A betrothal is a marriage and all who claim to be Christians claim to be the Bride of Christ and one with His Word. Marriage is a binding contract. God is only as good as His Word, and he takes us at our Word.>
When a man proposes marriage to a woman and she says 'yes' they are married at that point in time. As Christians they will not consummate the marriage until they have asked Christ's blessing celebrated by the witness of family and friends, and met the requirements of the state. But the moment she accepts his proposal the two are married. Should she change her mind and marry another, she shall be called an adulteress since no woman may have more than one living husband (Romans 7:1-3).
A woman serves God as she obeys her husband. If we claim to be the wife of Christ He expects us to obey His Word, and every one (Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:4; I Peter 3:6). As the husband is head of his wife and takes her responsibility upon his shoulder so Christ the Word is head of the Church, and we obey Him in everything.
The spirit of jealousy enters when a covenant has been agreed and corruption and secret unfaithfulness is suspected. 'Suspicion' is the death blow to all loving intimacy.
In the Old Testament, when a man was suspicious of his wife but unable to produce witnesses as required by the Law (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 19:15), or other evidence of her guilt, there was a trial of jealousy.
Numbers 5:11-14: "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, If any man's wife go aside and commits a trespass against him and a man lies with her carnally and it is hid from the eyes of her husband, and kept close, and she is defiled, and there are no witness against her, neither is she taken with the manner; [were she taken in the act, the penalty for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10)]. And the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, and she is defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, and she is not defiled".
If a man is jealous of his wife, he warns her before two or three witnesses, "speak not with so and so." This types Christ and the church through the Gentile Dispensation. In each age there was an elect Spiritual Bride-Church, the non-elect foolish virgin, and the false church. So the Lord had to separate the foolish virgin from the false church. And there are three witnesses in heaven—the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and three witnesses in earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three witnesses agree in one new birth.
You see all three groups in church circles claim to be born-again, or married to Christ but it requires all three steps of grace to produce a child of God. Justification and water baptism, sanctification by the blood, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost which is the new birth, our invisible union of spiritual wedlock.
These great truths were lost through Roman Catholic persecution in almost 1,000 years of Dark Ages, but slowly restored in the Reformation of the Roman Catholic system of worship through the three witnesses of Revelation 14:6-10. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." This angel was Martin Luther preaching the Message of Justification by grace through faith.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." This was John Wesley preaching the Message of sanctification.
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a great voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." This was William Branham warning the saints to come out of Babylon and flee the mark of the beast.
If she spoke with another—a little flirt with the world, denomination, some TV here, a tasteless joke there, she may still consort with her husband, Christ the priest, and partake the heave offering—His holy portion, the revelation of the Word of the hour. She is not disfellowshipped.
But if she secretly went aside with the other man, remaining time enough to suffer defilement, she may neither consort with her husband nor partake of the heave-offering. She may have received strange seed of denominational life—not Christ the Original Grain.
He may make her drink the Vial on the evidence of one witness, or on his own evidence. If she admits uncleanliness, she is put away. If she declares she is clean, she is taken to the eastern gate where the priest lays hold on her garments and loosens her hair prior to shaving, for any to behold she is shamed (I Corinthians 11:14).
And today, since the revelation of the Seven Seals, the denominational religious covering of creed and tradition has been rent; those beneath it are naked before the One with whom they must deal and will be made to drink of Rome's plagues unless they come out of that mess (Malachi 4:5-6; Acts 3:21-23; Revelation 18:4,6).
Let's read Revelation 3:17-19 which describes the spiritual condition of the church of the world today. "Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"; [No repentance—no admission of uncleanliness]. And know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the Fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent".
This is checking-up time! Laodicea was weighed in the balance and found wanting. Beware the king of the North. We live in the days of the final investigation judgment of those not in the rapture but claiming they are Christ's.
This judgment or trial upon the foolish virgin is to separate them from the 'flirters' or denominational harlots. Whereas the foolish virgin go into the great tribulation and will be martyred by the false church they will be granted into eternal Life at the White Throne Judgment, but the false church will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 2:20-23; 14:9-13; 19:20).
