An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages by William M. Branham
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which
God gave unto him, to shew unto His servants things which must
shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto
His servant John:
2. Who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him Which Is, and Which Was, and Which Is To Come; and from the seven Spirits Which are before His throne;
5. And from Jesus Christ, Who is the Faithful Witness, and the First
Begotten Of The Dead, and the Prince of the Kings of the Earth. Unto Him That loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord Which Is, and Which Was, and Which Is To Come, the Almighty.
9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;
15. And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.
16. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last:
18. I am He That liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Revelation 1:1-3. “The Revelation
of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto His servants
things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it
by His angel unto His servant John; Who bare record of the Word of
God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all the things that
he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the Words of
this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: For
the time is at hand.”
The scribe (not author) of this book is St. John the divine. Historians agree that he lived the last part of his life in Ephesus, though at the time of the writing of this book he was on the Isle of Patmos. It is not the life story of John, but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the future church ages. In verse three it is called a prophecy and that is actually what it is.
This book is usually termed the Revelation of Saint John, but that is incorrect. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John for Christians of all ages. It is the only book in the entire Bible that is written by Jesus Himself, through personally appearing to a scribe.
It is the last book of the Bible, yet it tells the beginning and the end of the dispensations of the Gospel.
Now the Greek word for revelation is “apocalypse” which means “unveiling”. This unveiling is perfectly described in the example of a sculptor unveiling his work of statuary, exposing it to the onlooker. It is an uncovering, revealing what was previously hidden. Now the uncovering is not only the revelation of the Person of Christ, but it is THE REVELATION OF HIS FUTURE WORKS IN THE ONCOMING SEVEN CHURCH AGES.
The importance of revelation by the Spirit to a true believer can never be over emphasized. Revelation means more to you than perhaps you realize. Now I am not talking about this Book of Revelation and you. I am talking about ALL revelation. It is tremendously important to the church. Do you remember in Matthew 16 where Jesus asked the disciples this question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father Which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Roman Catholics say that the church is built upon Peter. Now that is really carnal. How could God build the church upon a man so unstable that he denied the Lord Jesus and cursed while doing it? God can’t build His church upon any man born in sin. And it wasn’t some rock lying there as though God had hallowed the ground at that spot. And it isn’t as the Protestants say, that the church is built upon Jesus. It was the REVELATION. Read it the way it is written: “Flesh and blood hath not REVEALED it, BUT MY FATHER HATH REVEALED IT, and UPON THIS ROCK (REVELATION) I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH:” The church is built on Revelation, on the “Thus Saith the Lord”.
How did Abel know what to do in order to offer a proper sacrifice to God? By faith he received the revelation of the blood. Cain didn’t get such a revelation (even though he had a commandment) so he couldn’t offer the right sacrifice. It was a revelation from God that made the difference and gave Abel eternal life. Now you might take what the pastor says, or what the seminary teaches, and though it might be taught to you with eloquence, until God reveals to you that Jesus is the Christ, and that it is the blood that cleanses you, and that God is your Saviour, you will never have eternal life. It is the Spiritual revelation that does it.
Now I said that this Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus and what He is doing in the churches for those seven ages. It is a revelation because the disciples, themselves, didn’t know these recorded truths. It had not been previously revealed to them. You remember that they came to Jesus in the Book of Acts and asked Him, “Are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.” Those men were still thinking of Jesus having an earthly kingdom. But it was a spiritual kingdom that He was going to build. Even He could not tell them about His place in it, for the Father had not revealed it unto Him. But now after His death and resurrection, and at this particular time in His mediatorial ministry, He is able to set forth here in this revelation of Himself to John what His glory and presence in the church would mean and do.
In this revelation He tells us what the end of the devil is. He tells how He is going to deal with the devil and cast him into the lake of fire. He reveals the end of the wicked ones who follow Satan. And Satan hates that.
Have you ever noticed how Satan hates two books of the Bible more than all others? Through liberal theologians and pseudo-scientists he is always attacking the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation. In both of these books we find Satan’s origin, his awful ways and his destruction. That is why he attacks them. He hates to be exposed, and in those books he is exposed for exactly what he is. Jesus said about Satan, “He has no part in Me and I have no part in him.” The devil would like to prove that different; but he cannot, so he does all he can to destroy confidence in the Word. But when the church disbelieves Satan and believes the Spirit’s revelation of the Word, the gates of hell cannot prevail against her.
Let me just put in a word here from my own ministry, if you don’t mind. You all know that this gift in my life is supernatural. It is a gift whereby the Holy Spirit is able to discern diseases, and the thoughts of men’s hearts, and other hidden things that only God could know and then reveal to me. I wish you could stand with me and see the faces of people when Satan knows he is going to be exposed. Now, it isn’t the people that I am talking about. It is that Satan has got a hold in their lives through sin, indifference, and disease. But you should see their faces. Satan knows he is going to be exposed, and the most peculiar changes come over the peoples’ countenances. Satan is afraid. He knows that the Spirit of God is about to let the people know of his works. That is why he hates these meetings so much. When names are called and diseases revealed, Satan hates it. Now what is this? It is not mind reading, it is not telepathy, nor is it witchcraft. It is a REVELATION by the Holy Ghost. That is the only way I can know it. Of course the carnal mind will call it anything but the Holy Ghost.
Let me show you another reason why Satan hates this Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the church. He knows that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever, and He changes not. He knows that a whole lot more than do ninety percent of the theologians. He knows that since God is immutable in His nature, then He is just as immutable in His ways. Thus Satan knows assuredly that the original church at Pentecost with the power of God (Mark 16 in action) is the True Church that Jesus claims as His own. All else is false. It has to be.
