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But From The Beginning It Was Not So
E-1 Good evening, friends. Very happy to be back tonight in the service of the Lord God, and trusting His blessings upon the services tonight. I was glad to see tonight Brother Robert Daugherty back in the room there. It was at Brother Daugherty that I--sponsored my first campaign. And I remember going to him... There's still some people setting here that help me get over there; and Brother Creech here, I think's one of them.
E-2 The visions had just begin to happen. And the Angel of the Lord just met me up here at Green's Mill, told me what would take place. And it wasn't hardly two weeks till he called for me to come over to St. Louis. His girl was with some kind of, like Saint Vitus's dance. And we went there and prayed, and made all kind of vows, and it looked like nothing was just happening. I was just going to stay ('cause I didn't have campaigns before that), just till it was over, till I found out what the Lord would do.
E-3 You know, Brother Robert, I believe it'd been better if I'd just kept it that way. 'Course, there'd probably wouldn't been as many saved, but just stay with one case till it's over, till you know. And the next day, I guess it was along two or three o'clock in the afternoon (or that same day, I don't remember now.), that I was setting in a car outside of the parsonage, and his father was there, and I was by myself. I'd felt the Spirit of the Lord come, and I went outside the parsonage and set out there. And little Betty was just like a wild person, just screaming. And doctors could do nothing for her. And mother and dad, both, they looked very bad; they'd set up days and weeks with her. And there a vision came just before the car, in front of the car. And I saw the vision and run in and told Brother Robert and them just what to do and the girl would be well.
E-4 I suppose you said she'd be here tomorrow night, didn't you, Brother Robert, to testify? So now that's been some fourteen years ago, I guess, twelve--fourteen years ago--thirteen years ago, and she's a healthy, fine looking young woman. Will be here tomorrow night, the Lord willing... Divine healing lasts just as long as faith lasts (That's right.), just as long as faith last.
E-5 And I believe I see Brother Fred Sothmann and my friends from Canada setting back in here too. Glad to see you all in tonight. Many other friends here, I wish I had time to recognize each and every one of you. I guess I couldn't from right here, but I want you to know that we certainly welcome you. Brother Boyd here, I believe I remember him, and a--a Mennonite brother. So we were happy to have you here to this little time of fellowship around the Word.
E-6 And now, tomorrow the... We want to announce this too, that the latest of books... Now, we're not here... I can't think of this Brother setting, Mennonite Brother next to him, I can't... Carson, yes.
The--the books are at the back at a table back there; they're the latest of the messages. They've never been in the campaigns as yet. They're back there with the tapes of the latest of the messages and so forth. And the boys has had them printed up, and they're available at the back of the building as you go out tonight.
E-7 And I think the--in the morning, I think the interviews start about eight or eight-thirty in the morning. And my, I told him to make interviews for those who wanted to see me privately on spiritual matters. My, I didn't realize that the little tabernacle here would, it would be that way, but it certainly has been crowded down. My. So, well, it's good. The Lord sometimes gets blessings from that, what we try to do to do something to help the brothers and sisters along the way.
E-8 Now, we're trying each night to find something that I'm seeking after. And that is that God by a vision has told me that my ministry is making its third change. And I'm longing for it to begin here at the Tabernacle. I don't know whether it will or not, but I am longing for it to do that. And I trust that It'll be some way that will--I will be able to preach the Gospel in such a way or do something that will help suffering humanity to a happier way of life and a more healthier way of life. It's my sincere desire.
So it may be tonight that I ask my daughter-in-law about prayer cards. And she doesn't have any over there, and Billy usually keeps them, and Gene and Leo doesn't have any. So we'll just have to use the service's without that, I suppose, the best that we can. If we do tonight, we'll see how it comes out.
Then after these meetings, my next meetings is to be in New Zealand and then to also in Australia and down through that parts of the country.
E-9 Tonight I've chosen to read some Scriptures out of the Book of St. Mark the 7th chapter, if you wish to turn to it for a meditation for the message. And before we do that, let us just bow our heads just a moment and speak to Him.
Lord, we are grateful to Thee tonight for the privilege of meeting together once again. Thou has been so good to us through this day. You have provided us with life and strength that we have had the opportunity to come again to Your service and to worship Thee. And we are thankful for our country, that there is still an opportunity, and an open door that men and women can worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. Long may it be, Lord. But we see according to the prophecy of the Bible that soon these doors will close worldwide.
So let us tonight receive the goodness of God, and the blessing, and all of the light that we can upon the Scriptures, Lord, that we might be prepared for that hour when it comes. That stored into our souls will be the Holy Spirit Who will be able to unravel these things to our minds.
We would ask especially tonight too, Lord, for those who are sick, needy, and afflicted. Thy great healing power and mercy will rest upon each of them. Bless Thy Word going forth, Lord. And we'll praise Thee; in Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.
E-10 In St. Mark the 7th chapter we read a few verses like this.
Then came together unto Him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashed, hands, they found fault.
For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they washed their hands oft, eat noth... eat not, holding their tradition of the elders.
And when they came forth from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received and hold, as washing of cups, and pots,... and vases, and vessels, and of tables.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the traditions of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their hearts is far from me.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of man.
For laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of man, as the washing of pots and of cups: and many other such like things you do.
And he said unto them, Full... ye reject the commandments of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
And in the Book of St. Matthew's, the 19th chapter and the 8th verse, and the last phase of that 8th verse, I wish to read for a text. And this is how it reads.
... but from the beginning it was not so.
