THE TITLE FOR THIS MESSAGE CAME TO ME WHILE I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW EVERYTHING IS RUN BY COMPUTERS IN OUR DAY, AND HOW THOSE COMPUTERS GET MESSED UP AT TIMES. ACTUALLY, COMPUTERS HAVE CREATED A LOT OF LAZY MINDS, TO THE POINT WHERE THOSE WHO PROGRAM THEM SEEM AT TIMES NOT ABLE EVEN TO RATIONALIZE. I HEARD OF A CASE ON THE NEWS A WHILE AGO, WHERE A MAN HAD BEEN ON SOCIAL SECURITY FOR QUITE SOME TIME, AND HAD BEEN GETTING CHECKS REGULARLY, THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY STOPPED, WITHOUT ONE WORD OF EXPLANATION. WHEN HE WENT TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE TO TRY TO FIND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT IT, THE REPLY CAME BACK FROM THE COMPUTER, THAT HE WAS DEAD, AND IT TOOK THE POOR MAN A WHOLE YEAR TO GET THE CHECKS STARTED AGAIN. AFTER HE HAD FURNISHED THEM WITH ALL THE PROOF THEY REQUIRED, THE ONLY THING THEY HAD TO DO WAS RE-ENTER HIS NAME IN THE COMPUTER. BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS UNANSWERED, AS TO WHY HIS NAME WAS REMOVED FROM THE THING WITHOUT PROOF OF HIS DEATH. AS FAR AS THOSE PEOPLE WERE CONCERNED, THE MAN WAS ON THEIR FORGOTTEN LIST, SO I JUST THOUGHT: I AM GLAD GOD DOES NOT FORGET HIS WORD LIKE THAT. I AM GLAD HE DOES NOT BLOT OUR NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE AND FORGET THAT WE EVER EXISTED. WELL THE POINT IS: CONCERNING COMPUTERS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT SOMEONE MAY FEED INTO THOSE THINGS, AND HOW WELL THEY FUNCTION: IF SOMEONE ELSE COMES ALONG AND PUNCHES SOME WRONG KEYS, THE THING IS ALL MESSED UP. NO MATTER WHAT MAN INVENTS: TO TRY TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR HIMSELF, HUMAN ERROR CAN STILL CAUSE A LOT OF PROBLEMS, AND THEN MALFUNCTION OF THE UNIT ITSELF IS DOUBLE TROUBLE. THEREFORE TO SUM IT ALL UP, GOD HIMSELF IS THE ONLY ONE THAT NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE, AND HE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT WE CAN PUT OUR COMPLETE CONFIDENCE IN: WITHOUT HAVING TO BE CONSCIOUS OF THE POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE. IT JUST MAKES ME GLAD THAT GOD’S WORD IS NOT STUCK IN A COMPUTER SOMEPLACE, DEPENDING ON A MORTAL MIND TO RUN IT. WHEN WE READ A PROPHECY FROM THE WORD OF GOD, WE DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A MALFUNCTION SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE, CAUSING THAT PROPHECY TO FAIL. THAT IS WHY MY TITLE FOR THIS MESSAGE IS, “GOD WILL NOT FORGET HIS WORD.” EVERYTHING, NO MATTER WHAT: COMES ABOUT EXACTLY THE WAY THE SCRIPTURES SAY IT WILL. YET THE WORLD IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO WILL REFER TO THE BIBLE AS A BOOK OF MYTHS. IT IS THE ONLY BOOK OF PROPHECY WRITTEN, THAT HAS NEVER FAILED ONE TIME: YET THESE EDUCATED MINDS ARE UNABLE TO RECOGNIZE THAT FACT. IN THE WORLD OF RELIGION RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE EDUCATED MINDS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER THERE WILL BE A RAPTURE OF THE TRUE CHURCH, OR NO RAPTURE AT ALL, AND WHETHER THE CHURCH WILL GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION, OR NOT GO THROUGH IT, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEIR EDUCATION AND HUMAN SMARTNESS WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO THE ONE WHO COULD GIVE THEM A REVELATION OF THESE THINGS. SO AS WE LOOK AT THE WORLD AROUND US, WE SEE NOTHING BUT CONFUSION ON EVERY HAND, BUT NONE OF THIS IS A SURPRISE TO GOD: FOR HE HAD THE SCRIPTURES RECORDED IN SUCH A WAY, THAT ONLY HIS TRUE CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO CONFUSE CARNAL MINDED PEOPLE WHO LOOK TO THEM ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF DEBATING THEM, OR ARGUING ABOUT THEM. REVELATION OF THE WORD OF GOD IS ONLY FOR GOD’S TRUE CHILDREN: SO DO NOT THINK IT STRANGE THAT THE WORLD IS FULL OF CONFUSION, CONCERNING THE PRECIOUS TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE.
POINTS ABOUT THE LORD’S RETURN
Let us open our Bibles to Matthew 24:36, and read a verse of scripture that is often referred to and argued about by many. It says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” What are we actually looking at here? If the epistle to the Thessalonians, and the book of Revelation had never been written: we would actually have very little to go on, as to whether Jesus was referring to His physical return, when He comes to rule and reign, or whether He was referring to the time when he comes for the rapture of the Church. When Jesus spoke these words, little was known concerning a translation of the saints, yet believers were made to believe in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Where, when, and in what relationship, was not even thought of, as far as knowing how to actually look for it. Therefore let me say this, This verse of scripture points to only one of the two events people apply it to. It does not apply to both of them. One day, somewhere in the future, there is going to be a literal, visible, physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory, coming to earth to rule and reign. How many of you will accept that as being scriptural? We know also, according to the Thessalonian letter, that there is a time, also referred to as a day, when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come and take the overcoming saints away with Him. But his coming is in no way related to the visible, bodily appearance, when He comes with His angels and the armies of heaven to rule and reign. It is a coming that has an altogether different purpose and application. We can call it a mystery; the mystery of His coming. But listen to me; verse 36 does not point to the rapture of the church, even though it seems like it could. You have to consider verses 29, 30, 50, & 51, along with this one, in order to get it placed with the coming it belongs to. You cannot make it point to two separate events that are not even related. I hope that is understood, for Jesus had a reason for making this statement like He did. Why did He not include the YEAR, also? If we get the scripture laid out right? We will see why He did not say day, hour, and year. Verse 29 tells us: ) that it is going to be immediately after the tribulation, and it is referring to the great tribulation, wherein the Antichrist rules for his appointed time. Then will He appear: coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Furthermore, the Bible gives us a yardstick to measure the tribulation by, even though we cannot measure it from the present time. Let us be aware of the fact that God had the Bible written in such a way, that his true saints will not be ignorant and unaware of His return for them in the mystical. Because of the things that are written in the scriptures, we know that once the tribulation period starts, there is going to be some people left here; t that the only thing they will have to look forward to, is to calculate the time of the visible appearance of the Lord in power and glory. The book of Daniel plainly tells you, in chapter 9, verse 27, how to calculate the time of the great tribulation. Let us read it “And he (He who? The Antichrist, the false prince, false prophet, and I false peace maker) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (Which is seven years, a week of years) And in the midst (or middle) of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation; and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Of course this verse alone does not give you all the details, but when you put it with Revelation 11:3-7, 12:6, 13:5-8, and the 12th chapter of Daniel, along with other related references which we have thoroughly covered in other messages, it becomes very plain. He is going to make a covenant with many, for one week, but this is not going to be a covenant of salvation. It will not be a covenant that is related to spiritual things. It will relate to political, monetary, and military affairs, and the signing of it, sets in motion a seven year period of time, in which many scriptures will be fulfilled. He does not stipulate that he is signing a seven year peace covenant. As far as he is concerned: he has designed, and set in motion, a plan through which we will have peace, prosperity, and tranquility, from now on. But the very moment those nations involved sign that thing, it is the God of heaven that starts marking time, and will not let that thing run more, nor less than seven years. The God of heaven, who never forgets His word, is the one who makes sure of the time it runs. The charter (or covenant) itself, will no doubt have a certain date that it becomes law; but saints: you can be sure of this, the old Antichrist will not have it recorded in there, that after one thousand two hundred and three-score days, he has the right to break, or change it. No, God allows the devil to anoint the man who holds that position then: to bring about that part of it, all because of what he sees going on in Israel. among the Jewish people. In the eyes of Satan, what God is doing among those Jewish people will necessitate a change. That is why you see recorded in Daniel 9:27, that when the middle of that week comes, the Antichrist will break that covenant. Who will he break it with? Israel, of course. He will not have to break it with anyone else, for it is not the other nations that is causing the problems. Brother, by the time the middle of that week comes, Israel will really be causing that old follow some trouble, for they will know exactly who he is, and what he as to do; to fulfill the word of God therefore there is no doubt whatsoever, that he will break that great peace covenant after exactly 3 1/2 years of prophetic time, for Daniel 9:27 has to he fulfilled. Remember, God does not forget his word. There is a time of trouble and excessive hatred, that this old man of sin must execute against the Jewish race, and he begins it, by first breaking that covenant, and killing their two prophets, that has prophesied to them for 3 1/2 years, which is absolutely the first 3 1/2 years of that seven year period of time. That is when he will bring in his military police force: to enforce his decrees. This will fulfill verse 2 of Revelation, chapter 11; which says, “But the court which is without or outside of the temple leave out, and measure it not, for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Now the forty two months is exactly 3 1/2 years, and that is the last half of that seventieth week of Daniel, that we are referring to as a week. That 3 1/2 year period of time is what we refer to as the time of the great tribulation. What makes it so? The Antichrist and his Gentile army is on the rampage: persecuting and slaughtering Jews and Gentile foolish virgins. In other words, anyone who holds to a belief in God.
