Where has thy strength gone, Samson?
You can find this sermon at ChurchAges.net
1 [A Brother reads the Scripture for Brother Branham:
"From Judges the 16th chapter, the 4th to the 22nd verses. You might sit down as I read this. It's quite a lengthy Scripture, but Brother Branham asked me to read this."
And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.
And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: and now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awakened out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
The Brother introduces Brother Branham to the people: "Brother Branham"]
2 It's so nice to be here tonight, and for this grand opportunity to address this most gracious group of Christian people. And greetings to all of you. And these days that I have been here has been some of the most glorious days of my life.
And this morning when I was making my confession of something that I had done wrong, minister after minister, and business man after business man, met me weeping back there to go out and pray through. So I like that. That knows that as long as there is confession, well, there is hopes for a revival, isn't there? And so we're happy for that.
And now, last night the--our noble Brother Roberts directed his message straight to the Christian Businessmen. So I thought tonight I would direct what few words I was to say to the church, because there is many of the sponsoring ministers here, that's in the meeting. And so I thought I would direct this to the church. My subject is tonight, "Where Has Thy Strength Gone Samson?"
3 Let us bow our heads just a moment for prayer. Dear heavenly Father, as we come to Thee with all our hearts, and all our strength, and all that lies within us, asking of Thy favor, and that if something that we might have done or said, or even to have thought, that was not pleasing to Thee, we would ask, Lord, that You would forgive us for these things; for it's truly we want to stand in Thy Presence someday, wrapped in the righteousness of Thy beloved Son, the Lord Jesus, ready to be received into Thy kingdom.
And now, while we are in our right mind, we ask forgiveness of all of our sins. And there might come a time in our life where we would be called quickly and would have no time to repent. We pray tonight, Lord, as the Word has been read to us, may the Holy Spirit take those words and divide them to our hearts as we have need.
We would pray also, Lord, that You would continue to bless this convention. After, we want to thank You for what has been said, for noble and gallant soldiers of the cross, that spoke the sincerity of their heart in testimony and sermons. And all that's been done, we're thankful for it, and ask that You'll continue on.
Bless Brother Shakarian, and all of the Christian Businessmen, and every minister, and--and organization that's assembled together here. And may this turn to be one of the greatest conventions that's been held on the West Coast. May something happen here in the next day or two, Lord, that'll just awaken the entire state of California and bring them to a repentance and a knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. Bless us together now as we wait farther for the Holy Spirit to minister us tonight. For we ask it in Jesus' Name, Thy Son. Amen.
4 This fellow Samson, he's always been to me kind of an outstanding character of the Old Testament. I remember the first sermon that I ever undertaken to try to preach on was, "Samson, the Mighty Man of Valor," because I--I like strength. And Samson had strength, strength of the Lord.
I could not believe him to be a great big prehistoric giant. There would be no glory to God to see such a man take a--the doors of the city and pack it up on the hill, or slay a lion with his hands. But I believe Samson to be just a little bitty, what we would call, shrimp, just a little bitty fellow. And when the Spirit of the Lord came on him, that's where God got glory. They knowed there could be no strength of his own could do that, so it had to be the strength of the Lord.
God takes simple things to His--perform His great works. And it just common things... Sometimes we pass right over the top of the real thing that God wants to use, trying to find something great.
5 And as I said, Samson and Delilah is a great deal like the church. I want to liken them that way tonight. Samson was a great man as long as he followed the Lord. And as long as he kept God's commandments and walked with God, God used him. And He's did the church the same. As long as the church walks with God and keeps God's commandments, God can use the church. But when the church gets off on the sideline, as Samson did, then God can't use the church no more. He has to find something else to work with, because He can only use a church, or organization, or an individual as they walk faithfully in His commandments.
And Samson did real well. He got a good start. And he did all right until he began to flirt. And when he begin to flirt he got in trouble. That was his first step of backsliding. And I believe tonight, that is the first step of backsliding to the church, when it begins to flirt with the unbeliever. This Philistine woman was an unbeliever. And Samson was attracted to her beauty. And I think the church has did a great deal of that, being attracted, as it has begin to flirt with the world and to try to pattern itself after the world.