E-11 And the Lord bless the reading now of His Word. When our Lord was here on earth, He met in the days of His ministry peoples who held their tradition of man and taught things which was contrary to the commandments of God.
I wonder tonight if He should come again tonight, visibly, if He wouldn't find just about the same condition, of how that they held those traditions so sacredly. After they had received the commandments of the Lord just what to do, man cannot be satisfied with what God says do. They have to make themselves up a little bit about it.
E-12 And when man gets a hold of anything, he perverts the main cause. And making anything perverted is different from the original. Like unrighteousness, unrighteousness is nothing more than righteousness perverted, what perverted mind of man change around.
God made man to live happily with one another. Perversion changes them and makes them enemies one to another. Man makes us enemies one to another, while God made us brothers one to another. Man made man to be immoral. God made man to live true to his wife. But man comes along and perverts that around, and he's not satisfied with his own wife, but wants to live with the rest of the wives. God gave us good clear water to drink. Man's got to mix alcohol or something else with it before he drinks it. It's perverting from the real beginning of it.
E-13 And in doing so, we find that in the church these things is taking place, because man begin to tamper into the things of God. And he draws his conception of what it means. He doesn't take it just the way it's written, but he gets his own idea mixed into it. And then by that he makes a tradition. And he teaches that.
And Jesus said when he was on earth and found such, He said, "In vain do you worship Me." Now there is then possibility, and it is so, that there can be a genuine worship of God wrong. "In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of man."
E-14 Now, in our Scripture reading tonight, if you would read on, you would find that where God said, "Honor thy father and thy mother. And if a man dishonors his father or mother, let him die the death." But He said, "In your traditions you have made the commandments of God of non effect," and said, "if it is... If a man dishonors his father or mother, that it is a gift, and he shall just go free." You see how man gets things twisted up?
E-15 But they like to worship. And they think that they are worshipping right, when they're worshipping wrong. And I'm sure after the absence of Christ for two thousand years, something has gone wrong somewhere, because we get too many ideas. And tonight there's almost nine hundred different denominations of churches in the world; that's Christian denominations. Different ideas and each one holds their traditions.
But, oh, how they love to say that my tradition is right. And then when one church will explain it in such a way and say, well, make it just almost perfect, that that church is right... And we've been through that in the last few nights here of why we are not a denomination.
E-16 And when a denomination is started, it started on the basis of someone gets a revelation of something, which may be altogether good. But he makes a denomination out of it, and then he cannot go any farther.
But God wants us to stay free. He wants us to a place that where if He gives us some light, we can receive that, and get some more light, and some more light, and just keep on going. That's why we like to stay free, so we can just preach the Bible the way It's written and believe It just that way.
E-17 And today we got into traditions. Now, in our text we find tonight that they said, "Is it lawful for us to put away our wife for any cause?" Well, it's almost that way today. If they just don't want to live with their wife or husband, they just find some reason and put her away. Some preacher comes along or magistrate, marries them to another. See, it's a tradition. Well, they say, "Our church believes it this way." Well, it doesn't make so much difference to what our church says; it's what the Bible says about it that makes the difference. God ought to be the final Word in every decision that we make.
E-18 A few days ago I was tried in a court or was going to be. And they were giving me some very stiff questions. And they said, "Why did you pass the money of the campaigns through your church as a foundation?"
"Well," I said, "it was because that I was told by the Internal Revenue collector that I should do it that way because it was a foundation."
And it kept on going on, and he said, "This man did not tell you the truth."
I said, "Well, he represented the government. If I send a campaign manager into a city to represent me for five nights there in a campaign, and he represents me eight nights, I'm obligated for eight nights because the ambassador has said eight nights. And the government should stick to what their representatives say."
Then he said, "Well, the... That man's not with the government anymore."
I said, "And someday you'll not be with the government anymore, and the ones that wrote the Constitution's not with them anymore. I wonder if that still holds." You see, they try to find a loophole.
E-19 But instead of just being honest and sticking with the principles... That's the way that people get today in all walks of life. And that's the way the churches get, this church, other churches. Instead of coming out and facing the facts of what God said, we try to find a loophole to justify ourselves. And it isn't pleasing to God.
E-20 And someone started that, and we wonder just what is the truth then. I'll ask a challenge a few days ago to a man that was standing and repeating the Apostles' Creed, so called, "I believe in God almighty, God the Father, Creator of the heavens and earth and so forth. And I believe in the communion of saints..."
Now man cannot justly from his heart say that creed and be right with God, and know the Bible. Anything that communes with saints is spiritualism, anything that communes with the dead.
And this man turned back and said, "Well, what do you commune with?"
I said, "Jesus Christ."
He said, "Well, He died."
But I said, "He arose again. And He is not dead, but He lives. But Mary, and all the other apostles, and all the people that you claim to commune with is dead and gone on. And the Bible says there is no mediator between God and man but the Man Christ Jesus."
E-21 Therefore with the tradition of man, you have made the commandments of God of non effect. And we try to please God by building a great big church by padding the seats and by making it pretty. That's all right. There's no objections to that, but that isn't just what God said do.
We try to make our church a little outstanding from the other church by getting the best educated pastor that we can get in our pulpit, who can speak his words so, with such an eloquent speech. That's all right. But that still isn't what God said.
