The first seven verses of Revelation Chapter 6 reveal the spiritual warfare that has been going on during the 2 000 years of the seven church ages of the Christian church.
Verse 8 reveals a new system, the Tribulation time. This is what we need to escape from.
God’s Spirit manifest as four Beasts ( Powers ) or Living Creatures. Each Beast represents an attribute of God’s Spirit that He used to guide the church through four different eras as God opposed the changing and mutating spirit of the subtle and devious antichrist which is revealed as a horse rider.
This is the same horse rider that inspired Pharaoh to oppose Moses.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The horse and rider represented the antichrist spirit that inspired Pharaoh not to believe God’s Word ( and to try to enslave and kill those who did ) while God’s Spirit inspired Moses to believe His Word and write the first five Books of the Bible.
We must be aware that there is this spiritual war going on. Pharaoh was just a figurehead for Satan.
But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
All looked well. The Egyptians were dead but the Devil who inspired them was not dead.
John later saw this evil antichrist spirit mutating and rising up out of the sea.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Satan opposed Moses who led the first exodus, bringing the Jews out of Egypt as they believed the written Word of the first five Books of the Bible that Moses wrote.
Then in the first Seal Satan was opposing the second exodus as Christianity came out of Judaism by believing the written Word of Saint Paul and the apostles who wrote the New Testament
Just as Pharaoh tried to kill the Jews, so Satan inspired the Roman emperors to kill 3 million Christians between AD 64 and AD 312.
Then Christians, in the second Seal forsook Scripture for human traditions and politics and pagan rituals and beliefs and clever Greek philosophy which makes people brilliant in their defence of error.
The third Seal showed the reformers like Luther and Wesley who managed to partially bring the churches back on track with the written Word of God despite the errors which remained in the churches.
Then the fourth Seal is critical to us today because that Seal describes our current seventh church age. This is the one that Jesus puts the most emphasis upon.
This is the third exodus where the Bible believing Bride of Christ comes out of the Christian denominational churches who remain wrapped up in man-made traditions and doctrines that are not written in the Bible.
This age ends in the great Tribulation as Death rides in.
So the spiritual journey starts. Hold onto your seat belts because all warfare is rough going.
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf ( a young ox ), and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Four beasts around the throne to protect and inspire the Christian church during its different stages while the Devil, like an insidious virus, kept mutating and changing his tactics and beliefs.
The First Seal.
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.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Verses 1 and 2 ( church ages 1 and 2 which lasted from Calvary in 33 AD to about 312 AD when emperor Constantine stopped killing Christians and made Christianity an official religion of the Roman empire ).
There is a Lion beast for Truth represented by St Paul and the apostles who laid out the True Word of the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ.
This was God’s antidote to error. He innoculated the early church with the True Word of God.
At first Christians stayed with these New Testament doctrines of the apostles.
One aspect of this spiritual warfare was the urge of many Christians to stay with Jewish beliefs and to be impressed with Jewish leaders.
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich ) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
This is written to the second church age of Smyrna, which comes from myrrh that is a bitter herb used to embalm the dead. This symbolised the savage persecutions of Christians by the Roman emperors. This verse indicates that leaders who were Jewish still had a big influence. It took the Christians a long time before they finally stopped trying to obey Jewish Law and rituals. Many kept relying for salvation on the works of the Law.
Savage persecution helped to keep the churches on track. But by the end of the second church age, around 312 AD when the Roman emperor Constantine stopped persecuting them they were drifting off the mark.
There had been 10 brutal persecutions since emperor Nero began killing Christians in 64 AD after he burned down Rome and blamed the Christians. By 312 AD about 3 million Christians had been killed. Christians, out of sheer gratitude, accepted Constantine as the human guiding genius of the church and happily followed his politically inspired religious agenda as they moved away from Scripture ( adopting words like Trinity and Christmas and Pontiff ). Human leadership was established as Constantine endowed the Bishop of Rome Sylvester with a fortune in money and the beautiful Lateran palace which established the Bishop of Rome as the head of the western churches. Thus the enemy came in as a white ( religious ) horse (a powerful system ) that had a rider with a bow but no mention of an arrow. A religious deceiver to spread error. The bowman did not rely on a natural arrow. He was more successful with his lies.
Jeremiah 9 : 8
Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit:
This antichrist rider was the religious spirit that built up the powerful Roman Catholic church system that conquered Christianity until eventually Pope Nicholas 1 ( 858 – 867 ), a very able and autocratic man, became so elevated that he was crowned and the Pope’s authority became absolute.
The antichrist spirit was established in the first two church ages but this religious error of accepting men as the head of the churches, with their human ideas, continued to ride on down through all the ages of the church. It kept changing and mutating as it added in new ideas and doctrines like purgatory, indulgences, holy water, mass, sprinkling of babies, confirmation, praying to Mary and the dead saints, statues of the saints, denominations, mother church etc. All these mutants are still with us today and more mutations keep appearing.
The Second Seal.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Verses 3 and 4 represent church ages 3 and 4 which started around 312 AD and spanned the dark ages which ended around 1 500 AD when Luther began his reformation. A long era of about 1 200 years. The young calf had plenty of time to grow into an ox. An ox has no seed of life, just colossal strength. The Christian church did not improve in the dark ages but degenerated into superstition and political rivalries and awful unjust wars like the Crusades. The massacres, rapes and looting ( of the Jews who lived on the road to Palestine ) and of the actual Muslim inhabitants who lived in Palestine provoked a fury that still remains to this day, giving Islamic extremists their lust for revenge on the West, even though America had not yet been discovered. But the true Christian believers, who tried to be Scriptural, had to be exceptionally strong to survive and keep going in those long dark ages when they were endlessly hunted down by armies who backed the Popes. This Seal revealed the influence of the emperor’s military and political power as it united with the Roman Catholic church. Constantine punished religious dissenters severely. He backed the Bishop of Rome and thus military force built up the power and authority of the Roman Catholic church. Pope Leo 1 ( 440 – 461 ) accepted the Babylonian pagan title of Pontiff. He also claimed the right to kill heretics and this policy was to result eventually in the massacre of some 68 million dissenters before the killing spree finally ended around 1600 AD. The Spanish Inquisition was an infamous chapter in this dismal religious holocaust.
