THE PERGAMEAN CHURCH AGE



The Time Period - 312 AD to 606 AD.

The Messenger - St. Martin

The Bible Reference - Revelation 2: 12-17

The City - Pergamos

The Message To The Third Age - PERGAMOS

Part:One Two Three Four five

THE TIME PERIOD

The Pergamean Age lasted almost 300 years, from, 312 to 606 A.D. In this age Christ is standing in the midst with a sharp two-edged Sword. He comforts His own and further contends with the "doctrines" of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. In the Smyrnaean Age the Lord spoke of the "synagogue of Satan. In this Age He speaks of "Satan's Seat" and "Where Satan Dwelleth".

Also, in this Age Christ identifies by Name, a faithful martyr. He concludes with a call to "repentance" and a reminder of the reward to the overcomer. What things were ideas and deeds among the people in the previous two ages, now become established doctrines and orders in this Third Age. Let's keep in mind that the two vines [true and false] which began in the Ephesian Age continues into this age. Stay in the Spirit of Divine revelation - this will enable us to discern the "True" from the "false".

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THE MESSENGER - ST MARTIN

Using the "A God Given Rule for choosing the messenger to each age, we find that the Brother whose ministry most closely compares to that of the first messenger, Paul, was Martin. His ministry to the Pergamean Age was powerful in Word and Demonstration of the Spirit. Praise the Lord! He stayed with the "original Word", rejecting any suggestion to "add" human opinions and ideas, thereby weakening it's effect on the people - "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition..." Mark 7:13.

Born in 315 in Hungary, the greater part of his ministry was in France where he labored in and around Tours as a bishop. Having fought "the good fight" for Truth he went to be with the Lord in 399 A.D. He was 84 years old. We should note here that this great saint was the uncle of another wonderful Christian, St. Patrick of Ireland.

Prior to his "call" to the Ministry of the Gospel, Martin was was a professional soldier. While still in the ranks he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. It was while he was still engaged in his soldier occupation that a most remarkable miracle occurred - it changed Martin's life forever.

It is recorded that a beggar lay sick in the streets of the town where Martin was posted. The winter cold was more than the beggar could bear for he was poorly clad. No one paid any attention to his needs until Martin came by. Seeing this poor man's plight, but not having an extra garment, he took off his outer cloak, cut it in two with his sword, and wrapped the cloth around the freezing man. Attending to the man as best he could, Martin went on his way. That night the Lord Jesus appeared unto him in a vision. There He stood, like a beggar, wrapped in the half of Martin's garment.

The Lord spoke, saying, "Martin, though you're only yet young in the Gospel, you have clothed Me with this garment."

This was an experience which would deepen Martin's love for his Lord, and strengthen his desire to serve the Lord with all his heart. His life became a series of miracles, manifesting the power of God. Halleljuh! All we have to do is "Believe God".

Leaving the army he became a leader in the church. His love for his Lord and his zeal for the WORD was manifested in his very militant stand against pagan idolatry. He cut down the groves, broke up the images and pulled down the altars - proclaim the Truth of the One True and Living God - the Lord Jesus Christ. When confronted by the pagans for his deeds he challenged them in much the same manner that Elijah did the prophets of Baal.

He offered to be tied to a tree on its underside so that when it was cut down it would crush him unless God intervened and turned the tree around while it fell. Responding to the challenged, the pagans tied him to a tree that was growing on the side of a hill, assured that the natural pull of gravity would cause the tree to so fall and crush him. Just as the tree began to fall, God swung it around and uphill, contrary to all natural laws. The fleeing heathen were crushed as the tree fell on several of them.

Historians acknowledged that on at least three occasions he raised the dead by faith in Jesus' Name. In one instance be prayed for a dead baby. Like Elisha, he stretched himself upon the babe and prayed. It came back to life and health. On another occasion he was called to help deliver a brother who was being carried away to his death in a time of great persecution. By the time he arrived the poor man was already dead. They had hanged him upon a tree. His body was lifeless and his eyes protruded from the sockets. But Martin took him down, and when he had prayed the man was restored to life and to his rejoicing family.

The was no fear of the enemies of Truth in the eyes or heart of Martin. When he stood for the Revealed Word of God he had no respect of persons - not even the emperor. He went to personally face a wicked emperor who was responsible for the death of many Spirit-filled saints. The emperor would not grant an audience, so Martin went to see a friend of the emperor, one Damasus, a cruel bishop of Rome. But the bishop, being a nominal Christian of the false vine would not intercede.

Not to be deterred in his mission, Martin went back to the palace, but by now the gates had been locked and they would not allow him to enter. He lay down on his face before the Lord and prayed that he be able to get into the palace. He heard a voice bidding him arise. When be did so, be saw the gates open of their own accord. He walked directly into the emperor's court. But the arrogant ruler would not so much as turn his bead to acknoweldge or speak to him. Martin again prayed. Then suddenly, the Lord caused a fire to come spontaneously from the seat of the throne, forcing the very unhappy emperor out of the throne to "stand" in the presence of His Servant, Martin. The Lord knows how to humble the proud and exalt the lowly.

Martin was a "praying man". It was proven in his life that "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16. Such was his ardour in serving the Lord that the devil was mightily aroused against Martin's ministry and life. The enemies of truth hired assassins to kill Martin, They came by stealth to his home and as they were about to kill him, he stood erect and bared his throat to the sword. As they leaped forward, the power of God suddenly hurled them back across the room. So overcome were they in that holy and fearful atmosphere that they crawled upon their bands and knees and begged forgiveness for the attempt upon his life.

Too often when men are mightly used of the Lord [with signs and wonders following their ministries] they become lifted up with pride. But not so with Martin. He ever remained the humble servant of God. One night as he was preparing himself to enter the pulpit, a beggar came to his study and asked for some clothing. Martin referred the beggar to his head deacon, who simply commanded him to leave. Rather than leave he went back to see Martin. Martin, in his compassion for the beggar gave him his best robe, and bade the deacon bring him another robe which was of lesser quality. That night as Martin preached the Word, the flock of God saw a soft white glow of light around this anointed servant of God.

