Bible Believers' Newsletter #155
"We focus on the PRESENT Truth -- what Jesus is doing NOW . . ."
Thanks for your fellowship. Once again we greet you in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This week we examine Matthew 24, and with the benefit of eye salve and hindsight, consider the hour of Christ's second or "parousia" Coming with links to teaching sermons that expound particular verses and points in fuller detail. You may have studied some of these before, but as one seldom sees the finer detail at first glance, a review should confirm and strengthen your faith.
This week I was given a review of a book about John Wesley who was the angel to the Philadelphian Church Age (1750-1906). I hope it is a blessing to you as it was to me.
This newsletter serves those of like precious faith and whosoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life, personally confirming everything in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ . . . Anthony
A Dedicated Man of God
JOHN WESLEY, the founder of Methodism, was, as everybody knows, a supremely dedicated man of God, a truly great religious leader and one of the outstanding figures of the 18th century.
He lived through most of the century, breathing his last on the morning of March 2, 1791. His last hours, John Pudney writes, were as serene and peaceful as the man.
Towards the end, he said in a clear voice: 'The best of all is - God is with us'. This message he repeated with special emphasis, so that it has become one of the rallying cries of Methodism.
In 1790, when nearing his 87th year, Wesley wrote: "I am now an old man, decayed from head to foot. However, blessed be God, I do not slack my labor. I can preach and write still."
That he did, all his long life. A prodigious writer and reader, he wrote 230 original works, besides letters, journals and his private diary.
For well over 50 years he preached the doctrine of salvation by faith, covering an estimated 230,000 miles on horseback (he often fell off due to his habit of reading while riding), and bringing his message to the people of Britain and Ireland in a series of perilous and incident-packed journeys.
By the time Wesley was middle-aged he knew German, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Latin and Hebrew. He never stopped reading, learning, traveling and preaching and once regretted the "time I wasted reading a bad book."
That he was attractive to women there is no doubt. Yet he did not marry until 1751, when he was 48 to a wealthy widow, Molly Vazeille. It was a bad match. She became hysterically jealous, objecting to his correspondence with female Methodists, and deserted him on several occasions.
Wesley's last years saw the triumphant expansion of Methodism, with membership increasing from 52,334 in 1780 to 134,549 10 years later.
John Pudney, who died soon after finishing his excellent book, tells of Wesley's early life; he was the 15th child - only nine survived infancy - of Samuel and Susanna Wesley.
Pudney tells of John Wesley's visit to America, his experiences there, of his close association with his brother Charles and of the deep and lasting influence the Moravian pastor, Peter Bohler, had on the founder of Methodism. This is a fascinating book about one of the world's mighty men. (John Pudney, John Wesley and His World. Thames and Hudson. Review by Colin Pure, PARADE - August, 1979, p. 54).
It's the Economy, Stupid!
The ugly reality . . . is that never before in history has a major economy been so grossly out of internal and external balance like today's US economy.
Earlier this month, Montgomery Ward declared bankruptcy. The company will lay of 37,000 employees. Over the last weekend, Sears announced a decision to close 89 stores. . .
Comment: Brother Branham said, "Pay-off those lingering debts. . . You watch for a depression, brother. You think you've seen something; you just wait after while."
Full story: http://www.prudentbear.com/guest2.htm
Real Causes of the Global Oil Price Explosion
The main causes of the soaring price of crude oil, which reached ten-year price highs of nearly $37/barrel prior to the September 22, 2000 intervention, are connected to the hyperinflationary bubble in the world financial system, and have nothing to do with OPEC, nor with real problems in the supply of oil. In fact, the world is getting at least two million barrels per day more than it consumes, as a result of recent OPEC production increases. However, due to the dominant effect of financial derivatives, - in particular, futures contracts, on London International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) and the NYMEX in New York - this supply increase has had no effect on the price explosion.
