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Perfect Strength By Perfect Weakness
1 Good morning, friends. And nice to be out again this morning on this rainy, snowy, mixed-up morning. Know that many of you has had quite a time driving, coming from distance. And we have some--these precious friends that comes from Chicago, and Alabama, and Georgia, and Tennessee, and Illinois, and all around, on these days, so we are--trust that God will give you His safety as you travel. And it's our prayer that He will protect you along the roads in these hazardous roads as they get slick in the wintertime. And this is a bad country in the wintertime. It's the most beautiful country there is in the spring or in the fall, but in the wintertime and summertime it's very bad.
2 Now, I don't suppose they're recording as yet in there. And I just like to make a statement concerning last Sunday in the message. The reason that I--I held the tape and wouldn't let them to sell the tape, take it out, well, was because of I have to look it over first. Because many times, that way, I would say things in the church here that I wouldn't put before the rest of the public out like that, because sometimes it cause stumbling blocks. And sometimes it even causes questions amongst our people here at the Tabernacle. And it's...
3 I don't say this (say those things) to be indifferent, but sometimes under anointing you know things that you wouldn't--you'd be daresn't to tell the people. Then sometimes under anointing something will slip out (You see?), and you won't notice it. And one of the things that I believe was said (that last Sunday) that might cause someone--when I mentioned that I never did believe in altar calls. See?
I want to say that and clear that so you'll understand. There never was an altar call made in all the Bible. There's no such a thing in the Scripture. Nowhere down through the ages was it made till the Methodist age, about two hundred years ago. See?
Altar calls are when people come up and try to persuade and pull people, "Come on, John. You know, they... Your mother died, praying for you. Come on, John." That's not conviction, friends. No. Them--them kind, I--very seldom you ever hear one that ever goes very far. And in that you get everything. That's the reason the church is an muddled up the way it is today is because of such things.
6 Conviction, you don't have to say a thing, brother; God's there and done done the work. "While Peter spake these Words the Holy Ghost fell on them that heard the Word." See, see, see? There's no altar call (See?) no such a thing.
Now, the altar is the place of prayer where... Every person coming to the church should first go in, kneel at the altar, silently pray to God, and offer their petition of prayer and--and for their loved ones, and thanking God for what they have had done for them, then go back to their seat.
And then the church is the place where the Word of God... "And judgment begins at the house of God," where the judgment of the Word goes forth. Then... But today we--we've changed that around so much.
9 Now, I have nothing again anyone who makes altar calls. See? That's... And I've made a-many one myself, and I'll probably make a-many more if I keep on going. But just for my own-self... See, you--you--you collect too much. And there's nothing against it, no harm in it. It's all right. See?
'Cause listen, Jesus said, "No man can come to Me except My Father draws him first. And all that the Father has given Me will come to Me." That's right. So then (See?) they're... That throws your altar call completely out altogether. See? See that? "All the Father..." You...
Our--our responsibility is preach the Word. The Bible said, "As many as believed was baptized." Repent, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission, forgiveness of sins. What? Be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (See?) and you shall then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
12 But when you persuade and pull and scare people, and talk people in... People must come sanely, soberly, under conviction, and receive Christ. Then the first thing they do as soon as they receive Christ setting in their seats, the next thing is to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of those sins that they have been convinced that they're wrong. That's how they're remitted of their sins. See? 'Cause they have repented; been baptized as a memorial to the people, that, "I have received Christ as my personal Saviour"; then you're a candidate for the Holy Ghost.
But now, many people continue on, persuading and calling to the altar, and so forth like that, which that's all right. I'll go with that; that's perfectly all right as far as I'm concerned, anybody that wants to do it. But to me it's not Scriptural (You see?), and so I--I just like to stay with the Scripture.
14 And therefore the reason I held that tape up was because you'd get that out we'd have five hundred letters a week to answer back. Every... Just step on a little tradition somebody's got, and that's all you have to do, then it's all go over again.
And I think, a lot of times, that I am a little too critical upon different things like that. And I don't mean to be that way, but sometime offices pull you that way (You see?); they--they make you lean that way. And so I'm sure the people understands that.
16 Now, we are very grateful that we still have a kind heavenly Father Who--Who looks over our mistakes and doesn't reckon them to us.
I was reading over in the Book of--of Romans the 4th chapter, where Paul wrote the--the Divine commentary of the life of Abraham. Now, we know that Abraham many times got kind of flusterated like we do. But when the--his commentary was written, there wasn't any of his flusterations mentioned (You see?), never mentioned them at all, said:
Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong... giving praise to God;
See, and that's the way I hope mine will be wrote down in there, is not my mistakes and everything, but just what I try to do, the intention of my heart to do for God's people.
19 And now, we have come this morning to--to try to bring a little message here that maybe the Lord has laid upon us to give to the people. And hoping that it'll do you good and do me good, 'cause we are together and living in a tremendous time, and the last days. So just before we have prayer, I'd like to read a couple places in the Word: one before prayer, and one after prayer. And first, to open up our service or this part of It, I wish to read out of the Book of Hebrews the 11th chapter of Hebrews, and the 30--32nd verse, beginning, talking about faith.
Now what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon... of Barak... Samson... Jephthae... David... Samuel, and of other prophets:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promise, stopped the mouth of lions,
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, and out of weakness... made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the alien--the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised unto life... and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trials... cruel mockings... scourging, yea, moreover of bonds... imprisonments:They were stoned, they were sawed asunder, they were tempted,... slain with the sword:... wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute,... and tormented;
Watch this parenthesis.
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in the mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
... all these, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
21 When I read those stories of those gallant soldiers, I wonder where our little testimony will stand with them people at that day.
Just before prayer, would anybody like to be remembered to God? Just raise up your hand, and whatever you have need of, may He see and hear and grant it to you now as we bow our heads.
23 Our gracious, loving Father, we humbly approach Thy throne this morning in the Name of Jesus Thy Son to offer prayer for ourselves and for others. Thou would first, Lord, forgive us of all of our trespasses and our iniquity. And then we would pray for others, Lord, that they also would be forgiven and Thy Church would be drawn closer to Thee. For truly, Lord, in our heart we believe that You're ready to work a work with Your Church, ready to take It out of the world and be translated into the Kingdom of God. But, Lord, help us to make ourselves ready for that hour. May this morning be the time, Lord, that from one up to all of us will lay aside every weight and the sin does so easily beset us, that we might run with patience the race that's set before us.
25 And I pray, heavenly Father, today, that You'll heal the sick and the afflicted. Many are suffering across the nation, and plagues, and viruses as the doctors place them. And I pray that Your healing virtues, Lord, will be to those people.
Then to come down to our little assembly here this morning, many has drove for hundreds of miles, starting late last night and through the night and up in the morning, today, and driving hard to make their way to the Tabernacle. And it's snowing and along the road. God, we pray that You'll especially bless them. No doubt many had to give a great portion of their coming week's food, or whatever it would, or things that they would have been able to spend their money for, for gasoline and stuff, to come.
God, he that comes to You empty will go away full. You promised it. And I pray that You'll fill their hearts and their baskets of their souls so full of the good things of God that they'll go away just bubbling over with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Just may the cups of these precious people run over, with spiritual and good things from God.
28 Bless every hand, You know the need that was behind that hand, Lord. I ask that You'll especially bless them. We've seen You in this past week how You so miraculously answered prayer in a few moments, times of emergency and sickness and troubles. Thou art God omnipresent, stand by His servants. I pray, God, that You'll stand by these this morning. Give to them their desire, Lord, of their heart. I don't believe it was for any selfish thing, any--any bad motive behind it. I pray that You will bless them.
And now, Father, remember me today, and may I be able to get myself so out of the way... All of us, from the pastor on down to the--the children, may we be able to lay ourselves aside on the altar of God, and open up our hearts, and listen to the Holy Spirit as He'll speak to us. Turn our vessels of Thy bless--to receive Thy blessings, with the right side up. Then pour down the power of the anointing Oil into them. And give us of strength, Lord, that we need for the days that lies ahead. Grant this blessing. We ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
30 [Brother Branham answers someone who spoke to him about a phone call--Ed.]: I don't know. You just get his phone number and tell him I'll call him back after church. I don't know.
Pray for me. Brother Jack Moore on the phone, and still persuading for me to be there this week. See? I just don't feel the--right up to it (You see?), and so I don't know what to do. I love Brother Jack. And that big convention coming up down there and he turned men down like Booth-Clibborn and them, coming. So still holding out put his advertisement out and all like that, holding for me to come. So I--I like to feel really pressed to go. You see? And I...
32 And now, as we turn now again to II Corinthians, and we'll begin with the 12th verse of the II Corinthians, and read one verse of Scripture for the text, if God so be willing. I Corinthians, the... Or II Corinthians, rather, the 12th chapter and the 9th verse. I want to read the first phrase... Or second phrase of the 9th verse, a portion of it.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...
Let me read It again now so you'll be sure to get the text. See?
And he said unto me,... (this is God speaking to Paul)... My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...
34 Then if I should call it a text, I'd like to use this of strength, "Perfect Strength by Perfect Weakness." If we have weakness we have strength. It's unusual text on--in a Pentecostal assembly to make--take a text of weakness, because we're always testifying we're so strong.
And I've said before, that I only try to pray through the week and find out what would be good for me to bring before the congregation. If it was just coming here to be heard, I would much rather hear anyone else this morning stand here.
36 Frankly, on until couple days ago, I was down in Kentucky with Brother Gabehart's people there. When I'd left their place, this precious brother and wife and family and them, till I struck this thought.
I'd went into a home just a little before that. I was standing on the outside, and the lady said, "I'd like to speak to that minister." And I went into their little home. And there was... She said, "You're Brother Branham?"
And I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She said, "I am so ashamed of the looks of my house," and she said, "to ask you in." She started weeping. She said, "But I--I have such a need and I got real confidence in you."
And I'd found out it had been where our little Sister Cox that we stay with some down--down there, a--a little grandmother with a tape recorder going through the neighborhoods playing the tapes. That's it. That's the idea. See?
40 I looked around in this home, a little humble home, about like I was raised in, but the wall full of pictures of Christ. There laid a Bible on the table. I said, "I never any more honor in my life; this is the kind of home I like to walk into." She asked a request for someone. Five hours from the time that we prayed together, this little grandmother and I prayed together, God had answered.
So we prayed again, and Mother Cox and I and them around the table that morning had bowed and asked God to give us an opportunity to do something through the efforts she had made. And through asking that, God opened up a way. You see? He's God.
42 We try to make our weaknesses excuses. We want to tell how big we are, how great we are. I think that's one of the things that I--God gave me the text for, was to get that out of our mind. See?
There's little things that we do. And that's what we come to church for, is to find out where our faults is, and the things that we might better ourselves by. If we come to church for any other--any other objective than this, I'm afraid we won't get too much out of coming to church. We must come to find our weaknesses, find our bad places and our--how--see how little we are, and put our trust in Somebody that's strong. But when we have weaknesses...
44 There's so many of us likes to testify or likes to think that we're insufficient; and therefore, we make that an excuse, "I have no education; I have no ability; I'm unable to do this." And if you keep that up and do that in that way, keep going like that, then you can't 'mount to anything. But the very thing that we make excuses by our weaknesses, God uses that very thing to tackle the job with. See? He waits for us to get to that condition so that He can use us. We--we take the excuses and say, "Well, I--I--I--I'm can't do this, I'm insufficient. I--I can't do it." And God takes that very thing to do the job with. That's true.
That's the reason why that He--He chooses us, because we're in that condition. Now, that sounds strange, but just a few minutes we'll get to the reason of it, if God being willing.
We--we find out, just as we've been reading, that weaknesses and rejections... And we find out that those people who are the weakest and the rejected by the outside world, is God's heroes, that conqueror up in the front line, takes those who are--are--feel themselves unworthy.
47 There was a Methodist brother, three of them that comes to this church from up in Ohio, or northern Indiana. They said to me not long ago, said, "Brother Branham," said, "we just received the Holy Ghost, shall we now seek for gifts for our ministry?"
I said, "Don't do it. Let it alone."
And he turned and looked at me, said, "I just read a certain brother's book that told us after we received the Holy Ghost we should seek gifts for these to use this Holy Ghost."
I said, "And become a stuffed shirt." See?
49 If you notice in the Bible, it's always those who are trying to get away from it that God uses. As long as a man's--wants to do something and thinks he's got enough ability he can put the job over, God could never use that man. Look at Moses running; look at Paul running, and the rest of them trying to get away from it.
I said, "Don't seek nothing. God's got anything for you He'll give it to you." See? "And just let Him--let Him take care of that." I said, "Then you get some of these times like we got--have today that everybody's wanting to do this and do that and become some great person. Look what we got into with it. You see?"
Instead of trying to be great, we ought to be trying--trying to find out how little we can get. See? Then God can use us. I got several Scriptures written out here that I should be referring to, I suppose, but I... we... I probably won't have time to do it. But we are...