The awful twenty year liberation of Italy ( 533 – 552 ) from the non-Trinitarian Ostrogoth Theodoric by the armies of the emperor Justinian in order to put the Trinitarian Pope back in charge at Rome, left Rome in ruins and Italy devastated. Plague and famine followed and Europe went into the cold, dark and dirty dark ages, thanks to this religious warfare.
This was the Ox age. An ox is a beast of burden that gets slaughtered at the end of its life as its meat is too valuable to waste. True Christians labored on through the dark ages and countless numbers were massacred. The Holy Spirit gave them the fortitude of an ox. They worked hard for God in those ignorant times and faced their deaths bravely. Religious deception had blended with political and military power during these two ages but this combined spirit then rides on down through the remaining church ages. The church was thoroughly married to politics and pagan beliefs. Think Easter eggs. Think 25 December. Think Trinity. Cardinal. Sign of the cross. Triple crown or tiara that the Pope wears etc
The Third Seal.
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Verses 5 and 6 represent church age 5 which saw Luther’s call to salvation and church age 6 which saw John Wesley preach holiness and brotherly love to those outside the church. His influence led to the golden missionary age. Missionaries believed that the church was a club that existed for the benefit of non-members and they spent their lives trying to get the benefits of salvation and holiness to extend around the world. This was the age of the Man beast. Human wisdom and learning enabled the reformers to see through many of the Roman Catholic errors. But human learning was limited in terms of spiritual revelation. There were still many mysteries in Scripture that wer not revealed. What was the original sin? What is the Name of God? After all Father, Son and Holy Spirit are titles. How do predestination and free will both operate together? Churches became Calvinist if they focussed on predestination in Luther’s age or Armenian if they focussed on free will in Wesley’s age.
But human wisdom was also inspired by God to produce the King James Version Bible which is the most accurate Bible.
Human culture also flourished under this Man beast, Shakespeare in literature, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci in art, Bach and Beethoven in music, Isaac Newton in mathematics.
This is when the black horse of demonology rode in. The Roman Church replied with famine weighing out a measure of wheat for a penny which was the wage for a day’s labour to buy wheat for a loaf of bread. People were kept away from Scripture and salvation in Christ alone. They sold the Bread of life by making money out of religion with their indulgences whereby you bought forgiveness for your sins and you also had to pay to release souls from purgatory. Religion became big business, very lucrative. No wonder Jesus got so angry with the money lenders in the Temple. Making money out of religion is demonic.
The Roman Church emphasized their man-made rituals and traditions, depriving people of a true understanding of Scripture and salvation. Demonology is the spirit that opposes the Word of God. The counter Reformation launched by the Roman Catholic church to oppose Luther’s reformation that got souls saved by repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, resulted in a vicious killing of millions of Protestants.
Today there is still a big indifference towards being strictly Scriptural as people regard you as a fanatic. They want you to rather believe what the church says. Believe what the pastor says
( despite the fact that the pastors disagree amongst themselves ). They feel that there is no need to prove your belief from the Bible. That is mainly because people know so little about the Bible which is now classified as the most widely owned un-read Book in the world.
Today Christians do not seem to be able to prove much of what they believe from Scripture.
Ask a Christian why he goes to church on a Sunday. This is the right thing that they are doing but their usual reply is that it is the Lord’s day or the Sabbath day. Neither of these answers is correct, according to Scripture. So they do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Rather ironic.
The Fourth Seal.
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Verse 7 is the 7th church age. An Eagle age. This started just after the year 1900 when the Pentecostal revival began in America. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was restored and like the eagle, the people were swept up into the supernatural dimension of Holy Ghost power. Natural man invented the aircraft and so was also able to fly higher. Then in 1947 an angel appeared to William Branham in America and he began to reveal the mysteries of God’s Word. The eagle has an incredible eye sight so God granted insight to the church, a much better focus. A much clearer picture or revelation of the mysteries in Scripture.
America took the spiritual lead with the Pentecostal movement and brother Branham’s revelation of Scripture. In the natural America also achieved dominance in the air with their aircraft and rockets, including two planes that dropped atom bombs to end world war 2.
So the last church age is the Eagle age of flight, the flying Eagle that gets a bird’s eye view of God’s great salvation plan for humanity as well as the revelation of Satan’s counter attacks.
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.
Revelation 10 : 7 sees a messenger reveal the mystery of God. The Trinity is not God. Jesus Christ is God. God’s Name is not Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are three of God’s titles. God’s Name is Jesus Christ.
The mysteries of original sin, the mark of the beast, serpent seed, the seven church ages etc. are all laid out. The key idea is to use Scripture to reveal Scripture.
The end-time church is supposed to go back to the first church age teachings of St Paul and the apostles. Doctrinal beliefs have to run through the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Prove what you believe from the Bible.
No man, not even the end-time messenger is allowed to say anything that does not line up with the Bible. If a man leads us through the pages of the Bible then we are following the Bible, not the man.
Then comes verse 8. Eight means a new system. The Tribulation hits.
The sixth Seal actually deals with the the Tribulation. The mention of the Tribulation in the second verse of the fourth Seal means that the main reason God sent the end-time messenger is for us to escape the Tribulation. Those who do not go back to basing their beliefs on Scripture will, despite their sincerity, end up in the Tribulation. The fourth Seal covers the seventh church age which will not really end because it moves into and becomes the Tribulation.
We need the clear Scriptural insight of the Eagle spirit in order to rise up and meet the Lord Jesus in the air when He Comes.
