God's Wrapped Gift
1a It's always good to come to the house of the Lord, but much better seem like in these Christmas, and New Years, and the holy days. Seems like it has a special little blessing left for us.
And as we... It's just too bad we can't have this Christmas feeling all the time, people waving at you and saying, "The Lord bless you." That's good. I like that one thing about Christmas.
Now, I was hearing the "Watch Party" the other night, I believe, for next Saturday night. The Lord willing, I'll try to be here then at the "Watch Party," and put in my time, if the Lord willing, to help them speak a little on some subject for next Saturday night.
And Sunday morning, of course, is the regular Sunday school and Sunday night is a evangelistic service. Now... Yeah. Communion, foot washing, next Sunday night. That's right. A good way to start the new year out right: take communion and have the feet washing.
1b Now, I want to make a announcement that I'm asking that this is the little closed meeting like, just to the pastors and the associate pastors of the Tabernacle, trustees and deacons of this Tabernacle. I think it's good for us to get together once in a while and kind of find out the way the Lord is leading us and many times there is little things come up like the Scriptures that you would find that would be hard. and if we don't... We want the same, speak the same thing everywhere. And we want to get together, and I want you pastors and associates, 'course Brother Neville, that would be, and Brother Don Ruddell up here, one of our associates, and Brother Graham Snelling at Utica. Brother Stricker here, our missionary. And the--the brethren that's the pastors, brother--the--the different ones here, Brother Parnell. And you know who the associates are here. Brother Junior Jackson from down in New Albany. And then the--the deacons and the trustees...
I tell you what I wish you to do. This coming week, get you a little slip of paper, and write out in there the--the thoughts or the... I would say, to the Scriptures, or some duty that you have to attend, that you might not know.
2 Like a trustee would say, "Just what is my duty if this case arises?" "What is my duty, as a deacon, if this case arises?" And the pastor might say, "In this Word here, I see where it was supposed to be so-and-so, and--and I--I don't understand It just the way we teach It." And place that down in the Scripture, and so forth, then hand them all in to Brother Wood, if you will, 'cause he lives next door to me. And as soon as you get yours wrote out, and as quick as you can, I'll appreciate it, so I can be looking it up in the Scriptures, and we'll have just not... It isn't a public meeting now; it's just for the pastors, and--of this Tabernacle, and the deacons, and trustees of the Tabernacle. And that'll come right away, just as soon as we can get them in. Then we'll announce a night where there's no--no meetings going on here, and then we'll--we'll take care of that then.
3 I think it'd be a good thing, Brother Neville...?... brethren, all you pastors, and so forth, that we might come together. That way we can speak the same thing everywhere (You see?); we know... And then that will be taped also. Our questions and our answers will be taped and each one may have a tape, so that you might know to play back in case of anything--any question coming up that it might be a benefit to the church. Or someone would say, "Well, this..." We'll go back and see what we--is on the tape, it said. We have tapes of that nature, already. And now, we got new trustees, I think, this year, and--and some new deacons, and so forth, and we like to get them in--instructed on that.
4 And this little brother, that's one of our brethren from up here at Sellersburg, Brother Willard Crase, sure, give him a message of it, if you will, because he's just young in the Lord. And--and if these young fellows, I think, can get established, you see what I is, just know how to hold on. And little questions come up in their mind. Instead of running off on some limb, let's come together and--and see what it's all about. Then when we are in meetings, our great joint meetings when the churches join together, like we've been in this last session, then we--we would know then just what to take and what to say, just what to do. We all want to speak the same language, so we'll understand.
5 Now, another thing I would like to say. As Brother Neville has so well said, that we wish you the best in the--these yule tidings in this time of--of fellowship around these holy days, and so forth.
And then I want to take this time to express to each and every one of you, how grateful I am to you for your Christmas cards and gifts, and things that was received at our house. I certainly thank you with all my heart. It certainly did us good this morning when... I got a little boy, small enough yet to kind of want a Christmas tree, and we had it in the room. And this morning, go under there, I found several gifts from my church here, and my friends from around different places, that had come in, laying under the tree. And I don't have words to express to you what I, how I appreciate every one of them. And may the God of heaven bless you richly is my prayer. And now...