52 Notice that it takes the--the weakest and the rejected, and practically every hero God ever had on the front line was that type of person. A person that was rejected, a person that thought he was insufficient, a person that had no ability at all, then that person's just in good shape so God can start using them. That's right. When they feel like that they can't, they haven't got nothing, that's when God can take ahold of them and do something with them. See? When... But when we are thinking that we're able to do it, then God can't use us because we're wanting to do it ourselves.
53 And then, the other side, we get these feelings and we think then that we're insufficient, and we don't want to do it; but then if we just listen to the call of God, that's the very thing that God wants us to get into, that kind of a shape so He can.
When we are insufficient ourselves, then we are subjects to yield to God's Spirit. As long as we think that we can do it, then we can't do it. But when we get to a place where we know we can't do it, then we yield ourself to God and He does it. So then if it's us trying to do it we'll fail, but if we'll just yield ourself to God then God can't fail. There's only one thing that God cannot do, and that's fail. He can do anything else but fail. But He cannot fail.
So as long as we're trying in ourselves and depending on our own abilities, and so forth, why, we'll do nothing. But when we get to a place where we know we're nothing, then God can use us.
56 The important thing, one of the important things that we must master... Now, remember this, and especially you young preachers, and lay members alike. There's one thing that we've got to master if we expect to fulfill God's desire in our life; that is, we have to master the thought of human ability. If we ever get to a spot where we think that we can do it with our own intelligence and our own abilities, we've got to master that in such a way that we can get rid of the thing and lay it aside so that God can use us. That's right.
57 And make a complete surrender. We cannot use one ability. We've got to make a complete surrender. And to come to God, you've got to surrender to Him both soul, body, and spirit. Everything that you are has to be surrendered to God in order that He can work His will in you and in me.
Now, that's hard; I know; 'cause we're always wanting to put our part in, something that we know, you know, that we want to do it. We say, "Well, I--I just know it should be done this way." But as long as you're doing it that way it's going to be wrong, and God will never use that effort. Maybe with the help of the Lord we're going to get into that in a few minutes and just show you how God cannot use your ability.
59 That's what's the matter with the world today: there's too much seminary experiences too much placed upon education, too much placed upon relationship or fellowships in denomination; we rest on one another; we rest upon men with ability.
The Bible said, "How can you have faith when you--when you are..." Let's see, how is that Scripture? "How can you have faith when you're preferring one another?"
When we are expecting, saying, "This guy, he's a great person. This is a great person; I'll just lean upon him," that displeases God when you do that. We must lean upon God and God alone. We mustn't trust the ability of ourselves or any man. We must completely yield to God.
62 No ability, I don't care whose it is, will never be usable in the sight of God. God has to get all of our abilities out of us before He can achieve His purpose. If He's got something for us to do, and as long as we feel that we're doing a pretty good job out of it, then we'll never be able to be used of God.
Now, you say, "You're making an awful broad statement there, Brother Branham." And that--that is a broad one, but just look around and find out if whether it's right or not.
Look around today at all of our great achievement we think we've done, and where is Christianity in United States? Look at all of our churches and denominations, and our evangelists and healing campaigns, and everything else we've had, and what is it? Worse than it ever was in the beginning. It's worse off today than it ever was, because that we have tried to do it in human ability.
They gather together and make long prayers and go out here. And how the other day where they had so many, a hundred and fifty thousand, or something like that, gathered together, both Protestant and Catholic, say some prayers, and pray some prayers, and make some prayers, and so forth. That just might as well not have gathered; it's not worth nothing in the sight of God.
Now, if I get critical, forgive me. See? But I--I've... You've got to drive the thing down. See? You've got to make it hit the nail.
67 And what good did it do? Nothing. And it'll never be until every person that professes to be a Christian will forget his own ability and yield hisself to God. Then God can achieve His purpose by sending, not a revival, but, brother, what He needs to do first is send a killing (That's right.) so we can revive. You have to die before you can be born again, and you have to... He needs a killing of ourselves. This Tabernacle needs a killing, and me with it. All of us, we need a killing so that we can be revived in a new life, a new hold, a new hope, a new experience. We need first a day of mourning.
69 We need a place of yielding to the Spirit and instead of so much depending upon schooling and upon our programs, and we--our campaigns and all that we have. We--we--we rely upon cooperation with so many different ministers to cooperate. We allow so many... "If we can't get so many, why, we won't do it. We won't go to the cities without that." And then, when we do that, we're making it in a great big machine that's got a carbon knock in it. See?
So we--we got to get away from that, that human ability. We got to get to a place where we can surrender our souls and lives, even to the housewife, to the farmer, to the mechanic, or whoever we are, we got to surrender completely to God and know that "we are nothing." Then let God start from there. Then He starts moving, working. And that includes all of us, everyone. That's the--the thing that we got to do.
71 History proves, does now, proves (history does) that God always chose the nobodies to become His somebodies. God takes the person that's nothing.
Today, unless you got a good theological background, you'd better not even try to approach the city; you better not even try to approach a meeting. But if you've got great backgrounds, with great trainings and things behind you, you can go into any city and get a cooperation, have a great meeting. Well, it's not a meeting... It is a meeting, just like anything else, but what good does it do? See, you--you still... You get these little girls and boys coming up, chewing chewing gum, and going up to the altar, and women and men going up there just to say they went up to the altar, go into the room to instructions and come back out and be sprinkled or immersed, or whatever they are, and a--and a year from there...
73 One of our greatest evangelists said, if he could know that he could save ten percent of his conversions for one year, he would be happy. When, then, when if he had a thousand conversions, the next year there ought to be--be ten thousand of them. See, we're missing the goal; we're missing the purpose.
Some of us build it upon intellectual conception, "Oh," that, "this know-it-all, this man's a trained scholar. We should train our people and school them."
The next one bases it upon some sensation of--of movement, shaking, crying, shouting, dancing in the Spirit, or something, some emotional outward work. And that's just as bad as the education. If the Devil can't get you on this side, he'll push you off that side.
But the thing of it is, is having nothing that you can depend on in your own self or anything that you can do, just a complete, total surrender of your weaknesses unto God, and say, "Here I am." Have nothing, no ability that you can trust in.
77 Search back through the Scripture and find out, as I got the Scriptures written out here I'm referring to. Some back through the Scriptures we find out that God always used the nobodies to become His somebody. He always taken those that the world had rejected, the modern age had rejected, and that's the kind that He picked up to use.
Consider the--the apostles. Think about Peter, the fisherman, not enough education to write his own name; John, a ignorant and unlearned, those men. He bypassed the nobles, and the educated priests, and the celebrities of them days, the scholars, the church members, and got though--them people who thought they were somebody, and picked up those who were nobody and used them.
79 Now, a somebody can become one of His people; God can use them if they're ready to forget that they are a somebody. If you're ready to forget that you're a somebody and become a nobody, then God can use you and make a somebody out of you. See? But you've got to forget that you're so important.
There's many of us; many of us do that in--in our lives. As soon as... Some people, as soon as they become Christians, they become arrogant, indifferent (That's right.) when they're just taking a vice versa the path. They're going backwards instead of forward. When... More you can get out of yourself, more room you've got for the Holy Spirit to come in.
Like Elijah told Jehoshaphat and them, said, "Dig this place full of ditches. Deeper you dig, the more room you're going to have for water." And the more of our own selves, of the--the own rubbish of our own abilities that we can throw out of us, the more room there'll be to be filled by the Spirit of God; long as we can do that.
82 Paul, the one we just read about here in--in Corinthians, in II Corinthians, we find out that this man was a great man. He was a scholar, a great man. But he had to forget all he ever knowed in order to know Christ.
I'm going to let--read one of these Scriptures here, so that you--you want to read it with me. Let's turn to I Corinthians, the 2nd chapter and the 1st verse, just a minute. And let's read here just a minute what Paul said, this great scholarly man, what he said about himself, what he had to do. I Corinthians, the--the 2nd chapter of I Corinthians and begin with the 1st verse. Listen at this scholar.
84 This man was trained. He could speak pretty near any language there was in the world. He had to brag about it. He was brought up under the strict--strict sect of the Pharisees, and his father was a Pharisee. Later he was "a Pharisee of the Pharisees," and that means that he was--he was absolutely the--the strictest of the Pharisees. He was a great fellow. And he had authority, and he was smart.
His father had give him an education under the best teacher there was in all the land, Gamaliel, at that time the most notable teacher of any of the schools. Paul become that type of a man. He learned every language. He learned psychology. He learned all the different things that there is in--to be learned in that way. And he leaned hard to the--to the tabernacle of the--of the priests and with the--the great men. And he was going about making havoc of the Church.
86 Listen to this same man with all this education after he had received Christ, listen to what he said, how strong and great he was, he had to forget it. He had to realize that he could not depend upon hisself. He had to realize that his education was nothing. He had to realize that all of the training he'd ever had, he'd have to forget everything he's ever trained for. Listen at him now:
I, brethren, when I come to you,... not with the excellency of speech,... of wisdom... (See?)... declaring unto you the testimony of God.
I never come to you to tell you, "Now, I am Doctor Saul from the School of So-and-so, I am the--out of the great sect of this denomination. I never come to you like that."
For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
There, listen at the testimony of a man like that. "I'm determined to know nothing about your abilities. I know that there's nothing in you, and I'm only determined to know one thing that I see in you, that's Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The crucified Saviour among you, that's all I'm going to recognize."
89 Listen to him.
And I was with you in... (greatness? In what?)... weakness, and in fear, and... much trembling.
Could you imagine a man, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, a teacher of the teachers, a man that was trained from childhood for the ministry to be a eloquent man that was smart and brilliant, to come before a class of people like the Corinthians and say, "I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and much trembling"... A man who turned the world upside-down, the greatest missionary that's ever been known, confessed that he come in weakness, not as a trained scholar, but in the weakness and fear, lest he'd step off the path somewhere, in much trembling, because he could not trust in his own ability.
90 The reason he was fearing, not because he was scared of anything; but he was scared he would displease God in some way, that he'd get his own ability mixed up into it; something that he'd learned, that he'd... He was telling them that, "I didn't come to you with these excellency of speech; I come to you in fear that I would come that way; but I come to you knowing nothing but Christ and Him crucified."
And I come to you in fear, and weakness, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching was not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and... power:
Listen to this man who was a warrior had stripped hisself. Amen. If there's anything that our schools needs today, if it's anything our churches needs today, is a stripping of themselves, of your own thoughts and your own abilities. Strip yourselves before God unless you would try to do something within yourselves.
92 I hope you--that gets down deep to us, both here and the tape world too, that you realize that you've got to become nothing: not a know-it-all, not a great somebody, but a nobody. You be--got to come dust. You've got to get to a place that you know that you're nothing. And don't never rise above it, for as soon as you rise above it, you rise above God. You've got to keep yourself in the dust and on the road to Damascus. You've got to keep yourself off your high horses. And that's for everywhere, here and in the tape world.
93 "My speech," he said, "doesn't... in the enticing words of men and man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit of power."
Now, watch. "What for, Paul? Why'd you do this?"
... power... That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Oh, what a preacher, this great man who... He sought God, and he said, "God, I am weak, and I--I don't know what to do. I just pray You, God, to strengthen me, take my infirmities away from me, and these things, so I can be stronger."
God spoke back to him, said, "Paul, My strength is made perfect in your weakness."
Then Paul said, "When I am weak then I am strong." Yes, he said, "Then will... I will glory in my infirmities of my weaknesses and so forth. I'm thanking God that I got all of it out of me. And when I get everything out of me, then God can come in. But as long as I got some of myself there, then God can't get in."
There, that's it; we--we smother Him out. We drive Him away with our... From the poorest of us to the richest of us, from the least to the greatest, we keep God out of our lives because of our ownselves.
99 I've often said, "The greatest enemy I got is William Branham." He's the one that gets in God's way. He's the one that gets lazy. He's the one that gets to a place sometimes where he thinks he can do something about it, and when he does, that shoves God right out of the picture. But when I can get rid of that guy, when I can get to a place that he's out of the way, then God can come over and do things that William Branham knows nothing about.
That's when God can use you. That's when He can use any of you. He can use anybody when we get out of the way. But as long as we got ourselves in the way, then we cannot. All right.
101 Now, we find out, this great fellow, Paul, he was a--he was a prince amongst the preachers. He was respected by every denomination. That man could've went to a city and had a meeting anywhere. Because why? He had credentials. Why, he was so great, and so determined to smash out all the people that was weak, until he got power from the high priest, the high--highest authority, to bind every one of them Christians. Political power from his church to bind all of them... Oh, he was strong. He could bind the Christians and throw them into jail because they wouldn't agree with him upon his theological doctrine, upon the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees. He was binding the Christians.
But notice him; he had to become bound himself so he could lose it, he could lose his strength and authority. He become bound himself to lose what he had power to bind with. He had to lose what he was in order to be bound.
103 God passes the nobles. He passed the priests. He passed those who were arrogant and He chose Paul, this great man, and made him fall in the dust of the earth and do things that he--like those others was doing. He made them act in the--made him act the same way that those he was arresting. He bound Paul by the Spirit of God to get him loose from the power that he had to bind Christians with. Tell me God don't know what He's doing? He took away his strength in order to lose his--his hold.
