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Present Stage Of My Ministry
1 ... revival, being very tired and worn. We have had very much fellowship along the road, wonderful meetings, with greeting the Christians from place to place, from up the--down the east coast, and also up the west coast into Canada. And with fine cooperation among all the different denominational churches of the Assemblies of God, and the United Pentecostal, Church of God, Foursquare, and many of the other organizations which cooperated, having great meetings. A great success, as far as it could be called success today, and perhaps maybe many would call it great. But myself, I'm a--a--a revivalist. And the revival, nationally speaking, is just about ended. And we are... I like to see a revival where hearts are on fire, not adding members, but revival. Our Lord did many miracles of healing the people, and of course, several got saved. And now I'm home, resting for a little while, and going back into the service in a few weeks, the Lord willing.
2 And now, this is to the many peoples and friends of mine around the world. I wish to state tonight here in the Tabernacle, if you, any of you were present and could see, they're real warm in the Tabernacle tonight. People are packed in and all around, standing in doors, and outside in their cars and things, and it's very hot, it'll be difficult for the people and for myself also.
But I have come to this place that I want to explain what stage of time we're living in according to the ministry that the Lord give me. And I wanted to record it from the Tabernacle. It came on my heart last spring, but I waited till got back here so I could get a--a recording of it to send it to you peoples of the world.
4 It's been about thirty-two years ago, that when the Lord Jesus, within a hundred and fifty yards of where I'm present, standing now, here in Jeffersonville at Eighth and Penn Street, the morning when I laid the cornerstone on this Tabernacle, just being then merely a swamp. And I lived just across the way to my left here. It was before I was married. I was living with my father and mother. That the Lord Jesus woke me up the morning that the cornerstone was to be laid, about, early about six o'clock. And I had been lying in bed for some time, with my heart full of joy, thinking of this great time that the Lord God was going to give me a tabernacle to preach in. I was merely a young boy then. And that day I... The girl that I was going with, which was soon to be my wife the following year was to be with us the day we was to lay the cornerstone.
5 And I remember that morning when I'd wakened up, and laying in the room, the upstairs right here on Seventh Street, Something said, "Rise up to your feet." And I got up. And I saw, as it was, a great place, and it was like a--a big--a place where there was a river run in--in the valley. And I got down there to the river and I understood it was a place where John the Baptist had been baptizing the people, and they had turned it into a hog lot. And I was very critical of it, just saying that this should not be done.
And while I was there, there was a--a Voice spoke to me and took me up, and I noticed the Tabernacle in just about the state it's in right now, but there were so many people till they were just packed all in the Tabernacle in this condition, about the state it's at now. And I--I was happy, standing behind the pulpit, saying, "God, how good You are to give me a Tabernacle."
And at that time, the Angel of the Lord spake to me, and said, "But this is not your Tabernacle."
8 And I said, "Then, Lord, where is my Tabernacle?"
And He taken me up in the Spirit again, and set me down in a grove. And way down the grove was just rows of trees setting just level, about twenty feet tall or thirty. And they looked like fruit trees, and they were in great big green buckets. And then I noticed to my right hand and to my left hand, there was a empty bucket on either side, and I said, "What about these?"
And He said, 'You're to plant in them." So I pulled a limb from the tree to my right and placed it in a bucket on the right side, and a limb from the left hand and placed it in a bucket on the left side. Quickly they growed all the way into the skies.
And He said, "Hold out your hands and gather the fruit thereof." And in one hand fell a great yellow apple, mellow and ripe. And in the other hand fell a great yellow plum, mellow and ripe. And said, "Eat the fruit thereof because it's pleasant." And I ate from one and from the other: very delicious. You know the vision, it it's wrote in one of the books, I think, "Life Story," or "Prophet Visits Africa."
12 And just then I held up my hands, and was shouting the glory of God. And all of a sudden that Pillar of Fire came down over the top of those trees, and the roar and the lightnings flashed, and the winds blew real hard, and the leaves begin to blowing from the trees. And I looked way down, it was in the shape of this Tabernacle, the way it sets now. And at the end where the pulpit would be, there were three trees, and those three trees taken shape of three crosses. And I noticed that both plums and apples were gathered in a clusters around the middle cross. And I ran real fast, screaming to the top of my voice, and fell down upon this cross, or by the cross, and threw my arms around it. And the winds begin to shake, and the--the fruit from the cross, and it fell all over me. And I was so happy, just rejoicing. And It said, "Eat the fruit thereof, because it's pleasant."
13 And then this circling of Fire called out, said, "The harvest is ripe, and the laborers are few." And He said, "Now, when you come to yourself again, or come out of this, read II Timothy 4: II Timothy 4." And then I came to myself. And I stood there rubbing my face in my hand. And just then, in the corner of the room, sun shining high, then I must've been under the vision for some hour or more, and It said, "II Timothy 4." And I reached quickly for my Bible and read II Timothy 4.
14 Now, I wish to read that now. And as strange as it seems, as I read this II Timothy 4, the place that I stopped, and many times that I've preached on that here in this Tabernacle, it seems strange that I'd always stop on that. Now, in II Timothy 4, the first five verses (Which, five is the number of grace.) I read this.
I charge thee... before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Preach the word; be instant in season, and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap... shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, and do the work of an evangelist, and make full proof of thy ministry.
15 Did you ever notice, and I never noticed it till this last May, I never read any more of that Scripture until there? That's all I ever read of it, 'cause that seemed like that it--it was suffices, because it was telling me to preach the Word and to endure afflictions, and to be long-suffering, for the time was coming when they would not endure sound Doctrine, but after their own lusts shall heap teachers, having itching ears, and would be turned from Truth unto fables. But now, He never said I was an evangelist. He said, "Do the work of an evangelist," Paul telling Timothy. See? Did you notice how it says? He didn't say, "Now, you have been called to be an evangelist." It said, "Do the work of an evangelist." See? Now, we notice there then. Now, if I would say with all my heart and the best of my knowledge, that has been fulfilled to the letter, just exactly. And that's thirty years ago.
16 And so far as I know, that every vision that He's ever give me has been fulfilled except the one that I'm a change in my ministry to where I'm to pray for people in a little place like a little room under a tent, or a big auditorium or something. It looked to me like a tent. You remember that, two or three years ago? Most all of it was brought to pass. I was to go down in Mexico, and how it would rain that night and what would take place down there. And He told me my ministry of the first pull. Remember about catching the little bitty fish, or missing it? Second one was a small fish. But then He told me, "On the third pull, don't fail. See? And don't tell people." I'm always trying to explain what I'm trying to do. He let me know not to tell people what you're doing. Just do what He tells me to do and let it alone. See?
17 But...?... I'm that type of person. And I have no secrets, so I just tell everything I know. So that's a--that's just the breed, I guess. But that as, I'll try... I love people, and I want people to be saved so bad till I try to tell them everything I know, unless it's something He's told me not to tell, of course, so that they won't miss it. See? I want them to see it so close that there'll be no error in it.
18 Now, that come to pass just exactly. Now remember, the charge was, if we'll study that for a moment, "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing in His Kingdom." See? "Judge, charge you before God and Christ, that you--that you preach the Word." And so help me, till this night, as far as I have any knowledge of, I've never preached nothing but the Word (See?), and stayed right with It. It's been a lot of trouble, and I've went through lots of persecution and lots of trials, had to separate from many precious friends because of that very statement, "Preach the Word." And I--I have...
19 You remember in the vision, or, the little translation as I would call it, recently, where I was taken and saw those people and looked back to myself and all those millions there. And I said, "I want to see Jesus."
And He said, "He's higher."
Well, see, when people die, they--they don't immediately go up with God. Now, you... I'm sure you'll understand that. Maybe I ought to explain it the best that I can. Are you in a hurry then? Let's take our time then and--and--and try to make it just as clear as I can.