The seventh church age will only end for the Bride of Christ when she gets a new immortal body and leaves this earth to go to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
I THESSALONIANS 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The fourth Seal is a most crucial Seal for us because it is the only Seal that today’s Christians are living in.
We have a choice. Get back to the Bible or perish in the Tribulation.
This is the Eagle cry from above. The eagle’s amazing eyes mean we have to have a clear insight into the mysteries of God that the churches overlook because they lack a deeper insight.
For instance, why did Jesus write in the dust when He pardoned the adultress? Why did He write twice in the dust? Why were there 7 baskets and 12 baskets of food left over when He fed the multitudes? Why was He so impressed with a Gentile woman, whom He called a dog, when she wanted crumbs from the children’s table?
In two of the Gospels we see two angels at the empty tomb. In the other two Gospels we see only one angel. Why the difference?
If we cannot get a deeper understanding of these events, but just try to explain them away, or worse still if we regard these questions as unimportant, then we only have the education of the Man beast, which is the learning of human wisdom, but not the insight of the Eagle beast that was promised at the end time.In other words we have missed what is important for the end of the seventh church age.
Salvation is not the issue here. Obviously we must be saved. Holiness and the Holy Ghost baptism are not the issue. These are essential to all Christians.
What is at stake now is Bible Truth.
If we believe error we have been fooled. If we cannot get a deeper insight into Scripture then we have also been fooled by our leaders who confined us to their ignorance.
This deception will be knocked out of us by the sheer horror of the Tribulation.
No Christian who goes into the Tribulation and gets killed in that awful satanic orgy of death will have any more interest in human leadership or in his own opinion, ever again.
So in verse 8 Death rides into the Tribulation on the unscriptural church-political system to institute an industrial scale massacre unequalled by any tyrant in history. Human leadership produces its greatest genius, a merchant of death. All the evil spirits that have ridden down through the church ages now unite to produce a super world governing church. Satan’s final killing machine.
Why will Christians be in this death zone? Because they stopped establishing the Truth purely from Scripture. They are too busy to learn the Bible. That required too much hard work. They are too complacent to check their beliefs with Scripture because they are too arrogant to believe that they could be wrong. They ignore people who try to correct them. They are scared to disagree with their pastors because they find safety in numbers. They feel cozy and comfortable with their human-inspired church traditions and in human leadership which saves them from having to think for themselves. So in the Tribulation they will get their ultimate leader…the antichrist.
Verse 7 of the 4th seal is vital.
The 7th church age receives a prophet to warn us of the judgement that is coming and to teach us the Truth from the Bible so that we can escape the wrath to come. We have to take his teachings and prove them from Scripture. Then we are not following him, we are following the Bible. No Christian must follow a man. We are only following Christ when we believe and obey the Scripture.
Then the fourth Seal takes the church world into the Tribulation. This places the emphasis on the Jews because the Jews will come back to the Gospel during the great Tribulation.
The fifth seal sees the persecution of the Jews that began with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 under the general Titus. 1 100 000 Jews died in this siege. The Temple was destroyed.
This was a local tribulation to the Jews. Then the fifth Seal traces the Jews through their 2 000 years of history in which they have become the nation with the longest history of persecution. Then the pre-Tribulation of Hitler’s awful death camps so horrified the world that they briefly felt sorry for the Jews and voted them a homeland in Palestine. They are now in their God-given place where Messiah will come to them in the great Tribulation.
The sixth seal is the great Tribulation. It is a complete interruption of nature. An unbelievably vicious, sadistic and ingenious Pope will rule the world. It is a time that is frankly too ghastly to contemplate.
During this Tribulation the 144 000 Jews are led back to Jesus as their Messiah by two prophets, Moses and Elijah, who survive thanks to their access to supernatural power.
The seventh seal is the Coming of the Lord. All we know about it is silence. So it is a total mystery that will remain unknown.
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
So Matthew Chapter 24 tells us of the Jews and their history from the initial local tribulation when Jerusalem was destroyed because they had rejected their Messiah and their tragic 2 000 years of persecution which ends up in the great Tribulation when they will come back to Messiah.
Then the scene switches to the church. A brief history of how error came into the Christian church is also given at the start of the chapter.
This is important because it is the error in the churches that is taking the world towards the great Tribulation.
Then, at great length, Jesus explains how the end time church which is in the first half of the fourth seal ( Revelation 6 : 7 ) must prepare to escape the great Tribulation. That should be our main concern today. Being Scripturally accurate is essential if we are to survive.
The end-time church needs salvation, holiness and the Holy Spirit baptism that the reformers restored. Now, in addition, we also need an accurate understanding of Truth to combat the Devil’s big Lie, which is competitive denominational churchianity with its human leaders and unscriptural beliefs.
Jesus was angry when He whipped the money lenders out of the Temple as they were people who made money out of religion. Judas sold out Truth for money. This was a foreshadow of the end time where Christianity has become big business. Wealthy mega churches, Christians `today seek a profit not a prophet. $ in the Old Testament was a symbol of salvation, Moses holding up a bronze serpent on a staff to heal the Jews who had been bitten by poisonous snakes. Today the churches believe that salvation lies in more money, the American dollar $.
Matthew Chapter 24:1
MATTHEW 24 : 1
The mistake of the disciples was to be impressed with human achievement. Awe struck by something big that we have done.
They missed the point that Jesus had left the Temple. He went out and departed. A double emphasis of Jesus leaving. He was the Word. When the Word departed, the Holy Spirit was soon to tear the Temple veil and depart too. Without the Word, the magnificent human-built structure was doomed. Ironically, the Temple had been restored to its glory by Herod, the mortal enemy of Jesus who tried to kill Him when He was about 2 years old. The disciples admired the outer show built by an evil man.