104 How many ministers could God use this morning if they'd only let God bind them with His Word and with His power, and loose them from the strength of them denominations and organizations. How many sincere people in this city this morning, that goes to these great organization churches, how many could He fill with the Holy Ghost, and set this country afire with the Gospel and the power, if they'd only take and loose themselves from the power that they have and be bound by His Spirit to be as Paul was, a love slave to God.
God took Paul and made a slave out of him, bound him to Himself and sent him to the Gentiles which he hated. But, you see, he had to be loosed from his ecclesiastical power, to be bound to the power of God. He had to lose his strength and become weak and nothing in order to receive the strength of God, to be bound to God, to do what God would tell him to do.
That's what we have to do today. That's what I need. That's what every man needs, is a loss of himself, loss of his ability, loss of what he is, that he might have a complete yielding to the Holy Spirit. The housewife needs that. The schoolboy needs that. We take... even our little children.
107 A certain little boy that I'm thinking of, yesterday afternoon or day before yesterday, or one day, he went in and got his oldest sister to write out his lesson right quick, and come out and told the little boys, said, "Whew! Them problems was easy." See, they're taught almost to cheat.
How much better would be... Those people are pillars in a church. How much better it would be for dad, of a morning at breakfast time, say, "John's going to have his examination today. O God, be with John. Help John. He asked me in the bedroom this morning and saying, 'Dad, pray for me today; I've got to stand my examination. Pray for me.'"
I'd rather my boy would get a--a good, decent "F" on his card, to flunk, than I would to know he got a straight "A" and cheat over it. Yes, sir. What we need is to lose ourself, wholly depend upon the power of God.
110 Now, bound... God passes the nobles and gets the weakness. God passes those who thinks they're something to take somebody that don't know nothing to order to work His purpose in their life. That's what we get.
God said to Paul, "My strength is perfect in your weakness. My--My strength becomes more perfect as you become more weaker. More you can yield to Me the better I can use you. The more you can forget about your education, the more you can forget about your denomination, the more you can forget about your stuff and yield yourself to Me, the more I can use you. 'Cause you become weak, I'll--I'll make My own purpose strong."
God can make strength out of weakness. That's the reason He always does it. When He chose His disciples...
113 Who would think of the humility of His own Son when He was born in a manger, in a manured barn, in the cow stall, and was wrapped in swaddlings cloth? See, He could've come through a palace, He could've come down the corridors of heaven, and all--a full Angel salute. But He chose to make Christ the Example of us, for us, and He brought Him in humility.
He never trained Him in the schools of this world, but He trained Him by His Own power to--so He could completely yield Himself, not to the thoughts of man or the strength of the world, but yield Himself to the power of God.
115 That's what's us today; we yield ourself today in our great denominations and realms. We yield ourself over to the denomination, what it's got to say, what they say about it. But that is contrary to God's will. We've got to yield ourself to the Spirit of God and go where the Spirit says go. That's right.
God's Hebrews that we... Or God's soldiers, rather, heroes (We just read in the Book of Hebrews the 11th chapter and the 34th verse.) out of weaknesses was made strong. They had to get weak before they could get strong. Out of their weaknesses they were made strong. You that's putting the Scriptures down, out there, Hebrews 11:34. All right.
118 Here's something to console us. Here's something that encourages. Out of weakness and humility God chooses the people to build His Kingdom out of. If we ever get to heaven, if we ever stand in the Presence of God with His Church, we'll stand in a bunch of people that's been weak and rejected and cast out by the world, and know-it-nothings.
Isn't it strange that God likened us to sheep? A sheep is the most helpless thing there is. There's nothing so insufficient of defense than the sheep. A rabbit can run; a squirrel can get in a tree; a dog can bite; a lion can tear; a horse can kick; a bird can fly; but a sheep stands helpless. That's the way God wants us. Realize that we are totally insufficient, then God takes that person and begins to mold Himself into that person: make his hands do what God would have hands to do, make his lips speak what God's lips would speak; because they're not his; they're God's. He begins to build a character, begins to take this weakness and to make His Ownself.
121 He brings us here in the earth. But then we are educated; we're smart. Did you ever notice the lines, the lineages? When we take, for instance, like in Abel, from Abel come Seth; Seth's lineage come right down, on down to Noah's time, all of them were just humble farmers. But Cain's children become smart, shrewd, educated, great men, builders, professional men. But God's side was weak and humble. That's how God used them. That's God's opportunity. That's God's way of getting to us, is when we're weak. We get something then.
This encourages, of course, 'cause God's whole Kingdom is built out of these kind of people. Then when you get to that kind of a way then you--you can--you're in His Kingdom.
The case is, with us, that, not that we are too weak, the case is we're too strong. We're--we're--we're just too strong. That's all. The thing of it is we're too strong-headed. That's right. We're too strong in our head. We know too much. God wants to get that out of us. That's right. We're too strong; we're too strong to yield to Him. We got... We--we yield to ourselves. We got to think, "Well now, here, I--I got sense enough to know."
124 I was amazed a few nights ago when mama was sick, out at the hospital. I went to... There was a little lady next door... If that little lady's here, you forgive me, sister. She's a little Kentucky girl from down there, and we was--and that was her mother-in-law. And I was a-talking to her that night, wife and I, there along about one o'clock in the morning. And her husband had laid down on the floor and went to sleep; she said, "Get out of here. You're no good to your mammy anyhow." And run him out, her husband, out of the room, 'cause he was laying right straight across the door where the nurses, nobody could get in; just snoring away on the floor. So she got him up and run him out.
125 And she got to talking there. I got to talking to her about the Lord, and so forth. And she said, "Well," she said, "all I ever know was a gooseneck hoe in a tobacco patch, early of a morning, cutting out the weeds and suckering tobacco, and so forth like that." Said, "But I tell you," said, "pappy sent us, every one, to school." And said, "We still ain't got no sense."
I thought, "Well, maybe that's the reason."
See, you--you got to keep the things of the world from you. Now, I'm not supporting ignorance, not--not that, but I'm trying to think when you get to a place where you think that you just--you just know so much till nobody else knows anything about it... Your knowledge is all right as long as it don't--as it don't interfere with the promises of God.
127 We're controlled by five senses, and those five senses: see, taste, feel, smell, and hear is very fine until they interrupt the sense of faith. Then when they come against faith... And how do you know which one's right? Because faith will always agree with the Word. And then if--if your faith is contrary to the Word, or you think it is, then you haven't got faith. You've got a make-belief. You've got a boast in your senses of some scholarship that you've learned about, or something. But when you get away from that and depend completely upon faith, and faith can only be built upon the Word of God: correct faith.
128 A doctor once said to me, said, "I believe, Billy, if them people--if you'd tell them to go out there and touch that post, that tree, and they believed that they'd get well, they'd get well just the same."
I said, "No, sir. It cannot, doctor, because of this one thing (See?); them people knows that that's just a post. They know there's no virtue nor no strength in that post."
But any man that's mentally balanced would know that that is the Word of the living God, that I can base my faith upon that and know It's THUS SAITH THE LORD. And if anything is contrary to That, then I don't believe my senses. No, sir, just leave it alone. Go by your other sense, the sense of faith.
131 All right, God takes those people to do... When they are nobodies, they'll yield to Him.
D. L. Moody of Chicago, he was of Boston; he was a shoe cobbler; a little, bitty fellow, insufficient, didn't depend upon himself. Now, you take these great schools that they got, the Moody School up there, if Dwight Moody could raise up again and see that school, the first thing Dwight Moody would do is get rid of that school.
If Martin Luther could raise up, the first thing he'd do is get rid of the Lutheran organization. John Wesley would do the same. Them men never founded those organizations; it was the men that followed them that did it.
134 Paul never organized no church, because he said himself, "After my departing, many of your own crowds will raise up among you, speaking perverse things." It was after Paul's death, and a hundred or two years after that, that they formed the Catholic church, the first organization. Men raised up. It was after Moody's death that they had the Moody School; after Wesley's death that they formed the Wesley church; after Luther's death that they formed the Lutheran church. God sends heroes; and they build...
No wonder Jesus said, "You--you whited walls." He said, "You--you garnish the prophets tombs, and you're the one that put them in there." That's right.
These great men raised up; then they'd build a memorial to them. I think, just like David, "Served God well in his own generation." So that's the way to do it. Let the organizations and things afterwards keep away from you.
138 Moody, little old shoe cobbler, he was weak. He was an example of weakness. The first thing it says that Moody did... He had no education at all, and his grammar was so poor it was horrible. A man come to him once time and said, "Mr. Moody," said, "your grammar's the poorest I ever heard in my life."
He said, "I'm winning souls with my ignorance, what do you do with your education?" I think that was a good answer. Sure was.
And now, you become a member of that School, you'll certainly have to be a polished scholar. That's right. [A brother says, "Just reversed it."--Ed.] Now, yeah, they reversed it is right, go right back the other way.
141 That's what people do. When I said in the beginning of my message... Instead of Christians humbling themselves and emptying themselves to find more of the room of God, they try to build themselves up in a homemade knowledge, or some technical school knowledge, or something, that drives them farther away from God than they was when they started.
That's what I'm thinking about these artificial altar calls. You bring him in, and next time it's ten times harder to get him back again. Let him set and listen until God does something for him. And then let him come and confess it, rise, calling upon the Name of the Lord. That's right.
143 Notice Moody, weak in education, weak in speech, he whined through his nose. I was just reading his history the other day, "Whined through his nose, nasal condition." Physically little, baldheaded fellow, whiskers hanging down his...?..., and a little, bitty, short fellow, physically, he was a physical wreck. So he had nothing but weakness continually. But God used him to shake the world in his day.
One time there was a reporter went to his meeting (I was reading), and reporters, to make a report on what kind of a man was this (a great man, a great fellow).
Where's that little switch that you turn the tapes off with? This it? I'll just have to hold that then.
146 A--a great man, Moody was. He was a fine man. And so he could attract the attention of people, hold them spellbound. So there was a reporter went to Mr. Moody and said--went to the meeting to make a report on what kind of great buildup...
As the reporter just went and reported on another great evangelist, recently, said, "That man is eloquent. He is a Doctor of Divinity. He uses the best grammar I ever heard. He holds the people in his psychology. He can hold the people spellbound."
148 "Dwight Moody," when the reporter went, said, "I don't see what's in him that's attractive to anybody." Said, "The first thing, he's ugly as he can be. The next thing, he's a physical wreck. The next thing," he said, "he is... He has no education. His grammar's the poorest I ever heard." And said, "He's got a whine and a wheeze when he's preaching." And said, "I don't see nothing in Dwight Moody would attract the attention of anybody."
Mr. Moody was brought the article. He read it, kind of chuckled to himself, said, "Certainly not; it's God." Sure. People don't come to see Dwight Moody; they come to see God.
The people ain't caring how much you testify; they want some reality there in your life that proves that God's got ahold of you. Let you be Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, whatever you may be, they want to see God. That's right. Man of... Great men, men who are weak and realize their weakness...
151 Look at Moses, the young intellectual man. Oh, he was a scholar. He was so trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians till he could teach the Hebrews. He could teach the Egyptians. He could teach anybody, because Moses was a great man, smart fellow. Oh, he was powerful man.
In Cecil DeMille's conception of it, when--when he had the-- "The Ten Commandments" played, and he had this man come that was... I forget the man's name that played the part of Moses in there, some actor, but a great big man with great arms and strength. And Moses was perhaps that sort of a man.
153 We know he was strong and well trained, so he took upon himself, seeing the need of the day... Oh, may God let this sink home. Seeing the need of the day, Moses with his intellectual powers and his ability that he had to do it with... He was a smart man. He was the coming Pharaoh. He had psychology. He had--he had power. He had physical strength. He had--he had everything. So he said, "I'm well equipped. I know all of it. And if there's a man in the land that's able to do it, I am. So I'm the man of the hour, so I'll step out." And he went out to accomplish a work that was right and in the will of God, and he offered his natural abilities. And God refused it. He couldn't use one thing Moses had.
He couldn't use it then, nor He--neither can He use it now. God cannot use our natural abilities. We've got to get ourselves and our abilities out of the way and surrender to the will and power of God.
155 Say, "Well, brother, I can preach." He can't use that as long as you can preach. "That's all right. I can do this. I can do that." You can't do nothing. Well, then God can't use it. But if you'll yield yourself to God and let Him do it...
You say, "Well, Brother Branham, I know. I'm a teacher." Well, as long as you're the teacher, why, He won't get very far. But the Holy Spirit is our Teacher. Sure It is. God sent the Holy Spirit to be Tutor over the Church.
Some people go to school for years and years and years. What do they do? Read articles out of the "Upper Room," and so... (Oh, that's good.) You take the "National Sunday School Lesson." I have nothing against that. That's Words of God, and things, but it's put together with intellectuals. It's got to come by the power and the resurrection of Christ, and you cannot depend on your natural abilities.
158 So Moses, this young, fine strong giant, intellectual man, he set out to do a good work; but God simply, absolutely could not use it. He could not use his natural abilities.