Since in Revelation 10:1-7 Elohim descended in the Form of the Logos or Fullness of the Word "time is no more," and there can be no further delay or mediation for ignorance of the fullness of the Word (I Corinthians 13:10). This has to be the final trial. Those who refuse the Fullness as their Atonement, or fail to come under pre-eminence to the Word, not being Bride, will drink the Vial. Those who fail the ordeal will have their names removed from the Book of Life.
We have had seven Church Ages each with a Message, which was the Gospel of their salvation whereby Christ sought to make love to she who called herself His wife. But in every Age these non-elect refused to consummate their marriage vow in union with the Word for their day, and as Ahasuerus put away Queen Vashti, Christ put them away, closed that dispensation and took another, for it was unfaithful. As when Moses charged God's people at Mount Gerazim and at Mount Ebal, the blessings of God's Love—the revealed Word—became a curse when rejected, and grace in the Messages of the seven angels to the Church became a curse in the Vials when rejected (Deuteronomy 27; Revelation 1-3; 15-16).
"The pure river of water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" in Revelation 22:1 and 17, freely given without money and without price to "whosoever will" becomes the curse of Revelation 22:14-15 and 18-19 . . . for "the letter without the Spirit kills".
The foolish virgin are without sufficient Oil or Holy Spirit to give the new birth, perhaps because they never encountered the Word for their day as their pastor, not being born-again, lacked the revelation and could therefore not deliver the quickening Spirit from within the Word. Or perhaps because they were dilatory and did not prove all things but content for their pastor to 'do their religion for them,' and received a second hand religion by the Word for the hour without the Spirit.
According to Matthew 25, this portion of the church were cast into the tribulation with the unfaithful, unbelieving false church. And because they failed to fully drink of the pure waters of Life, they must therefore drink of the Vial.
Let's see what happened to the natural woman under the law:
Numbers 5:15-17, "Then shall the man bring his wife to the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance." Placed in her hands as a tithe of one day's portion, it signified her life or character; no oil or frankincense—Holy Spirit and prayer was added to it.
"Then the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord: and he shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle, and put it into the water".
Dust from the ashes of the blood and offerings was gathered from the floor where only the holy walk of the priests had trod mixed with water from the laver in which the priests washed their hands and feet before ministering before the Lord made the water holy—a waters of separation and of judgment (Ephesians 5:26).
In the New Testament, when a Seal opens, a mystery unfolds. The angel to the Church catches the mystery of God and delivers the revelation for that day to the people. This starts a Spiritual war and sounds a Trumpet of natural war to Israel. God takes His Messenger with the elect of that Age, lays them away asleep and pours out a plague (or Vial)—a temporary judgment upon the church who rejected the Message, and a Church Age opens.
Shall we look at some scriptures? Revelation 16:19, "And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the CUP [or Vial] OF THE WINE OF THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH." There's the Seventh Vial.
Revelation 18:4-9, "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, [Babylon, and her denominational daughter churches] My people, that you do not partake of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues [the Vials]. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. [See what kind of character she brought in her hand]. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double to her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled, fill to her double (Revelation 17:1). How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues [Vials] come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning".
At every change of Dispensation when men opposed themselves as did the Jews, God made them drink the Vial, and their blood was upon their own heads (Acts 18:6; Hebrews 10:28-29). If they were guilty, their names are removed from the Book of Life and they are eternally separated from God. They are dead to Him as the adulterous woman who was stoned was dead to her husband.
So the Vials contain the Word, the curse of the Messages to the churches when they have been rejected.
Numbers 5:21-24, 28 "Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and say, The Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people when He makes your thigh [or generative parts] to rot, and your belly [womb] to swell; and this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, to make your belly to swell, and your thigh to rot: and the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water [into the bowl or vial]."
The water and the Word become one, and when the woman drinks the water, she and the water and the Word become one, as we read in Revelation 10:8-11 where the Bride becomes one with the Revelation. "And the Voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, Go and take the little Book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went to the Angel, and said, Give me the little Book. And He said, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little Book out of the Angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And He told me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." Causing the church world—souls in prison now—to drink the curse to separate the righteous non-elect from the FALSE church, the make-believer from the unbeliever. Brother Branham called the latter "the total lost".