And in the most of the churches, if--of our churches today, if the man hasn't got a seminary experience, the congregation will by no wise bring him in. He has to have a seminary education. But that isn't what the Bible said. That isn't what Jesus did. Jesus took men who didn't even know their ABC's and anointed them with the Holy Spirit. The requirement of God was not to receive an education, but to receive the Holy Spirit. No man should preach the Gospel until receiving the Holy Spirit.
E-22 See how we took the commandments of men and perverted them? Jesus of Nazareth, before He would let the disciples go preach, in Luke 24:29 He said, "Behold I send the promise of My Father upon you. But wait ye... Hold on just a minute before you go. Don't jump when I say it." But He said, "Wait in the city of Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high. Then you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and into Samaria, and to the utmost parts of the world."
But today we have changed that. And we have made it that we must go to the school, and require certain grammar, and psychology, and a certain way that we conduct ourselves in the--in the pulpit. And of many different little traditions, and we couldn't be narrowed minded, and then get the doctrine of the church, learn the catechism, what the catechism said. You are not saved by knowing the catechism. You're not saved by joining the church. You're not saved by knowing the Bible. You're saved by knowing Him, Christ. For to know Him is Life.
E-23 Therefore we take the traditions of man and make the commandments of God of non effect. Our seminaries do that. Our churches require that. Our churches would not require it unless the people require it. The people's got to sanction that or they could just stay away from it, and pray God to raise them up somebody. They do it. The people's do it. They don't force you to do that.
E-24 And then in those days the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and the religionists of that day, believed the church to give them salvation. Whatever the church said that's just exactly the way it's got to be, for the church said so. Well, it's just the same today. People are looking to the church to give them salvation. You don't get salvation through a church. You get salvation through Christ. Not by knowing some church order, some creed, or certain form of baptism, or--or certain actions or emotions that you go through. You know and get saved by Christ, and that by grace. By faith you are saved through a calling of the Holy Spirit. That's how you know Him. But they had it in those days. And how much more will they have it today.
E-25 And then the people begin to wonder. After it would take hours to go through this... Why are we in the condition that we are in? There it is. If a contractor laid out a plan for his men to build a house such and such a way, and each man ignored the blueprint, and they built the house according to the way that they thought each man should build it, what kind of a looking house would it be? Do you think it would be received? Then if that be so, one man would want it built this way, and another this way; and each man would go and build to his own idea. The only way that you'll ever build a house right is according to the blueprint. And the only way that we'll ever come back to God and get God in our midst is come back to the Bible foundation. It's just got to be that way.
Jesus spoke of it when He was here on earth and saying, "Why do you ignore, or bypass the commandments of God and make them of non effect by your traditions?" But they did it. And how much more do they do it today.
E-26 So that's the reason that the tenant of the house would not move in. If he specified a certain type of a house that he wants to dwell in, and he gave those rules and those specifications and to be built that way... Well, then he ga--gives them over, the builder gives them over to the contractor. And the contractor lays them out to the foremans and so forth. And if he comes back to this house to move into it, and it was built lopsided, and every way to every man's opinion, he would not move in.
And when the Holy Ghost comes to the house of God, it cannot move in when it's built upon manmade theory. It has to come to the Bible. And this should be the Blueprint, for it is written, "Let every man's word be a lie and Mine be the truth." We all want to think that we got that truth.
But how do you read the Scriptures? With a private interpretation? The Scripture says that there is no Scripture given with a private interpretation. It's given by one Interpreter: that's the Holy Spirit Who wrote it.
E-27 It reminds me of a story, that I've just been reading this afternoon. It was the early life of our Lord when He had been borned in Bethlehem, and raised up there in Judaea. And at the age of twelve there was a--a certain customs that the people kept. That was a feast, I think the Feast of the Passover. And His people, Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His foster father, all went up to Jerusalem to keep this certain tradition, just as lawful as they could. And while they were up there they got in a big way talking to their kinfolks and so forth. And when they left, they went a day's journey. And then they begin to look around for Jesus. And they sought Him among their kinfolks and acquaintance. And they found Him not.
E-28 Wonder if that isn't just about the way the church is now when they come to a place to where they realize that He wasn't with them. I wonder if there's Methodists, and Baptists, and Pentecostals, and whatmore here tonight, that hasn't come to that place where you realize He's not with you no matter what you've done. There might've been certain ways and certain things you've went through, but yet, you know down in your heart He's not there. I wonder if there isn't a sinner or a backslider that's in the building tonight, that realizes that He isn't with you tonight.
E-29 Now, please don't do like Mary did. And you people who worship Mary, what about that? She begin to look for Him. And she went to her kinfolks and her acquaintance, thinking she would find Him there.
And that's the way they do today. They go to the church to think maybe they could find Him there. One will run over to the Methodist church, and they'll find out what they believe. And they'll run over to the Baptist church, and to the one church, and the other one, seeking amongst the churches. And when it's all told up, they find a big bunch of creeds and Christ is not there.
E-30 One of the greatest men in the theological fields that I know of, was at my house recently. And he stood in the room. And I thought, "What would a great man like this do, coming to see and visit me?"
He said, "I just want to say a few words, Brother Branham, to you."
I said, "All right. Will you set down?" And he did.
And I said, "I feel very little to speak to a man of your caliber." And he was a president of the great Sudan Missions. That's the greatest fundamental mission that's in the world.
And he had a friend with him who was a personal friend to Hyman Appleman. Was Mr. Reedhead, is who it was, Dr. Reedhead. And he said, "Brother Branham, when I was a little boy," said, "I was out in the field one day watching the clouds as they flew by." And I said, "Oh, is there a God somewhere above that?"