21 Now, when we come along, we remember that we live here in three dimensions. And I don't know whether I can name them or not. One of them is light, and the other is matter. Tommy, you remember what the third is? Huh? Atom--time. Right. Now, light, matter, and time. And our five senses contact them dimensions. Our sight contacts light, our feeling contacts matters, and so forth.
22 Now, but we have contact through science, the fourth dimension, as it was. Because coming right through this building now comes pictures, voices of radio, pictures on television, that our senses does not contact that, but yet they have a--a tube or crystal that picks up those ether waves and manifests them. So, you see, right in this building now is live actions of people in the air, live voices. They're here. We know it. They're absolutely the truth. And the only thing you do, they--they catch it on... I don't understand the mechanics of--of those things that science has invented, but we know that it proves to us there is a fourth dimension.
Now, the fifth dimension is where the sinner, the unbeliever dies and goes to. The fifth dimension is the--kind of the--well, the horrible dimension. Now, this man...
And when a Christian dies, he goes into the sixth dimension.
And God is in the seventh dimension.
Now then, you see, the Christian when he dies, he goes under the altar of God, right into the Presence of God, under the altar. And he's at rest.
25 To break it down. When a man has a nightmare, he's not altogether asleep, neither is he awake. He's between sleep and awake, and that's what makes him have a horrible shaking and screaming, because he's not asleep, he's not awake. And to take that, shows where a man goes when he dies unconverted. He's lived his time up; he's dead on earth; and he cannot go in the Presence of God, because he's not fit to go there without the Blood. And he's caught. He cannot come back to earth, because his time's finished here on earth, and he's caught between, and he's in a nightmare. See? He can't go in the Presence of God to rest. He can't back, come to earth, because his time's up. He's in a nightmare, and there he stays until the day of the judgment: a horrible thing to be in. See?
And now in this vision, I believe I was caught to that sixth dimension, looking back down here and could see back. See, the sight isn't exactly with the eyes; that's earthly. But it--sight is a greater thing than... The sight that they have there, their contact is far beyond any contact that our natural senses would contact.
27 Here sometime ago I was explaining it. I was looking at a television picture where they let a man down, I think two mile or a mile deep in the ocean, and they had ray lights that went out. They was showing marine life. And there come fish by, that horrible-looking creatures. That it's midnight, ink black down there. And they had phosphorous on their nose and they had no eyes. Now, they have to be fed, so it looked like, to find their food, they were guided with another sense, not sight, 'cause they didn't have eyes, couldn't use them down there. But they were guided with another sense that they could contact their food. And I thought, "If I could have control of that little fish with my sight, how much greater could I supply his food and lead him places, how much greater my sight is than his radar he contact." See? And I thought, "If I could just lead him..."
Then it come to me, "If I could only surrender myself to God, how much greater is the sight and senses of God, Who could guide us much more than the things that we see, because the faith that He supplies us is the evidence of things not seen with our eyes. Then if that little fish could never come up to the top of the water like other fish, because he's pressurized. You bring him up, he'd explode. No more than we can go up higher and keep from exploding... We are pressurized for the--the place that we live.
29 But now if that little fish could ever come up here and be me, would he ever want to be that little fish again down in that midnight blackness? He'd never want to be a fish no more, because he's something greater than a fish; he's a man; his senses are greater; his understanding is greater; his intelligent is supreme. Then multiply that by ten million; then you get what it is when you pass from this into the Presence of God yonder, where the human being is so much farther than what we are here. You'd never want to be a human being like this no more, down in this pest-house of sickness and corruption. It's been that in my heart, that I've tried these thirty years to preach the Gospel around the world to tell people that there is a heaven to--to gain and there's a hell to shun, and there's a God that loves you, and a--a redeeming power that's laying ready to pick you up at any time that you're ready to receive it.
30 Like a man drowning, a rope hanging there, he thinks, "Well, the rope, I could pull myself out, but I'm not worthy to get the rope." The rope was put there for that very purpose for you to pull yourself out there. That's the reason Jesus Christ died, for the very purpose of saving sinners. And He dangled the rope of Eternal Life, which this very night will pass over every sinner's head in here, and a welcome sign hanging on it, "Come up out of it." If--if you--if you wish to do it, the preparation is made.
31 Now, when I seen that place and that condition that those people were in, and how beyond anything that this world could ever think of, it was glorious. There could not be sin there, no death nor nothing could enter that spot. And there was no different between men and women, only the--the sex glands was gone from them, and there could never be no more adultery and no more nothing. But she was still a woman in the way of figure, and man was still figure, and they'll forever be that way. Because when God...
32 Now, this might be good, some of you high school kids that's getting this stuff taught into you here about evolution. Now, I believe in evolution, but not in the way that man evoluted from--from some lower specie. Their own theory backfires upon them: when they try to hybreed anything, it won't breed itself back. So, you see, it--it's backfired on them.
33 Now, I believe that when God begin to bathe the earth, maybe the first thing He did come forth with was a jellyfish, and from that to a frog, and on up. But, you see, it continually come closer and closer to the image of man, and man was a reflection of God. And that's the reason that grass become evoluted, maybe grass, and then from grass come flowers, from flowers come shrubs, from shrubs come trees. Why? It's a picture of the Tree of Life standing on the other side. And everything on this side that's natural is a shadow of the supernatural or the eternal on the other side. Therefore, as long as there's a born again Christian on the earth, and we got a body here like this, it's the very reflection of one that's waiting on the other side where there is no death and sorrow. And that's what makes our hearts hunger for such as that. See, there's something in us that calls out. We just... There's something that tells us it's there. I believe through these years... I apologize before God and the people of being stupid and being--making many mistakes. But through these many years I have been privileged to see many millions of people come into the Kingdom of God, and have been thankful to the Lord to let me lead them there. And I believe they'll be there on that day.
34 Now, the vision was fulfilled. And how I ever come to ever stop, not knowing it, on that 5th verse... That's all I ever read. But there's some more to that chapter, several more verses. Now, you might, in your hotel room or home tonight, soon as we dismiss, read the rest of that, 'cause I've got several Scriptures wrote out here that I want to refer to, and notes that I want to refer to. And I want you to read it when you go home. I'll quote it; it'll be on the tape. You want to mark some of it down, why, it'll be all right.
35 Now, do you believe that men and women, which I know you do, are led by the Spirit of God to do things? See? And Jesus was our Pattern. If you would notice it, I want to turn, you turn with me to St. Luke the 4th chapter, just a minute. And I want to show you something striking. And just so we won't get too much of these references, but that you'll be able to read with me here for--on this one for just a few moments. St. Luke the 4th chapter and the 14th verse, we begin. Now, watch real close here if you want to see something happen that this paralleled. Now, notice.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit unto Galilee:... He returned in the power of the Spirit unto Galilee: and there went out a fame of him throughout all the regions around about.
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it is written--was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; and he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, and to preach deliverance to the captives, and to recover sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised.
And to preach the acceptable year of our Lord.
And he closed the book,...
36 Now, if you want to, if you want a reference to that, I've got it here, just a moment, if I maybe pick it up out of the margin reading here. If you notice, that's also you'll find it over in Mark and different places, but in Isaiah 61:1 and 2. Now, isn't it strange that He stopped right there, and the very next verse... That was what was applied to His first coming. And the second, next verse, is applying to His second coming at judgment. He stopped and closed the book. If any of you are reading a Scofield Bible, you'll find a footnote on it there. See? Watch his footnote of mark "2," a footnote (See?), and you'll notice there a comparison with the--the message quoted in Isaiah 61:1 and 2. Afords the instance of the--where the Scripture here, preaching, Jesus was to preach the acceptable year of the Lord; and the next verse comes out with His coming and judgment. See? And you see how He stopped right at that?
