Rapture #07Chronology; Thief In Night
Transcript in progress. Audio is available now.
Shall we pray.
Heavenly Father, we’re very happy to be in this house that You’ve given us to worship in. We’re grateful, Lord, for every move of Your Spirit, every insight that You give us. And we’re so grateful for it, that we cannot praise You enough. We only ask You now that You will abide with us here; that You will feed our souls with the Bread of Life; that you’ll break this Word to us that we might know the truth which sets us free – sets us free from sin, from guilt, from fear, from shame, all of those things, Lord, because You are here to do that.
We know that, literally, we are passing from the death of mortality into the life of immortality. We have no doubts about that because we have seen with our eyes the fulfillment of Scripture for this hour. We praise Thee and give Thee glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
You may be seated.
Now this morning I want to continue with the study of the Rapture as we have been doing for quite some time. And we’ll just go over some salient points concerning It and try to fit in some Scripture that may be a little difficult to apprehend when we deal with this subject.
To begin with, of course, we know the word ‘Rapture’ is not in the Bible. It is an obsolete word; it means a ‘catching away’, or a ‘carrying away’. Catching away, carrying away – it’s the same thing. And we do not use that anymore. We sing songs about raptures of glory which signify that people are caught away into a more spiritual realm which they like to have happen to them in their worship services and especially their song services.
However the Rapture, as we call it, is a major doctrine of the New Testament. And you find it set forth or declared here in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.
(13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
(14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring forth with him. [Now that’s the Resurrection.]
(15) For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the presence of the Lord shall not prevent [take a precedence or a preeminence over] them which are asleep [Now here’s the verse we want to watch for – 16, 17]
(16) For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
(17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Now that’s the doctrine of the Rapture, which is the catching up or the catching away.
This no doubt is based upon the promise that Jesus gave to his disciples back in John 14, using the first four verses:
(01) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God believe also in me.
(02) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
(03) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(04) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Now very evidently, the Rapture here is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise that says, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” And you’ll notice that the receiving is up in the atmosphere where the saints rise to literally meet him to go into the Wedding Supper and then, literally, come back to earth with him.
And, of course, from the time of the Rapture there is no cessation of being with him in his glorified form and also those ones who died in faith and who live in faith also having glorified forms.
We also notice, having found this in 1 Thessalonians, that this promise of the Rapture is subsequent to the First Resurrection, and both those that are living at that time and the dead that come out of the ground at that time are both going to be raised up to meet the Lord in the air. Let’s go over that again, so that we’re sure we have it exactly right. Paul speaking in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 right on through again:
(13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope.
You’ll notice that back there the church was in error concerning this doctrine. They didn’t understand the Resurrection. They didn’t understand what would happen to the living. Indeed they didn’t understand what would happen to either group. They knew a little bit about it, but evidently the information that Paul gave originally was twisted and perverted some way so that he had to come back and correct it.
Now there is a book written to the Thessalonians, which we do not have possession of, but evidently is not necessary according to God, because, if it was necessary for us, we’d have it. And since this sets in order the understanding of what is necessary, you really don’t need the other book.
He says here that concerning the living and the dead… Now there’s something the living need to know concerning themselves and concerning the dead which are going to appear on earth. He says:
(14) … if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring forth with him.
In other words there is a literal promise to the true believer – that is, the believer who has the definitive revelation, who has the truth, who has the reality of Christ. Paul said, “God is obligated to bring them forth the same as He brought forth Jesus.” And remember, Jesus said, “Handle me and see. A spirit hath not flesh and bone.” He didn’t say, “Flesh and blood”. He said, “Flesh and bone.”
And again Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, concerning the same subject:
(51) I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed.
Why? “Because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” But It does not say that flesh and bone does not inherit it. And remember, that when Jesus was on earth after his Resurrection, he was eating honeycomb and bread, and as Brother Branham said, “a fish sandwich,” because there was fish broiled upon the coals.
That brings up a peculiar question, “What are you going to eat in the Millennium?” Don’t worry; just get there. Just get there.
You know, when I hear about a good restaurant, I don’t worry. Well, I sort of worry what I’m going to eat, but the thrill of knowing I’m going to be there in a good restaurant eating some of their delicacies is sufficient, that’s enough. It is the same way here: there is much promise concerning eating and drinking in the Millennium. So just ensure you get to the Wedding Supper to be a partaker of it.
God is going to bring them forth in the same mold as Jesus, which was the Son of God, God’s Own Son who died and rose again. Then, he says in 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
(15) For this we say unto by the word of the Lord, [This is “THUS SAITH THE LORD” – what God Himself has said through a prophet.] that we which are alive and remain unto the presence of the Lord shall not prevent [take a precedence or preeminence over] them which are asleep.
In other words, as Brother Branham put it so succinctly and so truly, “What does it matter if you die or if you are standing here, as long as you make it?”
Somebody says, “Well, if I’m standing here, this is something that hasn’t ever happened before and will never happen again as far as we know, that a group of people just walking day-by-day and pounding nails and digging potatoes and eating away and sleeping away, and they’re going to be changed into immortality.”
“Well,” you say, “that makes us something special.”
The most you can say about yourself is this: that you are the very elect, and you won’t be deceived. Now let’s face it: those that weren’t in this position that died, they weren’t deceived either.
So how smart are you? Just rejoice in the Lord, and be glad if you’re a part of the election.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
(16) The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,…
Now watch what this descent is, and remember, that it is to the living. See? It’s to the living. Simultaneously, something is going on for the dead; and then something goes on between the living and the dead, because both are immortalized and glorified; and they’ll be caught up in the air. Now see what It says:
(16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,…
That word in the Greek, of course, is ‘keleusma’ which is a military command. Joshua was the military commander in the flesh that was leading Israel over into the Promised Land, but suddenly there stood an angel by him, which was God in the form of an angel; and old Joshua walked over before the possession, and he said, “Who are you for? Are you for or against?”
He said, “Nay,” He said, “It is not a matter of being for or against.” He said, “I am It.” He said, “I am the leader of the camp of the host of Israel. I am the Great General.”
And so God Himself lets us know here – God coming down in the form of the Holy Spirit at the end time – that He is the Great General, and He is giving the orders.
Well, He has got to be the one to give the orders, because He has to order the dead out of the ground; He has to order us to be changed; He has to order gravity to break loose its hold; and He has to bear us up. That’s tremendous – absolutely fantastic. You see? That’s going to happen.