6 Samson got into bad company. And you always can remember that when you are in bad company, you are out of the will of the Lord. My own southern mammy used to tell me, "If you lay down with a dog that's got fleas, you'll get up with the fleas." That's rather a rude expression, but it's got a lot of common, everyday sense to it. You just can't associate yourself with the things of the world and except--and expect to stay spiritual and humble before the Lord. You're known by your company. There's an old saying, "Show me your company, I'll tell you who you are."
And when the church begins to keep company with the world, then it's no more than the world. It gets out of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, gets out of the company of God, and of angels, and of God's heritage, when it begins to flirt as Samson did.
7 And where the church started its flirting, was when it begin to try to pattern after the things of the world, to see the successes that the world can offer. And we have never been ordained of God to try to keep in step with the world. Never have we been as brilliant and as bright as the world. I believe it's written in the Scriptures that the kingdom of the children of this world's kingdom is--is more brighter than the children of the kingdom. They're smarter: been that way since Cain and Abel.
8 Now, we begin to get away from the old trend of the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We begin to flirt. One thing we started to do, was when God begin to use the church in the early age, then they--first thing they did was to organize a church, called the Catholic church. It was the first organization. And I have nothing against organization if it draws it's lines out to meet the next organization. But if it keeps it within its own boundaries and no fellowship, then that's wrong.
But the church begin to try to pattern after the world. And the devil might've thought they'd had the church bound when it organized the Catholic church, but when the challenge come, "The Philistines is upon thee, Samson," there rose up a Martin Luther that broke every cord and come forth preaching justification. Hmm. And the devil saw that that wasn't the hidden power of the church.
9 Now, Delilah's motive was to find his power, and there's where she could wreck him, after she found his power. And that's what the devil is trying to do with the church, is to find that secret of power. But the Catholic cords was broken when God raised up Martin Luther.
Then she bound him again. The world bound him in the Lutheran church. But when the scream come, "The Philistines is upon thee," there raised up a John Wesley, that sanctification, the second work of grace. And it broke the cord.
And then they bound it again. And then there come another message, "The Philistines is upon me--upon thee," and then raised up the Pentecostal group. That broke the bou--the threads of the binding of the barriers of denominations and so forth. And now we find them just about bound up. That's too bad, but it's the truth. And now we find in the Pentecostal church, the very thing that the world used to bind the others, it's binding the Pentecostal church. Just exactly.
10 The first thing we did try to do is to try to make big shows like the other people does, try to take our preachers, our pastors, our shepherds, and make doctors of divinity out of them. We don't need no doctors of divinity. We need the baptism of the Holy Ghost... We don't need those things in our midst. But that's where it tries to bind the church.
And then, the next thing they try to do is to get away from the humility of the church, the humbleness of it, and get the better dressed group or the better educated group into the church, trying to take our ministers and send them off to some seminary to learn a lot of education. When you do that, you just rob the church and bind it of the power of the Holy Ghost. That's exactly the truth.
11 Now, we find that they do that though. Let me say this to you. Someone says, "Our pastor used to be... When we really had the old on fire preacher for God..." They let the seminary call them today, in the stead of God-called men. They go into it for money, a meal ticket, or to be somebody.
How different it is from really our Lord. When He came to the earth, He was an example to all of us. And He was a servant Lord: took the lowest job that could be: a foot-wash flunky, and become a Servant... Yet He was God of heaven and become a Servant, the lowest of the low.
Today, God can bless a man a little bit and give him a good church, and he can't be satisfied until he wants to be ministered to. That shows a sign of spiritual sickness. It's only the feeble that Jesus ministered to. Those who desire to be Rabbi, Dr., Reverend... Oh, those selfish, ungodly, devilish names... We are brothers, and we are not of this world. But that's what the people desire. And when they come to meeting or something and they walked in with a swelled out chest and--and carry on, and you got to get the very highest of respects to those people. We don't need no respects from one another. If I want any respects, I want it to come from God Who gives the true respect.
How can you have faith when you seek honor one from another? It's just taken the cream out of the--out of the crop. It's taking the--the hidden power of the church; it's sapping it away from the people. We are trying to act like the world.
