Text: Rev. 3:5
READ THIS UNUSUAL ARTICLE DISCUSSING THE SPIRITUAL CLOTHING OF THE BRIDE, FOOLISH VIRGINS AND THE JEW. WHEN AND HOW WAS THIS SPIRITUAL CLOTHING RECEIVED? WHAT MATERIAL DOES THE APOSTLE PAUL COMMAND THE CHURCH TO WEAR? WHAT PART DOES THE OVERCOMER PORTRAY IN THE BRIDE OF CHRIST? ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE DOES THE OVERCOMER AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS WEAR THE SAME CLOTHING? WHAT PLAGUE DOES THE LAODICEAN AGE ENCOUNTER THAT NO OTHER AGE HAS FACED? WHY DOES THE SCRIPTURE DECLARE ONE GROUP IS DRESSED IN FINE LINEN WHILE ANOTHER GROUP WORE WHITE ROBES? WHAT DOES THESE WHITE ROBES REPRESENT? THIS ARTICLE PORTRAYS A SUBJECT SO SELDOM DISCUSSED BUT ONE MOST IMPORTANT TO THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.
WHAT IS THE BRIDAL GARMENT?
Everyone, no doubt, has a familiar idea of what we have reference to when we mention the word “garment”, or clothing. Garments are material used in covering nakedness. Bear that in mind as we begin our garment study found in the very first verses of Revelation 3. The church has just emerged from a thousand years of total darkness, barely entering into the glorious gospel light of truth; over a thousand years she has been deeply submerged in darkness by the Babylonian teaching, taught by the awful prophetess Jezebel, Rev. 2:20-24. From the scripture it is here we first begin to hear the phrase mentioned concerning garments. Reading from Rev. 3:5 we notice that the light of day (the gospel of truth) is barely breaking over the horizon of church history. It is in this Sardis Age we pick up our thoughts concerning garments–Sardis is the first age proceeding the long thousand years of Darkness. The name of the age itself means “those escaping”-escaping from what? Escaping from Babylonian darkness! Sardis represents Luther’s age as he leads the reformation (the escapees) out of Roman Catholicism since the Spirit is speaking to the escaping ones in the Lutheran period of the reformation. We also read in Rev. 3:5, where the messenger of the age has a message from God to His people that not only would accomplish a certain purpose pertaining to the believers, mainly placing them in a separate category from those clothed in darkness, but also note, this divine revelated message of Christ to His Church would also be spiritual clothing to cover their spiritual nakedness. These people have forsaken their former clothing of darkness of Babylonian teaching to step into glorious gospel truth. In darkness, naturally speaking, it would be difficult to recognize whether or not a person was clothed, wouldn’t it? Darkness covers nakedness but the light will always expose nakedness. Immediately we hear the Spirit saying to all over corners of this particular age, “He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” Notice again, spiritually speaking for centuries they have been clothed in darkness, but now all who walked in the light shall be clothed in white raiment (or Revelation of the Word).
THE WARDROBE OF THE EARLY CHURCH
What was the only garment worn by the early church? What is this white raiment offered to all overcomers of all ages to wear? We recall words of the apostle Paul admonishing the Roman church on what they should be clothed in, PUT YE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14), said he. This would mean church of the living God clothe your spiritual being with the REVELATED WORD OF GOD. This was not only the clothing worn by overcomers during the first age, white raiment was the clothing worn by the true body of Christ- until the Dark Age. This white raiment of the Revelated word given by the H. S. was clothing maintained by the true church until the dreaded dark ages when through circumstances she was forced to lose her Revelation of the word and enter this thousand years of darkness. It is the first age proceeding the dark ages called Sardis or escaping ones that God again picks up Paul’s admonishment to the first church age of being clothed in the word or the Lord Jesus Christ and offers that same covering of material to the escaping ones fleeing out of Babylon. Naturally Sardis did not have as much revelation therefore THEY did not have much spiritual clothing.
WHAT IS AN OVERCOMER?
He that OVERCOMETH (not to him that makes a start, goes for a while only to fall away back into darkness but to him who overcometh) (Babylonian) the same shall be clothed in white raiment. So. an overcomer is a believer in Christ who walks in all the light of Revelation given in his hour. It is only he who shall be clothed in white raiment. That constant admonishing of the promise that is offered to him who will dare to be an overcomer shows in each age there was always much truth to be obtained by each individual believer. Remember these benefits of God’s blessings through the word was ONLY OFFERED TO THOSE WHO OVERCAME by reaching out and obtaining all the truth that was offered by the Holy Spirit to the church in each particular area of time. Therefore overcomers being clothed in Luther’s age simply means wearing all the Revelation of that hour. Being clothed in white raiment means walking in all the revelated word given by the Holy Spirit to the escaping ones-those overcoming the plagues of the dark ages with all its supersti-tion and false teaching. Only those coming out into the glorious Gospel light would be CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT.
DARK AGES DISROBED THE CHURCH
Does a not strike you strange that here for the first time in all John’s writings to these 7 churches clothing or garments should be first mentioned to the Bride of this age who is coming out of a long period of darkness who are now beginning to walk in the light of Revelation. Know why? It is because the true church (or body of Christ) since the days of the apostles until the dark ages-had been wrapped and clothed in the spiritual revelation of God’s Word, but once they entered into that long dark age period somehow their lovely white garments, (Divine Revelations) became defiled and polluted through all the diabolical teachings of Romanism. Little by little these were disrobed of truth and finally lost sight of God. In other words they lost God’s clothing or covering for them. During the 15th century God forced conditions to appear on the horizon causing a break for all those who wanted to escape this. This escape in the form of the Reformation or PROTESTING against the mother church. During that dark period all the people were forced to worship what they knew not. Remember, a garment or raiment in the scriptural sense is a substance of clothing to wrap about the spiritual soul that it not be found naked.
We note from the studies at church history and other sources that the teachings produced in the dark ages were not clothing enough to hide ANYONE’S nakedness, but in total darkness of Ignorance who notices how anyone is dressed? Bear in mind, our text is not pertaining to physical clothing, though sometimes we shall refer to statements admonishing physical clothing, darkness, light and other things only to shed more light in helping our readers to understand more fully the use of scriptural terms. We discover all overeomers shall be clothed in white raiment. That clothing is none other than pure unadulterated revelated word of God given to the believer by the H. S. this side of death. We have only one unusual account in scripture where clothing was issued to anyone after they arrived in glory. Clothing in all other cases was given on THIS side of life. Later we shall be discussing the one group that was issued clothing upon their arrival in Glory.
WHY WHITE RAIMENT IS NOT MENTIONED IN PHILADELPHIAN AGE
If you are wondering why there is no mention of white raiment being issued unto the overcomer in the Philadelphian age or Wesleyan Age, it certainly carries no implication that spiritual clothing or revelated word of Jesus Christ was not given to the Wesleyan age of overcomer:, for of an assurance there was much revelation, even more so given unto the Wesley age than unto Luther’s age. Therefore, there was even more of the revelated word to be worn by the overcoming believer in Wesley’s sanctification age than in Luther’s age of the just shall live by faith. True, it is not until we come into the last church age that we again discover the word raiment referred to in the light of the believer. The white raiment which God offered to the Sardis overcomer was automatically offered unto the Philadelphian age, for certainly He would not clothe one age by His divine grace and fail to do so with the following age when they were further out of Babylonian doctrine and practice of darkness than was the previous age. Both ages would be clothed with all the Revelation of the word given in their age.
MATERIALISTICALLY: BOTH AGES REMAINED SAME
Furthermore it may be stated, from the Luther period through the Wesleyan period as far as material values were concerned there was very little change. The mode of travel remained much the same through the two church ages. Ox cart, horseback, etc., were used in both ages. Even the manner of baking bread remained and in other words there was very little materialistic achievement to plague the Philadelphian age. Once the scripture had established all overcomers would receive white raiment, it was automatically carried into the Philadelphian age. Though there was not much materialistic achievement in this age, there was certainly great achievement in the realm of gospel truth. This Philadelphian age was the age of great open door of opportunity for the Gospel, (Rev. 3:75). Publishing the word through printed tracts, sermons and books was most numerous. The revelation which came from the word that was printed (Not the dead letter itself) was the revelation of Jesus Christ to be worn by his body the church. This is the raiment worn by all overcomers. Missionaries were sent forth into all the world to preach the gospel during that hour. Every age carried its own particular divine revelation of the word after the dark age period. This revelation of the word was the clothing for the believer during that hour. Once white raiment had already been established in the Sardis age, it was not the key factor of the Wesleyan age.
MATERIALISM: THE MAJOR CURSE OF THE LAODICEAN AGE
The final church age had its messenger the same as did all the other ages prior to it. We hear the voice of that messenger crying unto this lukewarm, blind and NAKED AGE of religion. “Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing-know not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and NAKED.” What a pathetic story unfolds in this verse, describing the Pentecostal, Laodiccan church age. In this statement is heard two voices-the voice of the carnal church of this age and the voice of the Eternal God through his messenger trying to reach the age. Did it ever occur to you that Pentecost was once a true and powerful move of God which actually ushered in the Laodicean church age? Laodicca was a much different age than the other six in the fact it was a more powerful age, an age of the great demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but it also was the beginning of the materialistic age which introduced electric lights, telephones. automobiles. and trains racing along the countrysides. The turn of the age saw the horse and buggy era fading out while the mechanical age rolled in. Most all this materialism came in the first seventy years of the twentieth century, of this Laodicean age.
