"For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." - Romans 4:13
THE WORDS OF A PROPHET ARE WRITTEN ON A SUBWAY WALL
A BRUSH FIRE BECOMES A RAGING INFERNO
What a month June is turning out to be, not only for our people, with the passing of one of our most popular Presidents, Ronald Reagan and the day long farewell, expressed by millions of Americans and foreign friends.
But the last two weeks have been very memorable for yours truly as well, with the visit of our beloved web technician, Loren Wolsiffer.
He and his beutiful wife, sold their home in Oregon and are in the process of relocating to Florida.
As you know, he has been a tremendous asset to us in our labors of publishing THE SEVENTH TRUMPET. And he has acquired skills that place him far above the average web designer.
If you are considering web work, I highly recommend his services. (http://www.wlmark.com)
Then, we were blessed for a few days, by the arrival from France, of my son, Jerome and his family. They labor in France, building new churches.
While they were here visiting, I was able to show him a sample of his labors when he was a young man of 10 years of age. You see, he and his brother, used to help their father collate our magazine, THE STANDARD, which often had 40 pages and runs of 10,000 copies. That’s a lot of work for young people.
The particular issues I shared with him, were the ones that started a small brash-fire, that has now turned into a raging inferno.
An example of this is the conference being held this very week-end (June 12-13, 2004) in Colorado Springs to discuss the questions being put forth by the Preterists and the Post-millennialists.
Kurt M. Simmons explains the meaning of the term thusly: "The term "preterism" is derived from the Latin praeteritus, meaning that which has past. (Praeteritus is the past participle of praeterire, to go before: prae (comparative of before) ire, to go.) The term is
derived from Matt. 24:34 where it occurs in the Latin to describe the time of Christ's Second Coming: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass ("non praeteribit haec generatio"),
till all these things be fulfilled’ Full Preterists view the Second Coming and related events as being fulfilled in the events culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70;
Partial Preterists, although conceding Christ came in some form or manner in A.D. 70, believe there is yet a future Coming that will mark the end of the Universe and Resurrection of the dead."
Friends, I do not know who was first, to began styling themselves ‘preterist’ in modern times, but I do know who was teaching that Jesus had returned in 66 A.D. (not 70 A.D.!!) in the clouds with Power and great Glory.
Forgive me, if I seem to toot my own horn, but in those days, yours truly was literally a ‘voice crying in the wilderness’ (Missoula, Montana). That does not mean that there will be no ‘Second Coming’ in our age, it just means that there was a ‘mini-second coming’ during the lifetime of the Apostles!
In this article, God willing, I hope to share with my readers, something that will probably create a greater debate than my original articles. But before I delve into these glorious truths, I think first, it would be well, to refer back to those original writings, published in Issues #30, 34 & 36 of THE STANDARD (1974 & 1975).
Today, when we have someone beating us over the head, with their deeply held truths, it may be easier to say ‘I see what you mean’, but if we go back in time, say 30 years and begin using passages, to teach something, radically different from what their pastors are telling them, then, we have a horse of a different color.
What we did, essential, was to take such passages as "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."
- Matthew 10:23 to show that there was indeed a ‘second coming’ about the year 68 A.D.
Jesus, indicated again the time frame of his coming, by saying "At that time the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.
They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."
"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."
- Mat 24:34; "
"I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." - We used Mat 23:36 and others passages, such as Mat 24:30, II Pet. 1:16-18, Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, Daniel 7:13,14, Acts 2:32,33, and Luke 21:27,
By December 1975, we were beginning to warm to the subject.
In an article entitled ‘VICTORY OR DEFEAT’ - Toward a Reformed Eschatology for the 21st Century’, also published in THE STANDARD, which carried many of the arguments that are now common currency for the Preterists.
But, one thing I have never done, is try to fit all
future prophecy into the forty years between Jesus’ crucifixion and the destruction of Herod’s temple (70 A.D.). I believe that there are still many prophecies being fulfilled even as I write this.
In Issue #34 of that publication, we raised the question, ‘Did Christ Fail’ in a article entitled ‘THE MANNER OF THE KINGDOM’.