And we cannot... It isn't today, that we cannot... God cannot use our natural abilities.
But there's one thing Moses had that I admire; he had sense enough to know that he was licked. We haven't. That's all. "We'll make a new denomination. We'll get somebody else with a healing gift or something," the Pentecostals. You see? See? We--we just don't know enough to realize that we're licked. The Pentecostal church, the Assemblies of God, the United, the rest of them seem like they haven't got the ability to know that they're licked. Hallelujah. Oh, I wish I could make this stick. They are licked. The church organization is licked, just the same as this United States is licked, trembling and fearing, and bombs hanging yonder for them; they know they've danced away and gaited their life to hell. And they're licked. The Spirit's went out of them. You'd have to comb trees to get young men to the army; they seen what happened in the other one. We're licked. The church is licked. They know that.
161 Moses realized it, and he knowed enough then... God took him back in the back in the wilderness to learn him some human weaknesses. He took him back to learn him what it was all about. So well did he learn. Oh, my, did he ever get a lesson. God must've had a time with him back there. You know, Moses had a temper; and God give him the wife by name of Zipporah; she had one too. So I imagine everything wasn't so pleasing back on the backside of the desert for a while when both of their tempers got out of control at the same time.
I suppose his intellectual conception of how psychology ought to control a person didn't do much good, because when he was on his road down to Egypt, I see Zipporah still had a temper. She cut the foreskin of her son off and throwed it before Moses, said, "You're a bloody husband to me."
God was so angry with him He looked for him in the end, if He could've found him He'd have slayed him. I guess there was a little things God had to teach him back there (See?) that he was a human. All of his wisdom of Egypt, all of his powers of intellectual, God could not use a one of them.
164 You come, say, "Now, Lord, I've been schooled for forty years now. I'm--I'm an intellectual student. I can quote that Bible with my eyes closed." God can't use a bit of that. See? No.
"Oh, I belong to the biggest church there is in the country. I--I'm the... I'm this, Lord. Oh, I'm a Pentecostal. I... Glory to God. I just received the Holy Ghost the other night. Hallelujah. You're going to make me to do so-and-so." God can't use a bit of that. No. Whenever you get licked and realize you're licked, and then come on back and humble yourself. Get weak, find out you're human. And there's none of your intellectuals can do to... Human weaknesses will never be used of God; God by the human weaknesses pours Himself into you, then He uses Himself. You just become an instrument. Certainly. You've got to get yourself out of the way.
167 Moses, oh, he learned, he learned human weaknesses real good. He learned it so well, till when God called him, he had seven weaknesses that he could argue against God's call. Did you ever study in the first part of Exodus, the seven weaknesses? I--I got them wrote out here; I want you to listen to them:
The first weakness he had was the lack of a message.
Second weakness he had was the lack of authority.
The third weakness he had was a lack of eloquence.
The fourth was adaption.
The fifth one was success.
And the sixth one was exception.
168 Now, you compare yours with his and see if you can come up with that, see if you can get as weak as he was. "Lord, I--I ain't no good. I can't speak. I--I--I slew an Egyptian. I can't go back. Oh, everything. They won't receive me. I got no message. I got... I can't speak. And I'm--I'm slow in speech." And see how he was? He was nothing. Brother, he'd been cured. Yeah, God could use him then after he was cured. See? Yeah, that's...
He can use us after we get cured to find that "My Ph.D. and LL.D. and double L.D.," or whatever it might be, "all my degrees is nothing." God can't use them.
170 "Well, I'm Assembly of God. I'm a Oneness. I'm a Baptist. I'm a Presbyterian." God can't use a bit of that. Quicker you get away from it, well, the better off you--you'll--you'll yield yourself to God.
Like the prophet was, said, "I'm a man of unclean lips and among unclean people." And the Angel went and got a--a tongs, and went up to the altar, and got a coal of fire, and touched his lips. Then he cried out, "Lord, here am I; send me." Yeah, after he'd realized that he... Yet being a prophet, he had unclean lips.
Soon as we can realize that we are--we are nothing, that you're nothing, you're dust of the earth. God cannot use you. Yes, your experi... All your weaknesses wouldn't match Moses. He had six different weaknesses here, and he'd learned human weakness.
173 Now, look at the difference between that Moses meeting God, and Moses looking upon the...?... like today. Said, "Say, we need so-and-so. We need a revival in the land. I'll tell you what I'm going to do; I'm going back and study till I get my Bachelor of Art. Uh-huh. I'm going back and study till I can get ordained as a LL.D.. I'm going to study literature. I'm going to do all this; then I'll go out and I'll be the man of the hour. I'll smother all these guys down that started off out here. (Oh, brother.) I'll get me a three-million-dollar building. I'll get me a dozen Cadillacs. And..." Oh, brother. You might--you might as well not start, 'cause you're licked to begin with. You see? But the trouble of it is, they don't know it.
174 They think you have to have curly hair and wear tuxedo suits and say "aaaaamen" so beautiful, and all like this, and be a prince. That's a woman's puppet. God wants men, godly men, men that can shake.
But today we want Hollywood. We want something that--that's desirable to the eye. We want something that can speak so intellectually that he can let us sleep for five minutes while he--on Sunday morning.
God wants separators who will send her forth like a blaze of lightning, condemn sin to the roots (That's right.), dig it out.
But we are... We want our intellectual pastors. Most the people wants a whispering pastor, somebody say, "Yes, dearie."
God wants thunderbolts. Yes, sir. Pat them on the back, and them short hair, and makeup on, and everything else, and wearing clothes that they was poured into, and all like that, and don't say a word about it...
A great man called me on into his office here (or not his office), his field office, here a little--not long ago, said, "I want to lay hands on you that you'll stop that."
I said, "Don't you do it. Don't you do it. No, sir."
When you stop that, you stop the Message. You stop God when you do that. Yes, sir. We don't want none of that.
181 Did God feel sorry for Moses with all of his weaknesses, said, "Poor little Moses, some--something sure has happened to you; you fell from your degree. Oh, my. Here, yeah, you was a great man, an intellectual, and there wasn't nothing going to stop you. Brother, you had all your Ph.D.'s and LL.D.'s, and everything else, and now here you come confessing that you are nothing, you can't do a thing. You're--you're just so weak." No. God wasn't sorry for him. God never took pity on him. God had him cured then of all that stuff. He wasn't sorry for him.
But we find out, if you're putting it down, Exodus 4:14, "The anger of God was kindled against him." God wasn't sorry for him 'cause he was weak.
183 You say, "O Lord, I just feel so bad. I don't believe I could do it." God don't feel sorry for you: feels like kicking you around a little bit. See, see? Sure. God don't feel sorry for you; He--He gets angry with you. You're just getting in shape then to where He can use you. Yeah.
Moses getting cured up, God could use him. He had the cure; he was away from human abilities then. He didn't have nothing he could rely upon then, 'cause he--he was ready then for the service.
185 God said, "Forty years out here I've had you and Zipporah fussing and carrying around out here in this wilderness, whether you could find out there's human weakness or not, where you're standing up there as a big prince, 'Hello, Doctor Moses. Good morning, Reverend, Sir. Yes, sir. Moses, you're the coming prince. All... We all think of you.' Now, you're out here in the desert with a bunch of sheep and a high-tempered wife." See? That fixed him up. Yes, sir. Moses in an awful shape, and He said, "Now, I can use you, when you realize that you're nothing. Now, come on up here by this burning bush; I want to send you down yonder." Oh, my.
God, give us some more of that kind; give us some more weaklings. That's what we need: some weaklings. Sure.
187 It was Jacob. You know, Jacob thought he was a great guy once, you know; he could just cheat and get by with anything. Went and put some poplar sticks in where his father-in-law's sheep and cattle when they were pregnant, and turned them into speckled sheep, and so forth like that when they went to the water to drink. And the first thing you know, Jacob become a great man. Sure. He was a... "He really was called Jacob, no mistake," Esau said, "he was 'supplanter' all right." So he was a cheater. He was coming along fine, gaining, had great herds, and wives, and sheeps, and cattles, and oxens, and--and everything, he had everything.
188 But one night (oh, my.) when he got down to a little brook one time, was going to cross over, he come to a place that a Angel got ahold of him. Brother, old Jacob held on all night. He sure did hold on a long time. But when he surrendered himself, when he got weak and couldn't hold on no longer...
O God, let the church get like that, get to--the church get to a place where it can't hold on any longer with its natural abilities, but has to give over to God... Let the Methodist be ashamed of themselves that they are Methodists. Let the Baptists and let the Pentecostal be ashamed of themselves, and stop holding on, and yield to the Spirit.
It was then that Jacob become a prince of God. The Bible said he become a prince, and his name was changed. See? And--and, remember, he was a great strong man on this side, intellectually powerful; but on the other side he was a limping prince, weak and wore down, but had power before God.
191 Yeah, you might... Your organization might be broke plumb to pieces. Your prestige in the neighborhood, you may be an old fashion crow from then on in the neighborhood. That might be right. But I'll tell you; you have power with God. I'd rather be like that. I'll take that way anytime.
The disciples come back and rejoiced because they were happy that they were counted worthy to bear the reproach of the cause and of Jesus. Sure. They'll call you holy-roller.
193 Get out of that place one time; let it get broke up. Turn loose from your, "Well, say, I'm a Methodist," or "Presbyterian" or "I'm Assemblies," "I'm Oneness, I'm just as good as you are." All right. Just get out of that one time, give a-way. Get all...
Let the Angel get ahold of you one time, the Angel of the Lord that'll bring you the Truth of the Message. Let him get ahold of you one time, you'll humble right down to the baptism in Jesus' Name; you'll humble right down to all the rest of it. Yes, you will. You'll sure do it. Yeah, you--you'll just forget all these intellectuals.
195 A few days ago, one of the sweetest friends that I got, a fine person said to me, leaving the room after I'd been on a interview, left the room, said, "Brother Branham..." And this person has been one of my financial supports in the meeting out there. Come to a place where I didn't know how I was going to make the thing go, just trusting God; this person would write it off, yes, just a fine person. And this person took a trip, and come from a great city, here a few nights ago, and stood in the room and said to me when leaving, said, "Brother Branham," said, "I just want to say one thing." Said, "There isn't a person but what loves you that I know of."
I said, "I'm so happy for that."
Said, "Brother Branham, there's just one thing, one thing wrong."
I said, "What's that, sister?"
Said, "Well, the one thing is this, Brother Branham, that if you would just compromise on a little of that doctrine you have," said, "every organization would receive you."
And I seen right then, I thought... I said, "What doctrine, sister?"
And said, "Oh, that baptism in Jesus' Name."
"Oh?" I said, "But, sister, you couldn't expect me to compromise on the Word of God and still be a servant of God."
200 And said, "Well, here, there's a bunch of ministers that I'm here to represent out of this big city." Said, "If you'll tell them that the Angel of the Lord that gives you these visions told you to baptize in Jesus' Name, then they're willing to accept It."
"Well," I said, "their experience is weaker than dishwater." I said, "I don't care what any angel would say, if it ain't according to the Word, I don't believe it." I said, "If that angel told me something different from That, I wouldn't believe the angel." Right. God's Word's first above all angels and everything else. A true Angel... I said, "If he didn't tell me That, I wouldn't listen to him." Yes.
The lady didn't know what to do. She said, "I never heard of such. I never knew about it." See, there you are. So I give the little lady some Scripture. And she said, "I'm going right straight back home and study the New Testament. I've never studied it." See? There you are. Oh, my. Oh, my. That's where you get. Oh, my.
Quit trying to hold on. Turn loose. That's what you want to do: turn loose. Jacob, when he turned loose he was all right, he become a prince and had power with God.
204 It was little David with his Saul's ecclesiastical jacket on, that went out to--to--to fight Goliath. And when David started out there to fight Goliath with all this big armor on, he looked around, and he looked back; he looked like the rest of them, so he said, "There's something wrong here."
As long as you're like the world and compromising with the world, and doing the same thing that the world is, there's something wrong.
David said, "This looks too fortified. I've got a Doctor's Degree; I got a Ph.D. See, I belong to a great organization, how could I ever go fight with all this stuff? I don't know nothing about it. I don't know nothing about it." David said, "Take the stuff off of me." That's right. "If I'm going to fight for God, I don't want to look like this bunch of cowards standing here all armored up and pierced up. I can't have a meeting..."
207 Many meeting, many men, many ministers that come to me and confess that they believe that Name of Jesus Christ is right to be baptized in, but say "Our organization would put us out." You poor excuse, take Saul's armor off.
Give me the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. God, send me with a sling shot, no matter what it is (how little), beat the enemy down. That's true. Send me, but don't let me dress up like the rest of them with L.L., Ph.D., Doctors, and all that kind of stuff.
209 David said, "The thing don't look right." He said, "I don't know nothing about that." He said, "The only thing that I know, that I have--that I... Back on the backside of the desert I was tending my father's sheep." And said, "A lion come in and grabbed the little lamb and run out with it, and I knowed that was my father's lamb, and, oh, I--I--I'm... I wasn't equipped, but I just took my slingshot and went after him." Said, "I slew him and brought the lamb back." Oh, my. Them standing there, a spear in their hand, couldn't have done it.
