John chapter 12 - Only lift up Jesus
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John 12:32: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." I is used twice. Jesus is the focus.
The death of Jesus would unite the future church.
The cross was the only effective remedy for sin.
Thus Jesus caused division amongst the Jews. Some hated Him so much that they desired His death. Some loved Him. Some believed on Him, but others rejected Him so vehemently that they were obsessed with killing Him. These people were a necessary part of God's plan as Jesus had to die to save the people from sin.
But the Pharisees who chose to kill Him were destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 when 1100000 Jews died. We all have to face the consequences of our decisions. The Pharisees died out to be replaced by Rabbis, who have been the religious Jewish leaders for the last 2000 years.
12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Jesus first came to Bethany to emphasize the resurrection, as this is where Lazarus had been raised from the dead.
Jesus knew that He would die in Jerusalem. So He was leaving clues that a resurrection would follow his death. But almost everyone missed those clues and were very discouraged by His death on Thursday.
On Thursday, he had to die to spend three nights in the tomb before He arose on Sunday morning. Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night.
MATTHEW 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Passover lamb was chosen on the 10th day and killed on the 14th day.
EXODUS 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
On Palm Sunday, He was publicly chosen when He rode on an adult donkey and a young donkey to the Temple, God's House.
Under the guidance of the apostles, the fathers of the first church age, the New Testament carried the True Word of God into the world. The second church age elevated human church leaders, and the third church age began to destroy the truth at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 when they introduced the Trinity.
Only when the end-time prophet Elijah turns the seventh church age children back to their apostolic fathers will the truth of Scripture be revealed again. The last age believers will carry the same True Word as the first age believers.
EXODUS 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
If Sunday was the 10th day, then Thursday would be the 14th day.
So Jesus had to die on a Thursday.
Then the disciples took a lot of convincing to believe that He did resurrect on Sunday morning. Afterward, they looked back and were able to recognize the clues that the Lord had left.
Events were very confusing when Jesus died and resurrected. He alone knew what was happening during that time.
Today, as we approach the New Testament saints' resurrection, the events in politics and in the church are once again very confusing. We have to search carefully through the Bible to pick up the written clues that guide us as to what God is actually doing behind the scenes in our turbulent times. God has to fool the Devil, just as He fooled Satan 2000 years ago at Calvary.
I CORINTHIANS 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Passover that year in AD 33 would begin on Thursday evening at sunset and end at sunset on Friday.
Bethany was a town that was almost two miles away from Jerusalem.
Seven is the number of completion. Seven days completed one week.
Six is the number of man. Man is one short of completion because we have sin in our lives. Thus God created man on the sixth day as He knew in advance that man would fall.
Six days. This showed that Jesus was emphasizing man’s sin because Jesus would carry the sins of mankind when He died as the Passover Lamb.
Jesus had resurrected Lazarus to show the world that He had power over death.
This was also a statement to indicate that when He died, He would rise again. But the disciples did not grasp that insight until after His resurrection.
Jesus was always pointing to something deeper when He performed a miracle. But the people could not recognize these clues. Their spiritual horizon was very restricted.
Lazarus said nothing at his resurrection. The disciples were not attacked when Jesus was killed and resurrected. So at the resurrection, there is only one important Person, and that is Jesus. He alone knew what was actually going on.
He alone could do what was necessary to save us.
As we approach the resurrection of the New Testament saints, all our focus must be on Jesus as He is revealed to us in the Bible. No living human being on earth today is important. We must focus only on Jesus and His revealed Scripture.
JOHN 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
This supper was a preview of the Last Supper just before His death.
A woman is a symbol of the church.
Martha represents the hard-working church-goers who want to be recognized for their good works and feel that others should try harder. Martha did all the hard work, but that did not impress Jesus. So God expects good works from us, but that is not nearly enough to please God.
Mary seemed to have a deep spiritual insight as to what was going on. She ignored the work of serving the supper because she just sat and listened to Jesus. Believing the Word was more important to her than good works. Jesus complimented her.
