Thinking on our ways
You can find this sermon at ChurchAges.net
1 Cleveland, Tennessee, where I have so many precious friends, friends of the Lord Jesus of all denominational churches... And when I heard that I had the opportunity to return again to Cleveland, my heart was just stirred to come here to be with our precious noble brother, Brother Littlefield. And then, since I've come to the platform to find Brother Cook, and Brother Hall, and many other ministers here, which are precious bosom friends to me, and to know that we have great services ahead. We are anticipating great things from the Lord.
And we want to send a special greeting to those out in the radio-land. We wish you were here tonight to look upon the anticipations on the faces of the people as they are sitting, waiting, like just something could happen at any time. The recorders are running, and the people with their fans a-fanning, and... But in all of it, there seems to be a great look on the people expecting something to happen.
2 I see they begin to bring in the sick on the cots, and the wheelchairs, and so forth. We're expecting to have a great healing service here, the Lord to meet with us, and to bless His people as He has promised to do.
I believe that they are giving out, that tomorrow night starts the healing services. Then the boys will be giving out prayer cards between six-thirty and seven o'clock tomorrow afternoon, so that we can legitimately keep the people lined at the platform for the healing service. And then also, the following night, Wednesday night is to be another service---what we call healing service.
We don't mean by that that we're going to heal anyone. We believe that, by the grace of God we're going to let them know that God has already healed them, and they just accept it then. Just as we're trying to let the sinner know that God loves him, and He's already saved him, if he will just accept it. It's the work that Christ finished at Calvary when He made that all sufficient Word saying, "It is finished." The whole plan of salvation, all that could be done for mankind by the heart of God was finished when Christ said those words. God's plan was completed. We just have to have faith to receive what He has finished for us.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
3 And then, I believe it's Wednesday morning was one of the great reasons that I'm here, to dedicate this tabernacle unto the Lord, the tabernacle that Brother Littlefield, I think, is to be pastor of. That'll be ten o'clock Wednesday morning.
And I would like to see every Christian that could jam into the walls of that tabernacle, be there. For we don't only want to dedicate the tabernacle to the Lord and to His service, but we want to dedicate our own lives to Him in service. For the church just serves the purpose to shelter the people, but we are the church, the chosen of Christ by His grace. And we are wanting to dedicate ourselves anew on Wednesday morning, ten o'clock for this service. If you're working, ask your boss to let you off just a little bit for this time. I believe he would do it, for this'll be a great time for us all.
4 And now, tonight, it has been my privilege to be... given to me by a brother to come and speak to you for a few moments on the Scriptures.
Now there's anyone that is able to pull back the pages of the Bible, could open the Bible, but there is only One who is sufficient to open the Bible to us; that is Christ. In the Scriptures it's written, "And there was no one found in heaven, no one in earth, or beneath the earth, that was worthy to take the book or to loose the seals thereof or even to look thereon." And there was a Lamb came into the picture that had been slain since the foundation of the world; and He took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne, for He was worthy.
May He open it to us tonight as we listen patiently. And before we do it, let us bow our heads and speak to the Author of this book, the Bible.
Revelation 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Revelation 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
5 Lord, there is no words that we could find in the human languages that could express our adoration to Thee. For it's truly with our whole heart we adore Thee, O Lord God, Creator of heavens and earth, the Author of everlasting life, and the Giver of every good and perfect gift. And we are so happy tonight, that we have the privileges to be called Thy children, sons and daughters. And we would say, Lord, that it is far from our hearts to ever think that we merited this in any way; but it was through the unadulterated grace of Jesus Christ who called us to this great, choice place. And through this, we have been promised that we have eternal life and will be raised up at the last days.
We are looking forward to that time when the Lord Himself shall descend from the heavens with a shout and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise. And then we which are alive and remain shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and be caught up together with them to meet Him in the air. How that thrills our hearts.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
6 Lord, we would pray tonight that these people who have made the sacrifice of coming to the service, that You'll send each of them from here so full of Thy goodness and Thy mercy, until all day tomorrow and all through the night their heart will sing praises unto Thee.
We would not forget those who are lame and afflicted, sick in body that's laying here on the stretchers and sitting in the seats out there, that's needy of Thy grace to heal them. We pray, Lord, that there will not be one feeble person in our midst when this service is closed. May every sinner be saved and backsliders called back to the house of the Lord, back into fellowship with His Son. And we would not forget those in radio-land who are tuned in, in the hospitals, and in the schools of infirmed, and whatever it may be. May Thy Holy Spirit go through the medium of this radio and into their rooms, and give to them, Lord, that hunger and thirst in their heart, that it might be satisfied with Thy goodness.