E-31 Said, "I rushed into my mother. And she being a good Christian mother, picked me up in her arms and loved me and begin to tell me about Jesus, and it was Him that was calling me." And said, "She being loyal to her church, she started me at the age of seven to learning about Jesus." But said, "With that in my heart I went to every school that I knowed how to go to." And said, "Finally I got my Bachelor of Art. I thought when I received my degree, that surely Christ would be standing right there." And said, "When the Bachelor of Arts degree was placed upon me," he said, "I didn't... And nothing was no different." He said, "When I got my Doctor's degree, I thought He would be there." And said, "It was no different. Just a bunch of men come around and said a few things and give me the degree." And he said, "Brother Branham, I've got enough degrees to plaster your wall. But where is Christ?" That's it.
E-32 He said, "Has the teachers been wrong?"
I said, "Brother Reedhead, I wouldn't want to say that the teachers has been wrong, for I'm not in position to say that. But let me say this: Christ doesn't come by Bachelor of Art or Doctor of Divinity, but He comes through the renewing of your spirit by the Holy Ghost that comes from heaven."
He said, "Do you think that would be for me?"
I said, "According to this blessed old Bible, it's for whosoever will let him come."
He said, "I've been taught that that was for a day gone by."
I said, "Then the teacher that taught you that was wrong."
Said, "How do you know they were wrong?"
I said, "I have received it. And the Bible promised it. Out.. Here's where He promised it. Now tell me and show me where He ever taken that promise back. He gave the church the power to do it. Now, where did He ever take it back at? If the church tells you that those things are passed, then they're teaching for doctrine the commandments of men and not of God. They're taking the commandments of God, and making them of non effect by their traditions." That's right.
E-33 You can't find Him among your kindred. You can't find Him if you go and say, "I'll be a Methodist awhile and see what happens. I'll be a Baptist awhile and see what happens." You'll never find Him there or in no other church of denomination. But any church that you wish to enter, not the denomination, but enter into the fellowship, not altogether of the church, but the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, then you found Him.
There'll be a settled faith if you're Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, whatever you may be, if you find Jesus as your own personal Saviour. Not through the shaking hands with the preacher or the doctrines of a creed, but through the finding of the Lord Jesus.
E-34 In the churches today making their creeds thus. They're robbing God. They're taking their doctrines and making the commandments of God of non effect. It doesn't have the effect upon the people. Why? Because our manmade theology, our doctrines, and our creeds have shut the blessings off from the people, and they don't have the opportunity to receive it. They no nothing about it. They just know that they belong to church. And that's why we have not fellowship, the churches one with another. That's why that they have a revival, and the other churches won't cooperate with them, a certain denomination, because they say, "It's not my faith."
There's only one faith; the Bible said so. Not faith in a creed, not faith in a denomination, but faith in God, that's the only faith that there is. One faith, one Lord, and one baptism, the Scriptures says so.
E-35 And now, after going, journey all day looking among their kinfolks, and they couldn't find Him... I wonder tonight, how many people in here has went over to the Baptist church, and took up with the Baptist... Now there's nothing... I'm not kicking against churches. I'm for every one of them. But what I'm for is--against is they're making their creeds and drawing lines and boundaries. If every church stayed right straight on the Bible, and just read it the way and don't tamper with it, just leave it the way God wrote it... But they'll go a little piece, say, "Oh, that was for another age." It's no other age. God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
E-36 Now, you'll go a day's journey, and you'll look around, and you'll see a certain creed, and then you'll think, "Well, maybe this is it." And you'll go in and you'll look around. There'll be someone in there that'll do something. You'll say, "This is not it." You'll get your letter from that church and take it over to another. And then you'll be in there for a few days, or maybe weeks, or months, or even years. Somebody will upset that little applecart of yours, and away you'll go with your letter somewhere else. And from there to somewhere... You're never settled.
The Bible said you're like wandering stars, ships without sails, tossed about by every wind of doctrine, when the Bible forbids us to do that. Be stable. Know where your standing. Don't base it... Now, you could be honestly sincere with that, being stable. You could be a stable Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, or whatevermore, just as stable. But don't be stable in your church doctrine; be stable in the Bible doctrine. Then examine your doctrines by the Bible. Ask what Jesus was. If He isn't the same today, then your doctrine's wrong.
E-37 You have an example. And He said, "I am your example. I have given you an example that you should do to each other as I have did unto you," St. John 13.
Now, but you find out that's what happens. Now, there's only one real way to find Him then. If she couldn't find Him among the kinfolks, she went back to where she left Him.
That's what the church ought to do: Go back where you left Him at, and there you'll find Him. You Methodists, Baptists, and Pentecostals, and Assemblies of God, and all of you, Branham Tabernacles, and so forth, go back where you left Him at.
E-38 Reminds me of a chaplain sometime ago at the second World War. He was telling me that he was machined--went to a--a man that was a machine gunned. They'd told him that he was dying. He'd been shot through the chest with a machine gun, many bullets. And he said, "The man's a dying." And the chaplain went in to see him. He was a captain. And he walked into the tent; he said, "Captain, are you a Christian?"
He said, "Well, I once was a Christian."
He said then, "What happened?"
He said, "I just don't remember how it started." And he looked at his chart, and he seen he'd just given about three to five minutes to live. And the good part of that time was already spent. How little do we know but a lot of our time's already spent too.
And the chaplain said to the captain; he said, "Captain, where did you leave Him at?"
Well, he said, "I just can't remember right now."
