Matthew 13 - The 7 Church Ages, part 2
In Matthew Chapter 12, Jesus made statements that implied that the Gospel would move from the Jews to the Gentiles.
He continues this theme in Matthew Chapter 13 by describing key ideas from the history of the seven church ages.
Now we come to the second parable of the seven "Kingdom of Heaven" parables.
Matthew describes Jesus as the Lion, the King.
A King rules a Kingdom.
So the Kingdom that Jesus rules is the seven church ages. That is His main interest during these last 2000 years.
The first parable about sowing seeds was given and then explained at length. This indicates that the early church had a lot of truth in the first church age. The first parable, the planting of the seed of God's Word by the apostles, represented the first church age.
The second parable, representing the second church age, is lengthy.
That illustrates that there were still a lot of people who, during their persecutions, wanted to believe the Bible as it was written. So, much of the original truth of Scripture was still believed. But no explanation of the parable was given. Thus, the understanding of the apostles' original truth was diminishing, thanks to the human heads who were taking over the churches. Christ, Who as the Bible is the Word of God, was no longer the church's Head.
By not explaining the second parable, Jesus is telling us that the second church age believers did not realize what a trap they were falling into as they accepted Bishops as church leaders. It seemed such an efficient way to build up a big church. It seemed harmless. Even Irenaeus, the great messenger to the second church age, spoke highly of the succession of the Bishops of Rome who ruled the church in Rome and were spreading their influence further afield. The Roman Bishop was falsely claiming that Peter had been the first Bishop of Rome. The Roman Bishop gave money and help to struggling churches, especially those persecuted by the Roman emperors. This boosted his prestige amongst the churches. It all seemed so harmless. Why be a fanatic and insist that each church should be a small local church that can meet in a house and only be ruled by local elders.
Paul writes to Philemon:
PHILEMON 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
Peter writes to the elders as an elder.
He stresses the equality of the brethren by not claiming pre-eminence as an apostle.
I PETER 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
The elders must feed the flock of God. This command was never given to pastors.
Feeding the flock must never be motivated by the desire for financial reward.
But the Bishops rose to power over the church. They claimed that they alone could preach and explain the Bible. The one-man Bishop who usurped full power over the church naturally took over all the tithes money that was taken in. He thus lived off the tithes and used the left-over tithes to pay those ministries that agreed with him. Thus the Bishop's cronies got promoted and provided for. By controlling all the money, the Bishop cut off any money to those who disagreed with him.
The church became a dictatorship. Run by one man. Only he could allow you to preach if you agreed with him.
III JOHN 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would and casteth them out of the church.
This is how Bishops behaved in the early church. Diotrephes did not want the apostle John who wrote and spoke Scripture. He also threw out of the church anybody who disagreed with himself. (How pastors behave today).
Nicolaitans were feeding off the church.
Thus, man's traditions, based on unscriptural words and rituals and traditions, were causing people to lose sight of basic Bible truths. Ignorance and misunderstanding formed a mist that stopped people from seeing the true Scripture. The forces of darkness began to slowly erode truth as human wisdom replaced faith in the written Word.
As the churches increased, their first zeal flagged, and conformity to the world and its ways increased also.
( The Pilgrim Church by E H Broadbent page 11 )
Cyprian, born about 200 AD, freely used the term “the Catholic church,” and saw no salvation outside it. This church excluded all who did not conform to it.
By 1302 this became the official Roman Catholic doctrine of Unam Sanctam, no salvation outside the Catholic church. You could only get saved by being in submission to the Pope.
The church age of Smyrna could not see how bad these "innocent" man-made church rules would become.
There was a growing distinction between laity and clergy.
The clergy dominated then conquered the laity in a process called Nicolaitanism. People were oppressed and had to conform to the rules of the church leader.
MATTHEW 13:24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Truth and error would grow side by side.
This would be the great test of true believers.
Can you stay with Scripture when Christians around you are developing big and successful churches dominated by a human leader who forces you to believe unscriptural ideas?