As we turn back the pages of the Book to read, may the Author of the Book send His Holy Spirit and make them words live to us, in such a way that we would receive what we have come for. Give us of Thy grace and of Thy power, the forgiveness of our sins, for we ask it in the name of Jesus, Thy Son, our Saviour. Amen.
7 May the Lord bless you each. Just for a short time, I thought on some Scripture, as I come up this afternoon. And it's found over in Psalms 119---Psalm---and the 59th verse, I wish to read.
I thought on my ways ... I turned my feet to thy testimonies.
And tonight, if I should call it a subject, I'd like to speak on the subject, "Thinking On Our Ways."
You know, David, I'm told, at the time of the writing of this Psalm, that he'd been in trouble. And David was just a man like all of us, that he had his ups-and-downs, and his differences. And he'd been very much in trouble.
God has not promised to go through life, any believer to go through without troubles. But He has promised grace sufficient to take care of these troubles. That's what thrills my heart, is to know that His grace is sufficient. All of our depths and troubles and flusterations, yet God has promised to see us through. That's just as much as we could ask of Him, knowing that He knows the road.
As Joshua said to Israel, "You have not traveled this way before." We haven't traveled it. So He knows the way and can point it out.
Joshua 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
8 I can just see David. His house was being watched. Saul and his army was watching his house to kill him. I can see David as he nervously wringing his hands and walking back and forth, to and fro through his room, looking out the windows and watching every little move in the bush, for he didn't know what time that a arrow might whistle through the air right through his own bosom.
And it was then that these words come to him, "As I thought on my ways, I turned my feet to Thy testimonies."
It's usually when a man is in trouble, is when he goes to thinking about God. It's too bad that we have to wait to get in trouble before we think about Him. But I've heard many people, several who has claimed that they was not believers, that they did not believe there was a God. But I've noticed that same people, let them get hurt or in trouble.
Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
9 As we're told, Bob Ingersol, as he was dying in his hospital room, he screamed, "Oh God, if there be a God, have mercy on me." You might say some great things while you're feeling good, but when death comes knocking at the door, you're going to change your opinion.
In my length of days, I have seen many such men who didn't care for church, and didn't care for God, and nothing that was right. But just let them get in trouble, the doctor says there's a cancer eating you to pieces. They'll go to hunting for somebody to pray for them right quick. God has a way of making you recognize Him.
10 A few months ago, I was talking to the honorable judge of our city, who is a bosom friend of mine that comes quite regular to the Tabernacle when I'm there, Judge Bottorff of Jeffersonville, Indiana. And I was speaking to him about a mother's boy that was up there for stealing a car. And I talked to the boy at length, and he put his arms around me, and he said, "Brother Branham, if you'll get the judge to pardon me one more time," he said, "I will promise you, I'll take my place in the Sunday school, and I'll be there every time the door opens."
Well, I said, "Son, I've asked the judge lots of favors, but you know, he's under oath, and he's got to do justice. But I will go talk to him."
And I said, "Judge, your honor, sir, could it be possible that you could pardon this young man again? He told me he'd ... such-and-such things he'd do."
I never forget what the judge said. He raised up from behind his desk, and walked around over to where I was, and took me by the hand. And I stood up. Put his arms over my shoulders, and he said, "Billy," he said, "every man that I sentence to prison wants to become a preacher. He's in trouble." But said, "I've seen many of them be pardoned and serve their time. They forget all about it when they get free again."
It's usually in the time of trouble that men seek for God.
11 Israel, when Israel would get in trouble, then she would seek for God. When the Philistines were on them, and when the armies of the Syrians would be encamped about, then they would turn out and get the ark of the covenant, and bring it out, and sing songs, and offer sacrifices. But then, when God blessed them, and their needs was all supplied, then right back like the hog to its wallow, and a dog to its vomit.
Just seems like that's the trend of human beings, have to be pushed into something, pushed into worship the Lord.
If we would sit down tonight and figure, what is any greater thing than eternal life? Tell me what kind of a price that you could put on eternal life? If you were dying tonight with a hundred billion dollars in your pocket, it could not touch eternal life.