Now remember this. Christ in the True Church is a continuation of the Book of Acts. But the Book of Revelation shows how that the antichrist spirit would come into the church and defile it, making it lukewarm, formal and powerless. It exposes Satan, revealing his works (attempted destruction of God’s people and the discrediting of God’s word) right down to the time he is cast into the lake of fire. He fights that. He cannot stand it. He knows that if the people get the TRUE REVELATION of the TRUE CHURCH and what she is, what she stands for and that SHE CAN DO THE GREATER WORKS, she will be an invincible army. If they get a true revelation of the two spirits within the framework of the Christian church, and by God’s Spirit discern and withstand the antichrist spirit, Satan will be powerless before her. He will be as definitely thwarted today as when Christ withstood his every effort to gain power over Him in the desert. Yes, Satan hates revelation. But we love it. With true revelation in our lives, the gates of hell cannot prevail against us, but we will prevail over them.
You will recall that I mentioned at the beginning of this message that this Book we are studying is the actual revelation of Jesus, Himself, in the church and His work in the future ages. Then I mentioned that it takes the Holy Spirit to give us revelation or we will fail to get it. Bringing these two thoughts together you will see that it won’t take just ordinary study and thinking to make this Book real. It is going to take the operation of the Holy Ghost. That means this Book can’t be revealed to anyone but a special class of people. It will take one with prophetic insight. It will require the ability to hear from God. It will require supernatural instruction, not just a student comparing verse with verse, though that is good. But a mystery requires the teaching of the Spirit or it never becomes clear. How we need to hear from God and lay ourselves open and become yielded to the Spirit to hear and know.
As I have already said, this Book (Revelation) is the consummation of the Scriptures. It is even placed exactly right in the canon of Scripture; at the end. Now you can know why it says that anyone who reads or even hears it is blessed. It is the revelation of God that will give you authority over the devil. And you can see why they who would add or take from it would be cursed. It would have to be so, for who can add or take away from the perfect revelation of God and overcome the enemy? It is that simple. There is nothing of such prevailing power as the revelation of the Word. See, in verse three a blessing is pronounced on those who give special attention to this Book. I think this refers to the Old Testament custom of the priests reading the Word to the congregation in the morning. You see, many could not read so the priest had to read to them. As long as it was the Word, the blessing was there. It didn’t matter if it was read or heard.
“The time is at hand.” The time was not at hand previously. In the wisdom and economy of God this mighty revelation (though fully known to God) could not come forth hitherto. Thus we immediately learn a principle — the revelation of God for each age can come in that age only, and at a specific time. Look at the history of Israel. The revelation of God to Moses came only at a specific time of history, and even more specifically it came as the people cried unto God. Jesus, Himself, came at the fulness of time, He being the complete Revelation of the Godhead. And in this age (Laodicean) the revelation of God will come in its due time. It will not falter, neither will it be premature. Think on this and heed it well, for we are in the end-time today.
An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages
Revelation 1:4-6. “John to the
seven churches which are in Asia; Grace be unto you, and peace, from
Him Which Is, and Which Was, and Which Is to Come; and from the seven
Spirits Which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, Who is
the Faithful Witness, and the First Begotten of the Dead, and the
Prince of the Kings of the Earth. Unto Him That loved us, and washed
us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests
unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and
The word, Asia, is actually Asia Minor. It is a small parcel of land about the size of Indiana. The seven churches there were especially picked from all other churches for their characteristics, which same characteristics would be found in the successive ages centuries later.
The seven Spirits before the throne is the Spirit That was in each of the seven messengers, giving them their ministries for the age in which each lived.
Now all these expressions, ‘Him Which Is’, and ‘Him Which Was’, and ‘Is To Come’, and ‘Faithful Witness’, and ‘First-born From Among the Dead’, and ‘Prince of the Kings of the Earth’, and ‘The Alpha and Omega’, and ‘The Almighty’, are titles and descriptions of the ONE AND THE SAME PERSON, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who washed us from our sins in His own blood.
The Spirit of God in John expresses thusly in order to set forth the Supreme Deity of Jesus Christ and to reveal the Godhead as ONE God. Today there is a gross error. It is that there are three Gods instead of one. This revelation as given to John by Jesus, Himself, corrects that error. It is not that there are three Gods, but one God with three offices. There is ONE God with three titles, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This mighty revelation is what the early church had, and it must be restored in this last day along with the correct formula of water baptism.
Now modern theologians won’t agree with me for here is what was written in a great Christian magazine. “That teaching (on the Trinity) is at the very heart and core of the Old Testament. It is every whit as much at the heart and core of the New Testament. The New Testament is just as much opposed as the Old Testament is to the thought that there are more Gods than one. Yet the New Testament with equal clearness teaches that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and that these three are NOT three aspects of the same Person, but three persons standing in a truly personal relationship to one another. There we have the great doctrine of the Three Persons but one God.”
They also state, “God, according to the Bible, is not just one person, but He is three persons in one God. That is the great mystery of the Trinity”.
It sure is. How can three persons be in one God? Not only is there no Bible for it, but it shows even a lack of intelligent reasoning. Three distinct persons, though identical substance, make three gods, or language has lost its meaning entirely.
Just listen to these words again, “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, Which Is, and Which Was, and Which Is to Come, the Almighty”. This is Deity. This is not simply a prophet, a man. This is God. And it is not a revelation of three Gods, but of ONE God, the Almighty.
They didn’t believe in three Gods in the beginning of the church. You can’t find that sort of belief amongst the apostles. It was after the apostolic age that this theory came in and really became an issue and a cardinal doctrine at the Nicene Council. The doctrine of Godhead caused a two way split at Nicaea. And from that split there came two extremes. One actually went into polytheism, believing in three Gods, and the others went into unitarianism. Of course that was a little while in coming about, but it did, and we have it right today. But the Revelation through John by the Spirit to the churches was, “I am the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am ALL of it. There isn’t any other God”. And He put His seal on this Revelation.
Consider this: Who was the Father of Jesus? Matthew 1:18 says, “She was found with child of the Holy Ghost”. But Jesus, Himself, claimed that God was His Father. God the Father and God the Holy Ghost, as we often express these terms, make the Father and the Spirit ONE. Indeed they are, or else Jesus had two Fathers. But notice that Jesus said that He and His Father were One — not two. That makes ONE God.