Said, "You better hurry up, for you haven't got much time to go back down the road to where you left Him." And said, "Ever where you left Him then go right there and begin and you'll find Him."
E-39 And the chaplain said that he waited with a few moments with the Bible in his hand to hear what the captain would say. And he kept thinking and thinking, and his struggles, as the blood was filling up in his lungs. And after while a great smile came on him face and the tears rolled down his cheeks. He said, "Oh, I remember."
Said, "Start from there captain, quickly."
And the captain said, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take," turned his head and was gone.
Where did he find him, in his high school experiments, in his training of psychology and man, in his creed, in his church? No. Where had he found Him at the cradle. That's where he's left Him, and that's where Jesus is waiting.
E-40 We'll never find Jesus by going back to the beginning of Baptistism, back to the beginning of Methodistism, or Catholicism. We'll only find Christ when we go back to Pentecost, the beginning, not the denomination now, but to the real Pentecostal experience.
When a hundred and twenty people were gathered in the upper room, that Jesus had sent them there... And He told them, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until you're endued with power from on high." We'll never wait long enough to get enough education, not to get doctors degrees, or theological experience, but we'll have to wait until that Pentecostal Holy Spirit falls upon the individual with enduing power to turn his or hers face from sin and the things of the world, and to live like a Christian. Then you can join any church that you desire.
E-41 But we left Him at Pentecost. The Methodists left Him at Pentecost. The Baptists left Him at Pentecost. The Catholic left Him at Pentecost. The Amish left Him at Pentecost. The Brethren left Him at Pentecost. The Assemblies of God left Him at Pentecost. The United Church left Him at Pentecost. There's where He began. Oh, God help this to drive home to every heart.
That's why He can't dwell in this building. That's why He can't come to our creeds and denominations. We've left off the principles. Listen. Jesus said, "I am the Vine; ye are the branches." And when the Church buried itself in Jesus, it produced a Pentecostal branch. And if the first branch come out of the Vine Pentecostal, every branch will have to be like the first one. We've got to get back to the Pentecostal experience again.
E-42 If a vine puts forth a branch of a grape vine here, the next branch will be grape vine, and the next branch will be grape vine, and the next branch will be grape vine. And Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And He can only have one type of branches, and that's Pentecostal branches in His church with Pentecostal experiences. Oh, you say, "Brother Branham, just a minute. I am loyal to my creed."
If your creed teaches that all you have to do is shake hands with the preacher, Jesus said, "It wasn't so from the beginning."
You say, "Brother Branham, I belong to a great denomination. And my church says that the days of miracles is past."
Jesus said, "It wasn't so from the beginning." Where was the beginning? Pentecost, where the power of the living God fell upon an hundred and twenty people and baptized them with the Holy Ghost and power for the services...?... That changed the known world.
E-43 You say, "Brother Branham, my church believes..." We see the women on the streets today smoking cigarettes, wearing shorts. You say, "Well, my pastor don't say nothing about it. Our church says that's all right."
But Jesus said, "It wasn't so; from the beginning it wasn't so." For a woman that'll put on a garment pertains to a man is an abomination in the sight of God.
You say to me, "Brother Branham, a few nights ago you condemned sprinkling." But you say, "My church teaches that you can be sprinkled and it's all right."
But Jesus said, "It wasn't so from the beginning."
You say, "But, Brother Branham, my church believes in pouring; and I'm sincere, and it's a great church. But Jesus said that It wasn't so from the beginning.
E-44 Say, "Brother Branham, I have been immersed in the Name of the Father, and in the Name of the Son, and in the Name of the Holy Ghost."
The Bible said, "It wasn't so from the beginning." There never was such a thing. Following some manmade dogma, and creed...
Peter said on the day of Pentecost, at the first church, "Repent every one of you and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Anything contrary to that it wasn't so at the beginning.
E-45 You say, "I belong to a great denomination that says we speak where the Bible speaks and silent where It is silent. And our church says that the days of miracles is past." It wasn't so from the beginning, for Jesus said He would be the same yesterday, today, and forever. All heavens would pass away but His Word would never pass away.
We live in a day that they have taken the commandments of God and have perverted them into traditions of men. But it wasn't so from the beginning. It's a tradition of man that we worship and not the commandments of God.
E-46 We stood here with our own eyes last night and seen a blind preacher receive his sight, stand at the platform. I have seen Him heal the very shadows of death, seen Him bring three people to life after they had been pronounced dead by the doctor. You say you don't believe that, "My church don't believe it." But that was true from the beginning. Anything contrary is not so from the beginning. 'Cause God is a God of life, the Almighty God. He cannot fail. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
E-47 We cannot find Him in our creeds. We cannot find Him in our denominations. We've got to find Him back where we left Him. You say, "Well, I have... Brother Branham, I tell you what I done. I danced in the Spirit; I know I've got it." It wasn't so from the beginning. "I spoke with tongues, so I know I got it." It wasn't so from the beginning. That's right. You say, "I shouted, and I got it." It wasn't so from the beginning. That's right.
To know Christ is to know the Person of Christ in the forgiveness of sin, and it changes your life. I've seen people dance, shout, speak with tongues, and so forth, and live any kind of a life. So that couldn't be right. I've seen them join churches, shake hands, baptize, go through all kinds of creeds, and still live like the devil. It wasn't so at the beginning. To meet Him, the Person, the Lord Jesus, to know Him as your own Saviour, to know Him as your Lover, to know Him is Life. But these other creeds and things, never at the beginning was ever witnessed by our Lord.
