to Titus; told him that they despised death, and deliberately preferred it to slavery; that so long as they had breath they would do all the mischief they could to the Romans; that they would welcome death, as closing their eyes against the miseries of their native city.


After seventeen days’ labour the embankments against the tower of Antonio were complete, and the engines brought to bear. Just as the attack was about to commence, John sprang a mine, which he had constructed under the banks, and down they rolled amid smoke and flame, and half-smothered combustibles. The Romans were thunderstruck, and gave up all attempts to preserve their works. Two days after this, Simon and his party made an attempt to destroy the other embankments. In this case they had not been undermined; but with flaming torches the fierce defenders advanced, and amid showers of blows and thrusts, deliberately set fire to the framework and the engines; nor did they desist from their purpose till the fire had obtained a good hold. As the flames rose the besiegers poured forth from their camp to extinguish them; but the Jews fought desperately to prevent their extinction. They held fast to the machines, clutching the hot iron in their determination not to quit their posts till the fire had done its work. At last, as the destructive element gained ground and seized on the materials of the embankment, the Romans were driven back to their pickets by the victorious Jews, when Titus appeared on the scene and repulsed the assailants by his energy. The Jews returned to the city, but the Roman mounds were destroyed, their labour lost; and they began to despair of capturing Jerusalem by the ordinary means of warfare. Thus thwarted in his operations, Titus held a council, and determined on new measure. Three plans were proposed: one, to storm the town and employ the whole of the troops in the assault; another, to blockade it and starve it into submission; a third, to repair the engines and resume siege operations. Titus opposed the first plan, on the plea that it was imprudent to fight with men driven to desperation. Against the second, the blockade, he alleged that it would weaken their ranks by extending his men along so large a circle as that to be occupied; besides, it seems to him disgraceful that so large a force should sit down inactive before a town, and wait to starve it out. He, however, resolved to combine the second and third plans by drawing a line of circumvallation completely round the city, and so hindering the introduction of provisions, while he would continue to restore the embankments and the engines, and prosecute the siege. In conformity with this plan, he surrounded the city by a rampart of nearly five miles in length, which, by the zeal of the troops, was finished in three days. By this means the Jews were cut off from all egress, and the famine, taking a wider range, devoured whole families. “The houses were full of dying women and children, the streets teemed with dead bodies of the old and infirm. Young men staggered about the market-places to fall dead wherever their last miseries came upon them. As for burying the dead, that became impossible. The sick were incapable of doing it, those that were well could not accomplish it, by reason of the vast numbers unburied, and by the uncertainty of their own fate. Many died upon the very bodies they were interring, and many went to the burial place to wait there for their impending death.” Amid all these horrors there was no wailing or weeping, but, with dry eyes and open mouths, the living saw the dead go to rest. Deep silence and a night of death possessed the city; yet worse than all, were the robbers who roamed the town, breaking into houses, plundering not only the living, but stripping the dead of their clothing. They tried the edges of their swords upon the corpses, and as men lay alive, they mockingly thrust at them to test the temper of their weapons. Dreading the results of leaving so many corpses unburied, it was first ordered that the dead should be interred at the public costs; but the expenses soon became too heavy, and thenceforward they were hurled from off the walls down into the valley, the pauper dead having amounted to 600,000. Titus, as he went his rounds and saw these bodies rotting in gore, is said to have groaned, and stretching his hands towards heaven, to have called God to witness that this was not his work!–hypocrisy that reminds us of events much more recent. Deserters now began to arrive in the Roman camp. These either threw themselves from the walls, or pretending that they were going out to fight, surrendered to the first enemy. They described the state of the city as growing fearful. The houses had now been turned into catacombs. A measure of corn sold for £ 200. The sewers and old dunghills were searched for food, and men ate the most loathsome things. What the filthiest brute would not eat, they eagerly devoured; they ate their belts, their shoes, the leather coverings of their shields. Some lived on scraps of old hay, the least quantity of which was sold for 4 dr. or 2 s. 6 d. But of all, the most lineage, name, and residence are distinctly stated, was found to have roasted her young child and devoured one half of it. The robbers, who roamed like mad dogs, smelt the flesh, and broke into her house to plunder the food, when they found that she had been feeding on her offspring. Even the hardened ruffians turned and fled before this supreme horror, which realized the prophet’s words spoken some thirteen centuries before, as expressed in Deut. xxviii, 57.


Mean while the military operations against the city continued. The neighborhood having been stripped of timber for the early works, now wholly demolished, the Romans brought materials a distance of ninety furlongs, and four embankments were raised against Antonia in twenty-one days. The result of the bombardment was clearly not satisfactory; the work was too strong, and the assailants attempted another plan. They locked their shields together over their heads as a protection, and then dug at the foundations with crowbars until they got out four large stones. The next night the wall fell in, giving way at the mine which had been so destructive to the first mound. In the morning a new wall appeared, built by the foresight of John. Titus addressed his soldiers, urging an escalade. A forlorn hope headed by a Syrian named Sabinus, made the attempt, and failed. Two days afterwards twenty of the picket men, stationed to protect the mounds, with the standard-bearer of the fifty legion, two calvary soldiers, and a trumpeter, ascended through the ruins of the wall, to the tower of Antonia. They surprised and killed the sleeping sentinels, and when they had obtained a footing, made the trumpeter sound a call, which at once terrified the Jews and summoned the Romans. A fierce battle now took place, in which every inch of ground was stoutly contested. The Romans pressed onwards to gain possession of the adjacent Temple, but at length “the violent zeal of the Jews was too much for the Romans’ skill.” After ten hours’ fight, the Romans retreated to take possession of Antonia, which Titus razed to the foundations in order to give greater space for his future operations. The Jews, in order to cut off all communication with the Temple, set fire to the stately galleries of the north cloister, which connected the sacred edifice with Antonia. At this time intelligence reached the Romans that on the 17th Tamuz, the day of the capture of Antonia, the sacrifices had ceased. Titus sent Josephus to harangue the Jews, and persuade them to submit before the Temple should be injured. John’s reply was, that he feared not the taking of the city, for it was God’s own. The Temple was now their fortress, and against this the Romans now operated. An assault was first ordered, which Titus, from the heights of Antonia, directed in person; but, after eight hours’ contest the besiegers had not gained a foot. The legions now commenced four mounds to operate against the Temple, one at the north-west angle, one against a building projecting on the north, and two others in the northern and western cloisters. Two of these being complete, the battering-rams began their work; but in six days the strongest engines of the Romans did not make the slightest impression upon the vast, well-jointed stones of the Temple. They now had recourse to scaling-ladders, but were met by the most furious defense. They were slaughtered on their ladders in scores and hundreds, and driven to flight with the loss of their ensigns and materials. The soldiers, enraged, applied fire to the gates of the porticoes, and, the silver melting, the woodwork was soon in flames. The conflagration extending to the inner court, continued all night, but was extinguished by command of Titus, who was resolved to spare the Temple. He determined upon a general assault to take place the next day; but that night, the infuriated Jews made two desperate sallies, which inflicted great loss upon the Romans, many of whom were engaged in putting out the fire (which still raged in the inner court) in obedience to Titus’s commands. It was at this time, that one of the soldiers, impelled by mad fury, snatched a brand from the burning gallery, and being lifted up by another soldier, set fire to a little golden window, leading to one of the passages of the Holy place. The fire spread with rapidity, and friends and foes were alike filled with consternation. Titus, who had retired to rest, rushed forth to employ all his efforts in arresting the conflagration, without success. His soldiery rejoiced in the calamity, and pretended not to hear his commands. From court to court, the flames were spreading, but still the sanctuary, the most holy, remained unscathed. With words and blows, Titus restrained his soldiers, but their passions were excited; they hated the Jews too much to spare their Temple. A soldier thrust a brand beneath a golden door, and the Temple was burnt.


Simon and John retreated to the upper city Zion, and held out there. Their position was desperate, but they refused to surrender at discretion. This so exasperated Titus, that he plundered and set fire to the lower city, of which he now had possession. His siege works had to be renewed, but in eighteen days the banks were completed, and the assault made. The town was taken by storm, and thousands slaughtered. Those who were kept alive were sold into slavery, or doomed to fight in the arena as gladiators. The leaders, Simon and John, concealed themselves in the subterranean galleries, until they were starved into submission. John was sentenced to death, but had his punishment commuted to imprisonment for life. Simon was sent to Rome, and after gracing the triumph, was decapitated in the Forum.

The work of massacre finished, Titus ordered the demolition of the city, with all its noble structures and fortifications; nothing being left but a piece of the western wall and the three towers of Hippicos, Phasaelis, and Mariamne. Over the site, we are told that Titus carried the plough, a sign of its eternal devastation. But we, whose hopes are bound up with the future of Jerusalem, know that she will rise again in glory, because God has said it. Her sorrows have been great, her ruin terrible; but those sorrows and that ruin were foretold as the consequences of her sins. And it is that same prophecy, which tells us of her regeneration and future glory, when in God’s own good time, He shall comfort Jerusalem.

“For the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” ISAIAH li. 3

BLOSS’S ANCIENT HISTORY

THE FALL OF JERUSALEM

70 A.D.

This beautiful but guilty city was occupied by three factions. Eleazar, with a party called the zealots, kept possession of the temple; John, who had been driven from Giscala, fortified himself in the lower town; and Simon, with his followers, defended Bezetha, Such was the city, such were its fortifications, and such its defenders when Titus, in the spring of A.D. 70, at the time of the general assembly of the Jews to celebrate the feast of the Passover, approached the devoted place and pitched his camp east of the vale of Cedron, upon the Mount of Olives. The efforts of the Jews to compel the Romans to raise the siege were almost incredible. They burned the engines of the enemy, and attacked the legions with such fury that Titus, quite dispirited, gave up the idea of taking the place by storm, and employed his soldiers in constructing a wall which would prevent all egress from the gates.


No sooner were the operations of the Romans intermitted than the factions in the city raged with tenfold fury; battles were fought within the walls; a company of assassins entered the temple and cut off Eleazar and his party in one general massacre; conflagrations destroyed great quantities of corn; so that when the day had come to Jerusalem that “her enemies cast a trench about her and kept her in on every side,” her own sons were lying like murdered victims upon her altars, and her little ones were perishing in the streets with famine. Portents and prodigies announces the coming doom. Swords flittered in the air; embattled armies seemed hurrying to combat in the sky: the portal of the temple flew open, and a voice from the excellent glory pronounced, in no mortal tones, “Let us depart!” A terrific sound, as of a multitude rushing forth, was heard, and then an appalling silence reigned throughout the holy courts.


The Jews converted these fearful admonitions into omens of speedy deliverance, and disregarding the dreadful ravages of famines and pestilence, obstinately refused the offers of accommodation which Titus repeatedly made by the mouth of Josephus. The Romans, wrought to fury by the desperation of the Jews, made incessant attacks upon the walls, and finally gained possession of Antonia. At length the day approached in the revolution of ages, the tenth of August-the anniversary of that fatal day in which Nebuchadnezzar burned the temple of Solomon. The daily sacrifice had failed for want of men to offer it; and the Romans, having overturned the foundations of Antonia, began to ply their battering-rams upon the sacred walls of the temple. A Roman soldier in the tumult, actuated as by a divine fury, seized a smoking brand, and climbing to the top of the portico, threw it into one of the courts; and soon the whole building was wrapped in flames.


The wail of agony which the despairing Jews sent forth upon seeing the destruction of their temple, could not move the hearts of the infuriated Romans. Titus, unable to make himself heard in the uproar, withdrew to the fort of Antonia, and gazing upon the conflagration, exclaimed, with a sigh,”The God of the Jews has fought against them; to Him we owe our victory.” The numbers who perished amounted to 1,000,000; the captives to 100,000. John and Simon were taken. The former was imprisoned for life; the later was “conveyed to Rome, to clank his chains at the chariot wheels of the conqueror.”

ALL DOUBT REMOVED

In the past you may have read those words of Jesus in Matt. 24, Luke 19, and Luke 21, and taken them very lightly, but after reading this history, and seeing exactly what fulfilled those words from the verses we have already read, can you ever take them that lightly again? I say, This removes all doubt as to whether every word that was prophesied will be fulfilled before the end of measured time. For instance, Titus had three different plans, or choices of how to deal with this Jewish revolt. If he had settled on either one of the first two plans, then the prophecy of Jesus would not have been fulfilled. Before considering any of these three plans though, Titus tried to make peace with those Jews. There were three factions within the Jewish community. All fighting against each other because of political and religious differences. That is what Titus had been commissioned to get settled, and his first intentions were to settle their disputes by appeasement, but they rejected all such efforts and forced him to take other measures. It was during this time, that all those who had taken heed to the words of Jesus, got out of there and fled to the mountains. They could see that Jerusalem was compassed with armies, and that was their signal to leave, even though those armies were not at that time set to destroy the city. The believers fled, and the others rejected Titus’ efforts to make peace, and fought more furiously. They supposedly joined forces to fight against their common enemy, (the Romans) that is when Titus considered how he might otherwise handle the situation. First he considered an all out assault against the city, but then considered it imprudent to fight with men who were driven to desperation. Secondly he considered a blockade of the city until they were starved into submission, but then considered it disgraceful that so large a force could just sit down and remain inactive for such a period of time. Thus he resolved to combine his second and third plan. He could completely surround the city, making it impossible for supplies to be brought in, and continue efforts to break through their walls of defense. Do you see how it took all of that to fulfill the words of Jesus? He had said (Luke 19:43) “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.” That army circled the city, out far enough to be out of bow shot range of the Jews, and began cutting down trees, gathering up rocks, and anything else that they could use to build a great mound in between them and the city. They completely circled the city with this great mound of dirt, trees and rocks, and they just kept building it higher as they would throw it forward toward the city. They just kept moving that thing forward until they had it high enough, and close enough that they could scale the walls of the city. You will read what happened. I just want to be sure you see how perfectly it all fulfilled the words of Jesus. There was the trench about them; they were hemmed in on every side, they laid the city even with the ground, and the starving pitiful conditions brought about the fulfillment of those words about those that were with child, and those that gave suck, and so forth, even as far back as what was written in Deuteronomy 28:57, that a mother would eat her little ones. It is the accuracy of fulfilled prophecy that we are considering as we read these excerpts from history. The fact that one account says 600,000 perished, and another gives the number as being more that a million, is immaterial to our purpose. It is not the number of those who perished that we are concerned with; it is WHAT HAPPENED, that we are looking at, for that is what fulfilled the scriptures.

THE MAN OF FLATTERIES

If there was only one point to be made from all that we have said up to this point: I would want it to be, that those early Christians knew prophecy, and they followed instructions. Let me say also, If that was important to them in their day, it is also just as important to us in our day. We are getting very close to a time when it is going to be very important that every Christian be able to give an account of what they believe, and why they believe it. If what you believe is not by revelation, the enemy of your soul will rob you of what you think you have. Do not get the idea that just because we know the bride of Christ will not have to go through the great tribulation, everything will be a bed of roses for her until the time she is raptured; you will not get by that easy. But you can be prepared for whatever comes, if you will allow the Spirit of God to instruct you, through His word. Naturally our main emphasis is on the Antichrist who is yet to come, but do not forget, the apostle John said that there are many Antichrists in the world. That applies to anyone who speaks contrary to revelated truth. The world is full of such characters, and believe me, they cause trouble wherever they go. Just believing in God, without a true revelation, and without knowing how to apply the word of God, and how to interpret the plan of God, brings about an anti condition. Basically the whole nation of Israel was like that when Jesus came to them in His first advent. They went about boasting that Abraham was their father, and that they believed Moses and the prophets, when in reality they had become so carnal with their interpretation of Moses and the prophets that Jesus was pressed to say to them, ye are of your father the devil. According to their natural lineage they were the rightful heirs of what the law and the prophets pointed to, but without spiritual revelation they missed it completely. Only a few out of all the great multitudes that were touched by the life and ministry of Christ, ever really followed Him because of a genuine revelation. Look at Judas, the man who set the spiritual type of the man of sin who is yet to come. He was a religious person, and he believed in God, but somehow he just never did get a true revelation. Jesus referred to him as the son of perdition (one ordained to lead someone, or something to destruction.) The apostle Paul referred to the man of sin (the Antichrist) as the sone of Perdition (1 Thess.. 2:3) He will be the one that Judas set the type for, a religious man that is ordained to lead something to destruction, (Perdition means destruction.) Judas typed the spiritual side of this man. That is why we can say for certain that the Antichrist will be a man that is identified with Christianity, and Daniel, chapter 11, states that he will come in with flatteries. If you analyze that word, you will realize that it pertains to the ability to accomplish with words. His great speaking ability, and the promises that he will make, will win the confidence of many, enough to fulfill Dan. 9:27. Antiochus and Titus both came on the scene with a sword, but this man will never have to pick up any kind of literal weapon himself. People all over the world will willingly lay their soul in his hands. Through flatteries, and promises of great peace and prosperity people all over the world will literally place themselves at his disposal. Why? Because by then the world will have been shaken to the point where there will be a dreadful fear of annihilation. I will not set any dates, but I will say again, All this turmoil in the Middle East will never cease until it has caused such a war that will put that fear in people of the world. The leaders of Western Europe will gladly give their power unto the beast in that hour, for they will be hysterical. When this man comes to realize just how much power he really does have, that is when Satan will anoint him.


Because of his religious identity, he believes in God, but he will not believe in God by divine revelation. From that 11th chapter of Daniel, we also learn that this same man who comes into power through flatteries will not regard the God of his fathers, but will magnify himself above every god. It goes on to say that in his estate he shall honor the God of forces. I have thought about that many times; here is a man that supposedly believes in God. He is looked upon as the head of the Christian church, yet Daniel 11, lets us know that he will not regard the God of his fathers, but will honor the God of forces. Here is the reason. By the time this age reaches his hour, something will have happened that will have affected his whole psychological and religious thinking. The world will be coming out of a time of severe shaking when he is accepted as their leader. Those political Jews in Israel who do not see God at all in what has just happened will be ready to make peace with anything the world has to offer. That, of course , is to fulfill the words of Jesus in John 5:42-43, where He was speaking to a similar bunch of Jews. He said to them, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” The true Prince of peace who had come in His Father’s name was being rejected by the Jews of His first advent, but the false prince of peace who will offer his services to the world in his own name one day soon, will be anxiously accepted by those political minded Jews of this hour. Therefore because Jesus prophesied it, we know there is an element of Jews that are predestined to receive the man of sin. That is what Daniel 9:27, is referring to where is says, “and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” It will be an economic, political agreement for peace, tranquility, and prosperity, and where it says “with many,” it does not mean many individuals; it means many nations. Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, all of that Moslem world will rush right to the peace table with Israel and others. They will all want to be a part of what looks like the best system for man’s government that could possibly be devised, coming out of such a chaotic condition as they have just witness, (a nuclear warfare). It is easy to see how the pope will be able to move on the scene with such flatteries. He will not need a sword; his smooth tongue will be all that is needed to sway world leaders.

TWO PROPHETS DEMONSTRATING GOD

While the political leaders of many nations are sitting around their peace conference table, making a covenant with the Roman Catholic pope: something else is going to be taking place in that little land of Israel. Two Jewish prophets are going to step on the scene, and a great revival is going to break out. They will be demonstrating God just like Moses and Aaron did in the land of Egypt, and the true spiritual Jews will be having the time of their lives. Saints, do not think for one minute that the old peace loving pope will just ignore all of this. You can believe me; he will be watching the national news on television every night. What those two prophets do in that hour will draw more attention that the hostages in Iran every did. Never have you seen the news media flock around anything, like they will then. They (the two prophets) will be standing in the streets of Jerusalem, warning those Jews not to have anything to do with the Antichrist which they will be revealing, and at the same time they will be revealing the true Prince of Peace to their brethren. They will be vindicating their ministry by calling down the plagues that you read about in the 8th chapter of Revelation. Believers will be receiving the Holy Ghost, and unbelievers will be partaking of the plagues. What a stir that is going to cause! The old pope will manage to bear it for a period of 3 ½ years, but by then it will be more than he can allow to go on any longer. He will be backed into a corner so to speak. Here he is, a man that is looked upon by the world as the great mouthpiece of God, and over there in Israel two men are demonstrating God in such a way that it is holding world attention. Where does that leave him? If he lets this go on it will wreck his whole program. No doubt by then the Arab world will be having political repercussions that will be pulling on him, so what is left for him to do? The old pope will pick up his sword and head for the land of Israel. Naturally his sword is his authority to call in international troops that will be at his complete disposal. They will fulfill Revelation 11:7, by killing those two prophets, and the old pope will fulfill Daniel 11:45, “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas (between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea) in the glorious holy mountain.” that could be no other place but right on Mt. Zion. Did not the apostle Paul say that he would sit himself in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God? He will demand worship, for by this time he will have been anointed by Satan to fulfill all that is written about him. His first attention will be directed to having those two prophets killed, and from there on out for the duration of his allotted time, he will fulfill all that Antiochus, Titus, and Judas typed. He is the god of gods in his own eyes, and he will serve the god of forces, the god of money, the god of power. He will still have a belief about God, but it will be such a warped belief, such a perverted belief that he will fulfill what Daniel wrote in chapter 11; he will not be serving the same god of his fathers, those who held the office of pope before him. Brothers and sisters, I hope you are seeing how all these various scriptures fit together. None of this Bible was written in vain. It will help you if you will allow it to. But remember above all else, it is only that which you have by revelation that will hold you when the going gets rough. The Antichrist, the son of perdition is ordained to lead the unbelieving world to destruction, but to you who believe, let me say to you what Paul said to the Thessalonicans. Let no man deceive by any means, and do not be troubled in your spirit by all these various dates that certain individuals are pushing, for the day of our gathering together unto Christ will not come until this great falling away has run its course, and the man of sin, who is the son of perdition, the Antichrist has been revealed. When that peace covenant is signed and those two prophets step on the scene, then, and only then can you set dates for certain things to happen. At least we know from the scriptures how many days are allotted both to the two witnesses as well as the Antichrist. Each have 1260 days, and God Himself will keep the time on them.

HORN WITH EYES

We are going to thoroughly cover the seven heads, and the ten horns which Daniel as well as the apostle John saw on a certain beast, but we must work into it in a way that it will be easily understood. I feel that we are entering into a very important part of the message, and I pray that every child of God who reads this, will give serious thought as to why I feel compelled to go at it in the way I do. Let us go back to the 7th chapter of Daniel where we will see that little horn, (the Antichrist) appear to Daniel, and hear how the angel of God explained Daniel’s visions to him. We have been dealing mostly with those who have exemplified types of this little horn who is destined to fulfill the Antichrist scriptures that pertain to the end of the age, and if you have been following the message you should have those types reasonably straight when you come to them. Chapter 7, portrays this Antichrist in his spiritual identity and ties him to Rome. Then chapters 8, 9 and 11, deal with those who will set a type of this little horn, types which definitely proceeded the fulfillment of what was established in chapter 7. The types were placed in the scriptures after the office was established. Then in no less that 4 places in the book of Daniel, reference is made to the “the abomination that maketh desolate.” We have thoroughly covered those conditions that have been fulfilled already by Antiochus and Titus, and I believe you can see already what it will take to fulfill those scriptures that pertain to that condition here at the end of this age, that which Daniel 9:27 pertains to. Ever since Titus completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and the temple; that city has gone through periods of desolation and wars, all designed to keep the Jews from ever gaining sovereign control of the city and the temple spot until it is time for their end time role, recorded in the scriptures, to be fulfilled. That Mosque of Omar many times, has been referred to as being the abomination that maketh desolate. In one sense you could say that, because it is something that has been erected there by an anti religious belief that is contrary to what God wanted established there. Not that the Moslems are pagans; they believe in the same God the Jews believe in, but not by the same revelation and authority. Nevertheless that thing is there, and the Jews are deprived of access to that holy spot. That condition of desolation has lasted for over 1900 years, and everything that will fulfill the rest of those prophecies will all be accomplished in one little 7 year period of time.

DANIEL’S FOURTH BEAST

Now we are ready to read from chapter 7, of Daniel. In night visions, Daniel has seen 4 great beasts come up from the sea, each one different from the other, but let us go to the verse 7, and catch that fourth one, for it is the one that comes right down to the hour in which we live. “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had TEN HORNS. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” We will stop reading there, for it is that 10 horned beast that we wanted to get into the picture, and that little horn that came up among them. We want to take this chapter 7, and show how it links right up with chapter 12. As we continue, let us drop down to verse 19, where Daniel is inquiring of the angel of God about this fourth beast. “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, (The other three were the Babylonian beast system, the Medo-Persian beast system, and the Grecian beast system) exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the SAME HORN made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; (HOW LONG?) Until the Ancient of days came, (JESUS AT THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION) and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” In other words Daniel watched that vision until it had gone all the way through the great tribulation and reached a millennium setting. Naturally the saints that the beast prevailed against in Daniel’s vision will be foolish virgins and orthodox Jews that will be martyred during the great tribulation, for it continued until the Ancient of days came. We have to go over to Revelation, chapter 19, and then back to Matthew 25:31-46, to show scripturally what is covered in verse 22 of what we have just read. That is too much scripture to read right now, so you read them later. When Jesus is seen in Rev. 19, coming to earth with His armies, that is when He comes in the authority of the ancient God of the ages. Of course that ancient Spirit has always been present; we all know that. But this speaks of an hour when time has progressed to a point where the millennium must be set up, or set in motion, and therefore must be ruled and exercised by that ancient authority, expressed through a king, and Jesus is the King that will rule. And He is that Ancient of days that Daniel saw. The judgment that Daniel spoke of in verse 22, is that judgment of the nations that you read in Matthew 25. Do not think the saints of the most High will not judge them. They surely will. The apostle Paul said they would (1Cor 6:2-3). Then if you want to see who makes up the ranks of the armies that come to earth with Jesus at that time; you will find the key in verses 7, 8 and 14, of that 19th chapter of Revelation. Notice what they are clothed in (FINE LINEN).