And us, you know how that it would be, we cannot send back gifts, because I just wouldn't make that much money, you know. I--I make a hundred dollars a week, and I got a big family, and about ten million friends, and it would sure be kind of hard to go around them. But we--we are grateful to you and your thoughts. And I'm sure you understand.
8 Now, don't forget this--this coming New Year's night. Oh, I remember the first watchparty I ever had here in this Tabernacle. I don't guess there's anyone here remembers it. But that was one night the Lord had took plenty of starch out of your pastor. So we're looking forward for a great time then.
And now, just before we pray, I would like to read the Scripture lesson tonight.
And I have been kind of debating with myself today. I--I announced that I was going to speak on tonight, if I got here, "We Have Seen His Star In The East And Have Come To Worship Him." That kindly sound familiar to me. And our good friend, Brother Sothmann here, the--one of the trustees of the church, I was asking him. And he said, "I have the tape of it, Brother Branham. You preached it somewhere." And our precious friend, Brother Leo Mercier here, the tape boy, said, "Yes, about five times." So I--I changed it just a little bit. And instead of preaching on "We Have Seen His Star in The East," I want to speak on the subject tonight of "God's Wrapped Gift."
11 And now, I'm going to read from St. Matthew's Gospel the--the 2nd chapter for a Scripture reading, the 2nd chapter of St. Matthew.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that's born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king... heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and the scribes of the people together, he demanded... them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophets,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judaea, art thou not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring word again, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him:... when they had opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts; of gold,... frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed in their own country another way.
12 Now I want to take a text out of there tonight, or not from there, but out of the same story in St. Luke 2:7.
And she brought firth--brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloth, and laid him in the manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
13 Let us bow our heads now for a word of prayer. Holy and gracious God, Who gave us the greatest Gift that this world has ever known of, the Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly come to Thee tonight in thanksgiving, and expressing from our innermost being the deep adorations of our heart to Thee for this marvelous Gift. We have nothing to give in return. And it was very little that You asked, just, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I'll take your burdens and your sins and set you free." Oh, what an exchange. No one could do that but Thee, our Father. And we thank Thee that Thou has did that for us. And we are Thy witnesses in this hour, that You take our burdens and sins, and give us joy and peace, instead. How thankful we are for, Lord, this inner Christian experience, Christmas in our hearts. We are so glad for this. So happy to know that we're living at the end day when we see the signs coming again like it was in that day, of His approach. We humble our hearts in Thy Presence. O great noble One, let Thy Spirit reign supremely in our heart in our lives, and strengthen us from the inside out, that we might be servants of Thine in this great and dark hour that the world is now facing.
We present this reading of Thy Word, Lord, to be for this one purpose, that out of this, the Holy Spirit might bring together a context that would be sufficient tonight as a Christmas message to Thy people that are waiting. And we are waiting on Thee. Lord, circumcise the lips that will speak and the ears that will hear. And empower and put Life in the words that goes forth, that it might bring us to a better knowledge of the Lord Jesus. For we ask it in His Name. Amen.
16 Writing down many Scriptures here to refer to, and so forth, I was amazed yesterday as I heard that, picked up the paper, and where there is a, what the commercial world calls, "a bumper Christmas," where that there was more money spent this time than ever been spent in many, many years, since way back many years ago. And that the crowds had gathered into Jerusalem, and how that there was a little peace time between the Arabs and the Jews, that they kind of let down their feeling to let the--the pilgrims come into the city again on this season of--of Christmas. I've often wondered why this city was ever chosen, Bethlehem.
18 As those folks sang just a few moments ago, the--the little fellow and his wife, and children in there. I was amazed, watching the little girl, how she was keeping the time with this, some sort of a string harp that she was playing, and how that little fellow was just--just a baby, merely, but yet was keeping the time just with the--or pick on this harp. I suppose it was called a harp. Now, and then I...
19 Thinking of Bethlehem, and why did it happen to be that it was chosen to be the birthplace of the King of kings? And, you know, Bethlehem is a small place, very small town. I've often wondered why God didn't choose a more religious place for it, for this great event, such as Shiloh. Shiloh was the first place the tent--the ark was set after it crossed Jordan. Or Gilgal, another great religious city; or Zion, on the mountain, another great religious city; or even the proud capital of Jerusalem, with all of its sages and saints through the age. Why didn't God choose Jerusalem?