Full story: http://www.nex.net.au/users/reidgck/OIL-INFO.HTM
The Hour of His Coming
"When Jesus came to the Temple (about three days before His crucifixion), the chief priests and the elders challenged Him as He taught, demanding 'By what authority did You cast out the merchants and money changers yesterday, and heal the blind and lame . . . And who gave You this authority" (Matthew 21:12-15,23)?
After indicting these people Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, You that kills the prophets, and stones all God sends to her, how often I have wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chickens beneath her wings, and you wouldn't let Me! Now your house is left to you desolate. For I assure you, you shall not see Me again until you shall say, 'Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord'" (Matthew 23:36-39).
Matthew 24 focuses chiefly upon the second or "parousia" Coming of the Son of man to Israel, but first to the end-time Bride of Christ.
Son of man is one of several dispensation claims that describe our Lord's Office at a specific stage of prophetic fulfillment. These dispensation claims are expounded at length in Son of man, Son of God, Son of man, Son of David.
In Matthew 24:3, the senior disciples asked Jesus three questions:
1) When will the Herod's Temple be destroyed?
Jesus warned the early Church to flee the City without delay when they saw the pennants of the Roman armies upon the mount of Olives (Matthew 24:15-22). The siege of Jerusalem began at the mount of Olives and at the Passover, the place and time of this prophecy but all of the Christians took heed to the warning and escaped. The armies of Roman general Titus destroyed the Temple in AD70.
2) What will be the sign of Your second or "parousia" Coming?
Christ comes only three times. He came first through the womb of the virgin to fulfill the part of Adam's Kinsman Redeemer. This was a physical or "erchomai" Coming in the Office of Son of man.
From the day of Pentecost following His crucifixion, He took the Office of Son of God - "Parakletos" or Advocate, to mediate for the ignorance of the Church Age saints. For while the Bible was sealed they had only PART-Word to which they added their own reasoning that was in disagreement with God's Word. After the Laodicean Church Age ended and the Seven Seals were revealed, He was no longer a Mediator because "the mystery of God was finished". There is no longer any hidden thing to mediate. The Holy Spirit can now guide His elect into all truth (Revelation 10:7; Acts 3:21; John 16:13). Jesus resumed the Office of Son of man (John 5:25-27) so that today He is King of kings and Judge.
His second or "parousia" Coming as Son of man was not the physical return of the glorified Jesus, but the FULLNESS of the Word. He came in WORD form through the mouth of His prophet, William Branham. The revelation of the Seven Seals brought "that which is perfect" (or complete). That is: Christ, the fullness of the Word (I Corinthians 13:10).
Christ's second or "parousia" Coming is His arrival and subsequent Presence with us by revelation of that which is perfect - the fullness of the Word. William Branham, the Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6, introduced His second Coming to the end-time Bride in the Office of Son of man, declaring the day of vengeance of our God (Isaiah 61:2). After the resurrection and translation of the Bride, two prophets will introduce Christ's "parousia" to the elect Israelites in the Office of Son of man. They see Him in Word form by revelation as He presented Himself to us (Zechariah 13:6 and 14:1-8).
Some good folk declare that the advent of the Holy Spirit as Son of God must also be a Coming, so that there are four Comings. Not so! The Holy Spirit has always been present, in portion, in His Word. God's Word is Spirit in a form we can receive by faith. All of the Old Testament saints were absolutely filled with the Spirit, but before Calvary and Pentecost He could not regenerate men's souls because the Atonement had not been made and "the blood of bulls and goats can not remit sin" (Isaiah 63:11; Hebrews 1:1; I Peter 1:11; Hebrews 10:4). Christ's "parousia", on the other hand is the second return of the Word Who had been absent almost 2,000 years since His ascent from the mount of Olives.
Christ's "parousia" Coming is the time of "the shortening of the days" for the Bride just before Israel's Seventh Trumpet sounds the end of our dispensation. Then the wild Gentile olive branch will be pruned off the cultivated Olive Tree, which is Christ, and Israel grafted back in for Daniel's Seventieth Week (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 9:24; Romans 11:17-32). The time of the "shortening of days" is now, for "unless those days are shortened there should be no flesh saved for the translation of the Gentile Bride".
