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1 Thank you, Brother Williams. Greetings, Brother Slough and his wife, and all the delegates here at this banquet tonight. It’s certainly a great privilege to be here. I’ve looked forward for this hour ever since we have started this way.
2 And I want to thank that lady. I can’t think of her name. Billy just told me they had give me a box of Christmas candy, and I just brought it out to the car a few moments ago. The sister, (I can’t think of her name), she’s from here in California. That was my first Christmas present. So, I thank you for it.
3 Now, tonight it’s... Now, in Tucson it’s ten minutes after nine, but I think it’s just ten minutes after eight here. So we... I have kind of a feeling amongst the people I’m kind of long-winded in preaching, so I hope... [Congregation applauds.] Thank you. Some nice persons in here... I thank you.
4 But I’m just a little bit preached out almost tonight. I’ve been going so long from Shreveport and across the country (coming this way) night after night, and you get just a little shook up, you know, and cold, and your throat gets hoarse. I started out at Shreveport. I lost my hair when I was... few years ago, and I had a little piece I put on when I’m preaching in the north country to keep from taking a cold. I went to Shreveport and forgot it, and I really got a cold. And then wind coming across like that, you really just don’t know. It was taken out accidentally, and the skin’s still soft; and with just a little perspiration, and I’ve really got it in the throat. Had to close many meetings. So, I’m just a teeny bit hoarse tonight.
5 We want to say we’ve had a wonderful time coming across here though, in the meetings. Last night we had a wonderful time up in... with the brethren at the other chapter. And so, had a great crowd out and wonderful attendance, the people so reverent and nice. So it makes me feel real good to be a part of the Full Gospel Businessmen. It’s been...
6 I have a message, I feel, from God. It’s a little odd to some people that... I can’t help being no more... I just got to be what I am. And I don’t mean to be different; it’s just that I’m living at a changing time.
7 As long as you’re building the wall one straight way, it’s all fine---the bricklayers can go right down the row. But when you have to turn the corner, that’s where the time... And we’re not building a wall; we’re building a house, you see, so these turns has to come. They come in the age of Martin Luther, John Wesley, and the Pentecostal age; it’s here again. So it’s hard to turn the corners. But I’m so thankful for... to God; even though how rough it’s been, the people has responded 100%. So, we’re very grateful; thank each one of you.
And now before we open the Book, let’s speak to the Author, if you will, just a moment, while we bow our heads.
8 Dear God, we are grateful to You tonight for the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ our Saviour---your Son---and the free pardoning of our sins, and to know that His blood is sufficient, that’s covered all of our sins and our iniquities. They’re so blotted out and put in the sea of God’s forgetfulness... and His bride will stand at the wedding supper---pure, unadulterated---to marry the Son of God. How we thank Thee for this all-sufficiency and the faith to know that we do not trust in our own merits but in His merit alone, for what He did for us. We’re so grateful.
9 Thank You for the success that these brethren had overseas in the countries over there where they’re hungering and thirsting for God. I pray, Lord, that if they go back again, that those children that they brought into the kingdom will be great-grandmothers and grandfathers of the children that they bring in also. Grant it, Father.
10 Bless us together tonight, and may the Holy Spirit give to us the things that we have need of. Close our mouths to the things that we should not say, and open our hearts to receive what You would tell us. Grant it, Father. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
11 Now, let’s turn in the Bible to a little text that I would like to speak on for a while tonight, and it’s found over in St. Mark, the tenth chapter.
12 A few years ago when I would speak, I wouldn’t even have to write a note; I could remember it. And I didn’t have to take a pair of glasses to read it out of the Bible. But since I’ve passed twenty-five now---twice---it’s kind of a little hard for me to do like I used to do. And it’s like a worn-out car, but I’m still running. I want to keep on chugging along till I go to the scrap heap to be molded over again. That’s the promise.
13 St. Luke, the tenth chapter, and begin at the... I believe I said the twenty-first verse, if I can find it here somewhere. I’m mistaken; it’s St. Mark. I’m sorry.
14 St. Mark, the tenth chapter, and the twenty... beginning with the twenty-first verse, I want to read. Let’s get the seventeenth verse, rather:
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeling down to him, and asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, and that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, and sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasures in heaven: and come, and take up thy cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at that saying, and he went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
And may the Lord bless the reading of His Word.
15 Now, we’re going to speak tonight on a subject. I want my text to be: “Follow Me”; and my subject: “Leadership.”
16 Now, it’s strange, but I thought maybe, today in praying... And I’ve been so long, and each night right down the line on the message that I have, the Lord has given to me to speak on. I thought tonight, over in this new chapter, I would approach it from a different standpoint. And many times we have talked on this, called it “The Rich Young Ruler.” And many of the ministers here, my brethren, no doubt have approached it in many different ways. And I want to try to approach it in a different way tonight than I ever have, this of leadership.
17 This... Remember this, that each one of us, young and old, your first step that you ever made in your life, someone had to lead you. That’s right. And your last step you’ll ever make, someone will be leading you. Someone has to lead.
18 God has likened us unto sheep. And if anyone knows about raising sheep and the nature of sheep, why, you know that a sheep cannot find his way around. He has to be led. Even in the slaughter pens, we find that they bring the sheep there and he’s led up into the slaughter by a goat. A goat leads him up, then when he gets up to the end of the chute, he jumps out and the sheep goes right on into the slaughter. So, we find that a sheep cannot find his way around.
19 I remember an experience I had with one, one time. I was state game warden in Indiana, and I had been out in the field, and I heard something, the most pitiful cry. And it was a little lamb, had lost his mama. And he couldn’t find his way to her, and the mother couldn’t find her way to the little lamb. And I picked the little fellow up, and how quiet he laid against me. And I went along there, my hands holding the little fellow. And crying (I heard him), how he just snugged his little head down against me, and it seemed like he knew that I was going to help him.
20 I thought, “O rock of ages, cleft for me, pick me up in the arms of the Lord Jesus, and just be content as I know I’m going to go home to be with my loved ones.” And I thought, “At the end of my life’s journey, just bring me in your arms, Lord, like that. That I know I’ll be carried across the river then, there on the other side where there’ll be no sorrows and sicknesses and things, and I’ll be with the loved ones that I’ve loved.”
21 And if you’ll study nature, there’s a great thing in nature. Everything that I look at, and God has made, He’s the author of nature. Nature runs in continuity. All nature runs about the same. You notice, everything... As I have said---I believe last evening---that nature testifies of God. If you never had a Bible, you could still watch nature and know that this Bible is the truth.
22 I have had the privilege of being around and around the world. And I’ve read the different phases, and I’ve seen different religions ---the Mohammedans, and I’ve read the Koran, and seen the Sikhs, the Jains, and Mohammedans, and the Buddhists, and whatmore. But yet, each one of them, they have a philosophy and a book of creed and a book of laws, and so forth. But our Bible is the truth, and our God is the only one that is right, because each one of them has to point to a grave somewhere where their founder is still laying; but Christianity points to an open tomb and can live in the presence of the one that was put in there. He is alive! It’s not a God that was, it’s a God that is. Not a “I was,” or a “I will be,” but “I AM.”
23 And all nature runs in continuity. As I have said, talking on our church ages (which we have the books now that’s coming out about my writing of the church ages) and how that we see the church, how it’s matured, come up just exactly like all nature does.
24 And we was talking the other day about how the sun rises in the morning---it’s a little baby, real weak, not much strength to it at all. And as the day goes on, it gets stronger and stronger. About eight o’clock it enters school, like a young boy or young girl. And then about eleven o’clock it’s out of school, and it’s ready for its service. And then across till about three o’clock it changes, in the middle life into old age. And then dies in the afternoon. Is that the end of the sun? No. It comes back the next morning to testify that there is a life, a death, a burial, a resurrection, see.
25 We watch the trees, how they move and what they do. I was some time ago down in Kentucky---I like to squirrel hunt---and I went down in the fall of the year there to squirrel hunt with a friend of mine. And it got very dry.
26 And anyone ever hunted gray squirrel, know that... how hard it is to slip up on them when the leaves just crack. And, oh, Houdini is an amateur escape artist to those fellows, how they can get away! And then trying to shoot eye shots at fifty yards, it takes some good hunting to get your limit in a day.
27 So, Mr. Wood, a friend of mine, a converted Jehovah Witness, was with me. And he said, “I know a farm over here where there’s a man that’s got a lot of (we call them there) hollers.”
28 How many know what a holler is? Well, what part of Kentucky you from, anyhow? See? And that’s where I am from.
29 Like here in one of the chapters not long ago (I have to tell this to Brother Williams and them), they said, “We will now stand and sing the national anthem.”
30 And I said, “For My Old Kentucky Home.” Nobody joined in with me, so... That was the only anthem I knew. And so we was, now...
31 [Brother Branham is handed a note.] “Please have prayer, for a lady in here now is bleeding at the nose.” All right, sir. Let us pray.
32 Dear God, I ask You, Lord, Thou art the great healer and I ask that your grace and mercy will touch this dear woman just now and stop that blood. As a believing people who’s assembled together... The lady has come here to enjoy the Word of the Lord and the fellowship of the people, and I ask You, Lord, just now, to rebuke the enemy and stop the blood. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen. (And we believe it. We believe it.)
33 On with the little story just to kind of get a feeling before we get right down in the few notes I’ve got written here, and some scriptures.
34 Now, he said, “Well, this old man, we’ll go over and see him. He’s got a lot of hollows in his place,” he said, “but he’s an infidel.” He said, “He’d just about curse us out if we went over there.”
35 I said, “But we’re not getting no squirrels here.” We’d been camping two weeks, and we was dirty, and beard all out over our face.
36 He said, “Well, let’s go over.”
37 So, we went a few miles down, about twenty miles. I’d been in the country down there once before, for three nights at a Methodist campground, where there had been some great things the Lord had did---a great healing service amongst the Methodist people. And then we went way back over some hills and hollows and ridges. And you just have to know Kentucky to know it, what kind of a place you had to get into. And while we went back there, we come to a house; and there sat an old man... two old men sitting out there with their old hats slouched down over their face. And he said, “There he is,” and said, “he’s a tough one.” Said, “He hates that word of a ‘preacher.’”
38 So I said, “Well, I just better sit in the car, or we won’t get to hunt at all.” I said, “You go in and ask him if we can hunt.”
39 So, he got out, started walking in. He spoke to them. And in Kentucky, always, you know, it’s “come in,” and so forth. And so, he went up there, and he said, “I just wondered if we could hunt a while on your place.”
40 The old man sitting there, about seventy-five years old, tobacco running down his mouth, he said... spit, and he said, “What’s your name?”
He said, “My name is Wood.”
He said, “Are you any relation to old man Jim that used to live...”
He said, “Yeah, I’m Jim’s boy.” Said, “I’m Banks.”
41 “Well,” he said, “old man Jim was an honest man.” Said, “Certainly, help yourself.” He said, “Are you by yourself?”
He said, “No, my pastor is out there.”
He said, “What?”
He said, “My pastor is out in the car.” Said, “He’s hunting with me.”
