Study of The Book of Revelation
W. T. Russel (Tape #6)
We will now go to the twelfth
chapter which opens up a new field of thought. I hope everyone has a good
understanding of the previous chapters. They really introduce what is to follow.
We can now begin to understand and unravel some of the things presented in our
first studies. John is still seeing these things in a vision. Today there are
claims of visions, but I don't believe in their existence because they ended
when the day of inspiration came to a close. However, God did use those means in
Chapter 12:1 "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:" "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;" That is in this apocalyptic heaven--not in the heaven of heavens but in the skies or in outer space. Get a picture of”. . . A woman clothed with the sun." If you will. This is not a real woman for it would be impossible for anyone to be clothed with the sun. It's just a type or a symbol. “. . . and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” Visualize her as she was clothed with the righteousness of the Son of God. This is the meaning of this verse for Christ is the Sun of righteousness. The woman was clothed with him. “. . . and the moon was under her feet, “Just as the moon is a reflection from the sun and doesn't possess any light of its own, the church is not Christ, but it reflects Christ. When the members of the church let their light shine, it is a reflection of the light they receive from Christ. The woman found here is none other than the church--the true church. Upon this woman's head was a crown of twelve stars. Most commentators say the twelve stars represent the twelve apostles as the foundation of the church. I also believe the twelve stars are the twelve apostles; however, I disagree they are the foundation of the church. Instead, they are crowned as officers of the church, but Jesus is both head and foundation. To be consistent with my other interpretations, the twelve stars were actually preachers or servants of God; hence the crown of twelve stars are the twelve apostles as officers or preachers selected by the Lord as the leaders to set things in order after he went away.
Chapter 12:2 “And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." Churches having a burden for lost souls during revival meetings have often been referred to symbolically as a woman in travail. I would say also, the church, Zion travails. The Bible said as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. In one sense--in one sense only--do I take the position that this is a parallel--an effect of the church's responsibility and the burden that rests upon her in regard to the salvation of souls? I, in no sense, take the position that the church is the mother of any child of God, much less Jesus, and God’s only begotten Son. How could the church be the mother of Christ when the Bible declares Him to be her head and founder? The Romanists take the position that the Virgin Mary is the mother here, the blessed virgin. They worship Mary more than they do Christ. This is what the wrong interpretation will lead you into. Chapter 12:3 "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads." This red dragon is a picture of the Devil. His power and his authority are represented by the heads and the horns. The seven crowns upon his heads simply refer to a complete number of crowns. I'd like to call your attention right here again to the contrast between these crowns. The woman appeared with the crown of twelve stars. The Greek word for her crown is "stephanos" which means a crown or wreath of victory. It is a symbol that victory is hers. The word for the crowns of the great red dragon is "diadem." Diadem means a crown of sovereignty or royalty. These crowns represent authority. That is the difference between the two in the very beginning of our lesson.
Chapter 12:4 “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Get a picture of the Devil portrayed as a dragon. None of us have ever seen a dragon, but maybe we've seen crocodiles. Of course the tail is their prime weapon. In walking along a water course where crocodiles inhabit, one could be mistaken for a rotten log lying on the bank. Being unnoticed, he could suddenly knock you into the water with his strong tail and come right in after you. The tail of this dragon drew or cast down a third part of the stars of heaven. Still being consistent in my teaching, these stars were preachers. They were deluded--deceived--and were brought into the fold of paganism or no fold at all. I started to say religion, but the pagans were a Godless people from every standpoint. However, the dragon succeeded in getting a third. I'm glad that's all he took because that leaves the majority on the Lord's side.
Chapter 12:5 "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."
Chapter 12:6 “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." They are year days. Prophetically interpreted, a day stands for a year in this book as we have already noted. A thousand two hundred and threescore days would be 1260 years which was the time that the church was in the wilderness, 1260 years. Here's something I want you to notice: From the seventh verse down to the fourteenth verse, is parenthetical. The reason I say it's parenthetical is because the context of this chapter ends with verse six and you come to the fourteenth verse before you read anything else about the woman except in the thirteenth verse when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. So in the sixth verse, it stops off with the context and is taken up again in the fourteenth verse. So from the seventh through the thirteenth verses is parenthetical. If we had left that part of it out and gone right on with the fourteenth verse, it would tell us how the woman got into the wilderness. The sixth verse said she fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred threescore days. And the fourteenth verse said the woman was given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness into her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. There you have the 1260 years again, the very same length of time. Now between this sixth and the fourteenth verse is a parenthetical expression and tells what happened as a result of this dragon and his standing before the woman. It tells us that the child was caught up unto God and to his throne. We will find out who the child is in this parenthetical expression. I want to say right here the child cannot be Jesus Christ. If the child is Jesus, then the church is the mother of its founder which is an utter impossibilility. I want to get that off of our minds right now. The child can't possibly be Jesus Christ if the first verse has reference to the church. Many expositors that I have read after take this position without any question. However, some take the other position that the man child is Jesus Christ and that the woman is the Old Testament church. Well, I've never read about that. That's just an imaginary thing which people have had stuck in their minds. There was no church as an institution in the Old Testament. Therefore, this child could not have been born of an Old Testament church. Let's look now at what happened as a result of this birth. The child was caught up unto God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred threescore days.
