main index              back to "To the Christians"

JESUS

The Gates of Hell Shall Not
Prevail Against Him

CHAPTER 15

The Revelation of Jesus has revealed to us much oppression and distress. It makes plain the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Jesus is embodied in His followers in controversy with Satan and Satan is embodied in his followers in controversy with Christ.

Jesus does reveal to us the great victory in it all. He shows us that the enemy of righteousness will lose the battle and the war. Throughout the Scriptures He plainly points to the consummation of all things when a pure and holy people are redeemed unto the Lord.

Webster says that a mystery is "something unexplained, unknown, or kept secret." Through the ages men have looked into the seemingly unfathomable mysteries into which we are born. Something certain, true, and set in concrete for one generation can seem to be foolishness in the next. In the context of religion this is no less true. Billions of people have some form of religion, and many are in religions which are mysterious and unexplained. There are secret societies and secret rites which do nothing but hide their religious followers in smoke and haze.

True religion grows, and expands, and increases its light so that its adherents become more and more aware of the truth of their being. False religion keeps its adherents locked in a maze of unexplained dogma and superstition. The mystery of sin keeps one in sin while promising him life. This form of religion gives its members hope while delivering nothing. It is akin to purchasing something from a merchant to be delivered in the afternoon. Day after day the merchant promises to deliver, yet he fails on his promises. Each time you call to ask what the problem is, the merchant increases your expectations and hope, but you still do not get what you pay for. So it is with all false religion.

The greatest mystery of evil is when that merchant convinces the buyer that he has received the purchased material when he has not. One might go to an automobile dealer and purchase a new car. The dealer would then explain that your car was delivered. The fool goes home and tells everyone his automobile was delivered. He cannot see it; the neighbors cannot see it, but they all go on believing it is there. So it is today. The mystery that so many believe today is that they have been forgiven of their sins when they have not.

The people of God have indeed received something. It can also be seen and experienced. Others can see it as well. As we understand what is true, and as we realize what the natural man looks like, a transformation is manifested. This is the mystery. The mystery of how a sinner is formed after the likeness of God remains unfathomable. The very nature of man is changed. "And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him." (Colossians 1:21, 23) This transformation is the mystery referred to in Col. 1:26,27. "The mystery hidden from ages and generations, but now made manifest to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

What Is The Mystery?

This mystery encompasses all three angels' messages of Revelation 14. For once we have Christ in us, we come out of our own confusion and are sealed into the kingdom of His dear Son. "And in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless." (Rev. 14:5) It is also true that those who understand the mystery join with others who understand the mystery and so it can be said, "...Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12)

While we were blind or ignorant, there remained a mystery. While we were ill, we were unable to comprehend. But now the blind can see; the deaf can hear; the ill are made well; the resistant become submissive; where there was hatred, there now dwells only love. Unloveliness becomes loveliness; the proud are now humble; self-righteousness is now selflessness; tempers are quelled; anger becomes gentleness; those in bondage are set free; those who were timid are now bold. This involves every area of one's life. "Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

The Truth Has Been Hidden

For many generations this truth has been hidden in the dogma and mysterious forms of apostasy. It has been surrounded in the haze of foreign thought but, today, this is revealed. The Revelation says, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." (Rev. 10:7) The trumpet sounds and the revelation of God in His people is seen and heard. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great: and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." (Rev. 11:15-19)

It can be seen what this is. The people of God declare that the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands has destroyed the lie of false religion. (See Daniel 2). The prophecy goes on to say that the nations are angry because the time has come for them to be judged. Those who destroy the earth are to be destroyed. The temple of God in heaven is opened and the law of God is seen. There are lightnings, voices, thunderings and, because of these truths, there is a great earthquake. The people are shaken as judgment comes to pass. There is great hail as the refuge of lies is swept away. (See Isa. 28:17).

This is the end of the mystery. To put this in other words, the mystery has been explained. Christ is the truth for His people. He is the revelation of all things. He is the revelation of who His people are and He is the revelation of the prophecies. Some that we talk to seem to think these things are incredible. They imagine we have gone mad, but Jesus explains why they think this way. "...Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." (Mark 4:11-12)

The Lord is now revealing the truths of this great mystery in the prophecies. As with the parables, those without Christ cannot understand them. The Lord would not want to see those converted who did not want to have the mystery of Godliness revealed in themselves. "Christ in you the hope of glory." "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...." (1 Timothy 3:16) Christ came to reveal the riches of salvation, that is God manifest in the flesh. Today, God is again manifest in the flesh of all His true followers. "...Ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Colossians 3:9-10) "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14:5)

