Book of Revelation
Cecil J. duCille
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Cover art is “Four Horsemen of Apocolypse” by Viktor Vasnetsov 1887
As we have worked on this book about Revelation, we have rejoiced in the word that the Lord has brought to His church at this time. John 8:32 says, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Our desire is that this book and the other two volumes will bring confirmation to your heart and strength for the hour that we live in.
We are so thankful for the dedication that Brother and Sister duCille have shown. They have labored in love to bring this word to us. May the Lord bless them as they continue to serve Him.
May your Kingdom come, Lord God, and may Your will be done! Amen!
God bless you,
Tom and Carol Trotter
We wish to take this opportunity to thank the Lord Jesus Christ in the first place and the body of Christ here and all over the world for their faithfulness and the help and the strength they give us in accomplishing this gargantuan task in writing this book.
The Lord Jesus Christ has been most gracious to us to give us workers in editing, and going through every detail, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with a fine tooth comb, dedicated and faithful brethren. Among those who gave their whole heart to this work for more than two years are Thomas and Carol Trotter, Catherine Trotter, Sidney and Sharon Kamprath, Steve and Fran Goodmon, and David Walter.
We therefore send forth these volumes as a tool into the hands of the body of Christ trusting they might accomplish, in the name of Jesus, the perfect will of God for which they were ordained.
“Write the vision, and make it plain upon
tables, that he may run that readeth it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time
but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:
though it tarry, wait for it; because it will
come, it will not tarry”. Habakkuk 2:2
We dedicate this book to our three sons Donovan, Lewin and Carl who spent all of their youth, from childhood to their teenage years working with us, being very involved in the gospel. Many times they would get the service started having everyone in prayer and worship before we arrived and acquired a very broad knowledge of the word. They had their share of suffering and learnt how to abase and abound. This created in them a fortitude and tenacity which has been invaluable in their endeavors.
We commend them into the hand of the Lord and trust that this book will bless them as it blesses others.
The enlightenment of this word first came to my husband approximately fifty years ago. When we found this treasure, this pearl of great price, we diligently sought the Lord together and sacrificed our careers: mine as an elementary school teacher, and his as an accountant with the Agricultural Department of Jamaica, dedicating our lives to labor in the Kingdom for the glory of God and have proven and are proving that God makes us stronger and more effective in the gospel in which we continue with exceeding delight. Matt. 13:45,46, “Again the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
The word came piece by piece, line upon line, through days of prayer and meditation and sacrifice over these many years. We believe, according to the word, that God will reveal to the church all His mystery at this time. It is clearly stated in the Word that the Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached until Jesus comes in His fullness to His temple.
We have come to understand that the full revelation of Christ in His body comes in three levels. The book “The Pattern” was a revelation on the first level. These three books of the Apocalypse are on the second level, with Seven seals (Mysteries), Seven trumpets (Messages), Seven angels (Messengers), Seven vials of the wrath of God. The third level of this revelation will come within the souls of men. If at the sounding of the seventh and final trumpet “all the mystery of God shall be finished, “ then I feel this to be very close since the sixth seal which brings wars and rumors of war is already broken and the sixth trumpet is calling us into a place of safety. God is lifting the church, the Bride to a place of making herself ready for the Groom, thus the importance of these volumes.
We commend this book to those who will be like the Berean brethren who diligently searched the Scriptures and made sure of truth, with no other intention but to bless the body of Christ. Pray for us and our family.
Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord, and whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
Mavis M. duCille
I first came in contact with the revelation of Jesus Christ when JESUS Himself walked into my room and introduced Himself to me. The veracity of what I relate here was proven by the change of life which occurred in me. In studying these writings, my readers may experience a measure of incredulity.
For hundreds of years, the church has been preaching that Jesus Christ is alive, but many do not really believe it. Some preachers do not believe that Jesus Christ can talk to someone or manifest Himself in a vision or a dream. Much the less, would they believe He could come and stand and have a conversation with me for nine hours, but that was the reality of the situation. This was not an isolated incident, because He came back again and again over a period of seven months; from August of one year to February of the next.
I knew nothing of God. I grew up in a nominal church system and had a very poor opinion of Christians. For me, there was no hope. I knew I was wicked, and I knew no one whom I could call righteous. I had no answer, either for my own wickedness or for their wickedness. I was an accountant doing very well in my field, but a demon of anger possessed my soul. It was a familiar spirit; that means it was a spirit that possessed my family which my father had and I understand my grandfathers had; both the grandfather from the African side of the family and the one from the French side of my family. For years I had struggled against these spirits of blind anger and unbridled wrath, but it only grew worse as the years went by. Whenever these spirits would take me, there was a sort of evil peace that I enjoyed. I could enter into a fight and be instructed blow by blow how to destroy the enemy. One of my six brothers and I fought almost every day, just for practice. To this day, we love each other dearly.
THE CHALLENGE OF GOD
I had moved away from my home in the city where I grew up and was now a civil servant working in a beautiful spot of God’s earth, in Jamaica. The battles of the mind are far more keenly fought than physical ones. Hell had finally maneuvered me to a point of crisis. Blind anger was raging through my being and I knew that soon I would be uncontrollable. I WAS NEAR THE EDGE. I could not stop myself from the murderous, reckless course I was being forced to take, except by one means. I decided on that course and prepared myself for 6 p.m. that afternoon. Some time before the clock struck six, Jesus came into my room. I had gone outside to take one last look at the fields when a dear servant of God challenged me. “Go into your room,” she said, “and tell God I say He should SAVE YOU BY HIS BLOOD.”
I honestly thought this was some kind of a formula or some type of “abracadabra” (magical word). I was desperate enough to try anything. I figured if I said these magical words, something would happen. I was not prepared for what happened when I did say the words, for to me they were full of meaning and my only hope. I was motivated to take up this challenge and so I did exactly as she said. First, nothing happened inside of me. I cannot exactly describe the feeling, but after a few minutes I felt hilarity. I wanted to laugh. I resisted this laughter, since it seemed more like madness to me to laugh without any apparent reason. The thought of madness came to me and even the suggestion (because I had been such an avid reader and student) that I might have blown my circuits and might well have gone crazy.
Now I know that was the voice of Satan, but then it seemed quite logical. Another voice came into my mind and said, “If you think you are demented then give yourself a sober test. If you were mad, you would surely naturally tear this room apart. So tidy the room and if you are able to do this, then you are not mad.” I did so. When the job was completed I set a vase with flowers, stepped back, looked at the room and said, “I am not crazy.” The moment I accepted the fact that SOMETHING GODLY and supernatural had happened to me, a flood of joy overwhelmed me, and I knew that something from God had somehow entered my being.
HUNGRY FOR THE WORD
I had no theological training, no understanding of what the name of the THING is that had happened to me. I grabbed an old Bible my mother had put in the suitcase and began to systematically analyze it, to find out if God speaks to people, for by this time I was hungry for the Word. I applied the process of analysis and, before daylight, came up with some astounding solutions. Yes, God speaks to thieves, murderers, and He will speak to me. It was simple to conclude. All I had to do was to get all the names of the men of God in the Bible and read how God dealt with them. I was thus convinced that this was a prayer-hearing and speaking God who would also speak to me. It was by then almost eight o’clock in the morning, time to go to work. I asked Jesus to meet me at four o’clock that day when I was off work.
MEETING JESUS AT FOUR O’CLOCK
A few minutes to four, I was in my room waiting. At four, a man came through the door. I just barely had a glimpse of him and before I could get excited he was behind me. It was JESUS. This was the knowledge that came to me with His presence. The power of His presence was so great that it stilled the spirit of the warrior within me. For the first time in my life, I was at PERFECT PEACE. He began to show me the Bible. I wanted to ask Him about the errors in the Bible, but He calmly said, “There are none.” I was not allowed to verbalize my questions but as soon as they came into my mind He would answer them. For instance, I wanted to know why the Scriptures said,
“He that believeth on Me,…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” (John 7:38). He answered, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16) and immediately my understanding was opened to see He was talking about spiritual water out of a spiritual temple.
This manifestation continued for seven months, from August to February, when He led me into the baptism into the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was then revealed to me as a person, a man whom I got to know and to love. He was gentle, but very firm. One day I was late for the usual four o’clock appointment with Him. I had gone to some city several miles away to register in the Bible school there, because some Christians brought me a message purportedly from the Lord that I should go to Bible school. When I entered the room, He was there standing with His back towards me and His face looking out the window. I was overjoyed to report to Him that I had obeyed Him. He began to turn around slowly to face me, and there was something awesome in His slow turn. Before this time, He had never spoken to me face to face, but would stand over my left shoulder while He spoke. Now He was turning to look at me face to face. His eyes were like a flame of fire and He put His finger into my face in a warning gesture and said, “If you go to Bible school, then you have rejected Me as your teacher.” This is one of the pictures that will live with me for the rest of my life.
There are many skeptics who will say that I dreamed this or maybe I had a vision, but if it was a vision, then it was a serial vision in which I was not asleep and which lasted for seven months. It is possible that John did not see all the Revelation in one sitting or even two sittings but that the various visitations and visions came over a period of time. Because of this experience, I can relate to John the beloved who saw a vision of Jesus Christ while he was awake and open-eyed.
John the beloved, so called because he was the closest to Jesus, is the writer of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He and James were the sons of Zebedee and Salome and were surnamed Boanerges, the sons of thunder. A fisherman by trade, he wrote the Revelation in his own tongue, which was Aramaic or Hebrew of that time. Someone else must have translated it into Greek because John was unlearned and did not know Greek. It was only the learned people of those days who understood the Greek language.
The mysterious character of the Revelation has been preserved for us in a pure form, but it would seem that in our time each student of the Bible has his/her own opinion of what it should mean. God, however, has a time in which the truth of His Word must be revealed to the church. In order to receive it, we have to open our hearts and minds. It is the promise of God (John 7:l7) that if any man desires to know the will of God then the responsibility falls upon God to show it to him. It is then that God brings revelation down to the level of the honest believer. In the converse, this scripture would mean that those who do not receive the TRUTH are those who have either rejected it because of being filled with something else or not being honest in their seeking. I can either seek the Lord in spirit and in truth or be like the brother who went to God and asked for a wife, but ended his prayer with “Please God, let it be Mary.”
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a vision and as a vision it needs to be interpreted. It cannot be interpreted by someone who is not qualified. We do NOT get qualified at Bible college or in the seminaries or by much study, but by seeking and hearing from the true and living God in spirit and in truth. To be qualified, then, is to learn from the Person who gave the vision who is Jesus Christ Himself, or from the Holy Spirit. Every servant of God laboring in the field of the Word knows that the book of Revelation cannot be accurately translated or explained by mental effort. It must be given by the Holy Spirit Himself. We are told by God that at the end of time all the hidden secrets in the Word would be revealed (Daniel 12:9 and Revelation 10:7), and the seals would be broken.
The SEVEN SEALS are the SEVEN MYSTERIES OF THE GOSPEL which are being revealed to us or IN US, beginning with the mystery of salvation. No one can really tell you about salvation unless he or she has experienced it for himself.
THE SEVEN MYSTERIES ARE:
II. SANCTIFICATION AND CONSECRATION
A. SANCTIFICATION which includes:
1. baptism in water,
2. baptism in the Holy Spirit, and finally
3. baptism into Christ.
B. CONSECRATION which means to put aside for the purpose of God alone that which has been sanctified.
III. UNION WITH CHRIST which is man and God working together to bring forth the will of God.
IV. FEEDING ON CHRIST in three dimensions
A. Christ within,
B. Christ in the Body, and
C. Christ in our midst (amongst us).
V. OFFERING OF THE SOUL
It is good for us to offer our bodies a living sacrifice to God which is very Scriptural and acceptable, but Jesus came to save our souls. The greatest, final offering of man to God is the offering of his soul. (Abraham offered his soul to God when he offered Isaac.)
VI. THE OVERSHADOWING
Dwelling under the shadow of the Almighty is a hiding place. When the sixth seal is broken and the sixth trumpet sounds and the sixth vial is poured out, man must find a place to hide and the only place is in Christ.
VII. THE MYSTERY OF THE MAN CHILD
The life-giving church completely incorporated by Christ. (All of these mysteries will be explained.)
MYSTERY NUMBER ONE IS SALVATION
As children of Adam, we were all born in sin. This means that the child who was born an hour ago is just as much a sinner as the adult. Sin is an inbred quality of the human race and we all have sin. If we have no responsibility in being sinners, a just God would not send us to hell because we are sinners. Therefore, God, by His holiness, was bound to provide a way for us to escape from the wages of sin which is death. Death here means eternal separation from God in hell.
1. THE LAW OF REDEMPTION
God created the law of redemption, in which one soul can pay for the sin of the other, and He demonstrated this throughout the four thousand years from Adam to Jesus. Animals were offered up for sin because animals are not sinners. They are preprogrammed by God to act a certain way which we call instinct. They have no sin or responsibility for what they do. The quality then of the animal, which makes it appropriate for sacrifice and atonement for humans, is that they are SINLESS. Nevertheless, their blood was not efficacious to do a permanent work of atonement because they had no free-will choice. We needed a human person without sin.
For four thousand years, there was never a man without sin, and Satan felt comfortable. Since it was God’s responsibility to redeem man, He had, with pre-knowledge, preordained that a virgin should bring forth a son taken from His own life-stream who would be sinless and qualified to die for our sins. The logistics of this action on the part of God is that His life would be planted in this Son of His and He should be crucified in such a manner that His blood would be drained from His body and liberate the life that was within Him for whomsoever will ask for this life. This life is then received by faith in His blood. For those who will believe and call upon His name, they shall receive.
MYSTERY NUMBER TWO IS SANCTIFICATION
The blood of Jesus Christ touches the soul of the believer and immediately brings life to it. Because we were born of Adam, our soul was a dead area. That means it could not respond to God. When it is touched by the blood of Jesus Christ, it becomes a living being and can hear and respond to God of its own free will. This whole area which we call soul (mind, emotions, will, and desires) is redeemed. The price is paid for it to be set free, but it needs to be cleansed of the whole leaven. The process of cleansing is called sanctification. Sanctus in Latin means holy. Therefore, sanctification means to make holy. The process of making holy is symbolized by a wash basin, or a laver, used in the Tabernacle of Moses, designed to show three steps which is called baptism.
1. baptism into water
2. baptism into the Holy Ghost
3. baptism into Christ
1. BAPTISM INTO WATER
Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
The question of the necessity of the baptism into water is always one that arises among Christians. We only have to read the record to decide in our own hearts as to its necessity. The necessity of baptism in water can be likened to the necessity of a marriage ceremony, in which two parties covenant with each other before witnesses. It is the first step of a three-step plan of God to bring man into Christ.
BASIC PLAN OF GOD’S DIVINE ORDER (1 Corinthians 15:46)
“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
This three-dimension diagram shows the order:
The first step in the things of God is always natural (1 Corinthians 15:46). The second step is always spiritual, and the third step is always the fullness or the final. It follows, therefore, if God wants to give us a lesson in being immersed in Him, He would begin with a natural immersion in water. Completely covered over by water signifies death to the old life and burial and rising back in the air, but totally covered or anointed with the water, is a type of what He has done when one is baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Baptism in water is a covenant with God. It is a contract of death to self and life in the Spirit, and a contract to follow the Lord Jesus Christ through death, burial, and resurrection. This contract can only be made by spiritually alive people with a living God. If a person has been baptized before he or she was saved or “quickened” by the Spirit of God to a newness of life, then that contract is not valid. For this reason, GOD CANNOT make a contract with a dead man. He must first apply His blood to a man’s soul and make him alive before He introduces him to baptism. If one is baptized with a notion that it is some magical potion which will save him or give him some new lease on life, then this baptism is not according to the Word of God and, therefore, not valid. He must first repent of his sins and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour, receive Jesus Christ by the quickening of the Spirit (which is manifested in the believer by a change in his desires for sin to a desire for God and righteousness), have the sure knowledge that he has been born again (a new creation), that old things have passed away and newness of life has entered into him or her.
2. THE BAPTISM INTO THE HOLY GHOST
Much fallacy and misconception crowds this work of grace in the human being but it is simple to understand when we look at the reason that God baptizes a person in His Spirit. When God made Adam, it was His intention to live in Adam, and to walk and talk in him. His intention never changed. Therefore, Jesus came to reconcile man to God and to bring us back to the place where we will be able to live in God and He in us. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is, therefore, the first step of the person of God entering into the human soul. After a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour the blood of Jesus begins the work of the cleansing of the soul. The soul then begins to desire more and more of God and as it cries out for the living God, the Holy Spirit comes into the spirit of man.
Romans 8:l6, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
God meets man spirit to spirit. The Holy Spirit enters into the spirit of the believer. It was the blood of Jesus Christ which entered into the soul and made it a living soul. It is the Spirit of God which enters into the spirit of man and makes his spirit the first realm of man taken over completely by God, thus bringing heaven down to earth.
Proverbs 20:27, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (or the soul).
Where the Holy Spirit is, there is also Christ, and the Father, and that is heaven. The heaven of man’s spirit, soul, and body which God created for His dwelling place has begun to be possessed of Him.
The work started on the day of Pentecost, almost 2,000 years ago, when the Holy Ghost entered the human spirit for the first time. This was prophesied by the prophet Joel approximately 800 years before Jesus Christ. On the day of Pentecost,Peter spoke to the crowd of various people who were gathered in front of the disciples in Jerusalem. When the disciples began to behave like drunken men, Peter explained that they were not drunk but that this was that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel.
Acts 2:l7, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
From this verse we observe that when the Spirit of God comes into a person, he prophesies, has dreams, and sees visions of God. Of course, false prophets do the same, but they are not of God. “The last days” mentioned here are the last two thousand years, a thousand years for a day. The pouring out of the Spirit of God upon men and women began at Pentecost and will continue unto the coming of Jesus Christ. This gift of God to the human race is attended by speaking in prophecy.
Revelation 19:10,”…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Speaking in tongues, dreams and visions, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, and interpretation of tongues are all manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Remember though, that wherever there is the “true”, there is also the “false”. The test of whether it is true or false is whether it glorifies God and Jesus Christ or not.
3. THE BAPTISM INTO CHRIST
1 Corinthians l2:13, “For by one Spirit 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.”
Verse 12 of this same chapter tells us that Christ is also a Body. Just as different members comprise a body, so also is Christ a many-membered Body. The baptism into Christ, therefore, is a spiritual action which can only be done by the Holy Spirit. The baptism into water is done by one believer to another. The baptism into the Holy Spirit is done by Christ Jesus Himself. The baptism into Christ is done by the Holy Spirit. It is a spiritual action done by the Spirit of God when we please God.
MYSTERY NUMBER THREE IS UNION WITH CHRIST
It is the will of God that man be united with Him in accomplishing His will in the earth. We can only be united with the Lord through obedience. The whole heavenly host works implicitly at the Lord’s bidding. He has commanded guardian angels to work for man. See Hebrews 1:14. While the spirits which are ordered to work for us are obeying the Lord, if we are NOT obeying, then the spirits cannot work for us. We know of a classic example of a very humble servant of God who was told to go to a certain intersection and have a meeting. The problem the brother had was that the intersection was out in the middle of the woods, and at seven o’clock in the evening it would be unlikely to find anyone there. He obeyed. He took his lantern and Bible and set up his little podium and began to preach to what he thought was just the woodland. After a while, something stirred in the darkness and a man came out and accepted Jesus as his Saviour. He had gone there to waylay his girlfriend, to kill her with his sharpened machete, but God got to him first. The Spirit of God could work on his heart but a human was needed to lead him to Christ. We are partners with Christ and with all those who are in Christ whether they are here or in the heavenlies.
MYSTERY NUMBER FOUR IS FEEDING ON CHRIST
We feed on Christ in the following three dimensions: the Christ within, the Christ without, and the Christ in the Body.
A. THE CHRIST WITHIN
Someone said “the conscience is the voice of God speaking in the soul of man.” Within each human being there is this small voice encouraging him to do right and to resist wrong. In the believer, however, there is the voice of the Holy Spirit, not only speaking, but motivating him to do the will of God. The will of God and His promise to the believer is to walk in him and talk in him and set up His throne in him through which He will rule the nations.
Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
In this scripture, God was speaking to the Jews, but Paul by the Holy Spirit translated it in the New Testament and spoke it to the church.
Hebrews 8:10, “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.”
The promise is again repeated in 2 Corinthians 6:16 and again God uses Paul the apostle to bring further enlightenment to the Word by writing, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them.” This reiterates God’s oft-repeated promise to dwell IN US, to walk IN US, to talk IN US. We will be like Jesus Christ walking and talking on the earth.
B. FEEDING ON CHRIST WITHOUT
The last promise of Jesus Christ just before His ascension was recorded in Matthew 28:20. “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Jesus also said that He is coming again. If He is with us, how is He coming again? Here is a peculiar thought. Jesus Christ left the earth to be with the Father in heaven and yet He said He would be with us until the end of the age. This of course means that He must be with us in one dimension and He will be coming in another. The Christ we are expecting to see at His coming is a physical man. The Christ we have with us is a Spirit being. The returning Christ is a flesh and bone man, the son of Mary, who was filled with the Spirit of Christ, who will again appear on the earth in the end of time.
Acts 1:11, “…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” There is a living Christ in our midst when we gather together in the nature and purpose of God, two or three, He is there in the midst of us, with us, to bless us. The home with two who move together in union and in love as one is a home that can have the presence of Christ continuously.
C. THE CHRIST IN THE BODY
There is a manifestation of Christ in the Body of Christ which is not found anywhere else. When Christ is in a Body of people, the spirit of prophecy is present. The gifts of the Spirit will manifest in a Body of people to bring them together in the Lord. The gifts are not for individual exaltation, but for the glory of the Body of Christ and to the glory of God.
E. MYSTERY NUMBER FIVE IS THE OFFERING OF THE SOUL
DEATH IN THE HOLY PLACE
In the ancient ritual of the Tabernacle of Moses, the priests made offerings in two different places. First was in the outer court on the brass or brasen altar, inside the gate. The second was in the holy place before the veil or partition, at the altar of incense, between the holy place and the most holy place. The offering at this place was the most dreaded in the tabernacle. All the men of God who transgressed and died in the house of God met their death at the altar of incense.
Nadab and Abihu, two priests, sons of Aaron, died at this altar. The fire that was used in the tabernacle to light the altar of sacrifice, to light the lamps, and to burn the incense at the altar of incense, originally came from heaven when Moses dedicated the tabernacle. Any other fire that was brought in from outside was an abomination to the Lord and this is what Nadab and Abihu did when they brought fire from their homes to light the incense at the altar of incense. They put fire on the brasen altar and nothing happened. They lighted the candlestick and nothing happened, but when they got to the altar of incense, it exploded in their faces and they died. See Leviticus 10:2.
Any servant of God who substitutes knowledge, psychology, human philosophy, or any other human thinking for the gifts of the Spirit, or for the moving of the Holy Ghost, is using strange fire in the house of God, and the consequences will be just as devastating as it was for Nadab and Abihu. Though it might seem to tarry, yet judgment of God will surely come to pass. When a man ministers before God, he offers his soul to God and if the offering is unclean, then he dies spiritually, just as they died naturally. Because of the mercy of God in the blood of Jesus Christ, he might be allowed to die many times before he becomes a castaway.
Joab, the commander of David’s army, did so many acts of wickedness and shedding of innocent blood that when David was about to die he instructed Solomon, his son, who was anointed king in his stead, not to allow Joab to go to his grave in peace. Solomon, a man of wisdom, immediately issued orders for Joab’s execution. The news got to Joab very quickly and he ran to the tabernacle and held on to the horns of the golden altar which is before the mercy seat, with the intention that he would find mercy there. It was a wrong choice. Solomon gave orders to execute him right there. That was the place of death. This is the fifth mystery, the fifth seal. At this point in the development of the church, God is asking Christians who have given Him their bodies as a living sacrifice to give Him their souls.
The soul is the most difficult thing to offer, because it entails the offering of one’s way of thinking, one’s whole self, one’s whole way of life. One has to despise his own mind, his human way of thinking and the way it works. Instead of lauding the human intellect, we deprecate it and pray for God to give us the mind of Christ. We reject humanism in every form and turn to abandoning our own will and desires for that which God wills, and for that which God desires for us. This is where the soul will complete its metamorphosis and eventually become like Jesus Christ Himself. This is the point at which we are finally able to break away from the familiar spirits which inhabit and rule over our families.
Even before we were born our families were possessed and oppressed by many spirits. Although some of us have escaped this possession and oppression to a certain degree, the spirits have never completely been destroyed. Our God has ordained for us, as individuals, a time in our lives when we must come to that point of total victory over familiar spirits. So many, however, have never overcome them, but the Lord ordained a time when all of us believers will receive the fullness of Christ and break through the veil. The veil is that barrier of carnality which separates our soul from the spirit. At present, we remain earthbound, although we have the Christ within our spirit, but the time will come when the Christ, which is in our spirit, will break through into our soul and give us the mind of Christ, the emotions of Jesus Christ, the will of the Father and the desires of God.
F. MYSTERY NUMBER SIX IS THE OVERSHADOWING
The angels of God in the heavenlies live constantly under the shadow of the Almighty. They live and move and totally have their being in Him. The sixth mystery is the overshadowing, when we come under this type of total protection, total covering of God. This will take place just before or at the beginning of the greatest tribulation on the earth. Satan and his host, both natural and spiritual, will finally come to the realization that they are losers and will make a final effort to destroy the world and its inhabitants. God will intervene through the saints, by filling them with the fullness of Christ, and will stop him and save the world in a most spectacular manner. (In later chapters this will be made clear without the shadow of a doubt.) Psalm 91 tells us of the type of defense we will have:
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Judges 13:7 tells us that Samson was under a Nazarite vow with God. He should not drink any strong drink, nor cut his hair, nor eat any unclean thing. He became careless in his life and participated in much uncleanness, but the one vow he never broke was the cutting of his hair. The hair was a symbol of God’s covering, and as long as he did not break that one part of his vow, God still remained with him. He was the strongest man who ever lived only because his strength was supernatural and of God. Remember, he lifted off the gate of Gaza and carried it up a very high hill. The gate weighed probably a HUNDRED TONS or more. This same Samson killed one thousand armed men with nothing but the jawbone of an ass. When, however, his hair was cut off by a man called for by Delilah, he was taken by ordinary men and his eyes were plucked out. Samson lost his hair, his covering, and he lost his life. Christ is our covering and He has promised when the dark hour comes on the earth, we will be in a place of safety in Him.
G.MYSTERY NUMBER SEVEN IS THE MAN CHILD
The words MAN CHILD are used figuratively to express a heavenly thought which could not be better put. Every church in the Scriptures has been designated as she, the woman, feminine, but this church is called him, man child, masculine. For instance, Revelation 2:27, “And HE shall rule them (all nations) with a rod of iron…” The church has always been called woman in Scripture because the woman receives life from her husband in order to produce life. This church, however, will be a life giver. This church will be completely incorporated by Christ and will possess the life of God within himself to bring life to the rest of the church and to the whole world. This premise will be discussed in further chapters where we will deal with it more fully.
THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERIES
The first four of these mysteries are already revealed. The fifth mystery is being revealed at this time. The sixth and seventh mysteries are to be revealed in the near future, beginning with the three and a half year period of the Christ ministry, in which some of the people of the church will minister EXACTLY LIKE JESUS CHRIST did in His natural body, filled with the fullness of the Godhead. (All of these mysteries will be covered in the teachings of The Revelation when we come to the seals.) The SEALS are the MYSTERIES. The TRUMPETS are the MESSAGES, and the VIALS or bowls are the JUDGMENTS. When the seal is broken, some time elapses, then the trumpet blows, which is the message being preached, then, at the end of time, the vials of God’s judgment will be poured out. The seals are not all yet broken, according to my understanding. The sixth seal is about to be broken which will bring World War III, destruction, and death upon the whole earth and will result in the MIGHTIEST POWER OF GOD’S OVERSHADOWING of His people to date. This means we have not yet received all of the revelations of the end time. For instance, the revelation of the power of God to keep us alive and well in the midst of destruction and death is not yet fully revealed and cannot be revealed IN US until the adverse circumstances demand His protection. For instance, those of the brethren who have been under communism and have endured great persecution have experienced a greater measure of God’s protecting power than we who have not had this experience.
I have a friend who was a priest in a foreign country who was arrested by the church for HERESY. He was in prison in a desolate place. He thought they were about to execute him but as he prayed to God he found himself out in the prison yard. A high wall stood between him and freedom. He prayed again. Suddenly he was on a busy street with traffic and many people. It sounds like a fairy tale, but God did it to Peter and He will reveal to us even greater things than these. I must make a very important point here, that God WILL NOT GIVE any one person all the meaning of His Word. The reason for this is that it would be counterproductive, in that everyone would have to look to this one person or group and he or she would be usurping Christ.
We need to look to Christ and not to man. God is revealing Himself to His Body which means that many people will receive DIFFERENT ASPECTS of the revelation of Christ. If you hear this revelation and believe it then that means God is revealing it to you. When the Lord sent me out with this message I asked Him how I would know those to whom He was sending me. He replied that those who hear and believe the Word were the people to whom I am sent. When we come together as one, we will have all the revelation together. I, therefore, will give you that which the Lord has given me and try to lead you into the understanding of how to recognize His revelation, both within yourself and from the outside. There is one Body throughout the earth with many members and Christ as Head.
OVERVIEW OF THE REVELATION
We will begin with Revelation chapter one, which is an introduction. The introduction runs from verse 1 to verse 9 and then the real action begins. The vision begins in verse 10 and it runs through the 22 chapters to the end. It is not written in a chronological order. The whole book is divided into summaries and details. There are whole chapters which are just summaries from beginning to end on some particular theme. Then the writer turns back to explain details of important sections in that chapter, sometimes using another chapter to do so. The first three chapters give the history of the church from Christ to the end of time, the end of the age. In each church we see two churches, one progressing towards becoming overcomers and the other moving away from God towards the antichrist.
Revelation Chapter One
Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by his angel unto His servant John.”
In the first verse, we see that Jesus did not have the fullness of the revelation of Christ, until God gave it to Him. Please note that Christ, the eternal second person of the Godhead, the Son, came to earth and inhabited a body that was naturally born of Mary. The angel that visited Mary spoke in Hebrew or Aramaic, which language Mary spoke, and named Him Yeshua. We call Him Jesus, which really is not His name, but a transliteration of the word. Yeshua is Hebrew. In Latin there is no Ye so they put Je. Then for the Hebrew letter, shin, they use the Latin s. The Latin nominative ending is us so we have Jesus. The strange part is that this is a heathenish sound. He was first called Jesus by the very people who crucified Him. Pilate ordered that His name should be written in Latin (Jesus), in Greek (Iesous), in Hebrew (Yeshua). See John 19:19 and 20.
We believe God gave Jesus the fullness of the revelation of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. The proof of this is in the fact that He said, in Luke 22:42, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
We find the will of the Christ in Jesus at that time was slightly different from that of the Father, though it had the same aim. In other words, the will in Jesus Christ wanted to finish the job at Calvary and finish off the enemy of our souls, but the Father’s will for Him was Calvary. When He uttered the words “It is finished,” man’s redemption was complete. This opened the door for the church to come into Christ-likeness and then will all creation be set free. See Romans 8:19-23.
We should note here that Christ, when He received the human body which was prepared for Him, laid aside His omniscience, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, and His God powers. It is safe, therefore, to assume that Christ in Jesus was not all knowing, not all seeing, and not all powerful, and He did not understand all things. This fact gives us an understanding as to why Jesus prayed thus in the garden, before His crucifixion, and why, on the cross, the man Jesus cried in a strange and unknown language,
“…with a loud voice saying, Eli, Eli, la-ma sa-bach-tha-ni? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
It was the man Jesus who cried and not the Christ, since the cry said that Christ had left Jesus. Christ must fulfill Himself in the church, and the church must have the full revelation of Jesus Christ.
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST IN A PEOPLE
The revelation of Jesus Christ, therefore, cannot be to an individual but it must be within the person and within a Body of people. Jesus Christ is revealing Himself within man so that there will be many children of Christ in the earth. In other words, Christ will multiply Himself. In Isaiah 53:10, we understand that Jesus Christ would have children and we know that God’s plan from the very beginning was to have children. God said that He would walk in man and talk in man and that man should be His people and He would be their God. This promise is found in Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10, and many other passages. This is the most repeated promise of the whole Bible. At this point in time, Jesus Christ is revealing Himself within us. He must be fully revealed in us before Jesus Christ can come from the skies. The thought of Jesus coming from the skies is scriptural. Acts 1:11,
“…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Nevertheless, this same Jesus which is coming from the skies must be revealed in us; therefore, when He comes, “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is,” 1 John 3:2.
God showed Jesus a revelation of Jesus Christ, and step by step He is showing us the same revelation. There is a special blessing on all those who read or hear the words of this prophecy and believe the things that they hear. See Revelation 1:3. In sending the messages to the seven churches of Asia, the apostle John speaks of “the seven Spirits” of God. The churches are typical of all the churches of the ages. Therefore, God has sent “seven Spirits” to preside over the function of these churches, giving each the opportunity of overcoming. I suppose Satan also has set his seven spirits over these churches to counteract the work of the Spirit of God. Just as Judas was set in the midst of the twelve to counteract Jesus Christ Himself, Satan’s plan is to cause the churches to transgress the Word of God. (We will discuss this in a future chapter.)
In Revelation 1:5, Jesus is described as:
(1) “the faithful witness” (2) “the first begotten of the dead” and (3) “prince of the kings of the earth.”
The word “witness” here is martus, martyr.
Hebrews 5:8 and 9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Jesus Christ was the pattern Son. He was a prototype of the sons of God which should come to be in the earth. Those who are reborn through His blood will be just like Him, and be human beings manifesting God just as He did. As He laid down His life so the sons of God will lay down their lives. “The FIRST begotten of the dead” tells us there will be many other begotten from the dead who will live on the earth just as Christ did. Romans 8:29 says many sons will be “conformed to the image of his Son.” “Prince OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH” means HIS sons. Jesus Christ will inherit the kingdoms of the world and He will make His sons kings. Since He is their king, He will be King of kings. Exodus 19:6a, “And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.”
The Revelation, sometimes called the Apocalypse, is the end fulfillment of all the books of the Bible, and it quotes with a certain finality all the prophets, thus giving them prophetic approval. We should note also that Jesus Christ and the apostles quoted all the books of the Bible and thus have certified their validity. This could not be said for the books of the Apocrypha, for they are not quoted at all in the Bible.
In Revelation 1:7 it is stated, Jesus “cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”
Hebrews 12:1 “a great cloud of witnesses” refers to the crowd of believers in the heavenlies. This “great cloud of witnesses” are the clouds which received Jesus when He ascended into heaven, and the clouds with which Jesus is coming. Note Revelation 19:14, “the armies which were in heaven followed him.” This is the cloud. All people in our terrestrial ball shall see Him at the same time. Some very imaginative preacher said that we will see Him by television. However, those in far away places who have never seen television will also see Him. I suspect that SPIRIT vision is better than TELEvision. Jesus Christ who is omnipresent will appear to ALL the people of the earth at the same time. His physical body has the same power as the spiritual.
MY BEGINNING DESIGNED TO MATCH MY DESIRED END
“I am Alpha and Omega,” Revelation 1:8. It is awesome to conceive that we are dealing with a God who holds both the beginning and the end in His vision, all at the same time. He saw my life begin and at that very moment He was looking at the end. He was there with me in every dark moment and all the while He was carving out my beginning to suit the best end that He could make and give to me. Sometimes in ignorance I work against His purposes, not knowing that all this time He is working on my behalf to make my ending good. He is the God who, out of a bad beginning, makes a victorious end. If darkness covers my path it is good to know the darkness is only over my head, and that He is the light. He sees all of my way from beginning to end, at all times.
The island of Patmos was a place of exile for John. He was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” the seventh day. The phrase “in the Spirit” means that he was not acting in his natural senses, but that the Spirit of God had taken charge of his senses and his soul. In this state, John “heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” commanding him to “write” what he saw “and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” The Lord sent the message to the seven churches of Asia because these churches were chosen by Him to represent all the churches of the world in all the ages. They were, therefore, typical of the churches of all ages. In our time, we know churches by different names – denominational, nondenominational, and interdenominational, but there is not one church that does not fall under one of these categories.
This was a wide-awake vision. Verse 12,
“And I (John) turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.”
“Candlesticks” should be translated “lampstands.” Each lampstand stands upon one base with six arms, three on each side curved up to the same level as the center piece. It is like a person with curved arms standing, with two extra arms between the arm and the head. Verse 13a, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man.” The center stick which would be represented by the head, had the form of a man like Jesus Christ Himself standing inside of it.
I will describe Him and give the symbolism at the same time. He was:
13b, “clothed with a garment down to the foot” which means covered in righteousness.
13c, “Girt about the paps with a golden girdle” means He was upheld by the nature of God.
Verse 14a, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow” speaking of Divine maturity.
14b, “Eyes were as a flame of fire” means He will bring judgment to the world. In Revelation l9:11 and 12, the Lord appears to “judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire.”
Verse 15a, “Feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace” means that He will walk victoriously through the tribulation on the earth.
It is to be noted, the lampstand only stands on one pedestal. The only church which will be capable of walking through the tribulation victoriously will be the seventh church, which is represented by the center lampstand. All the other six churches will hang on to the seventh and this is the only way they will survive. Without Christ in the midst of the church, ruling, living, and directing it, that church will not be able to overcome. The power of Satan which will be unleashed upon humanity will be greater than ever before. The INDIVIDUAL must ALSO have the fullness of Christ in himself or herself to be able to overcome in that three and a half year period. This will be fully explained in further chapters. NOW is the time for the believer to cast himself/herself upon Christ, that he might be ready for that fullness when it comes.
THE FIRST DOMINION
In Matthew 6, the disciples asked Christ to teach them how to pray. Verse 10 records that He told them to say:
“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
If the will of God is to be done “IN earth, as it is in heaven” then the FIRST part of earth in which His will would be done is IN US who are part of His kingdom. This tells us the fullness of God’s will, which is to bring forth sons in the image of Jesus Christ, will come to us, His sons, first.
Micah 4:8, “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”
This prophetic passage clearly refers to Mary as “the daughter of Jerusalem” and dominion would come through her seed, Jesus Christ. Those who are IN CHRIST would rule and reign with Him on earth. Further Scriptural explanation of this comes from Daniel 7:27. “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, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Revelation 1:15b, “His voice as the sound of many waters” means that He is a many-membered body and not just one individual. JOHN KNEW JESUS very well and His voice was not strange to him; but the voice he heard was not that of Jesus but CHRIST in the church. 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is CHRIST.” Yes, we are saying this is the picture of the many-membered Body of Christ with JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF as the HEAD. This is the final picture of the overcomer church. In Scripture, one of the meanings of the word star is son of God. Jesus Himself is referred to as “the bright and morning star” in Revelation 22:16. In Numbers 24:17, He is referred to as the “Star out of Jacob.” In Genesis 37:9 and 10, the sons of Jacob are referred to as eleven stars.
Revelation 1:16, “And he had in his right hand seven stars” speaking of seven human messengers sent to the churches. Jesus Christ is holding them that they should not fall or fail. “Stars” mean sons of God. In Genesis 37:9 and 10, there is the story of Joseph’s dream concerning the sun, the moon, and eleven stars. Joseph’s father Jacob interpreted the dream to mean that he, Jacob, represented God, the sun; that his wife, Joseph’s mother, represented the moon; and the eleven stars were his eleven sons. Revelation 1:16 continues, “And out of His mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword” meaning the spoken Word of God will come forth as a weapon from the overcomer church. “His countenance was as the SUN SHINETH in his strength” further identifies this person as the overcomer church. Matthew 13:43 says, “Then shall THE RIGHTEOUS SHINE FORTH as the sun” describing who shall be left after God’s judgment has removed the wicked from the earth. Please note the order of God at the end of the age is FIRST TO REMOVE THE WICKED and not to rapture the righteous. Remove the wicked from the earth, THEN “shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
John fell slain by the Spirit. The power of God was too much for him, but Christ laid His hand on him and told him, “Fear not; I am the first and the last,” verse 17. We will see this designation repeated many times in this Word.
Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
What is amazing about this pronouncement is the fact we are not just looking at Jesus Christ who we know already arose from the dead, but we are looking at Him in the Body of believers. This picture is one of an issue or birth coming forth from the seventh church. The middle candlestick or lampstand which bears up all the others will give birth to the Christ Himself and will become one with Him before any of the other churches, thus fulfilling Romans 8:l9 and 29.
John was then ordered to “write…the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” Things present, and things future were about to be revealed by the Spirit of God. What makes it most interesting now, is that most of these things are to come to pass in our time, very shortly. The mystery of “the seven stars” are the seven messengers which are human messengers to the seven churches. “The seven lampstands” are the seven churches. In the next chapter we will continue with the messages to the seven churches. Chapter two proves conclusively that the seven messengers are seven human beings.
THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write.” The word “angel,” aggelos in the Greek, is translated “messenger.” This “angel of the church of Ephesus” is a human messenger. The proof is in the following scriptures:
“These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.”
Again we see Christ holding “seven stars (seven sons) in His right hand ” and walking“in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks,” the seven churches.