42 He said, “Wood, you don’t mean you’ve got so low down till you have to tote a preacher with you wherever you go?”
43 So, he was a rough old character. So, I thought I’d better get out of the car, you know. So, I got out and walked around, and he said, “Well, then you’re a preacher, huh?”
44 I said, “Yes, sir.” He looked me up and down (squirrel blood, and dirt), and he said... I said, “Don’t look much like it.”
45 Said, “Well, I kind of like that.” He said, “You know, I want to tell you something.” He said, “I’m supposed to be an infidel.”
46 I said, “Yes, sir, I understood that.” I said, “I don’t think it’s much to brag about, though. Do you?”
47 And he said, “Well,” he said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I’m going to tell you what I think of you guys.”
I said, “All right.”
48 He said, “You’re barking up the wrong tree.” And how many knows what that means? See? It means it’s a lying dog, you see; the coon’s not up there at all, see. He said, “You’re barking up the wrong tree.”
I said, “That’s to opinion.”
49 And he said, “Well,” he said, “look, you see that old chimney standing up there?
I said, “Yes.”
50 I was born up there, seventy-five years ago.” And said, “I’ve lived right here in these hills all around through all these years.” And said, “I’ve looked towards the skies, I’ve looked here and there, and surely, in all these seventy-five years, I would have seen something that looked like God. Didn’t you think so?”
51 I said, “Well, it depends on what you’re looking at, what you’re looking for.”
52 And he said, “Well,” he said, “I certainly don’t believe there is such a creature. And I believe you fellows just simply get out and swindle the people out of their money and everything. And that’s the way it goes.”
53 I said, “Well, you’re an American citizen, you have a right to your own thinking.”
54 He said, “There’s one guy, one time, that I heard of,” he said, “that I would sure... If I would ever get to talk with that fellow,” said, “I’d like to ask him a few questions.”
I said, “Yes, sir.”
55 He said, “It was a preacher; you might know him.” Said, “He had a meeting up here in Campbellsville, not long ago, in a church yard up there, a campground.” And he said, “I forget his name.” Said, “He was from Indiana.”
And I said, “Oh? Yes, sir.”
56 And Brother Wood started to say, “Well, I...”
(“Don’t say that.”) So he said... I said, “What about him?”
57 He said, “Well,” he said, “Old Lady [somebody] up there on the hill...” Said, “You know, she was dying with cancer.” And said, “Wife and I would go up there of a morning to change her bed.” Said, “They couldn’t even raise her up high enough to put her on the bedpan.” Said, “They just had to pull a draw sheet.” And said, “She was dying. She had been to Louisville, and,” said, “the doctors had give her up and said she was going to die.”
58 “And her sister went up to that meeting.” And said, “That preacher was standing up there on the platform, looked back over the audience and called this woman by name, and told her when she left she took a handkerchief and put it in her purse. And called this woman’s name down here, twenty miles below here, and said how she was suffering with cancer, what her name was, and all she’d been through; said, ‘Take that handkerchief and go lay it on the woman,’ and said that ‘the woman will be healed of her cancer.’”
59 And said, “They come down here that night.” And said, “Honest, I heard the awfullest screaming up there. I thought they had the Salvation Army turned loose on top of the hill up there.” Said, “‘Well,’ I said, ‘I guess the old sister’s dead.’ Said, ‘Tomorrow we’ll go and get the wagon (and how we’d take her out to get to the main road),’ and said, ‘so they can take her to the undertaker.’” And said, “We waited. No need of going up that time of night,” said, “about a mile up on the hill here.” Said, “We went up there the next morning, and you know what happened?”
I said, “No, sir.”
60 He said, “She was sitting there eating fried apple pies and drinking coffee with her husband.”
I said, “You mean that?”
He said, “Yes, sir.”
“Oh,” I said, “now, mister, you really don’t mean that.”
61 He said, “What bothers me is what... how did that man, and never in this country, and knew that?”
And I said, “Oh, you don’t believe that.”
He said, “It’s the truth.”
I said, “You believe that?”
62 He said, “Well, go right up there on the hill; I can prove it to you.” He’s preaching back to me now, you see.
63 I said, “Hmm-mmm.” I picked up an apple, and I said, “Can I have one of these apples?” and I rubbed it on my clothes.
64 He said, “Well, the yellow jackets are eating them up, I guess you can have one.” And now I said, “Well...” I bit into it, and I said, “That’s a nice apple.”
65 He said, “Oh, yes.” Said, “You know what? I planted that tree there, oh, forty years ago, or something like that.”
I said, “Oh, is that right?”
66 And I said, “Well, and every year...” I said, “I notice we haven’t had no frost yet---it’s early August.” And I said, “Them leaves are falling off the trees.”
67 “Yes, sir. That’s right, it’s coming on fall. Believe we’re going to have an early one this time.”
68 I said, “Yes, sir.” Changed the subject, see. And he said... I said, “Well, you know, it’s strange,” I said, “how that sap goes out of that tree.” I said, “And them leaves falls off, and yet there’s no... they haven’t had no frost to kill the leaf.”
69 And he said, “Well,” he said, “what’s that got to do with what we’re talking about?”
70 And I said, “Well, I was just wondering.” (You know, Mama always said, “Give a cow enough rope and it’ll hang itself, you know.” So, I just give him plenty of rope.)
71 So, he went on out, and he said, “Well, yes, what’s that got to do with it.”
72 I said, “You know, God brings them apples up, and you enjoy those apples and leaves, and you sit in the shade and so forth. It goes down in the fall of the year, and,” I said, “comes back up again with the apples and with the leaves again.”
73 And he said, “Oh, that’s just nature. See, that’s just nature.”
74 I said, “Well, of course, that’s nature.” I said, “That’s nature, but somebody has to control nature.” See, he said... “You tell me now what does that?”
75 He said, “Well, it’s just naturally nature.”
76 I said, “Who is it that says to that little leaf now, and the...?” I said, “Now, the reason that leaf falls off, it’s because the sap goes down into the root. And what if that sap stayed up in the tree through the wintertime? What would happen?”
77 Said, “It would kill the tree.”
78 “Well,” I said, “now, what intelligence that runs that sap down into the roots, said, ‘Get out of here now, it’s coming fall of the year, get down into the roots and hide’? And stay down into the roots like a grave, and then next spring comes back up again, brings up more apples, and brings up more leaves and things.”
79 He said, “That’s just nature; it’ll do it.” Said, “The weather. The changing, you know, coming on fall.”
80 I said, “Set a bucket of water on the post out there, and see if nature runs it down to the bottom of the post and brings it back up again.”
“Well,” he said, “you might have something.”
I said, “Think of it while we go hunting.”
And he said, “Well,” he said, “hunt where you want to.”
81 And I said, “When I come back, if you’ll tell me what intelligence runs that sap out of that tree down into the roots to stay all winter and come back the next winter, I’ll tell you that’s the same intelligence that told me about that woman up there.”
Said, “Told you?”
I said, “Yes, sir.”
He said, “You’re not that preacher!”
I said, “Would you know his name?”
I said, “Branham?”
He said, “That’s him.”
I said, “That’s right.” See?
82 And you know what? I led the old man to Christ, right there on his own testimony.
83 And a year later, I was down there and pulled a car (Indiana license on it) in the yard. They had moved away; he had died. And so when I come back, there stood his wife to really rake me over. I thought I had permission to hunt. And she come out there, she said, “Can’t you read?”
I said, “Yes, ma’am.”
84 She said, “Did you see those signs saying ‘No hunting’?”
85 I said, “Yes, ma’am, but,” I said, “I have permission.”
86 “You do not have permission!” she said. And said, “We got this place posted for many years.”
87 I said, “Well, sister, I was wrong then. I’m sorry.”
88 And said, “Sorry nothing! Them Indiana license on there, and sit up here... you’re the boldest people!”
I said, “Could I just explain it?” I said...
She said, “Who gave you permission?”
89 I said, “I don’t know, just...” I said, “It was an elderly man sitting out there on the porch, when I was down here last year, and we was talking about God.” See?
And she looked. She said, “Are you Brother Branham?”
I said, “Yes, ma’am.”
90 She said, “Forgive me. I didn’t know who you were.” She said, “I want to tell you his testimony. In his last dying hours, he raised up his hands and praised God.” Said, “He died in Christian faith, and was carried away to God.” See?
91 “If they hold their peace, the rocks will immediately cry out.” There’s something in nature.
92 Watch the birds, watch the animals, watch everything, and you watch nature.
93 Watch the little dove, how he flies. What a different bird he is, see. He doesn’t have any gall; he can’t eat like the crow can, see. He has no gall in him. He doesn’t have to take a bath in the water, because he’s got something on the inside of him; it cleans him from the inside out, you see.
94 And that’s the way the Christian is. That’s the way God represented Himself---in a dove. See, because... and Jesus was represented as a lamb. Always in nature you’ll find God. And God likened us unto sheep that has to be led. Did you ever notice there ---I preached a sermon on it some time ago---that the dove coming down on the Lamb to lead the Lamb, and it led Him to the slaughter? The dove. Now, that dove could not have descended upon any other type of animal, because they both had to be of the same nature, see. If the dove would’ve lit upon a wolf, and he would have snorted or growled, the dove would have took its flight.
95 Well, that’s the same way now. In our ill ways, the Holy Spirit just takes His flight and goes away. It’s got to have the same nature. The bird of the heavens, the dove; the meekest animal on earth, the lamb; they can agree together. And when the Holy Spirit comes upon us and makes us new creatures, then He can lead us. But we try to live the same old life, it won’t work. It just won’t work.
96 Now, the first step you probably ever taken in your life---speaking of leadership---is probably the hands of some kind old mother. Them hands may be still tonight, out here in some cemetery somewhere, but that was the hand that held you to make your first step.
97 Then after mother taught you how to walk---and you’d make a few steps and fall down, and get up, and you thought you were doing great things---then she turned you over to the school teacher. And then she began to lead you to an education---of how and what you must do, and how you must learn, and so forth like that.
98 Then after the school teacher got through with you, then you returned back, your father got ahold of you. Then when your father got ahold of you, he taught you perhaps your business---how to be a successful businessman, how to do things right. Your mother taught you how to be a housewife, how to cook, and so forth like that.
99 Then after they got through with you, then your minister or priest got ahold of you.
100 But now who leads you? That’s the question now. Now, we’re all led by something tonight. We have to be. We’re led. Notice.
101 Now, let’s look at this young fellow’s... what had influenced him. Let’s look at this young businessman, we would call him, because he was a businessman. He was a great successful man. Let’s look at his leaders.
102 Perhaps, first, his mother had taught him as a little boy the things that he should do. His father had made him such a fine success, and maybe left him an inheritance, because he was a ruler himself. Perhaps his father was gone, so he was a businessman. He was a... let’s call him, today, like a Christian businessman; or, he was a religious businessman, I think would be the best quotation.
103 This man was religious; he was by no means an infidel. And he had been taught by his mother how to do right, how to walk, how to dress himself. He had been taught, by his father, a great business, and how to be a successful man. And his business was successful. And father and mother had been raised up in the church, and had pointed him to the priest. And the priest had made him a real religious man. Therefore, he was a fine cultured man. He was a fine boy with good character.