E-48 "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." How far? All the world. To who? Every creature. "These signs shall follow them that believe." That was what was the beginning. Anything contrary to that is not right. You don't find it in creeds; you find it in Christ. He's the only One.
You say, "Brother Branham, the Bible says that..."
What did it say, "In My Name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new languages, tongues. And if they take up serpents or drink deadly things it shall not harm them. If they lay hands on the sick, they shall recover." That's what the Scripture said. Anything contrary to That...
You say, "These signs follow them. He's a good old man; he pays his tithes; he works good; he treats his neighbor right." If that's all it took, Christ didn't have to die. It takes a personal experience of passing from death unto life and becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus with Christ in the heart. That's the Holy Spirit. That's where it began.
E-49 Them disciples were good men. They were righteous men. They paid they're debts. They were honest. They'd give seventeen inches in a yard and so many ounces over a pound and will go one mile they go two. They were very religious, and so was those Pharisees. But Jesus said, "Except a man be borned again he will in no wise enter into the Kingdom." You've got to go back to where we left Him. Go back and find Him. For these creeds was not so in the beginning. The denomination churches was not so in the beginning. So just drop everything and rush back to Pentecost and find the true and the living God, Who heals the sick, cleanse the lepers, casts out devils, and claims to be in the Bible the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He is the God of the beginning. He's He Who changes not. He cannot be God and be something today, and something else tomorrow, and something else. He cannot be infinite and be that. He is absolutely the same yesterday, today, and forever.
E-50 Now friend, in the day that we're living, when we see that men has corrupted the world with their traditions, when they've corrupted the church with their traditions, when they've corrupted the minds of people with their traditions... Did not we go through it the other night and see where that old prostate church--or prostitute church had daughters and they both give out for doctrine the fornications of their filthiness? That comes through every organization. They're polluted.
And now, I'm not saying get away from your organization. But get away from this holding to that organization; get to Christ. Those things are wrong. Let's go back to the beginning. Then if we can do that, you'll find Christ moving into that house that's built upon the solid Rock. There signs and wonders and every blessings that God promised will be manifested through that church. Let us pray.
E-51 Just before we go to prayer, while I leave this solemn warning in your heart... Is it with you like it was at the beginning? The church that you're in, is it only a creed or denomination, or is it an experience that brings to you that like it did at the beginning? If it isn't, then it isn't so. Won't you come to the beginning then, and start from here, and get away from creeds and denominations, and serve the living God?
If you are here tonight and would desire to be remembered in the closing prayer, would you raise your hands to God and say, "Remember me, Brother Branham"? God bless you through the building. That's good. That's fine. No matter what church you belong to, your denomination, raise your hands, say, "Be merciful, God, to me." God bless you. That's fine, dozens of hands up all over the building. "Remember me in prayer, Brother, at this hour," you say, "because I want to go back to the beginning." God bless you. God bless you, you, you down there, back in the hall, out on the outside, the Lord bless you. God sees your hands: too numerous for me to count. He knows everyone. Way back, that lady trying to raise her hands way high back there, God bless you, sister.
E-52 Jesus said, "You teach for doctrine the traditions of men, and you make the commandments of God of non effect with your traditions." If He said it in that day, what about this? Let's go back to the beginning now. What add... What about it? If the branch come forth on the day of Pentecost and brought forth a church of that type... They went to all the world. Signs and wonders followed them everywhere, not signs and wonders that we call today. But the day when they went forth, they preached everywhere; they baptized the people over again in the Name of the Lord Jesus. They--they cast out devils; they heal the sick; they had the victory from the beginning to the end.
E-53 And if your church tradition has taught you contrary to that, let's go back to the beginning where we left it. And let's produce here tonight a members of the church like the beginning, who had brotherly love, one for another, lay down their lives for one another. Men and women who love one another, such Divine love till they go to penitentiary or to the gallows for each other, that's the original church. The Lord bless you while we pray.
E-54 Dear heavenly Father, as we come to the closing of this little message tonight, and the people standing around the walls waiting, leaning upon the pilasters, and along the walls, and even on the outside... And they raised their hands that they wanted to meet that Jesus of the beginning. Grant, Lord, that this very hour they meet Him.
For it's written, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Great number of hands, Father, so many of them I could not count them at once. But Thou seest them all and knows them all. And it's written, "That no man can come to Me except My father draws him."
They've had enough of these creeds, and they realize that they don't find Jesus in them. Like Mary and Joseph they have to go back to the beginning where they left Him. They wish to go back tonight to an experience of Pentecost and receive the Holy Spirit, and there be borned anew into the Kingdom of God. Grant, Lord, that each of them will receive that experience this very hour. For we ask it in the Name of Jesus, Thy Son.
E-55 And while we have our heads bowed, I don't know whether you could or not, if you'd like to walk out into the middle of this aisle, there's walking room through here. Come right down here and stand around the altar and say, "Brother Branham..." If you truly believe that... I may have been a mystic to you in times past. But seeing that something has taken place, millions around the world has received it. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
And it seems like that it goes right straight back to the beginning, to the Bible. "I haven't got that experience. But I--I want you to pray for me tonight right here at the altar and lay hands upon me." For that's the way they did it at the beginning.