We remember and celebrate the death of Jesus at the event which the churches call “Holy Communion” with unleavened bread and wine. Though it is a sad and serious occasion as it reminds us of His death for us, yet the sadness is tempered by our knowledge that a glorious resurrection followed his death.
When Jesus finished the Last Supper, He then introduced the foot-washing ceremony.
Mary, who was very spiritual, followed this pattern.
As soon as the supper was over, she then anointed the feet of Jesus with a sweet ointment. She was aware that something deeper was going on, something that all the others were missing.
Mary was the spiritual sister and focused on the Word that Jesus spoke. Martha focused more on her hard works, which were noticed by people. People thus tended to be more impressed with Martha as we humans are always impressed with a hard-worker.
We see women representing the types of churches in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew Chapter 25. Virgins are clean women who represent saved Christians.
The wise virgins are more focused on the fulfillment of Scripture. This requires oil that can burn and produce light to read and understand the deeper mysteries of Scripture. The foolish virgins are more focused on their good works. Humans need no spiritual illumination to do good works as pagans, atheists, and alternative religions also do good works.
We learn a few more details about Mary and Martha from the Gospel of Luke.
LUKE 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
This village was Bethany, according to John’s Gospel.
:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
Mary represents the church that is focused on Jesus and His Word, the Bible.
Martha represents the church that labours and gets involved in good works that impress people, but in the process, neglects the revelation of God's Word. Many Christians and churches who do good works are very ignorant about many portions of the Bible.
Understanding Scripture is not regarded as being very important. Going to church regularly is regarded as being very important. Works are emphasized by the foolish or fooled virgins.
:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Martha was a hard worker. Churches put up schools and hospitals and food kitchens for the poor and homeless. Church-goers work hard at church functions to raise funds for the church. These are all excellent works which convince the churches that they are on their way to meet the Lord in the air when He comes. But Jesus was not too impressed with these good works.
The good part was listening to the Word, not doing the hard work.
When John got caught up to heaven in Revelation Chapter 4, he saw that the fourth or last beast around the throne was an eagle with its incredible eyesight (or insight into Scripture).
REVELATION 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
So Jesus expects the end-time church to have a deep understanding of the mysteries of God. He is looking for a church that is just as Scriptural as the first church that the apostles established.
The lion-beast represented the true Word of God, as Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
These New Testament truths were lost in the Dark Ages as tens of millions laboured for God and were slaughtered, just like oxen.
Then God used human wisdom for a Reformation.
Men like Martin Luther, who preached salvation by faith, and John Wesley, who preached holiness, restored people back to the Bible's basics.
But they could not interpret the deeper mysteries of the Bible. An end-time prophet with an eagle eye was needed to do that.
Mary put Jesus first in her life. Jesus is both a Person as well as being the Word of God. Our attitude to the revealed Bible actually indicates our relationship with Jesus.
Mary had a deeper insight into the mysteries of the Bible. She was more spiritually aware of the bigger plan of God that was happening. The resurrection of Lazarus proved to Mary that Jesus was not in any way limited by death.
JOHN 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Let us consider the Gentile image that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream.
In the Old Testament, salvation was outside the Gentile kingdoms because God was dealing with Israel.
At the cross, salvation would cross over to the Gentile people during the seven church ages. The legs of iron represented the pagan Roman empire. The bits of iron in the feet represented the Roman Catholic church that would mix with the clay of the true believers who formed the Bride of Christ. Seeds of life can only grow in clay, not in metal.
The feet thus represent the church ages.
When Mary anointed Jesus' feet, she symbolized the influence of Jesus on the church's history.
The church's redemption down through the 2000 years of church history has only been achieved at great cost and much suffering. The greatest cost was the price that Jesus paid for our sins when He was crucified.
Thus costly ointment was appropriate.
