Well, greetings to all of you. This is the third time I've spoken here since I've come back to Pasadena, but the first time to the Church. The other two times were at college forums. I've had a little attack of the Asian Flu again. I seem to get that about once every seven or eight years; and it seems to last for sometimes three, four, five weeks with a low temperature, a head cold, sore throat. But I decided I wouldn't stay away another Sabbath. I'm going to be here, and I'm going to do the best I can to bring you a message today anyway, and I believe God will give me the strength to do it. I'd like to speak today on a prophecy. You know I think we seldom think of it this way, but the Bible gives us prophecies in about two or three different categories. There's one prophecy or series of prophecies found several different places in the Bible, probably somewhat based on Daniel (especially Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, although some of the other chapters in Daniel go along with it; in fact the whole book in a sense) and connected up with Revelation 13 and Revelation 17. Now those prophecies are concerned about conditions in Satan's world, the governments of this world, that are now replacing the government of God, the Kingdom of God. Which...of course the Kingdom of God has never been established yet. But the government of God was on this earth, under angels at one time, only there was rebellion and the angels sinned; and so we read of the angels that sinned in II Peter the second chapter and verse four.
A PROPHECY OF THE CHURCH
Now there is another prophecy in the twelfth chapter of Revelation which is a prophecy concerning the Church, and especially the Church and its relation to Satan. There are two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. One is the true Church of God — a small, persecuted Church — persecuted by Satan; persecuted by the governments of this world, which are the governments of Satan. The world doesn't realize it, of course; but they are actually the governments of Satan. Then we have the prophecies ... the principle prophecy, you might say, of the New Testament is the prophecy of Jesus, which you find in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 and Luke 21. Jesus there is speaking also of the conditions in the world and of the Church, and the condition of, well, the effect that the Church is having in the world. What would happen in the world and those of His disciples who were in the world? I'm going to touch on some of those things; but today I'm going to take as my theme, something I have never done before, the twelfth chapter of the book Revelation; and in a sense it spans the entire course of the Church. Now the Church did not begin in the year of 31 AD as sometimes we mistakenly think. The New Testament Church did, which we call and we think of as the Church. But you find the Congregation of Israel, which was both the Congregation of Israel and also the Kingdom of Israel. It was one of the world's governments, one of the world's kingdoms or nations. But it also was a spiritual or religious, not spiritual, but a religious congregation. It was not called "Church." It was called "Congregation." But the two words mean exactly the same thing — a called out assembly, or group of people. And so, in a sense, the Church started back there under Israel. Now I would like to begin in Mathew, rather in Revelation the thirteenth chapter, where John says.... I mean the twelfth chapter. I'll get this straight after while. I still have a little temperature in my head. If I go off the beam, please forgive me today. I'm doing the best I can. But when you have a head cold and you have a temperature on the thermometer, temporarily until that gets straightened out (believe me, I am not senile) but temporarily my head gets a little bit fogged up. The twelfth chapter of Revelation: Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun..." Now the book of Revelation is primarily written in symbols, symbolic language; and a woman is simply a symbol of a church. So, it's speaking of a church; and this is the Congregation of Israel that was also the Kingdom of Israel back beginning with the days of Moses. Revelation 12:1-2 [This] ...woman was clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. [Symbolic of course of the twelve tribes of Israel, although stars are often referred to as angels or as sometimes human leaders]. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. In other words, Christ was born of the tribe of Judah of the kingdom of ancient Israel — although Judah had split off and become a separate kingdom in the days of Rehoboam, after the death of king Solomon. Revelation12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. Now that ties right in with Revelation 13 and also to a certain extent Revelation 17, although the same symbols are not in the seventeenth chapter. But it is referring to the governments of this world under Satan that you'll find in Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and in Revelation 13 and 17. Of course, that great red dragon (as we see as we proceed) is Satan the Devil. Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven... That is, a third of the angels. Stars again are a symbol of angels; and they are sometimes used as a symbol of human leaders, or human messengers. Revelation12:4 ...his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
CHRIST'S FIRST COMING
That of course is the Christ child, born of Judah. Jesus came to His own, the tribe of Judah, the Kingdom of Judah; and His own received Him not. But Satan tried to devour Him through the Roman king and through the Roman government that was in authority in Palestine at the time as soon as Jesus was born. God had to warn Joseph and Mary (Mary was the mother of Jesus.) to flee with the Christ child into Egypt until king Herod (I believe it was Herod, wasn't it?) was dead. And then they came back, and they went up to Nazareth where Jesus was brought up; and he failed in that attempt. Again Satan tried to devour Jesus when he was thirty years old — before He began to preach, before He began His ministry. But she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations. So much in the Bible speaks of Jesus as a coming King. The prophecies in the book of Isaiah (for instance, in Isaiah 9:6-7) speaking of Jesus as a coming King to rule over nations and that His kingdom would endure forever. It was spoken to Mary, before Jesus was born, by the angel. Jesus said He was born to be a King, for that cause He came into the world. But His kingdom was not of this time, this age, or this world. This is Satan's world; and His kingdom is for the World Tomorrow, which is soon to dawn now in our time. Revelation 12:5 ...she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne, Now there quickly it travels over the time from ancient Israel, the birth of Christ, Satan's attack, Jesus' ministry, His death, His resurrection, His ascension to heaven caught up to God. All that has been covered in that little space that I have just read to you.
CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS
Revelation 12:6 And the woman (the Church) fled into the wilderness... Now we get into the Middle Ages. Part of the time the Church had to flee. About the year of 53 AD, when the apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians, you find that the gospel was already beginning to be suppressed. Jesus came preaching the gospel, taught it to His disciples who became the original apostles — the original leaders of the Church. And the Church, of course, followed that doctrine and that teaching. That began in 31 AD. But by 53 AD the Church had hardly become of age; and false doctrines were being substituted, counterfeit gospels were coming — primarily a gospel, as it turned out to be later, about the Messenger who brought the gospel message. Now we're going to see just a little later that Christ was the Messenger of the New Covenant. He brought that message, and He came as a Messenger; and that message was His gospel. But it was the government again, under Satan, that persecuted the Church. They had to meet secretly, and they finally even had to flee into the mountains through the Middle Ages (the Waldenses and other people like that). Revelation 12:6 ... where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. That's twelve hundred and sixty years. Now that particular twelve hundred and sixty years is not synonymous with the twelve hundred and sixty years of the revival of the ancient Roman Empire. It was revived in 554 as the Holy Roman Empire, and it lasted twelve hundred and sixty years until Napoleon's Waterloo, as we call it, in the year of 1814, and that was twelve hundred and sixty years. But that is a different twelve hundred and sixty years, apparently. Anyway, that carries us through the Middle Ages and brings us up to approximately our time now. So, you notice how many years are covered in just a few short verses here in this twelfth chapter. Now this twelfth chapter of Revelation will cover clear up to the Second Coming of Christ. Now I want to begin to fill in other prophecies with it and some of the other things that are not mentioned at this place. I'd like to show you first one thing about a duality of the twelve hundred and sixty days. There were two of those, and they were not synonymous. But this flight of the woman into the wilderness was a forerunner of a duality of prophecy, you might say, of the Church today — this Church, our Church — that is to be taken on the two wings of a great eagle to a place of safety. And it's time that we get back to that again now; and I noticed that some of our ministers are beginning to speak on it, and it's time that we get back to it. I've not said much about it now for about twenty, twenty-five years, because at least one minister was ridiculing the whole idea (as much of the Bible was ridiculed at the time). And again, I was only speaking about this time of fleeing ... not fleeing, but being taken to a place of safety. I guess I was just ahead of my time a little bit. I was in a lot of things. Way back in the time of World War II, and even prior to World War II, I was speaking a great deal on the air about the Day of the Lord. I thought it would be here almost immediately. Yes, so I was wrong. But you see Peter was wrong, and all the original apostles, and the apostle Paul was wrong. They thought the coming of Christ was going to be immediately in their time, in their generation, nineteen hundred and fifty years ago. So, they were wrong; and of course I had to be a little wrong too, or ahead of my time. And so I have not been speaking so much about the Day of the Lord now for some twenty-five or thirty ... no, it's more than thirty, thirty-five years or more. But it's time to get back to that now because were coming into that time very quickly now. That's one reason I've selected this subject to speak to you today. I want you to know THE TIME we're in now. Where are we in the time of prophecy, as a Church? As I say, some of the prophecies speak about conditions in the world. This speaks of the condition of the Church in relation to Satan. Now at that point I want to go back to Matthew 24, and I want to cover the first five verses back here. Matthew 24, well, Jesus was speaking to His disciples in the temple, or at the temple. Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. He was speaking of the temple, all the buildings of the temple; and it was to be destroyed. Now that did happen in their lifetime. That happened in the year of 70 AD. He was probably speaking to them around 29 or 30 AD, or it might have even gotten into the beginning of 31 AD. Matthew 24:3 And (later now) as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us when shall these things be? [What things? He had been speaking about the destruction of the temple. But now they asked another question.] And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]? The reason they tacked that question on was because they thought it was going to happen in their lifetime, the same as the destruction of the temple did happen in their lifetime. So, here was Jesus' answer to them: Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall deceive many. Many will come in Jesus' name, saying Jesus is the Christ. It's Jesus speaking; and He said, "Others will come in My name, saying I am the Christ." Not saying they are the Christ. I know there was a man named Krishnamurti, I believe his name was, brought over by a woman named Annie Besant, or something like that, from India, claiming to be Christ. And I think a man claiming to be Christ walked into one of our offices across the way over here one day and said, "I'm Jesus Christ.". But the answer was "Well, if you're Christ, I won't be able to grab you by the nape of the neck and seat of the pants and throw you out of here." And he got him out, and dusted off his hands; and said, "No, I've decided you are not Christ." And he got thrown out of the office, or I don't think he was really manhandled. I may have exaggerated that a bit, but he was put out. Anyway, Jesus told them what would happen in their lifetime first; and He didn't tell them what would be the sign of His coming (because that was going to be more than nineteen hundred years later) until a little later. So He started out, and He said: Matthew 24:5 Many shall come in my name saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many. Now that happened in their time. The gospel was suppressed. Another gospel was given, but they claimed to be the ministers of Jesus Christ. Satan claims to be (and is) the god of this world, and claims to be. Now Jesus didn't come to answer the second question until we get down here to verse 14, because that didn't happen in their lifetime. Matthew 24: 14 And (this gospel which He was preaching) this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