E-56 Philip went down and preached to the Samaritans. And he had baptized them all in the Name of Jesus. But the Holy Ghost had come on none of them until they sent for Peter. And he came down and laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
If you would desire prayer, and if you're soul is burdened with sin, and yet you've tried churches and baptisms and so forth, but it hasn't worked, if you want to be--me to pray with you tonight, you come right on up here now. I'd be glad to offer my service of prayer for any of you, being sincere. I believe if you've come in the depths of your sincerity. A God that can open blinded eyes can clean a dirty heart. A God that can raise the dead physically, can certainly raise him spiritually. He Who can quicken the mortal body can certainly quicken the immortal soul. "Quicken" means "to make alive." May God beat that into your hearts my dear friends.
E-57 You people here of the city of Jeffersonville, and New Albany, and Louisville, I don't know how you're going to stand in the day of the judgment. Because God has did everything right here at this little old humble, broken down looking tabernacle. He's healed the sick. He's showed signs and wonders. He's--He's brought His forth His Word, not deviating one thing from the Scriptures, and proved Himself to be the God of the living.
How you going to make heaven your home and hanging on to creeds and denominations, false religions, and false baptisms, and false emotions? How you going to do it when it's right in your heart, in your hands to make your decision? I were in your place, before it's everlasting too late, I'd come. For remember, Jesus spoke of one woman coming from a nation, and He said, "The queen of the south shall rise in the day of the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it. For she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon."
E-58 God bless you, my sister. If you just want to kneel, go right down there. If the little children, scoot back just as far as they can now, for those who would want to come and kneel for prayer.
I'm going to sing just a verse or two of this song, "I've Anchored My Soul." And I want everyone prayerfully praying while we see if those who are who are seeking God, longs to come down and pray.
... anchored my soul in a haven of rest,
I'll sail the wild sea no more.
The tempest may sweep o'er the wild stormy deep,
In Jesus I'm safe ever more.
I've anchored my soul,
As the Holy Spirit will, lead right down to the altar now for prayer.
... sail the wild sea (Come, the backsliders.)
The tempest may sweep o'er wild stormy deep,
In Jesus I'm safe ever more.
Shine on me, Lord, shine on me
Let the light from the light (That's what it is; it's the Word.) shine (You have it shining all around you.)
Oh, shine on...
Won't you make your way out of your seat, come down, go back to your church, wherever you come from, but come here and find Him like He was at the beginning.
Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me.
To be like Jesus, just to be like... (How many would like to be like that? Just raise up your hands.)
On earth I long to be like Him;
All through life's journey from earth to glory,
I only ask to be like him.
From Bethlehem's manager came forth a stranger,
On earth I long to be like Him,
All through life's journey from earth to glory,
I only ask to be like Him.
Just to be like Jesus, to be like Jesus,
On earth I long to be like Him,
All through life's journey from earth to glory,
I only ask to be like Him.
E-59 As these the dear mourners, those who have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit calling them to their final destination... And remember, it may happen to the youngest person in here within five minutes. And in one hour from now there may not be a living person on the earth. It can happen. Science said two years ago it was three minutes until midnight. You know what we've been preaching in the prophesies, just ready to happen. And why would Satan keep you caged with the least little doubt in your mind?
E-60 Now, you here that's been sprinkled, poured, or--or baptized other ways than Christian baptism, let this be known unto you:
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on... them which heard the word.
And they that of the circumcision which believed where astonished, as many as came with Peter, 'cause... on the Gentile... was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can a man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which has received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Then he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
E-61 Acts 19, let me quote to you, to you Baptist people, and listen to this closely:
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coast of Ephesus,... he finds certain disciples.
He said unto them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?... they said unto him,... We know not whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what were you baptized? And they said, We have been baptized unto John.
... He said, Verily John baptized unto repentance, saying... that they should believe on him to come... that is, on Jesus Christ.
And when they heard this, they were rebaptized again, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Paul laid his hands on them, and the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues and magnified God.
E-62 Galatians 1:8, Paul speaking again:
As I have said, so say I a--again. If we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed.
No matter how many creeds of light, how many denominations, how many anythings. If you haven't been baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, you believers, I'm commanding you in Name of Jesus Christ to walk to this pool and be baptized. That's right. That's exactly what the Scripture says. "For there's not another Name under heaven given among men, whereby you must be saved." No matter how much you--what you've done, how much you received the Holy Ghost, let's go back to the beginning. If you've been sprinkled, poured, or something, baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, it is a false creed. There is no one in the Bible ever sprinkled, ever poured, or ever baptized in the Name of Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
E-63 Let's go back to the beginning and you'll find Him. The altar's open and the pool's a waiting. While we sing one more time, "Just To Be Like Jesus"...
To be like Jesus, just to be like Jesus,
On earth I long (Won't you make your way here? What about you believers? There'll be a room open here for you, just in a minute.)
All through life's journ... (What did He say? "It wasn't so from the beginning," if you want to be like Him...)... to glory,
I only ask to be like him.
E-64 Let us pray again. Come on, sister, if you're coming to the altar here. That's all right. Lord, God, let it be written and let it be did, Lord. It is written, so now let it be done. I will not be guilty at the day of the judgment for standing behind some church creed, but to preach the full Gospel in the power of the resurrection of the Holy Ghost. Now, Lord, will You honor these words, and will You send the Holy Spirit on these tonight, Lord? And heal the sick and the afflicted in our midst, that the people might know that the God that wrote the Bible is still here. And He does not change, though men try to change the Word, but He is the unchangeable God that said it wasn't so from the beginning.
