What hearest thou, Elijah?
E-1 [A Brother introduces Brother Branham--Ed.]...?...
Thank you, Brother Joseph. That's so nice, both Brother Joseph and you. Now, let us bow our heads just a moment for prayer.
O Lord, with such a feeling and a welcome to a church among Your people, that it would be hard for me to find the right words to express my feelings. But I know that Thou can make each of them understand, and know just how I thank them, and so grateful to Thee for my friendship in Chicago.
I pray, Lord, that You'll bless this convention. Just let this be a different convention than what we have had. Make it in the same manner, but greater, Lord. May there just be something that we'll sit down by the side of the burning bush and listen to what He has to say to us during this time. May we wait upon Him, for we know that He is our Strength and our Life.
E-2 We thank Thee for Brother Joseph. So glad that You've ever brought him back again and give him great meetings, and for all the souls that he was instrumental in bringing to Thee, and the ministers that was help of the great Church of the living God in other lands. For we truly believe, O God, that it will not be long till we'll see Him Who we've loved and longed to see, and the great ransomed Church of God will stand redeemed in His image. Oh, for that day when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead begins to rise, and we're caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. We long for that great event.
Help us, Father, in the times of these meetings now to--to... As we're setting under the shade tree, as it was, in the school, help us to know more of Thee, so that we can go from this convention better equipped than we was when we come in. For we ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen. May be seated.
[A brother makes an announcement about the convention facilities--Ed.] Fine... There... We are taught that all things work together for good to them that love God. It is true that I was supposed to be in the Fiji Isles at this time. But under some difficult, I had to postpone it. And then immediately I called Brother Joseph and told him that I would be able to come on to Chicago.
And it, as usually, so is it now, it's always a great pleasure of mine to come to Chicago. I think it's the center of the nation, and, no doubt, one of the great centers of the world.
And Chicago has needed a revival for a long time, a real awakening. And it's been the--the heart of great ministers to have this revival. And it's just like other cities all over the world; it's sinful and needy of a revival.
E-3 A few days ago, I was going down in the city. And I'm a southerner by birth, and I just like to speak to people wherever I see them. And I was taking account just of... It's customary in the south that--that we speak to one another whether you know one another or not. We're human beings, and we're just traveling through the world; and we like to bid each other the--the speed of the day: "Good morning to you," or something. When you cross that Ohio River, you find a difference right now. Just that river makes a difference.
And I was downtown, and my wife said to me, "Why you speaking to those people? They don't speak to you. Some of them look like they could run through you."
"Well," I said, "You know, God's people is on a minority." I said, "It's maybe--maybe ten percent." But I said, "I... If I speak to everybody, then I--I know I will hit that ten percent somewhere." It's a...
E-4 But I--I like friends to be friendly. I--I like to make everybody I meet to... Like I know them. I know sometimes they look at you very funny, and stand to look going down the street, wonder what's the matter with you, as if there was something wrong. There is. I've been borned again of the Spirit of God. And that--that kinda makes a person a little peculiar. I'm so that glad I have found that.
One night this week, the Lord willing, I want to speak on that--what it means to be borned again.
An so, we're happy to be here to join in this convention. I guess this is about three or four straight years that this convention has had me to speak: fourth year. And I'm grateful to these, my brethren, and to all you people of being so kind.
E-5 And now, the little church here. I usually think this. I've hope that I... If I'm wrong the Lord will forgive me. But I--I feel like you can have a better meeting in a church. I... Because in these big auditoriums and things... They're all right to seat the people. But I hope it's not a superstition, but it always seems to me there's so much wickedness goes on in them places: fights, and gamble, and whiskey. And it just becomes a place where evil spirits hang out.
And a--a--around a church, the Holy Spirit kinda sets--sticks around. I--I like to get around where the Holy Spirit is. I feel more at home, you know, I--to be around where the Holy Spirit is. And especially wherever the Church is. Of course, they bring the Holy Spirit with them. We're grateful for that.
E-6 And now, I don't want to weary you each night, to keep you a long time. And as I know, it's kindy habit of mine. I'm so slow, it takes me a long time to say what I want to say. And I always like to tell the truth. I don't have to think about it no more, you know, 'cause I told the truth, and then I don't have to trace back. If you're telling something wrong, you have to watch everything you say, 'cause you might have to back up sometime. But if you just take your time, tell the truth, then forget about it because it's the truth and that's... If you ever have to come back, you know just what you said, because it's the truth.
My daddy told me to always do that. Said, "Take your time and tell the truth, and you'll never have to backtrack." Well, that's--that's good philosophy.
E-7 And so, I'll try to let you out each night if... I was coming a little earlier. But I think my good friend, Brother Joseph, had called and said that... to be here by quarter till. And now, maybe tomorrow night, a little earlier.
And I think we ought to have one night a healing night during this time. Don't you all think so? And give away from the speaking and pray for the sick, 'cause there's usually a bunch of sick people around these conventions. And lets say we'll give Friday night for a healing service. How'd you like that? All right? That'll be fine. All right, sir.
And then Saturday morning, I think I'm supposed to speak for the Christian Businessmen. That's right, at their breakfast. And I'm always... [A brother informs Brother Branham--Ed.] When? Friday morning and--and Saturday morning is the Christian Businessmen. Well, that'll be fine. And then Sunday night, I think Brother Osborn is having his prog--or picture... [Brother informs Brother Branham--Ed.] Oh, I'm sorry... Sunday afternoon... All right. Another service... See how he ties me up there? All right. That's Sunday night then.
E-8 And now, we're going to read just a little bit from the Word and get right into it quickly. And remember now what we're trying to do, brother and sister, is to come to the house of God as a place of correction, a place where we sit, and feed on the Word of God, and go out different.
I believe it was in Finland, coming down the road where we stopped. And there was a bunch of the little Finns had been cutting the grain. And there was a... Someone had come out to bring water for their lunch that they were eating under a tree. We stopped, and passed out a few little pamphlets, and had prayer and begin to talk about the Lord. And seventeen people received the Holy Ghost under that tree right there. And I... It just stopping by, and just spreading a little Gospel truth and--to hungry hearted people.
And we trust that this convention will mean that to every person that hasn't received the Holy Ghost, that they will receive It during this time.