37 And how I never noticed that, and how I'd always stopped at this 5th verse, "For the time will come when they do not endure sound doctrine, but for--heap themselves with teachers, having itching ears, and will be turned from the truth to fables. But do the work of an evangelist; make full proof of your ministry." See? And by God's help and grace I've tried to do that. And I want my friends, both here and out into the lands where the tapes will go, the reason that I have took the stand that I have for the Word, is this very reason, "Preach the Word." That's the reason I would not tally-ate with any of the creeds, any the denominations, because I have been commissioned of God to stay with the Word. Now, if anybody else wants to do anything else, that's up to them.
38 And if you notice in the vision that I had of the--my ministry, it was... I've never crossed those trees. I have never proselyted. I've never said, "All you trinitarians be oneness" or "all you oneness be trinitarians." I have planted in their own vessels. Just exactly. I went to the trinitarian; I went to the oneness; I went to everybody and stayed between and never joined any of them, but stayed between, being a brother, just exactly what that vision said do. And I've eat the fruit from both sides, salvation on both sides.
39 And now, did you notice, there's many trinitarian people setting here; there's many oneness, and there's many different ones. But how little you would be to fuss about it, because if that part of the vision was true, the other part's true too. Both fruits was found in the cross. See? Both of them was in the cross, all clustered together, and both plums and pear--or peach, plums and apples rained down on me there: both of them. All found in the cross, because they all believed in God and are filled with the Holy Ghost, and have the Christian works and signs following.
Now, the denomination won't have nothing to do with it. It'll be the borned again that'll have anything to do with it. It'll be your experience with God that'll have to do with it. Now, we see so much of that. I've got several Scriptures here that I--I'd like to refer to. Maybe I will a little later on.
41 But now I want to take you from the 5th verse, on down to the 18th verse. And now, to save time I--I won't read it. But now Paul, starting off over here in Timothy again, if you notice how he begin to speak; it's pathetic. Now, if you notice after the 5th verse.
For I am now ready to be offered, and my time of... departure is at hand: fixing to leave the scene. (Starts off. See?) I have... (Well, watch.)... my... I'm ready, and my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day: and not only me only, but... all them also that love his appearing.
And then he goes ahead to tell, "Do all... do these things." What? For him to bring the coat. Now, we start right off, and he says:
Demas has forsaken me,...
There must come a time in his ministry when he was a young evangelist, a young prophet, everybody was for him. But now, you notice on down in here, it said:
... all men has forsaken me:... (What for? The Word)
44 When Jesus, the young Prophet of Galilee, He got a time that He was forsaken. All men who stay with God's Word gets to that place where they are forsaken by the world and the religious world. Jesus fed five thousand one day, and they picked up baskets full of--of fragments off of five loaves and two fishes. And the very next day, I believe it was, He begin to come down with the Word, and all of them begin to depart from Him. And He looked around to the disciples, and said, "Will you go also?" Even seventy of His Own ordained ministers left Him. And He said, "Will you go also?"
And then Peter spoke those notable words, by saying, "Lord, where would we go? Thou only has Eternal Life."
46 Notice. But the time come when the forsakening time come, and it's--it's got to come. It must come. And now, I've got several prophets and things in here to refer to, to prove to you that that time come. And it's arrived for me. No need of trying to rub away from it, it's here and you just must take it. They didn't rub away from it; they stood and took it, and not being ashamed of the Gospel.
You notice Paul, "I've fought a good fight. I've finished my course. I've kept the faith." Oh, my. On down here it said, "I've fought with beasts, and I--I was delivered out of the lions' mouth." And the things that he went, God was good to him. But the time had come when he was going to depart.
48 Now, let's just wonder, why would a man, a minister, associate like Demas was to Paul, ever leave Paul?
You know Brother Baxter, many of you remember him. He used to read this about Demas. He said, "You know what I'm going to do, Brother Branham, when I get to heaven, the first thing I'm going to do?"
And I said, "What?"
He said, "I'm going to walk right up and find out where Demas is; I'm going to sock him just as hard as I can." And said, "He's going to turn around and say, 'Baxter, what'd you do that for?'" He said, "Why'd you leave poor little Paul when everybody forsaken him?" I don't prescribe to that; I don't believe they'll have some fights up there; but I just thought about Brother Baxter saying that 'cause he felt so sorry for Paul.
51 Well, what had Paul done? He had preached just as loyal as he could, and the Holy Spirit was on him. And when he wrote down there about those lady ministers and things, I imagine there's a blow up. Said, "Let the woman keep silent in the churches, not permitted them to speak," and him in jail right then.
Could you imagine what some of them bishops said, "Huh. That guy up there in jail, what business he got writing down here with us? (See?) And he's got Timothy, a wine-bibber, with him. And so here he is up there now, that he's feeding Timothy on wine, and here he is laying in jail, and writing down, tell us what the Holy Ghost ought to tell us to do."
But he said this, "What? Come the Word of God out of you? And came unto you only. If any man thinks himself to be spiritual or a prophet, let him acknowledge that what I write is the commandments of the Lord." See?
54 See, the time comes, friends. And I want the people in the land that the tapes goes to, to remember that the separating time has to come. It must do it. I don't know how far I am from the end time, my end of the road. I don't know. That's up to God. I don't know what tomorrow is, and who... I don't know what it holds, but I know Who's holding it. So that's where my faith is built, on that.
Now, I imagine Demas didn't forsake him and start off to nightclubs. I don't imagine Demas did that, 'cause Demas was a Spirit-filled man. He was a great helper. If you ever took the history of Demas, he was a notable preacher, a fine cultured man, highly polished, educated. He was a smart man. But why would he forsake Paul? That's the thing. What made him do it, forsake Paul? I don't believe he wanted to go to a nightclub or anything. But I believe it was God separating Paul. Now, I imagine Demas...
56 Let's take some of Demas' thoughts. As I was sitting down on the hillside, wondering the other day, about daylight, and I was thinking, "Why would Demas want to leave that fellow? Why would he leave that poor little preacher that led him to the Lord, the man who spearheaded the revival amongst the Gentiles, a prophet indeed?" No one could say but what he was a prophet. He was more than a prophet; he was an apostle, and a great and mighty apostle to the Gentiles. And Demas would associated with Paul, had fellowship, and seen the Spirit of God move upon that man. And why would he turn his back on such a person as that, had been vindicated that he was a servant of Christ? Did you notice Paul here, "... loving this present world." I don't think Demas backslid. I don't think he did that. But I think he--he got the wrong opinion of Paul.
57 Now he... Demas come out of a rich family, and he was wealthy, and money sometimes means religion to people. Like they say in California, "If you haven't got three Cadillacs, you're not spiritual." So it means, if you're not successful, if you don't have the finest church there is in the city, the people won't go. It's almost that way here. Proves to you--you've got to have the finest church in the country or they say, "You, oh, you mean you joined up with a little bunch like that?"
Did you know our Lord didn't have a place to lay His head? Did you know He only owned one coat? See? And He had it, He was just kind of a Person was pushed about. And He didn't have no place to lay His head. But they could've thought the same thing, and did, about Him.
59 And now, I believe Demas saw a failing, seemingly, in Paul's ministry. I think that he thought the old fellow was washed up before God. Now, he thought that a people that would pluck their eyes out to give to Paul...
Now, the--Paul said that, he said, "You would at least plucked your eyes out to give them to me." 'Cause Paul, we think, had bad eyes, 'cause he said, "I've wrote with such big letters." He said, "big letter" but I've got the--the lexicon, and it says "with big letters." He was in Rome in prison there. It's something wrong. He said his eyes had been bothering him since the heavenly vision. So he... The people would've plucked out their eyes, seeing Paul suffer, his eyes bothering him, and he suffering. And he asked the Lord to heal him three times. And he said, "Except I would get exalted above the abundance of the revelation, there was sent to me a messenger of the Devil that he might buffet me." Now, we'd get pretty good, then hit him again. Then he'd get good, and hit him again.