20 Why would He choose Bethlehem? Maybe it looked like He might've chose some place, one of the great cities of refuge, that would've protected His Son in case that some trouble come up. The refuge places like Ramoth-gilead, that was a great refuge that was built, for the people could run into these towers. Kadesh was another great city of refuge; Hebron, another great city of refuge.
Why God picked on little Bethlehem, and then did not choose these greater cities...?... They had greater names, and more of a spiritual background.
But, you know, God has a way of doing things, just His Own way about things. I'm so glad He does. See? Sometimes He takes things that doesn't have a spiritual background, or doesn't have any background at all. And that's why He is God; He can take something that's nothing, and make something out of it. And then that's what makes Him God. That's what makes us love Him. That's what makes us poor people appreciate Him, because that even though we, poor, with no background, yet God can do great things with us if He ever gets us under His control.
23 Joshua, of course, was the one who taken the children of Israel over and divided up the ground. And this tribe of Judah was given this portion where Bethlehem is, which is in the upper northern corner of the province of Judah, a little strip that kind of runs out like a little peninsula. And in this place, this province, this great province, it's the northern wheat country, where the wheat belt was, where they raised lots of wheat and barley.
24 And one of Caleb's sons established and founded this city. Salmon was his name, he was one of Caleb's sons. If you want to look that up, I'm skipping over a lot of these Scriptures, but I see some of the brethren are putting them down. In I Chronicles 2, 15, also you find it in Matthew 1:5, and where they--he established and founded this great city, which was a small city. But it's great because of the great things that happened at this city.
As I've always said, it isn't the great church; it's the great God in the church. It isn't the great, holy mountain; it's the great Holy Spirit that was on the mountain. It isn't the holy man; it's the Holy Ghost in the man.
See, that's the way this city was. It was small in stature, and more in the valley, and it wasn't too much to look upon; it's population was small, and is yet today. But it was because God chose it to do something. That's what I like: something that God chooses. No matter what it looks like to people, just as long as God chose it.
27 Rahab the harlot, that we're all familiar with, she being a--a young girl that was turned on the street by a heathen father and mother, that put her on the street because she was beautiful, and was to bring an income to them on prostitution... And yet, down in this immoral girl that was turned on the street, she had heard that there was a God Who answered prayer. And the first opportunity that she got to accept that God, or do something for Him, she did it. And God spared her life, and saved her father and mother, and her family. She fell in love with a general in the army of Israel, we find in history, and married this general. And their courtship was wonderful. And finally they settled down and lived at Bethlehem.
28 And through this general she brought to the world a--a son, the son of--of--of... I can't think of the general's name just now. I was trying to. I thought I had his name down here, but I don't. I have her son's name, but it was Rahab's son to this general. His name was Salmon. Not the Solomon of the... built the temple, the son of David, but another Salmon. And this Salmon brought forth a son whose name was Boaz. And Boaz, oh, we are all acquainted with that wonderful story of Boaz and Ruth.
29 Now, you see, this harlot was a Gentile, and she was an ancient grandmother to our Lord Jesus. And also when--when Boaz, her grandson, come forth and married Ruth the Moabite, he also married into a Gentile. Which made Jesus also part Gentile, earthly speaking. Then when they brought their child forth, his name was Obed. And Obed had a son, and his name was Jesse. And Jesse had a son whose name was David. All this taken place in little Bethlehem. What is it? The lineage of the Lord Jesus, His background that the great spiritual men were overlooking, or the so-called spiritual men.
30 And it was on this same grounds that Samuel the prophet anointed David to be king over Israel, right here at Bethlehem. And through David came forth the great Son, "Thou Son of David," the Son that was borned in a little stable manger over by the side of the hill, on the west side of the city. It was there on that hill where the Angels of God sang their first Noel.
The word "Bethlehem," let's break it down. "B-e-t-h" means "house." "E-l" means "God." "E-l-h-a-m" means "bread.": "the house of God's Bread." How fitting it was then for the Bread of Life to come out of Bethlehem, "House of God's Bread." Oh, it's a beautiful story.