Christ's third Coming is His second physical or "erchomai" return in the Office of Son of David, after Armageddon, which leaves no survivors. With the glorified saints of all Ages the glorified Jesus will step out upon the ashes of the wicked to a world cleansed for the Millennium (Malachi 4:1-3).
In responding to the three questions asked by His disciples, Jesus outlines the Seven Seals of Revelation, and the prophecies to be fulfilled before Israel's elect 144,000 are healed of their unbelief to welcome His "parousia" Coming to Jerusalem with a joyous, "Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord".
The sermon Thought Police: the Office of Religious Persecution Monitoring which was abridged in Newsletter #054, thoroughly expounds all of these Scriptures. I encourage you to study this with your Bibles for a thorough understanding.
From Matthew 24:22 to the end of chapter 25 is the Seventh Seal. Matthew 24:29-31 is the Sixth Seal that manifests under the Seventh Seal, commencing at the Seventh Trump. This marks the end of the Gentile dispensation, calls the first resurrection and heralds the tribulation. Judgment follows redemption, so Matthew 25:31-46 speaks of the White Throne Judgment following the Millennium which despatches the "lost" to the lake of Fire and perdition, and the saints and "saved" to the new heavens and new earth, which is Eternity.
Matthew 24:22-28, "Unless those days of tribulation are shortened, all mankind will perish and there should be no flesh saved for the translation: but those days shall be shortened for the sake of the Bride who will be translated before the martyrdom that prefaces the destruction of all life at Armageddon."
The time of the shortening of days coincides with the revelation of the Seven Seals, the "parousia" Coming of the Son of man, and the "rapture". The rapture is a threefold PROCESS of the "shout" of the Message calling the elect out of Babylon to be filled with the Spirit (I Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 10:1-7; 18:4); the "Voice of the Archangel": Christ in the Bride, bringing her to maturity in the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation by confirming the Message from Genesis to Revelation (Ephesians 4:13; Revelation 10:8-11; 19:7-8); and the "trump of God", signaling the end of man's day and the commencement of the Day of the Lord's vengeance.
"And in the days of Christ's "parousia" if any man shall say unto you, Jesus, is at a certain place, or He was seen elsewhere; you know they are deceived, as this is not the physical Coming of the glorified Man from Galilee. For false anointed ones shall arise, and false prophets, and will perform great signs and wonders; so that if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect."
Jesus warns us that His second or "parousia" Coming is NOT a man and that His Presence will be met in the fullness of the Word, Spiritual - NOT physical. With this understanding consistent throughout the gospels and the epistles, we know that the churches who anticipate a Man to step out from the clouds of the heaven are NOT His people; they are blind leaders of the blind, deceived on the Word.
"So if someone tells you Messiah has returned and is in the desert, or hiding at a certain place, believe them not. His "parousia" is UNIVERSAL, and like lightning it cannot be hidden from the elect, flashing across the sky from East to West. The revelation once delivered to the apostolic saints in the East enlightens the end-time Bride in the West (Zechariah 14:7; Malachi 4:5-6). Wherever Spiritual Food in due season - PRESENT Truth - is found, there God's eagles will gather together around Christ's "parousia"."
Christ has returned in WORD form to incarnate His Bride for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation. She is now in the "Secret Place" of the fullness of the Word, feasting on the seven thunders of Revelation. Outside, the denominational churches are suffering a famine for hearing the Word of God. Denominations can't find our "Secret Place" because they are ratting through the garbage of traditions and the educated guesses of theologians long dead. In the do-it-yourself sleight of hand of the Catholic Charismatic Movement (so-called), impersonating or exercising the Gifts of the Spirit WITHOUT the Spirit, and other religious psychology. Even the foolish virgin have forsaken their portals (Matthew 25:6). And the world can't find Christ's Church because they are looking in denominational circles where there are no Christians.
Isaiah said, "You have ears but can't hear and eyes that cannot see" (Isaiah 6:10). Jesus said, "You say you are materially rich, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked . . . I counsel you to anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see" (Revelation 3:17-18).