ROME REVEALED

Let us return to that 4th beast in Daniel 7:23. “Thus he said, (The angel speaking to Daniel) The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” Saints of God, if you ever went very far in school, you know what the fourth kingdom that ruled the world was; it was Rome. However at the time Daniel saw these prophetic visions, the Roman Empire had not even become such, and as far as ruling the world goes; Naturally it is speaking of the old world, what we know as the prophetic world. Nevertheless this was God’s way of saying that Rome would one day become a great power. Daniel did not know it would be Rome; but we know from our secular history books that it was. What Daniel learned was that this fourth world kingdom would be much different than the other three, more powerful, and more vicious. The Babylonian empire was an evil, pagan thing. It was the first beast. Then as time passed the world was ruled by the Persian empire, the second beast. It was a combination of Medes & Persians, for they had united their empires and become known as the Medo-Persian empire. Geographically, the old Persian empire took in the areas of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, as we know them today. If you would check it on an old map you would see that the Persian empire boundaries touched India and even as far in as what we call, Turkey, today. It too, was pagan, and basically a political and military system. It had its day, it ruled, it stamped its influence upon the world, and had its affect upon the nation of Israel, and then it passed on out of the picture. The Grecian empire was another pagan, political, military beast system, but none of these three ever resembled anything that the fourth one was destined to be. Also, according to the prophecy the fourth beast system was to be the last one that would ever rule the world. The stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands, (JESUS CHRIST) is to smite that kingdom along with whatever might be left in it of the other three, and break it to pieces, (Daniel, chapter 2) and then the millennium will start.

WHO ARE THE TEN HORNS?

Now the question that must be answered is, in what way would that fourth beast be different from the other three? This one was pagan also, just like the other three. Over their vast territory, many forms of pagan worship was practiced, even devil worship. But as this great empire moved through time exercising its power and authority over the then known world, and Satan knowing that this was his last chance ever to be embodied in such a system, as his influence politically, began to fade out from the imperial rulership of the old Caesars, he began to do a magician’s trick. He (SATAN) began slowly, to lay off the robe of the old Caesars, and to put on the robe of a religious front. As his power decreased on the old political imperial chair of ancient Rome, he slowly began to come up on another chair right in the same city. That is what made this fourth beast different than the other three, for Satan did not do that in any of them. It was only in this Roman empire that Satan moved from the political throne to a religious throne, and he did not do that in a day’s time; it actually took centuries, but he did make the transition. Modern religious does not like to hear it, and I do not like to have to say it, but I must; when he left that old Caesar’s chair, and came up on another chair in the same city, that other chair was occupied by the bishop of Rome. You now know him as, “the Pope” of the Roman Catholic church. Naturally these symbols that God used in these visions were to conceal the true meaning until the time arrived when these symbols would actually begin to coincide with the events of the world. Then the living generation gets a revelation of what the symbols pertain to. Let us look a little further at these symbols. The angel has told Daniel that this fourth kingdom (beast) would devour the whole earth, tread it down, and break it in pieces. Then he goes on to describe and explain more about it saying, verse 24, Daniel 7, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.” This literally points to ten kingdoms of political government that would spring up from within the geographical area of what was once the Roman empire, and all ten were ruled by kings. They did not all sprout at the same time, but in time, as that great imperial head of Rome began to weaken, people of certain areas began slowly to break away by establishing their own political identity. This accounts for the ten horns on that beast, for every one of them were within the area that once was ruled by the one head, imperial Roman rule. They are all nations of Western Europe right today. For years now we have been watching the formation of the European Common Market, as those nations bind themselves together in trade agreements, and we know that this is a reviving of that 10 horned beast, getting ready to fulfill some more prophecies of the scriptures. They do not know that they are moving right in the stream of God’s plan, but we know it. Right? I have people ask me, Bro. Jackson: Exactly which ten nations is it that make up the original ten horns of that beast? They ask this because it is obvious that the Common Market will have more than ten members before it is all over with. There could be 12 to 15 members of the European Common Market, for what basically was divided into ten kingdoms that made up the 10 horns of that beast, has had fragments split off of some of them until by now, that same geographical area could be divided into as many as 15 instead of the original ten. But keep this in mind, they carry their identity (as far as prophecy goes) according to what sprang there from the beginning of the Dark Ages, as these different areas began to break away from that old imperial authority of Rome. The ancient Austrian empire has been broken into certain fragments since then, so has the Dutch areas. Therefore when the European Common Market comes up with 12 to 15 members, do not get excited and start screaming. There is something wrong, there are too many members in that thing. NO. There is nothing wrong. It has to encompass all of the area of that ancient 10, no matter how many they wind up with as members. You can confirm that with Ezekiel 38, which speaks of how Persia will align itself with what we know is Russia, against Israel, some day in the near future. But that area is not even called Persia any more; it is now call Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, that area will still have to fulfill its scriptural role that was delegated to Persia. Do you understand? Keep that in mind as we continue reading here in Daniel 7, where we read that the ten horns were ten kings that would arise out of this fourth beast kingdom. It goes on to say, “And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Some people read that, and immediately they proclaim that the beast has 11 horns instead of ten. No. You must realize that the little horn which came up from the midst of the ten, was not a political horn of any territory. He is a horn that carries more of a mystical identity than the other ten. He is different from them, and it says that he shall subdue 3 of the ten kings. Please bear in mind, the word, subdue, does not mean, destroy. That simply means that this little horn would bring these three kings under his control. Then notice what else verse 25 says this little horn will do. “And he shall speak great words against the most high.” Brothers and sisters, that does not mean that the man is literally going to step out somewhere, look up toward heaven, and say anything directly against God. It simply boils down to the fact that because he is a man without spiritual revelation, yet looked upon as a great spiritual leader, one who stands in the place of Christ for the benefit of people, everything he speaks from his carnal reasoning is contrary to God’s true plan for His people. The Catholic church has always done that. They speak great pious words that sound so holy and perfect, but they are contrary to what God has already said. That is speaking against God. We will read some examples of this from actual history a little later. It does not mean that the pope is actually against God in his mental attitude, but for lack of revelation, he speaks contrary to God. But Bro. Jackson, there have been many popes down through the ages of time. Yes. But one day there will be one that will literally fulfill all that is written. All other popes up to that hour have been minor Antichrists. It took all those little fellows to get that office established for what it will represent in the hour when the literal Antichrist will set on that throne. Saints you can believer me: that office is well established. If I had not known it already; his visit to New York would have been enough to let me know. Thousands upon thousand of teenagers filled the streets and Madison Square Gardens to see him, and gave him blue jeans, T-shirts and who knows what else. I tell you Saints: we are looking at something that is very deceptive in this hour of time.


Let us now look at the next portion of this 25th verse, where we read how this little horn would come up, and speak great words against the most High, “And shall wear out the saints of the most High, (That will be Jewish saints. We will see that in chapter 12, when we get to it.) And think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand (notice the time factor here) until a time (ONE YEAR) and times (TWO MORE YEARS) and the dividing of time,”(THAT IS ONE HALF YEAR) The length of time allotted to this Antichrist is reconfirmed over and over again. You have it in chapter 12, then in Revelation 12, and in Revelation 12, it is also referred to as a thousand two hundred and threescore days, and in Revelation 13, it is called 42 months. Any way you look at it his allotted time is exactly 3 ½ prophetic years; not more, and no less. Verse 26, “But the judgment shall sit, (the millennium judgment) and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, (that is the bride of Christ) whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” That is definitely in the millennium. But now, after reading these scriptures we want to read a little portion of early European history that will allow you to know exactly how that little horn (not the same man every time, but the same authority) actually did subdue three of those ten kings. I do not believe you will find history like this in your schools today. This was printed in 1917, and 1924, before that brainwashing spirit took over the schools. This history is dealing with the Dark Ages of Europe, and you can see how this little horn came up in the midst of the ten, as Europe eventually got its political freedom from that old imperial rulership of Rome. You understand I am sure that I am referring to that ancient rulership of the Caesars, Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Claudia, Anthony and those characters. They ruled the Roman Empire and all of its territories with an iron fist. You read in history, how those caesars would get in their imperial chariot and go out to visit their territories, and how their subjects would fall prostrate, face down, just before the chariot approached, because they believed that office was established by the gods. Furthermore those old caesars demanded that kind of worship. Further still, you can see people doing the same thing in principle, when the pope approaches them. Whenever a person bows to kiss the ring, or the feet of that man, they are following the same pagan practice as those who bowed to the caesars of old. The same spirit of the devil that was on the old caesars, is now on the popes of Rome, anyone who fills that office. The only difference is, they do not sit there as the emperor of Rome; they sit there as the pope of Rome. Now we will read the history.

HISTORY-THE POWER OF THE PAPACY

This chapter is titled, The Power of the Papacy, and saints, if you cannot see the scriptures fulfilled in here; there is something wrong with you. Here is how it begins; “The pope was the supreme lawgiver of the church. His decrees might not be set aside by any other person, and he made new laws in the form of what they called bulls. And by his dispensations could, in particular cases, set aside old laws, such as those forbidding cousins to marry, and monks to obtain release from their vows. The pope was also the supreme judge of the church, for all appeals from the lower ecclesiastical court came before him for the decision. Finally the pope was the supreme administrator of the church. He confirmed the election of both bishops and arch bishops. The pope also exercised control over the monastic orders, and called general councils of the church.” These are things written about the papacy up through about the 9th century. It lets us see how they were expressing themselves. These are the men who supposedly succeeded the apostle Peter, so I want you to do something right now. Just let your mind drift back to the book of Acts where Peter went to the home of Cornelius. What did Peter do when Cornelius bowed t him? I believe it says Cornelius fell at his feet, and worshiped him, but what I want you to get is that Peter took him up, and told him to stand up, that he also was a man. If these Roman popes succeeded Peter, then tell me, why do they not have the same revelation that Peter had? God back and read the four gospels, and you will see quite a different type of person in this man Peter, than what you see in these popes.

POPE SUBDUES THREE KINGS

Now let us skip a couple of centuries in our history, and try to pick up where this little horn really began to express himself. This little horn did not sprout over night, he came to power gradually. As the power of Satan began to decrease on the old imperial chair, he just moved right over to the bishop of Rome and began to work through him. Therefore what we are dealing with is the same old spirit of Satan, but he is working through a different office. You have read a little of what the pope is, to what they call, the church. Now we want to watch him expand his scope. We are in a period between 1073 to 1085, and we will read how history backs up the scriptures. Now, “At this time, there was great conflict between the power of the church in Rome and the emperor, as to which one had the most authority. But in process of time, it seemed as though the pope, seizing upon political opportunities became more influential and more powerful. In 1073 to 1085, a remarkable man became pope. This was the monk Hilderbrand, who, on elevation to the papacy, took the name of Gregory the 7th. Gregory devoted all his talents to the advancement of the papacy.” In other words, he saw to it, that the office of the papacy got recognition in every possible way. He was out to establish an authority from that office. Therefore what we are going to read is a contemporary document, which may very well have been of his own composition. At any rate it expressed his ideas, and contains the following statements. Listen to that little horn that had eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things. “He alone (The Pope) may remove bishops, and restore them to office, He is the only person whose feet are kissed by all princes. He may dethrone emperors.” Can you imagine Paul or Peter going to Rome and saying, Nero: Get off of that chair; I am taking over? That is when a head would have been cut off, and it would not have been Nero’s head. Yet this office has been held, down through the centuries of time by men who have had the audacity to say that they are standing in the place of Christ to the universal church, and that they alone may depose, or dethrone emperors. That is saying a mouthful. Would you not agree? Listen to this next statement. “He may be judged of no one. He may absolve from their allegiance, the subjects of the wicked. The Roman church never has erred, and never can err.” If that be true, then why did God call that Roman church system, a harlot, or a whore? It just goes to show that they did not know how to read the scriptures. Gregory did not originate these doctrines, but he was the first pope to take an open stand declaring them, or to make a practical application of them. “Gregory soon issued a decree against lay investiture. It declared that no emperor, king, duke, marquess, count nor any other lay person should presume to grant investiture, under pain of excommunication. This decree was a general one, applying to all states of Western Europe. But circumstances were such as it mainly affected Germany.” Now right here is where we will see that little horn subdue the first of the three kings that Daniel 7:24, spoke of. We will just let the history tell what he did. “Henry the 4th, the ruler of Germany at this time, did not refuse the papal challenge. He wrote a famous letter to Gregory, calling him, no pope, but a false monk, telling him that Christ had never called him to the priesthood, and bidding him come down; come down from St. Peter’s throne. Gregory in reply deposed him (meaning he dethroned him) as emperor in Germany, excommunicated him from the church, and freed his subjects from their oaths to him. This severe sentence made a profound impression in Germany. Henry’s adherents fell away, and it seemed probable that the German nobles would elect another man in his place. Henry then decided on abject submission. He hastened across the Alps and found the pope at the castle of Canossa. It was January, and the snow lay deep on the ground. The emperor stood for 3 days, shivering outside the castle gate, barefoot and clad in a coarse woolen shirt, the garb of a tenant. At last, upon the entreaties of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany, Gregory admitted Henry and granted absolution, (meaning repentance.)” What happened? It goes t show, that a king, a political ruler of the country, which is one of the horns, which is signified as one of the ten, tried to exercise political freedom apart from obedience to what the pope said, and got his crown taken away from him until he literally repented to the pope of Rome. Brother and sister, can you see, even there, that this is quite contrary to what true Christianity was to be in this world of darkness, to mankind? Alright, you could read this today, in the nominal, modernistic churches, and they’d either boo you out of the pulpit, or say, don’t read that stuff, that took place a long time ago; we’ve learned better today. We believe that God will forgive sin, if we just repent and live right. That is the way of covering up the whole scheme. But now then, we are going to read about the 2nd horn, that he plucked up. This was not in the country of Germany, it was in the country of Italy, right in the very country geographically, where Rome itself sits. He did this right against the very emperor, the political man of Rome. It goes to show, the emperors who did sit on the ancient throne of Rome, no longer were like Caesar Augustus . They were just figureheads. It was the pope who did the cracking of the whip. “Thirty years after the signing of the concordant of Worms, the Emperor Frederick the 1st, called Barbarossa, because of his red beard, succeeded to the throne.


Frederick the 1st, of the Hohenstaufen dynasty was capable, imaginative, and ambitious. He took Charlemagne and Otto the Great as his models and purposed, like them, to rule Christian Europe, and the church. His reign is the story of many attempts, ending at length in failure, to unite all Italy into a single state under German sway. Frederick’s Italian policy brought him at once into conflict with the papacy. The popes gave their support to a large league of 3 cities of northern Italy, which were also threatened by Frederick’s soaring ambitions. The haughty emperor, having suffered a severe defeat, sought reconciliation with the pope, Alexander III, in the presence of a vast throng assembled before St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. Frederick knelt before the pope, and humbly kissed his feet. ” Just a century had passed, since the humiliation of Henry the 4th, at Canossa. Because the pope had said, you can’t do that, another emperor, which was one of the horns, and this one was of Italy, could not do militarily, or politically, what he thought he would like to do, in uniting certain areas of Europe. Now, at that point, if you will take that point right there, that I just mentioned, take it right over to Revelation 17, where, you don’t have to turn to it, just listen to me, where the angel is describing the ten horns, on that beast seen in the 17th chapter of Revelation, and the angel tells John, These ten horns, will one day hate the whore. He says, They have received no kingdom as yet, which means, never has there ever been one of those political powers of Europe, once it became a breakup out of the old imperial system of Rome, ever been allowed to establish an empire that was to rule all Europe, under either German government or French government, or Italian government or Spanish government, and if you study the history, they all fought like cats and dogs. But not one time in history was it ever allowed to any one of those nations to say, Now, I own all this. You cannot show it anywhere. God did not allow it. But what does Revelation 17 say? But they received authority, or a kingdom, one hour with the beast. Then it says, And God will put it into their hearts, to five their power or authority unto the beast power. This means that all that vast area and territory is united back again under Catholic control, under the pope. Now then, we want to read there again, about what took place here, at another time. This took place in France.


“The papacy reached the height of its power under Innocent the 3rd. The 18 years of his pontificate were one long effort, for the most part, successful, to make the pope the arbitrator of Europe. Innocent announced the claims of the papacy in the most uncompromising manner. As the moon, he declared, receives its light from the sun, and is inferior to the sun, so do kings receive all their glory and dignity from the Holy See.” This meant, according to Innocent, that the pope has the right to interfere, in all secular matters, and in the quarrels of rulers. “God has set the prince of the apostles over kings, and kingdoms with a mission to tear up, plant, destroy, scatter and rebuild.” Do not think he didn’t do it. At least he tried it. Now, let me say this, Only God has the right to do that. It is God who says, I will lift up whom I will, and I will put down whom I will. Then let a mortal creature, who has to depend on Him for the breath he breathes, come along and say such a thing, do you not think he is speaking against the most High? He is trying. When Satan, in the 14th chapter of Isaiah said, I will exalt myself above the stars of God: (I will!) What do you think he was doing? He was speaking against God. Only God sits up that high. “Innocent’s claims were not idle boasts. When Phillip Augustus, king of France, divorced his wife, (Now the moral picture, we must realize, we would not justify it, what the king did. But it is the fact that the pope had such power to do what he did against the country.) And made another marriage. Innocent declared the divorce void, and ordered him to take back his discarded queen. Phillip refused, and Innocent put France under an interdict. From that hour all religious rites ceased. Church doors were barred; the church bells were silent. The sick died untended to. The dead lay unburied. Phillip, deserted by his retainers, was compelled to submit.” All three major kings, in different centuries of time, being brought under subjection to the authority of the pope, and each pope, who was the instrument in that time, was different in relationship to each one of the kings. So it goes to show, the horn was not the individual man, but rather, the office, that had been established by the man. How many can see that? I have other parts marked right here, how that in that very hour, the Catholic church, through the power of the papacy, through the different orders of the Jesuits, and such like, they went all over Europe, and anybody who did not purpose voluntarily to join the Catholic church, many times, they were just taken out and done away with. This was a means by how the Catholic church brought all Europe under subjection to the power of the papacy, in Rome. That is why they could hold such power over people. There was nobody to rise, to speak against it, for everyone was afraid. Now, if he could politically control the old world, Europe, mainly, then remember, it is always deep down inside, the motive of that system, that one day, they will rule and control the world. That is the underneath motive. Now then, when we go to the book of Revelation, and we see in the 13th chapter, you have read it, I know, many times. In the 13th chapter, John was then living under the Roman Empire, in 96 A.D. But he lived in time, when the prophetic picture, time wise was still in the great head. How many realize that? But in 96 A.D. something was going on within this head, that would set forth an evolutionary thing. So in the spirit, then, he was taken and projected into our day and hour. This is something you must understand. Though physically he lived in 96A.D., he was projected into the future tense, and he saw the whole thing as a finished picture. Therefore, he wrote of it as though it had already happened, bringing it right up to the present tense. Now, if he had been taken up, and shown these things as something for the future, he would have said, It will be, thus and so. How many get my illustration? Alright, here is another thing we want to express to you. The horn is symbolic of power, but it is not political power. It is ecclesiastical power. How many know what I mean, when I say ecclesiastical? It means spiritual, religious power. The ten horns is political power, all derived from different political governments, established over these ten geographical territories of the breakup of the old Roman empire. When you go to the 13th chapter of Revelation, you see this same beast coming up for the end time, as John the Revelator saw it coming up out of the sea. He saw the entire body of it; he saw the body like a leopard. That goes to show, incorporated into the picture of it, for these last days, was all the area, and territory of people, of the ancient Greeks, because the Grecian empire was the leopard empire. How many realize that? That does not mean the Greeks are going to rule the world again. But it means the area that was once Greek, will be incorporated into this thing, and the feet like a bear. How many get that picture? That goes to show, it is the same area that was once Persia, but in actuality, when the Greeks ruled the world, not only was it their own geographical area, they ruled Persia also. Keep in mind now, those different territories will all blend into this last day picture. Also notice, it had a mouth like a lion. That is signifying the same spirit of people and territories will all be given back, into this last day beast system. But this great head itself, had been changed into 7 heads. Now when the angel, in the 17th chapter of the book of Revelation, gave to John the Revelator, the meaning of those 7 heads, John was standing like he was standing in 1980. Physically he lied in 96 A.D. But in the spirit he was taken up and was actually like standing in 1980, because he saw the whole thing coming up for its end time role.


We are going to deal with the seven heads of the beast, and give you some more history to back it up, but we must hold that for the next issue. Look for it in Part 3, which will be our September issue.


May God be with you all. Amen

The Abomination That Maketh Desolate, Part 1 – 1980, July

1980-07-The-Abomination-That-Maketh-Desolate-Part-1

I have preached on the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy many times, and we have published the message in the Contender as well, but I am trusting the Lord to help me deal with the subject again in the light of present day world conditions. I take no delight in being an alarmist, but I believe this energy situation, which has now reached a world wide scope, will be just as instrumental in fulfilling prophecy as the taxing was in the days of Caesar Augustus. You all know the story, how this Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, in about the 12th year of his reign, suddenly got the idea to levy an extra tax on the whole world, and how that caused Joseph and Mary to be in Bethlehem, waiting to pay their taxes, when Jesus was born. God did not have to say, “Now, Augustus, there is a certain portion of my word that must be fulfilled, so you do thus and so.” No! That is not the way God fulfills His word. When time comes for a certain prophecy to be fulfilled, God just withdraws His restraining hand and allows greedy politicians and ruthless radicals to bring about circumstances that move right into the stream of fulfilling prophecy. Caesar Augustus was a pagan; he knew nothing about the program of God. But he did know quite a bit about politics, and he was just carrying out a plan to build an beautify Rome until eventually all roads would lead to Rome. They set up one of the fastest letter carrying and messenger systems that it was possible to have in that day. It was important to those Emperors to know what was going on in the far flung regions of their vast domain, in order to be able to deal with any revolt that might spring up in the outlying territories. Therefore they had garrisoned, messenger relay stations along all their great caravan routes, where troops were stationed to keep the world news moving toward Rome. Professional runners carried news. Some rode horses, but many of them ran on foot, and everything was designed for one great purpose, to build Rome into one of the most unique systems of human government that had ever been. Old Augustus was probably running a little low in his treasury, so he hit upon the idea to add another tax to the already overtaxed population, right down to the lowest little peasant. That caused Joseph to take his espoused wife and go to Bethlehem, for no other reason but to pay his taxes. Little did he know that this was fulfilling prophecy that had been spoken centuries before, that Jesus should be born in Bethlehem. I am sure that taxation worked a great hardship on every little Jew, but it was all in the great plan of God. Scripture had to be fulfilled regardless of the hardship it brought upon the people. It is the same way in our day; who is to say just what God may allow in order to get the stage set for Ezekiel 38 and 39 to be fulfilled? Two thousand years ago God’s finger was pointing to ONE man, and ONE woman. They needed to be in a certain place, at a certain time, and the way God allowed it to work out affected the lives of hundreds of other Jews, for they all had to suffer the necessary hardships of going to pay their taxes in the place of their birth, or the city of their lineage. God knows exactly how to put it in the hearts of political minded men to fulfill His word, and the people of God have to suffer the hardships brought on by their decisions just like everyone else, and many people ask, Why? but let us not question God like this; rather, let us be glad and thankful that our heavenly Father has seen fit to tell us ahead of time what to expect. Furthermore let us be thankful for the assurance we have that God will provide for His own children, even if it requires supernatural intervention as in the days when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. God’s word must be fulfilled, but He will not fail to provide for His true children.