32 It must've been just a little after dark, and the sun had gone down. The stars probably had been out, and the light was about two hours gone as the little donkey was placing his little, tired feet up along the backside of the hill west of Bethlehem, as he watched where he placed his little hoofs, because his cargo was precious. And Joseph was leading him gently along, as the little trio started up the hill, or been traveling all day long, coming from down to Nazareth. And she was expecting to be mother at any time, way past due, maybe.
33 But all things are foreordained of God, that works together for good to them that love Him. It was ordained of God that there should be a heartless king in that day, the bloodthirsty Herod. God knew about that. God knew about the taxes, and how this brutal government did not have no thoughts of the mercy on that poor mother that was just about to be ready to deliver her firstborn Son just in a few days. But he commanded that they all should come to their native birthplace and pay taxes, "No matter what condition she's in, she's got to come, anyhow." God knew all about that. He foreknew all things. And He--He knows all things (See?) and He makes everything work together for good.
34 The little trio was making no fuss about it, as they come up the hill. Finally, after much groaning, the little donkey... I can see them as they'd stop at the top of the hill, where they come up from the west side, from Nazareth, coming over. And after they topped the hill, to look down into the valley where little Bethlehem laid... Many torches was burning. Many people had gathered from all over Galilee to come into their birthplace there at Bethlehem, and through the province to be taxed of the Roman government. No matter what conditions, they'd stroll along the road, the sick and the needy, and the bedridden, the leper, the cancered, the--the--the--the poor, the lame, the halt, the blind. All had to come, because it was a government order. And Herod was behind it, and it must be done.
35 And as our little party stops at the top of the hill, there must've been a large rock laying there. And I can see Joseph pick her up tenderly in his arms, and help her off the little mule, and--and set her up on the side of the rock. And the little mule sighed for his breath. And as Joseph then walked a few steps forward, looked down into little Bethlehem, and seen the streets crowded, and the roaring, the torches a-burning in the streets, and the yells of the people, and they was laying in the yards and in the courts, and all outside the city gates. Must've been some sight.
36 Joseph must've said something like this, "Mary, dear, just think, just beyond the city on the north side, that's where Ruth the Moabite gleaned yonder in the fields of Boaz. Yonder, just beyond that, up over the mountain yonder, is where David with his slingshot took the lion to the ground, and pulled the sheep from his mouth. Must've been there, that where Joshua stood here with his gleaming sword, the fearless warrior of our people, and divided the lands, and give this inheritance to the tribe of Judah, to which we are--we are lineage to." And, at different things, of how that he must've been explaining to her what taken place.
37 And then to hear no sound from behind him, he must've turned to look, to see if she was still setting on the rock. And when he turned, and he seen her pretty face turned towards the skies, he didn't have to ask anymore, because the reflection of the Star was looking back through her eyes. He knew she was looking at something.
And she looked at him, and said, "Joseph, have you noticed the Star hanging yonder?"
And when he looked in a surprise, say, "I hadn't noticed It before, dear."
"Well, it's been following us ever since the sun went down. I've watched it. It must mean something, because I have the most wonderful feeling."
You know, God does things like that sometimes for His people, shows us a Light, or some way that we can know that He's near and He's on the scene. And no matter what the world has to say or do, He's still there, and everything will be all right. He just witnesses it back by the Holy Spirit, that we can feel It.
42 And Joseph might've said something like this. "Mary, you know what? I've never been so happy in all my life when I've been drove around by the Roman government; but yet I have never been so happy as I am right now, and I don't know why. It seems like there's a sacredness over the little city tonight, where we roamed when we were boys and girls, back in our teenage and school age."
43 Way into the East, and many hundreds of miles away from there, the Magi was already on their road. They'd seen His Star, and was coming to worship God's little Gift Package that He was sending to the world.
Just a little while from then, and the world was going to receive its greatest Gift that it ever received, a little Package wrapped up, a little, first little Christmas Package that was ever wrapped in all the world, God wrapped It up.
I want to break in on my thought, and say this. The greatest thing was ever wrapped in human flesh was wrapped in It, God Himself wrapped His Ownself in a Christmas Package and sent it to the world.
Why did they refuse It? Why couldn't they see It? Why did they turn It down? Why is it they didn't want It? The same reason they don't want It tonight. It wasn't handed to them in the custom that they were used to gifts being handed. That's the reason It's rejected yet tonight, is because It's not handed to the people in the custom that they have been used to receiving gifts.