Today we admire the beautiful Vatican buildings. Some of these were built with stones from the Coliseum where the first church age Christians, during the Lion age, were killed by lions. The Coliseum was built by Vespasian and Titus who funded it from the wealth of the Jerusalem temple that they looted when Titus destroyed it. They then took 35 000 Jews from Jerusalem to Rome and forced them to build the Coliseum. We foolishly admire the outer show of the Vatican and ignore the fact that the Word of God is not preached there. Have you ever heard a Pope publically say that we must repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ? That is what Peter said in 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.
And the Catholics claim him as their first Pope. They claim Popes are infallible. That means Peter was not wrong. So why does the Pope not believe what St Peter preached?
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
This illustrates the folly of human works. Whatever man builds can only last a while. Admiring the physical just means we are ignorant of God’s big picture. The disciples were admiring a building but the very building they were admiring was doomed. Today we admire our church systems that have moved away from the Bible. These systems are also doomed. Why do we so admire big buildings today? They mostly conceal a very corrupt, atheistic and materialistic civilization that God is so unimpressed with that He is going to destroy it in the great Tribulation that finally ends in the battle of Armageddon. So we must learn to focus on the spiritual. Only where the Word of God is will there be anything that is worthwhile. Everything else is potential atom bomb fodder. There are enough atom and nuclear bombs today for overkill. They can destroy all of us humans two or three times over, making our corpses bounce. Seek Truth, not comfort and convenience.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
This verse is vital.
Three questions were asked.
Question 1 : when shall these things be? In other words, when is the Temple going to be destroyed?
Question 2 : what shall be the sign of Thy Coming?
This takes us right into the first half of the fourth seal. The Eagle age where Truth is either revealed to the Bride of Christ so that they can escape the Tribulation or rejected by the majority of Christians who follow their traditions and leaders into the Tribulation. This time-slot is just before Death rides in to produce the great Tribulation. We are all preparing now either for the Wedding Feast or for the Beast. We will either eat or be eaten by the fowls at Armageddon.
The disciples did not ask when He was Coming. They knew that was a total mystery.
( Any Christian who thinks he knows when the Lord is Coming or who even asks when the Lord is Coming is not agreeing with the disciples. Thus that question is forbidden and is only asked by an error-ridden person who is totally off track. Worse still is anyone who thinks that the Lord has come ).
So, to be Scriptural, all we can ask for is a sign of His Coming. This is what the disciples asked.
But another problem with this question is that we must not seek a sign.
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Jesus rose from the dead. No other religious leader ever did that. So that is the sign we remember every Sunday when we gather to worship and serve God.
How then did Jesus reply to this question?
There not just one sign of the Second Coming, which we will distort just like the great Cloud of 1963 was distorted to mean that It was the Coming of the Lord. People claim that Jesus came as the Cloud and thus mercy is over and thus we must stop taking communion etc. Error keeps multiplying and thus modifies Scripture just like a virus keeps mutating. But Jesus replied in terms of the many signs of the end time. These describe the way people would think and behave towards the end of the 7th church age, just before the Second Coming which rescues us from the Tribulation.
But very importantly, when describing the conditions for the end-time, He spent a lot of time warning us how we should think and behave in order to escape the Tribulation.
Question 3 : the sign of the end of the world.
A difficult question to answer. Armageddon is the end of our world system ( our modern rotten civilization based on greed, corruption, materialism and self-interest ) but 1 000 years later will come Judgement Day when the sea will explode and a new earth will be established. So which of these two events did they think will be the end of the world?
Jesus begins to reply.
Question 1 : When will the Temple be destroyed?
Jesus does not give a date. This is a warning to us all. Do not try to work out dates. Instead He goes to the heart of the real problem which is unbelief in Scripture. All error and all sin comes from the Devil. So who is the Devil operating through?
Satan is the great deceiver. So instead of revealing when the Temple will be destroyed, Jesus finds it more important to reveal who does the destroying.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
This is the first seal. The white horse rider of religious deception starts his ride to conquer Christians and get them to leave the Bible and rather believe human leaders and their traditions.
In other words the great deceiver of true Christianity will destroy the Temple. Who did destroy the Temple ? The Romans under their general Titus in AD 70. So this is His answer : revealing when the Temple is destroyed is not important but revealing who the Destroyer is, is important. The Destroyer is not just the enemy of the Jews but is also the enemy of the church. Spiritual deception that destroys Christians is the same spiritual deception that destroyed the Temple. This Spirit will come from Rome. The same Destroyer of the Jews will also destroy Christians.
Why did He not give a time? Because the Temple destruction of tearing down building blocks and killing just over a million Jews in Jerusalem was horrifically bad. But soon that would just be a footnote in history. Sadly it would be overshadowed by a bigger destruction that would last for
2 000 years.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
The first seal had a white horse rider, a religious deceiver. This was the rise of the Roman Catholic church. This religious-political system would kill some 68 million non-Catholics. Each Christian is a living stone in the spiritual Temple of God that God has been building up over 2 00 years. This is God’s real Temple.
I PETER 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
And Rome has killed millions in her attempts to tear down the spiritual Body or Temple of Christ. And many millions more have been destroyed because they were fooled into believing Catholic doctrines and traditions instead of Scripture, and thus despite their sincerity they never allowed themselves to be part of God’s Temple.
Pagan Rome of the Caesars destroyed Jerusalem.
Papal Rome of the Popes has endlessly tried to destroy those Christians who disagree with her.
Rome is the centre where error has been built up into such a powerful religious system. They claim to be Christ ( which means an anointed one ) and this gives them great credibility. Like the pagan decorated trees of Jeremiah Chapter 10 that gained great credibility amongst Christians when they were called Christmas trees. Despite the fact that the word Christmas is not in the Bible. The date 25 December is also not in the Bible.
Jeremiah 10 : 2
Learn not the way of the heathen…
: 3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest….
: 4 They deck it with silver and with gold….