CARNAL ACHIEVEMENT DURING THE AGE
Already we have broken away from the law of gravity. Astronauts have returned safely from the moon hauling their cargo of DUST and ROCKS for our scientists to rack their brains over, attempting to discover what the moon is made of, or what a crater looks like. What earthly good can these fruitless and expensive trips serve mankind? This Laodicean age was born at the introduction age when man would break through into great scientific achievements gathering about himself much materialistic advantages which would eventually plague the entire age. Remember, we have stated that the two former ages were not plagued with the curse of materialism. (Only Babylonian religion.) That can not be said concerning this final age, which is not only cursed from teachings still straggling on from the dark ages, but the terrible plight of this age is the contamination with the effects from the material realm. What has this done to man?? For some reason or other it has a tendency to rob and destroy man’s faith in God, causing him to reach out past the spiritual realm, placing his faith in his material achievements, therefore, from the 18th verse of Rev. 3, was this message of rebuke against the age delivered by the Laodicean (angel) messenger to the age. Actually it was his calling to rebuke this materialistic condition that had led the age away from God. As this message of rebuke against these prevailing conditions went forth we understand the effects and the admonishing to whom it was addressed shows that someone could actually rise above all of this and latch on to something that would please God.
STIRRING REBUKE TO THE AGE
Rev. 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” What is this gold God speaks of? Certainly it can’t have anything to do with the great sums of money stored away in banks boasted of by so many orga-nizational systems. Neither can it be the great materialistic achievements of our organizational structures, such as their owning much properties, motels, hotels, and even apartment houses. Beloved it’s a shame to see our church systems becoming so rich in material wealth. When so much money is on hand it is invested in stocks and bonds, oil companies, hotels and motels, factories and such to propagate their program. In that sense nuterialism has become a plague and a curse to the age. It’s not only the older movements that were affected by this materialistic plague and curse, Pentecost also has joined the rat race, from it’s ministry to its lay-members. That’s why we see bulletin boards stating so many in Sunday School, so many for church services, so much of a large offering, so much this and that, until it has reached a place in this age that we can no longer visualize God by any means than by the yardstick of materialism. Definitely this has become our major curse, a curse previous ages were not affected by, it is absolutely true. God can and will bless in the material realm when the individuals who are to be the recipients of this blessing are walking in His will. Certainly under these conditions God will bless the material aspect of it. This has always been his purpose to do so. It is totally impossible for anything to exist on this earth without somewhere God having His rightful place in it, but it’s a SAD HOUR WHEN MATERIALISM BECOMES THE YARDSTICK TO DETERMINE WHAT GOD IS IN, OR HE IS NOT IN. Because of this dreadful condition, this stirring rebuke comes, “I counsel of thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.”
WHAT IS GOD’S GOLD?
Gold referred to here is none other than a mighty Faith or a true attitude toward God through the revelation of His word. By passing these multi-million dollar buildings and huge programs it is simply FAITH IN GOD apart from this carnal nun made religious setup of today.
WHAT CAN FAITH DO?
Faith in God alone can bring results. From the book called Exodus, I remember reading about a Jewish Kibbutz, (Jewish farming settlement) where today stands a burned out tank as a memorial to a heroic 16 year old Jewish girl, who was willing to sacrifice her life to stop an enemy tank during the 1948 war. (Israel’s Liberation War). The Assyrians were coming against the Kibbutz and these poor farming people were armed with only a few old obsolete rifles and such. Their small amount of ammunition had to be rationed: they had to wait until the enemy was in such close range they wouldn’t miss a shut. A small 16 year old girl, armed only with a hand made molotov cocktail, lay wait in a fox hole until an enemy tank passed over her, she then climbed upon the rear of the tank (aike threw this homemade thing into the hatch destroying the tank. That gallant act is all that saved the Kibbutz community. (We saw that very tank stand in the Kibbutz settlement as a memorial to the courage of that young girl.) The book referred to another incident where two arab assaults had already been driven off. The Jews staked their whole strategy on how they would defeat the Arabs coming upon them in mass waves. The Jews had just gunned them down during the first two attacks, the enemy had gone back to reassemble and make their third lunge upon the village. With only a hand full of ammunition remaining the Jews waited for the Arab’s final attack. Having little hope, they bravely waited until their enemy was close enough that all their remaining shots could find their mark. As the Arabs were crossing the field, suddenly for some reason the heavens opened up and there came such a torrential downpour that in the sudden excitement the Arabs became so confused they were unable to see where they were going, and walked directly into the line of fire. The Jews, with their few rounds of ammunition left, picked off all the Arab leaders and the remaining troops fled. O BROTHERS AND SISTER, IT’S FAITH IN GOD ALONE!! No one would doubt Israel would not have felt more comfortable had she had bazookas and machine guns and all other kinds of automatic weapons, but she only had FAITH IN GOD!! Having practically no materialistic advantages, only faith in a God, knowing He brought them back into a land that is rightly theirs they had rather spill then own blood and die than to give up an inch of it. God simply caused the elements to open up and allow the downpour to confuse the enemy, while the Jews pitied off the leaders having barely enough ammunition to get the Job done. It is faith in God beloved. It’s GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE!!
HOW GOD REFINES FAITH
The scripture teaches through Peter’s writing that the trying of your faith is more precious than gold. Certainly our faith is going to be tried. We are living in an hour when God is going to purify a faith in this final Laodicean age. We can trust in all our modern inventions and achievements that we desire to, but when the final analysis and showdown comes it’s going to be a FAITH IN GOD, and faith alone that is going to absolutely obtain us a place in right standing with God. Faith tried in the fire, the scripture said, is more precious than that of fine earthly gold. Do you recall how earthly gold is refined? It’s refined through fire, isn’t it? You can not just walk out into an open wilderness, gather up a raw nugget, place it upon the table and command the gold to come forth and shine for you! NO, of count not! You place the nugget in a ladle, allow it to be extensively heated until the material is molten, and all the impurities will rise to the top and run off. This also, beloved is the manner in which God processes our faith. Faith tried in the heated rues of persecution brings out all impurities of doubts, fears and mistrusts. Doesn’t it? Faith in God alone through a revelation of His Word in an hour when this particular thing sets in. This is the clothing that shall be worn by the true saints to cover their nakedness, not some denominational program which God has already cursed. The God of heaven says “I counsel in other words God has placed heavy emphasis upon the fact that it is He who advises the church to buy of Him gold that is tried in the rue that they may have right standing before Hun.
THE ONLY ADVICE GIVEN BY THE ETERNAL TO THIS AGE
Notice, the only piece of advice God Himself has for anyone in this age “You purchase of me gold tried in the fire.” Although His gold has been tried many times in the fire, this statement doesn’t mean that you are going to get your gold already tried and processed in the fire. If that be true you would have a finished product of faith when you made your purchase. That’s not how He does it! He gives you this gold or faith as a raw nugget and once you have received it, He begins leading you and your nugget into all the fires of opposition and persecution. Why? That it may become pure! Understand? That’s His only way to purifying your faith. Don’t think for a moment that you have purchased gold already refined with all impurities boiled away. It is up to you to refine this faith. Yes, this is an age that boasts of its riches saying it has need of nothing, but God says if you want to be rich and have the kind of riches that. I will recognize, you buy of me gold and I’ll say you are rich. Remember, it’s faith in God brought through a revelation and understanding of His word and the word alone. It’s not someone saying I have faith in God and phooey on what He says. I’m sorry to say we have many people who testify they believe in God but when it comes to the basis or what is the basis for their belief, THEY HAVE NONE. What our basis of belief in God is must be determined on what Ile has stated in his Word. Others will say I believe in God, but when you try to lay down a platform or a basis for their belief, they reply quickly, Oh I don’t believe that! You have now torn down the basis or platform of lot faith and their faith becomes a mere myth, Or fantasy, or perhaps even a philosophy-Anything but a genuine faith. Again I repeat, the only way that God will ever consider any one rich, is only having all the riches of His divine revelatrd word- that gold must be received of Him naturally through the message of his messenger to the age. Scripture again states that the cases of the world and the things of this life will perish simply by the using. So you who desire to be rich and you want your riches to be accepted by the Eternal, be sure you make your purchase from God. Be sure you receive all the revelation that He has for this final church age, for that will be the only clothing you will ever receive to cover your nakedness in His sight. He shall say to you, that thou mayest be rich and be clothed in white raiment. This age stands more guilty in the sight of God because of the contamination of materialism, than they do hanging on to certain doctrines that should have been left behind long ago in the dark ages. God reviews this age again and sees the necessity of giving it a stem rebuke through a revelation and an understanding of His truth, whereby certain ones could become overcomers of this age. These overcomers might rise above all this by reaching out and obtaining this solid faith tried in the fire in order that they might be rich in God’s eyes. This could only be accomplished by reaching out, and purchasing to themselves white raiment that they might be clothed and the shame of their nakedness would not appear. Furthermore, He commands, anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou might be made to see. Naturally these were not the exact words of the cry of the messenger to the age, though the essence of this cry is there. In short, it could be stated his cry was get out of your cozy man made systems of organized religion in which you have placed so much faith and get back to the revelation of the Word where you will have something to cover your nakedness.