Surely this was a great man, a true messenger to that age. Never desirous of aught, but to please God he lived a most consecrated life. Never could he be induced to preach until he had first prayed and was in such spiritual frame as to know and deliver the full counsel of God by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Often he would keep the people waiting while he prayed for full assurance.

Just to know about Martin and his mighty ministry might make one think that the persecution of the saints had abated. On the contrary - persecution reached greater heights of brutality. Indeed, this age thirsted for the blood of the Christian marytrs.

In countless numbers the TRUE Christians were still being destroyed by the devil through the instrtumentality of the wicked. They were burned alive. They were given as prey to the wild dogs, to die in terrible torture. Babes were ripped [with swords] from expectant mothers and thrown to the dogs. And the tragedy was even greater to think about when one realizes that this was not solely the work of the heathen, but many times it was caused by so-called Christians who felt that they did God a favor in exterminating these loyal soldiers of the cross who stood for the Word and obedience to the Holy Spirit. John 16:2 and Matthew 24:9 was a reality to them.

"They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that be doeth God service." John 16:2

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for My Name's sake." Matt. 24:9

By signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Ghost, Martin was truly vindicated as the messenger to the Pergamean Age. But not only was he gifted by a great ministry, be himself was forever true to the Word of God. He fought organization. He withstood sin in high places. He championed the truth in word and deed and lived out a full life of Christian victory.

A biographer wrote of him on this wise:

"No one ever saw him angry, or disturbed, or grieving, or laughing. He was always one and the same, and seemed something beyond mortal, wearing on his countenance a sort of celestial joy. Never was anything on his lips but Christ, never anything in his heart but piety, peace and pity.

Often did he weep for the sins even of those his detractors, who when be was quiet and absent attacked him with viperous lips and poisoned tongues. Many hated him for virtues they themselves did not possess and could not imitate; and alas! his bitterest assailants were bishops."

Martin was a MESSENGER indeed - FAITHFUL to his Lord and Saviour, giving preeminence to the leadership of the Holy Ghost in all things that pertained to life and goldliness.

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THE BIBLE REFERENCE

Revelation 2:12-17:

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He Which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast My Name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

He that hath an ear, let him bear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

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The City - Pergamos

The ancient name for the City was Pergamum. The City was located in Mysia, in a district watered by three rivers, by one of which it connected to the sea. It was described as the most illustrious city in Asia. It was a city of culture with a library second only to that in Alexandria.

Yet it was a city of great sin, given over to licentious rites of the worship of Aesculapius, whom they worshipped in the form of a living serpent which was housed and fed in the temple. In this beautiful city of irrigated groves, public walks and parks lived a small group of dedicated believers who were not fooled by the veneer of beauty, and abhorred the Satanic worship that filled the place.

That small group of faithful Saints would endure much in the City and in the Age foretold by the Message to the Church in Pergamos. Paganism's influence over the Christian Church in this City and this Age would take it's toll on the Faithful ones.

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THE MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS - PART ONE
Him With The sharp Two-Edged Sword

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He Which hath the sharp sword with two edges;" Revelation 2:12

No longer the "the submissive Lamb", standing before Pilate, mocked, smiten and crowned with thorns. Here, He stands in the midst of His Church, having Power and crowned with Great Glory. So glorious that John fell "as one dead" in His Presence. He, Himself, after His death, burial and Resurrection, declared, "All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth." Herein is another revelation of His deity.

In the Ephesian Age He was revealed as the Unchanging God. In the Smyrnaean Age we saw Him as the ONE TRUE God and beside Him there was no other. Now in this Pergamean Age there is a further revelation of His Godhead Authority and Power. Here, we now see Him as One with the "sharp two edged sword". This Sword is the WORD of God - for thus it is written: "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: " Ephesians 6:17.

He and His Word is the selfsame thing. HE IS THE WORD OF GOD. The Bible says:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Same (Word) was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made which was made."  John 1:1-3

In his epistle, John declared, "For there are three that bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are ONE." 1st. John 5:7. In Revelation 19:13,15a it is clearly stated, "And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called the Word of God. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp two-edged sword." And Paul in Hebrews 4:12 so perfectly assures us of the POWER and AUTHORITY of the WORD of God: "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Amen! The One with the sharp Sword with two edges is standing in the midst of the Church excercising His Authority and Power by His WORD. He alone posseses the Authority to Judge and the Power to execute Judgement. In the Gospels it's written, ""For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" John 5:22 And His judgement begins in the House of God: "For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? " 1st. Peter 4:17

In this Age He stands with the two-edged Sword warning that except they manifest "repentance" He would come and fight against them with the Sword of His Mouth - His Eternal Word. With that same Sword He defeated Satan on the Mount of Transfiguration. He gives us that same Sword with which to defend ourselves against the attacks of Satan. Spoken by faith It will gain the same victory over the enemy which Jesus gained on the Mount. HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

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THE MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS - PART TWO
The Faithful Recognized, Satan's Seat Acknowledged
And The Marytr, Antipas Remembered

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast My Name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth".  Revelation 2:13

To all the Ages Jesus simply states, "I know thy works". And Jesus still knows your works - whether they be according to His Word and for His glory, or contrary to His Word and reproachful to His glory. It's important to "give diligence to make our calling and election sure" 2nd Peter 1:10, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith [Word]." 2nd Corinthians 13:5. Jesus Christ judges every church, every individual and every Church Age by His Word - the sharp two-edged Sword of the Spirit.