OUR PLANS CAN CHANGE

Now think about this, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for no other reason but to pay their taxes, and then they were going to return to Nazareth so Joseph could get back to work, but the birth of that little baby changed all of their plans, and He has continued to change the plans of mortal men ever since. It is ironic that the very land which we know as the land of the Bible should be the very land that would produce the source of energy that the whole world depends upon, and that it would be there for hundreds of years before men would ever discover that they needed such a thing. In less than one hundred years, men have built themselves into an age of mechanization so that all phases of everyday life depend upon oil, and most of the oil comes from the Middle East. Then to carry the thought on through: those oil producing areas of the Middle East are anti Israel, and we are living in the days when God is regathering and restoring those Israelites, and allowing them to regain the land that was first given to Abraham. Where does that put any nation that would be friendly toward Israel? You know as well as I do, that self survival is causing every nation, one by one, to turn their back on Israel, the very nation that gave birth to the Savior of the world. Satan hates Israel, (the woman of Revelation 12:1, 5, 6, 14, 17) and he will use any means, in his attempts to kill every Jew upon the face of the earth. That is why we are hearing reports from Iran, Afghanistan, and all those places in our world news broadcasts every day. Just like I said already, all of this is serving a purpose of God just as much as Augustus imposing an extra taxation upon the world two thousand years ago. When Nehemiah was carrying wine to King Artaxerxes, the Persian King, all that area which we hear spoken of as Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan was part of the great Persian empire. These areas were still known as Persia even after the first advent of Christ on up until about the 8th century A.D. Nehemiah was in the capital city called Shushan, in the king’s palace. Another name for it was Susa. Brothers and Sisters: This is just a little background to get us into our thought. We are going to be studying from chapters 7, 8 and 9 of the book of Daniel primarily, but that will require many other scriptures to be used. There are some things that we want to link together in this message, and for the benefit of some who do not have history books available we are going to print certain portions, word for word, right from Jewish history. This should help to clear up the picture for those who are interested enough to bear with us. We have chosen four verses from the 9th chapter of Daniel to build the message around, but there are many things to be dealt with as we go along.

One thing we definitely want to establish is where the Antichrist, the man of sin, will come from. Theologians down through the centuries have had various ideas about it, and they all have their certain reason for believing what they do, but Saints! God’s word does not give us a half a dozen choices. Let us understand from the scriptures that he will definitely have to be connected with Rome. When we get to the 9th chapter, that will be made very clear. Remember, God’s word does not speak contradictory things; everything has to fit together regardless of all our former opinions. It is only because men have tried to interpret the scriptures apart from the leadership of the Holy Ghost, that we have so many different viewpoints floating around, and hundreds of different religious denominations arguing and fussing about things they know nothing about. May God help us to say some things that will remove all doubts and confusion. First we will just take a little time to acquaint you with the various identities of this beast man, the Antichrist that is to come, and call your attention to certain other men through the ages that have actually typed the one who is yet to come.

ONE MAN WITH MANY IDENTITIES

In the 7th chapter of Daniel we read where he had visions in which he saw four great beasts come up from the sea, each of the four different from the others. But it was the 4th beast which really caught Daniel’s attention; and caused him to inquire about the meaning of the visions. The 4th beast was dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth, and it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. This beast had ten horns, and while Daniel watched it, he saw another little horn come up from among the ten, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things. The angel told Daniel that the four beasts were four kings (or kingdoms) which would arise out of the earth. We all know what those four kingdoms were, Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece, and Rome. But notice, the ten horns and the little horn belonged to the 4th kingdom, and that is the one Daniel watched until the thrones were cast down and the ancient of days did sit. As the angel answered Daniel’s questions: Daniel wanted to know about the horns on this 4th beast which we know is Rome, and about that little horn that spoke such great things, and that made war with the saints and overcame them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgement was given to the saints. Verse 24, “The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise; and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (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 into his hands until a time (ONE YEAR) and times (TWO YEARS) and the dividing of time, (HALF A YEAR).” There you have 3½ years of prophetic time, 1,260 days. The ten horns, or ten kingdoms are the ten major nations of Europe, and the little horn that raised up was the power of the papacy. We will say more about all of this later in the message, but right now we are just looking at the various identities of this man of sin that is yet to be revealed. Here we have seen him as a horn, (A HORN SPEAKS OF POWER.) He shall truly have power throughout his allotted time of 1,260 years, but then his power shall be destroyed by the coming of Jesus Christ with His saints.

ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES TYPES THE ANTICHRIST

To clear up some known confusion: let us look at another horn mentioned in chapter 8. It will help you to read the whole chapter, but we are not going to now. We will start in verse 9, and read a few verses to get this horn. Daniel saw a goat which had a great horn between his eyes, and this he goat (Greece) was very great, but there came a time when his great horn was broken, and for it four notable ones came up, and out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (ISRAEL). This little horn magnified himself, and by him the daily sacrifice of the Jews was taken away, and the truth was cast down to the ground, and the horn practiced and prospered. Go to verse 13, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Now I know that sounds just like what we know about the Antichrist, what he will do in that seventieth week of Daniel, over in the great tribulation, but remember, the Antichrist only has 1,200 days allotted to him to do this, and then notice the answer given here in verse 14, “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; (2,300) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” That is, without any doubt whatsoever, speaking of Antiochus Epiphanes, that horn of Syria which came out of the break up of the Grecian empire. But as you read on throughout this chapter, verses 24 & 25, which actually are speaking of the Antichrist, have caused some scholars to believe it is still referring to the horn of verse 9. That simply is a reference to show that this same spirit of Satan rested on those forerunning types of the wicked one who is yet to come. You will notice in verse 25, that this one stands up against the Prince of princes, which could be none other than Jesus Christ himself, and we know that Antiochus has never, and will never stand up against Jesus Christ in mortal flesh. It is only that the same spirit of destruction and desolation that was in Antiochus will also be in the Antichrist, the son of perdition. Some have looked at these verses and said, the Antichrist will come out of Syria. Others try to put these scriptures together, and they come up with the idea that he will be an apostle Jew. No! He will be a Roman. We will show you, in chapter 9, that the Antichrist must be a prince of the Romans.

A ROMAN PRINCE

When we go to chapter 9, we do not find this Antichrist person being referred to as a horn any longer. He is now called a prince. You must read these verses carefully though, for many people read verses 25, 26, & 27, and get the princes mixed up. First notice that the Prince in verse 25, is the Messiah, (Jesus Christ) and then notice that the prince in verse 26, is not capitalized. This is another prince, and he is the one who will confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK (7 years) and in the midst of the week, actually the middle of the week, he will cause the Jewish sacrifice and the oblation to cease. This is what marks the beginning of the great tribulation period which will last for the space of 3½ years. This is the prince that shall come, (come into power) and he gains this opportunity as a peacemaker. This gives him world recognition and places him in a position where he can exalt himself, and actually set himself up as God. This will fulfill II Thessalonians 2:3 & 4, where Paul said, (speaking of our gathering together unto Jesus Christ in the rapture) “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of our gathering together unto Him) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (the Antichrist) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; (NOTICE NOW) so that he (the Antichrist) as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Brothers and sisters: This is all to take place in that 70th week of Daniel, which is just ahead of us. There is an Ezekiel 38 & 39, war to be fought first, but I am very insistent on the fact that this energy crisis is being maneuvered by the hand of God to create a world wide condition that will cause man to usher in the 70th week of Daniel. I believe it will be the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 & 39, that will so shake world leaders, that they will be ready to accept the Roman Catholic pope as the man to oversee and arrange a peace covenant that will fulfill Daniel 9:27. Let us go back to Daniel 9:26, now, and read it very carefully, and in so doing you will see that this false prince must be connected to Rome. “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; (That was when He was crucified and spilled His blood to pay our sin debt, not His own. He had no sin.) and THE PEOPLE OF THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME SHALL DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Now let me ask you this, Who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 70 A.D., a few years after Jesus, the Messiah was cut off? We all know the answer to that. History tells us plainly that it was Roman soldiers led by Titus, and we know from this verse, 26 that the prince which is to come, this false prince, the son of perdition, is to be a prince of the people that destroyed the city and the sanctuary, (Romans.) Then verse 27, tells us that this Roman prince is the very one that will confirm the covenant with many for one week, and Daniel 8:25, allows us to see that it is by peace, that he shall destroy many. Saints, it all adds up; it is just a matter of getting it added up right. Everything is moving right on schedule. There is no possible way that you could bring Christ back, six months before He is destined to come. You could fast and pray for a solid year, (if such a thing were possible) and you would not change the plan of God by even one minute. He controls the earth; He controls the heavens, and He controls the destiny of every mortal creature. He will put in the hearts of mortal men, at exactly the right time, to do whatever must be done to make His word come to pass. Over six hundred years before Titus, with his Roman army, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Daniel recorded it, and at the same time, he tied it to something that would take place at the end of the Laodicean age by another man who would be led and motivated by the same spirit that caused Titus and his army to do what they did, and that caused Antiochus to do what he did. Titus was not the prince of Daniel 9:26, but psychologically, and politically, he typed that one who was to come. Titus did not go there to destroy the city and the sanctuary; he only went (as ordered) to put down a Jewish revolt. He thought this could be done very simply, and easy. Little did he know that almost 40 years prior to that, Jesus had uttered some prophecy concerning Jerusalem, which must be fulfilled. Therefore, instead of simply putting down the revolt as he came to do, those Jews came out and fought so furiously against his army, that it antagonized him and all his men to the point where they could stop with nothing less than total destruction. Look at the type. He came with a political motive. He did not come to tear down the city, nor to butcher Jews, but the Jews infuriated him to the point where he fulfilled the words of Jesus concerning the destruction of the city and the temple. Likewise the Antichrist will not engineer that great peace covenant with the thought in the back of his mind that he is going to kill two prophets of God that will set his course of slaughtering Jews in motion. But just as it was in 70 A.D., what those Jews in Israel say and do, will so infuriate him against them that he will begin to slaughter them. Pure hatred for the Jews will drive him to fulfilling the word of God. The term, prince, is applied to an ambassador of peace. That is why Daniel 9:26 refers to him as a prince instead of a horn which speaks of power. He is a counterfeit, a false peacemaker, forerunning the true Prince of peace (JESUS CHRIST) who will rule and reign in the Millennium.

THAT WICKED ONE IS A FALSE PROPHET

We are looking at the various terms that are applied to the Antichrist, as well as establishing where he will come from, and what spirit will motivate him, so let us go back to the 2nd chapter of II Thessalonians. After calling him the son of perdition in verse 3, and showing what that Satanic spirit will lead him to do, in verse 4, Paul goes on in verse 7, to say, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” That reveals his cloak. When you begin to see him as an instrument of perdition, a tool in the hands of Satan, to lead the world to destruction, then you will realize that he is hiding behind a cloak of deception. That spirit of deception was already at work in the first age while Paul and John were still alive, for they both warned the saints against it. In verse 8, Paul refers to the Antichrist as “THAT WICKED ONE,” and goes on to say that his coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. Satan will enter that old peacemaker just like he did Judas Iscariot. (See Luke 22:3) When Satan entered Judas he immediately went about to betray Jesus, and lead the murderous Scribes and Pharisees to where He was. When Satan enters the old Antichrist, in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, he will immediately begin to kill Jews, the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3, being the first ones. Now the word Antichrist means, anti word. There have been many minor Antichrists down through the ages, (men who perverted the word of God) but there is yet one to come that will be THE ANTICHRIST, the certain man of sin that so many scriptures speak of. He is also called the FALSE PROPHET, over in the book of revelation. A prophet is one to whom the word of the Lord comes, and in his appointed hour the world will look upon this man as one who is anointed and inspired of God. But in reality he will be a false prophet, because the word that has come to him will not have come from God. Instead of having the word of life, he will have the word of death. All who are deceived by him will be rejected of God and damned.

FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL’S VISION

Now that you are aware of the many identities of the man who is soon to become a great world hero, let us go to the 13th chapter of Revelation where we will see a profile of this world beast system that comes up, a system of which this Antichrist will be the head. The apostle John is writing what he saw when he was projected into future time in a vision. Revelation 13:1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” Remember, head is symbolic of government, and John says in verse 3, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Let us go right over to chapter 17, and see what the angel told John about these 7 heads. In verse 3, John says, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS.” We are not reading the whole chapter now. We just want to deal with the 7 heads of this 4th beast which Daniel wrote about, in chapter 7. The angel says to John in verse 8, of Revelation 17, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the 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. (NOTICE NOW) (9) And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The SEVEN HEADS are SEVEN MOUNTAINS, on which the woman sitteth. (SEVEN MOUNTAINS) (10) And there are SEVEN KINGS: five are fallen, ONE IS, and the other is not yet come; and when he commeth, he must continue a short space. (11) And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the EIGHTH, and is OF THE SEVEN, and goeth into perdition.” Where will that EIGHTH HEAD come from? The BOTTOMLESS PIT. Where will he go? Into PERDITION. What is the bottomless pit? That is HELL. What does the PERDITION pertain to? That is a word that means DESTRUCTION. This proves that hell is not eternal, for we see a spirit of Satan coming out of hell and going to destruction. (We have a complete article which deals with that.) That is the spirit of the 8th form of government which has its seat in Rome. It has to be Rome, not Syria nor anywhere else. Only Rome sits on 7 hills, or mountains, and has an office with authority that spans the globe. Now that 8th form of government is church government taking over the 7th, or last form of Roman imperial government, blending the two together. That is why it says the 8th is of the 7th. That puts church over state, rather than state over church. When it became church over state, that initiated the form of government that ruled over Europe through the Dark Ages, the bloody rule of the Roman Catholic Church. Now what was in that head of church government? A spirit of Satan. Where will he go? He will go straight to destruction. Not only will he be destroyed, but every last human soul that has ever been deceived by all that these things add up to, will be destroyed also. That is Satan’s objective, lead them to destruction. We will go into more details on these 7 heads and 10 horns on that 4th beast later in the message. Right now we are just endeavoring to get these various things up front in your mind so you can follow the various things that link together in a message such as this. If we did not have the book of Revelation it would be very hard for us to put the various aspects of Daniel’s vision together. Revelation gives us the clues we need to link them all together. It gives us the Twentieth Century picture in more detail. Remember, the angel told Daniel, Go thy way; for these words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. But, saints! We are living in the time of the end and these things must come together. Do not treat them as though they are unimportant, for true saints of God will need this light to walk in as spiritual darkness closes in around them.

THE HE GOAT & THE RAM

Let us go back to the 8th chapter of Daniel now, for we have a he goat and a ram that we want to look at for a few minutes. In one of his visions Daniel saw a he goat and a ram, and they strove, one against the other. We will begin reading in verse 5. The ram is symbolic of the Persian empire, and the he goat is symbolic of the Grecian empire. (5) “And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. (6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. (7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. (8) Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” This he goat that came bouncing from the west was fulfilled by Alexander the great. When he had conquered Egypt and all the area of Palestine, and all the areas of Lebanon and Babylon, he also invaded the areas which were ancient Persia. He defeated the Persian kings, and then lived in the king’s palace for the winter. He and his vast army remained in Persia for about 4 months through the rest of the winter. When he and his generals determined to leave the royal palace of the Persians: they fell upon the idea of burning it to the ground. Upon leaving, that is exactly what they did, saying, This shall be for a memorial, that a Grecian has sat on the great throne of the Persians. The Persian empire began to crumble, for there was none to deliver the Persians from the hands of their conquerors. Therefore the he goat waxed very great. That is Alexander the great, and the Grecian empire. But that great horn was broken, (Alexander the great, died) and the empire was taken over by four of his generals which divided the great domain that he had conquered into 4 geographical territories. One of these territories was established in Syria. This is where we pick up verse 9, “And out of one of them (one of these four territories) came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great, toward the South, (meaning Egypt) and toward the east, (further into Persia) and toward the PLEASANT LAND, (Israel) (10) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” You would have to know how this particular king really began to project himself to understand that. Therefore let us consider him for the next little while. That king was none other than Antiochus Epiphanes. You who have Scofield Bibles may read about him in the footnotes at the bottom of the page, but we are going to read from Jewish history itself, just to allow you to see how vicious and cruel, and how full of hatred for the Jews this man was. Right from this Jewish history you can see how this man fulfilled the scriptures we are reading, from this 8th chapter of Daniel. I am not ignorant of the fact that many people do not care anything about history, therefore I will try not to read enough to make it a boresome chore for you to study the message, but please be aware of the fact that many of the saints who are interested in making a complete study of these scriptures, do not have history books available to them. This is to help them, and I pray that everyone else will be patient with us. I will say this also: If there ever was a time in history when saints of God needed to get interested in these things, it is now. That week of Daniel is just ahead of us, and it does not matter whether it is still 5 years off or not: I do not know, but I do know that whatever time is left between now and then, you will need it, to allow God that much time to deal with your life, to get your mind in the proper channel of thinking for the end. The days of just participating in a church program and riding along on John 3:16, are over with. The old world is going to get a shaking that will really determine who is of God, and who is not, and your little church programs will not be enough to hold you, in that day. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and only that which cannot be shaken will remain. Saints! I want to remain throughout the shaking! Don’t you? It is time to look beyond our neighbors and friends, and consider these things from the standpoint of eternal life. If you are among those who have been so nonchalant about certain things in the scriptures, things like whether there is still 3½ or 7 years yet to be fulfilled of Daniel’s 70 weeks, and whether the thunder of Revelation 10:3, are important to the living element of the bride of Christ, you had better shake yourself. These things were not written in the Bible just to take up so much space. If you treat these things like that, you may as well treat water baptism, sanctification, predestination, and other major doctrines of the Bible the same way. God did not save us, to be ignorant of truth and Bible facts all of our lives; He saves us because He loved us, but we are to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of His whole plan and program for our age. To grow in the knowledge of Christ, is to grow in the understanding of all that God is doing. It is for your benefit, so let us get this horn straightened out in our minds.

ANTIOCHUS RECOGNIZES HIS POWER

When Antiochus came out of Syria, little by little he recognized or realized just how much power he really did have and he began to exalt himself. There came a time when he actually thought himself to be God. Verse 11, “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” That means, it was closed up; no priests could minister, and I am going to read to you just exactly what the Jews said he did. If you want to know what the attitude of the Antichrist will be toward the Jews, just watch that same spirit in Antiochus. He was the beginning of that image psychologically and politically, but not religiously. The beauty of the Old Testament in all these different identities is how it brings out his psychological attitude toward the Jews, and his political motive to subdue and rule them, by the terms horn and prince. Then when you go to the New Testament you pick up the spiritual identity of such a man. He is not a Buddhist, neither is he a Hindu, nor a Moslem; he is an apostate Christian. God knew that He was going to give this glorious gospel of eternal life to the Gentiles for a period of time, and He knew what each Gentile nation would do with it after they had it for so long a time, therefore He showed those old prophets all these things that would transpire through time, and they recorded those visions without ever understanding very much about them, but we are the people who have been predestined to understand all that the prophets recorded.

CHRISTIANITY OUT – ISLAMISM IN

Speaking of the gospel, Did you know that right in the very area where 50 Americans are being held hostage, Paul preached the gospel for 3 years? When he preached there at Ephesus, which is on the western shores of Turkey, the Bible says that all Asia heard the gospel. Up until the 6th and 7th centuries the gospel grew and flourished in those areas. But by then, the Christian gospel began to be so ritualized and apostate, God allowed an anti Judaistic philosophy to raise up, down in Saudi Arabia. A man by the name of Muhammad, who denounced paganism, and became known as a prophet of God’s wrath, and a preacher of righteousness came on the scene. He believed that God is one, just like the Jews, but he believed, or claimed that he, himself was the last prophet. He pulled the sword, gained a bunch of converts, and rode all over the Middle East desecrating churches and slaughtering Christians in every area where those early disciples had preached Jesus Christ. He compelled the citizens to accept what the Western world calls Muhammadanism. Christianity died out in what is now called, the Moslem world. Then in the 8th century, there came a man called Muhammad Ali, who rode into Egypt, determined to destroy every Christian, and every Christian church house that he could find. He is the one who stripped the beautiful Cheops pyramid. He took its beautiful alabaster stone about 10 miles away, across the Nile River, where it is found in 4 domes of one of the largest Moslem mosques there is. He desecrated many Christian church buildings in Alexandria, Egypt, and also in Cairo, and turned them into Moslem prayer places, and Christianity has never flourished in Egypt since then. The whole Middle East is predominately Moslem, and what we are seeing in our day is the final outcome of what all this has built up to. It is an explosive situation and the only way we can know how it is all going to turn out, is by the Bible itself.

Let us get back to Antiochus, now, and try to finish reading this scripture, and the history. We will pick up in verse 12, “And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of the transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? (That is the area of the temple) (14) And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; (2300 DAYS) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” From there the angel goes back to explain the vision to Daniel, but we will not read all the verses at this time. I want to take this time to show you how that horn of Syria which came out of the breakup of the Grecian Empire, fulfilled these very scriptures. I will not be dogmatic about dates, for Scofield says this took place between 175 to 170 B.C., and the little Jewish history places it between 170 and 162 B.C. Therefore, realizing that there can be discrepancies in history dates, especially when you start comparing Jewish history with Gentile history, we will avoid using specific dates. However when we do study the seventy weeks of Daniel, I am going to stick strictly to the Jewish history side of that, for it is by their means of reckoning time, that these 70 weeks are to be fulfilled, not by some Julian calendar.

ANTIOCHUS IN HISTORY

I believe we are ready to read this history concerning Antiochus Epiphanes, now. Remember, he has just been in Egypt, and he has received word that the Jews at Jerusalem are about to stage a revolt, because they are under the impression that he is dead, but they soon found out that he was not dead. Therefore what you are going to read is taken word for word from Jewish history. We will start with the beginning of the paragraph and it will lead right into what we are dealing with.

EXCERPTS FROM JEWISH HISTORY

ANTIOCHUS THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL CHAPTER 28

AND THE 2300 DAYS

Soon after this event Antiochus went to Tyre, and thither proceeded three deputies from the Sanhedrin to justify the death of Lysimachus and to impeach Menelaus. Menelaus, with his accustomed means – bribery – purchased the friendship of Ptolemy Macron, a favorite of Antiochus, and this worthy procured a judgment acquitting Menelaus and condemning his three accusers to death. Menelaus now returned to Jerusalem, being protected from the effects of well-deserved hatred by the proximity of Antiochus’s army. Next year, however, the king, pursuing his campaign against Egypt, laid siege to Alexandria, and a report reached Jerusalem that he had fallen before that city. Jason lost no time in entering Jerusalem, and, finding friends within the holy city, soon deposed Menelaus, whom he confined in the citadel. But his power was short-lived. Antiochus was not dead; and as soon as he heard of the revolt in Jerusalem, he set out with a sufficient force to punish the defection of the people. Jason fled from the city and took refuge in Sparta, where he ended his life in misery. Antiochus advanced against Jerusalem; stormed it, slew 40,000 of its inhabitants, and sold as many into slavery. Menelaus led him into the temple, which he stripped of its treasures, including 1,800 talents of gold and silver, for which he found use in his expensive siege of Alexandria, then still in progress. From this enterprise, however, he was now compelled to retire by the imperious command of Rome; and he turned his attention towards his disaffected subjects, the people of Judea, now driven to despair by the tyranny of Andronicus and Phillip, whom he had appointed governors. Antiochus sent 22,000 men under Apollonius, with orders to plunder the cities of Judea, to slay the men, and reserve for sale the women and children. Jerusalem was attacked on the Sabbath day – when the Jews would not offer resistance – and its inhabitants were all massacred. The city was set on fire, its walls were demolished; and with its ruins a fortress was built to overawe the inhabitants. The daily sacrifices of the Temple ceased, and surviving priests were dispersed. Upon the altar swine’s flesh was burnt and oblations were offered to Jupiter Olympus, whose statue was set up in the Holy place. Decrees were issued prohibiting circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and the reading of the Law, under pain of death. In all the cities of Judea, altars were erected to the gods of the Grecian mythology, and their worship enforced. Many Jews conformed to the king’s decrees, but the mass remained faithful to their religion, and found means to evade these cruel restrictions. Thus, instead of reading the law, a portion from the Prophets was selected, either referring to, or resembling, the weekly lesson, originating the Haftarah of our present ritual. The rite of circumcision was practiced in spite of the king’s decree. Two women were crucified for performing it upon their infants, and the babes were hanged at their necks. The most fearful tortures were employed to compel the faithful Jews to worship the king’s idol. A widow and her seven sons are described as suffering death by being thrown into a boiling cauldron. Heroically steadfast, they submitted to their fate – the mother surviving them only to exult in the sacrifice of her sons to the service of her God, and then to die as they had died. Of course such unexampled cruelty and tyranny could not fail to rouse a spirit of resistance; and that resistance was led and organized by the glorious family of the Maccabees. In Modin, a small and obscure village near Joppa, dwelt an aged man of priestly lineage, named Mattathias. Hitler came Apelles, an officer of the king, charged to enforce the new religion, and to secure the adhesion of Mattathias. In vain were bribes and threats by turns employed; the old man indignantly rejected all overtures and refused to join in the hated idol-worship. An apostate approached to perform the idolatrous sacrifice, when the old man leaped forward and killed him with his own hand. The assembled populace rushed on the commissioner and his train, whom they slaughtered. Mattathias, accompanied by his five sons Jochanan, Simon, Judah, Eleazer, and Jonathan, and by a small party of sympathizers, took refuge in the mountains, where the number of his partisans daily increased, until they were able to make frequent and unexpected attacks upon the neighboring towns. They were assiduously hunted down by their foes; were attacked on the Sabbath day, and their numbers so reduced by the onslaughts, that they abandoned their old objection against fighting upon that day, and recognized it as their duty to defend their lives when attacked. For a year they continued this guerrilla warfare to which their small numbers restricted them, suffering privations and hardships without complaint, until their old leader died, charging them with his last breath to give their lives for their religion. In 3602 (166 B.C.) Juda, his third and most valiant son, succeeded him, and with his small army, now amounting to 6,000 men, commended t perform bolder operations, and rapidly gained possession of several towns. On his banner were inscribed the inspiring words: “Who is like thee among the mighty, O Eternal,” and with this, their war-cry, prodigies were performed, because it proclaimed on the battlefield the name of the God for whom they fought. Apollonius, the king’s governor, raised a large army, and advanced to crush the revolt, but was defeated and slain, and his force put to the rout; leaving behind rich plunder, that fell into the hands of Judah. Seron, the provincial Governor of Coele-Syria, next advanced against the patriots with an immense force. As he approached through the Pass of Bethoron, Judah attacked him, “leaping upon him suddenly,” and drove him back with a loss of 800 men. Antiochus, irritated by these defeats, resolved to crush the rebels at one blow, and, with this view, an army of 40,000 men and 7,000 cavalry was led against them by Nicanor and Gorgias. So confident were they of success that Nicanor summoned some thousand slave-dealers to follow in the train of the army, engaging to sell them his captives at ninety Jews for a talent, about 2 a head. Judas heard of the approach of this vast army while at Mizpah; and, having assembled his men, he found that the bulk of his force did not exceed 6,000. Conformably to law, he made the usual proclamation, dismissing those who had married within the year, built a house or planted a vineyard. This reduced his band one-half, so that 3,000 men were arranged against fifteen times their number. Gorgias made a detour, intending to surround Judas; but he, by a series of masterly maneuvers, eluded him, and falling unexpectedly on Nicanor’s camp at Emmaus, routed that army, and fired the tents. Gorgias, led by the conflagration, arrived in time to witness the utter rout, and decided on retreat; but, ere that could be accomplished, the Macabee’s army was upon him, and his soldiers fled precipitately. Nine thousand men fell. Gorgias fled to Jerusalem, and Nicanor, who had proposed to sell Jews as slaves, escaped in the disguise of a slave. Timotheus and Bacchides, two of Antiochus’s generals in Further Syria, next took the field against the Jews, only to be again defeated in the Ammonite territory with severe loss. These successive disasters, determined Lysias, the Syrian regent, to superintend the operations in person. Avoiding the defiles that had proved fatal to former generals, he advanced with 60,000 infantry and 5,000 calvary to meet Judas, who had an army of 10,000 to oppose him. They met at Bethzur, south of Jerusalem, and fought all day, and when night closed in, Lysias had lost 5,000 men, but, perceiving that the Jews fought like men resolved to conquer or die, he decided upon retreat, and returned to Antioch. A cessation of hostilities now ensued, during which Judas marched to Jerusalem, and on the same month and day as that of the first pollution (25th Kisley,) he again set up God’s altar, restored the Temple services, and kept the Feast of Dedication. He next surrounded the Temple with walls and lofty towers, to afford protection against the Syrian fortress, which still existed on the neighboring Mount Acra.