He said, “I know thy works, and thy labour, 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 has found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I HAVE SOMEWHAT AGAINST THEE…”
NOT A CREATED ANGEL BEING
This message could not be addressed to a created angel being. Created angel beings that have sinned have all fallen and are in hell. In other words, they are in a hell realm. They are not servants of God on earth presiding over churches. They cannot go back to heaven, mainly because they have nothing of heaven left in them, nothing to draw them back to heaven. If God should offer them heaven they would all refuse, for heaven would be torment to them. Their natures have been changed to natures of darkness and they cannot dwell in light, neither can they stand light.
THE THREE REALMS OF HEAVEN
Speaking of angels, let us look a little at heaven. Heaven has three realms:
Deuteronomy 10:14, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”
1. The first realm of heaven is where GOD THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST live in all their fullness of glory. None of the angels can approach this place.
2. The second realm of heaven is where angels, called archangels, (1 Thessalonians 4:16) like Michael (“like God”) and Gabriel (“messenger of God”) dwell. Heylel (“bright one of God”), erroneously translated Lucifer a Latin word, dwelt there until he fell. Heylel is the angel that we call Satan.
In Isaiah 14:12 the original Hebrew text says “Heylel.” “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Heylel, son of the morning…” Somebody changed the text to “Lucifer,” and it was changed for a purpose. The Romans worshipped the morning star which they called Lucifer, the bright one. They also worshipped other stars. The Romans were Saturnalians, which means they worshipped the heavenly bodies, contrary to the Word of God. God spoke very clearly against worship of the heavenly bodies. They worshipped the morning star as their god. When the name Lucifer was inserted by some Roman person they actually were comparing or suggesting that this Lucifer had something to do with Jesus Christ. They put Lucifer instead of Heylel.
Lucifer is a Latin word. If I remember well, it is a third declension Latin noun that ends in er and it could not be in a Jewish text. Because Isaiah was written before Rome was founded there was no Roman language. Isaiah was written 712 B.C. and Rome was founded over 40 years later. Isaiah prophesied in the time of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. These kings of Israel and Judah ruled long before the era of Rome.
Michael ends in el and Gabriel ends in el. The El means God, Elohiym. Heylel was supposed to have powers to overshadow heaven. When he began to praise, all heaven would rise up in praise and this power was given to him of God. God planted the music and the power in his soul to be an overshadowing cherub, one that caused others to rise up and to do the will of God. Note Ezekiel 28:12-19. All this power he had in heaven.
He then decided he wanted to be the Christ. You might not see this clearly in Scripture but it is there. We look again at Isaiah 14:12 and see what God said to Heylel. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Heylel, son of the morning!” When mistranslated “Lucifer, son of the morning,” making him “the morning star,” they gave him the title belonging ONLY to Jesus Christ. See Revelation 22:16.
“How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.” Isaiah 14:13, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the STARS of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, IN THE SIDES OF THE NORTH.”
This Heylel (Satan) was saying that he wanted to be where Jesus Christ should be. He wanted to sit “upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north,” meaning the people of God. If you want to prove this turn to:
Psalm 48 which says, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, ON THE SIDES OF THE NORTH, the city of the great King.”
When God uses the word “ZION,” He means His Elect, His elite ones. Zion is the seventh letter in the Hebrew tongue and the number seven means PERFECTION. Seven is the closest number related to God, perfection. SEVEN MEANS GOD. Satan is saying that he wants to be king over those people God calls His Zion. He wants to be the master of The Elect. He wanted to be Christ. Therefore we have good reason from Scriptures to assume that this was his intention.
The second realm of heaven then is the realm next to the glory of God. God puts an insulation between Himself and this heaven so that the power of His glory might not destroy His own angels. From this realm we come down to the third realm of heaven.
THE THIRD REALM OF HEAVEN
3. In the third realm of heaven there are angels and there are men of two types. The angels are of the following three types:
a. created angel beings,
b. men who serve God night and day who are in the spirit world like John, Paul, James, Peter, and
c. brethren who took their bodies when Jesus resurrected. See Matthew 27:52. Of men there are two types. There are men who are “of the angel” as stated in Revelation 21:17,
“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” Revelation 22:8 and 9, “And I John saw these things and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
There are men with their bodies, and men without their bodies.
To repeat, there are three realms of heaven. In the upper heaven we have Father, Son, Holy Ghost. In the second heaven there are archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and other angels who took Heylel’s place. Down in the third heaven there are angels and men.
SEVEN TYPICAL CHURCHES FOR ALL THE AGES
Let us go on to Revelation 2:4. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
“Thee” refers to the messenger and also the church. Why did God speak about these seven churches of Asia, in a little area which today is called Turkey? Why did He pick out this little area? The reason is because these churches were going to be used of God as TYPICAL CHURCHES for all the ages. Every church in every age will fall under the umbrella of one of these churches. We have denominational churches. There are Baptist churches, Methodist churches, Catholic churches, Pentecostal churches, etc. and all these churches fall under one or more of these categories.
There is something marvelous and beautiful about the whole thing. Each church had an age where that church was the thing that God would require of men for that time. The churches were developing from the Outer Court church, which is a church that just knows Jesus as Saviour. Then there is the church that knows Jesus as Lord and that is still in the Outer Court. That church is to propel the believer into the Holy Place, where the believer will not just know Jesus as Lord, but begin to obey and walk with our Lord and become a partner in work, in effort, and in labor with our Lord. This church would go in through the door of the Tabernacle into the place where she becomes united with Christ and walks with Christ. This church is intended of God, over the ages, to develop into the church that would feed on Christ like the Berean church who just believed in studying the Word of God.
In the whole church system, knowledge increased. In the time of Martin Luther, God also allowed the printing press to be invented, and knowledge spread abroad enabling people to read for themselves. We come from that church into the church of today, the offering of the soul. It is l998 and according to God’s calendar the church should be before the veil, at the altar of incense, the place where man crosses through the veil. He will lose his identity and be lost in God, lost in Christ. We have not yet gone through but we are to be PROPELLED through by adversity. There is going to be GREAT tribulation. The tribulation has already begun long ago but the end of it is going to be terrible – so terrible that no flesh will survive but for the grace of God. It is the mercy of God that will keep any Christian alive.
CORRECT ORDER FOR BAPTISM
Jesus is speaking to the church of the Ephesians. Remember, the Ephesus church was the place where Paul went and found the brethren that did not know the truth about baptism. See Acts 19. They thought they were just going to be baptized in water and that would make them part of Christ. Notice this very carefully, because right now there are people who have this same feeling and understanding, but God wants to correct us. The blood of Jesus Christ must first BAPTIZE your soul and bring it from a dead soul to a living soul. When you become a living soul then you are fit to be baptized in water.
You may question why you have to be baptized in water. Water initiates you, and brings you into a covenant relationship with God. It is like a marriage covenant. You do not just go and grab a wife and secretly take off with her and live together and say you are married. You must have a time, witnesses, and a piece of paper saying on this day you were married. That paper is like the contract you sign with God when you go into water baptism. It is a covenant relationship. Baptism does nothing for the flesh. If done in the Spirit, it does something to your spirit. You have a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Revelation 2:3 and 4 Jesus is saying:
Thou “hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
This is a terrible thing! The typical church of today is a church that has lost its first love. Consider any congregation and ask them what the church was like when it first began. I remember one minister was brought up before the church board and he thought he had such a wonderful case because he was going back to the ancient things, preaching the things that were preached by the founders. He was so shocked when the church board said that they were not following the writings of the founders of the church. They were making their own rules! Some denominations today have homosexual ministers and all different kinds of deviant doctrines and dogmas. Everything has crowded into the church.
QUICKENED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
We have totally lost sight of Jesus Christ and what He stands for, where He has put us from the very beginning, from the foundation of the world, and the gospel. We need to get back to our first love. Our first love might not necessarily be anything pertaining to the church. When we accepted Jesus, our first love, as our Saviour, there was a freshness. If you never had this experience, if never a change came over you, if never the sky looked bluer, if never the earth looked more glorious, if never the peace of God came over you, if never the glory of God came over you – YOU HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED THAT WHICH JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR. Jesus died in order that we might be SAVED. The word saved means reconditioned, reborn, delivered from the thing we were when we were first born of our mothers. We must have a renewing of the mind, a renewing of the spirit, a deliverance from what we were before.
This salvation needs to grow. Many have said that they have received Jesus as their Saviour and are all right and are going to heaven, and can freely do anything they please. This is not salvation. Salvation is a continuous experience, having a beginning and an end. If you turn to Ephesians 1:11-14 you will see the Word speaks about the end of your salvation. Notice the progression:
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Many people do not believe in this progression in God. God is a God of progress, and growth. If you are born again, you must grow. You MUST begin to move from that born again position into things higher and into things deeper. Nobody has to preach to you and say that you must do this, and you must talk in tongues, and you must prophesy. Those things do not have to be preached to the true child of God who is following Jesus Christ. The Scripture tells you certain things happen to you as you grow in Christ, but if you do not grow then you will not have the signs of growth. Some people say when you receive Jesus as your Saviour you receive everything. Without going into too much detail, I will say that when you receive Jesus, you receive HIS LIFE to counteract the death that was in you.
God could not do business with a dead man. Therefore, He had to save you, resurrect you, and bring you to the same place where He made Adam. Adam was made a living soul, and you were a dead soul. Dead means you could not respond to God. With a dead man, you could slap or pinch him, you could shout in his ear, but he is dead. That is how God felt towards you, for God shouted at you many times. God would touch your body, shake you, wake you up many times but you could not respond to God because you were dead. Now God took some of His life and put it into you through the blood of Jesus Christ, and you became a LIVING SOUL. The blood of Jesus hovers over the whole world. You can call upon His name, and receive His blood and the blood quickens you. That is how you know you are saved. No one needs to tell you to say a few words, and if you say them right you are saved. This is not a password business, that if you say the right password then you get saved. Nothing of the kind! Sometimes you can get saved by not speaking a word, by just submitting your soul before God and the Spirit of God will come and give you what you ask for. Salvation, therefore, is a quickening of the spirit and a bringing to life of the individual.
When that individual comes alive, he wants living food. Adam was alive but he died because he did not have the Christ. He had neither the Holy Ghost nor the blood. The Blood first, then the Holy Ghost and then the Christ. This is the right order. After you have been saved you get the blood in your soul. When you receive the Holy Ghost you do not receive the Holy Ghost in your soul. You receive the Holy Ghost in your spirit. The scripture says:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” Romans 8:16.
Those people who have the Spirit of God have within themselves a witness of God that they are the sons of God – little sons of God. Not little gods, but sons of God. Praise be to God.
REBELLION IN THE CHURCH
Jesus said to the church in Ephesus, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Brethren, the whole church system has lost its love for God. We are compassed about, filled with worldliness, filled with all the things of this world and the things the devil has piled upon the church. The situation is so terrible that the individual must break away and find Jesus for himself. DO NOT WAIT on a church to find Jesus! One section of this church of Ephesus will go into the antichrist and one section will go into Christ. We are at the end of time and there are only two places to go. You are either going into the antichrist or going into Christ.
How could a church, a people who know Jesus as Saviour, know the Father, and know the Holy Ghost, go into the antichrist? Is that possible? YES! It is possible, and I will show you why it is possible.
Hebrews 6:4-6 tells you how possible it is. “For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
This sripture says “it is IMPOSSIBLE…to renew them again unto repentance.” This is not talking about an outer court person who just barely received salvation. This scripture says that these people “have tasted the good Word of God,” gone into miracles, seen the power of God, walked in the light, and then turned to darkness. God says “it is impossible…to renew them again unto repentance.”
Notice, this was the same problem with the angels. This is the reason the angels which fell from heaven cannot go back to heaven, for they had light and they chose darkness. If they did not have any light, they would have been better off. Now we, as men, have the chance of going into heaven even though we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. We knew no light, we knew no life. We only knew darkness. Now God is redeeming us from the darkness and how glad we are. This darkness has been present in the church for almost the whole life of the church – 2,000 YEARS.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (the word translated for “falling away” is apostasia which actually means a rebellion against Christ) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
We are in the days when the rebellion is so prevalent that the people who are born in the church at this time do not know this is not really the church. The church is only a skeleton of what the church should be.
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Remember, this was a church (according to verse 2) that was able to spot a false apostle, meaning they were able to discern someone who came and said that God sent him when he was not sent of God.
Today, apostles are being made by the denominations. Each denomination will have its own apostles. That is a false apostle. An apostle that goes out on behalf of a denomination might be a true apostle as far as the denomination is concerned, but as far as Christ is concerned, he was not sent of Christ. True apostles of Christ are those who are sent of Christ and the works of Christ follow them. That is, the fruit of their labor must be Christ. Apostles must bring forth Christ in the people. The fruit of the labor of most of the denominations is denominations. We find the same thing in Africa and in India. The people are denominationalized. Each person has pride and labels himself according to the denomination he belongs to. It is just like a tribal war that goes on among people who feel their denomination is the right one and everyone else’s is the wrong one. It is possible all of them are wrong. I have not seen a right denomination yet, and I do not think I will ever see one.
Revelation 2:5, “Remember therefore (God is revealing the cure) from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick (the correct word is lampstand) out of his place, except thou repent.”
What is the meaning of this? Are we saying God had commissioned a people as a church, and because of their falling back from God and their turning away from truth, He is going to remove that church? YES! Every time He removes one, He sets up another. He CAN put one in! God is not losing anything. He will remove their authority as a church. We have seen many churches have their authority removed as a church, yet they continue to function and souls continue to be saved. Some people believe if souls are saved that means they are doing well. Not true. God will save souls under any circumstance. Anywhere the Word of God is preached, He will save souls.
I once knew of a man who was a crook, a criminal, and a shyster. He came into a town and preached because he wanted money. He received money and left. He was arrested in the neighboring town for burglary. However some of the people were saved through his preaching of the gospel and his teaching that the judgment of God was coming. They accepted the Word, were saved, and they are still saved. The thief has to go and seek salvation for himself but the Word he preached was not his word. It was the Word of God. God mocked him and this is what God does to those who use the Word of God for all different purposes. Men use the Word of God to make money, to make themselves rich, and God allows it because God is mocking them. They receive their money, get paid off, and God’s people are blessed. We see it happening all around us today.
GOD HATES NICOLAITANISM
Revelation 2:6, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.”
Now consider this. God, the Almighty God, the Father of us all is saying there is a thing called Nicolaitanism, which He hates. This has nothing to do with anyone named Nicolas. The word “nicolaitanes” comes from nico meaning rule, ruler, conqueror and laos meaning people. Put the two words together and we get the rulers over the people or conqueror of the people (Strongs #3531-Destroyer of the people). God is against those that rule and have dominion over His people.
He has said in Matthew 20:20-26 that “it shall not be so among you.”
“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
Notice the word “minister.” The Latin word minister is inserted for servant. “Let him be your servant,” is the true rendering of this verse. When Jesus said, “your servant,” He meant servant, and He did not mean boss. Verse 27, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (It should be translated “slave.”) If Jesus Christ is saying “it shall NOT be so among” us, that we shall NOT reign and rule over each other, then we should understand that THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD. Our Bible was translated many, many years ago. In order to understand the true meaning, we need to look at what was the ORIGINAL thought. God uses words to express thoughts to us. If the words have changed their meaning then we need to go back to see what thought God had in His mind, that we might have the mind of Christ. The thought God had in His mind was that we should be servants, and not ministers as we know the word today. Minister of government is a big shot who goes to Washington, D.C. The minister of a church is the leader, the head of the church. When God said minister He meant servant. Because the word minister has undergone a change, we think it means an important person, but it really means servant. God hates a ruling pastor to be over a church. He hates a ruling bishop or a ruling elder to be over a church. God has another order.
GOD’S ORDER IN THE CHURCH
God’s order is that the church should be ruled by elders appointed. It is a plural ministry that God appoints in the church. You might say to me that the word bishop is in the Bible. Let us read the King James Version. 1 Timothy 3:1, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” The whole verse is incorrectly translated. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE WORD OF GOD. What is wrong is what man says the Word of God says. Let us look at the Greek. This is from the textus receptus by J. P. Green. 1 Timothy 3:1, “Faithful the word. If anyone overseership aspires to a good work.” This says if a man has a desire to take care of God’s flock, God’s people, he desires “a good work.” Notice, there is no word in the Greek which suggests an HIERARCHY or an OFFICE called bishop. Also, nothing is said about being a bishop. The word is “overseership.” The word bishop then is another Latin word that comes in to promote the idea of a hierarchy. The word bishop came into the denominations from the Roman Catholic church who ordained a hierarchical set-up, from the Pope on down to the Cardinals, Bishops, etc. This reveals how much the church has departed from God. Divine order, which God set in the church, has been destroyed by traditions.
Let us look at the Greek word episkopas, erroneously translated in 1 Timothy 3:1 as bishop, in another place in the Scriptures. In Acts 20, Paul is about to bid a final farewell to the brethren in Ephesus. He was not going to be coming back, for he was going to Jerusalem to be offered up. He knew it was the end and he was giving a last message to the church. Acts 20:17, “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.” The message he is giving them concludes with verse 28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” In this case, the same word episkopas is translated “overseers,” where as in 1 Timothy 3:1 it was translated “bishop” bringing in that hierarchical concept.
1 Timothy 3:12, “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” This word “deacons” was coined from the Greek word deakonon which means servant, and in this specific place was called “deacons.” There is no such thing as a deacon. It should be translated “servant.” All servants of God should “be the husbands of one wife” and rule their own households.
Revelation 2:7, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
God is revealing to us that even in this Ephesian church, where some people had fallen away and lost their first love, there were some who were going to be overcomers. We see two churches in the one church; one as overcomers and one as those who do not overcome. This is a picture of all of the churches throughout all of the ages, even unto our time. Make your calling and election sure, for you can either be an overcomer or a loser.
THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA
Revelation 2:8, “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.”
Here is a message to the church of Smyrna. Smyrna is another seaport town, close to Ephesus, in that area of Turkey where all these seven churches are situated. Notice what He says about Himself. He says, I am “the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.” Verse 9, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” For the word “Jews,” we could substitute the word “Christians.” This is a church that has gone through much tribulation.
Verse 10, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
“Tribulation ten days” is not speaking about a length of time. Some people say that this says that the tribulation will be ten years. Others say that this says it will be “ten days,” therefore it will be ten days. The number ten is said to be one of the perfect numbers, and it signifies perfection of Divine order. God has ordained that this church should be purified by tribulation and this is what ten signifies. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” LIFE IS OFFERED. This church will be among those who go through death. Most people go through death. At the end of time however, some will not go through death, but WILL OVERCOME DEATH. The faithful are promised “a crown of life.”
Revelation 2:11, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”
We find, again, the church being split in two. Part of them will overcome and the other part of them will not overcome. There are overcomers and there are losers. Sometimes words do not convey the strength of meaning to us when we hear them. For instance, you hear the word overcomers and you wonder to yourself what is to be overcome. Overcomers first of all overcome their own natures. They overcome the mind of the world, the mind of the flesh, the mind they inherited from their families, and they overcome strong emotions. If you do not overcome your emotions and have them under control then they will overcome you and destroy you. Overcomers overcome their own will and their own desires.
This is a battle royal, when a person overcomes himself through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power which God has given. For indeed the Spirit of God has given us power to overcome familiar spirits, old family ties, things that pull us down and make us losers. We are not to go out and overcome other people. We need to overcome the flesh, the devil, and the world. This is what we mean by “he that overcometh.”
1 John 2:l5-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
What is the love of the world? One day I went to the supermarket and observed the people. They all looked alike. I knew somehow that some Christians had come in, but there was no difference between the way the Christians looked and the way the sinners looked. They all seemed to be part of the sexual revolution. They were showing as much of their bodies as they could, both men and women, young and old. The mind of the flesh had been ministered from Hollywood, Paris, London, and from other fashion places to the minds of these people. The people have become one with this mind of demonic spirits that control the world.
We must realize that the ways of the world, the thoughts of the world, the emotions of the world, and the desires of the world ARE NOT OF GOD. The people of God ARE EXPECTED to resist these things and to be different. It is difficult, but the Holy Spirit in us will help us to be different. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
We have many songs that say I love you Lord Jesus and the songs are so beautiful. When you hear the people of God singing, you hope and wish their love was true but there is very little truth in it, because those who love the world do not love God. The quicker we realize we do not love God, the quicker we will come to repentance and say, “Oh God, I have discovered that I love the world and I do not love you. Give me Your love.” God will pour out His Spirit upon you. “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” This is the promise to the overcomer.
THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS
Revelation 2:12, “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges.”
He is the one with “the sharp sword with two edges.” These words direct the thoughts that He has for the church of Pergamos. This church is also one of those in the same area in Turkey. God is using them as typical churches. I am probably part of the church of Pergamos. You are probably also part of this church of Pergamos because these churches have extended down through the ages to the end of the age. At this time some churches are mixed, like a Sardis/Pergamos or an Ephesus/Sardis church, nevertheless God is speaking to all the churches of all the ages and He is laying out all the problems in the churches of all the ages. If these problems began 2,000 years ago, you can imagine how they have calcified themselves in our time. The problems are worse now than they were at that time.
God says the sword has “two edges.” When you use the sword, that is the Word of God, it is going to strike you as well as those who are your enemies.
The Spirit is saying to this messenger of God in Revelation 2:13, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…”
This is the most apt description of some of the places we live in. Some of the cities are the seat of Satan and they are more so now than when Revelation was written. The things that go on in New York City, Chicago, and even in the small cities are things which would only go on in hell, where Satan has his seat. Satan has so encompassed the areas and the places, that he has set his spirits to rule over every area. As we live in these areas we have to resist the spirit of Satan in order to survive. He said, “I know thy works…thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith.” These are faithful believers who love God with all their heart even unto death. Some of us have been slain. I know many ministers who were slain by circumstances. These martyrs were faithful.
THE SPIRIT OF BALAAM IN THE CHURCH
He said, in verse 14, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
This verse needs some explanation. Balaam was a true prophet of the true God. He lived where there was a man named Balak, the king of that country. Balaam was very friendly with the king and the king trusted him. The king saw Israel passing through the country. Israel asked to be allowed to go through Moab. They wanted to travel to the land where they were going. They just wanted to pass through. They promised not to touch anything, not drink their water, not do anything. Balak felt that he could not trust them. He wanted to slay Israel. He went to the prophet and said, “Come…curse me this people.”
Numbers 22:7, “And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.” Can you imagine sinners, those who do not know God, coming to the man of God and asking for divination, to tell them how to curse the people of God, that they might destroy them? I want you to see the parallel here. THE CHURCH IS BEING PAID BY THE WORLD TO CURSE THE CHURCH. God spoke to Balaam, verse 12, “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” The prophet told the elders to go because he could not come, and they went back. Then Balak sent more honorable men to Balaam and said to him that they wanted Balaam to come with them and curse the people. Balaam told them to sleep there that night and allow him to speak to the Lord. He spoke to the Lord and God answered him, verse 20, “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.”
In the morning Balaam rose up, he did not wait for the group of men to come. He saddled his ass and went with them. As they went on the way, an angel of the Lord stood in the way to destroy Balaam, but Balaam could not see the angel. The ass saw the angel and turned into the field and the angel went into the field and stood there also. Balaam beat the ass and the ass rushed in between two walls. The angel stood in the way and there was no place to go. The ass saw the angel and fell down. Balaam beat the ass three times. The ass spoke to him. Now if an ass spoke to me, I would not argue, but this man was so overcome by his intentions and his emotions that he said to the ass, “I would that there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.” The ass spoke back to him, “Am I not thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” Then God opened Balaam’s eyes. A dumb ass! Many dumb things speak to us sometimes. Instead of realizing these circumstances are ordained of God to show us that we are on the wrong path, we believe they are something else.
Balaam saw the angel and fell down on his face. The angel said to him “Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak.” Balaam went. He prophesied and blessed Israel. Balaam and Balak went through all the rituals, setting up seven altars and offering sacrifices. Again Balaam went to God and again God spoke to him. These are memorable words in Numbers 23:19 and 20. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”
We are looking at the Pergamos church that God says, “thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.” It transpired that Balaam, when he was out of the Spirit, counseled Balak that the only way to destroy the children of Israel was if they would sin against God. This is indirectly stated in Numbers 31:16. “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” This plague killed 24,000. What really happened is when Balak understood the basis of the strength of the children of Israel, he rounded up his sister and all the women of the city they could find, and led them into the camp of the Israelites. The men defiled themselves and the Spirit of God slew 24,000 of them. The time came when God had to avenge Israel, and God sent Moses to attack the Moabites who were destroyed in a great war.
God is saying that the spirit of Balaam is in the church and this spirit is teaching. “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who TAUGHT Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” People who love money will actually go out of their way to make money through their preaching and their organizations; God calls it the spirit of Balaam. The word “fornication,” pornea in the Greek, means uncleanness of all sorts. These people entered into all manner of uncleanness, worldliness, and sinfulness for gain. God says they count gain more important than godliness.
Revelation 2:15, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.”
You will find the doctrine of Balaamism goes along with the doctrine of Nicolaitanism, that is, ruling over the people. 1 Peter 5:2, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre (which is money), but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Elders should be the ensamples or the ones who set the example for the flock. Divine order, which God has instituted in the church, is that there should be some spiritually older person who would lead the others into righteousness by example, rather than by precept.
Revelation 2:16, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
The Word of God is going to come against those who act contrary. The Word of God is written in the forward and in the converse. God tells us what to do and what will happen if we do not obey Him. Here God warns those who do not repent that He will come against them with His Word.
Verse 17a, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh (here is the church within the church, the overcomers) will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone.”
These are promises from God. Let us look at “the HIDDEN MANNA.” While the children of Israel were traveling, there was a pot of manna they picked up in the wilderness and put into the ark. That manna remained fresh. Remember, manna could not be kept overnight, except on the Sabbath. God said they must not keep it, or it would get very offensive. This manna was kept inside the ark in a golden pot, and for approximately 868 years from Succoth it never spoiled in the wilderness. See Exodus 16:32-34 and 2 Chronicles 35:3. “The hidden manna” refers to the everlasting Word, Christ Jesus, the MANNA inside your soul. God says that He will give the overcomers this manna, the food of righteousness, the power to live right.
“And will give him a white stone.” The “white stone” means that He will forgive the overcomers all their sins. In the justice system when the Bible was written, the jury sat down and each one was given a black stone and a white stone. If the juror thought the person was guilty he would submit the black stone. If the person was innocent, the juror would submit the white stone. God is saying that He would give the overcomer the “white stone.” He would exonerate us from all sin. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” We must know and believe this!
He said, “and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” This particular promise brings you into REIGNING WITH CHRIST. God does not promise that you are going to be saved to be just an ordinary Christian. God is saying that He will exalt you to a position of rulership. There are other scriptures that confirm this promise. Isaiah 56:5, “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” Here the Lord is saying that those who receive this promise are “better than” sons.
Isaiah 62:2, “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” Praise God! Revelation 3:12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” These are promises to the firstfruits company, also known as the 144,000, The Elect.
THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA
The next message is to “unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.”
The message is one of judgment and tribulation. Verse 19, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” This is a church that started out with works and had more works even at the last. All that God could commend them for is good works. Verse 20, “Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” This is a terrible indictment against a church. This indictment sounds more like it would suit sinners rather than Christians. God is showing us the condition of some of the churches.
THE JEZEBEL SYNDROME
Who was Jezebel? The first mention of Jezebel in Scripture is found in 1 Kings 16:31. Jezebel was the high priestess of Baal and was married to Ahab the king of Israel. She practiced all manner of iniquity and even tried to kill Elijah. She was slain and dogs ate her flesh in Jezreel just exactly as it was prophesied.
The name Jezebel has a very bad sound. The Hebrew is Izebel (Isabel) and means chaste, but this woman was just the opposite. She taught Israel to worship strange gods, even Baal. She caused her husband Ahab to build a grove to worship Baal to provoke God. Between both of them they provoked God to anger more than all the kings of Israel before him.
Jezebel was a religious person. She had a stigma against the people of God and decided to kill all the prophets of God. She succeeded in killing many. A man named Obadiah, a governor working under Ahab, hid 100 prophets. Jezebel was a terror to the prophets. Even Elijah feared her. God is saying that this church “sufferest that woman…to teach…to seduce.” The Jezebel that God spoke about is the woman that rules the man. This woman Jezebel was really the boss of Israel. Whatever she told her husband to do, he did. She had Naboth killed to get his vineyard to give it to her husband as a present. He went right along with it. The man was absolutely spineless as far as governing his house was concerned.
God Almighty has a Divine order in that THE MAN IS THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE. It does not matter what anyone thinks or how modern we have become in America, or anywhere else. The Word of God says that the man must be the head of his house. If he is not the head of his house then that house is out of order. The reason for this doctrine is deep-rooted in spiritual things. Any time a house is led by a woman it is in weakness and I call it the Jezebel syndrome. In the society in which we live the women want power and they are indeed taking the power. As a result more women are suffering from nervous diseases and all manner of distress. They are now in the driver’s seat in many homes and in many other places.
In Scripture, most of the times when we see the word woman written, it does not mean a feminine person but it means a church. Even as the woman of the world has taken over the reigns and is now exalting herself to a position of rulership in our society, so there is also a church that plays the part of Jezebel. God is speaking to a church and saying that they have in their midst the spirit of “Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce (their) servants to commit fornication.”
There is a church system in our time that is responsible for leading all the other churches “to commit fornication.” Remember, when we talk about “fornication” we are not talking necessarily about sexual impropriety, but sometimes we are speaking about a church that has left her Lord, her husband, and has gone awhoring after many other husbands and many other things.
If the believer turns from God and turns to anything (for instance, psychology) and puts it in the place where Jesus Christ should be, it is the Jezebel spirit. If we put pleasure, recreation, sports, or anything in the place where Jesus Christ should be, it is the manifestation of the Jezebel spirit. This spirit will eventually rule the people and the church, just as in the case of Jezebel, when she ruled her husband Ahab with subterfuge, lies, sorcery, and every imaginable evil. God is saying in this church there is this spirit leading not just the people astray, but leading the whole world astray.
When I speak of psychology, I am not speaking of psychology as such, but I am speaking against psychology when it takes the place of Christ. Some preachers preach psychology. Doctors of psychology who preach say, in effect, that if a person has certain psychological problems, that he should seek a certified psychologist. If I were counseling such a person I would say that we must seek Jesus. We must hear from Jesus how to deal with this problem. Then we deal with this problem as the living God says we are to deal with it. I do not believe in putting psychology in the place where Jesus should be. For God says ANYTHING THAT TAKES THE PLACE OF CHRIST IS ANTICHRIST.
Another area where the church is wrong is when it encourages agitation against abortion clinics. Abortion is wrong. We are absolutely against abortion. All those who have participated in abortion know within their conscience that they have done something wrong. Should we, the Christians, agitate and protest in front of the clinics and let the police haul us up and down and arrest us? Should we incite someone to shoot an abortion doctor? No! We should use our spiritual weapons.
2 Corinthians 10:4,”The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” We should pray and turn the whole business of abortion around, if we believe in our weapons, but if we do not believe in our weapons, if we doubt our weapons, the power of prayer, then we will use the enemy’s weapon, which is agitation. The Communists use agitation. The different organizations that are worldly use agitation. Agitation is not one of the weapons that God has given us. In the scripture, Paul said that the servant of God should not be a striker.
Another problem in the church God is speaking about in Revelation 2 is the situation with politics. There is a very strong word going forth in the church that Christians should be involved in politics and should run for office, but this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says that government is going into the antichrist. My Bible says that we should be apart from the world and I believe it. No man can go into politics and achieve anything without losing some of his Christian purity and character. Politics is not for Christians. I am one of those who say categorically, before God (and I know it), that “the weapons of our warfare” are not politics. We can gain ten times more through prayer and fasting and believing God than through political agitation.
The church is fornicating with the world by mixing Christianity with other Satanic, worldly dogmas and doctrines. God says in Revelation 2:21 and 22, “And 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.”
If you fight with the sword you will perish with the sword. If we use politics as our weapon, if we use psychology, if whatever we use is worldly, God says that He is going to give it back to us. Whatever is happening to the people of the world is going to happen to us. We are on the verge of the GREATEST TRIBULATION that has ever come upon the face of the earth. Already we are in tribulation and we are near the end of this tribulation. It will be the greatest destruction on the face of the earth and many Christians will be caught in it. Like the five foolish virgins, some Christians will be out in the darkness and have no way to get into the bridal chamber.
There is a peculiar phrase in verse 23. “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.”
To “kill with death” means SPIRITUAL DEATH. God’s mercy is reaching out and saving some of our children. In verse 21 this church was committing fornication, which is uncleanness of any kind, including adultery, meaning she was someone else’s wife. She should have been married to Christ but she was going after the world or having intercourse with the world, contaminating her, bringing death in, all over the church.
SPIRITUAL DEATH IN THE CHURCH
Some churches are not even churches any more, they are so worldly. They are so filled with the things of the world. It is hard to differentiate between church people and people of the world whether it be in their talk, in their business affairs, in their walk, in their looks. They wear beads and bangles and makeup, just like the world. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between them and the world. When I see them, I see Hollywood, Paris, London but I cannot see Jesus. When they speak of Jesus it is in such a light way that it does not compliment Jesus at all. They say that Jesus did so much for them and then they go into a rap music session. If you turn your head away and do not listen to the words you would think it is one of the rap artist stars of rock music.
The churches are filled with the devil’s music. They sing the words “Jesus Jesus” and act like the devil. When a man twists and turns and dances a devil dance and says “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” it is total confusion. These people do not know the difference between truth and unrighteousness. Righteousness carries a look, a feel, and a talk not like the world. They are saying that this is modern, but God is saying “I will kill her children with death.” Those “which have not known the depths of Satan” were innocent ones in the midst, a church within a church. Some were going to escape this degradation and this destruction. Satan had set himself in the midst of this church and some of the people did not know it and were therefore not guilty as the others.
Verses 24 and 25, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in THYATIRA, as many as have not this doctrine (the doctrine of Jezebel), and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”
May God help us as we read these words to turn back and hold fast to the things that are firm and good and acceptable in the sight of God.
Verse 26, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”
God will give the overcomer “power (to rule) over the nations.” To reign and rule with Him is the greatest thing the Christian could ever desire. It is the fulfillment of the Christian life. God has a special people that He calls the firstfruits company. They will reign and rule with Christ.
Verse 27, “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
“SHEPHERD” NOT “RULE”
Verse 27, again, “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers.” The word “rule” here is “shepherd.” “And he shall shepherd them.” The shepherd generally has a staff made of wood with a hooked neck. A strong animal could twitch his neck and break the staff when the shepherd hooked him around the neck to bring him in. “A rod of iron” can be translated “a rod of the Spirit” unable to be broken. God is speaking about a shepherd that will truly take care of the flock and shepherd them.
THE CHURCH WILL SPLIT IN TWO
I know it is difficult for some of us to believe or to understand that the church systems in which we have invested our whole lives are coming down to a point where most of these churches will go into the antichrist system. As we have said before, the church will split in two. Part will go into the antichrist and part will go into Christ. We should make sure that we are in that part which goes INTO CHRIST. Jesus spoke to the disciples about this very thing.
Matthew 24:15, “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 Judaea flee into the mountains.” When the Lord speaks of the “holy place” He is not speaking of a temple in Jerusalem. Erroneously, many preachers tell their people that a temple must be built in Jerusalem before Jesus comes and that the antichrist is going to sit down in the middle of it. Nothing of the kind. God is talking about the temple of the church.
THREE PARTS TO EVERY TEMPLE
The word temple in the Scriptures has three basic meanings: 1) the tabernacle, 2) Solomon’s temple, and 3) the temple of the church, the body of believers among whom and within whom Christ is building His kingdom. There are three parts to every temple. The first part is called the Outer Court, the second part is called the Holy Place, and the third part is called the Holy of Holies. The three temples built have these three parts. Matthew 24:15 says that the antichrist is going to “STAND in the Holy Place.” He is going to take all authority over the Holy Place. What is “the Holy Place”?
First, I will explain the Outer Court. In the two natural temples the Outer Court contained two pieces of furniture. Each piece represents a work of grace in the life of the believer. The first piece of furniture is the brasen altar representing the first work, being born again. Brasen means brass typifying judgment. This altar was the place of sacrifice; blood was shed. Here the high priest kills the animal and roasts the flesh. There was no mercy when the bull was brought to the brasen altar. He was slain. This is the place of death for man, where he begins to give up his own life to receive the life of the high priest, the life of Christ. The only blessing here is in the slaying, the slaying of sin, which is called salvation. Some of the sin offering the priest takes with him.
He takes the meat. He takes the blood in a basin. He goes to the second piece of furniture in the outer court, the brasen laver. Here he washes his hands, symbolizing baptism. There are three baptisms that should take place in the life of the believer; baptism in water, baptism into the Holy Ghost, and baptism into Christ. The outer court experiences prepare a man to go into Christ. To enter into the holy place you must go through the door. Jesus said “I am the door.” The door of the tabernacle is Christ. The priest went through the door. On his left in the holy place is the lampstand. The priest trims the wicks, puts in the oil and lights the lamps. He carries his basket of meat and bread and goes to the table of shewbread. He takes off yesterday’s bread and puts out new bread. He sits to eat the bread and meat here. The outer court was the place of death. The holy place is the place of life.
THE ANTICHRIST IN THE HOLY PLACE
The antichrist will “stand in the holy place.” God allows this to happen because He desires His people to run into the holy of holies. “When ye…see…flee into the mountains.” Remember, we are talking about the church at the end of time. All prophecies concerning the church at the end of time will be fulfilled.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (rebellion) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” There is going to be a rebellion against Christ. The church is going to rebel and it will open a way for the man of sin to come in. Because of the low condition of the church, because of the falling away of the church, because the church has continually been giving itself to other things, playing the harlot with the world and playing with the world, it has opened the way for the man of sin to come in and to be accepted as a Christian. Amen.
There are certain world church leaders to whom men bow. Governments spread red carpets for them, but it does not mean these people really represent Christ. They represent different denominations. Some of them are political but the world accepts them and the church accepts them as great leaders, BUT GOD DOES NOT ACCEPT THEM.
Verses 3c and 4, “man of sin…the son of perdition…who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Although a man does not say that he is God he might say that he is of God, that God sent him, that he is a servant of God, he is a high messenger of God, he is a bishop. He is accepted because he says he is of God. Some have the title Doctor of Divinity. What a blasphemous thought. Jesus said that we were to call no man master! Yet some say that they are masters of divinity. Didaskalos means master in the Greek. Doctor of Divinity means you are a divine person, you can repair divinity when things go bad. You have all the answers. You are a Doctor of Divinity.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 says he is “shewing himself that he is God.” Brethren, do you know what is the meaning of antichrist? Antichrist means someone who comes in the name of Christ, someone who is taking the place of Christ. Many times brethren have problems. Instead of going to Christ they seek psychologists, they seek their pastor. Whoever comes between you and Christ (whether brother, sister, mother, father, pastor, bishop, whoever) as a mediator – HE IS ANTICHRIST, according to the Word of God. Some people do not know this. It is not preached and some will not believe it even though I speak it. May God help you to believe it when you read it for I am speaking the truth before God.
Verses 5 and 6, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you,” said Paul, “I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” “In his time” means now, “at the day of Christ.” Verse 7a,”For the mystery of iniquity doth already (secretly) work.” This writing is somewhere between 60 and 70 A.D. and Paul said that “the mystery of iniquity” was secretly working, like termites under the floor. This is what the scripture means.
Verse 7b, “Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” “Only he who now letteth” means only the Holy Ghost is holding back the thing “until ek mesou genetai.” Ek (out of), mesou (midst), genetai (birth); until the antichrist comes forth in the midst. We just read that the antichrist is going to come forth and sit in the temple. God says that there is a time appointed; a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour in the calendar of God for this thing to happen and we shall see it. I do believe those of us who are alive will see all this come to pass. May God help us to believe the Word of God. Verse 8, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” He will be revealed and destroyed.
We return to Revelation 2:28. “And I will give him (the overcomer) the morning star.” Jesus is “the bright and morning star.” When we accept the Lord as our Saviour we receive the blood of Jesus Christ which is the life of God. This life resurrected us from death to life. We became alive. Next He gives us His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes into our spirit. Hallelujah! Then He begins to search the soul and to work on the soul. The destination for God is in man’s soul, not in his spirit but in his soul. When the soul is taken, the whole earth is taken. All is completed. The fullness of Christ is working in our souls to make our minds the mind of Christ, to make our emotions the emotions of God, to make our will the will of the Father, and to make our desires just like His. Not my will Lord, but thine be done. “I will give him the morning star.”
“I WILL BE THEIR GOD AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE”
God’s desire for His people is that they would be a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, a kingdom of priests. How will this come about? Hebrews 8:9, “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.”
Verse 10a, “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.” Notice he said, “into their mind.” Jeremiah 31:33b says, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” When Paul was translating this verse from the Hebrew into the Greek he received the understanding and used the word “mind.” “I will put my laws into their mind.” The mind is the HEAD of the soul. God will put His laws in their souls, in their minds, and write them in their hearts the very center of the human being. This center controls the actions, the thoughts, the emotions, the desires, the feelings, the will, everything.