But God wrapped His Own Package. He's got a right to do it; He's the One that's a-giving It. He has a right to wrap It any way He wants to wrap It. Doesn't make any difference how it is, He's got a right to do it, because He's the One that's giving the--the Gift.
47 Another thing, the reason of it was, as it was then, so as it wasn't customary for them to receive It the way It was wrapped. They was expecting something, a gift coming, that would come down on chariots, with a Angel escort driving fiery horses. But when It come as a little Baby being born in a manger, little did they ever know the Scripture said, "I'll give this world a super sign."
They asked for a sign one day. He said, "I'll give it to you. It will be the super sign. It'll be a sign that'll last through all ages. A virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Child, a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel. That's the super sign. That's the Gift that I'm going to give." But It didn't come the way they was expecting It, and they turned It down.
49 So is it tonight, my brother. God's Gift hasn't come the way people wanted It to come, and so they turned It down. They don't want It. They want It wrapped in the kind of a goods that they want to wrap It in. They want the tinsel on It. They want something flowerly, something that's perfumed, something that's glittering, something that's classic. But God don't send It all the time like that. He sends It in the power, the way He wants to send It.
50 Another thing, It was brought by the poor. Mary and Martha, or Martha, rather, or... Mary and Joseph was very poor people. They were peasants. And because It was brought by the poor, they didn't want It.
So is it today. When this great Gift of the Church, the Holy Spirit, falls upon the poor and humble, the rich don't want It. They don't want to humble themselves. They want It with class, but they don't want It the way God sends It. Many people wants to receive the Holy Ghost, but--but they want to get It the way they want It. But, oh, I'm so glad that you can't do it that way. You have to do it the way God sends It to you, and humble ourselves to receive It.
52 It wasn't wrapped in fine linens. It was wrapped in swaddling cloth. Which I'm taught that the very thing that Jesus was wrapped in, the Christ, was the stuff off the back of a yoke of an ox, that was hanging in the stable. He was wrapped in... The swaddling cloth was the--the--where they put the--a rag around the ox's yoke to keep it from rubbing a blister on him when he was pulling. They--they had no clothes for Him. And they... Oh, when I think of that, it nearly breaks my heart: no clothes for Emmanuel, the Creator of heavens and earth. And no clothes for Him to put on, and had to be wrapped in the rag that an ox had worked his neck through. Oh, what a super sign.
53 It ought to be real attractive to the people. Little Jehovah crying like a baby, God made flesh in a Package. God, Who covers all space and time, was before there was a world, or a star, or a molecule, wrapped Himself in a little Package and was laid in a manger in a stable, where the manures of the cattle and sheep, and things up over that stable, and in this little manger, on straw or hay. Jehovah was laying there, crying like a baby. Can you imagine it?
54 Why, the rich didn't want nothing like that. That would pollute their own thoughts, anything so humble. And would be brought by a girl, a little peasant girl that was considered in her neighborhood, a--a fanatic, and by a carpenter who probably knowed his abc's. And how could they ever bring forth anything that could tantalize or appease the eyes of the celebrity? How could they ever produce something that would please or satisfy the rich and high-minded people, or the denominations of their days? They were turned down flat.
55 Not only in that day, but in this day also, they turn It down flat. It don't come wrapped the way they want It. They want to--to discard It, say, "There's nothing to It." So the rich and the denominations refuse that Gift. They had nothing to do with It. Why? Why would they do a thing like that? It wasn't wrapped in the custom of their creeds. That's the reason why today that they don't want the Gift of God. This United States don't want God. These churches don't want God. They want Santa Claus. They want something with tinsel and red colors, and--and--and--and bright, shiny things. They refused the Truth of the Gospel of the power and the resurrection of Christ Jesus. It won't wrap with their creeds. You can't wrap Christ in a creed.
56 I was listening this morning, as I was going down to mama's early, turned on the radio, and a--a church was quoting or saying the--what is called the Apostles' Creed. There is no such a thing. The only creed the apostles ever knowed to had is found in Acts 2:38, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sin, you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." That's the only creed I ever seen in the Bible they ever used.