Since this is historically and Scripturally true, people wonder where the three came from. It became a foundational doctrine at the Nicene Council in 325 A.D. This trinity (an absolutely un-scriptural word) was based upon the many gods of Rome. The Romans had many gods to whom they prayed. They also prayed to ancestors as mediators. It was just a step to give new names to old gods, so we have saints to make it more Biblical. Thus, instead of Jupiter, Venice, Mars, etc., we have Paul, Peter, Fatima, Christopher, etc., etc. They could not make their pagan religion work out with just one God, so they split Him up into three, and they made intercessors of the saints as they had made intercessors of their ancestors.
Ever since then people have failed to realize that there is just one God with three offices or manifestations. They know there is one God according to Scripture, but they try to make it the fantastic theory that God is like a bunch of grapes; three persons with the same Divinity shared equally by all. But it plainly says here in Revelation that Jesus is “That Which Is”, “That Which Was”, and “That Which Is to Come”. He is the “Alpha and Omega”, which means that He is the “A to Z” or THE ALL OF IT. He is everything — the Almighty. He is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, the Righteous Branch, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He is God, Almighty God. ONE GOD.
I Timothy 3:16 says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory”. This is what the Bible says. It doesn’t say a thing about a first or second or third person here. It says God was manifest in flesh. One God. That ONE GOD was manifested in flesh. That ought to settle it. God came in a human form. That didn’t make Him ANOTHER GOD. HE WAS GOD, THE SAME GOD. It was a revelation then, and it is a revelation now. One God.
Let’s go back in the Bible and see what He was in the beginning according to the revelation He gave of Himself. The great Jehovah appeared to Israel in a pillar of fire. As the Angel of the Covenant He lived in that pillar of fire and led Israel daily. At the temple He announced His coming with a great cloud. Then one day He was manifested in a virgin born body that was prepared for Him. The God that tabernacled above the tents of Israel now took on Himself a tent of flesh and tabernacled as a man amongst men. But He was the SAME GOD.
The Bible teaches that GOD WAS IN CHRIST. The BODY was Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, BODILY. Nothing can be plainer than that. Mystery, yes. But actual truth — it can’t be plainer. So if He wasn’t three people then, He can’t be three now. ONE GOD: And this same God was made flesh.
Jesus said, “I came from God and I go (back) to God”. John 16:27-28. That is exactly what happened. He disappeared from earth by way of His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Then Paul met Him on the road to Damascus and He spoke to Paul and said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” Paul said, “Who art Thou, Lord?” He said, “I am Jesus.” He was a pillar of fire, a blinding light. He had turned back, exactly as He said He would. Back to the same form that He was before He took on a tabernacle of flesh. That is exactly how John saw it. John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him”.
Notice where John says that Jesus IS. He is IN the bosom of the Father.
Luke 2:11 says, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Which is Christ the Lord”. He was born the Christ, and eight days later when He was circumcised He was named Jesus, even as the angel had told them. I was born a Branham. When I was born they gave me the name of William. He was CHRIST but He was given a name down here among men. That outward tabernacle men could see was called Jesus. He was the Lord of Glory, the Almighty manifested in flesh. He is God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is all that.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are just titles. They are not names. That is why we baptize in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for that is a name, not a title. It is the name of those titles, just like you take a new born baby who is a son and name him. Baby is what it is, son is the title, then you name him, John Henry Brown. You just don’t baptize in ‘Jesus Name’. There are thousands of Jesuses in the world and have been even before Jesus, our Saviour. But there is only one of them born the Christ, “Lord Jesus Christ”.
People talk about Jesus being the Eternal Son of God. Now isn’t that a contradiction? Whoever heard of a ‘Son’ being eternal? Sons have beginnings, but that which is eternal never had a beginning. He is the Eternal God (Jehovah) manifested in the flesh.
In St. John’s Gospel it says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” He was the True and Faithful Witness to the Father’s eternal Word. He was a Prophet and could say what the Father bade Him say. He said, “My Father is in Me”. That is what Jesus the tabernacle said, “My Father is in Me”.
God has many titles: ‘Our Righteousness’, and ‘Our Peace’, and ‘Ever Present’, and ‘Father’, and ‘Son’, and ‘Holy Ghost’; but He has only one human name and that name is Jesus.
Don’t be confused because he has three offices or that He has a threefold manifestation. On earth He was a Prophet; in heaven He is the Priest; and coming back to earth, He is King of Kings. “He That Was” — That is Jesus, the Prophet. “He That Is” — That is He, the High Priest, making intercession — One Who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. “Which Is to Come” — That is the coming King. On earth He was the Word — the Prophet. Moses said of Him, “The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet like unto me, and it will come to pass if they don’t hear the words of that Prophet they will be cut off from amongst the people”.
Notice these facts about Jesus. On earth He was Prophet, Lamb, and Son. This did not make Him three. These were but manifestations or offices of the One Person, Jesus.
Now there is a very favorite portion of Scripture that the trinitarians think prove their point of more than one actual Person in the Godhead. It is Revelation 5:6-8, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as It had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him That sat upon the throne. And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints”. Indeed these verses, if isolated, would seem to prove their point. You notice, I said, these ISOLATED verses. However, read Revelation 4:2-3 and 9-11, “And immediately I was in the Spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and ONE sat on the throne. And He That sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him That sat on the throne, Who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him That sat on the throne, and worship Him That liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Carefully note in verse two it says, “ONE” (not two or three but ONE) sat on the throne. In verse three it says, “HE” (NOT they) was to look upon as a jasper stone. In verse nine it says that the beasts gave honour to “HIM” (not them). In verse ten it says that the elders fell down before “HIM” (not them). In verse eleven it says that they cried, Thou art worthy O LORD” (not Lords). Also in verse eleven it says this ONE on the throne was the “Creator”, Which is Jesus (John 1:3), Which is Jehovah-Spirit-God of the Old Testament (Genesis 1:1).