"There are many Christians who believe that Christ did not succeed in accomplishing what he set out to do in his earthly mission. They insist that He came to offer the Jews a ‘literal, earthly kingdom’ and that the Jews refused to accept him.
The theologian Albert Schwitzer (1906) wrote, ‘He died upon the cross with a loud cry, despairing of bringing in the new Heaven and the new Earth - that is the real tragedy.
(Page 254, Quest of the Historical Jesus).
When he came to the passage which reads, ‘"Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." (Matt. 10:23) he saw proof positive that Christ was a failure.
"He told the disciples, ‘Verily, I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Kingdom of God come with power.’ (Mark 9:1)
As He was about to ascend back to heaven, the disciples asked if he was going to ‘restore again the kingdom to Israel’ at that time. His response was to tell them not to worry about times and seasons but to merely tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power. (Acts 1:6-8)
Forty days later, the kingdom came with power at Pentecost. No doubt some will argue that there are two kingdoms but James said there was only one that had been promised and it was to be given to those rich in faith, who love God. (James 2:5, Matt. 25:34)"
And so began the great ‘preterist’ debate, 30 years ago.
Today, what I wish to share with the readers of this newsletter and the visitors to our web-site THE SEVENTH TRUMPET, is something that happened just before the virgin Mary died.
Jesus Christ appeared with a great number of what we would call UFOs (flying saucers) and angels about the year 68 A.D. as recorded by six different writers.
If we to make a harmony of the four gospels, it would make for interesting reading.
Likewise, if we take the writings of those six writers and harmonize them, we do get a fabulous story, that fits together perfectly, and that is precisely what I did when I wrote Chapter 26 of my book, THE COMPLETE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
I am not going to publish the entire chapter, just certain excerpts, which I believe will shine a blinding light on the events surrounding Jesus ‘mini second coming’.
CHRIST COMES TO COMFORT HIS MOTHER BEFORE HER DEATH
It appears that sometime before he was crucified, Jesus’ mother had requested of him that he would come to her three days before she died to prepare her for that event and to bring the Apostles, so that she might hear the marvelous stories of their work.
And that is exactly what he did do. The events surrounds this incident were well known and believed by the Early Church because of the accounts written by all those witnesses.
The main account, known as ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’ was written by John, the Virgin and
in Greek. Another account, in Latin, is from the pen of Joseph of Arimathaea. Another is the Latin version of Melito, Bishop of Sardis, as translated by Tischendorf. Other portions are taken from the Syriac, Coptic and Arabic copies.
The Syrian Version, which I employed was translated by Wright and Lewis. It originally consisted of six document (books).
After the introduction to Book I, it tells how it was found and has the personal autograph of James, Bishop of Jerusalem.
Two of the Apostles, each wrote six books apiece, which were entrusted to John for safe keeping. John’s copy turned up in Ephesus and was attested to by the Twelve as being accurate.
According to these accounts, as Jesus was being crucified, he entrusted his mother to the care of the Apostle John and she remained with him in Jerusalem for fifteen years (until he went to Ephesus).
She would often go to the tomb, where they had laid the body of Jesus, to offer incense and to pray, even though the entrance was covered up with huge stones.
Finally, the day came, when she "being fervent with desire for Christ bowed her holy knees and entreated Christ, our God, who was born through her, to come [so that she might depart with him].
And as she prayed, the heavens were opened and the Archangel Gabriel came down to her and said, ‘Hail, you who bore Christ, our God, your prayer has passed through the heaven unto him that was born through you and has been accepted.
Therefore, according to your petition, you shall leave the world and come into the heavenly places of your Son, the true Life, who has no successor."
The account goes on to show the Archangel giving Mary a palm-branch that was to be laid on her funeral bier.
". . . Then the palm-branch shined with great and exceeding brilliant light. Mary took off her garments and clothed herself in her best clothing, took the palm which she had been given by the angel’s hand and went out to the Mount of Olive to pray.
She prayed, Lord, I was not worthy to receive you, nonetheless, I kept the treasure which you committed to me.
Now, if you will have mercy on me, I pray you therefore, King of Glory, that no Power of Hell may hurt me. For if the heaven and the angels tremble before you each day, how much more a man clothed of earth, in whom there is no good, except that which he receives from your bounty..