: 5 They are upright as the palm tree…
Today millions of Christians have Christmas ( Christ’s mass ) trees in their homes and shops.
Christianity has merged and been thoroughly married into paganism. We should not call this hybrid “Christianity”. We should call it churchianity.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
This is the second seal. Why is it mentioned? Because Jesus is telling us how error got into the church and why it became so embedded that people cannot forsake it. First it was unscriptural teachings which are simply religious deception. Then it was the church getting involved with political power which gave the Pope far more clout. This gave him armies from the nations that could kill the non-Catholic heretics. Politics is ruled by the Devil. So Truth was dieing out.
Damasus, Bishop of Rome from 366 – 384 took oer the title of Pontiff. This gave him great prestige in the eyes of the pagans as he had a bad name amongst Christians having got his followers to murder about 100 rivals so that he could be elected Bishop of Rome.
Damasus, to increase his popularity amongst the pagans then accepted their pagan beliefs by modifying them a little to make them sound Christian. To make Christianity acceptable to the pagans, the Roman church dressed up paganism in Christian language. The birthday of the sun god on 25 December which was established by the emperor Aurelian in 274 AD became the birthday of the Son of God. Aurelian himself was a vicious persecutor of the Christian church. The goddess Ishtar was born from an egg on the Euphrates river. This became an Easter egg.
Bishop Siricius ( 384-399 ) was the first Bishop of Rome to assume the title Pope.
The emperors used their armies to enforce the Pope’s decrees.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
( wars are part of fallen human nature and religious wars are doubly vicious because people think they serve God by killing others. The church entered politics and became a killer of its opponents)
and there shall be famines,
( the third seal, the black horse rider weighing out the bread of life. By not teaching the people to be Scriptural, the people are starved for Truth and in their hunger they happily eat any junk food, any error )
( the fourth seal. This is the 7th church age which started about 1900. Pestilences are pandemics ( global epidemics ). They are like the plagues which reduce a person to a pale corpse colour before killing the person. Bubonic plague like the black death wiped out almost one quarter of Europe. What makes plagues so deadly ( like AIDS and Ebola ) is that they are due to mutations when the original germ or virus is modified. AIDS has spread around the world since the 1960’s and killed about 40 million people so far. One and a half million people seem to die from it each year.
In 1918 a pandemic of Spanish flu killed between 50 million to 100 million people during the years 1918 -1920.
There were two billion people on earth in 1918 and nearly half of them were infected.
So the fourth Seal opened in the 7th church age with the greatest three year death toll in recorded history from this pestilence. Bill Gates says that the biggest fear that he has, and the cause that he really donates heavily towards, is trying to prevent an outbreak of some deadly virus,
What is the biggest source of error today? Taking a Scripture and then modifying it into some tradition that suits us, especially if it is a pagan tradition. For instance : Adam and Eve ate an apple, the serpent in the garden of Eden was a snake when it spoke to Eve, Jesus was born on 25 December, it is okay to divorce and remarry, God is a Trinity, the pastor is the head of the church. None of these statements is written in the Bible. Thus they are spiritual mutations which are deadly because they are so easily believed and thus infect people’s minds and so are extremely difficult to let go ),
and earthquakes, in divers places.
( One of the signs of the times is earthquakes. Earthquakes and undersea earthquakes that cause tsunamis now occur very frequently. This is a sign that we are near the end. Being an end-time sign we can probably safely predict that earthquakes will continue with their destruction. When the big earthquake hits Los Angeles then the United States of America will be in trouble and because they are such a big portion of the world’s economy this will drag many other economies down with them.
In 2014 Earthquakes seemed to have increased in frequency. These can be regarded as the Earth’s birthpains as the Earth labours to produce the Millenium reign of Jesus and His Bride )
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Jesus has quickly shown how the horse rider of error took over the minds of Christians. In Revelation 6 : 7 He has got up to the first verse of the fourth Seal which is the Eagle age where we have to prepare to withstand error in order to be ready for the Coming of the Lord. So with this verse He begins to answer Question 2 : what is the sign of Thy Coming?
His answer seems to indicate that there is not just one special sign but rather that there will be numerous signs of the times.
But the conditions just before the Second Coming are described as the beginning of sorrows. So things are going to get very wrong and people are unaware of what is wrong. And our seventh church is going to end in the Tribulation where the sorrows are obviously going to get a lot worse.
So the 7th church age fades out with a rejection of Truth.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you (Christians have been endlessly subjected to persecution. The 7th church age opened with a massive persecution when in 1915 the Ottoman Turks began a systematic slaughter of more than 1 million Christian Armenians. The word genocide was born. Today in over 40 countries Christians still face persecution from mainly Muslim people and on average about 180 Christians die for their faith each month. Islamist extremists like ISIS keep killing Christians in Iraq and Syria )
: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ as commanded by Peter in Acts 2:38 produces a violent dislike in most church circles. Then mention that the Name of Jesus Christ is the Name of God and Trinitarians don’t want to know you.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Preachers splice quotes together instead of proving the quotes from Scripture. People follow human leaders because they do not want the hard work of checking their beliefs with the Bible.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Because so many people do the wrong thing ( like living in sin and dressing in worldly and revealing clothes ) people then say it is okay.
Iniquity means people know it is wrong but they do it anyway.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Saved from the Tribulation. But we have to endure. Endurance means a struggle. There is no easy or comfortable path.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The Gospel must reach throughout the world. Missionaries have done a great job. Radio and TV programs have gone out on the air waves. Now even more information can be spread and contacts can be made thanks to the internet.
“and then shall the end come”.
This answers Question 3. The fourth seal has two verses. The first verse speaks of the Eagle age that shows us something that we need to know to escape the Tribulation. The second verse shows Death riding in to cause the Tribulation. So the majority of Christians will move into the Tribulation except for the few who listen to the eagle inspiration.
“then shall the end come”.