You can't buy it. Money is filth in the sight of God, if it isn't used to His kingdom or to some good cause.
2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
12 What do you think would happen tonight in Wall Street... There is places in the world that I've preached that's so primitive until they hunt on the seashores for little mussel shells, little curves in them. And that's what they use for money. And then I preached in places to where they taken the teeth out of animals, and would bring them and exchange them, and they are currency.
What do you think tonight that Wall Street would think if these men would come to their markets, and place mussel shells, and stinking teeth out of animals, and want to exchange them for our gold bonds. Why, they'd say, "Get those stinking things and get out of here."
That's what our money and our greatness is before God. We can't buy it. God's so good till He gives it to us without money or without price, and we turn it down. It doesn't even sound sane, does it.
13 I was speaking to my wife a few days ago after I had celebrated my fiftieth birthday. And I said to her, "Honey, I'm getting old. This Bible, I must place back into the hands of my boy someday." And I was speaking to her about how when we were young. And I said, "Here, we've been married all these years, and it seems like it was just yesterday." And I said, "Life has passed so quick, but honey, listen to this." I said, "If God would come to this room and would say, 'I'm going to give you a choice: to live another fifty years, and you're going to go through poverty, and sickness, and troubles, and be rejected, and despised, and have a terrible time. You're going to have to beg every meal that you eat in the next fifty years, but at the end of that fifty years, you'll have eternal life. But I'm going to give you the whole world and all the money, and turn you back to eighteen years old and make you king over all the world for a million years. But at the end of the million years, then, that's all.'"
I'd say, "Lord, let me beg or anything; just give me eternal life." For there'll be a time when there would be no more of me. But as long as there is a God in heaven, if I got eternal life, I'll always live with Him. When the eons of times has passed, we live on, because we are part of God, sons and daughters of Him.
14 And it's a shame that we have to be pressed into places to make us accept it. What an enemy we have. Yes, an archenemy. And it's good to turn to the Lord before these troubles strike.
Now, most of the time it is, that it's troubles that makes the people come to the Lord. But we should come before they strike.
15 Now, for instance, like in the days of any Christian that we want to place before us...
I was thinking of a story. Sometime ago, up into the north woods, there was a colored boy. He was about twenty-five years old, and he was just a ... kind of a floater, we call them. And he was a gentleman, but not a fugitive or a renegade. But he was a... He was a gentleman, but just a guy that likes to float around, no place to go, and nothing to do. That's a horrible way to take life. I gave a man his dinner sometime ago. Was a bum...
And I said, "When did you start this?"
Said, "About twenty years ago."
I said, "Where are you going?"
He said, "Nowhere."
I said, "Then where did you come from?"
He said, "Oh, nowhere."
I said, "How long do you expect to keep this up?"
"Oh," he said, "I don't know."
No ambitions. Why, the Christian ought to be the most ambitious person in the world. Bring this glorious gospel of eternal life to a dying and perishing world. We should be up and at it.
16 This young man drifted into the north woods to a country I used to hunt in many years ago, deer hunt. And he wanted a job. He didn't have any money, and the woods boss hired him to help the old colored cook.
And one night after the supper was over, and the dishes was washed... They slept in a little back room with just a little canvas between them. And all of a sudden, the young fellow said, "I was awakened. And I heard two men standing by my window. And there was the most mournful sound I ever heard." He said, "I threw back the blanket from off my face and jumped up quickly." And said, "The room was just constantly in a light from the flashes of lightning." He said, "I heard those two men say, 'Well, Jim, we'd better go back down to the camp, because we may not be here in ten more minutes; that twister's headed this way.'"
Said he jumped up, and he looked out the window in time to see that great snake-like of a circle clouds tearing up the mountains, tearing the trees and twisting them into the air. When he seen the bodies of full trees flying hundreds of feet into the air, heading right towards the cabin.
17 And he said he heard something knocking on the canvas, and the old cook in the other side of the canvas said, "Son, come over on this side; I've got a lantern lit." Said he went over to the other side, and the old cook had a lantern lit. And said she said to him, "Do you know the Lord Jesus as your Saviour?"
He said, "No, ma'am. I never prayed in my life."
"Well," said, "you'd better be praying, for we may be swept off the earth in the next few minutes."