The Faithful Recognized

In verse 13 Jesus commends His Elect Children for holding fast to the Revelation of His Name in an Age when the "false vine" influence was pushing aside the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ in favor of the "titles" of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In the Second Century the actual NAME was beginning to lose it's significance for a lot of professing Christians. The Trinity teaching of "three persons" in the Godhead became a cardinal "doctrine" of the false-vine-church in this Pergamean Age.

The Bible said, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." Colossians 3:17. But the false-vine-church established the "ritual" of doing everything "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The NAME was excluded. Remember, this is the same spirit that began in the First Age as "deeds" of the Nicolaitans; became a blasphemous "teaching" in the Second Age and now a "doctrine", the unbending way in this Third Age. The Revelation of the Name would be lost to the True-Vine-Church until the Last Age wherein God would, through a major prophetic ministry "restore" ALL things.

In the Age of Pergamos a few faithful ones were still "holding to the NAME", baptizing converts the Apostolic way - "in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ" Acts 2:38. But the false-vine-church just used the "titles" of "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost". Not only did they change the scriptural formula for Water Baptism but they introduced a teaching that is absolutely ANTI-WORD, and that was "infant baptism". No where in Scripture do we find any reference to "infant baptism". It is totally a man-made church dogma.

Our Precious Lord is our example and as an Infant He was "dedicated" in prayer and praise [Luke 2:27-40] to the service of the Lord, and circumcised according to the Covenant of Abraham. [Circumcision is not a "type" of water baptism]. The Scriptures "command" us to "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." To "repent" one would have to at least reach the "age of accountability"; and an "infant" is certainly not accountable. Neither can it "repent". Until it comes to that age the Blood of Jesus Christ atones for that child.

With so many dishonoring God, turning from the Revelation of His true ONENESS to the "false" three person, three god teaching, and exchanging His gracious Name in favor of the titles only, the great signs and wonders that attended the apostolic ministries of the very early church fathers no longer followed the false-vine-church. But those signs were mightily and wonderfully manifested through men like Martin. For God bore them witness both by signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Ghost. That Name was still effectual as it always has been and ever will be where the saints honor Him through the Word and faith.

Never lose the "significance" of the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ. For "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." In this Pergamean Age men were humanizing salvation - causing the people to turn from the truth that "Salvation is of the Lord", to trusting church membership or human priestly absolution (in Catholicism and Protestantism) for Salvation. Neither Roman Catholics or the majority of protestants even bother to check the counsel and teaching of their priests or clergy with the Word of God - the Bible.

Having cast aside the doctrines of election and predestination wherein "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved", Acts 2:47, human church leadership [without the Holy Ghost] allowed anything and everything into the church. Regardless of what the Word said, any and all who subscribed to the tenets of the man-made false-vine-church were given the "right hand of fellowship". The false church was now taking pre-emminence over the "little" flock of the Lord's choosing. The "goats" now out-numbered the "sheep".

In this Age of rapid degradation, there were still the few who had the measure of that faith of our Lord Jesus Christ - a "spiritual faith", manifested in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost in their lives. They stood for righteousness, pointing men and women, NOT to the church, but to Christ alone for Salvation. The NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ was Precious to them. They flatly turned down the idea of "three persons" in the Godhead. Like most professing Christians today, most in the Pergamean Age had only a "mental faith", idenifying NOT with Christ but with a Church.

Antipas - My Faithful Martyr

Some of the "faithful ones" paid a high price for "holding fast to HIS NAME and not denying HIS FAITH [Word]" Our Lord mentions one by name - Antipas. We have no other record of this precious Brother who was so lovingly mentioned by the Saviour. Jesus said, "...[thou] holdest fast MY NAME and hast not denied MY Faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, WHERE SATAN DWELLETH". We know this about him - he rejected the "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" baptism and church ritual and held fast to the Name of His Lord. He did not deny the Faith (True Spiritual Revelation) of Christ, and he paid for it with his life.

But "Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints." Yes, Antipas was slain for his testimony, but like Abel, he obtained a witness from God (his name is written in the Word), and though dead, his voice still speaks in the pages of God's Divine Record. Another faithful martyr was carried to his rest. But his life and death would be a testimony to all that would take up their crosses and follow Christ. All who follow HIM must be willing to DIE to themselves, the world and the influence of the world.

Satan's Seat - Where Satan Dwelleth

In the Second Age Jesus spoke of the false-vine-church as being "the Synagogue of Satan". Here, He calls it "Satan's Seat", or "Where Satan Dwelleth". The question arises: How did Pergamos become "Satan's Seat" or headquarters? The Bible along with the testimony of history will definitely show us "Satan's Seat" in the beginning, in Genesis, trace it down to Pergamos and into this Present Age, to answer the Question: WHERE is Satan's SEAT Today?

We know, according to the Divine Record that Satan first attempted to establish his "seat of authority" over and above the "Throne of God", while he was yet one of the "covering cherubs" in heaven. The Bible says, "Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.....Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:" Ezekiel 28:14-15,17. Therefore the Lord did cast him out. Jesus said that He beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven Luke 10:18..

The Bible further states that Satan aspires to exalt himself above the stars of God and set in the Temple of God and be worship as God - not worshipped "like" God but to be worshipped "AS GOD HIMSELF". Only one way is he able to partially fulfill his aspirations - and that is through "deceit". He would have to "impersonate" what God has done and IS doing - deceive the people into thinking they're following and worshipping God.

Of course, we know that among the human race Satan started his deceit in the Garden of Eden, preaching his "perverted Gospel" to Eve. Remember, he only "added" ONE WORD to what God had said, but he got Eve to believe him and obey him. He was that "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the Garden. He Dwelt in the Midst of the Garden. At the time that's where his SEAT was situated. Adam and Eve were forbidden (on the penalty of death) to have anything to do with Satan's Seat.