This other one is a manmade creed. And you cannot wrap Christ in a Presbyterian creed, or in a Baptist creed, or a Catholic creed, or a Pentecostal creed. The only one thing that Christ will be wrapped in, and that's your heart, not your creed. He wants your heart. He's got a control tower there that He likes to work with you, bring you to Eternal Life. He just won't accept; and you cannot wrap Him in creeds. You can't then, you can't now, you never will be able to do it.
59 So they could not receive It because they thought more of their creeds than they did of the Gift. That's the way it is today. People can't accept speaking with tongues in their church; it would ruin their creed. They can't accept Divine healing, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and such great evangelical doctrines of the Bible, apostolic truths. Why? Because their creed condemns It. Oh, how foolish to take the paper the Package is wrapped in, and throw the Gift away. Like the moron, he took the box and accepted it, and throwed the gift away. That's the way the church is, and people do today, they forget that the Gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ. He's rejected as much today as He was then. This Christmas night, He's just as much rejected as He was the first Christmas night. They cannot do it, because it disagrees with their creeds. All down through the ages we've had the same thing.
61 No wonder there was no room for Him in the inn. No, wasn't wrapped right; It wasn't wrapped, the classical paper around It. It was wrapped as a Gift, as a Gift from God, sent from God, a God that they didn't know nothing about. They claimed they did. And they claimed they was looking for Him. But He did not come in the way that they thought He was coming, according to their creeds, and they could not receive God's Gift. He was wrapped different. He was wrapped up like a baby. He was borned in a manger. He come from poor people. He come from a bunch of fanatics, so how could they receive something like that? No wonder there was no room for Him in the inn.
There's no room for Him yet, in the churches. They oust Him. They don't believe in It. They'll say, "Away with such a thing. It's fanaticism. We want nothing to do with It. It's against our fathers' doctrines, the doctrines of this church, the doctrines of our creeds of our forefathers." Therefore, Christ is just as rejected today as He was back there. There's no room tonight in our good churches, our big churches, our fine churches. There's no room in our religious circles today for a Holy Ghost meeting. They don't want It. It--it belittles them in the sight of the classes of the country. It belittles them to think that they'd humble themselves to come down to an altar to cry and to tarry there until they're filled with power from on high, to rise up from there with newness of Life; to let women let their hair grow out, and act like women ought to; to make men throw away their cigarettes, and to quit their drinking, and treat their families right. It's too much for them, so they hold onto the creed of their church instead of receiving God's Gift, God's Christmas Gift.
63 They'd rather have a creed than they would the Gift. They'd rather have the paper than the Gift. They want the paper, sure, something that's all tinsel, and a lot of fuss they can do about it. But the real Gift that's on the inside of it, they don't want It.
See, He was wrapped then in a dirty cloth, a swaddling cloth. And He's wrapped today in the same thing, which they call holy-roller, fanaticism, a bunch of heretics. It's wrapped up in swaddling cloth, and the world don't want It. Oh, I'm so glad to raise that cloth off and look what's laying underneath it: Eternal Life, God made flesh and dwelt among us.
65 No, they didn't want Him. It interfered with their religious circles. To receive It today, It interferes with them. Oh, if somebody would raise up in the church, and start shouting or praising God, or somebody say, "Amen," like this group of ministers here or something, or in the audience, quickly an usher would lead them to the door. And if you had your name on the book, it'd be quickly taken off. See, God don't have a--a chance.
67 If the President-elect Kennedy would visit this city here, the flags would--would fly, and the--the tinsel would fly, and the--and the carpets would be rolled out, and--and such a welcome you--you never seen. Which that's all right if they want to do that. He's the elect-President in the United States, but if he'd come, they--they'd do all of that, and they'd give him the greatest welcome, and think that he humbled himself to come to such a small city as Jeffersonville, Indiana, when New York and the big cities are calling for him everywhere just for a moment of time, to speak with him. If he'd come to Jeffersonville, to a poor city like ours, how they would put on, what we call "the dog." And they'd do everything and--and dress up the streets and--and do everything to make him welcome. That's all right, if you're a politician; that's all right.
68 But Jesus can come in the form of the resurrection of His power, can come in the Holy Ghost, and can show signs and wonders, and every newspaper will criticize It. The people will call It holy-rollers. They'll say, "The people's crazy." No wonder we're got an atomic bomb with our name wrote on it. Spurned mercy, there's nothing left but judgment. Oh, they will not receive It. They wouldn't then; they won't now.