He said that godly, saintly, old woman knelt down there with that soap box, and prayed just as calm as she could be. And said, "I couldn't pray." He said, "Every time I'd start to say, 'Dear God,'" said, "about that time a tree would land against the cabin." He said to me; he said, "Reverend, I was too scared to pray." And he said, "I got this much out, 'Sir, if You'll just spare me, I will come to You sometime when there's no storm on.'" He said, "That's why I'm here tonight. There's no storm going on. But that promise in my heart, and the memories of that hour still lingers."
18 It's right to come to God while you're sane and in your right mind, when everything is quiet. When you got time to think and come sanely and soberly, that's the time to come to God. For then, He's a present help in a time of trouble.
He said he'd never forget how that old saint just so reverently could pray as smoothly and calmly when that storm was going on. It means something to know God, to be ready for it when it comes. Then He's a present help in time of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
19 I remember not too many years ago in the north woods... My mother's an ... half Indian off the reservation down here. And I thought I was too much of a woodsman to ever be lost. And I'd just got married. And this looks like taking advantage of my wife, but on our honeymoon, I took her on a hunting trip. And she was staying in a little lean-to that we come into that morning.
I said, "I believe there is some bear track I noticed coming up." I said, "I will go track that bear; will be back about noon." It was about nine o'clock at morning.
I got on the trail of that bear, and I was led all over the country. Finally I lost him. And I was coming up a little draw, and I noticed a deer. I said, "That'd be a nice one to take home." So I shot the deer, started back. And I noticed the clouds had begin to get low, fog coming in.
20 If anyone knows what it means to be in the mountains when fog comes, you just have to house in. You don't know where you're going. I knew I had to get back; she'd never been in the woods. And I started hurrying. And I walked and walked up a little stream. And I said I know now that this stream, where it makes the bend, that's where I cross over, and go down on the other side, and I knew how to come out. Well, I thought, "Looks like I ought to be that bend." And I stopped, and I begin to perspire. And I was standing right by the side of my deer again. I'd come right back around to it. I did that three times. Now, the Indian calls that the death walk. He's walking a circle, but where do you go out. Well, I seen I was lost, but I didn't want to admit it.
That's the way human beings are; they don't want to admit they're wrong. There's no doubt men and women in this building tonight or out in radio-land that's not right with God, but you don't want to admit it. You're covering it up by going to church, or saying some kind of a prayer or a creed. That isn't getting right with God. Being borned again, becoming a son or a daughter of God, that's God's requirement. Be right with Him.
21 Then I walked farther, and I said, "Oh, I'm too good a woodsman to be lost." I said, "Now, Bill Branham, you just come to yourself. You're foolish. You know how to get out of here. Go on." And it was so foggy; I couldn't see nothing. And I started walking.
And after a while, I kept hearing a word, "I'm a very present help in the time of trouble." I walked a little farther, and it got so I could hear it speaking out, "The Lord is a very present help in a time of trouble."
Well, I thought... I knelt down and I said, "Lord, I'm admitting that I am lost. I'm not worthy to live. But my wife and Billy, a little suckling baby, they're worthy of living, Lord. Don't let them perish."
And I prayed, and I got up, and I said, "Well now, I will have to choose the best that I know how." So, I started walking straight ahead. Thought, "I'm going right ... exactly right. The wind's in my face."
Psalm 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
22 And just then it seemed that a hand laid on my shoulder. And I turned to see who it was touched me. And I looked up, and a little place cleared in the skies, and I saw Hurricane Mountain and the ranger's tower where I was going to. Oh, what a feeling. He's a very present help in the time of trouble.
Be right with Him now that when death, or sickness, or whatever it is strikes you, then He's a present help.
I never forget. I pointed my hands straight towards the way I was going. If I'd have went the way my choice was, I'd have went into Canada. But I went this way, to my right where He turned me around. And I held up my hands.
23 It started getting darker. I walked for about three hours, almost dark. And then it got dark. I couldn't have seen the power line that run from the tower down to the lean-to, about six miles. And I knew I was on Hurricane Mountain. I couldn't change my course, run up over the slabs. Oh, it's a rough road when you're trying to go right sometimes. But it's right; it's the only way out. I walked. After it got dark, I held up my hands until they felt like they were going to drop. Oh, they were cold, and the snow blowing. And I thought, "If I could only touch that line." So dark... And I'd stop and I'd rest my hands a moment, keep my directions set right. Then raise my hands and start again.
You'll never know how I felt when my hand touched that line. I knowed I could hold onto that line. I helped put it up there that spring. I could hold onto that line. And right at the end of the road of that line where it stopped, waited my loved ones. That was a great thing.