BLOSS’S ANCIENT HISTORY

Antioch IV., Epiphanes, “Illustrious,” ascended the throne left vacant by his brother, B.C. 176. He engaged in a war with his nephew, Ptolemy, and conquered all Egypt except Alexandria. He took the young king prisoner, affected to act as his guardian, and to treat him with the greatest attention. The Egyptians, however, applied to the Romans, who, as arbiters, compelled Epiphanes to set the young king at liberty, and restore the cities he had taken from him. The Jews having revolted, the Syrian monarch marched into Judea. He besieged Jerusalem, and took it by storm. During the three days that the city was abandoned to the fury of the soldiers, 80,000 Jews were put to death, and 40,000 taken prisoners. To his other crimes he added sacrilege. He forced his way into the temple, and ventured to enter the Holy of Holies. He carried away the altar of perfumes, the table for shew-bread, the seven-branched golden candlestick, and other precious things of the sanctuary.

Some time after, Antioch published a decree, requiring all the nations of his dominions to lay aside their ancient forms and ceremonies, and worship the gods he worshiped, after the same form and manner e had adopted. The Jews refused to comply with this command, and such a horrid persecution arose as no pen can portray. At this time happened the martyrdom of Eleazar, and the seven Maccabean brethren. “Tidings out of the east and out of the north” now troubled Antiochus. He divided his forces into two bodies; committed one part to the command of Lysias, with orders to exterminate the Jews, while he led the other detachment against the Armenians. The army of Lysias met the other band of Jews, commanded by Judas Macabeus, upon the plains of Mizpah. The Syrians were defeated, with dreadful slaughter. Two more battles gave the Jews such decided superiority that they marched to Jerusalem, recovered the sanctuary, re-dedicated it to the service of the true God, and devoted the week to thanksgiving and praise.

Antiochus, hearing of the defeat of Lysias, set out himself for Judea. On his way, fresh expresses met him, saying that the Jews had thrown down his idols, overturned his altars, and re-established their ancient worship. At this intelligence he ordered his coachman to drive with the utmost speed, that he might satiate his vengeance by making Jerusalem the burying-place of the whole Jewish nation. Scarcely had he uttered the impious words, when he was seized with the most excruciating pain; and as the horses were running at their greatest speed, he fell from the chariot. The agony of his bruises, added to the torment of his disease, drove him frantic. He imagined that specters hovered round, reproaching him with his crimes. Recognizing the hand of Divine justice in the anguish he suffered, he exclaimed, “It is meet to be subject unto God, and man who is mortal should not think of himself as if he were a god.” He promised if his life were spared to do magnificent things for Jerusalem; but his sands were run. “He died a miserable death, in a strange country, in the mountains.” (B.C. 176-164)

END OF EXCERPTS

KING OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE

Brothers and sisters: I hope this history has helped you to better understand the abomination of desolation that was to last for 2300 days. I am sure you can easily see that this scripture here, has no connection at all to the Antichrist who will appear in the last half of the 70th week of Daniel, except to set a type. You saw also, how that period ended when Judas with his army marched into Jerusalem, set up God’s altar, and restored the temple services, and kept the Feast of Dedication. If anyone wanted to take the time to figure it out hey would find that this portion of history concerning Antiochus covered a period of time that corresponds with the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. This man literally hated all Jews when he was doing what he did; that is obvious. But do you know why? That spirit of Satan got hold of him. He had no intention of doing what he did, in the beginning, but God’s word had to be fulfilled, and it fell upon Antiochus to be the man who would characterize the Antichrist, exemplifying that spirit of hatred for the Jews that he will display for a period of 1260 days, which is the last half of the 70th week of Daniel. He is the little horn of Daniel 7:8, that the little horn of chapter 8, verse 9, set the type for. I want you to see that these two references pertain to two different men, with many centuries of time in between them. As you read on through chapter 8, where the angel is explaining Daniel’s visions to him, you come to verses 23, 24, and 25, which definitely do pertain to the Antichrist which is yet to come. Antiochus did not in any way fulfill these verses, except to exemplify the same spirit of the devil that motivated him. Unless you read them carefully though, you can think they are referring to the same human instrument as the verses in the first part of the chapter. Let us rad them. (23) “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, A KING OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. (The Antichrist) (24) and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: (it will be by the power of Satan) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. (25) And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (Jesus Christ) but he shall be broken without hand.” He will be broken by the sword that proceeds out of the mouth of Jesus Christ when He comes back to earth with His saints after the great tribulation has run its course. He will stand up against the Prince of princes, but he will be broken, and Revelation 19:20, tells us that he will be cast alive into the lake of fire. That is the end of this false prophet that will exalt himself and show himself as God for his allotted time. He will be a man from our very generation, but he will be led and motivated by that same spirit that was in Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian. Do not look for the devil to resurrect some ancient character to fulfill these Antichrist scriptures, like a lot of Pentecostal modernists are teaching it. That is perversion of the interpretation of the Bible. God aused all these scriptures to be written to portray the evil spirit that moves man to do what these various characters do. In the mind of God, Judas was the son of perdition all along, but he was not the Antichrist. He was the son of perdition in type. In Antiochus we saw the psychological and political type of the Antichrist, but it took Judas to portray the religious type.

SON OF PERDITION – LOST

In the 17th chapter of John we find Jesus praying for all those that have been given to Him by the Father and He says, (verse 12) “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Jesus prayed this prayer before Judas actually betrayed Him, but He knew that Judas would do what he did. By connecting the types as He did: God let us know that the Antichrist would not be a communist, neither an atheist, nor an evolutionist; he will be a religious man. Judas was a religious Jew that believed in God, and up to a certain point he went along with Jesus in whatever He did, until something happened to pervert his thinking. It was only after his thinking became perverted that Satan was able to inspire him to plot against Jesus. Before that, he went right out with the rest of the disciples of Jesus, casting out demons and healing sick folks along the way. Where did that spirit of Satan get on him, you may ask? He was actually anointed by Satan while he was sitting with Jesus and the rest of the disciples, eating the Passover supper. To show that religious spirit, or the identity with that religious spirit, he went right straight to the high priest, and sold his Lord and master for 30 pieces of silver. Then, later, when he realized what he had done, in betraying his Lord, he tried to repent, but the same spirit that led him to betray Jesus, also led him to hang himself. All that, just serves to show us that he became an instrument that Satan had taken over. That is exactly what many poor souls will witness in the last half of that week of Daniel. They will find themselves at the mercy of a man who has been taken over by Satan. It will not be Antiochus, resurrected from the dead, nor will it be Judas; it will be a man of our day, a religious man that has been taken over by the devil. People are very foolish, to believe that God will allow Satan to incarnate someone that will be resurrected from the dead, to fulfill all these scriptures concerning the Antichrist, the man of sin. Antiochus did not have to be resurrected in 69 & 70 A.D. to fulfill Daniel 9:26 and Matthew 24:15, concerning the abomination that maketh desolate. No! A Roman general by the name of Titus, fulfilled those scriptures. He was the 2nd instrument that God ordained to characterize this man of sin who is yet to come, this man who will be ruled by a spirit right out of hell. We will say more about Titus later in the message, and at that time we will read some actual history, right from the little Jewish history book I have here. It will allow you to see how this Jew hating spirit of Satan that was on Antiochus Epiphanes more than 100 years before, came right over and got on Titus, and caused him to be the instrument that would fulfill Daniel 9:26, which would further exemplify the most wicked one of them all, who is yet to come. That same spirit has been on many men through the centuries. It was on Pharaoh in Egypt when he fought against God’s chosen people. It has been on Syrian kings, on Roman kings, and on Hitler in Europe, and it will soon be seen on the man who is to climax the history of all Jew haters down through the centuries. When his allotted time is fulfilled the Lord Jesus will come back and set up His Millennial kingdom, and there will never be another Jew hater turned loose on earth to slaughter God’s chosen race of people. Brothers and sisters: that is the time we are looking forward to; and it will be wonderful. Will you agree? James referred to this present life as a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away, and we all realize, that is true. But let me ask you this, Have you ever tried to visualize just what it will be like, when we are all robed in immortality, living and reigning with Christ, and knowing that there is no more death present? Brother, that is something to shout about. Hallelujah! Praise God! In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump we will be change.

EXPLORING DANIEL’S 70 WEEKS

Brothers and Sisters: At this point in the message, I feel like we should really begin to explore the 70 weeks of Daniel. I realize we can never get all of this into one issue on the Contender, but it is an important subject for the true church of the living God; therefore we will take as many issues as we need to in order to deal with the subject thoroughly. If the message is worth printing, it is worth taking enough time to make it clear to those who read it. Too many people who are supposed to be filled with the Holy Ghost are just following flesh, without a revelation of the word of God that is before us. Brothers and Sisters: It ought not be like that. It is too late in the hour for bride people to be following some man’s teaching just because they like the man. God will not accept that. Preachers all over this world have just taken the verbal statements that Bro. William Branham made while preaching on the 7 seals, and they (WITHOUT REVELATION THEMSELVES) are teaching people that there are only 3½ years left of God’s dealing with the Jewish nation. Don’t you think I know Bro. William Branham said that? I sat within 20 feet of him when he was making those statements, and I said within my heart at that time, Why did he say that? It had only been about 2 years since he taught on the 70 weeks of Daniel, where he explained how Israel still has one full week of time left to them, and dramatized it by using a chart. I remember how, at that time he would stop and ask the people, Are you getting it? Do you understand? Yet these preachers who try to hold to every word that he uttered as THUS SAITH THE LORD, will say, Bro. Jackson, people have just misunderstood Bro. William Branham. No they haven’t. That is just their excuse for not humbling themselves and admitting that God allowed those statements to be made like that to try them, as believers. When a man has already been anointed to prove something by the Bible, why would any Holy Ghost believers allow themselves to grab hold of contrary statements in other messages that the man preached? Let me remind you once again saints, when something is presented to you in two different ways, so that one says one thing, and the other says something different, even a small child that has just barely started to school knows that 3½ is not the same as 7, so what must you do? Get on your knees and ask God to show you from His written word which one lines up, to present a true revelation. That is not going against the prophet, when you do that, you are doing exactly what he told you to do, “Get back to the word.” How many times have you heard him say that? If you really do want to do what the prophet said to do, then get back to the Bible and let the Holy Ghost give you a revelation, something that you can hold on to when the storms of life are raging. I never will forget how this subject of the 70 weeks of Daniel first became of interest to me. About a year and a half before Bro. William Branham ever preached anything on this subject, we were rabbit hunting one day, and he brought the subject up, about prophecy. While we were talking, he said, Bro. Jackson: You know there is only 3½ years left, of the 70 weeks of Daniel. At that time, I have never made a study on it, and we were just new in this message, so it really did not interest me very much, then. I just accepted it like that at the time, but later on I began to get interested in this subject, and after a period of months, I felt urged to investigate it. I went to the 9th chapter of Daniel, and began to study. With the Bible and some history books that I had, I began to calculate time, and ask God to help me understand what I was reading. After some time I became convinced that mathematically you could not get more than 69 weeks of fulfilled time for the Jews as you calculate expired time right down to the crucifixion of Christ. Therefore I concluded that there should be one more full week left for the Jews. But I thought, Bro. William Branham said there is only 3½ years left, and he is a prophet, so, who am I? I decided just to leave it alone, but it was only a short time until he preached that message, taking 2 particular Sundays to deal with it, and that is when he laid it right along with the Bible and showed that the Jews still have one full week of time left, (7 YEARS.) I said, Praise God! Now I know this is the truth; there is 7 full years left for the Jews. But then, when he preached on the 7 seals he reverted right back to 3½ years in various statements concerning that time. Now, wherever you go, you hear, But the prophet said 3½ years. Truly, the prophet did say that, but, my brother, my sister, lt me tell you something, God allowed that, to test you. Will you take something just because he said it, or will you go to the Bible to substantiate it? I have said over and over again. I do not baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ just because Bro. William Branham said to do it that way: I do it because the Bible says to. However it was through his ministry and teaching that the infallibility of the word of God in Acts 2:38, was impressed upon me, and I give honor where honor is due. I honor Bro. William Branham for turning my attention back to the word of God, and away from manmade traditions. I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ because the Bible says to do that, and by revelation we know that JESUS is the redemption name of God, and is to be used instead of the titles in Matthew 28:19. When you know what God has said about things you do not need to constantly say, “Bro. Branham said this, or that, or something else;” If God’s word says it, we can say, “The Bible says,” and that is our authority. That is why we want to find out what the Bible says about various issues that are before us.

GABRIEL COMES TO DANIEL

Let us go to the 9th chapter of Daniel and read our text scriptures now. Remember Daniel was a Jew in Babylonian exile. He never did return back to the land of Israel, when the first exiles were allowed to go back. Let us begin reading with verse 20, so we will have the full picture, “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sins and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; (22) Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. (That is when they would put incense upon the altar, and the smoke would go up, signifying the prayers of the people ascending up to the presence of God at the closing of the day.) (23) And he informed me, and talked with me and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, (meaning, the commandment to the angel, to come to Daniel and give him understanding of certain things) and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. (24) Seventy weeks are determined upon they people (JEWS) and upon the holy city, (JERUSALEM) to finish the transgression.” The word TRANSGRESSION, pertains to their going against divine authority, and it pertains to the overall national transgression of the people of Israel. You would have to go back into Deuteronomy and the prophets to catch the full significance of what the word transgression pertains to, here. In Deuteronomy, while they were still out there in the wilderness journey, God had spoken to them something like this, it shall come to pass, that when you come into the land that I shall give you, if you turn your back to me and no longer keep my commandments, and the statutes that are set before thee, I will take great pleasure in cursing you, and I will drive you out of the land, and scatter you to the nations. Is that not what He did? That was God’s way of chastening them for their disobedience in the land that He had given them. In this land, God had definitely determined to bless them if they would obey Him, and they would be a light to the Gentile people. But, you all know the story. They had not been in the land very long until they fell right into apostasy and began to transgress, transgress, transgress and in spite of the fact that God sent prophets to warn them, they continued to get worse, worse, worse, until finally God turned His back upon them and drove them out of the land. They had been in Babylonian exile, and their 70 years which Jeremiah wrote about, 29:10, were almost completed, so Daniel is seeking God in prayer and fasting, when the angel Gabriel, comes to him. Jeremiah had wrote, For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years are accomplished at Babylonian I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place, and Daniel had been reading Jeremiah’s prophecy and knew that those 70 years were almost completed. He sets his face toward God and begins to confess the sins of his people, and then asks God to let His anger be turned away from Jerusalem, the holy mountain, saying, that Jerusalem and God’s people have become reproach to all that were around them. Then Gabriel comes to Daniel to give him understanding and begins to say, “Seventy weeks (not years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, (This has a two fold application. Not only does it apply to the sins of the individual people, it also has a universal application, for when these 70 weeks of years are finally completed, Jesus will have the devil in chains, and we will be in the Millennium with Him.) And to make reconciliation for iniquity, (To reconcile Israel back to Himself, back to the land, back to the city, and to restore to them, everything that He had taken from them, is definitely in the plan of God. It was God that had taken it from them, so it will have to be God that restores it to them) and to bring in everlasting righteousness, (the Millennium) and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” When that last week of those 70 weeks is finally fulfilled it will have accomplished all that is written here. Israel will have been fully chastened for her transgression, and will have been restored, everlasting righteousness will have been ushered in, and sin will be out of the picture, and all of the visions and prophecy will have been fulfilled. Jesus (the King) will be sitting in the temple of Jerusalem, and for 1000 years all the world will go to Jerusalem once each year to worship the Lord of hosts. This will be a compulsory thing according to Zechariah 14:16-17, which says, “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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up from year to year to worship the King. The Lord of hosts, and to keep the feat of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” It goes on to say that the Lord will smite them with the plague who fail to keep the feast of tabernacles.

WEEKS EXPLAINED

Now we come to the question some people are prone to ask, How do we determine that this 70 weeks of verse 24, is weeks of 7 years each? Because of the Greeks and Romans we have grown accustomed to thinking of a week as a week of 7 days, each day having a name, but when you go back into the Bible, Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Judges, and so forth, all through there before the Babylonian exile, to the Jews the word week only meant 7. It could be 7 days, 7 weeks, or anything like that. They marked off their calendar by the new moon which would be full on the 15th of each month. They had 12 lunar months of 30 days each. When the new moon appeared that started their month, and they recorded events in this manner; Upon the 1st day of the month such and such, upon the 2nd day of the month, the 20th day of the month, and so on. But when they came back, out of Babylonian exile, they too, began to accept certain things of the Greeks, Persians, and Romans, and break their periods of time according to their methods, but that has no affect whatsoever on prophetic time that God caused to be recorded in the scriptures. When you go to Genesis 29:18, 20, 27, 28, 30, you will understand that, to them, 7 years was 1 week. Likewise, when you read the rest of this 9th chapter of Daniel, you have no trouble recognizing that the 70 weeks of verse 24, have to be weeks of years instead of weeks of days. There are 70 periods of 7, determined, to accomplish all that is written here, but I do not ask you to accept this just because I am saying it to you. It is the responsibility of every true child of God to dig in the scriptures until they get a revelation of what is said to them. What do you find in Matthew 24:15, where Jesus Himself is giving the signs that people are to watch for? Notice this now. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (WHOSO READETH, LET HIM UNDERSTAND.)” He did not say, Whoever hears something that is preached, let them understand; He said, Whosoever readeth, let him understand. Prophecy and history go together. History of what has happened already, enables us to put two and two together, concerning prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Therefore I beg you, study your Bibles, study your history books, and allow God to reveal to you just where we are, in time, and what is ahead. It is important that we understand. World conditions are leading us right into prophecy fulfillment, and we need not be caught unaware of what is happening. When I said, The oil crisis is just as important for our hour of time as the decree of Augustus was to the hour of time two thousand years ago, I trust that you will understand what I meant. It is shaping the world for the fulfillment of that last week of Daniel. It will take certain world conditions to usher in that peace agreement which will mark the beginning of that week. In other words, we are dealing with God’s yardstick of time, that is important that we understand. Therefore by the grace of God, we intend to pull many scriptures into this message, to give every sincere child of God an opportunity to study and understand just what significance this yardstick has, to believers in this hour. This 70 week prophecy is the only thing in the Bible that God gave man to measure time by. If the Jews had studied it properly, they would have been able to predict (I believe it is safe to say) within a decade of the time when their Messiah would be on the scene. It is sad to say, (sad because of what they did through ignorance) but they missed it completely. Their failure to recognize their Messiah, eventually gave the gospel to us Gentiles, and for that we give thanks to God, but do not ever forget, this Bible we hold so dear is a Jewish book; we only have it borrowed. Let me say also, you do not have to be a doctor of divinity to understand it; all you need is the Holy Ghost teacher, inside, He will reveal it to you. The church world is full of theologians and Bible scholars of every kind, and every one of them seem to feel that it takes that sort of education to understand the scriptures. Many of them have written their versions of prophetic scriptures yet to be fulfilled, but God is bypassing all of that, and revealing Himself and His prophetic word to those whom He has called, regardless of their educational background. As we have said already, The book of Revelation is a letter of prophecy, written mostly about Jewish people and their land, but given to the Gentile church to guide them in this hour of time in which we are living. If we will allow the Holy Ghost to lead us in studying the book of Revelation, it will let us take Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Isaiah, and all the others, and put the final touches on prophecy that was given for this hour. We have the prophecy of Daniel because Daniel was concerned about the fate of his people, and he talked to God about it. Who were the people? Jews. Where is the holy city? Jerusalem. What is the subject that is being dealt with? God’s chastening upon the Jewish nation because of their transgression against divine authority.

SEVENTY WEEKS – 490 YEARS

We have established what is to be accomplished during those 70 prophetic weeks of years, and why it was ordained to be so. Now we want to deal with the time itself. I will not use a chart just now, for I want to keep my remarks so they will be understood by those who hear the tapes later on, some of which would never have access to the charts. We want to look at the 3 divisions of this 70 week period of time which actually adds up to a total of 490 years. First we see a 49 year division, then a 434 year division which gives us a total of 483 years. Then we have 1 week left which is actually divided into two equal halves, but they are not separated. They run consecutively, but there will be a drastic change in world order in the middle of that last week. Let us go to verse 25, of the 9th chapter of Daniel, and begin to examine these three divisions of this 490 year yardstick. When we read this verse, please be aware that the commandment mentioned here is not the same commandment that was mentioned in verse 24. One is a commandment to speak to Daniel, and the other concerns a commandment to restore, and to build something. Verse 25, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (the anointed one) the Prince (GET THIS MESSIAH, THE PRINCE IN YOUR MIND AS THE PRIMARY OBJECT, SO YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP THE PRINCES SEPARATED LATER) shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” This Prince is the Prince of princes that Daniel 8:25, refers to. You will remember how that little horn came forth and exalted himself, and caused desolations for a period of 2300 days. We read that in the early verses of the 8th chapter and explained how that was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria. Then we read verse 24 & 25 of that same chapter and saw how a king of fierce countenance, and understand dark sentences, shall destroy many, and how he would stand up against the PRINCE of princes, and would be broken without hand. We talked about how that will be the Antichrist who will stand up against Jesus Christ at the end of this age, and even though it sounds like the same little horn of verse 9, it is actually referring to two different human beings who are led and motivated by the Jew hating spirit of Satan. That is why I said, When we get this whole prophetic thing put together; we either have to say the Antichrist will come out of Syria or Rome, one or the other. Antiochus who came out of Syria is dead; therefore verses 24 & 25 have to be dealing with something altogether different than the flesh of the man; it has to go to the spirit of Satan who made the man do what he did. I realize some will say, That does not run in harmony with the prophecy, but let me remind you that Ezekiel did the very same thing when he was prophesying to the king of ancient Tyre, then suddenly changed his scope, saying, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God.” We all know the king of Tyre had not been in Eden, and had every precious stone for his covering, yet Ezekiel was instructed to take up a lamentation upon the king, so what is the answer? The answer is very simple; it was directed to the spirit that caused the man to exalt himself and think like that. These are the things you must keep in mind in order to keep these prophecies running consistent. If you will remember this, you will have no problem at all when we get to Revelation 17, and begin to see how the 8th head is of the 7th, and must come out of the bottomless pit, which is hell, and go into perdition. That is where you will see that this is a spirit of Satan in a form of governmental disguise, and how he uses earthen vessels to accomplish his purpose. If you can see the pattern over here in Daniel and Ezekiel, you will wind up over in Revelation right on target.