The heart is like a pendulum that swings to the right and swings to the left according to how the individual thinks and behaves and desires to be. With the desires, with the mind, with the emotions, with the will, and with the influence of the spirit, a position is arrived at which is the heart of the individual. An individual locks himself into that position in his will and begins to act like he thinks in his heart. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7a.
Hebrews 8:10b, “And write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” We will never come to be what God wants us to be, until we receive that covenant written in our minds and in our souls and in our hearts. The CHRIST must come into our HEARTS and change our minds, our feelings, and CHANGE US.
Paul again writing to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 6:16a says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for YE are the temple of the living God.” This is one of the temples the antichrist wants to sit in. There are three temples and he wants to sit in all three. He first wants to sit in the human temple and then sit in the congregation, the church, and then to control the church and humanity.
Verse 16b, “As God hath said, I will dwell in them.” Paul is quoting the very scripture we just quoted from Jeremiah, from Isaiah, and from Ezekiel. Verse 16c, “I will dwell in them (as I live in them), and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” God wants a walking temple, a temple moving from place to place and speaking.
Jesus Christ was the ABSOLUTE PERFECT EXAMPLE of God’s will for you and for me. Therefore we must be careful what we bring into our mind, what we bring into our temple, and what we bring into our desires. The enemy comes and shakes something glistening in front of us, like catching a fish with a lure. As the fish sees this glittering lure, he darts at it and sometimes it provokes him enough until he snatches it. He might have been cautious at first but he throws caution to the wind and swallows it whole, so is the lure of the world upon us. If we see the world luring us in any way we should resist it. I observe very little resistance among Christians and I am urging you, if you do not resist it now, you will not be able to resist it ever again, for things are going from bad to worse and the power of the enemy is increasing. We need to resist the will of the devil. We see the will of the devil all around us.
There is a flesh market in the world where the spirit of harlotry has fallen upon the people and they want to strip off their clothes, dress and behave like harlots. We need to look at ourselves carefully and check our motives. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked but not naked in the sense that we know nakedness because their eyes were as good as our eyes and they did not see themselves as naked. Neither did the animals see them as naked. They were clothed with the glory of God.
The first Adam, his name was Adam. The second Adam, his name was Jesus Christ. When Jesus was buried, He was wrapped in a sheet, as was the Jewish tradition. When He resurrected, He was seen outside the tomb and was not visibly naked. He had on a garment, and to Mary He looked like the gardener. Where were His burial clothes? His clothes were neatly folded and placed at the head of His tomb. He had no more use for natural clothes. He did not have to go to the washerwoman anymore to clean His clothes because He was now Divinely clothed with the glory of God. These are the clothes that Adam and Eve had on.
He will walk in us and talk in us and be our God and we shall be His people. This is what we are seeing in Revelation 2 where the Spirit of God is to come upon humanity and to perfect His work on us and in us, through us and by us. Hallelujah! “And I will give him the morning star.”
The last verse in this chapter is, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Let us consider that “ear.” Jesus spoke of some who hear, but hear not. There is a special spiritual hearing, where two people can hear the same thing in the natural, and yet one receives something spiritual and the other does not. In Exodus 29:20, Moses did what God told him to do. “Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.” The blood of the lamb is the type of the blood of Jesus Christ. God is saying that those who are Christians, who are really walking with God, should have anointed ears to HEAR God. They should have anointed right hands, so they can WORK for God. The anointed right great toe enables them to walk in God and WALK as Christ walked.
Jesus Christ says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” This phrase is often said in Scripture. Whenever scripture is repeated, it carries deep emphasis and meaning. God is saying, even to listen to this message, you are going to have to have an ANOINTED EAR. If you listen and like the Word, it means your ear is anointed indeed, and you only have to pray for God to put more anointing upon your ear in order to receive “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the Word of God.
Some people are only going to receive part as Paul spoke about in 2 Corinthians 3:13-16. “And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”
Paul also spoke of the dullness of the hearing of the people of God in Hebrews 5:11-14. “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” So many children of God are enmeshed and snared into organizations and into places where they ought not to be. They have no strength or understanding as to how to be delivered.
In this hour God is bringing forth a word of deliverance to His people. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Anyone who says that he does not have an ear to hear and calls on the Lord for help, GOD PROMISES that HE will take the responsibility to let him know. See John 7:17. Therefore, it is not a matter of intellect, or greatness of understanding that makes one know the things of God. The Spirit of God anoints the ear, the mind, the walk, the talk, the hands. God is reaching out at this time to the church. May God help us ALL to hear His voice, in Jesus’ name.
THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
Revelation 3:l, “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
This church was situated in the city of Sardis, the capital city of Lydia. Sardis was a very luxurious place. The church had a name that it was alive, yet it was dead. The church was very well populated. It had many members full of the world and the things of the world, but the fruit of the Spirit was not evident.
Let us look again at the tabernacle that God instructed Moses to build. The entrance into the tabernacle was through the gate. The brasen altar of sacrifice was the first piece of furniture inside the gate. In type, this is where church begins. Outside of the gate of the tabernacle there is no church. The SEVEN CHURCHES referred to in Revelation are typed by the SEVEN PIECES OF FURNITURE in the tabernacle. If this is true, then the church that was outside of the gate of the tabernacle was a dead church. Sardis was NAMED by God as one of the seven churches. Therefore, this church was supposed to have been alive, but because it had ceased to produce fruit, it was dead. John 15:1-6 tells us that the fruit bearing of a church or an individual must come through the connection to the vine, which is Christ.
TRUE FRUIT BEARING
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” A DEAD CHURCH is a church that is no longer attached to the vine.
In the tabernacle, the symbol of the church is the candlestick, or the lampstand. (We described the lampstand in chapter one.) The oil is poured into the lampstand and comes up and feeds all the seven lamps. If something should happen and one of the arms is cut off, then no oil would go into that arm and no oil would go to that lamp. Consequently, that lamp would be dead and would have to be removed, according to the Word of God. “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” I want to remind you again that these churches are typical of the WHOLE CHURCH AGE from the time of Christ until now. Some of us are involved in these churches, every one of these seven churches. Today there is a church which seems to have life but yet it is dead.
The fruit of the Spirit and fruit bearing do NOT mean winning souls, having miracles, or doing works. God will do His work in spite of us. The church that is saving souls says that they are doing well because souls are being saved. Souls are being saved because God wants to save people. Wherever the Word of God is preached He will save people. Even in places where they do not believe in salvation (churches that play around with the Word) the Word produces deliverance in the people. The fact that souls are being saved, people are being delivered, and lives are being changed DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN the church is fulfilling its function before God. God said there are “seven Spirits” working with the seven different churches regardless of what their spiritual condition is. God is still working with them because God must bring forth salvation to His people.
Galatians 5:22 speaks about fruit. “But the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE…” 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is. The word “love” is used so loosely in our society that children hardly know what love means. In some parts of Europe you could not tell someone you love them because they would get some wrong feelings, some wrong ideas. Their language does not carry the right connotation.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (agape love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” That means I could preach like Paul, I could prophesy like any of the great prophets and yet if I do not have love, I am just making noise. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity (agape love) envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity (love cannot rejoice when one is hurt or one is fallen), but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
The King James Version uses the word “charity.” I do not have the slightest idea why the Greek word agape was translated as charity. Agape is the love of God, the genuine thing from God. Human love says “I love to eat, or I love to play.” When people have love it is the greatest. “The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE.” It would seem to me that love is a multi-fruited fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,” Galatians 5:22. If you have love, true agape love, it brings JOY. PEACE: you must have peace; peace with God; peace with yourself, then you WILL have peace with the people around you. If you do not have peace with yourself and with God then you have no peace. LONGSUFFERING: it does not take much for some of us to fly off the handle. A person that has long-suffering, has the fruit of the Spirit. GENTLENESS: those who are gentle are kind, not rough, and not out of order. It is a quality of God. Sometimes Jesus Christ is spoken of as gentle Jesus. GOODNESS: the word good comes from the word God. Goodness means like God. FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE: the person who is temperate will not overdo or over express anything. He will have a temperate quality in him.
“Against such there is no law.” No matter how bad the regime, they will not be able to form a law against love, against peace, against joy. No one can stop you from manifesting in the fruit of the Spirit. When you have the Spirit of God in you, His fruits bear out through you like a branch on a tree. The tree bears oranges on the branch. The orange and the power to bear come from the tree. A grapefruit tree closely resembles an orange tree and you could be fooled, but when you see the fruit you know. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them,” Matthew 7:20.
This church of Sardis was dead but it had a name that it was alive. At one time it was a prosperous, living church bearing the fruits of the Spirit.
Revelation 3:2 and 3a, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.”
THE ONLY WAY BACK for one who has lost touch with God is through REPENTANCE. God is saying to this church, to this people that they should stop doing wrong, stop disobeying Him, turn away from what they are doing and turn to Him. These are the three basic steps in repentance – stop, turn away, and turn to God. Many people take two steps and then generally fall back into the very sin from which they have repented, because they stop and turn away but instead of turning to God they turn to something else and then fall again into sin.
God is speaking to this church, to a people, now, TODAY. God is saying, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” There is something that is still alive. There is still hope. The fire can be rekindled.
“For I have not found thy works perfect before God.” I believe this church was going after the world. Sardis was a very luxurious place where people were full of pride and had much of the world’s goods. This church was in the midst of this city and somewhat attracted to it. God is bringing back the memory of what the church used to be. If you have turned away from God and cannot find your way, begin to remember from whence you were fallen. Remember the first works, remember what you used to do, how God used to work in you. Remember it, long for it, cry to God to bring it back to you, and He will.
Then He spoke a very peculiar phrase, (Revelation 3:3b) “I will come on thee as a thief.”
The words “the thief” are mentioned approximately five times in the New Testament. Let us read from some of these passages. In Matthew 24:37 Jesus speaks of the coming of the Lord, the coming of the Son of man. There is no time more appropriate for this Word to be preached than at this time, for we are the people who will see Jesus come.
Verses 37-39, “But as the days of Noe 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 Noe 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.” During the time of Noah people were having a good time and not paying much attention to spiritual things and the flood came down upon them suddenly. Noah preached righteousness but they did not obey. The flood came suddenly and took them all away. The word “took,” eren in the Greek, means death, take them in death. “Took” is translated in the New Thayers Greek-English Lexicon, #142g, as “to take from among the living, either by a natural death or by violence.” Verse 40, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” The word “taken,” paralambanetai in the New Thayers Greek – English Lexicon #3880 – one to be led off as a prisoner – also in Jn. 19:16; Acts 23:18 – to take with one in order to carry away. The context in which the word is written certifies the above meaning.
Luke 17:27, “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and THE FLOOD CAME, AND DESTROYED them all.” There was no rapture. God is revealing, just as it was in the days of Noah, there is going to be a cataclysmic end to much of the world, and what the people are doing. “The flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke wrote the word, “destroyed.” The Greek word for “destroyed” is apollumi (Strong’s #622) and this word means death.
Matthew 24:42 begins, “Watch therefore.” Here is the word “watch” again, as we just finished reading in Revelation 3:2. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Verse 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.” God will come upon you just like a thief comes upon you, when you least expect him. The Lord says that His coming will be just like a thief coming upon the church. This chapter was not written to the world. God has sent, and is sending, to the church THIS WORD.
Luke 12:37a, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching.” WATCHING IS A KEY that God is giving us. Watchfulness will deliver us. Luke 12:37b-40, “Verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” There is no doubt about it, there is a secret coming of Jesus Christ. He told the church of Sardis to “Be watchful.”
JESUS CHRIST IS COMING IN HIS TEMPLE
Jesus will appear in His temple before He appears in the earth. Let us read from Malachi 3:1. “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.”
In Matthew 16:27 and 28, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Jesus was speaking about Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came within His kingdom.
Luke 17:20 and 21 says that we are the kingdom of God. Verse 20 clearly states the context. “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” These two verses speak of HIS COMING IN US.
Jesus Christ is in us and He is coming in us. Jesus Christ is in the world and He is coming in the world. He is coming in a way that He is not in, at present. Jesus came in us through the blood and through the Holy Ghost and if we continue in Him, He grows in us. The Holy Ghost overshadowed Mary and planted the seed in her womb. There is a planting of the seed of Christ in the womb of the church. THE SOUL OF MAN IS THE WOMB OF THE CHURCH. When Jesus Christ is planted in the soul of man there is a noticeable change in the soul nature. The day you accepted Jesus as your Saviour and received the blood cleansing, there was a marked change in your whole behavior. This change was not satisfactory. I do not know if you are satisfied, but I am not. I am not satisfied with the way my mind works. I have to always keep it under the wraps of the Word of God, to keep it controlled. I am not satisfied with the way my emotions work. They are always going off where Christ is not, and I want to be totally in Christ. I am not satisfied with my will in serving God, for there are inconsistences in my will which say things apart from the direct things that God wants me to do. Therefore I find fault with my will. I find fault with my desires. They are not at all perfect. God says that this work in the soul must come to a point of perfection. He calls it the coming forth of the sons of God.
If we look in Romans 8 we can see what God had revealed to the apostle Paul, in clear language that we can understand. Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
THE ADOPTION OF THE BODY
My body is part of the creature world and my body is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the Christ within me. Romans 8:20, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” I have to sleep, I have to eat, I have to do all the natural things human beings do to survive, but I would like to be like Christ and not have to do these things. Verses 21-23, “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
I was born again in my soul. Hallelujah! but I am ADOPTED in my body. My body is not a native of heaven, of the spiritual realm. My body is going to be adopted just like the body of Jesus Christ after His resurrection. When Jesus came to visit the disciples after the resurrection, He passed right through walls and was present with them in the room. They were shocked. They “…supposed that they had seen a spirit.” He said unto them “…handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,” Luke 24:37 and 39. When they felt Him they found He was real and solid and natural – yet He behaved most unnaturally. When He left them, He departed by disappearing. Blessed be to God Almighty! Hallelujah! The natural world is coming under the power of God, and will be adopted into the KINGDOM OF GOD. In this realm, the body will behave just like a spirit. Praise God!
THE SECRET COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
I want to be very plain in explaining the coming of this thief in the night. I have spent much time on this subject because I believe this is a revelation we should not miss. 1 Thessalonians 5:4, “But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Jesus is saying that He is coming in His temple, within us. We must therefore watch diligently that His coming to us will not be as the coming of a thief. That is, His fullness must come within us before He comes in the air. The churches who are looking up and saying that Jesus is coming one day in the air to take us all away are being deceived and are heading for a great disappointment. The five foolish virgins sat in the wedding chamber and were all comfortable and fell asleep. They thought everything was okay, but their lamps went out because they did not have the oil in their souls where it should be. At midnight when things get so dark and terrible, Jesus Christ will suddenly descend into His temple.
I am going to tell you WHY Jesus will come THEN, and you will know WHEN Jesus will come. At one point in time, I thought it was impossible for man to destroy the world by any means but God corrected me. I was surprised. He showed me Matthew 24 and said, “Read from the 21st verse.” “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” This verse says that it is possible for the earth to be destroyed, “but for the elect’s sake” God will intervene. I began to pray about this matter and seek the Lord. I discovered that at the hour when man could or would destroy the earth, God will suddenly descend into His temple, in the fullness, in the souls of those who are ready, the wise virgins.
We, the people who are ready, will undergo a change. Not the change where we are changed from mortal to immortal beings. We will be changed to be exactly like Jesus when He was baptized in Jordan, rose up in the power of the Spirit and ministered. Men, women, and children, whoever is filled and anointed with power and the fullness of Jesus Christ, will go forth unto the four corners of the earth and bring deliverance. The gospel will be preached in every place, unlike today.
There are some places, if you say a word for Jesus, you would be killed. Saudi Arabia is an example of such a place. The gospel will not be taken to the ends of the earth naturally, by taking ships and planes, by walking and riding mules, but it is going to be taken SUPERnaturally. The sons of God will go everywhere the Father wants them to go. There will be no force on earth to stop them. THIS SECRET COMING will happen when the earth is facing destruction. God will have to activate His Body, His army, to save the world from the destruction that the devil and man are planning. This is the thief in the night coming which we have just read in Revelation 3.
Verses 3b and 4a, “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.”
These “few” are the church within the church. He said that there were some of them who were not dead and were not among the dead. They were not dying. You “shall walk with me in white: for they (you) are worthy.”
Verse 5a, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” They will have the righteousness and the holiness of God. Verse 5b, “and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
One very important spiritual principle is that you can read your Bible forward and you can read it in the converse. He said, “I will NOT blot out his name,” which, in the converse means, He IS blotting out someone’s name in “the book of life.” Many say that once they are saved they are always saved. The Bible says there are some people’s names in “the book of life” who were blotted out because of transgression. It is possible for one who is saved to lose his salvation. I am not saying this to frighten you, but if you are frightened enough to repent then please be frightened. The loss of one’s salvation can be proven from the Scripture.
In Hebrews 6:4-6 we see that you can progress to a point of excellence in God and yet “fall away.” “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (that means saved and accepted Jesus as Saviour), And have tasted of the heavenly gift (they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and started to move in the gifts, they went from the outer court into the holy place), and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (received the baptism of the Holy Ghost), and have tasted the good word of God (they proved God to be good, proved His Word, and ate at the table of shewbread with the sons of God – they had gone that far), and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Those who preach that Satan will be saved do not know God at all. The devil cannot be saved and none of his angels can be saved because God gave them the fullness of all that He could give, and they rejected it for a wild adventure into sin and wickedness. They deliberately changed their natures (for they did have the power to change their natures) from creatures of light to creatures of darkness.
We are in a transition period where we either become creatures of darkness or become creatures of light. Whatever we do is either preparing us to be creatures of light or to be creatures of darkness. The same thing that happened in the heavenlies in the spiritual realm with the angels, is now happening with us. We are under the same testing and trial, not to kill us, and not to see if we are good, but to produce the GLORY OF GOD in us. Whatever God does to us, whatever happens to us down here, it is ONLY to produce the glory of God in us. We can either accept it and go forward, or reject it and go backward and become creatures of darkness.
THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA
The next message is to the church of Philadelphia, sometimes called the church of brotherly love, because the word Philadelphia means brotherly love.
Revelation 3:7b, “…These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.”
God is setting before the church and the people of God, A VERY OPEN DOOR. It is no secret that God is at this time recruiting those who should be part of the FIRSTFRUITS company.
The word church, ekklesia in the Greek, means the called out. From the called out, He is selecting a chosen people that He calls eklektos. He says, “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s (eklektos) sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days,” Mark 13:20. He did NOT say, “for the church’s sake.” The people who are going to touch the heart of God, who are going to reach the point where God would hear their prayers to save the earth and to save mankind, are the Firstfruits Company, The Elect.
“These things saith he…that hath the key of David.” The one that has the “KEY OF DAVID” is Jesus Christ Himself. The promise of God was that Jesus Christ would be the son of David, that He would bring forth a Son from the loins of David who would save humanity. See Matthew l:1. To this church He said, I “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth.” God is opening the door and no man will shut it. The basis of going through this door, the basis of becoming one of the Firstfruits Company, is not upon your goodness, not upon anything else but your faith in God, and your believing this Word. If you say to Jesus that you want to be part of the Firstfruits Company you will enter in.
When John’s mother went to Him and asked that one son would sit on His right hand and one son sit on His left hand, He asked if they could drink of the cup that He drinks. Further He asked if they would be baptized with the baptism that He is baptized with, and they said that they would. He said that they would but the decision as to who would sit where was not His to give. See Matthew 20:20-23. Today, God is offering the church a place on His right hand, to be the firstfruits company. Hallelujah!
Revelation 3:8, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
Verse 9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”
God exalts the humble. God is speaking about Christians, the church. He was speaking to a natural church whose problem was Judaism. NOW He is speaking to us. There are some in our midst who say they are Christians but never were born again and they give so much trouble to the church. Every one of us must go back into our testimony and make sure our beginning was correct. Many people are just dancing along with us but they do not have what it takes, they were not born again.
Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
There is a tribulation coming upon the people of the world, but those who OBEY GOD AND WALK IN TRUTH will escape. Some brethren will be in the hard part of the tribulation. We will all be here, God willing, but we will overcome. Some overcomers will walk through the tribulation and the fires shall not scorch them. Some though are going to be burned.
Let us look at Matthew 25:1-13. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and 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.”
Every time God speaks about the coming of Jesus Christ, He says to “watch.” Many say that they are watchmen on the walls of Zion. God meant that you should WATCH YOURSELF. Watch your behavior, watch your mind, what you think about people, what you think about God, what you think! You can just think about the natural things of this world (what you have to do tomorrow, what you have to do now, your job, be a good boy, take care of your family) AND MISS GOD. Watching is not watching other people and things, but it is watching yourself, your heart, and your mind, that it be not overcharged with surfeiting and with the things pertaining to this life. Watch or else you will be left outside in the tribulation. The foolish virgins were out in the darkness on the other side of the door. They went to buy oil and came back, BUT IT WAS TOO LATE! They did not lose their souls, but lost their place in the bridal class or the Firstfruits Company.
Revelation 3:ll, “Behold, I come quickly,” means that He will come suddenly. There is a quickness in God’s movement like LIGHTNING FLASHES. He said, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” A man can take away your crown by leading you into error, leading you into sin. God has preserved for you a crown and it can be taken away. Let me tell you a memorable story of a crown that was taken away.
There was a brother working with us in evangelistic missions and he had a dream one night. In the dream a bright angel came to him and said, “Let me show you your crown.” The angel showed him something so magnificent, so glorious, that he could hardly describe it. The crown had every form of beautiful, costly stone and was made out of pure gold. The angel passed it by and went to one less beautiful and less valuable. He passed by that one also and went to one made of silver, but it was still pretty and beautiful. He passed by that one also. He went to one made of brass and it was also beautiful, and at this time the brother began to panic in the dream. He said, “I would take this one!” The angel passed it by. He went down to one made of iron and the brother was now absolutely terrified and desperate. He would be glad to get anything. The angel passed it by. Finally the angel went down to a crown made out of clay. The brother woke up out of his dream. When he told me the dream, I told him that there was something in his life for which he needed to repent, for HE WAS LOSING HIS CROWN. Soon we discovered he was involved in wicked sexual sin. He would not accept our counsel, nor our prayer for him. He got mad when he was discovered and left. He died a very horrible death just about a month later. I am sure God was telling him it was possible to be an absolute loser, though he had the opportunity at the beginning of being a great winner and an overcomer.
Revelation 3:12a, “Him that OVERCOMETH will I make a PILLAR in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.”
A pillar holds up a building and is important to a building! When God says He will make you “a pillar in the temple of (His) God,” it means you will be like James, John, or Peter who were called PILLARS OF THE CHURCH. In God’s sense this is glorious, this is a great honor, and something beyond our conception. God said it so that you would understand how important it is in God’s business. If you were removed, God’s business would fall down, if that were possible. “And he shall go no more out.” That means you cannot go out anymore. You will be PERMANENTLY INSTALLED IN GOD.
There is a place in God where men can turn back, but on the other hand, there is a place of NO TURNING BACK. I praise God for this. This should encourage some of you brethren. You can press on in God to a point where it is impossible to turn back. Hallelujah! You will become a part of God and God will become a part of you. It will be impossible to separate you from God anymore.
Verse 12b, “and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”
The very nature of God will be etched into your soul. These phrases, “write upon” and “new name” and “new Jerusalem,” mean that God is going to make you so much a part of Himself, there will be no more you. You will be totally melted and absorbed into God and be one with Him. “The name of the…new Jerusalem” is the Body of Christ or the sons of God. There is a Body in the heavenlies, in the invisible realms of heaven, and there is a Body on earth. The invisible and the visible are destined to become one at some time. The visible will not become invisible, but the invisible will become visible. Let me show you this in the Scripture, for fear anyone might get a little bit flustered over reading these things.
Ephesians 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” Notice the phrase “all things in Christ.” It is therefore not all things, but “all things IN CHRIST” – people who are in Christ, whether they be on earth or in heaven coming together in one. Just as Jesus Christ walked the earth in His flesh and bone body after His resurrection and after His blood was drained out, even so will a company of people walk the earth filled with The Christ. Those who are gone on before and have attained unto that company will return in a resurrected form and walk just as Jesus did after He was resurrected. There will be men on earth who will be like Christ. Obadiah 21, “And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.” There are many who will come forth in the very nature and image of Christ just as we are told in Romans 8:29. “He that hath an ear, let him hear.” This promise is only for those who can hear the Word of God.
THE CHURCH OF THE LAODICEANS
The next message is for the church of Laodicea. The Laodicean age is the last age. Therefore, it must be of particular interest to us, because this is the age and this is the time in which we are living. Everything must come to an end and it seems all the different natures and all the different churches come right down to one final church which is called the Laodicean church or the Laodicean age. We are at the end of the Laodicean age. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” Jesus Christ, the beginning, is the first man that God made who overcame. HE IS THE FATHER OF ALL OVERCOMERS.
Revelation 3:15 and 16, “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.”
God is saying to the present day church, “Look around you, look around you.” The hot church is supposed to be bringing forth THE GLORY OF GOD.
WHAT DOES THE REAL CHURCH LOOK LIKE?
Many will count where the souls are being saved, and where many miracles are being done, and some will count where the preachers are preaching strong and say that this is the real church. The truth is that we have not seen the real church. The people of this age have not seen the real church. The real church must have CHRIST AS THE HEAD. The only person that MUST BE EXALTED in the morning, or in the afternoon, or in the midday (whatever time you go to service, whenever you are in that building), MUST BE JESUS!
There must not be a program, there must not be a man (like an orchestra leader) directing everybody, telling everybody when to sing, when to stand up, when to sit down, when to shout, when to say Amen, or whatever else. Jesus must lead the service. When Jesus moves in the congregation, it must be RECOGNIZED and everybody must submit to it. It does not matter what vessel is being used. I have seen God move through a little child who got up in a congregation and reproved the elders. That child had no strength or knowledge or words in her mouth except what the Lord told her to say. It was proven to be the Lord, for she said, “The devil says he has his people here also.” She turned around and said, “Well, Satan, take your people and go!” Some people just rushed out the door like they were borne on wings. Everyone knew they were daughters and sons of Satan.
We do believe the real church is yet to come – where people gather together and only Jesus is exalted. The church is not the beauty of the surroundings, or the organ, or the music, or what men are doing, but the presence of Jesus in the midst of the people. “Jesus saith unto her…the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father,” John 4:21. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,” verse 23a. This is the worship that God desires. We must yet come to THIS WORSHIP.
The church of today is mixed with many different things. Many things are going on that are not of God. Divine order is broken. The rulership of the church, the elders that rule over the people – the pastors, the bishops, the hierarchy – ARE NOT OF GOD. God did not set up a hierarchy in His church. He did not set up a laity and a clergy. He did not make those classes. He hates Nicolaitanism, rulers ruling over His people and taking HIS place in the congregation. Anyone who takes the place of Christ in our lives is antichrist. Many of the churches and the groups have already been spued out and are being spued out of the mouth of God. They are no longer in Him. They are outside, but they think they are in Him. They are still functioning and still claiming to be victorious, but notice in the message to the churches, one part of the church will be going one way and the other part will overcome. In every one of the churches, THERE IS AN OVERCOMER CLASS.
THE ANTICHRIST STANDS IN THE HOLY PLACE CHURCH
Those who are not overcomers are going the other way. Most of the church is going to join with the antichrist. Somebody says to me that this cannot be so. Remember Matthew 24:15 Jesus Christ was giving us the signs of the end of the world. Verse 14 gives us the context. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Verse 15, “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 Judaea flee into the mountains.” The Lord is saying that the antichrist is going to “STAND (not even sit, but stand) in the holy place.” Mark 13:14 is slightly different. “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, STANDING WHERE IT OUGHT NOT, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains.”
Remember, the tabernacle was divided into three sections. In the three sections you have the seven churches. Two in the outer court, three in the holy place, and two in the holy of holies. At the day of atonement, one of the three churches in the holy place goes in through the veil into the holy of holies, making three churches in the holy of holies. There is going to be someone or something standing up and taking charge of that middle section of the church WHERE THE MIRACLES ARE, WHERE THE GIFTS ARE, where it ought not to be. If you saw the antichrist in the outer court you would say that it is possible because the OUTER COURT CHURCH is weak. However, he is going to be in the Holy Place church.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 4, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (that means the church is going to rebel against God), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
A man is going to take over the church. The ecumenical movement is where the churches get together and say that they want oneness, because they believe God said that the church would be one. They will go on to be one and elect their head. Anytime you elect a head to make you one, it is not God. The oneness of the true church will come through the move of the Spirit of God upon His people. We will become one because WE ARE ONE WITH CHRIST. Any church that tries to be one by joining with another, and fellowshipping with the Muslims, the Hare Krishna, and all the other deviant religions and devious gospels, will be CONTAMINATED. It is a rebellion against Christ when you do not want Christ to reign over you. Christ will allow someone to reign over you. Flee from the ecumenical movement. Flee from joining with those who have to join to be one.
“THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE”
The explanation for the “abomination of desolation” begins in Daniel 9:27. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week…” Jesus Christ had the covenant with the people of God for one week (seven years) to bring righteousness on the earth, walking and talking in human form.
“And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” He cut the week short and died in the middle of the week (three and a half years), leaving three and a half years for the sons of God to finish the manifestation.
“He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” There was no more sacrifice for sin after He gave the one sacrifice on Calvary. Verse 27c,“And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation.” Jesus Christ is going to allow or make desolation to come upon the temple. “Even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” It shall go unto the end of all things – the consummation, the end, the burning, and the cleansing of the earth. We are talking about the end of the world.
There is another scripture mentioning “the abomination that maketh desolate.” Daniel 12:11 and 12, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” We are looking at prophecy which quite likely already has come to pass. We are into the end of this prophecy. This scripture is saying there is an abomination that was set up in the church that is going to make THE CHURCH TOTALLY DESOLATE, and will absolutely destroy the church system.
I want you to see this clearly. God is revealing Himself to us! The church is lukewarm and will be spued out of the mouth of God. Some have had their candlestick removed. Some have Jezebel, Baalism, Nicolaitanism, everything God said in The Revelation about the churches. This is the whole age of the church and this is the whole destiny of the church that God has laid out before us. These are the abominations that make the church desolate and God is saying those who overcome under these circumstances will be “a pillar in the temple of (His) God.” They will walk in white with Him. They will “sit with (Him) in (His) throne.”
Revelation 3:17 tells us that the church is “rich and increased with goods,” and because of these riches, the church feels she is all right. You are a prosperous minister if you bring in a lot of money. The whole standard of judging the ministry is very wrong and outside of God’s standard.
Revelation 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
This church is a pauper as far as God is concerned. The holiness of God is not with her, but she does not know. When a person is deceived, he does not know he is deceived, he will see things differently. The rabbit sees the whole world in pink. Other animals see other things. Some have magnified eyesight. These people, this church is “blind.” They do not know they are blind. They are “poor,” but think they are rich. They are “wretched,” but think they are having a good time. They are “naked,” but think they are clothed.
These people see themselves clothed with worldliness and the goods of the world and think that they are clothed and in God, BUT THEY ARE NOT. Consequently, other spirits are speaking to these people. Many words come forth from many men of God saying that God is doing this, and God is saying that, but God never said these things. Some of them are being proven false, because these things DO NOT HAPPEN. God is not talking to this church that is “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
Jesus said, verse 18a, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire.”
“GOLD” is symbolic of the NATURE OF GOD. Good gold, pure gold must be absolutely well fired. It must be in such a fire that nothing else, no other substance, could stand that fire. The more the fire is on it, the purer the gold. He said, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire.” “THE FIRE” we are talking about IS GOD’S FIRE. God has a method. Many of us as Christians do not understand the method God uses to create the GODLINESS IN US. To create godliness, God must put us through fire. We must go through trouble. We must go through temptation. “Tried” means creating, tempering.
When God wants certain qualities to be in you, He does certain things to you. If you pray for patience, He gives you tribulation. Romans 5:3 says, “tribulation worketh patience.” In godliness, we must suffer to become what we want to be. We want to “be rich,” to be in “white raiment,” to “be clothed, and that the shame of (our) nakedness do not appear.”
He says, “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” We are talking about seeing through the eyes of the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is represented in the Scriptures as “eyes.” One particular thought comes to me. When Samson went awhoring after strange women, he went to a woman in Gaza. This woman set a trap for him one night. At midnight he arose out of the harlot’s house, while the men of the city hid behind the wall to kill him. Suddenly the Spirit of God came upon him. Samson did not see anything. It was just the eyes of the Spirit. The Spirit of God came down upon him. He rushed upon this mighty gate, jerked it out of its roots, pulled it away and carried it on his shoulders up to the top of a high hill. All the men who were hidden behind the wall to kill him fled for their lives when they saw what this man had done.
The next place Samson went was Sorek and he loved a woman named Delilah. Delilah tempted this man. If Samson in his power represents THE CHRIST IN THE CHURCH, then this other woman that tempted him must represent the world. Her words vexed him. He finally gave up his covering and lost everything. He gave up HIS HAIR, which was the handwriting of God on the contract he had signed with God. He told her the secret of his power was in the seven locks of his hair. She cut the seven locks of hair off his head, and the Bible says when he arose to fight there was nothing in him. He was like an ordinary man. Then they plucked out his eyes. Eventually Samson began to see spiritually. The last cry he made was, “Lord God, for my two eyes!” He destroyed Dagon and three thousand of the lords of the Philistines who were in the temple.
Revelation 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Repentance wipes away a multitude of sins. Verse 20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” It is God’s desire to “come in to” us and be one with us and we be one with Him. Verses 21 and 22, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Again we see the promise to the overcomers is that they will “sit…in (the) throne (of God).”
Revelation 4 is one of the most profound chapters in the Revelations. We are going to share with you what the Lord is saying to the church at this time. John saw “a door was opened in heaven.” He is going to explain something HEAVENLY, not something earthly. It is not something that can be put in the natural. It all has to be in the SPIRITUAL and you have to understand it in the SPIRITUAL. John says he heard “a trumpet talking with me.” A TRUMPET is an instrument used for warning or sending messages. “A trumpet,” a messenger of God, said to him, “Come up hither.” The messenger was saying to John that his mind, his soul, and his whole being is in too much of a low area to understand what he is going to say. John has to be lifted. He was lifted out of self into the Spirit. John said verse 2, “IMMEDIATELY I was in the spirit: and behold, a THRONE was set in heaven, and one sat on the THRONE.”
Let us read the description of this throne. Verses 3-8, “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were FOUR AND TWENTY SEATS: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty ELDERS sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And OUT OF THE THRONE proceeded LIGHTNINGS AND THUNDERINGS AND VOICES: and there were SEVEN LAMPS OF FIRE burning BEFORE THE THRONE, which are the seven Spirits of God. And BEFORE THE THRONE there was A SEA OF GLASS like unto crystal: and IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE, and ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE, were FOUR BEASTS full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
VISIONS IN REVELATION, ISAIAH, AND EZEKIEL COMPARED
This throne is in heaven. There John saw elders and beasts. Remember, the Revelation is the end of all things – all things coming into perfection.
Isaiah 6:1-3, “In the year that king Uzziah died I SAW also THE LORD SITTING UPON A THRONE, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. ABOVE it stood the SERAPHIMS: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah saw this same picture of GOD AND HIS THRONE and there were seraphims.
Ezekiel 1:4-11, “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of the feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.” Ezekiel saw “four living creatures.”
We see some differences in these pictures. REVELATION is the FULLNESS and the PERFECTION of all things, so in the Revelation we should see the perfect picture. In Revelation 4 “the four beasts had…six wings.” Isaiah showed them with “six wings” and Ezekiel showed them with “four wings,” BUT IT IS THE SAME PICTURE. All of them have wings and all of them have four faces each. The peculiarity is that they were joined at the wings. Although they were four creatures, they were ONLY ONE CREATURE. They were four creatures with four faces but they were joined. This thing had sixteen different faces.
Each beast in Revelation had six wings. When Ezekiel saw them they had four wings; therefore, they were undeveloped. “WINGS” in Scripture would mean POWER – power to rise above the carnal realm, the physical world. A bird lifts itself up from the physical world and flies. This final picture in Revelation shows the creatures having “six wings;” therefore, this is the PERFECT PICTURE. Isaiah saw the perfect picture. Ezekiel saw the picture before the man was perfected.
It is important to compare the picture Ezekiel saw and the picture we see in Revelation. Ezekiel 1:26, “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne…” The throne was above the heads of these creatures. Verse 19, “And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them…” There were wheels beside the creatures. Verses 20 and 21, “The spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went…” When the creatures moved, the wheels moved. Whatever direction the creatures would go, the wheels would go. The wheels had rings “full of eyes.” The throne was above and the wheels were outside.
In Revelation, the throne is now down in among the four beasts and the lightnings and the thunderings flash out of the throne. Also there are twenty-four elders sitting on the twenty-four seats with “white raiment” and “crowns of gold.” “There were seven lamps of fire burning” in the midst, “which are the seven Spirits of God.” To make the mystery clear, we will just tell you point blank, we are looking at THE SOUL OF MAN. In Ezekiel’s picture, THE CHRIST had not descended into the soul area, and the eyes on the wheels were on the outside. Now in Revelation the eyes and the wheels are inside the circle where the twenty-four elders sit.
TWENTY-FOUR IS THE NUMBER OF THE PRIESTHOOD. Twenty-four priests served for the year in the Tabernacle. God had promised, as we read before in chapter one, that we would be priests and kings. These have come to the priesthood. Notice the crowns on their heads. The crowns meant they had now become KINGS – PRIESTS AND KINGS. This is exactly what God had promised – THE PERFECTED MAN.
THE PERFECTED MAN
The “seven lamps of fire are the seven Spirits of God.” “The seven Spirits of God” are mentioned in Revelation 1:4 in dealing with the seven churches. “John to the seven churches…Grace…from the seven Spirits.” All these churches, although they are NOT one hundred percent serving God (making mistakes, doing things wrong), have the Spirit of God WITH them ready to lead them back to Christ. Out of each area, out of each church, out of each age, out of each time, there were OVERCOMERS, because the Spirit of God was there. There has to be a special Spirit to work with a special people who deviate from the perfect church of God. These “seven Spirits” are all “burning BEFORE the throne.”
In Revelation 1:16 there were “seven stars.” Christ was sitting on His throne. He had “in his right hand” the seven stars which are the seven messengers, or the seven angels to the seven churches. All these were in the circle, “round about the throne.” God is showing the perfected human soul. How can I prove this? From the Word of God.
Revelation 4:8-11, “And the four BEASTS had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, SAYING, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty ELDERS fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, SAYING, THOU ART WORTHY, O LORD, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” These words are being said by these beasts! IT IS ONLY MAN that Jesus Christ died to save. In chapter 5:9 these same beasts and elders sing, “Thou…hast redeemed US.” We are looking at the REDEEMED SOUL.
THE RAINBOW PROMISE
What was the promise of God to the soul that is to be redeemed? Remember, “round about the throne” was “a rainbow,” a symbol of the promise of God. We call this the rainbow promise. In Genesis 8:21 and 22, “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; (when Noah came out of the ark and offered the first sacrifice) and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This promise of God was that He would never again destroy all living things from the earth. In Revelation, the rainbow promise is again “round about the throne.” God is saying that He is bringing to pass His promise.
The promise is that which God spoke through Jeremiah and Isaiah. Jeremiah 31:31-33, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God will put His law in their mind (soul) and in their heart, according to Hebrews 8:10.
THE FOUR BASIC BEAST NATURES OF MAN
In Revelation 4 and 5 we are looking at the law of God, the glory of God in Jesus Christ, inside the soul area (these beasts).
THE SOUL OF MAN HAS FOUR BASIC BEAST NATURES. The mind is symbolized by the eagle, always flying, restless. The emotions are symbolized by the lion, terrible. The will is symbolized by the ox, stubborn. The face of the man is a symbol of the desires, human. Man is a creature of desire. A change must come forth in man’s soul.
JESUS CAME AND DIED TO SAVE MAN’S SOUL. Jesus did not die to save your spirit. Your spirit goes back to God in any event. Your spirit did not need to be saved. You were born in sin and your soul was in iniquity. IT IS THE SOUL AREA THAT NEEDS TO BE SAVED. See Hebrews 10:39.
The nature of the mind is joined to the nature of the emotions. The nature of the emotions is joined to the nature of the will. The nature of the will is joined to the desires. Whatever part of this nature is affected by any circumstance or outside influence then it will affect the other natures. A man gets upset in his emotions and it changes his thinking. He thinks differently. His thinking becomes intoxicated by the madness of his emotions. His will is then changed. Instead of having a will to do probably the right thing, he sometimes finds himself willing to do the wrong thing.
The mind, or the eagle, had a face of the man on one side (desires), the face of the ox on the other side (will), and the face of the lion on the other side (emotions). The mind then has a will of its own, desires of its own, and emotions of its own. There could be an emotional charge coming from the mind. The way you think about things could affect your emotions. This emotional charge comes from the mind and strikes the emotions and the emotions, being stronger, pick it up and affect the will and the whole being of the man. Thus God gave us a spirit, without which we would be just like the brute beast. The spirit, therefore, affects the whole process, to bring some temperance and some moderation to it. If they (the mind, the will, the desires, the emotions) will accept the pleading of the Spirit of God or the moving of the Spirit then this area will be changed to do God’s will. God comes through the spirit of man. “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly,” Proverbs 20:27.