In Matthew 24:29, Jesus spoke if some things that would happen immediately after the tribulation of those days; and you can be sure He meant immediately, not three weeks after, nor three months after: but immediately after God has counted exactly one thousand two hundred and threescore days of the reign of the old Antichrist: starting from the middle of that week. Revelation 13:5 tells us that power was given unto him (the Antichrist) to continue forty two months. That is the time when Israel will have to flee into the wilderness and hide from him, according to chapter 12, verse 6, which is spoken of as exactly 1260 days. That is why Jesus could not say, No man knoweth the year or month, when the Son of man would come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, for even though we do not know right now, when the week of time will start: once it does, almost any one can mark off 2520 days, which is the exact amount of days in seven prophetic years of time); and know the year and month. It is true that we may not know the day and hours, but a person would have to be ignorant, not to be able to calculate the year and month: once this thing is set in motion, for God’s word is precise. If it says 1260 days, that is exactly what it means. If for some reason you should be left here to face that great tribulation hour, when it starts, you can be certain that its duration will be exactly 1260 days, and then Jesus and His armies from heaven will be on earth to bring it to an end, and execute judgment on the whole ungodly mess. It is God Himself that keeps the time, so there cannot possibly be any mistake in its duration of time. That is as sure as anything could ever be, or we may just as well throw our Bibles away, and stop claiming to believe that it is the word of God. Brothers and Sisters: When that peace covenant is ready to be put into effect: do not try to tell me that the world is not going to know about it. It will be broadcast to every nation on the planet, just like when the United Nations was formed. Yes, when this false peace is introduced to the world: the world is going to know about it for sure. Now, lest someone misunderstand something that has been said, let me remind you that the true bride church will be gone to glory with Jesus, while this 3 1/2 years of great tribulation is running its course. But there will be a great number of people left here that believe in God and will not renounce their faith in Him, even though they know it is going to cost them their lives to retain their testimony. By that time: they will all definitely know that God does not forget His word. Let me say once again though, Verse 36, in no way points to the rapture of the bride saints; it is pointing to the visible return of Jesus Christ; when He comes to set up His millennial reign on earth: from the throne of His father David: who was king in Israel. Believers that are left to go through the great tribulation will be able to figure pretty close, from the days given in the scriptures; but they will not be able to figure the exact day and hour: because this is a universal picture, and there is a great time difference as you travel from country to country: around the world. It could be June 25 here in Jeffersonville, and already be June 26 somewhere else in the world, just for an example of course. Nevertheless it is too late in time for us to just let our minds drift around; we need to get it settled once and for all, what we believe, from this written word of God. As for me: I know beyond any shadow of doubt that there is going to be a resurrection; the going to be a resurrection; the Bible proves it. Likewise, it proves that there is going to be a translation of the saints; but it does not give us anything to calculate time from: for this appearing of Jesus Christ, because it is to be a secret coming. The saints will see Him then; but the world will not see a thing. The saints will hear His voice; but the world will not hear it. It will be just about like it was with Saul: on the road to Damascus. He saw a great light, and heard a voice speaking to him; but the men traveling with him, only saw the light; they did not hear the voice. That is why I say, The world will never know when the saints have left, nor where they have gone. They will only know that there are some people missing. Of that secret coming of the Lord Jesus Christ though, all the Bible gives us, that would in any way indicate when it will take place, is the signs of the times, and according to those signs: it is getting very close to that time. On the other hand: any person who would be willing to use the scriptures, could calculate the time of His visible return to earth: once that peace covenant is signed: with the Antichrist. So the point is, We cannot be here on earth, waiting to see His visible appearance, and at the same time: be there to come with Him. Therefore we need to get our minds straightened out: on what we are looking for. May God have mercy on Gentile Christianity; that after 1900 years, still does not know for sure what they are looking for. Saints: God’s word is not just a hope so thing; it gives us definite promises that we can hold on to. Therefore let us take Matthew 24:36, and put it at the end of the great tribulation. Do you remember why we said it goes there? Because it pertains to the time when He will come to earth visibly, to rule and reign, and the bride element of the redeemed will be with Him in that coming. Right now, though, He is working on this element of people, getting them ready for the translation: that will take place at his secret coming.
WHAT PRESSURE DOES
The signs of the times are pointing to the soon return of the Lord; for His bride; but do not look for Him next week; for the pressure will first have to build up; to make that element of Christians anxious to get out of here. Why do you think it was necessary for God to deal with the children of Israel as he did; to get them out of Egyptian bondage? Why did He let conditions get so bad for them and why did He take them the route He took them, instead of taking the regular caravan route? First He wanted them to be under such pressure and so abused, that they would everyone be ready to leave that place. Then He wanted to deliver them, in a way that they would know for sure, that he is a God of power, well able to take care of them in every situation. That bunch of slaves would have been no match for the well trained Egyptian army that would be hot on their trail; so God just took them right out across the desert, a way was not even reasonable for people to travel and their biggest obstacle was the Red Sea, but God was right there to display His mighty power. Scoffers like to call it the reed sea, to deny the parting of the waters. But I always say this, When that Egyptian army tried to cross it: they all drowned in whatever came down, and covered them over, so you tell me whether it was a wall of water or not. Some people just simply do not want to admit that God is a miracle worker; but in the end, He always makes fools out of them. Well after the way God took them across the Red Sea; the children of Israel should have known that they had nothing to fear. That is why God chose to bring them out in such a miraculous way. But the point we are really making, is that God let pressure build up against them, down there in Egypt, to the point where it was almost unbearable, and that made them every one anxious to get out of there; when the time came for them to be delivered. That is why I say, When it comes time for the rapture of the bride saints. every last one of them will be anxiously awaiting that hour. They will be longing to get out of this rotten mess. It is bad already; for the world about us is following the devil like little baby chicks following the mother hen, and they expect everyone to follow right along. They want you to look like a devil, think like a devil, and act like a devil. There seems to be very little honesty and moral virtue left in our society, apart from the few who are truly walking with God. Then we see everything becoming automated and computerized, and we know what it is all leading up to: one world government, one world money, and all such as that. Do not ever think the true saints of God are not going to be ready to get out of here. When the pressure really gets tough, a lot of professing Christians are going to throw up their hands, and quit, saying, I cannot stand this any longer: there is no choice but to gc along with them. Listen to me, children of God: you do not have to go along with the world; if you truly have the grace of God in your life. No Israelite had to stay back there in Egypt. God made a way for every one of them to leave; but they first had to recognize their heritage, and be willing to go the provided way. But brother: When they left there that night, death was striking those Egyptian homes; according to the word of Moses, the servant of God. All over Egypt, death was striking the firstborn of every home, but in Goshen, not one Israeli baby was harmed. Then when marching orders came; those Israelis walked out of there that night, taking every duck, goose, lamb, goat, and everything with them. Expecting mothers, and those with little babies, went right along anyhow. But Egypt, that night, was a place you would not have wanted to be. There was not one happy Egyptian home to be found. That does not mean that every home had a dead baby, for in some homes only grandfather and grandmother were there; but they had all heard the news, and their hearts were heavy with grief. Well what about the next day? What would you have heard there in Egypt? You might have heard something like this; My servant is gone, my maid is gone, and so forth. Where did they go? We know the answer: God took them. He took them to the banks of the Red Sea. Why? First He wanted to destroy the army of that mind changing Pharoah. God knew he would change his mind and forget all about the agreement he made with Moses. Actually God Himself hardened his heart, and allowed him to react as he did, in order that He (God) might be able to show His power and Glory.
PREPARING FOR THE RAPTURE
Pharaoh called in his general and said, Prepare the army and go after those Israelis; why did we ever let them go in the first place? That is not the exact words; but I can just see that great army of top troops, with their spears and swords, riding hard to catch the children of Israel, and could hardly wait until they got the opportunity to draw blood from those fleeing slaves. They rode hard to catch up, and God allowed it, for He had a purpose in it all. What was Moses and his great host of people doing? Camping by the banks of the Red Sea: just waiting on God. Moses had not been given a preview of what they were facing; so all he could do was just wait upon God. Well that is just exactly what we are doing: waiting on God. We had better be waiting on God: and be persuaded in our hearts, that God will not forget his word. He will not allow this ungodly mess to go on forever; but you can be sure, he will allow conditions to get worse, and worse, until his redeemed bride saints are all ready to get out of here. Oh sure; you have an element of professing Christians looking for a great Holy Ghost revival to sweep around the world, and the sons of God to be endued with power and authority to drive the evil forces from the earth. But listen to me, saints, They have not read the Bible right. Everything I see in the Bible, pertaining to this end time, tells me that evil and ungodliness will continue to grow worse and worse, right up to the time when the bride leaves here. What I am trying to get across to you is that I can see God dealing with the bride Church in our day, much in the same way He dealt with the children of Israel, right up to, and through their departurt out of Egypt. Modern man has forgotten his Creator. They think to believe in God makes you a fool. That is just exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. In Psalms 14:1, David wrote these words, “The fool hath said in his heart; There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” At a time when atheism and evolution is captivating the minds of so many, do you not believe that God would want to deal with His Church, much in the same manner that He dealt with the children of Israel, when He took them up, out of Egypt? The rapture of the church will be accomplished by the power of God, just like their deliverance was. Hallelujah! When it comes time for the rapture we will not need a space rocket, nor a 747 jetliner, to get us out of here. All we need is Jesus Christ in our heart and soul, and the power of Almighty God will do the rest. He will have us ready to go by then, and He will not forget His word. Now, Brothers and Sisters: I am not saying that the rapture is going to be a visible event: that the world can behold; for the scriptures teach us that it will be a mysterious event. Those left here, will wonder where we went. That will really be a mystery question, but it all points to the power of God. We are living in a day when people are prone to trust in the dollar (or whatever they may call their money) to do everything for them that needs to be done. But we are fast approaching the devil’s hour, when all of those monetary titles will lose their identity, and we all know that there is no security in anything that has lost its individual identity. Therefore as we see these things approaching, we ought to be absolutely sure that we are ready to get out of here. Yes that is what I said; we have to be ready. Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY.” God furnishes the necessary substance for us to get dressed up in, but we, as individuals, have the responsibility of dressing ourselves, and making ourselves ready, and we need to be busy about that every day.
THE DAYS OF NOAH ARE HERE
Alright, I believe we have scripturally established the fact that verse 36 of Matthew 24, is pointing to a time beyond the great tribulation, when Jesus returns to earth in bodily form to rule with a rod of iron for one thousand years. As I have already said, We simply cannot apply that one verse to both of the Lord’s comings. Of course some will say, Did the Lord Jesus say anything at all about the rapture of the church? Well let us continue reading on down through here, and see if there is anything at all concealed in these verses, that could apply to the rapture. Up to this point, we have seen that His visible return will be immediately after the great tribulation, but no man knows the day and hour when it will take place. Then in verse 37, he begins to speak of the moral and social picture prevailing in the world, when that day arrives, so let us read on. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Brothers and Sisters: there is no written record of what went on in the days of Noah; before the flood. The only thing we have is what we find in chapter 6, of Genesis, and that does not go into details, but I believe we have a pretty good concept of what morality was like, and why God had to bring judgment when He did. Furthermore I believe you will agree with me, that the moral and social conditions of our day are just about like they were in Noah’s day. What could people have been doing then, that some are not doing now? All of the conditions are present; but God will give them time to make a full sweep, before He makes His move. Even today, you would have a hard time finding a judge that would use the Bible as the means for determining what is immoral. The trend today, is to look upon anyone who tries to resist what is being taught to their little children in school, as some kind of odd ball: that needs to be locked up, and kept away from society. That in itself, lets me know that the days of Noah are here again. In the 5th chapter of Isaiah, it speaks of a time when Israel (the children of Israel) got to the point of calling evil good, and good evil, justifying the wicked, and taking the righteousness of the righteous from him, and how the anger of the Lord was kindled against them for it. Therefore when it gets to the place where all of this immorality and perversion becomes an established image of society, so that nothing is wrong, and everything is right, then know for sure that the days of Noah are here in full force. You cannot change it, and neither can the president nor the lawmakers of the land, as lone individuals. Why? Because it is Satan’s hour, and it is all going to get worse. The whole mass of unredeemed humanity will just keep drifting more and more into this state of immorality, right to the very end. It is a very grim picture we see before us today; but when you stop to realize that it has to be this way, before the Lord comes to get us out of here, it helps you cope with what you see all around you, a little better. Notice verse 38, as we continue reading, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” We have got to apply this to the general picture of humanity, so let me say this, Not everyone today is a homosexual, or a pervert of some sort; but those that are, what is their lives taken up with? Eating and drinking, and having a good time. Their Creator is the furthest thing from their mind. They are just obeying the lusts of the spirit that is in them. We cannot really live for God until the spirit of God draws us, and only those that were foreknown of God from before the foundation of the world, will ever be able to respond to that convicting and wooing of His Spirit, so that leaves a great multitude to go the Other way. Whether we want to believe it or not, serpent seed is still all around us, and that enmity of Genesis 3:15 is still there. But as I said, None of us really live for God until he shakes us, and turns our little world upside down.