Judas was one of the disciples. So preachers of error would be active in the congregations.
Clever men with clever philosophies would blind many to the truth.
By the time of Origen (184 – 253) in Alexandria, he took the Trinity concept for granted and then blended Christianity with pagan philosophy.
Christianity ( believing the Bible ) and Churchianity were growing together. But people were losing sight of truth.
The second church age ended when Constantine killed his rivals and their followers in fierce battles and became the Roman emperor. He claimed to be a Christian and stopped persecuting Christians in the year AD 312.
Starting with the emperor Nero in the year AD 64, the Roman emperors unleashed at least ten savage persecutions against the Christians and killed about 3 million Christians in the process until Constantine stopped the slaughter.
Jesus gave no interpretation at the end of the second parable, which implies that the church had drifted away from the Scripture towards human leadership and entered into spiritual darkness. Churchianity was replacing Christianity. Traditions replaced Scripture.
This gives us a picture of what the church now looked like as truth was shrinking thanks to elevated human leaders.
The Third Parable.
MATTHEW 13:31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Very little Scripture is written for this third parable. This means Bible truth was dying out.
Putting a Bishop in charge of a small local church seemed to be a harmless idea.
But human leadership caused the church to grow into a big organization as they embraced paganism, politics, and man-made rules. A whole artificial structure was developing.
Cancer is something that grows for the sake of growing and has no limits for its growth.
The birds who were the enemies in the first parable are now in charge of the church.
A big tree or structure has grown up, which is a perversion.
Mustard should be a small herb, not a huge tree with unscriptural ranks like archbishop, cardinal, Pope for the enemies of truth to lodge in. The early church consisted of small communities that usually met in houses, especially when they were persecuted and scattered. Slowly this changed into a big political and religious system under the control of totally unscriptural office bearers.
Constantine gave the Lateran Palace to the bishop of Rome and enormous wealth from the Roman treasury. Rome's bishop became Constantine’s strong man in the West when Constantine shifted his capital to the East at Constantinople. Thus the bishop of Rome also gained political clout. Religion and politics have always been a dangerous combination that should be avoided.
The Lateran Palace is on the left. Imagine the boost to the Bishop of Rome's prestige when Constantine gave him this Palace.
It was now taken for granted that a bishop ruled the church in each city. The cities that were linked to the apostles were given greater prestige, and their bishops became exalted. As they competed with each other for more power and prestige, so the bishops of Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria began to become even more influential. They were the main guys as they grabbed for power and prestige. Then Constantinople, as the capital of the eastern empire, rose to rival Rome in importance. Competitive Christianity produced Nicolaitans, who were ambitious and self-exalting bishops.
The event which killed off the truth in the third church age was the Council of Nicaea in AD 325.
The Roman Catholic church used the word Trinity to go outside of Scripture and then collected more and more unscriptural ideas.
Believing that God is a Trinity of three Persons means that it is impossible to find one name for God.
They baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost but never could say what that name is.
As a result, they refused to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, as Peter did even though they claimed that Peter was the first Pope.
In AD 378, the Roman Emperor was killed at the battle of Adrianople, and Theodosius became emperor. He made the Roman Catholic church the official church and agreed to the Catholic church's request for the persecution of pagans.
Sixty-six years previously, the church had been persecuted by the pagan Roman emperor. Now this same church became the persecutor of the pagans.
In AD 382, emperor Theodosius gave Damasus, the Bishop of Rome, the title of Pontiff or Pontifex Maximus, High Priest of the Babylonian mysteries.
Around 450 AD, Pope Leo I had enlarged this persecution of pagans to include the persecution of Christians who disagreed with the Catholic church.
The third church age ended about the year 606 AD, by which time the Roman Bishop considered himself the Universal Bishop with power over all of Christianity.
The Pope "bird" now lodged at the top of the denominational church structure.
The fourth parable
MATTHEW 13:33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
This parable has very little Scripture to describe it—only one verse.