In the Garden he partially succeeded in his aspirations. He got Eve to believe his "lie" and bring sin and death to the whole human race. Of course God being omniscient, KNEW what was going on but He "permitted it", that He might REVEALED Himself in a greater way to the Human Race. So far did He allow Satan to go in the Garden, and no further. The Bible tells us that in it all God has an "eternal purpose and plan". In Ephesians 3:9-11 Paul said that he was made a minister of the Gospel to, "to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: ...According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"

Knowing what the Devil would do in the Garden, God had already, in His eternal purpose and plan provided for a Sacrifice that would in time atone for man's sin. In Revelation 13:8 we are told that "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world", and in the mind of God "All His works were finished from the foundation of the world" Hebrews 4:3. God knows the "end from the beginning". It is written: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" 2nd Timothy 2:19.

When the woman and the man [in Eden] chose to obey Satan over and above God's clear and direct command, the Lord, with the sharp two-edged Sword of His Word executed judgement. The serpent, Satan's false prophet in the Garden was cursed from being an upright creature like a man to going on his belly as a snake, becoming now the "missing link" between man and beast. The woman was cursed but NOT the man. The ground was cursed - for man's sake.

Having been ousted from the Garden, Satan now continues his deceit outside. When the time came for worship both Cain and Abel brought their offerings unto the Lord. Now watch - ONE was led [influenced] by the "Holy Spirit" and ONE was led [influenced] by an "unholy spirit". The end result of their worship is proof of this. The Bible says, "By FAITH Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice". Hebrews 11:4. The Lord ACCEPTED Abel's offering but REJECTED Cain's.

Cain was under Satan's influence. He was deceived by Satan into believing that God would accept a WORKS Gospel - offering the "fruit of the ground", that which he had labored to produce. The Bible tells us clearly that, Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 1st. John 3:12. Cain's sacrifice was the product of a self-righteous evil heart of unbelief in the Revealed Word of God manifested in Abel's offering.

Like his spiritual descendants, four thousand years later, would do to the Word made flesh in Jesus, Cain believed the Devil's lie and "crucified" the REVEALED WORD that was manifested in Abel. And even when presented with Truth, he refused to "repent" and offer the right sacrifice. Genesis 4:7. Outside the Garden Cain was found to be in the "Synagogue of Satan", sitting in "Satan's SEAT", under Satan's control and influence - sincere, but sincerely WRONG; religious but lacking Holy Spirit spirituality.

We'll see this more clearly as we follow Cain's lineage. Cain was driven out of the Presence of the Lord - neither Cain, nor those with a Cain-like anointing would ever recognize or respect a True move of God again - in fact, as Cain was against Abel, even-so Cain's spiritual children would be against those who follow in Abel's steps of a Faith walk.

The Scriptures warn us against following in Cain's footsteps:

"Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."  I JOHN 3:12.

Going out from the Presence of the Lord [Genesis 4:14] Cain went into the Land of Nod [Wondering] and there he established the "first civilization" in the earth. His descendants were smart, intellectual, great inventors and murderers. Genesis 4:16-23.

Being judged for his unbelief and driven out of the Presence of God did not take away from Cain that which every man, woman, boy and girl is born with - the desire to worship. That's why "In the process of time, both Cain and Abel came to worship God". Abel's worship was based on faith in what God had revealed to him in his heart. Cain's worship was based on intellectual, human reasoning. In True worship faith is an absolute necessity. It is written, "But without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

To replace Abel whom Cain had slain God gave Adam and Eve another son and they called his name Seth. The Bible says, "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh: then began men to call upon the Name of the Lord." And for several generations the Seed of God, through Seth, and the Serpent Seed, through Cain remained separated. But in Genesis 6:2 we find that the two vines began to inter-mingle and inter-marry bringing confusion, sin wickedness and strife in the earth. So great was the iniquity in the earth that the Lord came down in judgement; and with the exception of Noah and his family, every physical living thing was destroyed. The Bible says that "Noah found "Grace" in the eyes of the Lord".

Of course when Noah and his family began to re-populate the earth again, Satan once again sought to interfere in the plan and purpose of God. This time using Ham, the son of Noah. Out of Ham came Cush; out of Cush came Nimrod and the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was Babel which is the original name for Babylon. It means confusion. From Babel (Babylon) came the worship of false gods and the false worship of "mother and child", a religious tradition which is traced all the way into this century, infiltrating and impersonating Christianity. Babel (Babylon) became "Satan's Seat".

But to trace the course of "Satan's Seat" from Babylon to Pergamos we must consult the records of Egyptian and Grecian culture. According to ancient history the Greeks had the very same signs of the Zodiac as did the Babylonians. Also. according to ancient Egyptian records the Egyptians gave their knowledge of polytheism (belief in many gods) to the Greeks Thus the mysteries of Babylon spread from nation to nation until it appeared in Rome, China, India, and even in both North and South America. Through it all there is a common Babylonish thread of gods, goddesses, ritual, icons, worship of images, etc.

It's the story that has been repeated over and over again through the centuries - one nation conquers another and eventually the "religion' of the conqueror becomes the religion of the conquered. Many times both religions became intertwined. This pattern continued through the centuries and even into the Seven Church Ages of Christianity. Over time the paganism of the nations into which Christians had settled eventually became mixed with Christianity, bringing sin, false teachings, ritual, icons, worship of images, etc. into the Church. In the last Church Age we will see the awful results of this mixture.

The Babylonish religion was certainly NOT the original religion of the first humans to walk the earth. The first people to populate the earth believed and worshipped ONE GOD. That which drifted away from the original faith came to be known as Babylonish. As Satan corrutped what the Lord was doing in the Garden of Eden, he continues to corrupt what Jehovah has done and is doing outside the Garden. Monotheism (the Belief in ONE God) turned to polytheism in Babylon. Satan through the false Babylonish religion became the god of the this world. The influence of the Babylonian polytheism was eventually injected into the false vine Christianity through the false teaching of the Trinity - rejecting the Biblical ONE God, ONE Person teaching of the Godhead.