Now perhaps you will understand what Brother Branham meant when he said, "The mere association of kindhearted people with the true believer might well bring death in return for their kindness" (An Exposition of the Seven Seals, p. 116:1).
Returning to Numbers, "And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causes the curse: and the water that causes the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. [To bring guilt to Light]. And if the woman is not defiled but clean then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed".
The trial or Ordeal of Jealousy is a test for innocence or guilt. This is how God distinguished the 'saved foolish virgin' from the lost false church at the end of each Age and 'temporarily' judged the false church.
In Revelation 15 and 16 we have a preview of the revelation Israel see in their 'parousia.' When they recognize their King they see His Queen already in heaven with Him. The 'temporary judgment' of the Vials will distinguish for them the foolish virgin from the wicked false church which persecuted the saints and Israel throughout the Gentile Dispensation, and will be persecuting the foolish virgin and true Israel at that very time.
Let's expound directly from the Book, Revelation 15, remembering that throughout the Book of Revelation John represents Christ's end-time Bride who will not see death. Here we see another vision or wonder in symbols or signs like Revelation 12:1-3, signifying how God's wrath is satisfied or accomplished.
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God".
Dressed as judges, each of the seven Church Age messengers bears a bowl or Vial full of the wrath of God to pour upon those who have not fully received or have rejected the revelation or grace in the Message to their day yet claimed kinship in the Body. Not the elect but the Foolish virgin and the false church which has been called by Jesus "the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God".
The "sea of glass" is the brazen laver made in the Wilderness from the looking glasses of the Israelite women. Here the priests washed their hands and feet before ministering before the Presence. In Revelation 4:6 it was "like unto crystal," for the Church Age saints were "washed" or redeemed in the intercessory days of Christ. Laodicea and Christ's Mediation was over; the Bride Age saints were fully redeemed at Calvary, already justified by the faith He knew they would have (Romans 8:28-30). In Revelation 15 there is no more blood on the altar, the Bride has been translated, and the laver is full of the holy Fire of God's judgment without mercy by the unbending Rod of Revelation 11:1. Here the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-8 are washing their robes.
"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of saints." The 144,000 now have the revelation Jesus Christ is their King and like Solomon, His Bride their Queen is from all nations of Gentiles as Caiaphas unintentionally prophesied (John 11:49-52).
After God delivered Israel through the Red Sea, Moses led them in song, glorifying Him. Now the 144,000 are delivered from spiritual bondage worship in song. And as the earth swallowed and destroyed the armies of Pharaoh, God will repel the armies of Rome and her allies who come to destroy all God-fearing, Word-abiding Israelites. With the enemy repulsed, Jesus comes and presents Himself by revelation to the 144,000. This will be His second or 'parousia' Coming to Israel in the prophetic office Son of Man. But until the millennium His Kingdom will be Spiritual.
"Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your Name? For You only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgments are made manifest".
Oh my! 144,000 have been born-again as a nation in one day and they understand and acknowledge His justice in the Trumpet judgments that chastened unbelieving Israel for two thousand years. They understand how the innocent Blood of Christ was on the hands of their guilty forefathers. Now Israel's transgression is finished, their sins have come to an end, and they are making reconciliation for iniquity in martyrdom (Daniel 9:24; Matthew 23:33-36; 27:25).
Following the assurance in the parenthesis of Revelation 15:2-4, the remaining verses introduce an entirely fresh subject, reading from the vision of the first verse where the seven Church Age messengers are seen in judgment, signified by the golden girdles about their breasts. The revelation of the Vials to Israel enables them to distinguish the believing True Bride from the make-believing foolish virgin, and the foolish virgin from the evil un-believing false church.
"And after [the consolation of verses 2-4] I looked, and the temple [or central sanctuary with its Holy Place and Holy of Holies] of the tabernacle of witness in the heaven was opened: and the seven angels came out from the temple, that had the seven plagues, clothed in linen pure and glistening white, and having their breasts girt with golden girdles".