104 If Jesus Christ looked at him and loved him, there was something about the boy was real. Right. For the Bible said here (we find out in Mark), “And Jesus beholding him, loved him.” Yeah, “Jesus beholding him, loved him.” So, therefore, there must be something real outstanding about this young fellow. He had a good character rating. He was a man that was raised right, intelligent, smart, intellectual, successful in business, and a religious man. He had a lot of good characteristics that was outstanding, so much that it attracted the attention of Jesus Christ the Saviour. But when he was confronted, being successful in all these other things...
105 Nothing had went wrong. He was perfectly cut out right, measured up right, intelligent, right education, his success. He was smart, a fine businessman, probably belonged to a businessmen’s group somewhere there in Palestine. He might have belonged to a businessmen’s fellowship like we have here tonight. No doubt he did, because businessmen has always had fellowships with another, one with the other, because just like “birds of a feather,” they have things to talk about.
106 And the religious men, they don’t want to talk about the men that runs the barroom and all them together, because they have nothing in common. We’ve got to have things in common. So Christians has things in common with Christians; sinners has things in common with sinners; and societies---and whatever they are---they have things in common. And this young boy probably belonged to a businessmen’s fellowship.
107 And he was religious as he could be, because Jesus in questioning him here, he said, “I have kept these commandments, observed them all from my youth.” That’s right.
108 See, he had been brought up right, taught right, and everything. But when he was confronted with the thought of eternal life... Now, I want you to notice: with all this character that he had, he yet knew he did not possess eternal life.
109 Now, all of our societies, our church, our membership and the things that we hold so dear---our American societies, and everything ---is very fine. There’s nothing to be said against that. And our Christian Businessmen’s Society here is a great thing. It’s been an open door for me on my interdenominational thoughts that “we are Christians.”
110 There is no one (no one denomination) can claim us, a real Christian, because you belong to God. Denominations are man-made, and Christianity is heaven-sent. But in all these things that we have---as good as they are, as fine as we come together, and as nice of meetings as we have, and social understanding that we have ---yet we’re each one confronted with eternal life. And no matter how successful we’ve been in business, how successful we’ve been, and what a great church member we are, how we work, how we try to do things right, still, if it’s not done in the right way, it is a worship of God in vain.
111 Jesus classed that the same way (as I stop here for a moment). He said, “In vain do you worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” Now think! A sincere, honest worship with the sincerity of your heart to God, and still be in vain! It began that way with Cain at the garden of Eden. Sincere worship, but was rejected. Very religious, still rejected.
112 In Shreveport last week... week before last, at a Businessmen’s meeting---a breakfast there where several hundreds of people had gathered---I took two and a half hours to speak on doing God a service without being God’s will. Now, that sounds strange, but we’ve got to channel ourselves into God’s provided channel and God’s way of doing it. No matter how much we think it’s right, it’s got to be according to the Word of the Lord or it’s in vain. Cain worshipped, but it wasn’t according to the Word of the Lord. The Pharisees worshipped, but not according to the Word of the Lord. And in this particular message to the Businessmen, I taught this.
113 David, he wanted to do the Lord a service, and he was right in what he said. He said, “Is it right for the ark of the Lord to be down there? Let’s bring it up here.” In the days of the king, the other king that he had succeeded... He said, “It’s not right. They never consulted the Lord by the ark, but we must do it.” Now, that’s correct, what they should’ve done. He said, “We should go get the ark, and we can consult the Lord.” And that’s right. It was down in another country. Said, “We got to bring it up here. Get it up here and put it in our house here, and worship the Lord.”
114 Now notice, he went in the wrong channel to do it. He consulted the captains of fifties and hundreds and thousands. They all was consulted, every one. Seeing it was the will of the Lord, looked like that it was the Word of the Lord.
115 The Word of the Lord... sometimes you have to put it in its right place or it’s not the will of the Lord. Now let that soak deep and you’ll get a general conception of what I’m trying to say.
116 I don’t want the church to fall into the steps that you found over there in England: long hair, and painted-faced men, and pervert. We don’t want that! No matter how religious it sounds, and how much Elvis Presley can sing religious songs, he’s still a devil. I’m no judge, but by their fruits you know them. He’s a Pentecostal, but that don’t make a bit of difference, see. Your fruits bear record of what you are.
117 No matter if the Spirit comes upon him, he could speak in tongues, he could shout, he could heal the sick; and Jesus said, “Many of them will come to me in that day, and say, ‘Lord, haven’t I done this and that?’ And I’ll say, ‘Depart from me, you that work iniquity, I never even knew you.’” See?
118 We’ve got to be real, genuine Christians, and the only way we can do that is confront it with this question here of eternal life.
119 There’s only one form of eternal life, and that comes from God. And He foreordained every creature that would ever have it. Just as you were the gene in your father, you was a gene in God---one of His attributes to begin with---or you’ll never be there. You come forth in the bedding ground of your mother. Your father didn’t know you; you were in his loins. And when you come forth in the bedding ground of the mother, then you become a human being and are made in the image of your father. Now you can fellowship with him. And the same thing by God, if you got eternal life.
120 The life that you come in---the natural life, physical life, that was by your father... And the only way you can come born again is... the only way is it has to be from your heavenly Father, His attributes. “All the Father has given me will come to me.” See?
121 You are here because your name were placed on the Lamb’s book of life before there was even a foundation of the world. That’s exactly right. You’re a gene, a spiritual gene out of your heavenly Father, a part of God’s Word. That be so, as I’ve said, then you was with Jesus when He was here because He was the Word. You suffered with Him, died with Him, buried with Him, and rose with Him, and now sitting in heavenly places in Him.
122 Notice, David thought everything was fine. And he consulted all these people, and they every one began to dance and shout and scream. They had all their religious motions that there was, but still it wasn’t God’s will to go down and bring the Word of God back to the house of God. But, you see, God always, in all ages, works through one way. His first decision is His only decision, because He’s perfect in His decision. He never does nothing except He first reveals it to His servants, the prophets. That’s exactly.
123 That’s why this... The church age that we live in, there’s no church---no Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostals, or anything else---can ever put this church into the bride. It’ll have to be the answering of Malachi 4, for God to send a prophet to be revealed to, because that’s the only way. Our churches denominate and throw the thing into a mess and huddle, just like they’ve always been, and God always sends the prophet.
124 And there was Nathan standing in the land, a vindicated prophet before God, and he wasn’t even consulted.
125 And they went down there and caused the life of an honest man, and so forth, and took the ark. Instead of putting it on the shoulders of the Levites to pack it, they put it on a cart to pack it. Altogether messed up!
126 You see, if you don’t go according to the will of God, and the way that God has give us to go, they always get it messed up and take it off in some organization, denomination, some message, and there you go, see. It’s always been done that way.
127 That’s the same thing that this boy was confronted with. He had been a member of maybe the Pharisees or Sadducees or some great order of that day. He was religious as he could be. He said, “I’ve observed these commandments I’ve been taught since I was a youth,” see. And Jesus loved him for it. But he refused to be guided; he refused to accept the real leadership of Jesus Christ to give him eternal life.
128 Notice, he believed there was something different than what he had, or he would have never said, “Good Master, what must I do now?”
129 See, he wanted to do something himself. That’s the way we do---we want to do something ourself. The gift of God is a free gift. God give it to you; you don’t do one thing for it. He ordained it to you, and you’re going to have it, see.
130 Notice, he knew it was there. He believed in it and wanted it. But when he was confronted with how he had to do it, it was different from his ritual. It was different. He could hold his money and belong on to the church that he belonged to, and so forth. But Jesus knew that, and knew that he had hoarded this money, and He said, “Go sell all you’ve got, and give it to the poor. And come take up your cross and follow me, and you’ll have treasures in heaven.” But he couldn’t do it.
131 The other leaders that he had had in his youthful days had such an influence on him till he refused to accept God’s provided way, which was Jesus Christ---the only one who holds eternal life, the only one that can give you it. Not the church, can’t give you eternal life; not your neighbor, not your pastor, not your priest, not your creed. Only Jesus Christ Himself can give you eternal life.
132 No matter how good you are, what you quit doing, what you start doing, you’ve got to accept the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then when you do that, He is the Word, and then your life fits right in the Word and it manifests itself to this age that you’re living in.
133 Noah had to do that for the Word to be manifested in his age. Now, what if Moses come along, said, “We know what Noah done; we’ll take Noah’s word. We’ll do it just the way Noah did it. We’ll build a ark and float down the Nile River and go out of Egypt”? Why, it wouldn’t have worked. See, that was another age.
134 Jesus couldn’t have come with Moses’ message; Luther couldn’t come with the Catholic message; Wesley couldn’t come with the Luther’s message; the Pentecost couldn’t come with the Wesley message. And the bride can’t be formed in the Pentecostal denomination. It just can’t do it. That’s exactly right. She’s done organized and went out here, and there she sits just like the rest of them. It’s a shuck. Just like the life comes up through the...
135 That writer (as I spoke the other night), that writer that wrote this book... And not because he criticized me so bad---said I was a devil “if there was such a thing.” So, he said he didn’t believe in God. He said, “A God that could fold His arms and sit up and watch them martyrs through the early ages, and claim to have power to open the Red Sea, and let them women and children be tore to pieces by lions and so forth, and then said He was a loving God.” Said, “There’s no such a creature.” See, the fellow without inspiration of the Word fails to see it.
136 The first corn of wheat, the bridegroom, had to fall into the earth in order to rise again. So did the first bride that was born at Pentecost---had to go through that Dark Ages like any other seed, be buried. They had to die. They must do it. But it started sprouting again in Luther in the first reformation. It didn’t look like the seed that went in, but it was the light of that day. The stalk then went on into the tassel, Wesley. And from the tassel it went into Pentecost, the shuck.
137 When you see into... the wheat, when it comes forth, the corn of wheat (a man that’s raised wheat, you go out and see that wheat form in there) it looks just exactly like the grain. But if you’ll take a tweezer and sit down and take that wheat and open it up, there’s no grain there at all. It’s just a shuck. And then what? It’s formed there to hold the grain, see. And then, the first thing you know, the life left the stalk to go into the tassel; left the tassel, go into the shuck; it leaves the shuck and goes into the wheat. Three stages, see, of it; and then forms the wheat outside of the three stages (Luther, Wesley, Pentecost). Just exactly, see. No doubt. You can’t interrupt nature.
138 Now look, every three years after a message has went forth sent from God, they organize. This has been twenty years, and there’s no organization. It won’t, see. Now the shuck has to pull away, give the wheat a chance to lay before the Son to ripen: the message coming right back into the church again, forming the body of Jesus Christ just like the first original one that went into the ground.
139 Now, to see the eternal life, the life... Sure, the stalk back here carried the life. Certainly it did. But, you see, when it become the stalk and it was finished (the organization), the life went right on into Wesley, come right out, like... And watch each one of them. One... a big blade don’t look like the grain. But when the little pollen comes---like on the shuck... or, on the stalk---the pollen of the tassel, it looks a whole lot like the grain. But when it comes down to that shuck, it’s almost there.