But getting back to the question of "how" Pergamos became the "Seat of Satan". Again, history provides the answer. When Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians, the priest-king, Attalus fled the city and went to Pergamos with his priests and sacred mysteries. There he set up his kingdom outside the Roman empire, and thrived under the care of the devil, eventually infiltrating the Christian Church with Anti-Word ritual and dogma. This will become more clear as we progress through the study of the ages and into this present time.

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THE MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS - PART THREE
False Doctrine Is Found In The Midst;
The Doctrine(s) Of Balaam And Of The Nicolaitans

"But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate."   Revelation 2:14-15

Him with the sharp two-edged Sword was again separating "Truth" from "error", and "Light" from "darkness". Beginning with creation in Genesis the Lord "divided the Light from the darkness"; and all the way through the Seven Gentile Church Ages He is still separating Light from darkness. The Bible and history show us beyond any doubt that God is a separator, NOT a mixer. Through spiritual weakness and blindness, and the fear of rejection by the people in general, modern day churches are allowing the Devil to mix anything and everything with the Church's profession of faith.

Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, the Pergamean and all Ages is brought before the Judgement Seat of Christ (The WORD of God) and judged according to the Word which God had given them for their day. For Adam and Eve, God had given them ONE "simple" command and when brought into the Presence of Jehovah for judgement they were found in disobedience. The Lord could say to them what He is saying to the Churches: "I have a few things against thee"

Understanding what happened in the Garden of Eden will help us better understand what's happening in the Church through the Ages. In Eden, God had given Adam and Eve His Word to keep. It was a test to see if they would obey the Lord in ALL things. But Satan came into the Garden, anointed the Serpent to be his FALSE "angel of light" and "minister of righteousness" to Eve:

"For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his [Satan's] ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."  2nd. Corinthians 11:13-15.

Thus, the serpent, whom the Bible describes as being "more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made", deceived Eve into believing his "false interpretation" of the Word over and above God's direct command - making the Word of God of non-effect in their lives and bringing the judgement of God on all creation [Matthew 15:6]. Disobedience to "ONE" Word of God plunged the whole world into chaos.

Through the Church Ages, we find that Satan is still in the Garden of God - the Church, propagating his "false interpretation" of God's Word. The Church, like Eve is found guilty of accepting the Devil's deliberate "mis-interpretation" of the Truth - over and above what God had given through His Prophets and Apostles. But the Lord knows that His True Sons and Daughters will always (when it's brought to their rememberance) come back to the Truth.

In the Ephesian Age Satan influenced many with his "mis-interpretation" of the Word, through "false apostles" and "Deeds of the Nicolaitans", seeking to usurp the Authority of the Holy Spirit in the Church and "control" the laity by bringing them under human headship and leadership. In the Smyrnaean Age, Jesus exposed the Devil's "hypocrites" and "Synagogue of Satan" which were impersonating Christianity; now, in Pergamos the Lord denounces two doctrines which He HATES: "the Doctrine of Balaam" and "the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans". False religion had become intermingled with Christianity. In future Ages this religious deception becomes so ingrained in the minds of the people that they're no more able to discern "Truth" from "error".

The Doctrine Of Balaam

But, what is this "Doctrine of Balaam" which Jesus exposes in this Third Age? Knowing who Balaam is and knowing what he did to Israel will help us understand "the doctrine" by which Satan is attempting to deceive the Church. First of all, Balaam is an Old Testament character with a now famous reputation of being a "false prophet". He is also known as a typical hireling prophet - out for personal gain. He was hired by Balak, King of the Moabites, to curse the Israelites who were encamped in a desert near Moab. For personal gain and popularity Balaam was more than willing to compromise with worldly Moab.

Therefore, three times he attempted to curse Israel, but every time that he opened his mouth to curse them God caused him to bless them. Finally, from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Balaam came up with an idea to undermind the faith of the Israelites. He would deceive them into volunteerily corrupting and defiling their separation unto the Lord. In their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land the Lord had commanded the Israelites NOT to mingle in any way with the peoples and nations they would encounter along the way. They were a people separated unto the Lord for a Divine purpose.

Balaam counselled Balak to invite the Israelites to worship and feast with them [Numbers 31:16; Deut. 23:4]; and entice them to intermingle and inter-marry with the Moabites [Numbers 25]. Because of their disobedience the Israelites brought the judgement of God upon themselves.

Like Israel, the church was called to be separated unto the Lord and commanded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness - unbelief. But in this Pergamean Age false prophets (under the influence of the "Doctrine of Balaam") began to entice many Christians to accept, intermingle and intermarry with pagans and pagan religion - corrupting and defiling their separation. Idolatry (in the name of Christianity) was brought into the Church in the form of a false "three person trinity" doctrine of the Godhead, a false water baptism, infant baptism, the worship of dead Saints, etc.. According to Revelation 2:14 those who (knowing the error of it) but still partook of these things were guilty of spiritual fornication. No wonder that our Lord commanded this Age to REPENT.

In this Age a firm foundation was laid for papal rule and the marriage of church and state. In the 21st. century papal influence is greater than it's ever been - religiously and politically. It now influences all areas of denominational, inter-denominational, non-denominational Christianity and many world leaders and governments. It is the result of the "doctrine of Balaam" which was introduced into the church in Pergamos.

The Doctrine Of The Nicolaitans

We are reminded that in the First Age this was referred to as the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans. Here in Peragmos these "deeds" have translated into a "doctrine", an accepted teaching within the framework of the Christian Church - accepted by the majority with a small minority taking their stand against it. Antipas, the faithful marytr was one of the few who refused to accept the "doctrine" of Balaam or the Nicolaitans. Even today, there is a price to pay if we're going to STAY with the Truth - a price of separation from family, friends and churches. May we be considered as faithful as Brother Antipas.

