Notes on Joel
Joel is the oldest of the Minor Prophets. He lived in the kingdom of Judah at a time when the temple services, priesthood and other institutions of the theocracy are represented as flourishing. Because no idolatry is mentioned his prophecies were probably made between 870 and 865BC, however, the Lord forewarned of apostasy in time to come.
Joel 1:1 – 2:27 is not a prophecy but his experience of an unprecedented plague of locusts and drought which the Lord inspires him to employ as a type of chastisements to come upon Judah from the Captivity to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. The plague is a divine judgment that has desolated the land (Deuteronomy 28:38-39), necessitating suspension of the daily sacrifice. Its antitype would be Israel's rejection of Messiah and the subsequent destruction of the temple by God's great army under Titus, causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease, with desolations unto the consummation, for THUS SAITH THE LORD a third temple made by human hands will be blasphemy and is not the will of God (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 23:38-39; Luke 21:24; Acts 7:48; 17:24).
God's one provided place of worship is under the shed blood of the Lamb. Because Israel is blinded, the one place she knows to meet God is on the Temple mount under the blood of a natural lamb. But God caused that place to be desolate in order to prevent animal sacrifice which was done away in the sacrifice of Messiah. Since Israel rejected Messiah and is unable to sacrifice animals in what was once the appointed place, the majority of her people have "died in their sins" for the past 2,000 years (John 8:24).
The desolation of the land required the priests to mourn and summons all inhabitants to unite their hearts in mournful repentance, seeking the sure mercies of God with the removal of the plague and the restoration of fertility (I Kings 8:37-40). In the antitype a revelation of Christ's 'parousia' will cause Israel's 144,000 elect to mourn their true atonement leading to joy in the birth of the nation in one day (Leviticus 16; 23:27-32; Isaiah 66:8; Zechariah 12:10 – 13:9).
This visitation of the "nation" of locusts in chapter 1 is a type and foretaste of the devastating "times of the Gentiles," and "Jacob's trouble" in the Day of the Lord's wrath. Natural drought and locust plagues which produce utter desolation and destruction, foreshadow and warn of the effect of a Spiritual drought and accompanying plague of supernatural demons as instruments of divine judgment (Deuteronomy 28:38-39; Amos 8:11). It foreshadowed Israel's apostasy and the bitter fruit of refusing John the Baptist's call for the nation to repent and receive her Messiah (Matthew 22:1-14; 23:29-39).
For the present, God will deliver Israel from the plague and amply repair its evils with new blessings, so proving He is their God. For the future, still greater things are promised. The Day of the Lord is surely coming but to the elect of Israel it will be a day of salvation, and a day of terror only to their foes. It will break with massive earthquakes sinking Los Angeles and dividing the Mount of Olives, followed by an outpouring of God's Spirit upon all flesh. This unction will be the latter or "harvest" rain that causes each soul to manifest the fruit of its true nature, and anoints two Hebrew prophets to minister Israel's former or "teaching" rain in the same season.
Joel 2:28 – 3:21 is set in the time of the Great Tribulation of the seventh month, Tishri, when there should be "joy and gladness" in the sanctuary at the Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering; celebrations that would be impossible during an agricultural calamity.
These verses foreshadow the new dispensation of grace with the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost and foretell a further outpouring upon Israel after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week. For us Gentiles, the time for "calling upon the Name of the Lord" is during the Pentecostal feast or Gentile dispensation when grace is full and free, before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. After the Seventh Trump sounds, deliverance will only apply to 144,000 elect Israelites in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. They have missed the Pentecostal feast but will receive their baptism with the Holy Ghost after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
Signs symbolized as cosmic disturbances are promised before the end of our dispensation in anticipation of the Day of the Lord. Only then will Israelites return to Jerusalem for deliverance (Psalm 17:7; Isaiah 6:10-13; 11:11-16; 27:13; 49:17; Jeremiah 3:12, 18; 16:15; 23:8; 31:8; Ezekiel 37:14; 39:27-29; Joel 3:1; Micah 5:3; Zechariah 10:9-12; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 12:14) and pagan nations will be gathered and judged for their cruelties to God's servant Israel. Once innocent blood has been vindicated and earth cleansed, (metaphorically by Ezekiel 39:11-16, then the consummation), the Lord will dwell in Zion.
This nation of locusts "laid God's vine waste, and barked His fig tree, leaving its trunk and branches white and bare" and all the other trees "withered." The vine and fig tree signify Israel, as the olive tree on Roman coins represented Judaea. This locust "nation" attacked Israel in four stages—as the Palmerworm (or chewing locust), the (swarming) Locust, the Cankerworm (or crawling locust), and the Caterpillar (or consuming locust)—which type the four Gentile world empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. In its Roman incarnation it united with Israel for the crucifixion of Messiah, and it was in this stage, according to Romans 11:7-20, that the elect Hebrews were baptized into Christ, while the non-elect branches of the olive tree were broken off for the burning, and elect Gentiles grafted into the same tree.
In its Judaeo-Roman Universal church incarnation the locust "nation" has again united with "the blasphemy of them who say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9) whose love of the world and the things of the world is crucifying the Son of God afresh in service to Mammon and Talmudic hopes of global hegemony through Lucifer's totalitarian one world government.
Since the true Church is Spiritual Israel, heirs of the promises natural Israel rejected, we are being devoured by Rome yet we must bear the fruit of repentance and newness of life or we too will be pruned and cast into the Fire. Satan is shrewd, in AD325 at the First Nicaea Council he transformed Imperial Rome into Papal Rome, uniting the state with his false church, like Babylon, to build a terrestrial kingdom that could claim originality, impersonate Christianity and live off the strength and goodness of the Tree of Life as a grafted branch while bearing her own corrupt fruits.
In its incarnation as Papal Rome this insect had four stages whereby Satan gathered to himself RELIGIOUS POWER as the rider of the white horse, POLITICAL POWER as the rider of the red horse, DEMON POWER as the rider of the black horse, and will become SATAN INCARNATE in the pope on his pale horse ride to perdition (Revelation 6:1-8; 17:11, 8).
When Papal Rome has refinanced the US dollar the United States will unite with the (once) Protestant churches to "make an image to the beast" (Revelation 13:14-18).
In Scripture, trees symbolize people, nations, and spiritual principles. Luke 21:29-32, "Look at the fig tree [Israel], and all the [Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc.,] trees. When they begin to show evidence of revival, you see and know of yourself that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation shall not pass away, till all is fulfilled".
"The fig tree and all the trees" had their revival in Laodicea. But since they did not carry on to know the Lord and walk in the Light of the present Truth—what Jesus is doing now—and "turned their ears from truth to fables . . . having a form of godliness but denying the revelation . . . God has sent them strong delusion to believe the lie [and three woes] that they might all be damned." So as it was in the days of Joel there is a drought today, and it is worldwide. In a time of material plenty and obesity it is "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11; Revelation 3:17-20).
Joel 1:8, "Lament like a virgin dressed in sackcloth for the husband of her youth." When a woman is betrothed, her fiancée is known as her husband, lord and possessor (Genesis 3:16; Deuteronomy 22:23-24; Matthew 1:19). Judah is regarded as a young bride mourning for the husband of her youth. Jehovah is the betrothed husband of her early days, whom Zion is called on to grieve because the visible emblems of His Presence, the grain offering and the drink offering, have been cut off since the corn, the new wine and the oil are destroyed at their source by the plague of locusts. Joy withdraws herself and becomes ashamed when the husbandmen and vinedressers look pale-faced upon their desolate land, for there is nothing they can offer to Jehovah so the temple-worship must cease. The daily sacrifice of two lambs, accompanied by the cereal offering and the libation of olive oil and wine was the symbol and expression of fellowship between the Lord and His people (Exodus 28:38-43; Numbers 28:3-8). Thus the priests mourn in the house of the Lord, as sacrifice is impossible, so that there is a practical suspension of the covenant relationship. The stopping of the sacrifice in Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanies in 168BC (I Maccabees 1:24-64), and again by the Roman siege of Titus in AD70 (Josephus, Jewish Wars, VI, 2:1), horrified the pious but misguided Jews.
Hence the priests, the ministers of the altar, are called to lament and offer supplications in sackcloth day and night before the Lord for the want of materials for the temple service. They in turn are to call the aged to testify to all the inhabitants of the land that no such calamity had ever before happened (Joel 1:1-2), and "consecrate a fast," as a service of prayer to the Lord in the absence of the morning and evening sacrifices.
The desolation is so thorough one may well imply the Day of the Lord is at hand considering the devastation it will bring. This visitation was an act of God calling for national repentance and return to Him whom they had forgotten. Fire and flame are common metaphors for severe drought and heat accompanying the plague (Joel 1:19) and the Day of the Lord shall come like the devastation of the locusts but the desolation will be demonic and spiritual.
Most commentaries refer to the locust plague of 1915 in Jerusalem as a vivid description of what must have happened in the time of Joel. "A loud noise was heard before the locusts were seen, produced by the flapping of myriads of locust wings and resembling the distant rumbling of waves. The sun was suddenly darkened. Showers of their excrements fell thick and fast, resembling those of mice. Their elevation about earth was at times hundreds of feet; at other times they flew quite low, detached numbers alighting. 'In Jerusalem, at least,' Mr. Whiting said, 'they inevitably came from the northeast going toward the southwest establishing the accuracy of God's account in Joel 2:20.' Tons were captured and buried alive; many were thrown into cisterns or into the Mediterranean Sea, and when washed ashore, were collected and dried and used for fuel in Turkish baths."
"Mr. Aaronsohn, another witness of the plague in 1915, testifies that in less than two months after their first appearance, not only was every green leaf devoured, but the very bark was peeled from the trees, which stood out white and lifeless, like skeletons. The fields, he says, were stripped to the ground. Even Arab babies left by their mothers in the shade of some tree, had their faces devoured before their screams were heard. The natives accepted the plague as just judgment because of their wickedness" (George L. Robinson, The Twelve Minor Prophets, New York, George H. Doran & Co., 1926, p. 34; B. P. Uvarov, Locusts & Grasshoppers, London Imperial Institute of Entomology, p. 250-261).
As in Romans 8, the beasts of the field suffer the divine punishment of man's sin, and as if sharing in their distress, the prophet intercedes in their behalf "for fire has devoured the open pastures, and the water brooks are dried up" (Joel 1:18-20).
Joel 2:1-11 describes more fully than in chapter one the misery that was coming upon the land, a harbinger of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, a more terrible judgment than that of the locusts. He therefore exhorts to repentance, assuring the Hebrews of Jehovah's pity if they would repent, with the promise of the Holy Spirit in the last days or 2,000 years under Messiah (Acts 2:17-39), and the deliverance of all believers in Him (Joel 2:32).
The sounding of the Trumpet is an anticipation of the fuller prophecy or antitype in this chapter and the Seventh Trumpet of Revelation 11:15-19, "For the Day of the Lord is coming, it is at hand." In the parallel passage Revelation 9:1-11, we find the demonic locusts "had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit—in the Hebrew, Abaddon ("destroyer"), but in the Greek, Apollyon." And "on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men" (Revelation 9:7). From Revelation 17:8-11 we learn that their King is Satan who will incarnate the pope following the end of the Gentile dispensation. So these "locusts" are actually demon-oppressed men. Revelation 13:8 informs us that "all who dwell upon the earth other than the elect 144,000 Israelites shall serve the incarnate pope and thereby worship Satan vicariously." So we see clearly that the whole world will be against Israel, particularly after the pope breaks Rome's covenant with the international banksters.
Joel 2:11, calls "the Day of the Lord . . . great and very terrible," implying the ultimate reference of this prophecy is connected with Messiah's second Coming in judgment. The natural locusts which darkened the land at dawn when men looked for morning light are likened to a great and powerful people set in battle array before whom "peoples [of all nations, since the day of the Lord will be universal], will blanch."
Under the metaphor of "fire," which burns wheat stubble after the harvest, the land is pictured as a Garden of Eden before the line of the plague, and a desolate wilderness left behind it. Since the plague came from the Northeast, to a dweller in Jerusalem, the first wave would appear on the tops of the Mount of Olives as in the invasion of Titus in AD70.
The army of natural locusts is compared to a well-trained army, swarming upon the walls of Jerusalem, neither swerving nor breaking their ranks. Not jostling one another, each one takes his own way not halted by the sword or other weapons held against them. W.T. Thompson describes vain attempts to check locusts in Lebanon in 1845: "We dug trenches, and kindled fires, and beat and burned to death 'heaps upon heaps,' but the effort was utterly useless. Wave after wave rolled up the mountain-side, and poured over rocks, walls, ditches, and hedges, those behind covering up and bridging over the masses already killed" (Interpreter's Bible VI, p. 745).
The locusts ran as horses, upon the wall. They climbed up upon the houses and crawled in at the windows like a thief. Nothing could contain or resist them. "The earth shall quake before them"—in the 1915 invasion under the Fifth Trumpet when the army of locusts was at times so dense, it seemed the earth moved. The sun was darkened by their flights and the stars were obliterated from the sight of man. So will it be after Los Angeles sinks beneath the ocean, and the Mount of Olives is divided by the earthquake, marking the end of the Gentile dispensation. Demons of darkness stand between Israel and the Messages of God's prophets. Then those who are filthy will remain in that state, for God will only be dealing with the 144,000.
Joel 2:11-14 warns the Day of the Lord soon to come will be worse than the natural locust plague. These locusts represent God's army of demons, whose leader will soon be cast out of heaven. Nothing can stop their irresistible advance. None break ranks; a descriptive image of the irresistibility of God's wrath in the Day of the Lord when He marshals all forces and methodically pursues His divine end. (In Revelation 9, these demons that persecuted Israel and the unsealed believers under the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets and the First and Second Woes, moved from the political to the ecclesiastical realm through the apostasy of the world church system to destroy Christ's Bride and force the mark of the beast).
Taking the present natural plague as his type, Joel prophesied the day of the Lord from the Hebrew perspective. It heralds the time of "Jacob's trouble" in the great tribulation, the rebirth of the nation in one day and then martyrdom under Rome. Brother Branham looked upon the same prophetic Words from the viewpoint of the elect Church and saw the manifestation of the Sons of God under the latter rain. "Oh, not many in number, but what a powerful group that's got Eternal Life. Said, "They shall run through a troop and leap over a wall." Yes, the troop of death will have no holders to it. She'll run right through it, leap over the wall between natural and supernatural, and go into the arms of God, into that great eternity. Lord God, we thank You for this. We know the time is approaching at hand" (63-0724, Warning then Judgment, par. 189; Joel 2:7-9).
He also said, "There'll be a ministry that'll show great wonders [the 'third pull'] (Joel said so), but there'll be no time for redemption. It's all over. The Lamb's done took His Book, and redeemed is over. As Jesus first preached and was rejected and then went and haunted those that were in there, preached to them that were in prison and could not repent, no time for salvation, that same ministry will have to repeat again. What if that could be the Third Pull to the eternal lost?" (63-1110M. Souls that are in Prison Now, par. 206) ". . . it's going to be used. And everyone knows that, for as certain as the first [pull] was identified, so has the second [pull] been identified; and if you'll think real closely, you who are spiritual (as the Bible said, "Here's to him who has wisdom"), the third is properly identified. See? We know where it is. So the third pull is here. It is so sacred that I mustn't not say much about it, as He told me in the beginning. Said, "This, say nothing of it".
"You remember that years ago? It speaks for itself. See? I've tried to explain the others, and I made a mistake. This will be the thing that, to my opinion (I don't say the Lord tells me this)—this will be the thing that will start the rapturing faith for the going away. See, see? Now . . . I must lay quiet for just a little while. Now, remember (and who's listening to this tape) you might see such a change in my ministry right away, dropping back. . . Not going up, dropping back. . . We're right at the age now, and it can't go any further. We have to wait here just a minute until this happens over here to catch up, then the time comes. But it's thoroughly identified."
"There's coming a time in this nation, to where this nation is going to exercise all the power that the beast had before (which was pagan Rome, when it become papal Rome. See?). That this nation will do that. Revelations 13 plainly explains it. The lamb came up out of the earth. The other beast came up out of water, thickness and multitudes of people. This lamb came up where there were no people. A lamb represents religion—the Lamb of God. And remember, it spoke like a lamb; it was a lamb, and then after while it received power and spoke like a dragon and exercised all the power the dragon had before him; and the dragon is Rome always. So don't you see, Roman denomination, a marked [Revelation 13:15-18] Protestant denomination, an image unto the beast, making a power that'll force all Protestants like a union? You'll have to be into this Council of Churches, or you won't be able to have fellowship, well, it's practically that way now. You can't go to a church and preach, 'less you have a fellowship card or some identification."
"And now, on persons like ourselves, we're going to be cut out of all that altogether. That's exactly, because they won't be able to do it. It's tightening; and then when that time comes, and the press comes to a place to where you're pressed out, then watch (what I am fixing to tell you in a few minutes) watch the third pull then. It'll be absolutely to the total lost, but it will be for the Bride and the church" (63-1229E, Look Away to Jesus, par. 48-49).
Brother Branham was trying to show the end-time Bride she must come under pre-eminence to the revealed Word before she can do "the greater works . . . for the servant is not greater than his lord; neither is he who is sent greater than He that sent him . . . If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also." Jesus spoke only what He heard by inspiration from the Father, and did only what the Father showed Him by vision (John 5:19-20; 14:10, 31).
We are to have the Token or evidence of the Life of Christ on display. Our lives are to become written epistles of the present Truth. That is why revelation was given. This end-time Message is not some form of do-it-yourself new Christianity but the restoration of the apostolic faith wherein God set a five-fold ministry to bring the saints to maturity, edify and keep them clean. We are required to attend Church, support it by our free-will offerings, edify the Brethren, and provide for the pastor through our tithes.
"Now remember this. Christ in the True Church is a continuation of the Book of Acts. But the Book of Revelation shows how that antichrist spirit would come into the church and defile it, making it lukewarm, formal and powerless. It exposes Satan, revealing his works (attempted destruction of God's people and the discrediting of God's Word) right down to the time he is cast into the lake of fire. He fights that. He cannot stand it. He knows that if the people get the TRUE REVELATION of the TRUE CHURCH and what she is, what she stands for and that SHE CAN DO THE GREATER WORKS, she will be an invincible army. If they get a true revelation of the two spirits within the framework of the Christian church, and by God's Spirit discern and withstand the antichrist spirit, Satan will be powerless before her. He will be as definitely thwarted today as when Christ withstood his every effort to gain power over Him in the desert. Yes, Satan hates revelation. But we love it. With true revelation in our lives, the gates of hell cannot prevail against us, but we will prevail over them" (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 15:3).
This is the invincible army Brother Branham saw in Joel 2:1-11 from the Gentile perspective. It is Christ's Word Bride in the "squeeze" following the Seventh Trump, manifesting the Sons of God by the "third pull." She will be a Word Bride, not a do-it-yourself Bride. She will have THUS SAITH THE LORD, or remain silent and do nothing. Each of her members will come by God's provided way without compromise. There will be no Sisters with cut-hair, no social drinking Brothers, or Sisters who wear clothes that pertain to a man.
Joel 2:7-9; "They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; every one marches in formation, and they do not break ranks: neither do they push one another; everyone marches in his own column: and when they lunge between the weapons, they are not wounded. They run to and fro in the city; they run on the wall, they climb into the houses; they enter at the windows like a thief".
This army will march "Word upon Word, line upon line, and precept upon precept" (Isaiah 28:10; Matthew 4:4). Whilst the denominations trust in intellectual reasoning and guesswork, we rest in the Absolute, being one with the Word as Jesus prayed (John 17:20-26).
When God gave Brother Branham a preview of the Bride they were "the cleanest, sweetest-looking people I ever saw in my life. And the Voice said: That was the Bride, now we'll review the churches . . . And when they came up, each one . . . got worse. I never seen such a filthy bunch in my life. And it said, Next, here comes the American group."
"When the women were coming, the leader of them was a witch. She had a great long nose and a great big mouth. And all of them were dressed with some kind of lower clothes down here, but the top just had a strap . . . And each one had hair cut up real short and frizzy-looking things all over it like that, real short cut hair, and full of makeup: absolutely nothing but looked like street prostitutes. And they were walking with this paper. And the vulgarity . . . Now, the paper was what was held in front of them; but when they passed the review stand, in the back of them. . . And to see the way they were going on in their foremost and their back part, and how they were acting. . . I thought, Is that the church?"
"And there she went. And they were singing this here twist-and-roll songs, you know, ever what you call, going down, singing like, going behind. . . I said, Is that the church? And I was standing there. And in my heart I was crying. And this witch. . . To my notion it's nothing else in the world, but she's that World Council of Churches leading them right straight down the road where she was going. They went off to the left and disappeared in chaos, still beating this music and making real funny sounds, and shaking their bodies one side and then the other side, and then like that, carrying on like that, walking."
"And I just started to bow my head, and he said, Wait, the Bride must come again. And I looked, and here they came again. And they passed by, sweet-looking little ladies. They were all looking right at me as they passed by. And I noticed each one was dressed different. And one in the back had kinda long hair hanging down and had it rolled around like this, might been German or something like that. And I watched them. And then, as they started leaving, two or three of them in the back . . . ? . . . got out of step. And I was going to holler at them, and they was trying to get back in step again. And I seen the vision just fade out and change from me. . ."
"Did you notice the Bride came in view twice? The first Seed and the second Seed, both of them exactly the same one. And the reason they were dressed in different parts, she'll come from all nations; it'll make up the Bride. Each one had long hair and no makeup, and real pretty girls. And they were watching me. That represented the Bride coming out of all nations. See? She. . . Each one represented a nation, as they marched perfectly in line with the Word. See"? (64-0705, The Masterpiece, par. 189-194).
At the time of Christ's parousia to Israel, she will catch the vision of "the armies which were in heaven follow Christ upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Revelation 19:14). As the earth trembles before the natural locusts, John who represents Christ's end-time Bride, "saw, and when Christ had opened the Sixth Seal, there was a great earthquake; (Los Angeles) and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind" (Revelation 6:12-13).
Joel 2:11, "And the Lord will lead His mighty army [with a shout and the Voice of the Archangel (I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 10:3-4)]: for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can endure it?"
Though the anger of the Lord is so clearly revealed that men may see His day coming, "Yet even now," He says, in the time of His 'parousia' to us Gentiles, turn with all of your heart, not with just a public show, and "come out of her, My people, that you do not partake of her sins and receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).
The Seventh Trumpet calls Israel to assemble for repentance. The whole nation is gathered, from aged men to children and babies. Not even newlyweds are exempt (Deuteronomy 24:5). The northern army that is repelled will be the Russian Federation and Muslim nations named in Ezekiel 38 – 39 whom the Lord will overcome with earthquake and pestilence and blood, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. And travelers east of the Dead Sea will be repulsed by the stench of their rotting flesh (like dead locusts Joel 2:20; Isaiah 34:3; Ezekiel 39:11).
Ezekiel 39:21, 29, "And I will demonstrate My glory among the nations, and all shall see the punishment of Gog and know that I have done it. . . And I will never hide My face from Israel again, for I will pour out My Spirit upon them, says the Lord".
Joel 2:21-27 speaks of the restoration of the land following Israel's repentance. We will study what Brother Branham said concerning Joel 2:23-27 from the Gentile perspective. He explains, "My great army that I sent among you," was Imperial and Papal Rome as revealed by the first four Seals. "See how that Judas spirit came back as a rider on a white horse. It was white. So close to the real, just as Judas was so close to Jesus. A crown was given to him (white horse rider). How? That spirit was now in the leader of the Nicolaitane system and he was a triple crowned pope who sat as God in his temple, calling himself the Vicar of Christ. If vicar of Christ means 'instead of Christ' or 'in place of' or 'on behalf of God' then the pope was calling himself the Holy Ghost, or deposing the Holy Ghost, acting for Him. That was the Judas spirit in him doing that . . . going forth conquering and to conquer. Christ did not do that. The only ones that came to Him were already predestinated by the Father. And so on and on went that spirit and one day it will become truly incarnate in a man who will head up the World Council of Churches, just as we have been saying. And by his gold (remember Judas held the bag) he will control the whole world, and that antichrist system will own everything and try to control everybody. But Jesus will come back and destroy them all with the brightness of His Coming. And their end will be the lake of fire."
"But what about the true seed? It will happen just as we have said. The people of God are being made ready by the Word of Truth from the messenger to this Age. In her will be the fullness of Pentecost for the Spirit will bring the people right back to where they were at the beginning. That is "Thus saith the Lord."
"It is "Thus saith the Lord" for that is what Joel 2:23-26 says, "Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He has given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed".
"Now it says God is going to "restore." The Lutheran Age did not restore the church; it started a reformation. The Wesleyan Age did not restore. The Pentecostal Age did not restore. But God has to restore for He cannot deny His Word. This is not the resurrection of the Church; it is the "restoration." God will take the Church right back to Pentecost of the beginning. Now notice in verse 25 it tells why we need restoration. The locust, cankerworm, caterpillar and palmerworm have eaten all but the root and a small bit of the stem. Now we are told that all these insects are all one and the same in different stages. That is right. They are the antichrist spirit manifested in organization, denomination and false doctrine through the ages. And that poor little root and stalk is going to be restored. God isn't going to plant a new Church, but is going to bring His original planting back to original seed. He is doing it as stated in verse 23, by the teaching, or "former" rain. Next will come the harvest rain or rapturing faith."
"Thus at this very moment we are in the complete fulfillment of Matthew 24:24 "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." And who is it that shall attempt to deceive the very elect? Why, the spirit of antichrist in the "false anointed ones" of this last day. These false ones have already come in "Jesus' Name" claiming that they have been anointed of God for the last day. They are the false Messiahs (anointed ones). They claim that they are prophets. But are they one with the Word? Never. They have added to it or taken from it. No one denies that the Spirit of God manifesting in gifts is upon them. But like Balaam they all have their programs, make their appeal for money, exercise gifts, but deny the Word or by-pass it for fear that a controversy might diminish their chances for greater gain. Yet they preach salvation and deliverance through the power of God, just like Judas, with a ministry imparted by Christ. But because they are wrong seed, consequently they have a wrong spirit motivating them" (ibid, p. 378:1 – 380:1).
The teaching rain of Brother Branham's Message has sown the Seed of "that which is perfect," the fullness of the Word. Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward that God will pour our His Spirit upon all flesh" in a latter or harvest rain when every seed that has been sown shall come to maturity and bear its fruit. The mind is the womb of the spirit and as the soul bears the nature of the spirit that is on it, Baptists will manifest the fruit of Baptist teaching, and Buddhists, Pentecostals, Communists, Judaists, Nihilists, Pentecostals, etc., will each bear the life of the spirit they have received (Matthew 5:45; 13:30, 37-43; Hebrews 6:7-8). But Christ's end-time Bride will manifest by the "third pull" that they are the Sons of God and one with His Word.
From the Hebrew perspective Joel 2:28-32 speaks of the restoration of the Spiritual kingdom to Israel in the millennium (Acts 1:6) by the regeneration of 144,000 elect Israelites. Their former rain will be the teaching ministry of two prophets anointed by the Spirit that endued Moses and Elijah of old. Three and a half years after the Bride has been translated and their prophets have been martyred, Israel will receive its latter rain.
Joel 2:30-31. "I will show wonders in the heavens and on Earth, blood, and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord" (Isaiah 13:10; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:22-25; Revelation 6:12-14).
When the Gentile dispensation and grace ends at the manifestation of the Sixth Seal, heaven will close like a scroll rolling shut. All seeds will have been sown and each will bring forth of its kind in the time of the latter rain. Revelation 22:10-12, "And the angel [William Branham] said to me . . . (insert your name here for throughout the Book of Revelation John represents Christ's end-time Bride) . . . Do not seal the Words of the prophecy of this Book [the revelation of the Seven Seals which is the Message of the seventh angel], for the time of their fulfillment is near. [From the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet at the close of the Gentile dispensation] He who is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he who is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he who is holy, let him be holy still. Behold I will come suddenly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each according to his doings".
Once grace is over there will never be another Gentile born-again. Only 144,000 elect Israelites written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter the Kingdom when it opens to them shortly before their martyrdom (Revelation 11:19; 14; 15).
Brother Branham said, "Now where will the Gentile Church be while Jesus is making Himself known to His brethren? Remember that the bride of Joseph with the two children were in the palace, for Joseph had commanded, "Let everyone leave me; put them all out from before me." So the Gentile bride was hidden in the palace of Joseph. Where will the Gentile Church go in the rapture? Into the palace. The Bride will be taken off the earth. She will be caught up before the great tribulation to meet her Lord in the air. For three and one-half years while the retributive wrath of God is poured out, she will be in the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then will He return, leaving His Bride in "His Father's house," while He makes Himself known to His brethren."
"At this very time, the antichrist covenant that the Jews have made with Rome will be broken. Rome and her allies then send their troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Jews. But as they come against the city to destroy it, there will appear in the heavens the sign of the Coming of the Son of Man with His mighty armies to destroy them who have been destroying the earth (Matthew 24:30 – Ed). With the enemy repulsed, Jesus then comes and presents Himself to the 144,000. Having seen His mighty acts of salvation, they have come to know His power. But also seeing His wounds and knowing that they had rejected Him even to that moment, causes them to cry out in the agony of terror and fear, even as did their brethren of old when they stood before Joseph, being sore afraid that they would be killed. But as Joseph said, "Don't be angry with yourselves. It is all right. God was in it all. He did it to preserve life." Even so will Jesus speak peace and love to them" (Ibid, p. 40:2 – 41:1; Genesis 45:1-8).
Only the Hebrew remnant in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, not New York, London or Budapest, "who call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ" by revelation after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week will be baptized with the Holy Ghost and, although martyred, delivered from the final judgment (Joel 2:32; Matthew 27:25; Revelation 6:11; 14:12; 15:2-4). First will be the manifestation of the Sons of God and the resurrection of the Bride of all Ages.
Brother Branham said, "I believe that the Church of the Living God is moving into a sphere now that's going to shake the whole world . . . Oh, it's going to come to pass pretty soon. I'm looking for it to happen in this meeting. I'm wanting it to happen now. That the anointing will strike the whole Church of the living God and she'll rise to her feet like a mighty marching army! The sick will be healed by a word. The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will be raised up and the power of God will shake the world with the Church of the living God. We're in the PROCESS of it now" (59-1123, Speak to this Mountain, par. E-62).
Joel 3:1-3 describes in greater detail what has been summarized in chapter two, in particular what will come to pass after God pours out His Spirit upon all flesh under the Seventh Trump, Sixth Seal and Seventh Vial (Joel 2:28). "In those days, and in that time," the Lord will return the captivity from the nations in which they have been scattered. God's Bible and His Prophet William Branham stress the fact modern Israel is not peopled by the sons of Jacob but by non-Semitic self-styled Jews and Semitic Arabs. "For fear of the Jews" the children of Israel will not return to the Land of the Covenant before the first half of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Psalm 17:7; Isaiah 6:10-13; 11:11-16; 27:13; 49:17; Jeremiah 3:12, 18; 16:15; 23:8; 31:8; Ezekiel 37:14; 39:27-29; Joel 3:1; Micah 5:3; Zechariah 10:9-12; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 12:14): in the Day of the Lord's wrath in judgment upon all nations (Isaiah 13:9, 13; Malachi 4:5; Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:17).
Our Absolute is the unchanging Word of God's Holy Bible. Brother Branham's Message restored the apostolic faith and finished the mystery of God (Malachi 4:5-6; Jude 3; Romans 16:25; Revelation 10:7), and we must prove his Message by two or three witnesses of scripture to understand what God means rather than proving the Message by itself. Those who quote the spoken Word without taking it to the written Word will invariably fall into error. Citing the paragraph above we note many ministers quote the Prophet against the Scripture when they teach that Daniel's Seventieth Week is three and a half rather than seven years, and that the Israelites have returned to Palestine since 1948 when it is their enemy, the Edomite and Khazar 'Jews' that have stolen the land and name of Israel (Isaiah 63:1-4; Obadiah; Malachi 1:4).
The pagan's first crime is the scattering of Israel and division of the Land. As part of the peace process Revelation 16:19 says: "the great city will be divided into three parts"—the nation of Israel, Old Jerusalem, a corpus separatum governed by the Judaeo-Roman Universal church, and the nation of Palestine as also prophesied in Zechariah 14:2 and resolved under UN Resolution 181 of November 29, 1948.
Circumstances associated with the unprecedented cataclysm of nature that closes the Gentile dispensation and opens the Day of the Lord will awaken the sleeping saints and cause "all flesh" to manifest the nature of the "seed" planted in their soul by hearing or custom (Luke 8:11; Romans 10:17). Outside 144,000 elect Israelites in Israel there will be no place for repentance: "None of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand" (Daniel 12:11; Revelation 22:11). This is the season when God's creative Word will manifest by a new wave offering that we are the Sons of God, justifying another cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary to receive us for the Wedding Supper in the air after we change in the atoms. Then Satan will be cast down to earth to incarnate the pope, thereafter called "the beast" (Revelation 17:8, 11; II Thessalonians 2:3, 8-12; Isaiah 14:12-14); and the restoration ministry of Israel's two prophets will produce their former rain.
God's judgment on the nations is the means whereby He will return the children of Jacob to the land of the Covenant. Earthquakes marking the end of the Gentile dispensation will sink Los Angeles, divide the Mount of Olives and demolish es Sakhra, the Dome of the Rock, igniting the 'hot stage' of World War III (Zechariah 14:4-5; Isaiah 29:6-7; Micah 1:3-4; Revelation 16:18-19). Jerusalem will be overrun by neighbouring Muslims and Russia which will simultaneously attack and invade mainland USA, already crippled by the earthquake that has sunk Los Angeles. Israel's defeat, disarmament and the rape and rapine of Jerusalem prophesied in Isaiah 13:9-16 and Zechariah 14:1-5 will cause a mass exodus of non-Semitic, anti-Semitic self-styled 'Israeli' Jews. Then genuine Israelites no longer welcome in their Muslim host nations will emigrate to Israel in the certain knowledge that deliverance will be found only in Judah and Jerusalem (Revelation 11:1-3). Brother Branham prophesied Russian soldiers will also rape American women and loot American homes which is what happened on a vastly greater scale when America facilitated the invasion of Russia from New York City in 1917 (Isaiah 13:15-16).
The world's religions will confederate under the world's most trusted man, ostensibly to restore peace after Russia's defeat and "Invasion of the United States." As Jesus prophesied in Revelation 16:13-16, the world will be divided between the apostate Judaeo-Christian West and the Judaeo-Communist East so this league will be in aversion to Communism. Rome will covenant with Europe's Black Nobility and International Jewish banksters to refinance the US dollar with gold backing. Under the auspices of the United Nations her then Devil-incarnate Pope will be acclaimed president of one totalitarian world government (Revelation 17:12-18; Daniel 9:27). Brother Branham exclaimed: "I believe, one of these glorious days, when this united confederation of church goes together, and the new pope is brought out of the United States and put over there [Jerusalem] according to prophecy, then they'll form an image like unto the beast. And I tell you; the true Church of God will be drove together" (54-1219E, Acts of the Holy Spirit, par. 87; 63-1214, Why Little Bethlehem, par. 148).
Israel's first Prime Minister 'insider' David Ben Gurion, who knew the plans of the World Revolutionary Movement quoted in "Look" Magazine, January 16, 1962: "With the exception of the USSR as a federal Eurasian State, all other continents will become united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies will be abolished and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a shrine of the prophets [presumably Moses, Jesus and Mohammed] to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the supreme court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah." This is a perversion of Isaiah 56:7 as confirmed by Mark 11:17; anyone with the Spirit can see, it is the treacherous 'insiders' we elect to re-present our will who are working to bring this satanic conspiracy into being. (Witness the UN, WEF and the Fifth Column of the alumni or Sir Klaus Schwab's ambitious Global Young Leaders, and his Global Shapers Community).
Zechariah 14:2: "I will gather all nations to war against Jerusalem." The Author of the strange work of destruction to separate, sift and prove His elect and take glory to Himself as Jerusalem's Deliverer is God (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6). "Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." Revelation 11:1-3 states: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod [of the fullness of the Word]: and the angel [Brother Branham] stood, saying, "Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: they will tread the holy city under foot forty-two months. And I will empower My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy one thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." The times of the Gentiles is a POLITICAL dispensation beginning in 606BC when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and her citizens captive. It will extend throughout and beyond the Gentile SPIRITUAL dispensation until the consummation of life.
A victorious invader would normally carry his spoils away before dividing them but having no strength Israel will lament: "We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we have an agreement; when the overwhelming scourge passes through it shall not reach us, for we have made lies our refuge, and we have taken shelter in falsehoods" (Isaiah 28:14-22; Revelation 6:8). The spoils will be divided at leisure in the midst of Jerusalem which, after the peace, will become a headquarters for Rome's NWO and for her church (Isaiah 14:13; Daniel 11:39).
The terms "Israel" and "Judah" are interchangeable in Joel as God reunites all Israel (Ezekiel 37:15-28). Zechariah 13:7-9 prophesied that when God by grace restores His favour to the elect Israelites "two thirds of Israel's population will be cut off and die, but one third will remain. And I will put this third part into the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested: they will call on My Name, and I will answer them: I will say, This is My people: and they will say, The Lord is my God" (Malachi 3:2-5; Ezekiel 5:2-12; Matthew 23:39).
In the midst of the Seventieth Week when the international monetary system and trade return to prosperity Rome will abrogate her agreement with Jewry, and at the dedication of the third temple the pope will sit as God and issue a bull that will enforce the mark of the beast on pain of death (Daniel 9:27; II Thessalonians 2:4-12; Revelation 13:5-10, 15-18). Apostate Jews will become Roman Catholic, Israel's prophets will be martyred and their dead bodies publicly displayed four days where they fell, then all who refuse the mark of the beast will be hunted down like dogs and killed.
"In the midst of the Week" after their forty-two month's prophecy, God will begin to fight Israel's enemies as foretold by Daniel 2:40-45 (12:1; Zechariah 12:1-4), "And the fourth Gentile world empire shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which will never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation sure".
The four Gentile world kingdoms were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome which transformed from Imperial to Papal power at the First Nicaea Council in AD325. Each of these kingdoms worshipped the false trinity of gods Ham reintroduced after the Flood. Hence Jesus called Rome "Mystery, Babylon the Great," and her apostate (once) Protestant daughter churches s who "harlots" (Revelation 17:5). And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles under Rome "until the consummation".
Daniel 9:27: "The Roman prince [Pope] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation [reinstated by Jewry] to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Revelation 2:20-23; 19:20).
God will hide Himself until He has proven and regenerated His 144,000. "Then [in the second half of the Week] He will go forth and fight against those nations, as He is accustomed to do in a day of battle" (Zechariah 14:3). The prophet here refers to the ancient battles when He intervened so that Israel's enemies might be "destroyed without hand. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:14). As when He opened a passage for the children of Israel and drowned Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea (also Deuteronomy 1:30; 3:22; Joshua 10:14-42; 23:3, 10; Nehemiah 4:20).
When Rome breaks her covenant with the International Jews and sends her troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Israelites who refuse to take the mark of the beast (Revelation 11:13, 19; 12:15-16), God will end their spiritual blindness to Christ's 'parousia' (Isaiah 29:6-16; Romans 11:25). Then Russia will blast the United States and Vatican City State from the face of this earth, and Armageddon will set in (Isaiah 13:11-16; Revelation 17:1 – 18:20).
Until that time "their eyes will be holden" that they may see but not recognize the sign of His second or 'parousia' Coming to Israel. As on the day of Jesus' resurrection two of His disciples were walking the eight miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus, He joined and taught them for three or more hours unrecognized. "And it came to pass, that as they ate their evening meal, when He took bread, blessed, broke and gave it to them, their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight" (Luke 24:13-53).
Brother Branham said Christ's second or 'parousia' Coming to us Gentiles on Sunset Mountain on about March 8, 1963 (Revelation 10:1-6) was the fulfillment of Matthew 24:26-28. "If they say to you, He is in the desert, don't go out: in these inner rooms, don't believe it. For as the lightning flashes from the east and shines to the west; so will the 'parousia' Coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the Body Word is, there the eagles will be gathered together".
"That's what the attraction is. The predestinated Seed of God who can't do nothing else but follow It: means more than life to us. Take our lives, but don't take That. What is the attraction? God, as usual, fulfilling His Word. He's fulfilling the Word of Zechariah again, the prophet Zechariah, where I read the 9th verse awhile ago, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a little white donkey, the prophecy was fulfilled that Zechariah said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughters of Zion. Shout, O daughters of Jerusalem. Behold, thy King is coming unto thee; He is just, and having salvation; lowly, riding upon an ass, and upon the colt the foal of an ass." That's what the attraction was at Jerusalem, at the religious headquarters."
"Now, we see a last-day happening! . . . That was the middle age; let's turn now to the last days. And turn over to Zechariah 14:4 . . . it's prophesying of His Coming, the last days, so listen close now. This is THUS SAITH THE LORD, It's the Scriptures. Zechariah 14. Remember Zechariah 9, what it said? And they didn't recognize it. Now, what is it today? Zechariah 14, speaking of His Coming: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives again, which is before Jerusalem on the east, on the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof towards the east and towards the west, and there shall be a very great valley . . ."
"Another earthquake splitting open the earth! If you want to follow out a Scripture here, notice in this 5th verse, it applies that the cleaving of the Mount of Olives is due to an earthquake, and this is confirmed by Isaiah 29:6 and Revelation 16:19. Exactly! What is it? The same prophet told of His first coming, seen His second Coming! Notice, "As in the days of the earthquake." See what the earthquakes are doing, see the predictions of them?"
". . . and the Lord your God shall come, and all of His saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, (Hallelujah.) in that day, that the Light shall not be clear, or dark: But it shall be one day . . . which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that in the evening time it shall be Light. (O God!)"
"It shall be Light about the evening time," same prophet. And the people is blind! What's the attraction? Let's read a couple more verses:"
"And it shall be in that day, that the living waters shall go forth from Jerusalem; half of them towards the former sea, and half . . . towards the hinder sea: in the summer and . . . winter shall it be." (The Gospel going forth both
JewIsraelite and Gentile). "And the Lord shall be King over . . . the earth: in that day and there shall be one Lord, and His Name one". . .
"Nations are breaking, Israel's awakening,
The signs that our prophets foretold; (that
earthquake to the Gentiles to the last day)
The Gentile days numbered, with horrors encumbered;
Return, O dispersed, to your own"
(65-0725E, What is the Attraction on the Mountain, par. 92-99).
Christ's second or parousia Coming to Israel at the end of the Gentile dispensation will be signified by "the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" over the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Daniel 7:13; Matthew 16:27 – 17:8; 24:3, 30; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7). It will be unrecognized by the Israelites as the sign of His first Coming (Zechariah 9:9) was unrecognized. The ministry of two prophets (Zechariah 4, Matthew 24:31 and Revelation 11) will introduce His Coming but the eyes of Israel's spiritual understanding will be "holden" until late in the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week. And when their elect do recognize His parousia, Israel will be born as a nation in one day (Isaiah 66:8; Zechariah 12:9-14).
Zechariah 14:4: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." A Pillar of Cloud on the Mount of Olives coincidental with the sinking of Los Angeles will mark the Day of the Lord and herald the first resurrection! Of course His precious feet will not touch this earth until He returns with the glorified saints of all ages to step out on the nuclear ashes of the wicked for the millennium. Footprints indicate possession and judgment. Judgment began when the last saint predestinated to the Laodicean or Pentecostal Church Age was baptized into Christ in 1963 and His mediation was fulfilled. The Lamb became the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of kings and Judge, and with no blood on the sacrifice altar the Mercy Seat became the Judgment Seat.
Isaiah 66:1: "Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool [or Judgment Seat]." But as II Thessalonians 2:6-7 explains, our presence restrains God's wrath by transforming earth from His Judgment Seat to a Mercy Seat because the life is in the blood so we are the Blood of Christ by the baptism with the Holy Ghost and His Life is living in us (Deuteronomy 12:23; I Corinthians 6:17; Galatians 3:26-29).
"Judgment must begin at the house of God [that's you and me]: and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome of those who do not obey [the present Truth of] the gospel of God" (I Peter 4:17; II Peter 1:12)? Prior to judging the "House of God" He had to display this sign on February 28, 1963, and send His prophet William Branham to restore the apostolic faith and finish the mystery of God for us (Psalm 19:1-6; Amos 3:7; Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:11; Revelation 10:7). Revelation 1:1, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him [after His ascension (Matthew 24:36)], to show to His servants [the seven angels to the Church Ages] things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His [seventh] angel [William Branham (Revelation 10:7)] to His servant John".
The Mount of Olives is the central eminence of a ridge about two and a half miles in length. The highest peak rising 2,723 feet above sea level, overhanging the City from which it is separated only by the narrow valley of the Brook Kidron. Rising 187 feet above Mount Zion, 285 feet above Mount Moriah, 443 feet above Gethsemane (on the western slope of the Mount), it lies between the City and the desert toward the Dead Sea and completely obstructs the view in that direction. Around its northern side wound the road to Bethany and the Jordan. This mountain rendered access from the east to the city and temple difficult and intercepted the morning light and the flowing of the waters in that direction, as mentioned in verses 6-9, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be a unique day [or dispensation] which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be Light. And it shall be in that day, that Living Waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former [or Dead] sea, and half of them toward the hinder [or Mediterranean] sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over ALL the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord and His Name the only one".
All Scripture has a compound meaning and we live in the hypocritical gray day of apostasy in the Gentile churches which have compromised the faith until there is no clear right or wrong as foretold in Revelation 3:15-16. But in the evening time, just before the close of the dispensation, God sent the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6 who restored the transparent Light of understanding once delivered to the apostolic saints. At the dispensation change "Living Waters" will deliver grace for translation faith to Christ's end-time Bride and anoint two prophets to preach a former rain to 144,000 elect Israelites. "And the Lord shall be King over ALL the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord and His Name the only one".
Gihon, the only known living spring in the environs of Jerusalem, flows intermittently, only four or five times a day in the rainy season, and once a day in the dry summer season. Solomon was crowned at the spring of Gihon, and rode David's mule back into the city, signifying that he was king. Will Gihon be sealed, "for Living waters shall go out of Jerusalem" by the ministry of God's prophets: Light that overcomes all impassable obstacles by the fertile valley of faith, even mountains. Brother Branham said: "If the people get the true revelation of the true church and what she is, what she stands for and that she can do the greater works, she will be an invincible army" (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 15:3).
The regeneration of elect Israelites who recognize and mourn the Day of Atonement their fathers rejected will herald Armageddon. The Millennium will "bring in everlasting righteousness" as will be applied at the White Throne Judgment; then New Jerusalem under the Shekinah of continuous day independent of sun, moon and stars will reign over our renewed earth (Isaiah 60:19-20; Revelation 21:25; 22:5).
Israel's anointed king David worshipped on the Mount of Olives rejected by his people and usurped by his beloved son Absalom (II Samuel 15:32)—a perfect type of Christ rejected by His people. In his decay Solomon profaned the mountain by building temples to the abominable gods of Moab and Ammon (I Kings 11:7). Good King Josiah defiled the high places Solomon had built (II Kings 23:13), and here "upon the mountain on the east of the city, the glory of the Lord hovered, when it had gone up from the midst of the city" (Ezekiel 11:23). Here the glory of the Lord sweated blood in anticipation of the ordeal He was about to endure in redeeming Israel that had rejected Him. Here also the Angel said, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
The prominence and position of the Mount of Olives standing between Jerusalem and natural S_U_N light was emblematic of the worldliness that stood between the S_O_N Light, the City and Temple of God. Natural events are SIGNS pointing to Spiritual things; in rending this hill, an enlightened Jerusalem will be prominent and clearly seen by all nations.
Isaiah 11:11-16, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Upper Egypt, and from Pathros [Lower Egypt], and from Cush [Ethiopia], and from Elam [Persia], and from Shinar [Iraq], and from Hamath [Syria], and from the countries bordering the Mediterranean. [Nothing is said about the Ashkenazim who are Gentiles. The day of redemption for those of them who are in Adam's race is now, before God turns to Israel: or never]. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
Brother Branham said that "ensign for the nations" was when the First Committee of the United Nations, on which each of the 55 members is represented, held twelve meetings, from May 6 to May 13, 1947, using the facilities for simultaneous translation available at Lake Success on May 6 to determine the make-up of the commission called the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) that would determine the future of Palestine (UN docs. A/C.I/P.V.46-57 (May 6-13, 1947). And "the oldest flag in the world" the [occult] flag [of the House of Rothschild] was raised over Jerusalem [perhaps metaphorically] on May 6, 1947 as an ensign, signal or rallying point to the diaspora.
"The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall He shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." The FIRST return was from Egypt. As He did for Moses, God will remove any obstacle hindering the return. The SECOND return was from the land of Babylon in 538BC. This return is from the diaspora in Daniel's Seventieth Week (Isaiah 19:23).
Zechariah 4:7 takes up God's complaint. "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain: and He shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, "Grace, grace unto it"
Zerubbabel was commissioned to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem; he typed the Holy Spirit who is to build a new Temple for the Living God: one not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. No obstacle should stand before His task. Even if a mountain must be plucked up and cast into the sea, He will reveal that Temple—Christ and His Bride—to Israel, and thus "remove the iniquity of the Land in one day." He will reveal this Light to His people in Jerusalem by sending two anointed prophets in the Spirit and power of Moses and Elijah, the two Olive Trees of the Old and New Testaments (Zechariah 3 and 4). Their ministry will reveal the Light shone through seven golden lamp stands by seven Church Age messengers which is "the plummet (or judgment line) in the hand' of the Master Builder. Their ministry is represented by the two new mountain peaks that allow the S_O_N Light to shine upon Jerusalem and Mount Zion. This is Revelation 7:2a and 11:1-4.
Isaiah 40:3-4, "The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth" (Luke 3:4-5). Every obstacle will be removed; even the Mount of Olives shall be split in twain.
The earthquake that sinks Los Angeles (Revelation 18:21-24) will trigger another earthquake at the same latitude on the other side of the globe that will cleave and transform the Mount of Olives into two new mountains (Isaiah 29:6). These will be divided by a wide valley running from Jerusalem eastward, through which certain Israelites will escape the carnage to apprise their kinsmen living in Muslim lands concerning the fulfillment of Zechariah 14:4, the demolition of "the abomination" desolating Temple Mount, and the appearance of a strange Cloud—"the Sign of the Son of man in heaven." When all Israel sees the revelation in the latter half of the Week there will be "shouts of Grace, grace unto it" as when Governor Zerubbabel laid the foundation of the restored temple (Matthew 24:30; Zechariah 4:7; Ezra 3:10-13).
The earthquake in the days of Uzziah possibly occurred when or resulted from his forcing his way into the temple against the protests of the priests, to offer incense on the golden altar belonging to the Holy of Holies. The antitype will result when the Devil-incarnate "man of sin, the son of perdition" issues a papal bull whereby the United States of America as "the image of the beast" in union with the (once) Protestant churches "forces all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand (signifying submission), or in their foreheads (signifying acceptance of trinitarian doctrine): and that no man might buy or sell unless he has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (II Thessalonians 2:1-9; Revelation 13:15-18).
The same divinely sent earthquake that swallows up Israel's foe, opens out a way of escape to God's people (Zechariah 14:6-9; Isaiah 29:6; 64:1-2; Ezekiel 47:1-10; Micah 1:1-4; Revelation 11:13, 19 and 12:15-16). As God divided the Red Sea to provide an escape for the children of Israel, now He divides the earth.
Zechariah 14:6-9, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be a unique day [of apostasy, spiritual blindness and Christ's unseen second or 'parousia' Coming (Matthew 24:36; Revelation 3:17-20)] which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be Light."
Laodiceans are in the same spiritual state as Israel at the end of her dispensation. Isaiah 60:1-2, "Arise, shine; for your Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples: but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you".
God is separating the uncertain chaotic disorder of denominational darkness as when the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the waters, and said, "Let there be light," with THUS SAITH THE LORD.
Brother Branham's evening time Message restored the apostolic faith, finished the mystery of God and introduced "that which is perfect," Christ the fullness of the Word and "Light of the world" (I Corinthians 13:10; John 8:12). Our 144,000 attendants will see the Light when the revelation of the Seven Trumpet mysteries delivered by their prophets quickens them to a belated recognition of Christ's second or 'parousia' Coming.
"And it shall be in that day, that Living Waters [of the Gospel] shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former [or Dead] sea [Israelites], and half of them toward the hinder [or Mediterranean] sea [Gentiles]: in summer [for the Church Pentecostal jubilee] and in winter [for our Israelite attendants' Day of Atonement jubilee]." They escape into the bosom of Jesus by the Living Waters and new birth (Daniel 12:5-13). Living waters shall flow from Jerusalem in summer and in winter, unaffected by the seasons like the Spring Gihon. This Latter Rain which anoints the Sons of God for the manifestation of the 'third pull' to produce rapturing faith in the Gentile Bride, will be followed by the teaching or Former Rain to Israel through the ministry of 'Moses' and 'Elijah'.
To the desert dwellers of Palestine, the image of a rushing stream, whose grassy margin was overhung by waving trees, is about the most significant expression that could be used to promise a living blessing. Joel 2:21-27 speaks of spiritual restoration in natural types, and Joel 3:18 speaks on millennium blessings. Isaiah 11:11-16 speaks of the remnant of Israelites gathered from the east and from the coasts of the Mediterranean. The vision of Ezekiel's temple is a motif of Israel's complete restoration being the most Holy Place where Christ and His Wife, Israel's King and His Queen, dwell anointed by the worship of the 144,000 in the restored Kingdom under David's Greater Son (Ezekiel 47; Joel 2:21-32).
"In the dispensation of the fullness of ['kairos' or opportunity times as distinct from 'chronos' or chronological] times, God will gather together in one the full number of His elect in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in Him in whom we have obtained an inheritance" (Ephesians 1:10-11). "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord and His Name the only one".
We are now studying the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week. Joel 3:2, "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat." This is the Valley of Kidron on the eastern side of Jerusalem between the city and the Mount of Olives; here Jehoshaphat defeated Moab, Ammon, and Edom (II Chronicles 20), three nations mentioned in Daniel 11:41. "Jehoshaphat" means Jehovah Judges. "Kidron" means to mourn in sackcloth; here emblematic of Israel's atonement and the scene of divine judgment "all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him" (Revelation 1:7). "Megiddon" means rendezvous. "Azal" means 'to join, to separate, hence to select, refuse, or contract.' In short, decision. This Valley is the place where God's decision and its consequences are revealed, the theatre of God's final judgments on Israel's foes.
The definite mention of the Mount of Olives in Zechariah 14:4, and the fact this was the scene of Christ's ascension confirms Zechariah is prophesying His unrecognized second or 'parousia' Coming to Israel (Acts 1:11) and signals the commencement of the first resurrection of Christ's Bride three days after the cleaving of the mountain (Zechariah 14:5; I Thessalonians 4:14; Jude 3). This is the one place in the Old Testament where the Mount of Olives is exactly so named although it is alluded to in II Samuel 15:30 as aforementioned. The high place of Tophet on the Mount of Olives foretells Armageddon (Jeremiah 7:30-34), and its southernmost peak is still known as the Mount of Offense, or the Mount of Corruption where Solomon built high places for idols (I Kings 11:7; II Kings 23:13)—abominations that make desolate.
". . . and I will enter into judgment with all nations in that Valley for My people and for My heritage Israel," with whom He has a covenant of love, and whom the Gentiles have scattered among the nations, selling boys to buy a harlot, and girls to buy wine—casting lots to divide the spoil in Jerusalem after 'Moses' and 'Elijah' are slain (Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 14:1-2; Obadiah 11; Revelation 11:7-10). Remember, the evil attributes of all four Gentile empires produce the New World Order under Papal Rome. God's grievances against the Gentiles span over 2,500 years. During the times of the Gentiles He used these nations to chastise His servant Israel, and His blessings upon the Gentile church were to make Israel jealous. But the nations exceeded their charge, and the churches apostatized and united with the State. Finally they set a man in the temple of God as if he were God, so that "all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond" must worship the beast (Isaiah 14:12-14; Daniel 9:27; 11:36; II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:4-8, 17). Thus the iniquity of the Amorites is full. God will not share His glory with another.
Joel 3:4-8, "Yea, and will you dispute with Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? Will you retaliate? Beware for I will strike back swiftly and speedily; because you have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have you sold unto the Grecians, that you might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will restore the remnant whither you sold them, and will punish you for what you have done: I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord has spoken it".
This is a direct address challenging the nations that managed the diaspora but exceeded their remit. God quickly offers an "eye for an eye" and enumerates the reasons for Divine justice. Tyre and Sidon and the five regions of the Philistines were hostile to God's people and therefore to God. Historically the Philistines had often plundered Israel (Judges 13:1; I Samuel 5:1; II Chronicles 21:17). Temples were the usual repositories for foreign booty (I Samuel 5:2; 31:10). The Lord's treasures are not only those of His Temple but of His land as a whole. Their recompense will be what they have done to the Israelites. The Sabeans, from Sheba in Southern Arabia were as far to the southeast as Greece was to the northwest.
Joel 3:9-12 "Proclaim this among the Gentiles; "Prepare war, conscript your mighty men and muster your troops: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, "I am strong." All nations assemble yourselves. And cause Thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about".
Sanctifying for war was done by religious rites (I Samuel 7:8-9). The call is to all nations to prepare themselves for battle and to appear in the Valley of Jehoshaphat or Armageddon (Zechariah 4:2). "Jehoshaphat" means God Judges, so this is the valley of God's Judgment or Decision. "Decision" means something clean cut as with the sharp two-edged sword that proceeds from the mouth of Him whose name is called "the Word of God".
Armageddon demands all possible weapons and warriors; even the weak must volunteer for service. Their adversary, however, is not to be Israel as they suppose, but the God of Israel.
Joel 3:13. "Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down and tread the grapes; for the wine press is full, the vats overflow with their wickedness".
The nations have been summoned, their armies enlisted, and their false pleas have been heard. The Judge now orders His angels to carry out the sentence. In Palestine, grain harvest is followed by the vintage. The ripeness of the harvest, the fullness of the wine press, and the overflowing of the vats all express metaphorically, their "great wickedness" (Revelation 14:15-20).
Joel 3:14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision".
"Multitudes" implies noisy or tumultuous crowds. Vast multitudes of the heathen are (metaphorically) assembled in the valley—NOT to make their decision but to receive God's verdict, His decision. God's enemies are caught in the valley between two mountains. Like Mount Ebal, which represented the curse of disobedience, and Mount Gerazim and the blessings of obedience (Deuteronomy 11:29). Man's day will end with the Gentile dispensation at the cleaving of the Mount of Olives. What the Adventists term 'probation' was fulfilled with the seven Church Ages of PART-WORD and Christ's mediation for ignorance of the fullness in 1963.
Redemption is over and there is no possibility of escaping God's verdict upon their decisions of the past. Revelation 22:10-12, "And He said to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this Book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according to his works".
Joel 3:15-16, "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel".
Darkness symbolizes judgment, as when sin was judged on the Day of Calvary (Matthew 27:45) then everything in earth and sky begins to crumble (Hebrews 12:27). God's voice condemns the nations, but is a refuge and stronghold for the 144,000. His Word is creative and though He is longsuffering, it produces what was spoken for those of the faith of Jesus Christ, whilst sinners are accursed. Revelation 19:15, "And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Those who take the sword perish by the sword. The conquering power in the final destruction of the foes of God is no human instrument but by the sword of the Word which has already proceeded from the mouth of all His holy prophets and apostles.
Joel 3:17-18, "Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain: then Jerusalem will be holy, and strangers not born into the Kingdom shall pass through it no more (John 3:3; Revelation 21:27). And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drip with new wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, to water the valley of Shittim".
Revelation 21:22-27, "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the Light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life".
Streams which usually run dry shall water the Valley of Shittim from the house of the Lord (Ezekiel 47:1-12; Zechariah 14:8; Revelation 22:1) and the desert shall blossom as a rose. The stream from Zion connects the Presence of God in His Temple with the future redemption of nature. This Messianic stream of blessing was probably suggested by the waters of Shiloah (Isaiah 8:6; Psalm 46:4) which flow from the spring Gihon under the Temple mount and irrigate the Kidron Valley for a short distance which is certainly the valley down which Ezekiel's stream was to flow.
Shittim was the last of the stations in the wilderness, and where Balaam allured the Israelites into the sin of Baal-peor, and from where Joshua sent out two spies to view Jericho and led them across Jordan to Gilgal in Canaan where the penitent Israelites renewed their covenant of circumcision and entered once more into possession of all the privileges of the people of God (Joshua 3:1; 4:20-21; 5:1-12).
Joel 3:19, "Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land." This is an illustration of cherem or anathema. By punishing the Egyptians and Edomites, who enslaved and betrayed Israel, God declares His servant nation innocent. The enemies of God's redeemed become His enemies (Genesis 12:3; Zechariah 14:21). Joel 3:20-21, "But Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwells in Zion". bb951123.htm
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