But let us not stop there. Read now in Revelation 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Also read Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Notice that according to Jesus, Himself, Who wrote the Revelation, He is set down WITH the Father. The Spirit in Paul (Which Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, for That is the Spirit of Prophecy whereby the Word comes) says He is set down at the RIGHT HAND of God. But when John looked he saw only “ONE” upon the throne. And it was not until Revelation 5:6-8 (which follows Revelation 4:2-3 in sequence of time) that we see the “Lamb” taking the book from “HIM” That sat on the throne, as indicated in Revelation 4:2-3 and 9-10. What is it? It is the mystery of “ONE GOD.” He (Jesus), came out from God, became manifested in flesh, died and rose again, and returned to the “Bosom of the Father.” As John said, “The only begotten Son Which is IN the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. It was now time for God (Messiah) to come back to claim His bride and then present Himself (make Himself known) to Israel. Thus we see God again stepping forth to assume a physical relationship to man as the “Son of David, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Bridegroom of the Gentile Bride.” It is NOT “Two” Gods, but simply ONE GOD manifesting His mighty triune offices and titles.
The people knew He was a Prophet. They knew the sign of the Messiah which could come only through the prophet. John 1:44-51, “Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of Whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” The ability to discern the heart-thoughts in men made the elect of God to understand that here was the Messiah, the anointed Word of God. Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
When the woman at the well heard Him discern the thoughts of her heart she acclaimed Him a prophet, declaring that Messiah would be known for that great ability. John 4:7-26, “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give Me to drink. (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat). Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who It is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said I have no husband, For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, Which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I That speak unto thee am He.”
In Revelation 15:3 it says, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the LAMB, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints.” Do you see it? The LAMB, the High Priest holding His blood as an atonement on the mercy seat for our sins is the Lord God Almighty. That is His present office. That is what He is doing now, pleading His blood for our sins. But one day that Lamb will become the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He will come forth in power and glory and take His authority to reign as King. He is the coming King of this earth. Of course, that does not say He is not King now. For He is our King, King of the Saints. Right now it is a spiritual kingdom. It is not of this world system even as we are not of this world. That’s the reason we act different from the world. Our citizenship is in heaven. We reflect the Spirit of the world of our rebirth where Jesus is the King. That is why our women do not dress in men’s clothing or cut their hair or use all those cosmetics and other things that the world likes so much. That is why our men don’t drink and smoke and carry on in sin. Our dominion is the dominion over sin and it is in force through the power that is in the Spirit of Christ That in-dwells us. Every kingdom on earth is going to be torn down, but ours will remain.
Now we’ve been talking about the offices and manifestations of the one true God and beholding His glory in a Scriptural study. But He is not to be known intellectually. He is known Spiritually; by Spiritual revelation. This same One Who was known as Jesus after the flesh went back to the pillar of fire. But He promised He would come again and dwell amongst His people by the Spirit. And on the day of Pentecost that pillar of fire came down and it separated itself in tongues of fire upon each one of them. What was God doing? He was separating Himself into the church, giving all those men and women a part of Himself. He divided Himself amongst His church just as He said He would. John 14:16-23, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of Truth: Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him: for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. Judas saith unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.” He said that He would pray the Father Who would send another Comforter Who was WITH them (the disciples) already but NOT IN them. That was Christ. Then in verse twenty-three, speaking of Himself and the Father, He said WE will come. There it is: “The Spirit is coming, the Same Spirit of God that manifested as the Father, and as the Son, and will yet manifest in the many” — ONE GOD Who is Spirit.
That’s why no man can ever come along and say the holy man is a pope or the holy man is a bishop or priest. The HOLY MAN is Christ, the Holy Spirit, in us. How dare the hierarchy declare the laity has no word to say? Each one has something to say. Each has a work, each has a ministry. The Holy Ghost came at Pentecost and separated Himself on each, that it might be fulfilled whereof Christ said, “ At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me and I in you.” John 14:20.
The Great I Am, the Almighty God, has come as Spirit to fill His true church. He has a right to move anywhere He wants to, and upon anybody He wants to. We don’t make any “holy men” amongst us, but the whole true congregation of the Lord is holy, because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is He, the Holy Spirit, that is holy, not the congregation of itself.
Now that is the revelation: Jesus Christ is God. The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New. No matter how hard you try, you can’t prove there are THREE Gods. But it also takes a revelation by the Holy Spirit to make you understand the truth that He is One. It takes a revelation to see that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New. Satan crept into the church and blinded the people to this truth. And when they were blinded to it, it wasn’t long until the Church of Rome stopped baptizing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I admit that it takes a real revelation from the Holy Ghost to see the truth about the Godhead these days when we are in the midst of the perverting of so much Scripture. But the prevailing, overcoming church is built on revelation so we can expect God to reveal His truth to us. However, you actually don’t need a revelation on water baptism. It is right there staring you in the face. Would it be possible for one minute for the apostles to be led astray from a direct command of the Lord to baptize in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost and then find them in willful disobedience? They knew what the Name was, and there is not one place in Scripture where they baptized any other way than in the Name of Lord Jesus Christ. Common sense would tell you that the Book of Acts is the church in action, and if they baptized that way, then that is the way to baptize. Now if you think that is strong, what do you think of this? Anyone who was not baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus had to be baptized over again.
Acts 19:1-6, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him Which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied.” There it is. These good people at Ephesus had heard about the coming Messiah. John had preached Him. They were baptized unto repentance of sins, looking FORWARD to believing on Jesus. But now it was time to look BACK to Jesus and be baptized unto REMISSION of sins. It was time to receive the Holy Ghost. And when they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Ghost came upon them.