We have already shown that in the Ephesian Age the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans was a spirit moving in the early church to form an ecclesiasical order within the Church to "conquer" and "dominate" the laity. Here, in the Pergamean Age the "deeds" are fully established as a "doctrine" of "law and order" within the "organized" branch of the Church - man sit himself up as a "lord" over God's heritage. God hated it in Ephesus, and here in Pergamos He re-affirms His hatred for it. And He still hates it today because we'll see in the Last Church Age this "doctrine of the Nicolaitans" forces Christ out of the Church.

Therefore, ask the Lord for Grace to heed the warning of the Scriptures which commands us to separate from the unbelief of false religion:

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you..."  2nd. Corinthians 6:17

"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."  Revelation 18:4

I encourage you to flee from the influence of the Doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans - it will most definitely corrupt and defile (by unbelief in the ALL Word and worldliness) your separation unto the Lord Jesus. Worldliness and Unbelief in ALL the Word of God is now running rampant through all churches. Church attendance or intellectual adherence to a particular creed has replaced a life of "Holiness unto the Lord".

Most religious people are in "bondage" to the church and are permitted to believe only what that church teaches. I can assure you of this one thing: God is not the author of such religious confusion. I encourage you to check all things by the WORD (not the Church). Make your calling and election sure in a living relationship with Jesus Christ.

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THE MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS - PART FOUR
A Command And A Threat Of Impending Judgement

"Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."   Revelation 2:16

The command to this Age is an echo of the command given to the previous two Ages - REPENT - acknowledge it's error, be sorry for it's sins of unbelief, and hate what they have done contrary to HIS Word. Since the fall in the Garden every man, woman or child that ever came into the Presence of God, came with a repentant heart. Jesus Himself said, ".....but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" [Luke 13:3].

In Repentance, Abel, with a genuine revelation in his heart, came with a bloody sacrifice which spoke of his sincere sorrow for the sin which separated him from direct fellowship with God. Cain was sincere but his sacrifice indicated a lack of understanding of the seriousness and consequences of sin. Cain was blinded by a self-satisfied, self-righteous religious attitude.

In the Pergamean Age the Lord commanded the church to REPENT - acknowledge the error of the Doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, be sorry for their sin and come back to the True revelation of the Word. We will discover that the church DID NOT repent. On the contrary, in future Ages we will see that it added sin to sin, "not enduring sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" [2nd Tim. 4:3] and "heaping up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" [Romans 2:5].

Failure on the part of the Church to repent would reap the judgements of God. He said that He would fight against them with "the sword of my mouth." The Sword of His mouth is His Eternal Word. Remember Revelation 1:16: "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength." Again, in Revelation 19:15 we find these words: "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."

How perfect the dealings of Almighty God with Israel type His dealings with the Church. Time after time Israel drifted from serving the One True God and chose to do what was right in their own minds. And time after time God sent His prophet-messengers, with a Message to call them back into the "straight and narrow" way. Time after time the Church drifted from serving the One True God (according to His Word) and chose (under a Satanic influence) to do what was religiously right in their own minds. And time after time God sent His Messengers, with a Message to call them back into the "straight and narrow" way.

Finally, in this last Church Age in which you and I live, the Lord sent His Prophet with a final call to the church world to "Repent", and a call for the Bride of Christ to get ready for the Rapture. I exhort you to heed Paul's exhortation in 2nd Corinthians 13:5, to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; " not in the Church but in the Faith - the Word for your day.

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THE MESSAGE TO PERGAMOS - PART FIVE
Reward To The Overcomer

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]."   Revelation 2:17

Is the spiritual 'ear' of your soul hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking forth the mystery of "Truth versus error" through the ages? Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" John 10:27. Are you "hearing" His Voice; are you "following" Him.

In this Age the Holy Spirit promises to the overcomer the right to eat of the "hidden manna", and receive the revelation of a "new name" written in a "white stone".

The "Hidden" Manna

Let's keep in mind this simple understanding that "manna" represents "food"; and in the above text it represents "spiritual food - the Word of God" on which the Christian feeds. As natural food gives strength to the natural body, even so spiritual food gives faith and strength to the soul. As in the natural so is it in the spiritual - "we are what we eat". Again, we're reminded by the Scriptures, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. Spiritually, we "live" by the Word of God. Therefore, on a daily basis we need to take spiritual food into our souls by prayerfully reading the Word of God.

When we think of "manna" we think of that which the Lord supernaturally gave to the Israelites in the wilderness. But that manna wasn't "hidden". That which fell on the ground was there for all to see and partake off. But the manna spoken of here in this Church Age is "hidden" manna. This indicates that not all have access to it or are given the right to partake of it. It would appear that it's reserved only for an Elected, predestinated Seed. But, where in Scripture can we find a "type" or "example" of "hidden" manna reserved exclusively for those who are separated unto the Lord for a special purpose?

According to Exodus 16 the Lord, through the prophet Moses, commanded Aaron, the High Priest, to take some of the "original" manna, place it in a golden pot and lay it in the Presence of the Shekinah Glory, in the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle. To the Children of Israel it was "hidden manna". They could partake of that which fell every morning, but the "hidden" manna was off-limits to them.

The High Priest alone had access to this Manna; for only the High Priest, with the blood of a lamb could enter the Most Holy Place. As long as the Tabernacle stood undefiled in the midst of Israel, the High Priest of every generation could enter in and take a small portion of that Manna which was hidden behind the veil. In the Presence of God it was preserved. It was a "type" of the "hidden" Manna - the spiritual food in due season [Psalms 145:15] which the Lord would feed His True Church and sustain her through the Ages.

To the True Vine Church the "hidden" manna is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to her. Only the Elected and Predestinated seed of every age are given [or indeed want] the right to feed on the Revelation of the Word for their day and Age. Most professing Christians are content with a church diet of creeds, dogma and formalism - it is neither fresh nor pure. But the Spiritual Seed of God want the fresh, pure Word of the Lord from the Messenger for the Age in which they live. It is "hidden from the eyes of the wise and prudant and revealed to babes" [Matthew 11:25]. Again, Paul, in 2nd. Corinthians 4:3 states, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:" Why is it "hidden" to them? Because they are unbelievers or "borderline" believers who have not that genuine "respect" for ALL the Word of God.