This is the age when people are actually walking blind. Every kind of materialistic speck of this world has littered by until it polluted the air. Strange, you never heard anything concerning air and water pollution until the twentieth century. The air was clean, Old Dobbin trotting down the highway never kicked out cylinders of smoke that would filter into the air. There was no industry dumping tons and tons of poisonous refuse into the rivers, the air was clean, even the horses breathed the same air you and I did, but they were never guilty of putting out impurities into the air that would have to be filtered out through some kind of artificial process. No sir! I only use this illustration because it fits. Showing how polluted the natural air is illustrates how polluted the spiritual atmosphere is. Every time some materialistic object in the Laodicean age comes flickering by, somehow it always winds up in our eyes hampering our spiritual sight apparently that’s why we really get our hearts sold upon Got When it seems you are getting somewhere in the spiritual realm, suddenly your eyes catch something and it lands squarely in the center of your eyesight. The spirit of man finds himself craving this and that, but thanks be unto God! Even in this materialistic age there will be those overcomers who will rise above this and profit by a revelation of God’s word delivered by His messenger of the age. Remember, the white raiment God offers to His overcomers to be clothed in IS THE REVELATION OF HIS DIVINE WORD, REVEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
A BRIEF LOOK AT ANOTHER CLOTHING
Our lesson is dealing strictly with the spiritual garment called white raiment offered by the Holy Spirit, in order the shame of our nakedness does not appear. Now we shall take a quick look at spiritual clothing worn by a group other than the overcomers of the seven church ages. For their story, we go to Rev. 4:4, where we observe twenty four individuals who held certain leading positions within the Eternal realm wearing WHITE RAIMENT ALSO. John’s first three chapters of Revelation closes out with him dealing with the seven church ages Individually. Now his attention is turned unto another realm, being ushered into Glory. (losing out the third chapter with the Laodicean church age he is carried into the presence of a heavenly, celestial scene, where he sights the throne of Glory and round about this throne were 24 smaller seats. Sealed upon these thrones he saw 24 elders CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT, THE SAME MATERIAL that had I been offered to overcome for 2000 years. Here John saw 24 men clothed in what God had promised his overcomers for 7 church ages. Observe two things, I, who was seated, and 2, what they were clothed in. These were twenty four elders dressed in white raiment; these were dressed in the fulness of the righteousness of God. Later we shall show white raiment is none other than the highest order in God’s truth that one can be clothed in. This alone, tells us these twenty four individuals were not angels. White raiment was the material of clothing offered to those who walked in the fullness of the revelation of God’s word.
THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE TWENTY FOUR ELDERS AND THE BRIDE
Those referred to in Rev. 4, called elders, were dressed in white raiment and crowns of gold were placed upon their heads. Notice it did not specify white robes but, white raiment. Later we shall show why it did not say white robes. What was the position of these that sat around the throne? They were the advisory counsel body. Their capacity of position was evident by their manner of diets and the golden crowns worn upon their heads. Our major interest here is not the crowns, only in the clothing worn by the elders. Recall, they sat on smaller thrones around the great throne where the immortal Christ Himself sat, portrayed in all the Eternal Glory of the Father. Now let’s observe the similarities of work between the twenty four elders and the Bride which is made up of all the overcomers from each church age. Note how near this heavenly scene is in comparison to the earthly scene, when Christ, who now sits on the heavenly throne in the father’s position, shall leave that throne and come to earth for the millennium, sitting upon His own throne surrounded by His bride (overcomers of all church ages) who, too, shall sit upon thrones portrayed in something white, also called White raiment.
CLOTHING IS WOMAN’S LANGUAGE
Please observe closely this term white raiment, for it shall carry into something very beautiful after we leave Rev. 4:4. Normally men don’t use the language of clothing terms, while raiment and so forth, unless somewhere it bears a great significance. John is the sole writer of this one book. Now allow me the privilege to probe your thinking with a question, a question that shall become a key to unlock a major thought. Naturally speaking, what does a man actually know about clothing material unless he may be trained in a field, such as manufacturing, buying or selling clothing. Therefore, unless he was trained in this field normally he would be unable to recognize or have much knowledge on clothing material. I want you to notice as we continue our study, how John in every instance where people are involved in the heavenly realm, always takes tune out to tell something of their manner of dress and material of clothing they are wearing, This is not natural for a man to do unless it holds a rat importance. This seems to stand out clearly to John. May I remind you, John is not a seller nor has he ever been a buyer of clothing material. He was never in the garment making business and yet it always catches his eye. What do you know about material? Personally, I know very little about clothing. I would be lost in the clothing realm. Clothing material is just not man’s language, it’s the tune of women. It’s even weaved into their make-up. Women can tidily spot material whether it be silk, cotton, woolen, linen, etc. Why would John use separate terms throughout his writings to establish different materials worn by different groups in his visions if they are unimportant? Remember this is not his language. Perhaps had this been his language he would have continued using the same phrase, white raiment.
THIS IS THE LANGUAGE OF DEITY, Of God Himself, and for a definite reason. Why did God speak in this language? All John can do is write what he sees, but he has sense enough to recognize that Ditty is causing him to write in his own language the scenes upon which he is looking. He knows even when he uses his own phraseology to describe these scenes that it is important he portrays and displays everything exactly—even to the material of clothing worn by the group. Had John been a woman, it might be more understandable, since she would have an eye for clothing material and so forth. It would be noticeable to a woman to detect what different ones are wearing. Just observe them in churches today and you will see what I mean. Yes, it’s a woman’s instinct to notice what others are wearing. We have established that the study of garments does not normally come to man unless he is schooled in that field. The language of clothing here belongs to the Almighty. John recorded he saw the elders clothed in white raiment, not merely white robes as he saw others clothed yet you could not say the elders did not have on robes. Probably clothing is mentioned because of the raiment itself and who was wearing it. This showed that the garment worn by certain Individuals signified a much higher position than some one merely wearing a white robe as we shall now investigate.
WORLD WAR II PRODUCES 5th SEAL
Turn into Rev. 6:9-I I, here we shall note a group crying out from under the altar who is different from any group m Johns vision. 1, they are complaining about something (they are wanting revenge), 2, they came to Glory with no clothing or revelation of truth to wear to hide their nakedness, 3, to pacify them or to make them feel more at ease they were given white robes. Who was this mysterious group? flow could World War II bring about this setting?
REV. 6 BEGINS NEW GARMENT LANGUAGE
In Rev. 6 we observe John changing his garment speech and now commence following two lines of thought concerning garments portrayed in the scriptures. Let us observe closely the two lines of thought, (white raiment and white robes), as they begin running parallel. Through the remaining part of the message we shall show they are not the same. No one ever fully knew the meaning of these three verses until God sent his messenger of the age to fully declare the hidden Revelation. This revelation which John wrote and sealed the word was never revealed to any age until the messenger of this age spoke its secrets. True, theologians had their preconceived ideas, but no one knew until the messenger of this age by divine revelation said who those souls under that altar were.
IDENTITY OF SOULS UNDER ALTAR REVEALED
Many have tried to interpret this as a people being slaughtered in the tribulation period. This conclusion was reached because the fifth seal connects right into the closing of the age, however the one important thing theologians failed to recognize was that this thing had to remain concealed until the hour that God chose to reveal it through his messenger of the age. Revealing who these souls were crying out from under the altar was only a part of the office work of this messenger of the Laodicean age, and through the medium of mechanical tape people around the world would hear of it later on. Who was the messenger to this age? The man God sent with this office work assigned to him was a vindicated prophet, William Marrion Branham. Notice when the revelation was given concerning these souls under the altar. To everyones’ amazement, it was not Gentiles—not one Gentile was among the group. The divine revelation of the fifth seal, concerning these souls who had been stained and were issued white robes after arriving in glory was none other than the Jews killed in Hitler’s purge during World War II. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I ow under the altar these souls,” (Notice John did not see the bodies, only the souls.) “of them who were slain for the word of God and for the testimony for which they held.” Not one statement declared any of these had died because of a testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. For some reason these had been slain! Notice when the revelation did come to the church on this group it was discovered they were Jews martyred under Hitler’s purge, between the years of 1939 to 1945, the time World War II came to an end in Europe. Let us ask ourselves a question, why were these Jews killed? Many of you can remember those years when you heard about those Jews going home, but very little was mentioned during World War II concerning 6 million Jews butchered so needlessly.