The lovely smell of the perfume filled the house. So the Gospel of salvation has been a lovely spiritual perfume that told the world of the love of God as it spread and filled the earth.
When a woman does not cut her hair, it symbolizes her submission to her husband. The church has to be in submission to Christ if we are to please Him. Using her hair to wipe His feet indicated the church yielding to the Word.
Each foot has 250000 sweat glands. Feet shed many skin cells that are worn out by our walking on them. The moist sweat encourages bacterial growth that feed on the skin cells and the salt in the sweat. The bacteria produce body waste that gives feet a strong and unpleasant stink. This symbolizes the stink of sin that we Gentiles are in before we accept by faith the sweet smell of Divine forgiveness when we repent.
Then we need to wash continually in the water of God's Word.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, 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.
A woman is a symbol of the church, which is the Body of the Lord, that must be subject to her Head, Jesus. Only Jesus, no other man, is the Head of the church.
EPHESIANS 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Only Jesus is the Saviour of His Body, the church. No other man can save the church.
Uncut hair on a woman is a symbol of submission to her husband and to Jesus.
I CORINTHIANS 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
A woman must have a covering on her head when praying. This covering is her uncut hair.
I CORINTHIANS 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
God does not want a woman to cut her hair.
Mary glorified the death of Jesus with the sweet perfume and her uncut hair (symbol of her submission to Jesus, the Word of God), while He was still alive.
Mary's act showed a deep spiritual insight. Others would mourn the death of Jesus and anoint His dead body for burial, which showed that they viewed His death as a sad end to His remarkable ministry.
Mary sensed that somehow His death was glorious and to be celebrated with a costly and lovely perfume. Somehow His sad death and burial were to win a great triumph over sin.
Mary was convinced that Jesus was going to be the Victor.
But Judas Iscariot, who was very unspiritual, was obsessed with the cost of her ointment.
JOHN 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
In the parable of the vineyard, one penny was a day’s wage.
So 300 pence was almost a year’s earnings.
Judas represents those who serve God for financial gain. They are always scheming to somehow get more for themselves.
Judas could not imagine paying such a price in order to worship Jesus. But Mary, representing the spiritual church, was more than prepared to sacrifice for her Lord.
JOHN 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
JOHN 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
The apostle John exposes the true motives of Judas. This is a warning to us that we cannot bluff God. God knows exactly what our innermost motivation is.
Judas was pretending a concern that was not genuine. The more money he had in his bag, the more chance he had of stealing some unnoticed.
This is a modern-day curse in our churches as well—people who serve God because of their desire for financial gain. We should have the attitude to be like Mary and first seek God’s will, whatever the cost.
MATTHEW 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Then leave God to look after us by trusting Him to provide for us whatever He thinks we need.
JOHN 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
Jesus appreciated that Mary associated His death with a sweet fragrance. She had an amazing insight that everyone else missed.
Anointing His feet indicated that the seven church ages would be covered with the fragrance of forgiven sin. Even if she did not fully understand what she was doing, Mary was certainly inspired in her actions.
Despite pleasing God, Mary was nevertheless opposed by Judas, who was an apostle.
A major weakness in the church is the number of people who oppose truth simply because they are too ignorant to understand the truth themselves.
JOHN 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
It is important to help the poor. But it is more important to have a deeper insight into God's plan and the fulfillment of His Word.
Helping the poor is good. But atheists and other religions also help the poor. Christians must help the poor, but they must focus even more sacrifice on fulfilling Scripture in our day.
At the end time, Jesus expects the church to have a deeper insight into the plan of God as revealed in the Bible.
JOHN 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Jesus was emphasizing the resurrection of Lazarus just before His own death. Thus, He left an obvious clue that He had power over death and could also raise His own Body from the grave.
JOHN 12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
But this life-giving power was a threat to the Jewish religious leaders. They were quite prepared to kill the resurrected Lazarus. God is Life. The Jewish leaders had pushed God out of their midst. When life departs, the death enters. Having removed God’s Life from themselves, the only commodity that the Jewish religious leaders had left to offer was death.
