Maurice M Johnson
Los Angeles, California
December 8, 1958

Back again now, Matthew 24:12. Now let's begin at the 10th verse.

And then shall many be offended.

When the time. ... oh let's back up and see something about ... why ... some of them begin to be offended. We read about "the beginning of sorrows".   I do not believe that this condition referred to prophetically here has yet come, "the beginning of sorrows." The context and other scriptures on the subject make it very plain that that's a very definite period of time. And that the sorrows here referred to ... sorrows will abound when Jacob has a terrible, terrible time.

When this day begins, "they will be a world ... it looks like it's beginning, I declare. I don't want to profess to be a prophet, because I have no authority to, and therefore no Biblical ability, and, in rightly dividing the Word of Truth, as I understand the Scriptures, no condition today especially brings out such screaming falsehood as that will enable us or cause us to think that what we read in the newspapers about Israel, twelve tribe Israel, flesh and blood descendants of Jacob and Isaac, twelve tribe Israel. There is much being said today... if I dared to believe, and I don't Biblically, spiritually, dare to believe in the signs of the times as best as I could read them, if I dared to try to believe in the signs, of the times, and I would be quick to say that certainly the signs of the times indicate strongly that we must be living in the very last hours, the last days, the last moments of this pre-sent dispensation. But... it would be an unBiblical misuse of the expression 'signs of the times'. I believe God's signs for the times, and that's a Biblical expression 'signs of the times', I believe that God's time clock stopped. It didn't stop so far as we're concerned, visibly, momentarily, but it did as God's concerned. I believe that God's prophetic clock stopped when He knew that He was through with Israel as a nation.  And that He was beginning taking out of the Gentiles: a people for His name to be increased  by all the Jews that had already received Jesus, as the Messiah, the Christ.

For instance, the twelve disciples, you remember, said, that is eleven of them, "Lord, we've forsaken all.  Now what are we going to get?  We've forsaken all.  Aren't we going to be rewarded for believing Thou art the Messiah, Thou art the King of the Jews?" They had received Him as their King and their Messiah, and they were suffering for it. They said, "Now Lord, what are we going to get?" And He said, "Fear not little children, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," to give you the kingdom.

You know, I ought to ask you to turn to Luke 22, but let's continue here in Matthew 24. Now I hope you're endeavoring to appreciate at least some of the time limits, some of the appropriateness of my comments about world conditions, God's dealings with the Jews as such. Probably never before, I think doubtless never before, never before... since Jerusalem was destroyed in fulfillment of some of the prophecies in the Scriptures. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down under the feet of the Gentiles until",  what? ... "until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled."  Jerusalem will be trodden down.  It's certainly being trodden down.   Now ...and the most horrible war that Jerusalem will ever have known is yet to come, is yet to come.

Really, if I didn't believe that the church which is Christ's body is a unknown entity, unBib... not prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures, if I didn't believe that the church which is Christ's body is composed of only saved men who are made together ... who are made one new man; as we read in the Word of God, if I didn't believe that the program and plans for the church which is Christ's body were not known in other Scriptures, not prophesied, but that the church is a mystery, a sacred secret never known until God saw fit to reveal it, if I didn't believe that, I'd be hopelessly confused as everybody else, no matter how much they study the Bible, no matter how scholarly they may be theologically and so forth, if they don't rightly divide the Word of Truth, they are workmen at best. If that may be used incorrectly 'at best', you can't be best if you're not better, and you can't be better if you're not good, so... where it's not good for one to not handle the Scriptures good, they can't be better or can't be best, it's all bad.

But we quoted awhile ago from 2 Timothy 2:15, let's quote it again please.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

And... that's 2 Timothy 2:5. In 1 Corinthians we're told, "Giving none offense neither to the Jew, and the Gentile, nor the church of God." Those three peoples are the peoples that God sees at ... shall I say racially, they are not altogether races, they are the three peoples that God sees as distinct one from the other down here.  Now: Jew, Gentile, and church of God; Jew, Gentile, and church of God.

We... all saved people, are pilgrims; we're strangers.

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