GOD'S MEASUREMENT OF TIME
Now, Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom. As I said, another gospel suppressed it, supplanted it. The gospel of the kingdom was NOT preached for nineteen hundred years. That's one hundred time cycles. Now God put the sun, the moon in the heavens in relation to the earth, to mark off certain spaces of time. One day is marked off by one revolution of the earth as it is measured by the sun, by what appears to be a sunset to us. Actually, the sun isn't setting. It's the earth that just turned past the sun. The week is measured by God's Sabbath — not by the sun, or the moon, or the earth; but by God's Sabbath. But the month is measured by the moon, and one revolution (yes) of the moon around the earth is one lunar month; and one revolution of the earth around the sun is a solar year. Now those three bodies — the sun, the moon and the earth — which mark off time come into precise, or almost precise, conjunction once in nineteen years. Now that's another thing that has been scoffed at by those who will not go along with the true teaching of Christ, and of God, and of the Bible. But there is a nineteen year time cycle; and nineteen years is a cycle of time as measured by the sun, the moon, and the earth. Apparently, the gospel was suppressed about 53 AD. It went on the most powerful radio station on earth (after it had gone coast to coast in the United States for one time cycle of exactly nineteen years, beginning in 1934 on the first Sunday beginning of January) and in the first week of January 1953, nineteen years later, the gospel began going to the world; and that was one century of time cycles from the time it apparently was suppressed according to Galatians chapter 1 verses 6 and 7. God does things right on time, and we need to sort of wake up to that fact and realize it. Maybe we should be on time a little better than we always are. Now let's get the time now. That gospel is going to the world; and it has gone through this Church, and through the one that God raised up as the leader of this Church. That gospel has been going to the world for the first time in nineteen hundred years. And you know it's another funny thing, today is the crucifixion anniversary of the death of Christ. We celebrated that last night as a memorial, and it is nineteen hundred and fifty. In other words, it is a century of time cycles plus fifty years exactly from the time that Christ did die. God does do things on time. All right, now Revelation 3; and in verse one I'd like to read: Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis... Remember these... notice that these messages in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation, the actual message is given to the angel of the Church. Now that word comes from the Greek word (I don't know whether they pronounce it angeles, or aggelos, or angelos.); but it is also translated in many cases "messenger," speaking of a human messenger — like John the Baptist, for example. It could be either; and, in any event, it is not speaking just to an angel. It is speaking either of and to a human messenger of the Church and leader; or it is speaking to the Church as a whole.
SARDIS CHURCH ERA
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars (that you found in the first chapter); I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead. That Church was spiritually dead. I came among that Church myself. I came among that Church back in nineteen... I first heard of them in the latter part of 1926 and beginning of 1927, and they were spiritually dead. But they did have the right name. They still went by the name "Church of God." They were the Church of God. They did believe in obeying God to the extent that they kept the Sabbath. But they'd lost so very, very much of the truth. They had lost a very great deal of it. They didn't know about the annual Sabbaths. They only knew of the one weekly Sabbath. They didn't know about the Kingdom of God. They didn't know what the true gospel was. Instead of the true gospel of the Kingdom of God, they were preaching what they called a "third angel's message," which is not a gospel at all, just something that's mentioned. Whether that is a real angel or another human messenger must be decided; but, nevertheless, that is mentioned in Revelation. Most people have never even noticed it there, but they made a whole gospel out of it. Now we come onto the next Church, because I came among them; and God did use me in the raising up of this Church. So, now we come to verse 7.
PHILADELPHIA CHURCH ERA
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia [Now, this is the Philadelphia Era now, following the Sardis Era.] write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (8) I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door. "An open door." You'll find that Paul explains how an open door was opened before him to preach the gospel, to go to another place and preach the gospel. It's a door that is an opening to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Revelation 3:8 ...And no man can shutteth [They tried to shut it, but they've never been able.]: for thou hast a little strength ... And often that is translated, "but a little strength". You have very little strength, very little strength. My name may be "Armstrong," but only the arm is suppose to be strong; and it is not as strong as it is suppose to be. I might just mention that in passing. Revelation 3:8...and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. I would like to tell you one thing: one difference between the raising up of this Church and the other churches in the world today. You take the leader or the founder of any church. Take the Wesleys, the founders of the Methodist Church; Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church; any of them that you want; and ask where did they get their teachings that they taught to their followers as the doctrines of their church. How did they get it, and from whom did they get it? AND IN EVERY CASE THEY GOT IT FROM OTHER MEN. THEY GOT IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE. THEY DID NOT GET IT FROM CHRIST! But where did the original apostles get it? They got it from Jesus Christ IN PERSON! Now get this: Jesus Christ in person is the personal Word of God. He is the Word of God in person, but the Bible here is the Word of God in writing; and it's the same Word exactly.