E-9 Now, I want to take for a subject tonight from the 19th chapter of I Kings and the l--last five letters, or last five words, rather, of the--of the 9th verse.
What hearest thou, Elijah?
And it wouldn't hurt us to speak to Him again in prayer as we bow our heads.
Lord, may our hearts be open tonight to hear the Word of the Lord, and may You come now and take us, and circumcise our lips, and our hearts, and our ears, and let the Holy Spirit just speak into us the thing that He would have us to know, that we might know God, and fear God, and love God, and serve God with all that's within us; for Thou knowest our frail frame and our make- up. We would ask that You would forgive every sin that we have did. Make us honest hearted, consecrated Christians, that we might be so salty till the unbeliever would thirst to be like the Church of the living God. Grant it, Lord. Speak to us now as we wait further on Thee. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
E-10 It had been a red letter day for the prophet. But he was very tired. He had become that day one of the greatest he'd--greatest prophets of the time, for he had done one of the most outstanding miracles that had been performed. And frankly, I don't believe that there was ever a time that God did His miracle just in such a way. But he was tired, and he was worn out.
And usually, when that takes place after a great something, watch for the enemy. And it was at... When his nerves were all upset, and he was just about to break anyhow--to a break down. It was then when Jezebel acted up.
And that's the trick of the devil. All Christians know that. Every man or woman that's ever witnessed a great experience in Christ knows how true that is.
E-11 Look at our Lord. After His great earthly coronation when He was baptized, and God the Holy Spirit come ascending out of heaven in the form of a Dove and filled His tabernacle; immediately He was taken into the wilderness for forty days and was tempted of the devil.
I believe it was Paul, who after speaking of the third heaven, then immediately talked about the thorn in the flesh.
And any pastor's wife knows to watch him on Monday if he's had a big day on Sunday, because he's... You just better let him sleep, I guess, on Monday morning. Be the best thing for him to sleep it off. And that's a good thing, because that's what God let Elijah do, kinda sleep it off.
E-12 But it goes to show that when God's doing something, Satan is always present to block it, or to tear it down, or do what he can to interrupt it.
And he was worn out. His nerves were all on the edge, and... And--and just like the people today. We need a juniper tree. I preached to tired people, nervous people; pray for nervous people. And it's a nervous, neurotic, upset world right now that we're living in. Everybody's just on the edge, as to say, or to speak. Like it's just any little thing so upsets them.
God's people is that way. The world is that way. We all need a juniper tree, a place to rest. I trust that this convention will be a juniper tree.
E-13 The insane institutions are filling up. The hospitals are filling up. And juvenile crime is on the rampage. And we're living in a terrible time. And men are trying to drink it away with whiskey, or they're trying to play it off with cards, or laugh it off with a joke. But what we need is a juniper tree--place where we can get quiet before God.
Now there's three stages of this we want to talk about: Mount Carmel, the juniper tree, and the cave.
E-14 The prophet's nerves were all upset, for he was just coming out from under the anointing. That he had been up there for a long time, and God had been taking care of him. I like that. God had taken care of His servant; and had fed him with crows, and waited for the time to come, and watered him at Cherith. But now, after the great miracle had been performed, and Elijah was coming out from under the anointing, nerves all on the edge...
Oh, how I know how to sympathize with him. My heart always bled for Elijah when I thought of... under the anointing of the Holy Spirit that called the fire from heaven, and performed miracles. And what had upset him more than anything, that Jezebel and her crowd had ignored the miracles.
And they do it again today. When God performs miracles, it doesn't change the unbeliever, he just makes fun of it.
E-15 Elijah had did these things in the Name of the Lord, and Jezebel had even threatened to take his life. She said, "Let me be as one of the prophets of Baalim that--that he'd had killed if she didn't take his head off before the same time the next day." It only stirs up the devil. And Elijah thought surely that wicked woman would change her opinion.
But, you know, God just calls a certain people. And Jesus said, "No man can come to Me except My Father draws him first."
E-16 And we wonder sometimes when we preached, and prayed, and fasted, and cried, and then seen the results of a revival. Then to see the wicked cities just turn their back and make fun of it. Newspapers blast it as fanaticism. Don't think it's strange, because it's happened all through the ages. Go away and say some great vulgar name about them, or call them some kind of a name that they should not be called. Just something to make light of the works of God.
So the reason I say this, that men and women who believe God, and has seen the working of God; and we wonder why Chicago don't have a revival; that's the answer. Chicago will never have a revival... Or America will never have a revival until God sends it. And He's shook this nation with signs and wonders and miracles, and they constantly walk away from it, and the same motive that Jezebel had. "I'd cut their heads off, I'd close their churches," if they could do it. We still have constitutional rights. Law keeps these doors open now with constitutional rights.
E-17 But Elijah was weary, and he was feeling blue. And then Jezebel put this threat that almost throwed him into a nervous breakdown. You see, some people think that God's prophets ought to continually be bombarding away all the time. But God wants them to come aside.
You know, they's some of us eat, and eat, and--and never exercise; and others are over-exercised, and don't get a chance to eat. We set in these conventions, and--and eat the Word of God and the goodness of God, and then go out sassy and fat, and that--never say nothing about it. We should go out and use that energy and those testimonies to the glory of the Lord Jesus.
You know, a lot of people think that the prophet ought to go like a--a rocket. If he goes like a rocket, he will soon fall like a rock, too.
E-18 Today I was coming up from Jeffersonville, and I was listening to the radio, that they're trying to shoot a sputnik or something, spending millions of dollars a year to try to beat Russia with the--to get over to the moon. No wonder we're a bunch of neurotics. What business we got with the moon when we can't--can't take care of what we got down here? We can't control this. But you see, it's all a scientific move. God's left out of the picture altogether.
The man once before tried to build a tower to get away from the earth. And God just didn't give them any unity. And I think men today, that are trying to build these towers to get over to the moon. They're setting yonder now with all kinds of conferences with no unity. They can't speak one another's language.
There's one language that we all ought to know, and that's the language of God. God's love for one another, a brotherhood among men. When we learn that kind of a tower--that kind of a language, there'll be a tower let down from the heavens that'll take us all away to glory; that'll be Jacob's ladder that God will let us all climb up someday.
