The next thing we have to have, is people. People are a necessity. A man can stand here and preach crystal clear the truth, and preach it for 5 years, but if he didn't have people to live the message, no one will ever see the truth and the church. It takes the Word of God preached crystal clear, then, it takes a people that are living just as crystal clear as the Word. They’re standing on the sea of glass and they’re living so close to the teachings of the Word---they’re living epistles. Did I hear someone say, “That’s getting it too close?” You can’t get it too close. That’s perhaps the “biggest trick” the devil ever pulled on us, when he got us smart enough that we were getting it too close. Surely, never a man lived, that could get it too close. Why. after man has done all he can do, it’s yet closer than that.
Please, don't get nervous if we repeat, because we’ve been preaching about repetition. Why do we repeat so much? Well, they keep telling us in Reader's Digest, (and everywhere else) that people only get a third of what we say, so anything we want them to get, we say it three or four times. John said, “I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire and men (people that have gotten the victory over the beast and his image, over his mark and the number of his name) standing on that sea of glass. That’s the next thing, necessary.
Now this is a big one. “It’s just an invisible something,” somebody said. Well, if John had seen an invisible something, he wouldn’t have had anything to write. If John had seen the same vision a lot of people have, he would have had to use invisible ink in his pen. But he wrote about something he saw, physically, in a vision---that was to actually happen. We go back to the morning time, when the Apostle Paul persecuted and wasted the Church of God. That’s the building. No, Paul didn’t tear down weatherboarding or kick the windows out! He was after people---had people put in jail, when he persecuted and wasted the Church of God. We’re taking our time---we want you to get it. On that sea of glass, were people---that had gotten victory over the beast and, his image, etc. Let’s get this clear as Crystal. =)
The world can’t see spirits. Jesus prayed that we might come together in a visible oneness that the world could see and believe. Again, the world cannot see spirits. Look closely--these people had actually come to “the unity of the faith”. “Oh, we can never get there.” Well, you’re too late! There are a lot of people already there. They had come to the unity of the faith. They were standing on the Word of God, and that is the faith, and they were standing on it. They had come to the unity of the faith---and they were visible. This “spiritual business” and “invisible business” has gone so far, that people are just sending their spirits one way and they’re going somewhere else. We just came from a place where they told me; I didn't get to church last night but my spirit was here. I said, “No, it wasn’t---when your spirit leaves your body you’re dead and we’ll call the undertaker (smile), but the lesson is very serious! They send their spirits to church and they go to the lakes. That's right, “We couldn't get there Sunday, but our spirit was there.” Wherever we are, our spirit is! We’re no more one, biblically or spiritually, than we are one, visibly or physically, in that sense. Well, maybe we ought to talk about that just a little bit.
This Bible says they were standing on the sea of glass or the Word of God. They had come to the unity of the faith. They had seen it, come to it and stood on it. In Ephesians the 4th chapter, "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit - till we come to the unity of the faith." Then, you won't have such an endeavor. They are “out here,” endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit, working themselves to death. Paul said it was an endeavor and we would have to keep it in the bonds of peace. Why? When people begin to get different ideas about doctrines, our spiritual unity gets strained. But after we get together and come to the unity of the faith, there’s no longer a need to “endeavor---what-so-ever,” to keep ones unity! The thing that strains the “spiritual unity” is the diversity of thoughts about the faith. So, here we are out here, endeavoring, taking all our strength, being oh so careful, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit, and we’re failing to reach the world for Christ. All we’re getting done, is endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit. The morning church came to the unity of the faith. Well, they didn't have any endeavor---they didn't have such a struggle as we’re having today, because they took the real endeavor, and went out to win the world for Christ. We know the pristine glory of the church didn’t last long, but my friend, there was such unity of the faith, there, that they still did a powerful work for many years. He said in Ephesians the 4th chapter and the 13th verse, “…endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit until we come to the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, but we might grow up.”
THINGS REQUIRED TO KEEP UNITY
Now, if we ever keep the unity of the spirit, there’s some things, Paul said, we must agree on, and we have to have that settled to keep the unity of the Spirit. What are they? Well, I think we’d better read the first verse. We’re getting in deep water. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…" That’s a requirement for the unity of the Spirit. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Things we’ve got to own or we’ll never get along. “There’s one body”---only one church. "There’s one Spirit." "There’s only one hope of your calling" "There’s only one Lord." Now we have to agree on this if we’re ever going to get along. "There’s only one faith." "There’s only one baptism." "There’s only one God." Things we have to have or we’ll never get along.