12 Now I have nothing against these things, but just as soon as the--we notice that the tobacco companies and the cigarettes, and said--Coca-Cola's and the other companies, beer, they took the television programs, and they just spread out. Well, quickly we try to capture that too. Now, that... I'm not saying nothing against that, but we're not here to compete with the world. We are here to preach the Gospel. What good does it do to have a bunch of intellectual people setting around that knows no more about God than a Hottentot knows about an Egyptian knight? What we need is somebody who's borned again of the Spirit of God, who knows God as their Saviour and knows how to give a way to the Holy Spirit.
13 We are in a--a very critical shape, the church in all today. And they take our ministers and send them away if they have a call of God on their life, and send them away somewhere to some embalming place and pump them full of some kind of an embalmer's fluid to go out in the stead of preaching the Word and bringing people to a faith in the Holy Bible and in the Holy Ghost, teach them a bunch of creeds and psychology, to teach to the people; and taking them farther away from God than they was to begin with. That's exactly what our educational programs has brought us to... God is not known by education. Neither is He known by science. Neither is He knowed by any world thing. And is--though... God is only known, by faith you believe God.
14 In the garden of Eden there was a tree of knowledge, and man has completely hanging on to that tree of knowledge. Remember, as long as you're living at the base of the tree of knowledge, eating the fruit that falls off of it, you're away from the Tree of Life. You can't be at both the same time. You make intellectual giants (That is true.), and great philosophers, but we don't need them kind of philosophers. We in the church need humble borned again Christians.
It reminds me of each denomination trying to educate their ministers to a little higher stand, to get a little better intellectual bunch into the church. They build the finest of buildings now, the Pentecostal people, some of them in millions of dollars and preaching that the Lord's coming right away. But it doesn't make sense to me. See? But they do it because the world's a doing it, because the rest of them is doing it. We don't care what the rest of them's doing; live right before God; that's the main thing.
15 But in the garden of Eden, the devil chose the man's head. God his heart. And now the devil comes into the intellectuals and has brought his religion to intellectual. You'll know--never know God intellectually; you've got to know Him by a new birth, being borned again which comes from the heart.
The pride of life, the lust of the flesh, what the eye can see... But when God comes in, He goes into a man's heart and makes him believe things by faith that his eyes cannot see, "for faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The devil just switched it around. And he's doing it to the Pentecostal church.
I see them year by year, falling right off into that same condition that's downed the other churches and bound them. It's exactly the truth. Knowledge, knowledge, wisdom's all we'll ask for. And more knowledge they get, they think they could speak better, use better education, talk psychology. And when they're doing that, they're taking people away from God's Holy Bible. They're taking them away from life and faith.
16 Now, just reminds me of a little book I was reading here in Los Angeles some time ago. You... Don't mean this to be sacrilegious, but it's just has struck me. It had some--some good human sense in it. And it--rather sense of humor, but it was something like this: that there was a certain chicken pen. And there was a--a little bright eyed rooster, one morning, jumped up on a--a box, and pecked his little bill against the box four or five times, and said, "Ladies and gentlemen of this coop, I would like to make a lecture to you this morning to tell you I have--I have obtained lots of knowledge," said, "just how we should run this thing for the best. I know all how we should do to make pretty feathers."
And all the little pullets with their little combs hanging over, cackled out and said, "Isn't he cute?" Well, that reminds me of some of these little seminary preachers.
Then the first thing you know is, he went ahead to say, "I know just the right kind of vitamins we should use to grow pretty feathers. And then just the right kind of a living that we should make our place a--a better place to live in, here."
And while the little fellow was right in the middle of his speech, a little rooster come running from the outside of the pen, not many feathers on him. And he said, "Just a minute, son." He said, "I just heard the last, latest news report: chickens went up four cents on the pound, and tomorrow we're all going to the slaughter." So what good does your knowledge do. You better be right with God, is the main thing.
17 A little canary once set upon his perch and he said, "In this little denomination of ours, I am one of the smartest of the canaries. I've obtained so much knowledge until I know all about the human being. They're superior to us, they say, but I know all about it." And just about that time, a professor of Purdue stepped up, and said, "You little insignificant thing..." and begin to speak some great words. And the little canary started batting his eyes and looking. Of course he didn't know what he was talking about. And he begin to speak to the little canary. Now, it wasn't that the little canary couldn't see. He had eyes. It wasn't that he could not hear, because he had ears. But the reason that he could not understand, he had a canary brain and he couldn't understand human beings.