HILTER PROPOSED TO GIVE WORLD SUPER RACE
Why would Hitler seek to kill over twice the number of Jews now presently in the Holy Land? His one desire was to rule the world and instigate a super race. To bring his plan into effect, he must eliminate two classes of people in the world. No. 1, Exterminate all cripples, No. 2, Exterminate all who oppose his super race program. It is a known fact the German race is very scientifically and materialistically advanced. Mentally, that gives them a small lead over certain other people. Hitler’s mad scheme was to repopulate the world through what he believed to be a super race, the German people. He knew the Jews, because of the genetic line, could never blend into his diabolical program, therefore he sought to exterminate the entire Jewish race, but God used the slaughter of 6 million Jews for another purpose to turn the tide of thinking of the remaining Jews into going back home.
MASS IMMIGRATION MOVE
The next few years following the war there was a mass immigration move from Europe and South Asia, to Palestine. Nothing short of this kind of treatment would cause the living Jews to migrate home, just as it took an Egyptian Pharaoh, killing babies and enslaving the Israelite people during Moses day. In either case, without such treatment Jews would never have returned to the land of Isaac, Abraham, and Jacob. Let us illustrate and dramatize briefly the situation appearing in Rev. Chap-ter 6:9-11. Martyred souls who faced Hitler’s firing squads, gas chambers and great ovens of concentration camps cried out from under the altar. In their heart they cried, “Oh Lord how long before you avenge us?” This is much the same cry, no doubt, the poor Jews gave forth before leaving the earth, as they met their separate ways of death and martyrdom. “How long, Oh Lord, must this continue that we die as a race of people so unmercifully, how long must this go on?” Perhaps in their minds their thoughts drifted back when history witnessed the Spanish Inquisition when multitudes of Protestants and Jews alike were butchered and tortured by the church of Rome. These were not days of religious bickering; this had not become a wrangling over religious ideas. In those days Jews had not been able to obtain vast stockholdings of bonds and so forth in Europe as they were holding during the days of Hitler’s persecution, when suddenly overnight, the Jew’s home, his property, business were matched from him, and he was forced into the concentration camps to await death. “Why Oh Lord must this be?” and here under the altar is much that same crying, “How Long Oh Lord will thou not avenge our blood on them who dwell on the earth? How long, Oh Lord, before you are going to do something about this?” Note this is their only cry. The cry of revenge! Suppose the Jews in Europe had never been treated in such manner? Suppose 6 million had never been killed? Suppose his vast investments had never been confiscated? How do you think the Eternal God would have ever caused the Jews Content with their vast stockholdings, to depart this materialistic blessing and go back to a land, where they would have been forced to wear blisters on his hands. Why do you think so few American Jews went home? Simply, they didn’t want to leave all their investments of stocks and bonds and return to a land where they would be forced to scratch out a living from the earth. The Jews in Europe had nothing to hold them there, all had been taken from them. As long as there Was no pressure coming against them, European Jews would never have gone home.
WERE ALL BUTCHERED JEWS UNDER THE ALTAR?
The question may well be asked, would this mean that all 6 million Jews are under the altar? The answer is positively, NO! No doubt great multitudes of Jews entered the slaughter pens of Nazi concentration camps, just as atheistic minded and evil at heart as any man could be. Certainly these aren’t under the altar. On the other hand, we have no way of knowing how many faced the firing squads, as innocent in heart as could be, still clinging to their faith as the last breath left their body. Many a Jew had an opportunity in Hitler’s day to denounce his faith. Had he done so he would have virtually been left alone. They could have denounced their Jewish standing, but they failed to do so. This is why they are identified as a group that had been murdered for the word of God. What is the Jewish belief? It is the belief of the Mosaic law and the prophets. The scriptures say they died for the testimony for which they held.—”NO, I’LL NOT DENY MY JEWISH RACE!” They are proud of it. Before they would deny their faith in Jehovah as their Eternal God, they would face the firing squad or the Gas chambers first. As we stated, we have no way of knowing how many of that 6 million died with faith in God. Whatever the number is, their soul’s are heard crying from under the altar.
WHITE ROBES GIVEN TO SLAIN SOULS
Before a word of answer comes to their plea, watch what happens. White robes were given to each of them, and then the voice of the Lord spoke. It is evident these souls never had white robes or the righteousness of Christ until they reached Glory. All other cases in scripture record, white robes or white raiment was issued to the believer, before he left this life. Because these were martyred, holding true to their old testament faith, they merited these white robes. Notice before each word is spoken in answer to their cry, white robes, not white raiment, was brought and given unto each of them. I imagine when they saw these white robes being draped about them, a peace and settlement fell over them because the quality of their robes meant something. Now they are told to rest just a little season. Beloved, you and I have lived in the years that fulfilled this very statement. Notice, they were not instructed to rest another generation, they were not even told to rest for another period of time– JUST a little season, until something else should happen—until their fellow servants and their brethren, (meaning more Jews) should be killed as they were. Paraphrasing it in this fashion, we could say the Lord instructed them to be still, for more of their brethren who are to be servants of God in just a little season shall be killed as they were. Meantime, be content with these white robes we have given you.” You shall now be with me in Eternity. All our dealings here have been in one generation and all within the Laodicean age. None of this happened until we were well into the Laodicean age. Until that hour, the messenger to the age had not even gone forth, but as soon as World War II came to a close (that which produced the fifth seal) the 7th church age messenger to the Gentiles, went forth doing exactly what is recorded in Rev. 3:18. Note, he is not speaking to the Jew, but to the Gentile. We are that living generation of Gentiles. To whom his message came, “I counsel to buy of me gold, tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. And white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and the shame of thy nakedness does not appear.” That messenger’s message was to affect the Gentiles, but these particular verses are dealing with the Jews. The overcomers were to receive the white raiment, the Jews were issued white robes, their death was accomplished in our generation. Jesus said in Matt. 24, this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled. Again he said, “when you see these things come to pass, fear not, lift up your heads and rejoice for the day of your redemption draweth nigh.”
EARTH’S ACCOMPLISHMENT DURING THAT LITTLE SEASON
In the little season that lay between World War II and the slaughter of the other Jews recorded in Rev. 6:II, is the seventh chapter of Revelation. Remember it took what happened under Hitters purge to persuade the living Jews to go home where chapter seven could be brought into fulfillment. In that little season, still within the period of the one generation, there shall be two bloody events, as the Almighty told the Jews under the altar theirs and the one to come after a little season. (tribulation).
WHEN IS THE OTHER SLAUGHTER TO TAKE PLACE?
Naturally it must be accomplished sometime after the Jews were persuaded to return home. We note in Rev. 7, World War II is over and the Jew has gone home. The time of their exodus to Palestine was well into the period of time in the Laodicean church age. The setting of the first eight verses of Rev. 7 shows God dealing exclusively with the Jewish element, 144,000 are to be sealed away with a divine revelation. The same Holy Spirit that overshadowed the Gentiles now deals exclusively with his Israelite race, scaling in a precise number, for a special mission during the tribulation period. No other people are spoken of in these particular eight verses although when you begin reading verse nine, “and after this”-means after John saw the sealing of the 144,000 having taken place in the previous verses.
MULTITUDE WASHES ROBES
Now John is witnessing a great multitude which not only could not be numbered, but a multitude he doesn’t even have the slightest idea who they are. A multitude that came out of all nations kindred and people, and tongues stood before the throne and before the Lamb. Notice, beloved, how these were clothed-not in white raiments as the overcomers and the elders wore but clothed in white robes. Where were they standing? Before the throne and the Lamb! Again we ask the question, why did John refer to these in their manner of dress? What does it represent? First, let’s observe the setting of this chapter. Its earthly application is sometime after the tribulation begins. John saw this vast number standing before the throne and the Lamb clothed in WHITE ROBES. Observe carefully, this multitude was not given white robes after they arrived in Glory, as were the Loyal Jews killed in Hitler’s purge. These had previously been given white robes upon the earth. It shows this great multitude had obtained their white robes during an area of time when the gospel was still being preached. Their spirits stand before the throne, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne. And all the angels, the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God. John is amazed at what he saw in verse 13, and one of the elders approached him saying, John who are these? Let’s paraphrase it in this manner, John you have just witnessed the scaling in of the 144,000; these were your kin and you recognized from the event; you’ve been watching that all of this must be accomplished during the very ending of the age after I have brought in the Gentile Bride unto myself, and started dealing strictly with your people again. John you witnessed your kin coming in. But who are these dressed in WHITE ROBES? Literally, John was on the Isle of Patmos during the transpiring of these visions. The year is 96 A.D. John stands at the beginning of the age watching visions of THE CLOSING OF THE AGE. These visions appeared approximately 26 years after the Roman General Titus carried the Jews away into captivity (70 a.d.) Roughly 26 years after the Jews had been led away into captivity, John watches visions of his people being returned to their homeland after their long dispersion among the Gentiles, and Further witnesses 144,000 of them sealed away. It is easy for John to identify his own brothers but when that vast multitude came up in the vision He was at a loss in trying to identify them. The elder asked who are these John who have already been clothed in white robes? Where did they come from? And John says “Sir, thou knowest.” (I don’t know). Watch the elder identify these whom John could not identify as being those who had come up out of great tribulation and HAVE (past tense) washed their robes AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Do you agree with me that “have” denotes a past tense meaning? What had they done? They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These are they which have come up from out of the earth, OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION, (by the way, this Great tribulation was still in progress on earth as this slain multitude stood before the throne). Most translations use one of these words to describe this anguish suffered by those who had come through this persecution. (1) The Great Tribulation-(2) The Great persecution-(3) The Great Affliction.