140 Didn’t Jesus say in the last days [Matthew 24:24] the two would be so close it would deceive the very genes, predestinated, the elected one, if it was possible? Almost like the real thing, see. So... in the last days. Now, you see, it’s wheat time now. It’s getting harvest time. This is not Luther’s age, this is not Pentecost age---this is the bride age.
141 As Moses called a nation out of a nation, Christ today is calling a church out of a church, you see---the same thing in type---taking them to the glorious eternal promised land.
142 Now, to refuse that person that’s doing the calling, Christ... No matter if you’re Pentecostal, Methodist, Luther, whatever you are, you’ve got to, this age---nothing against them, not at all---but in this age now you’ve got to accept (like they did in that age) the person of Christ, which is the Word! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” “The same yesterday, today, and forever,” Hebrews 13:8. See, you must accept that person of eternal life.
143 Now, what life Luther had was justification. Wesley had sanctification---added to it. The Pentecost had the restoration of the gifts coming back in it---added to it. But now it’s completing in the body, you see, the three phases of it, and out of that... Now, when the resurrection comes, the life that lived in them Lutherans that’s went out, the life that lived in the Methodists and went out, the life that went into Pentecostals, will all be raptured out of the ground in the body of the bride to be taken in before Jesus Christ. Glory to God! Oh, it’s exciting! It’s the truth!
144 We’ve turned a corner! We’re looking towards heaven, watching for the coming. The cap on the pyramid, as we would say, it’s coming back! The church must be resurrected soon, and we must get ready.
145 And the only way you can is not say, “Well, I belong to the Assemblies. I belong to the Oneness, Twoness [or whatever it is, all them there], I belong to the Church of God.” That don’t mean a thing. “Our fathers shouted and danced.” That’s perfectly all right; that was their day. But today you’re confronted not with the organization that they made, but with the life that’s going on, which is Jesus Christ.
146 This young fellow had done the same thing. Moses wrote those commandments. But, you see, the same God that wrote the commandments by His prophet was the same thing that prophesied the day would come, “I’ll raise up a prophet likened unto me. And it’ll come to pass that all that don’t hear him will be cut off”---back in the denominational shucks and tassels. They must go on to life. And today, don’t say, “I’m Pentecost. I belong to this; I belong to that.” That don’t mean nothing. You’ve got to accept the person Christ, eternal life. Confronts every one of us! Don’t forget that.
147 The other leaders, you see, they had such a hold on him. The peoples would talk, “Well, we belong to this, and we belong to that,” and had such a hold on him. But what a fatal thing to reject the leadership of eternal life!
148 Now, that life is present tonight. That’s right. The Holy Spirit is here, which is Christ in Spirit form. His Spirit, the anointing, is here. “A little while, the world seeth me no more; yet ye will see me... For I’ll be with you, even in you, to the consummation, to the end of the world.”
149 Jesus alone can lead you to that eternal life. There’s no church, no denomination, no preacher, no priest, no nothing else can lead you to it. You must be led by Him, the only One that can lead you.
150 Could you imagine Him leading you out of His Word, which that’s Him? And if He is the Word, and you’re a part of Him, won’t you be a part of the Word?---the Word that God wants to pour the waters of salvation upon today, to identify Him today; like the apostles identified Him, like Luther, like Wesley, like in the people in them days identified Him. This is another age. It’s the Word. The Word said these things that we’re seeing taking place now is predicted to take place in this hour. So, accept Jesus Christ and let Him lead you to eternal life.
151 Though he had achieved, this young fellow... He had achieved all good things. In school, been fine. As a good boy... no doubt, had been good. As a real father... In listening to his daddy in business, he had been a good boy, good to his parents. He had been loyal to his priest, he had been loyal to his church, he had been loyal to the commandments of God. But he lost the greatest thing, and the rest of them didn’t mean very much to him when he turned down the leadership of eternal life, Jesus Christ.
152 Notice. This leadership confronts every one of us today, the same thing as it did that young man. No matter how religious we are---you may be Catholic, you may be Baptist, Methodist, or you may be Pentecostals, or whatever you are---this same thing confronts you tonight: Eternal life---that’s acceptance of Jesus Christ. We are given this opportunity.
153 Sometime in life we have to confront the thing just like this young man did, because you are a mortal being and you are given the opportunity of choice. You have a choice. God made it so you can choose. If He put Adam and Eve on free moral agency so they could choose (and then they made the wrong choice), and, see, He can do no more to you than He did to them: He’s got to put you the same thing so you can choose or reject.
You have a choice. Let’s look at some of them.
154 You have a choice, as a young man, whether you’re going to have an education or not. You have that choice. You can want to be... just not have it; you can just refuse it.
155 You have a choice of your conduct. I’m going to hurt just a little bit here, see. You can go out and let your hair grow down and be a Beatle or some of these ignoramuses.
156 Or you women, you can look like a decent human being or you can be one of these weird creatures that we have out there---them blued eyes and waterhead haircuts and things---completely against the Word of God, which is absolutely contrary. Not even offer... couldn’t offer a prayer to be accepted. That’s the truth. Exactly right. That’s what the Bible said.
157 But what’s happened to you, church? You’ve seen so much television, so much things of the world, it’s so easy for your old Adam nature to drift into that, to act like the rest of them.
158 May I repeat this again: In the kosher, in the offering of the atonement in the days of Moses, when Moses brought the children out, there was to be seven days that there was to be no leaven among the people. Anyone knows that. In Exodus, “No leaven should be found in your camp at all, seven days.” That seven days represented the full seven church ages, see.
159 No leaven. Now, what is that? No creed, no world. Jesus said, “If you love the world or the things of the world, the love of God’s not even in you,” see. And we’re trying to mix that! You can’t do it! You’ve got to come to one thing to believe. You’re either going to believe God, you’re going to believe your church, you’re going to believe the world. You cannot mix it together. And you can’t hold to them old things that the other church before you did. You’ve got to take the message of the hour.
160 He said, “What was left over, don’t let it stay till morning [to come into this other age]. Burn it with fire, be destroyed.” That the age that you’re living in (the message of this age), it’s got to be brought out of the Scriptures and vindicated and proved by God that it’s God doing so. Then you either receive that or reject it. That’s eternal life, leadership of the Holy Spirit, leading His church.
161 We could stay on that a long time, but let’s move, just keep moving along.
162 The choice of your conduct... You can’t mix it now. You’re either for God or against God, and the outward expressions shows exactly what’s on the inside. The cocklebur. Many of you think, “I got the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I’m going to heaven.” That don’t mean one thing that you’re going to heaven. No, sir. You can have the baptism of the Holy Ghost every hour in your life, and still be lost and go to hell. The Bible says so. That’s exactly right.
163 Look here, you are a outside person. You have five senses that contacts that outside body. God gave you five senses---not to contact Him---your earthly home: see, taste, feel, smell, and hear.
164 Then you have a spirit on the inside of that, and it has five outlets---conscience, and love, and so forth---five outlets that you contact the spirit world with that, but with your spirit.
165 Your physical contacts the physical. Your spiritual contacts the spiritual. But inside of that you’ve got a soul. That soul is that gene that come from God.
166 And like a baby formed in its mother’s womb, when the baby comes into the mother’s womb, by the little germ, it crawls into the egg. It doesn’t form one cell a human, the next a dog, and the next a cat, and the next a horse. It’s all human cells because it’s building off of an original human cell.
167 And when a man has been born again by the Word of God, predestinated to eternal life, called “the elected,” it’ll be word of God on top of word, word on word! Not a denominational creed and then a word, and a creed---it won’t work! You can’t have that leaven in it! Only one eternal life, Jesus Christ the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
168 Friends, you feed my children. You send me across the mission fields to the world to bring the message. I got to be sincere with you. What I’m looking at, maybe you don’t see. That’s what I’m here to try to tell you. It’s not because I don’t love people. It’s because I do love people. Corrective. When I see the slipping of the church, going off saying, “Well, we did this and we did that,” and look around over the church and see their... It just won’t work.
169 Then look here in the Bible and see it’s got to be that way at the end, that lukewarm Laodicean church age, putting Jesus out (the Word). He never called... He ain’t going to call no church. He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke. I chasten them, taking the Word and pound it on, and tell them, ‘You’re wrong in it!’ That’s the reason I love you. If you’ll open the door and let me in, I’ll come in and sup with you.” Not a church; He’s done put out of that.
170 She’s headed for the Ecumenical Council. That’s where she’s gone, right back into Rome where she come from. And that’s exactly. I’ve got that wrote on paper from twenty-five years ago... or thirty-three years ago, and there it is. Not only that, it’s wrote in the Bible, from visions. She’s gone back. There’s no way of saving it, it’s gone! It’s going to be that way.
171 God’s calling individuals. “I stand at the door and knock. If any man, any person...” One individual out of a thousand, it might be one out of a million.
172 As I said a few nights ago: When Israel come up out of Egypt, there were just two million people come, and just two people went in---one out of a million. Did you know that? Caleb and Joshua.
173 And Jesus, when He was on earth, they said, “Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness. We’re keeping the traditions, and we’re doing this. We know where we’re standing.”
174 He said, “I know your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they’re every one eternally separated. They’re dead!”
175 When the sperm comes from the male or female, there’s a million eggs comes, there’s a million germs come. And out of all them little germs, of the kind... If it’s from the male cow, or the man, or whatever it is, there’s just millions of germs, a million germs working. In there there’s only one of those germs that’s ordained to life, for there’s one egg over there, fertile, to meet it. That’s right. Only one egg it’ll meet. Just like this body here sitting here, and the germ comes from God. And watch that little germ come up among all these other germs, and wiggle around them, right on past them, go over here and find that fertile egg and crawl right into it; and the rest of them die.
176 What if it was that way with the church today, one out of a million? See where it would be? “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there’ll be that’ll find it; because broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there’ll be that go in thereat.” “Is that truth, Brother Branham?” I don’t know, but I’m just quoting Scripture, see.
177 Now, you’re ordained to life. You see it if you’re ordained to see it. If you’re not ordained to see it, you won’t see it. Said, “They have eyes but they can’t see, ears and can’t hear.” How thankful you should be, church! How you should straighten yourself up from these things! How you should be on fire for God, that your eyes beholds what you see, your ears hears the things you see. Leadership! Why did you come here tonight to hear a message like this? I’m branded across the world, by the churches, as a fanatic. Why did you come? The Holy Spirit led you here to listen. Circumcise! Cut away the things of the world. Accept the leadership of Jesus Christ, or you’ll perish as sure as the world.
178 You have a choice of conduct. How you conduct yourself, that’s up to you.
179 You have a choice of wife. You go out and take your wife. You want to take a wife, you want to take one that’s complementary to your... to what you want your... plan your future home to be. Could you imagine a man, a Christian man, going out and taking one of these modern Rickettas for a wife? Could you imagine? What’s the man thinking about? What kind of a home is he going to have if he takes a striptease, a burlesque off of the street out here, a street prostitute? “Oh,” you say, “now, wait a minute.” How does she dress herself? Wear shorts and things? She’s a street prostitute. “Oh,” you say, “now, Brother Branham!” Oh, them little ol’ tight skirts, look like you’re poured into: street prostitute.