E-19 He was tired and weary, but God cared for His prophet. I think of the lovely kindness that God showed to Elijah when He took him out under the tree, and left his... went out of his own province over into another province, and there He'd left His servant; and then run on into the jungle, way out into the wilderness to a appointed place. I believe that juniper tree was put in the ground there for that very purpose.
God laid him down under the juniper tree and put him to sleep so he could rest a little while. And then He knew he was hungry, and He woke him up. An Angel touched him. And there it was a--some co--cakes baked and laying on the coals. And he ate the cakes, and went back to sleep again. He must've been really tired. That revival and them miracles that he had performed, and the supernatural upon him, he was wore out. And then the Angel let him sleep a little while, and then woke him up again, and said, "Eat some more, because that the journey is very hard."
E-20 Oh, how that we need in this journey that we're in now to find a place of rest and to feast on the Word of God, so that it'll give us strength. Night after night, go to the room and rest, and come back the next morning fresh, and eat more, for there's a great journey and a great battle ahead for the Church. I believe that we have been children long enough. God's going to turn His Church into manhood now. And we played and frolicked as children, but now we're going to have to put away childish things and take on manhood: maturity.
I believe it was Paul who said, "When I was a child, I spake as a child..." because he thought as a child. But it's time that we began to think like men and women now, for we've got to get down to business.
E-21 And we find the prophet next then coming to the cave. I just wonder what kind of a vitamin that was in those cakes that he eat. It kept him going in good condition for forty days. Don't you imagine the scientists of this day would like to take one of those hoe cakes and examine it down at the laboratory to find out how many chemicals was in it, and how much vitamins? That could keep a man in good strength for forty days, walking. God's still got a laboratory full of them, and they're for journeying purposes.
And when we find him now in the cave, way back pulled up in a cave... And God wanted to talk to him. And the Bible said that there was a great mighty wind went by, and then a earthquake, and then a--a great tearing up and a shaking. But Elijah just set still. And after while, there was a still small Voice spoke. And Elijah recognized that to be God. And he put the mantle over his face and walked out to meet Him.
I wonder if we, the Church, hasn't listened to too much rushing winds, and thunder, and blood, and lightening until we fail to hear that still small Voice. And it's time to come back to that now.
E-22 It never struck Elijah. Elijah was one of God's eagles. He was setting back in the cave listening to all those things go by. And yet, God was doing it, but He wanted something better. Elijah was His eagle.
I always like that song:
They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as an eagle.
And there's a certain verse in there that says something like this:
Teach me, Lord, to wait when hearts are aflame,
Let me humble my pride and call on Thy Name;
Teach me not to rely on what others do,
But wait in prayer for a still small Voice from You.
E-23 We American people, we like big things and a lot of noise. How different. How it backfires on us. This was a little thing, small thing and quiet. You know, Americas like to colonize, big things, go with the big church. Do the big things, the biggest crowd, the one that can attract the most attention. It's just borned in us to do that. But oh, how we have proven that we missed God. Where there's so much noise...
Now, I believe in noise. I certainly do. But that's not it. Elijah knew that God made the noise, but he was waiting for something else. God, let me wait.
I don't care who has the biggest revival, and who attracts the biggest crowd, or any about the biggest church, or the biggest denomination. Let me wait till I hear that still small Voice.
I've wondered if we haven't took up so much time being Methodist, and Baptists, and different denominations till we fail to hear that still small Voice. For we can look at our churches declining, and brotherhood breaking, and the things that's taking place; and we see something's gone wrong. And yet, we've had winds, and rains, and floods, and everything else. But where is that still small Voice?
E-24 They look for the big things, the one who can put up the biggest tent, the one who can build the biggest church. And we Pentecostal people have gotten to such a place. And if we go to a service and everybody's not running up-and-down the isles, and speaking with tongues, and jumping over the seats, we didn't have any meeting. It would pay us to set still till we hear something from heaven: a still small Voice.
We need apostolic teaching, apostolic power. That apostolic power is not altogether noise; it's the Holy Spirit and the love of God that makes us wanting Christ Jesus.
People like to colonize, make cults, have form denominations. They get in there and hide their own sins. "I belong to so-and-so, and I belong to this church. It's the biggest church." I don't care how big it is, there's one thing that hides sin, and that's the Blood of Jesus Christ.
We hear so much today about God being a good God. He is. But He's a God of wrath too. He's a God of judgment. He's a God of justice. And His holiness requires justice. It behooves God to be just, because He's holy. He judges and condemns, the same as He blesses.
E-25 But today we thought because we could make a lot of noise, or make a big denomination, or--or do something big--big and noisy... Get out here on the street and beat a band or a drum, and a lot of people will follow it, because it's making noise.
I believe Paul referred to it one time and said, "As a sounding brass or a tinkling symbol..." If we have all these things and don't have the love of God mixed with it, it's nothing to it. Let's not leave this convention just with an ordinary Pentecostal meeting. Let's leave this convention, if it be the will of God, with so much love and Divine power of the Holy Ghost in our life, until it changes every motive that we've got, and molds and shapes our lives into the form of Jesus Christ.
Take that, my brethren and sister. I love the Church. I love it so much I'm jealous of it. People think I'm fighting the Church. I'm not. I'm only trying to point the Church to a secret that they should know. Let's not go so much for the big things, 'cause they'll fail. You know, we look at big things. We think big things gets it done. If we can have some great fine schools... What have our schools turned out this year? Did you see where a lot of our religious schools are ready to close because of perversions, perverts? Homosexuals in our schools... What the people need today is not colonizing and great moves, we need... God wants individuals.
E-26 Men are afraid to speak; they're afraid to take a stand. They have to have something behind them to back them up, some great denomination, or organization, or some great band. What would men... God called man needs is a Holy Spirit behind him to back him up. You stand alone. Today, we won't do it. We stand as a organization. We stand as a move. We stand as this, that, or the other.
But God wants men to be individuals, like Elijah was. He was the only one left so far as he knew, but he stood for the right principles. Noise and the shakings didn't bother him. He waited till he heard that still small Voice, then he answered.
We can have gatherings across the country. We can have great stadiums full of people. We can have all kinds of things going on. It'll never help until God speaks individually to the human heart, the only thing that'll change man. It's the only thing that'll make him wrap himself over his own face, and walk into the Presence of God. The church needs it, friends. That's the kind of condition we want.