Now, I think that's just the way of a lot of our seminary teaching and knowledge that's too much of a canary brain. We can't understand the mysteries of God by knowledge, because it's only revealed by the Holy Ghost as It will reveal. There's too much canary brain preaching today: all about what they know about it, and come to find out you know nothing. Because how can our little finite minds ever understand the infinite mind of the Almighty God? I can't understand it, how we so group ourselves down like that. The reason people do these things and organize people, and have these let out early so that we can go see a certain television program, there's only one thing that spells to me: they don't know God, and they're trying to substitute something for the new birth. That's what they're bypassing.
18 We all know that the Bible teaches the new birth. And they substituted handshakes and everything else for the new birth, but it'll never take the place of the new birth. It's got to be an experience, a borned again.
We all know that any kind of a birth is a mess. When a baby's borned, if it's on the floor, if it's in a shuck pile, or in a pink decorated hospital room, it's a mess. But it brings life. That's what the new birth is; it's a mess, but it brings life. It ain't a style, or a put on, or declaration of creeds; it's the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that's the secret of the real believing church: borned again.
Oh, I know you get up from the altar, crying , and boo-hoo, and squealing, and slobbering, but it brings life. It takes the starch out of you. It makes you something that you ought to be. It takes all the world and the stiff-neck out of you. And today, we just walk up and say, "I take Jesus for my personal Saviour." That'll never take the place of the new birth, when men and women come to the altar and forget where they are and who's around them, until they really die out and are borned again. All night prayer meetings and the power of the Holy Ghost get back into the church again, that's what we need today is a good old time Saint Paul's revival, and the Bible Holy Ghost preached back in the power, yet in the simplicity of preaching that's in the power of the resurrection.
The great apostle Paul said, "I come to you, not with words of wisdom that your--your faith would be built up in the wisdom of men, but I come preaching the power of the Holy Ghost, that your faith would be built upon the Holy Spirit. The church needs that today. And when we substitute other things and get classy, and starchy, and stiff, we're losing the very secret, and our locks are being shaved off. It's exactly right.
19 Oh, Delilah knowed how to do it. She knowed just what to do. The other day, last Saturday, the wife and I were going over to the grocery store to get some food. I don't mean to be harping on this. I know I got a horrible name for this, but if it's wrong, it's wrong. How can you hold your peace when things are wrong? What's the matter with the church today, it's become so sissified. God's not a sissy. God's God.
On our road over in our little city, I guess we passed at least two hundred women and found one with a skirt on. The rest of them was them little old immoral clothes that women wear. And my wife said to me; she said, "Billy, do you mean to tell me that woman don't know that she's naked?" Said, "If she doesn't, then she's out of her right mind; she's insane." That's right.
And I said... I said, "Honey, no, she's just an American. She's just following the American custom."
She said, "But look. You mean to tell me that lady don't know that what she's doing..."
I said, "No, she doesn't know. She's just got the American spirit on her." And I said, "When I was in Finland, they taken me down to one of those..." If there's a Finn sitting here, I may not say this word right: Saunda. It's a bath, a Finnish bath. When I got down to the place, the Holy Spirit told me not to go in there. And when it was, I found out they had women in there to scrub the men. So I said to Dr. Munion, and I said, "Do you think that's right?"
He said, "Just as right as it is for your American doctors to lay the women on the table and strip them down and examine them." So you see, "Sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander." See? Pot cannot call kettle black.
And then when you go into France, there--all women and men use the same rest room. When you go into Africa, into dark parts of the jungles, they don't use--wear any clothes at all. But here's what: it's a custom of the nation. She said, "Then aren't we Americans?"
I said, "No, for we are from another land. We are pilgrims and strangers here. We're seeking a city to come." I said, "Because we have been born from... Our spirit comes from another land which is heaven, where holiness, and God, and righteousness rules and reigns. And we confess that we are pilgrims and strangers. We're seeking a city to come whose builder and Maker is God."