(16) … The voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: the dead in Christ are going to go up ahead of us.
Why? Because they go up in their ages. They come out of the ground – age number seven to be with us. They come out of the ground – age number six, age number five, age number four, age number three, age number two, age number one. Then they reverse to form the pyramid: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven; and then we are caught up at the end.
And there will be very, very few in this Rapture. It won’t even be noticed that we’re gone. We’re going to learn a lot about this today, if we can just make the time for it.
We’re going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Now you may say, “Now just what about that? I thought the Lord is going to descend down here. We’re going to meet the Lord in the air.”
Have you ever read the Scripture, “The Lord said unto my Lord: sit thou on my right hand?” Who’s God talking to? The Lord Jesus Christ. Who are we going to meet in the air? The Lord Jesus Christ. Who’s going to get us up there? God in the form of the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus is not God until God incarnates him. We don’t have three gods or two gods. We have one God.
“And the Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit down on my right hand’.” And He said, “This day have I exalted Thee. This day do I declare that you are my Son.” See? And then, He mentions the fact, saying, “You love righteousness; therefore the Lord thy God even thy God has anointed thee above thy fellows.” And Paul said, “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is not a mystery here. People just want to make it a mystery.
All you’ve to do is to see the Bible. Once you see the Bible, how the Bible runs in continuity, there are no big problems. The problem lies in the doctrine of man; it lies in the creeds and the dogmas that men have, and they bring it out of their churches with them. And then, of course, there’s a problem.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we’d never ever gone to a church, and we never ever had anything to do with all these things around about us, and we suddenly had the Bible given to us?
“Well,” you say, “I don’t know if I understand.”
That’s because men have taught it wrongly.
Well a lot of people have a lot of these things wrong. And so they get a couple of Gods mixed up in here, and there’s only one God. And when that Spirit takes us up there, and we stand in the presence of that great one, our own brother in the flesh, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then that Spirit incarnates Himself in him, and then, the Marriage Supper goes on.
You know it is very simple to understand this, if you just let your thinking go, as Brother Branham warned us. Now we’re caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Now I said that we were looking at the fact that the Rapture is subsequent to the Resurrection, and here it tells you He’s going to raise the dead, and then there’s going to be a Rapture. Now let’s look at this raising of the dead and what it comes into when we get up there – after we’re up there awhile – in Revelation 19. Let’s look at that and see where we are in Revelation 19:7.
(07) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
Now this is a very unique Wedding Supper, because the Bride is not being toasted; it’s the Groom. You know, I get a kick out of this, and of course I like it, seeing I’m a man. Now I belong to the male sex a hundred percent. And I understand all weddings I’ve seen and all the men sitting here; there’s no problem with you either.
You go to the wedding, and it is the bride that is toasted and the bride is made a lot of. That’s nice; but it’s all wrong. It’s the groom.
It’s the Groom. And of course the Bride is arrayed, arrayed in white linen and beautiful white and clean, and the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And so they’re up there at the Wedding Supper. Now notice after the Wedding Supper, what happens?
(11) I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Now, watch this one that’s Faithful and True. That’s a designation of the last description of Jesus the Christ to the Seventh Church Age. He is the Faithful Witness, and He is the True One. He is the Amen. He is the Truth. Now He’s going to come here, and He’s going to make war. Now watch:
(12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
(13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God. [Now notice, his name is called ‘the Word of God’. Doesn’t say that it is ‘the Word of God’ because his other name somehow supersedes it, but at this time he is still fulfilling the Word.]
(14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. [Now who has the linen? The Bride – verse 8.]
So all right. This great company that was taken up here in the Resurrection and transported up into the ethereal spaces up past the atmosphere [or into a dimension that you and I don’t know anything about at this time] are up there at the Wedding Supper. And when it’s over, we’re coming back because we’re a part of it.
(15) And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: [That’s ‘to smash asunder’, ‘take completely over’.] he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. [That is the war itself and that which comes out of it.]
(16) And He hath on His vesture…
Now notice ‘vesture’ is not the same as clothing.
You say, “Well, it is.”
No, it’s not. Because vesture stands for ‘an investurement’. It’s ‘an investurement’. So when we crown him, he becomes King of kings and Lord of All, but it is not manifested as to the power of this Potentate until this moment. So therefore, he is vestured to take complete authority over mankind and all that has ever pertained to mankind which is this earth here and all the influences of the universe upon it.
Now we will read a little further. Well, might as well read into Revelation 20.
(17) And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
(18) That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
Now while the Bride is at the Wedding Supper, this is going on down here on earth – the destruction which is upon the earth wreaking havoc, wherein at one time one sixth of the population is blotted out, and another time, I think it’s about a third. And so, therefore, the seas, the oceans and everything is reeking with the decaying bodies of men and woman that are here during the terrible time of that great tribulation; and then at the end, it accelerates as more destruction is wreaked upon mankind for disobedience. We’ll go into that; just follow along. All right.
(18) … the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
(19) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. [So you see, this is proceeding. What I said has preceded it.]
(20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
(21) And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. [Now let’s watch: Revelation 20]
(01) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
(02) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
(03) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: [Now watch “a thousand years.”] And after that he must be loosed a little season.
(04) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
[Now see, there is your thousand years. Now what’s doing it? Who’s in this? This is the great august company that Jesus brings back here in glorified form.]
(05) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
So you see, what we’re looking at is the fact that this Rapture is based upon the Resurrection. There has to be a Resurrection unto immortality. There has to be a change in the living unto immortality. They are caught up, and if there is no Resurrection, there will be no Rapture. So you see, therefore, the Rapture doctrine is a very important doctrine, and we want to look at it.
Now this Rapture doctrine, or the very event itself as we have already looked at it, has been placed in various positions by various students.
Number one: there are those who believe that it takes place before the great tribulation – as we do here.
Number two: there are those who believe that it takes place after the great tribulation and at the beginning of the Millennium. They believe you are taken away and, then, transported into the Millennium.
Number three: there are those who believe that you’re taken up during the great tribulation. And they believe that the great tribulation is for seven years; and they believe that after three and half years, you are caught away before the very desperate part. We understand better here that there are only three and half years left.
And so you get out of here at the beginning of the three and half years of great tribulation, because that’s all that’s left, because three and a half years of the seventieth week of Daniel have already gone by. Now that’s Scripture, right in the Book of Daniel.