The end here seems to be the end of the 7 church ages as the seventh age terminates in the great Tribulation. The Tribulation then ends in the battle of Armageddon.
In the last 6 verses Jesus explains to us Christians how difficult and deceptive it is to be a Bible based Christian in the flood tide of denominational churchianity. He points out some of the major errors that we must avoid if we are to escape the great Tribulation.
Now, having advised Christians how to avoid the great Tribulation, Jesus goes back to the destruction of the Temple to give guidance to the Jews as to what they should do in order to escape the local tribulation of the Roman destruction of their Temple. It is going to be an awful time for them and He offers them sound advice.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Today the Mosque of Omar stands on the Temple site. Jesus calls it the abomination of desolation.
But long before the Muslims took over the site, the Romans stood there. They burnt the Temple and then ripped the stones apart. So Rome is also the abomination of desolation that left the Temple site desolate ( One meaning of desolation is that it is a journey to nowhere. Few things are more desolate than thinking you are travelling to heaven and discovering at the end that that is not where you are going. So Roman Catholic doctrines that are based on rituals and pagan beliefs ( Mystery Babylon ) have made desolate the faith of their followers as they offer them empty promises like praying to Mary or paying money to get people out of purgatory )
“stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
What must we understand?
Only God is holy. When He was in the Temple then it was the holy place. His Presence made Jerusalem the holy city and Palestine the holy land. But God left the Temple when Jesus died and the veil in the holiest of holies was torn. Then the Romans destroyed the Temple. Thus we must understand that the Temple was the holy place while Jesus was talking to them, but then it would be destroyed and God would no longer dwell there anymore. So it would no longer be the holy place. On the Day of Pentecost God came down to dwell in the hearts of men and women. So now there are holy people, if God is in them, but there no longer is a holy place.
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
It was a tough time. In 66 AD the Romans attacked Palestine. They closed in on Jerusalem but then the emperor Nero died in 68 AD. Vespasian had to stop fighting until he had permission from the new emperor. Three new emperors each lasted a few months. Finally his troops declared Vespasian emperor. In AD 70 he went to Rome to take up the position and left his son Titus to besiege Jerusalem. So the Romans went up against Jerusalem again, found it strongly defended and decided to starve the Jews into surrender.
When they saw the Romans coming, many Christians remembered what Jesus said and they quickly ran away from the city. The Romans then rapidly built an earthern wall right around the city. After that no Jews could escape. 1 100 000 Jews perished.
The destruction of Jerusalem was one of the most horrific massacres in history. At the battle of Stalingrad during the second world war, about 1 200 000 Russians died. I do not know of any other city that ever had such a huge death rate since the massacre at Jerusalem . So the Jews began the fifth seal with the awful local tribulation of AD 70 because they had rejected Messiah. Then the Jews will come back into the Gospel and accept Messiah during the great Tribulation.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
The great Tribulation is the time for the Jews to return and accept Jesus. He cannot advise the Jews how to avoid the great Tribulation because they need the horror of the great Tribulation to turn them back to Jesus.
So Jesus now turns His attention back to Revelation 6 : 7. This is the 7th church age which happens during the fourth Seal, just before the Tribulation which completes the 4th Seal.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Now that He has mentioned the great Tribulation, Jesus again advises us how to prepare so that we can escape it. He told the Jews how they could escape from the horrific massacre of AD 70. Now He tells us how we can escape the even worse massacre of the great Tribulation.
Things are going to get worse and error is going to be so rampant that eventually it will virtually be impossible to be a Bible believing Christian. By 2015 there were already about 40 000 different kinds of denomination. There are hundreds of different translations of the Bible that all have different meanings. Churches are dominated by human pastors and as such they are limited by the areas of their pastor’s ignorance.
So how does a person find Truth? It is getting harder and harder. Each bit of Truth that a person does find will be strongly condemned by the denominations. Message believers will not take quotes back to Scripture and prove them from Scripture but will rather twist up the quotes into some bright idea and then hang onto their own invention as if that is Truth. Then they will start to deify William Branham and place his quotes above Scripture. They will claim he is infallible and cannot make a mistake. This is just what the Roman Catholics say about their Pope. Each church, Message or denomination, will be an island unto itself that needs no help from outside their ranks. Each church thinks they alone have the truth and as such, they have need of nothing.
So eventually a new believer will find it impossible to find Truth which alone can save him from the tribulation. So God must cut our age short while there is still some people who want to only believe the Bible and are not interested in any human opinion or any pastor as their head. But there are not too many of those people around.
EPHESIANS 5 : 23
Christ is the head of the church
Thus no pastor or bishop or Pope can claim to be the head of the church.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
People will claim that Christ has come. Do not believe that. You do not have to go to some place to find Christ. Jesus is happy to dwell in the hearts of men and women where ever they happen to be. If you have faith, Jesus will come to you just like He came to John the Baptist and then He came to find the disciples where ever they were.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
False Christs. False anointed ones at the end time. The anointing is genuine but the seed within them is not the Word of God. Gifts and callings are without repentance.
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
So performing great signs is meaningless unless the person remains strictly Scriptural. Check what you hear with Scripture, otherwise you will be fooled. Run every belief through the Bible, do not just base it on a few Scriptures.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
We have been warned of key errors that will deceive many.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
The great Cloud of 1963 appeared over a desert region near Sunset mountain. You must not believe that that was the Coming of the Lord.
“secret chambers”. The Parousia doctrine. Christ has come and He is in some secret dimension in a way that His Presence is with us. Do not believe that .The Seventh Day Adventists have Him in a “secret spiritual chamber”. They think He came in 1844. Do not believe any of this. When He comes He will have a physical Body that still has nail marks in His hands.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The Gospel started in Palestine and after the Dark Ages it moved across to Luther in Germany then Wesley in England then Pentecost and William Branham in America. So the Gospel light moved across the world from east to west as each age revealed more truth. The Son of Man is Jesus and He is the Word of God. So the revelation of the Word ( the Light ) moved from east to west. Luther taught us to repent, Wesley taught us to live holy and do outreach. Pentecost produced the Holy Ghost baptism, William Branham restored us to the Scriptural teachings of the early church. As the Bible light moved across the world so it shone brighter until we should be able to see Jesus as the Son of man walking through the pages of His Word.