Chapter 12:7 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,"
Chapter 12:8 "And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." Chapter 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Jude says angels left their first estate. I'm sure there was a war or an uprising then. I don't know how this war was conducted. But, you may be sure that Christianity in the world, when it's true Christianity has always had warfare with the Devil in the promotion of the gospel and the truth. It's been offset by false teachings or theories. In that sense, I would say that's the war that took place between Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels with Michael being Jesus Christ himself. This said he prevailed not, neither was their place found anymore in heaven. There was a time when the Devil had access to heaven. We read about that in Job's writing where he said the sons of God presented themselves before the Lord, and that was the angels. The Devil came along in their midst and at that time accused Job. For God said hast thou considered my servant Job. There's none like him in all the earth. A man that feared God and eschewed evil. And the Devil began to tell God what he would do under certain circumstances, accusing him. Well that door was left open until the plan of salvation was completed. Christ had gone back to the right hand of God, and was there as a mediator between God and man. That door was closed, and the Devil had no right to re-enter heaven. This furnished an analogue for this vision which John saw when he was on the Isle of Patmos. It is just a picture of that which had happened.
Chapter 12:10 "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels cast out with him. I might bring in the accusations that the Devil had to offer in his approach to God which furnishes, as I said, an analogue for this that we are studying. The plan of redemption was wrought out in eternity, and was just as efficacious before Jesus came into the world and paid the price on the cross as it was after he paid the price in his death. The Devil was constantly accusing and charging God with not carrying out his promise of making the plan of redemption and the sacrifice had not been offered. Therefore there was no way. After that God fulfilled his promise. The Devil was shut out of heaven from that day and could re-enter no more. That is the analogue we are reading about now. I want to call your attention to this "man child." I know it's a little difficult, but I think if we'll compare scripture with scripture, we'll be able to understand exactly what he meant. God made promise to Abraham. That promise was, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Then Paul said in speaking about that, he said, "not unto seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ." Gal. 3:16 Now Christ Jesus is the seed of the kingdom. But then we read on, and we find they that are the children of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal. 3:7 we have the seed, which is Christ (singular). The children (plural) of faith, being the children of the seed and the children of Abraham. So, this changes from singular to plural. I want to show you just how that works. He said here. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." Now then, in the tenth verse, notice how the singular is changed to the plural. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." "And they" (plural) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Now the man child that was born here produced is actually the rendering of the Greek word.) (This man child that was produced was a type of the martyrs that lost their natural lives down here. The Devil could kill their bodies, but their souls were caught up unto God. So this man child represents the martyrs under the pagan persecutions. We are still studying the pagan persecution. You can't find another noun in this except man-child, so that is the antecedent of the pronoun 'they'. See verse eleven.
Chapter 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Showing that they were caught up to God in spirit. The Devil couldn't get their souls but he did kill their bodies. Chapter 12:12 "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." And the Devil is still down here. He has been here all the time, ever since. And he'll stay down here until he is cast into the lake of fire where he, together with the beast and false prophet, shall be tormented forever. Rev. 20:10.
Chapter 12:13 "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child."
Chapter 12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." I want you to go back to our previous study when we brought up the cherubim. Remember the cherubim consisting of four angels. One of them had the face of a lion, another had the face of a calf, another had the face of an eagle, and another had the face of a man. So in this case, the cherubim were the means of transportation, so to speak, on moving into the wilderness which has reference to isolation. She was driven out away from the public, but the cherubim were the instrument used of God to carry her into that place prepared for her where she was nourished for a thousand two hundred and threescore years. We are going to get to that a little bit later on.
Chapter 12:15 "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Now notice the Devil in his failure as he had failed the first time with the woman. He killed the bodies of the apostles and others, but he didn't get their souls. The saying of "the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church" is true. So the church still traveled on, but it was driven into the wilderness or into the place of isolation away from the public. The devil being wroth with the woman cast out a flood of waters. In other words, he used wicked agencies to persecute the woman.