61 You see, Paul had a ministry greater than all the rest of the apostles put together. Some of them could've said, "Well, I walked with Jesus." Why, man on the street walked with Him when He was here. But Paul saw Him in the Pillar of Fire after He was dead, buried, ascended into heaven, and returned back and called Paul (See?) on the road down to Damascus. And he had a greater ministry than Matthew, Mark, Luke, or any of them others. He was far beyond them. And he said, "Except I get exalted now and say, 'Now, you fellows don't know nothing about It,' I seen the Lord after His resurrection."
Well, they say, "We walked with Him." Well, so did all them people down around in Galilee and Nazareth and through the country there. They all walked with Him.
63 But, you see, Paul had talked with Him and saw Him in the form that He was before He was made flesh. See? And He commissioned Paul in that state. While He was in that Light, He commissioned Paul. And--and Paul had saw Him. And he said, "Except I get exalted, feel a little higher than some of you brothers, there was given to me a messenger of the Devil," that keeps him beat down. And he said, "I sought the Lord three times to take it away from me. And He said, 'Saul, or Paul, My grace is sufficient.'" Then Paul said, "I'll glory in my infirmities, because when I am weak then I am strong. See, I will glory in it."
64 Now, did you notice now, a man that had a ministry greater than any of the rest of them that had been on the field, Paul, the greatest ministry of all of them, that had seen Jesus in a Pillar of Fire, and commissioned him to do what he done, and was a-vindicated by the same God, the same power, by signs and wonders beyond any question; and was so poor he only had one coat, preaching to a bunch of people that would've plucked their eyes out, and some of them millionaires. And yet Paul had one coat. He said, "Bring that coat, getting cold up here." He was in the mountain country. He only had one coat.
And Demas, to a man that was of high standing, high caliber, cultured, educated, and a rich man that had many changes of clothes, "That guy, was something wrong with him. That had so many friends that would pluck their eyes out to give it to him, and yet he's so poor he had one coat. Something was wrong with Paul."
66 Oh, you know, that spirit don't leave the world; they still have it that way. Money ain't God. There's only one God. See? But people think because you have a big ministry you ought to own all this and all this, and all these great big things, and big schools, and big so-and-so. God doesn't deal in them things. Or at least, that's been my opinion. God deals with an individual. He never did ordain us to go do such things.
But Paul, with one coat, and he tells Timothy here to bring it to him because it's getting cold up there. See? A man that had a ministry that preached to the tens of thousands that Paul did, and a ministry that could do all kinds of miracles, and seen Jesus in a Pillar of Fire, commissioned him, and yet owned one coat. Demas said, "A fellow like that," he'd turn away from him.
68 Now, when he was up here preaching towards Troas, we find out that there's a man up there was a coppersmith. And he was a rascal. And he hated Christianity. And he done everything to Paul that he could do to him, had him throwed in jail, and every... Even Paul warns Timothy of the same thing: "Watch that guy." And here's Demas... O God, let the people hear it. Here stood Demas standing by a man that struck a man blind for disputing with him. Now, you Church of Christ preachers, put on your coats now. I had one tell me one time, said, "Smite me blind. Smite me blind. You got the Holy Ghost, smite me blind."
I said, "You're already blind." See?
Now, why didn't Paul smite the coppersmith blind? The same kind of a spirit that's on people that think that, is the same thing was on Demas. A man that could smite a man blind for disputing with him, and then turn and let a coppersmith spoil his ministry in the city, no doubt Demas said, "He--he--he's washed up; he's lost all of his gifts. He's--he's lost his gifts of smiting blind."
Don't you see how that spirit still lives, say, "You're washed up, brother..." Oh, it--it just goes over the people's head. They just don't get it; that's all there is to it. See? They just can't see it. See? They don't understand.
71 Now, Demas didn't smite that man blind because he wanted to. Didn't Jesus say, "I do nothing till the Father shows Me first"? Haven't I told you years ago if my own mother was laying, dying, and would say, "Bill, what's my outcome?" I couldn't say nothing till God said so first. And that's just what happened. Man can't... Man is a failure to begin with. He's only an agent to which God works through, and God works His Own will. But when you see these super-duper people that's always having this and that and the other, you'd better stay away from it. See? Jesus Himself didn't do that. He said, "I only work as the Father works. He shows Me what to do and then I go do it. I can't do other--anything otherwise than that."
72 And here Demas saw Paul, a man that had a ministry like that, and yet was so poor that he only owned one coat, and wanted Timothy to bring it to him: one coat. But Paul set the example like Christ was; He had one coat. Then why does riches and lots of money and things mean so much to people today? Notice now. And he had power till anybody that was contrary to what he preached, he turned around and said, "You'll be blind for a season." And the man was blind.
And here was a coppersmith done ten times to him what that man done, and yet got away with it. Demas must have thought, "Well, see, the old fellow's washed up now. He's--he's lost his ministry." No, no, he hadn't lost his ministry, not at all. God don't do things like that. God's not an Indian giver. See? Yeah.
74 Notice now. Paul was something on the order like Elijah. Elijah the prophet went up on the mountain by the commission of God and called for fire to fall out of heaven, and it fell. And he called for water, and it come. And then he commanded by the message of God and killed four hundred priests, chopped their heads off, let them roll down the hill; and then run at the threat of a--a woman, one little hypocrite woman, or, she was an infidel. Jezebel, that one little woman which was the keynote to every bit of it, she was the one caused it. Looked like he'd have got her first. But God has ways of doing things, and his servants only can work according if he works according to the will of God.
75 Don't you see, friends, you've got to move according to God's way of moving. How many times have I set and counseled brethren, and how I would like to walk over and shake their hand and say, "Brethren, it doesn't make any difference; let's just be brethren along." How can I do that and keep my commission, "Preach the Word"? Lord don't want to do that.
I've stood amongst ministers and say, "Brother Branham, my aunt's over here. I know you're a prophet sent from God. Go over and restore her sight." Wish I could, I'd do it. I can't do it till He tells me to do it. See? No one could do it. Elijah couldn't do it; no one else could do it.
77 Now, we find out that Paul... Demas preaching with Paul, had seen Paul see a crippled man laying there, and said, "I perceive you have faith to be healed. Stand up on your feet. Jesus Christ makes you well." Had seen him heal the sick, and yet he leaves his friend Trophimus sick.
"Paul's lost his ministry." That's what Demas must have thought. "Why didn't he, if he had a gift of healing, why didn't he go up there and heal that buddy that stood by him so faithful? He said, 'I've left him up there sick. And I ain't got no coat, and I want you to bring me that coat along. And be careful of that coppersmith; he just ruined that meeting in the city. I had to leave the town. He put me in jail.'"
I imagine Demas said, "What kind of a preacher has this turned out to be?" See?
And, brother, they got a lot of them Demas spirits in the world today. They don't know what it's all about. See? No need trying to explain it to them, 'cause they won't get it anyhow. See, see? A servant of Christ follows the footprints.
80 One of our deacons here, I don't know whether he's here tonight or not, it's Tony Zabel. He's usually around here. And he came to me, and he said here not long ago 'fore he got--come over here, he said--he said, "I--I had a dream, a funny dream." He said, "I--I dreamed I was trying to find my way upward towards heaven." He said, "I seen a man coming with a black robe on and was a--a--a reading a book." And said, "I--I got to this man, and I asked him, 'Which a-way to heaven?' And he said, 'Ask the man ahead of me.'" And that was a--a pastor of a church that he'd went to.
81 He went a little farther and he met another man; he had on a black robe and was singing songs, going on. And that was another pastor. Both them pastors are personal friends of mine. And he said... And fine men. And he said, "Which way do I get up the top of the mountain here?' He said, 'Look here.' Said, 'See, standing way up there on the top, that little bitty guy?' I said, 'Yes.' There stood a guy with a pair of overalls on and wearing a little cowboy hat."