Oh, those dear folks at Ephesus were fine people; and if any one had a right to feel secure, they did. Notice how far they had come. They had come all the way up to accepting the coming Messiah. They were ready for Him. But don’t you see that in spite of that they had missed Him? He had come and gone. They needed to be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
If you have been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, God will fill you with His Spirit. That is the Word. Acts 19:6 which we read was the fulfilling of Acts 2:38, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” See, Paul, by the Holy Ghost, said exactly what Peter said by the Holy Ghost. And what was said CANNOT be changed. It has to be the same from Pentecost until the very last elected one has been baptized. Galatians 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Now some of you Oneness people baptize wrong. You baptize for regeneration as though being immersed in water saved you. Regeneration does not come by water; it is a work of the Spirit. The man who by the Holy Ghost gave the command, “Repent and be baptized every one in the Name of the Lord Jesus,” did not say that water regenerated. He said it was only an evidence of a “good conscience toward God.” That was all. I Peter 3:21, “The like figure where-unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I believe it.
If anyone has any false ideas that history can prove water baptism in any other way than in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would advise you to read the histories and find out for yourself. The following is a true record of a Baptism which took place in Rome A.D. 100 and was reproduced in TIME Magazine December 5, 1955. “The deacon raised his hand, and Publius Decius stepped through the baptistry door. Standing waist-deep in the pool was Marcus Vasca the woodseller. He was smiling as Publius waded into the pool beside him. ‘Credis?’ he asked. ‘Credo,’ responded Publius. ‘I believe that my salvation comes from Jesus the Christ, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate. With Him I died that with Him I may have Eternal Life.’ Then he felt strong arms supporting him as he let himself fall backward into the pool, and heard Marcus’ voice in his ear — ‘I baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus’ — as the cold water closed over him.”
Right up until the truth was lost (and did not return until this last age — this is from Nicaea till the turn of this century) they baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it has come back. Satan can’t keep the revelation down when the Spirit wants to give it.
Yes, if there were three Gods, you might very well baptize for a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Ghost. But the REVELATION GIVEN TO JOHN was that there is ONE GOD and His Name is LORD JESUS CHRIST, and you baptize for ONE God and only one. That is why Peter baptized the way he did at Pentecost. He had to be true to the revelation which was, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that SAME JESUS, Whom ye have crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST.” There He is, “The LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
If Jesus is ‘BOTH’ Lord and Christ, then He (Jesus) is, and cannot be else but “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” in ONE Person manifested in the flesh. It is NOT “God in three persons, blessed trinity,” but ONE GOD, ONE PERSON with three major titles, with three offices manifesting those titles. Hear it once more. This same Jesus is “BOTH Lord and Christ.” Lord (Father) and Christ (Holy Spirit) are Jesus, for He (Jesus) is BOTH of them (Lord and Christ).
If that doesn’t show us the true revelation of the Godhead, nothing will. Lord is NOT another one; Christ is NOT another one. This Jesus is the Lord Jesus Christ — ONE GOD.
Philip one day said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and it will suffice us.” Jesus said unto him, “Have I been so long with you and you don’t know Me? He that has seen Me has seen the Father, so why do you say, Show us the Father? I and My Father are One.” I quoted that once and a lady said, “Just a minute, Mr. Branham, you and your wife are one.”
I said, “Not that kind.”
She said, “I beg your pardon?”
So I said to her, “Do you see me?”
She said, “Yes.”
I said, “Do you see my wife?”
She said, “No.”
I said, “Then that oneness is a different kind, for He said, When you see Me, you see the Father.”
The prophet said that it would be light at the evening time. In the hymn it is written:
be light in the evening time,
The path to glory you will surely find,
In the waterway, that's the light today,
Buried in the precious Name of Jesus.
Young and old, repent of all your sin,
The Holy Ghost will surely enter in.
The evening light has come:
It is a fact that God and Christ are one.”
Not too long ago I was talking to a Jewish Rabbi. He said to me, “You
Gentiles can’t cut God in three pieces and give Him to a Jew.
We know better than that.”
I said to him, “That’s just it Rabbi, we don’t cut God in three pieces. You believe the prophets, don’t you?”
He said, “Certainly I do.”
“Do you believe Isaiah 9:6?”
“Who was the prophet speaking of?”
I said, “What relation will Messiah be to God?”
He said, “He will be God.”
I said, “That’s right.” Amen.
You can’t put God into three persons or three parts. You can’t tell a Jew that there is a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Ghost. He will tell you right quick where that idea came from. The Jews know this creed was established at the Nicene Council. No wonder they scorn us as heathen.
We talk about a God that does not change. The Jews believe that too. But the church changed its unchanging God from ONE to THREE. But the light is returning at eventide. How striking it is that this truth has come at the time when the Jews are returning to Palestine. God and Christ are ONE. This Jesus is BOTH LORD AND CHRIST.
John had the revelation, and JESUS was the Revelation, and He produced Himself right here in the Scripture — “I AM He That Was, Which Is and Shall Come, the Almighty. Amen.”
If revelation is beyond you, look up and seek God for it. That is the only way you are ever going to get it. A revelation has to come from God. It never comes by human, natural endowments, but by Spiritual enduement. You can even memorize the Scripture, and though that is wonderful, that won’t do it. It has to be a revelation from God. It says in the Word that no man can say that Jesus is the Christ except by the Holy Ghost. You have to receive the Holy Ghost and then, and only then, can the Spirit give you the revelation that Jesus is the Christ: God, the Anointed One.
No man knows the things of God save the Spirit of God and he to whom the Spirit of God reveals them. We need to call on God for revelation more than anything else in the world. We have accepted the Bible, we have accepted the great truths of it, but it still is not real to most people because the revelation by the Spirit is not there. The Word has not been quickened. The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:21 that we have become the righteousness of God by our union with Jesus Christ. Did you get it? It says that WE ARE THE VERY RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD HIMSELF by being IN CHRIST. It says that He (Jesus) became SIN for us. It does not say He became sinful, but became SIN for us that by our union with Him we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. If we accept the fact (and we must) that He literally became SIN for us by His substitution for us, then we must also accept the fact that we by our union with Him have become the VERY RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. To reject one is to reject the other. To accept the one is to accept the other. Now we know the Bible says that. It can’t be denied. But the revelation of it is missing. It is not real to the majority of God’s children. It is just a good verse in the Bible. But we need to have it made ALIVE to us. That will take revelation.