The mind of man can be influenced by outside influences. Therefore, God plants the Holy Spirit into man’s spirit which has a stronger effect upon the soul nature of the man than any other outside spirit. After a man is saved and brought back from the dead (he was a dead soul and became a living soul), he wants life. A living creature must have living food so he cries out to God and God sends the Holy Spirit into his spirit. HIS SPIRIT MEETS OUR SPIRIT and testifies that we are the children of God. We BECOME THE SONS of God WHEN WE OBEY the Spirit of God. See Romans 8:14. The Holy Spirit, therefore, begins to charge the human spirit which becomes bright, and sends this radiation of power into the natures of the soul.
This soul area is a most complicated area because it has the bombardment of the world, the flesh, and the devil. There is a certain amount of bombardment of influence that comes through a man’s physical, carnal feelings. This is why Satan said in talking to God about Job, in Job 2:4 and 5, “Skin for skin…and he will curse thee to thy face.” In other words, Satan thought if God would let him work Job over (touch his skin, his flesh), then Job would curse God. GOD knew better. God had a relationship with the man. Job was not baptized with the Holy Ghost, but God knew Job had a character like a stone wall. Job was going to hold on. God said to Satan, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job was hit by the devil. His children were killed, his cattle were stolen away, his sheep burnt up, his wife turned against him, and he was covered with sores. For three years the man lay on his side in sores and God watched him. Job was down and God withdrew from him that the man might stand alone. JOB STOOD AGAINST SATAN, BEAT HIM AT HIS GAME, and won a victory for all times for humanity IN THE NAME OF GOD, without much help or much strength.
The soul, therefore, is bombarded from the body – from the mind, from the will, from the emotions, and from the desires. God plants life in the soul to overcome death. John 1:5, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The translation of the verb “comprehended” is a little bit weak. It could say “the darkness could not overcome, or overthrow, or have the victory over light.” Light shines in the darkness and the darkness flees. The soul has these four areas from which it is bombarded, but the chief area is the mind. If the mind is won for Christ, then it will radiate power and actually stop the bombardment from the other areas.
OVERCOMING THE MIND OF MAN
The mind of man is like the head of a person. The Bible tells us that if your mind is stayed on God, then you will have perfect peace. If you have any kind of problem in your life that attacks you from the body and you have tried many ways to control it and you cannot, the reason is that you are NOT using the right tool, THE WORD OF GOD. Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Verse 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
There is only one way of sustaining yourself in God and that is by saturating your mind with the Word of God. If you can keep your mind stayed on God, then you have the victory won. It is difficult. The mind cannot keep the mind. Unless we apply the science of God as God showed it to us in the Word, we are in trouble. You kneel down to pray and one thousand things bombard you. You say that you am going to pray through and you find yourself thinking about something else. You say that you must try again. You start to pray and again something else happens. The mind has to be strengthened by the SPIRIT OF GOD HIMSELF.
Sometimes it is almost impossible for you to get the Word of God into your mind. I remember when I was in that condition as a young man. I asked God, “What can I do to keep my mind stayed on You?” I was an avid reader and was always interested in a good story. God said to me, “Read all the stories in the Bible and meditate on them.” So I did. I would ask, “What was the meaning of this? Why was this story put into the Bible? Why did this happen?” The moment you begin to search the Word of God in your heart and mind, the Spirit of God WILL COME to your aid and instruct you and have fellowship with you. When the day is done, you will find that you have been meditating on the things of God. THIS IS A GOOD SPIRITUAL HABIT. When you get into the habit of meditating on the Word of God, you will find that you will begin to associate everything you see with the Word.
Years ago I worked in an office with many men and some of them would tell dirty jokes in my hearing and watch my reaction. One of them told a joke about a man who streaked (ran naked) across a stage. I seized the opportunity to interject immediately Isaiah 20:2 where God told the prophet Isaiah to go naked in the streets of Israel to get their attention, to reveal to them their SPIRITUAL NAKEDNESS. The man who told the joke was hit so hard by my opportunistic preaching that he said, “You probably know every scripture in the Bible.” From that time on they kept all their jokes out of my hearing. It was a blessing to me. Begin to associate everything you see and hear with Scriptural references for most of what is happening now has already happened in your Bible.
OVERCOMING THE EMOTIONS OF MAN
The emotions of man are as a WILD BEAST. You never really know what you will do emotionally. Unless your emotions are well held by the power of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, you are yet in danger. Someone says, “No, no, no, I know what I will do.” For instance, a calm, beautiful, lovely mother and someone comes to hurt her child. Her whole emotional nature will change. She will not be thinking of her own safety, but the love for her child will trigger something in her. May God deliver us from getting into certain circumstances. When you read of things that happen to some people, say, “Lord God, deliver us from evil.” It is absolutely necessary to lay your emotions before God and ask Him to deal with your emotions before the day of testing and judgment comes upon you.
OVERCOMING THE WILL – FROM OX TO CALF
Notice the beasts in Ezekiel versus the beasts in Revelation. The beast that was called an OX in Ezekiel 1 was changed to a CALF in Revelation 4. The implication is, instead of a big, old stubborn ox pulling a plow, we have a calf, humble and willing to suck milk. God is saying, the area of YOUR WILL is to become a calf. Jesus Christ told the disciples that all power was given unto Him in heaven and on earth. And he said unto them, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” Matthew 28:19. He had that power and He gave that authority. He was in full charge of His will. A short time before, while in the garden of Gethsemane, He said to the Father, “Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me.” In other words, “Couldn’t we do it another way? Couldn’t we finish the devil right here and now?” Then He said, “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” The only hope for us and our will is that it be subject to the will of the Father.
THE NATURE OF ALL THE BEASTS ARE BEING CHANGED
Each beast was changed. In Scripture an eagle is mentioned with a good connotation meaning saints. The lion is also mentioned. The lion has a type and an antitype. The lion of the tribe of Judah that breaks every chain is the type of Jesus Christ. Satan, the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, is the antitype. There is A MAN that is different from THE MAN. When the Lord was speaking to Ezekiel, he said, “Son of man.” Jesus Christ is called the “Son of man.” When you get to the stage where God calls you “Son of man,” then you have come to a Spiritual realm where God can deal with you as a representative of the whole human race. So the eagle becomes THE FLYING EAGLE; the ox becomes THE CALF; the lion becomes THE LION OF JUDAH; and the man becomes THE SON OF MAN.
The human body is only a servant of the soul. Therefore, the body either contaminates the soul or blesses the soul. The body as a servant can do neither good nor evil but it becomes a vehicle for Satan to come in and attack. In the Tabernacle there were the following three barriers: a gate outside, a door inside entering into the holy place, and a veil for the entering into the holy of holies. There is a barrier between body and soul and that barrier has to be breached or removed, or the door has to be opened, for the soul to accept and receive that which comes from the body. The body receives that which comes from outside.
We have many traits in our physical body acquired from our family – family traits. These traits are not strong enough to make the soul to sin. The soul is under sin and shaped in iniquity. See Psalm 51:5. The heart of man is the coordination between his spirit and his soul and his body. It is the center motivation point. Man moves from this point and either responds or does not. The heart is a will that has been cemented into the mind, the will, the emotions, the desires, and the spirit. Everything comes together and a decision is made. That is the heart of the man. Now this whole system has a hereditary factor and a demonic factor. When Paul went to Ephesus, he spoke to a young man named Timothy. He said some very remarkable things about him, which is noteworthy at this point.
2 Timothy 1:2-5, “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Paul spoke of a lineage of his grandmother and his mother for the good. The evil traits that are inherited are called besetting sins.
THE BOMBARDMENT OF THE SOUL
Some of us are prone to specific sins which existed in our family long before we were born. These sins are motivated and encouraged by demons that we call FAMILIAR SPIRITS (spirits that belong to families). I will go into the full detail of what familiar spirits are in later chapters, but now I will just touch on the subject that you might understand the bombardment the soul undergoes and what you are up against. We need to know what our weapons are and how to fight and overcome these spirits. For God has made us to be overcomers and not to be losers.
The messengers of death and destruction seek to arrest the soul of every human being weakened by inheritance. The inheritance comes because demons and devils rule over certain areas of the world. Each area has its own devils ruling over it. Each city has its own devils. The devil compartmentalizes the world and gives them to his different fallen angels to rule. Let me touch on scripture for you before someone says that this is only a theory. Daniel 10:12 and 13, “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
We understand that there was a devil prince (fallen angel) over the kingdom of Persia who possibly still rules Persia, who was resisting the messenger of God, who was laying his claim to the children of Israel who were worshipping the gods of Babylon. At this particular time most of the Israelites were worshipping these gods. How do I know that? Well, look at the record. The record says there was a statue put up and everyone was required to bow to the statue at the sound of the music. When the music sounded, three men did not bow. There were thousands of Jews in Babylon who bowed. THREE DID NOT BOW. Their names have gone down in history – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These were their Persian names but their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. See Daniel 2:17. Three men refused to bow and were thrown in the fiery furnace which had no effect on them. God created a great miracle and a great victory because of these three men.
There are devil princes who have suzerainty, or rulership, over certain areas. Where you and I were born, there are different spirits ruling. My area was ruled by violence. Your area might have been ruled by sexuality. These things were ingrained into our families causing the natural flesh to respond to the Satanic will which ruled over our families. Whatever the rulership was when we came to Jesus, we smote him a blow. Although there was a breaking of the power, the demon still goes around, and once he gets the believer to submit again to the things he has already rejected, then the ruling devil would bind you by his demons. This is the reason why so many churches and so many Christians are bound. If we follow the Word of God, we will not be bound; if we are bound we will be loosed.
There are devils and demons in our families. There are devils and demons that rule over cities and nations. There are differences between devils and demons. Demons are devils but all devils are not demons. Devils are fallen angels whereas demons are lost souls, much smaller spirits than fallen angels. The devils that rule over the world claim humanity and claim they are part of our families. I hear men boasting of their temper. “Don’t you bother me!” Men boast of their demonic possession and oppression.
Devils rule whole nations! A Christian might say, “I am an Irishman. Watch out, because I have a sharp temper.” He claims these devils. These devils are not his. These devils belong to the devils that rule over the nations. God is breaking this power! The first place of breaking is in THE SOUL OF MAN. Man’s mind must preside over his actions. His will, his desires, and his emotions must be controlled by the mind, and the mind must be under the power of God. If the mind of man is under the power of God and his emotions are under his mind, then God is over his emotions and over his will and over his desires. He will be a man walking in God’s order.
Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not.” I know what it is to get hit hard with words. You should quickly submit yourself to God. We must be under the control of God! The anger must never come to fruition, never show itself or manifest. We must be able to conquer right in the midst of the tribulation. This is what God is saying to us.
Every time I read about the coming of Jesus, I see the warning, “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Watch! Watch! Watch! What is the meaning of watching? It means I MUST WATCH MYSELF. I must watch my mind, what I think, what I believe, and what I submit to. I must watch the thoughts coming from the outside. I must watch the bombardment. Bless be to God, I must be delivered from my besetting sin or my familiar spirits, the spirits my mother had, or my father had, which made them do things contrary to God. These I must overcome by the power of God, by the Spirit of God.
Your first move, brother, sister, is to believe this word! Once you believe it, you can receive it. If you do not believe it, you will never receive it no matter how much you read your Bible.
The four beasts are natures that are planted in the human realm, within us. They are in our flesh and in our souls trying to destroy the soul. But praise God, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” The Spirit of God comes and bombards the soul with radiation, with lights of glory. He bombards the soul night and day, while you are asleep and while you are awake. You only have to leave your God door open. He sets a watch over you. There are guardian angels that watch over you. You should rise up in the morning and say to God that you are vulnerable and ask Him to see to it that you do not sin this day, to see to it that you think no evil or do no wrong this day! Then every time the incidence of evil approaches you, or you think to commit an evil act, or have an evil thought, SOMETHING WILL PRICK YOU, and you will remember that prayer. Sometimes we sin unconsciously. We are so accustomed to sinning that we do not have to think to sin. We just go right ahead and sin. We are not even conscious of it, but the God of heaven has set a watchman within you to make you conscious.
THE CHANGE IN OUR SOUL HAS BEGUN
Here we are with the four beasts and WE ARE BEING CHANGED. We are being metamorphosed. A gradual change is taking place in us. God wants us to give way to this change – GIVE WAY. The caterpillar craves food and it eats green leaves and everything. It eats and eats and eats until it goes into a chrysalis or a long sleep then awakes as a beautiful butterfly.
We must feed upon the Word of God until the time of final change comes. The change begins right now, gradually. Sometimes you cannot even see it. You look like an old caterpillar outside, but a beautiful butterfly is being formed within the soul, THE THRONE OF GOD. The twenty-four elders sitting around the throne represent the priesthood. We are becoming priests IN OUR SOULS. The four beasts, the four natures of the soul, are being changed. Hallelujah!
The PERFECTED IMAGE is shown in the white robes and the crowns worn show kingship. For God has promised us kingship. The lightnings and thunderings that proceed “out of the throne” room are the massive power of God’s energy and life which will come forth to change the world in which we live, bringing us into total union and oneness with God.
“The seven lamps” that burn are “the seven Spirits of God.” The Spirit of the churches will be in us and it will be all perfected in us. One church will NOT be in charity and another one in evangelism and another one in praise. We will ALL be in charity, in evangelism, in praise, and in love, and ALL THE ATTRIBUTES of God will come forth in the soul nature of man.
The “sea of glass” means there will be a clearness, a purity that you can see right through. There will be nothing to hide. No one will have secrets. It will be just one pure nation of people, one holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people. There will be clarity. This heaven is the heaven WITHIN US, the place from which Christ is going to reign and rule in the earth.
In Revelation, “the four beasts” are “full of eyes.” Remember, in Ezekiel 1 there were wheels outside and the wheels represented the Holy Ghost. Instead of wheels, gyrating wheels moving with the spirit, the eyes came into the beasts themselves. The wheels had incorporated themselves into the beasts. The Holy Ghost had now incorporated the soul of man. Remember, the Holy Ghost is in the man’s spirit at this present time. HE IS WORKING IN THE SOUL. He is preparing a place in the soul FOR THE CHRIST. When the fullness of Christ comes, then we will have Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
When the beasts give glory to God, the elders fall on their faces. At this point man does not want any more glory. HE GIVES IT ALL TO GOD. “THOU art worthy…for THOU…hast redeemed us.” GLORY TO GOD!
Revelation chapter 5 is a continuation of Revelation chapter 4 and it describes in more detail the twenty-four elders and the four beasts of Revelation 4. We begin with verse 1.
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
This “book” undoubtedly is the Word of God. The Bible is a book with “seven seals,” SEVEN BASIC MYSTERIES – mysteries which can only be interpreted by the Holy Ghost. The book was “in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne of God.” That means it was His power. The book was “written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
The Word of God is like a two-edged sword. In the front thrust it is sharp and will cut through anything. In the back thrust it is just as sharp. Let me explain this by an example in Scripture. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The converse is that if the Lord is NOT my shepherd, I AM going to want. The whole Bible is truistic in this way. It is just as powerful in what it is saying as in what it does not say. The Word of God, therefore, is very, very sharp. We are going to pay close attention to the Word of God.
Revelation 5:2 and 3, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” It is a peculiar thing he mentioned “under the earth.” Those who are “under the earth” are those who are in hell. “NO MAN was able to open the book” and to loose the seal.
Revelation 5:4, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” “NO MAN WAS…WORTHY…TO READ THE BOOK.” There are so many of us who read the Bible but do not hear it. We do not see it, or understand it. No man is able to physically or mentally decipher the Word of God and produce truth and life out of it without the Holy Ghost. If GOD does not tell you the A-B-C’s of the Word then you cannot know it. The greatest brain, the greatest learned men in the world, have never been able to fathom the understanding of the Word of God. Yet some poor people, who are not learned, are able to give the truth because of the moving of the Holy Ghost upon them. Christ, of course, is in the Holy Ghost. John said,”I wept.”
Verse 5, “And one of the elders saith unto me, WEEP NOT: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
The person who said not to weep was “one of the elders.” The elder means the older one who is versed in the things of God. “One of the elders saith…Weep not.” The soul of man will reach to the point of development where he will see and understand the whole of the heavenly things pertaining to the Word of God. The elder said, “Weep not: behold, the LION of the TRIBE of JUDA hath prevailed…” He has broken the chains of hell and humanity and the world. He has loosed the soul of man.
Verse 6a, “And I (John) beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts.” Remember, “in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts” means in the midst of the soul. God’s throne room is in the soul area of a people. The REVELATION OF “THE LION” will be in the soul of man first.
John saw, verse 6b, “And in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
Here in Revelation we see a different dimension of “the seven Spirits of God.” They are on “a lamb,” CHRIST, but the lamb was as “it had been slain, having SEVEN HORNS.” In chapters 12, 13, and 17, horns will be explained thoroughly. In brief, “horns” represent men. The Body of Christ is the head here. The lamb, Christ, has “seven horns” on his head. He will have seven men, seven angels to the seven churches. Each of the “seven eyes” is the Spirit of God that goes with each angel, or messenger. Each messenger has a Spirit with him for the purpose of becoming an overcomer.
Let us look more at “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David.”
David was of the tribe of Judah and God promised David his throne would be everlasting. That means THE CHRIST must come through David and bring everlasting life and rulership. We understand then, the Body of Christ is going to reign and rule with Christ. This is the tribe of Judah that God has chosen. It is not every person in a tribe that is chosen. When God chooses a tribe, He does not choose every individual. There is a lineage going right through the tribe, coming right down to Christ, coming right down to His offspring, the 42nd generation.
Let me trace that lineage for you that you might understand where you come in and where you become a part of the tribe of Judah. The whole concept of what God is doing in the earth has to be understood from a spiritual perspective. Matthew 1:1-3, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; and Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram.” We could continue on and name the complete lineage, but let us look at the 16th and 17th verses which say, “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are FOURTEEN generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are FOURTEEN generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are FOURTEEN generations.”
When we check it, we find fourteen generations, then fourteen generations, but the third one which is supposed to be fourteen generations only lists thirteen generations. There is no big mystery as to why it is thirteen generations, when you look at Isaiah 53:10 and 11. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall SEE HIS SEED, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” The Lord “shalt make his soul an offering for sin,” and be cut off, yet he is going to “SEE HIS SEED.” It could NOT be natural seed or natural lineage that God is talking about. He is talking about SPIRITUAL LINEAGE.
“The generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations (when we count them, there are fourteen generations); and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations (the count is again fourteen) and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations” (the count is only thirteen). Thirteen generations “unto Christ.” The 14th generation is the GENERATION OF CHRIST. Let us find that Scripture for you that you might know the whole Scripture is one. The Old Testament and the New Testament must compliment one another. James 1:18, “Of his own will BEGAT HE US with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
IT IS MARVELOUS! Now we understand how we came to be sons of David through Jesus Christ, who was the promised son of David. Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one. And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Jesus Christ begat us by His Word and we became part of the tribe of Judah through David and through Christ.
We, therefore, have a great high priest, a Lion, a defender, One who will plead our cause and deliver us. He breaks every chain. This is the glory about “the Root of David.” This is the understanding of “the Lion.”
John said he saw Him as “a Lamb.” It takes a lion to break chains. Lambs have to shed their blood. Through the shedding of the blood of the Lamb, through His Lamb-like quality, we have become saved and delivered by His blood. We, therefore, are not called in the Lion but we are called in the Lamb. The Lamb is the one who had the “seven horns,” the seven messengers, or men that will do His will and His bidding. As we come into the LAMB NATURE OF GOD, we begin to partake of the things of which Christ Jesus partook.
This Lamb had “SEVEN EYES,” seven Spirits of God. Seven is the number of perfection and only refers to God. God says there are “seven eyes” which are the seven Spirits, the “seven eyes” of the Holy Ghost. The first thing the world does to the Christian is to put out his eyes. When Delilah caught Samson, the first thing the Philistines did was to put out his eyes. The last thing Samson said was, “O God, for my two eyes!” It was for his eyes that he tore down the temple of Dagon and killed them all.
We see then the scene in heaven. Verse 7, “And he came and took the book…” Remember, no one could touch, look upon, or open “the book.” Christ is the only one we are depending upon now, not only to take the book, not only to look upon it, not only to give us eyes to see it, BUT TO UNDERSTAND IT.
Revelation 5:8, “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”
PRAISE OPENS THE HEARTS OF MEN
They had “harps, and golden vials.” JUDAH means PRAISE. The harp is made for praising God. Many ask if God really needs us to praise Him saying that He is a wonderful God or that He is great and marvelous? No. That is not praise. You could say “God is marvelous” all day and all night and you would not spend one hour praising God.
Praise comes from the heart and heals the heart. It is an instrument of God to create the glory of God within the individual. When the angels in heaven praise God, it is like their dinner time. When they open their hearts to praise God and to glorify God for the things He has done and for who He is, then the glory of God flows in. Praise is a KEY that opens the hearts of angels and of men. When we apply the key to the heart, God flows into it. It is not possible for the devil to come in when we are praising God in Spirit and in truth. There is a contact and a flow of energy which comes from God to man when man opens up his heart to God and the enemy, Satan, cannot interfere. He has to keep far away. This is why God says we are to pray and praise. “Praise is comely,” the Bible says. It is not everybody who can praise. Your whole being must be attuned to God and to praise. There is a praise, and there is a Praise, and there is a PRAISE! There is high Praise and glorious PRAISE.
I remember years ago, some brethren brought in a thing they called “high praise.” It grieved me because it was the lowest form of praise I had ever heard. The kind that takes you down emotionally rather than up. It was the kind of thing you could see for years and years in some of the churches. People would stomp their feet, bam, bam, bam, and everyone began to go bam, bam, bam. Drums began to beat together and the people began to jump together and there were no words. Brethren, man cannot praise God without words. We must have words to praise God. If we begin to sing a song and we are only going by the beat or by the music, we are shutting out God. The only way to have God join you in your praise is for your heart to respond to God and to His Word. You start singing a song “I thank you Lord, I thank you Jesus” – a simple song without many words to it. “I thank you Jesus, for you have brought me out a mighty long way, a mighty long way, thank you Lord.” When I begin to sing, I begin to remember the depths of hell I was in and how God reached down and pulled me out.
This thought brings me back to a vision I had in the days just before salvation, when I found myself down in this GREAT PIT. It was hopeless. I could hardly see the sky for the distance I was down in the pit. The sides were sheer and straight and I would fight and claw my way up only to reach a point and then I would fall back down. It was hopeless, but I was still fighting. Then suddenly there was a sound like a wind and it came down into the pit and swooped me up like a whirlwind and threw me way up on the side of the pit. As I clung on, still only half way up, another surge came and took me up and carried me right out. I landed in a woodland where great big globs of honeycomb were up in the trees, and the honey was just dropping from the trees.
I remember these things as I sing a song thanking Jesus. It means something to me. It lifts my soul and the energy of God begins to flow into me, because I am praising God. Judah, yada in Hebrew, means praise. God gave them not only “the Lion of the tribe of Juda” but “harps” to praise Him. He gave them cause to praise. He gave them instruments to praise.
“Harps” mean God-harps that are praising Him with “golden vials full of” the sweet smelling savour of “the prayers of the saints.” It is another beautiful picture. These elders do not just represent themselves, but they represent all the saints and all their prayers and all their cryings. Can you visualize the volume of prayer that goes up to God every day from the hearts of the saints everywhere throughout the earth – from those in prison, those in torment, those persecuted, the unknown brethren who are in dark places and under the hand of the enemy? The prayers of the saints have come up and this scene in heaven tells me it is the beginning of their deliverance.
This chapter reveals, at last, man coming into the perfection of God while he is still man, not yet changed into immortality. While we are flesh and blood, we will receive the fullness of Christ. This is the promise of God. He will have many sons unto Jesus Christ. See Hebrews 2:10. Not just those who are dead, but those who are alive. The work must be completed by the living saints, THE CHURCH MILITANT, NOT THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT, or those who have gone on before. See Hebrews 11:40. The prayers of the saints are brought up before God and it makes a monument of glory and power and strength before God.
Revelation 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast REDEEMED US to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”
“THEY SUNG A NEW SONG”
It is not possible for a Christian to have certain experiences until he comes into a place where it is necessary for God to manifest Himself to him. If the revelation of Jesus Christ is within us, we will have to get into certain situations, certain conditions, certain places of distress, even to experience some of the manifestations that are yet to be revealed. These have had the revelation and the experience, and responded. Revelation is by experience.
It is just like the salvation message. No one can really impart to another the salvation experience by the blood of Jesus Christ. He or she needs to experience this wonderful experience himself or herself. Some say the sky was bluer the next morning, the stars were brighter, the whole of nature seemed to have come alive. A thousand believers will give a thousand different aspects of what salvation really is and how it affected them.
It is “a new song.” No one has ever reached this point before or has ever experienced this before. The beasts are the ones who are singing. The beasts ARE MEN, as we have already proven. The 9th verse, above every other, proves conclusively the beasts we are looking at are really the souls of men before the throne of God.
Let us look into the words that they sang: “Worthy,” (axios in the Greek) is a commercial term which means having as much to pay, weighing as much, having the same weight as the thing you are using. It is the full price. It is just as valuable as the thing you are buying. The blood of Jesus Christ is efficacious to pay for all of our sins. The blood of Jesus Christ means the life of Jesus Christ. Where did Jesus get His life? It was from God. The life of God was poured out into our realm in order that we might have life in which to overthrow the enemy of our souls, which is death.
“For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed US to God.” This is the end of the matter. Man is redeemed! This point of time is still ahead of us, where we will be fully redeemed unto God by the blood. “For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God BY THY BLOOD out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Every nation on the earth will be represented in the FIRSTFRUITS company. This is what this verse means – those who will be firstfruits unto God, “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”
“Out of every kindred” (tribe in the Greek) means some kings and priests coming out from those people who were in the dark parts of the world and who never heard of Jesus. “Out of every…tongue and people” means every family. “Out of every …nation” means God’s power to save has reached beyond the boundaries of a people we conceive to be savable. God has methods of reaching and saving a people who never heard Him, never saw Him, a people who were never in touch with any of us who heard about Calvary. He is not just saving them but bringing them into the firstfruits company. He is bringing them into the king class, that they might become kings and priests to God.
Around that throne in the heavenlies we saw the twenty-four elders and the glory of God (or the throne of God) coming down into the midst of these elders, and the lightnings and the thunderings, and the wheel in the middle of the wheel coming inside of them and becoming wings with eyes on them. All this mysterious picture means that within that class there were people from every tribe and every tongue and every nation. The efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ is so magnanimous that it reaches beyond knowledge. Those who did not know Him, those of us who never heard of Him, He was able to reach even in our unconscious state and bring the gospel of deliverance and salvation to us. HE SAVES TO THE UTTERMOST.
“THE TRUE LIGHT, WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN”
Sometimes you have a loved one and you are praying for him and you feel that this one has gone too far. It is the work of the enemy to cut down your ability to intercede when the enemy begins to tell you this person is too bad or has gone too far. Anyone who says that of himself or of others is being ministered to by the spirits of Satan. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ reaches beyond the boundary of all the barriers that hell can conceive and that man can put up, and God is able to save us to the uttermost by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Someone says that they abort babies, that they kill babies, that so many are being killed, and that they have all gone to hell. We do not know the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ will reach beyond human consciousness and will bring that fetus to God or bring that young child to God. God knows, if He had given that child a thousand years to live, what that child would be. And God judges him upon that basis. He brings salvation to him. He is able to save to the uttermost. Someone else says that men bow down to wood and stone, worshipping other gods and that they are lost. Man is not lost until he rejects Jesus Christ and he cannot reject Jesus Christ until he sees Jesus Christ. When he gets to know Jesus Christ then he has the privilege of either accepting Jesus or rejecting Him. God must reveal Himself to man before man can go to hell.
John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Verses 8 and 9, “He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” This is the Christ who “LIGHTETH EVERY MAN.” We need to make note of this. “EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD.”
Why would anybody go to hell? John 3:18 and 19, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” The point at which men go to hell is not because they are sinners, for we were all born in sin and shaped in iniquity and were all children of hell, but then we heard something. We saw something. We believed.
Are we more fortunate than all the other human beings who have not heard and seen? No. Do you know why? Because He “lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John 1:9. There is no man that can leave this world and face God and say that God never gave him the opportunity He gave others. What he has to say is that God did bring him to consciousness one day. That he did see Jesus and he did reject Him and he is worthy of hell. The point is, God MUST (there are few things that God must do), in order to vindicate His name, reveal Himself to every human being on earth. A man can live godless all his life, but the hour will come when suddenly he will be awakened to consciousness. One minute, one second, will be like an eternity for he will see himself as he really is and see God as He really is and, in that moment, must either accept Him or reject Him.
WHAT ABOUT SUDDEN DEATH?
I remember the story of a man I knew who heard me preach the gospel. One day, God sent me from my desk in the office down to the stable to speak to him. When I spoke to him, he rejected me. He was offended by my audacity, that I believed I alone knew about salvation, and that he, as a middle aged man, had gone to many churches and believed he had known God. I turned to leave him because he would not allow me to pray for him. God turned me back when I got to the gate. God said, “Go back and ask him, what about sudden death?” I went back and asked him, “What about sudden death?” He took his cigar out of his mouth and clenched his teeth. He raised his fist and said, “Sudden death, sudden glory! If God would give me one minute before I die I would pray to Him and go into heaven.” With that I left him, sadly. That was in the middle of the week. On Saturday morning he was in a car going out on some mission and the car ran into a truck. Five people were in the car, four adults and one child. Instantly, three adults were killed. He and the child were in the back seat. The engine had come into the back seat and they were injured and taken to the hospital. The doctor examined him. His chest bone was pressed down against his vital organs, however the doctor said he could save him. “This one will live,” he said. The man opened his eyes and said, “Doctor I have three minutes to live. Call somebody to pray with me.” He had rejected Christ for the last time. I did not know it, neither did he. I was only a servant. God had told me to ask him about sudden death. I had asked him about sudden death. He had rejected his salvation and his only hope for the very last time. He tried now to find a way in and could not pray. Pain and terror was in his body and he could not pray. He wanted somebody to pray for him. He could not find anybody in the whole hospital to pray for him. Finally one of the janitors rushed in to pray for him. She knelt down, and before she could say a prayer for him, he was dead. God gave him three minutes. He asked for one, but God gave him three. It was a mockery, because he could not pray to God in three minutes. The reason being, he never prayed to God before. At that moment it was not the time to pray, it was the time to die.
“KINGS AND PRIESTS”
Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Hallelujah! We are “made…kings and priests.” God has selected from the earth an Elect Company, which He has exalted to His throne to rule and reign with Him. Therefore, they are kings, but they are priests, because they will be mediating between God and the world. “We shall reign on the earth.” Bless be to God. Many people are talking about flying away and being up in the sky. I have not seen anything in my Bible that indicates such a situation is truth. “We shall reign on the earth” with Christ Jesus, not because we are good or better but because we believe this word. God is calling at this time and choosing His Elect from the earth.
You ask about the condition. The first condition is that we shall reign as flesh and blood people. We will have the fullness of Christ as flesh and blood people. We shall also be with Christ in another dimension. That is, we will be changed from FLESH AND BLOOD humans to FLESH AND BONE humans, the type of flesh and bone that Jesus had after His resurrection, when He could walk freely through heaven and earth. There were no barriers anywhere. We are coming into that perfection. This is the PLAN OF GOD for us.
Verse 11 is one that needs much attention. “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”
The revelation here is not about four-hundred billion angels. The word “TEN,” tens of tens, is what we are looking at. The word “ten” signifies the perfection of divine order.
TEN is the beginning of decimalization. It consists of so many tens, of which the first is a type of the whole. The basic signification of the number ten is the COMPLETENESS of Divine order. Exodus 20 contains all of God’s law, the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Tithes is one TENTH of man’s labor which is to be given to God. The redemption money is TEN gerahs, which is half a shekel. See Exodus 30:13. The TEN plagues are mentioned in Exodus 9:14. The antichrist power, the world power, are the TEN toes of the image in Daniel and we expect there will be ten men and seven nations forming the antichrist government in the last days. See Daniel 2:31-45, 7:7 and Revelation 13. The symbolic number of these angels was that they were all in Divine order.
THE PERFECTED SOUL
They were shouting together without rehearsal. Revelation 5:12-13, “SAYING with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.”
John is saying that “every creature…in heaven…on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea” heard not just him, John, saying, “Blessing and honour” and glorifying God, but a whole company of saints in his position who he refers to as “I.” When they went to arrest Jesus in the garden and they asked if He was Jesus, He replied, “I am,” and they all fell backwards. I believe John and all God’s people shouted with the voice of God so that even Hell heard them
When we really praise God from our hearts, many things happen. Your heart opens to God and when the praise reaches to a certain height, it opens the hearts of the other people of God.
Ezekiel 28:13b and 14, “The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”
God said that He made music in this angel Heylel. God made his pipes in him. We are talking about something probably much higher than what we understand to be music. There are sounds that can be made which are too high for our ears. For instance, the dog can hear a whistle that we cannot hear. In spiritual realms, sounds are much greater and more powerful than the things we hear in this realm. This cherub that covered heaven had the power to lift the whole of heaven into praise.
When he began to praise, heaven began to praise with him. When your praise gets to a high place in God, the angels of heaven are commanded by your praise to come and praise with you. In our congregations, when our praise leaves that earthly realm and begins to rise into the heavenlies, God pays attention and the angels of heaven praise with us. We actually command them to praise with us by our power. Here in Ezekiel, God speaks of an angel He had set over heaven to bring music and deliverance and praises in heaven.
John is telling us that when he began to praise, his soul was lifted up to a height where every creature heard the praise, even the fish of the sea and those in heaven and those in hell. Heaven hears and rejoices! Hell hears and trembles because they know what will happen – their time is very short.
Revelation 5:14, “And the four beasts said (in response to John’s praise) Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”
John is describing the scene in heaven when the soul of man has come into perfection. Of course, this is futuristic.
Revelation 6:1, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.”
We are still looking at the scene in heaven. The four beasts and the twenty-four elders, which are the soul of man, ARE IN HEAVEN. In other words, it has been perfected. In this chapter, the seals are going to be described. “The seals” are the MYSTERIES. The whole Bible, the gospel of the Lord Jesus, is in seven sealed mysteries. Daniel was told that he should “seal up the book,” because it would not be explained until the time of the end.
Daniel 12:8 and 9, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” At “the time of the end” the seals would be broken, and surely Jesus Christ began “the time of the end.” During the last two days, DAY NUMBER 5 and DAY NUMBER 6, or a thousand years of day 5 and a thousand years of day 6 (Genesis 1 and 2 Peter 3:8 will be explained in more detail in later chapters), JESUS CHRIST BEGAN TO OPEN THE SEALS. Revelation chapter six is going to begin to tell us about the opening of these seals and the effect they would have in the realm of the world.
“When the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder.” “The seals” are the mysteries, the trumpets are the messages and the vials are the judgments. As this seal was opened, thunder came forth. At our first look at the four beasts and the 24 elders, they were sitting before the throne and there were “lightnings and thunderings” in the midst of it. These souls will be filled with the power of God which will manifest from them.
Revelation 6:2, “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
WHO IS THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE?
Many Bible students have problems with these scriptures, but there is no problem. I will show you very clearly from the Word of God and you will come to your own conclusion who is this rider on the white horse.
Zechariah 1:8-11, “I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled (horses), and white (horses). Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.”
Zechariah 6:1-3, “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.” Twice now, we have come upon these four horses and four horsemen. Yet it might not be clear to you who the horses are.
Psalm 45:1-5, “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore, God hath blessed thee forever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty RIDE prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.” These verses are speaking of Christ. Yet we need to look at one more scripture.
Revelation 19:11 and 12 definitely shows us who the rider on the white horse is. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a WHITE horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” No doubt, the rider on the white horse is Jesus Christ Himself. He was the first to come forth and open the seals and He began to ride and Christianity was born.
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him…went forth conquering, and to conquer.” It is only Jesus Christ that is “conquering and (is) to conquer.” Revelation 19:11-13 again, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” We have already read this about Jesus Christ and we know, therefore, that the man on the white horse is Jesus Christ Himself.
I am pressing this point because many of the theologians teach that this man on the white horse is the antichrist. This is not true. Christ rides first, and then the others will come. One of the fallacies they teach is that the scripture says he “had a bow.” In those days, it was a bow which used arrows. In our day, it would be a gun, for example an AK-47. Do we have to say the AK-47 has bullets and he has bullets with him? Or do we just say this man has a gun? Therefore, Jesus “had a bow” and the bow was effective to make war.
THE MYSTERY OF SALVATION
If the seal is the mystery of the gospel, then we should consider what is the mystery of the first seal. The first mystery is the MYSTERY OF SALVATION which Jesus Christ opened up to us. Why do I say it is a mystery? Because not everyone understands it. Even some of those of us who have received salvation do not understand how, when, and why it works, and what is the purpose.
When God opens up deliverance for man, He brings man to a higher dimension where Satan has the right to attack him in a higher and greater way. When Jesus Christ received the anointing at His baptism, immediately the devil took occasion. Now he had the right to attack Him in a most frontal attack with greater boldness than he had done before. Because of this principle, when the church was born, Satan received the right to do certain things. This is why, when the seal opens, and the Word of God is released, the enemy is also released. This is a DOUBLE MESSAGE, two messages in one. We will give the message of the glory of God and also the message of what happens in the earth when this is done.
We begin with SALVATION. Salvation is by the blood of Jesus Christ. Most people do not understand the blood. In the Tabernacle of Moses, God revealed it through symbolism. The bull was brought in through the gate by six men. No man comes to God because he loves God, or because he is beautiful and just knows the right place to go is to God. No! We were all hauled in against our will. God set circumstances to bring us in and to bring mankind into salvation. I believe that is why Adam and Eve did not eat of the tree of life. There is something awesome and awful about THE TREE OF LIFE. When you eat the tree of life, you begin to lose your natural life and gain immortal life.
In the tabernacle, the bull was carried to the place of death, the brasen altar. They would tie him down to the four horns of this brass altar. Then they would slay the bull and take the dung and the skin and wrap it together and take it outside the camp to be burned. The meat was washed and ready on the fire of the altar of sacrifice. All this is symbolism telling us what happens to a person in salvation. He is beginning a new life and losing his natural life, preparing to go into the high priest and become one with the high priest Jesus Christ. The high priest puts the meat on the fire where it is roasted and takes it with him into the holy place to eat at the table of shewbread.
Salvation is when mankind accepts the blood of Jesus Christ as payment for his sin and receives in turn LIFE instead of the wages of sin, which is DEATH. How does this happen? Many people do not understand the HOW of salvation. We are told that we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let us see what is meant by being saved by the blood. Leviticus 17:10 and 11, “Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
In Leviticus 17, God is speaking about the blood and the life of an animal. The principle laid down is that “the life…is in the blood.” The animal’s life is in the animal’s blood. My life is in my blood. It is as simple as God laid it out. If the blood is to make an atonement for a soul and this blood is only a type of the true blood of Jesus Christ, therefore, by faith it was applied and it worked. In Egypt, we are told, the blood was put on the doorposts and on the lintel. When the devils, the spirits of darkness and of death, came to the house and saw the blood on the door, they could not face the blood, because it was shining with the faith of the person who had applied the blood. It was FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. Remember, we are talking about DIVINE PRINCIPLES.
If each creature’s blood has an energy, a life in itself, then the blood of Jesus Christ has the life of God in it. The life of God is something devils cannot face. They cannot overcome. When a man sins, he has been transferred from light into darkness. God made Adam and Adam was in the light. Adam sinned and Adam fell from the light into the kingdom of darkness. There are TWO KINGDOMS – the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Jesus comes and His intention is to translate us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. See Colossians 1:13 and 14 and Ephesians 5:8. Because God wants to translate us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, there is something WE MUST DO. This something involves the blood.
First of all, when Adam sinned, he lost his rulership, his power, his energy of God. Jesus Christ came to restore Adam’s fallen race thus bringing the energy of God’s life within the reach of man. When God says you must accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour in order to receive HIS BLOOD, it means you are making your choice. We were all part of the kingdom of darkness, born in sin, shaped in iniquity, and belonging to the kingdom of darkness without doing anything. If you were born and were never born again, you are part of the kingdom of darkness, no matter how good or how nice a person you might be. You might go to church a thousand times, pay your tithes, take a million communions, and preach the Word like Paul, but if you are not born again, you are still in the kingdom of darkness. Therefore, those who are in the kingdom of darkness, in order to be translated according to the Word of God into the kingdom of light, must first do something. They must exercise their freewill choice. We did not exercise our freewill choice to be sinners – we were born sinners. Therefore, God must make a way for every human being to exercise his freewill choice to be in the kingdom of light.
In Romans 10:9 and 10, God said that all that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. By exercising this freewill choice, we call upon the name of the Lord asking Jesus to save us, knowing we are sinners, not wanting to be sinners. God then, according to His law, His rule, must save you. How then is He going to save us? He saves us by touching our souls with the blood of Jesus Christ. As the blood of Jesus Christ touches the realm of human existence, called the soul, man is quickened and comes alive. He was dead, dead in trespasses and sin, and he is now alive. God made Adam a living soul and Adam died. To bring Adam back to life, Jesus Christ must remake the man a living soul. As He touches your soul with the blood, your soul becomes alive.