That's what's the matter today. God's got a lot of sheep that's gone astray; the organizations and things has stole them out, brought them out into psychology. God give us Davids with the Word of God and the power of God to direct it when we go to meet these intellectual giants (Right.) with all the Ph., LL.D.'s, Q.U.S.T.'s, or whatever it might be. Give me the Word of God and the power of the Holy Ghost, and I'll tell you, we can slay every giant on the field. Right. We need men that can...
211 Why, David was the poorest excuse there was on the field to go fight the giant. He... Why, he--he was nothing but a boy. And the Bible said he was ruddy, a little old scrawny-looking fellow, probably stoop-shouldered, piece of sheepskin wrapped around him. He didn't have none of these big intellectual degrees and well trained. He knowed nothing about a sword. He knowed nothing about all this training that Saul...
Saul was the best they could've had, Bishop Saul. Certainly, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the army. Why, he was--he was the one ought to have went and fought him, but he was scared.
213 And today we know we need a revival. We know we need a stirring amongst the people. It'll not take a Doctor of Divinity. It'll take a weaks (Hallelujah.) that'll take the Word of God in the power of the resurrection of Christ and slay this thing. It'll bring Christ to the country in the--let them see that He still can open the eyes of the blind, heal the sick, raise the dead, and He's God, Conqueror. Amen. We need a David, untrained in the theological schools; we need a man who knows nothing about that, some little plow boy or something, some little guy with his stoop shoulders, not much to look at, will come walking down the road with the power of God.
214 Mother was dying. She said, "Billy, I've trusted and believed you. You've been my spiritual strength; you've guided me to God."
I said, "Mama, when I was a boy... Our background, 'course, Irish, we kind of lean a little Catholic." I said, "The church said that--that they--they was a body of people; they had it all; everything they did was all right. I couldn't believe that, because the Lutherans said, 'We're a body of people; we got it all.' The Baptists said, 'We're the body; we got it all.' There's too many; there's about nine hundred different organizations." I said, "Mama, I couldn't put no trust in that. Which one of them is right?"
216 Come to find out, I say this humbly and sweetly, but I believe none of them's right. That's right. I go back to the Word of God, I seen what It done back there. (And then, God, let us all go back there.) And with the weakness of no support of organization, no support of denominations, no support of the ecclesiastical setup, but in simplicity and the power of the Holy Spirit that fell on Pentecost, with the same message that Peter had on the day of Pentecost, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins"... You won't be harnessed up like a bunch of these theologians with your collar turned around and a Bachelor of Arts degrees, but, brother, you'll have something in your hand. And long as the Spirit of God will get into that Word, It'll conquer and bring back them lost sheep that's gone astray. Amen. Confess our weaknesses. Throw off your Doctor of Divinity. Throw off your know-it-all, your membership. Strip yourself before God, spiritually speaking, and call yourself unworthy. Then God can go to using you. Just don't say it from your mouth, bring it from your heart.
218 Jacob... David, they had to strip themself. He was the weakest amongst the whole crowd. Think of the, maybe, ten thousand or a hundred thousand soldiers on the hill, all of them trained, every one of them with a Ph.D., every one of them with spears; they were soldiers. Each one of them was Corporal So-and-so, Private So-and-so (even to Privates), General So-and-so, Lieutenant So-and-so. "Great four-star General Saul, Bishop, yes, your Honor, Sir." Every one of them standing there, trained men.
And the enemy standing on the hill, said, "You bunch of cowards."
221 And up in the camp come a little, stoop-shouldered (O God.), little ruddy-looking fellow, little slingshot over his back, with a raisin pie in his hand for his brother. And that giant come out and made a cry once too often, said, "You mean to tell me that you bunch of trained scholars here will stand there and let that uncircumcised Philistine defy the Word of the living God?" Amen. Said, "Are you afraid of him?"
Saul said, "If you want to go, come here. I'll--I'll--I'll send you to school for twenty years now, and I'll get you a--a Ph.D. I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll just give you my degree."
He said, "Take the thing away." Oh, my. "I want nothing to do with it." He wanted to trust in God. He said, "I know what God did for me with this, and I'm ready to trust God in the face of anything with it." Amen. That's the experience of the Christian.
224 Even Saul, when he had to get rid of his armor, he took off the ecclesiastical armor; he did like David did. But when Saul come to the end of the road, he said, "I've fought a good fight." That was the last enemy to conquer. "I've fought a good fight; I've finished my course; I've kept the faith. Henceforth there's laid up for me a crown, that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day." Said, "Not only me, but all them who love His appearing."
O death said, "But I'll get you in a few minutes." And the grave said, "I'll mold you out yonder."
He said, "O death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? I know I'm laying here in this Roman dungeon, bound in chains, my wrists and hands, and I--I got thirty-nine stripes across my back. I'm here with tears scalding my eyes until I can't see no more. I can't see with my natural eye, but I can see a crown of righteousness laid up yonder. My ankles are wore out. I've fell off so much from the old molded bread they throwed in here, and the rats has run over me, and spiders and things, till I'm weak." But he could stand in the face of death and say, "Where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory?" with chains shaking on his hands. Hallelujah. That's what we need. "Grave, where is your victory?"
The grave said, "I'll rot you, Paul."
He said, "But thanks be to God, I've already got the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
228 When he was weak, his--his ecclesiastical, his... All of his ritual had been dissolved from him. All of his ordination papers had been took away from him. He didn't belong to the Assemblies no more, or the--any of them. See, he didn't belong to any of them no more. He'd spoke so much against them till them bishops was... Said, "You mean to tell me a man serving twenty years in Roman prison up there and can tell us not to let our women preach? Huh. Don't tell us that." Said, "We know better. Who is that guy up there anyhow, tell us to do this, that, or the other?" Said, "We know what we're doing."
"Yeah," Paul said, "there's men rising right up among you will start an organization pretty soon, rise up and will pull away from the faith like that, not having the Spirit of God." Said, "They've already went out from among us 'cause they wasn't of us."
230 And what did happen? Come right into the Catholic church, from the Catholic to the Lutheran, and on down to the last, Assemblies of God, same thing, doing the same thing. All along, same thing.
But, oh, to a man or woman that's weak enough, that realizes your weakness, that'll let God use you. (I'll just keep on talking; I guess I've talk too long.)
232 Now, what was it? Now, he was... David was the most unlearned one in the bunch. He had no schooling of fighting; he knowed nothing about it. So he had no schooling for none of this battle was set before him, but he recognized that there was a God. And he took the weakest thing; they had spears, armors, bows, and everything else, and David had a little slingshot with a rock in it. But, see, he knowed what he could trust in. He confessed his weakness, but his faith in God. He said, "I don't want no shield over me to knock nothing off. I don't want to come up there, say, 'Now, will you brothers cooperate with me? I belong to the Assemblies; I belong to the Presbyterian; I'm a Methodist; I'm a Baptist; will you brethren cooperate with me?' I don't want none of that stuff. 'Here, I'll show you in my pocket, I got my degree. I just got my Bachelor of Art. I'm from the University of So-and-so; I--I was schooled up there. I got so. Oh, I can speak. I'm this, that.'" He didn't want none of that stuff.
All he wanted, he said, "I got my trust in God and here I go." That's it. And the giant went down. That's right.
That's what we need today, brother. We need, today, men like David, not university experiences.
236 It was little Micaiah, little Micaiah, the son of Imlah, poor, rejected, cast out of all the denominations because of his true stand for God. But there come a man of God one time, down, by the name of Jehoshaphat, and said in there, "I want to know the true Word of God."
Saul said, "I got four hundred of the best you ever knowed." Said, "They've all got their degrees; they've all trained up here in school." Said, "Why, they're the best preachers you ever heard." Said, "I'll bring them right out and we'll consult the Lord for you."
But then he come out there and he looked around, Jehoshaphat said, "Yeah, I hear this one say that, and I hear that one say it," but said, "have you got another one? Haven't you got another one?"
239 God was going to get a message to this true heart. There's only one of them standing there, but God's got a man for that one. Amen. If there's only one true heart, somewhere God's got a man for him. Jehoshaphat was a real man, God-fearing king, and he had sense enough to know that their messages was wrong. He knowed it was contrary to the Word. Amen (O Brother Neville.) Jehoshaphat knowed that.
He said, "Well, I--I've went down the whole record, the chart here in this seminary. I've got every one of them out here." Said, "Well, looky here, this one's got... Well, look at the degrees he's got. Look at this one here," says, "look--look at the degrees that he's got. Look at Zedekiah here; he's the head of all of it. Why, he's a bishop; he's over all of us. Surely you'll take his word."
Jehoshaphat said, "Yeah," said, "I--I--I..."
241 "Yeah, well, look, look, all the rest of them agree with him. They're all one great unit. And you can't say they're not Hebrews. You can't say they're not prophets; here's the degree proves they are."
Jehoshaphat said, "Yeah, I--I--I know, Ahab." Said, "That--that's all right, but..."
Said, "What are you... How you going to ask me for any more? There's my whole school. There's every organization together."
"But haven't you got one that don't belong to that group? Isn't there one somewhere?"
"Well, what would he be? He'd be an uneducated illiterate. Well, what would you want with a guy like that?"
"But--but I'm just asking you. Haven't you got one, somewhere?"
247 "Oh," he said, "yeah, there is such a one." (There, O thank God for that.) Uh-huh. "There is such a one," but said, "I hate him. And all the rest of them hate him too." Said, "We kicked... They kicked him out of that organization, every one of them." Said, "He come down here to have a meeting; we run him out of town. Yes, sir. Won't have nothing to do with him. Well," said, "he's a weakling, and he come from a very poor family. His grammar's awful." (Uh-huh, like Moody, you know) "Yeah, his grammar's awful." And said, "Really, for a theologian, he's the poorest I ever heard. I never heard anything like him. Oh, he just simply demolishes their ritual. Why, their Apostles' Creed is tore to pieces by him. I never heard of such a thing. Oh, he just tears it up, and they hate him, and I hate him; everybody hates him."
"Oh," Jehoshaphat said, "don't let the king say so, but I'd like to hear him." He know what Elijah would say. He knowed what...
248 God bypassed all the great, strong, intellectual preachers, and put his Message in a little guy that claimed he knowed nothing. But what did he do?
They give him a test, and said, "Now, you say the same thing they did."
He said, "I'll say what God puts in my mouth; that's all." He said, "If you want to become strong... Now, remember you're just... you're--you're kind of out of order here, boy. Remember, you're kicked out of that organization. They might reconsider your fellowship if you just agree with them in this time of crisis like this. We're all fixing to have a great campaign," said, "if you'll just agree with me."
Said, "I'll say nothing but what God has said." Amen. Compromise, could you expect a man of God to compromise on the Word of God? No, sir. Don't lay in them.
Said, "But you're a weakling. You're out of a poor family. Why, you know what, they might..."
"I don't care what they do."
"Well, they'll take you from country to country in an airplane. They'd do anything (See?) if you'd--you just..."
"No, no. I'll only say what God puts in my mouth."
256 God bypassed all that bunch (Yes, sir, His true stand did it.), bypassed the four hundred and give him THUS SAITH THE LORD.
Then did they believe It? No, sir. They said, "That's not THUS SAITH THE LORD; our seminary don't teach such things as that. Why, here's our bishop has done said the word; he wrote the ritual. We all got together; we made our schools. God's with us. Which way went God from us when It went to you?"
He said, "You'll see, sometime." Uh-huh, that's right.
What was he? He was weak, but he was the strongest one among them. Why? Because he had the Word of the Lord. Oh, brother, what difference does it make about the--anything else as long as you got THUS SAITH THE LORD?
258 "Say, Brother Branham, if you'll compromise on the Name of Jesus for baptism, well, we'll have a great meeting in Chicago or these places like this." Huh. You think he'd do that? I don't care where you get together, what you do, brother, stay with THUS SAITH THE LORD.
I want some of them to come tell me where that's wrong. Show me in the Word of God where that's wrong. Yeah. They won't tackle that. No, sir. But it's THUS SAITH THE LORD. Stay with it, if every one of them kicks you. I don't care how weak you become, "Then I become strong." When they kick me out, God will take me in. Uh-huh, yeah. God... They kick you out, God will take you in.
Remember, it's the off-scours that God always picks up, the nobodies. Then He makes them somebodies for Him. May not know it in this life, but it will be in the one that's coming (See?); that's the one.
261 And gave him THUS SAITH THE LORD, for why? He stayed with the Word. He had the right message. God give him a vision. The rest of them didn't have no vision. See? He had a vision. Why? Because he stayed with the Word. There's where we seen signs and wonders. Because... The others are making out like It, but he stayed with the Word. Now, let's hurry.
262 Elijah, is when his church turned him out and left him for the modern world. I imagine Elijah had really combed them over the coals. Don't you imagine so? You know what Elijah was. I imagine in his early ministry, he stood up there and said, "Why, you women trying to be like the First Lady, Miss Jezebel. You modern women, being like the First Lady of the land, dressing like her, acting like her. You preachers..." Oh, my, how he combed them, and they all just kept falling away till there was nobody.