This represented the Dark Age when there was very little Scripture in the established churches. This age lasted from about 606 to 1520 AD. The fourth church in Revelation Chapter 3 is addressed as Thyatira, which means a dominating woman. The Roman church had now secured complete domination over the people of Europe.
By the year 641 AD, when the Muslims had conquered Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, Rome was the only main western centre linked (supposedly by a succession of Popes) to an apostle. Lacking his former rivals, the Bishop of Rome became ever more influential and powerful.
Persecutions increased as the Roman church tried to stamp out all opposition. By the time they finally stopped killing their opponents in 1648, after the Thirty Year's War, they had killed tens of millions of non-Catholics.
"Meal” makes bread, which represents Scripture. A woman represents the church. Leaven must rot as it forms carbon dioxide, which rises as gas to puff up the dough. So a woman ( the Catholic church ) took meal ( the Word ) and broke it into three sections ( the Trinity breaks up God into three Persons ) until this rottenness had spread through all the Word. Thanks to the Trinity doctrine, Christians no longer know God's name ( Jesus Christ ) and thus get baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost instead of in the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The error keeps spreading which causes people to understand less and less of truth. The Trinitarians have absolutely no idea what the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is.
God was manifest as the Father above the Jews in the Old Testament.
God was manifest as the Son when God dwelled bodily with the Jews in Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
God is manifest in His believers as the Holy Ghost.
JOHN 14:17 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.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three manifestations of Almighty God.
Jesus is the Name of God when He appeared as a Man. Jesus is thus the closest we can get to understanding God.
MATTHEW 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
(Truth is hidden behind the symbols and patterns in Scripture).
:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Jesus spoke in parables so that the majority would not understand.
This illustrated the state of the church in the Dark Ages. There was almost no understanding of truth.
The Bible mysteries are written in a way that requires a spiritual insight into the patterns and symbols of Scripture. The Roman Church dominated Europe but did not have this spiritual insight. Thus all of Europe, with few exceptions, was plunged into Scriptural ignorance, which is darkness.
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
But the disciples wanted to know the mystery of the second parable.
That was the age when human leaders were taking control of the church as Bishops.
That error was still reasonably easy to understand.
The disciples never asked about the mystery of the third and fourth parables.
Once Trinity entered the church in the third church age, the Christians would be blinded and have no chance of seeing the truth until right at the end in the last church age.
MATTHEW 13:37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
(the great tribulation ends the last church age)
:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
(doing things that they know are wrong, like rejecting Acts 2:38 that commands baptism in the name of Jesus Christ)
:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (The Great Tribulation)
:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Each church age ended with the statement:
REVELATION 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The darkness of the fourth church age is over, so people will be able to start hearing the truth of Scripture again.
Printing had just been invented. So the Bible that was banned in the Dark Ages could now be made readily available for the people.
When the fourth parable is complete, Jesus begins to reveal what happened in the second church age as the Catholic church dragged Christianity off into error. Thus at the end of the fourth church age, at the end of the Dark Ages or Middle Ages, men like Huss and Wycliffe came on the scene with enough light to bring the Christians back to salvation and also to make the people aware that the Roman church was the ancient enemy of Truth.
The Roman Catholic Church called herself the Mother Church. The dominating woman, Thyatira. The woman who broke up the meal of Scripture into three Trinity Persons so that rotten leaven or unbelief could spread through the Protestant churches when they tried to break away from unscriptural Catholic error.
The Catholic church breaks up the meal of Scripture into three portions but refuses to break up the round sun-god bread-wafer that they put on people's tongues for communion, which they call the Eucharist.
The true light of Scripture had almost died out in the fourth church age.
The fifth parable
Jesus explained the second parable just before he told them the fifth parable
That means truth was starting to return as the fourth church age ended, and the fifth age started.
Wycliffe and Huss had preached salvation towards the end of the fourth church age. But it took the printing press and Luther's indomitable courage to launch the Reformation in the fifth church age.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Only one verse describes this age. Thus there was not much truth that was restored.
But Luther, that bravest of reformers, restored the truth about salvation as a personal experience with Christ.