CYRUS – A SERVANT OF GOD

Now as we come back to chapter 9, verse 25, we should understand first of all, that this 490 year measurement of time is to start when a certain commandment comes forth. It does not apply to Jewish people while they are still in exile. It only becomes effective once some of them are back in their home land and certain things are set in motion that prove beyond a shadow of doubt, that this is the beginning place for that prophecy. Also, we have to keep our commands in their proper place. This commandment we are dealing with is a commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, the city, not the altar of worship, nor the temple. As you have opportunity, it would be to your benefit to read Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah, for we do not have the time to read all of this now. The first 5 or 6 chapters of Ezra give you the chronology of what transpires when Cyrus took over the world government, and you will see how the writing of Isaiah, was fulfilled, concerning the anointed one who would perform all of the Lord’s pleasure, (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1) and also Jeremiah 29:10 which we have read already. Cyrus made a proclamation stating that he had been commissioned by the Lord God of heaven to build Him an house of Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Then he commissioned the Jews to go up to Jerusalem and build house (meaning temple). But he said nothing about building back the city itself, just the house. More than 42 thousand souls went up to perform the task, and the first thing they did was clear off, and set up the altar where they immediately began to offer sacrifice to the Lord. But when they started to build the temple a bunch of Arabs rose up and sent a letter back demanding that the work be stopped. Their letter had its affect and the work was stopped for a period of time. But when Darius became king of Persia, letters were sent to him concerning the decree of Cyrus, and upon examination Darius found it to be even as the Jews had stated, and in the 2nd year of his reign he gave orders to allow the work to resume, and 4 years later the work was finished. This brings us to about 515 B.C., but the commandment concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel did not start with the building of the temple; it is confined strictly to the building of the city, to get it ready for the first advent, of the coming of their Messiah. We also find in Ezra, that a certain group of Jews, under the leadership of Ezra, returned to Jerusalem to restore religious order and worship unto their God. Still the city was not built. The commandment concerning the 70 weeks is yet for the time when the city would be built. Why put all this other in the message, some may say? It is for brothers and sisters in other lands who do not have history books and encyclopedias as handy to them as we do here in America. Every time I go into some foreign country, I receive ever so many requests for such books. Naturally we cannot supply these things to all who request them, so I have purposes to insert as much historical data into this article as I feel it will take to make the various points clear to those who have nothing else to check them by.

DANIEL’S PROPHECY GOES INTO EFFECT

Let us read Daniel 9:25, again, then I am going to take you to Nehemiah, where we ill see the staring point for this 490 year period of God’s dealing with the Jews. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, (49 years) and threescore and two weeks: (434 YEARS) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” The reference to the street is symbolic of the cleaning up of the city proper. Just building up the walls would not be enough to cause new immigrants to come back and take an interest in dwelling there. It was not in the mind of God, just to have some walls built without having some people dwelling inside those walls. You can build walls ever so huge and beautiful, but if there are no people living within those walls: you do not have a city; you just have some walls. The walls were built for the protection of those who lived within those walls. God wanted the city built up, cleaned up, beautified and made ready for the coming of the Messiah, so it is the commandment to do this, that actually puts the 70 weeks prophecy into effect, and we pick that up in the book of Nehemiah. As I said already, Nehemiah served these Persian kings in the ancient territory called Shushan, in the very country which today is called Iran. That is where Nehemiah and many other Jews were living, when this decree to rebuild Jerusalem was made. I must read this, in order to get the setting, so let us go to the very first verse in the book of Nehemiah. The year is 446 B.C., and the month of Chisleu, which compares to the month of December according to our calendar. “The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (2) That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.” These were men who had already been living in Judaea, as a result of other migratory journeys. Thousands of them went back as a result of the Cyrus decree which went forth somewhere around 536 B.C., and then some more went with Ezra, and we find that some of them have come from Judaea back to Persia, and Nehemiah is inquiry about the welfare of the people, and the condition of Jerusalem, and here is what he heard, (3) “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. (4) And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.” In other words, what these men told Nehemiah, was that Jerusalem was still nothing more than just a great big pile of rubble; and no one wants to live there, because there are no walls to protect them. Hearing this, about the beloved religious city, the capital of the Jewish nation, so touched Nehemiah’s heart, that he sat down and wept and mourned. The he began to fast and pray to God about the situation, and here is how he prayed. Verse (5), “I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments: (6) Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.” He goes on confessing the sins of himself and his people, and making requests of God concerning the matter, and when we come to chapter 2, we find that many weeks have passed since he first began to seek the face of God, for now it is the month of Nisan, (corresponding to the last of March and the first part of April) in the year 445 B.C. (1) “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.” This story that he had heard concerning the affliction of his people, and the condition of the city, had taken such a toll on him that he could no longer conceal his feelings. (2) “Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance said, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, (3) And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: Why should not my countenance be said, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? (4) Then the king said unto me, For what does thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. (5) And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, and thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it, (JERUSALEM.) (6) And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? And when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.” Nehemiah gave the king an approximate length of time that he figured it would take to accomplish the task, and promised to return to the Persian domain when the job was completed. (7) “Moreover I said unto the king, It if please the king, let letters be given to me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; (8) And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, the he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” This was the only decree that pertained to the building of the city itself, and it was given in the month Nisan, in the year 445 B.C.; therefore we must conclude that the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy had its beginning point right there. We will not take the time to read them, but you who are interested in this subject should go ahead and read the rest of Nehemiah, and chapters 8 & 9, of Ezra. As you read on through Nehemiah you will find that Ezra and Nehemiah worked together in building the city and setting everything in order. Upon receiving the decree from King Artaxerxes, king of Persia, along with all the necessary letters to those who must help him, Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem to view the ruins, and solicit help from the rulers and elders of the people. In chapter 2, he even tells about how he went up at night to view the city, without telling any of the rulers of the city what he had come to do, and how that things were in such a bad shape in one place, that the little beast he was riding, (probably a little donkey) could not even pass. Then after his inspection tour, he tells what his mission is, and how God has given him favor with the king of Persia who has made every necessary provision for him. When the men of the city heard these things they were stirred in their hearts to arise and begin the work. Their enemies immediately went to work trying to discourage them by laughing and making fun of them, but Nehemiah let them know that they were doing a good work, and that the God of heaven would prosper them, and that no Arab had any portion, nor right to take part in what was being done. Brothers and Sisters: There comes a time when we know assuredly that we are doing the work of God, and have no need for any kind of political maneuverings from the Methodists, the Baptists, nor the charismatics. As the true church of the living God begins to see a clear vision of what real unity is; I want you to know, there is not one thing under the sun that the charismatics can contribute to your fellowship. They have no part in it. Those Arabs did not know how to put those stones together, and neither do the denominational churches know how to put the word of God together. If they did, they would not be where they are. It just goes to show that any time a true child of God tries to do something worthwhile, there are always a bunch of trouble making skeptics around trying to hinder.

RECONSTRUCTION – REVIVAL APOSTASY

As you read on through Nehemiah, you will see how part of the men worked while others stood guard, and it even says that they worked with one hand, and kept the other on their sword. They were defending their cause. You will also see that a scroll was found, and Ezra the priest read to the people from morning until midday out of it, and a great revival swept through their ranks. They learned how their forefathers had sinned against God, and how God had allowed them to be carried away captive. They also learned that they were forbidden to inter-marry with the heathen round about them, and those who had done so, put away their strange wives. God said, these heathen would lead His people astray, and that is exactly why Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Only God knows just how many Christian men and women are actually living in torment because of such marriages. Some of those marriages took place before either of them became a Christian; but there are others who have walked right into this unequally yoked situation with their eyes wide open, saying, I believe I can win him, or her to the Lord. It happens like that every now and then, but too many times, it turns out the other way. Nevertheless, those Jews put away their strange wives in obedience to the law of Moses, and they had a great revival, as the people repented. They began to keep certain feasts as set forth in the law, and so forth, but as that 49 year period of Daniel’s 70 weeks came closer to the end, and Ezra and Nehemiah passed off the scene, things began to fall apart spiritually. It was almost like politics in American; priests began to assassinate other priests for political reasons, and a condition of decay and apostasy took hold of the people. You ask, Why? It was because the land was under Gentile lordship, and they could not govern the land according to the word of God. Jesus explained that in the book of Luke. He said, Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, (Luke 21:24.) The times of the Gentiles lasted from the time King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army raised that Babylonian flag over the city of Jerusalem, almost 600 years B.C., until June 1967, when Israel regained control of it in the 6 day war. I read, in those Jewish history books, just how corrupt, and pathetic that priesthood became in those days. They each wanted to be high priest, just like politicians of our day want to be president. In South America, many times, you have heard how certain men had other men assassinated in order to gain political control. These priests were playing politics with their office in the closing years of that 49 year period of time. Be sure you understand that this 49 years covers the first division of Daniel’s 70 weeks. This is the first 7 weeks, of those mentioned in Daniel 9:25, and as that period closes out it brings us to around 397 B.C., where we pick up Malachi the prophet. In other words, he came on the scene in 397, and began rebuking the children of Israel for offering polluted bread upon the altar of God, and for offering blind, lame and sick animals to God, contrary to what He required. He rebuked the priests for their inconsistency in the way they served in their particular office. God was speaking to Israel through the prophet Malachi, giving her a last opportunity to repent, warning her of her contemptible ways, and at the same time, telling her of the messenger that He would send to prepare the way before Him, and also of the coming of Elijah, but that 49 year period closed out with Israel in a pitiful state, spiritually. They had their revival and then returned back to that same old spirit they had before, and the 7 week period closed with them in that shape.

THE 62 WEEK PERIOD & 1 WEEK

Let us go back to Daniel 9:25 now, and pick up the next period of time that the 70 weeks are divided into. “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, (from Nehemiah’s decree down to Malachi) and THREE SCORE and TWO WEEKS: (62) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” The fact that the wall is mentioned like that just lets us know that the city would not be in its completed form until the completed wall fully surrounded it. In other words, the time given here runs from the giving forth of the decree right down to the time Jesus Christ the Messiah was crucified, (cut off) and God is very specific about this prophetic time table. When God says that certain things will be accomplished during a period of time which adds up to 69 weeks, He certainly means just that. You cannot stretch it far enough to get 69½ weeks out of it, no matter what someone may have said. You can confirm that by going over to Revelation 11:3, when God says, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand days, clothed in sackcloth.” Saints! Believe me! Those two witnesses will not prophesy one week longer, nor one week less; they will prophesy exactly 1,260 days, just like the Bible says. Then when they are killed at the end of those days, that starts another 1,260 days, just like the Bible says. Then when they are killed at the end of those days, that starts another 1,260 day period of time, the time allotted to the Antichrist who has had them killed, and when you add 1,260 days to another 1,260 days, you have exactly 7 full prophetic years. Therefore when you read verse 26, of Daniel 9, be sure you understand that at the end of this seven week period of time, and this sixty two week period of time, (the two added together) Jesus Christ was cut off. That is an ending point, so let us read verse 26, now. “And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.” That 62 week period of time ran from the time of Malachi’s prophecy, right down to the day Christ was crucified, and covered a period of 434 years. That is 62, multiplied by 7, and you add that to the 49 years which you had already, from the 7 weeks prior to it. Each week consists of 7 years, therefore we have 7×7 equals 49 years, then 62×7 equals 434 years, you come up with a total of 483 years that expired between the two points. This leaves 7 full years (1 week) yet to be fulfilled when God starts dealing with that Jewish nation again. The seventy week clock stopped at the end of the 69th week when Christ was crucified, and it will start again when those two witnesses arrive on the scene and start prophesying to their Jewish brethren. We know the Antichrist will not like what those two prophets are saying to those Jews who are there in the land, but he will allow it to continue for 1,260 days. Then, at the end of those days the Antichrist will have them killed, and that is woe No.1, of the three woes that are to come upon the inhabitors of the earth. This sets the great tribulation in motion, and Revelation 13:5, becomes effective, “And there was given unto him (the Antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” That 42 months covers the same span of time as Daniel 12:7, where a question was answered concerning the length of time that this time of trouble would continue. Notice, “And I heard the man clothes in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, (1 year) times, (2 years more) and a half; (½ year) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Now, go to Daniel 7:25, where we will see a little different expression of this save 3½ year period of time. This is where the angel was explaining the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision to him. This verse is tied to the little horn (the Antichrist). “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 into his hand until (HOW LONG?) A time and times and the diving of time.” That was just another way of saying 3½ years, or one thousand two hundred and threescore days, as we see it again in Revelation 12:6, “And the woman (SPIRITUALLY AWAKENED ISRAEL) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Those Jews are hiding from the wrath of the old Antichrist during the whole 3½ years of great tribulation while this man of sin, the son of perdition is reigning.

AFTER THE SEVENTIETH WEEK

Let us look at another specific time element that Jesus established in Matthew 24:29. This follows right behind the 42 month period of time that we have just been dealing with. “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.” Now when He said, Immediately after the tribulation of those days; He did not mean 6 months later; He meant immediately, right then. That is what marks the end of that week of Daniel. This is what marks the end of the reign of the Antichrist. Notice that next verse, what follows that great power shaking event. Verse 30, “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.” Saints! Pay attention to what I am going to say! This scripture WAS NOT fulfilled in 1963, when the cloud of angels appeared to Bro. William Branham. Those who believe it was, are still looking for the rapture, and the resurrection, and they believe the tribulation is till ahead of us. Would you please tell me how they hope to make that line up with the scriptures? If this scripture (Matthew 24:29-30) was fulfilled in 1963; then let us face facts; the rapture, the resurrection, and the great tribulation is already in the past, Jesus is in the Millennium with His saints, and we missed it all. Is that what you want to believe? I just talk like this to get your attention; every revelated person knows better than to believe those preachers who preach that. It does not take much revelation to see where a thing like that would put you. But these characters have the nerve to stand up and say, That Jackson does not preach what the prophet said. Yes I do! The only difference is, I preach it from the Bible, and they just quote, quote, quote, use the quotes out of context, and add their own private interpretation as to what the quotes mean. That is why so many of them are in false doctrine, and have their minds so clogged up, they could not even receive a true revelation if it was slapping them in the face. Brothers and Sisters: Please do not think that I am boasting; if it was not for the grace of God: there is no telling what I might be preaching today, for I sat right among them, and heard the same verbal words from Bro. William Branham, that they did. I will say this, though, I have never found any reason to take what he said and twist it around trying to make it say something else. Let us get back to Daniel 9:25 & 26, and talk about the 62 week period of time, that is mentioned there. We are looking at a 434 year period of time that picks up with the prophecy of Malachi. We take the 397 B.C. date as the starting point for those years, but remember, that is according to regular calculation which has 365¼ days in a solar year, but when you break that down into the Hebrew prophetic year which has only 360 days in it: that takes you back to where you have 400 years of prophetic time before the birth of Christ. Somewhere down through those years the city of Jerusalem was finally, completely built, but it was done in troublous times. That is no mystery though, for that same little Jewish history book that I read to you from, earlier, tells how Jerusalem was constantly overrun by invading armies on their great lustful campaigns to Egypt or Syria. Many times those armies would meet somewhere in, or around the land of Israel, to fight their terrible wars, and that would leave the land scarred, and marred with the dead bodies. Those were troublous times for sure. The story I read to you, about the man, Antiochus, the king of Syria, took place somewhere around between 175 & 162 B.C. Historical records vary somewhat on these dates, but we just put it in the message for the beauty of how it substantiates Daniel’s prophecy, concerning troublous times. Here was this Maccabee son, Judah, with only 3000 men facing odds to about 15 times his number, just like Gideon with his 300 men, but God was with them. They drove out the Syrians, cleanse and Sanctified the temple, and ended that 2300 day period of desolation.

WHAT OTHERS BELIEVE

Let me read a little portion from this book I am holding, to let you see what the Advent people teach, concerning this 2300 days in chapter 8, and the 490 years we are looking at over in Daniel 9. They put the two periods together, and say that the two prophetic measurements started in the year 457 B.C. They take the decree which allowed Ezra to go to Jerusalem with a commission to restore civil and religious law, in connection with the temple that had been built, and use that as a starting point. That puts them 12 years ahead of the Nehemiah decree which most all historians agree on as the beginning point of Daniel’s 70 weeks. Furthermore they say that the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, is actually 2300 years. But may I say this, They have to make it read, years, because they are using the 490 years in the 9th chapter as the code to apply this back here in the 8th chapter. The truth is, The angel in chapter 8, had not yet given a code. He just said this little horn, (coming out of the breakup of the Grecian empire) would do this terrible thing, and that the duration of it would be 2300 days. This is why I read from the actual history, that this Judah Maccabee, conquered the Syrian army, gained control of Jerusalem, tore down those Greeks idols, cleansed and dedicated the temple, and restored true worship, ending that period of desolation, in which swine’s flesh had been offered on the altar of God. When you check it through history; you find that this condition existed during a period of time that lasted from 6 to 7 years, and that lines up with the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. Therefore let me say once again, the 2300 days of chapter 8, have nothing at all to do with the 490 years (70 WEEKS) of chapter 9. Now, these advent people start their time calculation with the year 457 B.C., and carry it straight through into the grace age, right to the year 1844. They say that the cleansing of the sanctuary was something that took place in heaven, and its earthly effect was their great revelation of Sabbath keeping, and so forth, claiming that this is the proper way for Christians to worship. They also begin the 490 years of chapter 9, at the very same place (457 B.C.) And run it down to 408, and without even mentioning anything that might have happened then, they go right into the next 434 years. They have Christ being baptized and starting His ministry in 27 A.D., and His crucifixion in A.D. 31, and they say, He fulfilled the first half of the 70th week of Daniel when He was cut off, and that the last half of it was fulfilled when Stephen was stoned to death, in A.D. 34. Brothers and Sisters: I just want you to see how far people can get, off of the true meaning of the scriptures. They do not even mention any decree given to Nehemiah, yet they make mention of him in connection with the decree that was given to Ezra, the decree that allowed him to go to Jerusalem for the purpose of restoring order.

CALCULATING TIME

Now I want to explain something, and I hope you will follow closely and get the picture. We want to fix the cut off point in this 490 year prophecy that went into effect in the year 445 B.C. We must all see the same thing eventually, if we be the bride of Jesus Christ. He will not rapture a bride that has a dozen different versions of something that only has one version to it. I am using Jewish history because this prophecy is regulated by God’s dealing with the Jewish people, not Gentiles. Therefore let us settle our minds on the fact that somewhere before this whole 62 week period fo time would come to a close, the Messiah would be born, and right here is where the great mixup in dates really causes trouble. Prophetically, we must fix the time of Malachi’s prophecy at around 400 B.C., for we have B.C. and A.D. time to deal with. All of us know that B.C. indicates time before the advent of Christ, and A.D. pertains to time, after the advent of Christ. Right? Therefore B.C. time stops where A.D. time begins, or vice versa, and the birth of Christ was the marker. Now the historians, the scholars who deal with such things, have tried to update the calendar so many times that they are all fouled up, and hardly any of them can agree as to when Jesus was born. They start with where we are presently and figure backward, and they come out with ever so many different years that Jesus was born in, some as far back as 7 B.C., others 4 B.C., 3 B.C. and 1 B.C. But I want you to consider this, Jesus was born in the fall of the year. He had to be, in order to be 33½ years old in the month of Nisan which compares to part of March and part of April on our calendar. Are you following me? We all know he was crucified in the month Nisan, and that figures out to have been about April 6th to 8th, give or take a day. Alright now, His ministry lasted for about 3½ years. Is that not right? Now take that 3½ years back from the time He was crucified, and you will wind up in the fall of the year. He was baptized by John to begin His ministry, and the Bible says He was about 30 years old at that time. When you subtract 30 years from that time you will not be in the month of December. Neither will you be in March, nor April; you will be in the fall of the year. Right? That is why I say Jesus was born somewhere between the year 1 and 0 B.C. Think for just a moment now. If the year 1 B.C., started January 1, you would not stop the year the moment Jesus was born. If (for example) Jesus was born in the month of October, in the year 1 B.C., that year would still have to finish out, all the way through December 31, before you could start this year, 1 A.D. Are you still with me? Therefore in the year 1 A.D., in the month of October, He would have been 1 year old. You just have to remember that historical records are kept by a 365¼ days to the year calendar, and prophecy is given according to a 360 days to the year calendar. This 490 years (70 weeks of years) that we are dealing with, is 490 prophetic years, consisting of 360 days each, not 365¼ like you have on your solar calendar. Most historians will agree, that in ancient times, even the Egyptians, for a period, used a 360 day calendar. Many of the nations did. But they knew that the sun and the moon was out of balance, therefore, every so often, in the various nations that used this means, to calculate a year, 360 days, they would insert another month, this would occur every so often, this is absolutely the type of calendar that God gave the Israelites coming out of that Egyptian bondage, and the calendar that he gave them, started in the spring of the year. You read this in Exodus, and the first month of that year was called Abib. But after they went into Babylonian captivity, then they dropped that word Abib, and it took on the title, Nisan. Now right over here, is where they pick it up, while in Babylonian captivity. Nisan occurs in the spring of the year, and is related with the last part of March, and through the first part of April; that is when their month begins. That is when their religious calendar starts. Because it always dates back to the time when God brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Now, with this type of calendar, with this type of calculation, prophetic years, keep in mind. 360 days to the prophetic year, we will balance as we go along, but I want you to keep in mind, you’re dealing in the prophetic year, term, 360 days to that particular year. Therefore it lets me know, this is 490 prophetic years, not 490 solar years. Now how many in here know what solar years mean? It means 365¼ days for the earth to make its total traverse around the sun. This should tell a lot of people something. As I said before, evidently it happened in the flood, that the earth was pushed out of relationship to the sun, just far enough that it increased the rotation around the sun, this lengthened the whole journey, and this also brought the earth closer to the moon, which shortened the circumference of the moon’s rotation around the earth, while the two are together, going around the sun, and this shortened the lunar month, from actually 30 full days, to actually about 29½. Now, the Jewish calendar begins each month with a new moon. In actuality, if the universe today was in perfect balance, here is what you would have. In every year you would have 12 new moons. What is it, the pagans, even the ancient Indians kept records by? The moon. That is why you have always heard the old saying, many moons ago. It came from the Indians. Because there was in the knowledge of man, to keep time by the moon. He watched it rise from a new one, he watched it grow, and everything like that. Even the Orients today hold the lunar year, which means their whole year is measured by the rise of the new moon, and so forth, and that is exactly the calendar that God gave to Israel, in its prophetic relationship. Now, if everything was in perfect balance, the earth was with the sun, exactly the way it should be, and the moon the earth, we would have 12 lunar months, full 30 days each, and this would absolutely take out all confusion of time, and it would put 360 days each, and this would absolutely take out all confusion of time, and it would put 360 days, it would take that for the earth to go around the sun. And you know and I know, when you go to school, they will ask you, How many degrees are there in a circle? 360. I believe that God is the perfect mathematician. Don’t you? He has to be. He set the stars, now you could take all the other planetary bodies in space, they work perfect. Scientists can calculate exactly where Jupiter will be 100 years from now, because they know its route, its speed through space, and everything, and therefore, where it will be 100 years from now. Now that is the point we’re looking at. You must understand that the calendar we will be exploring here, is the prophetic calendar, but in doing so, it is necessary to use dates that are recorded in history by the Julian calendar. The important thing for you to understand from this message is not the dates that various things occurred, but rather, you should understand from what we show you, that from the going forth of the Nehemiah decree to restore and to build Jerusalem, right down to the time Jesus Christ the Messiah, was crucified, was exactly 483 prophetic years, which is exactly 69 weeks of the 70 weeks of time that we are dealing with. If you can just understand that there is yet one full week of prophetic time (7 years) left to the Jews, you will not be misled by these preachers who run around all over the world saying, that Jesus was cut off in the middle of the seventieth week. It was not Jesus cut off in the middle of that week, that we see there in Daniel 9:27; it will be the Jewish sacrifice and evening oblation that will be cut off by the Antichrist in the middle of that week which is yet ahead of where we are, that will fulfill Daniel 9:27. They do not even have such a thing now, but when that week truly does start, they will set up their altar and begin offering sacrifice to god, even while they are building the temple, just like they did when they were rebuilding the temple the first time. You read in Ezra 3:6, “From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not even yet laid.” That is exactly what they will do when they gain control of the temple grounds somewhere just out in front of where we are in time. Remember, God is the one who is watching over the time, and He is not checking out calendar to keep up with it either; He is going by His calendar that has never changed. Praise His name!