263 He had to get to the end of his road then. Nobody would cooperate with him no more. None of the churches would cooperate with him. All of his church left him, went back to the world (same as it is now... That's right.), went on back to the world. Just a very few was hanging on, one here and one there, coming from way across the country where you had to go to see him and so forth. He was in pretty bad shape; he come to the end of his knowledge and said, "Lord, I stood on Your Word; I told the truth. And all of them's gone away; there's nobody left here. I ain't got anybody--anybody to preach to." Amen. "Yes, I stood on Your Word, Lord, and now look where I'm at now, not none of them will receive me. I go into town, they say, 'Here comes that old crank. Yeah, yeah, here's that old crank coming to town; now he'll start carrying--carrying on about this here modern living and everything.'"
"Don't have him. Pastor, don't you cooperate with that guy. No, sir."
Pastor, "Now, that old fanatic's in town again. (See?) That Elijah out there, the old baldheaded fellow, don't you pay any attention to that old fellow. Look at him; he don't even dress like a clergyman with his priestly robes on like mine (his hat, you know; and stand up in front, and collar around, you know)." Said, "He don't..." Said, "He--he--they... He--he's a different sort. He--he's a odd-like guy."
And I imagine some of the great guys said, "You know what? He--he's a neurotic. Uh-huh, yes; he--he's a neurotic, living out there in the wilderness, staying out in the woods most of his time, coming in with a piece of sheepskin wrapped around him. Oh, my. And then condemning them women... Mm, mm, I never seen such a thing. Don't... Don't--don't--don't you have anything to do with him, at all. Don't cooperate."
268 Well, the ministerial association had gathered together, you know, said, "Don't--don't you all have anything to... Turn him loose; he'll finally--he'll come to the end of his wits. Let him bawl his own brains out. That's all, let him alone."
But old Elijah, walking right true with God, stayed right with the Word. They'd have a little meeting down there, and he'd look across the audience and say, "All you Jezebels..."
"Oh, the very audacity. I'll never go hear that man again. No, sir, I'll have none."
That didn't stop him, he stayed right there just the same. When he lost his church, when he lost his... All the denominations turned against him; it was then when he got weak; he said, "I'm the only one left; they're seeking to kill me." Said, "They'd shoot me if they'd get by with it." Uh-huh. See? "But I... They're seeking my life. And I'm the only one left, Lord, what can I do?"
It was then when he got weak (yet standing true, confessing his weakness and everything), that God said, "Come up on the mountain; I'm going to give you a new message. I'm going to send you a new message now. I've already told you go condemn these things, now I'm going to send you back with something to prove that it was right." Said, "You done a good job, Elijah. You told them about the First Lady, and all that, and how they done. You condemned Ahab, and all of his modern stuff, and all the modern churches, and we told them preachers where they belonged. You was an example. You stood there without any help, any organization, anything behind you, but you stayed with My Word. Now I'm going to give you something. Go down there and tell that hypocrite, 'THUS SAITH THE LORD. There'll not even be dew fall from heaven till I call for it.'" My, my. Took him up on the mountain top to show him something.
273 Oh, I can see him that morning, coming, walking down that Samaritan road. He wasn't very much to look at, surely, that bald head a-shining to the sun, gray hairs and whiskers hanging around his face, piece of sheepskin. The Bible said he was "hairy," hairs all over him, I imagine he was a mess to look at; that little old stick in his hand, with them little old eyes looking right towards the skies, walking down the road... And you... he... I guess he acted like a sixteen-year-old when he was about eighty. Here he was coming, walking down the road, right straight to Samaria. Brother, he'd done made strong then in his weakness, "My strength is sufficient. Don't worry about the organizations, Elijah. Don't worry about them; My strength's all you need."
274 I remember standing by a great temple one time, and I said, "Lord, I'd hate for them to come to my--my office."
He said, "I am your Portion. (See?) I am your Portion."
"In--in weakness then I--I'm... My strength is strong. My perfect Will can be done (Paul, or Elijah, whoever you are) when you get out of the way." See? "In your weakness, then I'm made strong. I'm the One. I'm the Strong One that comes in and fills up."
276 I can see him walking right down that Samaritan road, them little old eyes looking like that, boy, kind of a half smile on his face. Brother, he walked right up in the presence of Ahab. He never stammered; he never stuttered. No, no. Beating under that little old skinny chest was a heart with the Holy Ghost living in there. Yes, indeed. Come walking down that road, walked right up in front of Ahab, and said, "Not even dew will fall till I call for it." Stomped his feet and, turned around, back up in the wilderness he went.
Said, "That was a good job, Elijah. Come up here; I've commanded all the crows to feed you now, and the--and set down up here awhile." Oh, my.
When he was weak, then he become strong. Yes, sir. He shook the heavens that it wouldn't rain. That's when he got strong, when he lost his church, lost everything he had, everything else. But he stayed with God's Word; then he had power to shut the heavens.
279 When Jacob lost all of his strength, then God give him power to become a prince. See? When Paul lost his education and all of his theology, God made him a missionary to the Gentiles. When Moses lost all of his ability and become weak, God made him powerful and sent him to Egypt in the power of the Spirit, at eighty years old, whiskers hanging down, his wife on a mule and a young'n setting on her hip, and a stick in his hand, went down and conquered Egypt. Yeah. See? Not with an army behind him, like he wanted to go, but in the power of the Spirit. Amen. When you're weak then you're strong.
282 Just walking down that road, he didn't stutter, he didn't stumble, he didn't nothing, walked right up in the presence of Ahab, and said, "I've got the Word of the Lord."
He said, "You're the one that troubles Israel."
He said, "You're the one that's troubling Israel." Yes, sir. Oh, brother. Yes, sir. "Bring out them intellectual priests you got up here, and let's see who's God." There you are. "Climb up on Mount Carmel; let the God that answered at Pentecost answer back again. Let's see if God still is the same God, if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever." He come off the mountain; he had a Message. Yes. He got real weak before, though, he lost everything before he did it. He had to get weak 'fore he could get strong.
284 It's the simplicity of the Gospel that staggers the people. They try to make it a great intellectual something another, when it's the simpleness. But God takes the very tool of humility and weakness and simplicity to work His works with. That's only a tool in God's hand.
John the Baptist, his message, the forerunner of Christ, so simple it went over top the heads of the people. Listen just a minute. (I hope I'm not holding you too long, you standing around the walls. See?) Look. John, when... All the prophets gave witness of the coming of the Messiah. One of them said that the mountains would skip like little rams. Others said, "The leaves would clap their hands." One said, "All the low places will be made high, and the high places will be made low." Oh, my. What a day.
286 Did you imagine the school of the prophets and the intellectual conception of that? Oh, my, they had everything so classical. But when it happened, out of the wilderness come an old preacher that never had one day of schooling in his life, probably his grammar was so poor. His father was a priest, but God took him away from that (We had it in last Sunday's lesson.), wouldn't let him be mixed up with them denominations, and took him out in the wilderness to train him Hisself. That's the kind--that's the kind will stay with the Word of God.
287 Come out of the wilderness, about thirty years old; I imagine a black beard hanging out around his face, fuzzy; big old piece of sheepskin wrapped around him; stood in mud, up to his knees; said, "I'm the one that was spoke of by the prophet Isaiah." And some of the denominations come out; he said, "Don't think to say in yourself 'We have this and that'; God's able of these stones to rise children unto Abraham." Oh, my. Why? He had THUS SAITH THE LORD. He had the Message; God foretold he was coming. And the reason it come in such simplicity, it went over the top of their heads.
288 When Jesus come, He said, "What'd you go out to see, a intellectual speaker that can be changed from the Methodist to a Baptist, and from a Baptist to a Presbyterian, from a Presbyterian to a Pentecostal, and a Pentecostal to something else? Did you go out to see a reed shaken with any wind? Not John." Said, "Did you go out to see then a man that's clothed in fine linen?" He said, "They're at king's palaces, that kind of minister." He said, "What'd you go out to see, a prophet?" He said, "More than a prophet."
289 John was more than a prophet. And look, he come the humblest of all of them. But he was more than a prophet. You know what John was? He was a messenger of the covenant. Sure, he was. He went beyond a prophet. A prophet's a seer who sees things. John did too, but he was beyond that. He was a messenger of the covenant. He said, "Yeah, this is he who was said, 'I send My messenger before Thy face.'" That's who it was; he was a messenger of the covenant. Sure. In his simple way of coming, it just blinded the intellectual.
290 Now, we got to close pretty soon, about a few more minutes, got a few things here I want to say, some Scriptures and some notes.
How about the widow with a handful of meal? She'd got to her weakness; she probably starved herself to death. She had no meal. She couldn't go nowhere else and borrow any meal; nobody else had any. But she come to a place, a great believer, her husband had been a great man of God. And she was a widow with a child. And she had just a handful of meal, but it was enough; that's all she needed. Consecrated in the hands of God, she lived on it for three years and six months, on a handful of meal. She'd got weak.
292 She went out that morning to pick up two sticks, and break them and put them together. See, the two sticks is a cross. See? Break... She said, "I'm going to get two sticks." She never said, "get an armful," now, just two sticks. That's it. See the symbol?
And, yeah, old ancient way... The way to light a fire now, is take logs and cross them, burn them right in the middle. When I go camping, I... In the mountains at nighttime, keep from freezing, I lay a log this way and a log this way, and in the nighttime just keep pushing the ends up, and it burns it right up like that as you come up (See?) right through the cross.
294 "I am--got two sticks. I'm going to bread, dress this meal, this little handful of meal, and make a cake for me and my son. We eat it and die." She was really in weakness, wasn't she? She said... And she turned around and started to walk back. Oh, that hot morning. Oh, it'd been so long then without anything. Everything... No water, and people screaming, people dying, everywhere; nowhere to borrow, nothing to do. She was at the end of the road. She was in her weakness. She said, "I'm going to dress it for me and my son, and then we'll eat and die." So she turned around and she said...
"Just a minute." She looked back. And that old fuzzy face sticking across the gate down there, said, "Go, make a little cake for me first, and bring it to me." Oh. "Fetch Me a little water in your hand, and a piece of bread, for, THUS SAITH THE LORD..." Oh, my, that one did it. Oh, my. That little bit she had (See?) she consecrated it to God. That was enough to feed her the rest of the time. Yeah. See, when she was weak then she was strong.
296 One had just a vessel with a little oil in it. And she had nothing; her two sons was going to be sold for bondsmen. She had nothing else she could do with this little vessel of oil. Wasn't very much, she was at the end.
Elijah said to her, said, "What have you got in your house?"
Said, "Just a little oil in a vessel."
Said, "Go to your neighbors, borrow plenty of them."
There, look, getting ready before it even happens. Huh? Get ready. David heard that sound in the mulberry bushes. Elijah saw a cloud just the size of a hand, said, "I hear the sound of abundance of rain." If God can only get some empty vessels... That's right.
He said, "Fill the house full of them." Amen.
See what God wants? God's got to have empty vessels. Listen. We've had so much doctrine, so much ecclesiastical nonsense, until we're down at the end of the barrel. There's only one thing left: turn to God and His Word. And if you'll do that, get some empty vessels. Take out all the Methodist out of them, all the Pentecostal out of them, and all the Baptist out of them, and just let them be vessels, and set them up in the house. And then take from this Vessel and begin to pour (Amen.), just begin to pour.
She had enough to take care of her and her kids, and everything else, and pay off all the debts. Why? Why? Just what little she had, consecrated to God, and following the word of this prophet, she come out right.
300 God, send us a prophet that will take the Word of God, that will not take some--something else, but just get empty vessels. If God can just get empty vessels, and then take the Word of God and pour It into the person.
Not some say, "Oh, I shook when I received It. I spoke in tongues when I received It. I danced in the Spirit." Forget it (See?); forget it. Just stay there until It comes (That's all.), till the vessel's full. That's it. That's the way you do it. Yes, sir, the simplicity of It. The vessels was filled up. How we could stay on that.
303 It was the disciples, all flusterated one day, Jesus said to them, said, "There's five thousand people here," and said, "they're fainting; they're starving." Oh, I could stay on that another hour. Five thousand, starving? There's a hundred billion starving.
Said, "Send them away."
Said, "There's no need of doing that." Said, "You feed them."
Oh, my. I can imagine mustering up everything they could find, and you know when they got all, everything mustered up that... Excuse the expression, "mustered up." But they got everything, they said, "Now, here, we've went through the whole camp. We ain't got a penny of money, so we can't have the campaign." You see? "So we got everything here, but the only thing we can find is just five little biscuits and two little fishes from a little runty," like David, come out of the wilderness yonder. "That's all we got. That's all we can get. We're at our wit's end. We can't do nothing else, John." Peter said, "That's all we can do. That's all we can do. We're at our wit's end. That's the only thing in the line of food that we got."
305 Well, I can just take one little Scripture, Acts 2:38, and that's all we need (See?); just obey That. You don't have to learn seminaries, all about this, that, the other; just take That. Yeah, just--just take That; that's all you need, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall be filled up with the Oil." See? Just empty up, get ready for that One; that's all you need. Just put a drop in it, watch it fill.