Number four: there are those who believe that the Rapture takes place at the end of the Millennium.
Now that’s pretty well the four major groups. And there are those who say that there is no such thing as a Rapture. They deny it. But to deny it is pure ignorance. It’s pure ignorance, and it’s a terrible disrespect to the Scripture, because there is nothing you can do about it.
There is going to be a Rapture.
Now I don’t think there is one church that calls itself by the name of Christ, whether it’s Roman Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, whether it’s Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian – I don’t care if they believe in one God, two gods, or three gods – you come face-to-face with the Scripture that says there is a catching up somewhere, somehow, sometime.
But of course people disagree as to the actual way that it is done and the actual time that it is done.
Now concerning the actual time that it is done – that is chronologically in the Scripture – that’s what we want to look at. And there is much argument that the Saints go through the great tribulation. Now that’s where the argument lies with most people. It’s either before the tribulation or after the tribulation. Do they go through, or do they not?
Let’s go to 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Now there isn’t any student of the Bible but who admits that 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians absolutely deal with the Second Coming of Christ. They deal with the return, the Rapture, the coming back to the earth; but especially in that facet concerning the time that the church ages have run out, redemption is no longer available, and now it is a time of judgment; it is time of reckoning.
Now they’ll admit that.
Both 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians have to do with the Coming. Now Paul, in chapter 4, which I read to you and continued down to verse 18, is dealing with the Rapture. Now then, he continues in chapter 5; and remember, chapters in the Bible are made by men. In the original writings there are no chapters. In the original there is not even upper and lower case; there’s not punctuation.
The Hebrew is pictorial; It is a picture graph. The Greek has an alphabet. And you’d say, “Well, how are you going to interpret it?” Well, it’s not all that bad. It can be done. On the other hand God inspires people to know the Word of God, especially prophets. He said:
(01) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
(02) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Now he tells them: “On the one hand you don’t have to be worried. There is nothing to concern you. It’s absolutely an open and bare case.” Some people say ‘open and shut’ in the sense that you have the understanding.
It’s closed now – nobody can fool with it – you understand it.
Look at how he puts it, “As a thief in the night.”
“Well,” you say, “Man! That would give me something to worry about.”
No, no. Not if you are ready.
Let’s go to Matthew 24:43-44.
(43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. [And so therefore, he was ready, because It says in verse 44]
(44) … be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Now there again It sounds like a complete contradiction. But It’s not, because he says the very same thing at two or three places in the Bible, as well as over here, as well as in Peter. And he said, “Now look, you know perfectly well, you don’t have any trouble.” Who has trouble? The man who didn’t know the thief was coming. See? That is the only man that had trouble.
The man who didn’t have trouble was the man who knew something. He knew when the thief was coming. So, what he’s showing you here is: the Lord coming as a thief in the night is not coming upon a Bride in a state of anxiety and fear because she doesn’t know anything about it. There is no anxiety and fear, because she does know something about it. And the preparation is in a knowledge.
Now what does the Bride know that nobody else knows? Very good question. See what we’re talking about? Thief in the night. The thief in the night is only for those who don’t know, who don’t expect; who have other ideas and understanding contrary to what is the truth.
Now let’s get at the truth as I keep reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4.
(03) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; [We say, “No way.”] then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [Now listen, let’s face it: women pretty well know when the baby is going to be born.]
(04) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
So therefore, there is nobody can say whether that person is a part of the true membership of the Body of Christ, a truly born-again Christian which is called ‘Bride.’ Now you’ve got to accept designations that God gives, because that’s all you can accept. If He said it, that’s the way it is.
They are not surprised. They know. They are aware. And they are standing there smiling, because they know the watch. Now the day is divided into watches, and the Bible is in church ages. And the Seventh Age is the only age He can come. And the Bride somehow in the Seventh Age is well aware. She knows that He is coming, and it is no surprise. So what’s all this talk about “no man knows the day and the hour”?
Who needs it? You know why people with money are scared? Because they can lose it. But you can’t lose eternal life. You can’t lose a genuine revelation. The true Elect cannot be deceived. Their lamps are trimmed and burning, and they’re ready to go. Now I deceive you not. I give you Scripture.
(5) You are the children of light, and the children of the day:…
What day? Matthew 24! Now It says:
(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
(24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [But they cannot deceive him, “I told you before…” That was in Matthew 7.]
(26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not [Why? Here is what it’s all about:]
(27) For as the lightning cometh out [That word is not ‘lightning’ like that which zaps across the sky. That’s ‘light’. See? That’s the epiphaneia – what we’re talking about] comes out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the presence of the Son of man be.
It tells you ‘light’. What light? It’s dark. The thief comes at night. You mustn’t be one of those that’s disturbed. You mustn’t be deceived. Then what’s going to happen? You’re going to be told something – light! You’re going to be enlightened on the subject. You’re going to know.
Now come on; you just tell me I’m wrong. You just tell me I’m guessing. You tell me the Bride sits around guessing. I’m going to tell you that you’re a liar, and the truth is not in you. I don’t care who you are. I’m sorry, but I’m a very blunt preacher. I don’t care what anybody says. If I miss it, there is one reason: I don’t have light.
You say, “Well, Brother Vayle, the whole thing revolves around me doing something.”
You’re a liar. You’re just plain liars, that’s all, and the truth is not in you. It’s not what you do; it’s what He does! The same One that said, “Let there be light” is the One Who gives light. I get a little bit weary of people with their big mouths. I’m not trying to shout somebody down. I’m giving you the truth. [1 Thessalonians 5:6]
1 Thessalonians 5:6
(06) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do; let us watch and be sober. [Be alert.]
That’s what Jesus said, “You Pharisees, you can discern the signs of the skies.” He said, “At night it says pretty, pink, red sky out there…”
“Oh, good day tomorrow.”
“Well, what if there’s overcast that night?”
“Well, let’s wait until tomorrow morning.”
“Sky is red.”
You say, “Ha ha! Watch it! There’s going to be a storm in the sea out there.”
Now he said, “Listen, you can discern the face of the skies, why can’t you discern the signs of your times? Why can’t you wake up?”
Those two signs, of course, are Israel in the homeland and the way the church is going.