180 Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her in his heart.” Then, he’s got to answer for that. And what’d she do? She presented herself. Who’s guilty? Think of it.
181 You say, “They don’t make any other clothes.” They got goods and sewing machines. No excuse. Uh-uh. That’s exactly.
182 Now, I don’t want to hurt you. And this is not a joke; this is “thus saith the Lord” from the Scriptures. It’s exactly true, friend. I’m an old man. I haven’t got much longer to stay, but I’ve got to tell you the truth. If this is my last message, it’s the truth, see. Don’t, sister. Don’t, brother.
183 And you fellows that’s hanging onto a creed and knowing the Word of God being vindicated right before you---the baptism of the Holy Ghost and these realities that we have today---and then, because of your creed, turn away from it? How can you be a son of God and deny the Word of God that’s predicted for this last days that we’re living in? How can you do it? How can the Bible call this...?
184 As I said last night about a king one time down in the south when they had... the colored down there was sold for slaves. Why, they was no more than just a used car market---you get a bill of sales on them. I was alarmed, at a little place I read one day, where a broker come along to buy some. And he said, “Well, now, I’d like...” They was sad. You’d have to whip them, make them work because they was away from home. They’re sold (slaves) in a foreign country they know nothing about, and they’d never be back home again, and they were sad. They had to whip them, make them work. But this broker come by a certain plantation.
185 One young fellow there with his chest out, his chin up, they didn’t have to whip him. He was right up, and he kept the morals of the rest of them up.
The broker said, “I’ll buy him.”
186 He said, “He’s not for sale. You ain’t going to buy him, because he’s not for sale.”
187 He said, “Well, what makes him so much different?” Said, “Is he the boss over the rest of them?”
Said, “Do you feed him different?”
188 Said, “No, he’s a slave; he eats out there in the galley with the rest of them.”
Said, “What makes him so much different?”
189 He said, “I wondered myself till I found out. Over in Africa (where they come from, where the Boers bought them, and brought them over there and sold them for slaves), over there his father is a king of the tribe. And yet an alien away from home, he knows hes the son of a king. So he conducts himself that way.”
190 What a rebuke to Christianity! We’re supposed to represent God and eternal life. There’s only one form of eternal life, and that’s God. He alone has eternal life. And we are products of His, because we’re genes of His Spirit. Then we should conduct ourself, women and men, like the Bible said for us to do---not Jezebels of the street, and Rickies of the organization---but Christian gentlemen, sons and daughters of God, born of the Spirit of God, manifesting the light in our days and scattering it. That’s exactly right.
191 But how far we’ve drifted from it. Why? The same thing this boy did here. He rejected, refused eternal life, because it would cost him his social standing; it’d cost him his luxury of money; it’d cost him his fellowship in the church; it’d cost him a lot of things. He knowed what it was going to cost him. He was a sensible boy, and he felt that he couldn’t pay the price. Yet he thought, “I’ll just trust my religion and go on.” But down in his heart he knowed there was something about Jesus Christ was different from them priests of that day.
192 And any message that’s come in... A genuine, born message of God is different from the old trend. When a divine healing went forth, not long ago, did you notice how the impersonators followed it? And every one of them right in them organization, staying there. Does anyone know that there had to be a message follow that? Why, God don’t entertain us. He attracts our attention with something, and when He attracts our attention, then He’s got His message.
193 Look, when He first come on the earth and started His ministry: “O young Rabbi, we want you over here in our church. Come on down here.” The young prophet: “Oh, we want you over here. Come here.”
194 But one day He stood up and said, “I and my Father are one.”
195 Oh, my! “He makes himself God.”
196 “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”
197 “He’s a vampire! We have nothing to do with that.”
198 Them apostles sat right there. Thousands left Him, but those apostles were ordained to life. He said so. They couldn’t explain it; they believed it. They stayed right with it, because He said, “No man could do these works.”
199 Even the priests knowed that. Nicodemus said, “We know [the Sanhedrin council] that no man could do these works except it be from God,” see.
200 Peter, on the day of Pentecost, said, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, God was with him.”
201 Look in the Scriptures, what the Scriptures said would do. Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures, in them you think you have eternal life. They are what testifies of me. If you would have knowed Moses, you’d know me, for Moses wrote that I would come in the form that I would come in.” He come as the Son of man.
202 He comes in three names, as God in three---like Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Same God; it’s three attributes.
203 Now, then, also, justification, sanctification, Luther, Martin, and the Pentecostal---same thing: three attributes, three stations, three church ages.
204 Same thing: water, blood, and spirit. Oh, just as you go along... The three elements that takes you back into the body---like it brings you from your natural birth---types your spiritual birth. The baby’s born: the first thing’s water, next blood, and then life. That’s the way you come into the kingdom of God, the same way, see. That’s the way the church comes in, the same way, same thing. Now, notice, on these three things, God has formed His... forming His body.
205 Now, we find that in here, that you have a right in your choice. You choose the girl you want to marry; she accepts you, all right.
206 Then another thing: you have a choice of whether you want to live or whether you don’t want to live. You choose now between life and death. You can live.
207 That boy had that choice. He was success in everything else, a religious man, but he knowed that when... He spoke it in himself, “I’ve observed all these commandments since I was a youth,” but he knowed he didn’t have eternal life, see. And he had a choice to accept it or to refuse it, and he turned it down. That was the most fatal mistake he could’ve ever made. The rest of it wouldn’t’ve amounted. It doesn’t amount unless you take that choice.
208 Now, let us follow him, his choosing, and see where it led him to. Now, see where he chose. Now, look, he was a rich man, he was a businessman; he was a ruler, and he was a religious man. All that!
209 Today we’d say, “Boy, he’s a genuine Methodist or Baptist or a Pentecostal. He’s a real fellow, real nice boy. Fine!” Nothing you could say about him; friendly, nice, sociable, and everything, no immorals about him. He didn’t probably smoke, drink, or run around to shows and dances, and whatever we’d call it today, as we would class a Christian. But that ain’t eternal life yet. That ain’t what we’re talking about. He might have been loyal to his church, which he probably was. But, you see... And what did it lead him to? Great popularity. Let’s say, if he was a preacher, he could’ve been... got a better church. He could’ve been the state presbyter or a bishop, see. It leads you to popularity, and it led him to riches and to fame.
210 It might do the same thing today. If you have a great talent to sing... I thought of that young man a while ago that sang that song here---how he give that to the devil, and now he get it back. How different between him and Elvis Presley and some of these: Pat Boone, and a group like that, Ernie Ford, them guys, great singers; and take their talents, that God-given talents, and use it to inspire the works of the devil. That’s right. Some great singer selling their God-given talents for fame in this world, to become somebody. How could you become any more of a “body” than you could to be a somebody... than to be a son of God?
211 I don’t care if you own the whole city, the whole world, and you haven’t accepted the leadership of eternal life by the Holy Spirit (Christ), how you going to...? Who are you, anyhow? You’re a dead mortal, dead in sin and trespasses! Religious as you want to be; as faithful as you want to be to the church; preacher, if you want to be in the pulpit; but to turn down, you die!
212 He was a great success. He was a great success here in this life. Certainly. We find him where we know it... Then we find this fellow, that he went... We follow him a little bit, and we see he got a great successful. And we follow him through the Bible. We notice that he... We find him a rich man. He’s got such great big places; he was entertaining the judge and the mayor of the city, or whatmore. He’s up on top of his roof, and he has great banquets, and plenty of waitresses, and women, girls, and everything else, around him. And there’s a beggar laying at the gate, named Lazarus. He sweeps the crumbs off to him. We know the story. The next thing, he goes on successful, just like the churches today are getting.
213 A businessman sitting here, telling me right here in California, that the church has to tell the labor union what to do. See, it’s coming church and state again. It’s right on you. You see, you’re right in there, and you take the mark of the beast not knowing it.
214 If you ever bought one of my tapes, get this when I get it, when I got home: “The Trail of the Serpent.” And you’ll see where it’s at, see where this ends up at. Going home now to speak, if the Lord willing. It’s about four hours, so I couldn’t keep it at one of the meetings like this. I have to go up there where the church suffers with me so long, patiently. Notice, but now... You can listen at the tape sometime in your home.
215 Notice this: now, we find out that he was a great success. Then, we find him later till he was a greater success, until he said, “I have got so much!” Boy, he’d have made a real genuine guy of this day, wouldn’t he? “Even my barns has swelled out. They’re bursting! And I’ve got so much till I said, ‘Oh, soul, take your rest.’”
216 But what he done at the beginning, he rejected the leadership of Jesus Christ. His church, his intelligence, his education, and all, had led him to a success. All the Jews loved him. He give to them, he helped them. He might have done this, that, or the other. But you see, he rejected the leadership of Jesus Christ, the eternal life. And the Bible said He said, “Thou fool, tonight your soul is required.”
217 Now we find him (the next place) in hell, lifting up his eyes and seeing that beggar that he turned out the street in the bosom of Abraham. What a fatal mistake! How that the churches had been all right in the way that they went, but they still hadn’t had eternal life.
218 That reminds me of a sermon I preached here not long ago, “A Thinking Man’s Filter.” You might have had it. I was going, walking through the woods. I was squirrel hunting this fall, and I looked down. And, of course, I can’t call the cigarette company. You know it. And there laid a cigarette pack laying there. And I just passed by it, looking in the woods. And I seen that package laying there, and I looked back again. It said, “A thinking man’s filter, a smoking man’s taste.” I just started walking on through the woods.
219 And the Holy Spirit said, “Turn and pick that up.”
220 I reached down and picked it up. “A thinking man’s filter, a smoking man’s taste.” I thought, “American firm here selling death under disguisement to their own American citizens.” A thinking man’s filter? And a smoking man’s taste?
221 I was at the World’s Fair, with Yul Brynner and them up there when he was giving all that tests. And how he put one cigarette and drawed the... across the marble and took the... Wiped up the nicotine and put it on a rat’s back, a white rat, and in seven days he was so full of cancer he couldn’t walk.
222 And they said, “You know, they say a filter...” Said, “It’s a gimmick. Sells more cigarettes.” It takes so much nicotine to satisfy that devil. That’s right. And when you take a filtered cigarette, it takes about four cigarettes to take the place of one. It’s a gimmick to sell you more cigarettes. You cannot have smoke unless you got tar; and tar, you’ve got cancer. See how it is? And the blind Americans, looking for a rabbit to come out of a hat somewhere, they fall for it. You can’t have it; it’s death. I don’t care which way you go, it’s death any way you go. “A thinking man’s filter...” A thinking man wouldn’t smoke at all (that’s right) if he’s got any thoughts at all.
223 Well, I thought that just can apply to the churches. I think, “Has God got a filter?” Yes.
224 And every church has got a filter. That’s right. They filter the ones that comes in, and they let a lot of death in, too.