306 You know, wasn't hardly enough in that vessel to make a drop in each one. Maybe took his finger, like this, just dropped it off in each one like that; looked back and it was full. Just dropped it off (See?); that's all he needed, 'cause it was blessed oil.
Don't take some seminary experience. Take the Word of God and drop It in there, see how it'd fill.
He said, "Well, what kind of a drop must we make? Maybe we can take something out of the Psalms."
309 You take what I told you, "Repent, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall be filled from that Drop." Just drop that in there, and you shall be filled from that Drop. That's the Drop that Peter used on the day of Pentecost. That's the Drop that Paul used. That's the Drop that all the disciples used. The rest of it will be added, you just take that Drop and follow that through, and the rest of it will be all right.
Get weak. Get empty. Empty all up, and from then on it'll keep dropping, and God will do the rest of the dropping. You just do that. You drop to your knees and receive that with all your heart. Drop in your heart right now and say, "God, I believe It, with all my heart." God will take care of the rest of the drops; it'll be filled up, "You shall be re--filled with the Holy Ghost."
311 Now, they had five little biscuits and two fish, so what was they going to do? So they come up and said, "This is all we can muster up. We're at the end of our wits. We can't find another piece of bread nowhere; there's nobody. And this little boy, probably portraying--playing truant, went to school this morning, and missed school and went a-fishing down here. And we picked him up down here on the creek; he come to listen. And there he's got five..." Thank God for that little boy. Yes, sir. Said, "The only thing we got in the line of life is this little bitty drop here." Said...
Jesus said, "That's enough. Bring them here." See? "Bring it here; let Me have it. Let Me have that little drop. I'll take care of the rest of it. Now, you just keep delivering as I give you from this drop."
313 And each one of you take the drop of Acts 2:38 this morning in your heart, and just take from there and watch Him begin to break the Bread of Life to you. You repent, be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and then see if the Holy Ghost doesn't drop in, keep dropping on this and dropping on that, dropping here and dropping there, and dropping there, and there'll be a filling of the Holy Ghost. Right.
You don't have to go to seminaries. You don't have to be smart. Only thing you have to do is recognize you know nothing. Let God have ahold of you; He'll take care of the rest of it.
All right, then the voice said, "Bring them here." That's what God wants this morning, to bring Him a bunch of empty vessels. He'll take care of the rest of it. Yes, sir.
316 Blind Bartimaeus setting by the gate, ragged, cold, oh, his weakest moment, when he heard a Voice, said, "Bring him here." That's right. It's sometime at your weakest time.
There was Mary at the tomb, heartbroken, her baby, her boy had been killed; everything, all hopes was gone. And she went to embalm Him, and even His body wasn't there. And he heard a Voice say, "Why weepest thou, woman?"
She said, "They've taken away my Lord. And I..." Poor little thing, was her Child had been put to disgrace; stripped Him stark naked and hung Him up there on a Cross, and crucified Him, and nailed Him up there, after He claimed to be the Messiah, after she knowed that the Holy Ghost overshadowed her and brought this Child. It was the Child of God. She'd seen His works, and everything, and seen right at the weakest moment...
319 And there Jesus had been stood against the evil, stood against those organizations, stood against those Pharisees; and become weak and submitted Himself unto death, and died like a sinner on the Cross, bearing our sins. The very Psalms, the very prophets that they believed in, had quoted hundreds of years before, the very Words that He said at Calvary, and they failed to see it. Their great eccle...
"My God," said David, "my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Psalms 22, "All my bones, they stare at Me, not one of them is broke. They wag their head and say, 'He trusted in others... And He--He saved others, Himself He can't save.'" And all the things that the prophets had said was right there. And Jesus, dying, holding that Word, submitted Himself. God, Emmanuel, become so weak that He submitted Himself to the death, and to the grave, and His soul to hell. Weakness... But out of that complete surrender came forth on that Easter morning, winding Its way from the lowest.
He was the Highest and become the Lowest. He come to the lowest people, went to the lowest city. And the littlest man in the town had to look down on Him. Went from there to death, and from death to the grave, and from grave to hell; to the lowest that could be got, to the lowest hell that could be thought of, He went to it.
But then, from there, God begin to raise Him up. Through Paradise, from there to the--to the tomb, and from the tomb to glory, and so high that He has to look down to see heaven: exalted His thrones in the heaven.
323 That little brokenhearted mother, not knowing this, standing there, "They have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where." She was... The weakest hour she ever had. Her--her Lord was gone. They had crucified Him, yet He let this... crucify Him in the shame of hanging Him up there naked before those people; and speared Him in the side, and bleeding, and hear Him crying on the Cross, and see the earth shake, and the whole heavens recognized He was dead. Took him down, stiff and cold, and laid Him in the grave. She thought, "The last respects I can do to my darling Child is come and embalm Him, and now they've took Him away." And she was standing there weeping, that little mother standing there weeping, sobbing. Oh, the weakest moment.
324 "Why weepest thou, woman?" was the Voice behind her.
She thought it was the caretaker at the graveyard, said, "Oh, they've took away..." She couldn't even turn around; she was so weak. She said, "I've been up now all these three days and nights. I stood and watched the crucifixion. I watched my own Darling that I know was the Son of God. I know He was. And yet they... (Looking the other way, and Him behind.) And they took Him away and they crucified Him. I seen Him raise the dead from the grave. I seen Him do miracles after miracles. And I know the Holy Spirit... God knows my heart; I was innocent of anything, and the Holy Spirit give me that Baby without knowing a man. How I know that it was true. And I seen Him disgraced and strike His clothes from Him, and hang Him up there and stripe Him down. He died the horriblest death. I love Him; I don't care what done to Him. I still want to bury Him; I want--I want to give Him the right kind of burial, and they've took Him away. I've been days after days; my heart's broken. I'm just standing in this condition. I don't know what they've done with my Lord."
He said, "Mary." And then she was strong. Amen. "Go tell My disciples I'll meet them in Galilee." Oh, my.
In their weakness they were made strong. When you're weak, that's when you become strong.
327 Peter, after he was out there fishing, he was... His occupation was fishing. I kind of like his occupation. And so he was out there fishing, all discouraged, know that he had denied Christ. Oh, my. Heard that prophet stand there and tell him, "Peter, do you say you love Me?"
He said, "O Lord, You know I love You." He said, "I love You. I'm ready to die for You."
He said, "Peter, you think you mean that, but you'll deny Me three times before... You'll deny Me before the cock crows the third time. See, you'll deny Me thrice before the cock crows."
And then seeing that come to pass, when he stood there and said, "I don't know Him. No, I don't know nothing about them there Pentecostals."
331 It ain't time to quit preaching; it's just my watch having a spell. See? Said that... I--I--I know I--I'm supposed to stop now, but I--I can't stop right at this time (See?), so I got to finish this up here just...?...
Said, "I--I--I--I know I denied Him. I denied Him in the presence of Pilate. I denied Him in the presence when that little woman come around me, said, 'Aren't you one of them?' 'No.' And even cursed." Oh, he was in a terrible shape. Said, "I--I--I..." She denied... He had denied Him. And he'd seen Jesus stand and look over, then is when the cock crowed, looked over at Peter. He went out. Oh, he was discouraged with himself, said, "Why do I live any longer?"
And then, besides that, he said, "I think I'll go back and go fishing again. I can't preach anymore, so I'll just go back and start fishing." He'd throwed his nets in and cast all night long, didn't have no fish. And he was at a weak spot; he didn't have nothing, discouraged with himself, come to the end of his ability.
334 When he thought he was a great man, chopped the high priest's son's ears off like that, well, he thought he was a great fellow, you know, he'd learned something. But he knowed nothing. He had to forget all about it.
And there he was out there, said, "Well, I know one thing; I'm a fisherman. I can still make a living fishing." He cast all night and didn't get nothing. Oh, what a discourage. Every time he pulled it up: an empty net. And he was so discouraged. He was at the weakest point, said, "I just might as well feel like jumping off this boat. I ain't worth nothing, anyhow."
He said, "Have you got any fish, children?"
Looked out on the bank, and there stood a Man. He said, "No, we've toiled all night and taken nothing. I thought I was a fisherman."
"Is that you, Simon?"
"Yeah. Well, I toiled all night and taken nothing. Oh, I--I... We ain't got no fish out here."
He said, "Well, cast your net on the other side."
"We've done... What?" Then he be... Said, "On the other side? We've been doing that."
"Cast it on the other side."
He throwed his nets out, and he pulled. He said... Then he become strong. Oh, my. He grabbed up his old fish coat and put it around him, said, "Brethren, that's Who It is." And he beat the rest of them to the bank 'fore they could, oar them boats just as fast as they could. He outswam them, with a fish coat on, got to the bank. Why? When he was strong. When he was strong he couldn't do nothing, but when he got weak then he got strong. Yes, sir.
340 Oh, God's strategy is to take empty human vessels and shake the world with them (Now, just a little bit and we'll go.) like at Pentecost. At Pentecost what did He do? It taken them ten days to get all emptied up. But they was all standing there with their vessels turned up, and God took Himself and filled them up. That's all. They shook the world. Poured Himself into them...
That's the need of today. That's what we need today, is the empty vessels (Yes, sir.) so God can fill them up. And you cannot take them... (I got to bypass a lot here.) God cannot use them as long as they're already filled up. If you're full of theological training, God can't use you. God's got to have empty vessels so He can fill them.
342 Now, Elijah didn't say, "Go get some vessels and borrow a lot of oil, and we'll see if we can't get a good sale price on it, and you get a little more and you can pay the neighbor back like that." He said, "Just get the empty vessels. That's all you need."
That's what it was at Pentecost; they had empty vessels so God could fill them up. Brother, this day demands that. This day's got to have that. We'll have that or perish. I'm going to close now. Listen. We've got to have that or perish. Yes, sir.
344 The big ecclesiastical machines that we've got, the big church machines has carboned up; it's got a spiritual knock in them. (Brother Collins is somewhere here, and Brother Hickerson...) I think the crankshaft's bad. Something has gone wrong. They use the wrong kind of gasoline; she's all carboned up. They use seminary experience instead of the Holy Ghost.
Our great revivals of the land, our great men, our healing campaigns has all failed. We know it has. Look at our noble evangelist, Billy Graham, crossed the nation back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. What good's it done? Oral Roberts, healing campaigns everywhere, and it's getting wickeder all the time, because it's all Baptist, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, all these other different organizations, get them all together. What is it? A great big ecclesiastical machine, and God's filled it full of carbon for you. Now, she's just chugging, "chug," pump, pump, pump, "chug," pump, pump, pump, little bit here and there. She's done. She's finished. The gasoline's run out; you poured water in it. Everything's gone (Yes, sir.), flat tires on both sides. We're in a terrible shape. The ecclesiastical machine has stopped.
347 And, brother, the lid's come off of hell (That's right.) and streams of demon power is pouring from everywhere. It's conquered the nations. It's conquered politics till it's rotten to the core. It's conquered the churches until they know nothing but denomination.
You say, "Are you a Christian?"
"I'm a Methodist. "
"Are you a Christian?"
That don't mean no more, as I said the other day, than being a pig, or a hog, or a horse, or something. That has nothing to do with it. You're a Christian when you are born again and filled with the Holy Ghost, not until that, and you're yielded completely to the Spirit. If you're not yielded to the Spirit, then you're not borned again and you don't have the Holy Ghost. You might speak in tongues and shiver, and jump and run, and do all kinds of...
349 Paul said, "I can move mountains with faith; I can heal the sick; I can have knowledge of the Bible; I can go to a seminary and learn all this stuff, everything," said, "I'm nothing yet." Hallelujah.
Oh, my, talk about the lid off of the kettle: demons going around, powers of the Devil under the name of Christianity, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, theological seminary doctrines, leaving the Bible alone. Hallelujah. Who's able to... Who's strong enough, who's wise enough? Who's powerful enough to tame this legion stripping the clothes off of our women in the name of preachers, Methodist, Baptist, and even Pentecostal? Painting their faces like Jezebel, and bobbing their hair, and wearing pants just like men, our preachers, not enough get up about them to tell them about it: devil-possessed... It was the legion that tore his clothes off of him. Who is this roaring devil?
352 Who's strong enough? What kind of a--of a denomination's able to conquer him, walking up and down through these tombstones of denominations, crying, "The days of miracles is past, and we don't need the Holy Ghost"? And who can tame that devil? God. We can't do it by denomination. We can't do it by ecclesiastical forces. But there was a Voice one time that did it (Amen.), that tamed them devils, put them in their right mind and put clothes on them. That same Voice give us a promise, "The works that I do shall you do also." You'll never do it under ecclesiastical gasoline in a carbon-struck car. You'll never do it in a organization. You'll do it when you empty up and become weak, pour out all yourself, and let the Holy Ghost come in and flood over every part of you, saturate every lid of your body. That's the only do it. We don't need any organization.