Modern Christendom is talking about “the faith of your choice”. May God help us! Rev. 15:4, tells us how these people gained this victory they had, and we will talk about their victory shortly. It tells us how they got to the unity of the faith. How did they get there? How did they get to a place where they could stand on God's Word? This 4th verse tells us how. “Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify Thy Name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” If people ever come to the truth, we are going to have to preach the truth; we’re going to have to make manifest the judgments of God. God loves everybody, but there are some things God hates. There’s judgment, which needs to be made manifest to them. How did these people get here? They were praising God. Why, he said all nations will come to this, for thy judgments are made manifest. That’s how they saw the truth and how they came to it. Isaiah said, in the 28th chapter of Isaiah, the judgment must be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet to ever build on the right foundation the right kind of experience.
In this 15th chapter of the Revelation, the first verse, there’s something here that you might not agree with, but John liked it. John said, “I saw another sign in Heaven, great and marvelous…” When he saw the seven angels with the seven last plagues or the vials of God's wrath. The seven last plagues and the seven vials are the same thing. That’s not very great and marvelous to the saints today. John loved the truth. When he saw those seven angels, or the Greek says, messengers---Rev. 1:20, tells us those angels were preachers---those angels with the vials are nothing more than a ministry that will pour out the judgments of God, or the wrath of God. Someone said, “You shouldn't pour out the wrath of God, you’ve quit preaching the Gospel---no, we haven't. Romans the 1st chapter, Paul said he was not ashamed of the Gospel---and the reason he said that---he was down in Rome where a lot of them were ashamed of it. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it’s the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, the Jew first and also the Gentile. For therein (where?) --In the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed. The just shall live by faith. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven. Where? In the Gospel! Against all ungodliness and men that hold the truth in unrighteousness. This symbol of vials of wrath is a ministry that will pour out the wrath of God on things that God hates and where people are held in bondage, thinking they are right. The only way they will ever find out it’s not truth, is for someone to pour out the wrath of God and let people know that God is not for it. Christendom today, would have people believe that anything under the “brand of religion,” has God's seal of approval upon it. There are things going on in the religious world that God hates. He says he does, right in His Word and people need to know it, so they can leave those things and be set free from the bondage of it. Why did John think it was a marvelous sight when he saw those seven angels? He saw a great sign in heaven.
There’s only one other place John said that in the Revelation. In Rev. the 12th chapter, the first verse, he said he saw a great sign when he saw the church there, the pure woman, with a crown of twelve stars on her head and the moon under her feet, etc. Now, why did he think that was so great? Who showed John in the Revelation, the great whore, mystery Babylon? Read in the 17th chapter of the Revelation, One of the seven angels that had the seven vials came unto me and said, come hither and I will show you the great whore. Apostate religion. Who showed John the bride, the church? Rev. 21, one of the angels that had the seven vials said come hither, and I will show you the Lamb's wife, the bride. Now, what does that tell us? If anybody ever sees Babylon as she really is and if anybody ever sees the true church as she really is, it will take some pouring out of the vials of the wrath of God. We can’t stop there, but you know as well as I, that if we’re ever going to see the church we’re going to have to get carried away. John said one of the seven angels that had the seven vials said unto me, "come hither," and he carried me away in the spirit. That’s why so many don’t see. They refuse to get carried away. They’re too earth bound. We get staked down---so tied up and enveloped in the things that are earthly and material, that we can’t get carried away. We’ve got to get carried away in the spirit to ever see spiritual things. Glory to God---all the strings cut, and just let the Spirit of God carry us away. Ah, by the look on some of your faces, we see you must not know what we’re talking about. Well, when you go out to the ball game, and you see some “starchy fellow” there, real stiff, but they make a home run, he goes WOW and throws his hat. You say, man, he’s carried away. Well, ditto! =) Because if you do it out at the ball game, you’re a fan, but if you do it in the church you’re a fan----atic. It makes all the difference in the world where you are, when it happens.
Well, here are a people standing on the Word of God. How did they get there? To ever get there they had to have some victories. They had to fight some battles. It’s not as easy to get on that Word of God in the unity of the faith, as just taking a step and getting over on it. They had to fight some battles.
John said, “I saw them standing on the sea of glass with victory over the beast and his image and his mark and the number of his name.” Brother, they had to fight their way there, and take a victory every time to get to that place where they could stand in the unity of God's eternal Word, as the church of the living God. They had victory over the beast---glory to God. They had victory over the beast, in the Revelation. We hope you all realize, the beast symbolizes Papal Rome---seven heads and ten horns, symbolizing the Roman Empire. Papalism that grew up, and it said these people had victory over that beast. Now what does it mean to have victory over the beast? What does it mean to have victory over Roman Catholicism---symbolized here by the beast, that grew out of the pagan Roman Empire?