JOHN 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
Many Jews saw the resurrected Lazarus and could not help but believe in Jesus. This was a threat to the powerless Jewish religious leaders. They were being eclipsed by a mere carpenter’s Son, as far as they were concerned.
JOHN 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
The arrival of Jesus soon attracted many people to the Passover feast due to start on Thursday evening, at sunset.
JOHN 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
The people were swept up in a sudden spiritual inspiration to fulfill the Scripture.
JOHN 12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
JOHN 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
A donkey carried Jesus into Jerusalem in triumph. No king ever had a humbler form of transport.
Roman emperors rode on magnificent horses. But now they are lost in the shadows of history. Human fame and pomp are very brief.
Jesus, as the Word, was carried in by a very humble animal. A donkey has little to brag about. It is weaker than a mule and slower than a horse. But the humble donkey carried in the Word of God. What a glorious day for humility as the prophecy was fulfilled.
A deep lesson. Jesus chose the animal with the least ability. In the end, the revealed Word will be believed by those who have the least talents and abilities.
This is indicated by the parable of the supper that represents the wedding supper of the Lamb.
LUKE 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
The disciples, like the people, were blinded by the simplicity of Christ's first Coming. People were expecting Messiah to be a political activist that would drive out the hated Romans. These pre-conceptions stopped them from seeing what Jesus was actually achieving.
Today we think our churches are a place of safety, but we cannot see that God has vomited the churches out of His mouth, which is where His Word is.
God writes to the last church.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Being Scriptural is hot. Being unscriptural is cold. Every church is thus a mixture of partly Scriptural and partly unscriptural, thus lukewarm.
REVELATION 3:16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
The church is vomited out of God's mouth, but church-goers are blind to that fact.
They are blind to all their unscriptural beliefs like Christmas as the Bible never asked us to celebrate Christ's birth nor mentioned 25 December. Churches accept wrong ideas like Trinity, Eve ate an apple, France is the "little horn" of Daniel's prophecy, the European Union is the revived Roman Empire, and a 7-year Tribulation.
Message people believe that the supernatural cloud of 1963 that stayed at the height off 42 kilometers is the mighty Angel of Revelation 10 coming down, or else was the Coming of the Lord, etc.
This cloud, photographed by the Tucson observatory, was actually the sign of the Son of man in the heaven.
1965-0718 TRYING TO DO GOD A SERVICE WITHOUT BEING THE WILL OF GOD
And then in that great observatory, so that the world will be without, they're still wondering what happened. In Tucson, them big observatories took the picture of it up there; still wondering what happened. What is it? They still put in the paper, "Does anybody know anything about what, how it could have happen?" There is no fog up there, there's no air, there's no moisture; thirty miles high in the air. Oh, my!
"There shall be signs in the heaven above. And when these things take place, earthquakes in divers places, then shall appear the sign in the heaven, of the Son of man."
MATTHEW 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
The First Coming of Jesus ended with confusing events that were not understood at the time.
JOHN 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
At the time, the disciples were totally fooled by all the efforts of the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman politicians. They thought that these men were defining the main events.
The powerful display of the Jewish religious leaders and the mighty Roman army was just a distraction to stop people seeing Jesus as the Messiah.
Meanwhile, in the humility and weakness of Jesus, God was fooling the Devil, just when the important leaders thought they had destroyed Jesus.
The disciples missed these clues because they were not thinking of the Scriptures. They took their eyes off the Scriptures when they got overwhelmed by the turbulent events of their day.
We must not make the same mistake as the resurrection of the church age saints approaches. The turbulent political and religious events of today will easily distract us from the Scriptures if we are not careful.
JOHN 12:17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record
JOHN 12:18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
The miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus made many Jews believe in Jesus.
In the same manner, the resurrection of Jesus Himself would make many people believe in Him. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus would become the heart of the Gospel.