Now right here [Taps on Bible.] It tells you that you can know something. Starting from the Word of God, you come to the place where you can know, and you don’t have to be deceived. You don’t have to say, “When’s it going to take place? How does it take place?” You don’t have any facts anymore on the subject which aren’t one hundred percent correct, because you’ve got revelation, and you’ve got illumination.
I wish I had the tongue of an orator, and my mind could stay with my subject and hold you here for twelve solid hours, and weave this whole thing back and forth, until you stand, and you know you’re looking out onto Resurrection territory, looking on a Rapture Land, until you know you’re a part of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, until you know you’re a part of God, until you’re not fooled any more about something you think you’ve done.
What has anybody done here, except make a complete fool of themself? And the only reason you didn’t was because you had your ma, or grandpa or some cop on the corner watching you.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-9
(05) We are not of night or of darkness
(06) Neither let us sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
(07) For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunk in the night.
(08) Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and of love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
(09) For God hath not appointed us to wrath…
He tells you. Then how are you going to be in the great tribulation? How are you going to be at the White Throne judgment? How are you going to make the Lake of Fire? How are you going to do it? God appointed you. You say, “Well, what happened, Brother Vayle, I unappointed.”
You can unappoint? Oh, come on; come on! You just add a cubit to your stature. Somebody suddenly stand here and grow and inch. Of course I’ll see you swaying on your toes.
(09) But to obtain salvation – that’s deliverance by our Lord Jesus Christ.
(10) Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with him.
And this has to do with the Rapture… whether you’re dead and are going to come out of the ground or whether you’re living. Now what wrath are the living going to escape? Great tribulation. And how are you going to be there?
Now, let’s go to Jude 14 and 15. That’s a little tiny book before the Book of Revelation. It says:
(14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.
(15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Now, listen. Something has been going on in the earth. Something has been going on in the age when the saints are Raptured, which is contrary to what the saints have said, which is contrary to the revealed Word of God, which has been argued about and fought about; and we’re going to come down and eyeball them.
“Oh,” you say, “now hold it, Brother Vayle. I’m not coming back!”
I am. I’m coming back to eyeball them. That’s why I don’t have to worry right now, though I do fuss and stew quite a bit.
Now It says right here, “We’re coming with tens of thousands to execute judgment; to show and to prove the Word of Almighty God; and to eyeball them.” That’s right. That’s exactly what the Scripture says. It says, “What are those people? Ungodly with ungodly deeds that they have ungodly committed, and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” And He is the Light. See?
I want to tell you, brother or sister: this day in which we live is either the most glorious time of revealed Word and Light that the world has ever seen, or the Word of God lied. If this is not the hour of a group of people having Abraham’s faith, the full assurance of faith, then the Word of God is a lie. That’s right. If God does not reveal the truth of the Rapture, the literal time of the coming out of the ground, the raising of the dead, the changing of the saints, and the ascent into glory…
If God does not do that sometime, He’s a liar, because He lied in His Book.
And this is the age, because Israel is in the homeland. Now people can say what they want; but he said, “If you can discern the face of the skies and what is natural,” he said, “you can discern the times, and you can discern the Word.” He said, “They are one and the same,” because it’s in there that you can understand them.
Now these verses that I read here are the abbreviated words that are found in Revelation 19:11-21 that I read. Now let’s go just back there for just a second. Now It tells you, “Heaven opened and He that sat upon the white horse is faithful and true, and in righteousness doth judge and make war.” Now notice: “Judge and make war.”
In other words He decrees it’s time to come back and do His work of annihilation – not so much annihilation as much as destruction.
The die has been cast. He’s the judge, the enforcer, the sovereign enforcer, because power lies in the state, and no state of itself has power. You go out here, this land doesn’t have any power. Couple hundred, two hundred and forty million people have got no real power. You know where the power is? The people it is vested in. The kingdom of God is vested in God.
So therefore, He comes down, and He makes war, because power lies in Him to make war. “His eyes were as a flame of fire,” and so on and so on. Now He comes down to smite the nations with a rod of iron.
Let’s go to 2 Thessalonians – that’s the same book, as we mentioned in the books on the ‘Coming,’ the second chapter, beginning at verse 1 [2 Thessalonians 2:1-2]:
(01) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, [Now when are you going to gather? In the air. So he’s laying a premise concerning the Rapture.]
(02) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is at hand.
Now here are people being scared ahead of time. Isn’t it funny that people would sooner have no faith than have faith? I’ll put it this way: most of us feel so rotten so much of the time, that if we ever feel good for a few hours we say, “What’s going on? What’s the matter; what’s the matter; what’s the matter?”
“Now people,” he said, “there’s no need for you to be in any other frame of mind than knowing this: that you haven’t got one thing to do with that hour. There’s nothing out there that indicates it. So don’t pay attention to any letters or hear anybody that comes and tells you something. Forget it!” He said, “Don’t let any man deceive you.”
He said, “Look, first of all, there has to come the time of the divorce” – the falling away. The word is taken from the word ‘divorce’ in the Greek. There has to be a divorce. It’s after the divorce the Son of Perdition is revealed.
Let’s find out about the divorce.
(01) The kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, [That’s Matthew 25:1] which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Yes! Yes! Yes! [End of the first side of the audio tape.] It’s time for the Bridegroom, and they must know it! Something is going on. Now watch: two groups of people get aware of it. Now this is very peculiar – five wise and five foolish.
(03) They that were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them:
Now you notice they both had containers, but one container didn’t have oil. Now you’re talking about the Bridegroom coming, which is the doctrine of the Rapture. So therefore, He’s going to be somewhere in the vicinity. And people are going to be wanting to approach unto Him and get to Him. But there’s one group that doesn’t have any oil in their containers.
Now what’s the container of the Rapture? Word! Because that’s the only place It is. So somebody has Living Word – a true revelation – and somebody has a false Word. Now let’s find out.
(05) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [That’s fine. Paul said they would be too. This is Jesus talking.]
(06) At midnight a cry was made, Behold, the bridegroom, come out to meet Him
(07) … all the virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps.
(08) And the foolish said…, give us your oil; our lamps have gone out. [Now, “Come on; let’s all make it together.”]
And the wise virgin said, “Just a minute, what is your revelation on this, my dear?”
“Oh,” she said, “He’s coming at the end of the tribulation.”
“Well,” she said, “You don’t have any oil. I’m sorry. And I can’t give you any.”