OUR PLANS CHANGE
I remember well, I had my mind made up: as to what I wanted to achieve in life. I did not want anyone to pester me; just leave me alone, this is my life. That was my attitude; before the Lord shook me. One week, when I had made quite a bit of money, and was on my way home, thinking, just look what I can do, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital, and they had all of my money that I had made that week. What happened to me up here on old highway 31, was just like what happened to Saul; on the road to Damascus. No, I did not see a light, and I did not hear a voice. But that wreck brought me within an inch of my life, and three days later when I woke up, in the hospital, they had all my money, and deep within my soul, there was a voice saying, This happened to make you get right with me. Brothers and Sisters: For more than a year and half after that, I had no peace at night. I would go to church, and sit there under such condemnation, knowing that somehow I was going to have to get my life straightened out, and the only way to do that, was to surrender to God. I could not sleep at night, and in the daytime, when I would try to plow corn, or do some other farm work, many times I would just sit there on the old tractor and cry, because I was so miserable inside. You will be miserable too, if the Spirit of God is drawing you, until the day you totally surrender to Him. No amount of money can ever buy the peace he can give you. Brother when I finally came to the end of my road, and stopped wrestling, the warfare was over. I said, God: my life has got to be yours. That very instant, everything changed; and it can change just as quick for you today, if you will make that all important surrender. The world around us is going to hell; but God is still dealing with a soul here and there, as we approach the end of time.
SHUT IN WITH GOD
Man has climbed to the highest level of living standards that the human race could ever hope to attain. Of course we realize that there are areas of the world where people are still living just like they did two thousand years ago, in a very primitive manner. But in the educated and industrialized areas of the world, we are just like Egypt was 3400 years ago, living the highest that one could ever expect to live. The world in general, has their mind on everything but God. To talk about a rapture to them, would be just like Noah talking about rain, and a flood. Do you think that bunch had any interest in Noah’s boat, except to make fun of him for building it? Do you think this bunch of educated atheists in our schools today, have any interest in your child’s morality, or in the rapture of the church? If you try to talk to them about those things, do you know what they will think of you? They will say you are a nut. Nevertheless, regardless of what the world does, we still have a standard of righteousness to uphold, and it may draw some criticism, but the end reward is worth it all. I can just hear those scoffers in Noah’s day: Hey Noah: did you say it is going to rain? What is rain? Ha! Ha! Ha! Noah: You are wasting your time. Today it is: What is a rapture, preacher? Why waste time talking about that? Come on with us, and we will show you how to have some fun out of life. They think they are having fun, but God will not forget His word; therefore hell is awaiting them. The pitiful thing I see today, is the way unsuspecting souls are ignorantly drawn into things they ought not be found messing around with, just like in the days of Noah. They knew not until it was too late, and the flood took them all away. God did not wait until the first drops of water started to fall, before He told Noah to go into the ark. No. When that old boat was finished, and God saw that the whole mass of humanity had made their decision, and that they were against Noah and his sons, and against the ark, which was the only means of safety: God said, Now Noah, go into the ark, You can read the exact wording in the 7th chapter of Genesis, if you like, but the point I want to make is that God had them all shut in, and the door of the ark sealed, before it ever started to rain. Noah went up that old gangplank into the ark, and it says that the animals which were supposed to go went in unto Noah, as God had commanded. Noah did not have to go out and round up the animals, and herd them into the boat; God himself did that. I just have to say, Those animals had more sense, and were more subject to their Creator than most professing Christians are today. You must remember this too; this was hundreds of years this side of the garden of Eden, so these animals had already developed their appetites: the stronger killing the weaker for food: for his own survival. But Noah did not have to build cages to keep them apart in the ark; God also took care of that part. Those animals came walking up there two by two, (male and female) right into the ark. I know it sounds fantastic, but that is what the record shows, and I believe it was just exactly that way. It did not rain the first day they were in there, nor the second, nor the third. They were in there seven days before the rain came: which gave their critics plenty of time to laugh and make fun of them. During that time, the old door stood wide open, anyone, or any animal could have walked right in, but they did not. Furthermore our natural mind imagines all those animals scratching, clawing, pawing and screaming, and Noah trying to settle them down and keep them apart. But, no, I do not believe that was necessary; for God had prepared them for this time, and they were subject to Him. People today carry on worse than those animals did. Those people outside the ark were probably acting more like we imagine the animals would have been acting. I can just see them hanging around outside, laughing and throwing critical remarks at Noah and his family, right up to the very time God sent a big puff of wind, and slammed that old door shut, and opened up the fountains of the deep. Brother it did not take them very long after that, to find out whether that old boat would float or not. No doubt as that old boat started to lift up from the ground where it had been sitting for so long, a lot of those people who had been making fun of Noah and his family, tried to hold on to it: to save themselves from drowning; but they could only hold on for so long, and down they went, and they had never had any reason to build rafts and boats, so they had nothing but the timbers to hold to after that, and when the water rose above those tree tops, the only thing left alive was what was in that old ark. No one would ever again make fun of Noah for building an ark, but today, they are making fun of us for believing in a rapture. It is that same devil causing them to do that today, that caused those critics of Noah to act the way they did, and this wicked generation today is going to be judged as sure as they were. But, Hallelujah! The little bride Church is going to be raptured out of this ungodly mess one of these days; so that is where my faith rests. The world itself is going to get worse and worse. I see nothing in the Bible, to even indicate that things will get any better, before the end of this age. In his Thessalonian epistles, Paul had quite a bit to say about the coming of the Lord, and about conditions that would prevail upon the earth before our gathering together unto Him. But the point is, As it was in the days of Noah; so shall it be also in the days prior to the coming of the Lord; and we can rest assured that God will not forget His word.
WHERE IS YOUR CHRISTIAN WITNESS?
I believe with all my heart that there is a people in the world today, known by God, by name, who will be recipients of the promises of God’s word, and I am just as sure that all ungodliness will be destroyed. God will not allow this present trend to rock on for another one hundred years before it happens either; so it is high time that we who are believers: make sure that our lives are in order. Let us look to Jesus for our example, and not to the world around us. People who are all caught up in the trends of the world are so burdened down with stress they cannot find any way to truly relax. That is why you find doctors and psychiatrists going to such extremes, trying to warn people of stress and what it will lead to. In other words, they can tell people of ways to lengthen their life span on earth, but they cannot tell them one thing that will help them get ready for eternity. They are able to perform surgery today that keeps a lot of people hanging on to life, but in many cases the quality of that life is so nil, you cannot help but feel that the person would be better off dead. Saints: I am so thankful today that we have a better hope beyond this present hour. This present life is just a workshop where God is preparing us to really live, therefore the most beneficial thing that we can ever do in this life, is surrender completely to the Spirit of God, and allow Him to lead and direct our lives. That is the only way we will ever be ready for the rapture. Now as I have said before: The word rapture does not even appear in the Bible. It is a theological word, used to speak of the catching away of the saints, or the translation. Enoch and Elijah were both translated, just like we expect the bride church to be; and remember; The Church is not a building of wood, bricks, and stone; It is individual people that have been bonded together with the common faith and teachings of the early apostles. Therefore let us read the verses in Matthew 24, that really does pertain to the rapture. Jesus has been speaking of the visible return, when He would return in power and great glory, to sit upon the throne of his father David, and of that coming, He says, “No man knoweth the day and hour, and he goes on, speaking of conditions that would be in the earth in that day, and how that it would be just as it was in the days of Noah when the flood came, and took them all away. Then in verses 40 and 41, He said, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” There is no time mentioned, when His secret appearing, and the translation of the saints will take place, but it will be in a day when these wicked and perverted practices of the people of the world, are the predominant order of the day. You may look at all this variety of religious programs on television, and let those great crowds of people who support those programs convince you that the world is in the midst of a great Holy Ghost revival, but let me say it once again. That idea is completely contrary to the scriptures. What you are seeing out there is religiously oriented entertainment shows. Most of the preachers are made up like Hollywood actors, and their congregations portray a little of everything except holiness. The way a lot of those supposed-to-be, Holy Ghost filled christians dress, and paint themselves up; they look just like the people who go to nightclubs and road houses and openly serve the devil. If the way you look and conduct yourself, identifies you more with the devil’s crowd than it does with those who are truly serving God with their whole heart, then where is your christian witness? What is there about your life, that could ever get you persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ? We are living in the Laodicean Church Age, but true christians are not to have the Laodicean spirit ruling their lives. Let us turn to the 3rd chapter of Revelation and read a few verses, and give you a chance to examine yourselves, and at the same time: see what God says He will do with those whose lives present such an image. Pay attention to what He says here, as we start reading in verse 15. “I know thy works, thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER COW NOR HOT, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH.” God compares Christian lives to a drink that is supposed to be cold or hot: one of the two, and shows how abominable either one is, when it is in that lukewarm state. You take a drink of something like that, and your automatic response is to spue it out of your mouth, if you are where you can. That is exactly how God looks upon people who profess godliness, and yet identify with the people of the world, more than they do with the true people of God who deny the flesh, dress modestly, and endeavor to pattern their lives after the example set by Jesus and the apostles. Remember: God will not forget His word. Why does God call those people lukewarm? Verse 17 tells us. Notice, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED.” You may say, But Bro. Jackson: I do not say that about myself. Well what do you say about yourself? Is your life a good example of Christian conduct and holiness? It ought to be: if you have any feelings about being in the bride of Christ. What do you think He is coming after, anyhow? Ephesians 5:26, Scripture 27 gives us the answer to that question. Paul, speaking about how Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, says, “That He (Jesus Christ) might present it to Himself a glorious church, NOT HAVING SPOT. OR WRINKLE, or any such thing: but that it, (the Church, which is made up of individual believers) SHOULD BE HOLY and WITHOUT BLEMISH.” Of course we realize that none of us are in that final state of perfection yet, but there has to be something wrong when you see what is supposed to be the bride of Christ, going the wrong way, identifying with the devil’s crowd more than with an image of holiness.