E-65 And if we see what the first branch was in the vine, we can truly make the Book of Acts our example as a church. And grant, Lord, tonight, that every person here that has not followed the Lord Jesus... And Jesus confirming that He was with them, with the signs and wonders of the New Testament doctrine of the Book of Acts which the first branch produced... May they fall humbly at His feet and go forward, Lord, and find Him like He was at the beginning. For we cannot find Him among our creeds and denominations and among our little weak doctrines of this day. We must come back to God and the Bible.
Those who are here on their knees is seeking for Thy Holy Spirit, and are believing that It shall come on them. They're not setting any certain form, any certain way. They're just wanting the Holy Ghost to come on them. Grant, God, that their hearts may be opened at this time, and the power of the living God fall in their hearts, and fill them and forgive their sins, and fill them with the Holy Spirit. Grant these things, Father.
E-66 Now, with our heads bowed just continually for another minute, I believe God is going to move in an exceedingly great way just in a few minutes.
If there be some here tonight who are strangers out of the city, who cannot come back to another service and is in an emergency state, while these are at the altar seeking, waiting on God... Which we're going to get right with them in a few minutes. But if they are here in an emergency state, and cannot wait just a--for another service, wishes to be prayed for, would you raise your hand, someone that has to leave. One, two. All right. One, two that's in here now, three, that's in here that cannot wait any longer, that... they're just have to go... Four, I see one in the back. There's four people. Five, one right here. All right. There's five in here tonight that cannot wait any longer. I wonder if you can, and can get on your feet... If you can't, you may be packed. And while we're keeping these people at the altar, I want to you to go over into this prayer room, over to my right hand side here. These five people...
E-67 While we just ask that the ministers of this, that's in this building tonight that believes that this Message that I have preached... That these creeds and--and manmade doctrines today is not of God but they are of man. And that we really ought to go back to the Bible way, go back to the beginning. I want some of those ministers to walk forward, and stand here with me while we lay hands and pray for these people here, on these people that's seeking for God's great blessings on their life. Some of you ministers if you will, that believes this to be the vital truth of God... Don't come no other way now. See? Be a man who believes it to be the absolute truth.
E-68 And those now, those five that held up their hands, go around on this other side if you can, or come around behind the platform. If you can't get in there... And we will see what takes place in a few minutes. Go right through this way, brother. If the children will just move back there.
And now let those who are coming now, come through for prayer, let them through, just if you can, right through here.
Will turn to brightest day,
Then let us all take courage,
For we're not left alone;
The lifeboat soon is coming
To gather the pilgrims home.
Then cheer, my brother cheer, oh cheer,
Our trials shall soon be o'er,
Our loved ones we shall meet, shall meet,
Upon the golden shore.
We're pilgrim's and we're strangers here,
We're seeking a city to come,
The lifeboat soon is coming
To gather the Jewels home.
The lifeboat soon is coming,
By eyes of faith I see,
As she sweeps through the waters
To rescue you and me.
And land us safely in the port
With friends we love so dear,
"Get ready," cries the Captain,
"Oh, look, she's almost here." (Watch the atomic bombs...?...)
Our trials shall soon be o'er,
Our loved ones we shall meet, shall meet,
Upon the golden shore.
We're pilgrims and we're strangers here,
We're seeking a city to come,
Our lifeboat soon is coming
To gather the Jewels home.
E-69 Now, friends, these ministers will gather up around now, close around here. I'm going in for these emergency cases that cannot come back. And the reason we are doing this like we are tonight, is... There's a baptismal service coming off just in a few minutes. And the next baptismal service will be Sunday morning after Sunday school. That'll leave us Saturday night, Friday night, and Saturday night, and Sunday night for healing line. We're want to put God's salvation first. See? Healing will take place; we're not scared about that. And so, it'll take place. Last night God saved eight precious souls here at the altar. Oh, how happy I was to see that.
E-70 And I don't know who these are around here. Some of them may be sinners calling out; some of them may be seeking the Holy Spirit. But now I'm going in... And my wife back there, honey, there's both men and women in there. I'm just going in to see what will happen. I trust that the new ministry will be ministered in there. God knows I've told the Word just as true as I know it in the Bible. And that's right. And I'm going back to see what God will do.
E-71 Now, tomorrow night, the Lord willing, we won't have a baptismal service, 'less it's emergency, someone wants to be baptized. But immediately in the next ten or fifteen minutes, the baptismal service will be taking place. And then, tomorrow night there'll be... I want to ask my sis--my daughter-in-law in here, (sister-in-law, why...)--my daughter-in-law if she found the prayer cards today. Loyce, did you find them? Never found them. Well, we'll write some. We--we'll get some some way. And we'll give the prayer cards out tomorrow night, the Lord willing, and start our prayer lines coming around, regular fashion prayer lines, if something doesn't take place in a few minutes in the room. And then we'll see tomorrow night, the Lord willing, we'll give out the prayer cards early tomorrow night, around about six o'clock, I guess, or something like that, six or six-thirty, something tomorrow night, so the people can get a prayer card and get in the line.
E-72 Now, just now I want every person that can to be greatly in prayer. I want you ministers, get around these people, but Brother Neville here at the platform. And I'm going in to pray for the sick. The Lord bless you. And you brethren, now, get right around where these people are now. Walk up, lay your hands upon them, and let's have a prayer as you get around. Each one of them stay right with them now as you get right around. All the congregation who knows how to pray, bow your heads back there, and be breathing prayer to God, that the Holy Ghost will fall on these, and fill them with the Holy Ghost, and will perform miracles in this room to heal the sick and the afflicted.