Why? Because the woman started to argue… The church started to argue and said, “Now just a minute. I want to tell you that the Scripture shows that a saint is never taken out of anything. A saint is taken through everything.”
I can go to Scripture and show you that too, except I can prove that it’s wrong by the same Scripture. Because when it came time for Jacob to have his brother slap his face and set him square, God came down and told Esau, “You keep you hands off of him.” And old Jacob came down, and Esau threw his arms around his neck, and he said, “Come on, brother, everything is fine.”
And he said, “Look, I do not need your camels; I don’t need your oxen; I don’t need anything.” He said, “God’s Word prospered me, and I’m not fighting with you. Let’s just be brothers.”
See? took the pressure right off. Got him where he belonged. You show me any pressure God put on Israel once He got them out. They brought the pressure on themselves. See? God’s not in that kind of business.
Now look: he said, “We haven’t got any oil.”
The wise said, “No sir, we can’t give you any.”
“Let’s compromise! It doesn’t matter, you see, if the Rapture is at the beginning or at the end. It doesn’t matter where it comes, just as long as there is a “hallelujah! There is a Rapture!”
‘Hallelujah’ my foot! It does matter. And I’m not being sarcastic exactly. I’m not being foolish or sacrilegious when I say that either.
He said, “I’m not going to give it to you. I’ll tell you what you do: you better go and check again concerning your revelation, because you haven’t got a revelation founded upon infallibility, and we’ve had an infallible prophet – because Elijah must truly come.
How many people were running around and saying, “I’ve got something! I’ve got something!”?
And old John the Baptist stood there saying, “You haven’t got anything.”
Why they said, “That old goat out there in the desert, acting like he really knows something. Why, you can tell he knows nothing, because his clothes aren’t right, his speech isn’t right, nothing is right. He won’t even come and join us, and he’s a Levite. Well,” they said, “you talk about a turncoat and a traitor to Israel.”
And as old John just stood there chewing on his locust and wild honey, he said, “You bunch of snakes.” You vipers. I know what you’re doing.” He read them like a book.
Then one day he said, “I’m going to tell you something. I’m here to tell you the Messiah is here, and I’m going to point him out.” See?
The Bible said Elijah is going to come before that day to the Gentiles. People don’t believe it. They say, “I can’t believe that. I won’t do it.”
So you see, there is no use arguing, because you can’t give them a revelation anyway. You can’t bring the Word of Life to life… the Word of God to life to anybody. The herald doesn’t come to the castle and say, “Look, I have a word from the king, and I’m going to stand here and explain it.” He bangs on the door.
They say, “What is it?”
“I have a word.” He throws the thing over the wall and dashes off.
You do what you want, but that’s the Bible. You say, “What about that great prophet?” Well, he’s the one that has that scroll to open up and read you what is on there… tell you what it is.
Now the wise virgins said, “No, not so. Go buy for yourself.” And when they went to buy, the bridegroom came. Now why did they go and buy? They got together and formed a great organization, and they said, “Hey! We’ll figure the thing out. We’ll all sit down and pool our resources, and where it comes out in the plurality, in the majority, that’s what’s right.”
That’s always wrong. The most successful buyers in the world in stocks are those that go against present trend. One old fellow made money during depression. He made it on hogs. Said, “How did you it?”
“Well,” he said, “when everybody is selling, I buy; when everybody is buying, I sell.”
And to eat good in the depression was awful good.
Now while they went to buy and while all this was going on, gathering around their own understanding, It distinctly said that the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in. What was the readiness? Revealed Light. They had the Word, full of oil. They had the Word revealed to them, and they went in.
Now listen: afterwards the others came – the virgins came – and said, “Lord, Lord open to us.”
And he said, “I used to know you as my wife, but I don’t know you as my wife anymore.”
During the time of the gathering of the Bride to the Word, the divorce is going on. And it’s the Word that makes the divorcement. That lets you know that two deaf and dumb people that marry would never have a divorce, because they can’t talk. It’s always the talk that gets people into trouble. God talked and man talked back, and that’s always been the problem. Man doesn’t listen to God.
Now listen, I’m going to ask you a question here. At midnight a cry was made, “Behold the bridegroom.” It doesn’t say the bridegroom made the cry; somebody else made the cry. Who made the cry? You want to know who made the cry? Let’s go find out. Let’s go to Revelation 18:4. You’ll find exactly what it is. And It says here:
(04) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Who received the plagues? The foolish virgin received the plagues. Who did not receive the plagues? The wise virgin did not receive the plagues.
Who was that angel?
(01) I saw another mighty messenger come down from heaven having great power the earth was filled with his glory.
What is that? That is Revelation 10:1, the great One that came down; and remember Revelation 10:1 has Revelation 10:7, which is a mighty messenger which is a prophet. All right. There it is. Now you’re looking at the divorce.
Now let’s get back to 2 Thessalonians, because that’s where we were when I got to the place of the divorce. Now, of divorce:
(03) … and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [That’s in the tribulation, because the Bride is gone.]
(04) Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, [or that is worshipped] so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [Now what is God? An object of worship and authority. See? An object of fear.]
(05) Remember ye not, when I was with you and I told you these things?
(06) Now you know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
(07) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he that hindereth, will hinder until he be taken out of the way.
Now he said, “It’s already started.” That was under the Seals: the four horses, the white, the red, the black, and the brindle, where they’re all poured into one. See? It already started. It went out. John says, “There’s antichrist among us.” They are anointed to error. And they come down through the ages, so they reappear. We’ll get that in Peter. I haven’t got that far yet. Now he said here:
(08) Then that wicked shall be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his presence:
(09) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
Now why did I read that? I read It because it’s over there in the Book of Revelation. The same One on the horse, King of kings, with the Bride comes down and confronts the enemies upon earth, and there is a destruction.
Now people say, “Hey! I don’t know that I like that spirit.”
Well, I don’t either, to tell you the truth; except there is just one big difference. They’re getting confused with what is justice and what isn’t. Now look at it: we can get mad at people, and we ourselves will want to have some vengeance wreaked on somebody. What I’m talking about here: we are not mad at anybody; it is the course of justice.
A lot of people misunderstand when I talk about the spirit in the Lord’s day which is judgment – a judgment and a burning.
And they think, “Well, old Vayle, he gets so mad at folks, he could just use them for cannon fodder.”
No, I’m not trying to make anybody fighters, but I’m going to tell you one thing: God has an army.
So there is a confrontation there.