READY FOR THE RAPTURE
We can go to the 17th chapter of Luke, and read verses 34-36 and get three statements that Jesus made, which shows that he is speaking of something that has a universal application, and will not take days to accomplish, for verse 34 says, “IN THAT NIGHT.” Let us read it. “I tell you, IN THAT NIGHT there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” This lets us know that the rapture is going to take place when part of the world is in the night cycle, and ist Corinthians 15:52 tells us that it is an event that will take place in a moment; in the twinkling of an eye. So the rapture, or translation of the saints, is not something that is going to be strung out over a period of days, or weeks; it will happen suddenly, and only those that are ready to go, will even know about it. Verse 35, “Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” That speaks of the fact that it will be daytime in other parts of the world when this event takes place, for women do not grind at the mill (at least not in this illustration) at night. This is to portray a daytime setting, just like the third statement, found in verse 36. “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Why would one be taken, and the other left? Simply because one was ready and the other was not. Maybe we should say it like this, One will be ready, and the other will not, for it is a future event, and I truly believe it will not be too far into the future. How many of you have ever stopped to realize what it will be like to be left here: when the convicting and restraining power of the Holy Spirit is no longer present? Well these statements cover a universal setting, and it is obvious that they are dealing with the translation of the saints, and not the coming of the Lord to rule and reign for a thousand years. When He comes that time, He comes in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God. That is going to be an event that every eye shall behold; when the heavens are on fire, and the mountains are fleeing away. Brother, He will not be taking one, and leaving one, when He comes like that. He will be coming to destroy: and rid the earth of all wicked and ungodly mankind. I see no reason to even suspect that this present generation will not be the one to see the climax of all that we are talking about. Conditions in the world are right, conditions in the world church are right, and the prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled before that takes place, do not have to be strung out over a long period of years. God can wrap it all up in a very short order. But above all else, the Lord can come for any one of us, to take us by way of the grave, at any time, so I ask you, Are you ready to stand before Him? When the death angel knocks on your door, it is too late to make those last minute preparations that you may have realized you need to make, but have been neglecting; while you wait for a more convenient time. Let me say this now, I am not trying to scare anyone to the Lord. It does not work like that. The Bible teaches us that we have to be drawn by the Spirit of God. But there is one thing sure: If you truly are a foreknown seed of God, and you are not living as you know you should, it is better to recognize the error of your ways, repent, and start living for God, before His chastening rod has to fall hard upon you to bring you to your senses. These various scriptures were written in order that true saints of God might know what to expect, and also how to prepare themselves to fit into the perfect will of God, but the church world in general, does not even know where to place a lot of these key scriptures. They look at Luke 17:29-30, and think that pertains only to the rapture of the church, while verse 30 plainly states that it pertains to the time when the Son of man is revealed, so it takes the Holy Ghost to help us get these various statements sorted out. Truly these conditions will be present before the rapture takes place; and after the bride is gone, they will continue right on until Jesus returns with His bride to bring judgment. Jesus said in John 14:26, that the Comforter, (which is the Spirit of truth) the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, when He comes: He will teach you all things. That is why we know things for sure, that others only guess about; they do not have that teacher in them. They say they do, but if He is in them, teaching them all things, why are they still where they are; teaching a three persons God, and baptizing in trinity titles, instead of in the name of the one those titles belong to? Nevertheless, regardless of how the denominations read and apply these verses we have been reading, they let us know for sure that God knows whether we are ready to go in the rapture or not, and whether we are asleep or awake, when that time comes: we will go, if we are ready. Furthermore when He comes in to get that one that is ready, He will not have to kick the door down, nor wake the one that is not ready to go. He will just take the one that is ready to go, and when daylight comes, the other one will just have to wonder where that one went, and how he got out, with the door still locked from the inside.
IS YOUR SPIRITUAL HOUSE CLEAN?
Various denominational people that do believe in the rapture, like to dramatize it by picturing all sorts of tragedies taking place, as pilots of commercial airlines are raptured, and railroad train engineers are taken suddenly, and all such as this. They picture airplanes crashing, trains running wild and jumping the tracks, and automobiles crashing, when their drivers are taken, and all sorts of things. But then you have to realize that they see a great multitude being taken all at once; therefore that serves their purpose; to speak of it like that. But remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:14, where he said, “Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it,” we just have to realize that there are really not that many who are truly concerned about getting out of here. If they were, you could not keep them away from the word of God. Just look around you; people cannot stay out of restaurants, movie theatres, and other places of entertainment, long enough to get themselves ready to go in the rapture. Hollywood and the rapture of the church do not go together. The rapture is for those that would rather be with the Lord than to be here in this stinking mess, and when you see where people’s interests lie, it makes you wonder which one they would choose if they had to make an instant choice. Brothers and Sisters: I believe God is going to let this thing come down to the point where getting out of here in the rapture: will be the heartthrob of those who are truly ready to go. Right now, people will skip church for every reason under the sun. But they will not skip a trip to the grocery store, the gas station, their favorite recreational activity, nor any of those, that they call necessary things, for any reason whatsoever. It just goes to show where their hearts really are. Now saints, I hope you know, I am not talking about something that happens now and then; I am talking about some people’s established way of life, and those that it applies to will know it, without anyone pointing a finger directly at them. People who are not serving God with their whole heart, know it, and sometimes all they need is a little reminder. But of course there are times when God has to let tragedy strike a home in order to get them to come to grips with their true situation. There are professing Christians that have not cleaned their spiritual house in years, yet the natural house they live in, is as clean as a pin. Their spiritual closets are full of junk that they have harbored for years: habits, wrong influences, personal feelings, and all sorts of things that have to be gotten rid of, before we are truly ready for the rapture. Do you think Jesus preached the sermon on the mount (as we call it) just to fill up space in the Bible? Do you think the apostle Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” just to be having something to write? Or will you accept the fact that those who desire to make themselves ready to meet the Lord in the rapture, will take every word of it as seriously as they do breathing? If you just look upon these admonitions as something for someone else to take heed to, then you are not looking for the rapture at all. Bro. Jackson: You are stepping on my toes. Maybe some of you feel that way, but I am just plainly telling you the truth. If you truly wanted to get out of this world, you would show by your actions and attitude, that you want to. You are not going to escape anything because you are worthy. If you go with Him: it will be because of a love in your heart, and a yearning to be with Him, more than anything in this world. When you see people always trying to excuse themselves for their spiritual failures, you are looking at someone that has never yet caught the reality of what the christian life is. Brothers and Sisters: I am not trying to hurt anyone; I am only trying to shock some of you into the reality of what Christianity is moving forward to. The scriptures are not for our own private interpretations; the standard of righteousness set forth in them, is the same for every true child of God. Your talents, or ability for special service is not even a consideration in what we are talking about here. The attitude and motive of your heart has to be acceptable to God, before any of that even comes into the picture. A lot of people have a little plan, or idea in the back of their mind, about going in the rapture, but they intend to rock right on along in their own little lifestyle and way of thinking, regardless of how contrary it may be, to the way their preacher preaches, believing all the time that God will take them anyhow. How could any body of people ever come into the unity of the faith, if everyone believed like that? The fact that I say, A dollar bill will buy a loaf of bread, will not get that loaf of bread for me. I have got to put the right kind of action to work, if I am to get that loaf of bread. First I have to earn the dollar, or in some way acquire the dollar, and then I have to make the effort to exchange it for the bread. It does not just jump into my bread box simply because I believe the right thing about it. By the same token, the rapture is a promise in the word of God, but in order to receive the benefits of that promise, you have to make the right investments with your life, right up to the time when it takes place. You will get no more than what you go for. This is why I say, He is coming for those who are ready to go. Well I’ll get ready next week. No you won’t. That kind of attitude will never get you ready to go with Jesus. Christians have got to desire God to do something to shake them, or else they will end up on the devil’s merry-go-round, until they are so dizzy they cannot possibly walk straight. Jesus said, He that hungers and thirsts after righteousness shall be filled: not he that drifts along with the world, dabbling in everything that comes along. The world will rock right on along, getting worse and worse all the time, and lukewarm christians will rock right along with them, and identify with them, while the people that have sold out to God are being perfected, by the washing of water by the word, and only the rapture itself will be sufficient to cause some other people to realize that they have misread the word of God. Some of these will keep right on calculating, figuring out dates, and looking for some secret phrase in the spoken Word books, that will give them rapturing faith, and the devil will enjoy every bit of it. for that is exactly what he would like to have every one of us doing, because even he knows God expects more than that, out of His true church. Some of these people just live from one date to the next. They set a certain date for the Lord to do something; and when that date passes, and the thing they looked for has not materialized, off they go looking for the man who has the next date. Brothers and Sisters: That is worse than gambling. Do not gamble with your soul, just to please some preacher who has a silly idea. Now I did not know I was going to say that; but I am genuinely concerned about all of this. Over the years, I have seen a few people get stirred from time to time; but it isn’t long until they are back on the same old merry-go-round. Around and around they go, and that merry-go-round music never changes. I hope you know what I mean. Of course I realize that there are some people who say, What that Jackson preaches is just his idea. But it is very interesting to me that none of those who say such things about me, will ever come to me, and show me from the scriptures, why they are saying such things.
A LOOK AT REALITY
Let us go ahead now with the scriptures that tells us what will proceed the coming of the Lord, and what will take place when He comes, both of His mysterious coming, and also His literal coming. One thing that I believe we have proved from the scriptures, is that conditions in the world will be as they were in the days of Noah, and of Lot, when the Lord comes; both for His bride and with His bride. Now how many of you will agree that immorality, perversion, and every type of ungodly practice is in the world today, just like it was in the days of Noah and Lot? They are here, and they are getting worse every single day that goes by, and it will continue so right on through the great tribulation. But scripturally, this is how we know that we are living in the period of time when God is dealing specifically with His True bride Church, to get her ready to be taken to glory. Do not worry about these preachers who say that the rapture of the church is a myth, concocted in the minds of those who believe in it. God has already sent them strong delusion; because they had no love for the truth. Tell me! How can these smart men teach things that are contrary to the scriptures, and not know that their teaching is antichrist, unless God has already sent strong delusion upon them? You may look upon them as great men of God, but according to my Bible, when they teach contrary to what the apostles of Christ taught, they are ambassadors of Satan, and they will receive the same reward Satan receives. Therefore let us go to the 1st epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, and read the revelation given to him concerning the rapture of the true saints of God, and the resurrection of those who already sleep in Jesus. This was written approximately twenty years after Jesus spoke the statements we have been reading from the gospel of Matthew, and Paul did not go back and pick up one thing that Jesus had said. He did not need to; because what he is saying, is not doing away with what Jesus spoke: it is simply enlarging upon it, giving it more details for greater insight. In John 16:12-13, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, (the Holy Ghost) is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. They had to have the Holy Ghost inside them, in order to understand the enlarged scope of God’s great plan of redemption, so what we are seeing here is what Jesus promised; the Holy Ghost guiding them into truth that had not previously been taught in any specific details. We will begin reading in verse 13 of chapter 4, in this Thessalonian epistle. “But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep.” These are Gentile Christians that Paul is writing to. They are living roughly twenty years this side of Pentecost, and some of their loved ones who accepted the faith, have died and been buried. Questions have arisen because those who had died, no doubt believed that they would live to see Jesus return to earth. It was a natural thing for them to think like that, for as we said before, Jesus did not say when He would come again; He only told what condition the world would be in prior to His return. But time has passed; and some of those who believed that they would live to see Him return, are dead and buried, and that has caused some of the others to ask questions concerning what they believe and this is Paul’s response. “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, (God does not want His true Church to be ignorant today either.) concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (Who are the others? It is not those in the beer joints and dope dens; it is those unrevelated religious people of the world.) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (That is the very basis of our belief) even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. Praise the Lord! That is exactly what I believe. Regardless of how modern this world gets, if I die before He comes for the translation of the saints, this is what I will die believing. The modernists of our day are worrying about freezing to death, if we have a nuclear war, but the Bible says they are going to burn, so what are you going to believe? I choose to believe what the Bible says, concerning this, and that. Verse 15, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, (Not something from the Old Testament, nor from a theological seminary, but a revelation straight from heaven to the church) that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” Paul spoke this in such a present tense setting, it makes it seem that he was including himself in the number of those who would be alive when the Lord comes for the rapture, but the term WE, applies to true Holy Ghost filled believers that will still be living at that time. Therefore the fact that he said we, does not change the truth of the revelation one bit whatsoever. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, (The world will not hear it) with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (When is that going to take place? Definitely before the great tribulation) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Now, Saints: That tells me that there will be some living saints, when the Lord comes as a thief in the night: that will be caught up to heaven without ever seeing death. But they will not go ahead of those that are sleeping in Jesus, for God is going to resurrect them first, and then those that are still alive shall go up with them. Does that mean that all who are talking about the rapture of the Church are going to partake of the benefits of it? No, I see a lot of painted up Jezebel types on television, talking about the rapture, whose image and appearance is a million miles from what the Bible says Jesus is coming for, There was a time years ago: when certain women who would never darken the church house door, would still put on some of the appearance of Christian women: in the ways they would dress and present themselves. But today, it is just the opposite; women who are supposed to be Christians, try their very best to dress and paint themselves up like the Jezebel’s of the world. If you think I am exaggerating, just tune your television to some of these religious programs that are on regularly, and take a look at what is professing to be representing Christianity to this lost and dying world. If the apostle Paul could come back and view all of this, do you think he would recognize any of that, as being the fruit of what he taught: almost two thousand years ago? Believe me saints: these are the kind of “Christians” the devil likes. He does not like Christians that catch an image of what a Christian is to be like. Who do you think inspires these Hollywood-type Christians to try to outdo each other all the time? One builds a big building and the next one has to build a larger one, and they have to use most of their television time begging for money to pay for them. Really though, if you are trying to feed a hungry soul from what they preach, in the little bit of time they do spend preaching, you are actually better off listening to them beg for money. That way, you do not have to listen to their antichrist doctrine. Yes I said antichrist doctrines. I believe what the apostle Paul taught was the true doctrine of Christ; therefore when I hear these television preachers stand there and declare that the doctrine of predestination is out of the pit of hell, I know where that man’s inspiration is coming from. The Holy Ghost will not contradict through one man, what He has spoken through another man. It is just as simple as that.