What do I mean alive? Your soul becomes conscious and now wants different food. It does not want to feed anymore upon the things of the world, the trash, the darkness. IT WANTS LIGHT. This is the basic difference between the person who is saved and one who is not saved. One wants life. It does not mean he is perfect. He is just as imperfect the moment he called on Jesus Christ as he was the moment before, but he has changed his position and now he is in the kingdom of light. He has a right to the tree of life. The TREE OF LIFE, which is CHRIST JESUS, begins to feed him through the Holy Spirit. New energy begins to flow into his being. His mind begins to think differently. His emotions begin to feel differently. His will is beginning to change. His desires are no longer after the flesh. This is the difference between the man who is saved and the man who is not saved.
As this process begins to take place, the Holy Ghost with the permission of the individual, begins to pour life and light into him. We call this salvation. This is the work of the blood. The blood of Jesus Christ, therefore, is the life of Jesus Christ which hovers around everybody. It is not just the believers who have the blood of Jesus Christ around them. This energy, this life of God, this glory of the spirit of God, is hovering around every person. Just call upon the name of the Lord and God will answer you immediately. God will save you. What do we mean by the word “save”? The quickening Spirit of God enters into a dead soul and the dead soul becomes a living soul. A living soul begins to respond to God in a way it could not respond before. The chief instrument of salvation, then, is the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ is the life of God. The life of God is available to all men. Those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Questions are asked. What are we saved from? What are we saved to? If we are saved from something, it must be a salvation unto something. We are saved from the penalty of sin. We are saved from sinning. If any man sin, he has an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ, the righteous. We are not supposed to sin, but if any man sins, because we were children of sin and it is likely we will sin again, we have an advocate with the Father, BUT there is no deliberate willful sin in the Christian. 1 John 3:5-8, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him (which is in Christ) sinneth not: whosoever sinneth (continues in sin) hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He (God) is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
The word “committeth” written in the old English CONTINUOUS tense, translates “he that (continually) committeth sin is of the devil.” When God comes into you, when you accept the blood of Jesus, you receive a quickening. That quickening is to give you STRENGTH not to sin. Temptations will come to you, but you will have the strength NOT TO SIN. Every temptation that comes to you, you have the power to overcome it. When you do not overcome it, then you have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous, who will cleanse you again and give you another opportunity to go forward and sin not.
This is the symbol of the brasen altar, or the first seal, and Jesus Christ broke the seal and opened up this deliverance for mankind. This is the place where the bull becomes beef and where the man becomes part of the high priest, and he is going to walk with the HIGH PRIEST, WHO IS CHRIST, through the Tabernacle, even unto the fullness. Let us note, as a matter of sound doctrine, that the high priest never eats the meat in the outer court. He takes the meat with him into the holy place and he does not eat it until he gets to the table of shewbread. There he eats the meat and the bread. Thus THE BELIEVER BECOMES A PART OF THE CHRIST IN THE HOLY PLACE and not in the outer court.
Revelation 6:3, “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.”
There is some relationship between the seals and the four beasts, or the living creatures or the soul of man. The second beast says, “Come and see.”
Verse 4, “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”
We need to look into this very carefully. Zechariah 6:1-3 mentioned all four horses. The colors might sound different because of the difference in the languages from the time of Zechariah when he was writing in the Hebrew language and the time of The Revelation when they were writing in Greek, but it is the same reference. There were four horses. The red one takes peace from the earth. One of the meanings of the color red is war. RED is the color of blood and it means WAR. One layer of the skins that covered the Tabernacle was dyed red. This means somebody sacrificed to give us a covering. Just as Jesus Christ died, many of the saints died also. Much of the covering we have in the Scriptures, as well as by the Spirit, was achieved through the suffering and death of many.
Numbers 19:2-5, “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red HEIFER without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn.”
The animals used in sacrifice are chiefly male. They depict Jesus Christ as the ram and the lamb and the bull. Whenever the female is used, there is a significance that points to the church. The sacrifice speaks of us following the Lamb wherever He goes. In Revelation 14:4, the Word speaks of the 144,000 as following “the Lamb withersoever he goeth.” Jesus Christ is saying that there is a Simon of Cyrene company of people who help Jesus Christ bear the cross. In Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
In Exodus 25:5 we read of the rams’ skins dyed red to make a covering for the Tabernacle. These skins represent the many men who have given their lives to help to make our covering which we receive from the Word of God. The letters they write, the Scripture that has been added, the explanations they give, their whole lives have been given for this purpose. The covering of Jesus Christ is also the same covering which Peter, Paul, James, and John said, “No other foundation but the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, which foundation is Jesus Christ.”
THE GREAT SWORD OF ATOMIC WEAPONRY
Revelation 12:3 speaks of the “GREAT RED DRAGON” making war against the church. War and killing of men by men will be unprecedented in all the annals of the history of the world in our time. “And there was given unto him a great sword.” No such reference has been made before in Scripture. This “great sword” must definitely be referring to things like ATOMIC WEAPONRY. Since God made man, man has never devised anything so horrible, so way out of our thinking, as he is devising now. It is impossible for us to conceive what a hydrogen blast would be like and what it would do to a city where human beings live. God speaks of this “great sword” that would be given to this red horse rider in the end of time. The peace has already been taken from the earth. There will be no more peace until Jesus Christ, the white horse rider, comes and BRINGS PEACE to the earth.
Israel, at this time, is giving back some of the lands of Samaria and Judaea to the Palestinians in order to try to make peace. This is going to make more war, for now the Palestinians will have a foothold that they could not have gained through war. Through peace, or speaking of peace, they have gained it. This will bring no peace. The Israelites are about to give back the whole of the Golan Heights to the Syrians. This will put the Syrians in a position of power and we are going to see the greatest wars yet in this area. It might well be the flashpoint that will conflagrate the whole world. The Lord says that there will be no peace until He comes. Man cannot bring peace, for in the soul of man there is war and he will never be satisfied with territory. Therefore, we must understand the Word of God as it points to war. There has been war, there have been rumors of war, and there is going to be more war. The only time that wars will cease is at the intervention of Jesus Christ, when He comes in His fullness in His saints, as we are reading in the Revelation. Then there will be peace when the Prince of Peace comes.
As the four horsemen ride, each one is endeavoring to maximize his thing. Jesus Christ will be endeavoring to maximize salvation. The red horse will be trying to maximize war. In the midst of the work of this second rider, THE CHRIST RIDER (which is the first rider) is going to give the church another step forward. This has happened already and is happening now. Each step brings us towards a FINAL FULLNESS of the thing that is being done. Even as the red horse develops, the sons of God must also develop in a specific dimension in order to overcome. Remember, the sons of God are designed of God to be the overcomers and to be the controllers of this situation, which they must win in the end.
THE MYSTERY OF BAPTISM
The next step or the second seal is baptism, consecration, and sanctification. The outer court baptism, or first baptism, is baptism in water. We read this in Matthew 3:11. John the Baptist speaking says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he (Jesus) that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Notice, he speaks of two baptisms. He speaks of the baptism in water and the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. There is also a third baptism. This third baptism is found in 1 Corinthians 12:12 and 13. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit 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.”
We go back to the Divine plan in the Word of God. Every word in Scripture is natural in its first dimension. It is spiritual in its second dimension and it is in the fullness in the third dimension. THE WORD OF GOD is a DIMENSIONAL WORD. Let me show you this in the Scriptures. In Ephesians 3:17 and 18, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to COMPREHEND with all saints what is the BREADTH, and LENGTH, and DEPTH, and HEIGHT.” One Word can mean one thing in a certain dimension and when you look at it in a deeper dimension, you find it has depth to it. It has height, width, and length. Notice, there is a fourth dimension. It has depth. Normally, depth and height would be the same, but spiritually they are not.
Many of us contend about baptism and are distressed and deceived about what baptism really is. The Word of God shows that BAPTISM IS A COVENANT MADE WITH GOD by a physical operation. You say what kind of covenant is that? When you marry someone, there must be witnesses and a certificate and a ceremony. All this is necessary because we are still human beings. IN THE SPIRIT, when it is written, IT IS WRITTEN. We must go down into the water and be covered by the water and we must arise out of the water. This is the symbolism. If you do not do the symbol right, then you do not have a baptism.
The symbol of baptism is a three-step operation. We baptize in water and the water covers us. This is the symbol of death. We arise out of the water and are covered by the water. This is the symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When we go into a spiritual baptism, the Spirit must cover us over, just as the water covered us. Then you go into the fullness of baptism, learning your lesson from the physical operation.
God says that baptism is making a covenant with Him. The covenant is that you will go the whole way – through death, through burial, and through resurrection. This is the symbolism of baptism. All this is very Scriptural. I would encourage you to study this out for yourself. However, I am pressing it upon you that baptism in water is absolutely necessary. God told Moses the tabernacle must be built according to the pattern. Obedience is absolutely necessary in serving God.
MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
I will tell you my story. One day, Jesus came into my room and said to me, “You need to be baptized.” I said, “Yes, Lord.” I thought I knew exactly what He meant and there was nothing to it. I went to a denominational church, joined their baptismal class and was baptized, immersed. I came back that afternoon to meet Jesus, as it was my plan during those seven months to meet Him at four o’clock in the afternoon. When I saw Him, He looked at me and said, “You need to be baptized.” I was confused for I did not know what I had done wrong. I began to search the Scriptures. The strangest thing is, I never felt to ask Him. I just started searching the Scriptures. The more I searched the Scriptures, the more I was confused as to what I did wrong.
One day, I heard a man preaching the Word on baptism. He explained that baptism was three parts, like a set of stairs with three steps on it. When you take the first step, you must have the intention of taking the second and the third or else the first is invalid. You will be going nowhere if you refuse to move from the first step to the second. God is saying you must make a covenant with Him that you will go with Him the whole way.
When I went to this church and was baptized, the first thing that happened was that they gave me the right hand of fellowship. I was not baptized unto Christ, but I was baptized unto a membership and unto the church. The next thing that happened was that they began to teach me their doctrine. Their doctrine did not believe in the second step, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I will show you an example in the Scriptures.
In Acts 19:1, Paul, in his travels, went to a place called Ephesus. Starting at the second verse, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BAPTISM
Outside of doctrines and people who preach differently from what the Bible says, it would be very clear to understand the two steps we should take. John the Baptist said that Jesus Christ is the man that will baptize you “in the Holy Ghost and fire.” Man baptizes you in water, but it is Christ that baptizes you in the Holy Ghost. You need these two operations. The reason is that GOD’S INTENTION is to fill man, to be in man, completely filling his whole being. Hebrews tells us that God wants to walk in us, to talk in us, to be our God, and for us to be His people. This cannot be done by accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour and remaining there. If you are really born again, then you must seek life, you must go on. You must be baptized in the Holy Ghost. Paul clearly stated this. Go over it and go to God and ask Him, “Is this what I need?” God will tell you.
Baptism is a definite work of grace, depicted by the second piece of furniture, the brasen laver, in the Tabernacle. You must be baptized in water and then Jesus Christ will put His seal upon you by baptizing you in the Holy Ghost and fire. The question some will ask is, “What is the manifestation? How do I know I am baptized in the Holy Ghost?” The question I would ask is, “How do you know you are saved?”
You know that you are saved because a newness of life came into you. The things that you used to do, you just cannot do them any more. The way you used to think, you do not think that way any more. Your behavior has been changed. It can be pretty radical. Like me, the change was so radical, people had to notice it. In the baptism of the Holy Ghost, there is also a radical circumstance that occurs. What happens in the spiritual is that the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, enters into your spirit and begins to overshadow your soul. There is no mistaking it. When He comes into your spirit, He begins to use your mouth. You speak the Word of God or receive prophecy or speak in another language, but there must be a manifestation that the Holy Ghost has taken over. You are no longer your own.
Of course, you are going to tell me about all the people who say they have received the Holy Ghost and misbehave. I have seen people speak in tongues and speak other languages who are not baptized in the Holy Ghost. A person can speak in tongues from the following three sources: God, a mental effort, or an evil spirit. I do not want to go into the details of this subject here, but those who want to hear more may write for tapes on the subject. The truth is that there are manifestations that must come at some time and there must be some utterance.
In Acts 2, these brethren were fasting and praying for ten days, so their hearts and minds were tuned to God. Verses 1-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Here is a manifestation (“cloven tongues”) we do not see now, when people are baptized in the Holy Ghost. It did happen at Azusa Street some 90 years ago.
THE THREE TEMPLES APPROVED BY GOD
This manifestation happened at Pentecost because every time God anointed the temple, He brought FIRE FROM HEAVEN upon the altar and the fire remained there, until the use of that temple was over. That fire was of God and no man could light a fire in the temple by himself. God does not want strange fire. People say that they have the Holy Ghost but manifest strange manifestations. This is strange fire. They are walking in death.
Aaron the priest had two sons named Nadab and Abihu. These boys decided to take fire from their own home and take it into the temple. When they lighted the fire, they were slain by fire. It is a symbol for all times for all people. God does not accept strange fire in His temple. Anyone making strange manifestations, carrying on in God’s house and in God’s business, is playing with death. The result of it, the end of it, must be death according to God’s Word.
God called down fire in the time of Moses and lighted the altar. See Leviticus 9:24. That fire remained all the days of the Tabernacle, some 490 years. When Solomon dedicated the temple, fire came down again and lighted the altar. See 2 Chronicles 7:1. This is God’s way! When Pentecost was fully come, fire came down from heaven upon their heads, a symbol of God’s approval upon the third temple, which is THE LAST TEMPLE. No more shall a temple be built in Jerusalem that is of God. This third temple is THE BODY, the temple of the living God, the new Jerusalem, the people of God. Every person is a temple and many temples are coming together to make a city of temples. God calls this city Jerusalem, THE NEW JERUSALEM. This is what God is doing in our time and in our day.
BAPTISM INTO CHRIST
The next baptism is in 1 Corinthians 12:13a. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” This is the final baptism. Baptism in water is the beginning of baptism which finally ends in baptism INTO CHRIST. Christ, therefore, is a place in the Spirit, a Body, a mystic Body, into which we are incorporated by the power of God and the movement of the Holy Spirit. We cannot be baptized into Christ by man but by the Holy Ghost. Man baptizes you in water. Jesus Christ baptizes you into the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost baptizes you into Christ. In Christ is our final destination. That is the destination of every child of God. When CHRIST IS IN YOU, wherever you go, Christ has to go. If you go someplace Christ does not like, Christ will still have to be there in you, because you are carrying Him. When YOU ARE IN CHRIST, you go where Christ wants you to go. When the bull is eaten by the high priest, the bull has no say. He does not tell the priest where to go.
SANCTIFICATION is the work of the Holy Ghost. This work never ceases until we come into perfection to be like Jesus Christ. Sanctus spiritus means the holy spirit. SANCTIFICATION means bringing us into the Holy Spirit. This is the work in the outer court, done by the second work of grace, as the second seal is broken. There are three parts to this whole work – baptism, sanctification, and consecration. CONSECRATION is the putting aside, for the purpose of God, that which has been sanctified and cleansed for God and God alone. We are not to be used by the world. Many Christians allow themselves to be used by the world.
In the story of Samson, he transgressed and transgressed again until he broke the covenant. His hair was the symbol of covenant, the handwriting of God upon him. Just like our baptism is the handwriting of God upon us, so was the hair upon Samson. When his hair was cut off, the covenant was broken between him and God and he was made to grind corn like an ox. The Philistines blinded him and made him grind corn for them. The man of God was the means by which all their lusts were being fed. This is what God is saying about transgression. Too many of us do not understand that we were bought with a price and are to be set aside for God’s use and God’s use alone. We are not to be drudged; we are to be put aside specifically for the work of God in all things. This is what is meant by consecration.
“And…when the Lamb opened one of the seals…I heard, as it were the noise of thunder…” There were thunderings that came out when the seal was opened. “THUNDER” IS THE WORD OF GOD GOING FORTH. When the seal is broken, the Word of God is loosed and the messengers carry it forth. While the red horse is riding and men are warring (for war is in the heart of men), God is bringing peace in the heart of His people. We see the two things working, war in the world and among the sinners, and peace among God’s people.
Revelation 6:5, “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.”
HORSES MEAN VERY STRONG SPIRITS. They are given the power to ride to and fro through the earth. We have already read part of Zechariah 6. Let us look at verses 3-6, “And in the third chariot white horses, and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my Lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.” Note also Zechariah 1:8-10.
BASIC TRUTHS IN UNDERSTANDING GOD’S WORD ETYMOLOGICAL AND EXEGETICAL CHANGES
It is very important for us to understand what we are reading. God’s Word has one basic meaning. Then it has depth, height, and length. Sometimes you read the Word on the surface, then someone speaks the same Word with deeper meaning. The dimensions of God’s Word should be taken into consideration.
The Word of God can be changed through interpretation. The true Word of God comes to you but someone interprets it incorrectly and you believe this interpretation and are thrown off. When God spoke the Word, He had some specific intention, some proper meaning of the Word. If you take the Word out of context or just give the Word in certain ways (some preachers do this), you can disfigure the Word of God. It is not the Word of God anymore.
The Word of God can be changed through ETYMOLOGY. God said, “You must be servants.” The word “servant” was translated “minister” in the Bible, bringing with it the thought of a high man of leadership, a minister. The word was changed. God intended the word to mean “servant.” There was an etymological change.
Then we have change through EXEGESIS. Sometimes the Word of God is misinterpreted, disfiguring it. If the setting and the context is not applied correctly, the Word is disfigured. We can only approach the Word of God through THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The Spirit of God gives us the right balance, the right explanation, and the right context in which to apply the Word to our present-day situation.
“THE BLACK HORSES”
Zechariah 6:6, “The black horses…go forth into the north country.” “The black horses” must mean darkness. Black is opposite of white in Scripture. WHITE means pure, clean, righteous. BLACK means the opposite – unclean, sinful, darkness, Satanism, and everything else that pertains to the dark side. The language is not casting any slurs, it is just language we are dealing with. “Black” here means darkness, ignorance, sinfulness, humanism. These horses went to “the north country.” Basically, we would say “the north country” means Russia, and the whole of that region. The Bible was written so many hundreds and thousands of years before these things began to happen. The darkness went into Russia under the name of communism. Under this name, terrible murders, oppression, and terrible distress came upon those people. Zechariah 6:6b, “And the white go forth after them.” The white horse followed them into the north country, and eventually some light opened. Right now, Bibles and everything else is going into Russia which could not have gone in before, but darkness went first, then light came after.
The peculiar thing about this situation is that Bibles were first taken away from the people of Russia, not by the Communists but by the church. It was the church that said the laymen cannot understand the Bible, therefore, they should not have it. The Bible was first taken away by the church. When communism came in, the church followed the same policy. The Bible is a threat to all who do not love God but the beauty of it all is that God will have the final victory. Right now, there is a certain amount of freedom in Russia. It is possible that the country might close down again, but some of our missionaries are going into Russia with Bibles and with various Words of God and the light is shining upon those people at this present time.
In Revelation 6:5, the man who sat on the black horse “had a pair of balances in his hand.” God is measuring humanity and weighing them in the balance. But in this case, with these “black horses” and this darkness, the measuring must not be good. It is a bad balancing, a travesty of justice. “Balances” represent justice. It is coming to a point where, in the darkness, there is no justice. Concerning Russia, we can look in hindsight and see that the justice was warped, it was not good.
Verse 6, “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
In the book of Judges, a man in the army of the enemy had a dream, and Gideon heard him relating the dream the night he spied out the enemy’s camp. The dream was that a barley cake rolled down into their camp and destroyed their camp. This barley cake meant Gideon himself. “Wheat” and “barley” refers to humanity.
“A voice in the midst” was the soul of perfected man. This voice was coming from heaven. He said that they should watch over them. He gave them the following warning: they can sell their “wheat for a penny” and they can sell their “barley for a penny,” but they were to make sure that they “hurt not the oil and the wine.” “The oil” is the Spirit of God and “the wine” is the blood of Jesus Christ. If the oil and the wine were hurt, judgment would come down from heaven. This is exactly what is happening or has been happening.
These seals have been opened already and we see the progression of these different things. Jesus Christ came forth. We do not have the fullness of salvation or else we would not pray, “Lord, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The white horse came and the white horse is riding, and wars started and wars continue on, and peace is taken from the earth. We do not see the fullness yet. It is going to get worse before it gets better. “The black horses” are riding – darkness, ignorance, rejection of God has not yet come to its fullness.
THE MYSTERY OF THE UNION WITH CHRIST
Wherever “the black horses” ride and darkness takes a hold of the land and the people, THE PEOPLE OF GOD are always brought together in a closer union. The third stage in the Tabernacle, the third seal, is when THE PEOPLE OF GOD BECOME UNITED. Jesus prayed in John 17:21, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” In the countries, mostly in the East, where the people have been greatly persecuted, where darkness covers the land and the government and everything, where persecution is strong against the Christians, the Christians are more one than we in the West. This is the plan of God, to bring His people together into one.
We call this a UNION WITH CHRIST or the candlestick operation, wherein the oil is poured into the candlestick (lampstand) and then it is distributed through all the lamps. The seven lamps are on the same level and they all get the same amount of oil. This candlestick is made of pure gold, which is a type of the nature of Christ. The bowls of the candlestick were “made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower” the stages of fruit bearing. The whole candlestick is covered over by this symbolic artistry. “All it shall be one beaten work of pure gold,” Exodus 25:36b. The people of God must know that it is fruit-bearing when we abide in the vine.
In John 15, Jesus tells us that unless we abide in the vine, we will be cast out as a branch that has no life. God is speaking to the church to remain in Him, to be attached to Him, and to draw life from Him. This is the message of the candlestick, union with Christ. Christ must have a people, through whom He works, in total obedience to Him. When He moves to the right or to the left, the heavenly hosts move. The people on the earth learn to move with the heavenly hosts. This brings a oneness. If there is disobedience, then we cannot receive from God the power and the deliverance we need, because we are not moving with the heavenly hosts and with the angels of God. When God speaks a Word to His people to do anything, it means He has angels who are ready to be with them, for we are not alone. If we disobey in any way, we throw the whole business out of kilter, because God wants us to work with His angels. The work that we cannot do, they will do.
Revelation 6:7 and 8, “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
This horse was “PALE” and a pale horse is death. Death was riding. Can you imagine that death will be riding to and fro through the earth? We have seen this and it is getting worse. “Hell followed.” Death strikes them down and hell swallows them up. We are talking about the death of many sinners. Sinner’s blood will be shed.
You wonder why Satan would kill his own people. If he kept them alive, he would have strength. He has no power unless he gets it from the human realm. Satan has to kill people in order to get their blood. This is another subject entirely and if you do not understand what I am saying, it is possible that sometime you could write for the information. We cannot go too far with this or it will change the whole message. The idea is that Satan must kill. Blood must be shed for Satan’s kingdom to go on. It is like how we kill cattle to get the strength to carry on our lives; we eat meat. Satan lives on humanity.
In Genesis 3:14 God cursed Satan. “Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” In verse l9 of the same chapter, God said to Adam, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Man became DEVIL’S FOOD. It is terrible, but it is great. If you could control the food of your enemy, then you would be assured of victory. All you would have to do is starve him out. If Satan can tempt us and we yield, he takes our energy, he takes our life. If we rise up IN CHRIST, he gets less and less from us. Then he has to depend on the people of the world for his food. You can see what is happening. Eventually, we will overthrow him, because we will cast him entirely out of our lives and out of our business.
THE OPENING OF THE FOURTH SEAL
Revelation 6:8, “And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth.” This means that the ride of the pale horse was the angel of death as also his assistant who followed and that between them they will kill a “fourth part” of humanity “with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” These will be joining with the red horse of war who has the power and the authority to kill with a great sword. Many years ago I was visiting the planitarium in New York City. They had as an exhibit outside in the hall a polaris missile lying against a wall. I did not know what it was but as I walked by it it seemed that the angel of death overshadowed me. When I enquired, I discovered that the thing was an instrument of death. The death angel mentioned in this chapter is going to kill “with the beasts of the earth.” What do we mean by this? There are men who God referred to as “beasts.” Why?
Let us go to the makeup of a man. A man is spirit over soul over body. The Christian has the Spirit of God over his spirit over his soul over his body. If a man has destroyed the power of his spirit (his own spirit) to minister to his soul life, which in turn ministers to the body, then that MAN BECOMES A BEAST. He can be categorized as a beast, because he has no spirit drawing him back to God. He has crossed the line where he puts up a permanent barrier between the spirit and the soul, and an evil spirit ministers to him.
There was the case of Saul. An evil spirit would take hold of him and he was no longer himself. At that time, he wanted to kill David. Men come against Christianity, against Christ, against His kingdom, and against His people. They are not always beasts, but are becoming beasts. Man, in Christ, is becoming like Jesus Christ, like the angels. Man, in Satan, is becoming like Satan. Humanity is going in TWO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. One side of humanity, who receives Jesus, is going towards being like Christ. The others are going to be like Satan. That is, entirely without God and without hope. This is an end result.
They will “kill with sword and with hunger.” In Mogadeshu, the capital city of Somalia, people were dying of hunger because the warlords refused to stop fighting and allow them to get food and plant their fields. MAN-MADE HUNGER will come in certain areas. Fighting is in different places. They will “kill…with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” They will be going to hell.
The opening of the fourth seal brought death and hell to the earth. This will continue to go on. As a counterpart to this, God brings life and peace in this seal. This seal is depicted in the Tabernacle by the table of shewbread, feeding on Christ. Man entered into that place where he BEGAN TO FEED on the living Christ.
John 6:38 and 39, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Verse 40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Verse 44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Verse 53, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
FEEDING ON CHRIST
Verses 54-56, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” Jesus went on to explain that He is the bread which came down from heaven and this is the manna that you must eat. Now some of His disciples misunderstood Him completely and left Him immediately, because they said that He was teaching them cannibalism! God is always teaching us SPIRITUAL THINGS and not carnal things; if He takes carnal things to give us natural understanding, then it means that that understanding must be translated in spiritual terms.
Jesus is saying that we should eat His flesh and drink His blood. Feeding on Christ is the fourth stage in the Tabernacle or in the gospel, and it is the fourth seal. When we learn how to feed on Christ we begin to understand the fourth seal. That seal is open and that trumpet is blowing. To understand this, we must first understand the three dimensions in which we feed on Christ.
1. Christ in the church
2. Christ within, and
3. Christ in Jesus among us.
First, we feed on Christ from the Word. The Christ WITHOUT comes to us through the Word. We are told that the Word is life. John 1:1 and 2, “In the beginning was the Word (the Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” We are talking about God being with God. That is, the person we knew as the Word, manifesting in a man, Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is God. Verse 3, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” We find out here that the Word is a creative being, a creative person, this Word of God that we are dealing with. God translates Himself into Word form and issues forth this form to us and we capture it by faith. Verses 4 and 5, “In Him was life.” We spoke of the Word and now we say, “Him.” “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).”
We read the Word from the pages of the book and lift it off the pages by our consciousness of who God is and we receive the Word by faith. Believing the Word brings life to us. It is not that life is in the book and when we shut the book we shut up God in the book. The Word is life and the Word is hovering around us waiting for us to accept it. When we do, it becomes Christ, a person, a being, inside of us. Christ without is manifested to us through hearing and reading the Word.
Another person can manifest Christ to us. Christ is in us, therefore, He is in other people also. Being in other people, He manifests to us and we must have Christ in us to be able to receive Christ from someone else. Sometimes you do not have Christ IN you but you can receive Christ, because Christ is WITH you. There are two manifestations. In John 14:17c, Jesus, speaking about the Holy Spirit says, “for he dwelleth WITH you, and shall be IN you.” There is a Christ with us and a Christ in us. The Christ in me will recognize the Christ in another person. This is why criticizing people destroys you as well as the other person. Criticizing means that you are not looking at Christ in the other person.
Some people do not have Christ in them and when they speak you must be able to discern that it is not Christ speaking. The Christ in you will respond to the Christ in others. When a message is delivered, the Christ in the speaker will touch the Christ in you and it will bring a quickening in you and you will believe that the Word is true. The truth of God has to be believed by those who want God and by those who reach out towards God.
SCRIPTURE BECOMING NON-SCRIPTURE
There is a problem however. Sometimes in churches, because the churches are in a fallen condition, some of the things said and done are motivated by other things and other beings beside Christ Himself. Sometimes you are asked to do something, or preached to about something, and IT IS NOT GOD AT ALL. It is man putting words together and making it into something that is not there. Scriptures can be taken and put together and they BECOME NON-SCRIPTURE.
For instance, you ask the question, “Is Christ God?” The answer is, “Yes, Jesus Christ is God.” “Is Jesus Christ the son of Mary?” The answer is, “Yes, Jesus Christ is the son of Mary.” The wrong conclusion men come to then is that Mary is the mother of God. Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Christ is God. Mary never birthed Christ. She birthed Jesus and God put Christ in Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:19a tells us the truth. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.”
Hundreds of scriptures could be used to disfigure the truth. The truth can be disfigured by homiletics, so we need to know what homiletics is, the power that it has, and where it has a weakness. Without the Holy Ghost teaching us and leading us, homiletics is nothing but man. It is possible to put the Word of God together in such a way as to cause it to be disfigured.
Here is an example. 1 Timothy 3:1 (KJV), “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” This translation is wrong. The Greek does not say this. The translators put in the words, “the office.” There is no such insinuation in the Greek that there is an “office” called “bishop.” The Greek says, “If a man desires overseership, then he desires a good work.” The King James rendition put an “office,” “a bishop,” disfiguring the whole idea of God and saying that we should rule one over one another. The church should NOT have a headquarters and an overseer and a lord over it. THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD. Because many churches have taught this doctrine for so long, I want to give you the Word and you decide if what I am saying is correct.
We are talking about FEEDING ON CHRIST. You can go to the dining table with the intent of feeding on Christ and instead you feed on something else. This is what has been happening and this is the reason why the church has come down to such a desperate condition.
In Matthew 20:24 we read, “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.” The context is that two brethren wanted a position. One wanted to be at the right hand of God and the other one wanted to be at the left hand. Their mother had come to put in her request that they be the vice-president and the secretary of state, believing that it was an earthly kingdom that Jesus was attaining to.
Verses 25 and 26, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.” The King James Version wrongly says here, “let him be your minister.” This is not what Jesus said. He said “let him be your servant,” not the boss, but the servant. Jesus went on to say, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant,” (verse 27). The original text says, “let him be your slave.” When Jesus said “slave,” He did not mean servant. When He said “servant,” He did not mean minister. The Word has been changed (etymology) to such a degree that people do not know what it says.
ISAIAH’S HORRIBLE PICTURE
WE MUST FEED ON CHRIST. Hebrews 10:25a, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” “Ourselves” is the chief word here. You can assemble with the wrong people. If you assemble with the wrong people, you do not feed on Christ, you feed on something else. Isaiah says the people are FEEDING ON “VOMIT.” Isaiah 28:7 and 8, “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.”
The Lord was saying that the people who fed the people of God were using their own ideas of the Word. Truth is not necessarily what I think about the truth. In other words, what I think about the truth is not necessarily the truth. The truth is Christ Jesus. God has priests, prophets, and ministers to tell the people what He says, and not what they think He says. God called it “vomit” and it is a horrible thing to think of going to the dining table and eating vomit. Forgive me if I have turned your stomach, but it is a terrible thing, and we need to consider it in the most serious light that God shows us. The food today from the seminaries and the churches is filled with error and man’s ideas. I hear many preachers say that THE WORD is literal. The Word of God is not literal. THE WORD IS SPIRITUAL. If you take the Word literally, you are just as wrong as someone who does not believe the Word at all.
JESUS CHRIST: THE LIVING SUBSTANCE
In John 6, Jesus came right out and told the Jews that they should eat Him and drink His blood. Some people believe that, because Jesus said this, they have the license to pray over the wine and say that it becomes the blood of Jesus Christ. They also believe that when they pray over the bread it becomes meat. Thus they disfigure the Word of God. Jesus did not tell us to eat meat. He said that they should eat Him, and there is only ONE WAY you can eat Christ and that is to eat Him spiritually.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites had natural bread and natural meat. They had a lamb. The lamb was not turned into Christ but they ate it, by faith, believing that Jesus Christ would come one day. NOW HE HAS COME, we no longer eat the lamb for that purpose, but we begin to see Christ Jesus as a LIVING SUBSTANCE within that gives us strength and makes us grow in the Spirit. We are NOT looking for a transubstantiation. We are NOT looking to turn the wine into blood. We do not want to drink blood. We want to DRINK CHRIST and the only way we can drink Him is in the Spirit.
Eating the flesh of Jesus Christ would not make you holy. Man is sinful from his HEART and he needs something in his heart to destroy the power of sin. Man does not need wine and bread to destroy the power of sin. The doctrine of transubstantiation destroys the communion, a beautiful thing that God set within our midst. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” We cannot break bread with someone we hate. Therefore communion brings a unity among the people of God as well as a unity with Christ. It is not eating the bread and drinking the wine that makes us holy. The Holy Ghost MAKES US HOLY.
Christ comes into a person in one way – when a person accepts Jesus Christ as His Saviour. He was a dead soul and God brought the blood of Jesus Christ into him. A part of God entered into his soul and immediately it quickened the soul and the soul became a living being. Adam was formed “a living soul.” When God made him, He breathed His breath into him and Adam “became a living soul.” See Genesis 2:7. When God breathed into my soul, my soul came alive. Being alive, I wanted living food. I could not feed any longer on the dead things that I used to eat, spiritually speaking. The soul cries out to God, “Give me more that I might be filled.” God sends the Holy Ghost.
There is a time in the life of every believer who receives the Holy Ghost, that he knows it. When He comes in, you know it. He makes a noise, He moves up and down. God said that He wants to walk in us and talk in us, and THEN we would be His children and He would be our God. There is a walking and a talking. I think He moves things around. When I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, it was something that came into me. Christ came in and there was a quickening, a newness, prophecy, understanding; something new happened. If you have never had this, you do not have the Holy Ghost. Some people speak in tongues and they do not have the Holy Ghost. It is possible to speak in tongues from your mental effort (a psychological thing), from the devil (which I have seen), or from Christ. We need to feed on Christ and there is a Christ within.
When Christ comes into the believer, He does not come in until the second work of grace is done. He comes in and that pushes you into the holy place. See 1 Corinthians 12:13. When Christ comes in, He is in your spirit and not in your soul. Your SOUL is not filled with the power of Christ, or else you would not act normally or naturally. YOUR SPIRIT IS FILLED. He comes in and He fills your spirit and this spills over into the soul. The Spirit WORKS in the soul. Proverbs 20:27, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly, (which means the soul).” The spirit of man is God’s candle that searches the soul. When God fills the spirit of man with His Spirit, then there is a powerful work in the soul, and generally the believer prophesies or speaks utterances that he really does not know anything about. God speaks through him.
THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF GOD
Before this happens, every believer has a little voice inside him, the still small voice of God. The more you pay attention to it, the more you believe it, the more you move according to it, the bigger and the stronger it grows. When you disobey, when you do not pay attention to it, it grows weaker and weaker. I notice that where there is a pastor and counselors, the voice of God is stifled in the believer. I am here to encourage the voice of God in the believer. When you hear the voice of God within you and you are not sure what it is, you say, “Well, Lord God, because I hear this voice within me and I believe with all my heart it is You, therefore I will go forward.” John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” This verse tells you that if you sincerely from your heart desire to know God’s will, He is not going to leave you in the dark. He will not allow the enemy to lie to you and for you to act, believing you are acting in God, when you are really acting in another spirit. It is the people who do not really believe God, who do not really want God, who deceive themselves that they want God who go forward and do wrong in the name of God. No one can do wrong in the name of God and God not correct you, if you are genuine in your heart and believe what you are doing.
Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” When you hunger and thirst for God and for righteousness, you throw the ball back into God’s court. The responsibility and the onus is upon God to give YOU TRUTH. Listening to the voice within is a very important part of every believer’s life. Unless it is encouraged, it will grow weaker and weaker until you do not hear Him at all. You just go running around asking everybody to tell you what God says. The more we keep our hearts and minds clean before God, the easier it will be for us to hear God.
The case of Elijah is in 1 Kings l9:11-13. “And he said, Go, forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”
Elijah knew God. The earthquake was frightening. The wind was frightening. The fire was mysterious and filled with everything that was spiritual and wonderful, but he knew God. His heart was not satisfied until he heard the still small voice of God. There is a voice within. We must pay attention because the voice is speaking in the temple. If the temple is not clean and ready, it will not hear the voice of God.
THE VOICE OF GOD WITHOUT
We also have the voice without. GOD HAS A VOICE. I do not know if many people know that. I heard a preacher say that God cannot speak, that He has spoken already and He is finished speaking. He said that these last 2,000 years God has not spoken anything. I feel sorry for that preacher. I do not know where he would get a message to tell me if there is no one giving him a message. That means that he is making up the message himself. I say, brethren, that God has a voice. I have heard the voice of God many times. It is not His usual way but sometimes He speaks. Remember the boy Samuel? He never knew God. He did not know God’s voice. He was in bed and he heard “Samuel, Samuel,” and he ran to Eli. Eli sent him back to bed. After this happened a few times, Eli said, “If he call thee (again), that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” He knew that it was God speaking to Samuel. (1 Samuel 3:9)
In Matthew 28:19 and 20 we read the words of Jesus as He was leaving. The last thing He said to the brethren was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am WITH YOU alway, even unto the end of the world.” He said, “I am with you.” Christ is with us, not just in us. Christ is in the Body, speaking through prophecies, words of encouragement, and preaching. Jesus Christ is right in our midst, when we sit down together. In Matthew 18:19 and 20, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I IN THE MIDST OF THEM.”
It is necessary for us to learn to feed on Christ in all three dimensions. Then we will begin to grow strong in the Lord. Feeding on Christ is the fourth seal. When the fourth seal begins to break forth, some other things are going to happen in the world. This seal is already broken and is available to us to walk in the truth.
THE FIFTH SEAL
Revelation 6:9, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the SOULS of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.”
“The fifth seal” was the fifth stage or the fifth station in the Tabernacle, where the offering was made for the soul. At the fifth seal, Paul would be there. At the fifth seal, the souls of the apostles and the different brethren who have gone on before would be saying, “How long?”
Verse 10, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
They were asking the question, “How long” is it going to be? And He said, “white robes were given unto every one of them.” That means that they had received THEIR BODIES. They had received their spiritual bodies. “WHITE ROBES,” a covering, means righteousness, holiness, TOTAL COVERING OF GOD. They had received their “white robes.”
Verse 11b, “…and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a LITTLE SEASON, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
This is a very, very deep saying. Thank God for the understanding which He has given to us pertaining to this particular Word. There are some brethren who are designated by God to be slain. Revelation 11:7 tells us about it. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” A group of people will be killed as the martyrs under the altar were. These are the greatest batch of God’s people. They are called The Elect. They shall have gained the fullness of Christ and immortality, just as Jesus Christ did. They are the firstfruits.
Jesus said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I LAY DOWN MY LIFE, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…” John 10:17 and 18. A set of people will come to that same place. They are called the two witnesses, and we will discuss them in full when we get to Chapter 11. Let me just say here that these two witnesses will be dead for three and a half days, and then they will RESURRECT. Jesus Christ resurrected on the third day. These people will resurrect on the fourth day. They shall be resurrected, stand on their feet, and the judgment will begin. We are going to read all about this judgment and the pouring out of the vials in further chapters.
Verse 11c, “their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” It is ORDAINED OF GOD that these people “should be killed.” This Word must be fulfilled to finish up the whole cycle of God’s operation. The Revelation is the end or the fulfillment of the things which God has been doing. Therefore, a lot of things that are happening in The Revelation are things that you have seen happening on a smaller scale, coming to their fullness. Now we will speak about the killing of the saints and the RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS. The killing of the saints will specifically be ordained of God because He wants them to be resurrected. When Jesus Christ resurrected, He did not show Himself to anybody but the brethren. These people, when they are resurrected, will show themselves to the world. I want you to get this one point before we go on to the sixth seal.
Jesus learned that Lazarus was sick and He deliberately waited until Lazarus died. Jesus raised him on the fourth day. It was a fourth day resurrection. John 11:4 records, “When Jesus heard that (Lazarus was sick), He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Jesus had to manifest the very thing that we are looking at now, the resurrection of the sons of God after three days. This is why Lazarus was not raised until the fourth day. We find this fact in John 11:39. “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead FOUR days.” (We will take up this point more comprehensively when we go further into The Revelation.)
THE SIXTH MYSTERY
Let us go to the sixth seal. The sixth mystery is the overshadowing, when God covers His people as never before. They will be totally covered, so that nothing will harm them or even touch them.
Revelation 6:12-14, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the STARS OF HEAVEN FELL unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL when it is rolled together; and EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED out of their places.”
We are looking at spiritual language here. We must decide whether there are natural catastrophes or whether these are spiritual expressions having other meanings. The way to do this is to look at other scriptures with similar references and see if we can find some key. All the scriptures have keys in them which lead us to right teachings.