Chapter 12:16 "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." The meaning of verse sixteen is simply this: In certain nations where the Devil tried to use the agency of civil government or powers, laws were passed which didn't allow him to use civil powers to carry out his persecution against the church. This is what is meant by the earth helping the woman in swallowing up the waters that were cast out against her to persecute her. Let me simplify that right here. This country of ours in a measure was founded upon religious liberty. People came to this country from the old country in order to have freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their hearts. They didn't find that freedom for a long time. I have at home in a history book the concern of a little church in Rhode Island. While President Washington was president of the Thirteen Colonies, the Presbyterian Church was the state church supported by the government, and by the taxes of Baptists, and others. That little church in conference acted to write a letter to the president about this matter, and the letter stated: "You may tax the water that we drink. We'll pay taxes on the water that we drink. We'll pay taxes on the food that we eat, even on the air that we breathe, but give us liberty to worship God according to the dictates of our hearts." The president took the time to sit down with a goose quill and write a letter back to that church and tell them that he had received their letter, and their request would receive his utmost consideration. Baptists were the originators that applied for religious liberty in the United States of America. If we didn't have it now, we'd be persecuted just like they were back yonder. In that case this country is the earth, this particular part of the earth, which has helped the church by offsetting the agencies of the Devil that were devised through civil governments to persecute the church. I thank God that we have that liberty. Did you know we are taking it too much for granted? So the earth helped the woman by passing laws. We have in our constitution now that there will be no laws passed affecting the rights of people to have religious liberty. Baptists were behind that. They want to give everyone else the same religious freedom they claim and want for themselves. Some other people wouldn't be that generous if it were in their hands. Chapter 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." This proves what I said a while ago that this man-child is the seed referred to. It changed from singular to plural to show the fact it is the church. ".......the remnant of her seed," (in the plural) "which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." So the Devil is trying another way to get to the church. I want to show you another effort based upon the seventh verse of the twelfth chapter. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Now what method is the Devil going to use next? He has failed with pagan Rome and agencies used in pagan Rome to destroy the Lord's church, but he doesn't quit there. I'd like to call your attention to this fact. Luke 4:1 "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Luke 4:2 "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered." The Devil approached Jesus in three different ways to tempt him. Let me say that he was subject to being tempted because he was a man. Not only was he a man, but he was also God. He is the only one that has ever lived or ever will live that was both God and man. He was subject to being tempted as a man. Now I think that we can prove very easily that Jesus Christ was subject to temptation. What is temptation? James said let no man say when he is tempted that I am tempted of God. For he said God cannot be tempted with evil. Neither tempted he any man. But he said we are tempted when we are drawn away of our own lusts and enticed. There would have been no reason for the Devil to try to tempt Christ if he had not been subject to temptation. He did tempt him three times. The Bible said he left him for a little season, but he came back again. The glorious thing to me is my Savior was made after the order of man and was the second Adam subject to temptation like you and I but was able to resist it, and prove himself to be a sufficient Savior for the entire world. Let me ask a question of those who believe Jesus could not be tempted. Upon what grounds did Jesus ask that the act of death be taken from him? Some may offer the argument that Jesus did not possess inherent depravity, therefore could not be tempted. My answer is, neither did Adam. As such a man on the cross of Calvary, he satisfied the broken law of God and finished a plan whereby you and I might be saved through his merits--not ours. Jesus is meritorious because he was able to resist the temptation thereby proving to God the Father that he was a sufficient, suitable sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. So that being the case, the Devil doesn't stop. If he fails one way, he'll try another. This is what we are studying now. He's failed under pagan Rome, a godless nation. He's used everything at his disposal and will persistently try to destroy the church. Nevertheless he has failed thus far, and he will certainly continue to fail because the Bible plainly teaches there will be faith on the earth when Jesus comes back on a cloud of his glory.Here are some things put in order to give a better understanding. In chapter twelve John saw the radiant woman, clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. This surely represents the true church. The dragon is before this woman, she being with child, ready to devour her child, as soon as it was born. When the child was born, it was caught up to God and to the Lamb. Now we affirm that this was a class. Why? Because chapter 12:11 says “And overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and loved not their lives unto the death." So the singular man-child was changed to plural. It is abstractly speaking because when a singular is changed to a plural, you have an abstract. In that case it was shown as a class of people--males. Who were they? They were the apostles who gave their lives with the exception of John who went, according to God's purpose, to the Isle of Patmos. They tried to kill him but God preserved his life. After returning to his home, he died a natural death. The Devil got the apostles' bodies, but he didn't get their souls. For they loved not their lives unto the