THE FALLING AWAY
Well we were talking about the rapture, and the fact that the scriptures declare it to be a literal catching away from this earth, whereby we will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and it will he before the great tribulation; for the Bible also tells us that we are not appointed to wrath. That is why the Lamb’s wife is seen coming back to earth with Him, in Revelation, chapter 19, when He comes at the end of the tribulation time: to pour out the wrath of God upon ungodly mankind, and set up His righteous reign as King of kings, for the Millennium. Let us go to 2nd Thessalonians now, and then we will come back to 1st Thessalonians later. Somehow or other, these Thessalonians still had some misunderstanding about being caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, so Paul again takes the pen in hand to set certain things straight. We are in the 2nd chapter, verse 1. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, (He could have said it like this, Brethren, I want to talk to you some more, concerning the translation, when we will all be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air.) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled.” Let me stop there and say this, We are living in a day when there are so many different opinions being taught about the rapture, if the Holy Ghost does not lead you: as to who to listen to, you will surely be shaken in mind and troubled in your spirit. Some teach a literal translation, while others teach that it is a state of mind and that it has already taken place. Then, of those who believe in a literal translation, some teach that it is before the tribulation, while others teach that the church has to go through the tribulation, simply because they do not have a revelation of who the multitude in Revelation, chapter 7, is, nor who those were in chapter 20, verse 4, that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. Brothers and Sisters: God did not intend for His true Church to live like that; never sure about what to expect. That is why it was necessary for Paul to write this; and it has been right here in the Bible, for all to see; therefore true children of God need not be confused, nor shaken, about these things. So Paul says, “Neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” He could have said, Now, Saints: I do not want you sitting there, thinking that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, nor next week, just because I wrote what I did in my first letter, or because of what you have heard since then, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” From Paul’s hour, things in the , church did fall away, in order for the Catholic Church, and the office of the Antichrist to be established; but the falling away that Paul is referring to, is to take place universally, just before the Antichrist comes on the scene for his 1260 day reign; and that falling away is what we are witnessing today. Just look around you: how the professing church has shelved the things they used to believe and were convicted in. Pentecost, the last movement at the end of the Reformation, just before the prophet came, should have been the strongest, most reliable truth holder of them all, but today she is setting the pace for those that are falling away from what is written in the scriptures. When the church world got to the place where they no longer allowed God to reveal further truth to them, that opened the door wide for the devil to walk right in and start changing things. They still fill the pews, but they sit there without conscience, or fear, and they do things that their founding fathers would never have thought of, and certainly never would have allowed. They will vote in a homosexual preacher, simply, because it is the trend of the day, and think they are representing the church of the living God. Therefore I ask you, Can you see that we are in a falling away? If you cannot see that, you are as blind as a bat.
WHO IS THE ANTICHRIST?
Alright then, seeing that the falling away is a present tense reality, what are we looking for now? That man of sin to be revealed, the son of perdition. Who is he? He is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. We do not know if the present pope is to be the literal Antichrist or not. All we know for sure is that he will come from that office. Every pope that has ever held that office has been a minor antichrist, and a forerunner of the one who is to be revealed to fulfill this scripture. “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, (in Jerusalem, for 1260 days) showing himself that he is God.” The present pope is young enough, and his health seems good enough, that he could very well live to fulfill all of this. He has already gone more places and traveled more miles than all of the other popes before him combined. He is really an evangelistic pope, and he is making it very plain that he is an excellent negotiator, and an advocator of world peace and changes of the old traditions; yet he is still a pope. He still holds to the cardinal doctrines of the Catholic Church though, and he will not change from them; so as you consider all of these things, he could very well be this son of perdition, that Paul speaks of here: when the time is right for Satan to anoint him for that role. The main point that Paul is making here though, is that the rapture of the Church will not take place until after this man of sin has been revealed. This is confusing to a lot of people; because they are looking for a seven year tribulation period. But let me remind you once again that the first 3 1/2 years of that 70th week of Daniel is not tribulation; it is a time of peace, tranquility, and prosperity. At least that is what the pope of that hour will be calling it. That is how he is first revealed; when he negotiates that world peace covenant with many nations, and they sign it and make him the overseer of it. That is what brings Daniel 9:27 into the picture, for it declares that this prince himself, will be the one that first breaks the peace covenant that he negotiates. Why will he break it? Because he reaches a point where he can no longer tolerate those two Jewish prophets, that will be prophesying to the nation of Israel during that time. According to Revelation 11:3-12, they will prophesy for a full 3 1/2 prophetic years, which is exactly 1260 days before they are killed. Their execution, upon the orders of the pope, is what inaugurates the 3 1/2 years of great tribulation, which is the last 1260 days of the seventieth week of Daniel, a time when the pope and his international police force will endeavor to rid the world of every Jew and every Christian that confesses faith in God. As we have said before, It is God Himself that keeps track of time, and makes sure that the two prophets are not killed before they have fulfilled their full 3 1/2 years of prophesying, according to the scriptures. “GOD WILL NOT FORGET HIS WORD.” When that 3 1/2 years of their prophesying is fulfilled, then God will allow the devil to anoint the pope, just like He allowed him to anoint Judas Iscariot, to betray Jesus. The next 1260 days will be hell on earth. But thank God; the Church will be gone.
GET ENTHUSED ABOUT LIVING FOR GOD
Now let us go back to 1st Thesesalonians, chapter 5, verse 1, and catch some more of what Paul wrote, following his state-ment about being caught up to meet the Lord in the air; “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” This lets us know that somewhere he has already explained all of this to them, and now he is merely reminding them that it is still that way. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord (The day when He comes for His Saints) so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; (Who will be saying that? The man of sin and those that he has convinced.) Then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” That speaks of the end result of all their efforts. It just lets us know that God will not allow their great peace plan to last forever. There is only one true Prince of Peace, and His righteous rule for one thousand years will be a time of true peace; but naturally, as always, Satan has to be allowed to forerun Him, with a counterfeit plan, to deceive all those who have failed to take heed to the word of God, when they had the chance. The old pope will come upon the scene with a peace plan, that will be looked upon by leaders of nations, as the very thing the world needs. The Ezekiel 38 war, will have world leaders so tore up, they will be ready to go along with anything that looks like it could prevent a thing like that from happening again, so the old pope will have no trouble at all: getting the key nations to sign up, and put their trust in him. Spiritual darkness has kept them from knowing what the word of God proclaims about all of that, so they are all taken in by his sweet talk, and his promises of peace and prosperity for all, and Paul knows all of this, so listen what he writes to these believers that he has previously taught. “But ye brethren, are not in darkness, (Now those brethren that Paul wrote to, are all dead and buried, but they went into the grave with the same hope we have in our hearts, and we are the brethren living to see these things come to pass, and we are not in darkness.) that that day (the day of the translation of the saints) should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleet). (spiritually speaking) as do others; (unrevelated people) but let us watch (with our spiritual eye) and be sober.” Brothers and Sisters: That lets us know that every true saint in the bride of Christ will be so taught by the Spirit of God, here at the end time, that they can go to bed at night with the full assurance that if the rapture takes place before morning: they have nothing to worry about, for God knows exactly where they everyone are. It does not matter whether they are in the bed asleep, or in the field working, when He comes for them; they will go with Him. The secret to being ready is to live according to the revelation you have, and go to bed at night loving Him with your whole heart, and enthusiastic about it. The devil has got too many things going today, that robs people of their joy and enthusiasm, and keeps their mind filled with things that rob them of all their energy. Right when we should be getting more enthused about the coming of the Lord: too many people are saying, Bro. Jackson: You just do not know how hard it is to keep your mind upon the Lord, with all that is going on in the world today. Listen to me a moment. Life for the apostle Paul was not easy. He had no Cadillac, nor Toyota. He either walked, rode a camel, or an old ox cart, and every town he went into, there was always a bunch ready to stone him, and you want to tell me: It is hard! It was hard for him too; but God had put a revelation in his heart, that he knew must be passed on to us Gentiles. He was stoned, beat, left for dead, shipwrecked, and finally left in prison; but none of that dampened his enthusiasm the least bit. He sat right there in that old prison and wrote letters to the saints, encouraging them to press on, and teaching them the beautiful revelation the Lord had given him. Believe me saints: when you really get serious about living for God, you will find energy, joy and enthusiasm, that you never thought you had. Let me use a natural illustration from my own life. The year I was going with the young lady that is now my wife, I was farming, and did not know the Lord, but I had purposed in my mind what I was going to do that year. I was going to rent ground, put out corn and soybeans, combine for other people, and pick corn for other people, and make every dollar I could possibly make. Why? Because I wanted this, and this, and this, and the only way I knew to get it all, was to work hard and long, regardless of how tired I got. I got up before daylight, and many times I did not get into bed before 11 P.M. But do you know what? When Saturday night came, no matter how greasy and dirty, nor how tired I was: there was a little girl down in Harrison County I could not stay away from. So into the old tub I would go, wash and scrub, put on cologne, and the best clothes I had, and head for Harrison County. When you are truly in love, you have a heart throb that enables you to do things you never thought you could do. Does that sound silly to you? Maybe so, but it is the truth anyway. Therefore when you really do fall in love with Jesus, it will be the same way. Something deep within you will always give you a second wind, and the vitality to go on and do what is right and needful to do, when according to natural circumstances, you would not be able to. The lack of enthusiasm is what causes a lot of people to say, I am going to stay home tonight; I have just got to get my rest. In other words, when you go strictly by your feelings (physically) you will usually feel like doing almost everything you want to do to entertain your flesh, and nothing to feed your inner man. That is why it is so necessary to be enthused about serving God with your whole heart.