Now, just a note as to why some believe the Rapture does not happen until the end of the Millennium. Now I am placing it right before the Millennium, right before the great tribulation, laying it right in there according to the understanding which we have been given by vindication, which was Brother Branham; and he had “THUS SAITH THE LORD.”
Now why do people not agree? “Oh,” they say, “Brother Branham, here is the thing about it. You forget that over here in Peter, there’s something else said.” So let’s go to 2 Peter and find out what’s been said. Now that’s the only way to do it; go to the Bible. Now 2 Peter 3 is where we’re going, and in verses 10-13, It categorically says:
(10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
(11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [That’s behavior.] and godliness,
(12) Looking for and hasting unto the presence of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
(13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
(14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
(15) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
(16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures [not just this one, but others] unto their own destruction.
(17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
What’s he talking about? The same thing Paul talked about. And again he says, “The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night.” But he says over here, “It doesn’t matter, because you’re ready.” What do I care?
(10) … the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works shall be burnt up.
[Then It says over here:]
(12) … the heavens being on fire be dissolved, the elements burn with a fervent heat?
But It says on number two, you look for new heavens and new earth; but in number one you’re not looking for that. So what do you have here? What you have here is actually two Raptures.
“Well,” you say, “what do you mean by two Raptures?”
I’ll tell you: there’s nothing to it. We’re going to get out of here in the first Rapture and miss the great tribulation and the consequent judgment of God on this earth, when the atomic bombs are falling. That’s exactly what we’re going to do. Then we’re going to come back. And that which remains will be Satan, because an atomic bomb is not going to get him anyway.
We’re going to come back and confront him and all those other guys that have their atomic protection.
You say, “Will they have it?”
Certainly they will have some protection. We’re going to come back amidst the whole thing and take over.
Now let’s watch this. The second one is where? After the Great White Throne judgment – that God is going to recreate the heavens and earth; they’re going to be dissolved. What happens to us? We’ll be caught up again to the throne of God. So what? That’s no big deal in terms of understanding. It’s just people get all muddled up in their thinking. They won’t take it. They will not; they just don’t understand it.
Now let’s go a little further. When Peter is speaking here concerning the Rapture to get us out of the great tribulation, which we will read here starting with verses 1-4, [2 Peter 3:1-2]
(01) This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
(02) That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.
Now notice, he’s talking about this which is coming, which is wedged in between chapter 2, which I’ll explain and go point by point with you. And he says, “This is spoken of by the apostles and by the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now he said it.
So, Jesus was talking in Matthew 24 about His Presence. And after the Presence, according to Matthew 24 and Luke 17, there would be a Rapture. So now, let’s look at It. Now he says:
(03) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. [Their own desires, their own understanding.]
They got together, and they said, “This is what the Bible says” – in the face of what the Bible doesn’t say. In the face of a true interpretation they take their own interpretation, and they walk in it. Now, if they walk in it, they don’t have the Blood, because you’ve got to walk in the Light as He is in the Light. So therefore, the Blood doesn’t apply for them; but I’ll just let that stand for the time being.
(04) And saying, Where is the promise of his presence? [They don’t even know what it is.] for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Now what are they trying to tell you here? They are trying to tell you that nothing has happened to indicate and vindicate a literal Presence. Now Paul said, “Of those times and seasons you should know, because they don’t over take you.” He said, “He is going to come like a thief in the night.”
I’m trying to show you something. When it comes to the thief, and you know something about him, you take precautions!
If they had been prepared, if they had been watching… but they said, “Oh no, no, no, no. There’s nothing going on.”
And Jesus said, “You blind leaders of the blind, you can discern the signs of the skies” – the earthly things. He said, “You can tell something is going on. Why can’t you tell what’s going on now? Why don’t you go to the Bible?”
“Ah” they said, “Come on. Who is this Jesus of Nazareth? Any fool knows that a prophet doesn’t come out of Galilee.”
They’re the fools. If they had checked his records… He was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He wasn’t born in Galilee. You know that. He was only raised in Nazareth. Why didn’t they check? They wouldn’t check.
Now he says here:
(05) … they’re willingly ignorant of this. [Now what is ‘this’?]
We’re not going to have time to get to it, but maybe I’ll get a tiny bit in there, so I’ll just pass it for a second.
(5) … that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
(6) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
Now he said, “Learn something from this. Learn something.” He’s trying to tell them something went on that caused the destruction. What was it? There’s going to be a Rapture before a destruction. What’s going on?
(06) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
(07) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition (that’s destruction) of ungodly men.
Now he tells you that, as it was with water, it’s going to be with fire. And there are two fires. There are two times. Now:
(08) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Now hold it. You’ve got a thousand years in here. So God is doing everything in thousands. When is the first one coming with fire? Two thousand years later. When is the next one coming? One thousand years later. So you can see something’s happening.
Now what’s he saying to the people?
(10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;…
That’s not for the one after the Millennium. No way! It’s the one that’s coming now. You say, “Why?” Because look, brother or sister, right after the White Throne judgment, when Satan’s group rises up, fire comes down out of heaven and destroys them that encamp the beloved City. And after that, they’re put in the Lake of Fire, and God is going to re-form the earth. So He melts it all down and rebuilds it.
Where are we? Caught up with Him. And do you know right now that’s where the Old Testament Bride is? The Old Testament saints that came out of the ground when Jesus came out are right up there with him now? Absolutely, absolutely. There are no two ways about it.
But the Gentile Bride will not get there until that time. She won’t have a taste of it. And then when God recreates the whole thing and reforms it, so to speak, we’ll come on down again – the Holy City. We’ll check that out and show how it is.
Now he said:
(09) God is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Now just a minute. At the time the fire dissolves, there isn’t any repentance, because the foolish virgin is in. There’s no one left but serpent seed. Come on, that doesn’t have a thing to do with repentance. You’ve got two sets of figures here. We’re standing here at the end of the Millennium, the Holy Fire has come down and delivered everybody.
Are we going to be surprised that He’s going to dissolve the earth? We have a Word that we’re the only ones standing here. We’re going to get it all brand new. Come on, get your Scripture lined up, brother or sister. Get It lined up, that’s all.