24 But I was lost worse than that one day, when a loving hand touched me by the heart and turned me towards Calvary. I held my hands up until something got ahold of me. I've held onto it reverently, walking quietly and slowly. Someday at the end of this line will wait my loved ones and my Lord. He's a present help in time of trouble.
Job in his trouble---before his troubles struck him---he said, "Peradventure, my children might have sinned, so I will offer a burnt offering for them." He made preparations, whether if anything did happen, when he begin to think of the ways of his children. They might have went perverse to his teaching.
Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
25 And let me say this with reverence and with respect: If these American mothers and fathers would put more time praying for their children like Job did, there'd be less juvenile delinquency. The trouble of it is, our modern American mothers and fathers lead them to drinking, and to card playing, and to cigarette smoking, and things of that sort, which makes juvenile delinquency. It really isn't juvenile delinquency; it's parent delinquency. Neglecting to come to God and find Him, then trouble strikes.
When trouble struck Job, he'd offered the burnt offering, come up on the only grounds that God will receive a believer; that's on the burnt sacrifice and the blood. So when trouble struck his house, God was a present help in the time of trouble.
When they'd accused him of being a secret sinner, he knew that he was righteous with God, because he'd met God's requirements. Then he could say, "I know my Redeemer liveth and at the last day He will stand on the earth. Though the skinworms destroys this body, yet in my flesh I will see God." Why? He knew that he'd come God's provided way. He didn't come by the membership of his church; he come by God's sacrifice. That was what God required. Certainly.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
26 It was David, when he was sitting on his throne, and Nathan the prophet come in and begin to reveal the secrets of his heart that David thought on his sinful ways. Yet, he was a good man. Been a man after God's own heart, but he was living with Uriah's wife. And it was wrong. And when David, the king of Israel thought on his ways, it drove him to sackcloth and prayer, because he thought on his sinful ways; drove him to his knees to pray.
It was Jacob, who had deceived his brother and lived luxuriously down with his father-in-law, with camels and sheep and everything. One time there come a yearning to go back home, go back to church, and go back to the right thing again. And he started with his wives, and his children, and his flocks. But when he heard that Esau was coming, he thought on his ways, on his ways of deceiving. He'd deceived Esau, and he knowed Esau was on his way to meet him.
27 And there's so many Christians tonight, professed Christians, that's only deceiving the thing that they're confessing to be. Death will come creeping around the door one of these days; you'll going to thinking on your ways then.
As Jacob thought on his ways, he stayed the other side of the brook and prayed all night long.
If Christians would think on their ways, and would drive them to prayer and to repentance, it would be different. The world would be different. The church would be different. The people would be different.
28 It was Moses. Going down an old familiar path one morning as he begin to think on his ways. God had called him to be a deliverer of Israel. What did he do? Went in his own way instead of taking God's way, and murdered a man. And when he was thinking on his way, and what a failure he had been, and living in luxury, had traded the ministry of the Lord for a sheepherder's job...
No doubt somewhere down over the air waves, or in this building tonight, I'm preaching to many a man and woman who God called into the ministry, and took an easier road, because it had more money in it. There wasn't... You're herding sheep when you ought to be preaching the gospel. So easy to take that way of luxury.
29 But while Moses was thinking on his way, a burning bush appeared in the way.
God, send burning bushes tonight to every man or woman that would dare to think on their ways. Take inventory of your life, how you're living. What if Jesus would come tonight? Think on the ways.
It was Peter who was standing, warming himself by the enemy's fire, cursing, denying Jesus. When he heard that old rooster crow the third time, it made him think on his ways, the way he'd been treating Jesus. He'd been called to the ministry. He'd been called to serve God. And it took a rooster to make him think on his ways.
Matthew 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Mark 14:71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
Luke 22:55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
Luke 22:60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
John 18:18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
John 18:25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
John 18:27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
30 Brother, sister, tonight, it's about cock crowing time for a lot of us, that would make us wake up and think on our ways, the way that we are treating the Lord Jesus. In this new modern age of all self-styled and polished religions, it's time to think on our ways and come back to the old pathway that Jesus Christ trod when He was here on earth, a way of sacrifice. Think on our ways.
There was Judas Iscariot. When the high priest begin to count out thirty pieces of silver... And when he heard the tinkling of that silver, Judas thought on his ways, how that he had sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, took a rope and hung himself.