E-27 Someone said some time ago, said, "Brother Branham, the only thing the matter with your meetings," said, "when the Holy Ghost is anointing you and you see visions, we believe you then. But oh, that old cold formal preaching you have..." Well, if the Holy Ghost can show visions, It's the same Holy Spirit that speaks otherwise.
God will not do it. We need correction. Oh, we need to get back, set quiet and listen until something happens within us. A Voice from heaven speaks.
But we want some kind of a backing up. A man thinks because he become a minister, if he don't go up to some great organization to get them to back him up, well, he will not be able to preach.
If God called you to preach, preach if you stand alone. Preach anyhow. God spoke to you. Stand out there and preach. It's your God given right.
I'd rather listen to a man like that, than have all--one that had all the D.D.'s and Ph.D.'s behind him. That's what's ruined the church today. It's went after class, and cults, and societies. Them things are all right, but it don't belong in a house of God. God wants God sent men, anointed from heaven that's heard the story of God and been filled with His Spirit, that stands upon the convictions of his heart.
E-28 Look at Elijah. Look at Elisha that followed him. Look at John the Baptist in his day. Look at Paul. All had forsaken him, and he still stood because he had met God. He heard a Voice speaking to him one day.
Look at John Wesley, Martin Luther, Calvin. Men who's ever done anything for God's been men who's heard God and stood on their convictions, listened and waited. Don't make any difference what the rest said, they wait till they hear God. The great revivals are going on. It seems like these rushing winds and mighty towers and all this going on; they wait. God's eagles always does, until they can hear that Voice that speaks to them.
E-29 You know, great things don't make much noise. Did you ever think of that? Why, you know, the sun can draw ten million barrels of water with less noise than we can pump a glass full out of a pump. Great things usually move silently. Did you ever hear the planets turning around one another? No, but how great is it? Did you ever hear the day break? And yet it scatters all the darkness. And it's so silent; it don't even wake us up. But it scatters all the night.
What the Pentecostal church needs today, is a day breaking, a placing of day, in that when they'll stand still until God comes into their hearts, scatters the night. We think if the night's being scattered, a little darkness somewhere, we have to tear the city up. We don't have to tear the city up, "Stand still," He said, "and know that I'm God." Told Moses, ordered him to stand still, "Watch and see what I'll do."
What we need, brother, we've run before the cart... before the horse before the cart.
E-30 Like a messenger one time, run. He heard something; he took our running. But when he got there, he had nothing to say when he got there. I think that's a whole lot's the matter today. We've heard a lot of going on; then we took out running. Now, we don't know what we're running about. Let's wait till we hear from God, till God speaks to the heart, and we got a message, something that that still small Voice has changed every fiber of us.
If the churches, and the laymen, and the ministers, and the priests tonight, would wait upon God in their cave somewhere until that happened, all denominational barriers would be broke down, and men would be brothers. Yes.
We're nervous and upset. They're still God's people. Just like Elijah was God's people, but he needed a cave experience.
E-31 Did you ever notice, it isn't a little ripple that reflects the stars, making a lot of noise; it's the still small pool that reflects the stars. And many times, we've relied too much on the ripple. I believe the ripple's got water on it. But you know what makes it to ripple? Because it's shallow. That's true.
I remember one time, my dad and I went out into the field to get some food out of the field in a wagon. I don't know how many of you boys here raised on a farm. But we had this old buckboard wagon of a thing, and we took out there. And every little bump we hit, it was bumppity-bump, crack, boom, bum, bum, jumping up-and-down. And it made the awfullest noise I ever heard. But we loaded it just as full of good things off the farm as we could, and come right back over them same bumps and never made a bit of noise. It was loaded.
E-32 What we need tonight is a loading, filled with God's Divine love and power, waiting until that still small Voice meets us. In this convention, let's wait till we hear His Voice. That's a challenge to us. Wait till we know what we're doing. Wait till His Voice speaks, and then we know which way to go. That ought to... It brings convictions to me.
Someone says, "Well, now look, Brother Branham. You see, if the crowd's a running, well I... Don't you think we ought to go with them?"
"You wait on God."
"Should I go join this church?"
"You wait on God." See?
"You think if they're having a big revival over here..."
"You wait on God." See? Whatever God speaks... Let... Wait till God speaks, then you can talk. You got a message. Oh, you could get in the water and jump around, make a lot of noise, but wait on God.
E-33 What does thou hear? What do you hear all these things that's been going on? What have you heard in it? We've heard confusions; we've heard ups--ups-and-downs; and we've organized several different organizations; we've done great things like that. But where's God in the whole thing?
We need men that's anointed, men who knows where they're standing, men who's met God face to face and talked with Him. "Ye are My witnesses, after the Holy Spirit's come upon you. The things that I do shall you do also, after the Holy Spirit's come upon you. You'll be My witnesses. These signs shall follow them that believe." We want to wait.
Jesus told them after they'd been with Him... Oh, they thought they'd been out, and rejoicing, come back, the devils was subject unto him; He said, "You're not ready yet. Go up to Jerusalem and wait till you're filled up." You'll make too much noise, and have all steam, and nothing; it'll go out the whistle, and you won't have any steam to roll the--the wheels.
E-34 We can testify, and jump up-and-down, and sing, and everything like that. But until God makes us in such a condition till we can recognize one another as brothers, until all malice, envy, strife and everything's gone out of us, our jumping, shouting, praising God, organizing, speaking in tongues, and healing the sick, and performing miracles, and everything else will never amount to nothing. Come back and wait in the cave till we hear the still small Voice that calls us to the service of God. Oh, how we need it, how the world needs it. We need that. God will provide.
E-35 You say, "Well, Brother Branham, if they all go over... What about me if--if they all take off after this move, and they all take off after that move..." You take off after Christ. You just wait awhile.
You know, we got birds. And some of them are migratory birds. Some of them, as soon as the first little cool breeze comes, they go south just as hard as they can. But there's some of them that stays here. Well, one bird will say...?... "You'd better come join, the worms are better down there." But somehow or another, that one that stays here, God feeds him right through the winter the same as He feeds the other one down there. God always makes a way for you. That's right. And it's proven that the bird that stays home is a much healthier and hardier bird than the one that goes south.