People could not break with most Catholic doctrines that were unscriptural, but they did find Christ as their personal Saviour. So it was a big step forward.
The man referred to in the parable is Christ.
He, at Calvary, paid the price for the whole world. That is when He bought the world ( the field).
Thus, any sinner in the whole wide world qualifies for salvation. All he needs is the ability to believe in the sacrifice of Jesus to pay for our sins, and have the desire to repent of his sins.
Jesus sold out all of His Heavenly glory to become a suffering Servant and sold out any sense of dignity by suffering the most undignified of deaths. Thus He paid the price in full, giving up His Own Life.
Then He hid the treasure, which is salvation. Salvation cannot be bought. So people can read the Bible and miss the whole point that they need to be saved. A personal salvation experience with Christ is the hidden treasure that can be found in Scripture. It is free as it cannot be bought. But God so loved the world that He paid the price for the entire world ( the field). Thus anyone can be saved.
The other aspect of the word “treasure” was the translation of the Bible into the people's common language instead of being in Latin, which suited the Roman Catholics. The King James Version of the Bible was printed about AD 1611 and checked for over 150 years before the final version appeared in 1769. This Bible is still regarded as the Jewel of the English language. So much so, that all the great Christian movements that were to follow started in English-speaking countries.
Around AD 1750, John Wesley preached holiness and outreach in England, which laid the foundation for the missionary age that began in 1792 when William Carey founded the Baptist Missionary Society and then went to India.
Around 1906 the Pentecostal revival that began in America restored the baptism of the Holy Ghost to individual believers.
From 1947 to 1965, William Branham, also in America, revealed a deeper insight into Scripture that gave us a Bigger Picture that welded so-called conflicting Scriptures together. The real truth was restored for those individuals who could dare to think differently from their church leaders and their church traditions.
But in the days of Luther’s great reformation, roughly from 1500 AD to about 1750 AD, there was a lack of Gospel outreach to the whole world. The reformers like Luther, Calvin, John Knox did an impressive work as regards evangelism in Europe.
But there were two major problems: what about the rest of the world? What about all the truth that they did not yet know?
Coming out of the Dark Ages, the world needed the great truth of salvation and the great need of the Bible in their own languages.
But people also needed holiness ( which John Wesley would preach ) and the Holy Ghost baptism ( which the Pentecostals would restore ).
People also needed Truth so that they would not have to use unscriptural words like Trinity to describe God and then be fooled into thinking that “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” are names. We also need to know what original sin was and who the antichrist is. William Branham would guide us down that difficult path.
The reformers escaped from Rome and the Pope's authority, but their followers ( like Jacob's wife stealing his father-in-law’s idols), preferred to be dominated by human leaders. For example, the Anglicans accepted Henry VIII, who practiced adultery and murder, as Head of the church and Defender of the faith. They established their own priests with ceremonial robes in imitation of the Catholic priesthood. The reformers escaped ( Sardis means escaped ones ) from Rome, but the Reformation was unfulfilled as their followers were not watchful to move on with God and simply re-established the Catholic idea of churches with a human head. So, despite some differences, they soon incorporated many ideas of the Roman Catholic Church such as Trinity, Christmas, and Good Friday. They kept baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and a human leader ( priest or pastor) who dominates the church with his power to welcome in or cast out any individual. Compliance and submission to church leaders became the biggest obstacle to accepting further truth as God revealed it.
But the trend towards darkness in the Dark Ages had broken.
The light had moved to the other side of the candlestick and laid a foundation; the just shall live by faith, so that the truth could slowly be restored.
Thanks to Luther and the reformers, the people had rediscovered salvation.
The sixth parable
The people in Protestant Europe were getting saved. But salvation needed to be spread out to the rest of the world.
MATTHEW 13:45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
A bit more truth was restored to the church as this parable contains two verses.
The field was bought in the last parable, so it cannot be bought again. George Whitfield and John Wesley opened the door to evangelism outside the church buildings. This eventually led to the great missionary age that began around 1782 when William Carey founded the Baptist Missionary Society and went to India.