Christ's "parousia" is the Coming of the fullness of the Word by the revelation of the Seven Seals which "finished the mystery of God spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21; Revelation 10:7). Scripture does not play with words. Whatever is in the Record is there for the anointed eyes to see. It is there for a purpose, but only the anointed will see It (Matthew 11:25-27).
Matthew 24:28-31, At the close of the Gentile dispensation, the Light of God's Word will no longer shine upon the Gentiles. The churches will stay religious but apostate, and their unregenerated leadership will be removed from the Book of Life and "fall from heaven". Following the Seventh Trump, the Light will shine through God's two prophets to Israel in Israel. Their Message will gather 144,000 elect Israelites to Jerusalem and in the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week, and after the prophets are martyred, the 144,000 will recognize the sign of Christ's parousia to them. This will be the Shekinah in the clouds of heaven akin to the Cloud sign of His "parousia" that was manifest to we Gentiles on February 28, 1963, fulfilling Daniel 7:9, Acts 1:9-11 and Revelation 1:7.
This brings us to the third question asked of Jesus:-
3) "What shall be the sign of the completion or consummation of the ages (man's day) and the advent of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (which brings judgment and restores the kingdom to Israel in the Millennium)?"
The great and dreadful day of the Lord commences with the manifestation of the Seventh Trump and the Sixth Seal as we have discussed. But the sign of the end was the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land, symbolized as a fig tree. The peculiarity of the fig tree is that the blossom and fruit come before the leaves. So when the leaves develop, the summer or harvest time of God's elect and the time of our Lord's "parousia" is near. As Israel is God's timepiece, when you see all these things - Israel's restoration to the Promised Land and the sign of Christ's "parousia" (specifically to Israel) - you know that the end is near.
Remembering that Matthew addressed his Gospel primarily to Israelites we should read it from the perspective of the elect 144,000, finding our position by revelation. So when Israel was restored as a state in the Land, Christ's parousia to we Gentiles was imminent, followed by the first resurrection.
Israel is God's timepiece, the fig-tree has begun to bloom again, returned to her land in unbelief. On May 6, 1946, the six pointed occult ensign of the House of Rothschild was raised over Jerusalem as Israel's national flag (after the signing of a treaty). For the first time in twenty five hundred years, Israel was to become an independent state. Brother Branham said, that same hour the Angel of the Lord appeared and commissioned Him to go into the world with the Gospel and a Gift of healing:
"The reason I've always believed . . . that I'd have a part before I die of getting Israel back to the Lord . . . The very hour, by the Pan American chart, that Israel was declared a nation for the first time for two thousand years since they'd been scattered, not a people, it was that very same hour, exactly to the hour, that the Angel of the Lord met me up yonder and sent me with the Gospel . . . May the 7th, 1946 (Gabriel's Instruction to Daniel, p. 35:150).
"Now, to see whether this Message that we got is connected with it or not. The very hour that Israel was signed in to be a nation; it was the very same hour, very same day, very same month, everything else: I was at Green's Mill, Indiana, when that Angel there appeared to me and sent me out on the field with this; after He had met me down on the river and told me what would take place, then commissioned me eleven years later at the same hour that Israel was signed in as a nation. It's all connected together" (The Ten Virgins, p. 444.99).
God has to finish His Gentile Bride and take her from the earth before He can deal with Israel. This is why He sent the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6 and Revelation 10:7 to restore us to the apostolic faith and finish the mystery of God. Our day of redemption is nigh.
So the end was near in 1946, and Israel was proclaimed a State at midnight, May 14, 1948. But the "time of the end" began in March, 1963, with the opening of the Seven Seals, gathering together all the "loose ends" of the Bible to restore the apostolic faith and finish the mystery of God; thus "the gospel of the kingdom" has been "preached in all the world as a testimony unto all nations" (Daniel 12:4,9; Malachi 4:5-6; Acts 3:21; Ephesians 1:10; Revelation 10:6-7). Now we are at "the end", and God is about to gather Israel (Matthew 24:14).