Now listen. You’ll understand this as we begin to read 2 Peter 2. Now he’s telling you in the first chapter that we’re coming to the Rapture, which was in a type in the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17. Then he tells you that something greater and surer and of greater moment than ever is coming. That is this:
(19) Word of prophesy that’s made more sure, the light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
(20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
(21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Listen, he is telling you flat: when you get to the Rapture period, it is going to take a prophet. He tells you right here. in the same way it came, how it’s going to be interpreted, and that’s by a prophet.
Then he tells you… Now watch: [2 Peter 2:1-3]
(01) But there were false prophets among the people, [Jesus said the same thing. They’re coming – anointed to power like Balaam but off the Word.] even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies [In other words, they have their own revelation. From the time the prophet comes on the scene, they will tell you “no way” about the Rapture; they’ll tell you “no way” about revelation.] even denying the Lord that bought them [What is that word ‘deny’? It means to ‘refuse’ just like in Hebrews 6.] and brought upon themselves swift destruction.
(02) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; [Bloodless ways. Certainly. There’s no Blood. You get outside the Light, where is the Blood? You find me where the Blood is outside the Light. Now, come on. I’m quoting Scripture – John 3:16-19.]
(02) … many shall follow their bloodless ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
(03) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.
They’re getting your money right now, big missionary programs. How much will they put in of their own money? What money have I ever asked you people to put in that I haven’t already put in of my own? I’m not boasting. I’m just laying it down. I’ve never taken your money per se. No way, shape and form. These guys do.
A man sent me some tithes the other day. I found that he had bought a bunch of tapes. I sent the check back for the money. He said it cost him $150. I wrote a check, and I said, “You must cash this check.” He wrote back, and he said, “Lee, I was surprised, you were the only man that ever sent any money back. Everybody wants to build a kingdom,” he said, “evidently everybody but you.”
I don’t take that to be the truth, but I was gratified to know that that man respected me, because I said that. I will not take that money. There’s money I won’t take. To make merchandise of people is against the Word of Almighty God. But there are men who absolutely do that.
2 Peter 2:3-5
(03) … covetous, feigned words make merchandise [Feigned words are words that are hypocritical.] whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
[Now listen, now watch what he is saying here.]
(04) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, [That’s way back in the beginning.] but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; [Now watch: that’s a bunch of angels then. Now watch number two.]
(05) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Now watch that there again; that’s the second one. Number three:
(06) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes and overthrew them, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;
(07) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
(08) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day.)
(09) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: [Now notice: He delivers them out of it. Doesn’t take him through, delivers them out. Yes sir, you show me where good old Noah went through it. He went over it. You show me where Lot went through it. He came out of it. You can’t do it.]
(10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. [They’re Laodicean.] Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
(11) Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
(12) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil against the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.
Now notice what It said: they’re just brute beasts. They speak from instinct and from what they’ve gone through. They don’t speak from a revelation. They don’t understand. They’ll utterly perish in their own corruption. What corruption? Speaking the things that are wrong. And where is the corruption? In the Word. That’s what it is; the Word is corrupted. They won’t take what God said.
2 Peter 2:13-14
(13) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [That’s right. What is the reward of unrighteousness? When you do something in the Bible, and you don’t know what you are doing. You’re trying to worship God apart from a revelation like Cain did.] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
(14) Having eyes full of adultery, and they cease not from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
You talk about a diatribe! My! You talk about somebody railing against somebody. How would you like to have that against you? Fellow just say, “You’re just unmeasurable, unmeasurable filth… Out!” You have somebody say this against you, and you say, “Why don’t you just call me a dog and that be the end of it?” No. He enumerates everything right down the line. So, you’ve got to know where you are.
Now listen: let’s go in here into Scripture, and I want to show you something. Chapter 3 is based upon chapter 2. Now, let’s watch. I’m going to read the first three verses again.
(01) But there were false prophets also among the people, [That’s the time of Moses coming out of Egypt – Korah, Dathan, Abiram. There was old Balaam and the whole group.] even as there shall be false teachers among you, [So therefore, there will be people who teach and teach wrong, and they’re in multitudes. For every true teacher there would be just literally thousands that don’t teach right.] they’ll bring in damnable heresies…
[In other words, of their own thinking, their own ideas when the Word has been properly set forth as Peter said, “By a prophet.”]
They will come and say, “Well, I do not care what the prophet says – the Word says ‘this.’“ Like that fellow from Europe I told you about so many times. He would talk to me, and he said he believed Brother Branham. Like fun he did. He came over here, and he told me how Brother Branham was wrong. Now you know the man is right in a great mess of adultery, divorce and everything else. Come on!
A child of God is not in that kind of stuff – no way shape and form. You can get married, divorced and God forgive you, but you, as a man of God, claim to know something and deliberately step into a mess like that. Come on!
Now It says,
(02) Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
(03) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Now notice in here, verse 4 explains or illustrates from the Scripture, these very things that Peter says that bring about judgment. Verse 4 is the judgment that fell, because something happened. Now let’s read verse 4:
(04) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.
Now he tells you that they did something, and God judged. And the judgment fell upon the earth. Now, watch carefully. I want to ask you a question. Were there angels that fell in the beginning? Yes! Were there angels that didn’t fall? Yes! Who got the judgment? The angels that fell. Did the angels that didn’t fall get judgment? No! They got glorification, and they’ll never fall. You see what I’m telling you?
Now watch carefully again, verse 5:
(05) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; [At the time of Noah… Now what happened at the time of Noah? The earth was hit again. Who got saved? Eight people! Why? Because they got taken above it. What happened? The rest died. Is that right? Let’s go further.]
(06) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;
(07) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: [All right. Did Lot and his daughters live? Yes. Who died? His wife and those that stayed there. Everybody died. Now, let’s look at it:]
(08) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
And It tells you right there, “God is going to get the righteous out.” Now remember: when God stood before Abraham, in chapter 19 and 18 of the Book of Genesis, Abraham said, “Shall the God of all the earth, the judge of all the earth not do righteously.” He said, “Shall the righteous perish with the wicked?”
And God said, “The righteous will not perish with the wicked.” Well, there you are. How then is a Bride going to go into a tribulation? How are you going to mix up Peter here?
Look, I have reams of notes on it. I’m not even going to bother with them. Verse 5 follows verse 3; verse 6 follows verse 3; right on down. And then he says here about angels, and then he tells you what these people are like. They’re just brute beasts.
(14) Eyes full of adultery…
[Now listen: verse 15:]
(15) Which have forsaken the right way, [What do you mean, ‘forsake the right way’? You can’t forsake a thing unless you have it. Now watch:] gone the way of Balaam.