31 I wonder tonight, if many people here and listening tonight, hasn't cheated their neighbor just a little bit, done a little crooked deal. I pray if that be the case, that you'll hear the tinkling of that money, till it'll send you to your knees of repentance. And many of you hold out God's part, spend it for things out here, for whiskey, tobacco, cigarettes, gasoline to ride around on, when it belongs in the house of the Lord. It's your solemn duty to give it. Think on your ways. Think about it. Thirty pieces of silver...
It was a Roman soldier, after he had pierced His side and had seen water and blood, seen the sun go down in the middle of the day, and the rocks rent out from the mountain. After he saw this that he begin to think on his ways, and smote himself on the chest, and cried, "Truly, that was the Son of God." Waited a long time, but he was thinking on his ways.
Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
32 I wonder tonight in radio-land and in this visible audience, if many of you aren't thinking on your ways, the things that you have done, and the things that you've left undone. It's just as great to leave undone, as it is to do something that's wrong. "For he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it's sin." If you're thinking on your ways, there's one thing that I'm sure I can introduce to you. As the poet said,
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
Where sinners plunge beneath the flood,
Lose all their guilty stains;
That dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.
The old Salvation Army song. They used to sing this:
Oh, precious is that flow,
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
33 I know no other cleansing. I know no other way. Nothing else that I know to do, only to confess your sins. Be right with God. Clean up little bitty things. It's the little fox that spoils the grapes.
The other day I had a confession to make myself. I was in my home and some people had been bothering me day after day. And a big office, and they just had me so wearied, I didn't know what to do. Finally, I felt like the world was pulling the top of my head out. I was so nervous, and I couldn't leave to go to meetings, and meetings waiting, hundreds of Christians waiting to be prayed for, sick children crying, mothers and fathers in the hotels and motels with their sick and dying, and I had to stay in an office with an attorney on the case for somebody. And they were pushing me right and left, and up-and-down. I didn't know what to do. I was answering everything, then they'd take me right back over it again.
34 And I'd went home to eat my dinner. They told me I could be off that afternoon. I was going to catch up on some of my sick calls. And there was the phone ringing. It was my private phone. I have an answering service. My wife went to the phone, and she picked up the receiver, and she answered. And when she did, she held her hand over the top of the phone. She said, "Billy, it's them attorneys again."
"Oh," I said, "I can't go through it another half a day." I said, "I told them that same thing over and over and over and over, day in and out, day in and out. And then they're going to call me again?" I said, "I can't do it. I'll... I just... There's so many people waiting to be prayed for." I said, "Tell them I'm not in here," and run around behind the house.
35 And when I come back in a few minutes, my precious little wife standing in the door, she looked at me, and I know what she meant when her eyes caught mine. She said, "Billy, was that just exactly right?"
You know how you like to justify yourself; I said, "Oh, sure. I wasn't in here."
She said, "But your was when the phone rang."
I said, "But I wasn't in here when you told them that." I said, "That was all right."
She said, "Billy, are you sure of that?"
"Oh," I said, "I think so."
And I started out, and I got my hat. I went down to make a sick call. I went into the room to pray for a little sick baby. A man had been waiting a long time with this baby. And I went in to pray for it, and when I started to lay my hands on it, Something said to me, "Can you lay your lying hands on that child?"
The Bible said in I John 3:21, "If our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence in God."
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
36 That's what's the matter today with the Christian church, can't get anything done, is because our hearts are condemning us with unconfessed sin. It's not easy for me to tell this, but it's the truth. That's the way to be truthful.
And I started to pray again, and I seen I wasn't fit to put my hands on that baby. I said, "Sir, I will see that your appointment is held. You just stay here."
I rushed to the phone and called the attorney. I said, "Can I speak to you a minute?"
He said, "Sure, but the other fellows are done gone."
I said, "Just stay in your office a few minutes." I rushed down there and went into the room. I said, "Attorney, I want to tell you something. When you called awhile ago, I was there." I said, "When you called, you had me so nervous, I hardly knew what I was doing. I was almost beside myself." I said, "I had my wife to answer like that, but it was a lie. And I lied to you, and I caused my wife to lie."
Said, "Well, you wasn't in there just then, Billy. She said you wasn't."
I said, "I wasn't. But I run out of the house and run behind the house to keep from being in there." I said, "It's a lie anyhow." I said, "Will you forgive me for it?"