WHAT RELIGIOUS SPIRITS DO
We have moved around quite a bit, bringing in various scriptures related to what we are dealing with, but now I want to go back to the 24th chapter of Matthew and look at a few more verses. These revelational statements were not recorded in chronological order of fulfillment, so it is no wonder that natural minded people have such a hard time trying to place them. It takes the Holy Ghost to reveal these hidden truths to the ones who are supposed to understand them. Therefore as we look at these verses here, let us realize that Jesus has intermingled His statements pertaining to His two comings, and only His true bride saints will be able to get them all sorted out into a complete revelation. Take verses 26-28, for example. Jesus said, “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold He is in the desert; go not forth: behold He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Now who does the word THEY pertain to? Well there is always a fanatical element of people in the earth professing to be Christians, that are really motivated by a Satanic influence, and they will always try to monopolize the coming of the Lord, as well as every other prophesied event spoken of in the scriptures. They will always have something that they are trying to manipulate for personal gain; either for money or prestige. The world is full of religious spirits manipulating the scriptures for personal gain. They know nothing at all about the simplicity of the gospel that Paul spoke of. To them, everything is secretive, and only for those that they choose to reveal it to, and that of course is governed by what various ones are able to do for their personal interests. Thank God: the apostles of old had no gimmicks as they went out on their missionary journeys. They had a simple message to proclaim, and it was for all who had ears to hear it. However, Jesus knew that as time moved on and His mystical coming would draw nigh, there would be some trying to capitalize on it, claiming that He was in some secret place, waiting for His bride to come to Him, and of course only these select ones could direct you to that place. Well Paul’s revelation was that we would rise to meet Him in the air, and it is to be a universal picture, so do not be taken in by these who claim to have Him in some secret place. They are ambassadors of Satan. The world of religion is infested with demon spirits that foster every kind of fanatical idea that can be thought of; but true saints of God have already been warned to stay away from all such as that, no matter how dynamic it may seem. Satan designs these counterfeit plans, to try to throw God’s true children off the track; so let us be thankful that we have been adequately warned of his tactics. Yes we are expecting Jesus to come, and secretively catch up His true bride saints, but it will not be secretive to those that are to be partakers of it, for they will be ready and watching for that time, and they will not have to slip off to any secret place to be ready to go. They will be taken from wherever they are, at that time. Some will be in the field, and some will be in the bed asleep, but that will make no difference: when the trump sounds; we will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and shall rise to meet Him in the air. Well denominational, traditional people look at verse 27 and think that is referring to Jesus coming for the rapture, because lightning flashes are so quick, but the revelation of that verse is hidden in another aspect of the effects of lightning. When lightning flashes through the sky like that, every eye beholds it. You may close your eyes, but you cannot completely shut out the effects of it, for it will penetrate right through your eyelids. You were not looking for the lightning, but even with your eyes closed, you had to recognize the glow of it. Therefore what Jesus is saying here, is that when he does make his visible return to earth, His appearing is going to create such a visible phenomena in the heavens, it will be utterly impossible for human beings on earth not to be able to see Him, even though they will not be looking for Him. There will be nothing at all secret about that coming; it will be as visible as lightning flashing through the sky. Of course the world does not want Him; but does that change the plan of God? Not in the least. They have taken prayer out of the schools; and they may eventually succeed in getting gospel programs removed from radio and television, but they will never be able to change the plan of God. Traditional preachers are presenting a false image of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and all these atheists are trying to get it out of the picture completely, but in spite of all of that, God is still putting together a little element of people that will make up the living element of the bride of Christ; that will be ready and waiting: when time comes for the rapture; and no man, or men, will be able to manipulate them, for they will have a revelation in their hearts, and they will know what to expect. This twentieth century people seem to think God has changed, and that the old principles and standards are no longer in effect. But let me tell you something: God has not changed, His word has not changed, His standard of righteousness has not changed, and furthermore it never will. It is simply a situation where God’s mercy and grace has to reach through a lot more of this ungodly mess, to reach a predestined soul, than it did a hundred years ago, but what is that to God: who never fails to bring His plan and purpose to pass?
WHAT EAGLES FEED UPON
Alright now, we come to verse 28, a verse that no one could have possibly understood when it was spoken, over 1900 years ago. But praise God, today we can know what Jesus meant by such a statement. ” For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” That verse sounds very gruesome, and a lot of people think it pertains to Armageddon, but in its true application, it has no reference to Armageddon at all, nor to dead bodies, as far as that goes. In the days when Matthew 24 is hanging over the earth as a prophecy ready to be fulfilled, the age itself is known as the eagle age, timewise, and revelation-wise. Every true Holy Ghost filled child of God is going to want to know the perfect will of God for their lives; and how to prepare themselves to be ready to get out of here. Eagles themselves are high flying, alert, sharp eyed birds that eat nothing but fresh meat. A buzzard will eat on an old dead carcass that has been lying somewhere for days: but an eagle will not; it has to have fresh meat. Therefore since true Holy Ghost filled children of God also feast on fresh spiritual meat, they are rightly compared to eagles. They will not feed their souls with an old dead traditional ritual of modern day religion, nor with these fanatical ideas that some others are feeding on; they feed only on fresh meat (spiritually speaking) revealed by the Holy Ghost: through God’s faithful servants of the hour. Those old dead theological ideas are for the spiritual buzzards to feed on, while the little bride is getting herself dressed up, ready to leave here. As I have said before: Any time man prints a program for a church service, three songs, prayer, offerings, and a twenty minute sermon, the Holy Ghost has been shut out of the service, for He will not operate on that kind of a schedule. He reserves the right and privilege of breaking right into our regular order of service, with something we never even thought of. But when he does, it will not be something foolish. It will accomplish something in the overall purpose of God. So as we look at this verse of scripture, it simply points to the fact that wherever the revealed word of God is being preached, the true children of God (eagle saints) are gathering together to feed upon it, for the: are ever yearning for that fresh meat, and they know this difference. It has been said that an eagle can see a fish in a pond of water, seven miles away, and when it comes to the revealed word of God, eagle saints also have a far-reaching vision like that. They will travel for miles, across country, and even around the world, to get to where that fresh meat is, while their neighbors are feeding upon old dead theology, and wondering why anyone would be willing to travel so far, just to go to church. Well you need to remember, that in the first century of Christianity: they were all looked upon as heretics; because they had departed from that old dead ritual of established religion. That is why the apostle Paul said to Felix, (Acts 24:14) “But I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship the God of my fathers.” Well the admonition in the letters to the seven churches of Asia, was, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, and that is still in effect today, for God does not change His mind, and He will not forget his word. Therefore the real eagle saint has keen spiritual senses; and can see and hear things that the average church goer never pays any attention to. It is really like living in two different worlds. Hallelujah! This world is not my home, I am just passing through. That is why we sing that song.
EVERY EYE SHALL BEHOLD HIM
We come to verse 29 and it reverts right back to His visible coming, as Jesus continues speaking here. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (What days? The tribulation mentioned in verse 21, that comes upon the earth when the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel, stands in the holy place, the temple in Jerusalem, claiming to be God, and unleashing excessive hatred toward the Jews. It is immediately after those days.) shall the sun be darkened. and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” For 3 1/2 years the Antichrist will bathe the earth with the blood of martyred Jews and Gentile foolish virgins, and immediately after that, verse 29 will be fulfilled. God will turn out the lights, and shake the heavens: when the time comes for Jesus to descend in bodily form, back to earth. There will be such (a display of the power of God in) the heavens, that every eye will be drawn to behold what is happening, as Jesus descends to earth out of heaven: with His bride saints; which will then be His wife, coming back with Him e to rule the earth, literally. But saints, when it comes to the powers of the heavens being shaken, and stars falling, you have to know that even the magnetic field has been affected, for that is what keeps every planet moving in its proper course. However if God wanted to get the attention of wicked mankind, what better way could He do it, than to change the course of something they had I learned to place all of their trust in? Right now, they will not acknowledge God; but they will put all of their trust in the accuracy of the celestial bodies, because with their great instruments, they can predict with complete accuracy, what this body and that body will do a hundred years from now. At least – they could, if God did not do anything to change them from the way they are now. Well those who have an ear to hear, know for sure that God will not let this old world rock on forever, in its present trend of ungodliness, without doing those necessary things to fulfill His word. To me, this is just like years ago, before we ever had these movie theatres, and they would put on plays in the theatre houses of the large cities. When you went in and took your seat, the lights were on in the auditorium. The curtains were drawn on the stage, for there was where the action was going to be. But until it was time for the play to start, the lights were left on, and there was all kinds of noise. (I believe you will catch a parallel here, if you will allow yourself, for that is exactly how the world is today; everything is going on.) But in the day when Jesus makes His visible appearance, man’s normal routines will be interrupted by a sudden darkness that envelopes the earth. In the theatre, when the announcer said, Lights out, everything suddenly got quiet, and all eyes turned to the stage, where the only light was on, for that is where the action was to be seen. Now that is the picture I see in verse 29; when the time is right, God will suddenly turn off all the lights in the heavens, and all attention will automatically be focused upon Jesus. as He descends from heaven in power and great glory, and coming with Him: will be the saints He came as a thief in the night for; just a few years prior to that time. Why will God do it like that? Because He wants to make sure every eye beholds, as He fulfills this part of His word, that the world has ignored. This is His way of saying to them, You have gone your own way, and done as you pleased, and in the face of all the opportunities you have had, to acknowledge me, you have denied me, and continued on in your ungodly ways; but now you will be forced to acknowledge that my word is true, even though it I will not help you any, to do so. When God causes all those celestial bodies to fail, and leave their established course, the scientists of the world will not have time to try to figure any of it out, before verse 30 is fulfilled. “And then (When? The time when this celestial phenomena takes place) shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall ALL the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Brother! That is not a picture of a thief coming in the night. This will not happen suddenly and be all over with, as quick as the rapture is. This phenomena will hang there in the heavens, and the old earth will keep on turning, until universally, every eye has had the same opportunity to behold the thing that is happening. By normal process, when it is daytime here, it is night time on the other side of the globe, so God will allow this condition to hang there in the heavens, until every area of the earth has had the opportunity to witness complete darkness; everywhere except up there where Jesus and His bride are, at a time when it would normally be daylight. Try to understand that if this visible coming was in a flash, like the rapture will be, only certain people on the daytime side of the earth would see it. No, He wants to make sure all those atheistic professors that have stood in these great universities, telling those students how foolish it is to believe in a supernatural God, sees His word being fulfilled, in a way that they cannot possibly deny, nor ignore those great professors and scientists will be right down with the rest of the sinners, crawling and begging, Hide me from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne. In the sixth chapter of the book of Revelation, where it deals with this same event, we find that there is going to be a great earthquake, and that mountains and islands will be moved out of their places, and that mighty men, rich men, bond and free, and so forth, will hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and will say to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. He has been a Lamb in the past, but He will certainly not be a Lamb then, when He descends from heaven, pouring out the wrath of God upon all ungodly mankind: that is still alive at that time. Revelation 9:6 tells us that there will be a time and this is during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week that men will seek death, and death will flee from them. I just mention that to let you see that you cannot even die, unless God is willing to allow it; therefore when God reserves you for a certain punishment or event, He makes sure that you partake of it. Jesus will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and as Revelation 1:7 says, Every eye shall behold, or see Him.