MARY ASKS FOR THE COMPANY OF THE APOSTLES
"As she prayed, she said, My Lord Jesus Christ, who granted me your goodness, by being born through me, hear my voice and send to me, your Apostle John, so that I may see him and have the firstfruits of joy.
And send to me all your other Apostles, both thoe who have already come to live with you and the others, who are still in this present world.
Bring them from whatever land they may be in, according to your holy Command, so that I may behold them and bless your name that is greatly exalted.
I have confidence that you hear your hand-maiden in everything." - Pp487, 488 The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, Compiled by Jeffrey Brackeen
Then John wrote, "As she prayed, I John, was brought to her, for the Holy Spirit caught me up in a cloud from Ephesus and set me in the place where the mother of the Lord was laying.
Than I entered in to her and glorified the One who had been born through her. I said to her, Hail, mother of my Lord, who bore Christ our God; Rejoice, for you will depart out of this life with great glory. . . .
"When I had finished praying, the holy Mary said to me, Bring me the censer, She then cast in incense and said,Glory be to you, my God and my Lord, because you are fulfilling in me all the things you promised me, before you ascended back to heaven - that before I departed from this world, you would come to me in glory with a multitude of your angel. . ."
"Then there came a Voice from heaven and said, Amen and When I John heard that Voice, the Holy Spirit aid to me, John did you hear the Voice which sounded in heaven at the end of your prayer?
I answered, Yes, I heard it. The Holy Spirit said to me, This Voice which you heard signifies the coming of your brethren, the Apostles and the holy Powers, which are to be. They will come today. Then, I John, fell into prayer.
"In a moment of time, the Holy Spirit said to the Apostles, All of you will be gathered together up in the clouds, from the ends of the world and be brought to Bethlehem, the holy because of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter will come from Rome; Paul from Tiberia; Thomas from inner India; James from Jerualem. And Andrew, the brother of Peter and Philip and Luke. Now Simon the Canaanite and Thadddaeus had already fallen asleep but were raised up by the Holy Spirit from their graves.
The Holy Spirit said to them, THIS IS NOT THE RESURRECTION BUT FOR A WONDERFUL SIGN TO MARY, the mother of your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ [you will] salute her, for an honour.
For the day of her departure is near, when she shall go to live in heaven. And Mark, who was still alive, came from Alexandria with the others, as has been stated from their various countries, to stand before her door.
Philip, who had just baptized the Ehopian eunich, was caught away by the Holy Spirit and was not seen again by the eunuch. Than all the Apostles rejoiced with one mind and finished their pryer."
THE APOSTLES BROUGHT TO MARY ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN
After the Apostles shared with Mary their experiences in the countries where they had labored, the account says: "After these wonders occurred, we the Apostles were with Mary the mother of God, who was alway Virgin.
We were with her in Jerualem, when the Holy Spirit spoke to us saying: ‘You know that it was on the Lord’s Day that the good tidings were announced to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel.
And it was on the Lord’s Day that the Saviour was born in Bethlehem and it was on the Lord’s Day that the children of Jerualem came forth with palm-branches to meet him, crying, ‘Hosanna in the Highest’ and ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.’
And it was on the Lord’s Day that he arose from the dead and it will be on the Lord’s Day that He will come to judge the living and the dead. Therefore, it shall also be on the Lord’s
Day, when he comes from heaven withGlory and Honour to depart with the holy and glorious Virgin who bore him. And they sat around her comforting her, for three days giving themselve to praise of God. . . ."
A VISION GRANTED TO SOME OF THE APOSTLES
"It was the Lord’s Day, when the mother of the Lord said to the Apostles, Cast in incense, for Christ comes with an army of angels. Behold Christ comes sitting on a throne of Cherubim.
And as we were praying, there appeared an innumerable multititude of angels. And there was thunder and lightning and Jesus came on a chariot of Light, in great power, with Moses and David the prophet and other righteous kings.
Before him preceeded a light, which lit up the holy Virgin, because of the coming of her only begotten Son. And the powersof the heaven fell down and worshipped him.