EARLY SCRIPTURAL DISCOVERIES
Now, I had been raised and taught by men in one of these Protestant Churches, a respected church, yes. I turned in my study, when I was challenged and I was trying to have my own way and I was trying to prove just the opposite of what the Bible says, as a matter of fact. That is, I hoped I would find that was true. I wasn't trying to prove the Bible wrong from that point of view. That isn't the way I mean it. But I mean I was trying to prove that what is right is the opposite of what the Bible says; and I came across Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death" And I said, " Well, that's not what I'd been taught!" What I'd been taught by men is that the wages of sin is eternal life. Of course, it's eternal life in hell fire. That's a little different than heaven, but it still would be eternal life. You're going to live forever, and burn forever, and never burn up. You'd be suffering, and suffering, suffering every second as long as ... well, as long as you live. You'd live forever, because you're an immortal soul. Then I read the last half of that verse; and it says that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." "Well, that can't be right! I've already got eternal life. Why do I have to get it from God? Something I already have. I'm an immortal soul...or I have an immortal soul, whichever." That's what I supposed. But you know, as I went a little further in the Bible, I found other things that weren't what I supposed. I found Jesus said, "No man has ascended up to heaven." I found where, in the first inspired sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter said, "David is not ascended into the heavens and his sepulcher is here with us even to this day." And David was a man after God's own heart, and David is not ascended into heaven. Jesus said no man was. Then I looked up the immortal soul, and I found "the soul that sinneth will die." That's stated twice in the Bible. Then I found Jesus talked to a couple of souls — Adam and Eve; and in the, let's see, second chapter of Genesis in verse seven: Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, (Now what is...man formed of the dust of the ground) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man (formed of the dust of the ground) became a living soul. Not an immortal soul! So what became A SOUL came out of theground. Not spirit, not immortal life; but something out of the ground that had to breathe air to live. And in other places in the Bible you'll find that the blood thereof is the life thereof. So we get a chemical existence from the breathing of air, the circulation of blood, the eating of food and the drinking of water to constantly give us fuel. And that's what keeps us going. It's just a chemical, temporary existence. It's not life. We don't have life. Adam was offered life in the Garden of Eden, but he didn't take it. All he had was a temporary chemical existence. He didn't have life. That's why you read in Ephesians 2, verse 1, that the people in Ephesus had been dead in trespasses and sins. They hadn't been alive. They were dead. But now they are alive by having the Holy Spirit of God. People who do not have the Spirit of God do not have life. They are dying every day they live. From the minute they were born, from the second they were born, they began dying. Dying is a long process. Sometimes it takes a couple of three hours, and some little infants die right at about the time they're born. Some take seventy years before they die; and some few of us live quite a little longer than that, but not too many. But it's a temporary existence. Now the Bible says that 'it is appointed to men once to die' and 'if in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.' We need to remember those things as we go along. Well, let's see. Now He said He would open a door. I think I want to come back to that a little bit later. I won't read the rest of that right now. I'd like to turn now back to Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. Malachi 3. And I'd like to read a little more than verse one this time. We usually stop at the end of verse one. You don't get the real meaning if you stop there. Malachi 3:1 Behold, [It's a prophecy.] I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [Who's speaking? Why the Lord, Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament. He's the Word of God.]: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple... Now we want to know something about that temple too. Christ was coming to a temple; and He did come to a temple when He came, didn't He? All right. Malachi 3:1 ... even the messenger of the covenant, Jesus came as the messenger of the New Covenant. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant. The new is a different covenant, based on better promises but the same law. Malachi 3:1-5 ...whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (2) But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers soap. (3) And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. (4) Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. (5) And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers [and against a lot of other people]. Now what I want to ask you is: Did that happen when Christ came? The answer is, "No, it didn't." Those things didn't happen at all. Those are all things that are going to take place when Christ comes the second time. Therefore, this is speaking primarily of the Second Coming of Christ, and not the first. But remember I said there's a duality. There's a first Adam and a second Adam. There's the Old Covenant; there's the New Covenant. There was the government of God; there's going to come later the Kingdom of God, and the government of God will be restored to the earth. God often does things in a duel manner. In fact, most prophecies are fulfilled that way. Now go back: Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord... shall suddenly come to his temple, And it is speaking about the Second Coming. What temple is He coming to? What temple is He coming to? And who is to prepare the way? Now you will read (in Mark the first chapter, you'll read it in Matthew and, yes, I believe it is in Luke too) that John the Baptist really sort of fulfilled that prophecy. He prepared the way before Christ. But this is speaking really of the Second Coming and not the first coming; and John the Baptist just prepared the way before Christ's first coming. So, this is really speaking of a Second Coming.
PREPARATION OF THE TEMPLE
Now there's another prophecy I'd like to read to you back here in Haggai the second chapter. Here was Haggai building a temple, a temple to which Christ came the first time. John the Baptist prepared the way before His coming the first time. Let's get something about the preparation of the temples of the first time and the second time. The temple had been destroyed at Jerusalem, that is Solomon's Temple. It was so glorious, you know, and probably the finest building ever built on earth. I don't know whether St. Peter's at Rome would be considered finer now today or not. It's ugly and filthy and dirty though, and Solomon's Temple was just glistering with shiny gold and silver and beautiful things. It was very, very beautiful. Of course, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is beautiful in a way; but it is dirty. But in Zechariah four, verses six and nine: Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
He's talking of the type of, the forerunner of, one who would have very little strength or very little power or spirit. YOU CAN'T DO IT WITH YOUR OWN POWER. YOU HAVEN'T GOT IT. YOU'RE A HUMAN BEING! YOU DO IT BY THE SPIRIT AND THE POWER OF THE LIVING GOD! Brethren, I didn't build this building here. I had something to do with it though. But it was Jesus Christ who built this building. I didn't build this campus. Jesus Christ did. But He used me in doing it. And I had something to do with designing almost every inch of this building and every inch of this campus, and I knew that God had shown me He wanted it to be beautiful. Three times we have won the award of being the most BEAUTIFUL, the best landscaped and best maintained, campus in United States of America. God's campus ought to be, and it is. And I say, "Praise be to God!" — not to any human beings though. We're only instruments. I didn't do it. Christ did it. To Him goes all the credit and glory. It's been done by faith. It's been done by the power of the Spirit of God. Let's realize that. I've noticed in this Work that, when some men get advanced to a certain higher position, they want to climb a little higher in the Work. They want a little bigger salary. It isn't always a bigger salary they want. So often, it's a little more power. They want the power, and God doesn't give it to them; and many of them are out, out in the world. Out in the cold, cold world going nowhere. They are just like (Oh, that man back in Moses' time. Why can't I think of his name now?) Korah and the people with him. Moses said to him, they said, "Korah, you had a high position, you had been elevated to quite a lot of authority; but it wasn't enough. You wanted more authority, you wanted...you were thinking of yourself, and your position, and how much position you could get it." What did God do? (Moses didn't do it. God did.) God just let the earth fall away from under them, and they sank down, and the earth swallowed them up and covered them; and they were buried alive. And God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Well, today there are those who do that and are coming to nothing. Those who get to glorifying themselves and want power for themselves, God doesn't give it to them. He just does not give it to them. There's one other verse I'd like to read here. Verse nine: Zechariah 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house [Now that was a type of the house, or the temple, to which Christ is coming.]; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. If that...if he was a "type," I hope that the-one-he's-the-type-of will finish the work and will be kept alive. So I go back to Isaiah 40 and the last three or four verses there; and I find how God renews our youth like the eagles, and how God can keep us alive and can even bring us back from death as He has brought me back from death — because I died, and I was brought back.