MARTYRED TRIBULATION SAINTS— 7:14
Where did these martyred tribulation saints wash their robes? They were washed on earth during the Great Tribulation. We may ask another question, why did they need to wash their robes? The only time one needs to wash a robe in the natural is when it becomes soiled. These were none other than Gentile foolish virgins WHO HAD BEEN left behind at the coming of Christ for His BRIDE. (Matt 25: 1-13) — Left for the tribulation AND WERE KILLED—because they failed to line up with the anti-choir. Nothing but the clean, the pure and the overcomer who is arrayed in white raiment will be in the Body of Christ. Remember they were not overeomera, therefore they could not qualify for white raiment (Rev. 3:18). They already had their white robes but where did they get them? Through the preaching of the word of life these white robes had been issued before the Bride left while the gospel of Grace was still in effect though they had to enter the tribulation period and accept their martyrdom, the same as the Jews under the fifth seal. God allowed this to happen to millions of innocent Jews to cause the living to go home. Here these Gentile foolish virgins had to go through the tribulation and be killed because they were not ready to go home or go in the Bride when Christ came. Yet Christ doesn’t destroy those foolish virgins with soiled garments who found themselves unable to trim their lamps (Matt 25:1.13), and be prepared to go when Christ came for the wise virgins. What Christ does-is send these foolish virgins through the tribulation where they washed their soiled robes, and through the giving of their lives they are able to take their position alongside all others who stand before the throne and the Lamb.
A FOOLISH VIRGINS RECEIVE ROBES IN LATTER PART OF LAODICEA
Yes, it is true that these foolish virgins, according to Rev. 7: 9-17 had their robes (Eternal Life) before they arrived in Glory. The question is when did they receive their eternal life? (robes). These Gentile foolish virgins obtained their robes during the last phase of the Laodicean Church age when the messenger of the age came. This messenger was to gather a Bride for Christ, not make a group of Gentile foolish virgins for the true message to every Gentile age has always been to him that overcomes. Overcomers of all ages will rise and take their place in the Bride. No one but an overcomer can qualify for the Bride. This was the motive and the goal of the spirit of truth coming on the day of Pentecost, giving first chance to the Jews, only to have to turn to the Gentiles. Christ’s only purpose in turning to the Gentiles was to take out a people for His name she to be his Bride. That Gentile dispensation was divided into seven periods. The Bride would be taken from all overcomer in these 7 periods, being clothed in white raiment Naturally this could be the only age and generation that foolish virgins could have an opportunity to go into the tribulation period and be cleansed, due to the fact that they soiled their robe in life before the living remnant of the Bride was taken away. What happens to these Gentile foolish virgins who missed the bride calling of the lamb in Matt. 25:1.13? Note they had received robes (eternal life) same as the Bride group, is that understood? How did these foolish virgins obtain their robes? Just as anyone else would through the preaching of the Gospel. Remember Paul said, only through the preaching of the gospel could anyone be saved. (1 Cor. 1:21) Only tribulation distinguish foolish virgins from tares. Certainly these could not be tares and ready for the burning. When the hour of real test comes, only the tribulation period can cause these to show forth their true color. Before the bride was sealed away in Her revelation, (which is her clothing) these were a people who could never seem to come to the full Realization of what God was doing in their respective hour. Because of this drowsiness, these who come under the classification of foolish virgins, must enter into the tribulation period, a period of time consisting of 3 1/2 years when the anti-christ and his world church shall put to death any individual who is not as the Jews in the fifth seal; who would rather die, than deny their God, and what Christ means to them (Foolish virgins). As the Jews under that fifth seal had art opportunity to repent by denouncing their religion, so shall these who are ushered into the tribulation period solely for the purpose of washing their robes in the Blood of the Lamb, making them white again.
ILLUSTRATION OF A FOOLISH VIRGIN
Foolish virgins can’t make the bride calling although they did have eternal life. In the hour the bride was sealed away somehow the foolish virgin’s robe had become soiled but through the great persecution of the tribulation period the robe would be made white again. Suppose a man was in the world of sin, but through the teaching of truth, he accepts Jesus Christ and the Blood of God which was shed for an atonement, cleanses his soul. His soul is now clean, clean through the blood of the Lamb. Through the parable of Matt. 25 when that cry went out to the sleeping virgins- “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him,” it was to shake this age. It was the message to this age but somehow this redeemed soul never fully accepted the message from God’s seventh church age messenger, therefore faded to have the needed oil and understanding that it would require to nuke the Bride calling. In short he never becomes a mature christian at the time of the calling out of the Bride, therefore this is going to Slice him in another bracket. Somehow he was unable to reflect the true life of an apostolic christian, because the Holy Ghost never actually dwelt inside his temple. Perhaps he was deceived into believing he had received the Holy Spirit. Perhaps he had accepted some false evidence, or explanation of the Spirit. His life could never actually measure up to the word. This foolish individual never obtained the highest calling in Christ. Although he had a righteous garment, a robe, he could never classify an overcomer, yet he had received Eternal Life, the free gift of God.
WHAT DEFILED HIS GARMENT??
What had defiled his beautiful garment was the fact that he had been sitting under apostate teaching, that’s what I said, he was a foolish virgin because his thinking was influenced by apostate teaching. Apostate teaching had caused spots to appear on his beautiful garment, and I don’t have reference to spots of grease. No sir, these spots are not axle grease spots. It is wrong teaching that has defiled the garment or the robe of his eternal life, making the believer unaware of what God was actually doing in the hour when he was saying to HIM THAT OVERCOMES shall be clothed in white raiment. So you see beloved the overcomer, the Bride christian, is clothed in something, (clothed in white raiment) which all believers who received Eternal Life through the shed blood of Christ were unable to attain to, yet ALL WERE OFFERED THE SAME PROMISE. Only a few in each age reached out to attain it-. This white raiment is not the white robe of righteousness that is issued to each believer whether they classify as a Bride believer or not. The rube is given every vetiver IN CHRIST. The white robe IS the Eternal life or the righteousness of Christ issued to each believer.
WHEAT — ILLUSTRATES MORE CLEARLY THE FOOLISH VIRGIN
For a moment think with me about farming- Time has come to plant the grain. First we go to the grainer, of the grain store and purchase certified wheat seed (called no. 1 wheat seed). This certified seed is sowed into the ground. Before I could purchase it, it had been tested, and net certain qualified specifications before it could be classed as a certified wheat seed. During some previous harvest that seed along with millions of other grains was harvested, then run through a serve. All these kernels had to qualify a certain size before it could be a top grade production of the harvest. When that seed IS planted it will reproduce other seeds exactly of the same quality. We realize that every wed harvested from this number seed grain will not be the same size. Every grain that it produces will not mature at the same rate. Therefore there shall be a production of several different sizes of grain, yet no one could dispute the fact it was not all grain. On the day of Pentecost, Jesus Christ sowed into this earth a no. 1, true certified, word seed believing church. The scriptures teach during the second age, the Devil came and sowed tares among the wheat (Matt. 13:2430). The tares became so numerous, they almost smothered out the wheat. The wheat is the children of the kingdom. The tares are the children of the evil one (13:38) from the sowing of the tares come the dark ages, where the true church was almost liquidated by the tares. You farmers will especially realize this statement to be true-any time, when you get far more tares in your field than you do true seed wheat, the tares begin drawing the food value from the true seed. For this reason when the dark ages closed there was very little plant food left. In our illustration we have only planted, the seed blooming season hasn’t even started. What was the reformation period? This was the period God began to deal with the condition at large, by restoring it back to its originality. Now the reason we wind up here at the end of the Gentile age, where the scripture teaches in Matt. (13:48-50) should BE THE SEPARATION from the foolish virgins and the Tares. The wheat now progresses unto the hour of time for the reaping, alter the LAST BLADE OF GROWTH of all the churches, (organizational and denominational structures) no. 2 then it becomes time for the mature head of the grain to pop out of the top of the stock, which is none other than Pentecost, and the very last thing to take place in the stock of grain is its blooming or pollination season. Pollination season is that time or season for the stalk to germinate the little kernel itself. This is the time when the real male life of the wheat stalk will begin to express itself. (Never in church history has Christ expressed Himself as he has to this generation). Remember once that male life begins within the stalk to express itself, all of the life found in the blades in the stalk is pulled up into the head WHERE THE SEED WHEAT IS. Every ounce of life within the stalk now goes to the kernel grain itself, and the stalk and blades begin to die. Time has come for the harvest season. Now we are fully aware that the harvest season can’t wait until every little grain has become the same size can It? NO sir. Every grain of wheat won’t be the same as when the reaper comes to gather the grain, therefore every seed can’t be used for the same purpose. In our story we are referring to the old time thresher, that first came and cut down the grain(by the older process). After the threshing, every little kernel as you recall had to be smashed out of its shell or hull. Then the beautiful wheat made its appearance looking exactly like it did when it was planted in the ground. In other words our cycle has been completed; Believe it or not some of these kernels shall be under developed; for some reason they did not get as much of the plant food as did the other kernels, but no one could doubt that it was not wheat. It just couldn’t come up to specifications as a No. 1 grain. Naturally No. 1 grain is what the farmer is after. Remember it was Christ who used this very illustration of a sower sowing seed (Matt. 13:23) to illustrate the various stages that the true church would pass through before REPRODUCING itself into the same type of seed sowed in the ground at Pentecost. What will the farmer do with all his other wheat which did not come up to the No. 1 specification? Will he burn it up? Will he destroy it because it could not become No. 1; because it could not be used as a seed wheat? CERTAINLY NOT! No farmer burns up his other wheat does he? It’s still good wheat, it just couldn’t measure up to the first specifications. So is true with the foolish virgins, and even that undeveloped wheat is absolutely purged and made just as clean as the first grade, only used for another purpose. They make bread from it, they make feed from it, but that No. 1 seed will be used by farmers everywhere for replanting and producing another harvest. This seed is in a class all by itself, Christ used this very illustration, to show how He intended to receive his first grade believer in the spiritual realm. Naturally he isn’t going to use his No. 1 seed to start another age, though he shall use it to rule another age. Notice, it was from No. 1 seed the pure church was planted into the earth, and No. 1 seed MUST BE REPRODUCED IN the harvest exactly like that early church was in Character and attributes.