E-36 We don't have to worry. You forget that there's a God. We'll all stew up and think, "Oh well, if I can't do this, if I can act like this, and I can't join this..." Keep still and wait for God to speak to you. That's the thing. Say for instance...
What if--what if the rabbit... What if he had to hop from the north woods to Florida to live. Why, he'd never--he'd never make it with his little lopes along like that. Well, what if somebody'd say, "Now wait, we'll get scientific about this, boy. If you stay here, there's going to be thirty foot of snow. You'll set right down under that snow and smother."
You know, the rabbit just survives where he's at, and God makes him a pair of snowshoes and hops over, and he just hops right on top of the snow. God feeds him on top of the snow. Because something tells him, "Stay there and wait." He ain't got no shoes yet, but God will provide the shoes, if he will just wait. The snowshoe rabbit dances right around on top the ground eating fine tender buds off the top of the trees and stays home. Certainly.
E-37 What of a little deer, the little deer would have to run down through Chicago, and get on this outer drive here, and take down to Florida as hard as he could. Well, he'd be in danger. God knows that. So He just makes him satisfied the way he is, and gives him two little sharp hoofs. And he digs right down through that thirty foot of snow, and eats all the moss off the ground, and gets fat as he can be through the winter. See? God takes care of him.
What of the poor old bear, clumsy as he is, what if God... What if somebody says, "What if God growed you some snowshoes, boy, what would you do with them? Why, you're so heavy, you'd mash on down anyhow." He don't weary. There's something telling him just to wait. When winter come--time comes, God will take care of the situation. He don't have to get jumping up and getting all flusterated and saying, "Oh, my, the birds are all going south. I'd better try." Why, he'd kill himself, or somebody'd kill him going down.
E-38 That's what the churches try to do, try to pattern and mock, join something, run after this, that, or the other. Wait on the Lord. He will provide for you. What do you hear? Can you hear the Voice?
That bear hears the Voice of God. He don't grow any snowshoes. But what does he do? Just go out and lay down, and lay there and sleep it off, all winter. Let the rest of them run around if they want to, he just takes a good winter snooze. Why? God makes a way for him. He listens. Nature speaks.
E-39 That mother bear is bred in October. She goes and lays down. She don't wake up any more till the middle of May. Them little cubs are borned in February. What if the mother bear would say, "Now, wait a minute. My little cubs is going to be born; there'll be three months before I ever see them." The little fellows are born, just like a little rat, little bitty things, naked, like a little young rat. Well, how would these little fellow ever find a place, and well, how will they be taken care of?
She don't worry about that. She knows that something speaks to her that God will take care of that. When them little rats--fellows are borned in February, and all of that cold weather, down under the snow drifts, something makes the little fellow stand on his feet, walk around his mother, right to the udder, and goes to nursing, and lays right there, and nurses three months. And when mammy wakes up, she says, "Good morning, children," take a little stroll, and go on.
She ain't flusterated about going down south. She ain't flusterated: she's got to have the doctor there to take care of all these children and things when they're born. She just sleeps it off. Amen. If the church could only find bear sense to wait on God...
E-40 General Byrd, when he was making his expedition to the South Pole. He thought that his people--the friends that were with him should need some fresh milk. So he would take a little herd of cattle along with him, good milkers, so they could have some milk down in the frigid zone, Antarctic. So, he said, "Well, we'll take some cows." And they happened to think, "If we're changing these cows from up here in the temperate zone to down in the frigid zone, them cows will take pneumonia and die, if we drive them up in there." So, they went and made them a lot of coats, great big fur coats and put over these cows. But you know what? When they got there, they found out they didn't need it. God had growed them a long hair, so they didn't need them man-made robes.
That's what the Church is today. I don't care if you're cast out yonder on the street with a tin can in your hand... If you got a tambourine in your hand, if you're a mission worker, don't want to be a Billy Graham or a Oral Roberts. Wait on the Lord. He will provide everything you have need of. Wait till you hear that still small Voice. That's what we need. Wait.
E-41 What hearest Thou? What can you hear? And what have you heard through the years? We've had miracles. We've had things that God has had men to wait. He's performed miracles. It never changed the country. They still... Sin is on the rampage worse than it ever was, and moved right into the locks of the church, and has tore it up. What did our miracles do? What did our healing campaigns? I believe in Divine healing. Sure. But you can never major on a minor. Divine healing is a minor. We could never major on those things.
The church ought to be to maturity. And we've had rushing winds, and we've had all kinds of sensations. Where's the church at? Where are we at today? Still more denominations growing every day, and colonizing, and everything, and still the same men.
What we need is to wait till we hear the Voice of God as individuals. Every man and woman in this convention... No matter if Jim Jones, and the rest of them that's with you, if they don't do it, you do it anyhow. You pull yourself back in a cave and wait there until God speaks to you. Don't you move. He will do it.
E-42 A Message, that the Lord willing, I... He gave me at my Tabernacle a few nights ago, and when I come back from California. And I was speaking on it, on what the new birth was. And I preached up to a place, I brought myself under conviction. The next day I took off for my cave.
There's a lady who spoke to one of my associates here, Mr. Mercier, out in the camp. I'd been out with her husband, fishing. Brother Bosworth had told me a little joke. I told it to her husband. It was a simple little thing. But it... I... just simple as... I said, "A little boy was standing, looking in the cradle where his little baby brother was, that just been born a couple of days before that. And his feet was sticking up, and his little gums a hanging up like that, and he was a squallering like he's just boiling up a storm. And the little mother looked at the little fellow standing, and he said, 'Mama, did you say this baby come from heaven?'"
Said, "Yes, son."
Said, "Well, no wonder they put him out."
E-43 Well, that to me just was a little joke. But I told it to a man, and he goes and tells it to his wife, and his wife said, "Do you mean that Brother Branham would tell a joke?"
Well, you see, it was wrong for me to do it. Sure it was. We look over things sometimes. Paul said, "If eating meat puts a stumbling block in my brother's way, I'll eat no more meat as long as the world stands."
Well, the man tried to justify it, said, "Brother Branham's meetings," says, "He gets so keyed up, and under the anointing, and seeing visions and things, till he has to relax."
She said, "But you're not Brother Branham, and you don't have that kind of a meeting."