God became a Man. This is the only Man who knows how to be the Head of the church.
Jesus is the only Man you must follow.
In His light, all other leaders just fade away like the stars disappear when the sun returns.
If you are in the light of the Son of man then you cannot follow another man. If you are following a man then you are still in darkness.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Eagles prefer fresh meat. The churches crucify Christ afresh with their traditions that reject the revealed Word of God. But this rejected Word is what attracts the eagles because God gives them the insight to understand Scripture.
These are the conditions during the first half of the fourth seal. These are the errors that we have to stand up against. Then the great Tribulation follows at the end of the seventh age as Death takes his ride.
Immediately after the tribulation ( the amateur tribulation of Eichman’s holocaust when 6 million Jews were killed in the second world war ) of those days ( that part of the fifth Seal which represents the persecution of the Jews since 1900 when the 7th church age started ) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: ( this is the great Tribulation, the sixth Seal, as it is a complete interruption of nature )
The Nazi holocaust was a preview of the main Tribulation which will also be a mad time of slaughter compounded by the fact that nature will be interrupted. Why was this holocaust important? The nations hate Israel. So do many misguided Christians. But the gas chambers of Hitler were so horrific that the nations briefly felt sorry for Israel and by one vote, a motion was passed in the United Nations to award Israel a homeland in 1948. So the Jews finally returned to Israel. This set the stage for the return of Jesus to the Jews in the main Tribulation. The sun, moon and stars going haywire means that God will interrupt nature and use His supernatural powers to preserve Israel. The amateur tribulation of the holocaust was the terrible price that the Jews had to pay to get their homeland back.
Then the verse immediately goes to the Tribulation. The reason the Jews got their homeland back was so that they could be led back to their Messiah in the Tribulation.
The Tribulation will be so bad that the Jews will realize they are doomed. Then Jesus will appear and save them. They will be so impressed with His awesome power, when they were helpless, that they will be forced to acknowledge Him as Saviour.
“The powers of the heavens shall be shaken”. An incredible interruption of nature. Things will go on above our heads that have no natural explanation. Proof that God is intervening supernaturally to make sure that His plan works out.
The Jews final move started when they reclaimed their homeland thanks to Eichman’s horrific gas chambers.
Now the true church also has to start getting prepared to escape the Tribulation.
So God is again going to interrupt nature as a sign to the Bride. It will be a supernatural event that is over our heads that we have no control over.
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Brother Branham came as Elijah to oppose the Jezebel spirit of the murderous and dominating Roman church. He was to turn our hearts back to the early church.
How can attention be drawn to him? Remember Moses.
Moses saw a fire in a natural bush. The bush did not burn so it was a supernatural fire. His sign was a mixture of natural ( the bush ) and the supernatural ( the fire ). So William Branham was also given a sign that mixed the natural and the supernatural.
On 28 February 1963 a Thor rocket from Vandenberg Airforce base was exploded at a height of 27 miles off the coast of California. A ring of smoke and debris formed that blew over towards Sunset mountain. This cloud ring slowly dispersed which is the normal behaviour for such a high altitude cloud. But a second Cloud also formed some twenty miles from it. This Cloud was huge with a circumference of 150 miles. It never dispersed and no scientist knew what caused it, because an exploding rocket will only make one ring of smoke. Thus it had to be supernatural as it shook up our known laws of atmospheric physics that cannot explain a cloud at that height where there is virtually no water vapour to condense and form a cloud. “
The powers of the heavens shall be shaken”.
It was formed by 7 angels and it moved over the area where, about a week later, William Branham would receive a commission from these 7 angels to open up the revelation of the seven Seals. This unfolding of Scripture would set the stage for the Bride to be able to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus. Once the 7 Seals were revealed, it was like opening a zip. Suddenly more and more of these profound mysteries were opened up and revealed to the Bride. Clearing up these areas of ignorance would enable her to get ready for the catching away of the church. Thus both groups, the Bride and the Jews would finally be ready to prepare for the final countdown.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: ( the great Cloud of 1963 is the sign of the Son of Man up in the heaven. It was never photographed below the height of 27 miles ) and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
( The revelation of the 7 Seals finally unfolds the revelation that the Bride needs in order to be ready for the Lord. She gets caught up to heaven in a secret catching away that is not mentioned here because it is so secret. The Bride is caught up to heaven and then the Gospel goes back to the Jews when the Tribulation starts. The 144 000 accept the Lord and then are killed. Then Jesus returns the third time for Armageddon.
Now the scene shifts to the Third Coming of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation. The antichrist has destroyed the sleeping virgin and killed the 144 000 Jews. So when Jesus returns for the battle of Armageddon, all the followers of Antichrist know that they are in deep trouble. No-one is happy to see the Lord Coming which means that the antichrist has killed every Christian who ended up in the Tribulation. So make sure that you do not end up in the Tribulation.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Angels, plural. Moses and Elijah. They are sent to pull out the 144 000 Jews who return to Christ during the Tribulation. Winds speak of war and strife as this is Tribulation time. These are the heaven born again souls of the Tribulation era. This is the sixth seal.
Now we should hear about the seventh Seal which is the Second Coming of the Lord.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
But Jesus just changes the subject.
By not mentioning the seventh Seal Jesus makes it clear that it is a total mystery that we know nothing about. Anyone trying to work out when the Lord is coming is just wasting their time,
The fig tree is a symbol of Israel. When Israel becomes a nation, that is an important sign of the times.
Humans declared Israel a nation in 1948.