"The Lord called to his mother saying, Mary. she anwered him, ‘behold, here am I Lord. And the Lord said to her, ‘Do not grieve but let your heart rejoice and be glad, for you have found grace to behold the glory that is given to me by my my Father. . . ."
Here, the account continues to tell about the death of Mary and how her body was prepared for burial but she was not buried but was taken up to heaven.
Some of the manucripts, here read, "Then twelve clouds of Light caught them up, together with the [soul] of our lady and traslated them into Paradise [where Mary is permitted to reveal some things to the Apostles] And John and Peter were with her and she told them to write it down and at the end of the world, it would be made public.
And when they returned, they ordained that a commeration of her be held three time a year and that a book be writtten in Hebrew, Greek and Latin about these events and entrusted to John’s care. . . . "
A DISC APPEARS ABOVE THE PROCESSION
"As they went forth, behold another wonder happened. A great cloud appeared over them, in the shape of a disc, such as one sees about the moon.
And a host of angels rode in the cloud, sounding forth a song of sweetness and the earth resounded with the noise of the melody. And about fifteen thouand of the people came out of the city marveling. They asked, what is this sweet sound.
Someone stood up and told them that Mary had departed the body and that the disciples of Jesus were singing praises about her. Then they looked and saw the bier and the great glory with the Apostles singing loudly."
- Pp. 494, 495 The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, Compiled by Jeffrey Brackeen
DANIEL FORESEES A RESURRECTION
As I study the prophecy given to Daniel, the prophet, I am forced to the conclusion that the ‘time of the End’ which was shown him was not the ‘end of the world’ but the end of the Mosaic economy and the destruction of the Jewish temple.
When the angel was asked about the time-frame for these events and the ‘destruction of the Holy People’s power’, he is given a very precise period of time (unless we allow the Dispensationalists to start inserting ‘gaps’.)
- Dan. 12:6
The question was, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
The answer was, "And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half;
and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
- Dan. 12:7-10
Certainly, many of the Jewish leaders did not understand the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles and so they persecuted them. And after them, the Roman government took up the work of ‘’scattering the power of the holy people" for a period of time lasting exactly 1260 years.
Even though Daniel did not understand fully what he heard, he sealed up, like the words of a prophet writing on a subway wall.
But today, with hindsight, we are beginning to understand the incredible prophecies, because they are being exposed to the light of day. Let’s look at the 12th chapter of Daniel.
"But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered.
2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.
5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank.
6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?"[The astonishing things mentioned in verses 1 through 3. 7] "The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left
hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time.
When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." [AD 70.] In other words, the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ will last 1260 years.
JACOB’S TROUBLE IS THE ‘GREAT TRIBULATION’
If we compare Dan 12:3 with Matt 13:40-43 it becomes obvious that Jesus’ parable must refer to the same event that Daniel refers to. Both refer to the righteous shining forth as the sun, and by comparison with Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 24, we understand that this refers to the fall of Jerusalem.
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
- Matt. 24: 30,31
"The harvest is the end of the world, (or age, aiwnov,) the reapers are the angels,"
- Matt. 13:
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then."
- Daniel 12 1
Those who hold this view and believe the ‘Great Tribulation’ is past are now being called ‘Partial Preterists’.- see Matt 24:21.
It is my belief that there will yet be a greater conversion of Jewish people, according to God’s grace and that they will be ‘grafted back into the Olive Tree’, so, we will come back to discuss who the 144,000 Remnant is, in a future article, God willing.
"And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graff them in again.
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?"
- Rom. 11: 23, 24 Praise God
FOURTH BEAST MADE UP OF TEN KINGDOMS
In the beginning of Daniel’s visions, he starts out with a dream in which king Nebuchadnezzar had of a great image, made from four types of precious metal.
The great image was made from gold, silver, brass, and iron. Each metal represented one of the four successive empire/nations in history beforethe coming of God’s kingdom.
- Dan. 2.
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, [Roman Empire] dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, [Holy Roman Empire] before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things".
- Dan. 7:7,8
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
- Dan. 7:13,14
This is the Kingdom given to Christ by his Father, at his Ascension to the Right Hand of the Most High.