You see, it puts a stumbling block. We have to watch what we're doing. And God's going to judge us for the way we act and what we do. I don't care if we have rushing mighty winds, and we heal the sick and whatmore. Jesus said, "Many will come to Me that day and say, 'Have not I cast out devils in Your Name? Have not I done many might works?'" And He will say, "Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I didn't even know you."
I don't want to stand with that group. If there's anything in my heart, I want to be as honest when I stand before God.
E-44 That condemned me. Then when I was preaching, I been under a tax investigation for my church, and for my campaign. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... put me in a sweat box. And for nearly six months, I had to dig up my grandmother's birth record, almost, for the government. And these bootleggers and moonshiners and things get by with it, and gamblers and cigarette people, and...
And you cigarette smokers, aren't you ashamed. Did you see in the, I believe, "Readers Digest." I may overestimate it or under it, I think it's a hundred and thirty-three thousand's going to die this year from smoking cigarettes. And that... Most... Ninety percent of that's so-called church people. What's the matter? We've fallen somewhere.
E-45 I was going down the lane Sunday. And there was a preacher standing there praying on a... Down from me, there's a... They'd formed a little league, say to take the--the boys and give them a baseball league. And they had a preacher standing up there blessing the ground.
When I was seventeen years old, I was a pretty active little fellow. I played shortstop, and I was playing for the Methodist church on a--on a church league. And any boy that even played Sunday baseball could not play with the churches. And now, here stands them same preachers, blessing the place. What's happened anyhow?
Has our rushing mighty winds got us anywhere? Has our thunder, and lightening, and blood, and everything else gotten us anywhere? Has it made us any sweeter and humbler before God? We need to come back into the Presence of God again. That's exactly right. We get so loose and rest upon sensations and things. Let's get back to God.
E-46 I was condemned standing in the pulpit. I'm going to confess it right here, 'cause it's already forgiven me. I was eating my dinner, and the phone ring. It was a private number, and we have a answering service. And--and the phone rang. And I wondered it's maybe somebody that knew me. And wife went in, and she put her hand over the phone. Said, "Them government men again..."
Oh, my head felt like it was coming out of the top anyhow. I was so nervous and upset. I had to go dig up this, and dig up that, and then flusterate around like this, and go get the church, and get the deacons to do this, and the trustees to do this. I was so weary. You know what I done? I said, "Tell them I'm not in here right now." And I run out the house and went around behind the house.
When I come back in, my wife looked at me, and she's a darling. She said, "Billy, was that just exactly right?"
I said, "Sure it was. I wasn't in here, right then." You see, sometimes you act like it's the truth when it's still a lie. God don't want us to lie, or tell little white lies, or dodge around the corner. Everything's got to be right out and above board. That condemned me. I thought about it all afternoon. I started to pray for somebody. I couldn't pray for them.
E-47 Listen just a minute. "If our heart condemn us not..." But if there's something in your life that condemns you, you'd better make that thing right. I don't care what in the world you... You--you just can't operate right. The Holy Spirit can't deal with you. When you got prejudice, and selfishness, and all those things in you, the Holy Spirit can never bless you. You might get some intellectual emotions, some work-up.
Let me just explain something to you. For instance, when a--a women gets married, and she's afraid that she's not going to have a baby. She won't have it. No. But let her go and adopt a baby, then she'll have one. Now, the books claim that that's nine out of ten will do that. Why? It sets her body into the right emotion. Now, you see if... Ask your doctor if that's not right. Why? It puts her in the right attitude.
E-48 Job said, "The things that I feared worse is come upon me." See, you don't... You want to be above everything, where there's no condemnation or nothing to you. You got to live like real Christians. Live in the Presence of God. Live daily, hourly, momently. Say nothing, do nothing, go nowhere. Let it be Christ-like everything you do, all your actions. God requires us absolutely abstain from all things of the world--separation. The world wants mixers.
They'll go down to the beach and bathe, or have a card party in the basement, bunco in the church. Let me tell you, God wants separators who'll separate men and women from sin. Listen. It condemns.
E-49 Let me show you something. Say for instance, at this time... It's right now, quarter till ten by my time. What if Joseph here, which I know he would not, but a week from today would be... he was... Well, he wasn't a Christian, and he--he wanted to defend a friend of his. And so he tried to say that he was in Philadelphia at this time, on Tuesday night of the eighth, or tenth, or whatever this is: ninth. Ninth of June at quarter of ten he was in Philadelphia, 'cause he has to defend that friend. All right, they take his word for it. He say, "I solemnly swear."
See, he can say that intellectually. But way down in his soul, he knows it's wrong. So they bring him to trial. And they say, "Mr. Boze, do you solemnly swear that you was at Philadelphia at a certain-certain place on Tuesday night, June the--the ninth, 1959?"
"I solemnly swear that I was right here with my friend, right here at a certain-certain place."
Said, "Go get the lie detector, fasten it across his wrists." Say, "Mr. Boze, will you hold your hands and swear to that?"
He say, "Now, I've got to make it out to look right." He can put a big face on. "Yes, sir, my most precious friend. I solemnly here swear, that I was a certain-certain place up here in Philadelphia on that night."
That lie detector's saying, "He's telling a lie." Why? Intellectually, he's trying to make it look right; he's speaking it right. But his heart says "No." That's his soul. That's where God lives.
Man wasn't made to tell a lie. Man was made to tell the truth. And if you can't throw back an old prejudice and selfishness, and how do you expect God to ever answer prayer? Oh, you can speak with tongues, and jump over the seats, and shout, and beat the tambourines, and talk about your neighbor out there. Don't you expect God to ever answer prayer for you. Oh, yes that's right.
E-50 So, when I started to pray for a sick baby, I went to lay my hands on it, and the Holy Spirit said, "What about you wasn't in the house?" I... You see, if there's a vibration... If there's something by laying on of hands... If you're not right with God, and--and there's some condemnation there, you just know in your own heart God's not going to answer you. Now, that's the truth, my brethren.
Well, I was so condemned, I didn't want no more of it. I just closed the door, and went up to my cave. All of you know I have a cave. And I stayed there in that cave. I prayed; I cried. I said, "God, there's sick people comes. I'm sorry I said that. Not only did I lie, but I caused my wife to lie. She said that I wasn't in there. She wouldn't have said it for nothing, if I hadn't of told her to do it." And I was all flusterated.