THE ELECT BEING GATHERED
Verse 31 is a verse that throws a lot of preachers off course and keeps them from being able to see a translation of the saints, before the great tribulation, simply because they have run the road of life with the door of revelation of the Spirit of God shut. If you do that, God just leaves you to run with your own mental, carnal understanding, to believe whatever you choose to, but that does not make you right. You go through life believing a lie, and it is your own lie, and to you, the coming of Jesus for the rapture of His bride saints, will be as a thief in the night. It will be over with, before you know anything about it. Pay attention now, as we read this verse. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other.” What did that say, and what does it mean? It says that the elect will be gathered together from one end of heaven to the other. Therefore it means that they are already in heaven at that time, and they got there when the rapture took place, before the great tribulation started. It also lets me know that He will not take those raptured saints to heaven, and have them standing at attention for 3 1/2 years, waiting to come back to earth with Him. When the time comes for Jesus to make His literal descent back to earth, the first thing that mortal man, on earth, will see, is whatever pertains to Jesus, and what He is to be, and do, in coming to earth. All attention then, will first be on Him. Then no doubt, man is going to be allowed to see the angels moving about, doing something, whatever is necessary, in order to make the transition from heaven to earth. The whole earth will be in total darkness, and mortal mankind will be quivering, and shaking, as they behold such a supernatural phenomena. I will not venture to say how long a span of time this phenomena will take up, but believe me, it will last long enough for the people of every nation to behold His coming. While it is dark on earth, it will be light in heaven, and at the sound of that trumpet, those immortal saints that were raptured 3 1/2 years prior to that time, will be gathered together, and take their positions for their descent back to earth with Jesus, according to what we have read from the 19th chapter of Revelation, where He and His armies from heaven are seen descending on white horses. Every mortal, sinful person on the face of the earth, will be forced to stop what they are doing, and look heavenward, to see what is going on. But the main thing I want to make sure you all understand is that this verse of scripture is definitely NOT pertaining to the rapture, like a lot of people are believing it does. Just notice that the elect are not being gathered from the four corners of the earth, but from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. There is where all attention will be focused, as Revelation 19 is ready to be fulfilled, but as it says in verse 36, the verse we started out with, No man knows the day and hour when this event will take place, not even the angels of heaven, but the Father only.
GOD’S FIG TREE IS GREEN
As for the rapture of the Church, we have only the signs of the time we are living in, to tell us that the time is close at hand. We know from the scriptures that the rapture will proceed the great tribulation, and that the great tribulation will proceed the visible appearance of Jesus, to rule and reign. and we also know that this is the generation that will see all of these things come to pass, for Jesus gave us a sure sign to watch. After speaking of His literal return to earth, He said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.” Everyone knows that Israel is God’s fig tree: if they have any revelation at all. Israel is a sign to every nation today. You wonder why there is so much trouble in the Middle East; it is all because the fig tree is green with leaves, and she is bearing some figs, and the rest of the world is unhappy about it. Why? f Because it is a sign to the world that this generation will not pass away before the visible coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, to take over the rulership of the world. But Bro. Jackson: I thought you said that the world in general does not believe the Bible to be the word of God. That is exactly right, but there are some that do, and do not forget the power of Satan over world systems, nor how he hates the Jewish race of people. He knows what the Bible says; therefore he knows that Jesus is supposed to return to earth. The only thing is, he is the enemy of God, and of the people of God, and he will keep trying to thwart the plan and purpose of God until he is chained up, and cannot influence anyone. But the sad thing is that there are multitudes of church going people in the world today, that are as uninterested in the coming of the Lord as anyone could possibly be. A lot of them will be in the great multitude John saw, recorded in the 7th chapter of Revelation, that had come up out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb. In other words, they will be martyred, during the rule of the beast. But according to the 25th chapter of Matthew, the Lord knew from the very beginning that in the end time, just before His return, Christianity would exist in two different elements: wise Christians and foolish Christians. Naturally it is those foolish Christians that John saw in that multitude, for the wise ones will be with Jesus, during the time these are being martyred, because they are taking heed to the signs, and are making themselves ready, by allowing the word of God to wash and cleanse them. We know that world conditions are as bad morally, as they could possibly have been in the days of Noah, and of Lot, as far as what is taking place. The only difference I can think of, is that it is not yet a picture of the total mass of society, like it was then, except for the ones that were spared. But whatever the immoral conditions are, when the rapture takes place, they will continue right on, and will still be the picture when Jesus returns visibly, at the end of the tribulation time. The end of it does not come until His wrath is poured out upon them. To the true Church, Jesus said, When you see all these things begin to come to pass, Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. Brothers and Sisters: I have said many times, When I was a small boy growing up, the word homosexual was never mentioned. We would not have known whether it was even in the dictionary or not: if we had heard someone mention it; but today you hear that kind of thing every day, and every child knows what those various words mean, so do not tell me that this is not a sign of the Lord’s soon return. But first, He will come secretly for His little bride Church, and take them to glory with him. What for? For one thing, the Church is going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ; not to determine their salvation, but to determine the degree of reward for service that each one has earned by their faithfulness to follow the leading of the Holy Ghost. Their rewards will be determined then, but they will not be in effect until they are back on earth, ruling with Jesus.
THE FAITHFUL SERVANT
As we try to move along here, Jesus said in verse 42, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Jerry Falwell and a lot of other preachers are doing their utmost, trying to get certain immoral and unjust conditions changed. I will not fight against what they are trying to do, but I do know from the word of God, that they will never get very much of this kind of thing changed, for this is the devil’s hour. He is running his course, fulfilling the word of God. Therefore instead of using up all your efforts, fighting something that God has allowed, when it is obvious that the world trend is heading that way, let us spend our time preparing ourselves to get out of here, for we know not what hour our Lord doth come. When Jesus said this, He is speaking to those here at the end of the age, who believe that they are going to be recipients of that promised catching away, when He comes unknown to the world. Verse 43, “But know this, that if the I goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” Jesus is not a thief, but one day soon, He is coming like a thief in the night, to take His little bride Church t with Him, to the marriage supper. Therefore He used this terminology to show us that the wise Christian will be as the goodman in His parable; they will be ready, watching, and His coming will not take them by surprise. They will not commit the welfare of their own soul to just mere chance; they will know from the word of God, what to expect; and how to be ready for it. The goodman of the house will be ready when Jesus comes. That does not mean that he will be standing at the door with a shotgun, as you would do to t prevent a robbery; but he will be ready to go. That is the duty of every Holy Ghost filled Christian around this world. No one else can make those necessary partitions for you, so that is why He said, (Verse 44) “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Now watch what follows in verse 45. This picks up another detail, in the picture of what is to transpire on earth, before He comes. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season?” It will not be some preacher over in the tribulation: preaching his heart out; telling people how to get away from the Antichrist. No, His household is His Church, and those faithful servants will be those anointed preachers that preach the right things to the right people, at the right time. The goodman of the house is that Holy Ghost Christian that is spiritually wide awake in these last days, feeding upon the spiritual meat that is being given out by the faithful and wise servants of God. In other words, Stay awake, alert, and do not let anything pass you by: spiritually speaking. Now that is not to be understood as staying awake physically, as some have taken it. I just have to tell this, while we are dealing with this portion of scripture. A few years ago, a couple of fellows from Sweden, took some statements Bro. William Branham had made: and went wild with them; just like a lot of others have done with other statements. Brother Branham was referring to this scripture and made the statement that christians were not to go to sleep. Naturally Bro. Branham was speaking spiritually, but these two fellows took it literally, and believed that the time was at hand when it should be applied, so they decided that they should not sleep any more until Jesus comes, so this is what they did. They took a cassette tape player and a satchel full of sermon tapes, thinking the best way to keep themselves awake and alert was to keep a tape playing all the time. They started on their journey wherever they were going, in a car. But when this physical endurance began to take its toll on them, the driver nodded for a moment, and wrecked the car. Their testimony then was that the devil was trying to kill them, as they continued their journey hitchhiking. Remember now, they are determined to stay awake; because the prophet said so. Well after so long a time, they finally ended up in a certain brother’s home, that they knew. Now this brother did not want to have anything to do with their new revelation, but they did feel that they should fix these men some lunch, so while the lunch was being prepared, these two fellows sat there on the couch talking constantly, trying to keep themselves awake. Finally one of them just completely passed out, and was snoring up a storm. They tried to awaken him, but he was too far gone, so they just had to let him sleep on. The other one still tried to stay awake, but by then he was so sleepy his eyeballs would just simply turn over in their sockets, and all they could see was the whites of them. Then suddenly he was gone too. There was no way they could wake them up, either to eat, or go to bed; they just had to let them sleep right where they were. Now I ask you, Where was their new revelation? Well I just told that, to let you see how foolish some people can be. The man who is spiritually awake, and watching, can lay his head down at night and sleep like a baby; without any fear whatsoever, as to whether the Lord Jesus will Lake him or not, when He comes for the rapture. Why? Because his heart and soul is what is doing the watching; not his natural eyes. Hallelujah! Two men will be in the bed; one shall be taken, and the other left. They will both be asleep, naturally, but the one that has remained spiritually awake, will be taken just the same, and the wise servant, or servants, will receive their rewards for faithfulness because they gave them (those who were not spiritually asleep) meat in due season. Therefore do not try to tell me that it makes no difference whether we believe the same or not, just as long as we love Jesus. For Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments. It is important what we believe, and how we conduct ourselves with what we believe. A true revelation of the word of God will never cause anyone to take off on one of these fanatical crusades, trying to gain followers. No true servant of God will try to gain personal disciples, their interest is that they may lead believers to follow the truth of God’s word, so they will always be busy giving out meat in due season. “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” This is not talking about something God was doing 50 years ago: it is talking about something that is to be going on, when Jesus comes to rapture the bride Church. Therefore we must understand also, that it is not just talking about one servant, but about every man that has truly been called of God, to preach His word in these last days. God deals with each servant on the basis of what He has called him to do. and according to the man’s own individual makeup. But, blessed is that man whom the Lord finds faithfully fulfilling his calling, when He returns. What will these men be doing? Giving the true children of God the right things scripturally, at the right time, to enable them to prepare themselves to meet their God. “Verily I say unto you, That He (the Lord) shall make him ruler over all His goods.” When will He do that? In the Millennium, when he returns to earth with Him.