John Wesley preached holiness, which was essential to stop saved Christians from falling back into sin and worldliness.
In Revelation, a pearl is a gate to the heavenly city.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
In the sixth church age of Philadelphia ( brotherly love ) the church has an open door set before it.
An open door is thus the symbol of missionary work.
So Christ died at Calvary to purchase the right to the missionary age. He would raise up missionaries who would spread the Gospel of salvation in the Name of Jesus Christ even though there was still much error in what the Christians believed.
The heroic age of the missionaries, despite incredible difficulties, cast a glow of light around the world. This was a golden age of brotherly love ( Philadelphia ) as salvation spread to other nations, and John Wesley’s emphasis on holiness upgraded human behaviour standards. Wesley avoided political involvement and focused on the Gospel. So much so that Protestant England was spared the horrors of the French revolution which ripped apart Catholic France. No-one who wanted to live holy could use a guillotine to behead people or watch this awful spectacle.
“and hast not denied my name.” Missionaries emphasize the Name of Jesus Christ. There is no other path to salvation. This emphasis also began to open the Door to a deeper insight into Scripture, the fact that Jesus is God, and there is no Trinity. Deeper truths are difficult for people to accept when they are in their established churches' comfort zone. But the Door to deeper revelation was opening and revealing that Jesus is the Lord God Almighty. Another deeper revelation was that denominational religion is the mark of the beast. People following human pastors along their own paths, which are a mixture of truth and error. They are unable to be corrected because they reject any opinion other than their own.
A more difficult revelation to accept is that sex was the original sin. Satan has really blinded people to this truth. Muslim men live with the belief that 72 virgins await them in heaven. This inspires many of them to kill themselves and others in suicide attacks so that they can claim their "reward" in heaven. They forget one basic fact. The golden rule remains: thou shalt not kill.
The missionary age was remarkable, but it lacked two things: the Holy Ghost baptism and the full Truth of Scripture that would come into view as the Door opened.
Notice how many Christians still say “ There is a mistake in the Bible” as they attempt to reconcile Scriptures that appear to contradict each other.
There is no mistake in the King James Version Bible. It remains the Absolute.
The mistake is always in our ignorance, our lack of the Big Picture. This would remain a problem until William Branham began to reveal his remarkable insights into Scripture. An eagle has a double eye. The outer perimeter keeps the Big Picture in focus. The inner portion of its eye can magnify a detail about 10 times, enabling it to see things that other birds cannot.
Four beasts surround God's throne in Heaven.
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.
The Lion-age introduced the truth of the Bible with St Paul and the Apostles. The ox-age saw millions of Christians die for their faith in the Dark Ages. The man-age saw human intellect blessed with an ability to translate the Bible correctly into the King James Version. This human wisdom enabled the reformers to restore salvation, holiness, and outreach.
The last age, the eagle-age, saw power from above come down on Pentecost in the form of the Holy Ghost baptism. But humans then split that movement up into pastor-dominated Pentecostal denominations. Then a prophet, William Branham, restored the early church's ancient Scriptural truths with his remarkable insights. But his followers would go down the same sad path of splitting the movement into pastor-dominated versions of his quotes. Thus the last church age, the seventh parable, is ready to unfold. Outwardly it looks good and prosperous, but actually, the last church age is in bad shape.
In the second church age, a Bishop was elevated as head of the church to eventually guide the church into the Dark Ages.
In the seventh church age, a pastor will be elevated as head of the church to eventually guide the church into the Great Tribulation.
The Seventh Parable
MATTHEW 13:47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
The sea is the restless multitudes of people.
The Gospel net goes out and collects all sorts of people.
The word “net” also has the added meaning of the internet, where people from all over the world can contact truth.
God has made it possible for people to communicate via the interNET.
COVID-19 saw a lockdown in 2020 that kept people in their houses. The early church met in houses.
Small groups could have interactive meetings from their individual homes using ZOOM technology.
LUKE 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Small groups, linked on the internet, will fit this Scripture.
MATTHEW 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Very few will find the Scriptural path.