THE RELIGIOUS WORLD DIVIDED INTO THREE GROUPS
I. Tares (makebelivers)-Matt. 13:38-40.
2. Foolish Virgins (foolish believers)-Matt. 25:1-13
3. Wise Virgins (Bride Believers) – Matt 25:1-10.
The souls John saw standing before the throne of God robed in white robes with palms in their hands HAD ALREADY WASHED THEIR ROBES IN THE TRIBULATION PERIOD. That group is none other than the foolish virgins of this particular hour who failed to qualify as first grain Christians-when the Bride was taken. The elder said, “These are they who have come up out of GREAT TRIBULATION and HAVE (past tense) WASHED THEIR robes.” At that hour these foolish Gentile virgins had already gone through their tribulation and been killed. These did not attain their robes WITHIN the tribulation period- merely WASHED THEM. For it was in the tribulation period they had WASHED THEIR ROBES AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB (REV. 7:14). Remember as we illustrated, when you sow the perfect certified seed wheat in the BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, you never have at the beginning of a sowing season what you have in the harvest season. Harvest season will not only produce tares, (chaff and straw) to be burned, you also have FULLY MATURED KERNEL of wheat AND ALSO MANY IMMATURED KERNELS. Do you know this law is true also in rice, barley, oats, or anything. JUST IMMATURE? In a pain sense that’s what the foolish virgins are IMMATURE, in the sense they awakened too late to be fully aware of what God expects of them in this hour. Just not mature enough to go with the Bride. (Secondary wheat). Let’s try to clarify this with a statement from Paul’s writing. When Paul refers to the church in Ephesians, Paul spoke of the church, WHICH IS HIS BODY, (Eph. 1:22-23) Remember the body of Christ is always the true church of the living God. The word body or church is just different phraseology of language which portrays a different aspect of the product itself. The word church means “called out SO YOU COULD NEVER SAY A TARE WAS CALLED OUT, COULD YOU?? Tares were never called out, they are just imposters to begin with. So we know they are IN NO RESPECT as a part of the church. (Matt. 13:38-39) That which was called out in the beginning and planted was the true seed. (not tares) Matt. 13:37, yes called out and THEY MEASURED UP TO THE WORD 100 PER CENT IN GOD’S PURPOSE UNTIL WE WENT INTO THE DARK AGES. The reformation period produced other conditions of blindness and ignorance all along the way also. It produced all of the STALK GROWTH (likened to a stalk of wheat) of the reproduction age, but once you come to FINISHED PRODUCT we find immatured kernels, don’t we? Sometimes BRO. BRANHAM MADE STATEMENTS SUCH AS— THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE THAT IS TO BE RAPTURED! Whenever you deal with the word church IN THE BIBLICAL LANGUAGE you are always referring to the church of the Lord’s language not mans, is that understood? In the gospel of Matt. 16:18, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Here Christ certainly had no reference to foolish virgins or tares-only strictly that 100 percent WORD product certified seed. Upon this rock, (rock of revelation) I’ll build my church-my church will be a called out people of this world of sin and firmly planted upon a divine revelation. Is that understood? Down through the Grace age that’s what His church would always be established on, it started out 100 percent WORD revelation, but remember every time you teach the climax of the age or the season of the crop-you will be faced with two prevailing conditions, (I ) matured grain and (2) immature gram and THE IMMATURED GRAIN – IS NEVER DISCARDED OR THROWN AWAY, IT HAS ITS PLACE. This is exactly what a foolish virgin is.
ARE THE FOOLISH VIRGINS A PART OF THE CALLED OUT CHURCH?
When you observe the church from it’s all-over world condition at the closing of the Gentile ages then you must say (in one sense of the word) Yes, since the church is both made up from WISE AND FOOLISH Virgins, (Matt. 25:1-13) BOTH ARE A PRODUCT OF THE TRUE GOSPEL.
THEN SHALL THE KINGDOM BE
-Remember Christ’s opening statement in Matt 25—”Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be likened unto 10 virgins, five are wise and Ave are foolish. Note, Ch. 25 precedes Ch. 24 which spoke of the signs of the coming of Christ—then he turns his attention to Ch. 25 regarding the believers position during that hour shortly before His return by saying— ‘THEN (at a later time) shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto 10 virgins, 5 wise and 5 foolish. Then it is justifiable to say under present end time conditions what the Prophet also said- “the bride is taken out of the church.” A statement used when preaching the SEALS. Speaking only in this sense, at the end of the age the church or foolish virgins are left and WILL GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION. Though certainly not the bride which was taken from the church for that part of the church was taken. The other part was left. Then again, Paul stated that the church which is the body of Christ is to be presented unto the Lord, Eph. 5:27. Here Paul speaks in the same language as Christ. Matthew 16 he said, “Upon this rock I’ll build my church”- My church would be the called out people. upon the rock of revealed truth. I’ll build my church (a called out people) and the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. It is only at the end of the age that the church takes on the characteristics of the foolish virgin as an immature product therefore to be purged in the tribulation period. Don’t forget, the foolish virgins are also called out people. Aren’t they? Though they belong to the secondary class they are still a part of the church having been issued robes of righteousness, though certainly NOT THE OVERCOMERS WHITE RAIMENT. Truly, this absolutely fits into the scripture at the closing of the Gentile age in those closing hours of the Laodicean Age when the message went forth to awaken the Bride people to prepare themselves to put on or to buy of Him Gold tried in the fire that they may be rich and that thou mayest be clothed in white raiment.
THAT MESSAGE TO THE AGE WAS FOR THE BRIDE ONLY. God’s purpose within the message was never to prepare foolish virgins—it was the age of the preaching of the gospel in its overall effect which produced the foolish virgins alongside the Bride during that final hour. THEN shall the kingdom be likened to ten virgins, not at the beginning of the age. When that moment of time comes for the Bride to receive her call to the wedding supper, that automatically climaxes the Gentile Church Age leaving the foolish virgins behind with their white robes (eternal life). You may be shocked to learn—THERE WILL BE, BY FAR, MORE FOOLISH VIRGINS GOING INTO THE TRIBULATION THAN THERE WILL EVER BE A LIVING ELEMENT OF BRIDE PEOPLE CAUGHT OUT OF THIS PARTICULAR GENERATION. Don’t forget, these foolish virgins had already attained their white robes through the preaching of the gospel. Once the Bride is taken, this will leave whatever number of foolish virgins there already was up till that hour. Know this, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER FOOLISH VIRGIN PRODUCED AFTER THAT BRIDE LEAVES. ONCE THE BRIDE IS TAKEN THE GOSPEL OF GRACE IS COMPLETED. When God has finished with the Gentiles (taking of the Bride) He automatically begins dealing exclusively with the Jews. Although this statement does not mean that He has forsaken this element of Gentiles, foolish virgins- NO! NO! since they are carryovers of the grace dispensation, His grace is still with them as they awakened too late and too sow to clean their garments before the Bride left- THEY MUST 5 NOW GO THROUGH TRIBULATION FOR THIS CLEANSING OF THEIR GARMENTS, WHICH THEY HAD ALREADY ATTAINED BUT HAD DEFILED through Babylonian teaching and through this materialistic spirit of the world. Yes, this materialistic spirit in the world has blinded many people causing them to have no time to walk in the light of this truth. They are too taken up with the material aspects of the world. Naturally, then they shall need to purge their garments. It has to be made white again. Why would the scripture read, “And they HAVE WASHED THEIR GARMENTS AND MADE THEM WHITE”? It only goes to show somewhere it had become defiled. Remember when the grace of God comes into your life, God doesn’t furnish you with a dirty garment to wear, does He? The garment is clean! The thing that contaminated it was after being brought out of sin and placed in the fellowship of other believers, what you hear and are taught defiles your faith and affects your life. That is what causes you to react in your dealings with the adversary as you face him in your daily walk of life. This is how the foolish virgins become defiled in that particular sense. It doesn’t mean to defile with tobacco, beer, or In worldliness and so forth no, this belongs in the world not with God’s people-they were set apart from this when coming to Christ. It means teachings had blinded and prevented them from meeting this high calling of the bride realm. These foolish virgins mud wash their robes clean during the next period of time, the tribulation period. Going into the tribulation did not merit white robes, they already wore them, but martyrdom did merit them their position with Christ even though they can never be the bnde.