KEYS TO SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE
The first scripture we will look at is in Matthew 24:29 and 30. “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: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This scripture tells us the time when these things will happen – “immediately after the tribulation.” As the tribulation is ended, we see “the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.”
The next scripture we will take is in Isaiah 34. Isaiah seems to be the prophetic utterance, and Revelation is confirming that it will take place in the last days. Verses 1-6, “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he had utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the MOUNTAINS SHALL BE MELTED with their blood. And all the host of HEAVEN SHALL BE DISSOLVED, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all THEIR HOST SHALL FALL DOWN, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.” Here we have a prophecy SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE CHRIST. We are talking about a Word that is 2,700 years old. This prophecy is for the end of time. Is this speaking about a natural event or a spiritual event?
Let us check other places in Scripture to see when the “heavens and the earth” shall be dissolved. Let us decide what kind of language this is. Of course, we know it is parabolic language or prophetic language, and it needs to be interpreted. Peter spoke something about this. We have the time when it is going to occur. Matthew 24:29 records Jesus saying it will occur “IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days.”
There is a three and a half year period when the sons of God will be filled with the fullness of Christ and they will minister through the whole earth preaching the gospel. Then will come the time when Jesus Christ will descend physically. He will have already come down in His fullness in the saints at the beginning of the three and a half years.
The time we are looking at, “those days,” is at the end of this three and a half years. You are wondering about the three and a half years, but do not worry. When we get to Revelation 11, we will explain in full with the scriptures to back it up.
THE EARTH ABIDES FOREVER
2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; 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.” Are these scriptures saying that the natural earth is going to be burned up and destroyed, that this moon is going to be darkened, that the sun is going to be darkened, and that the natural stars are going to fall upon the earth and burn the earth to cinders? We must ask these questions and we must get our answers from the Bible. The Bible cannot contradict itself. If the applications are not in the natural, then they have to be applied in the spiritual. This is the method that we use to study the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 1:4, “One generation passes away, and another generation cometh: but the EARTH ABIDETH FOREVER.” We should find three or four scriptures saying the same thing, then we would understand that the emphasis is truly there. Psalm 104:5, “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that IT SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED FOR EVER.” This Word agrees with Ecclesiastes. One more scripture is Psalm ll9:90. “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the EARTH, and it ABIDETH.” That means that the earth abides forever. These scriptures tell us that the earth will not be destroyed. “THE EARTH ABIDETH FOREVER.”
NATURAL OR SPIRITUAL EARTHQUAKES?
Let us go back to Revelation and we will be able to put the Word in proper perspective. Revelation 6:12-14, “…there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll…” This seems to me that what was said in Isaiah is being fulfilled here. We must concede that in some scriptures that refer to earthquakes, it might well be natural earthquakes, but this specific earthquake, it would seem from reading Isaiah, is the EARTH MAN that WILL BE CONVULSING.
There will be great political upheavals, convulsions of nations against nations, as we read in Matthew 24:7. “For NATION shall rise AGAINST NATION, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and EARTHQUAKES, in divers places.”
When these two verses are put together, they are saying that there are going to be convulsions in the human realm and at the same time there are going to be natural earthquakes, natural pestilences, and natural famines. “Earthquakes,” here, are not just referring to the natural earth quaking, but are specifically referring to the convulsions in the human dimension where “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Isaiah says we will be given over to the sword and describes in graphic terms the war that will be there. Revelation 6:12, “the sun became black as sackcloth of hair” definitely refers to Jesus Christ, the Son, the light of the world, being blotted out for a period.
Notice what is going to happen in this period of time. “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs…” If natural stars are going to fall on the earth, the passage would have to stop here. If natural stars fall on the earth, the earth would be consumed and there would be nothing left. Because the Word cannot be applied to natural stars, then we look at the Word spiritually.
What do we mean by “stars”? It is well established in Scripture that “stars” mean sons of God. Jesus Christ was described as “the bright and morning star” in Revelation 22:16, and the children of Jesus, the sons of Jesus, would be likewise called “stars.” In Genesis 37:10, Joseph had a dream and he told his father. His father interpreted the dream to mean that the eleven stars that Joseph saw were his eleven brothers and, he Joseph, was the twelfth. The sun was he, Jacob, and he was representing Christ. The moon represented Joseph’s mother. The mother represented the church. The MOON is always described as the CHURCH. We have the interpretation of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
It says in Revelation that “the stars of heaven fell” meaning that the sons of God will fall. There are two types of falling stars in the Scripture. One falling is when the stars, the sons of God fall by being torn down by sin, and the other falling is when God will give up the sons of God to die, in order that they resurrect and bring forth deliverance to the earth. We are determined not to give you anything unless we have the Scripture references. We will take a little piece from Revelation 12:4. “And his tail drew the third part of the STARS of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” We are not talking about the devil taking his tail and knocking down stars out of the sky. Revelation 12:4 is talking about the stars, the sons of God, who will fall through Satan’s actions. This is an entirely different falling of the sons of God from that which we will now show you in Revelation 11.
Revelation 11:7, “And when they shall have finished their testimony, THE BEAST that ascended out of the bottomless pit SHALL MAKE WAR AGAINST THEM, and shall OVERCOME THEM, AND KILL THEM.” The sons of God are to be killed. I have now told you for the third time. As we go on into Revelation, we will see more details of the matter. You will be able to concede that this really is the Word of the Lord and it is true.
FOLLOWING THE LAMB WHEREVER HE GOES
Revelation 6:14a, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.” “The heaven” is the heavenlies in which we dwell right now. God is going to allow this place where the sons of God dwell to be destroyed, in order to change their whole position. The sons will be going up into a higher realm. God gave us a sign. When Jesus Christ died, the natural sun went dark, and the moon and the stars went dark. God gave us that as a sign of what will happen in the end of time when the sons of God are slain. These, who are under the altar and must be slain, will be slain in order to bring forth everlasting righteousness and deliverance on the earth.
You ask how and when and why. I will tell you. His sons are going to follow the Lamb withersoever He goes. Where did He go? He was a natural carpenter, who took care of His family. Then He could do no more natural work. He had to be involved for three and a half years of ministry. After three and a half years of ministry, He was slain, He resurrected, and for forty days He lived on the earth walking and talking, eating, drinking, and contacting people.
We are going to see, then, that the church must also walk through these three realms. It is not the whole church, though. The Scriptures will gradually bring us into the understanding of the fullness of what God is saying. The reason why it is so important at this time is because we are in the time when this is about to take place. If we are in the time when this is to take place, then we should be very much interested and involved. Some of us will be perfected by this move of God. Christ will come down in His fullness into His temple, His people, like Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:17 records His baptism, when the fullness of God came down on Him, and the dove was seen coming down from heaven and the voice of God spoke, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that time, He was anointed by the power of the Holy Ghost and driven into the wilderness to meet the devil face to face. He met the devil and his temptations and He overcame him, and He earned the right to preach the gospel to the people. He preached for three and a half years, then was slain.
Before He was slain He said, “No man taketh it (His life) from me, but I lay it down of myself,” John 10:18a. Later He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34. The sons of God will walk the same road. In Revelation 14, it shows that they stood on mount Zion with the Lamb. That means it is a LAMB COMPANY that God is ordaining and this Lamb Company is the same company of people who will become the Lion. Just as Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain and the Lion of Juda, so the people of God will have to stand in the earth and deliver their fellow brethren from the works of Satan and from the plans of the enemy.
MOUNTAINS AND ISLANDS
Revelation 6:14b, “and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” is not referring to natural mountains and islands.
“Every mountain” means every GREAT ORGANIZATION and the “island” represents the ONE-MAN ORGANIZATIONS that God says will be removed out of the way. Then the time of His judgment comes. At this time of His judgment, He said, verse 15, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the MOUNTAINS.”
These are physical mountains and men were trying to hide themselves. The mountains in verse 14 were gone.
Let us look for this idea in other places in Scripture. The great men and the governments of the world at this time have built themselves hiding places, shelters from atomic attacks deep into the mountains. The natural connotation of this Word is already done. We want to show you other scriptures about natural mountains and spiritual mountains.
Psalm 46:3, “Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof” speaks of natural mountains shaking; things that would make men afraid.
Daniel 2:35, “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and THE STONE that smote the image BECAME A GREAT MOUNTAIN, and filled the whole earth.” This “mountain” describes the victorious overcomers, sons of God, who will fill the whole earth with the glory of God after evil is destroyed and the kingdoms of this world are destroyed.
Zechariah 8:3, “Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and JERUSALEM SHALL BE CALLED a city of truth; and THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD OF HOSTS the holy mountain.”
Revelation 6:15, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.” Verse 16, “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the THRONE, and from the wrath of the lamb.” Verse 17, “For the great day of His WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
THE WRATH AND THE THRONE OF GOD
In Revelation chapters 4 and 5, we saw a scene of the throne of God, and around the throne were beasts, the twenty-four elders, lightnings and thunderings. The Holy Ghost was filling the soul of man, THE THRONE. The wrath of God will be coming out of the throne of God. These people who have been perfected by Christ have become the judgment of those who are still in the world and in sinfulness and in wickedness. Wickedness is going to be judged, first of all!
THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH
The day of His wrath is also called the day of the Lord. Joel 2:1 and 2, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of DARKNESS and of GLOOMINESS, a day of CLOUDS and of THICK DARKNESS, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. ”Verses 10 and 11 say, “The EARTH SHALL QUAKE before them; the HEAVENS SHALL TREMBLE: the SUN and the MOON SHALL BE DARK, and the STARS SHALL WITHDRAW THEIR SHINING: And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” The spiritual language which we dealt with in Revelation is all repeated here in Joel and in many other scriptures.
Zephaniah 1:14-16, “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of TROUBLE and DISTRESS, a day of WASTENESS and DESOLATION, a day of DARKNESS and GLOOMINESS, a day of CLOUDS and THICK DARKNESS, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.” We are not talking just about God’s judgment, but WAR, which is part of God’s judgment. God is going to allow man to bring down destruction upon himself because he has refused to submit to God.
Malachi 4:1, “For, behold, THE DAY COMETH, THAT SHALL BURN as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
In John 12:48 Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Paul said in his letter to the Romans 2:5, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself WRATH AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” In Hebrews 10:25, Paul said to the Hebrew Christians, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see THE DAY approaching.” Paul spoke of “the day” of God’s wrath.
“REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY”
When many people read “the day,” they believe that it is just one day God is talking about. But God is speaking about a SPECIAL day when His wrath will begin to be poured out. THE DAY OF THE LORD is going to take a period of time. If you look carefully in Scripture, you will realize that the SEVENTH DAY is called the day of the Lord. God made man, the last thing of His creation, on the sixth day. He made the beast in the first part of the day and He made the man in the last part of the day. Then He rested from all the works that He had made. The first day after man was created, he rested. He had to rest. He did not work till the next day. God created a Sabbath and the SABBATH IS IN JESUS CHRIST. I am skipping over all the laws of the Sabbath and taking them up into one lump. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Take them up into one lump and put them into Jesus Christ.
In Jesus Christ there is rest. The purpose of the Sabbath was to give man rest. Man cannot rest, even if he tries, because his mind keeps working. We think, we do. The only time we are truly resting is probably when we are unconscious. Hebrews 4:1 and 2, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Verse 3, “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” God is speaking about a rest; man coming into His rest. The rest of God is the Holy Ghost. When man receives the Holy Ghost in his spirit and the Holy Ghost begins to pour his life and his light and his deliverance upon man’s soul, man begins to rest from his own works and only do God’s work.
The Sabbath of God, the day of the Lord, is the seventh day. Genesis records that the days of creation were 24-hour days. We notice, as we study the Word, that everything that God made in the 24-hour day (first day, second day, third day) He completed in the thousand-year day. 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as one day.” God’s day is to perfect what He made in the one 24-hour day period (a thousand years). There was the first thousand years, the second thousand years – now we are in the sixth thousand years, that means in the sixth day. On the sixth day of creation (24-hour day), in the first part of the day, He made the beast. In the last part of the day, He made the man. After the man was created, he lived. The first day that he saw the sun rise was the Sabbath of the Lord. God said it should be hallowed, a day of rest, A HOLY DAY. This law was given to the Jews and this law came right to Jesus Christ, the fulfillment. For every law that is given of God in the Old Testament comes to a point of fulfillment in Christ.
Here is an example of fulfillment. When you buy a car on payments, you sign a contract, a legal document, that you will pay so much every month for the car. After you have made your last payment, the document is fulfilled; it has no more power. You may refer back to the contract, so that you might know what to expect in your contract but the fact is, the document has lost its power. The law being fulfilled in Christ is speaking about a higher law, a higher operation coming in and superseding the old legal system. The Sabbath is the seventh day in a seven-day week. If you take the laws of the Sabbath and you put them in the New Testament understanding, you will realize that the Sabbath was fulfilled IN CHRIST.
In view of this, then, we understand that God’s millennial Sabbath must begin on the seventh millennium, the seventh thousand year. This is l998 and our calendar is wrong so we assume that we are very, very close to the beginning of the Sabbath when God will bring the earth to rest. All man’s efforts and activities will be finished, and God will reign and rule on the earth. This is the day of the Lord, the seventh day, or the seventh millennium. All these things that are to happen must happen between now and the dawning of that millennial day when God shall bring the whole earth to rest.
We must understand when we read in Revelation 6:17, “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” that this “wrath” must take place between the end of the tribulation and the millennial beginning. With the opening of the sixth seal and the wars and the destruction in the earth, man will need a hiding place. This is where the OVERSHADOWING comes in. The sixth seal is the place of the overshadowing. The SIXTH mystery is the overshadowing. God will overshadow His people during this terrible time on the earth.
In the TABERNACLE, the symbolism which depicts the overshadowing are the two cherubims standing on each end of the mercy seat with their wings touching each other and their faces toward each other. Whenever the priest pleased God in his offering, there appeared the shekinah glory between the cherubims. This appearance showed the glory of God when God was pleased with Israel. If we consider the vastness of the overshadowing, we will understand that this period of time must be the time when the wars and the destruction are coming on the earth. As we have explained, from the beginning of the opening of the sixth seal, there is going to be great destruction and great war and earthquakes and upheavals.
The cherubims on the mercy seat, which depict the overshadowing, are made of pure gold, beaten. Gold signifies total Divine Nature. No humanity is in this overshadowing. No other piece of furniture in the Tabernacle was made only out of pure gold. The table of shewbread was wood, covered with gold. Wood typifies humanity, and gold typifies divinity. The candlestick, made of pure gold, had a wick (humanity) in order to function. The altar of incense, which was wood, was covered over with gold. The covering over of these things with gold means that the NATURE OF GOD IS SHOWN. The wood, which is humanity, is hidden.
The lid of the ark is called the mercy seat and on this mercy seat there are the two cherubims, made of pure gold. No humanity is in them. Humanity cannot cover humanity. Man cannot deliver man. Jeremiah 17:5, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…” Psalm 91:1, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” “The secret place” of the Almighty is the mercy seat. Psalm 91:2-4, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
The cherubims with apparent feathered wings – this is what is meant by God’s “feathers.” “Feathers” is only symbolic language which speaks of the power to fly. He will cover us with the very means which are used to fly – the power to rise from the earth. “Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.” Verses 5 and 6, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” Isaiah 26:20 and 21, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
This describes the end of the sixth seal and the seventh seal is yet to come.
Revelation 7:1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”
What did John see? He “saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth.” As you know, the earth does not have four corners for anyone to stand on. Therefore, he must have seen a spiritual image of something that he had to explain as “the four corners of the earth.” Remember, the four beasts or the four living creatures represent the soul of man. This is the highest representation of earth; therefore, we must look at it in the spiritual for there is no way to visualize it in the natural. We can visualize earth man having four areas of soul, that is, mind, emotions, will, and desires. These angels were standing on the spiritual earth and they were holding back winds of destruction, that they “should not blow on the earth… the sea, nor on any tree.”
We cannot take one part to be spiritual and the other part to be natural. If “the earth” is spiritual (which means that they were holding back this destruction from coming upon mankind), then we have to look at “the sea” as spiritual. The spiritual meaning of the word “SEA” is peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. See Revelation l7:15. The destruction was going to come upon the earth, which is the carnal man; upon the sea, which are the nations; and upon the tree, which is the Christian.
DESTRUCTION WAS COMING
Revelation 7:2 and 3, “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
John saw four angels of destruction ready to pour out terror and death upon the earth. Revelation 7 specifically describes things that we have read before.
Verse 2 says that there was a fifth angel. Four is the number of tribulation; “FOUR angels” of destruction. Five is the number of ministry, LIFE, ministry of God. Therefore, the fifth angel was the minister of God and He stopped them. Destruction was not poured out because God is doing a work IN HIS PEOPLE before He allows this destruction to come forth. He had “the seal of the living God.” He was sealing these men “in their foreheads.” This is not a stamp on the outside of the forehead, but it is IN THE MIND.
EZEKIEL’S VISION (CHAPTER NINE)
Ezekiel 9:1, “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.” In the time of Ezekiel, when he saw these men, he saw men with swords. In our time, we are talking about something more dreadful than just an ordinary sword. When the Scripture speaks of a sword (“destroying weapon”), it definitely means EQUIPMENT – the agents of death today are so much more powerful than anything that humanity could have conceived in those days.
God is going to allow man to bring forth this destruction. Ezekiel 9:2, “And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.” This verse is filled with symbolism. You cannot read the Word of God without considering the symbolism. There are many preachers who are so practical and so filled with knowledge that symbolism does not mean anything to them. Without symbolism your Bible has no depth. It is just a flat plane.
The Word of God has the following dimensions: it has height, it has depth, it has length. There are many other dimensions in God which we could not even name in the natural. When God speaks, He is seeing all the dimensions at the same time. He is not only seeing inside the box, but He is seeing outside the box. He is seeing inside the inside of the box, all the atoms that make the thing work. He is seeing inside the atoms. He is seeing within, without, everywhere, at the same time. It is impossible for man to even conceive what dimensions God can move upon and look upon and work upon.
We see little symbolic thoughts dropped in here, like “six men.” Six is the number of man. SIX, SIX, SIX would be the FULLNESS OF MAN. God says here “six men” and He did not mean a deliberate meaning of six. Because six is the number of man, He is trying to give us a hint that the DESTRUCTION OF GOD is going to come through the hand of man. As we go along, you will see that this is so. God is going to allow man to pour out his wrath with the sword, with his weaponry, with his atom bombs, gases, biological warfare – his weapons of death. Man has this power and this is his sword.
THE SEVENTH MAN
He said that they came “from the way of the higher gate…toward the north.” “The north” generally means destruction, like the north wind blowing. The north wind is a cold, bitter wind. “The north” is not a good thing that is happening here. They were coming out of the north. “Every man (with his) slaughter weapon in his hand,” but there was a redeeming factor. There was a seventh man in the midst which was “clothed (in) linen,” meaning clothed in the righteousness of God, and he had an “inkhorn by his side.” He had a job to do. The word “six” is the number of man, but seven is the number for perfection, God. Man cannot attain unto seven. God, in the midst of the destruction, will be sending salvation and deliverance.
This man had “a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.” That is a bad place to stand; “the brasen altar” is in the outer court. He was there to save some people, but some people were not going to be saved.
The brasen altar was a place in the Tabernacle where the animal was slain. It is a place of blood. The place typifies the salvation of God through Jesus Christ where the blood of the lamb is shed and mankind is delivered. It can be a place of death or a place of deliverance, depending on how you look at it. Jesus Christ is the type of the Lamb that died instead of us, but those of us who do not have this belief or this faith in the blood of Jesus Christ are going to die our own deaths. The brasen altar can either be a place of good or a place of destruction.
The outer court is called the REALM OF DEATH. Everything that is outer court, everything that is man, carnal, must die, in order to bring forth that which is spiritual. Even the man who comes to God must die there. When men speak about being born again, they do not tell you that in order to be born again, you have to die and he who dies once, LIVES FOREVER. He who dies twice will never live again, but will be in hell.
Seven men are standing by the altar. Verse 3, “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side.” “The glory of God,” the shekinah glory, is when God is pleased with His people. This mysterious light shines between the two cherubims that touch each other’s wings in the Tabernacle over the mercy seat. When God leaves the mercy seat and comes out into the outer court, it means judgment. It means that there is going to be destruction and death and sacrifice. So the glory of God lifted from where it generally is and should be, and comes out into the outer court “to the threshold of the house,” among the people.
Verse 4, “And the Lord said unto him (unto the man with the inkhorn), Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a MARK upon the FOREHEADS of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” He is going to mark some and he is not going to mark some. This man must go forth into Jerusalem and the word “JERUSALEM” SIGNIFIES THE CHURCH. If some of the church are going to be left in the darkness of the tribulation, what about the people of the world who do not believe in God at all? We need to take this deadly serious. God is saying that at this period in the Revelation, where we are dealing with the “mark upon the foreheads” of the people, the destruction is just waiting for this work to be completed before the angels let loose. WE ARE IN THE TIME OF THE MARKING.
Verses 5 and 6, “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” There is a mark going forth and woe be unto the people of God who do not receive that mark, because God is going to give them over unto destruction. It will be a blessing for some people to be killed rather than to face the antichrist and the beast.
THE MARK IN THE FOREHEAD
Let us go to a few scriptures to find out what this mark really is. Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This verse speaks of the handwriting of God in the heart of the believer. Revelation 14:1, “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name (and I add here, and His name) WRITTEN IN THEIR FOREHEADS.” I added that because in the Word the Greek is “tou patros autou” and this means The forehead depicts the mind.
The name of God is the important thing. The name or the nature of God written in the mind of the believer is that which is going to deliver him from the destruction of the tribulation. At this time, the believer is being given the opportunity of imbibing the nature of God within himself. This nature of God within him will repel the power of Satan and will stop the mark of the beast from ever being able to come to him. If God’s mark is His nature or His name in the forehead of the believer, then the devil’s mark in the forehead would be the devil’s nature or his name.
Revelation 13:16, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” Notice that God marks the people “in their foreheads,” but the devil will mark you either in your right hand or in your forehead. (We will discuss this further in chapter 13 for this knowledge develops from chapter to chapter until its great conclusion in chapter 22.) The nature of Satan is being marked in the foreheads of the people. You avoid getting the mark of the devil by imbibing the Word of God, making the Word of God your life, loving God, and singing spiritual songs and hymns – by your whole nature being trained towards God and not towards the world.
The devil has all his tentacles coming through everything in the world and bombarding us. The music that he sends is designed to make you brutal and carnal and sinful. If you just watch the people operate under the power of the music, you will see the carnality and the brutality, like demons gyrating in the fires of hell. This is what I see when I see people dancing on the disco floor with lights flashing and the Satanic influence all around them. You can see Satan reaching the people through the music, through the rock, through the reggae, through the demonic music he has invented. He was the master of music. The schools are teaching a lot more than the 3 R’s. The children get carnality, sinfulness, sexuality, and demonic influence from the teachers. The teachers have been filled with psychology of demons and the people of God are exposed to it. May God have mercy, because all these children are being demonized.
If you think that I am radical, then you need to hear the truth. I am just barely touching on the various areas of influence. They demonize the very food we eat, to bring us under the control of Satan. It affects the mind. The clothes we wear are all sexual enchanter’s clothes. Clothes used to mark a harlot. Now everybody wears harlot clothes. It is so popular and so common and people are so excited about wearing this kind of thing that you cannot even teach the people of God that the demons have made clothes for them. Demons make clothes to show off the body and to get people to lust and be in the lust market, the flesh market.
At this time, God is marking the people of God in their minds and He said that if you have the mark of God, you cannot have the mark of the devil. This is marvelous. If you receive the mark of Jesus Christ you will not be able to take the mark of the beast. If you are worldly, if you love the world and the things that are in the world, then you are going to be one of the foolish virgins.
THE FIVE WISE AND THE FIVE FOOLISH VIRGINS
Matthew 25 tells us that there were ten virgins. The number ten speaks of Divine rulership. These ten were appointed to be divine rulers of God’s business, God’s work. Five of them were foolish and five of them were wise. The difference between the foolish and the wise was one little point. They were dressed alike and were clothed properly. They had oil in their lamps and their lamps were lighted. Oil in their lamps means the Spirit of God in their spirits, because the Bible says that the spirit of man is the lamp of God. See Proverbs 22:27. That is where it is supposed to be. This Spirit power is supposed to fill the soul. If the soul is empty at midnight, it means that you did not store the oil in your soul, which is the place that God wants the oil anyhow. For the soul is the vessel and the vessel is the person and the person is his mind, his emotions, his will, and his desires.
If when you are in church, when you are reading the Bible, when you are among Christians, while things are all right, you have a lot of God and you can sing and pray and you can quicken people with the power of God, and yet HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR SOUL WHEN TRIBULATION HITS, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE. This is what we mean by MIDNIGHT. At midnight, there was a cry made “Behold, the bridegroom cometh” and the virgins that were wise, got up and trimmed their lamps, because at midnight people’s lamps are low. When you are in trouble, when you are in distress, your lamp is low and you need a resurgence of power coming from the oil you have stored up in your soul nature. THE OIL IN THE SOUL IS WHAT MATTERS. This the foolish virgins did not have. At midnight when the bridegroom came, they were left outside.
Matthew 25:10, “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.” Now remember these people were there waiting for the bridegroom. They were patiently waiting and ready and well-equipped but something happened. They heard the following cry: “Behold, the bridegroom cometh.” They ALL heard it. That means the whole church is going to hear “Behold, the bridegroom cometh” and THEY WILL BELIEVE IT. They will turn around to get themselves ready for the bridegroom for their lamps were out, their vessels were out, and they have to rush outside to the store to see if they can get oil to buy. “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.” A very sad note: “the door was shut.”
Verses 11 and 12, “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.” In other words, He was saying that He had not had intimate relationship with them. They are not known to Him. This word “know” here suggests intimate relationship.
The Lord concludes, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” God is telling us to WATCH. Whom do we watch? We need to watch ourselves. God wants every man, every woman, every child to begin to watch his own thoughts, his own mind, because only you and God know what you are thinking. Sometimes very weird thoughts come into people’s minds who are supposed to be sanctified and you had better know these weird thoughts (hidden from everyone else) should not be entertained. These thoughts will come to you and if you entertain them, because nobody knows, you will come back again and get into the same line of thinking. I want each of us to go to God and ask Him to take away these weird thoughts or else teach us how to handle them.
THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
Let us go back to Revelation and let us look at another area of thought concerning the MARK IN THE FOREHEAD by the fifth angel. This FIFTH ANGEL IS THE MINISTRY OF GOD that He has sent into the church. It is necessary for the people to stop being sectarianistic and discriminatory in their minds and to begin to think the way God is thinking. God looking down upon us does not see our church affiliation. God is not very much interested in our church affiliation. What God is interested in is that we walk ACCORDING TO HIS WORD AND HIS SPIRIT.
Some people have a loyalty to certain denominations or certain churches, so that they are HOOKED IN A TRAP that no matter how wrong the church is, they remain there. Sometimes it is NOT THE WRONG of the church but it is the NOT BEING RIGHT of the church. It is a church and as a church the Lord says, “Feed my sheep.” The duty of the church is, therefore, to feed the people of God with things of God. Most of what we get in churches is the doctrines of the churches. The churches get their doctrine from the learned but fallen seminarians of the ages, beginning not many years after Christ.
I can show you where the church began to fall even as far back as 70 years after Jesus. In Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians in chapter 2:7 we read, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until ek mesou genetai.” The Greek is “until he will rise up in the midst.” The King James says, “until he be taken out of the way.” The whole idea here is that before Paul’s death, the church had already begun to fall. He said that “the mystery of iniquity” was working secretly like termites working under the floor.
In verse 3 of the same chapter, he referred to our time and he said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (that is the day of the Lord) shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasy would be a better word) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” This means that the antichrist will come before Christ comes. The church will accept him because it says in verse 6, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.”
The Scriptures clearly teach that there is a rebellion in the church to come in our time. We are so close to the coming of Jesus Christ. The church must have been in this rebellion long ago. Actually, the doctrines of the church have veered away from focus on Jesus Christ as LORD, even to focus on Him as SAVIOUR. Some sections of the church do focus on Jesus as Saviour but very few of the churches will focus on Jesus as Lord; because, if Jesus becomes Lord in our churches, He will take away the lordship from our bishops and from our leaders. This is a very weak point in the church and it is part of the history that God had written before in The Revelation.
THE TIME OF SEALING
Every Christian should understand that THIS IS THE TIME OF THE SEALING. Every Christian should know that God is now sealing people in their MINDS and in their HEARTS and that there is a ministry of sealing. If we listen to a ministry that is not ordained of God to seal the church, then we will be automatically condemning ourselves to be foolish virgins. If we are involved with a body or a group that is not in the mainline of what God is saying at this hour, we will be decreasing our chances.
Of course, God is good enough to pour tribulation on us and to bring us in by tribulation, by suffering; therefore I am sure that many of us should be considering that we need to make sure we are listening to the right things and to the right people. Many voices are shouting from all directions, but your heart, your table of shewbread, is going to be feeding on Christ, and Christ in you will recognize the Christ in the speakers or writers. This is the hour and this is the time, and if you miss this time you might well miss the coming of Jesus Christ.
In the time of Jesus’ first coming, all the Pharisees and the great men of the Bible were studying the Word and they knew that at that time something should happen. When the wise men came, Herod called them and asked them where this Christ should be born, so Herod heard, but the people missed Him because the theologians of that time were telling them that Christ would come as a king, that He would come and put down the Roman Empire, and that He was going to give them deliverance and exalt the Jewish nation to rulership. It was a wrong concept. The right word with the wrong concept, leading the people in the wrong direction, AND THEY MISSED HIM. They crucified Him, and most of them did not know until after they had crucified Him, that He surely was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. To this day, they are still stumbling over the situation. They still do not know that they crucified their Messiah.
A MESSAGE OF DESTRUCTION
Before we leave the third verse in Revelation 7, I want to say a very important thing here. More than twenty-five years ago, God sent me to this country (the United States of America) and told me that there was going to be a great destruction here. He said that this destruction would come just after I had given this Word out. Notice the third verse, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed…” That means that the Word of God must go out by the many-membered ministry. He said “till we have sealed.”
A MANY-MEMBERED MINISTRY
This fifth angel is a many-membered body or a many-membered ministry, which God has anointed and ordained. They might not have gone to the seminaries, they might not have been taught by the great teachers of our time, but they are God’s messengers. That means they are anointed to go forth. Many of the denominations will not accept the people who are anointed by God to preach. They must have you in their college. They must approve you, they must ordain you by their rules. This is a great weakness, because the life that God has sent to the church is not getting to the church because people of the different churches put up barriers and fences to prevent the preachers whom God has sent, from coming in their midst.
“He cried…Hurt not the earth (do not hurt the carnal realm), the sea (the nations), the trees, till WE…” and that “WE” there shows that a many-membered ministry is ministering. The sealing of the people of God is such that it must reach into the different denominations. It must go over the fences, over the barriers, over all that man has set up. I saw a movement at one time which I thought was going to do this job. They called it the Charismatic Movement because it was going into the different churches and the different people were getting blessed, but it fizzled out. It was just like Azusa Street, which lasted for a little more than a month because everybody took away their part of it. The men began to divide it up and make it into denominations, instead of operating as the church of God and the Body of Christ.
This Word is reaching into various places. People have put up their barriers and God reaches over the barriers. Just as the bride says, “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice,” Song of Solomon 2:8 and 9. Every true child of God is hearing the Word of God in its purity. The only problem we have is that when we hear this Word, we have to compare it with the other word that we believed before. If we have been so indoctrinated that there is no space for what God is saying, we are going to be finding ourselves outside in the darkness and the door shut. Let it not be so, but open up your hearts and let God speak to you. Whenever your heart tells you that THIS IS GOD then pursue it and you can be assured that the Lord will let you know the truth.
NUMBERS IN SCRIPTURE
Brother John now said in Rev.7:4, “And I heard the number of them which were sealed.” Any time you see numbers in Scripture, it is a revelation God is giving you. God is NOT telling you how many people were sealed. GOD IS GIVING YOU A REVELATION. The revelation is that “and there were sealed AN HUNDRED AND FORTY AND FOUR THOUSAND of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
Numbers in Scripture form a very important part of the dimensional gospel. They lend depth to the gospel and things are being said by the numbers that are not expressed otherwise. For instance, the number ONE is the number of God. The number TWO is the number of witness. The number THREE is the number of divine fullness (good, better, best). Number FOUR is the number of tribulation and when the tribulation comes three times, it comes to the fullness of tribulation which means victory. For instance, Moses’ life was divided into three forty-year periods. The first forty years he spent in Pharaoh’s palace preparing and training. The second forty years he spent in the wilderness, and the third forty years he spent leading the children of Israel out of Egypt to the borders of the promised land. That was the victory. His work had been accomplished.
FIVE is the number of ministry or the number of grace. SIX is the number of man. SEVEN is the number of perfection. Man cannot go further than six in all his endeavors. Therefore, seven is God’s perfection. EIGHT is the number of new beginnings. NINE is the number of judgment. Sometimes this number is used for Satan. TEN is the number of divine order, and ELEVEN is the number which marks the undoing of divine order and falls short of twelve, which is completion. I say all this to bring you to number twelve. TWELVE is completion of God’s government.
Let me give you a basic outline of the Word of God. The Word of God is written as no other book on earth or no other that man could write. No man could write one page of the Bible. This is why we know it is divinely done. The Bible is written in Greek and the Hebrew.
Let us look at the Hebrew. The Hebrew has a numeral for every letter in the alphabet. Each letter has a value, a numeric value. The whole of the Bible is written in this way. Every thought brought forth can be divided by seven equally. It is sevens, sevens, sevens, right through the whole Bible. Every thought, every sentence, every idea, every word, when put together with other words, can produce seven, seven, seven – always divided by seven. This is not humanly possible. I believe some time ago, somebody put out a $25,000 reward for anybody who could write anything in this manner and nobody could. I am sure no one can. This is what makes us know the Bible is absolutely authentic. Any part of it that does not match this trial of sevens is not true, it is not of the Bible, it is not of God. We know that what we have here is of God
The Apocrypha and other books which were taken out as being noncanonical do not come up to this standard and that is one of the reasons that they were cast out. On the other hand, all the books of the Bible (for instance, the King James Version) have been certified by Jesus Christ and the apostles. They quoted these books. Jesus would not have quoted Moses if He did not believe that Moses was of God. If what Moses wrote was not of God, Jesus, the son of God, would not have quoted him. Jesus and all the apostles quoted from all the books of the Old Testament and that makes them authentic.
“AN HUNDRED AND FORTY AND FOUR THOUSAND”
Let us look at this number l44,000. This number is derived by multiplying 12 × 12 × 1,000. Twelve is the number of completion. There are two completions: the completed man who is in a completed church. So if the completed man is right, according to God’s order, then the completed church will be right, according to God’s order. We have 12 multiplied by 12 which equals l44 followed by three zeros, for the end result of l44,000. The word “zero” is derived from the Hebrew word for seed “zera.” In Genesis 3:15 the Lord cursed the serpent and told him that the Seed of the woman would bruise his head – which seed is Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament, there were 12 persons anointed, 12 patriarchs, and 12 tribes of Israel. Exodus 28:1 speaks of the 5 anointed priests who were Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar. The 7 kings that were anointed were Saul, David, Absalom, Solomon, Jehu, Joash, and Jehoahaz. This makes up the 12 anointed persons. Notice the sixth anointed person, king Saul (1 Samuel 10:1) proved to be a failure, but he was number 6. Six is the number of man. David was number 7 and he was God’s perfect choice. We can see the whole thing working according to numbers and according to Scripture. In the New Testament there were 12 apostles, 12 foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem, 12 gates, 12 pearls, and 12 angels.
In Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, AFTER our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God laid out His blueprint here. He created man in His image but He did not make man in His likeness. Look at this. He said, “Let us make man in our image, AFTER our likeness.” The next verse says, “So God created man in HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Man was made in the image of God.
THE COMPLETED MAN
Adam was in the garden. He was not yet perfected, not finished. This is the only reason why Satan could have come upon him and hurt him and overthrown the whole human race, because Adam was an unfinished product. It was God’s will and intention to finish everything that He made on one day; He would finish it on that millennium (a thousand years). Whatever He made on the first day, He finished it on the first thousand years. What He made on the sixth day, which was man, would be completed on the sixth thousand year. Man should not be made perfect because if he was made perfect he would be a robot. He would have no kind of development which God wants. GOD WANTED A SON and so God had to make a man in an imperfect condition and give the man the opportunity to develop and to come up into his fullness.
In Revelation 7 we see a man being completed. He has been given the mark in his forehead. The mark is the very nature of God Himself; GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE SON coming in to dwell within man.
Jesus Christ asked the Father for the glory that would make man one, complete, with God. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. AND THE GLORY WHICH THOU GAVEST ME I HAVE GIVEN THEM; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, and they may be made perfect (made complete) in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me,” John 17:21-23.
It is God’s will then to complete man through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus we will receive the Father. When we have Jesus, we have the Father in us. So Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Father and of the Holy Ghost and when we receive Jesus Christ we receive it all.
In Revelation 7 we are reading that God sent a ministry to anoint the men in their forehead, and humanity was to receive a mark in his mind, in his soul. That mark was the very nature of God, the mind of Christ coming to humanity. Paul said, in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” – the mind of Christ. When He comes into humanity (us) in His fullness, we will actually lose our own mind and we will have God’s mind. We will no longer think human, like men. We will no longer behave like men, though we will have our human bodies to walk around this world, to preach the gospel, to deliver humanity.
This would explain the l44 because it is 12 × 12 which is l44. The first twelve is a completed individual. This completion has to be done on an individual basis. God cannot just fill a church with His presence. God has to fill the individual person. This is why the message comes to the individual and says that he should watch. When the individual receives the Holy Spirit, he should become part of a Body. The Body is called the BODY OF CHRIST. The body is anointed with completion as well as the anointing of the individual with completion. And WHEN A COMPLETED PERSON IS IN A COMPLETED BODY, HE IS l44.
What about the three zeros in 144,000? Three of anything denotes the fullness of the thing (good, better, best). What is the meaning of zero? In Genesis 3:15, the Lord speaks about the seed of the woman. “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The Hebrew word for “SEED” is zera. Zera is the same word that we call ZERO. Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy SEED, WHICH IS CHRIST.” The “seed” therefore means Christ. It is symbolized by what we call a zero or a naught. Zero repeated three times is the fullness of zero. If zero means Christ, when it is repeated three times, it is the FULLNESS OF CHRIST.
When we talk about l44,000 we are saying that it is the man completed in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ in a completed church, in the fullness of Christ. The Scripture for that is Ephesians 4:13. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN (completed man), unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST.” Never allow anyone to deceive you any more as to what the meaning of 144,000 is. It is not 144,000 Jews. There will not be only 144,000 that will comprise The Elect. All that is really nonsense.
TWELVE THOUSAND, TWELVE THOUSAND, TWELVE THOUSAND
Revelation 7:5-8, “Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”
Is that the way you would write if you wanted to say twelve thousand were sealed of each tribe? No. Repetition of twelve thousand has meaning. We are looking at the Spiritual tribes of Israel. In truth these are NOT THE NATURAL TRIBES OF ISRAEL. The tribes of natural Israel had a specific order, the order of their birth, from the eldest to the youngest. Reuben the firstborn means “God looks on my affliction.” Number two Simeon means “hearing and answering of prayer.” Number three was Levi, “to cleave or to join.” Number four was Judah, “praise, to worship with extended hands.” Number five was Dan, “judgment, flesh.” Number six was Naphtali, “overcome.” Number seven was Gad, “troop.” Number eight was Asher, “blessed.” Number nine was Issachar, “bring a reward.” Number 10 was Zebulun, “God’s bounty and dwelling place.” Number 11 was Joseph, “a branch, a sprout, a fruitful vine.” Number 12 was Benjamin, “son of the right hand.” This is the order in which they were born and is the order in which the tribes of Israel are always given.
Because we are talking about spiritual things, in Revelation 7:5 the order of sealing has changed. Judah is number one. He was number four in the natural. He became number one and his name means “PRAISE, to worship with extended hands.” The second tribe sealed is Reuben who was the first one, the eldest. He said “God looks on my affliction.” Number three is Gad, “a troop.” Number four is Asher, “blessed.” Number five is Naphtali, “overcome.” Number six is Manasses, which is not a tribe at all and means “cause me to forget.” He was one of the sons of Joseph. God has put Manasseh in there and taken out Dan because Dan is the flesh and there is no place in the spiritual nature for the flesh. Number seven is Simeon, “hearing.” Number eight is now Levi, “to cleave.” Number nine is Issachar, “bring a reward.” Number ten is Zabulon, “God’s bounty” and eleven, just as it was in the natural lineage, is Joseph, “the fruitful vine.” Twelve is Benjamin, “son of the right hand.”
These names given in Revelation 7 are not the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, but are the names of the 12 spiritual tribes and the 12 natures that God has placed within the church His Body. We need not confuse this with anything pertaining to natural Israel. Twelve, of course, is completion. God is going to complete the tribes, His church, in the nature of Jesus Christ. GOD IS MAKING HIS CHURCH, HIS BODY, ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. That is the meaning of zero, zero, zero.