But the true Believers - genuine sons and daughters of God, having been made (through the New Birth) Spiritual "Kings and Priests" unto God [Revelation 1:6], is given "access" like Aaron, to the Most Holy Place [in Christ] and the "Hidden Manna" [Spiritual Revelation of the Word] found in Him. Those who are truly in Christ, by a "new spiritual birth", NOT in the church but in Christ, are ever increasing in the correct and vital knowledge of Jesus Christ and enjoying an intimate relationship with with their Lord and Saviour, feeding on the "hidden manna", the Revelation of what God is doing in their day and Age.

Note Revelation 3:30."Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." To "sup with Him" is to feed with Him on the Hidden Manna. That's what makes the Bible Christian different from the Church Christian - one is feeding on the Word, producing and manifesting a "Christ-like" life every day; while the other is feeding on a church creed, producing and manifesting a "church-life" and forbidden by the church to "feed" on anything else.

In every Church Age the Messenger of the Lord to that Age was given the Revelation of God for that specific period in time - to meet the conditions of that Age and counteract the moving of the anti-Christ spirit. Once the Messenger was enlightened by the Truth, he would bring that Truth to the people. And they whose ears had been opened by the Holy Spirit would hear it believe and live it. The Revelation became "hidden manna" to hungry souls.

Of course, it all speaks of a "future" partaking of hidden manna, the eternal partaking of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the eternal Church Age to come. This is prophesied in Revelation 22:14: "Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to [spiritually partake of and eat from] the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Praise the Lord! The overcomers in every Age are they that DO His commandments. To HIS sons and daughters HIS Word is Spirit and Life - Eternal Life.

The White Stone

Secondly, the overcomer is promised a "white stone and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]". What is the significance of the "white stone". Knowing this will helps us better understand the reference to the "new name".

First of all the "stone" is "white". In Scripture "white" represents righteousness - innocence and purity. The Bible says, "...though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." [Isaiah 1:18]. In Revelation 19:18 it states: "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" Therefore the "white" stone represents righteousness, innocence and purity.

Also, all Bible readers know that a "Stone" represents Christ - the Stone which the builders rejected [Matthew 21:42]. To the unbeliever and disobedient He is a "stone of stumbling and a rock of offence" [1st. Peter 2:8]. To the Believer this "Stone" or "True Revelation of Jesus Christ" is their righteousness, but to the unbeliever and make-believer It is an offence to their religious integrity and self-righteousness.

In the ancient courts of justice "stones" were used in voting and/or passing judgement. The accused were condemned by being given black pebbles [stones] and the acquitted were declared innocent by white [stones]. Being in possession of a "white stone" was a declaration or confession of innocence - not guilty of any wrong doing.

Thus the overcomer, born in sin, shaped in iniquity, is [through repentance and faith in the Revelation of Jesus Christ] given a "white stone" - a confession or profession of innocence. They have accepted for their Salvation, the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Now, they have, not a "negative" confession (black stone] but [in the heart] a "positive" faith confession of a "white stone". "Him [Jesus Christ], who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" [2nd Cor. 5:21.

Through the experience of a "new birth" in the heart the Believer comes into possession of the white stone and in the stone a "New Name" representing our relationship to God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

A New Name

In the "White Stone" confession of Jesus Christ as our righteousness, there is a new name for a "new creation". As it is written, "Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [2nd Corinthians 3:17]. The old name testifies of an old creation, an old nature, an old birth - born in sin through our natural parents. But this NEW NAME speaks of a new creation, a new nature and a new Birth by the the Anointed Word of God. Rather than confessing confidence in the name of our natural parents we now confess and find Life in the Name of our NEW Heavenly Parent. The Bible tells us that "the whole family of God, in heaven and earth are named after Jesus - the Lord Jesus Christ". [Ephesians 3:15].

Concerning this Glorious Name the Bible says.....

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  [Acts 4:12].

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name[John 20:31].

That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord...  [Acts 15:17].

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  [2nd Thess. 1:12].

...for thou hast kept my word, .....and hast not denied my name.[Revelation 3:8].

In water baptism (which is "symbolic" of our new birth and our faith in the death, burial and resurrecion of the Lord Jesus) we take the NAME of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Book of Acts all the sons and daughters of God are commanded to "Repent and be baptized EVERYONE of you in the NAME of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

This New Name which we now confess represents our new parentage, our new nature and the righteousness, power and authority, invested in us by the New Name. And concerning this New Name, it is written that "no man knoweth it saving he that receiveth it." It's a personal revelation which comes with a personal experience and relationship with Jesus Christ. You're not taking someone else's word for it - it's personally revealed to you in your heart by the Holy Ghost. The Bible says, "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 1st. Corinthians 12:3. The Holy Ghost in you bears witness by the "life" manifested that Jesus is "Lord" of your Life. Like Paul, you personally know HIM and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10].

Of course, when we look further into the Scriptures we find that a "New Name" is always linked to a victory - overcoming. Brother Branham explained it this way:

Each quote is preceeded by the sermon title and date.

The First Seal - 03/18/63
I wished I could stop on that just a minute. See, nobody knows it. Did you ever know that the Name of Jehovah is not correct? Anyone knows. Dr. Vayle, you know that's true. The translators could never translate it. It's spelled J-v-h-u, I mean. It isn't Jehovah. They couldn't touch it. They don't know what it is. Called it Jehovah, but it wasn't His Name. Look. Every time a victory's won or something goes on, a name is changed.