Someone said down in Kentucky, said, talking about me down there, said, "That guy looks anything like but a preacher." Might look like a farmer or something, but--but, you know, it ain't looks.
83 And said that it was me standing up there. And he--he climbed up till he got to me and said I got him by the arm and led him on up till I got top of the hill, and there was a wilderness to go through, and I said, "Tony, I must leave you here; you must walk some of this by yourself."
He said, "Brother Branham, what can I do from here on?"
Said I said, "Come here, Tony, look down there. You see them barefooted tracks with Blood in them?" I said, "That's what I've followed all the way. Just stay on That." That's the only thing I know to point man to; not to a creed or a sensation of some sort, but to those bloody footprints that leads to the Bible, the Blood of Jesus Christ.
85 Now, how that man must have felt, a man with so many millionaire friends and one coat, a man that was--had power to smite a man blind, and let a man run him out of town: never done a thing about it, got up and went out. Prayed for the sick and had left his friend sick. And Demas left him. All the rest of them left him. All of them left him. Paul said, "All men left me." Every one of them left him.
I say this. When a man stands true to the Word, not just in one meeting, but in every meeting, when a man stands true to the Word, the time will come when they'll leave him. Exactly. They did it. They did it to our Lord. They'll leave him when he stands for Truth. "All men has forsaken me." And now what do you think that Demas and some of them men thought, when we all know, that know the Scripture, that Luke was a doctor, and Paul, wherever he went took this doctor with him? And preaching Divine healing, and leaving his friend sick... So poor, that he had one coat... And let a man run him out of town, when he could smite a man blind. See, they thought he was washed up. But he wasn't. He was exactly in the bloody footprints. He was following on. I hope you're understanding. He said, "All men has forsaken me."
87 Demas, loving this present world, popularity of men. "Hello, Doctor Demas. I know you got your Ph..."
Oh, sure, they love that. Jesus said, "How you like to stand in synagogues and be called 'Rabbi,' and so forth." Said, "You only receive more damnation." See?
Now, we know when they seen this doctor following him, or with him, and Paul took Luke, said he said--said here, "Luke is--Luke is the only one hadn't forsaken." And Luke is--is good to him. But Luke is prosperous to him; he needs Luke for his ministry. And this doctor following a man around wherever he went, and preached Divine healing. And a man that preached Divine healing could heal the crippled, and raise up the dead, and everything else, and see mighty visions, and speak things that would come to pass, and left his own coworker sick. And could've had a million dollars and built buildings worth tens of thousands of dollars, and big schools and things like that, and didn't even have but one coat to put on his back...
90 Demas said, "I ain't associating with a guy like that. He's just a--he's a low class of person. I'll go up with the denominational brethren. I'll go up where I'll be somebody." If it was such a thing, I'd like to walk, and right after Baxter gets through (See?), for leaving that poor little guy in that shape. He ought to been standing by him. Paul was the one led him to Christ. But, you see, it's without knowing the Spirit, knowing what the will of God is, then doing the will of God. See? Now... But there he left him in that condition. Left him... All men had forsaken him.
91 How I think of that, how a servant that'll stand true to the Word, sooner or later, just remember, the people are going to forsake him. Now, we want to strike that just for a few minutes, and I won't keep you too long now, 'cause I want you here in the morning. Always when God's servant stands true to the Word, all forsake him. And it... Now, just take anywhere you want to, anytime in the Bible or in history, that when a man stayed true, no matter how popular he was, when he stayed true to the Word, the time come when the religious world forsaken him and cut him off. Now, just read it as you take the Bible from Genesis over to the Book of Revelation, and pick up in the Pre-Nicene Council and take down to the Nicene Fathers, and every man, every saint, every prophet, every true servant of God that stayed with the Word, was forsaken by the ecclesiastical thing and cast down. And Paul was one of them.
92 And if there'd be one today, it'd be the same thing. It's exactly the truth. You have to hit that place. It has to come. They think that a man that would have a ministry like that, he ought to have the world right under his thumb. He should, but they won't come under his thumb. See? And a man like that wouldn't put a ministry, a world under his thumb; he'd put it under His Master's thumb; 'cause he's not here representing himself; he's representing his Master.
93 You know, man try to seek honor one from another, and they honor one another, and dishonor God by doing so. See? We try and make big people among us, and when we're no big people and little people; we're all little people. There's only one big One among us, and that's our Lord. See? And we make our organization so much bigger than God, "the great holy church of this, that, or the other, the great holy bishops," and so forth. There's no such things as that. That's the honor of man. There's only One holy, and that's God. And the Holy Ghost, which is God, is among us. It's not us that's holy; it's the Holy Spirit that's in us. It's not... When we see things done, it isn't us doing it; it's the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "It's not Me that doeth the Works. It's My Father. He dwelleth in Me, and He's the One that does the works." And it isn't him that--that's a-doing. All right. But we find them true servants down through the time.
94 Now, here's the thing I want to kind of exercise on for a few moments. Now, it's usually at such a time as this when man has stayed true to the Word and all men has forsaken him until God steps in in defense of that person and crowns his ministry. See? That's right. What a consolation. A consolation is built in the promise of God's Word. No matter what the world says, what the world does, that's not our hopes, is not built in what the world's a-doing.
95 I think that song is so pretty, wish I could sing. I always wanted to sing. See? "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like an eagle, they'll run and not be weary, if they walk, they'll not faint; teach me, Lord, to wait. Teach me, Lord, to wait down on my knees." I like that. "And in Your Own good time You'll answer my pleas; teach me not to rely on what others do, but just wait in prayer for an answer from You." That's it. That's the true servant that waits for his Master's turn, knowing this, that the Scriptures cannot fail regardless of what happens. The Scripture's got to stand true. In such a time as that, is when God usually steps in to help.
96 Let us look at Elijah when he had been forsaken. Why? Because he had stayed true to the Word. He said, "All men has forsaken me." And he was excommunicated from society, from the organization, from the even national organization, or, the national church of Israel, the priests and all had throwed him out, and he had not even a coat as much as Paul, but a little piece of sheepskin, or, leather draped around him, and set up on a mountain, and was fed by the birds. Yes, sir. Why? For the Word of God's sake, 'cause he was true to THUS SAITH THE LORD. Now, they all went modern. The first lady of the land, Jezebel, has got all of the fashions and things out. And the priests had give in to it and so forth, and all of the preachers and so forth, they coordinated into it. But not Elijah, he stayed true to that Word. And for such a thing he was forsaken, till he cried out, "Lord, I'm the only one's left, and they even seek my life."
But God give him some consolation, said, "I got seven thousand yet down there."
98 See, I don't believe Elijah felt puffed up about that, that he was the only one, but I think he was just so forsaken. Every time he'd go up to a priest to hold a meeting, they'd turn him out. He'd go down here, "Get out of here, you fanatic. Get out of here. Go do this." It showed when Elisha come along, his successor. Well, what did they do? They even... The young fellow was baldheaded, and they sent their little children out to make fun of them old quacks. Said both of them was considered quacks, said, "Old baldhead, baldhead, why didn't you go up like Elijah did?" They didn't believe he went up. Uh-huh. See? Just they thought he was a bunch of quacks. But they were true to the Word, with an a-vindicated ministry. Elijah stood. All right.
99 Daniel took a true stand. You know where I get that in Daniel 12, or--or Daniel 9, I believe it is. When you... Daniel took a true stand for the Word. What happened to him? When he was the right-hand man to the king, but he took a true stand for the Word, and was excommunicated and throwed into a lions' den: a man of God standing true to the Word.
The Hebrew children stayed true to the Word, under the king's proclamation that "whosoever shall not bow to that image when the psaltery sound and the trumpets be blowed out, and so forth, ever who will not bow to our image will be throwed into the fiery furnace." And they turned their back to the image and... They, regardless of how unpopular they become, regardless of how excommunicated they'd be from the society, they stayed true to the Word. I like that.