20 We are not looking for these things of the world. And when the Spirit of God comes into a person, it changes them. It motivates you... The life that's in you motivates you. And what's the matter with the church today, it's become too worldly. What we need is the Holy Ghost in the human being, in the heart. It'll take the new birth to do that: change that person, making him or her a new creature.
In darkest of Africa, when I seen women standing there stark naked as they came into the world, and when the Holy Ghost came on them, to hide their nakedness, they folded their arms and walked away till they could find clothes. And then they call us the civilization, and each year we're taking off more clothes, and then claim to have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit won't work on one person one way and on another, another.
But let me tell whether it's America, Finland, France, anywhere it is, when a woman or a man is borned of the kingdom of God, he becomes a new creature and stops the things of the world. They are dead to him; for he is dead and his life is hid in God through Christ, sealed by the Holy Ghost. What we need today is a revival, is a shaking, an old fashioned Pentecostal revival. We'd be a lot better off with a tambourine down on the corner, beating the tambourines, than to live in these big morgues with the Spirit of God being grieved away from us. The devil comes to rob and to take away. That's all he knows how to do.
21 The kings... Israel, when they first started their backsliding, what did it? When they come up out of Egypt, they were led by the King of heaven. God was their King. That was the secret of their power. That was the secret of their success, is because that God was their King. But what did they do after they got settled down? That was the Pentecostal church in type.
Long years ago, when God was the King, when we come into the meeting and the power of God fell, we shouted, we jumped around, we--we had no shame. But we begin to watch how the Methodists do it, and how the Baptists do it, how the Presbyterian do it. We're not Methodists, Baptists, or Presbyterian; we are Pentecostal, borned of the Spirit of God. Don't never bind us up to such stuff as that.
But the world is beginning to find where your secret is. What makes that power? What's these fellows doing? They're finding and trying to say that the days of miracles is past; "There's no such a thing as divine healing. And all this here shouting and praising the Lord, and all these signs and wonders are not right." And it's because they don't know God. They've never been borned again. God's Bible says that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His power is the same. They've come too late to tell me about it; I've experienced it, and I know what I'm talking about. He's still God and He'll always be God, and He's just as much God right here in this building tonight as He was on the day of Pentecost. We got the same blessings, the same thing. If He can get people in the same condition, that same thing will operate every time.
22 It's environment; it's your environment. You can take a egg and put it under a--a--a incubator. It'll hatch a chicken just the same. Why? Because it's the environment that makes the egg hatch. It's exactly. If a Baptist, or a Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran, will only take that Germ of Life, that Word of God into their heart, in the right environment... But they don't care what the church says. They don't care what the world says. They want that thing to come to life. God's just as sure to pull out and pour out the Holy Ghost upon that person as He did it on the day of Pentecost, 'cause He's God. But we'll never do it by organizing ourselves, and squeezing away from one another, and--and denying the power, and--and so forth. We'll never be able to do it.
That's the reason I like this here Christian Business Men. It's one place you come into that's still got Spirit. Now, I--I... They're free. Everybody comes together and chews each other's chewing gum, as to say. They--they are absolutely a fellowship. They are absolutely love one another, and they love God, and they don't care about the things of the world or fashions. What we need today is a coming together. Get away; don't let the devil rob that power of the Holy Ghost away from you. That's the thing that we need. That's the Life of a church. Take that out and you got a lodge. Take the Spirit out of the church, you've got a lodge. We don't want a lodge. That's for men who wants the lodge. We want a church that's filled with the Holy Ghost and Christ is the King of it. I feel religious right now. Yes. Because... God will have one, a church, borned again, filled, washed in the Blood, filled with the Spirit, all condemnation gone. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."
23 How do you get into Christ? By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body by the Holy Ghost. There's the secret. The devil's got ahold of it. He knows just how to come in and rob you--rob it out of you--to organize. You, say, "Well, we're different from that group; we got a better set of preachers." You little seminary, vitamin fed, seminary born rooster, do you only know you're heading for the frying pan? What in the world are you crowing about? See? What you need today, is the good old fashion baptism of the Holy Ghost to preach the people Eternal Life in Christ, for He lives just the same today as He was then. What good does the pretty feathers and the intellectuals, getting them little pullets all dressed out here and things like that, do you realize you're heading for the pan? What good does it do you? What's all your intellectuals going to amount to?