The First Seal - 03/18/63
Look at the days of Abraham. He was first Abram, and never could have that baby until his name was changed to Abraham. And Sarra, S-a-r-r-a could not have nothing but a dead womb until her name was changed to S-a-r-a-h. "Jacob" means "supplanter, deceiver," and that's what he did.....but one night he caught ahold of something real. And he knowed it was real, and he stayed with it and held on until he overcome, and his name was changed and called "Israel" meaning "a prince with power before God." Is that right?

The First Seal - 03/18/63
Every overcomer.... Simon was a fisherman; but when his faith caught and knowed that was Jesus, when He told him He was the Messiah and told him who his name was and what his father's name was, he was overcome and changed from Simon to Peter. Saul, good name, Saul was a king one time in Israel, but Saul didn't fit an apostle. Might be all right for a king, but not an apostle. So Jesus changed his name from what? From Saul to Paul. Look at the sons of thunder and on down.

The First Seal - 03/18/63
And Jesus, His Name on earth was Redeemer, Jesus. When He was on earth, He was the Redeemer; that's true. But when He conquered death and hell, and overcome them, and ascended on high, He received a new Name. That's the reason they holler the way they do and don't get nothing; it'll be revealed in the Thunders. See? Revelation 10:1-7.

The First Seal - 03/18/63
Notice. .......The Holy Spirit is Christ in another form. That's right. Notice, it is a Lamb that opened the Book, and the Lamb is Christ; and Christ is not seen anymore from then, but He is seen in the Book of Revelations the 19th chapter, coming on a white horse. .....let's turn to Revelations 19:11-16:

"And I saw heaven opened,... behold a white horse;... (not on the earth; in heaven. See?)... and he that set on 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; (Look at the diadem.) and he had a name written, that no man knew, but He, Himself".

The First Seal - 03/18/63
Notice, the mystery. He's coming, riding - There's got to be something to change this Church, you know that. There's got to be something. Notice. No man knowed but Himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. [notice] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 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: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he had on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The First Seal - 03/18/63
And notice, But He [Christ] is on a white horse; so if this guy [first horse rider of the first Seal] is riding a white horse, he's only an impersonator of Christ. See? Get that? Notice, the rider on the white horse don't have any name. He might use two or three titles, but he hasn't got any name. But Christ has a Name. What is it? The Word of God. That's what it is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." And the Word made flesh. See?

Philadelphian Church Age - Church Age Book
"And I will write my NEW Name upon him." My New Name. When ALL becomes new, then He will take upon Him a new Name and that Name will be the Name of the bride also. What that Name is, none dare conjecture. It would have to be a revelation of the Spirit given so conclusively that none would dare deny it. But no doubt He will leave that revelation to the day when He desires to give that Name forth. Suffice it to know that it will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine.

Once More - 08/04/63
And when Jesus overcome death, hell and the grave, the Bible said He had a new Name. And if the Church can overcome, she'll stop saying, "I'm Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian." When she can overcome her creeds and the world that's drawed her in there, she'll come back to the Bride of Jesus Christ, Miss. Jesus Christ. Amen.

Questions To Ponder

Are you feeding on the "Hidden manna" for this present Age, receiving the Faith which pleases God - Rapturing faith? Are you in possession of the "White Stone", a righteous confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit you can say that Jesus is LORD of your life. And thirdly, have you taken His Name unto yourself, to identify, not with the name of a "church" but with the Name of your Heavenly Bridegroom; and looking for a greater revelation of the Name in glory. Praise the Lord!

From here let's move forward to the next Age, Thyatira and continue again to trace the True Vine and false vine through the Ages. May the Grace of God be with us.

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The God Given Rule
Identifying the Messenger for Each Age:

God's Rule for identifying the Messenger of each Age is found only in one place. God in His sovereign will has seen to it that neither the history of Israel (Old Testament) or the Church (New Testament) was not lost. Brought together in one Book - the Bible, we have been given accurate accounts of God's dealings with man "through" man, spanning a period of just over 4000 years.

For many years unbelievers and make-believers questioned the accuracy of the Bible record. But through science, archaeology, secular historical records, multitudes of scrolls, earthen vessels and other artifacts, the Bible record of people and events is being proven accurate. Of course, the Lord attested to it's accuracy when He warned man not to "add to" or "take away from" what He had so inspired.

From a study of the Inspired Scriptures [both the Old and New Testaments] Brother Branham identified "men of God's choosing", highlighting the nature, attitudes, attributes and character of each man and his ministry - from Abel to Paul. There are certain "characteristics" which are common to all "God-called" men.

In the New Testament we have many God-called men. But only the ministries of John the Baptist, Peter, John, the Beloved Disciple, and Paul are highlighted. The only one who came close to qualifying as "The Messenger" to the First Church Age was Paul. Through his ministry the Lord brought forth the many revelations which are to this day the basis for most Christian theology. It is impossible to discuss the Christian Gospel without making reference to Paul.

Thus in considering the history of the Church, Bro. Branham sought out those men who in their particular Age were the closest to God's original pattern in the New Testament - the Apostle Paul. His focus always came to rest on those who's first love was the Word, and whom God used to bring His people back to the Word of Truth for that Age. Then, from among all the others Brother Branham identified that man (in each Age) who's ministry was the closest [to Paul] in Word pattern and power - That man was the Messenger.

Identifying the ages also are found by a study of history. You need only to read the prophetic account of the ages as found in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 - it all patterns perfectly with history as INDEED IT MUST. The Lord foretold of each Age, revealed the conditions that would exist in each Age; and history unfolded exactly as it was set forth in the Bible.

Yes, it's that simple - but of course, simplicity is the key to the Word. God is "hidden" and "revealed" in simplicity. You can be sure that Brother Branham DID NOT recklessly or intellectually set forth the Ages and the Messengers. He, himself, said that he had sought the mind of the Lord, endeavouring to be Spiritually-minded, and NEVER setting forth an Age or it's Messenger without the definite approval the Spirit of God. he said, "This is true as God knows my heart."

 
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