Well, it means to have victory over the power of the thing, getting to a place where that beast has no power over you, yes, victory over him. Well, what kind of a power did he have? Revelation 13:8, let's read about him. Let’s read the 2nd verse, in the 13th chapter: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard (showing a sinful spotted condition) and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Roman Catholicism tells you she got her authority from God, but the Bible says she got it from the dragon, and he got his from the devil. The dragon gave him his seat and his power and his great authority.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM IS DARKNESS
Well, what kind of power does he exercise over people? In the 7th verse, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." What kind of power? Go with me to the 16th chapter of the Revelation, the 10th verse, where the fifth angel, that had the vials; they poured out wrath on the seat of the beast and his kingdom was full of darkness. What are we talking about? It didn’t make it dark when he poured the truth out! We tried to think of some chemical reaction we may have learned, but we couldn’t think of it, to bring an illustration, but we want you to get this! These vials are vials of truth, and there are lots of things here that could display a beautiful color in the world.
Roman Catholicism has millions of people sold that it’s a route to heaven, but when the ministry poured the truth out on them and measured it by the truth, John said I watched it, and it was full of darkness---there was no light in it whatsoever. Roman Catholicism is full of darkness today---no truth in it whatsoever. Keep in mind we’re talking about the system of Roman Catholicism---we’re not talking about people! It’s because they shut off every avenue of light. As soon as they moved in, they burned the Bibles---and every Christian that would stand up to give them light, they cut their heads off! They don’t want light. Now, what kind of power has Roman Catholicism? Her power is darkness!
That is the kind of power the Revelation said she was given over all nations---that’s the only power she has. She keeps her people in darkness. If her members get any light, they “get out of there”. That’s why she won’t let them read their Bibles. [ Note: These “lectures” were presented in the early 60’s. Today “she’s” not as strict about advising her members not to read the Bible. ] She keeps them away from church. Don't go to church! Why? She knows the only power she’s got is to keep them in darkness. But, thank God, when anyone gets any light that power is broken. Now, we would stop here tonight, but this is sadder than I fear, we realize. Those people are to be pitied. Don't ever, anybody think, that we’re out after any people when we preach. We’re after false systems that the devil is substituting for the real plan of salvation.
Those people are to be pitied. They’re to be reached with every opportunity that God would give us to reach them. Why? That power has got a hold on them, and they’re in the grip of that thing. They’re held in the power of darkness and they believe it to be truth, just as much as you believe: thus saith the Lord, to be truth. They’ve been taught it from childhood up and it has a hold on them and they’re under the power of it. A brother in our congregation is a railroader. He works with a fine Catholic man when he stays down in Cincinnati. They were working in the railroad yard there, and the priest came out a few days ago, and said, "we’re building a new building and I want to know how much money to put you down for." Well, he said, "Put me down for $100.00." The priest went away and the next day he came back out, or the day after, and said, "I put you down for $500.00." Then, walked away. The Brother said, you’re not going to pay that are you? Well, I'll have to. Why? "He'll pray against me." See, there’s the power they have over them.
What would you have said? I would have said, “Let him pray---his prayer doesn't go any higher than the ceiling.” He can pray against me all he wants to---I’m not in darkness---I’m in the light. I know he’s just a man. He’s no god. And I mean Pope John. He’s no God, either. He’s not even an ambassador for God. He needs to hear the Gospel of repentance, just the same as any other sinner. But those poor people are under the power of darkness. When I was in Korea, I went down to a shrine, and there, old Buddha set. As far as I was concerned, just a big hunk of stone carved out, but to them he was real. They had the most beautiful floor you ever saw. No one ever went in with shoes on. I was out in the world, a sinner, but yet, knew enough of the Gospel to know there wasn’t anything to that. I walked in there, with the priest watching---with my muddy shoes and slapped him in the side of the face and kicked the tambourines; and he thought sure I would fall dead, but I didn't. Why? I had light---that's just a piece of stone---but oh, how they’re bound under the power of it. The power that Roman Catholicism has been given, over the world's darkness, and any time members of the Roman Catholic church gets any light, that power is broken. The priest can come down and say, “Look here, I'll do this and I'll do that,” but you can just shake hands and say, "brother, you can do all you want to, but you haven’t got any power over me.”