225 How could you ever draw a denomination through God’s filter? How could you do it? How could you draw a bobbed-hair woman through that filter? Tell me. How could you ever draw a woman that wears slacks through there, when it’s an abomination for her to put on a garment pertains to a man? See, God’s filter would catch her out there. It wouldn’t let her come in. But the church has got their own filters. So, I say that there is a thinking man’s filter---that’s God’s Word---and it suits a holy man’s taste. That’s right, a holy man. Not a church man, but a holy man’s taste, because it’s pure, holiness, unadulterated Word of God! There is a thinking man’s filter. And church member, I advise you to use that one.
226 Because it brings in the world, and one lump of it is death. One lump leavens... or, one little leaven leavens the whole lump. “Whosoever shall take one word out of this, or add one word to it, his part will be taken from the book of life.”
227 At the garden of Eden, what caused death and all this sorrow, every heartache, every little dying baby, every rattle in the throat, every ambulance screaming, every hospital, every graveyard? Was because Eve doubted one word. Not all of it; it just perverted it. Now, God said man there, he was to keep every word of God. Now, that’s the first of the Bible.
228 In the middle of the Bible, Jesus come, and He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Not just part of them; every one.
229 In the last of the Bible (Revelation 22) Jesus give the testimony of Himself. The Revelation of the Bible is Jesus Christ. And He said, “Whosoever shall take one word out of here, or add one word to it, his part will be taken from the book of life.”
230 Now, you go through that thinking man’s filter, you’ll have a holy man’s taste when you come out of there. Right. You’ll have a saintly taste.
231 Sister, you that wear those clothes, think of it. You’re going to... You say, “I’m virtuous to my husband.”
“I’m virtuous to my boyfriend.”
232 “I’m a virtuous girl.” But what about that sinner that looked at you? When he answers for adultery, who did it? You’ll be guilty. It’s written in the Word, so it’s the...See? Oh, be a thinking woman, be a thinking...
233 They say, “It might...” Well, what if it does happen to be that way? He said so, and one Word can’t fail, see.
234 A great man told me not long ago, called me into his room, said, “I’m going to lay hands on you, Brother Branham. You’re ruining your ministry, preaching such things.”
235 I said, “Any ministry that the Word of God will ruin ought to be ruined,” see.
236 He said, “I’ll lay hands on you.” Said, “You was sent to pray for the sick.”
237 I said, “Do you believe those things, brother?”
He said, “No. But it’s not our business.”
I said, “Whose business is it, then?”
“Well,” he said, “that’s the pastor’s business.”
I said, “Look at the congregation.” That’s right, see.
238 Every year I pass through preaching these things, and I think, “Surely they get it.” Next year I come back, there’s more than ever. It goes to show that many are called but few are chosen.
239 The leadership is the Holy Spirit, friend. It leads you and guides you into all truth, when He the Holy Ghost is come. Now, think of that. Take the thinking man’s filter---that’s the Bible. Not your creed, not your church---you’ll be lost. Take the thinking man’s filter.
240 That’s where that boy didn’t think. He took the church filter. He become popular, a great man. “But in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.”
241 Now, you take the thinking man’s filter, Jesus Christ, the Word, and you’ll desire a holy person’s taste, because it’ll satisfy that. If you got the Holy Spirit in you, this satisfies it.
242 If the Holy Spirit isn’t there, you say, “Oh, well, I don’t think that means any difference.” Look what you’ve done right there: same thing Eve done. You’re right back in the same place.
243 Now, let’s go a little farther. Now, let’s take... leave that man there, that didn’t use the thinking man’s filter. He refused to accept the leadership of Jesus Christ, the eternal life.
244 Now let us take another rich young businessman, a ruler with the same opportunity that this man had, and he accepted the leadership of Christ. Now, there’s two of them in the Bible that we’re going to talk about. That one we see that refused it. Now, let’s take this man---another rich young businessman and a ruler, and he accepted the leadership.
245 The Scriptures tell us about this fellow, if you want to mark it down, in Hebrews 11:23 to 29:
... Moses, by faith,... refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Choosing rather to suffer the afflictions... of God...
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater treasures than all the treasures of Egypt:...
246 See, he accepted eternal life. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater treasures than all the treasures the world had. Moses esteemed that the greatest. Now, this rich man didn’t.
247 And Moses was a rich young ruler, to become a Pharaoh. He was Pharaoh’s son and was heir to the throne. And he looked out to the impossible, a bunch of mud-daubers, a bunch of slaves. But by faith he saw the promise of God through the Word, that his people would sojourn in a strange land for four hundred years, but would be brought out by a mighty hand. And he esteemed that (hallelujah) greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt, for he forsook Egypt not knowing where he was going. He was led by Christ. He forsook.
248 And he had his foot on the throne; he could’ve been the next Pharaoh in Egypt. But he esteemed the reproach of Christ---the reproach: to be called that odd one, be called that fanatic, to take his place with the mud-daubers and the fanatics---because he seen that the hour that the Scripture was promised to be fulfilled was there then.
249 And, oh, church, wake up! Can’t you see the same thing tonight? The hour that’s been promised is on us. Esteem the reproach of Jesus Christ greater riches than all the fellowship of anything---if it’s father and mother, church, anything else. Follow the leadership of the Spirit!
250 Let us follow this Christ for a few... this Moses for a little while, that did that. Let’s watch his life. The first thing, when he had accepted to take the reproach of Christ and forsake his education, forsake all of his wisdom---He was taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians---and all of his popularity, his throne, his scepter, his kingship, his crown, everything he had, he rejected it!
251 And this other fellow wanted it, and refused Christ; and this man refused that, and accepted Christ. And quickly what happened? He had to separate himself.
252 Hallelujah! That word means “Praise our God!” It’s too bad that we’re forgetting it.
253 He rejected the thrones and the popularity. He could’ve had young girls by the... wives by the hundreds, and he could’ve had scepters under... Egypt ruled the world! The world laid right at his feet, and he was heir to every bit of it. But by looking in the Scripture and seeing the day he was living in, and knowed that something in him, the predestinated seed of God went to work!
254 I don’t care how popular you could be, or how this you could be. You could be a presbyter, you could be a pastor, you could be a this, that, or the other; but if that Word of eternal life by God’s Word has been foreordained into you, and you see the thing at hand, it goes to work---moving out like that, start coming out, begin to get it.
255 And he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter because he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater treasures than all the riches of Egypt or the world. He esteemed that. Watch what he done. He followed it. Up, quickly, he was ousted from his people, the people that once loved him.
256 It might cost you everything you got. It might cost you your home; it might cost you your friendship; it might cost you your stitch-and-sew party; it might cost you your place at the Kiwanis; it might... I don’t know what it’ll cost you, but it’ll cost everything that’s worldly or pertains to the world. You’ll have to separate yourself from everything that’s worldly. You’ll have to do it.
257 Moses laid everything aside and went into the desert with a stick in his hand. Amen! Days after days passed, and wonder if he thought he made a mistake? No.
258 Many times people start out, and they say, “Oh, I’ll do it. Glory to God, I see it!” And let somebody laugh at you and make fun of you, “Probably I was wrong.”
259 He said, “They that cannot stand chastisement are bastard children and not the children of God.” See, they’re worked up under emotion. See, the seed that I talked about awhile ago, that soul wasn’t there to start with. It was anointed with the Spirit, and he done all kinds... Oh, you... they... when your spirit’s anointed, you can... It’s the real, genuine Holy Ghost, and you could still be a devil.
260 “Oh,” you say, “Brother Branham!”
261 False prophets! The Bible said, “In the last days there’d be false prophets.” Jesus said, “There shall rise false Christs.” Not “false Jesuses,” now---nobody stands still for that---but “false Christs.” Christ means “the anointed one.” Falsely anointed. They are anointed, but they are false at the bottom of it; and do great signs and wonders, speak in tongues, dance in the Spirit, preach the gospel.
262 Judas Iscariot did it! Simeon... or, no, I beg your... Caiaphas prophesied! Balaam, the hypocrite! Sure, done all the signs, everything, all the religious moves.
263 But, you see, you put a cocklebur seed and a wheat seed in the same bed and pour the water down upon them and anoint them, they’ll both rejoice. They’ll both grow by it, the same water. “The sun shines on the just and the unjust, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but by their fruits you shall know them.” How can you keep from lining up with the Word? Amen. See what I mean? “The water falls on the just and the unjust,” anointed.
264 Jesus said, “They will come to me in that day, say, ‘Lord! Lord! Have not I cast out devils? Have not I done prophesied? Have not I done great things in your name?’” He’ll say, “You workers of iniquity, depart from me, I don’t even know you. Go into eternal hell that’s been prepared for the devil and his angels.” You see? What a word! Falsely, worship in vain, striving in vain. Why do you do that when you don’t have to do it? Why take a substitute when the heavens is full of genuine? You don’t have to do that.
265 Now, we find Moses anointed, nothing could turn him back. His own brothers turned him down. That didn’t stop him. He went right on into the wilderness. And one day out there, he met God face to face, with a pillar of fire hanging in a bush. Said, “Moses, take off your shoes; the ground you’re standing on is holy. For I have heard the cries of my people, and I have heard of their groanings, and I remember my promise of the Word. And I’m coming down. I’m going to send you down there to take them out.” Certainly. He met God face to face, he talked with Him. He was commissioned by God.
266 God come right back---that same pillar of fire---and vindicated that prophet standing right there on the mountain, to prove that it was, when he took his hands and performed all kinds of miracles and things. Oh, they had the impersonators. Oh, sure. There was Jannes and Jambres stood right there and done the same thing they did. But who was the original, see? Where did it start from? Did it come from the Word? Was it the hour?
267 And do you know that same thing’s promised again in the last days? “As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so will these men of reprobate mind concerning the truth,” see, in the last days. They do the same thing (impersonate everything), right on in the same gully, “Hog going to its wallow, and a dog to its vomit.”
268 You Pentecostals that come out of them organizations years ago and cursed them (your fathers and mothers), and you turned right back around and done the same thing that they did; and now just the same wallow and vomit. If it made the church vomit it out in the early Pentecostal age, it’ll make it vomit it out again today. It has to be, though; the shuck has to come. The tassel can’t be the only one. The shuck has to come, see, the carrier. Now, we’re living in the last days; watch the things that’s promised for the hour.
269 Watch this Moses confirmed. Know. When he got out there, some of his own brethren turned up against him, wanted to make an organization. They said, “You act like you’re the only holy man among us.” “The whole congregation’s holy,” said Korah, Dathan. “Let’s choose out men to do something.”
270 Moses, I felt sorry for him. He went down and said, “Lord...” Fell down before the altar and said, “Lord...”
271 God said, “Separate yourself from them. I’ve had enough of it.” Just opened up the earth and swallowed them up. He knowed his commission.
272 God don’t deal with organizations. He don’t deal with groups; He deals with individuals. That’s right. Always. Not in groups; individuals, one person. In the last days, He said, “I stand at the door and knock, and if any man [not any group], any man will hear my voice, and hear me, I’ll come in to him and sup.” See, “If any man can hear...”