Walked across the floor, looked me right straight in the eye, and I could see in his gray eyes little tears begin to form. He took me by the hand and hugged me. He said, "Brother Branham, I've had great confidence in you, but I got more than ever now." Why? When we think on our ways. I went and prayed for the baby.
37 Went back in the next day, I went up to my cave, where I go to pray, way away. I stayed all day, and it was getting along about evening time. About three or four o'clock I come out of my cave and stood by the side of a big rock hid way back.
People's tried to find me for about fifteen years. They never find it. I went in the winter time, see them hunting for it. They get almost to it, and see how they turned. Something mysteriously turns them. God gave me that cave. That's the place I go to pray. In there's an altar and everything. I'd never touch one thing. It was just that way when I found it long ago.
And I prayed all day long, and I said, "Lord God, I did wrong, and I caused my wife to do wrong. Don't hold it against her, Lord. Please forgive us. I want to stay clean before You, Lord, that when I'm called to pray for Your sick children, there'll be no condemnation in my heart. I want to be right, and that condemns me. I couldn't pray for that little baby. Will You forgive me?" And I prayed and wept in there from about seven o'clock one morning till about three or four that afternoon.
38 There's a big rock lays at the mouth of the cave. And it faces the east, way back in the jungles and woods. And I come out and get on this rock, and raised up my hands and just praised the Lord. And I was standing there thinking on my ways. I thought, "Lord, why did I ever do such a thing? Why could a man get so bothered? But I'm so glad that You love me, that You let me think of it, that You revealed it to me, that You told me I was wrong. That means that You want me to do right, that You love me."
You ought to thank God when He condemns you for your sins, and the things, as you're thinking on your ways.
39 And as I stood there praising Him, after I had a satisfaction that He'd forgive me, and a Scripture come to me. And I said, "Lord, there was one time that You hid Moses in the cleft of the rock. And when You passed by, he said it looked like the back of a man." I said, "You've been so gracious to me around this place, could it happen once more, Lord, just to let me know that...? I took my gift and started to the altar, and I went and was reconciled, and then come back to offer my gift according to Your Word. If You forgive me, pass by me, Lord, and let me see You."
I don't know how much you believe this in radio land. You may call me a fanatic after this. That's between you and God.
When I said that, over to my left, a little space, just about like that little Pillar of Fire you see in the picture, a little wind went to whirling in the bushes. Come right down and rolled right past me like that. Went on down through the woods. I raised up my voice; I wept and I cried. I hollered to God and said, "I love You with all my heart, Lord. I'm so glad that You are a prayer answering God, and forgive them that will turn to You with all their heart and repent." Call upon the name of the Lord.
"He that will cover his sins shall not prosper. But he that confesses his sins shall have mercy."
Exodus 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
Exodus 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
Exodus 33:23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Matthew 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
40 While we think on our ways, before healing service starts tomorrow night, let's think on our ways as we pray, as we bow our heads. You in radio-land, I call you to this just now. Think on your ways. Think of what you've done or what you have not done. Gather up these few broken words, and let it say this, "O Lord, search me. Try me. And if there be any unclean thing about me, anything that's wrong, forgive me, Lord. Let me go afresh. Let me go new again. I confess my sins in the name of Jesus Christ, saying that I am unrighteous, but I'm coming in His righteousness asking forgiveness of my sins."
In the visible audience here, this great crowd in here tonight, Christians or sinners, while I been speaking, have you been thinking on your ways? And you would like to turn your feet again towards a complete life of sacrifice? It's so easy for Christians to become so ... oh, so dilatory, just neglecting to pray, neglecting to testify, neglecting to do what's right. We shouldn't do that. If that condemns you, and you have condemnation in your heart tonight, and would desire a little word of prayer said in your behalf, would you raise up your hands, you here in the visible audience. God bless you. That's good. That's good. All down through... Up in the balcony. God bless you.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psalm 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
41 "What good will it do," you say, "Brother Branham?" Raise up your hand one time and see how it feels. And you in radio-land, way out there, dad out by the radio, mother sitting across there sewing; you there in the hospital, have you examined yourself by the Word yet? You that's got sickness in your home, you that's got a wayward boy, have you talked to him? a girl that doesn't obey God, have you talked to them, put your arms around them? have you just neglected it, expecting the Sunday school teacher to do it? God gave the child to you; it's your duty to talk to them. If there is, won't you put up your hands just now, say, "Lord, remember me. I'm now thinking on my ways, and I'm turning my feet to Thy testimonies. I'm coming back."