The Believer Appears With Him

The Scriptures tell us who we are. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4) It is Christ who lives, not I of myself. For me to live is Christ. My "living" is Jesus Christ Himself. The man, of himself, is dead and gone. If the man is dead and gone, then it is Jesus who is living. Our bodies are the temple of God. The temple of itself is not living, but the Christ in the temple is the life of the temple. "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19-22) As Christ is now appearing in His glory, we also are appearing with Him. The mystery has been revealed and we have been revealed with Him. God has come in the flesh even our flesh. "As God is, so must His people be." (Special Testimonies, Series B, p. 16)

As God Is So Are His People

Let us word that a little differently. As God is, so are His people. This is our faith. Does that not seem reasonable? We have been given the eyes of God. We have been made to see all things through the Christ life. "No more will you say, I cannot comprehend. No longer will you see through a glass, darkly. You shall 'be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge'." (DA 670) "The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity." (DA 671) We can now say, the very image of God has been reproduced in humanity. This is salvation. This is redemption. Not one will finally be saved without this transformation. Not one will finally be saved without this conversion. There is no hope for the earthy man. Only the new man from heaven will return there. "By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead." (SD 359)

The Returning Army

Because the mystery is finished, Christ appears. Because the mystery is finished, we appear with Him. This is well illustrated in the prophecy of Revelation 19. We have been clothed in white and we ride upon white horses with our redeemer in the lead. "And 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. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Rev. 19:11-15)

This is the picture of those who are as God is. They now come to fight in the battle of Armageddon. "We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field." (BC 7A 983) "The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of kings and Lord of lords, leads forth the armies of heaven on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white." (BC 7A 982)

The Great Supper

As the Word of God is revealed in the earth, so are His sons and daughters revealed in the earth. As the Father rules with a rod of iron, so it is with the children. Men are brought to judgment. There are other ways that men are judged. If the sword of God does not destroy them, they are invited to the great supper of God. "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; 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." (Rev. 19:17-18)

What are the fowls that eat the flesh of dead men? They are vultures, condors, and crows. Where do these birds come from? "...Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become...a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2) The birds that eat the flesh of captains, kings and mighty men are in the cage of unclean birds. The Lord invites them to His supper. Those who had no interest in the message of God, are invited to the supper where the birds get to eat on them. These unclean and hateful birds are often seen circling around dead men in the wilderness. When the children of God, riding upon white horses, come into the battle, the people of God slay them. We bring the truth and these men reject that truth, causing the Lord's spirit to be withdrawn from them. These men are now dead and the lawful prey of the hateful birds that live in the cage.

The way these hateful birds finish off the dead is that they leave them only dry bones. There is nothing left to be presented before the Lord. This is the supper of God. When vultures circle overhead, it may be seen that they are seeing something that looks almost dead. If you are very alive, you will not interest the vultures from the cage (apostate religion). This is also stated well in Micah chapter four. "And I said, hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chip them in pieces, as from the pot, and as flesh within the caldron." Jesus said, "For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together." (Matt. 24:28) If you are dead, these birds will be seen eating on you.

They Gather To Make War

"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." (Rev. 19:19) The world prepares to battle the people of God. The vultures stand by to devour those who do not repent and gather with the people of God. As we see today, there is a great preparation and warfare against the message of Christ's gift. We stand in mortal combat with many who refuse this great life. Some choose death, and then the vultures quickly arrive and finish off these rebellious souls. They fly in from the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. They send out hate mail, and use lies and deception to pick the flesh off those who loved a lie.

After all is done, there will be nothing remaining. Every soul will have made his decision for or against the message. "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. 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." (Rev. 19:20-21)

The Mystery Is Finished

The mystery is finished both in righteousness and in unrighteousness. It is clear that God's people are as God is. It is also clear that Satan's people are as Satan is. The loud cry that calls God's people out of this world's order is the message which prepares the people for battle. This is the last battle. As the arguments are presented, the battle rages. Those left slain on the battle field with no life in them are eaten by the birds in the cage. Finally, any remnant who remain alive in Babylon, are killed by the sword that proceeds out of the Word of God.

When all of these things are completed, the people of God look to the heavens, for their heavenly commander comes for them in all His glory. Yes, the mystery is finished. There are no more questions. All understand the arguments. All are making their final decision. The mystery is being manifested to the saints.

The Lord gives the final revelation of His people. What salvation, what perfection, what unity, what peace has been given to the believers in the Lord Our Righteousness.

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. ...The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord. ...But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. ...Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ...I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." (Jer. 33:14-16)


« Last | Next »