273 How could this microphone, now, produce my voice out there unless it was made thus? I could scream against that board with all my might, and it wouldn’t do nothing. Because this is ordained and made (created) a microphone. And if the Word of God is in you from foreordination of God---in you---“My sheep hear my voice. They know my holler. A stranger they won’t follow.” It’s got to be that first. “All that the Father has given me, they will come,”---every one of them, see.
274 Now, he goes on. At the life’s end... here, He only passed... Notice when he come to the end of the road.
275 And we’re closing, now, because it’s getting late---twenty-five minutes till ten. Notice. Now, at home that’s early. About two or three o’clock we begin to say, “Say, it’s getting a little bit late,” see. But now, I’ve preached many a night all night long.
276 Paul preached this same gospel in his day, and a young man fell off of a wall and killed himself. And Paul, with that same anointing and that same gospel, laid his body upon him; he come to life again. They were interested. The church was being formed. Something was taking place. Notice what taken place here.
277 Moses, when he come down...
278 This rich man, when he come down---the young ruler we talked about, all religious, and belonged to church and everything, fine, educated, a fine businessmen, and everything---when he come to the end of the road, he began to scream, “There’s nowhere to step!” Where’s his leadership? He had been led by his church, which is dead. He had been led by the dead world, and there wasn’t nothing for him to step into but what the world had prepared for it: hell.
279 But here comes Moses, a faithful servant who esteemed the reproach of Christ greater treasures than all the riches of Egypt. He come to the end of the road (an old man, 120 years old), walked up on the mountain, and he knowed that death laid before him, and looked over into the promised land. And he looked. Laying there by his side, there was his leader, the Rock. He stepped upon the Rock, and the angels of God packed him away into the glory of God, into the bosoms of God. Why? Eight hundred years later, he was still being led by his leader.
280 We find him over on Mount Transfiguration, standing there with Elijah, talking to Jesus before He went to the cross. Eight hundred years after death, the one that he esteemed the reproach of his ministry greater treasures than all the popularity of the world and all the money of the world, his leader was still leading him. Oh, my! He was led! His leader, He led through the death, the shadows of death. He was led to the grave. Hundreds of years later, there he stood again because, as his youth, he had chosen the leadership of the Holy Spirit. His name will be great when there is no more Egypt or treasures. When the pyramids are dust, and when Egypt... there’s no more Egypt, Moses will be immortal among men because he accepted the leadership of Christ instead of going the way his church went.
281 There’s others that did the same thing. Look at Enoch. He walked with God for five hundred years, and then he had a testimony that he pleased God. God had verified it, and said, “There’s no need of you dying; just come on up home this afternoon.” And he went up.
282 And Elijah---after bawling out bobbed-haired women and everything, as he did in his day, Jezebels with the paint on them---after he got so full of it and had done all he could, and all them priests making fun of him, and everything else, he walked down at the river one day. And just across the river was the horses hitched to a bush over there, a chariot of fire and horses of fire. He stepped right on, and threw his robe off to the next prophet to follow him, and went up into heaven. He accepted the leadership of eternal life, because it was Christ that was in Elijah. Oh! Yes, sir!
283 What was it? “Follow me!” Now, you must choose your leader. You’ve got to choose it, friends. Look in God’s looking glass, the Bible, and see where you’re at tonight.
284 A little story... A little kid, one time, lived out in the country. He’d never seen a mirror, and he came into the city to see his mother’s sister. And she had a home... and the old-fashioned homes used to have a mirror on the door; I don’t know whether you remember that or not. But this little boy, he had never seen a mirror. So he was playing around the house, and he looked in the... “Huh?” He looked at that little boy. And he waved, and the little boy waved. And he pulled his ear, and the little boy pulled his ear. And on like that. He kept walking up, close, and he turned around and said, “Mama! That’s me!” That’s me.
285 What do you look like? What are you following? What have we done? You must choose your leader. Choose today. You choose life or death. Your choice will determine your eternal destination, what you choose. Remember, Jesus said, “Follow me.” And you’re invited tonight to do so. And to follow Him to eternal life, you must come on His terms (that’s right), the Word. Not upon the creed, not upon the public opinion, not upon what anybody else thinks about it, but on what God said about it.
286 You say, “Well, Brother Branham, I know a woman just as good as she can be; she does this. I know a man that went through this.”
287 287 I can’t help what they done. God’s Word... He said, “Let every man’s word be a lie, and mine be the truth.” You’ve got to come on His terms, come on His conditions, the Word. You cannot come through creed; you cannot come through denomination; you cannot mix it like that. There’s only one thing you can do: accept it on His terms, that you’re willing to die to yourself and all your thoughts, and follow Him. “Get rid of all the things of the world, and follow me.”
288 288 I know that’s a stern, cutting message, brother. But I didn’t come here and choose a message to the people just to try to make them sing, shout, holler. I’ve been in heathen meetings where they done the same thing. I’m interested in your life. I’m a servant of God that’s got to answer to God someday, and the ministry that the Lord has given me has vindicated itself thousands of times before you.
289 Remember, Jesus said, “Follow me. Follow me. Get rid of what you’ve got, and follow me.” And that’s the only way to have eternal life. That’s the only remedy He give this man, was the only remedy He give this businessman. It’s the only remedy He gives anybody. His choice, He makes His decision, it’s perfect every time. And we must follow Him, is the only way to have eternal life. So, the leadership of God is: follow the vindicated Word of the hour by the Holy Ghost.
Let us bow our heads.
290 I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to be real sincere. I want the sister to play this for me, “I Can Hear My Saviour Calling.” Now, it’s an old-time altar call. And brother, sister (as we see), just look what’s going on today. Now, with your head bowed, just think for a minute, look what’s taking place.
291 Did you read the newspaper last week what that man in England said?---that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was only a fake. It was only fixed up between Pilate and Him.
292 Did you see what this American theologian said? He said that Jesus was just put to sleep on mandrake weed. Many of you theologians know, back here in Genesis, where it talked of mandrake weed. It’ll put you to sleep like you’re dead. Your heart hardly beats for two or three days at a time. And when they give him the vinegar and gall, they said that was mandrake weed. And they put Him up there in the tomb, and He slept up there for three days. And, of course, when they went up there, they found him walking around. Could you imagine that! Theologians, seminaries, make-believe. Then how in the world...? First place, the Bible said that He refused it when they put the vinegar and gall in His mouth.
293 And another thing, if that be so, then why did those disciples who come and stole Him away, why did they give their life in martyrdom for Him, and fell... counted theirself not even worthy to die like He died; turned them upside down and sideways on the crosses and things? And if they knowed that He was a hypocrite and them own selves being hypocrites, how would they have give their life for Him like that?
294 Oh, you see, it’s this intellectual day that we’re living in. Education, civilization, and the modern trend of the day is all of the devil. “Civilization of the devil?” Yes, sir. The Bible said it is. This civilization has death. “Will we have a civilization like this in the other world?” No, sir! We’ll have a different kind of civilization. Education, all these things, they’re of the devil. Science perverting the natural things, making something else...
295 Look what they’ve done to you, now. When young ladies... The Reader’s Digest said---week after... month before last, I believe it was---the Reader’s Digest said that young men and young women go through the middle age, women in menopause, between twenty and twenty-five years old. One more generation, they’ll be nothing but... It’ll be horrible looking, see, what the creatures will be, softened, mucky. Look at the spirit, look how the spirit in the church has got: hybrid, intermarried to the world. Oh, what an hour! Flee, children! Flee! Flee to the cross! Come to Christ; let Him lead you.
296 While we have our heads bowed, our eyes closed... and please bow your heart at the same time, will you? I want to ask you a question. Do you really look at yourself, to God? And do you feel that you’re not where you ought to be at this hour? Because the rapture could come at any time. See, it’ll come.
297 There’d only be... If that statement I made a while ago is true, there’ll only be about five hundred people in the rapture, that’s living, will be changed. Why, taking all Christendom together, Catholic and all, there’s only five hundred million people, see, claims Christianity. And one out of a million, be five hundred people. There’s that many people missing every day, across the world, that we can’t even account for them. See, it’ll come, and you won’t even know it. People will go on preaching, and saying... See, and it’ll all be past.
298 Like Jesus said... They said... the disciples said, “Why do the scribes say Elias must first come?”
299 He said, “He’s already come and you didn’t know him, but they did to him what they said they would do.”
300 You know that you’re not right with God, and you’d like to be remembered to God, that God would set your heart right with God, would you just humbly, now, in this very still moment, raise your hands? I don’t care who you are, would you do it? Just say, “I raise my hands to God.” God bless you. God bless you.
301 Are you looking in the mirror? I ask you in Christ’s name, “Are you looking in God’s mirror?” [A brother speaks in another tongue. A brother gives in interpretation: “O my people, even this hour of my moving upon thy hearts, even this hour will thou judge thyself? Wilt thou judge thyself? The Lord will not judge thee nor condemn thee. Behold the Lord hath called thee to a high and holy calling. Yea, even now doth the Lord brood over thee in love and in mercy. Yea, if thou shall confess thy sin, yea, the Lord shall cleanse thee and forgive thee, and He shall cause thee to mount up with wings as eagles, and thou shall be filled with His power, and He shall wash thee by the water of His Word. He shall renew thee. He shall change thy heart and give thee a heart of flesh. For behold, the day of the Lord is at hand. Wilt thou even, as the whole world who paid no attention to my preacher Noah, who went about unconcerned and complacent, who dishonored God, yea, and insulted the Holy Spirit, went about it every-day life, as though the Lord had said not what He said and what He would do. For behold, the Word of the Lord overtook them and, behold, they all perished. Therefore, I say unto thee, this is an evil hour, this is an evil day; and thou shall not be deceived, if thou shall be led by my Spirit and conform to my Word. For behold, I shall keep thee and preserve thee, and I shall keep thee true and I shall revive thee unto the day of my coming.”] Amen.
302 I want to ask one thing. How many in here are Pentecostals? Raise your hand, are Pentecostals. Practically every one of you. Now, how many in here claim to be Christians? Raise your hands, ever where you are, claim to be Christians. Did you know the Bible spoke of this, that this would happen?
303 Even this happened in the Old Testament when they were wondering what they would do, how they could get away from the besiege that was coming. The Spirit fell upon a man and he prophesied and told them where to meet the enemy, and how to overcome the enemy. That was the Old Testament, same as the New.
304 Now, somebody might say, “That man... Oh, that wasn’t so.” But what if it is so? You say, “Oh, I’ve heard that before.” But what if this is so? You see, that proves then that in here there’s many that needs a change of heart, if that’s the Holy Spirit speaking. There’s things that needs to be done, so now it’s with you.
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst
(that’s what He called you [unclear words])
... to Thee,
O Lamb of God...
“I’ll take away that stubborn heart, and put a heart of flesh in it that will yield to me.”
... I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Will you make your choice tonight? You can do either one you want to. You say, “I’ve heard that before.” But this might be your last time to hear it.
Because thy promise I believe,
The old-fashioned altar calls, they’re out of style today, but God still moves in them. Can’t you feel it moving on you, church?
... I come!