354 What we need, O God, I feel It a-pouring in around through here now. What we need is a prophet of God to rise up with a thunderbolt of God, spiritual lightning that'll shake this world to shame. Hallelujah. Empty vessels, what He needs (That's right.), a called-out Church, a little minority that'll receive God's power and blessings and His Message. Hallelujah. That's what we need.
Get weak so you can get strong. It'll conquer every devil. It'll put the learned to shame. It'll bring men and women who God has called, and that only.
356 Remember, "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the coming of the Son of man; eight souls was saved." In the days of Elijah there was seven thousand only had it. Oh, just think of where we're living now. When John came on the scene, the little church was certainly in the minority, but there was empty vessels to pour the Oil in. Hallelujah. God, let us empty ourselves up.
Get empty, friends. Get weak. Deny your own ability. You out in radio--not radio, but out in--that hear these tapes, wherever they come, empty yourselves out. Pour yourselves out upon God's altar as a sacrifice. Let the Angel come with a coal of Fire, fill that vessel with the power of Almighty God and get... Then He'll make you strong; He'll give you grace to stand.
358 Let us bow our heads a minute. O Lord, another Sunday morning has passed, and we've been setting in this solemn assembly, where men and women who know You, where Your Spirit dwells within their hearts, and they believe You and have acted upon every Word that You--that You've commissioned us to do. And we thank Thee for these people.
And there may be others out into the land where these tapes will go, where little humble women and men will take them into the homes, and into the tribes, and out in the other lands. And may they hear, Lord, and understand, empty themselves up so the Holy Spirit can fill them up.
There may be some even here this morning, Lord, that was--has emptied themselves up since we started speaking, and has realized that they have trusted too much in their own thoughts, of their own, they--own ability, trusting in the--the shrewdness of their own simple human mind, which is nothing but filthiness before God. O God, may they just empty themselves out now, humbly submit themselves and come for the filling of the Spirit. Grant it, Lord.
361 It's said in the Bible, "As many as believed was baptized..." There sets in this building this morning, Father, a little woman, setting back here in the back, and I remember a Mrs. Hicks coming after me one night and there she laid just nothing but bones, the sinew, little sinew skin stretched across her; cancer had eaten her up, her husband, not a Christian yet. And I remember the prayer that I prayed that night: "God, you sent little David after a lion with a simple little slingshot, and he brought back the lamb." I said, "This cancer has caught my sister; he's a devil. I know You're God. I've seen You, Lord, and I know. I've talked with You, and You've talked back. I come after God's sheep; cancer, you turn her loose." Then commissioned her in the Name of Jesus Christ to go on home. And her husband, who had not yet yielded, believed that Word and took his wife home. Here she is this morning, a great strong healthy woman; cancer's gone; she's coming this morning to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. O God, thank You for that empty vessel ready to be filled. God, I pray that You'll bless that soul.
Lord, that's just an example of many others. I pray that Your blessings rest upon this audience, solemnly, God, solemnly. If...
363 There's only one thing left, Father, that I can see, that's, either You rise up somewhere with some empty vessels and make this world ashamed of itself, or send Jesus right quick. That the end is here, Lord, there's only two things left to be done (and we must see it right away) for we know it's at the end; either we'll see a mighty something rise right away, or we'll see the coming of the Lord.
All prophecy's fulfilled. The last thing before the Church was resurrected, 'fore She was taken up in Revelations the 3rd chapter, was a coming forth of a messenger unto the Laodicean church age, that would turn the hearts of the people back to the early fathers, get them back to the regular Pentecost, what they claim to have. There would be thousands times thousands, like it was in the day of Noah, Lord, would be lost. Many of them would be lost. We see that already fulfilled, Father.
365 Come, Lord Jesus, catch away Your Church. And if it be Your will, Lord, just before that Church is raptured, may there rise power. O God, fill these vessels. Raise them up, Lord. Shake this world once more. We know it'll be past time; there'll be no repentance; they'll be too far for them then. But show Your power, Lord; fill those vessels and shake this world like it's never been shook before. Take Your Church then. Leave the world in her chaos that she sets in, O God, they struggle.
Then we know the great Holy Spirit will come to the Jews then. When we seen the hundred and forty-four thousand standing on Mount Sinai, standing with the Lamb, but the Bride was already in heaven. She'd already been took up, and the Lamb had come back, Joseph to make Hisself known to His people. And the Bible said that there'll be a breaking up among them when they'll look and see Him standing there. When He makes Hisself known, they say "Where'd You get them scars?"
He said, "In the house of My friends."
And then they'll say, "It was Him that we crucified."
And He'll say as Joseph did, "Don't worry, because God did this to save the life of the Gentiles. It wasn't your fault." Then they said they would separate, one family from the other; they would mourn like the only son would've been taken from the home.
368 O Father, that day is near; that's the ending up of those Seventy Weeks. And the time is at hand, Lord. O God, may the voice, the voice of the true prophets of God cry out against this modern lady of the day, this modern church, this modern church theology.
Shake these preachers that's afraid to say the Truth. O God, take these men and shake them like never before; make them ashamed of themselves.
But we know this one thing, and can rest with full confidence, that, "No man will come except the Father draws him. And all the Father has given will come." They'll reach just as far as You intend it to reach. But You said, "Fear not, little flock; it's your Father's good will to give you the Kingdom." We know that's true. You warned us all along that there'd just be a very, very few that would be ready when that time come. Then there'd be a great resurrection, and all the redeemed that had been redeemed through the ages would rise. But in this last day, just at the end time, there the Church would certainly be in the minority.
So we see that, Father; we see the Message of the day. We see the rejecting of It; we see the disassociations; we see all these things.
We find Your people confess that they're not--they're nothing. They just want to be filled with You, Lord. Now, I pray that You'll shake the world with them, just a few days before the coming of the Lord.
374 Now, in our midst there's sickness; there's people who need physical healing. We would not leave them out, Lord, for it is said, "Forget not all of His benefits Who forgives all thine iniquity, and He heals all of our diseases." We pray that His great healing power will be upon each one that's here. If You can save a soul out there without making a move, only his heart turned towards You, how much more can You heal a body.
Here's handkerchiefs laying here. I bless them in the Name of the Lord Jesus, as the great Apostle Paul did. May ever who wears these handkerchiefs be healed. May broken homes be reestablished. May little children, without a father, without a mother, and them separated, may that home be united again. Grant it, Lord. Heal all the sick now, and the afflicted; get glory unto Thyself.
376 And, Lord, we who are trying to keep our vessels up, our eyes up, our hearts up towards Thee, denying that we even are associated in this world. The Bible said that Abraham went out from his home, went out from his city, to sojourn in the land of promise, confessing that he was not of this world but he was a pilgrim and a stranger. Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, all who have this testimony that they are not of this world, they simply declare that there is a City Whose Builder and Maker is God, and they're going that way.
377 May hearts be changed right now while I'm praying, Father, and may attitudes be taken. And when the baptismal services comes, may there be such a stir amongst the people; may there be people who had never thought of it before, may it be revealed. And You said all that You had called, You--You would send.
Now, I commit it all to You, Lord, with this little broken up message from a poor vessel with nothing in it, Lord. I pray that You'll just take those words and will melt them into the hearts of the people, and may they never be able to get away from it. Grant it, Lord. Committing it to You now, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
379 [A brother gives a prophecy--Ed.] While you're making your decisions... We decide... "Why halt ye between two opinions?" You heard what He said. If God be God, serve Him; if the world be god, just continue on. See? If the denominational way is right, go on with it; but if the Bible is right, then come to It. Choose you this hour whom ye shall serve.
380 Let's just in the Spirit sing a hymn now. The Bible said, "They sang a hymn and went out." Let's sing this famous old song, "I Love Him," with our head and hearts bowed to Him.
I love Him (Now, decide what you're going to do.), I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
[Brother Branham begins humming "I love Him"--Ed.] Can you make your decision for Christ? Not a decision, exactly, just empty up yourself, "Lord, I'm no good. There's nothing in me any good. Let me forget all I ever knowed. Now come, Lord Jesus; don't let this go over my head. Let me receive It and be filled with Your Spirit, Lord. From this day on, let me be wholly Thine." Just pray now, just a little prayer to God. Simple, this prayer, children, all...
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour Divine; (Just repent in your heart.)
... hear me while I pray,
Take all my sins away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine.
While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow, fears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
382 [Brother Branham begins humming "My Faith Looks Up To Thee"--Ed.] These who have believed, has emptied yourself up before God, and are determined that nothing shall hinder you no more, you'll never confess of any ability, and you wish to make it a clear, clean true cut with God, the pool has water in it, making ready for baptism. Let the women go to my right, and the men to my left. Baptismal service will be just in a moment. Those who are emptied up, you're ready not to believe what ministers say, what ecclesiasticals say, what denominations say, but will take the way of the Lord, will believe THUS SAITH THE LORD, come now.
While life's dark maze I tread,
And... (That would be the women over here, men over here. That's your altar call, "As many as believed, come and was baptized.") ... my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
383 How many women in here this morning... I say this in the Name of the Lord Jesus. How many of you are ashamed of that short hair you're wearing, want God by His grace to let it grow out for you? God bless you.
How many men are ashamed that you let your wife smoke cigarettes and wear trousers that actually belong to you?
And the Bible said, "It's an abomination in the sight of God." Do you know God can't change? He can't change. He has one nature; that's holiness. He can't change. If you don't become like Him, you'll not see Him, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." And if wearing slacks is--makes God sick at His stomach and vomit, He's sick, and abomination's filthiness, how are you ever got a spirit like that in you and will ever get to heaven? How will you get to heaven with short hair, when God said it's a shame for a woman to cut her hair? She denies the very principles of being a--a wife. God doesn't change. That's His Word, friend, you better listen.
And you men that will let your wives do that, aren't you ashamed of yourself? Aren't you ashamed?
387 Don't be like the First Lady of the land. Be like God. See? Empty yourself up from this modern trend of the world so that Christ can pour Himself into you and you can be really filled with the Holy Spirit.
He can't do that; He can't do it; it's--it's against His principles; He'd have to go against His Word, and that He will not do; He will not do it as long as--as you don't cope with His Word. You have to come... We've got to come to This before anything else can be done. You know that; every one of you is aware of that. How many believes that, raise your hand. Sure, you believe it; now let's do something about it.
389 God, be merciful to us. How we need Him. Here we are, all of us together now. Remember. Now, at the judgment, if I... I'll have to stand (and that may be before night) and face every Word that I've said (See?); I'll have to face it. Now, remember that iniquity is off of my hands; it's off of my conscience; it's off of my soul; it's off of God.
If you don't... If you are standing in those conditions and still don't feel condemned (Whew.), what--what--what you going to do? Then you know God doesn't deal with you; you know you're past that. See? You're past that. You might be ever so religious, you might belong to churches and so forth, but you're past that. The Word of God goes down in and brings a person out. That's the thing that brings them back. See? So that's the Word. I ask any minister, any person anywhere to deny That against the Word of God. That's right. It's not so. See?
391 So let us be real Christians. Even we who try, the ones who try, we need to be cut down and boiled over. Yes, sir. We all need it.
God, have mercy on me. God, take me and mold me. It's my intention after this week to go before God, to find out what to do next. God, take me. What... All--all's about me (and there's much) that's no good; God, cut it off, is my prayer this morning. Circumcise my heart, ears, my being. Make me, Lord, make me something that--whatever He wants me to be. That's my prayer.
"Whatever I need to be, cut off, cut me off, Lord. Show me in the Word; tell me; I'll go do it. Let the Lord say it, and I'll... I'm right there ready to cope with it. Whatever the Word of God says, that's what I want to be. I want to be a--a Christian in God's Word, "Letting every man's word be a lie, and God's be true." Wouldn't that be the trend of the time, wouldn't that be it? That the way you believe it?
394 You looking for the place for baptismal, son? Yeah, back over here, brother, in the corner. All right, right over this way.
Many of you should be coming, men and women that's believers, that are being--confessing their sins, to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (This way, brother.)--in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, and they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost."
396 Now, to you Catholic people here, that's what remission of sin is. You say that the church has power to remit sins, how did the church remit sins? God... Jesus did tell the church, "Whosoever's sins you remit, to them they're remitted. Whosoever's you retain, to them they're retained." How did they remit the first, the sins in the early church? They called them to repentance, and they baptized them in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, not under a confession booth; no, indeed. But they repented before God in their hearts when they were standing there, and they believed. "And as many was bap--believed was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, and they was filled with the Holy Ghost." Amen. You love Him? Now, let us stand.
397 Now, there'll be many wanting to wait for the baptismal service. Anymore wants to come, anymore has believed, come, either side: men to the left; to the right, the women. Believe on the Lord Jesus with all your heart, with all that's in you.
Now, let us bow our heads together, while we repeat this model prayer together, as I feel very strangely led to do this just now. As we bow our heads, you pray with me [Brother Branham and congregation pray in unison--Ed.]:
Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thine will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
399 Now, let us keep our heads bowed. And I'm going to ask Brother Neville to come and say the benediction, say what's on his heart, and then announce about the baptismal service that's being made ready now.
God bless you, is my prayer. I'll pray for you; you pray for me. I really need your prayers.