JOHN 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
The Jewish religious leaders were horrified that their authority was seriously undermined by the power of Jesus Who could raise the dead.
JOHN 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
Now the Gentiles were being drawn towards Jesus as well. The Greeks were very clever, but their cleverness took second place to the supernatural power of Jesus.
JOHN 12:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
The Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem were stirring up the Jews in the province of Judea to oppose Jesus. The Greeks were clever enough to notice this. But they wanted to meet Jesus for themselves. They did not want someone’s biased opinion of Jesus. The Greeks in Athens had invented democracy, where each Greek was free to form his own opinion. There they debated issues until each person became convinced by means of better arguments. The Greeks did not like the High Priest's dictatorship and the Pharisees, who forced people to believe whatever the leaders believed. The Greeks wanted to think for themselves.
Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with each individual.
JOHN 12:22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
Philip came to the apostle Andrew who was one of the 12 disciples. Together they approached Jesus.
This is a lovely analogy as to how we today approach Jesus, Who is the Word of God, by learning about Him from the New Testament which five apostles and three disciples wrote.
JOHN 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
The Greeks are clever. So Jesus gives them a deep statement of spiritual fact.
Jesus is about to die but presents His death to the Greeks as a glorious event.
This is contrary to the logical thinking of the Greeks.
Thus the Greeks learn that all their cleverness cannot understand the plan of God.
If you have one wheat seed and you want more seed, then you have to bury that one seed in the ground. Then it will die and germinate as it comes out of the ground and produces a wheat plant. The wheat plant will have plenty of wheat seeds on it.
JOHN 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Any seed that does not die cannot produce more life. But if a seed does die, it will germinate and produce many more seeds.
JOHN 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
So the secret to living is to die. This again baffles the logic of the Greeks.
Jesus would die first to give life to the church.
Then Christians would have to die to self to allow God to guide them into His truth.
Many millions of Christians would also be martyred.
If they denied their faith to preserve their lives, then they would lose their lives in hellfire.
But if they hated their lives compared to how much they loved the Word of God, then when they died here, they moved through Christ Who is the Door to Heaven. A far better life awaited them there.
JOHN 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Jesus tells the clever Greeks to follow Him, as He is the Word of God.
They must not follow the clever opinions and philosophies of clever men.
Staying with the Word of God is the secret to Eternal Life. If we serve Jesus by obeying His Word, then God will honour us.
God does not honour us for being clever, but for being Scriptural.
JOHN 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Jesus now reflects on the unfair trial and the brutal execution that awaits Him. Worse than the physical agony is the spiritual torment that will come upon Him when He shoulders the sins of the world in order to pay the awful price for sin.
Jesus desperately did not want to take on all our filthy sins, but that was why He came to earth.
As a young Child of two years old, the wise men brought Him presents which showed Him Who they thought He was.
Gold. A symbol of God, as gold never rusts nor loses its value. Jesus was God in the flesh. Immanuel.
Frankincense. A sharp iron object was thrust into a certain tree. Sap leaked out and hardened. Throw this hard sap into a fire, and it gives off a beautiful smell which turns the harsh smell and stink of scorched meat sacrifices into a perfume. This made the burning meat sacrifice into an acceptable sacrifice. The hard sap was called frankincense.
Jesus had iron nails and an iron spear thrust into His body. Yet His sinless Life made His death a sweet smelling savour (fragrant smell) on behalf of us stinking sinners.
Frankincense means that Jesus came to perform an acceptable sacrifice.
Myrrh. A perfume to wrap up dead bodies. Jesus came to die for our sins.
So Jesus was always destined to die for us sinners, right from the beginning of His Life.
JOHN 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Jesus was about to be killed. But here He claims that His actions and death will glorify God. This is what Mary had symbolized when she anointed His feet with expensive perfume.
Jesus here proved that the supernatural, invisible God could both hear Him and answer. In other words, Jesus had real power with God. God’s answer sounded like a Thunder.