death. They were willing to die. We contend that the apostles were the class representing the church. The radiant woman was given two wings of a great eagle, and she fled into the wilderness where she was nourished. This was a place prepared for her where she was preserved for 1260 years which was the wilderness period of the church. Count approximately from 250 A. D. to 1510 A. D. as the wilderness period of the church which is a total of 1260 years. The scriptures say the earth helped the woman. This was done by the laws of governments giving protection to her. She was persecuted but survived the 1260 years of obscurity. I like to think of it as obscurity because as far as her work is concerned, it was not public. They had to hide away in order to carry on their services. Yet through the 1260 years, they preserved the same faith which Jesus committed to the church. Until they came out of the wilderness, they were not at liberty to reach all the nations of the world. The fires of the reformation were the beginning of a brighter day for the church. About 1517 the fires of the reformation had spread all over Europe. While the Catholics of the Roman Church were so busy trying to patch up the damage that had been done to them by the reformers, the true church had the opportunity to go forth and preach the gospel everywhere. In chapter eighteen, we see the judgment of God poured out upon the great whore. John is shown the woman in purple and scarlet who is the counterfeit church. She is now in the wilderness so far as their liberty to deceive the whole world is concerned. God sent plagues and rendered judgment on the counterfeit church which made it possible for the true church to come out of the wilderness. It left the counterfeit church in the wilderness deprived of power she had exercised before. The Devil was bound with his powers restrained not abolished. He is the one who gave the beast and the false prophet their authority. When he was restrained, he could no longer use the Roman Empire to carry out his wishes toward the true church of the Lord and his deception of the people. He was placed in obscurity just as the true church had been for 1260 years. The counterfeit church never comes out of the wilderness. We know the true church has been persecuted in the past through the centuries which have proved to increase her zeal and determination to march forward. Today, we have grown lazy and complacent taking everything for granted. We have the best opportunity, the best facilities and the most convenience that the church has ever had in her history to spread the truth to earth's most remote boundaries. What are we doing? We are lazy, doing nothing. Sometimes I think we need some fire under us. Maybe we'd get busy and wake out of our sleep if persecutions and pressures came upon us. During this period the pagan Roman Empire had a Caesar head. In the thirteenth chapter of Revelation this head was wounded to death, but the deadly wound was healed by the papal head or the pope which is another power rising. It's not a nation or a kingdom because the pope is of Rome, the seventh kingdom revealed in the image in the second chapter of Daniel. So the papal head was the Roman Catholic hierarchy. As long as Rome held sway, the true church suffered loss of liberty being driven into the most secret hiding places away from the laws of the political and religious government of Rome that exercised the means to exterminate the true church. The true church would have been exterminated had not God protected her. There was a time when Rome actually thought that the true church was gone completely. Just as the true church was without liberty to exercise their commission being driven into the wilderness, the powers of Rome was severed until she could no longer execute the Christians, carry out the dragon's intentions, so she is found in the wilderness of obscurity. Chapter twenty tells us what happened. The dragon's power to deceive the nations was affected by his being restrained. This is what is meant by the binding of Satan. In this restraining of the Devil's previous liberty to take the lives of God's people through Roman laws, we find her in the wilderness. To the world, the true church, which seemed to be dead, now comes forth by liberation to openly and publicly declare the gospel to the world. This is the first resurrection. The question is asked who the rest of the dead are. They are those who are left in the wilderness and are dead as far as their power to exterminate the true church is concerned. When the Devil was bound, they ceased to have that power and the facilities to do what they had done. They were in that sense, dead--inactive. Notice in chapter seventeen, verse fourteen the defeat of the beast with the ten kings who gave their power and strength to the beast. In simple terms they were allies and supporters of Rome. But the Lamb overcame them with his army who were the called and chosen and the faithful. However in the sixteenth verse of that same chapter, these same ten kings after their defeat, turned against the Holy Roman Empire and fought against her. I do not know the identity of those ten kings. Rome thought the true church was dead. Justin A. Smith in his history tells us the eighth session of the fifth lantern council was held at the church of St. John Lantern in December, 1513. In that session a papal bull or decree was issued to summons all dissidents (objectors or opposes of papal authority) to appear before the next council in May to show cause for their continued refusal to acknowledge the pope's supremacy. No answer appeared to this summons for the meeting of May 5, 1514. This was not because there were no opposes of the claim of the pope's supremacy. They knew the scheme of the council was to kill them when they came to the meeting to oppose the pope. In the words of Elliott, “Christ's witnessing servants were silenced." They still lived but they were silenced. "They appeared as dead and the orator of the session ascended the pulpit and stated, "There is an end of resistance to the papal rule and religion and opposes exist no more." "The whole body of Christendom is now seen to be subject to its head that is to thee." No dissidents were to be found, and as far as Rome was concerned, they thought the victory was won. Three and one half years later after this council, Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the Whittenburg Church door. If we are not in that thousand year period that John talked about, we never will be. I'm willing to risk what reputation I have on that statement. Of course there are places in the world today that do not have religious liberty. However they do not use Rome as a civil power to cut off liberty of conscious. Let's not forget though this liberty will be taken away when the Devil is loosed. When he is loosed from his prison, he will deceive the nations again through his select means. I want to refer back to chapter eleven, verse fifteen. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. That's more than a thousand years, isn't it? When did that happen? It happened exactly at the time that the Roman powers were cut off. Jesus said go into the entire world. So when this power was severed, the whole world became the field of the church to spread the gospel to earth's most remote bounds. We are in that thousand year period, but what are we doing about it? Rome will never again be able to close the open book, the Bible. No one had the right to read and judge for themselves what the scriptures taught. The priest had the authority to dish our just what he wanted them to know a little at a time. The scriptures were in the Latin version chained to their pulpits. The recovered gospel will never be silenced again. She'll never be able to stop the onward march of missions. All nations are an open field, and have been since the binding of Satan. Our time is limited for the Devil will be loosed again, and what the consequences will be remain to be seen. If the Lord's church could have been destroyed, it would have been destroyed long ago. If it hadn't been for the providence of God, and his heavenly agencies cooperating with earth's agencies, the church would be out of existence today. It is still here, thank God. The Devil is not through. He's failed every step of the way, and he's still determined to make another effort. When the restraint is taken off him, he can't go back and use Rome--the beast or the false prophet--the pope, because they were cast into a lake of fire. They are not mentioned anymore except that the Devil is finally cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet are already gone. This is revealed in John's vision. What is he going to use? He will go upon the breadth of the earth and compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city, the church. He will have an innumerable company which is the meaning of "as the sands of the sea." That's a pretty big army, isn't it? Look in the second chapter of II Thessalonians. 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," 2:2 "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 Christ is at hand." (Someone had been writing them letters and making it appears that Paul was doing the writing.) 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" (This "son of perdition" means a child of hell--an incarnate demon. Likewise, Judas was the son of perdition, and went into perdition. As Judas was never a child of God, neither is this "son of perdition" a child of God.) 2:4 "Who opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sat in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2:5 "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" 2:6 "And now ye know what withhold that he might be revealed in his time." 2:7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2:9 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," 2:10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2:11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" 2:12 "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." This is the man of sin the Devil will use in his last effort to destroy the church. However, it says the Lord will destroy him with the breath of his mouth and with the brightness of his coming. If we could but see just a few years ahead what's waiting for us, we might treasure more the heritage and liberty God has provided us. Some of you might be living when you will not be permitted on Sunday morning to gather at the house of God. These good old songs, "Amazing Grace," "How Firm a Foundation," and "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" will not be heard, or you will not be allowed to openly and publicly bow and pray to God who gives us life. A preacher will not be able to stand with the open Bible and declare what he believes to his church. There will be a man claiming to be Christ or God. He's the last anti-Christ. Jesus told the Jews, those self- righteous Pharisees that he came unto them in his father's name, and they received him not but another would come in his own name, and him they would receive. As I said before, I wouldn't be surprised if the man of sin is alive today maybe as a child. Since the nations are in such a state, the time is appropriate for a man to appear claiming the ability to heal all ills of the nations and bring everything back together. He is going to be one claiming to be the Messiah, the returning Christ. I thank God for all the truth written and preached by B.H. Carroll. Despite that, I disagree with his view of the entire nation of Israel being saved in a day. Someone says now preacher, the eleventh chapter of Romans says all Israel shall be saved. Yes, and I believe it, but he's talking about spiritual Israel. I believe every child of God is a member of spiritual Israel. They that are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And they are children by faith. And Paul said he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and that circumcision is not that which is outwardly in the flesh, but that which is of the heart. So every person that has been circumcised in heart is a child of God and is a spiritual Jew. Paul said all of them are going to be saved. He is talking about the resurrection of the saints. Someone might say they were already saved. They are spiritual and have been born again. Nevertheless their bodies were left just as God found them. But Jesus promised deliverance from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of children of God. All Israel shall be saved. Every last one of them dying in the Lord will come out of the grave with a body just like the body of the Son of God. All of them will be saved. So I say again, if we could look out into the future and see what is ahead for us, I believe we would be a busier people carrying out the work God has left in our hands. We might wake out of sleep and get a little more energy moving out just a little further to reach a lost world.