MULTITUDES IN WHITE ROBES
Revelation 7:9 and 10, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
This “great multitude” is different from 144,000. The 144,000 are the same symbolism of those around the throne who are in the throne room. The 144,000 are the same people who are called The Elect. This chapter 7 is a specific time in the end of the tribulation that we are reading about through this whole Revelation.
This group of people is not the 144,000. They are not the overcomers. These are others. There were many slain in the tribulation. God had to take them home in order to save them and to preserve them. These billions of people were standing “before the throne, and before the Lamb, (and they were) clothed with WHITE ROBES.” “White robes” are the righteousness of the saints as we can read in the Scripture. It is also a type of the NEW BODY that they would receive. Let us read another scripture about the “white robes.”
Matthew 17:2, “And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and HIS RAIMENT WAS WHITE AS THE LIGHT.” When Jesus was transfigured His raiment was white.
We see then the white robe is a gift from God, unmerited favor, that grace brings in. It is the NEW BODY of the resurrected saint.
Revelation 7:11-13, “And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in WHITE ROBES? And whence came they?”
Now we are going to get the answer to the question that probably we asked ourselves. Verse 14, “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And He said to me, THESE ARE THEY WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES, AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.”
There are Christians who will be slain during the tribulation and have been slain during the tribulation. The truth is that we have long ago been in the tribulation and we are coming to the worst part. God said that He would shorten the time and that means that He is shortening the time of the great evil, the time of terrible destruction that no flesh would be able to stand. He is shortening that time. That time will be down to three and a half years. In this three and a half years, which is soon to come, the saints will be murdered and killed for all different kinds of reasons. We have to be careful when we accuse one another, because some innocent saints will be accused as evildoers.
Let us take note of Revelation 7:15-17. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
If we put these things in the converse, we will see exactly what was happening to these people. They were hungering, not just for natural food, but for spiritual food. They were thirsting. They were in darkness and He said that the sun will not light on them any more. They were under great pressure from sun and heat and the sufferings of this life. He said He “shall lead them to fountains of living waters” and He “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Many, many people are Christians who are not receiving the Word of God as they ought to. They are not receiving the deliverance that is in the Word, in the truth of the Word. They are hungering and they are thirsting and they are dying in this state without having had the privilege of hearing the unadulterated word of God, but there is something here that is beautiful and peculiar. He said that He will feed them. Now! Does that mean that people get fed after they leave this life and go into the heavenlies? Is it possible that the heavenlies have food? Is it possible that Christians do feed on energy from God? Do angels feed? Let us see if the Bible can give us any answers to these questions.
Psalm 78:24 and 25, “And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angel’s food: he sent them meat to the full.” Here in this one expression we can see that ANGELS DO FEED. Angels feed when they praise God. When we praise God we are supposed to feed. When we praise God we open up our souls to God.
We say “Thank you Jesus for what you have done for me” and when that thanks goes up, the heart is opened and God pours in some of His blessings, some of His strength, some of His energy. Praising is not when we tell God how beautiful He is and flattering God, but praising is thanking God. We need to learn to be thankful, to be grateful to God for what He is doing for us and has done for us and will do for us. While we are doing this, our hearts are being opened and the Holy Ghost is pouring the food of heaven into us.
Revelation 8 opens with silence in heaven and the seventh seal being opened. The seventh seal comprises seven trumpets. As you know, the trumpets are the messages and in the seventh seal the whole seven messages will be preached. This is a crucial time for the world and for Christianity.
SILENCE IN HEAVEN
Revelation 8:1, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”
We must understand what is meant by “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” It means of course, that there were no angel movements, there were no spiritual movements by men, those whom God had anointed to preach had stopped preaching, the angels who were anointed to help them had stopped helping them, and those who were anointed to work, to do service, had stopped working.
What could have caused that? THE DEATH OF THE SONS OF GOD. In chapter 6, dealing with the fifth seal, the souls of those under the altar who called to God said to Him, “How long…dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” And He gave them “white robes” and “it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
We see here, a picture of what happens in heaven when the sons of God are slain. When Jesus Christ was slain His work was cut short, there was no more healing of the sick, no more deliverance, because the Son had died.
Coming back now to the sons of God, He said things ceased for “about the space of half an hour.” We have to look at this as a PROPHETIC UTTERANCE. A spiritual half an hour could be anything. We have to get the revelation. For a space of time there was no movement. None of God’s business was being done.
Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” This is the time we are reading about in Revelation 8:1, a time when the sons of God will be slain. (This will be completely explained when we get further on in The Revelation.) “Silence in heaven” is talking about the death of the sons, even as it was the death of Christ Jesus. The sons will die. The sons of God will be dead for three and a half days.
THE SEVEN MESSENGERS
Revelation 8:2, “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.”
Whenever you read of the definite article “the” before things like “the seven angels,” it simply means that you have been told before about these seven angels somewhere else in Scriptures. Let us go back again and see where the seven messengers are in Chapter 1.
Revelation 1:16, “And he had in his right hand SEVEN STARS: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” Note the “seven stars.” Verse 20, “The mystery of the SEVEN STARS which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The SEVEN STARS ARE THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” We are talking about messengers that would last the whole of the 2,000 year period of the church. From the time of Christ there were seven messengers even unto this time. Since men die and some fail, God is saying that they are replaced. As one fails, the other one rises. Like seven suns that go one after the other to make a perfect day. God’s brightness like “the sun shineth in his strength.”
These seven messengers had seven trumpets. These are the messengers of the end-time gospel and they will take the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. The word “seven” means perfection, divine order of God’s message coming forth. The perfect message of the gospel will be preached. There are many other messages that are being preached and will be preached, but the people of God will recognize in all the confusion the voice of God speaking the true Word of God. The fullness of the gospel will come to us at this time, at the time of the sounding of the seven trumpets, or the seven messengers.
THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS
Revelation 8:3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”
The concerted prayer of the people of God and the cry of the people of God is coming from the whole earth and is coming up before God. God has ordained a special angel to present this. Let me show you exactly what happens to the prayers of the saints.
Romans 8:22 and 23, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” It is a cry for His kingdom to come, His will be done, in our earth even as it is done in heaven. Verses 24-26, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit (not just the saints of God, but the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost in us) also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
God is Himself causing us to pray the right prayer. The Holy Ghost within us is groaning and causing us to groan and pray the right prayer to God so that the kingdom of God might come in the realm of earth even as it is in heaven.
Romans 8:27 and 28, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Revelation 8:3b, “And there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints…” What is the meaning of that? In the Tabernacle, the priest offers the incense at the golden altar. THE INCENSE IS A TYPE OF THE SOUL OF MAN. He was offering his soul and the souls of the people for the sins of the people and his own sins. In this chapter, the saved and redeemed are not at the golden altar any more therefore this act of the angel is one of judgment.
WHAT PLEASES GOD?
Revelation 8:4, “And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
Leviticus 16:13, “And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not.” This scripture says that the smoke, or the essence of the soul of man, must cover the mercy seat and the ark of the covenant before we speak to God. That means that our offering must be perfect before God. Revelation 8:4 says that the angel had it in his hand and was offering it up to God and to His throne. This is the very essence of the soul of the people of God. We are talking about a mind that is dedicated to God, a heart that is in tune with God; the emotions that have been weaned from the world and from the emotional outbursts of the normal, carnal, natural man; the will that is dedicated to God; and the desires that have been completely turned to God and belong to God. This is what was being offered up to God. Another scripture says that it comes up to God as a sweet smelling savour. GOD IS ABSOLUTELY PLEASED with the man who offers his heart and who cries from his heart and soul towards God.
Revelation 8:5, “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
What on earth are we looking at here? All of a sudden, we see people offering themselves to God. Without that offering, there is no overshadowing, no covering. In other words, God is saying that the true people of God will find safety under the shadow of His wings before the destruction breaks out. The angel came and took the fire from the altar and “cast it into the earth.” There is a similarity here between this language and the language in Revelation 16:18. The “fire” that is “cast… into the earth” is the RESULT of the rejection of the Word of God which will be preached.
SEVEN TRUMPETS BLOWING
Every time the Word is preached – seven Words – seven times – there will be seven trumpets blowing. The results will be disastrous upon the earth for those who reject the Word. It will look as if God’s people are bringing the problems in the earth. The sons of God will be bringing forth the message and the message will be rejected and it will have an effect. These are the voices and the thunderings. The thunder is the voice of God speaking through man. Lightnings will be the effect of this in the world; the power of the miracles and the deliverances that will come forth. “And the angel…filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth.” In Chapter 16 the same judgment is coming upon the cities of the world. These same words were used.
The “earthquake” can be both the quaking of the natural earth which will not be as bad as the quaking of the earth man. When nations and people rise up and the waves of the sea (meaning the little factions of the nations) rise up and bring disruption in a country, sometimes it is referred to in the Bible as earthquakes.
Revelation 8:6 and 7, “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”
I want you to notice that “the THIRD PART of trees was burnt up” but “ALL green grass was burnt up.” This definitely is a judgment against Christians. Remember the scripture said that judgment will begin at the house of God. If you see the time is getting harder and harder for Christians, it is the purification or the judgment that God is sending out upon Christians. The Word of God, the message of the end-time, is mostly rejected by Christians. Many people hold on to old doctrines that they received in darkness. The light of God continues to shine and to shine, yet you will find that some people continue to follow Calvin. Some people still follow people back in history who did bring a measure of truth. Truth has expanded to such a point now, that to go back and follow Calvin would be turning back to follow something that is already outdated in God’s calendar.
God has brought truth to supersede truth. There are dimensions in truth that are on different planes. These men did not go into much of the spiritual depths of the Word of God. They brought forth some truth and made them doctrinal mountains. These mountains got so big that people held onto them thinking it was the whole gospel. It is like blind men who feel the elephant and each one describes it differently because each was only feeling a part of it. In the days of Scofield and Darby and men of renown, who were at one time the theologians for the people, truths came forth. Many schools still teach Scofield and Darby and some of the ancient things which were only a part of truth and not the whole truth. God is saying the seven trumpets are blowing and when the seventh trumpet blows then the message will be complete.
“BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND PILLARS OF SMOKE”
Let us look at this language again. “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood.” Fire and blood were cast into the earth and burned first “the trees” (the Christians) and “the grass” (the outer court Christian). Trees are tall and they depict Christians in the holy place. Grass that grows and clings to the bosom of the earth to get its life is another type of Christian who is in the outer court. These were destroyed. They were “burnt up.” “The third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”
Somewhere else in scripture God told us exactly when this would happen. Joel 2:31 and 32a, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE THE GREAT AND THE TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD COME. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” Before that, we read in Joel 2:30, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” These are conditions that will persist in the world at the time when this is happening.
In Joel 2:28, the Lord speaks about a revival in which He would pour out His Spirit upon the servants and handmaids. THEN He said, in Joel 2:31 and 32a, “The sun shall be turned into darkness (that is the sons of God being slain), and the moon (the church) into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord (at that time) shall be delivered (saved).”
There was “BLOOD, and FIRE, and PILLARS OF SMOKE.” Joel 2:30, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” When you see “blood” you know that someone is slain; therefore, it would be people being slain. “Fire and…smoke” (whatever they are) are the plagues that will come upon the earth destroying human flesh. These will first hit the church.
Revelation 8:8, “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.”
In these prophetic passages, when we read about “the sea,” we must remember that “SEA” MEANS THE NATIONS. We are talking about atomic weaponry being cast in the midst of the nations and the nations being slain. “Became blood” means the third part of humanity was being slain by atomic warfare.
We remember when the atom bomb was first used. It took a man with the type of strength of character and the type of mind to do it. He knew fully well what it meant. It has been proven that every weapon used in any war in history is used again against the very people who used it first. Check into history. I think it was the British that first invented the war tank and it came to pass that that very tank was used by Hitler so effectively against the Allied forces.
The people of the United States of America were the first who used the atom bomb. They used it against Japan and whatever the arguments might be and whatever the circumstances might be, THE BOTTOM LINE IS that this weapon was used against a civilian target, used in an open city, killing in a flash of lightning 80,000 people and maiming many more. People like me look with horror upon what was done. (Although I understand that it saved many American lives and ended the war with Japan, and only under those circumstances would Japan ever think of surrendering.) This is what is going to happen to us.
That same weapon is going to come back full circle right into the heart of cities like New York and Chicago and all the big cities (populous places) in the United States. THIS IS NOT A GUESS. This is what we see in the Spirit and this is what is coming. One day that burning mountain is going to be cast into the middle of the sea and many, many will die. Of course, you know what will happen when that is done. America will retaliate and make it a conflagration as never before seen in the history of humanity and I am sure will never happen again. This is going to happen. This is the type of thing we are reading about in Revelation, when the angel cast this thing out into the sea of humanity and it is going to do its work of destruction, no matter what we do.
Presently the United States is talking to North Korea, because the United States heard that North Korea was building a bomb and they are trying to stop them, but the people who are the real culprits have the bomb and are waiting for the hour and the time when God will release them to use it. It takes a certain type of human being to make up his mind to use a destructive weapon of this magnitude. I believe that the Arab people, with the bitterness they have against the rest of the western world, might one day too have the power to use this weapon against places like the United States and Israel and Europe.
Revelation 8:9, “And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.”
“The THIRD PART” can mean man in a spiritual sense, the third part of man who is spirit, soul, and body. It means that their flesh died. It does not mean necessarily that they had gone to hell, but their flesh died. “The third part…died.” “And the third part of the ships” are those that traffic upon human life. There are some who make their living by trafficking back and forth upon humanity. They “were destroyed.” Organizations that do business back and forth would be destroyed.
A GREAT CHRISTIAN WILL FALL
Revelation 8:10, “And the third angel sounded (all these sounds are messages of life being given in the world of sin), and there fell a GREAT STAR from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the RIVERS, and upon the FOUNTAINS OF WATERS.”
This is very accurate in its representation. “Star” means son of God. “Rivers” represent living waters, the Word of God, the fresh waters. The “fountains of waters” mean the Word of God that gushes forth from the earth.
“A great star” falls means that a great Christian will fall from his Christian place. I can see as clear as day many Christians trying to get into politics. Many would love to be President of the United States. Many would love to be head of the United Nations. They do not care where but they are pushing forward in politics. Brethren, we cannot gain by political activity that which we cannot gain by prayer and spiritual activity. We are spiritual people ordained by God to work in the Spirit. We should have all our efforts in the Spirit and we should NOT be fighting political battles to win the world.
You cannot overcome the devil with his own weapons. The devil will always win when you use his weapons. Weaponry of political agitation, voting and putting a man into this position or that office to make things better is the way that the devil likes to see Christians go.
Christians were ordained of God. The word CHRISTIAN means CHRISTLIKE. We are a called-out people, the church, ekklesia, called out. Out of the called-out you have the eklektos, the selected group that God has selected for a purpose – to bring forth life and light to the world.
We have no mandate in politics. We have no right to be agitating politically for various offices. Watch my word, brethren. Brethren who are fostering this political activity will be among the first that are hit and destroyed. This is not God’s way. They say that they have done great things, and have caused certain laws to be changed. Brethren, we are only fooling around the edge of a mighty ocean and this thing is going to flood over all that we could ever do. The puny political activity that will come from Christians will only cause more persecution of Christians. Mark my word.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star.” The “star” is a man; somebody we know, someone who has gone to a great height in things of God, as a preacher, as a person whom we respect and trust. He is going to fall from heaven as a burning lamp (gives a lot of light) and fall upon the rivers (the Word of God) and upon the fountains of waters. This is the twisting in the theology of many of those who are trusted and whom a lot of Christians are supporting with their strength and money. This is ONE that will fall upon the Word of God, translate the Word of God incorrectly, give some wrong interpretation, and get many people to follow him. The Scriptures named the star. I wondered why God gave the name of the star.
THE FALLING STAR IS NAMED
Revelation 8:11, “And the name of the star (or the son of God) is called WORMWOOD: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”
“Many men died” because of Wormwood. The word “Wormwood” is a spiritual name. This name “Wormwood” is given to this star because of the NATURE of the work that he will do. I say Mr. Wormwood is at work this very moment. The Lord uses this phrase prophetically to describe the condition spoken of by the prophets in the Old Testament – the bitterness of the waters that the people would drink. As we know, water, especially fresh water, represents the Word of God. The SALT WATER, or the sea, represents the nations. This water, in verse 11, that the people are drinking, is like taking into your soul a bitter, poisonous substance.
We can get proper understanding from Jeremiah 9:15. “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.” When Jesus was on the cross and cried out “I thirst,” they gave Him gall to drink. Gall was referred to as vinegar in the Old Testament. We are dealing with word translations. In the Old Testament it is translated as wormwood, bitter water. It was poisonous water.
In Revelation, we read that they would receive poisonous water and it would cause them to die – bitter water. This is definitely referring to the Word of God or the Scriptures being twisted to cause the people to be deceived, believing they are receiving from God and serving God when actually it is the work of the enemy and not the Word of God at all.
This bitterness comes from the rivalry of the churches. Denomination is a division which splits people of God into various factions and segments. God speaks against this and Paul spoke against it saying, “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13a). Some were saying they were of Paul and some were saying they were of Apollos. Paul said, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos?” (chapter 3:5a). God wants us to be one. The greatest thing on the heart of God is that we should be one, even as He and Christ Jesus are one. We are being divided by denominations. This one says that he is from this denomination, the other one says that he is from that denomination.
REBELLION IN THE CHURCH
If God called someone and gave him a message and he happened to be in one church, he could not go to the other church to preach because they do not want him. They want their own evangelists and their own apostles. It turns out to be a failure in the church, A TURNING BACK FROM GOD, a rebellion. That rebellion is now proceeding in the church.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasy, rebellion) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” This rebellion is happening in the churches and the churches are not seeing it. (These details will be discussed later, for Revelation deals with all the pertinent subjects for the end-time. We will need it to strengthen ourselves at this very serious time in the history of the church.)
This verse in Thessalonians tells us that there will be a “falling away” in the church. People will be deceived and not know that they are deceived. They will walk in the deception which they were taught in their denomination. For if Christ should return now, He could not return for a denomination. He would have to return for the people whose hearts are tuned to Him.
BASIC TRUTHS IN THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS
What is happening is that the Word of God is being disfigured by some translators. Translators translate every Bible from a specific denominational perspective. Each denomination will accept a certain translation. The textus receptus, or what we call the King James Bible, has in it the basic truth that we need. There have been several words somewhat disfigured in the different chapters but it is not enough to really turn the believer off or to give him bitter waters to drink, but there are some translations that are specifically made to disfigure, to hurt, to turn the people of God away.
The problem is that the translations are not all false. There are some truths in these translations mixed in with the lie. Of course, if you mix a truth with a lie, the whole thing is a lie. If a truth is going to lead you to accept a lie, then the truth in itself is an agent of the lie. This is the way translators use the truth of God’s Word to disfigure, to hurt God’s people, to bring them into believing a lie. Only the Holy Ghost, at this time, can deliver us from the lie of the seminaries and the different organizations that teach different things. Sometimes you sit down and listen to a message and it sounds so good, and you rejoice that here is a man bringing the truth, then he brings in some great falsehood that overthrows everything he said before. This is a great distress in our time.
AN INSURANCE POLICY WITH GOD
There is one word that Jesus said and we should hold on to it very, very much, very strongly. It says that if any man desires to know the truth that the responsibility of letting him know truth is not his, it is God’s. That scripture is found in John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” This is true for every human being. God will never allow any human being to be deceived, to believe a lie, and not give him the truth if that person really desires truth. That is like having an insurance policy with God.
MICAIAH SPEAKS THE TRUTH
There is a peculiar story in Scripture (1Kings 22) concerning King Ahab wanting to know from God whether he should go to battle or not. He was a wicked man but he always surrounded himself with the prophets of God – that way he would always know what God was saying. He would go to battle when God said go, and when God said not to go, he would not go. Because he was actually tricking God by these means, God sent a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets. Four hundred prophets told him to go up to battle and he would prosper, but he had one man in prison whom he hated, Micaiah.
Jehoshaphat, who was king of Judah, wanted to go with Ahab. He said that he would be satisfied if he heard from this one fellow that was in prison. So they took Micaiah out of prison and let him prophesy. Micaiah prophesied but, after he prophesied, he related this story.
He said that he saw God call all the spirits before Him and ask which one of them would go down and be a lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. A spirit came forward and God said, What will you tell them? The spirit said that he would say, Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper. God told the spirit, Go. This lying spirit went down and that is why you have 400 prophets telling you to go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper when actually you are not going to prosper; you will die.
The peculiar part of this story is that, because God had called a lying spirit to go on the prophets, God had to get someone to tell Ahab the truth and then put the responsibility upon Ahab to obey the lying spirit or the truth. Because Ahab was a wicked man, he did not have one chance in a million. He was going to obey the lie. Ahab threw the prophet in prison and said that when he returned he would give him what was coming to him. Micaiah said that if Ahab returned, Ahab could do to him whatever was in his heart. It turned out that an arrow caught Ahab right in the seam of his armor and he was mortally wounded.
God will always bring truth no matter where you are, what you are, what doctrine you have, how wicked you are. Somewhere, somehow, God is going to meet every human being with the truth and put the responsibility on him or her of accepting the Word of God or rejecting it. If the believer is submitting to the Spirit of God, no matter where he is, no matter what denomination he belongs to, no matter what section of the world he is in, God is going to allow him or her to hear the truth. Hallelujah! When these bitter waters are poured out, the believer will be able to resist it and reject it, because it does not satisfy his soul. By this means, God will separate His people from the people who really do not want God.
WHAT IS “THE THIRD PART”?
Revelation 8:12, “And the fourth angel sounded, and the THIRD PART of the sun was smitten, and the THIRD PART of the moon, and the THIRD PART of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a THIRD PART of it, and the night likewise.”
We are looking at something here that is not one third. We cannot just take one third and say it is a “third part” of it. If a “third part of the sun was smitten,” then two-thirds of the sun would be shining. If a “third part of the moon” was smitten, then two-thirds would still be shining. It is the same with “the stars.” You would still have light. What are we seeing here? We are seeing darkness.
“The third part of them was darkened, and THE DAY SHONE NOT for a third part of it.”
This word has to be spiritual because if a “third part of the sun (is) smitten,” then two-thirds of the sun would be shining and THE DAY WOULD NOT BE DARK for a third. Also, the same with the moon and the stars. We can understand the spiritual language here. What is the third part of man? Man is soul, man is body and man is spirit. Any one of these is a third part of him. Spirit is a third part, soul is a third part, and body is a third part. If God says a “third part of the sun was smitten,” He is talking about part of the church being darkened. The part that was darkened was the part that was giving the light. In other words, because there was so much distress in the church, then it was one particular part that was giving forth all the light.
In the Tabernacle of Moses, we have the outer court, the holy place, and the holy of holies. ONE CHURCH with three different parts. No matter where we are, what church we belong to, no matter what non-church we belong to, or denomination or non-denomination, once we are Christians, we are in part of that Tabernacle division. We are either in the outer court where people are not submitting to Christ but doing their own thing, or in the holy place where people are moving in the realm of the Spirit and in the realm of the gifts, or we have been pushed into the holy of holies.
Right now, there is no one living in the holy of holies, because being in the holy of holies means we have come through the veil and are absolutely IN CHRIST, but at the point of time in this scripture (Revelation 8), the holy place, where the lamp is lighted, is the place that is going to be darkened. When the sons of God are killed, darkness will be on the earth and it will not shine for a third part of the day.
Revelation 8:13, “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”
The three last angels are to bring the worst destruction that the earth has ever seen. Remember God promised to shorten the time (Matthew 24:22) and everything is going to be short. The war is going to be short. The destruction will be short. Had it continued no flesh would be saved. God will intervene when it gets so bad that humanity or the world would not survive.
CHAPTER EIGHT SUMMARY
Let me explain where we are in chapter eight. Chapters six and seven speak of the sixth seal, the overshadowing. Now we are dealing with the seventh seal which is the church of the man child. God has always described the church as feminine, as a woman. The reason is because the church had no power in itself to give forth life. It had to receive life to give life, like a woman has to receive the life, or the seed, from her husband in order to bring forth a child. We the church were receiving life from God and bringing forth nothing.
The church has been described as a barren woman. Hannah, for instance, was a barren woman and she brought forth. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was a barren woman. God always uses the barren woman as the type of the church. This barren woman church has never brought forth anything but now she is being overshadowed by the mercy seat or the two angels on the mercy seat which is a symbol of God Himself. No man can overshadow and bring forth God. Man can only bring forth man. When a person is discipled to another human being, he cannot rise above that human being, because the master is greater than the disciple, but if we are discipled unto Christ, then we will bring forth Christ.
God has brought the female church to the point where she will bring forth a male church which is called the church of the overcomer or the man child church. (The words “man child” will be described in other chapters.) Let us really understand what we are writing about.
The child that this woman church will have (churches always bring forth churches) will be a life-giving being. The church will be a life-giving church. Why? Because the church will have Christ in it. Remember the picture we saw in the first chapter in Revelation with the Christ standing in the middle candlestick? This is the same picture that we are seeing through the whole Revelation, as we speak of this seventh seal. The seventh seal is the mystery of the man child.
This mystery of the man child is a type of the ARK OF THE COVENANT. As you know, the ark of the covenant was made by Moses and it lasted some 868 years coming right down to Josiah. In the time of Solomon the ark disappeared and it appeared in Josiah’s time. See 2 Chronicles 35:3.
THE THREE ARKS IN SCRIPTURE
Let us look at the word ARK. The word ark means box. There were THREE ARKS in the Bible. The first ark was the ark of Noah. God told Noah to build an ark and this ark proved to be the salvation of the world. Every human being and living creature died except those who were in the ark. The ark takes on a significance. It had three stories and it was made of gopher wood, a type of oak or cedar, some type of wood that could withstand the water. It was a water wood used to make boats and was pitched and tarred outside. The pitch and tar is the seal of the living God, which means God sealed it. The wood was the humanity but it was covered over by Divinity, which made it water-worthy, able to float, unable to leak because it was sealed.
The three stories represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The bottom story, on which everything rested, was the Father. The middle story that had the door was the Son, Jesus Christ. “I am the door.” The top story had the window that turned up to heaven, where Noah let the bird out to see if the waters had dried up. This ark is full of symbolism. There was one kind of species of every living thing on earth. There were eight persons and they replenished the earth with the people of the earth to this day. The ark is a type of salvation, CREATED TO SAVE. The first ark is in Genesis 6:14 and 15.
The second ark we read about in Scripture is Moses’ ark. When Pharaoh began to kill all the children with the intention of killing the deliverer that should come forth from Israel, he missed Moses because the ark saved him. A straw ark was built from the papyrus leaf.
The papyrus leaf is what they used to make paper. It was the Word of God that Moses was going to use to set the people free. It was very ironic that God used the very paper on which the Word was written to make a basket, an ark. That ark was covered again with pitch and tar, a symbol of the Father. In that ark there were not three stories. It just had a MAN CHILD, and that man child represented THE CHRIST, all that humanity would need. The ark again proved to be a saving portion.
The third ark was a box made again of gopher wood. It was covered with gold instead of pitch and tar. Pitch and tar is designed to stop water from coming in. If you have fire, you would have to use something that fire cannot change. Gold is a type of the nature of God. Gold covered the wood, a type of humanity. Again humanity is there but is protected, covered, sealed by gold, by the living God.
This ark of the covenant had three emblems in it. There was the emblem of AARON’S ROD. Aaron had a dry stick that he used as his rod. Every holy man had a rod. It is like a walking stick. Of course, there is no way that a dry walking stick would bud and bring forth fruit. There was a murmuring among the people saying that they were just as good as Aaron and asking why should he be the number one of God. God said to all those making the fuss that they should put all of their rods in one place and the next morning the rod that buds would be the rod that He chose. The next morning Aaron’s rod budded and had FRUIT on it. This rod was put into the ark for over 868 years where it remained, budded, was fresh, and fruitful. It was the longest lasting fruit in the world.
Also in the ark was the POT OF MANNA, made of pure gold. God sent manna to feed them. Manna that was kept overnight would rot and be very offensive. It was high protein food that God was feeding them. They put some of the manna in that pot and it remained for 868 years, never rotting, never getting bad.
Moses put the table of stone, the TEN COMMANDMENTS, which God gave him and he wrote, in the ark. There were three emblems in the ark. The emblem of life in the rod of fruitfulness, the emblem of life in the food – spiritual food that never got stale, and the emblem of the Word of God. All these three were placed in this ark.
This ark proved to be a Saviour to Israel many times. When they went to battle, they carried the ark with them and the enemy was totally destroyed. People began to fear the ark because it had the presence of God with it. This is what the word ARK means.
THE SEVENTH SEAL
The seventh seal, therefore, or the seventh work of grace, is the completion and the perfection of God, thus bringing man into the fullness of God. This ark represents this fullness. These people who come into that fullness will have the spoken Word of God just as Jesus Christ Himself. They will have the power of life in them and fruit-bearing and the power to feed the people with the fullness, the power, and the energy of God.
We have in Scripture over 28 different names for this people, this church. We call it the man child church, the 144,000, the Samson company, the overcomers – many, many other names. At least 28 names can be found to call these people by, because God describes them in different stories and in different places.
For instance, Samson was super strong; he could lift 100 tons of steel and take it up on a hill and put it down. He could rend a lion in two. It is not really human, it is all God. God did this to show what the overcomer company will be like; the power they will exercise in the earth at the end of time. This is where we are now and this is where we are heading for – a company of people who will overcome Satan and overcome death.
How do you overcome death? There is only one way – by allowing yourself to be killed. After you are killed and everyone is assured that you are dead, then you rise up and you walk and talk and eat and drink. You say to people, “Feel me. I am flesh and bone.” We will describe these people (the two witnesses) in more detail when we get to chapter 11.
The greatest war that will ever strike humanity will be the next war, the third world war, which is about to come. (It will be described in chapter 9.) There will be only one war after that and that will be the war of the saints against the evil world, to put down the authority of wicked men and to raise up the standard of Christ’s authority in the earth. That is at the very end of this age, the end of the tribulation and will herald the beginning of THE MILLENNIUM – the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth – God’s 7th thousand year – GOD’S SABBATH.
Revelation 9 commences with the sounding of the fifth trumpet. This is the fifth message of God, the fifth mystery not just revealed but sounded, preached, and given out to the world.
The chapter begins, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”
We must understand the terminologies that are used here. In previous chapters we have understood that the word “STAR” means A SON OF GOD. This son of God fell from heaven and the word “HEAVEN” here means from his place in the kingdom of God. He fell “UNTO the earth,” meaning he fell into a natural, carnal position. “To him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” Scripture will show us what “the bottomless pit” is.
“The key” he was given is the authority, the power to open something or to shut something. A son of God who falls from his position with God will fall to an earthly position where he is given the power to open up hell on earth. Actually, this is what the words “BOTTOMLESS PIT” mean. He will be given the power to open up hell on earth. What man has that power?
THE DEEP, THE ABYSS, AND THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
The “bottomless pit” is first mentioned in Genesis 1:2a. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the DEEP.” This spiritual language says that it was hell.
The word “deep” in Hebrew means cavern, a place of darkness, hell. In its spiritual rendition, it is hell. In Psalm 104:6 it speaks of the deep, subterranean waters beneath the earth, t’howm in the Hebrew. When God looked down upon the earth, the earth was a hell realm, an abyss. He had cast Satan and his angels down to the earth, and He had bound them in this realm, separated from God, the giver of light and life, thus they dwelt in darkness and death which is called hell.
When God said, “Let there be light” hell was driven back from this realm and it was given to man to possess. Romans 10:7, “Or, Who shall descend into the DEEP? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” The word “deep” in this verse is the word “abyss,” from the Greek abussos, meaning the abode of demons.
Luke 8:27, “And when He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.” Because this man had devils, he wore no clothes. We wonder about the people who are stripping off their clothes in our time. Verses 28 and 29a, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man).” Verse 30, “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”
This same story in Matthew gives us new thought. Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Matthew’s account added “before the time” and we are grateful for this thought, because it tells us that there IS A TIME to cast out devils from the human realm. It was very early at that time. It was too early to put them into the bottomless pit. God is saying the time of the end is when devils should be cast out and put into the bottomless pit, from whence they do not return to torment humanity.
These devils were possessing the soul of this man and his body (their house) and they were cast out of the house. They could have been bound in the pit, but they besought Jesus asking Him not to do it to them, to please let them go, give them a break, because it was too early. They gave him the reason they were pleading. They said that it was too early. Jesus, amazingly, gave the devils the authority to go into the swine. These devils knew that when they got into those swine, that they would consume them and they would be free. The swine rushed into the sea and drowned themselves and the demons were set free.
We will deal with this subject more fully when we go deeper into The Revelation because these words “bottomless pit” are also found in Revelation 9:2, 9:11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1 and 20:3. It is important to understand what we are writing about. The bottomless pit is not just hell, but part of hell that is a prison house, where spirits are bound and chained because God will not allow them to come out. There will be a time when God will release them. God is telling us that we do have the authority to cast these spirits into the abyss, into the bottomless pit, where they will be chained. When they attack humanity, we have the power to cast them into the bottomless pit.
KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
Matthew 16:16-l9, “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And 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. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the KEYS of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
“Keys” are being given to Peter and these keys are an AUTHORITY given, not just to Peter, but to all those who walk in the truth of “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We receive this authority to bind the things of earth and to loose. Unfortunately, some people think that they should bind other human beings. That is NOT what God is saying. GOD IS SAYING that we should BIND SPIRITS on earth and that we should LOOSE PEOPLE from the bondage of spirits. God has given us dominion and power over things that move in our earth realm.
A star fell “and to him was given.” A human being is going to receive the power to open hell and to loose hell on the earth.
Revelation 9:2, “And he opened the bottomless pit.” He had the key and he used it. To have a key and to use it is a different thing than having a key and not using it. This man used the key. “And there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”
Hell was opened on earth and smoke came up out of this infernal region. Something that this one man will have power to do will give Satan a power that he did not have before. This looks to me like atomic bombs being unleashed on the earth. Notice the language. “SMOKE…GREAT FURNACE…SUN…AIR…WERE DARKENED BY REASON OF THE SMOKE OF THE PIT.”
Joel 2:30, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” This scripture adds “blood.” Blood means that people will be slain.
Isaiah 25:4 and 5,”For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.” This is a type of judgment that God says will come down upon the sinful men. This judgment is going to have blood in it. Men will be slain. This is the third world war.
THE LOCUST SPIRIT
Revelation 9:3, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
Something unusual was brought in here, the word “locusts”. God is not talking about the insects, the locusts that eat up the ground and everything. God used the word “locusts” here, because human destroyers will behave like locusts.
There are two principles we should observe when studying the Word of God. First, we must remember that the Word explains the Word. Second, we need to remember the dimensional Word. The first dimension of the Word is NATURAL. The second dimension is SPIRITUAL and the third dimension is in the FULLNESS. What we read in Revelation is third-dimension Word. This is the reason that we cannot put Revelation in the natural. We have to see it in the spiritual as the fulfillment of all that was said in the Word of God that was natural from the beginning.
Let us take the natural locust. In Exodus 10, Moses called the eighth plague on Egypt locusts. Why did God use locusts? Because locusts were going to teach us a lesson that would end up in Revelation and the end of time.
Exodus 10:14, “And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; BEFORE THEM THERE WERE NO SUCH LOCUSTS as they, neither after them shall be such.” God made a manifestation of locusts in the earth that was absolute. He is telling you of this natural thing in order to tell you of a spirit, a locust spirit. The nature of this spirit inhabits the children of disobedience, and this nature is one to ravage and destroy and wipe out and kill without any conscience, any reserve.
God, therefore, is dealing with us on three levels. He showed you first the natural – Moses’ locusts. He is advising you that there is a spirit – a locust spirit. There is never a spirit that does not want to manifest itself in the human realm. All these evil spirits are striving to maximize their manifestation among humanity and within humanity. What we are reading in Revelation is the fullness of that maximization. God will not allow them to go higher than six. Six is the number of man and when man comes to 666, he comes to the fullness of what man can be. Therefore, we see this achievement in the human realm of destruction.
Joel 1:3 and 4 shows us the spiritual locusts that God is prophesying that should come forth in the land. “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.” God is speaking of a spiritual situation that will arise among humanity, wherein the destroyers would come, one after the other, and destroy the vine.
Later on, in Joel, He gave a PROMISE, a HOPE. This hope is to the overcomer. Joel 2:23-25, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” We see then that this is a spiritual locust, to destroy, to utterly decimate.
Revelation 9:3, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” This locust spirit will manifest in people and will come upon the earth and will hurt people, as scorpions hurt. I believe that this is some type of radiation burn that some people will suffer.
Verse 4, “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not THE SEAL OF GOD in their foreheads.”
“The seal of God” is going to deliver the people of God. Two people will stand together and one will be burnt up and the other not burnt. One will be taken and the other left. This is the message that God gave in Matthew 24:40 when He said, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” – one taken away for destruction and the other left untouched, unscathed.
Revelation 9:5 and 6, “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”
We have already seen that these locusts were not really insects but that they were men. Verse 7 tells you exactly what to look for.
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.”
JOHN’S VISION OF A MECHANIZED ARMY
Verses 8 – 10, “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.”
The prophet was attempting to describe something that no one had ever seen before. He did not know what he was looking at. We can only describe something like something else we know. From the unknown, there is no way to go to the known. We then have to go from the known to the unknown. John saw something. They were in order, standing like horses, ready to go into battle, prepared for battle. They had something that looked like golden crowns on their heads. I think that what he was seeing was a modern, mechanized army. He was looking at tanks, helicopters with whirling blades that looked like crowns on their heads, and the men manning these things and the things being manned were as one.
When the men of Cortez attacked the Inca Empire in South America, the Incas thought they were seeing horse-men. They thought the horses and the man were one thing and because of this, they surrendered. They thought they were dealing with some extraordinary creature. They did not know that it was natural men riding horses. This is what the prophet saw.
Their “hair as the hair of women” could be a symbol of their covering. When you read further on, it tells you that their covering was Satan. They were under the rulership of Satan. Remember, we are seeing a vision and this vision has symbolic things to be interpreted. He was looking at the modern army. This army had guns; brimstone and fire was coming out from the front and the back. God was showing him a mechanized, modern-day army ready to go into battle. “The sound of their wings” (the propeller blades) and the rumbling of engines were like “many horses running to battle.” He could recognize the breastplates as being made of iron because in those days he knew about iron, but he had never seen a mechanized piece of equipment that could self-propel. He must have thought he was looking at some strange creature or some strange animal from outer space.
Revelation 9:11, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”
We know that “Apollyon” means destroyer. Satan does not have the power to go and destroy anybody he desires. In the case of Job, he had to go to God to get authority to afflict Job’s body and to kill his children and cattle. Satan does not normally have this power.
What we are reading here is that the pit will be opened and power will be given to him. He is “the angel of the bottomless pit” and power will be given to him to destroy. This is a type of destruction that we have never seen since the beginning of time. This is going to be the worst period of destruction that the earth will ever see. God is going to give him the power to destroy.
THE DIVINE LAW OF WARFARE
In Divine law, there is a time when things come to a certain point where certain things have to be allowed. For instance, when God delivers man and gives man a certain amount of power to overcome Satan, God will have to give Satan the power to launch an attack against that man. We must be able to use the weapons of our warfare which God has given us. If we do not use the weapons which we have, the enemy will overcome us though we had the power to overcome him.
Abner died “as a fool dieth.” David declared “thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou…” See 2 Samuel 3:27, 33 and 34. When God gives us weapons to use, we need to learn how to use them AND to use them. God will allow us to get into skirmishes with the devil and his forces so that we might learn to use our weapons. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” 2 Corinthians 10:4a. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world…” Ephesians 6:12.
There is a time in the three and a half year period when the sons of God will receive power, when the enemy is loosed. At this period, right here (in Revelation 9) the sons have not yet received the power. In the sixth seal, the power will be given to the sons of God to overcome the enemy and to overcome the darkness.
In this verse Apollyon is loosed. The destroyer has been given the power to destroy. Never since God made man has man ever had the power of destruction as he possesses at this time. He has possessed the powers of destruction for a long time and they have not been used. WHY? Because God is holding back until the appointed time. There is an appointed time for God to loose the powers of darkness. They are not being loosed indiscriminately but are being loosed piece by piece. As the time comes, God looses them.
Revelation 9:12, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come TWO WOES more hereafter.”
The chapter began with the sounding of the fifth trumpet. The fifth seal was the place in God’s business where man was asked to offer his soul. In the first trumpet, we were asked to offer the body, the living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. See Romans 12:1. The second offering that God asks is no longer the body but the soul. He wants the soul to be given to Him.
BREAKING EVERY FAMILIAR SPIRIT
The offering of the soul is the offering of the mind, the emotions, the will, and the desires. The mind that we have is a mind, not fashioned after the mind of Christ, but fashioned after the mind of our families. We think like our families think, we behave as our families behave, we do the things that our families have been doing for years and years and years. We are a part of a family, part of a people, part of a nation. The spirits that rule over us and our ancestors and caused our ancestors to behave in a certain fashion – warlike, or loving, or whatever way they behaved – it was all organized and accelerated and assisted and abetted by spirits that occupy that family.