We don't need to be flusterated about anything. God's with us, who can be against us? You don't have anything to put in the dark, anything to be shady. Stand out and be truthful.
E-51 And if you know that you ought to be borned again, and filled with the Holy Ghost, and have an experience like they had on the day of Pentecost, and you let some church creed hide you behind something that you know is the truth, don't you expect God to ever answer your prayer. He won't do it. That's right.
"My church don't speak, and my church don't..." I don't care what the church believes; it's what God said. You know that you got to be borned again, and you got to be Christ-like. And if you haven't got that experience yet, and all condemnation of the world and things gone from you; you get back in the cave or under the juniper tree right quick, and into the cave as hard as you can go, and listen and see what you can hear. You'll hear something more than a rushing wind. You'll hear something more than a sensation, or a Divine healing, or a blood, and fire, and smoke, or ever what they have, all these things going on, or a big church, or join this, or call a cult or something to join in, or some great organization; You'll hear a Voice that speaks to you. You hear God come down into that soul and make you confess everything, and go make it right.
E-52 I want to tell you what happened in closing. I've never said what happened. I don't want to say it. I won't say it, 'cause Satan can't get it as long as it's in my heart. God lives there. But if I speak it, he will hear it, and he will block every road. That's been my trouble. I've loved people so much till I always just tell everything and let it go out. But this time, I'm keeping it. Now, you don't know nothing about it. It'll happen. The first thing you'll see it.
And I'd been back there praying. I said, "God, I'm not even worthy to be Your servant. Me, stand out there with a man that I love, and tell him a joke that would put a stumbling block in his way. And yet, I'm against joking. Those little things, I thought... I was just relaxing myself. We were fishing. I said, "You know what Brother Bosworth told me?" And he--I told him that little joke. See, it carried right back. Why? God was fixing me ready right then to get that stuff out of me.
You have to be if you're going to pray for the sick and lay your hands on--on is a lie detector, will detect and make you tell the truth, because it'll say if you're lying. If you are lying, what good does it do you to put hands on the sick and ask for healing? You got to be honest, friends. That's right.
E-53 I'm ashamed to say it before the church, but I did it. And then when God forgive me... And I'd been in there crying for a little while. Walked right in that old cave all my furniture in there. I never put any of it in there. I just found the cave. Federal agents would never find me there. No, they... I'd go up creeks, and through hollows, and over branches; they--they'd never find it. You have to come down a tree, go down a tree, it was under the roots, and go back into the cave like that. And in there's a altar, a rail, a cross made out of--of stone, a big slab. How it ever got cut out, I couldn't tell you. And two pieces laying out here to make the cross, a place for me to lay down, a hollow in the rock like this. Just as perfect as it can be. I go back in there to pray.
And then after I--my sins I knew were forgiven me, I went outside. I always... As you come into the cleft in the cave, there's a great big rock, almost half as big... Oh, it's twice to three times the size of that, about high as that piano there. And I stand on that rock, and I always look to the east. There's a great mountain country like this. And I looked to the east, and stand there on this rock right before my cave, and worship the Lord.
E-54 Oh, I just worshiped Him until I weep. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. I was standing out there, and I said, "God, You forgive me. I don't care if it cost my life." I said, "You forgive her. I was the cause of her saying it, Lord. She wouldn't have said it. But I oughtn't to have said that. I should live better than that, going out here praying for Your sick children, laying hands on them. You condemned me, and I knowed You wasn't going to answer me, till that sin was confessed and made right."
And I called up the man and made it right. I said, "I lied. Had my wife to. You forgive me for it. My wife said I..."
"It's all right, Reverend Branham. I guess you're so tore up."
I said, "My head felt like it was coming off. But that doesn't make any difference. It don't give me room to lie. I should tell the truth, regardless of how much it hurts."
E-55 Then what? I stood there and I was weeping. And something said like this. I said, "Lord, one time Moses wanted to know what You looked like. And You took him over to a cleft in the rock, and You hid him there. And when You passed by, Moses said it looked like the back of a Man."
The foliage is real heavy. The sun was going down across the--behind me like this, and looking toward the east. I had my hands up, just as still as it could be. I happened to notice there in the bushes, there's a little wind begin to blow. It moved down through the bushes, and passed right by the cave by me, went on down along the side. I'll never forget it as long as I live.
Oh, God, let me stand still. Hide me in the cleft of the rock, Lord. I want to hear that still small Voice.
E-56 When I knowed I was forgiven, I seen them leaves move, and that little wind, not a wind blowing anywhere, just a little wind, like I heard as a little boy in the bushes. You've... That wind come right down, to one side and went, just going along real softly, passed by where I was at like this, and...?... the leaves moving, passed right by the side of the cave, went on down. What's it mean to me? It's that same wind back yonder when I was seven years old, packing water for that moonshine still. It met me up there in the bush that day, it blowed in them bush and said, "Don't you never smoke, drink, or defile your body in any way. There's a work for you to do when you get older."
E-57 Brother, what do you hear in all this? Are you... You hear a lot of noise to make an organization? Do you want to wear an ecclesiastical coat? Or do you want to wait for that still small Voice that'll grow and make you what you ought to be, make you a real Christian? Think of it. What hearest thou, Elijah? What hearest thou, Chicago? Let's wait for the still small Voice in this convention.
Let us bow our heads now just a moment. I wonder of the members of the body of Christ that's in here tonight... Now, stop a minute and think. You church members, you people who are members of the body of Christ, regardless of what church you go to... That has nothing to do with it, 'cause there's corruption in all of them, just like there is in the city. But how many would like to say, "God, for me, during the time of this convention, I want to pull my soul back in the cleft of the rock. I'm going to wait there till I hear a still small Voice that'll anoint me, and make me a real witness for You, that'll give me such love, such a birth..."
Now, with every head bowed and all eyes closed, this is laity and church members, would you raise your hand, and say, "God, remember me. Put me in the cleft, and speak to me in a still small voice. I've heard the rushing winds; I've heard the thunders, the lightnings, the... But I want to hear a still small Voice that'll anoint me and will send me to my post of duty a different person." God bless you. There's ninety percent of this audience with their hands up.