No Man Knoweth The Day And Hour – 1980, May

1980-04-No-Man-Knoweth-The-Day-And-Hour

SINCE NO MAN KNOWS THE DAY NOR THE HOUR WHEN JESUS WILL COME AGAIN, LET US TAKE THE WORD OF GOD AND ESTABLISH THE SEASON THAT HE WILL COME IN. THE BIBLE GIVES US THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES THAT WE ARE TO LOOK FOR, IF WE WANT TO KNOW THE APPROXIMATE TIME, AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO CONCENTRATE ON IN THIS MESSAGE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT WORLD CONDITIONS WILL HAVE TO BE LIKE IN ORDER TO BE AS THEY WERE IN THE DAYS OF NOAH? AND OF LOT? DO YOU KNOW WHAT PAUL TOLD THE THESSALONIANS ABOUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH? WOULD YOU KNOW HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE ANTI-CHRIST THAT IS TO COME? ALSO, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE MIRACLES THAT WE ARE HEARING ABOUT FROM THE CHARISMATIC GROUPS? WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES AND ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AND MORE. WE WANT TO SHOW HOW THE FIG TREE (ISRAEL) IDENTIFIES THE GENERATION THAT SHALL SEE THE COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. THEREFORE I URGE YOU TO BEAR WITH ME THROUGH ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES THAT I FEEL IT IS NECESSARY TO USE. TEXT: MATTHEW 24:27-36

Our main scripture for this message will be taken from the 24th chapter of Matthew, but we will be reading parts of Mark 13, and Luke 17, along with it in order to get more clarification on what caused Jesus to say certain things that He said in this discourse. We want to take verse 36, and get a title for this message, then we will concentrate on what those words pertained to. The complete verse reads like this: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only,” but we will just title the message, “NO MAN KNOWETH THE DAY AND HOUR,” and then drop back to verse 27 to begin reading our text. Before we start reading let me say this; Through the centuries past, Christians have read these words of Jesus, and because of verse 36, they have just set the whole thing aside and said, “Jesus said, we are not supposed to know when these things are to take place, so why be concerned about them?” That was alright for Christians of every other age, but we are living in the age these scriptures were written for, and they are not there just to take up space in the Bible; they are to accomplish something in God’s plan for Christians in the Laodicean age. That is why we are going to study them very carefully; we want to lay all theology aside, and try to see exactly what these words hold for those of us who have been privileged to be the generation spoken of in verse 34, which we will get to a little later. You have heard me say many times, that, in order to get a true picture from certain gospel accounts, it is necessary to read what each of the four gospel writers wrote. Our text scriptures for this message is no exception, for there are certain statements in it that require help from Mark and Luke in order to get a true revelation. These men were not repetitionists; they were each seeking to record the things that Jesus said and did during the 3 ½ years He ministered on earth, and they wrote of the events as any other mortal would; they recorded those things that impressed them most of what they saw and heard. None of them recorded every detail of everything they wrote about, but if we will look at what each of them wrote, we are better able to align the sequence of events that take place and words that are spoken. People who have failed to realize this have read certain statements that, standing alone, have molded various ideas into their minds that have been there for years. Then when they finally do get a proper revelation they will say, “Why did I not see that before? It is so clear to me now.” Then there are also some who will just flatly refuse to accept the idea that another gospel writer’s account could change their understanding. Nevertheless I believe we can take what Jesus said here in Matthew 24, and allow the Spirit of God to open to us a far greater meaning than we have had in the past. Why do I say that? Simply because we are living in that hour, when what He said is being applied, and is going to be applied from now on until the end. Keep in mind, the generation that Jesus spoke these words to never did see any of what He mentioned here. Neither did hundreds of other generations since then, but our generation will see every bit of it fulfilled. You and I as individuals may not live that long, but this generation will not pass off the scene until all that Jesus spoke here has been fulfilled.

WHEN WILL JESUS COME?

Open your Bible to Matthew 24, verse 27, and we will begin to read our text. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” You will find it very interesting to note how Jesus spoke of His visible coming to the earth to rule and reign and His mystical coming for the church, both, in such a way that the natural mind cannot sort them out and keep them straight. That is why there have been so many opinions as to how and when the rapture will take place, among those who do believe in the secret rapture of the church, the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 27, is definitely speaking of His visible return to earth after the great tribulation has run its course. When that hour comes, the whole world will literally see Him coming in power and glory. Not one of those who are left alive at that time will have to strain their eyes to see Him. No one has to strain their eyes to see lightning when it flashes across the sky, do they? You can even close your eyes and that flash is so bright it still penetrates enough that you can tell it. It is as though your eyelids light up. You see the effects of it even with your eyes closed. Now that is what Jesus meant by this statement; when the hour arrives for Him to make His visible appearance in the heavens, in His descent to earth, His appearance will have the same affect on the human race; they will not be able to hide their face from it. This is just a comparison to emphasize the fact that every eye shall behold Him. There will be nothing secret about it. However, when he comes to catch the bride away to the marriage supper, only she will see Him; all the rest of the world will continue right on with what they are doing. The bride’s sudden departure will not create havoc as some have dramatized it. The world in general will never miss them when they go. We will say more about that a little later, but right now let us look at verse 28. “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” Matthew put that statement there, but we will show you in a little while that it does not belong there at all. When we go to Luke 17, a little later, you will see that Jesus gave this as an answer to a question asked him by His disciples. Some in this end time message have taken this verse to mean that wherever the revelated word is being presented, there will the true saints be gathered together; it can have a type. I agree that hungry saints, which can be compared to eagles, will truly gather where the fresh word of God is being taught, but Luke shows us that Jesus did not speak these words specifically for that meaning. Naturally, if this was the only place in the Bible that this verse could be found we would give it to that meaning and stand on it, but when we have other passages that shed more light, we are to walk in that light. Matthew did not even mention the fact that a question was asked that caused Jesus to say this. That is where many people have missed the great meaning of certain Bible truths. Many times the key to a whole verse lies in just one word, as we will demonstrate a little later. Right now, let us read verse 29, which is directly related to verse 27, speaking of His literal, visible return to earth. He had said, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” This verse tells what is going to happen, and how it will take place. Then verse 29, tells us when it will be like that. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (this term, TRIBULATION, and, THOSE DAYS, are applicable to the 70th week of Daniel’s 70 prophetic weeks of years concerning the nation of Israel,) 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.” Before going on, let me drop back and read Daniel 9:27, to get the setting of this great tribulation, and those days, which Jesus said would proceed His literal coming. “And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant (a peace and trade agreement) with many for one week: (the agreement will not be set up for just one week, 7 years, but God will only let it last that long. He will allow the Antichrist that much time) and in the midst of the week he (the Antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Brothers and sisters, the world is rapidly moving toward an hour when a world dictator will be allowed to take over world rule for a period of 7 years. In the scriptures he is called, the Antichrist, the false prophet, the son of Perdition, the beast, and so forth, and by revelation, true saints of God call him, the pope, for we see that such a world ruler as is described in the scriptures can only come through that office, the office of the pope of Rome. He will move into his prophesied role of world rulership, because the world is fast getting into such a state of chaos that its leaders will soon begin to look for a man who has some answers to their many unanswered questions. Carter does not have the answer for the world’s great dilemma; neither does Khomeini, but there is one man that will have enough answers to cause world leaders to look to him for direction. Whether it is the present pope, or one that will follow him, we do not know, but we do know that whoever is filling that office in the Vatican when the hour arrives that Jesus was pointing to, will be the man that will fulfill Daniel 9:27, and all the other scriptures that pertain to the Antichrist.

END-TIME SIGNS

Before returning to our next scriptures let me just say a word or two about Khomeini and his gang of cutthroats. If those people are allowed to take those hostages and use them as leverage against all concerned nations, without being severely punished for their actions, it will not be long until taking diplomatic hostages will become as routine as hijacking airplanes. Because of a lack of proper punishment for such deeds: every little old pup who desires some excitement, picks up a stick, a gun, a bomb, or something, and off he goes to hijack a plane. Do you know why? It is because they do not have to worry about getting shot. Everyone is so full of love, so sympathetic, they just do not want to see anyone die. They would rather pay ransoms, bargain and trade with these law breakers than to deal with them in a way that would put a stop to a lot of it. That is the kind of compromising philosophy that has moved the whole world to the brink of an international disaster where it stands today. I would not try to hold back conditions that God has allowed for the purpose of fulfilling the scriptures, but I do know that there is a God approved way to chasten law breakers, that will cause other potential law breakers to reconsider their plans. Of course it is too late for anything like that now; those days are behind us, and will remain so until Jesus sets up His millennium reign. Many people want to talk about the former Shah of Iran, how he executed a number of people, and denied certain rights to others. Let me tell you something; There are a lot of modern, church going people who will not enjoy seeing Jesus come to sit on His throne, for what the Shah did will be like child’s play compared to what He will do in that hour. He will separate the sheep people from the goat people, usher the sheep into the kingdom prepared for them from before the foundation of the world, and cast the cursed goats into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. He will not ask anyone if it is alright to do that either; no world leaders will be consulted. He will not be opening any books to judge them out of; His judgment will be according to Isaiah, chapter 11, according to the intents of men’s hearts. No one will be permitted to present any defense. I am talking to you straight out of the Bible, saints; do not get disturbed at me. God’s way has always been to punish law breakers sufficiently to place fear in others who might consider breaking the law. The devil has the world in general, so brainwashed, they take better care of those who break the law than they do the law abiding citizens. These things are all pointing to the end, and only those who know the truth can look at them properly.

DANIEL’S SEVENTIETH WEEK

Let us look back to verse 29 now, where Jesus is associating His visible return with not a century, nor a decade, but a seven year period in which the last 3 ½ years is known as the great tribulation. We want to see, from the Bible, that Christians do not need to know the day nor the hour when the Lord Jesus will come. We are only to know the fruit bearing season itself, therefore, let us establish the fact that His visible return to earth will be at the end of a seven year period of time allotted to the Antichrist, a time in which he shall fulfill many prophecies, and also a time when a great world peace plan will suddenly be turned into chaos, and wickedness shall rule the whole earth. People who love God too much to deny Him will be martyred by the thousands, but somewhere around the first part of that seven year period Jesus will appear in the clouds, and call His bride people up to meet Him in the air, both the dead in Christ as well as those who are left alive until then. Remember this, it is not how much you can learn in a certain period of time that will award you God’s diploma; it is what you learn and retain as revelation. That seven year period is divided into two 3 ½ year periods, and there are multitudes of people professing to be Christians, who could not care less. Some will even tell you that none of that matters, just as long as you love Jesus. But I say to you who love truth, if none of this matters, we could just tear up the largest portion of our Bibles and throw them in the fire. No, God wants some people who will study His word, get familiar with scriptural signs of the times, and allow those signs to have them dressed properly and watching for the Lord Jesus to come for them. We have just dealt with a message taken from the scriptures recorded in verse 1-13, of the 25th chapter of Matthew, a message dealing with wise and foolish virgins who were all slumbering and sleeping in their denominations until such time as a wake up message began to be proclaimed around the world. Now, the virgins are all awake; some are being washed by the washing of the word of God, according to Ephesians 5:26, and others are out in the charismatic meetings enjoying Holy Ghost sensations and making big plans for a world wide revival. Those who are wise virgins know that it is too late for a world shaking revival that will get hold of great numbers of lost mankind; therefore they have determined in their hearts to find the will of God for their own lives in this late hour of time in which we are living. That very determination is causing them to realize that God did not inspire His men of old to record vain words in the book we call the Bible. We realize that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17) Therefore, we understand that it is important for the grace age bride of Christ to know whether there is still one full week of Daniel’s seventy weeks to be fulfilled, or whether there is only one half of that last week left. We have proved by the scriptures, over and over again, that there is still one full week left to be fulfilled, but there are yet many people who will hold to the idea that Jesus was crucified in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week. Brothers and sisters, anyone who would take the time to study Revelation 11:3-13, 12:16, 13:1-8, and Daniel 9:24-27, should be able to understand that God’s two witnesses cannot prophesy to the nation of Israel for 3 ½ years, (Rev. 11:3) if that nation (the woman, Rev. 12:6) is fleeing into a hiding place that God has prepared for her to hide her from the Antichrist for 3 ½ years, if it is the same 3 ½ year period. Those two witnesses will prophesy throughout the first half of that week. Then the Antichrist will break his peace covenant and have them killed in the middle of the week. That is when the woman (ISRAEL) flees into the wilderness to hide, throughout the last half of that week, while the Antichrist is seated in the temple at Jerusalem showing himself as God. His 3 ½ year reign is the great tribulation, the time when the thousands of Gentile foolish virgins, and Orthodox Jews will be martyred. We know what will take place in that week of years; we just do not know yet, when that week will start. I will say this, though; Every true, Holy Ghost filled child of God will know when the time is getting close at hand. Furthermore, Paul said, in his 2nd letter to the saints at Thessalonika, that our gathering together unto Him (Jesus, for the rapture) will not come except their be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed. (2nd Thes. 2:1-4) That means true saints of God will recognize the man of sin, who is called the son of perdition in the scriptures, and they will know that Gentile time has run out, and that the rapture is close at hand, when the world is still rejoicing over their great peace covenant, and praising the man who was most instrumental in bringing it about, (the pope of Rome).

GREAT DRAMA IN THE HEAVENS

To come back to verse 29, of our text now, will give us an opportunity to compare the last part of that verse with what John wrote about the 6 seal. “Immediately th 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.” What will happen then? 30 “And THEN (immediately after the great tribulation) 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.” Turn over to Revelation 6:12-17, and we will read almost exactly the same thing as we have just read from Matthew 24. This enables us to see that the 6th seal has its fulfillment in the visible coming of the Lord Jesus at the end of the great tribulation. We will not read all those verses just now, but notice verse 12, especially. It speaks of a great earthquake, of the sun becoming as blood, then goes on to say, the stars fall from heaven and great men of the earth flee into caves, crying out to the rocks and the mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne. In that hour there will not be anything left on earth in the way of a righteous element of people from a salvational standpoint. All of them will be with Jesus already, ready to descend back to earth with Him. That sign in the heavens will be so visible, it will be impossible for any mortal person to miss it. I sometimes illustrate it by comparing it to a great play in a theater. The auditorium is filled with people, the curtains on the stage are drawn together, all the lights are on, and people are yakking all over the place. What a racket! That is the picture of the world today. But suddenly a voice rings out across the auditorium, Lights Out! Everyone knows what is about to take place; the play is going to begin. The lights go out, and then it is very quiet as all eyes are focused toward the stage. You know what the effect of turning off the lights is; it causes everything else around you to leave your attention. All eyes are focused on the only light there is in the building, the stage lights. The only light is on the players. That is exactly what God will do when the great tribulation has run its course; a great earthquake shall suddenly get everyone’s attention. Then He will turn off all the lights; the sun will become black, and therefore the moon which reflects the sun will cease to give her light also. The stars fall from heaven, and there is nothing but darkness all around. When God turns off all the lights in this old universe, do not think every eye will not be turned heavenward. All those who have scoffed and made fun of the people, and things of God, will suddenly find themselves in a position where there is only one way to look; that will be toward heaven where all the celestial bodies have suddenly taken on a great change. Saints; How many of you know what chapter in the book of Revelation is ready to be fulfilled at that time? Look at verse 11, in chapter 19, and you will see God draw back the curtains of heaven, and Jesus and His great armies begin their descent to earth. At such a glorious sight, why would not the hearts of all wicked mankind begin to tremble? Why would they not cry for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. You will not find any of them denying that there is a God in that hour; the whole world will see heaven opened, and will see Jesus, the one who said, “I am the light of the world,” come with all His heavenly armies to take vengeance on all those ungodly mortals who remain alive at that time.

EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW

I do not want to convey the idea that Gods wrath in the day when the earth is without light of all the celestial bodies will be a sudden thing, like a flash of light, and it will all be over. No, we have to keep verse 30, in mind as we put this together. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.” That sign will hang there while every knee bows, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. He uses the lightning flash across the skies to illustrate the fact that this heavenly scene will be seen by every mortal eye on the face of this earth, and not to say that it will all be over with in a flash. His descent will be gradual while His wrath is being poured out upon the earth. That is why wicked men have time to hide in the dens and caves, trying to escape His wrath, but it will do them no good to hide, all the elements will be against them. While in the Philippines, we were on this subject, and I explained it to them in this way, I said to them, Deep in the heart of this earth there are, no doubt, gaseous pressures being built up, some of which we are seeing in minor earthquakes as time goes on. (They are minor compared to what is ahead) But in that great day of the Lord, as Jesus is coming to the earth, and the wrath of God is being poured out, this old planet is going into convulsions. It will not be just one little earthquake; it will be an earthquake that will rock the whole planet. Revelation 16:17-21, clarifies that for us. These scriptures are dealing with the same event as Matt. 24, and Rev. 6 and 19. Notice this now, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” You can read the rest of it later. You will see where the cities of the nations fall, mountains and islands disappear, and great hail stones from heaven fall upon wicked mankind. I think of all those high rise apartments and skyscraper buildings in New York, Chicago, Singapore, Manila and Tokyo, and all over this world today. Men have spent billions of dollars building them, and not one of them will be able to withstand such a shaking as God is going to give them in that day. No wonder mortal man on earth will have to look up and say, Yes, He truly is both Lord and Christ. It will be too late for such a confession to benefit their doomed souls, but nevertheless, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW and EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the God the Father. Those people look at the Bible as a book of fairy tales now. They have never taken the time to realize that it is the only book upon the face of this earth that has steered the courses of all humanity down through life. Many of these people have actually done things in their lifetime, that they had to do, to fulfill prophecies of the Bible, and they did not even know why they did them. God puts it in the hearts of mortal men to do certain things that will fulfill His will and purpose.

THE FIG TREE

planning for the futureLet us continue in our text scriptures by going to verse 32; I want to save verse 31, to bring in at a later time. Jesus uses a parable here, and I believe it is very important for us to realize why He used the parable at this particular moment. Naturally, as He told His disciples about His visible return to earth , it began to put an expectancy within them. I can hear a question being asked by one of those who were closest to Him. The question probably sounded something like this, Lord, you have told us how it is going to be, but you have not told us when it will be like that. When will we see you coming to earth, from heaven, like that? Here is how He answered that question, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors, Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” When he answered their question like that they did not know what He meant by this fig tree putting forth leaves. Oh, yes, they knew that Israel was a fig tree, symbolically, but as far as they were concerned the Jews were already in the land. The two southern tribes were, and there was nothing about what He said that would cause them to know he was referring to their, then, national situation. He just said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” (We know, now, that He was talking about Israel.) “When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.” Of course they could all identify with the fig tree; they understood it’s cycle. It goes into the winter season and loses its leaves. When spring comes, it first puts out little new twigs; then its little buds begin to swell; the first thing you know it has leaves, then the fruit comes. Jesus uses this illustration to actually give them a prophecy, a prophecy concerning the fact that they would eventually go into captivity again, though He did not say it in a way that they got that meaning from it. In other words Israel must go into complete national death in a comparative sense. They must exist just like that fig tree when it is in its winter season. In the middle of January it is barren; there is no life, no leaves, no fruit. (That is how the nation of Israel existed for centuries until time moved into the Twentieth Century.) Now you can identify a tree by its leaf; you do not have to wait for the fruit to know what kind of tree it is. Likewise, people who know the word of God, did not have to wait for Israel, as a nation, to begin to bear fruit in order to recognize life in her, and know that this parable of Jesus is being fulfilled in our generation. Naturally those disciples who heard Jesus speak those things that day could only apply what they heard to their lifetime; they had no way of knowing that what they were hearing would not have its fulfillment for more than 1900 years later. After Jesus spoke those words and was crucified, and arose from the dead the third day, the nation of Israel continued on in much the same way until 70 A.D. when the Roman army, under the leadership of Titus, came in and tore down the city, slaughtered many of the people, and completely desecrated the whole land. They took the healthy ones away for slaves, and only left a few old people, and sick people, to mourn the condition. From that time on, for the next 1900 years, the land of Israel lay desolate, just like an old fig tree in the winter season, and as long as she remained like that, there was absolutely no scriptural reason whatsoever for anyone to think that Jesus would make His visible return to earth, neither His secret return for His grace age bride, for He will never overstep one word of all that is written concerning Him in the Bible. Yet there have been people in every age that would say, Jesus can come just any time now. We all hear that said, often. But Jesus cannot come now, except for you or me as an individual that has fulfilled our days on earth. If that is the way He comes, then there will be some funeral services in a day or two. I hope you get my point. Too many people have played around with the scriptures entirely too long already. Now it is time for some of us to settle down and realize that there are yet a few scriptures to be fulfilled before He comes again. Oh! Brother Jackson: If you talk like that people will not even try to get themselves ready to meet Him. I beg your pardon. What would you do? Try to scare them into getting themselves ready? That idea will not line up with the word of God either. Jesus is not coming after a bride that has been scared into making herself ready. Did any of you young married women ever get dressed up in your wedding garment because you were scared? Absolutely not! You go dressed up in your wedding gown because you realized it was time for the wedding, and you wanted to get dressed. So will it be with the bride of Christ. Not one of them will have to be scared by some kind of a threat in order to cause them to get dressed. Every living person that is to be caught up in the translation will be fully dressed in the revelated word of God. Revelation 19:7-8, 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. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” John is seeing the little bride of Christ that has made herself ready to meet the bridegroom. When will she do that? She is busy about it right now. We are that generation that shall see all the things Jesus spoke of, come to pass. How do I know we are? Simply because we have seen that dormant fig tree come to life and we are witnessing the cycle that Jesus described in verse 32.

LAST GRACE AGE GENERATION

In 1948 when the United Nations voted in one night’s time to grant Israel statehood, that brought the old lifeless fig tree out of her dormant state, the sprout was ready to shoot forth and start growing. Then by the time their June 1967, was over, she had put on some leaves. I am sure you understand what I mean; she had taken some territory. Therefore the next thing to watch for is the fruit. In the parable, when the leaves come forth it is getting close to fruit bearing time. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (He is referring to all those things He has spoke of up until that hour) know that it is near, even at the doors.” In the marginal reference, that says, Know that He is at the doors, meaning, He is ready to come. In other words we should take note of the fact that His visible return to earth is associated with the summer season, which is the fruit bearing season. Then, verse 34, brings in what He said about the generation of humanity that is living to witness that fig tree coming to life. “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” This, absolutely, without question, is referring to our present generation. Now, Luke, in his writing, brought in some similar words of Jesus that dealt with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., telling that generation what to watch for, and when to flee, and so forth. But you will notice that Matthew held to those things He said, that related to the end time. Not only did our generation witness the rebirth of the nation of Israel, we have present all the other things Jesus mentioned. The world is full of false Christs, and there are all kinds of anointings everywhere you look. There has never been another generation that had so many religious actors as our generation. I will not take the space to comment on our religious television programs of our day, except to say that they are selling the precious blood of Jesus Christ in every conceivable way. You know what I mean by that; they all have their hand out begging for support for what they are doing. God is not a beggar, but nevertheless, it takes all this to fulfill the words of Jesus of what it would be like in the end time. We have earthquakes; we have pestilences; we have famines in just about every region of the world, and Jesus said, “All of these are the beginning of sorrows.” They point us to His soon return, but do not ever forget this, His visible coming has go to be tied to a tribulation hour, and that tribulation hour is also to be understood, by those who have the Spirit of God in their lives to guide them into all truth. That hour will catch the true people of God off guard. They will recognize it well in advance, and be ready to leave this old world before the actual tribulation begins.

JESUS AS THE OBEDIENT SON

Now verse 35, is the clincher. If we did not know it already; that verse lets us know that every word Jesus spoke will have to be fulfilled exactly as He said. Not one word will be bypassed. Then, verse 36, brings us to our main scripture for this message title. “BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, No not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” These words open up another thought, and the gospel of Mark carries it a little farther than Matthew. Mark 13:32, reads, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, NEITHER THE SON, but the Father.” Trinitarians like to use that verse to argue against the oneness of God revelation. They see the Father as one person, and the Son as another, and they do not even realize, that, anytime Jesus spoke of the Father, He was referring to that omnipresent Spirit that created all things, and knows all things, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the very Spirit that created a cell of life in the womb of the virgin girl, Mary, who is called the mother of Jesus. That same Spirit, the Spirit that Jesus referred to as Father was robed in the very flesh that called Him Father, the flesh of Jesus. Through time, the Spirit that God the Father is, has delegated certain authorities, and certain knowledge to be fulfilled through the office work of the Son Himself, and certain other things, were not given to the office work of the Son. Nevertheless, There is only one God, regardless of what grandmother or grandfather might have taught you. The best way I can illustrate this is, When Jesus was taken up and seated on the right hand of the Father: He was not seated on the right side of another person, but on the right hand of this eternal Spirit’s authority. He was given power and authority to intercede for sinful mankind. He is our high priest, our mediator, our lawyer, you might say. Everything pertaining to this mediatorial work has been delegated to the office work of the Son. We must try to understand why Jesus spoke as He did. For instance; why did He say, “The Son can do nothing of Himself?” Simply because He did not know ten years in advance, (speaking from the standpoint of the flesh man) what the Spirit in Him would cause Him to say and do. That is why He said, “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.” Then again, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Notice this 29 verse, of the 8 chapter of John. “He that hath sent me is with me: The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” This is a perfect illustration and example of the flesh of man being led completely, by the Spirit that was within Him, but you can never make two separate persons out of those scriptures that speak of the Father, and also, of the Son. Therefore we must understand, that, when Jesus said, No man knoweth the day, nor the hour, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only, it was because the whole plan of redemption was something that was chosen, elected and established in the mind of God before the world was ever created. It was to be fulfilled through the office work of the Son, when time progressed to the point where the Son would actually come into existence and be available to pay the supreme sacrifice for man’s sin. Redemption for the whole human race was purchased through the sacrificial death of the Son, but the authority for it all goes right back to the mind of the Father, who is a Spirit, and not a person. All knowledge is from the mind of God. But it is plain to see that the Father (the Spirit) did not pour the knowledge of every detail into the mind of the Son; (Jesus, the flesh and blood man.) He delegated to the mind of the Son only those things that pertained to those particular moments of time. He knew what was going to happen to Him, and He knew why, but at the time He spoke these words He did not know when He would come again. He did know assuredly that He would come again, but He was different from you and me; He was so obedient to the Father, it did not matter to Him when He would come again. At that time He knew He had one more job to do, and that was at Calvary. He did not want to die; His flesh, or I should say, the human side of Jesus cried out just like anyone else would. That is why He was out there in the garden praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” You will notice though that He included these words in His prayer, also, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” That was total surrender to the eternal Spirit which was the Father, the mental battle was over. Inwardly He knew He was ordained to die. That is why He said, “For this purpose came I into the world.” When He left Galilee with His disciples He knew what was ahead, for as they walked along He told them this, “The Son of man will go to Jerusalem, will fall into the hands of wicked men, suffer many things, and die, but on the third He will rise again. This is what caused Peter to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” But He knew what the will of God was in this matter; therefore He turned to Peter, and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou understandest not the things that be of God, but only those that be of men.” When He was in the garden praying, He knew this thing was just a few hours away, and He knew He would raise from the dead the third day, but as for His visible return to earth for the millennium, He did not know yet, when it would be.