Let me drop in something here that will both amaze and help you. There is hardly a student that does not believe the New Testament was originally in the Greek language. All our great Bible students have said that God gave the world three great nations with three great contributions for the sake of the Gospel. He gave the Greeks who gave a universal language. He gave us the Jews who gave us the true religion and true knowledge of God through the Saviour. He gave us the Romans who gave us a unified empire with law and a system of highways. Thus we have true religion, the language to express it to many peoples, and the government and roads to spread it physically. And historically speaking this seems to be exactly right. And today our Greek scholars say that the Greek language of Bible days is so perfect and exact that if the student of the Greek is a refined and accurate grammarian he can truly know exactly what the New Testament Word teaches. But is this not only a theory? Is this true? Is it not so that every Greek scholar of repute from one denomination debates another student of another denomination, and is it not so that their arguments are based on identical Greek words and identical rules of grammar? Certainly that is the way it is. Even back there in the Pergamean Age, just prior to the Nicene Council of 325 there were two great students, Arius and Athanasius who became locked in doctrinal combat over a Greek word. So intense and so world wide did their debate become that historians said the world was divided over a dipthong (the sound of two vowels in a single syllable.) Now if the Greek is so perfect, and so ordained of God, why was there such a dispute? Surely God did not intend us all to know the Greek? Right today we are having arguments over the Greek. Take for instance the book, “Christ’s Paralyzed Church X-rayed” by Dr McCrossan. In it he sets forth numerous quotes from many renowned Greek grammarians, and proves to his own satisfaction that the unchanging rules of Greek grammar prove conclusively that the Bible teaches a man is baptized with the Holy Ghost subsequent to rebirth. He also states flatly that women can take over the pulpit because the word prophesy means to preach. But has he convinced other students of the Greek who are as able as he? Never. All you have to do is read those students who hold the opposite view and hear their learned quotes.
Now not only is what I have just said true, but let us go a step further. Today we have some students who claim that the original manuscripts were written in the Aramaic which was the language of Jesus and the people of His day. It is claimed by them that the people did not speak and write in the Greek as is so commonly supposed. And the fact is our historians are divided on that. For example, Dr Schonfield, a most brilliant student has from research proved to his satisfaction that the New Testament was written in the vernacular of the Greek speaking people of that day. He builds up a fine case for his beliefs, based on the various documents at his disposal. But on the other hand we have another renowned student, Dr Lamsa, who is convinced that the New Testament was written in the Aramaic and he has none other than the brilliant historian, Toynbee, to back up his contention that the Aramaic, and NOT THE GREEK was the language of the people, so it seems possible that the New Testament was first written in the Aramaic.
However, before we get too concerned about this, let us read both the King James version and the translation by Dr Lamsa. To our gratification we find the words in both amazingly the same so that there is no difference actually in content or doctrine. We may even conclude that God has allowed these newly discovered manuscripts and recent publications of already known scripts to come before us to prove the authenticity of what we already had. And we find that though translators may fight each other, scripts do not.
Now you can see that you can’t base interpretation upon students’ profound knowledge of the language the Bible is written in. But if you still can’t see that because you are veiled in your mind by tradition here is one last illustration. No one can doubt but what the Scribes and Pharisees and the great scholars of the year 33 A.D. knew the exact laws of grammar and the exact meanings of the words in which the Old Testament was written; but for all their superb knowledge they missed the revelation of God’s promised Word manifested in the Son. There He was set forth from Genesis to Malachi, with whole chapters devoted to Him and His ministry, and yet except for a few who were illuminated by the Spirit, they missed him entirely.
We now come to a conclusion, such conclusion as we have already found in the Word. As much as we believe in trying to find the oldest and best manuscripts to get the best record of the Word possible, we will never get the true meaning of it by study and comparison of Scriptures, sincere as we may be. IT WILL TAKE A REVELATION FROM GOD TO BRING IT OUT. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT PAUL SAID, “WHICH THINGS WE ALSO SPEAK, NOT IN WORDS WHICH MAN’S WISDOM TEACHETH, BUT WHICH THE HOLY GHOST TEACHETH.” I Cor. 2:15. The true revelation is God interpreting His own Word by vindicating what is promised.
Now don’t let anyone be misled by what I have said and think that I do not believe in the accuracy of the Word as we now have it. I believe this Bible is accurate. Jesus completely authenticated the Old Testament when here on earth and it was compiled exactly as was our New Testament. Make no mistake about it, we have the infallible Word of God today and no man dares take from it or add to it. But we need the same Spirit that gave it, to teach it to us.
Oh, how we need revelation by the Spirit. We don’t need a new Bible, we don’t need a new translation, though some are very good, and I am not against them, BUT WE NEED THE REVELATION OF THE SPIRIT. And thank God, we can have what we need, for God wants to reveal His Word to us by His Spirit.
May God begin by His Spirit to give us continuous life-giving and prevailing revelation. Oh, if the church could only get a fresh revelation and become by it the living Word manifested, we would do the greater works and glorify God our Father in heaven.
Revelation 1:5, “Unto Him That
loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” The
word “washed” is actually “loosed” —
“Loosed us from our sins in His own blood.” Isn’t
that wonderful? But are you spiritual minded? Did you catch it? It
was His OWN blood that loosed us completely from our sins. It was not
human blood. It was the blood of God. Peter called it the blood of
Christ. Paul called it the blood of the Lord, and the blood of Jesus.
Not three persons, but ONE person. There is that revelation again,
ONE God. That omnipotent Jehovah God came down and made Himself a
body by means of the virgin birth and in-dwelt it, that it might be
the blood of God that would free us (loose us entirely) from our sins
and present us spotless before Himself with exceeding great joy.