A single Thunder, just before His resurrection.
REVELATION 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
In Revelation Chapter 6, there was a single Thunder in Heaven as the First Seal opened after the Rapture of Revelation Chapter 4.
63-0318 THE FIRST SEAL
Now, those first three books is the first seven church ages, and then we find out in the 4th chapter of Revelations John is caught up.
REVELATION 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Revelation Chapter 5 has the Bride in Heaven after the Rapture.
1965 CHURCH AGE BOOK CHAPTER ONE
And it was not until Revelation 5:6-8 (which follows Revelation 4:2-3 in sequence of time)
1963-03 24 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE SEALS
In Revelations verse 5 to 9, who are these found singing when the Lamb takes the Book . Are these the raptured saints?
... Sure that’s them.
This is the celebration of the Bride in Heaven around the throne of God in Revelation Chapter 5.
In the last month of his life, brother Branham was still looking forward to hearing that single clap of thunder.
1965-11 27 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
Four months before he left the scene and brother Branham spoke of a great single Thunder that was still in the future.
65-0822M CHRIST IS REVEALED IN HIS OWN WORD
Then you will find out what that man and them people have been dreaming about, and all these things there, it will come to pass; see, you will notice what them revealed, that great Thunder a coming forth out of the skies. Now, of course, the whole bunch of you, you know that I know what that means, you see. And, but let's just wait till the time comes, you see, for it to be, see, now, and it will be more in season.
The Greeks relied on clever human wisdom. Jesus is showing them that being in God’s will, which is His Word, is the real secret of power.
JOHN 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
They tried to explain this Thunder by saying that it was an angel.
By doing that, they promoted an angel to the deity, by saying that the angel was the voice of God.
Today, many message-believers claim that William Branham, the seventh angel, is the Voice of God.
Nowhere in the New Testament are we promised the Voice of God. Thus to claim that the voice of the seventh angel is the voice of God is completely unscriptural.
JOHN 12:30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
JOHN 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Sin was going to be judged. Satan, the prince of this world who inspires the powerful kings and rulers was going to lose heavily at Calvary. Satan lost the keys of death and hell. Satan lost his power over the Old Testament Paradise when Jesus resurrected the Old Testament saints just after His own resurrection.
JOHN 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
The only unifying symbol in the universe is not the great achievements of some man. The Greeks had produced the most famous western conqueror, Alexander the Great. But after his death, his empire split up into four sections and was then conquered by the Romans. So the great Alexander only dominated the world for a few years. Then his kingdom was consumed by in-fighting.
But repentant sinners who believe that Jesus died for their sins will be drawn to Calvary. Not what any other man did. Only by what Jesus did.
A genuine personal salvation experience with Jesus is the one common link that all Christians have. Any church or any human leader cannot unite us all, only by our common need to be saved by grace because of His great sacrifice for us.
Calvary makes us take our eyes off any man and focus them on Jesus alone.
JOHN 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The people were baffled. The Messiah would set up heaven on earth. So how could He be crucified?
The Jews failed to realize that the Messiah first had to suffer and die.
Then, two thousand years later, He would destroy the Beast (the final Pope) at Armageddon and finally set up His kingdom for 1000 years of peace.
JOHN 12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
Now they wanted to know who the Son of man was.
They looked at Jesus and His miracles but could not believe in Him because they had been taught wrongly by their religious leaders.
JOHN 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Jesus warned them that His Light was only going to be available for a short time. Then people would be persuaded to choose the darkness of unbelief by the relentless pressure of their religious leaders. The religious Jewish leaders exerted all their efforts to turn the Jews away from Jesus.
Once you take a non-Scriptural step, you are out of the Light and in darkness. Then you have no Scripture to guide you, and you do not know where you are going.
JEREMIAH 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Our only method for finding direction is to go back to the first church's beliefs set up by the New Testament apostles. If you are not heading in that direction, you are operating in a delusional bubble that will drastically pop in the Tribulation.