COMING TO A SPIRITUAL TEMPLE
Now what about the...what about the temple? I'd like to turn to something I hadn't...I didn't have it marked here. I didn't intend to, but I want to turn to it — to Ephesians...Ephesians, the second chapter; and just a few words here: Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye [That's the Church at Ephesus; and this would be the same as the Church of God anywhere that day, or of today, or at any time.], you are no more strangers and foreigners [They had been Gentiles.], but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Now, if they're citizens, that's speaking of their citizenship in a nation. They're no more foreigners; but they're also of "the household of God," and now He's speaking of the Family. A household is a family. So they're in a family relationship, the Family of God. Ephesians 2:20-21 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone [Now he is talking about them being a building.], (21) In whom all the building [That's the Church. The Church is a building.] all the building fitly framed together groweth unto [A holy ... what?] a holy TEMPLE in the Lord: That's the temple to which Christ is coming! People have argued aboutare the Jews going to destroy the Dome of the Rock that the Arabs have in Jerusalem — standing on the very sight where Solomon's temple once did, and where the temple did to which Christ came the first time? And are the Jews going to build a temple for Him to come? Oh, no! The temple it's speaking of is a spiritual temple. Now someone is to prepare the way for His coming. John the Baptist prepared the way for His first coming. John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the PHYSICAL wilderness of the Jordan River, and he was preparing the way for a PHYSICAL Jesus to come in the human flesh; and He was coming to a PHYSICAL temple built of stone that Zerubbabel built. Now just as John the Baptist may have been a type, so Zerubbabel was a type of the one who would build the second temple. That is, that Christ would use in the building — because, actually, it's God doing all these things anyway. Now God's doing it through Christ, and Christ does it through the Holy Spirit. But He came the first time to a physical temple and to a physical human, Judah. And He came announcing that He would bring about the Kingdom of God, but that was to be more than nineteen hundred years in the future. Was that a type of someone crying out in the SPIRITUALwilderness of religious confusion of this Twentieth Century? Of the SPIRITUAL CHRIST COMING IN POWER AND GLORY! NOT AS A PHYSICAL JESUS; BUT THE GOD, JESUS, in power and glory to His SPIRITUAL TEMPLE THAT WILL MEET HIM IN THE AIR, in the clouds. The dead in Christ of that temple will rise first. We, which are alive and remain, will be changed instantly from mortal to immortal, and rise and meet Him as IMMORTAL people. A far more glorious temple than Solomon's! A spiritual temple, that's what we shall be! Your faces won't be the color they are now, pale or whatever color they are. Your faces will all be as bright as the sun itself, full strength. Your eyes will be like flames of fire. You will be spiritual! You'll be composed of spirit. You'll have life, and you won't be dead. You'll have life! You'll have the kind of life so you never can die. You'll have the kind of life that can never be unhappy. You shall always have joy and happiness. You shall always want to help others and do good, as God does. He's coming this time to establish the Kingdom of God — which is a spiritual Kingdom, which is the Household of God, the Family of God that will RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD ON THIS EARTH and put away Satan the Devil. That is what is going to happen. Now we're just tracing the history of the Church here, and its relation to Satan the Devil, and some of these things. I want to get this history of it over to you. So now we'll go back to Revelation 12 once again and verses... beginning with verse 7. Now we get down to our present time, and here this Church has been raised up by one that God taught through the printed Word of God. The one that was taught by the printed Word, as the original apostles were by the personal Word. Same Words exactly. You tell me any other religious leader in the world that got his religion that way and gave it out to the whole Church that way. There is none! This is the only Church that has been built that way, brethren. You are the only ones that have that precious knowledge; and much of that knowledge had been lost through the Middle Ages, and God has restored it. You have knowledge that the Church didn't have a hundred years ago, two hundred, three hundred, five hundred, seven hundred years ago. You are privileged to have that wonderful knowledge. Do you appreciate it? Do you value it? Do you realize how precious it is? It's time we wake up and that we do realize.