Maybe you had a real experience; your heart was on fire right after you received the Holy Spirit in your life, and your soul was burning. But somehow another, you got away from it. It never got away from you, but you got away from it. And you would like to have that joy that you once knew with God. If you want that, raise up your hand, and say, "God, restore to me the joy of my salvation."
Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
42 And out through this visible audience, there's just many many hands up. "Restore to me the joy of my salvation." Now, let's search our hearts and see if there be anything wrong. And as we pray... As I pray, you here, and in the radio-land also, you search your heart and ask God to forgive you. We're coming right down to a great service now in prayer. Let us pray.
Lord, O great God, great Elohim, Jehovah, who blasted forth with Your fingers and wrote the commandments, You who breathed from Your nostrils and the winds dried up the Dead Sea, You who rolled back the banks of Jordan and extended her across the path that Your children could cross on dry land, You who raised Lazarus from the dead, brought Daniel from the lion's den and the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, send Your Holy Spirit tonight throughout Tennessee and all the regions around about, and may we think on our ways as the Spirit of the living God deals with us.
43 Lord, if there be any sin in us, we pray that You'll take it out of our lives. We want to be free from condemnation, for it is written, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ, that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." Grant, Lord, that many flesh walkers tonight, looking after the things that the eye can see, may they turn and accept faith in the heart which cannot be seen, for it's the evidence of things not seen. May they accept Jesus just now to come in and to take control of their whole being.
We pray, Lord, again for the sick and the afflicted, those that are needy out into the radio-land and in the visible audience, the people here on stretchers, and on the chairs, and laying on the cots, and whatmore. We pray sincerely, Lord, for them that You'll heal them. And I believe that You will do it.
For one day You were passing a tree, and there was no fruit on it. And You said to that tree, "No man eateth from thee." And the next day it was withering. And You said, "Have faith in God." How can we have faith if our hearts condemn us. But if our hearts condemn us not, then we are sure that God hears.
Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Mark 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
Mark 11:14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
44 Then, Lord, take our prayer for the sick tonight, and I say to the sickness, this mountain that's before them: Leave in the name of the Lord Jesus. May it wither away. May every sick person be healed. May every sinful person be forgiven. May every wayward boy or girl be brought back to God again tonight. Grant it.
And may these next three services here bring forth one of the greatest outpouring, that there'll be an old fashion revival break out through Tennessee here. This great religious centers here like the Lee College, and many of the other great institutions, may there come revivals that'll just set their hearts afire, many thousands be brought to Christ. Let it start now, Lord, and scatter throughout the world, ere the coming of the Lord Jesus, when the pressing times, and the battle, and the fog will be low, and we will not know which way to go, but be walking in circles. Let us find Him now who is a very present help in a time of troubles. For we ask it in His name and for His glory. Amen.
45 Do you love Him? In the visible audience, would you raise up your hands and say, "I love Him." Give us a chord, "I Love Him," you know, "I Love Him, I Love Him." Let's sing this good song together here in the visible audience and in the radio audience:
I love Him, I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation
"I Love Him." All right, will you sing it with me now. All right. Where's the song leader?
I love Him, I (You may stand.) Him
(Out in the visible audience) first loved
(Radio audience: mother, you and dad,
there at the house, stand up; raise your
hands.) purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
46 You at the drive-in with your car turned on now, you out riding on the highway, why don't you just pull off to one side. Sing this with us. You young man there with the ... with his girl friend, and you young lady with the boy friend, won't...? If you're not Christians, why don't you surrender to Christ just now. What's the use of trying to make a home without being a Christian home. Start it now. Start it, everyone, everywhere. Sing it again with us now. As we raise our voices to God, let's also raise our hands to God. All right.
I love Him, I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
All believers, let's just say to the Lord a great big hardy "Praise the Lord." Let's say it. Praise the Lord. Oh, doesn't that just make you feel good? Don't the words just kind of scour you out, make you feel different? Now, the message is over; we're worshipping the Lord now. How many Christians are visible, let's see your hands? All that's Christians, raise your hands. Oh, my. Just about one hundred percent. Let's sing it again, then shake hands with your neighbor, the one in front of you, by the side of you, each side, and behind you. Back and forth, shake one another's hands while we sing, "I Love Him." Come on now, everyone.
I love Him, I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation