Good morning, and God Bless. I'm Brother Anthony, welcoming you to 'Bible Believers', where we focus on the PRESENT Truth - the Light God is shining for OUR day.
It's no doubt true, that every generation of Christian believers, from the time of the apostles has hoped to attribute to itself the Words of Jesus in Matthew 24:34, 'THIS generation shall not pass away, until ALL these things be fulfilled'.
The purifying hope of the return of Christ must of necessity, have been in the heart of every generation of Christians; but the actual physical return of Jesus can come ONLY after the FINAL, or END-time generation, for He returns WITH His Bride, to step out on the ashes of the wicked for the Millennium. We ARE the end-time generation. There is actually NO major prophetic event that is not NOW in progress or that must YET come, to herald the going Home of His Bride. Soon cometh the earthquake. There's left to us only a breathless SILENCE of waiting, 'as it was in the days of Noah,' when he entered the ark, and the flood delayed yet seven days.
Those seven days, wherein God led the 'saved' into the ARK, type the Seven Church Ages. And they're all OVER. Our WAITING is that 'SILENCE in heaven the space of half an hour', AFTER the opening of the Seventh Seal (Revelation 8:1). The delay before the EARTHQUAKE, when the Latter Rain sweeps the world.
No major event in the plan of God has been without a WITNESS. In the days of the Flood, the ark was a testimony to the eye, while the prophet Noah preached the Word. In the time of the Exodus, God sent the prophet Moses, with signs and wonders. Before Jesus, John preached and baptized unto repentance. In these last days God has sent a prophetic forerunner for His second Coming.
There has never been a time in Bible history, that the people were ready, and willing, to heed God's witness, regarding coming events of great magnitude. I believe few are even vaguely aware of the witness God has given us today, as a proof of His Coming. And I hope that every listener will Consider these words, and ask God for guidance at this critical time.
We need to fix the Church Ages historically, to know WHAT God has promised to do in OUR day. Otherwise we won't have FAITH to do His will.
The Bible very clearly sets forth that God has appointed a limited TIME wherein He deals with the Gentiles unto salvation. In this period, He calls out a people for His Name. Turning from Israel as a NATION, He calls to repentance INDIVIDUALS, foreknown from every kindred, tribe and nation of Adam's fallen race.
Acts 11:18, 'Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life'. Acts 13:46, 'It was necessary that the Word of God should FIRST have been spoken unto you Jews: But seeing you put it FROM you, and judge yourselves UNWORTHY of eternal life, lo, we TURN to the Gentiles'.
Acts 15:13-18, 'Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out of THEM a people for His NAME. (The TRUE Church bears His Name, we're CHRIST-ians). And to this agree the Words of the prophets, as it is written, "AFTER this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: and I will build again the ruins thereof and will set it up (Jews will re-establish their Temple worship): that the residue of men (the 144,000 Israelites) might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My Name is called'. Christ's Bride! In the new heavens and new earth, God will be worshipped through eternity, in the FORM of Jesus Christ and His Bride. The New Jerusalem that comes down from God out of heaven IS the glorified Church. See?
This period wherein God is calling out a people from among the Gentiles is known as the 'FULLNESS of the Gentiles'. Romans 11:25, 'For I would NOT, brethren, that you should be IGNORANT of this mystery, lest you should be WISE in your own conceits: That BLINDNESS in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in'. Israel's blindness ENDS, and the FULLNESS of the Gentiles comes IN, when the last member is baptized into the Body of Christ.
Romans 11:7-12. 'What then? ISRAEL hath NOT obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election HATH obtained it, and the REST were BLINDED, (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear) unto this day. And David saith, "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them; let their eyes be darkened that they may not see and bow down their back alway." I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid, but rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy. If their fall be the riches of the world, and their diminishing be the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness'?
The FULLNESS of the Gentiles, is ITSELF the larger part of ANOTHER well known period of time which is ending RIGHT now, and is called the 'TIMES of the Gentiles'. Luke 21:24, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into ALL nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, UNTIL the TIMES of the Gentiles be fulfilled'. It should be noted immediately that these TWO periods run CONCURRENTLY, but ONE is POLITICAL and the OTHER is SPIRITUAL in connotation. The TIMES of the Gentiles is the POLITICAL period of time, referring to Gentile dominion over Israel. It BEGAN in 586 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar took Israel away captive, and it ENDS when God restores Israel, ALL 144,000 of them. That's when they see Messiah. By faith, NOT by sight. THEIR restoration ushers in the Millennium, following the battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 12:4-10).
The 'FULLNESS of the Gentiles' is the SPIRITUAL era wherein we saw that Israel is blinded, while the Light of God is revealed to the Gentiles. This period will end with a massive EARTHQUAKE, the manifestation of the Sons of God, the first resurrection, and the translation of the LIVING Gentile Bride.
Are YOU looking forward to THIS? It will be the REALIZATION of the hope of all Ages. The Bible says the WHOLE of creation has been in travail for 6,000 years, ever since the FALL in Eden, WAITING for the manifestation of the Sons of God. GLORY! It shows Redemption is OVER, and God's ready to bring in the Millennium.
There'll be NO more Bible Believers radio programs over there. You can listen to Jesus LIVE. UNPLUGGED!
The Fullness of the Gentiles described by Paul in Romans is called in Revelation the CHURCH AGES. They are one and the SAME. PROOF of this is found in Revelation, chapters two and three. The Spirit speaks to the messengers of the seven churches in Asia Minor. He begins with the messenger to the Ephesian church and ends with the messenger to the Laodicean church. These are all GENTILE churches. At NO time does the Spirit speak to the church at Jerusalem, which is a JEWISH church. Were He addressing BOTH Gentile and Israelite churches, He would of necessity speak to the church at JERUSALEM. But not so. The original church group is left out. This is exactly as it ought to be. God has LEFT OFF dealing with the Jews. A FEW Jews, through election, will come in, but NOT many. These will belong to the Gentile Bride.
We see this TYPE illustrated in Joseph meeting his brethren in Egypt. Joseph, a perfect type of Christ, had been BETRAYED by his brethren. In Egypt they stand before him, FEARFUL, but he greets them in love. His Gentile bride is ABSENT - HIDDEN in the palace. And when Christ reveals Himself to HIS brethren, they see His wounds and fear, but He treats them in love. His Gentile Bride is NOT with Him, she's in the Palace. For the days of God dealing with the Gentiles are over.
It took a prophet of God to fix with CERTAINTY the dates, their duration, and to identify the messengers and other characteristics pertinent to the Seven Church Ages. God ONLY reveals His secrets through His servants the prophets.
Since Christ has NOT yet taken His Bride Home, it's evident that the Gentile dispensation is still current. However, as we will presently see ALL Seven Church Ages have passed into history. If we can identify the PAST Ages with history, we will know what Scriptures are ALREADY fulfilled. And by studying Scripture in the light of history, verify OUR day and God's PRESENT promises. Thus the PRESENT day and ITS characteristics will be revealed by Divine Revelation.
This is essential, in order for the church to know exactly where it is in relation to Bible prophecy. The Church can't be born by the Light for an Age gone by. It's already history. This explains why nobody can be born-again under denominational Light. It's the glare of a day gone by. History.
The true Church is not commemorating past history. She is writing history by Her life. It will never be written in books, because we are at the end of time. We must recognize our day, and see that part of the Word manifesting through US.
Thus with the perfect combination of history, Scripture and Divine Revelation we can assuredly know the truth of the Seven Ages, and recognize what God promised He would do NOW. God sent His prophet in these last days to reveal this mystery of the Seven Church Ages and the Seven Seals, to call His elect out from the world systems, in order that we may know and do the whole Counsel of God.
We must be under total pre-eminence to God and in complete harmony with His Word if we are to have part in the first Resurrection.
Now we'll review the Ages in the light of past history, to find out where we stand in relation to Bible prophecy. To begin with, we know from Scripture the first Church Age was the Ephesian Age and the messenger was Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. It was THROUGH Paul that the complete revelation from God came to the Gentiles.
Galatians 2:6-8, 'For they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to what I was preaching, on the contrary, when they saw how greatly God had used me in winning the Gentiles, just as Peter had been so greatly blessed in his ministry to the Jews, for He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the Jews, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles'. Paul's revelation was more abundant, than any given to Peter, or to the other apostles, relative to the Gentiles.
Praise God for sending us a prophet in this day. Since the mystery of God is finished, that which is perfect is come, Christ, the fulness of the Word. We now have the perfect interpretation of the Bible. Not guesswork, but THUS SAITH THE LORD.
Paul founded the Church at Ephesus about the middle of the first century. This enabled Brother Branham to set the date of the beginning of the Ephesian Church Age about AD 53. The pure Word of God, which had been clearly understood by the Pentecostal saints, began to be polluted, as Jewish ritual, and pagan traditions, were introduced by the mixed multitude, which joined themselves to the assemblies of the saints. The power of God abated through unbelief even in the early years. He that's guilty in one point of the law has broken the whole law. Don't fool with that Word. That's what happened in the Ephesian Age before it ran out in AD 170.
Like all of God's Dispensations, the Church Ages do NOT overlap. But the BLESSINGS to the overcomers and the CURSES of unbelief ARE cumulative.
The second or the Smyrna Age, lasted from 170 - 312. Using our God given rule of choosing the messenger for each age, we unhesitatingly declare that IRENAEUS was exalted by the Lord to that position. He was the disciple of that great saint and warrior of faith, POLYCARP. And it's no doubt, as he sat at the feet of that great man, he learned the Christian graces that flowed from his consecrated life, for Polycarp was one of the truly illustrious saints of all ages, when viewed in the light of a blameless life.
Polycarp was martyred. Too old to flee, and too sincere a man to allow another to hide him, and then suffer a penalty for doing so, he gave himself up to death. But before he did, he asked for, and was granted, permission to pray two hours for his brethren in the Lord, for the governor, for his enemies and his captors. Like the great saints of ALL ages, and desiring a better resurrection, he stood firm, refusing to deny the Lord, and died with a free conscience. He was placed at the stake (un-tied at his own request) and the fire was lit. The flames bent AWAY from his body, refusing to touch him. He was then pierced through with a sword. As this was done, water gushed from his side, dousing the flames. And his spirit was actually seen to depart, in the form of a white dove, released from his bosom. Yet for all this great testimony, this student of John the Revelator was not militant against the Nicolaitane system, for he himself leaned toward organization, not realizing that the desire for fellowship, and what appeared like a good plan to foster the work of God, was in reality a trick of the enemy.
With Irenaeus this was not so. He was militant against any form of organization. Also, his life history, wherein he served the Lord, was one of much manifestation in the Holy Spirit; and the Word was taught with unusual clarity and conformity to its ORIGINAL precepts. His churches in France were known to have the gifts of the Spirit among them, for the saints spoke in tongues, prophesied, raised the dead, and healed the sick by the prayer of faith. He saw the DANGER of ANY kind of organized brotherhood among the elders, pastors, etc. He stood solidly for a unified, Spirit-filled, gift-manifesting LOCAL church. And God honored him for the power of God manifested among the saints.
Did you know, Brethren, that the LOCAL Church is sovereign under its OWN pastor? He's ordained of God, not some organization, he answers to NO man. There's NO greater authority than the LOCAL church. The ONLY link between any two groups, is the Holy Spirit, Who guides them into the COMMON faith, or understanding of God's UNCHANGING Word.
Irenaeus was also clear on his understanding of the Godhead. And since he was the disciple of Polycarp who in turn was the disciple of Saint John, we can know for SURE he had as perfect teaching as is possible on this subject. In Volume 1, page 412 of the Ante Nicene Fathers we have this statement by him on the Godhead. 'All the other expressions, likewise, bring out the title of one, and the same being, the Lord of Power, the Lord, the Father of All, God Almighty, Most High, Creator, Maker, and such like, these are NOT the names and the titles of a succession of different beings, but of one and the same'. He pointed out clearly that these are but TITLES as is Rose of Sharon, Bright and Morning Star, Fairest of Ten Thousand, etc. He was NOT a trinitarian. Neither is there but ONE God. His Name is Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the third or Pergamos Age. Revelation 2:12-17 says this is 'where Satan's seat is'. Here the ancient Babylonian religion of Satan comes to the forefront. This religion which has opposed the Word of God from the time of Cain, invaded the nominal church, introducing pagan rites and holidays, following the Nicean Council of AD 325. It lasted from 312 to 606, and prepared the ground for the Dark Ages, by uniting the apostate church with the state, and persecuting the true believer.
For those with eyes to see, this is precisely what is happening in Australia and around the world now. We've yielded our sovereignty, and our assets to the evil force behind the UN. We've allowed evil to control our minds, abandoning our liberty and freedom of speech to THOUGHT control, or 'political correctness'. When the FALSE church establishes a covenant to unite with these people as Daniel and the prophets foretold, and with the state in the coming NWO, you'll see a new Dark Age: far worse than anything in history. The messenger to Pergamos was Martin.
It's easy to establish the fourth Age in time. The darkest of all Ages: little Word, little power. Thyatira knew the depth of Satan. Man had usurped the position and authority of God. Rome's greed, and her power lust, had damned countless souls, and in the name of God they blasphemed the very Name and Word of God. The Age lasted from 606 - 1520. Its messenger was Columba, for his ministry most closely resembled the power and glory of God in the pattern of Paul's. Paul the first angel, is God's criterion for every Age, because God never changes His ways.
It can't be said that the fifth Age, Sardis, was a restoration. The Word doesn't call it a restoration, but certainly calls it a reformation. Had it been a restoration, it would have been another Pentecostal Age. It was not. The best that could be said of it was 'Strengthen that which remains, that is ready to die'. There was something missing. My, yes, there certainly was. This Age had justification, but it had missed sanctification, and the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
That's what God's original plan was. That's what they had at Pentecost. They were justified, they were sanctified, and were filled with the Holy Ghost. Why, listen to me, the reason for being justified and sanctified is to the end that you might be baptized with the Holy Ghost. That is the reason that there is a church. It is the temple of God filled with God, even the Holy Ghost. The same Spirit that was in Jesus while He was here on earth, causing Him to do the mighty works which He did, came back upon the Church at Pentecost, so that they did the works that He did. This Age did not have those works. Oh, they had the written Word, but not the revealed Word. This was the reformation period. But FEAR NOT little flock, God said, 'I will restore', and this reform was going to be the start of it. According to His promise, He was going to take the church back from the depth of Satan in the Dark Ages, to the Depth of God that they had at Pentecost, and in the first few years of the existence of the Church.