We call these spirits “familiar spirits,” because they belong to the family. Familiar spirits are in every family. Because we were born under Adam, we became part of a whole network of familiar spirits who are directly under princes of devils ruling the whole earth. The whole earth is under Satanic rule throughout his palities, different areas of rulership. The world is divided into different areas of rulership and Satanic government.
This truth is made clear in Daniel 10:12 – 14. “Then said he to me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.”
PRINCES AND THEIR PALITIES (PRINCIPALITIES)
In these Scriptures we get a little insight into the kingdom of Satan. The prince of the kingdom of Persia who withstood the mighty angel Gabriel was not a human prince. Neither are we writing about the physical kingdom of Persia. This kingdom must have spread beyond the boundaries of the physical area called Persia. We understand from this Word in Daniel that Satan has princes that rule within certain areas and these princes have great power.
As we advance in the study of the Word we will see very clearly that there are spirits that rule over nations. Each head of government and each government has spirits that rule over it. Each family has spirits that rule in the family. When we turn to God the power of the ruling spirits is broken and we become free from their rule over us. The spirits may harass us, hinder us or even oppress us, depending on where we are in the Spirit, but cannot rule over us anymore. As believers we have “power…over all the power of the enemy” according to Luke 10:19. This is the reason the Lord told us through the apostle Paul to pray for the leaders of our country (1 Timothy 2:1 and 2) because we can disrupt the work of devils in our nation.
Nevertheless, Christians do revert into submitting themselves under these spirits, and then they become bound. For instance, some Christians go back and put themselves under national spirits, becoming nationalistic and sectarian in their approach to God. The true servant of God should never be sectarian, whether it be to your nation or to your family, but should be ready and willing to be a part of what God is doing in the earth.
1 Peter 2:9 says that we are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation.” Christians belong to the new family of God. There is a tie, a covenant (Ephesians 2:12-22) through the blood of Jesus Christ, to those who are under the blood of Jesus in the church. The church is made up of the called-out people. Believers are called out according to families. The Scripture describes it as tribes. There is a calling from God and as we follow the calling of God we break the bands and the bondage of the spirits that bind our families and bind us as individuals. We keep on breaking these bands until we become absolutely free in Christ Jesus when the fullness has come.
THE SOUL OF MAN OFFERED ON THE GOLDEN ALTAR
The soul is an area where spirits want to reign. Remember, the soul of man is the throne of God, therefore every other spirit desires to get in there to reign and to rule. When we accept Jesus, we receive a cleansing of the soul area – the mind, emotions, will, and desires. These areas are not yet fully possessed by the Lord Jesus. We have to surrender each area to the Lord. The sacrifice at the golden altar is where the soul of man is offered to God.
Revelation 9 begins with the fifth trumpet being blown and that is the fifth message to the soul of man. This message says that when we give God our heart He will give us His kingdom. The heart of man, then, is being wooed by God. While this offering of the soul is being made, many other terrible things are happening (the pit is opened and so forth), but God has provided man a hiding place. Whenever we give our soul over to God, we come under the shadow of the Almighty (the sixth work of grace in the church). As we come under this shadow, hell literally breaks loose on earth. God will not allow the enemy to pour out his wrath upon the nations until His people are safe under His shadow. We see then that the fifth trumpet calls us to a place of safety. Those of us who obey this call will be under the shadow of the Almighty. When the sixth trumpet blows, we will already be safe.
We need to understand what God is saying to us, where we, the CHURCH, ARE at this time, the time 1998. We have been here for a long time. I have been saying from 1985 that we are at this point. God is bringing the church in. Some have been in longer than others. God is bringing people to the point where they do not want anything more of the world. They are fed up with the world. They hate the world and the things of the world. They want to submit everything to Christ. This is where we are! God is bringing us. The mind is being pulled towards thinking of nothing but Christ and the things of God. This is the work of the golden altar.
Those who turn back from the golden altar will go out to face the destruction in the world. Many men have turned from the golden altar without making the offering, not knowing that they have turned. They believe they are still going on. It is like a man going along a road lost, because the road is the wrong road., but he does not know. He thinks he is going on the right road.
At this point of time God is requiring of every Christian AN OFFERING, and this offering is not from your pockets, it is from your soul! He wants your mind! He needs your emotions now! Unless your emotions are tied up and bound up under Christ, you are in trouble, because the enemy will be able to reach you. Brethren, our emotions (ANGER – and the things we use our emotions to do – many things – to love – to operate in the world), God is saying that OUR EMOTIONS must now come under God or we are in grave danger.
Where is our will? Is our will bound up with Christ or is it loose and hanging out there in a place of danger? The will must be offered to God even as the priest offered the burning incense praying for his soul and the soul of his people. As the incense burns and the smoke goes up before God, God accepts it because it is an offering of peace and an offering of righteousness. So it is that God is asking man to offer his will to God NOW!
The symbol of the will is the ox. In the Old Testament it was depicted as THE OX, a stubborn creature. In Revelation 4, when the will was brought under God, it was likened to a calf. A calf sucks milk and this is what GOD WANTS – THE CALF WILL, not the ox will. When the will is offered, it is transformed into a calf.
The last area of the soul to be offered is the desires. I once asked God, “How can I beat Satan at his game of tempting and disturbing and frustrating?” God said, “You can beat him by desiring nothing.” If you desire nothing, he has nothing to tempt you with. You cannot be tempted with something that you do not want. You are tempted with the things you want. This is the problem. If we could so control our desires that we put them entirely in God and we only want the things God wants for us, then we would be able to overcome every temptation of Satan. There is no way you can be tempted with something that you do not want or do not like. THE DESIRES then are depicted AS A MAN (Revelation 4:7), because the human being is a creature of desire. He has more desires than any other creature.
The mind is typed by the eagle, the flying eagle – restless, always flying high. The emotions are typed by the lion – savage, brutal. The will is typed by the ox. The desires are typed by the man. We have to get all these areas under the Spirit of God. When man has his mind, his emotions, his desires, and his will under God, then Christ can begin to come forth within the soul area of man and we receive the mind of Christ, the emotions of God, the will of the Father, and the desires of Christ.
THE SIXTH TRUMPET
We come to the sixth trumpet in Revelation 9:l3-15. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”
THE THIRD WORLD WAR!
In these verses we see the full impact of the third world war. “Loose” them now the angel cried, “Loose” them! The angel that spoke was “from the four horns of the golden altar.” Why? Because “the golden altar” means that the sacrifice is complete. It is time. The people of God have now come under the shadow of the Almighty, and the voice is calling to say “Loose the four angels” because all is well at the golden altar.
“Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”
WHY “THE RIVER EUPHRATES”?
The first mention of “the…river Euphrates” in Scripture is in Genesis 2, where God speaks of the river dividing into four heads. Verse 14b, “And the fourth river is Euphrates.” Euphrates is a river that runs through and waters the garden of Eden, as we understand from Scripture. The garden of Eden is where God placed the first man, the first civilization. From the garden of Eden, people began to multiply through the rest of the earth.
I consider it important to pinpoint the Euphrates because it occupies a very important position in the Scripture. Look at a map. The Euphrates begins in Mount Ararat which is in Armenia. This river comes all the way down and empties into the Persian Gulf. It forms a barrier between the east and the west or between what we call Asia Minor (which in Scripture is called Asia, which is Turkey) and places like Israel, Iraq, Iran, and Egypt. It forms a definite barrier. For someone to come from that part of Asia into this other section, they must cross the Euphrates.
The reference to the Euphrates here is not a natural reference, although we are speaking about a natural river. Remember how God uses words? He gives us the natural which we can understand easily. Then He gives us a spiritual meaning and then He gives us a meaning in the fullness. In dealing with the Revelation, we are dealing mostly with the FULLNESS of the Word of God. In several places where the word “Euphrates” is mentioned it is showing something spiritual.
Let us look at verse 14 again. “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”
A natural river could not bind spiritual beings. Therefore, God is not talking about the river but about the people of the Euphrates.
Let us look more keenly at the Euphrates basin. The map shows the two nations that are mostly involved with the river Euphrates, the nations of Iran and Iraq. We see part of the river going through Syria and Turkey. All these nations are part of what God is talking about.
In the seventh chapter of Revelation, the four angels are standing on the four corners – the mind, the emotions, the will, and the desires of man. For someone to open up the pit of hell on earth, that is, to unleash atomic weaponry in the world and to cause the kind of destruction that we know is coming in World War III, it would take a people with a certain kind of a spirit. Remember the Gulf War and what was done by Hussein of Iraq? We can see into the psychology of the man and what a man like Hussein would do if he had the atom bomb. He was left alive, and he is still in Iraq plotting. We know this is the end of time. We are not saying that he is going to be the one, but someone like him who has the intention, the desire, and the reckless spirit of using the atomic weapon is going to unleash it.
The spirits that govern these people are what God is talking about. God is not talking about spirits bound in a natural river. The human river, the Euphrates, where the cradle of humanity began, is the place where the devil is putting his throne and where the spirits of hell are going to be loosed among those people, upon their minds, upon their emotions, upon their will (they will have the will to do it), and we know they have the desire to do it. Revelation 2:12 and 13, the message to the church of Pergamos says “Satan’s seat” and it is in that area in Turkey.
Look on the map and see the eastern corner of the river, just where the delta enters into the sea, on the Persian Gulf. There is a city called ABADAN. In Scripture, “ABADDON” means the destroyer in Hebrew. Abadan is Arabic. I am sure that Abadan means the destroyer. It is a symbol of the thought that the spirits being loosed in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are what God is talking about in chapter 9 of Revelation.
A SPECIAL HOUR OF DESTRUCTION
Notice the four angels being loosed “were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” This verse exactly says, without any apology, that there is a special day, a special month, in a special year, that is ordained of God for this thing to happen. These angels are being prepared for that special hour of destruction when hell will be unleashed upon earth and mankind will be in trouble. In that day we should be under the shadow of the Almighty or we will be in bad shape because they are going “to slay the third part of men.”
When the Scripture speaks of “the third part of men,” it does not necessarily mean one third of the population of the world. It could be more or less. Basically, “the third part of men,” from a spiritual perspective, is his carnality. Flesh is going to be destroyed, a lot of human flesh – not necessarily souls, but flesh. Some of the people who die might be going to heaven. Not everybody who is going to die will go to hell.
TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND THOUSAND
Revelation 9:16, “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”
Every time we come to a number in Scripture, it has a meaning. This number would be two hundred million and the two is a type of a witness company. Eight zeros behind the two means such a fullness of an army that this would be the very epitome of the army of Satan himself. This army would have all the equipment that the devil could muster and put into man, and all the ingenuity and ability to destroy. This is a destroying army and this is the army of Satan.
Verse 17, “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.”
We are talking about a modern army with steel-plated armament. The man has his helmet of steel on and he is looking out from the gun turret and the guns are blazing forth with “fire and smoke and brimstone” which is the firepower. “Breastplates of fire,” their defense, was “brimstone…out of their mouths” of the guns. The prophet saw mechanized equipment and he thought they were “horses.” In those days there were no vehicles that could propel themselves along.
“Thus I saw the horses in the vision…having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth.” The word “jacinth” describes the color of the flame of fire that goes forth. “And the heads of the horses were as the heads of LIONS” meaning the ROAR of the guns. “And out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” We are talking about guns and cannons that are mounted on equipment of war – tanks and other vehicles.
THE THREE KILLERS
Revelation 9:18, “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”
The “fire, and…smoke, and…brimstone” – ALL WERE KILLERS. This all “issued out of their mouths.” This is very easy for us to understand for we see this on television, and those of us who have been in a battle of any kind understand what this means. Notice, THE “SMOKE” is a weapon, a killer. This is the radiation that is going to kill men. Not just “the fire,” not just the gunpowder or “the brimstone,” but “the smoke” will kill.
Verse 19, “For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails.” Can you imagine having a vision and seeing a creature coming along and spitting fire out the front and out the back and you do not know what it is? It has a long rear gun and a long forward gun and it is spitting fire out the front and out the back. What would you call it? You would describe it as a “mouth, and…tails.” This is what the prophet saw. “For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads.” These are guns with a muzzle and a muzzle cap. They were like serpents “and had heads,” long and slender. “And with them they do hurt.”
Remember, we have been maintaining from the very beginning that this is WORLD WAR III, men killing men. Jesus Christ spoke to the brethren in Matthew 24 and said that there shall be “wars and rumors of wars,” and “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” In Luke 21 He spoke of “the sea and the waves roaring.” “The SEA” refers to the nations and “the WAVES” in the sea refer to the different factions in each nation which make up the nations. They will all be agitating and roaring.
Revelation 9:20a, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands…”
NO REPENTANCE CAUSES SPIRITS TO REIGN
You would think that people who escaped from a war of such dreadful and awful proportions would repent. The Scripture says that although they escaped (they “were not killed”), they “repented not of the works of their hands.” Men who built and invented these destructive things DID NOT REPENT. That means that they will continue to do it.
Revelation 9:20b, “That they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.” It seems that the scripture is saying that “the works of their hands” was to “worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood.” Meaning to say, the MATERIAL things these men were worshipping caused them to be brutal and enter into war. Spirits were reigning over them.
Men do not really do things of their own volition but are ruled over by evil spirits. They refuse God, reject God, and God gives them over to their own devices, and demons and devils take charge of them. The rulers of all nations are under the power of devils. There are no righteous rulers. We do not know of any. The rulers of these nations, which are devils, are bringing humanity into constant war and clash, one with another. The only time this will cease is when the PRINCE OF PEACE Jesus Christ Himself comes.
MURDER IS ON THE INCREASE
The scripture went on to mention the things of which they did not repent. Verse 21a, “Neither repented they of their murders.” Murder has increased. From the time Cain murdered Abel, man has developed a spirit of murder and all the spirits of murder seem to concentrate on the human race. More and more, murder has become a pastime. People are preoccupied with murder. More people die from murder in cities than die in wars. War is a type of murder, but when the scripture mentions “murders,” it means the desire in man to kill man.
The weapons of today are so vicious and brutal that a child can just touch a trigger and kill many people. Weapons are now DEVIL WEAPONS, murderous weapons, laser weapons. Touch a trigger and an unseen shaft of light goes forth and bores a hole through the victim. These are simple things now in the hands of man.
It is so easy to murder. Every day you read in the newspaper of someone killing two or three people. A man can kill 40 or 50 people and be kept alive. To increase murder, people who do not believe in the Word of God begin to agitate and say that authorities should not execute a murderer; that executing a murderer is just the same as murder. These people definitely do not know the Word of God and the plan of God. When He made man He said that man should not kill man. Every man that kills man, the blood of that man will be required at his hands, and he forfeits his life whenever he kills another human being. An animal that kills a human being is killed, although the creature does not know better. God has laid down rules (Genesis 9:5 and 6), but men refuse to accept these rules and there will be anarchy.
SORCERY AND DEVIL WORSHIP
Revelation 9:21b, “Nor of their sorceries.” Men believe in sorcery. They go about their business every day and think things and do things and have hearts of murder and hate against one another. This in itself is a type of sorcery, because it gives demon spirits and devils the power to hurt other human beings, but there is a worse part to it. We go to church and say we are worshipping God and we are NOT actually worshipping God. God said, in John 4:24, “…They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” We say that we worship Him, but we are worshipping something else. Who is getting that worship? Satan. If we pray and we do not pray to God, then who are we praying to?
I remember a time when I was in some spiritual trouble and a friend of mine went to a certain spiritual person to get some help for me. This spiritual person wrote down a prayer that I should pray. He wrote down certain things that I should do – natural things. To me, they were just natural things that I should do – one, two, three. I went and did these things and prayed the prayer that the person told me to pray and the problem ceased. Now who did it? I can tell you. It was the devil. It was the devil’s work that wanted to catch my soul. I will not call the religion by name. They wanted to make me one with them, but I eventually refused. A curse was placed upon me that I would have seven years of crosses. It turned out to be a blessing, for in that seven years when I cursed the talisman that I was given to wear and burned it, I got saved. I received Jesus as my Saviour. I had defied the forces of hell in that church and the normal practice of so many millions. This church is one of the biggest organizations in the world and they practice sorcery instead of worshipping God. Yet all the people believe that it is God they are worshipping.
Verse 21c,”Nor of their fornication.”
This word “fornication,” pornea in the Greek, does not necessarily have to be natural fornication; although, when it is spiritual, it manifests in the natural also. Men MIX (spiritual fornication) with the world and have a doctrine for it that says that we Christians must get involved with our worldly community programs, with our secular society, with politics, etc. We are told that if we do not get involved with politics, we do not love our people, our nation, but that is not true. God called us OUT of the world unto Himself. The word church, ekklesia in the Greek, means called-out.
If we are called out then we must be called to something. We are called out of the world and unto God, but many do not always go to God. Certain churches tell them that they must get involved and they turn right back and get involved with the world. Many say they are saved, but still carry on in some sin although they go to church on Sundays, still praise God and worship THEY KNOW NOT WHAT. That is what Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4, “ye worship ye know not what.” Many of us are in this situation, this condition.
Verse 21d, “Nor of their thefts.”
Some people will steal you blind, telling themselves it is legal. There are some legal ways of robbing, cheating, and taking away that which is not yours, and calling it profit unto yourself. Many Christians are involved in this. This Scripture is not just speaking of Christians, but also of sinners who are thieves. They design laws and fight and lobby and use lawyers and congressmen to get certain laws passed so they can rob you legally.
Although mankind had been chastised severely by the circumstances which God allowed upon the earth, THEY NEVER REPENTED of their wickedness. Therefore, another woe must come.
Revelation chapter 10 tells us of the eating of the little book and the effect that it has in the human realm.
Chapter 10:1, “And I saw another mighty angel come 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.”
From what the angel looks like, we can understand what the whole chapter is about. This angel’s “face was (shining) as it were the sun.” In Revelation 1:16, Jesus Christ in the church shone as the sun. “His countenance was as the sun.” In Matthew 17:2, Jesus Christ was transfigured before the brethren and “his face did shine as the sun.”
Matthew 28:3 tells us of the angel sitting on the stone after the stone was rolled away in the resurrection, and his face “was like lightning,” it was bright. Matthew 13:43 says that all who love God WILL SHINE. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
In the Old Testament, Moses’ face shone when he was in the presence of God for forty days. The radiation of God’s glory came off upon his face and in him and “his face shone” like the sun. See Exodus 34:30. This glory was referred to in 2 Corinthians 3:7 and 8. “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?” Paul was comparing the glory that we have now with the glory that was of the Old Testament. Verse 9, “For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.”
If under the law Moses’ face could shine and the glory could come out of him, we can imagine what it will be in our New Testament times when we are filled with the glory of God. Acts 6:15 tells us of Stephen being brought before the council who “saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” Later, when men stoned him and he was dying, he saw “the heavens opened” and “the glory of God.” I do not think it caused those men to repent, but praise God, his face might have shone just for Saul (to save him). I do not think Saul ever forgot when Stephen was dying that the glory of God came upon Stephen.
Revelation 10:1b, “and a rainbow was upon his head.”
The rainbow angel must be an angel of much promise. GOD IS PROMISING US! After the flood, the first thing Noah and his family saw when they came out of the ark was a glorious rainbow in the sky. A rainbow is magnificent! We saw a perfect rainbow a few days ago and it was completely round and so beautiful. The rainbow is a promise of God that He will not destroy every living thing from the earth any more. This is the time to receive the promises of God.
In spite of the war, in spite of the destruction, God says to the people that He has promised to deliver us. This earth will never be destroyed by anything; it will not be destroyed completely by fire. All that will be destroyed is the wickedness and the sin. The earth will be purged by fire, but not destroyed. The rainbow is a sign from God to say that He is here and He still remembers His promise. He still remembers us!
THOSE WHO HAVE AN EAR TO HEAR
Revelation 10:2 and 3, “And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.”
The “little book” is the WORD OF GOD that was sealed. When the cry went forth, the seals were broken and the seven words were delivered. We have not heard them. Many men have not heard these seven words. The words that are delivered IN THE SPIRIT are delivered only for those who have an ear to hear.
“He that hath an ear to hear.” You can hear and you do not hear. You can listen and you do not hear and you can listen and hear! When this angel, at this point of time, opened the book, it was after the war. All that is opened is over and the seventh seal is about to be broken. At the seventh seal all the mystery will be finished.
“He set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.” To put a foot upon an enemy in times past was a symbol of TOTAL VICTORY. The angel is setting one “foot upon the sea,” which is the nations. “He set…his left foot on the earth,” which means upon the carnal realm, the natural people. God has gained total victory over all things – the earth and carnality, everything! Right now, carnality reigns in certain places. Right now, men are riding high. The nations believe that they are powerful and wonderful, but God is putting a foot, in this time frame after the war, upon the earth and sea and saying that He has gained the victory over them. His overcomers have overcome them! The Bible says he “cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth and…seven thunders uttered their voices.” We are hearing the voice of the seven messages, the fulness of the message.
Verse 4, “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”
Remember Daniel 12:9? “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” The Word of God was sealed up until “the time of the end” which began with Jesus Christ. He began to loose the seals and give the understanding (which is the message) of what He is saying. The seven messages have not been understood by the church, by us, and God is now giving us the understanding of the seven messages. Yet it remains for us to get the fulness of this understanding. The seventh message is the MESSAGE OF RESURRECTION. It is the message that will take us from the grave into immortality.
Verses 5 and 6, “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 that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.”
This angel is saying that this is it. There is no more time. Time has come to an end. “The angel…sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are…” Let us check one scripture to make sure we understand what we are writing.
Colossians 1:13-18, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him; And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” “By Him” and in His name, this angel saw that the time had come to an end.
THE SEVENTH ANGEL BEGINS TO SOUND
Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
This seventh trumpet is going to sound for one thousand years. “When he shall BEGIN to sound” it will be the seventh millennium. And he will be sounding through the whole thousand years of the millennium. All those who are to be resurrected will be resurrected. All those who are to be saved will be saved.
The angel said, “The mystery of God SHOULD BE FINISHED, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” What did the prophets declare would happen during that seventh millennium?
The first thing that would happen is in 1 Corinthians 15:45-52. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (Jesus Christ) was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (remember, the order is the natural, the spiritual, then the fulness); and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (that means at the seventh trumpet): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
“The trumpet” is the Word, the message. “For the trumpet (message) shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.”
Verses 53-55, “For this corruptible (this wretched thing, this realm in which we are that is exposed to corruption) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Do you know where the sting of death is? Verses 56 and 57, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The sounding of the seventh trumpet is the sounding of resurrection. The saints will be resurrected when the seventh trumpet is sounded. This trumpet is going to be sounded in the millennium to bring in everlasting peace and to bring in Christ to reign and rule on earth. In our low estate, we have to be caught up out of this realm into a heavenly realm. Remember, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Therefore something has to happen to us.
Let us read in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 what is to happen. “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.” If Jesus Christ is coming down, then the glory and the heavenly realm will be coming to earth. He “shall descend from heaven with a shout.” It is a descending. Now when He descends, we will have to ascend spiritually. For if He descends physically and we ascend physically, then we would be going up while He is coming down.
Verse 17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (With whom? “With them,” the first batch that shall rise first) “in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This does not mean that we are going to be in the air forever with the Lord. This word “air” could not refer to the atmosphere, because the word, in the Greek, aera means the air from sea level to the mountain top. It does not go further than the mountain top. It means we will be caught up out of our carnality, out of our physicalness into spirituality.
As it says, “this corruptible (this thing that is susceptible to corruption) must put on incorruption” and so we will be like Jesus Christ. That means we will have to be changed to be like Him. We will be like Him. “We shall be changed” to be another being than the one we are here. Spirit, soul, and body? Yes, but spirit will overtake soul and soul will overtake body. Jesus, although a physical man roasting fish and eating fish by the seaside after His resurrection, came into a room and said to the brethren, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,” Luke 24:39. If anybody thinks we are going to become spirits, let me correct you. We are not going to become spirits, we will be men but we will have a glorified body even like His glorious body.
When will this resurrection of the sons of God take place? Remember, Scripture explains Scripture! If someone explains something to you and there is no Scriptural basis, it is not Scriptural.
Matthew 24:30 and 31, “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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his Elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” That is, from one end of the kingdom of God to the other. Verses 32 and 33, “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.”
When is this going to happen? Matthew 24:29, “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.” Remember, there are three different types of FALLEN STARS. These “stars” are not natural stars, but sons of God who will give their lives and will be resurrected. “The sun be darkened (the gospel of Jesus Christ stopped for a few moments, three and a half days), and the moon shall not give her light (the church will be darkened), and the stars (the sons of God) shall fall from heaven (give their lives).” Revelation 8:1 said, “There was silence in heaven.” If you understand the Word of God, you will be able to join verse to verse.
THE DAY OF THE TRUMPET OR THE MILLENNIUM
Let us continue to look at what the prophets said about this “great trumpet.” Isaiah 27:12 and 13, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
When we read about “Egypt…Israel…Assyria…Jerusalem” we must remember that all these are SPIRITUAL TERMS. It does not necessarily mean these lands. The spiritual term for “Assyria and Egypt” are places of sin and bondage. The spiritual term for “Jerusalem” is the city of God and for “Israel,” the people of God. The Jerusalem of God and the Israel of God are the people of God, not Jews. Isaiah was written to the Jews because God used them to construct the Bible, but it does not mean that all this prophecy is referring to Jews. The people of God, the children of Abraham, are NOW the children of faith.
Here is one last scripture concerning what the prophets say about this trumpet, the day of the trumpet, the millennium. Isaiah 65:17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Remember, we are spiritual people and are not talking about natural earth and natural skies. The Scriptures say that “the earth abideth forever.” The “new earth” God is speaking about is the new Jerusalem, the new heaven where God is going to dwell. We are the temple of the living God; each person is a temple and many temples make a city. The city of temples is called Jerusalem in Scripture.
The spiritual language would be verses 18-21 of Isaiah 65. “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people (this is the Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth): and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.” The reason why is that they will have a whole thousand years in which to do this.
Isaiah 65:22-25, “They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” This is the promise of God and a look into the millennium which “He hath declared to his servants the prophets,” Revelation 10:7b.
Revelation 10:8 and 9, “And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.”
“The little book” is the Word of God, but the taking of the little book and the eating of it is much deeper than just reading and studying and listening to the Word of God. The Word of God becomes life in the believer even as Jesus Christ said. There is a spiritual principle in eating the Word of God. The principle is that all beings live, consist, and have their being in Christ. That is, there is no other life giver and no other life. If we have life, then we have it from Christ, and this life demands to be fed by life from the same source from which that life comes, which is from the Father. Even devils get their life and energy from God. They do not get it directly but they get it by proxy.
DEVILS GET THEIR LIFE AND ENERGY FROM MAN
In Genesis 3:19, God, speaking to Adam, said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for DUST THOU ART, and unto DUST shalt thou return.” In Genesis 3:14, God placed a curse on the serpent. “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and DUST shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” God is saying that the serpent is going to use man to get his life and his energy.
This thought is confirmed in Isaiah 14:12-14. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” We should change this word “Lucifer” to the proper Hebrew word “Heylel.” There was no such word “Lucifer” when this passage was written by Isaiah. Lucifer is a Latin word and it means shining, bright one. Why translators used Latin, I do not know. We are comfortable with the name in Hebrew, therefore the word is “Heylel.” “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Heylel, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
This egotistic boast was made by Satan himself who thought that even though God had an Elect company, even though God had planned a people to destroy him, that he, Satan, was going to overthrow them and he was going “to sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” Psalm 48:1 and 2 tells us who this “mount of the congregation” is. “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is MOUNT ZION, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” What God calls “mount Zion” is what Satan said he was going to take and rule over.
Zion was the fortress in Jerusalem which David took from the Jebusites and built as his stronghold. It is where David and his mighty men lived. The word “Zion” is the seventh letter in the Hebrew language, whose value is SEVEN. God uses “Zion” to symbolically mean His strong ones, His mighty ones.
JOB ONLY HAD FAITH IN GOD
Satan looks at us and thinks that we are puny and wretched. He challenged God concerning Job. He scorned Job. He said that Job would curse God to His face, if He just touched his skin. He said, “Skin for skin” meaning that the guy is nothing but skin and bones and he could get him to curse God. God withdrew His presence from Job and allowed Satan to touch him. When Satan had tried the man for three years, had him down in sackcloth and ashes, sores all over his body, pain and suffering, without any word or promise from God, and the man did not curse God, SATAN LOST.
Satan lost against a natural man. Job was not filled with the Holy Ghost. He did not have the blood of Jesus Christ. He only had FAITH IN GOD! He said, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God,” Job 19:26. Against such faith Satan has no power.
GOD’S SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM
We now come back to that word in Colossians 1:13-18 which says that God alone has all the power. All principalities and all powers can only consist upon His allowing them to have food and energy and life. We see a problem here, but GOD HAS A SOLUTION. We are given as our food the animals – the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the beasts – from whom we get our life in the natural. If Satan is allowed to eat our energy and take the energy from our world to run his kingdom, then we seem to be in bad shape, but one of the greatest things God has ever done for us is that He allowed us to be the food of Satan, because when we rise up and stop him from feasting on us we will destroy him by the blood of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Ghost. He will not be able to survive without food.
DEVILS FEED ON BLOOD
In 1 Peter 5:8 we read, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan devours humanity upon the basis of the energy, or the life, or the spiritual force that is in MAN’S BLOOD. The blood is the very essence of our lives, the source of God’s energy. Scripture says that we feed from God, and the blood of man has the life of man, and Satan must feed on life. He cannot get it from God because he cannot go back to God. Neither can devils go to God to feast from God. Therefore, they must take it from us.
When Adam fell, Satan took the kingdom and the authority and the power and the energy from man. The devil seeks blood. The devil lives on blood. This is one of the reasons he encourages people to offer sacrifices to him. We must accept the principle that Satan lives on the blood of human beings because in the blood there is life.
DIABOLOS IS PART OF SATAN’S KINGDOM
There are other dimensions by which Satan feeds upon humanity, not just by taking his blood and his life. There is a word in the Scripture called diabolos in the Greek. It is translated slanderer, prone to slander, false accuser. It is the very name of Satan and means that people who slander act like little devils. In other words, slanderers have become part of the Satanic kingdom. 1 Timothy 3:11 speaks of the qualifications of the servant of God and says, “Even so must their wives be grave, NOT SLANDERERS, sober, faithful in all things.” Satan feeds (draws life) from the slanderer and from the person who listens to slander. The person who listens to slander is as much a part of the slander as the person who slanders.
2 Timothy 3:1-3, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, FALSE ACCUSERS (little devils), incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” It means that when a person takes a tale from one person to another and brings discord among the brethren, he is actually allowing Satan to feed upon him. Satan feeds upon him and upon the person who receives the slander. A person is weak when he has finished slandering or listening to slander.
Titus 2:1-3, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, NOT FALSE ACCUSERS (the name for Satan, diabolos), not given to much wine, teachers of good things.”
This same word appears in the Old Testament with the same connotation (the same meaning) attached to it. Satan recruits people to work for him like he recruits demons to go from place to place, slandering, carrying tales, carrying evil, a false report, an evil report. Some reports may be true but they are not worthwhile for Christians to receive. We have a mandate and an authority from God to do the work of God. God is in the business of saving people. If we say that a thing is true, therefore, we are supposed to talk about it; this is not right. It is the wrong understanding of what truth is. Christ Jesus is truth and everything that is pertaining to Christ is truth. Anything else is not truth, it is of the devil.
Let me give you an example. You see a man preaching a word and there are people listening to him and people accepting the Word of God. And because you saw him steal from the store that morning, you go in their midst and stop them from listening to the Word of God saying that the man is a thief. It would be a true thing but it would not be the truth. It would not be glorifying God. What would glorify God would be if you would take the man aside and speak to him about his evil deeds, but not hurt those who are receiving the Word of God from him.
John 8:44, “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” The same word is being used in this verse to call some men who resemble the devil in their mind and in their operation as diabolos.
In 1 John 3:10 the same were called, in the Greek, teknon tu diabolos, children of the devil. We see the word being used for men and women who do the work of the devil. They have joined forces with the enemy and they do great damage in the human realm. When you speak evil of a person you actually send evil forces after that person. You give life to the evil beings that are around who want to hurt that person.
Let us look at the principle of eating as laid down in the Old Testament, upon which Jesus Christ walked and upon which He said that we should eat Him.
SPIRITUAL BEINGS MUST FEED ON SPIRITUAL THINGS
Colossians 1:16 and 17,“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and BY HIM ALL THINGS CONSIST.” There is nothing that can walk or talk or do anything except they get the power from God either directly or by proxy. Therefore, angels feed; spiritual beings feed. Man is spirit, soul, and body. Man’s spirit and soul must feed from some spiritual source for they cannot feed from the natural. Man’s body feeds from the earth and the earth keeps his body going. But it is not the earth that keeps his soul or his spirit going.
Psalm 78:25, “Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.” If “man did eat angels’ food,” that means angels have food.
David cried out to God spiritual utterance when he spoke of his soul being thirsty. Psalm 42:1-3, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?”
This passage clearly illustrates that the soul feeds. Spiritual beings must feed on spiritual things. Natural beings feed on natural things. Those who do not feed their souls with the spiritual bread of heaven are hungry and weak spiritually, without energy and life. This is what God is trying to say to us. The prophets of old prophesied that a generation should arise whom they called The Elect. They should feast upon the Word of God and become the Word of God. They should be transformed to being the Word of God, walking and talking the living Word, as God has ordained. We should be like Christ and He was The Living Word on earth.
EATING THE WORD
The basic principles of this understanding have been laid down in Leviticus, in the law. Let us look there and then we will understand what is meant by EATING THE WORD. In Leviticus chapter 11 God speaks to the Jews, telling them not to eat certain animals, and to eat certain animals. God is not talking about animals. To the Jews, YES. To those who were in the wilderness, YES. But not to us today. The Bible is a book with depth, and length, and height, and as we come from the natural plane, we begin to see that there is a depth within the Word, that we might understand it quite differently.
PARTING THE HOOF AND CHEWING THE CUD
Leviticus 11:2 and 3, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.”
“The beasts…that…parteth the hoof” IN THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION are the TWO WITNESS COMPANY, those who walk in THE SPIRIT and THE WORD (the two witnesses of God). They have PARTED HOOVES, their feet are shod, and they never have problems with walking on stones. They run and race over stones. If you watch goats on the rock, they run and jump from place to place. I have never seen a goat miss its step and fall from a rock. They have cloven feet. These are beasts which you should eat.
“Cheweth the cud” means those who speak the Word of God with truth. Those who not only catch it and swallow it and run off with it to turn it into action and make flesh out of it, but those who receive the Word of God, contemplate it, go to bed with it, eat it, bring it up again, eat it again, UNTIL it becomes part of them. God describes clean beasts, men, as “whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud.”
God said that there are some beasts (men) that eat (chew the cud), but they do not have cloven feet. They study, they get the Word and bring it up and eat it again, but they do not walk correctly. They have claws (they are NOT clean unto you). God spoke about the hare and the coney and other animals.
Then He said that there are some beasts who do NOT chew the cud but do have cloven feet. These are also unclean. In order to be clean, you must both walk the walk and talk the talk. You must do both, not just one. The swine is among those who walk the walk, but do not chew the cud.
CREATURES OF THE WATERS WITH FINS AND SCALES
God also said that there were those in the waters which you should and should not eat. There are TWO TYPES OF WATERS – sea (worldly) water and pure (rivers and fountains, the church) water.
Leviticus 11:9b, “Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.” “Whatsoever has fins and scales” in the world and in the church, “…them shall ye eat.” What does He mean? He is saying that eating makes you one with the person. There are those with whom you should not fellowship. You should not eat from their table, spiritually. You should not take in their doctrine. This will kill you.
Have you ever seen the fish with the fin? It beats the water with the fin. The fin works like wings so powerfully that it propels the fish forward or backward. The fish has total control with his fin. Fins are the means by which the fish move forward or backward or upward or downward. God is saying that if they do not have fins, do not eat them, do not become one with them. If they do not have fins, they are going to move like a serpent by twisting their body back and forth, trapping the water in their coil and propelling themselves forward. God says that we should not eat those. Eat those that “hath fins and scales.”
Scales keep the fish dry in a wet environment. His scales lock one upon the other and keep warmth in. As a matter of fact, the fish can extract warmth out of the coldest water by moving through the water. The little roughage on the scale, the friction with the rough scale and the water, produces heat for his body. The fish, therefore, MUST HAVE SCALES.
Would God write the Bible to tell us about fish? NO. The Bible is basically telling us about Jesus Christ. Therefore, when we read of things like this, we must realize that it has some reference to the Christian. This is why it is in the Bible. God is saying that the Christian lives a holy life in an unholy place. He lives in light while he is actually in a very dark place. He lives in truth while he is surrounded by lies and deception. He lives contrary to his environment. This is what God is saying. He says that the Christian moves on in the world and progresses in the world, not by going along with the grain of the world, but by overcoming the world through the beating of his fins like wings. His whole life is entirely opposite to the environment in which he is.
He said that all the creatures of the water which have “no fins nor scales” would be “an abomination” to the Jew to eat. See Leviticus 11:12. It is an abomination for a Christian to be part of the world, to be worldly, to be like the world. God wants the Christian to be like Jesus Christ. If we eat this world, we will become part of it.
FOWLS OF THE AIR
In Leviticus 11:13-15 we are told that we should not eat certain fowls that fly. “The eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, and the vulture, and the kite…every raven” would be unclean. There are different types of spiritual people. There are spiritual people who are of God and there are spiritual people who are not of God. God is telling us we should not have fellowship with those who are not of God. We must not eat them. They are unclean to us.
A fowl or a creature that flies defies gravity by flapping its wings. The shape of the creature is designed to be able to break away from gravity and soar in the air. This is a type of Christian who is able to overcome its natural forces and fly in the air. This is a type of spiritual person who is of God.
WHY ARE SOME FOWLS UNCLEAN? Why should we not eat them? The truth about these fowls is that they pick their prey. The eagle will fly and pick up live prey off the wing and eat it. The eagle will also eat dead prey, and vultures eat dead things. God is saying that the Christian should not eat dead (spiritually dead) things. We should have life. When we go to hear the Word of God, we should get life. It should not be a dead substance. We should not be taken in by those who do not have the life of God in them. Notice also, it is speaking about some types of ministry. Some types of ministry make a very good living by picking on live people, people who are real Christians. They will get these people to empty their pockets. God calls them vultures, PREDATORS. The person is spiritual, but a predator, and you should not eat at his table (spiritually speaking).
God mentions another type of fowl in Leviticus 11:16 and 17, and this type is like an owl. He says you should not eat “the owl…the little owl…and great owl.” Why? This bird can see very clearly in the darkness, but he cannot see in the light. This is the type of people who are always bringing a prophecy of who is going to die, and who is going to have wrong marriages. They are always prophesying about something evil that is going to happen. It does not mean that God’s prophet cannot prophesy something evil. But any time God’s prophet does this, it is intended to bring some glory to God by helping somebody who will need to know this before the time comes. Palm readers who can read into your future are all of the devil. We find some of this activity in the churches. People are actually submitting to certain spirits that God said you should not be having fellowship with. You can mark it, that any time there is a prophecy or a word, IT MUST GLORIFY JESUS CHRIST.
“JESUS SAID…EXCEPT YE EAT”
Whenever we want to make reference to a scripture, like an Old Testament scripture, we will say, for example, Leviticus chapter 11 and verse 7. But in the time of Jesus Christ, there were no verses and no chapters, just the writings of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the prophets, etc. Later, scholars added the chapters and verses that we might find these references very easily. When Jesus Christ made a reference to Leviticus, He was talking to people who ought to know better but many of them did not. And they came against Him for it.
Let us look at John 6:53-58. “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”
When Jesus said this, “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (See John 6:66) They thought that He was crazy. They did not think of the Word of God, when He quoted from Leviticus. When we eat of each other, we eat what is delivered to our souls. The soul feeds just as much as the body feeds. Soul food is spiritual; body food is natural. When Jesus spoke about eating, He was speaking about the same principle that was laid down in Leviticus chapter 11.
Revelation 10:10, “And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”
The eating of “the little book” is none other than the taking of the Word of God into one’s soul and making it a part of you. He said that it was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his belly. He had to walk in it and it was very bitter. It can be very bitter at times to walk in the Word of God and to live in the things that we have received and that we believe.
Revelation 10:11, “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” This means that the walking out of that which you have received will be much more bitter than the eating of it. When you receive the Word, you have to live in it, and you have to walk in it.
Thank you for reading Volume 1 of this book. It is to be followed by Volumes 2 & 3 shortly. You may discover The Pattern by Cecil J. duCille at your favorite ebook retailer. Daily devotions by the same author may be found on the world wide web at www.sonlightdevotional.org.
An in-depth commentary on one of the most misunderstood spiritual books of all time. The Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse, is the revealing of Jesus Christ to the world at the end of the age. The author, Cecil duCille, in this three volume series, will enlighten your understanding of how the Bible interprets itself and how you can come to understand the mysteries long hidden in this controversial, yet riveting book. Through his personal encounter with Jesus Christ, duCille has gained insight and wisdom on unlocking the spiritual pictures shown to John the Revelator while he was on the isle of Patmos over 2000 years ago. In this easy to read, easy to comprehend commentary the reader will receive a line upon line, precept upon precept appreciation for the book that is The Revelation.