Now, how did they get the victory? They had victory over the beast. Col. the first chapter and the 13th verse, said, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:”
THEY HAD VICTORY OVER THE BEAST
There’s only one people on the face of the globe that Satan hasn’t got power over. The 8th verse says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Perhaps you may say, “I’m not worshipping him.” Well, we just don’t know all his deceptions. He has many ways to get people to worship him besides worshipping in Catholicism. When we get our names in the Lamb's Book of Life and we receive light through Jesus Christ, (a born again experience) thank God, that old spirit is removed and we walk in the light.
They, not only had victory over the beast, they had victory over his image. Well, what is his image? Let’s not get confused here. Whose image? The beast's image! Revelation, the 13th chapter, the 11th verse, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake like a dragon." He’s doing “dragon talk”. Now, this fellow, did dragon talk! This second beast, my friend, is symbolizing Protestantism. We’ll prove it to you, shortly. It has the same language as this fellow (the dragon) has. He had two horns like a lamb---making him deceptive---it looked like true Christianity, but it came up out of the earth. What does the Revelation mean when it said he came up out of the earth? It means he came up out of the minds of men; it’s an earthly something. Any church, you can join, was started by some man or a group of men. It came up out of the earth and the Revelation said it’s going back down, but the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven and she’s going back up. We’re all going to our source. That’s why Protestantism is going right back to Roman Catholicism---going back to the source she came from. So is the true church of God, going back to the source she came from--Glory to God! She came out of the mind of God. "Two horns like a lamb and spake as a dragon, and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast."
Well, what kind of power did the first beast have? Darkness. "And causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast." Oh, do the Protestants ever fight you, when you try to tell them why they’re worshipping this beast too! They don’t like to own that, but the Bible says they are. This fellow caused them, (Protestantism) that dwells on the earth to worship this beast, whose deadly wound was healed. Now how does he do it? Let’s read a little farther here and may God help us.
The first thought I would, like to bring forth, before we go farther, is, this fellow had two horns like a lamb, he looked like a lamb but we want to deal with his speech a little---he spake like a dragon! Now, what is dragon talk? Revelation 13:6, this fellow spake like a dragon too. He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle and His people. This fellow has the same kind of talk. Could we go a little farther? "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." This second beast came up out of the earth, symbolizing Protestantism, historically speaking, the two horns symbolize powers---horns always denote power symbolizing England and Germany where Protestantism raised out of, through Luther and other early reformers. Now, what does he do? This scripture tells us here, that he talked just like the dragon; the 12th verse says he causeth them to worship the first beast. How? By causing these Protestant organizations to make an image to the first beast. Now, many people cannot understand how the Protestants and the Catholics are going to get back together. Very simple: they’re both worshipping the same thing.
Catholics are worshipping the beast and the Protestants are worshipping the image of the beast and they’ve both got the same spirit. Now, I’m speaking of people that are not in the book of life. They both have the same spirit. How do we get that? Well, this beast had power to give life to the image of the beast, or the Greek said, breath. What is the life? The life is the Spirit! So, it lived, and talked, and it talked like the dragon. You know what we preached on---how our talk is governed by the kind of spirit we have in us. And the beast, my friend, had power to give life to the image of the beast, that it should both speak and enforce what it spoke. Now, let's look a little farther.
It says here, that he deceived them---that’s the sad part. The 13th and 14th verses, said Protestantism symbolized by this beast, did great wonders and caused fire to come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men and deceived them that dwell on the earth by the means of the miracles that he had power to do, saying to them that dwell on the earth, to "make an image to the first beast." How’d he do it? In the early days of Protestantism here, when the fire really fell, this old false spirit got right in and got them to “cash in” on the very power of God and build an organization. If the Methodists had to build their organization on the message they are preaching now, they wouldn’t have one. They cashed in on it, when the fire was there. The same thing is true about the church of God reformation. If they had to build a reformation on the message they’re preaching today, they wouldn’t have one. The thing that built the church of God reformation, was the Holy Ghost preaching---when the fire fell and when the power of God was in their midst. We hope you’re able to follow that right. While God was turning truth loose and blessing the truth with His power, there was an old false spirit cashing right in on it, building human organizations. Let’s go a little farther: “How did he make an image to the beast?” Someone might ask. My friend, by setting up human machinery, human disciplines, councils, while adopting Rome's plan for bishops and presiding elders. Protestantism came out protesting Roman Catholicism. Why, she said, “That’s a human work, but she came right over here and built an image and turned around and set up human machinery also. [ The End ]