101 Jacob, another... He had a--been away from home for a long time, and he had a call to go home to see his people. And he was on his road, true to his call, true to his leading. He had things fine over there, but God begin to deal with him to go home. And on his road home, was throwed between two tight places. His wife and children on this side, and his hated brother, Esau, coming here with an army to meet him. And he stood at the little brook, brook Peniel there, and there he stood. And what a condition. Esau, hating him, coming with an army to meet him, and here was his wife, two wives and children all on this side of the brook, and he was caught in a tight place. Why? Because he'd have stayed in his own land it'd been all right. But he had a call, the Word of God had called him to his homeland. Hallelujah. God bless a man. He got a change too. Yes, sir.
102 Jesus, true to the Father's Word, "I do only that which the Father says. It's written, 'The man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" Jesus, forever true to that Word, it come a time when He lost all the friends He had. Every one of them forsaken Him and went away: all of them. And the people saw Him mocked, scoffed, lost confidence in Him. "How could a man that could speak to a dead man in a grave and raise him up, how could a man that could foretell events to the mark and never had--never fail, and set in the courts with His face bleeding from plucks of beard, and the gaumiest drunken spit from the soldiers running down His face, with a rag on His head, and hitting Him on the head with a stick, and saying, "Prophesy and tell us who hit you; we'll believe it"?
Well, the disciples just walked away, said, "Aw..."
103 See, they so quickly forget what God did. How Moses said at the Red Sea, when he stood there and said, "God has done ten outstanding miracles, are you still so delinquent that you don't know that He's still God?" He went down there and he smote the lands; he--he put a curse on the lands. He brought frogs, fleas, flies, everything, and a--a blast that killed all the firstborn, and the death angel passed through the land, and yet those people didn't want to follow him at the Red Sea. How quickly, as soon as your popularity... When they seen this great shining spears of a hundred thousand men coming like that, or maybe, yeah, maybe a million men coming, and the roar of the chariots and the dust a-flying, they just give up and fell back, "And, Moses, we ought to have died back there." See? And God said He let them die in the wilderness for unbelief. "Moses, your ministry's washed up; that's all. You ain't no more." See, they don't understand. They don't get it.
104 And now the same thing was when Jesus, the young Rabbi, or Teacher, or Prophet of Galilee, when He was doing all those miracles and things, "How could He ever stand and put up with such a thing as that? How could He let a man bind Him with chains, when He could break the seal off of a grave and raise a dead man out of eternity? How could He do it, when He could speak to a widow's dead son and rise him to live again; and Lazarus, dead and rotten in the grave, and bring him out? How could He stand, and say, 'I'm the Resurrection and Life; He that believeth in Me though he were dead yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.' And stand and be bound with fetters and spit in the face, and not open His mouth"? The disciples, "He's lost His ministry." Yeah, that's the way it goes. God, this poor world...
105 Even His church, the twelve that He'd delighted in and told them everything, and loved them, they turned their back upon Him. Only one stood by Him; that was the man John. Right at an hour when everything was gone, and all hopes was gone, there he was bound, and took up there and mocked and spit, and put His back to the... Not knowing that that fulfilled the Scriptures.
106 Well, don't you know that the things are going on today is fulfilling the Scriptures exactly to the letter? Why does people let--may they say these things? Why does these denominations rage? Why do they do that? It's written in the Scriptures they'll do it. They'd walk right into it and do it themselves, blindly not knowing they're doing it. You think Judas knowed he was playing the part of Judas? You think Pharaoh knew he was playing the part, when God raised him up for that purpose? You think Esau would've done the things he did? Certainly not. Said, "They got eyes and can't see, ears and can't hear." But watch the Scripture just unfolding. See? We're at the end time; it's got to be this way.
107 Now, His church forsaken Him. All men and nature forsaken Him. Talk about somebody being forsaken, Paul had no forsakening at all to what He had. Even the very creation that He created was forsaking Him, the moon and stars and sun and everything, God and all. Man, God, nature and everything forsook Him, nothing standing there; He died alone. Did He lose His ministry? He was fulfilling His ministry, not losing it. That goes with it. That's the thing that takes place. That has to go with it.
108 Now, everything forsaken Him. But it was at this time that God stepped in on the scene, because any man that knows the Word will stay with the Word, knowing that the Word is God. See? And the Word has to unfold Itself. The unfailing Word must unfold Itself. It's got to, in order, because the Word is God. And if It worked on others all down through the age, It'll work the same way right now, because It's God. Don't never forget that. For Jesus knowed that He being the Fullness of the Word, He was not only a Prophet, He was God Himself. He was the Word. That's the reason not only man forsook Him, but also nature forsook Him. The whole creation forsook Him, everything, the stars, the moon, and no light when He died. Everything forsaken Him (See?), because He was Creator of all things. "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not." See? He was Creator of all things. All things... Now, the only thing, that we--we don't create but we try to convert, and those who we try to convert is the ones who forsakes and walks away (See?) when the time comes for the Word to make Its real show; it has to be that way. Now, just remember, it was then that God stepped in on the scene.
109 And in the life of our Lord Jesus, the mighty works that He done for the first year and six months of His life, oh, how He was a mighty Man. There never was nothing like Him on earth, never was since, never will be after. But what happened? He got more mockery than any, all the rest of them put together. Mocked by nature and mocked by creation, mocked by everything, because it was in a perverted condition. That's the reason man's hearts mocked the true servant of God, because it's perverted. Nature is perverted; that's the reason...
110 If nature is as pretty as what it is, being perverted, what will it be when it gets converted back to the will of God? If a land can bear grapes that takes two men to pack them on their back, what will it be, and that a perverted land, what will it be when it's converted back to God? Christ comes, the desert shall blossom as a rose. It'll be a conversion. And the dry places will spring up from the water, and the earth shall bloom and blossom. Oh, that'll be a time, and when men's hearts shall be converted into godly men, that's been to making their choice now, will live in that place. Amen.
111 That dark hour... Mid rendering rocks and darkening skies," said the poet, "my Saviour bowed His head and died; the opening veil revealed the way to heaven's joys and endless day."
He had to do that in order to make a way for us. That's right. But what did God do? He was true to the Word and He embraced the cross. But was it the end of His ministry? Was His ministry washed up? God crowned it with the greatest crown that ever could been crowned. He crowned it on Easter morning, on the resurrection. He crowned the ministry of our Lord Jesus, He raised from the dead and is alive forevermore. He wasn't washed up because all men forsook Him; He was crowned. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. He was crowned because that He was, had been forsaken, and He must do that when He raised Him from the dead.
112 The same was with Elijah. We spoke of him a few moments ago. Elijah, that poor old broke down prophet laying out there in the wilderness, and had to be fed by what the birds would bring him. And his little old skinny drawed up, brown-looking body, little cruse of oil hanging on his side, his whiskers all out, and head probably bald and sunburned, crippling on down with a stick like this, but down beneath that little old heart beat the Spirit of God. When God seen His little old tired servant getting down to the end, everybody forsaking him, and everything else, did He let him down? He sent a chariot down, picked up His tired servant, "You don't even have to walk up like Enoch did; I'll just take you home in a chariot." That's right. Yes. He crowned his ministry with a chariot ride home. That's not so bad, you know. Yeah. Yes, he didn't have to walk home; He just sent a chariot and picked him up, 'cause he was tired. I like that. Poor, little, old tired servant, He picked him up, took him home.