NOAH WALKED BY FAITH

Brothers and sisters: In dealing with this type of message; it takes a little time to get our thought opened up, but I am doing by best to show you why Jesus spoke many things as He did. Please take note of the fact that it was before Calvary, that He said unto them, “NO MAN KNOWETH THE DAY NOR THE HOUR,” when He would return in the manner described. Let us notice now, in verse 37, what He led off into after He said that. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” As we examine this comparison with the days of Noah, remember this, Noah did not know when the flood was going to come; he just knew that God had told him to build an ark of certain dimensions, and that He had told him what was to be taken into the ark besides his own family. Noah did not need to know then, when the flood would come; all he needed was a command of God to build the ark, and he started building it. All the time he was building the ark he was preaching, for it is written that he was a preacher of righteousness. He was warning his generation of what was coming, but did they take heed? I can just hear them: Noah, What are you doing? I am building a boat. Why are you building a boat? It is going to rain and flood the land. Noah, you must be crazy: It has never rained. But God said that it is going to rain, and, if He said it, I believe it is going to happen. Noah did not know when it was going to rain, but he followed God’s instructions and did all that God told him to do, and by the time he finished preparing for what was coming, it was just about time for it to begin. When he finished the boat God spoke again, giving him his next instructions. Noah, go out and gather up all the animals that are to go with you, and all the food that you will need, and put them in the ark, and then take your family members according to my instructions, and go in, for in seven days it will begin to rain, and it will continue for forty days and nights, and every living thing that is not in the ark will be destroyed from off the face of the earth. Noah had walked by faith for more than one hundred years in preparing the ark, and just seven days before it is to happen, God tells him when it is going to start raining. Now I do not believe Noah and his sons had to go out and set a lot of traps in order to catch the animals that were to be saved from the flood. I believe there was an inspiration from the Almighty that caused those animals to be attracted to them. I realize this may sound a little strange to educated minds, but so be it. Praise God! There is a time ahead when the whole animal kingdom will be completely tame. Children and what we know as wild, dangerous beasts will play together, in the millennium. We know this because the word of God declares it.

NOAH’S DAY – OUR DAY

Now, just as God did not have to chase Noah down, out in the woods somewhere, and say, Hey Noah: I told you to get in the ark: it is going to rain; neither will the bride of Christ have to be chased down at the last minute out here shopping or something, and told to get ready. Every last bride person will be ready just like Noah was. It is a matter of believing the word of God, and being led by the Spirit of God in obeying His word. By that, I mean, private interpretations have no place in the lives of God’s true people. Paul instructed Christians to be all of the same mind, and to speak the same thing. Those who are always out running here and there, trying to get a new revelation, are not even interested in the unity of the body of Christ. Self will is not God’s will in spiritual matters. In verse 38, of our text chapter you can see the comparison Jesus used to show how conditions will be at the end of this age. It will be the same as it was in the days before the flood, when all those carnal, self willed people went on their merry way, either ignoring, or making fun of God’s righteous servant until the flood came and took them all away. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Saints, that is a picture of our present generation. So much attention is given to eating and drinking, and to engagements and weddings, but very little time is given to the things of God. I want you to know, while Noah was busy building an ark, at the command of God, and getting all those animals and food stuff aboard, all the rest of the world was busy building houses, and running to McDonald’s for a hamburger, or to the Burger Queen, or the White Castle. (These are places that people of our day are running to.) They were all busy with their worldly interests, and nothing that Noah was saying, or doing, alarmed them one bit whatsoever. It is the same today. The word of God gives us signs to watch for, but he majority of people in the world today could not care less what is going on in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any place else, just as long as it does not interfere with their own plans. The whole Middle East could go up in flames and it would not bother them one bit. Let me tell you, one of these days, and I believe it will be very soon, something is going to happen that will bother them, but it will be too late.

GOD’S WORD IS PRECISE

Jesus did not say very much about the rapture of the church, but He said enough to give strength to what the apostle Paul taught in the various letters he wrote. Just as Noah knew that it was going to rain, and made every necessary preparation for it, all because He believed what God had said, So will the true bride of Christ who believes in a secret rapture of the church, be prepared for it when the time comes. Noah made all his preparation without knowing what day and hour, or even what year the rain would come, but when it came time for Noah to enter into the ark, God told him that the rain would come in just seven days. Seven days from then the rain began to fall, and Noah was already shut in the ark by the hand of God, he and all those who were ordained to be saved. Keep this in mind, When God says 7 days: He means 7 days; not 6, nor 8, but 7. Likewise when God’s word says His two anointed witnesses will prophesy in the land of Israel for 3 ½ years, He means exactly that, and when it says that the Antichrist will have 3 ½ years, it means that he will have exactly 3 ½ years, no more, and no less. I wonder if you can begin to see a parallel, or a type here? The little bride of Christ that has been dressing herself with the revelated word of God will know that the literal appearing of Jesus Christ on earth will be exactly 7 prophetic years from the time that covenant of Daniel 9:27, is confirmed and those Jewish prophets start prophesying. When that week of time becomes effective you can mark off exactly 2,520 days on your calendar and say, This is when Jesus will descend from heaven back to earth. This is exactly 7 years of 360 days each. Now, you can do that because God’s word tell us that, immediately after the tribulation of those days Jesus will return to pour out His wrath upon the wicked inhabitants of this old world. But I pray that every one of you who will read this article will be among the number of those who will not be left on earth to face that dark hour of time. Those who are shut in with Jesus in a revelation of His word will know some things that others will not know concerning the plan of God, but by the time they learn those intimate things, they will already have made themselves ready. They will know these things because they are ready, and certainly not in an effort to cause them to get ready. As far as knowing exactly when the rapture is going to take place, we have no need to know that. If we knew that it was going to take place on June 22 at 8:00 in the morning, I am sure that some of you would never hit another lick of work. Some have set dates for the rapture. Others who do not even believe in a rapture have set dates for the Lord’s visible return, and every last one of those dates have come and gone, and Jesus is not here yet. We have read of one group out in Arizona that had a date set for the Lord’s return. They had a nuclear bomb exploding, and the world coming to an end. They built their bomb shelter, stocked it full of food, and they all got in there, waiting for it to happen. They did not believe in a rapture; they just believed He had given them the wisdom to know how to protect themselves against the bomb, and the fall out. You all know what happened; that date passed, and food spoiled, and one by one their revelation began to fade away. Another such case was out in Arkansas a few years ago. These people set their date, took their children out of school, locked themselves in their homes, and stopped all activity. Before long, newspaper people were knocking on their doors, the sheriff was knocking, wanting to take their children and put them back in public school, and so forth. How many remember the incident? They thought they had it all figured out. I also remember how, back in 1968, we had some people in this message that believed Jesus was coming in the month of October, 1968. Then there was the man who claimed the Lord had showed him that, by the time the year of 1973 had come and gone, the rapture would be history. Brothers and sisters, 1973 has been gone for a long time now, and the rapture has not taken place yet. Another year of much emphasis, among some, was 1977, and it has come and gone, and still no rapture, and no millennium. The strange thing about it all, is how these people fight for their date until it has come and gone, and then you cannot find one of them anywhere that will admit they believed such a thing. Does this not help you to realize why Jesus said Of that day, and that hour knoweth no man? When people get to expecting an event like that, they just simply lose all common sense, and act foolishly. The very fact that we have had all these forerunning things like this, lets us know what mortal man would do if God had set an exact date for the return of Christ Jesus. The Lord does not want anything like that. What He wants is some people who have a hunger, and an appreciation for truth. Do not put His coming twenty years off in the future, either. Just watch current events, and apply them scripturally where they line up, and do not jump to any sudden conclusions in either direction. It is the season for His coming that He wants us to recognize; and it is by watching conditions in the world that we come to recognize such a season. Even the thunders of Revelation 10:3, will not give us a certain day and hour for His return, but they will give us an insight that we do not now have, and they will intensify our understanding of the things of God. There is a great contrast between the effects of knowing the day and hour of His return, and simply just knowing the season for it. One could bring reproach and disaster, but the other will make us more like Him. If we recognize by the events of the world, that we are within the season for His return, we will go to the assembly lines, or to the fields, singing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.” You can be hammering away on your carpenter job, and if you mash your finger, Praise God! Jesus is coming soon, and I will never mash it again! Revelated Christians are looking forward to an event that will make the Exodus out of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea seem like a small thing compared to it. Just to think that one day we will hear a voice, ARISE! COME UP HERE! It almost overwhelms you to think of such a thing. Hallelujah! Brothers and sisters, it is going to happen! The eagles are going to be gathered together unto Him. One will be taken and the other left. The one who is ready and watching for His return will be taken right from the side of another one that has lived for the pleasures of this life at the expense of their own soul’s destiny, one from the field in America, and one from the bed in India, Africa, Norway, or wherever it is night time when it takes place.

UNNECESSARY TROUBLE

I will never forget talking to a certain man in the barber shop a few years ago. He said, Bro. Jackson: I feel like the time is so short; there are just so many months left before the rapture; therefore I feel that I have enough money to take me through without having to do anything else. I thought to myself, you had better be sure you are right, for by the time your money runs out, and the Lord still has not come, you will have to go back to work again, and a job may not be that easy to come by. Do you know, that is exactly what Paul had to deal with in the Thessalonian church? That is exactly what had happened there. They had taken Paul’s own teaching concerning the coming of the Lord, and become so wrapped up in it, that they got completely off track and became troubled about it all. He had to write them a letter, reprimanding them, and reminding them of what he had really endeavored to teach them. We will go to the Thessalonian letters a little later, but let me say again, It is not the day and hour that we need to know, about the coming of the Lord; it is how to recognize the season. A season could be anywhere from 6 months to a year, but the bride of Christ will be able to put two and two together, when world events have moved us into the season when Daniel’s seventieth week is staring us right in the face. His mystical return for the true church should be associated, or applied to a little period of time at the beginning of that week.

JESUS COMES AS A THIEF

We have another parable to look at before we go to the Thessalonian letters. This parable is also dealing with the coming of the Lord, but remember, it is a parable. It is given to make a point, and not to be applied literally. Verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (We do not know the HOUR.) 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” This parable is not to cause anyone to think that Jesus will come as a thief in the night, as far as the bride is concerned. He will not slip up on her, for she will be ready and watching, like He said to do. This is spoken for the benefit of those who might become slothful, or be very dilatory. He is simply saying, You are like a man who knows that there is a thief at work in your neighborhood, and you go upstairs to bed, leaving your valuables in plain sight, and do not even bother to lock your doors. It is as though such a person is expecting the thief to send him a telegram saying, I will be coming by your house tomorrow night. Thieves do not operate like that. If you have valuables, you must protect them at all times, not just when the thief himself warns you that he is coming by your place. If you do not lock your door, and your valuables are taken, you have no right to cry about it; you just failed to prepare for that character’s visit. This is what Jesus is having reference to, here, a person who fails to prepare himself and watch for his Lord’s return. What is more valuable than your soul? It should have your first attention; everything else is secondary. Brother! You put a good night latch on your doors, and if the thief comes by your house, nine times out of ten he will wake you from sleep, trying to get in. But the man who is never prepared, will sleep soundly while the thief robs his house. He will awaken to find everything of value has been taken. That is how the rapture will be. Jesus will come and take His bride while all the other folks are sound asleep. (spiritually unprepared) That is what we are looking at in this parable. The fact that Jesus comes and gets His bride, and the rest of the world does not even know about it, makes His coming like a thief in the night to them. He will not slip up on the bride though, for she will be watching for Him.

THE RAPTURE

We are going to 1 Thessalonians st now, and catch what Paul said to them about the rapture. Turn to chapter 4, verse 14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” He is actually telling those Thessalonian Christians not to worry about their loved ones who believe in Christ, and have already passed on. He says, God will bring them with Him when He comes for all those who are left alive. Verse 15, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, (and you will not find this written anywhere in the Old Testament where Paul could read it; he got these words from the Lord Jesus by revelation while he was out there in the Arabian Desert.) That we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (Talking now about the rapture) For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” That verse goes right with Matthew 24:40-41, and Luke 17:34-36, two in the field, two at the mill, two in bed, and the one is taken, and the other left. Paul goes on in verse 18, to say, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” That lets us know that Paul had a deeper understanding of what Jesus had said in Matthew 24, and Luke 17, concerning His mystical return for the true church, which is His bride. It takes what Paul says about it in order for us to know what Jesus was referring to. Paul is the one who give us details on the resurrection of the dead saints, and the changing into immortality of the living ones. While we are at this point, let me clear up something that various one’s seem to be confused about. While I was in the Philippines this last time, someone asked the question, Bro. Jackson, will we have a physical body when we are raptured, or will we just have a theophany body? I said, You believe in a resurrection, do you not? Yes, Brothers and sisters: it would not be called a resurrection if we were going to have some other kind of body. That just goes to show you, no matter how much people read their Bibles, they are still prone to hold on to a traditional idea that came out of a seminary somewhere. Our theological opinions must be replaced with the revelated word of God if we are to be in the bride of Christ. Bro. Jackson: What does it mean there in 1st Corinthians 15:44, where it says, our bodies are sown a natural body; and it is raised a spiritual body? Brother, having a spiritual body, does not keep it from being a physical body. That just means that the inner man has complete dominion over it. No longer will it be ruled by the natural mind. As long as we are in this mortal body the lusts of the flesh are constantly pulling on us, but once we are changed into immortality, all that will be done away with, forever. There will be no more death present. There will be no more disease. We will have a full set of teeth again, and a full head of hair. We will never need eye glasses again. Our old defective, death doomed body continues to get old and wear out, but when we take on our new body, our resurrected and changed body, whichever the case may be, it will last us throughout all eternity. But, Bro. Jackson, the Bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; How does that fit into the picture? It is not our flesh that is born again, but our spirit, and the kingdom of God is His spiritual kingdom in the hearts of His redeemed children. You just have to look at this from the standpoint that it is the inner man that receives the inheritance, but at the same time the outer man reaps the benefits of being a tabernacle for a son of God. When you go to the 8th chapter of Romans, you will see that even though it is our inner man that is born again, our bodies are included in God’s plan of redemption. They are part of the purchased possession. The fact that He rose from the dead, never to die again, proves that He also purchased this old body. That is why we published the article titled, Resurrection and Reincarnation, we wanted to show from the scriptures themselves that when the trump of God sounds for the resurrection and rapture of the bride of Christ, God will cause every molecule that has ever been incorporated into the body of a saint, to come from the ground and be joined with that body. That is RESURRECTION. Paul said it like this, in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (the Holy Ghost) He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” In our present state our bodies require oxygen. That is why every jet airplane, that goes up to 25,000 to 35,000 feet, requires a pressurized cabin, but there is coming a day when we will not need jet airplanes, space suits, nor any of man’s devices. We are going to rise to meet the Lord in the air in our own immortal bodies. We are going to the great wedding supper. What for? To be married to the bridegroom!

PEACE AND SAFETY

Now let us go back to the first Thessalonian letter and pick up where we left off. Paul has just told them how the resurrection and translation will take place, and admonished them to comfort one another with those words. That concludes chapter 4, but Paul did not break his chain of thought with chapters and verses when he wrote this, so notice how the first verses of chapter 5 just go right on with the subject he was on, (the coming of the Lord, resurrection and translation) “But of the TIMES and the SEASONS, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the lord so cometh as a thief in the night, (to the world in general.) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” I want you to know that we have never yet had such a time when men would say, We now have peace and safety. That will not be until the man of sin has introduced his covenant of peace. When he introduces his great covenant of peace to the world, then, the man of the world will say, Now, at long last, we will have peace and safety. The little bride of Christ which will still be here at that time will know differently, but the man of the world will feel like all his troubles are past, and there is nothing but good times ahead. At that time, the little bride will know for sure that she is in the very season when the Lord will come. Notice, also, that Paul allows his thought to reach on out past the rapture of the church when he spake of the sudden destruction that would come. That is exactly what Jesus did in Matthew 24, and Luke 17, where He was speaking of His visible return to earth, in wrath, and then included those remarks about one being taken, and the other left, which we know applies to His mystical return. Let me say this, also, When Paul said, Then sudden destruction cometh upon them, he did not mean that it would happen the next day after the peace covenant is signed. Sudden destruction will come, but it will be after the man of the world has had time to settle down and really put his confidence in their great plan for world peace and safety. We all know that Daniel’s seventieth week must fun its ful course before the wrath of God is poured out upon wicked mankind.

BE THANKFUL AND FAITHFUL

I will never forget an incident that took place at the close of W.W.2. A Lieutenant assembled us out on a hillside and made a speech. (All the nations of the Western world had come together and formed a body called, the United Nations) He said to us, that day, This was the war that was fought to end all wars. We have now formed a body of nations that will work together to unite all the nations of the world; therefore we will never have another war. I thought, that is not what the Bible says. Do you know, there has never been a time since then, when there has not been some kind of conflict somewhere in the world? Men of the world have never had a time yet when they could sit back and say, We have peace and safety, everywhere; everything is lovely. But just up ahead, Ezekiel 38 & 39, will be fulfilled and I believe that is what will shake this old world to the place where they will welcome the man of sin, and his covenant of peace and safety for all. That will lull the whole world to sleep, the unregenerate world. But the little bride will look up, knowing the time is at hand. Sudden destruction will come upon the unregenerate world as a thief in the night, Paul says, and they shall not escape, “But ye brethren, (verse 4) are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief. 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; (meaning that we should not go to sleep spiritually) but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, (those who are revelated with truth) be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; (that will keep Satan’s darts from piercing your heart) and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (That will protect your mind against Satan’s darts of doubt and fear.) 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 or sleep we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” Knowing what we know about the plan of God should be a great comfort to us in this time of trouble and turmoil when there is strife among mankind all around us. We should be very thankful that the Lord Jesus will not come as a thief in the night and catch His true people unprepared. Also, instead of complaining about the pressures of the times we are living in, let us be mindful of the fact that this kind of times must of necessity proceed His coming to get us out of here. If we truly are anxious for the Lord’s return, then let us settle down, have faith in God, and let Him lead us day by day in dealing with the pressures of this life. As the season for His appearing becomes more evident, do not let down on your normal duties and responsibilities of life. When He comes: let Him find us busy, instead of just gathered together somewhere waiting for Him. Oh, Bro. Jackson, I do not want Jesus to come, and find me busy doing carnal things. I think it would be better if we were all somewhere reading our Bibles and praying when He comes. That is very strange. If the Lord had wanted us to do that, Why did He not say so? Why did He bother to say that there would be two at the mill, grinding, and one would be taken, and the other left? Why would there be two in the field? Do you think they went out there to read their Bible and pray? Paul said, Pray without ceasing. If you obey the scripture: you will be praying when Jesus comes. Common sense teaches us that we cannot be on our knees praying all the time; therefore let us understand that to mean that whatever we are doing; whether we be a carpenter driving nails, or a truck drive out here on these superhighways, we can have a prayer in our heart: Lord, I am occupying until you come. If this is the day for your return then let me be found faithful in everything I know to do. As you go to work, driving along in your car, Lord, I thank you for another day of life; I thank you for my job; I thank you for the very privilege of prayer and fellowship with you. That is what Paul was have reference to when he said, Pray without ceasing. I believe that by the time the rapture does take place, this old world will be in such turmoil, true Christians will have urgent reasons to pray without ceasing. Some have the idea that everything is going to be standing perfect when the Lord comes for His bride, but let me tell you, saints, I can find nothing in the Bible that would cause me to believe that.

WHAT WILL YOU BELIEVE?

We will go into Paul’s 2 letter to nd the Thessalonians and catch some more of what he said to establish the season of the Lord’s return, but let me say, first, if you have been watching world conditions lately, you should begin to feel like we are getting close to the season for the Lord’s secret appearing. All of this turmoil in the Middle East is motivated by Satan in his attempt to get rid of Israel. Naturally, as long as America is allied with her, and is looked upon as her means of keeping alive, Satan’s big guns will be firing at us through every possible situation. Through other nations, he will continue trying to knock us out of the picture. Get rid of the U.S.A., then we can get rid of Israel, they will think; therefore Satan will just keep right on stirring the fires in the Middle East until it leads to a terrible war. We need to be concerned, of course, but let us not be alarmed, if we really are looking for Jesus to come again, for these things must come first. I just cannot stress this enough. I realize that a message like this will not mean much to a lot of people, but perhaps those who will appreciate it are the ones it is being prepared for. There are a lot of people who profess to be walking in the truth of this hour, that resent my teaching on the seventy weeks of Daniel, and the thunders, so much, that they just do not want to hear anything I say or print, but their attitude will not change the word of God one bit whatsoever. When the seventieth week of Daniel does start, many of them will still be involved in idolatry, and when the seven thunders finally do sound THEIR voices, these people will not even hear them. The would rather study their Spoken Word books, debate, fuss and argue, than to believe present day truth. Over in the Philippines, I was asked about the big division in this message concerning the seventieth week of Daniel. Is there still 7 full years left to the Jews, to fulfill that week, or was Jesus cut off in the middle of that week? The Bible says He was cut off at the end of the 62 week period which would make it at the end of the full 69 weeks, but certainly not in the middle of the seventieth. According to the understanding of a lot of know it all people, Daniel 9:26, would have to read like this, “And after three score and two and a half weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself.” Does it say after 62 ½ weeks, or does it say, after 62 weeks, He will be cut off? Open your Bible and read it. Then tell me whether you are going to believe the Bible or will you keep looking for some secret word that Bro. William Branham uttered, that could change what the Bible teaches? It is just like I told those people over in the Philippines. It is not the Godhead that we disagree on. There is no division in this message on the Godhead. There is no division on water baptism, nor is there division on whether God sent a prophet or not. We all believe in the experience of receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the fact that the Holy Ghost is to lead a person into all truth, but, sad to say, not every one who believes that, is allowing Him to lead and guide their thinking, or they would not hold to a statement and teach a doctrine that is contrary to the word of God. I fully respect God’s prophet messenger to this age and I have to say, It was through his teaching that God opened my eyes to the reality of His word that I had always looked at through eyes of tradition. But I will never give that little man the place that only the Lord Jesus Christ is to have, no matter how much respect I have for him. He came on the scene, fulfilled his calling, and God took him home, and time has continued on for over 14 years since his tragic death. I would have to believe that God died, also, in order to think He would not still speak to His living sons and daughters through a living ministry as time runs out. Praise God! Hallelujah! God is alive, and He is still speaking to His people! Furthermore I am persuaded by the scriptures that He still has some very important things to say to the bride before she leaves here, things that are not written anywhere. For when John heard those thunders utter their voices, he was told not to write what he heard, and you can be assured of this one thing, what those seven thunders uttered is still not written. Their utterances will come forth by prophetic revelations, after Jesus has broken the 7 seal, and is th off the mercy seat, and not before. It is just plain ridiculous for anyone to believe that those thunders are 7 sermons that Bro. William Branham preached, yet there are certain men who travel around the world saying that the 7 thunders are the revelation of the seven seals. If they really believe that, why can they not agree on a date when Jesus will come again? If they want to go by every word that Bro. William Branham spoke then let them take what he said about the 7th seal, that it should bring a revelation or an understanding about the time of Jesus’ coming for His church. I am convinced that those thunders will deal with the revelation of His coming, and that they will be just for the bride. I pray that those of you who have read our article on the seven thunders have been able to see by the scriptures we used, why we believe as we do. That is the only way I want anyone to believe what I teach, when they can see it through the word of God. I can tell you what God has showed me, what He has revealed to me, but only He can give you a revelation of it. That is why some people can hear something a hundred times and still never really understand it. Paul had the same thing in his day; some of those who heard him teach, just heard enough to trouble their minds when they could not figure out every detail, and set dates for the return of the Lord.