What we need today, is get away from that kind of stuff and back to the Holy Ghost; back to the power of God; back to the old fashion meeting; back to the all night prayer meetings, and praying, and staying until we're dead to self. That's what we need.
Delilah, the world, has found the secret of the Pentecostal church: "If I can only get her classy, and give her great big churches, and give her fine cultured preachers, it won't be long, till I'll have her all bound up." And just about got it too. That's right. He's done it.
24 Oh, my, Israel, when they got settled down... When they was on the move, all right. It was all right as long as they were moving, but when they got to Palestine and got settled down, then they began to act--want to act like the Philistines and the Gentile world. They wanted a king. And when they accepted Saul as their king, they denied God as their King. And when we accept denominational barriers, and handshakes, and--and classical things instead of the Holy Ghost, well then we're denying God our King.
What happened? It finally led them to an Ahab, to a total backsliding, and they failed to recognize their real King when He come. And that's the thing the churches has done today. They've accepted all this other philosophy, and doctrine, and psychology, and--and all these different things, and instead of receiving the Holy Ghost. And now the King is in the midst of the church and they don't know it. They rejected It, just exactly the way they rejected Jesus there, so is the church rejecting Him today. Why? Because they accepted an earthly king.
25 You're accepting preachers with educations instead of men who knows God to pastor the churches. I'd rather have my family go to hear a preacher that didn't know his ABC's, if he knowed Christ, than to have them with all their education. They go to school to get that. But the church is not in an educational program; it's for the power and demonstrations of the Holy Ghost. That's what the church needs tonight. That's right. Get away from those things.
But, oh, Delilah, the first thing you know... Samson oughtn't to have made his first stop. When Delilah flirted her eyes at him, he ought to have turned his head and walked on. Eve stopped just for a moment and she got in trouble. Samson stopped for a moment and got in trouble. And when the world presents something to the church or individual, don't stop; keep moving on. That's what the church needs tonight, is don't stop for these intellectual, classical prides, is keep moving on in the Holy Ghost. Just keep pressing on, going on...
26 When we say, "Well, now, our denominational is the biggest," that has nothing to do with it. "Oh, the mayor of the city comes to our church." That still has nothing to do with it, no matter who comes. The thing of it is, is Christ to come; that's Who we want to be in the church. If it's in a mission on the corner or if it's in a palace, wherever Christ is that should be home to the church, home to the people.
But Delilah she had to do some--some real maneuvering, 'cause she had to stop Samson. She--she knowed he was a mighty man of God and he had a hidden power. Now, she had to do something to do all kind of a enchantments to try to stop him. Well, that's what the world's done to the church. It's just done all kinds of maneuvering. You can do this, or you can be a better here... You can do this, that, and so forth, until it's got to a place till the church is about dead.
We don't have the meetings we used to have. The people are talking today. Billy Graham, and Brother Oral Roberts, myself, all of us, we're trying to talk of a revival in our days. How can we have a revival as long as the church is bound with the world? How can you do it when Samson is bound? The secret's been known and God shaved off his power. There's no more... It's got to a place to people... These incubator preachers has got us to a place until we so stiff-necked, till honest people make fun of some good old saint that'll pray through to victory; hear somebody shout; or speak with tongues; or--or demonstrate some power of the Holy Ghost, and then, people that call themselves Christians will make fun of those people. What's the matter? It's... All the thing has done is shaved off the power.
27 That's what happened in the Lutheran time. Luther was all right, but they got a new school in there. It begin to shave off the things that Luther talked about. See? Shave... That's the same thing in the days of Wesley: had Divine healing, and different miracles, and so forth; preached sanctification. But when the new groups come in, they begin to shave it off (See?), find the locks. And the same thing with the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal church in this last days, it's beginning to shave off the locks. The secret: find the place, stop the prayer meetings. I know a Pentecostal church (Just talking to someone belongs to it, since I've been here.), that that Pentecostal church lets out fifteen minutes early on Wednesday night to see some television program. They all take off to the basement to watch some television program.