E-58 Let us pray. O Lord, here they are. Forgive me, Lord; I didn't mean to say it like that. Here we are, Lord. Just as true as I'm standing here, God, I believe that You're calling Your Church into a cave now to speak to them. And Lord, it doesn't altogether have to be a--a made cave, like the prophet hid in; but it can be a little cave in our memory; it can be a cave in our soul where we can move back, stop, and take inventory, look around, and then listen to see what we can hear. And we've heard the wind, and we are grateful for it. We've heard the rushing winds; and we've heard the roaring revivals; and we've seen the miracles of Mount Carmel; and we've seen the defeat. And Lord, we are tired tonight. We're nervous. We need You. We're laying here under the juniper tree. Feed us of Thy Truth, Lord: Thy Word is the Truth. Then take us from here, this moment, Lord, to the cave, and let us hide there in the cleft of the rock, until we hear that still small Voice.
And may this convention not altogether break in a great shout and a jubilee, but may it break up into an experience, into a sobbing, and a repenting, and a--a revival spirit in men's hearts that revives them, that brings them back to God again, and to that sweet humble experience like the night that we were saved, Lord.
E-59 We confess our sins. We're honest. We--we confess it before God and before men. Lord, when I think of what I said to my wife there, "Tell them I'm not home; I--I--I'm outside right now. I--I'm not here just at this time." Lord, it condemned me. But You forgave me for it, and I know better now.
Oh, sweeten our lives, Lord. Pour in the oil and the balm of Gilead, and the anointment, Lord, and anoint our souls with Thy goodness and Thy mercy, that we can hear God speak again to us. Grant it, Lord.
To every one that's here, and to others around the nation: we have seen, Lord, that the thunder, and the wind, and the earthquakes, and... It hasn't brought the results, Lord. They're--they're still wanting to make more denominations, and break up, and colonize, and--and separate men from one another. God, let us stand still till we hear the Voice of God, that melts our souls one with the other. Grant it, Lord. Hear us, and forgive us, and give us that Spirit, that we might live by day by day.
E-60 Heal the sickness in our midst, Lord. Those that are here, that's not feeling well, Father, we pray that they'll not even have to wait till the healing service on Friday night, but may they--may they right now, in that sweetness, and back in the cleft, they're hearing a Voice of God speak, "I'm the Lord that healeth all thy diseases." And it will not be, then, running through prayer lines, and--and different places, and evangelists laying hands on them, but it'll be an experience that they'll always rem... They'll know that something has happened. Grant it, Father.
But above all things, forgive us of our trespasses. We want to stand blameless on that day. For we ask this in Jesus' Name, and for His sake. Amen.
E-61 Could you play that hymn for me? "To Be Like Jesus." Do you hear me? "To be like Jesus, On earth I long to be like Him." Do you know it? Is that what you want to be like? Sure you do. How many knows the song? Let's... All right. Let's sing it now in a worship, "To Be Like Jesus." That's my desire. I want His Spirit. It's something I--I--I... You can't clean your spots, no more than a leopard can lick his spots clean. You can't do it. Let's just worship Him, and tell Him to take all consciousness of sin away, all unbelief, and establish that--that something in us that we know where we're standing; there's no sin in our way. And God answers prayer, and we know that's the truth. But if our heart condemn us, then God won't hear us. If there's any condemnation, take it away, God.
Let's sing now, if you could help me. Give us a chord. If you don't know it. All right. I'll tell you one that then we can sing, a good old song of some sort. I just feel that the Spirit wants us to worship Him in singing at this time. You feel that way? Would just love to sing something to--to the Lord Jesus, something, and make Him...
E-62 You know, it's singing. You know, the prophet said... He was all disturbed, Elijah was. And he said, "If it wasn't I respected the presence of Jehoshaphat, I wouldn't even look at you. But nevertheless, bring me a minstrel." And he begin to sing, and play on that instrument. And when he did, then Spirit of God come on the prophet. You remember the story, or don't you?
Oh, how wonderful it is to be like Him. How many knows the old song, "Room, Room, There's Room At The Fountain For Me?" How many knows that one? You know that, sister? That's one? Huh? What say? You know it?
Now, now, you can have all the little songs that you want to, the little jubilees. Them are fine. But for me, take me back with these. I believe they're... When he picks up the pen, and begin to strike it across...
E-63 How many knows that old song, "Nearer My God To Thee." That's an old timer. I love that too. Give us a chord on that, sister, "Nearer My God To Thee."
You say, "That's a funeral." We need one. That's right. I want all the sins that's in me, that's alive, to be dead. Don't you? Till you can get right straight broke up, you'll never be molded good. Oh, how wonderful that song is.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Let's just close our eyes now, and raise our hands, and sing it.
Nearer, my God...
Father God, mold our hearts different, Lord. If there be sin among us, take it out of our midst. We don't care what level we have to come on, Lord; if we have to be called anything, despised and rejected, just let us be near Thee, Lord.
[Brother Branham begins humming--Ed.]
E-64 O Lord, we love You, Father. God, forgive us...?... One of these days, Lord, if You tarry, we'll be coming down the aisles here different ones speaking, talking. Oh, forgive us now, Lord, of our shortcomings. We worship You. We're just as children, Lord, worshipping in the Spirit. Let that little breeze, that wind that God was in in front of the cave that day, that I just spoke of, let It pass through every heart in here, Lord. May a still small Voice speak. Speak our sins forgiven as we wait, Lord, upon Thee. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
I don't know your opinion. Each fellow has his opinion. But to me, this is when Christ comes, that sweet, humble feeling. To me, that's the still small Voice that speaks a lot louder than the rushing mighty wind. Honestly in your heart, do you believe that's true? Certainly It is.
E-65 Now, somebody setting near you, just take a hold of their hand now. Let's sing that again. Just shake hands with somebody near you while we--while we sing that "Nearer My God To Thee." Just shake hand with somebody. I know there's all different churches here setting here now. Let's just sing it again.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
God grant it that you'll never be out of that attitude that you're in now. Stay sweet before God, wait for His Voice, little tender sweet Voice that speaks, that'll expel all of your guilt and shame, the Blood of Jesus.
God bless you now. Is there anything more you want to say, Brother Joseph? All right. God bless you now. See you tomorrow.