EXPLAINING SCRIPTURES WITH SCRIPTURES

Open your Bibles to 2 Thessalonians 1:7, now, and remember, in his first letter he told them, God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, for we are children of light. Yet in spite of all that he had taught them, some of them were troubled by what they had been hearing from other sources. So Paul says, beginning in verse 7, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.” What do you find people in this message troubled about in our day? They are troubled about the same things those Thessalonians were troubled about. They want to get every detail worked out and set dates for the Lord’s return, and since there is nothing in the scriptures that will enable them to go that far, they search through Bro. William Branham’s messages constantly, looking for something that will help them fit their revelation together. The divisions in this message are mostly about times, dates, seasons, and things of that nature. They get all shook up because they cannot figure out exactly, the very things Jesus said we have no need to know. Paul was actually the one who said it like that; Jesus just said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man.” Paul was not worried about the exact time when the Lord would come. He was not shook up about it. That is why he could say, “And to you who are troubled rest with us.” He was resting in what the Lord had revealed to him, knowing that whatever else he needed to know, if there was anything else he needed to know, God would reveal that also. There was nothing to worry about then, and there is still nothing to worry about, unless you are one who is very careless with the way you live your life. That could be cause for concern, but just worrying will not help the situation. God wants us to live according to the revelation we have, and leave all the rest to Him. When time has progressed to the point where the bride needs to know something else, He will reveal it to her. So Paul says, Rest with us. In other words, Take it easy; let your mind relax; do not become frustrated. As you read on down through verse 10, you know that he is referring to the visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ, for that is when He comes, taking vengeance on them that know not God, bringing His angels with Him, to be glorified in His saints. Like I said earlier, He will not be coming to earth to His saints. He will be coming to earth with His saints, but it is only after He and all His saints are back on earth in the millennium, that He is glorified in them. You can pick that up in the 25th chapter of Matthew, verse 31, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, THEN shall he sit upon the THRONE OF HIS GLORY.” That is when all those from every nation who have remained alive through the great tribulation, and through the time when the wrath of God was being poured out, will be gathered before Him and divided into two groups, sheep and goats. He will separate the people as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. All of the sheeplike people will be ushered in to the millennium to repopulate the world, and the goatlike people will be cast into the lake of fire. That will be their final destiny. At the end of the one thousand year reign of Christ with His bride, the great white throne judgment will be set, and all of death and hell shall be resurrected, judged, and cast into the lake of fire. But first now we are dealing with Paul’s letter to the saints at Thessalonika, and we were directing our attention to WHEN Jesus would come from heaven with His mighty angels, and be glorified in His saints, and the answer to that is, at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel, after the great tribulation has run its 3 ½ years of allotted time. Then shall Jesus be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God. You can tie that to 2nd Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: (unexpectedly) in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Now, does that mean that God will annihilate everything that He has created and start all over again? Absolutely not. That would not be redemption. You would have to throw away 95 percent of the Bible if you cancel out redemption. What does it mean, then, about Jesus coming in flaming fire, the elements melting and the earth being burned up? And also, about the new heavens, and the new earth? To get the picture there, let us just back up a little, to verses 5-7, and see how Peter spoke of the destruction by the flood in Noah’s day. “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, PERISHED: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.” How many of you caught the reason why we read those verse? If you missed the point, read it again. Peter, speaking about the earth that was standing out of the water and in the water, (in Noah’s day) said, the world that then was, being overflowed with water, PERISHED. Now we all know what the word “PERISHED” means, so tell me, Did the earth of old perish, or was it man and all his wicked works that perished? We all know the answer to that; this is the same earth that we read about in the first chapter of Genesis. God just washed it clean, with a flood that lasted many months, then Noah and his family and all the animals he had in the ark with him, repopulated the earth. The next time, God will cleanse the earth with fire, but He will not destroy the planet itself, and that is exactly what the fires of God’s wrath will do the next time, destroy everything that in any way pertains to wicked, ungodly men. But, Bro. Jackson, Did not Jesus say that heaven and earth would not pass away? Yes He did say that, but you have to understand what He meant, in the light of all the other scriptures that are also His word. I believe it should be sufficient just to say that this was Jesus’ way of saying that it would be easier for heaven and earth (which were created by the word of God) to pass away, than for His word to fail to come to pass. The word that He leaves, is His word concerning a finished product of redemption, a redemption of the earth as well as a people upon the earth. All of man’s former works shall be burned up, and everything will be made new, but it will be through redemption, and not be another act of creating something from nothing, as He did in the beginning.

FACTS ABOUT THE MAN OF SIN

Alright now, let us move on to chapter 2, in Paul’s 2nd letter to the Thessalonians. He has been writing about the visible return of Jesus, the time when He comes to execute wrath, but notice how long he moved right to His mystical return in these next verses we are going to read. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, (our gathering together unto Him is 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.” Over 1900 years have come and gone since Paul wrote these words to a church assembly to settle them. If there has been a man like Paul in every generation since then, I am sure similar words could have been written to every generation that followed, but let us be thankful that this one writing has applied to every generation since then, and we are living in the generation that will actually see the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul was writing about. But notice in this next verse what he said would have to proceed this glorious event. “Let no man deceive you by any means.” In other words, he is saying basically the same thing Jesus said in Matthew 24:23-26, that led up to our text scriptures. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” In other words, do not be deceived; that is exactly what Paul is saying in this letter. “Let no man deceive you by any means; (even if he says an angel stood by his bed last night and told him that Jesus would come tomorrow night do not believe it) for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” This is one of the reasons why you hear me say, often, No, Jesus cannot come before tomorrow night. I have heard a lot of preachers say that, trying to scare some lost soul into getting saved, but a man who says a thing like that for that reason is doubly wrong. First of all, you cannot scare eternal life into a lost soul; they must be drawn by the Spirit of God. But the main reason why Jesus cannot come before tomorrow night is because there has to be a general falling away first, and that man of sin (the Antichrist) must be revealed. The falling away that Paul was talking about, was not what happened back there in the Dark Ages. Because, out of the Dark Ages came the Reformation. You could not say that was a falling away; that was a restoration. You might say, It was a revival in progress, a time of restoring truth to the church. So none of that period was a falling away. When the Spirit of God spoke that through Paul, it was to be applied to a certain generation in time, where there would be a massive falling away from truth, and THE Antichrist revealed to the true church. That man of sin will deceive the world, but the true people of the living God will recognize him from what God has revealed to them from the scriptures. There have always been Antichrists in the world ever since the apostle John warned the church about them in 90 A.D., but THE Antichrist, which is also called, the man of sin, has not come on the scene yet, at least not in that role where he will have 1,260 days allotted to him to finish out the week of Daniel. We can already see the falling away that leads up to that hour, but the Antichrist will have to make a peace and trade covenant with many nations of the world in order to fulfill this scripture. We already know what office the Antichrist will come from, but we do not yet know if this present pope is the one who will be in that office to fulfill that son of perdition role or not. There is one thing we do know though; there will be 3 ½ years of hell on earth during that time. Let us continue reading in verse 4, where Paul continues speaking about that man of sin, the son of perdition; “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.” That is why it is important for us to understand Revelation, chapter 11; We need to understand that something will happen along about the time of the beginning of that week of Daniel, that will allow the Jews to obtain their temple ground from the Moslems. That Jewish temple will be built in the first half of that week of time; therefore it will be ready for the Antichrist to throw the Jews out of, in the middle of the week, when he has God’s two witnesses killed, and moved into it himself, showing himself to be God. Naturally the first thing those Orthodox Jews will do is clear off the ground and build an altar, where they will begin offering up sacrifices to God. That was the first thing they did after returning to the land in the days of Zechariah and Haggai. In two months they had the altar in operation. By doing that the priest can function in his proper place, and they can all worship God right on that spot of ground during that time they are laying the stones for the temple. Those two Jewish prophets will be on the scene; Brother! What a revival! Three and one half years of that, is all the old Antichrist will be able to tolerate. He will not like having those two witnesses warning the people about what is just ahead of them, and testifying and prophesying about Jesus Christ being the very Jewish Messiah. By the time the middle of that week arrives, he will have reached his wits end. He will be so provoked by all this great revival among the Jews, that Satan will incarnate him. That is when hell is turned loose on earth. That is why this man of sin is called the beast; that is what he will be like in that hour. Anyone who will not renounce God and bow to him, will be ruthlessly murdered. What took place in the Dark Ages, compared to that, will seem like child’s play. He is the abomination that maketh desolate, that Daniel wrote about. He will stop the Jews from using the temple; they will be forbidden to offer up sacrifice and evening oblation to Jehovah, and when he seats himself in the temple, he will demand to be worshiped, but those Orthodox Jews will not worship him. They know that first commandment too well to do that. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” That is when the woman element of Jews will flee into the wilderness to escape the wrath of this beast, according to Revelation 12:6,14. Do you see why the bride of Christ will have this man of sin revealed to her before the rapture takes place? It is because God has allowed us to know all these things about him ahead of time; therefore the bride will recognize who he is when all the rest of the world will be placing all their hopes in him.

CONVICTING PRESENCE OF HOLY GHOST

Paul says to these Thessalonians, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (He had preached to them in person, and told them about these things, but some of them had become troubled in their minds about certain things of the rapture and the Antichrist, so Paul writes this letter to settle them.) “And now ye know what withholdeth (the Spirit of God is holding him back until his appointed time) that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: (that is the spirit which will lead the world to such a character) only He who now letteth will let, (speaking of the restraining presence of the Holy Ghost) until HE be taken out of the way.” To put this in easy to understand words, Paul is saying, The Holy Ghost is restraining and hindering the working of this Antichrist spirit, which Paul refers to as the mystery of iniquity, until a people from the Gentiles has been taken for the name of the Lord. “And then, (verse 8) shall that Wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Brothers and sisters: In my own words, let me tell you what Paul is talking about, here in these verses. We mentioned already, that in 90 A.D., John said, The spirit of Antichrist was already at work. When we go back to the 2nd Corinthian letter; we find the apostle Paul speaking of certain ones that have come among the saints, claiming to be the apostles of Christ and seeking vain glory. He says beginning in verse 13, chapter 11, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” In other words they will be destroyed. But the point is, this Antichrist spirit, this spirit of Satan, this mystery of iniquity has been working among true saints for over 1900 years, but the Holy Ghost has been restraining and hindering him, until the fulness of the Gentiles is in. Then the Holy Ghost will withdraw His convicting presence from the Gentiles and Satan will be allowed to move his man on the scene. No, the Holy Ghost will not leave Christian people; He will just cease holding back ungodliness and lawlessness. That is what Paul meant, “Until He be taken out of the way.” It is not that the Holy Ghost withdraws suddenly; we have witnessed His gradual withdrawing for the past 30 years. In one sense there has been a great revival in that same period of time, but the inroads of evil and decay have been opened up right along with it, so that wickedness and immorality has been just like a huge tidal wave sweeping right in behind the revival. Do not ever forget, Satan’s children outnumber the children of God. Straight is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it. Jesus is the one who first said that, so do not be alarmed when you discover that the forces of evil are all around you. When you take a good look at the influx of filth, immorality, and social breakdown in our country, you realize that our “used to be” Christian nation, has become the world of any in the world. Paris, France used to be called the cesspool of filth, but now, it is the U.S.A., from coast to coast, that is such a cesspool. The very nation out of which came the message to the Laodicean age, now has all the conditions present that are to proceed the mystical coming of Jesus Christ for His bride church. Right now, we are just watching Western Europe and the Middle East countries that must fulfill their role in prophecy before He comes.

AS THE DAYS OF LOT

I noticed in the news lately that this woman running for the mayor’s office out in San Francisco, California, is playing it very cool in order to get the votes of their large population of homosexuals. She said, Any mayor of San Francisco has to be a mayor for all the people. Another person who is campaigning for that job, said that if he gets elected, he will put a homosexual person on the police force. Do you see the significance? They have to do those things to fulfill what Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Lot, so also will it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.” There has to be a Sodom and Gomorrah condition existing in the world to fulfill the words of Jesus, and we have it. This great falling away is intensifying every day; the law makers, and also, the law enforcers are becoming just as corrupt as those that the laws are made for. Some of the things that take place within the ranks of the Louisville Police Force are almost beyond our ability to believe, but all these things that we are witnessing just let us know that the falling away is here. Morally, the world is just about ready for the week of Daniel to begin, but politically there are a few more things to take place before that week of time is ushered in. By the time that covenant is signed and that angelic form of Revelation 10:1, turns and moves into Israel to accompany those two prophets; Jerusalem will be just as filthy and corrupt as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, to fulfill the words of Rev. 11:8, which says, (speaking of the two prophets that will be killed in the middle of that week) and their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (We know that is Jerusalem.) Now, why did the Spirit of God see the city of Jerusalem where our Lord was crucified as being like Sodom and Egypt? Because it will be in bondage to the Antichrist, and Egypt speaks of bondage, and its moral condition will be like Sodomites. Nevertheless, out of all that, through the witness of those two prophets, the Holy Ghost will seal enough spiritual people to fulfill all that is prophesied for Israel in the last days. All things considered: that is probably what will bring the Antichrist into Jerusalem in the middle of the week; as friction between spiritual Jews and the political Jews builds to a point of explosion at just any time, the old peace making pope will intervene, and that is when Satan will move upon him to take over the whole state of affairs. This starts your great tribulation period of 3 ½ years.

GOD SENDS STRONG DELUSIONS

Brothers and sisters: I will try to get back to what I started to say. We will reread verse 9, in this Thessalonian letter where Paul is talking about the Antichrist that is to come literally in human form, and will not be just a spirit any longer. “Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; (Why will they perish?) Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Let me say two or three things here before we read verse 11, In verse 8, the spirit of the Lord’s mouth is the sword of judgment that he smites the nations with, and the brightness of His coming, is the glory that Christ is expresses through as He comes to earth after the great tribulation. Then in verse 9, the Satanic power and signs and lying wonders are not supernatural miracles in a true sense. Whatever is done will be through deception. We have seen a little forerunning of it already. I have always said, if the pope ever speaks in tongues, every Pentecostal will run, and jump right in his lap. He did the next thing to speaking in tongues a while back; he prayed for a sick woman and she got well. I read this in an article, not too long ago. Here is how he did it. They told how long this woman had been afflicted with a condition the doctors could not cure, and how they brought this particular woman to a place where the pope would be, a certain place in Europe. (This took place before he made his trip to America.) They notified him that she was in the gathering, and after he finished his speech, he came down from the platform, walked over to the sick lady, and said to her, “Can I just put my arm around you?” He put his arm around this sickly, Catholic woman and blessed her and the article said the woman was healed. That caused certain reporters, in another meeting, later, to remark about what a notable thing this was, and that this truly is a man of God. Saints, it takes all of that to fulfill the word of God. No, it was not the devil that did the healing; God is the only healer, but the devil is behind it all. It is just to fulfill the word of God which we are going to read in just a minute. Verse 10, tells us that this deception is taking place in them that did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. This lets us know that prior to the introduction of such a character, God did something that presented to the world an opportunity to receive truth, and they did not want it. They rejected the truth that would have brought them salvation, and because they did, God Himself does something, and He does it through those who are outside the realm of truth. Let us read verse 11, and see what God does to those who reject the truth. “And for this cause GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a lie. 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” How will God send them strong delusions? It is very simple. He will let those make believers speak in tongues and prophesy, and He will heal enough of the people they pray for to make them look like real, genuine servants of God. I am not pointing my finger at any certain people right now; that is for God to do, but I will say this, If you are privileged to know the truth of God’s word, you will not be too terribly amazed by the great healing miracles that are taking place out here in Trinitarian denominations, for all of this is being done to fulfill the word of God. There are no amount of signs and wonders that can mark a man as a genuine servant of God. A man is marked according to the way he handles truth. Even Pharaoh’s magicians could do almost everything that Moses and Aaron did, but did that make them servants of God? The answer is obvious. God can allow anyone, to do anything that it takes to fulfill His word, and those who are seeking to walk by revealed truth will not be disturbed nor amazed by any of it. I just thank God for opening my eyes one day, and for allowing my hungry soul to have the opportunity to feed upon truth. It just thrills my soul after all these years whenever I stop to meditate upon the truth, that Jesus Christ truly is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and that we do not have to have crucifixes, candles, prayer books, prayer beads, and a bag full of rituals in order to talk to Him and have Him talk to us. Hallelujah! I love Him! And I love His word. Just thinking about having the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, and how He quickens the word of God to our souls is enough to make you shout all over this place. No wonder Peter said, It is joy unspeakable and full of glory; there are just no words to describe what God can do in a sincere soul that loves truth. Neither do we have words to tell how far God will go in sending strong delusion upon those who have no love for the truth, those who have pleasure in unrighteousness. Truth is what divides and separates righteousness from unrighteousness.

THE SEALED SCROLL

Now, I want to talk for a few minutes on a very important part of this message. We have built the whole message around the statement Jesus made concerning His coming back to hearth, “BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NO, NOT THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, BUT MY FATHER ONLY,” and we have looked at many things, but now I want to talk to you about the 7th seal, which is still on the scroll that once had seven seals on it. Six of those seals have been broken and we now have the revelation of what was under them, but that 7th seal has not been broken yet. I realize there are a lot of people running around here, there, and everywhere, saying that all the seals have been broken, but believe me, if that seventh seal had been broken in 1963 like they claim, not one Gentile could have been saved since then, for Jesus will come off of the mercy seat when that last seal is broken. Many of those same people who claim the seal has been broken already, have children as well as other family members that they claim, got saved, since then. How can they explain such a revelation? There is no way to explain it, for when that seventh seal is broken in heaven, mediatorialship is over for the grace age, and Jesus is ready to come to earth in angelic form to fulfill Revelation 10:1-6. Let us read verse 1, chapter 8, first, for I want to talk to you about the half hour of silence in heaven. “And when He (Jesus) had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven ABOUT the space of half an hour.” Let me remind you who are not familiar with the setting on the things John saw, that John was projected into the Twentieth Century by a spiritual vision, so do not picture John as standing back there in the 1st Century, looking forward to see these things in prophetic visions. You picture him standing in the Twentieth Century, on out a little past where we are right now, and looking back down through the years of time, watching all these things as they actually took place through the years. It does make a difference the way you see this. Then I want you to notice that John did not say there was exactly one half hour of silence in heaven when the seventh seal was broken; he said it was ABOUT the space of half an hour. Right now Jesus is still seated on the mercy seat, sitting there with that little redemption scroll in His hand, and one seal still holding it, so that its contents have not been revealed yet to this very hour. But like we have been saying, the hour is just ahead when the last Gentile person that will ever be saved by this grace age gospel, will come in, and it will be time for Jesus to break that last seal. By His own words which we have been talking about, Jesus lets us know that He, as the Son, in His mediatorial work, did not know when this time would come. That was retained in the mind of the great eternal Spirit, the Father, and that is why Bro. William Branham, the Laodicean church age messenger, had to stop after the sixth seal was broken. If the Son himself could not break that seventh seal before it was time to leave the mercy seat, then no more revelation could come to the prophet on earth. But when Jesus does break that last seal in Rev. 8:1, the rest of that chapter deals with the ministry of the two witnesses in Israel, and also chapter 9, those trumpet angels will be carrying out the word of those two prophets in Israel. When they call for plagues, these angels deliver them. Therefore the next thing that pertains to the bride of Christ is found in chapter 10. All this is going on at the same time, so John writes about the trumpet angels, and the plagues they are producing, then he comes back to deal with the part that pertains to the bride. Watch now, Jesus breaks the seal, and when He does, he begins to rise from the mercy seat. Remember, not even the angels of heaven knew when this was going to take place, therefore when Jesus began to rise, it caused a hushed silence among all the angelic host of heaven. Therefore what was silence in heaven, how ever long it is when translated into days, weeks and months, I believe it is the length of time the bride will be here on earth after the week of Daniel starts. During that time, I believe those 7 thunders will sound their voices to the waiting bride, and whatever those thunders proclaim, there will have to be time for them to reach a universal scope, for what they will say will be for the universal bride around this world. That would allow time for what Paul said to the Thessalonians to have its fulfillment. In other words, our gathering together unto Christ in the rapture will not take place until enough of the first half of that week has progressed to reveal the Antichrist to the bride. I trust you can get the picture. We will read those verses from chapter 10, and trust the Holy Ghost to open them up to you. Before we start reading, let me just say this, the mighty angel in verse 1, is none other than Jesus Christ in angelic form for He is the only one that has the little scroll of redemption in His hand, but remember, He cannot come to earth literally until 7 years later, so you must see Him on earth in spirit form, dealing with the bride in her final preparation, before He takes her to the wedding supper. This is that period of time when there is silence in heaven. I believe it will be a period of time maybe from six months to a year, but please do not try to pin that down to a certain number of days, weeks and months. John did not give an exact length of time, he only said about half an hour. By the same token I am not giving an exact length of time, and you will be doing wrong if you try to. Let us just leave it like it is, and know that there will have to be some time elapse between the opening of the seventh seal, and the rapture of the church.

RAINBOW ANGEL – OPEN SCROLL – SEVEN THUNDERS

Let us read now, and we will bring this to a close. Verse 1, “And I saw another mighty angel (Jesus in spirit form) coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: (notice now) and He had in His hand a little scroll OPEN: (that last seal has been broken, and He is on earth in spirit form to claim those whose names were revealed when that last seal was broken) and He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, (that symbolically shows universal dominion) and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: (that identifies the angel right there, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and lion speaks of authority) and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.” I just have to stop here and say a couple of things. To you who believe the thunders have already sounded, why can you not see that the thunders do not sound THEIR VOICES until after Jesus is off the mercy seat, and has the little scroll open in His hand? And please do not try to tell me that this all took place in 1963, or I will want to know why those two prophets never did show up in Israel. Then there is the point which I have emphasized many times before, but will do it again for those who may not have heard. The seven thunders uttered THEIR VOICES; that is in the plural, and could not possibly be seven messages, nor seven statements from one man, for that would only be one voice, no matter how you look at it. Now let us establish a sequence here for something else. In verse 4, John tells us that he was about to write what the thunders uttered, but was commanded not to write them. Therefore since there is no record anywhere of what they contain, whoever the voices are that will sound them, they will have to get them by a spiritual revelation. Now we come to verses 5 and 6, where we will see the rapture fall into its sequence. “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things which are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” Literally that should read, There will be delay no longer; for we know that is not the end of all time. It simply means that all things pertaining to the preparation of the bride of Christ have been accomplished, and her translation need not be delayed any longer. They have heard the seven thunders, and they have identified the Antichrist, so all things are ready for the dead in Christ, and those who are still alive to be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Praise God! Let me say it one more time before I close, the rapture cannot take place before tomorrow night. There is a war to be fought, a peace covenant to be signed, an Antichrist to be recognized, and thunders to utter their voices first, but do not be careless with your life because you know that, for He may come for you as an individual before tomorrow night, and it is just as important, to be ready for that. That is your assurance that you will come up in the first resurrection. All make believers and ungodly from every age will have to lie in the ground for the next one thousand years, then be resurrected only to be burned in the lake of fire. But in closing I will say, Comfort one another with Paul’s words about being caught up to meet the Lord in the air, for, though we do not know the day nor the hour, we know the season is close at hand so let us walk humbly before the Lord. Amen.

Why They Did Not Have Oil – 1980, April

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

MATTHEW 25:1-13

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

I KNOW YOU NOT

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

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL

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

THE HOLY GHOST IS OIL

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

SLEEPY CONDITIONS

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

MIDNIGHT – A SLEEPING TIME

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

FIRST AGE – ALL WISE VIRGINS

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

TARES ARE SATAN’S SEED

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

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

ANTICHRIST DOCTRINE

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

A LEAVENING CONDITION

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

WHO GOES TO CHURCH?

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

SEVENTH CHURCH AGE – LAODICEA

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

 MANIFESTING GOD’S PRESENCE

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

PROTESTERS SANCTUARY

We are coming into the 20th century now, in our journey through time, and we will see what conditions were present that began both to make wise virgins as well as foolish virgins. We have already spoke on some of this, but just to keep a proper sequence as we continue our story, let us go right through them again. People are always asking. When did the 7th church age start? How long will it last? Why does this parable in Matt. 25 have to take place in the 7th church age, and so forth. The age started when God began to move upon some folks, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in such a way that it produced an oil message. We do not have any scripture to tell us how long it will last; we only have scriptural signs that we must watch, so that we will know when the end is drawing nigh. Then to answer the third question, the parable could only come into effect in an age when there would be Holy Ghost filling stations in various places, or it could not be said to the foolish, “Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” In other words, go to your charismatic meetings until you get the oil you need; they are the ones who make merchandise out of the Spirit of God. Can you see now, that there has never been another age when this parable could be applied, before this age? Of course you can. Pentecost began making its debut around the turn of this century, about 400 years after the reformation started. Timewise we would have to look to January 1, 1900, in a place called Topeka, Kansas, where old brother Parheim (I believe that was his name) with a group of Methodists had been fasting and praying for a revival, a move of God. They were asking God to do something to get hold of the lives of sinners. Right at that time they were living in the dying hours of the Welch revival which fell in the islands off England. Many letters had been written back and forth concerning what had taken place in that revival, so these old saints were seeking God for a visitation in their midst, in like manner. Let me sa