"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." - Dan. 7:12-25
[Papacy’s war against the true saints of God]
THE GREAT ANTI-CHRIST PLUCKS UP THREE KINGDOMS The Nicene Council
In the year 325 A.D., the first general church council was called by Constantine to convene at Nice in which 318 bishops are said to have participated.
At this council the doctrine of Arias was discussed and settled, resulting in the banishment of the elderly man, and of Eusebius of Nicomedia. Dr. Arias taught the sonship of Jesus, claiming that he was truly the son of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit, but was not God Himself, in the sense as taught by the western bishops.
This contention finally resulted a hundred years later in the three Arian Kingdoms, the Burgundians, Vandals, and Ostrogoths, being plucked up, as set forth in the prophecy of Daniel 7:8, 25.
"It has been already stated how, following the council of Nice 321 A.D., that Dr. Arius was banished, and his writings committed to the flames.
A company of bishops who secretly favored Dr. Arias were discovered and banished into Gaul. One of the followers of Dr. Arias, who, by the dying words of his Sister Constantina, had been recommended to the emperor of Rome, had the address to persuade him that the sentence of Dr. Arias was unjust.
The emperor consequently recalled him, and endeavored to have him received into the church at Alexandria, but the bishop refused his admittance, but Arias and his adherents were received into the communion of the church at Jerusalem." -- Hugh Smith's History, p. 114.
The harvest resulting from the seed sowing of Dr. Arias had brought into existence three nations known as the "Arian Kingdoms," viz., the Burgundians, the Vandals and Ostrogoths.
It was at this point that the Papacy was exalted to spiritual authority over the Roman state, and by the consent and agreement of Emperor Justinian of Rome, church and state were united in the year 538 A.D. War against these powerful adherents of Dr. Arius, known as the Arian Kingdoms, resulted in their overthrow.
Three crowns thus fell, and three kings were plucked up by the roots, in fulfillment of Dan.7:8- 25.
In Daniel 7:25, it says the beast makes war with the saints, and prevails against them for "a time, times, and the dividing of (a) time."
This is the same expression used lative to the beast standing before the woman, in Revelation, 12th chapter, where it is said to mean twelve hundred and sixty days [prophetic years].
The last one of these three, viz., the Ostrogoth kingdom, fell in the year 538. Thus we have the final overthrow of the true church, and the woman driven into the wilderness.
When the 1260 days (or years) prophetically announced for her sojourn there are completed, reaching to 1798, we find her at that date coming forth again, and given religious liberty to proclaim the truth, which for so many centuries had been trampled under the feet of tyrants, who themselves had become drunk with the wine of Babylon, from the Harlot’s golden cup.
-- Revelation 17.
WALDENSES EXISTED BEFORE PETER WALDO IN PIEDMONT VALLEYS
Reimer says, "The Waldenses were very ancient and date their belief and practice from 300 A.D., more ancient are they than Peter Waldo, the rich merchant of Lyons." -- Sismondi, History of the Crusades against Albigenses, London.
Perrin, who wrote their history, had in his possession a New Testament in the Vallese language, written on parchment, in a very ancient letter, and a book entitled, in their language, Quai cosa sia l'Antichrist?' that is, What Is Antichrist?' under date of the year 1120, which carries us back twenty years before Waldo. Another book, entitled The Noble Lesson,' is dated A.D. 1100." -- Jones' Church History, p. 232, ed. 1837.
"They declare themselves to be the Apostles' successors, to have Apostolic authority, and the keys of binding and loosing. They hold the church of Rome to be the Whore of Babylon, and that all who obey her are damned, especially the clergy that are subject to her since the time of Pope Sylvester." . . . "
"In the Thirteenth Century, in the year 1215, the Pope Innocent III, of bloody celebrity held a council at the Lateran and announced anathemas against heretics of every description.
By his power over the ruling prince, Frederick II, Honorius extended his sanguinary measures to the kingdom of Italy, and the people of God began to flee, and, according to Mosheim,
they passed out of Italy, and spread like an inundation throughout the European provinces, but Germany in particular afforded an asylum where they were called Gazari instead of Cathari (Puritans)."
-- Mosheim, Eccl. Hist., v. 2, pp. 426, 430, and Orchard, Bap. Hist., p. 155.