WHOLE WORLD DECEIVED
All right, begin with verse seven now. I had read the first six verses back here in Revelation 12. Revelation 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. (8) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. (9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world [The whole world — not part of it, all of it!];he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Now that is right near the time of the coming of Christ, because the next words say: Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God... Salvation comes at the Second Coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God. So this is prior, just prior. Now, it could be as much as ten or fifteen years or thirty years prior; but it's getting close, considering the time of the thousands of years that things have been going on here on the earth. In nineteen hundred and fifty years for the Church itself, comparatively short time. But "the great dragon was cast out." Now, wait a minute...this war in heaven, Michael won it. This is again, there's duality. You read back in the... in Isaiah 14 of how the archangel Lucifer had been put on a throne on this earth and said, "I'll exalt my throne above the stars in heaven, I will ascend..." and he was going to knock God off the throne and take over the whole universe. You also read of him in Ezekiel 28 where he was perfect in all of his ways from the day he was created, until iniquity was found in him. The great archangel Lucifer became Satan the Devil. He had tried to swoop up to heaven with his angels and knock God off the throne. He was cast down. There's a duality. It's happened again, and I think that has happened just recently in our time. Now the Bible doesn't tell us when. We have to judge by what has happened. By the fruits you know, and what are the fruits? What has happened? The persecuting power always was the governments of this world — the governments of Satan. Satan persecutes through his government — the world's governments, the world's kingdoms, the world's laws. They are all masterminded by Satan the Devil. It's time that a lot of people begin to wake up to that fact because they exalt the governments of this world, the courts of this world. The Bible speaks of the UNJUST JUDGE! When it comes to judges in the courts of this world, there isn't justice there. And we should have learned it in a recent lawsuit where the government tried to overthrow and take over this Church, and did not succeed, and shall not succeed because this is the Church of the living God. And God did protect His Church and did preserve it; and He said the gates of the grave will never prevail against it; and this is the only Church that Jesus was talking about at that time. Now let's go on here in this twelfth chapter again of Revelation. Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength , and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,... When people begin to accuse the brethren, they are doing the work of Satan; and I have heard a lot of that in the last three or four months — ACCUSNG THE PEOPLE AND THE LEADERS OF GOD. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Revelation 12:10-11 ...which accused them before our God day and night. [That's what he was doing up in heaven.] (11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. I don't think that is speaking of the time of a martyrdom. That is yet to come. But I think our people did not love their lives unto death when you filled this auditorium and the hall of administration and the other buildings so that the officials of government could not get in; and you were holding religious services so they were afraid to enter and disturb a religious service. God was with us, and the power of God. Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. How does he know? How does he know that he has but a short time? Jesus said when this gospel of the Kingdom has been proclaimed to the world then shall the end COME! Satan KNOWS that's been going around. He KNOWS he has a short time. Many people don't know that though. I wonder if we know it in God's Church. It's time we do know it. He knows he has but a short time. Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon [which is the devil] saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And that is us; and he has been persecuting us, and he will continue to persecute us. Satan is not through, and we're going to be persecuted from now until Christ does come and put Satan away. So, prepare for it brethren; and, if it doesn't hit you, maybe you don't belong to Christ as much as you think you do.
A PLACE OF SAFETY
Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle [when this persecution comes to its full strength, it hasn't come to that yet] that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, [God has a PLACE, and there is a place.] where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time... This time it will be three and a half years. Now the time, time and half a time — that's twelve hundred and sixty days. And at the end time, when you come down to this end time, a day is a day being fulfilled. But prior to that, back in history, a day is a year being fulfilled in prophecy. Back in Numbers and in the Old Testament you find the key to that. It's all explained. I can't go into that today; but I hope you've read much of our literature, or heard it preached, and so that you understand all that. Anyway, she is... Revelation 12:14-16 ...from the face of the serpent. [This twelfth chapter is showing us the history of the Church (that is, the future history from Christ's time) in relation to the devil.] (15) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. (16) And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood [not the woman] which the dragon cast out of his mouth. Now that leaves one verse yet that I'll come to later. Now I want to fill in a few other verses at this point. Next I'm going to go back to Matthew 24, what is just coming next now and what we're leading into. It's a result of Satan's wrath, and we will very soon be coming to it. Mathew twenty four and verses twenty one and twenty two. Now, this is coming very soon now. We're almost up to that time. Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive. It's speaking of keeping humanity alive, not spiritual salvation in that case.]; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. That is the Great Tribulation, and this Church is to be taken to a place of safety for that three and a half years of that Great Tribulation. Now at this point I'd like to turn back to a prophecy in the Old Testament again, in Joel 2 and verse 31. Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness , and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. Now, that was before the Day of the Lord. Now I want to show you here in verse 29 of Matthew 24... Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days [just after the Great Tribulation] shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: But that will be before the Day of the Lord. So you see, first comes the Great Tribulation, after that the signs in the sun, and moon and the stars; after that the Day of the Lord. And Christ comes in the Day of the Lord, or very soon after its beginning; and I don't know whether that is a few days, a few weeks, or a few months. I don't know. I don't think it's a few years. But God doesn't give us the time; so I don't know, and you don't know. Now back to Revelation 6 this time. Revelation 6, and I want to show you about the sun and the moon being dark. Beginning with verse 12 in Revelation 6. Revelation 6:12-17 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake [Now this follows the Great Tribulation which is the fifth seal in this chapter in Revelation.] and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. (13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, [I think that means it has to be a meteor shower, not stars that are bigger than our sun, of course.]when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (15) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, HID themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (16) And said to the mountains and rocks, FALL on us, and HIDE us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. [Because they SEE the sight of this in heaven, and it's going to FRIGHTEN them as they have never been frightened in all their lives. They're going to want to die and seek death, and won't be able to.] (17) For the great day of his wrath [God's wrath] is come; and who shall be able to stand. The Great Tribulation is really caused by Satan's wrath, but the Day of the Lord will come upon us as a result of God's wrath on Satan and the people that are following his way. Now, I'd like to go on just to mention a little bit about the seventh chapter of Revelation here, while I'm on it. Revelation 7:1 ...After these things there were four angels holding up the four winds of the earth that they should not blow [on the earth and the seas and the trees and so on] ... Then appeared the hundred and forty four thousand and another great innumerable multitude of all nations. Now when they ask, "Who are they?" They are people that come to Christ out of the Great Tribulation. A great...not revival; but a great conversion of people is going to happen as a result or during the Great Tribulation. Many people have heard our message. Millions have heard it that we have not heard from, believe me. They haven't paid too much attention to it now; but, when these things happen, they'll say, "That was the truth that we heard". They've heard it on television. They've heard it on radio. They've read it in the Plain Truth. Millions of copies of the Plain Truth are going out now every month, over two million. And I hope we will get it built back up over three million again very soon. We are reaching millions of people, and I think we don't realize it. We don't hear from all those millions. We just hear from those that are a little bit interested. So many of them get it. They say, "Oh, yeah;" and they go on, and they don't pay much attention. But, believe you me, they're going to pay attention when the Great Tribulation comes. Now we're in a time of trouble now such as the world never had before, but it is going to be a lot worse than this. This is a forerunner, you might say of the Great Tribulation, that we're into right now. Now those of the hundred and forty four thousand, the great innumerable multitude, they will be the Laodicean Church that is to follow this Church. The Laodicean Church has not appeared as yet. You want to know about that? Well, that's it. It will come out of the Great Tribulation. You find the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3 and again in Matthew 25. The Laodicean Church — they're lukewarm. They're only half filled with the Holy Spirit.
PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
But now I'd like to have you notice in Matthew 25 just a moment. Here's something you might devote a lot of time to in studying, Matthew 25 beginning with verse 1. Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins... Now that's speaking of those in the Church, and the ten virgins. This ties up with the ten pounds and also the ten ... the parable that follows this of the ten, of the parable of the talents. That wasn't ten, was it? But the pounds were ten and their result ... they're talking about the Church in this time before Christ comes. Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins [That's the Church in this whole Church Age.] which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. They were told of the Second Coming of Christ over nineteen hundred years ago. Now "their lamps" is symbolic. As I say, Revelation is symbolic. "Thy word is a lamp unto our feet," the Bible says. The lamps then are the Bible. Now these were a Bible-loving people. They didn't have Bibles to take back in the days of Christ, but they...they took the Word of God that they had heard proclaimed nevertheless. But they didn't have oil, the Holy Spirit. Now I want you to notice something right here: Matthew 25:2-4 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: (4) But the wise took oil [not in the lamps] in their vessels with their lamps. Now the lamp is the Bible. The lamp is the Word of God. But the vessel that they took the oil in was the person, and in your mind; and you can't understand the Bible without the Holy Spirit. The oil is the Holy Spirit, and those that were foolish did not have the Holy Spirit. They had the Bible; but they couldn't understand it correctly, because they didn't have the Holy Spirit. Matthew 25:6 And at midnight... Now that's the way it has been for nineteen hundred years, but now we get down to our time. They thought Christ was coming right then, in their day. Paul thought so. Peter thought so. He didn't come then. But you know... Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried [Christ didn't come that soon.], they all slumbered and slept. The whole Church slumbered and slept; and, in that slumber and sleep, they lost sight of the Second Coming of Christ. They forgot! And the Second Coming of Christ was not PROCLAIMED through the Middle Ages. The Second Coming of Christ, there was a duality there; and the first, it began with the William Miller Movement in 1843, or just prior to 1843. And he had it all figured that Christ was coming in 1843 on a certain date. I forget the date. You can research it and look it up, if you want to get it. He didn't come on that date, and so a lot of people were terribly discouraged. He tried to set the date. You can't do that, of course. But a lot of people followed a woman, a Mrs. Ellen G. White. And that developed into what became ... And they were people of the Church of God for a while; but they then had a meeting about 1860, and they changed the name to Seventh Day Adventists. But they also had proclaimed the Second Coming of Christ, but they got it all wrong. Christ was only coming to meet us as we were going to heaven, where the Bible says that we're going to meet Him in the clouds as He comes to earth. So they invented their doctrine of the Investigative Judgment in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. And they have their doctrine of the Twenty Three Hundred Days, and the Spirit of Prophecy and some of their particular Seventh Day Adventist doctrines. So they wanted to get rid of the word or name Church of God. They threw it away, and adopted the name Seventh Day Adventists. The Church of God continued on. It's headquarters had moved from a place in Iowa to Stanberry, Missouri by the time I came among them back in 1926 and seven. Now we are getting down to our time. But people didn't believe it; and they didn't have the truth about it, or the purpose of Christ's coming, or what He's coming for, or anything about it. It was not the gospel. But... Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made ... I guess it's like they expected Him about seven or eight o' clock; and they went to sleep, you know. Makes me think of when I was in a church to see the old century out and the new century in. I was seven and a half years old. 1899 was going out, and the year 1900 was just coming in. I was just a little kid, seven and a half years old; and they made me sit there in church until midnight. There was no program. There was no music. There was no speaking. Nothing. I wanted to turn over and go to sleep, like these virgins. My parents wouldn't let me. My father would kind of thump me on the side of the head once and awhile and say, "Wake up there, son". And I'd try to wake up, but it was very difficult. But these virgins were sleeping, and they lost a lot of the gospel. Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made [A voice started to cry out, now, in the spiritual wilderness of the Twentieth Century], Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Now, as I say, there was a one-two there. A one-two shot, "type and antitype," or whatever you want to call it. And William Miller gave a little bit of something about it in 1843, or just prior to that time. But we've been proclaiming it, and people haven't paid too much attention to it; but still there are thousands in God's Church today, and it is the Worldwide Church of God, and we are worldwide today. Matthew 25:7-9 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [That is, they began to dust off the Bible and look into a little bit.] (8) And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us your oil, for our lamps are gone out [Or "they're going out," as some of the other translations have it.]. (9) But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. You know you sort of have to "buy" the Holy Spirit, when you stop and think about it. You have to give up, not money. You don't give up money. You have to give up yourself. You have to give up your own way of life. You have to repent, and you have to begin to believe, and you have to give yourself to God; and that's the way you receive the Holy Spirit. I was writing something this morning. I won't take time on it. How do people get demon possession, and how do they get the Spirit of God? There's quite a difference, a great contrast between those two; but I won't go into that now. Matthew 25:10-12 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came [the Second Coming of Christ],and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (11) Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. When they didn't have the Holy Spirit, they didn't have the life of God; and He did not know them. It made me think there are a lot that understand part of the Bible, but they've never received the Spirit of God. Just believing certain parts of the Bible doesn't save you, brethren. The Spirit of God is a different spirit, a different attitude that comes into you. It does not possess you like a demon might possess you, but it will open your mind to understand and comprehend the Bible. And the Holy Spirit of God will lead the way, and will show you the way, and say, "This is the way, walk you in it." And the question is whether you will do it or not. Well, at that time, now we get back to Matthew 24 again, just one verse here. Oh, my, I get so many scriptures here I get lost trying to go from one to the other. Matthew 24 and verse 30. I read 29 a while ago. And... Wait a minute. I'm in the wrong chapter.