28 A minister was telling me the other day, he went to eat supper with a person, and while they were getting supper ready, this minister's wife had to go watch "We love Susie" or something like that, before she could even cook supper for them.
Brother, I'm telling you when that comes, it shows that the home life... No wonder we got juvenile delinquency. No wonder the secret's been discovered. It's taken the baptism of the Holy Ghost out of the people, and they are--they are going for the things of the world instead of coming back to God. Stop. Look, Listen. The coming of the Lord is at hand. What good is our knowledge do? What good will our big buildings do? What of our intellectual talks will do? It'll take...
Nothing will stand that day but the Blood of Jesus Christ, washed in His Blood and clothed in His righteousness by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When the church loses that, it's gone. And you can see it smothering down, wooing, talking... Holy Spirit's grieved by our creeds and our denominational, and our sectarian barriers, and our class, and our fancy things. You know all that's abomination in the sight of God? What we need's a good clean washed church, a real clean cut, hundred percent out for God, out and out with no shame, no backwardness. We don't care what the world says: we got God, and He's all we care about, and He's in our hearts, and we worship Him in the Spirit and in Truth. That's what God wants in His church.
29 Delilah had a hard time showing him one thing, and another thing, and another thing, till finally he fell for her. And the church has fallen for the things of the world. And the first thing you know, it's got to a place that Divine healing has just about run out in the church.
I go to meetings, and the Lord, with the little gift that He gave me of the--the proof of His resurrection and the discernment of the Spirit... And them things will take place, and I've seen Pentecostal people set and say, "Ahhh, I guess it's all right..." Could you imagine a borned again Christian where the power of the Holy Ghost is moving like that, and so dead with the things of the world until they'll set like that?
Sinners will start to the altar to get right with God, and the Christians will set and pop chewing gum, looking at them. That's the truth. When it used to be, in the Baptist church, where I come out of, the Old Kentucky Baptists down there... Why, an old sinner boy would start to the altar, would be every mammy in there around his neck. He'd come through before he got to the altar. What's the matter? They shaved off the secret: they got away from prayer life; they got away from the Holy Ghost.
30 Crowing roosters, educated canaries with canary bird brain, trying to explain to you all the ins and outs of God. You don't know God that way. You know Him when you're borned again. That's the only way you'll ever be able to know Him. God is still God. He's just as much God today, as He ever was. He's the God that was on the mountain with Elijah. He's God that was in the den with Daniel. He's just as much... He's the God of Pentecost. He's a God in the church.
So, what we need to do tonight is to get away from all of our class and--and fancy things and get back to God. Get back to the Holy Ghost. Get back to all night prayer meetings as you had down here last night.
31 I know this cuts; it's hard. Don't like to do this. You--your people... Pentecostal dollars feed my children. Pentecostal dollars takes me around the world to preach to the heathen. I love you, but that's the reason I scold you and carry on the way I do. I--I see the world coming in; I'm zealous. If I see my wife flirting with another man, you'd see me get right after her right quick. And that's right. It's 'cause I love her. And when I see the church begin to flirt with the world, it rises something within me; I can't set still; I got to say something. Can call me what you want to, I just got to let it out. I'm--I'm jealous of the church; I don't want her entangled with the world. God forbid that she'll ever get entangled with the world. Let her stay free if she has to worship in tin pan alley. As long as she's free in the Spirit, let her alone.
She don't need no seminaries, and cemeteries, or whatever goes with it. What she needs is a baptism of the Holy Ghost and a renewing. David said, "Renew my salvation. Restore the joy of my salvation." The church is losing that. And that's too bad, but they're doing it anyhow. And the power of God doesn't shake the church any more; it just become so common to them. They go down and say, "Well, that's pretty good. Uh-huh," go on off. My, it ought to drive us to our knees to repentance. It ought to bring tear drops. It ought to bring salvation or--and soul winning. It ought to... The coming of the Lord ought to press us so hard till we'd be in every street corner, trying to tell somebody. Do something about it. It'll be too late to do it after while.