113 Just the time that Daniel stood so loyal to God, that he went in... They said, "That man, you know, he was once a great fellow here in this kingdom. He's told all kinds of things. And he's brought the soothsayers in; he taught them things and--the Medes-O-Persians and how he done. But under the reign of Darius, it was Daniel that stayed true to God. It was Daniel that stayed with the Word of God and wouldn't mingle with anything else. And he said, "Well, his ministry's washed up, because I seen it in the local paper, he's going to be throwed to the lions' den in a few days." Going to federal prison, or something. You see? "But we're going to throw him into the lions' den." But what did God do? God sealed His ministry with a change of the king's heart, that Darius sent to every language, people across the world, that every man should fear at the God of Daniel, because He was a God that could deliver. Amen.
So, you see, it's at that time when men forsake man, God's servants that stay true to the Word, that God seals their ministry with a crowning time.
115 Yes, it was the Hebrew children under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, when they wouldn't bow to the image. They stayed true to God because God's Word said, "Don't bow before any image to worship it." They stayed true to the Word. And it was in the local paper in the news, all about it, whatever it was in them days. They had ways to scatter news. Not in a local newspaper, of course not; just saying that so you'd have some idea. But it was in there they was going to burn them in the fiery furnace seven times hotter. For days before that they throwed in all the material to get the furnace so hot that it was seven times hotter, overheated seven times. Well, it would consume you in getting a hundred yards of it. But they went right in the fiery furnace, and become out without even any smell of fire on them. And Nebuchadnezzar said, "Every man that fails to worship this God, let his children and him be killed, his house burned and made a dunghill." That's right. See? He... They had a worldwide revival because they were true to the Word. That's what happens. Yes, sir. Stay true to the Word. Yes, and it always pays out wonderful.
116 Jacob, we mentioned him awhile ago. I got his name wrote down here. Here he was a little coward, but he was staying. He was afraid of Esau over there. My, my. He knowed he was away from God. Been away from God all these years, but he always tried to stay true to that Word. And here God called him and told him to go to his home. Here he was right in the line of duty, and there was Esau with an army. It was at that time that he was changed from the name of Jacob, "supplanter, shyster," to Jacob... "a prince before God," when he walked out the next morning, with his ministry crowned. Walked right out and meets Esau, and wanted no help from him. Amen. True to the Word... That's the way God does things, isn't it? He--He does things in His Own way. All right.
117 Many of my brethren, they're having great popularity today amongst their denominational brethren. You just speak one name, boy, and it's just like fire anywhere. That's right. You say this certain name of this person... And after all, when the Lord spoke to me down on the river that day, it spearheaded that revival around the world, from there come every one of those great evangelists.
They went right back with their brethren (See?), those denominations in which they come out of. They come out here and hold this meeting, mixed up with the denominations, and go right back into them again. They got a lot of favor, big names on radio, papers, and everything. Everybody speaks well of them.
119 But all men has forsaken me because I've took a true Word, and stood by the Word. I've stayed right here to what He said to me, preached the Word, not a denominational philosophy. "Preach the Word," that was my commission; "stay with the Word." And, brethren who's listening to this on tape, I was a great guy when I come among you just healing the sick, speaking of visions, and showing things. But when I went to tell you the Truth about the Word, what did you turn your back on me for? Do you realize it's just fulfilling what the Scripture said? Yeah, it does that way. Now, I can hardly get in a place.
120 Letter comes all the time. One come the other day, said, "Brother Branham, I had the greatest of confidence in you, but I heard you say that a certain denomination which I belong to was backsliding." Said, "I have no more confidence in you at all now, from now on." Said, "There's about twenty-five of the brethren of my denomination setting in one of your meetings"; said, "we just got--got right up and went off when you said that."
Well, all men has forsaken me, but there's one thing, He stood by me...?... one thing. I'm not... I wasn't disobedient to the heavenly vision that's happened down there on the river. I've stayed true to it. He's been true to me. I'm trusting in Him, someday; I don't know when, for a crowning of my ministry. I'll stay just as true as I could be. I don't know what it'll be; I don't know when it'll be. And I... But when He's ready, I am. Now, look here. I hope He'll crown my ministry with this, of letting me take the clothes of the Word and dress His Bride in the clothes of the Word and for His righteousness. I hope He'll crown me and let me stand there on that day, say, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world."
122 There's so many hills to climb upward, strain, sometime it gets hard; but the One that points the pathway, knows just what's best. He knows what's best. The toils of the road will seem nothing, when we get to the end of the way. Let's hunt for that bloody footprint. Just remember, friends.
The sands has been washed in the footprints
Of that Stranger on Galilee's shore;
And that voice that subdued the rough billows
Will be heard in Judaea no more.
But the path of that lone Galilean,
So gladly I'll follow today;
And the toil of the road will seem nothing,
When I get to the end of the way.
123 This first part of the Scripture I read, He gave to me, I was a young man, just a boy, standing out there, shoulders straight, chest throwed out, shock of wavy, black hair. Now I stand stoop-shouldered, bald-headed, graying, an old man of fifty-three years old. But He's sweeter as the days go by. And I've not shunned to declare to you the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. And my heart's desire is to meet the Church which He has died for, clothed in the righteousness of His Own Blood, dressed in His Word and the righteousness of His Word, for His Word can never fail. And therefore, I know if I'll stand by the Word and be true to the Word, and if the Word abides in me and I in Him, at that day I'll be happy that I stayed true.
I don't know what the future holds, but you see where we're at, don't you? You see why everybody's saying, even to my--some of my own colleagues, said, "Why, Brother Branham's all washed up." See? Yeah. "All washed up..." See? "Oh, we don't hear much more done." See? Well, we... They just don't understand (That's all.), just don't understand.
125 I think the greatest thing that Paul wanted, when he said, "My time is up now," the greatest desire of Paul's heart was to be a martyr. That was the desire of all their hearts in them days. If they... Did you ever read the Foxe's "Book of the Martyrs"? And also read also "The Nicene Council." The greatest honor that could be, when different ones (and Polycarp and them) walked into the lions' den, they shouted with joy, walked in there knowing that they was going to be a martyr. When they was burnt to the stake, they screamed with joy, for the honor of being a martyr. When Paul walked down to that chopping block to have his head cut off, led from that prison house, a little old dungy place down there, a hole in the wall, where they had him. I walked down there, looked at it. Little old creek back there where they slammed his body into it. And now want to make him a saint or something in their... Same group of people... There he walked down there. He said, "O death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? But thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. I've fought a good fight. I've finished the course. I've kept the faith. There's a crown laid up for me, and not only for me, but all those who love His appearing."
126 We've come down to the 6th verse now to the 18th. I don't know what it'll read for me, but I'm only quoting to you what it's read for others. And I'm going to continue to stay true to the Word until He's finished. That's where the ministry is today. I'm not washed up. I hope I'm just washed in to the King. That's it...?... Let us bow our heads now while we pray. Just--just..
127 There's a little rope reaching down from the throne tonight; it's called the Lifeline. While I'm praying, I hope it drags by every unconverted person in here. Won't you reach up and take ahold of it, sinner friend? You say, "Brother Branham, you said you was getting old, and I guess that's the reason you're..." No, brother, sister. When I was just a little boy, I believed this. I give my life for It. And there's only one regret I have: I haven't got but one life to give. If I had ten thousand lives I'd want to give them all for it...?...
Won't you take ahold of the Line when it passes by tonight, your way? You say, "Brother Branham, I'm not worthy to take ahold of It." I know you're not, child. But you go do something, get worthy, and tell me what you done, I want to do it too. There ain't a thing you can do to get worthy. You was borned unworthy. There's only one thing you can do, just take ahold of the way that's made for you. You're drowning; don't drown in that. God's throwed out the Lifeline; let's--let's reach and get it tonight.