Would you like an Old Testament type? Let us go back to the Garden of Eden. When the first news came to glory that the son, Adam, had been lost, did God send an angel? Did He send a son? Did He send another one like unto us? No, He came HIMSELF to redeem that lost son. Hallelujah! God did not entrust His plan of salvation to another. He trusted only Himself. God was made flesh and dwelt among us and redeemed us unto Himself. We’re saved by the “blood of God”. The Eternal God in-dwelt a mortal body in order to take away sin. He became the Lamb in order to shed His blood and enter into the veil with it.
Consider this. Since it is the blood of God, it is perfect blood; and if the perfect blood is loosing us from the power and bondage and defilement of sin, then the loosing is perfect and complete. There is now therefore no condemnation. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth (declares us righteous). Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died...” Romans 8:33-34. There it is, His death gave us the blood. The blood has loosed us. There is now no condemnation. How can there be? There is nothing to be condemned for, because the blood has loosed us from sin. We are free, guiltless. Don’t listen to man, listen to the Word. You are loosed by the blood. Now don’t get tied down again by traditions and creeds and organizations. Don’t be led astray by listening to those that deny the power of the Word and deny that Jesus saves, heals, fills with the Holy Ghost and power. You are God’s free men, loosed by His own blood. If you still hold your faith to creeds and denominations, it is certain by the evidence that you have lost your faith in the Word.
Revelation 1:6, “And He hath made
us kings and priests unto God and His Father; To Him be glory and
dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
“He hath made us!” Oh, there are certain truths we need to emphasize. This is one of them. HE! HE HATH MADE US! Salvation is His doing. Salvation is of the Lord. All of grace. He redeemed us for a purpose. He bought us for a purpose. We are kings, spiritual kings. Oh, we are going to be kings upon the earth with Him when He sits on His throne. But now we are spiritual kings and we reign over a spiritual kingdom. It says in Romans 5:17, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” And in Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom (reign) of His dear Son.” Right now we reign with Christ, having dominion over sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. Showing forth His praise and glory; showing forth HIMSELF, for it is Christ in us, willing and doing of His good pleasure. Yes, indeed, even now we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
“And made us priests.” Yes, priests unto Him, offering the spiritual praise of sanctified lips. Spending our lives as a sweet offering unto Him. Worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. Interceding and petitioning. Priests and kings unto our God. No wonder the world does not appeal to us and we are a peculiar people zealous unto good works. We have been recreated in Him to be children like unto our Father.
Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He cometh
with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced
Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even
He is coming. Jesus is coming. God is coming. The Prophet is coming. The Priest and King is coming. The ALL in ALL is coming. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
He is coming. He is coming in clouds, clouds of glory as when He was seen upon the Mount of Transfiguration, and His garments were shining as the power of God enfolded Him. And EVERY eye shall see Him. That means this is not the Rapture. This is when He comes to take over His rightful place as World Ruler. This is when those who have pierced Him with their creeds and denominational doctrines shall mourn, and all the people shall wail in terror because of Him Who is the Word.
This is the revelation story of Zechariah 12:9-14. Zechariah prophesied this about 2500 years ago. It is just about to take place. Listen. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced...” Now, when is the Gospel returning to the Jews? When the day of the Gentiles is finished. The Gospel is ready to go back to the Jews. Oh, if I could just tell you something that is about to happen right in this our day. This great thing that is about to happen will carry over to Revelation 11 and pick up those two witnesses, those two prophets, Moses and Elijah, turning the Gospel back to the Jews. We’re ready for it. Everything is in order. As the Jews brought the message to the Gentiles, even so the Gentiles will take it right back to the Jews, and the Rapture will come.
Now, remember what we have read in Revelation and Zechariah. Both come right after the tribulation. The Church of the First-born does not go through the tribulation. We know that. The Bible teaches that.
At that time it says that God is going to pour out His Spirit upon the house of Israel. It is the same Spirit that was poured upon the Gentiles in their day. “And they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and they shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart...” and each one of the houses apart when He comes in clouds of glory at His Second Coming. Those Jews that pierced Him shall see Him as it says in another Scripture, “Whence did You get those wounds?” and He will say, “In the house of My friends.” Not only will it be a mournful time for the Jews who rejected Him as Messiah, but it will be a mournful time for those left of the Gentiles who have rejected Him as the Saviour of this day.
There’ll be weeping and wailing. The sleeping virgins will be wailing. They represent the church that refused to get oil (symbol of the Holy Spirit) in their lamps (symbol of the body or holder of the oil) until it was too late. It wasn’t that they were not good people. They were virgins and that signifies a high moral order. But they didn’t have oil in their lamps so they were cast out where there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Let us type this all out in Genesis, chapter 45, where Joseph meets his brethren in Egypt and reveals himself to them. Genesis 45:1-7, “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
Now doesn’t that compare with Zechariah 12 just beautifully? Putting the two together we are bound to get it exactly right.
When Joseph was very young he was hated by his brethren. Why was he hated by his brethren? It was because he was Spiritual. He couldn’t help seeing those visions, nor could he help dreaming dreams and interpreting. That was in him. He could not display anything else but what was in him. Therefore, when his brothers hated him it was without cause. But he was the beloved of his father. His father was a prophet and understood. That makes a perfect type of Christ. God the Father loved the Son, but the brethren (Scribes and Pharisees) hated Him because He could heal the sick, do miracles and foretell the future, see visions and interpret them. That was no reason to hate Him but they did, and like Joseph’s brethren, they hated Him without a cause.
Now remember how those sons of Jacob treated Joseph. They cast him into a pit. They took his coat of many colors that his father had given him and dipped it in blood to make his father think that the boy was killed by some animal. They sold him to some slave traders who took him into Egypt and there he was resold to a general. The general’s wife had him falsely imprisoned, but after some time his ability as a prophet brought him to the attention of Pharaoh and he was exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh with such authority that none could approach Pharaoh unless he came first through Joseph.