The words, "so likewise you" in verse 33 cannot have their literal fulfillment in the disciples but refer to the generation of those who know and discern these signs of Christ's "parousia" and Israel's restoration to the Land (verse 34). To reinforce this sense Jesus said, "My Words shall not pass away or be changed", meaning they shall live in the elect descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who see these things by revelation, and in spiritual Israel (the Church). We are the generation in which these signs will see their fulfillment; the last generation.
"But of that exact day and hour no man knows, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son but only the Father" (Matthew 24:26). This was not known even by Jesus during His time on earth, but after He ascended to heaven, God removed the veil and showed Him all things. He in turn revealed them to Brother Branham.
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel (William Branham) to his servant John" (Revelation 1:1).
Brother Branham was the angel John saw in his visions on the Isle of Patmos - 1900 years before there was a Brother Branham - unfolding the Seven Seals from March 17, 1963, to "finish the mystery of God".
"The day and hour" refer to Christ's "parousia" (specifically to Israel), and not to the new heavens and new earth. But from our viewpoint, and with benefit of hindsight, it points to March, 1963 when the revelation of the Seven Seals brought His "parousia" (Daniel 12:4,12; Revelation 10:6). The rest of Matthew 24 describes social conditions in the days of Christ's "parousia" to us Gentiles which is the "rapture" or catching-up of the Church into the revelation of "things that must be after" the Laodicean Church Age ended as a Move of the Spirit in Revelation 3:22.
If we knew in advance the day and hour of Christ's "parousia", the necessity of constant watchfulness would not exist. However, it can only be known by faith. Those without the faith will not see it regardless how precisely it is taught.
Christ's "parousia" Coming is likened to the visit of a thief in the night - unexpected and unseen (I Thessalonians 5:1-5; Revelation 3:3; 16:15). Therefore we are to be ready at all times for the Lord's Supper, our feet shod with the gospel of peace, loins girt with truth, our staff in our hand, and all mistakes confessed and under the Blood.
Matthew 25 explains how all the virgin slumbered and slept through the Church Ages but at evening time we were wakened by the "shout" of the prophet's Message, "Behold the Bridegroom, come out of Babylon and be filled with the Spirit!"
The destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 and the prayerful watching of the early Church who heeded Christ's warning Word and were saved, is a type for us, demonstrating the severity of God toward those who claimed to be under His Covenant but were not and perished in the city.
Matthew 24:42-51, "Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord will come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up."
"You be ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes." (Although the Greek word here is "erchomai," this is this is Christ's second or "parousia" Coming in the Office of Son of man, and not His second physical (or third) Coming glorified as the Son of David).
"Who then is a faithful and wise minister, whom his Lord has made ruler over His household (the Church) to give them meat in due season (bringing them into the unity of the faith, unto the stature of a perfect man - Ephesians 4:8-16)? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord shall find so doing when He comes. Truly, I shall make him ruler over all My goods." (So judgment begins at the house of God, the church. The good and faithful servant will be feeding his flock with the PRESENT Truth - Spiritual Food in due season).
"But and if that evil servant shall say mockingly in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming'; and begins oppressing his fellow servants, partying and getting drunk ("as it was in the days of Noah", returns to Roman Catholic theology - Revelation 18:3, or denies Christ's "parousia" - II Peter 3:1-4); his Lord will arrive unexpectedly and unannounced to him, and shall severely scourge and cast him into the tribulation."
"But you, Brethren, are not in darkness, that the day and hour of Christ's "parousia" and the "rapture" should overtake you as a thief" (I Thessalonians 4:16 - 5:28). nl155.htm
Homework: Christ's Offices of Prophet, Priest and King Typed in the Old Testament Son of man, Son of God, Son of man, Son of David Daniel
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Brother Anthony Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister. He has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations in various countries. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to minister in your church.
For Further Information Contact:
Bible Believers' Church
Currabubula, NSW 2342, Australia