129 Heavenly Father, I remember right here at this same desk, this same place where I spoke of that morning, that when I dedicated the church right upon this ground here. And that cornerstone lays there still holding a leaf out of the Bible that I wrote that. I said, "Lord Jesus, with Your grace I'll stay true to the Word." And now I see it's produced just exactly what it done in other times. And here I am in this Tabernacle tonight, after traveling the world, back again, and the little cornerstone still lays there and the paper's in it. Search me, Lord. I've--I've made many mistakes. I--I've done wrong, Lord. Many times I've failed You, as I just testified awhile ago about a failure. God, I--I, quick as I do it, I want forgiveness. In my heart I love You. And I--I know You showed me recently about that place we're going. And I don't know when You're through with me now, Lord. I--I'm here tonight, I--by Your grace, and I--I don't know when You're through, but I know this has to come to this. But when it comes that time, I--I don't want to be a coward. I want to stand like the rest of them stood. But, God, if--if--if I have to seal my testimony with my own life, or whatever it is to be done, Lord, crown it then, not crown me; crown the ministry that I've preached, Lord, it's Your Word. And I know that Word is more than able to raise me up again at the resurrection. And I'm not ashamed of the Word that I have preached, because It's the power of God unto salvation to as many as believe.
130 I thank You for the little church still standing today. When I took that stand for the Word, the prophets prophesied and said, "In six months it'll be turned into a garage." Thirty years has passed, she's more on fire today than it's been in years; "upon this rock I'll build My Church." We thank You for our pastor. We thank You for the deacons, the trustees. We all got a little part to play, Lord, and we want to play it loyal; we want to play it right.
There may be some in here like to join up with us tonight, Lord. And the way they join it, is just to take hold of this little Lifeline and go to pulling, wrap it around their wrist, tie it around their heart, and say, "Now, Lord, pull, lift me up," and they'll come forth and shine as gold. Grant it, Lord. We're looking for that time.
132 We believe that it's near the end. We see that as we have been teaching here, the Laodicean church age is now on; we see there can't be nothing else happen but the coming of the Lord. And, Lord, wouldn't that be a great crown for the Word to see the Crown Himself come? I'd like to be standing here and say, "There He is; that's the Lamb." Like John did. "Behold the Lamb that we have waited on; this is He." The Lord will quickly come to His temple, take away His people in the rapture.
Make us ready, Father. Wash our hearts in Your Blood. Make us pure and clean, that Your Word might abide in us. May we remember that we must act upon the Word, in order for It to take ahold and be effective. Grant every sinner repentance. Bless everyone that's in here. The saints, those, some of these old precious warriors, Lord, that's been battling along the line for years, made fun of, talked about and ridiculed. They're still going on because they got Life. They know Who they've believed, and persuaded He's able to keep that which they've committed to Him. We thank You for that, Pray that You'll heal the sick that's in our midst. Take all of our sins and sicknesses away. And, Father God, get glory to Yourself.
134 I've got so many precious friends, Lord. I--I love them. I know other man has down through the age too. Precious friends, loving friends, young and old, and we love them with all of our heart. Now, make us true, Lord, just true to the Word, that we might meet them in a better land someday where there'll never be no sadness or sorrows. We're looking for the coming of the Lord soon. We believe that He shall come.
Now, bless the unbeliever here tonight, Lord, and may he become a believer and accept You as his Saviour tonight.
136 And while we have our heads bowed, if there would be someone here with your head bowed, would say, "Brother Branham, way down deep in my heart, I want to come to the end of the road, fighting a good fight. I want to be a Christian, I'm going to raise up my hand." God bless you. God bless you. That's good. God bless you, you. "I want to come to the end of my road with a good fight behind me. I'm accepting Christ just now. I want Him to be my Helper." All right, the Lord bless you. God bless you, lady. That is good. He--He knows you. I've learned enough about Him in all these years, about thirty-two years now behind the pulpit, I've learned enough about Him now to know that He knows every move that you make. He sees the sparrow. The hairs of your head are numbered. See, He knows all about it. You just raise your hand, and mean it, that's all you have to do. And there's water ready.
137 Remember, what do you do? You repent, believe on the Gospel, and then be baptized. What for--for? In the Name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. That's your testimony, that you are. Your sins are gone when you're baptized; you've confessed them, and you believe. Won't you catch the Lifeline now as it pulls across your heart, and saying, "Come this way, pilgrim. Journey with Me, take My cross upon you. Learn of Me, I'm meek and lowly in heart; My burdens are light." Just reach and take ahold of It.
138 How many Christians are in the Way tonight, in here, that are happy that you started a long time ago, done made your start, and way down along the road, still coming down towards the end; I pray that God will crown your ministry, whatever it is. It may be a housewife. I pray that God will crown your ministry. It may be a preacher. It may be a deacon; it may be a lay member. It may be a farmer. I don't know what it is. Whatever it is, may God crown your life with the glory of His Word, at His second coming rapture you and take you away into another land where you'll just be like that little fish I talked about, out of that blackness down there. See, you couldn't go up there with this kind of a body. Neither could you go up like these astronauts (See?); you have to be in a pressurized tank. You're not pressurized for it. But when God changes you, you're pressurized then; you're going in the rapture then. When these old earthly senses has been lost, and you're gone on in that glorious way of the cross, going home with Jesus...
139 Now, Father God, we thank You for these hands that come up for to be Christians. I believe that they meant it in their hearts. I pray for them, that they will not anytime fail. And if they do fail, may quickly they have that Advocate with the Father. Which I have learned to be such a great thing, Father, that when I make all my mistakes, then I find that I have an Advocate (right quick) with the Father, through Jesus Christ. And I'm brought back into grace again. The loving hand of the Lord wipes away, there's a bloody Sacrifice laying there that I confess to be my Saviour.
All that's sick and needy, I pray that You'll supply their needs and heal all the disease, Lord. And those that are here now setting under this glorious anointing of the Holy Spirit, as we feel It so sweetly pouring over our souls...
141 Father God, You know what I was thinking about coming down from Canada the other day. I thought, "Oh, how I would love to get in an old fashion revival again, just the saints of God a-singing and the power of God a-falling." Oh, how my heart longs for it, Lord. May there break such a revival in this Tabernacle, oh, that the power of God will--will just pour down in streams of grace, go into every heart.
I thank You for this little place, Lord. We wasn't able to keep it this way; it's been Your grace that's kept it spiritual. And now I believe, Lord, the most spiritual little spot in the nation, that I know of, is right here at Eighth and Penn Street. How I thank You for this, Lord. Going into the churches and see them cold and indifferent, and the women so bold that they can't even blush, and not an "amen" or a tear on a cheek, or nothing, and no salvation, no nothing but just join their church and say their creed. O God, then come into a sweet little warm place where the fires are built on every altar of their heart, what a comfort it is, Father, what a comfort. Thank You, Father, and may it ever remain until the coming of the Lord Jesus. Bless us together now.
143 And tomorrow's the Sabbath. And, Lord, help me in the morning, if it falls my lot to preach on that "Countdown." God, may I be able to bring it in such a way till the people will see it, Lord. And now, may they see the state of the ministry, and where it's at, and what we're waiting for, and why everything is going on the way it is. May they read from the 5th verse on, and then realize the place that we're standing.
And now, Father, I pray that You'll bless us and give us good rest in our bodies, and bring us back tomorrow. Bless all these people standing around the walls, leaning from one foot to another. Women, men standing out in the rain out there, and around the windows, and setting in their cars, And all up and down, and I pray that You'll bless them, Lord. May they go home with the grace of God in their heart. I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
145 Do you understand now? Read from first, II Timothy 2:4, II Timothy 4, from the 5th verse on down, before you go to bed tonight, if you can, and you'll see where we're at. Why did them men forsake him? Why that he took... And now just compare that ministry with what we're going through today. Compare the teaching of Saint Paul. Remember in the little heavenly thing that I saw, I said, "Well, will Paul have to stand with his people?"
They said, "Yes."
I said, "I have preached the same Word he did, just exactly stayed with the same Gospel."
And millions throwed up their hands and said, "We're resting on That."
Lord bless you. Do you love Him?
Until we meet!
Till we meet!