THE EVIL SERVANT
I want you to pay attention now, because verse 48 opens the other side of this religious picture. At the same time the wise and faithful servant is giving out the necessary food to enable the wide awake Christians to prepare themselves for the coming of their Lord, there is going to be some evil servants doing just the opposite. They will be setting dates for his return, quoting statements of men instead of the word of God, and jumping to all sorts of extreme conclusions, until they make their last leap, and become guilty of doing exactly what verses 48 and 49 says. “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth i His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; , The Lord of that servant shall come in a day (as a thief in the night) when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”We all know that a lot of these preachers out here today, are guilty of setting dates and teaching a lot of things that are contrary to the scriptures. Therefore as all these dates come and go, and nothing comes to pass according to their predictions, then in their hearts they will begin e to say, “My Lord delayeth His s coming.” They will not have the courage to say, People, I have been wrong; I have missed the it word of God. So within their own hearts they say, My Lord delayeth his coming. No, He will not delay His coming. He will come right on schedule; at a time known only to the Father: when the last predestined soul that is to be dealt with in this grace age, reaches the place spiritually that God wants him or her to be in. The true people of God, that is to make up the bride d of Christ, are not even interested in these dates, for they believe the scriptures, that declare the fact that only the Father knows when that time will be. The main reason these people set dates is because they want to make what they believe look big to the world. But oh, how sad it is when what they are pushing fails to come to pass. If Jesus had not said it would be this way, we could become very alarmed at what we see taking place in the various circles of religious beliefs in our day. But the fact that he did foretell what would be taking place in the world in the last days, just simply allows believers to know that we definitely are living in the last days, just before His mystical return for His bride. Of course we are talking about true believers world wide; and not just in Jeffersonville, Indiana. But wherever believers are found in these last days, somehow or the other. God will have a faithful servant on hand to feed them meat in due season. These faithful servants will have their spiritual ears turned to the frequency of the Holy Ghost; therefore they will not be serving breakfast at supper time. That is my way of saying, God will reveal some things to them, to be fed to His end time Church, that preachers through the past years had no reason to know; for it will be things pertaining to the final preparation of the living element of the bride: to enable her to get ready for the rapture. But at the same time, these evil servants will be criticizing and violating the rights of the good servants, just like Jesus said. If they cannot make their own lights shine, they will try to put out the light of everyone else. That is how that spirit has always worked, and you can believe me: it will be worse here at the end time. The word of God declares that it will, and God will not forget His word. One thing you should understand though, this faithful and wise servant terminology, did not apply to preachers in the middle ages, not even a hundred years ago; it only applies to those of these last days, in the generation that will live to see the coming of the Lord. So just to re-check ourselves, What will the con-ditions of the world be like, when these faithful and wise servants are feeding meat to the true household of God? Like they were in the days of Noah, before the flood, and the days of Lot, before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. We do not need to know dates; but we are delegated the responsibility of recognizing the season, by the overall conditions of perversion and immorality in the world around us, and by the fact that the fig tree (Israel) has green leaves on it. But even though these prophesied signs are already present, we need not look for the rapture to take place, until after the man of sin has been revealed, according to the words of the apostle Paul, in the 2nd chapter of 2nd Thessalonians. The falling away (spiritually) is a reality and all has not been revealed yet. Oh yes, we know the office-he is coming from, but we do not know if this present pope is to be the literal man that Satan will anoint, to fulfill all these scriptures pertaining to the Antichrist, or not. As I said earlier, He could be the very man, but we will just have to wait and see. It would not do any of us one bit of good to know that; before God’s time to reveal it to the universal bride Church.
HOW ACTIONS DENY TRUTH
I mentioned the fact that ever so many preachers today are trying their level best to get legislation passed, that will (as they excitedly phrase it) turn our nation back to God. Most of those preachers profess to believe that we are living in the last days, just before the coming of the Lord. They preach it from their pulpits, and then turn around and deny it, by trying to get rid of the very conditions the Bible says will proceed His return. If it were possible for them to be instrumental in effecting a great world wide revival as they claim to antici-pate, where would they put the coming of the Lord, for the rapture of the Church? Where would be the apostasy, the falling away that must proceed His coming, if they are successful in bringing about such a worldwide revival? Saints! Can you look at the Bible and the conditions in the world today, and see how contrary to the scriptures, these people are? Now the fact that I talk like this, does not mean that I condone the evil that is in the world; it just simply means that I intend to keep my preaching and my actions in line with what I see in the word of God. I just happen to believe that we should conduct our lives according to the way we preach. I would consider myself to be very foolish, and spiritually blind, to expect a great revival in the world, at the same time I am expecting the Lord Jesus to return for the rapture of the Church. Do any of you really believe the organized churches would be accepting homosexuals and perverts of every sort into their churches, if we were not in the falling away the scriptures speak of: that is to take place in the days just before the coming of the Lord? If we cannot go by the scriptures, then please tell me what we are to go by? If I could not believe what is written in the Bible, I would not call myself a minister of the word of God. It just simply boils down to the fact that people do not want to accept the reality of what the Bible tells us, is coming upon this old earth at the end time. It is not a pleasant thing to think about, but I believe every bit of it; and I am willing to wait upon God for His time to bring it to pass, both the good and the bad. But just as sure as you are alive today, somewhere out in front of us, when the mind of God is just right, (in other words, His time) this middle east situation is going to explode. Russia will be compelled to mass her troops, and those of all her satellite nations, described in Ezekiel 38, and make a sudden invasion into the land of Israel. Why? Because God’s word says He will put hooks in their jaws and lead them forth. Now some will say, Why would God lead Russia to invade Israel, if Israel is a chosen people? That is His way of teaching Russia and all her little puppets a lesson, and t at the same time declare to the world, I am still the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and of Jacob, and I will be sanctified in the eyes of the heathen. He will fight for Israel with a supernatural intervention, and only one sixth part of those invading troops, will be left alive to return home and tell their story. This is not Armageddon; this is a prophesied war that must take place before that seventieth week of Daniel starts, in order to harmonize with all that is written concerning it. That is why I believe this very war is what will cause the leaders of the world to rush to the peace table, and sign the covenant of peace that will actually usher in that seventieth week of Daniel, set the stage for the rapture, the great tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, and the literal, visible return of the Lord, to set up His Millennial reign. We do not have time to go into all the details of these various prophecies that are hanging over the world today, but every one of them has already been dealt with in other messages that are now in print, and available to anyone who cares to read them. Therefore let it be sufficient to say this, What the world leaders have been trying to avoid for the last forty years, is knocking right at their door. In a few short hours, the world will be brought right to the brink of a nuclear holocaust. No, It is not going to be that, but it is going to look like it could be. Just remember this, God rules the forces of heaven and earth, and nothing goes beyond what He allows for the purpose of accomplishing His will and purpose.
Once the world leaders are forced by conditions to accept such a one man spokesman and mediator as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the true people of God, which will be an unrecognized, unaccepted minority by then, for sure, will be wise enough to recognize from the scriptures that this is that man of sin Paul wrote about: to the Thessalonians. That is when the Church will know for sure that her departure from this old earth is close at hand. God’s faithful and wise servants will be diligently feeding her that which is necessary, to get her ready to travel, while the rest of the world is being deluded with all of those wonderful sounding words of peace and prosperity. To them, it will be like a mirage out in the desert. You know how that is; when someone is lost in the desert, their water supply gone, and no real water hole in sight. After so long, they begin to imagine that they see a beautiful pond or lake, and they will run as fast as they can, and just plunge right into it and die, because it is nothing but more dry, hot sand. You may not like for me to keep bringing it up, but this great Holy Ghost revival that the charismatics are so excited about, is a strong delusion also, because it is not bringing conviction upon people to cause them to bring their lives into line with the word of God. They go to church, sing, shout, and speak in tongues, and prophesy to each other, and then go right on in their old way of life. They could not care less about how they dress, nor how they conduct themselves, when they are not in church. There is just simply no biblical Christian image portrayed by their lives. But saints: If you do truly love God, and look forward to the rapture, keep your life simple, and let the spirit of God lead you in every aspect of life. He wants you to look like a Christian, talk like a Christian, and produce the true fruit of a Christian, and you cannot do that, while you are allowing the world at large to set your style of dress, and provide you with their forms of entertainment, lifestyles, and so forth. We do not have to follow the world; for the word of God gives us the formula to pattern our lives after; if we will just allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thinking as we study it. God’s word, nor God’s true servants, will never reveal anything to you, that supersedes something else the spirit of God has already revealed to you. Now saying that: leads me to say something else that I feel is important to us, and then we will close.
You hear certain ones always talking about Bro. Branham preaching the seven seals of Revelation chapters 6 and 8, and how the revelation of the seven thunders of chapter 10, is in those seals messages, so I want to state once more: that the 7th seal has not been opened yet; and neither have the seven thunders sounded their voices yet. The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy given to the Church in the last years of that first age, and it deals mostly with events which will transpire here at the end time; but it is not written in chronological order of fulfillment. Therefore it takes the Holy Ghost to place things in fulfillment order, and put the end time picture together. But praise God: He has done that for us, and now we can know what is destined to come upon this old earth before the end of all things. These broken sequences though, cause carnal minds a lot of trouble: because it keeps them from being able to piece it all together so it makes any sense. Therefore a lot of them have said, The book of Revelation never should have been written. Some have said, It is like a mudhole; the more you stir around in it, the muddier it gets. That is why I call it a love letter to the bride of Christ, because it is being revealed to her. Just for example, The events recorded in the first five seals have already taken place, and the events of the sixth seal cover the great tribulation, while the seventh seal has to do with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the rapture, when He leaves the mercy seat, and the first few verses of that chapter tell us what will take place, once that seventh seal is broken. The first verse of chapter 8 is where we find the opening of the 7th seal, and the next thing you see in that chapter, is the seven trumpet angels preparing to sound, but those trumpet angels will work with the two prophets of chapter 11, there in Israel, in the first half of that seventieth week of Daniel. So actually chapter 10 goes right between verses 1 and 2, of chapter 8, for in chapter 10 we see Jesus in angelic form, with the little scroll now open in His hand, that once contained the seven seals. He has come to earth to set in order the secret catching away of those whose names are written in that little book, or scroll, and it is only after this, that those seven thunders utter their voices, and what they say will be to the bride Church. The world church will never hear them. Those seven thunders will be seven men, strategically positioned around this old world, and anointed to give last minute instructions to the bride of Christ. Therefore only after the events of chapters 8, 10, and 11, have been fulfilled, will the last verses of chapter 6 be fulfilled, for verses 12-17 cover the events from the middle of that week, on out to the end of it, things that will take place after the bride is gone. So the 7th seal is broken, at the end of the grace age, just before the 7 trumpet angels start sounding to Israel. Therefore I say to you, if you truly are expecting to be taken up, in the rapture, do not allow yourself to hold on to the idea that Bro. Branham broke the 7th seal, and that the seven thunders have sounded already. You will miss God like that. When the events of chapter 10 are being fulfilled, Jesus will be off of the mercy seat, so the Holy Ghost will not be drawing Gentiles to salvation, He will be working with the little bride, in her final stage of being washed by the word, and putting on her wedding garment. I could go on and on with this, but it is all already in print, and I must stop. But remember, God will not forget His word. I am persuaded that every prophecy in the Bible will be completely fulfilled in their proper time; but of the coming of the Lord: to rule and reign in righteousness, NO MAN KNOWETH THE DAY AND HOUR. AMEN.