It is a time of sorting out. Telling the difference between right (what is Scriptural) and wrong (what is unscriptural) to throw away what is wrong.
MATTHEW 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
"Full" indicates the fullness of time.
"Full" indicates that sin and iniquity have reached their full limit. Mankind cannot really deteriorate much further.
Jesus sat on the seashore at the beginning to preach these parables.
The last parable and He mentions the seashore.
The seashore is mentioned at the start and the end.
This is yet another clue that the last church age must end up believing what the first church age believed.
Just like fishermen, some of the fish are good and some are not. Some people respond to the Truth, and some do not.
They think that they are rejecting truth, but actually, it is themselves that are being rejected by the truth.
Two choices await us.
Either we will use brother Branham's quotes to learn how to prove our beliefs from Scripture.
Then as the wise virgins, we will have oil to burn that produces enough light to read and understand the Bible. That way, we will be restored to the beliefs of the first church age, back to the apostolic fathers' beliefs.
We cannot stop in the seventh age as if that is an age on its own.
Ours is an age of restoration, back to the first church age.
The seventh age receives the revealed truth of Scripture so that we can move on to believe as the first church age believed.
Whatever we believe, we should keep asking, "Did the first church age believe this?"
It is essential that the seed that is harvested or reaped has to be identical to the seed that was planted.
The foolish or fooled virgins, who are saved, will misinterpret quotes as a basis for their faith. They will rely on quotes and move away from Scripture.
"I have a quote" will replace "It is written".
The Light of Scripture will get less as Bible-ignorance increases.
They will remain in the seventh church age and be unable to move back to the first church age. Collecting together in a puddle of manipulated and misinterpreted quotes will make the message foolish virgins increasingly Bible-illiterate. Thus their Bible-light shrinks. They will be unable to use the quotes to reveal the true Bible patterns. The "red arrow" represents the restoration of truth back to the apostolic fathers who wrote the New Testament. That cannot be achieved by splicing quotes and trying to interpret the unwritten seven Thunders, Seventh Seal, and the new name of Jesus. The first church age never believed those things. Focusing on what is not written in the Bible automatically shrinks your Bible light.
MATTHEW 13:49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
The real struggle is in the Spirit, where it is God versus Satan. The flesh is little more than a shadow of the real spiritual struggle. We think we serve God, but angels play a key role in separating us from evil and keeping us on the right path. In this confusing and deceiving age, we need all the help that we can get.
Our only evidence of being right with God is to be Scriptural and never reject the truth that is being revealed in our days.
MATTHEW 13:50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Those who reject the truth will end up in the Great Tribulation, which ends the seventh church age.
Can you prove what you believe, just from Scripture?
If you cannot, then all that error will be burnt off you in the horror of the Great Tribulation.
51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
The end of the seventh parable is the end of the seventh church age. Jesus expected the disciples to be able to understand for themselves what He was talking about. In the end, Jesus expects us to understand. Understand the revealed mysteries of Scripture for ourselves.
In the seventh age, thanks to the revelations unfolded by William Branham, the understanding of Scripture returns so that the last church age can have the same basic beliefs as the first church age.
MATTHEW 13:52Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
The last age must understand all the new developments like the Jews going back to Israel as well as the Elijah who will restore us back to the early church of the first age so that we can serve God in the same ways and with the same understanding that they did in days of old.
A Bible teacher must be able to see the basic deeper patterns of Scripture unfolding in the Bible verses.
The old or familiar patterns that brother Branham revealed, like the seven church ages, will unexpectedly appear in new Bible places like Matthew Chapter 13. The Godhead and the seven church ages will also appear in the Ten Commandments. The Jews also went through seven church ages, starting with Abraham and ending with John the Baptist.
The same pattern appearing in new places.
MATTHEW 13:53And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
The seventh church age will end when Jesus returns to take His Bride, the true church, and then departs with her to Heaven for the wedding feast.
The rest go into the Tribulation. Please do not be amongst this group even though they are by far in the majority. But they will not go far.