Revelation 11:19, "And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His Covenant there was seen in His temple: and there were lightings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail".
I corrected the order of words in this verse as rendered in the Authorized Version. These symbols are revealed to Israel after the Seven Vials have all been poured out in Revelation 16:17, and they signify the start of Daniel's Seventieth Week at the Seventh Trump, but Israel will not catch the vision until more than three and a half years later. The sanctuary was where only priests could lawfully go, and the Holy of Holies where only the high priest could enter, once a year on the Day of Atonement or Cleansing of the sanctuary. Here the way is open to all True Israel. Revelation 15:5-6 is Pentecost or the commencement of the Gentile Dispensation. 2,000 years later, the vail of Jewish tradition is rent, and the Ark of God's Testimony or Covenant with Israel is revealed to the 144,000. The Ark typed Messiah and was the sign of God's grace toward and Presence with Israel. Here, of course, it is not a wooden box they see, but their Kinsman Redeemer with nail scars in His hands and wounds on His brow as He presents Himself to Israel by revelation before again stepping forth to assume a physical relationship to man in the millennium as "Son of David, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Bridegroom of the Gentile Bride" (Zechariah 12-13).
The Temple of God in heaven must not be understood as literal but for what it represents. The Seven Vials were poured out by the Message of each angel in his Age, and like the blessings and cursings of God's Message by Moses, they do not return to God void but accomplish that which He purposed. Any exposition of Revelation 16 is primarily a history of what has been, except for the manifestation of the seventh Vial upon the unfaithful denominational harlots. Revelation 18:4, "And I heard another Voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues" [Vials].
Brother Branham was the angel with the Seventh Vial (Revelation 17:1; 21:9; 22:7-9) that completes the Ordeal or Trial of Jealousy when it's poured out as the Seventh Trump shatters the silence in heaven of Revelation 8:1 and releases the plagues on Rome with the casting down of Satan.
Revelation 16:17-18, "And the seventh angel poured out his Vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, IT IS DONE. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great".
"And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden Vials full of the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled".
The presence of the living creatures reveals this takes place under the first four Seals. Revelation 15:8 commenced on the day of Pentecost and will be fulfilled before the manifestation of the sons of God. The first Six Vials were poured out upon the earth after the conclusion of each Church Age (Revelation 16:1), while the coals from the golden altar will be cast into the earth at the close of the Gentile dispensation to cleanse the sanctuary where Christ and His Bride will spent a thousand years of peace (Revelation 8:5; 11:19; 16:18). So this scene is set 2,000 years before Jesus comes forth from the Holy of Holies to meet His Bride in the spiritual dimension called the air, cleansed by the wrath of the Message of the seventh angel's Vial which will be poured out into the air.
The smoke in the heavenly temple is not incense but the divine Fire of consuming judgment because in every Age the sacrifice was rejected, and Christ could only intercede for the Sacrifice or Word of the hour. The revelation comes to us and to the 144,000 after the Sacrifice has left and intercession is over. But for the earthly presence of Christ's end-time Bride earth would be a judgment seat (Revelation 4 II Thessalonians 2:6-8). Smoke displays the glory of God in His justice in punishing the wicked, and is the answer to the cry of the souls under the altar (Revelation 6:9-11).
We are all one Body, so no man could enter the Temple until California sinks under the Seventh Vial, Seventh Trumpet, and Sixth Seal, and the two loaves are waved and glorified. The Church Age saints cannot be made perfect without us.
Glory! Home we go to be with Jesus. Proving the Bride does not go through the Tribulation. The Seventh Vial of jealousy, like the previous six Vials, is to separate the foolish virgin from the faithless false church.
When Moses dedicated the Tabernacle of badger skins (Exodus 40:33-38), and when Solomon dedicated the Temple of stone (I Kings 8:1-11), the priests were not able to minister until the cloud was taken up. And the Israelites journeyed not until the cloud was taken up. During the Church Ages, when the first six Trumpets were manifesting, Israel could not enter the Presence. But once the Cloud is lifted (II Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 7:2) in the physical catching away of the Bride, the Feast of Trumpets will be preached to Israel who will commence their journey to the West. bb880424.htm
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