Why will saved Christians end up in the Tribulation where the Beast will kill them?
This will be their sad lament:
“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our preachers lied.”
(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling).
REVELATION 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Roman Catholicism is the beast. Non-Catholic churches form the image of the beast by following its example of having a man as the head of each church. Denominational beliefs are the mark of the beast that controls your thinking and your actions.
JOHN 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
The only Light is the written Bible. If we are Scriptural in what we do or say, then only are we children of Light.
Jesus was warning the wise Greeks and all the others that the only path to Truth was to believe the Word of God.
Then He departed and hid Himself.
It was getting too dangerous.
The Jewish religious leaders now seriously hated Him and longed to kill Him.
Today, God hides the truth in numerous Bible verses that church-goers simply ignore or contradict or change because they cannot understand the written verses.
Thus God hides Himself away from the foolish virgins.
JOHN 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
Miracles are a temporary attraction. They catch the interest of the people but do not hold the interest of the people.
JOHN 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Esaias is the Greek for Isaiah. Isaiah, the prophet, mentioned people's inability to believe the Bible just the way it is written. Every church has certain Scriptures that they change, contradict, or ignore because of their ignorance.
JOHN 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
JOHN 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Church-goers lack the tremendous insight of the Bible that only comes from the eagle-beast around God’s throne. They are blinded by material success, the desire to be praised by their church leaders, and their desperate urge to be accepted by their church. They believe whatever their church requires of them. They ignore and contradict all the Scriptures that their church ignores or contradicts.
They prefer the traditions of their churches and the opinions of their pastors. They have no desire to be strictly Scriptural. They cannot put the Bible first in their lives as the only Absolute because they believe that the Bible has mistakes.
They rely on the quotes of some man instead of relying on Bible verses.
JOHN 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Isaiah basically said that if we do not believe and live by every Scripture, God does not want us in His Bride.
Isaiah saw God's glory and knew that no man could compare with God.
JOHN 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Many religious leaders believed on Jesus but were scared to admit it. They would be chased out and lose their pay packet. Like Judas, they sold out their faith for money.
That same spirit is still in the churches.
People reject the Bible's revealed truth because they are terrified of not being wanted by their church.
JOHN 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Religious leaders are desperate to be elevated upon the praises of men. They will change what is in the Bible if that will make them more popular.
JOHN 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
Believing on Jesus and believing in the Bible is how we prove that we believe in God.
JOHN 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
When you see Jesus, you see the invisible God Who dwells within Him.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
JOHN 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
The Bible is the only Light that we have to walk in. If we believe on the Bible, just the way it is written, then we have spiritual light to illuminate our path through life.
JOHN 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Jesus did not judge people while He was alive. Nor should we.
Though people did much wrong, Jesus was still intent on saving them, not destroying them.
This was an incredible example for us.
We can judge the behaviour or the beliefs of a person by comparing them with the Bible, but we should never judge the person. Like the thief on the cross, the worst of sinners may repent when dying.
JOHN 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
What is going to judge us is the Word of God.
Never accept any clever theory that “proves” there are mistakes in the Bible. If the Bible is to judge us, then it must be perfect as well as being our Absolute.
If you are in the Bride you will believe that there are no mistakes in the King James Version of the Bible.
If you are not in the Bride, then you will be easily convinced that portions of the Bible are wrong.
MATTHEW 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
II TIMOTHY 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
JOHN 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Everything that Jesus said came as an instruction from the indwelling God the Father.
Never once did Jesus say anything that God would disagree with.
JOHN 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
The Bible is God in Word form. The words are visible but they also mysteriously contain and conceal eternal Life.
The seventh church age messenger, William Branham, came to reveal the mysteries in the written Scripture.
REVELATION 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The more you believe the Bible, the more of God’s Spirit enters you.
Obeying God’s commandments is how everlasting Life takes over our lives.
JOHN 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.