Now let us examine the life of Joseph while he was in Egypt, for it is here we see him as the perfect type of Christ. While in the house of the general he was falsely accused, punished and imprisoned without a cause, just like they did to Jesus. There in prison he interpreted the dream of the butler and baker who were also prisoners with him. The butler was restored to life, but the other condemned to death. Christ was imprisoned on the cross, forsaken by God and man. On either side of Him was a thief — one died, spiritually, but the other was granted life. And notice, when Jesus was taken off the cross, He was exalted into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the great Spirit of Jehovah; and no man can come to God except by Him. There is ONE mediator between God and men, and He is all you need. There are no Marys or saints, just Jesus.
Keeping on with this type we find in Joseph, notice how that everything he did in Egypt prospered. His first job with the general prospered. Even the jail prospered. When Jesus returns, the desert will blossom as a rose. He is the “Son of Prosperity.” As no age ever prospered as the one under Joseph, so there is a time of such blessing coming on this earth as the world has never known. We can everyone of us sit under our own fig tree and laugh and rejoice and live forever in His presence. In His presence is fulness of joy and on His right hand there are pleasures forever more. Praise God.
Now notice, that everywhere Joseph went they sounded a trumpet to announce his arrival. The people would scream, “Bow the knee to Joseph!” No matter what a man was doing, when that trumpet sounded he bowed the knee. He could have been selling something in the street, just reaching out for his money, but he had to stop and bend the knee when that trumpet blew. If he were even a performer or an actor, he would have to stop his act and bow the knee to Joseph when his presence was announced with that trumpet call. And one of these days everything in time will stand still when the trumpet of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise and morning will break eternal bright and fair. Everything will bow the knee then, for it is written, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name; That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
But notice another glorious revelation in this typing of Joseph. Joseph, while in Egypt, was given a Gentile bride and through her he received a family of two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph asked his father to bless the two boys. He placed them in front of Jacob so that Manasseh, the first-born would be on Jacob’s right and Ephraim to the left. As Jacob was about to bless them he crossed his hands so that the right hand fell upon the younger. Joseph cried out, “Not so, father, this is the first-born to your right.” But Jacob said, “God crossed my hands.” Here in type we see that the blessing which belonged to the first-born (the Jew) was given over to the younger (the Gentile) through the cross (crossed hands) of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessing comes through the cross. Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The blessing of Abraham came through the cross to the Gentiles. The Jews rejected the cross; therefore, Jesus got the Gentile bride.
Now getting back to the story of Joseph meeting his brethren. You recall that not all the brethren came. Joseph knew that and insisted that all the brethren appear before him, or he could not make himself known unto them. Finally they brought the one that was missing, little Benjamin. It was little Benjamin, the full brother of Joseph, that set his soul on fire. And when our Joseph, even Jesus, will come to the people who have kept the commandments of God and who have gone back to Palestine, His soul will be set on fire. Little Benjamin typifies the 144,000 Israelites from all over the earth who have gone back to Palestine for their redemption. They will be standing there ready to receive Him, Whom to know aright is Life eternal. They will say, “This is our God for Whom we have waited.” Then they will see Him Whom they have pierced. And they will cry out in dismay, “Where did these awful wounds come from? How did it happen?” And they will wail and cry, every family apart, everyone apart in the agony of sorrow.
Now where will the Gentile Church be while Jesus is making Himself known to His brethren? Remember that the bride of Joseph with the two children were in the palace, for Joseph had commanded, “Let everyone leave me; put them all out from before me.” So the Gentile bride was hidden in the palace of Joseph. Where will the Gentile Church go in the rapture? Into the palace. The bride will be taken off the earth. She will be caught up before the great tribulation to meet her Lord in the air. For three and one-half years while the retributive wrath of God is poured out, she will be in the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then will He return, leaving His bride in “His Father’s house,” while he makes Himself known to His brethren. At this very time, the antichrist covenant that the Jews have made with Rome will be broken. Rome and her allies then send their troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Jews. But as they come against the city to destroy it, there will appear in the heavens the sign of the coming of the Son of Man with His mighty armies to destroy them who have been destroying the earth. With the enemy repulsed, Jesus then comes and presents Himself to the 144,000. Having seen His mighty acts of salvation, they have come to know His power. But also seeing His wounds and knowing that they had rejected Him even to that moment, causes them to cry out in the agony of terror and fear, even as did their brethren of old when they stood before Joseph, being sore afraid that they would be killed. But as Joseph said, “Don’t be angry with yourselves. It is alright. God was in it all. He did it to preserve life.” Even so will Jesus speak peace and love to them.
Why did the Jews reject Jesus? God was in it all. It was the only way that He could bring out the Gentile bride. He died on the cross to preserve the life of the Gentile Church.
Now these 144,000 are not in the bride. In Revelation 14:4 they are called virgins and they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. The fact that they have not defiled themselves with women shows that they are eunuchs (Matthew 19:12). The eunuchs were the keepers of the bridal chambers. They were attendants. Notice that they do not sit in the throne but are before the throne. No, they are not in the bride, but will be in the glorious millennial reign.
We then see that when these last of Israel have been joined in love to the Lord, and the enemy has been destroyed, God will prepare His holy mountain, His new Garden of Eden for the bride and His and her attendants for the thousand year honeymoon upon the earth. As Adam and Eve were in the garden and did not finish out the thousand years, now Jesus our last Adam, and His Eve (True Church) will fulfill all the plan of God.
Oh, how the Bible repeats itself. The scene of Joseph and his brethren is about to be repeated, for Jesus is coming soon.
And as we leave the type of Joseph, there is one more thing I want to bring to your attention about this end time. You recall that as Joseph stood before his brethren when Benjamin was not with them he spoke through an interpreter though he knew the Hebrew well. He spoke to his brethren in another tongue. Did you know that the first Gentile Age (the head of gold, Babylonian Age) went out with a message in tongues written on a wall? This age is going out the same way. The abundance of tongues in this day is a further proof that the Times of the Gentiles is over and God is turning back to Israel.
He is coming soon. The Alpha and Omega, the Prophet, Priest and King, the All in All, Lord God of Hosts, is coming soon. Even so Lord Jesus, the One and Only True God, come quickly!