The woman of Rev. 12 and the foolish virgins go to the tribulation.
The bride leaves and the tribulation period is on. It all happened within that one generation of firm of the Laodicean age fulfilling Christ’s statement. “This generation shall not pass away until all these things shall be fulfilled. Momentarily, let’s leave that multitude which is portrayed as gentile: (foolish virgins) who must wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. To see a fuller picture of that hour turn to Rev. 12. This clearly portrays God as he is dealing exclusively with the Jewish nation in the tribulation, getting prepared to fulfill his statement to the Jews under the 5th seal. Take these robes of righteousness, be contented until more of your brethren be killed as you were, spoke the Almighty. Remember World War II brought the 5th Seal – where 6 million were killed causing their living brethren to go home. Rev. 12 shows the woman Israel having already gone home, the 144,000 called out and Israel in the tribulation period. The devil has now incarnated himself, in his world religious political and military set-up. In the 12th chapter Satan has incarnated himself in his one-world church and finally incarnates himself in his man the antchrist. As a nation, Israel is solely standing alone. The dragon in Rev. 12 has become very wroth with this woman, Satan, who is the instigator of the entire plot, knows his time is short. Verses 7-9 reveals there has just been a great warfare in heaven this has all now culminated in the collective embodiment of all of Satan’s diabolical plots and plans that he has hurled into the ages. It has now materialized in a man, in a church, a monetary system, military, and in a political setup, this is his climax. For a short period of time Satan enjoys his heyday. This woman, Israel, is fleeing for her very life, for some reason she is being scattered. Let’s watch, Rev. 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven now is come salvation (Beloved in that hour the word salvation will have no reference to salvation in the term we in this grace age would use it), now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of God and the power of his host for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,” (Mainly our brethren here are the Jewish people though no doubt the foolish virgins are included). Can’t you see that devil standing there before the throne of God, accusing him as he did when accusing Job, what do you think Satan would be saying concerning these Jewish people? Oh, that bunch of misfits you love down there, Lord, you know how they’ve always turned their back on you-Satan constantly accusing God of how weak the Jewish people are, but this tribulation period will show who has something and who doesn’t. Satan will now see who really has the spirit of Christ and who hasn’t. It will take that period to reveal who is truly a foolish virgin and who isn’t. Today it would be most difficult for you to walk the streets and determine who was a tare and who was a foolish virgin or even a bride seed for that matter of fact.— Note the transformation will determine who is a Bride seed while the tribulation period will prove the foolish virgins from the tares. Once that tribulation period sets in it (and it alone) will prove everyone’s position and calling. for notice that which is a tare will never, under any circumstance, during that hour get out of an organization. No sir, to them this is their sole salvation (they think). But when that dreaded period commences, those who are foolish virgins will awaken to the fact and the realism of what has happened and what they have missed. They settle it in their hearts because now they know just where we are. The foolish virgin at least had enough revelation of the scripture to know that this thing is coming on. Let’s watch, Satan has accused them (Jews and foolish virgins) before God day and night and the 11th verse said, “And they overcame him, by the blood of the Lamb (the gentile foolish virgins) and by the word of their testimony (Jews – just as they did under the 5th Seal). It says they had been martyred for the word of their testimony, the word of God and the faith of the saints, martyred for their testimony which they held. This shows in that hour when that beast rises up to persecute these 2 groups they will not bow to his beastly system. These two groups of people mentioned are none other than the gentile foolish virgins and the Jewish race itself. Yes, they overcame him, they – means this entire body of tribulation saints both Jew and foolish gentile virgin overcame him. Remember Christ’s blood atonement covered these foolish virgins for this tribulation hour and they loved not their lives unto death. It goes to show that the earth again will be bathed in the blood of martyrs. It won’t only hit foolish virgins who were left, it will hit Jews alike and once that starts you have the eternal God’s statement in process of being fulfilled in Rev. 6:9-11. Truly this is the next group of Jews that must be killed to fulfill Rev. 6: II. Rev. 12:11 shows during that tribulation hour you have two lines of people being dealt with. Satan in his onslaught, is seeking to rid the world of these because they loved not their lives unto the death. Here one verse stands out beautifully, it is the 17th Verse of Chapter 12. Once again this brings in these two groups under a different portrayal, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman,” Satan hates Israel. Have you ever noticed since the day God called Abraham how the devil has constantly persecuted that nationality of people. Look at the untold
thousands butchered in Egypt, did you ever think of it? Each time an empire would rise up and over run that land, they would soon become angry at the Jews and attempt to destroy them had it not been for the sovereign grace of God, they would have been exterminated long ago. Why, there were many American Indians as far as their particular tribe, today they’ve almost become extinct, why? If the American Indian had faced the onslaught the Jew has through the centuries, they would have become extinct long ago. Truly each empire that rose up n sought to crush them. Watch when Christ was born how the devil rose up killing all the babies in Bethlehem 2 years old and wider. What a purge! Then in 70 a.d. comes Titus! Last but not least Hitler’s purge took 6 million, but still there are over 16,000,000 in the earth today. Hosea plainly teaches though God would cut Israel off, yet the number of children of Israel would become as the sand of the seashore. It goes to show that the eternal God would allow them to reproduce themselves and keep in existence until he would return them to their own homeland to deal with them. Notice, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, because of this wrath he goes to make war with the remnant (remnant means what’s left) of her seed.
THE WOMAN’S TWO SEED
The woman’s two seeds-natural c seed and spiritual seed of Abraham. Remember we now have two lines to deal with. (I) They who keep the commandment of God (who keeps God’s Commandments?), (the Jews,) (2) Those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (The gentile foolish virgins). But one may say this woman doesn’t have two seeds, she most certainly does. Do you not remember when God called Abraham, he made him the propagator of the natural Israel nation, then gave him a promise, in thee and thy wed shall all the families of the earth be blessed, we are a seed of Abraham by (what) faith. But the Jews are the seed of Abraham by the flesh, IS THAT UNDERSTOOD? So by faith the foolish virgins are of the seed of Abraham, because in thee and thy seed (which was Christ) (Gal. 3:14 p. 29) would all families of the earth be blessed. This grace of God was extended through the prophets unto Israel and fulfilled in Jesus Christ who first offered it to the Jewish race, but they rejected it. Salvation was then given to the gentiles to call out a people, by It faith those called out ones are the seed of Abraham, aren’t they? That’s what Paul taught in the gospel Ga. 3:7-14—by faith, we are the seed of Abraham, yet we must never forget that these same promises are to be returned to the Israelite nation in the flesh aren’t they? But in that tribulation time, Satan goes to make war with the rest of her seed who keep the commandments of God — All over the earth, THERE ARE THOUSANDS UPON thousands of Jews who will never return into the land but once that antichrist sets up his slick program beloved, then breaks his covenant and begins to crack the whip, as those poor Jews begin to leave Israel fleeing for their lives, Satan’s will then seek to destroy every Jew in the world. First, he will make a decree throughout all the nations – under his influence. Next he’ll reach out and grab that foolish virgin who will not go along with him in this hour and anything that even dares to proclaim that they even believe in God, bypassing the pope. The pope doesn’t want you believing in God, bypassing his office—if you dare believe in God bypassing his office in that hour he is going to get you regardless whether you’re Jew or Gentile. “Yes, these are they – that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” These foolish virgins recognize the handwriting on the wall. Now their garments shall be washed white. Each had already attained their robes, by confessing that in Christ was their salvation —long before that hour even started, now, giving their life, dying the death of the martyr washes the robe clean although they never an allowed to wear white raiment that was offered to the overcomers, (the Bride). Turn into Rev. 14 and watch this same group who are now well into the tribulation hour -how they have been sorely mistreated. Rev. 14:12-13 shows the 144,000 busily crying out. Who are the 144,000 crying out here? (Be sure to read Oct. Vol I-No. 6 of Contender – Who are the 144,000?) Certainly they are not crying out a message trying to make more foolish virgins in that hour! That’s impossible, although they do have a message to preach to every nation, every kindred, and every tongue, what is it? A warning to this world get back, get away from this beastly system, whatever you do, don’t you accept it. No they’re not converting gentile foolish virgins, these were already completed when the Bride left, – but nevertheless their message will help stimulate these virgins and keep them pushed back further from all this, and no doubt there is much consolation, comfort and encouragement to those foolish virgins. Mainly their message is to the man of the world, get back away from it. To that man of the world, this thing is slipping up upon him, and he isn’t even aware of it. It’s at his back door, but the foolish virgin will be already awakened. Beloved, you are not children of the darkness, ye are children of the Light. So let us rise up and walk in the light of truth as he shows it to be. Here in this hour Satan will be so wroth against everything that is contrary to his program, that 144,000 (from the House of Israel) has gone forth telling the man of the world get away from it, stay back, in the hour when the world will be plunged into the darkest hour of human history.