32 One hope that we have, when... I--I'm closing, saying this: one hope we have. While they had Samson bound, there was a new shock growed out. I'm praying God, that He'll grow out of here, somewhere, a new shock that'll shake the Philistines like they've never been shook before. I believe God will have it. If He won't do it through the churches, He'll take a Christian business man. He'll do something another. But there'll be a shock of power, a secret power of the Holy Ghost growed out again, just as certain as anything and it'll do the job in the last days. God grant that we're all numbered with that shock when it comes out. Let us pray.
33 Before praying, with your heads bowed, I would like to ask you this question as your brother, one who loves you, only says these things, not to come and pat you, but to be sure that you're right with God. How many would like to have a--the experience that they once had, a renewing in the Holy Spirit, would say, "Brother Branham, pray for me right now, that God will renew my strength"? God bless you. Look at your hands, everywhere. "God, renew my strength." Oh, how wonderful. "Take me back to Calvary. Let me forsake all the things of this world. Let me forsake all and cleave to Thee."
"He that will not forsake all and take up his cross daily... It's a sacrificial walk. It's a walk that you don't pattern after the world. Christ is your Example. Die daily and walk after Jesus. Oh, may He grant to you, my precious friend.
34 Oh... When you bow your head now, keep on your mind what you want. Say, "God, take me back. I don't care what it costs. I don't care what it is. I don't want to know more flirt with the world. I--I want to be real." If the church would only go on with God as it should go, there would not be any cripples and afflictions around us. We got to confess our sins. We got to... "Our sins," you say, "well, I don't do nothing wrong. I--I don't drink. I..." It's not that; it's neglection, sometimes. It's not moving up with God. It's not doings a--in the Holy Spirit. It's not--it's not watering that what God has given you. You're grieving It away.
A woman come to me last night and she said to me; she said, "Brother Branham, I--I am so sick," she said, "I--I have no power no more with prayer. I--my--the life of prayer is gone from me," she said, "and I'm getting older, and I--I don't want to go like this." See? Grieve the Spirit away from you. Let Him come to you just now.
35 Lord Jesus, bringing this group of people to You, yet harsh, Lord, with the Word, cuts like a two edged sword, coming and going. But, Lord, it's those things that makes us what we are. It's the Holy Spirit that circumcises, cuts away all the flesh of the world, and gives us new life. It's--it's in this birth, Lord, like a seed that's laying on the ground. Until that seed is dead and rotten... And as it rots, then new life comes out. Until our intellectual conception of Christ becomes so dead till it's rotten, then new life will be born. New life can only come when death is. Death and life are associated together.
And, Father, we realize that when the new grain, the yellow grain that goes into the ground is hard and calloused and indifferent. When it dies and it's rot, then a little green blade comes out. It's nothing like what goes down. But when it comes up, it's flexible. The wind blows it, and it's soft. It's a new life; it's a different color. And so is a calloused church member who falls beneath the cross, and he rots to his own intellectual thinking. But when new life comes out of that condition, then he's altogether different when he comes out. He's alive; he's growing; he's flexible to the Word, and to the Spirit. When the Spirit blows like a wind upon him, he moves and sways to the Spirit, where he did lay stiff and starchy.
36 God, grant tonight, that every person that raised their hands, may the Holy Ghost create new life. And all of us, Lord, while we're dying out to ourself, we claim to be Pentecostal, and let a Pentecostal experience break through upon us. May our--s--our own thinking die out, and may the Holy Ghost take over our--our being and make us what God would have us to be. Create in us, Lord, a desire, a zeal, Lord, a--a zeal to evangelize, and to preach, and to testify, and to do something to keep going day and night, for it's later than we think.
Soon, Jesus shall come. And if He doesn't, our life will soon be over. And then all through eternity, we'll wonder why we didn't do more. Why didn't we spend those hours that we set around, filled up, and went, and lazily laid around? Why didn't we get out and do something with it?
God, grant that this meeting will be moved by the Holy Ghost in the coming night. Grant, Lord, that every person in here will not leave this convention until something happens to them. Let the seed that's been planted in these two or three nights of sermons, may they be watered with signs, and wonders, and miracles from God, and the baptism afresh of the Holy Ghost, until men and women will rise in newness of life. Those who have been stale, may take new hope, and go forward in Christ to accomplish the works so He can come again. Grant it, Lord, for we ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.