Frederick II, emperor of the Romans, from Padua, in the year 1224, promulgated four edicts against the heretics, saying "We condemn to perpetual infamy, withdraw our protection from, and put under our ban, the Puritans, Paterines, Leonists, Arnoldists, Josephines, Albigenses, Waldenses, etc., and all other heretics, of both sexes, and of whatever name." -- Jones' Church History, p. 270.
They were also accused of asserting the Manichean doctrine of two independent principles- one good, the other evil; . . . and of many other things, and all with an evident design to persecute them to death; because they stood opposed to the errors and abominations of the church of Rome.
"That the Waldensian faith and worship existed many centuries before Protestantism arose is undeniable; the proofs and monuments of this fact lie scattered over all Europe; but the antiquity of the Waldenses is the antiquity of Protestantism.
The Church of the Reformation was in the loins of the Waldensian church ages before the birth of Luther; her first cradle was placed amid these terrors and sublimities, those ice-clad peaks and great bulwarks of rock.
In their dispersions over so many lands - over France, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, England, Calabria, Naples,
-- the Waldenses sowed the seeds of the great spiritual revival which, beginning with the days of Wycliffe, and advancing in the times of Luther and Calvin, awaits its full consummation in the ages to come."
-- Wylie, History of the Waldenses, pp. 24, 25.
NAPOLEON PUTS AN END TO THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
It was in the year 1798 that Napoleon sent General Berthier to conquer Rome, and to take the Catholic Pope as prisoner and banish him to exile, where he died three years later.
The Protestant banners were unfurled in the streets of Rome, and the union of church and state dissolved throughout Europe.
It is also worthy of note that at this particular time, the Constitution of the United States had just been written, granting the persecuted followers of Jesus a refuge, giving them that freedom and liberty of conscience, which they of right possess according to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, friends, it appears that we are running out of room for this Issue, so we will not be able to investigate some of the things we wanted to.
One of the things we do want to cover, while we are exploring spiritual and biblical matters, is the implications of the three levels of Reward, which Christ and the Apostles seemed to point to.
THREE LEVELS OF REWARD IN THE BOOK OF REVELATIONSome years ago, I ran across a quotation of Jesus, recorded by Papias, which I instantly dismissed, because of my mind set. But as the years rolled by, I kept running into other
quotes in the Gospels and writings by the Apostles, which seemed to say the same thing. Papias was one of John, the Beloved’ disciples (70 - 155 A.D.) who composed a book of Jesus’ sayings, which he called ‘The ORACLES OF THE LORD’.
In chapter 2, under his Exhortation to Virtue, he wrote: "But He who raised Him up from the dead WILL raise up us also those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven SHALL go there, others SHALL enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others SHALL possess the splendor of the city;
for everywhere the Savior WILL BE seen, according as they SHALL BE worthy who see Him.
There WILL BE a millennium AFTER the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ WILL BE established on this earth"
- Oracles, Chap 2, Vs 4-6Here, we need to compare this with the three levels of productivity found in Jesus parable of the good seed, "But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold."
- Matt. 13:8
Then, we have a quote from Irenaeus, the student of Polycarp, (120-202 A.D.) who was a disciple of John the Beloved.
"For ALL these and other words were UNQUESTIONABLY SPOKEN IN REFERENCE TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST, WHICH TAKES PLACE AFTER the coming of Antichrist, AND the destruction of all nations under his rule;
IN [the times of] WHICH [resurrection] THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL reign on the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they SHALL become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and SHALL enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels,
and union with spiritual beings; and those whom the Lord SHALL FIND IN THE FLESH, AWAITING HIM from heaven, and WHO HAVE suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one."
- AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK V, XXXV, 1
Rev. 5:9 (NEB) -- Thou art worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood dids't purchase for God men of every tribe and language, people and nation;
thou hast made of them a royal house, to serve our God as priests; and they shall reign upon the earth.
It is our hope and prayer that you have been blessed by these thoughts. Keep us in your prayers and thoughts at this time, as summer is usually hard on us financially.
God bless you and yours.
I remain, Jeffrey Brackeen
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