He was a prophet. But I’m going to tell you, with Balaam there was a true prophet and a greater prophet. His name was Moses. Do you think Balaam will listen to Moses? No. Do you think these prophets out here listen to William Branham? No. Do you think that teachers listen to William Branham? No. Do the pastors listen? No. Do evangelists listen? No. The apostles listen? No. They say, “No.”
Now listen: before you can forsake a child, you’ve got to have a child to forsake. Before you can forsake a mother and father, they’ve got to be living. When they’re dead, you don’t forsake them, they forsook you. They’re gone. In other words, to ‘forsake’ means that you leave something. Your loyalty; it’s gone.
2 Peter 2:15-20
(15) [Now these] … have forsaken the right way, and they’ve gone after Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; [They put money ahead of truth. Now listen: that’s easy to do if you want money.]
(16) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
(17) They are wells without water…
(18) … their words are vain …
(19) Whilst they promise liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
(20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
Now just a minute there. He’s talking about the end time and the Rapture. So therefore, they forsake the former rain teaching which is the original Word of God revealed. Now It tells you right here when they do it, there’s no way out. Their end is worse than the beginning. They profess a salvation. It looks like they have something. Their lives are more cleaned up; everything looks great. But there is something wrong.
And It says:
(22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog went to his vomit; and the sow went to the wallowing.
Now he said, “Brothers and sisters, I write this epistle to stir up your mind concerning the Presence, ‘for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.’“ The very Presence we saw upon Mount Transfiguration was him glorified, and there is coming a day according to prophecy wherein there is even a greater fulfillment.
What is that fulfillment? Very simple. Anybody knows it. “Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great dreadful day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the children back to the Father lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” before the great tribulation comes in, the Presence of God in the form of the Holy Spirit and a prophet standing there.
And he said, “I’ll take and prove the whole thing, lay it out before you.” And the prophet will have the fantastic ministry to corroborate his right to teach the Word of Almighty God.
And people will stand by, and they will say, “Yes, he’s a prophet, hallelujah! But I’m a prophet too.” And those prophets will raise up men that teach and go around the world teaching for them. But the Word of God goes into a decline as far as the popularity of the Word is concerned, and as far as the far reaching power of the Word is concerned, It goes into a decline.
“And few there be that find the narrow gate and the straight way.” Few there be to see Him unveiled. Few there be that understand the Presence. Few there be that understand at this moment when God speaks, as He sent Moses down to Egypt, the Israelites were already into Exodus, whether they knew it or not.
You say, “How, Brother Vayle?”
Listen, you’ve got to have more brains than that to ask that question. That was my question. When God gives His Word, brother or sister, there’s nothing going to stop It. As the prophet said, “When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ there had to be light.” When God sent Moses – I don’t care if had taken two thousand years, [But it didn’t.] He would have got them out.
We’ve had a Word for two thousand years concerning what we’re into now. There’s another Word for a thousand years down the road. We’re in the two thousand year gap at this very moment. We’ve seen the hand of God. We’ve seen the absolute vindication of God establishing His Own Word. And He said, “They’re going to walk away from It.” But He said, “You are not of that group.” He said, “You’re going to walk right into It.”
Brother or sister, I just want to tell you again: as far as I’m concerned, the Rapture is going on. It’s already started. People can do what they want. You say, “They’re going to laugh at you.” They’re laughing right now.
“They’re going to fight you.”
They’re doing it right now. What do I care?
You say, “What are you going to do.”
I’m going to stand right back with the Word of God and see It’s going on, and I’m going on with It.
That’s it. Let’s rise.
Heavenly Father, we’re very grateful to You in Your goodness and mercy, your kindness, O God, that You give us opportunity to come together to establish our hearts in the faith which is the true revealed Word, Lord, which we know we have not of ourselves, because not one of us would ever dare to say the things we say and believe in this place, except it was already said by somebody else.
And that somebody else, Lord, we know, had a great ministry of vindication, which was according to your Word, a prophetic office. We thank You for it, Lord.
We don’t thank You for ourselves. We thank You, Lord, for You and for Your Word. And it’s wonderful to know that You and Your Word cannot be separated, that You are here fulfilling Your Word, because that Word is the outflowing of You Yourself which – though some people call so erroneously “universal mind”. It is not that.
But we know that Your Mind in there, being Spirit, You conceived all of this thing; and being omnipotent, You’re able to bring it to pass. We thank You for these things, Lord. We surely do.
Now Heavenly Father, we just pray that not one of us here in this building is going to miss it. Not one, Lord. We know that at that midnight hour that there was an awakening call, and we know that. And we know that this is the hour for people to be awake. And, Lord, we don’t care if they wake up within one minute of the Rapture, as long as it’s not one minute after.
That’s the thing we’re looking at, Lord: not one minute after the time of the Word of God gives out, because we know that one day the door has got to be shut, and it’s going to be too late to say, “Well, you know there was a prophet in the land.” We know that.
Recognition will come too late. Perhaps not too late to save people at the White Throne where they can come in to Eternal Life and then reside outside the Holy City and yet be a part of the great economy of God. We realize that’s possible too, Lord. But we’re praying today and believing, because the ministry here is to get a Bride out, to get her out – not because we’re going to do it – but to proclaim the King is here, to proclaim the Judge is here, to proclaim He is here, the great God.
The great One is here to establish righteousness in the earth, and He is doing it first by establishing a Bride to get her out and to bring her back.
Lord, we thank You for all of this. We just now ask You for help and strength for each one in Divine Presence. May there not be any sick one amongst us, Lord, but may health and strength be granted to all.
O God, set us on fire with the truth. That’s it, because we know that is what is going to count. Because if that Word comes out of your mouth and can overcome everything and anything, and that same Word that destroys and overcomes everything is that same Word that brings everything into creation, then, Lord God in heaven, it’s easy to see how that You can tear down and make alive and bring back.
And You can do the same with us. That same Word, Lord, can bring us right down to the place where nothing within ourselves, which is the truth, and then bring us right to that place where we’re everything in You. And that’s what we look at; so we look at You.
So Lord, we commend ourselves to You most heartily. Bless each one now, Lord. Give us strength, journeying mercies – all those things that are necessary. And keep our hearts and minds fixed upon You, and we praise God that You are doing it. We thank You for it. In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.