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear [after the signs in the sun and the moon and the stars that I read in verse 29] 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 that will be the Second Coming of Christ. Now we turn back to finish Revelation 12, in the final verse, verse 17. Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman [That's the Church.], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [The remnant is the last part, the tag end of a bolt of cloth that you buy in a dry goods store; and the remnant then is the Laodicean Church.], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. A lot of them may be commandment keepers, but they won't have the Spirit of God. That is a spirit and an attitude. We have to have the life of God, the Spirit of God, within us. Now in Revelation 11 and verse 15, finally, to just bring this down to something complete. Revelation 11 and verse 15. Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD [That's all the governments of this earth.] ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. And then you go on to the twentieth and the nineteenth chapter and that you'll find how Christ is coming as the "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS," and then in the twentieth chapter how Satan is taken away and the saints will rule with Christ in the Kingdom of God. And so that will complete the history of the Church up to the coming of Christ as it is, in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation and other scriptures that I have used to fill in a lot of the little points along the way. We're right now I think at the time just after that war in heaven between Michael and his angels fighting against Satan the Devil and his demons. And the devil is down and full of wrath. It hasn't come to the final persecution yet. We're not right at the Great Tribulation, but it is next to happen. We're very, very close to it. There isn't much time left. And I thought it was necessary to have that. I might have said some things today about the annual holy days and the festivals of God, but I'm going to hope that God will give me the strength to be back and talk to you tomorrow afternoon; and I'll reserve that for tomorrow. But I thought that you needed this message today. You need to know just where we are and what is happening. We need to remember how this Church has been resurrected, and how God's knowledge has been restored that had been lost while the Church slumbered and slept through the Middle Ages. They lost so much of the knowledge of God. It has been restored. Can you realize that, brethren? Now tonight is the Night To Be Much Observed; and it is also a memorial of the Israelites coming out of Egypt, as we are to come out of sin. Last night we had a memorial of the death of Christ. We're to remember those things. There was something said in the morning service about remembering these things and why we should, ah, why we should observe and remember the dinner that we shall have tonight. We come to have it with small groups. We tried to all eat at once; and it's too big a group to all eat at once, and you can't do it very well. But I'm having a group at my home, and I presume you'll all have groups; and we should remember these things. We should remember Christ and His death, and we did last night — a memorial for his death. We should remember how this Church is not just something, just another church. It is something special that God has raised up. God revealed truth to me; and if there is any reason why He has chose me, there's only one. It's not because of any righteousness of mine. It's not because of any abilities or powers of mine. I've known scores upon scores of men with better minds than I have, better personality, better appearance, more leadership. I'd say about more of everything that you think of humanly. But God has not called them or used them. Why? Why did He pick on one as inferior as I am? Because I was willing to believe Him. Adam and Eve didn't believe Him. Jesus Christ talked to thousands who didn't believe Him. Only a hundred and twenty still believed Him after Christ had talked for three and a half years to multiple thousands of people. But I did believe Him, and I have NOT COMPROMISED WITH THAT BELIEF ONE IOTA; AND I"VE BEEN WORKING HARD THE LAST TWO AND HALF YEARS TO GET THIS CHURCH BACK ON THE TRACK AFTER OTHERS WERE GETTING IT OFF THE TRACK. I don't think we are a hundred percent back yet. I don't think we have gotten all of the leaven out yet. But it's going out, believe me; and we're going to get it out. Let's not be part of those virgins who don't have any oil in their lamps. If you have any doubt in your mind, begin fasting and praying, asking God to give you His Spirit. But His Spirit will only open your mind to understand His Word. And you will have to follow it. The Holy Spirit is not going to pull you. It's not going to push you. It's not going to compel you. It'll show you the way. You have to begin to want to walk on it in your own power, and you'll have to ask God for extra power and help. Brethren, we're in the very last days; and we need to be sure that we are ready. And I hope that you'll all take this very seriously. The things in this world are of no importance from now on at all. Forget them. I used to want to go down and see Lakers basketball games. I haven't any time for that anymore. I'm just having to learn to forget everything of that kind.