This Age lasted from about 1520 to around 1750. The messenger was Martin Luther. According to Sauer's history, 'Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues, interpreter, in one person, endowed with ALL the gifts of the Spirit'. Whilst this is true, Luther was not a prophet. There has never been a trinitarian prophet. A trinitarian would FAIL the test for a prophet.
With the fifth Age fixed, it's not difficult to place the sixth or Philadelphian Age. The Messenger to the Age of brotherly love was John Wesley. It was the Age of the open door: missions, great teachers, and tremendous revivals, and ran from 1750 to 1906.
In order to understand the wealth of meaning involved in "behold I set before you an open door, and no man can shut it," we must now recall what has been said about the works of each Age running over into another Age. There is an overlapping, a melting or fading into, rather than an abrupt end and a clear cut start. THIS Age in particular flows into the next. The last Age is in many respects simply a carrying on of the sixth age. The seventh Age (a very short Age) gathers up into itself for one quick work, all the evil of every Age, and yet all the reality of Pentecost.
Once the Philadelphian Age has about run its course, the Laodicean Age quickly came in, bringing both the tares and the wheat to harvest, 'first bind the tares to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn' (Matthew 13:30).
Remember, please, that the Sardis Age started the reformation that must continue, until the grain that was planted at Pentecost, goes through the full cycle of planting, watering, nourishing, etc., until it comes right back to original seed (Malachi 4:5-6). While this is going on, the tares that were sown will have to go through their cycle and be harvested also. That is exactly what we see happening. If you just think of the seasons, you can picture this. The plant that you see growing in full strength in summer suddenly appears to be going to seed. You can't tell exactly when summer became autumn - it just faded into it. That is how the Ages are, and especially these last two.
Behold, I come quickly! And the vast majority of Christians, so-called, will know nothing about It.
This brings us to the last Age. Today Israel is a nation, with its own government and all that pertains to nationhood. The 'FULLNESS of the Gentiles' will SOON come in. Thus the TIMES of the Gentiles is all but over. God's timepiece has ALREADY struck the Gentile's midnight hour. The Bridegroom came at the END of the Laodicean Age through the revelation of the Seven Seals. He came in WORD Form, through the mouth of a prophet, and church systems 'know it NOT'.
According to the Word of God THIS Age also had a Messenger, and he was a PROPHET, like Paul, the angel to the FIRST Age. His Message RESTORES the elect BACK to the faith once delivered by Paul - AWAY from denominational teachings; It FINISHES the mystery of God, as Jesus PROMISED It would, and calls the FAITHFUL into Itself. This Message is the FULLNESS of the Word, It IS CHRIST, in WORD Form.
Can you see It? The revelation of the Seventh Seal brought Christ BACK to earth in WORD Form. We are NOT to look for a Man, but to unite WITH the FULLNESS of the Word, for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation.
This morning we've fixed the Ages historically, and established a foundation for our subject over the coming weeks, which will deal with the Messenger rather than the Ages themselves.
Anyone on the 'Net can call Bible Believers', 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Here is a sample of some recent computer dialogue. One user asked:-
"Do you mean to say that you have never heard the voice of the Lord?"
God's 'Voice', my Brother, is His Word. His mouthpiece is His prophets. The Word comes only to His servants the prophets. This is the Voice of God that most people reject, because His thoughts are not their thoughts. God's Voice exposes their sins.
Brother Anthony, I gave my life to the Lord and asked Him to come into my life. That's how I became a Christian. The moment that I did that, the Lord started to speak to me and instruct me.
Well this sounds mighty sweet, but it's NOT Scriptural. You're trying to make Christ the object of YOUR love. We have to receive His Love. If He's speaking to us, He'll CONFIRM His Voice, from cover to cover. Remember, he won't add one Word or take one Word from what's ALREADY been said. God's Voice is CONTINUING faith or understanding in His Word. IF there's NO communication, there's NO RELATIONSHIP.
Like any man, CHRIST is calling His Bride. She is NOT calling Him. You're trying to be a Christian YOUR way. You'll have to DIE to self and come GOD'S way, or you'll NOT come at all. God's ONLY way from the garden of Eden, is MANIFESTED faith in the PRESENT Truth. radio015.html
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