None of us know when God declared Israel to be a nation.
But now that Israel is back in their homeland, that is a major sign that His Coming is at hand.
This sign is part of the answer to Question 2 when they asked for a sign of His Coming.
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
A quick mention of the seventh seal. The Second Coming of the Lord. No-one knows when it will be.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
We are back to the seventh church age just before the Coming of the Lord and the Tribulation.
As in Noah’s day, people are focused on enjoying life. The emphasis is on marriage. People marry and produce children. In 2015 there are 7 billion people. Each 12 years we add another billion people to our planet. So obviously we also have a huge emphasis on marriage. Another sign of the times.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Being caught away at the Coming of the Lord is a personal affair. God takes the one who is ready. One was in the field ( doing outreach ) one was grinding corn ( making the Bible mysteries understandable so that they can be fed to people as the Bread of Life )
These are the conditions for the fourth Seal at the end of the 7th church age. Then the true Bride will step straight into the seventh Seal, the Coming of the Lord.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Again reminding us of the total mystery of the seventh Seal.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
We have to be endlessly alert, checking our every doctrine with Scripture. We must have an attitude of being alert and checking, not a complacent feeling that we have need of nothing.
An attitude that we may be wrong and thus be teachable and ready to learn .
If proven wrong we must be grateful for the correction, not hurt or distressed.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Again reminding us of the total mystery of the seventh Seal.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Our eagle season is to catch the revelation of a doctrine from the messages of William Branham and then labour to establish them from Scripture. We must then be able to prove the doctrine purely from Scripture, without referring back to brother Branham’s quotes.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The great harlot in Revelation 17 is drunk. So Message pastors drink from the denominational cup of Rome and claim dominion over the church. They claim to be head of the church just like the Catholic priests are head of their churches. They dominate the people and harshly condemn any opposition so that they can intimidate the people into obeying their will and following their beliefs,
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Again reminding us of the total mystery of the seventh Seal.
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Pastors love to have the pre-eminence. They rule the church. They limit the people to their own knowledge areas and the congregation is crippled in those areas where the pastor is ignorant. Domineering leaders will end up in the tribulation.
Pastors claim to be shepherds, but the Scripture does not say a pastor is the shepherd.
The Scripture does not say a pastor is the head of the church.
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD
…: the pastors also transgressed against me,
For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD:
Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
These are the mistakes that pastors tend to make. It is obvious that power over people corrupts them.
The leadership of the church needs a serious review.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
The word pastors is only mentioned once in the New Testament.
And in this reference they are mentioned fourth out of five ministries. Thus they have no Scriptural claim to be in charge of the church. They have usurped that position.
Who should lead the church?
St Paul at the start of the New Testament church said it should be elders.
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
St Peter said the same thing towards the end of the New Testament.
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:
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;
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
God is not impressed with pastors who are in charge.
A pastor has his limitations. He has his strengths, which are good, but also has his weaknesses and areas of ignorance which cripple the progress of the people as they seek for Truth. Some churches appoint elders, who first have to be approved by the pastor and thus have to be his yes-men. But even this group of elders is dominated by the pastor as the churches have adopted the Catholic model of having one man in charge.
It is not possible to find the full Bible Truth in a church that is dominated by a man because that whole structure is contrary to the Bible. Full Truth will not emerge within a framework of error.
Dominating leaders of the church is also a sign of the end time.
Always remember what God said about our seventh church age churches:
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Lukewarm means partly Scriptural and partly unscriptural.
Out of God’s mouth comes His Word. So the absence of Scripture in so much of what the churches believe means that we are no longer in the Word of His mouth. God does not accept us as being partly right and partly wrong. He requires us to be searching for doctrines that are fully correct. In other words we must be open to correction. We must be teachable. We must want to be taught.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
There is no “thing” that is darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. God’s Word is light. Being unscriptural is simply an absence of light. This puts us in darkness. Anyone who is in darkness is blind as they cannot see what is going on. The absence of Scriptural proof for our church doctrines simply means we are groping around in darkness, looking for the Door which is Jesus our Light.
But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
The same happened in Lot’s day. The homosexual men of Sodom searched in darkness but the door was closed.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
While all seemed to be well, the door closed.
And as it was in the days of Noe,( Noah ) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
So all seemed to be going well but once again God closed the door.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
There was one door into the ark and God closed it.
Jesus is the Door to heaven.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Both in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day the door was closed.
So a major sign of the end-times in the 7th church age is God closing the Door to understanding Scripture.
The churches are just not able to explain many of the issues that are in the Bible and they are also not able to prove many of their doctrines from the Bible.
How do we know that the Door to Truth is closing at the end-time?
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, ( much praise and worship ) and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. ( doing what they know is wrong )
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out ( into the Tribulation ).
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This verse makes it clear that Jesus stands outside the door of the church. He is knocking on the closed door. So the door is closed but He is trying to get individuals in the church to listen to Him and He is the Word, the Bible.
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
This statement indicates that there will be few believers at the end-time.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Your faith is only as strong as the amount of Scripture that you believe.
These two Scriptures mean that few people will be able to prove their beliefs from the Bible.
Make sure that you are one of them, even if the rest of your church is not interested. There is no safety in numbers. He only took one from the field and one who was grinding corn.
A sobering fact.
Before the Flood, only one man Enoch was caught up to heaven without dieing. Today the Bride has to prepare to be caught up to heaven before the Tribulation starts. Thus the living Bride will also not see death. If the Flood is a comparison to our day, then the numbers will not be big.
So another sign of the end times is the fact that very few individuals are interested in being Scriptural in all that they believe.
Fewer and fewer people take the Bible seriously enough to read and study It with intense diligence. Why? Because if they do so they find that other people are not really interested.
This end-time attitude of indifference dampens their enthusiasm and they lose interest as well.
So we allow our circumstances to control us instead of God’s Holy Spirit controlling us.
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.