THE PATIENCE OF SAINTS
Here is the fulfillment concerning the patience of the saints. What saints? Those Jewish and Gentile foolish virgins who have dared to resist the pope’s decree; who have dared to stand against the antichrist (the pope), saying I’ll not go with it, no sir! I can see the Old Jew saying. I’ll stick with my eternal God and I can hear that gentile foolish virgin saying I’m a Christian, PRAISE GOD, kill me if you want too but not deny the salvation that’s been purchased for me through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (before the Bride was taken). HERE IS THE PATIENCE OF THE SAINTS knowing this that the trying of your faith is more precious than that of fine gold, but know also that tribulation worked patience. Through patience these tribulation saints will endure much as they face the slaughter block or the machine guns or whatever means will be used to liquidate them—yes, here is the patience of the saints. Here again are the same two groups mentioned, they who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jews. Again, it goes to prove that once the tribulation begins it does not separate them, does it It only distinguishes more so who they are, and places both groups into the same judgment when the antichrist opposes them all. There is the patience of the saints (I) They that keep the commandments of God and (2) The faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:17 says this “And I heard a voice from heaven say this thing unto me, write, blessed arc the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, saith the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them” I would now like to portray this scene as the overcomer received his white raiment message and mysteriously rises to meet Christ and the great tribulation begins 1st it might appear that everything is going to go along very smoothly, then suddenly everything shall reverse itself and Satan really begins to show himself. Remember Daniel said at first he comes in with flattery, loaded with promises like some slicked tongued politicians. He must make it sound real good, but once that devil changed his mind there’s nothing you can do about it, because he has the ropes in his hands and then the bloody purge starts. By the time the tribulation period is drawing to a close these saints will already have been martyred, butchered and slaughtered-that is why it says blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, from henceforth saith the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them” Rev. 14:13 brings us into the closing hours of the tribulation period-they’re dead, they’re slaughtered and only their bodies remain here on earth. Where will their spirit be? Right up there in glory. Let’s see if we can’t find their spirits. Satan slaughtered their bodies (both groups) down here on earth, so that automatically placed their spirits somewhere, didn’t it? Remember those two groups stood side by side, throughout Satan’s wrath. Let’s go to Rev. 15, and see where these are, verses, I, 2, 3, we’re now bringing the tribulation to a close, Christ is ready to return,”And I saw another sign in heaven great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” These things are what really brings Christ to the earth where he is revealed in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God. And I saw as it was a sea of glass (a sea of glass) mingled with fire (how many know what glass is made from—SAND), you can’t see through a bucket of sand can you? Put it in the fire, melt out all the impurities that discolor it, allow it to float to the top and run off, it’ll leave a dear substance, right? Pour it out, roll it thin you can see through it, what is this sea of glass John saw?
THE SEA OF GLASS
It is the faith of those who stood on it. John said this sea of glass was mingled with fire. Remember it is the fires of tribulation that purified their faith, (and washed their robes, foolish virgins) according to the respective testimony held by each group in relationship to God as they went into that tribulation hour. We notice the sea of glass and them that had gotten the victory over the beast-you might say well, Bro. Jackson, isn’t that those 67,000,000 souls slaughtered back throughout the Dark Ages? No, it isn’t’ Because the image of the beast was never back there in the Dark Ages. THAT image can only appear at the end of the Laodicean Age. That image of the beast will be THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES. There was no such thing as the World Council of Churches in the Dark Ages, and them that had gotten their victory over the beast and over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name standing on the sea of glass having the harps of God-a great multitude standing there on this sea of glass rejoicing and singing. Note again the following verse portrays those who really stand there. “And they sing the song of Moses,” it is only the Jew that can sing the song of Moses, because it was Israel’s redemption song when God brought them out of Egypt! and this verse shows that one of those elements standing there was Jews who had been persecuted in the tribulation, martyred and slaughtered. There stood their spirits in their respective place for they had overcome him by the word of God and the testimony they held. Then remember the other group (foolish virgins) whose robes had to be purified through the fires of tribulation-so that placed them also on a sea of glass mingled with fire for these SANG THE SONG OF THE LAMB. Well, it is the gentiles who sing the song of the lamb. They had the gospel of grace over 1900 years-much longer than Israel has ever had it. Israel only had the gospel returned shortly before the tribulation began, therefore the Gentile foolish virgins are singing the song of the Iamb and together it is all this great and marvelous work of the Lord Almighty who is King of all his Saints. That is the essence of the whole song. Their spirits are standing there, both Jew and Gentile, which had been slaughtered down on earth through the tribulation period. This now completes fully the Almighty’s statement to the slaughtered Jew’s under Hitler’s purge concerning their brethren. Remember, white robes were given unto them and they were instructed to rest a little season.” From HitIers purge until the tribulation WAS THAT LITTLE SEASON. Also white robes were given to the Foolish virgins NOT IN GLORY but here on earth while the gospel was still being preached in the hour shortly before tribulation sets in. Once God took that bride out, the Gentile foolish virgins went into tribulation to wash their robes again to make them pure and clean so when they pass through on the other side, they would stand before the throne of God, pure and while and clean. In both instances of martyrdom there was a WHITE ROBE wasn’t it? What about the Bride who was taken to glory, what does she wear? Perhaps you have been wondering where these overcomers are (this bride, what is her position?) If white robes of righteousness was issued to both martyred Jew and Gentile (foolish virgins) saints, what was the bride, the highest calling in Christ wearing?? How will the Almighty clothe her? Here once again we find John’s garment language changing.
THE BRIDAL GARMENT
We now come to the long awaited moment to witness the bride of Christ arrayed in all her glory. Remember Christ will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords when He returns to earth. The bride shall be His queen sharing his throne position. For that long awaited moment to we the bride arrayed an all her glory, prepared for the wedding we turn to Rev 19:65. John’s garment language now changes from white robes unto fine linen. Verse 7-let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hash (past tense) made herself ready, (back down on earth) and to her was granted that she should be clothed in fine linen. So here we see these overcomers throughout the seven church ages who were promised this white raiment, for overcoming by walking in all the light of revelation of their hour.
THINGS WE NOW KNOW ABOUT THE BRIDE
No. 1, As a believer In Christ before becoming an overcomer of their age, they were clothed with a white robe of righteousness. (as all believers are). No. 2 For being an overcomer they had been promised white raiment which we have already seen worn by the 24 elders. No. 3. Then we come to the conclusion that white raiment is the fine linen spoken of in Rev. 19, verse 8. Remember, the overcomer was promised something special. No doubt about it, the Bride calling is the highest order of God’s grace-that is why it is referred to as fine linen. True, it is all righteousness that is worn by every human soul seen in the vision but the fine linen given to the bride saints for overcoming is certainly a much higher order of righteousness. These saints were arrayed in the very finest of God’s righteousness. No doubt about it there is a different relationship between the white robed saint and the saint clothed in fine linen, just as there is a difference in a white cotton handkerchief and a white linen handkerchief, both are white and both are the same kind of objects but the material speaks for itself. A linen handkerchief is much more endurable, absorbing light and throwing off a reflection that a cotton handkerchief could never do. That is true with the Bride calling or fine linen saints compared to the others who also make it through. No. 1 They absorbed more glorious gospel truth and they reflected far more of the pace of God, than did any other group. No doubt that is why fine linen is used to express their standing before God. Any woman knows linen will stand a far greater test than cotton. In the ancient cities, scripture and history alike portrays kings, queens and the wealthiest people of the country always wearing the most costly material. What was that material? It was none other than fine linen. Remember the rich man, recorded in Luke 16, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day while Lazarus lay at his gate full of sores. Fine linen is always associated with the rich and the wealthy, therefore fine linen is given to the Bride of Christ to show how rich she is in her Lord and what it cost her to have this position. The foolish virgin could not have this, because they have defiled their robe of righteousness and had to pass through the bloody tribulation to cleanse it. When my eyes first fell upon Rev. 19, verse 8, and saw again that John had changed his garment speech from robes to fine linen to show this was a much higher realm of people, I wondered if perhaps he would use this language again. As I continued to read and saw the marriage of the lamb completed and Christ and His Bride was preparing to return to earth, it started again that the armies which were in heaven that followed him upon white horses were clothed in fine linen, white and clean. in heaven that followed him upon white horses were clothed in fine linen, white and clean. In closing we would like to say,
that at no time has this message been designed to belittle those who only wore white robes of righteousness, such as the martyred Jews of either World War II or the tribulation saints who were composed of both Jew and Foolish virgin Gentiles, but we do desire to show forth that the wedding garment of the Bride is the greatest, and highest order of sainthood. It’s the cream of the crop throughout the 7 churches ages and blessed are those who can be an overcomer and be granted white raiment or fine linen. Those who stood there dressed in white robes were not of the Bride, but those who wore fine linen was the Bride of Christ. May you be fortunate enough to be clothed in white linen, and reign as His queen on this earth for a thousand years. I want to be clothed in fine linen, don’t you?