305 Oh, think, today the hearts are becoming stony, filled with the world---indifferent, church members, lukewarm, like that rich, young ruler---and don’t know that the great Holy Spirit’s standing, knocking at the door in this Laodicean age. “He that will hear my voice [the Word], will open his heart, I’ll come in to him and will sup with him.”
306 And the Spirit, speaking through this brother a few minutes ago, said, “I’ll take that stony heart out of you, and give you a heart of flesh, tender towards God.” Look how it’s become now: just a intellectual emotion, see; not a tender heart full of love and sweetness towards Christ.
307 Don’t you want that kind of a heart? How you going to face Christ with an intellectual conception of Him? You’ve got to accept eternal life.
... was shed
(the preparation was made through the blood)
And that Thou bidst
(What did He do? Shed His blood, and now bidding you come.)
... to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
308 Let’s, each Christian, just raise our hands quietly now and pray:
309 O God, please, Lord, catch this day that we’re living. Oh, it’s so hard, Father. Satan has just done so much to the people. Their hearts have become stony. Your Spirit speaks right out; Your Word comes forward, vindicates; but the old-fashioned, born-again experience, it’s become into a denominational, intellectual conception, a lot of music, a lot of shout, and a lot of carrying-on. But, really, that heart of flesh, that Spirit, that eternal life, it’s certainly become foreign to the church.
310 God, it breaks my own heart, and me a sinner saved by your grace. It makes me feel so bad, Father, to see the church that You died for, the church that You’re trying to redeem. I think of the vision You just give about that church of the United States and of other countries. What a horrible-looking rock-and-roll striptease it was. But somewhere along I seen coming forth another one, blessed.
311 I pray, Father, that if any of those here tonight that’s ordained to life, or would like to accept it, that this’ll be the hour they’ll do it. Grant it, Lord. Break up the stony heart now, the old heart of the world. And if they want peace, they want something that satisfies, something that gives assurance, may they accept the leadership of Christ tonight to lead them to a peace that passes all understanding, a joy that’s unspeakable and full of glory, even something that death itself cannot harm. Grant it, Father.
312 Now, with our hands up, I wonder if... How many in the building, now, would just say, “I’m going to stand.” Now, I don’t care who’s sitting by you; it’s God talking to you. And you really want to be a real Christian, see. Anything less than that is an impersonation. Oh, I’d just rather go on out and be in the world. I believe you would too.
313 Now, just examine yourself by the Word, by the message. Examine what a real Christian should be: rugged, loving, not one of this modern Christianity. Why, it’s soft, flexible, half dead, rotten, interbred. It’s not the real Christianity; live any kind of a way, and belong to church. Don’t you want that sweet fellowship with Christ, the Holy Spirit, that you’re... the conformity of your own heart to the Word, move right up into Christ? If you want that, and would desire God to see your stand tonight right in this group of people, if you’ll just do it...
314 You say, “Will that mean anything, Brother Branham?”
315 Oh, yes. Sure, it does. “If you’re ashamed of me before men, I’ll be ashamed of you before my Father and the holy angels. But he that will confess me and stand for me in this land, I’ll stand for him in that land. I’ll confess him before my Father.”
316 Now, no matter who you are---woman, man, boy or girl, whoever you are, Christian or not Christian, minister, deacon, whatever you are---if you’ll just believe with your whole heart for just a moment, and do this much tonight just to let God know that you’re sincere... “God...”
317 “Now look, I’m a Pentecostal,” you say. “I’m this,” or whatever you are. “I profess to dance in the Spirit. But, Brother Branham, I thought as long as we had that, we had it.” You haven’t.
318 If you believe me to be God’s prophet, you listen to my words, see. That’s a deception in this day. Didn’t the Bible say it’d be so close that it would deceive the elected if possible? The elected, down to the soul.
319 But if you danced in the Spirit, still with the things of the world, there’s something wrong. If you speak with tongues... Paul said, “I can speak with tongues of men and angels, and still not even be saved.” Uh-huh, both kinds, see. “I can do all the emotions, I can have faith, I can preach the gospel, I can give all my goods to feed the poor, I can carry the Word in the mission fields across the world---and still I’m nothing.” See? It’s that inside of the inside, brother. Your spirit breaks up when you die---it takes its flight---but your soul lives, see.
320 Now, look at yourself. Really, are you a genuine Bible Christian, full of love of God? Do you remember, the Bible said, in the last days when this time takes place, He said, “A marking angel went through the churches, went through the cities, and sealed only those who sighed and cried for the abomination that was done in the city.” Is that right? Ezekiel 9. We know that’s true. The marking angel went forth and put a mark on their head, forehead, sealed them, them that sighed and cried.
321 After that come the slaughtering angels from the four corners of the earth, which is coming right away. We see it coming---wars moving right in that’ll kill the whole earth off. There was nothing that they couldn’t touch but them that had the mark.
322 Now, pick out... Is your heart so concerned about the sinners and the way that the church and the people are doing, till you can sigh and cry about it day and night? If not so, I’m wondering. That’s the Scripture.
323 Would you just stand and say, “Dear God, I’m not standing because Brother Branham said so, but I heard his word say that, and I’m going to do this. To You, Lord, I stand. I’m in need, Lord. Will You supply my need tonight here at this place? I stand.” God bless you. God bless you. “I’m in need. I want You to have mercy upon me.” God bless you. “I want to be the kind of a Christian that...”
324 Now, remember, the person that’s standing by you is the same thing you are. I want you just to reach over and take ahold of their hand, say, “Brother, sister, pray for me now. I want you to pray for me. I...” Just say it with all Christian sincerity, “Pray for me. I want to be right with God. You pray for me; I’m going to pray that God will give you the opportunity.”
325 I know that we’re... We can’t stay here much longer; you see that. We’re at the end time. All that believe that say, “Amen.” There’s nothing left. Everything is gone. The churches is headed to the ecumenical council. The world, it...
326 Look here. Do you know what the Lord says about Los Angeles and these places here? She’s gone! You remember what I told you, about two years ago, how that earthquake would come in Can... up here in Alaska? I also tell you that Hollywood and Los Angeles is sliding into the ocean. California, you’re doomed! Not only California, but you, world, you’re doomed! Church, unless you get right with God, you’re doomed! Thus saith the Holy Spirit.
327 Have you ever heard me use that name unless it come to pass? Ask you, you’ve known me twenty years. Did I ever tell you anything in the name of the Lord but what come to pass? If everything I’ve ever told you would happen, happened, say, “Amen.” I tell you, now is the hour; you better be getting right, all of us.
Now, let’s each one pray for the other:
328 Dear God, as we stand here tonight, a dying people, our faces are turned towards the earth, the dust. We’ve just... You have give us this cutting sermon, Lord. We see the example of two men. One of them, being a religious man, went to church, but rejected the leadership to eternal life. And the other rejected the worldly fame and turned to eternal life. And we see both of their conditions tonight. According to the Bible the rich man is in torment, and Moses is in glory.
329 Father, we want to be like Moses. We want to be led by your holy Son, Jesus Christ, to eternal life. Give it to our hearts tonight, Lord. Tear out the old stony heart; place into us the new heart, the heart of flesh, the heart that You can talk to and deal with, and we will not be haughty or different. May the Holy Spirit never leave, Lord. May it come and ordain this people. Speak to them, tear up their stony wills, and put in the will of God. Save every one, Father. Give us of thy love. Get us to a place, Lord, that we’ll get away from all the emotional part, to the real solid part of the feeling, the heart-felt part, the deepness of the Spirit, the riches of God, the kingdom of the Spirit in our hearts. Grant it, O Great Leader, great Holy Spirit, before You take their flight into the skies with your church.
330 O God, let me go, Lord. Don’t leave me behind, Jesus. Let me go with You, Father. I don’t want to stay here on this earth to watch these tribulations coming on. I don’t want to stay here in this insanity. I don’t want to stand here when hideous sights... the people losing their mind. We look at men trying to act like beasts and look like beasts, and the women trying to look like animals, with the paints on their face. Knowing that these things are predicted to happen, that the thing will... They’ll go insane till locusts will rise up with hair like women to haunt the women; and teeth like lions, and things that You’ve said. The mental condition of the people will be completely gone. We see it in the making right now, Lord. Help us! Restore us to the sane mind of Christ Jesus our Lord.
331 O Great Leader of eternal life, we accept your promise tonight, Father. I plead for this people. I plead for every one of them, in the name of Jesus Christ, Lord. I pray that Christ the Son of God will come into the hearts of every one of us, Lord, and mold us and make us into new creatures in Jesus Christ. Grant it, Lord God.
332 We love You. And we want our dispositions... our change to come into us, that we can be your children, feel of your Spirit moving in our hearts, Lord, tendering us and bringing us to realization of this insane age that we’re living in. Grant it, God. When we see young women so caught up in the web of the devil, young men, perverted minds, children, dope addicts, cigarette smoking, drinking, immoral, Satan’s Eden...
333 God, it taken You six thousand years, according to the Bible, to build an Eden. And You put your son and his wife in there (his bride) to rule over it. And Satan come around and perverted it. He’s got six thousand years, and he’s built his own intellectual Eden through science, and education, and so-called intelligence; and he’s built it into a mess of death.
334 O God, take us back to Eden again, Lord, where there’s no death, where there’s no sorrow. Grant it, Lord. We stand humbly, waiting for the second Adam to come for His bride. Make us part of Him, Father. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
335 Do you love God? Can you feel...? Do you realize what I’m trying to tell you? If you can understand this, just raise your hands, say, “I understand what you’re trying to say.” Can you see the insanity of this age? Look how it’s gone! There’s no even reasons among the people no more. It’s gone!
336 Where is our... even leaders? Look at our president! “If they want communism, let them have it. Whatever the people wants, let them have it.” Where is our Patrick Henrys, our George Washingtons? Where is our leaders that can stand for a principle? We haven’t got them no more.
337 Where is our churches, our ministers? Will take the people in just on prohibition, or come in... join the church and do this, or have a little sensation or something. Where is those men of God, those prophets that stand out and dare to defy all the things of the world?
338 Where is those men of integrity? Where are they at? They’re so soft, and through intellectual conceptions and things, till they’re not here no more. O God, have mercy upon us.
339 These hideous sights that’s coming upon the earth... You can see how the people’s moving right into it. It’s an insanity. But when that thing strikes, the church will be gone.
340 God, let us be there. That’s my prayer to the great supernatural being that’s in this building tonight, the great Christ that still has eternal life. I pray Thee, Christ, as I’m here with my eyes open, looking at the church that You’ve redeemed with your blood. God, don’t let a one of us be lost. We want to be right with You. So cleanse us, O Lord, from all of our iniquities. Take away our sins and things.
341 We seen You heal our sick, even raise our dead (come back to life through prayer), and we seen all these things happen, Father. Now bring us back to life, spiritually; bring us back into realization of eternal life through Christ Jesus. Grant this, Father. I commit it all to You, in Jesus Christ’s name.
Till we meet! till we meet!
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet!
(Look to Him, let Him soften us up)
... we meet!
God be with you till we meet again!
342 Raise our hands now:
Till we meet! till we meet!