Why didn't they do it? Just want to ask, why didn't they give and ac--accept God's Christmas Gift? Why didn't do it--they do it? If it's just a gift that they could've looked at, and It would fit in their society, It would've been all right. If our...
70 If this Holy Ghost religion would fit in people's society today, they'd take It. But why don't they take It then? Because they think more of their society than they do of Christ. That is true.
You say, "You're speaking awful hard about Him."
I'm taking up for Him. He's my Lord. I have a... I--I--I'm His servant; I have a right to scream out against that wicked thing. That's right. And Christians believe that, and know that, and accept that, and know it's the Truth.
72 Why was the reason they didn't receive this wrapped Package? They knowed what was on the inside of It, and they didn't want It. That's the reason the churches and people today, and the governments and the lands will not receive God's Christmas Present, is because they know what's in It. They don't want It. It'll make women act different. It'll make men act different. You'll have to bear the name of a fanatic. You'll have to take the way with the Lord's despised few. You'll have to clean up your life. You'll have to quit your meanness. You'll have to stop doing wrong, cheating, stealing, lying, committing adultery. You'll have to stop these things. And the people don't want It. Although they may know It's right, but they don't want It. It brings too much Truth to them. It uncovers their sin, so therefore, they don't want It, don't want nothing to do with It. "Keep away from It."
74 That's the way it was in that day. They knowed what was wrapped in It, so they said, "Away with it." They don't want it. It's the same thing today, never wanted It. And they don't want the Holy Ghost today, is because they know what's wrapped in It. They can watch a--a person receive the Holy Ghost. They stand out there and see that that woman, maybe a--as low as she could be, till even the dogs will hardly look at her; see that woman come up from that altar a new person, to see that woman clean her life up, get out and act like a lady. See one that runs to bridge parties, smoke four or five packs of cigarettes a day, hang around the saloons, a regular barfly; and they know if they ever accept this Gift of God, that's wrapped in the Package called Jesus Christ, It'll spoil every bit of their worldly fun, 'cause He won't stand for that. It does something to them; It changes people. People don't want to be changed. They'd rather, "Let me alone."
76 It reminds me of that demon-possessed man, that Jesus went over into Gadara, and there was a man over there had two thousand devils in him, and they said, "What have... What have we to do with thee? Why do you come here? Leave our lands; we don't want you here." They wanted to be left alone. The people felt better at home with the devils, than they did with Jesus, so they said, "Go on out of our land; we don't want You over here."
Poor old Legion, he was the only one of them that--that wanted help. He always comes to those who wants Him. He comes to those who needs Him. So he was the only one was helped. I've often thought, when I get to heaven, I want to see how much--how much weight his testimony give on hog raisers over in Gadara. If it was going to cost them a herd of hogs, they didn't want no revival.
78 If it's going to cost people anything, they don't want nothing to do with It. That's the way it is today. If It's going to cost you your bunco parties, big times, your cigars, your dirty jokes, all the filth and things of the world... The reason they don't want It, It'll cost them something, your big society name with a lot of glitter on it.
But It'll give you a name written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that fadeth not away. So you must take your choice; you're a free moral agent. Oh, receive God's Christmas Gift is my--my prayer for you.
80 Yes, they don't want It, because It does something to them. Or did the government, the government didn't want Him. Herod didn't want Him. No, sir. Because why? He was going to change his program. And the government don't want Him today. We're supposed to be a Christian nation.
Why, the U.N. don't want Him. They'll take every other idea in the world besides His, but never offer prayer. There's no prayer at them sessions. They just go in there and "dog eat dog," as the old expression is from the street. They don't want Christ. He'd have to change their program; therefore, they don't want Him. They didn't want Him then; they don't want Him now.
83 The churches didn't want Him, because He disagreed with their creed. He told them that they were, said, "You generation of vipers, you whited walls." He called them everything that could be taught of. Told old Herod, said, "Go tell that fox." And what's dirtier than a fox? What's more stinking and lowdown than a dirty old fox? Jesus said, "That's what he is." So He--He--He called black "black," and white "white." He--He--He called wrong "wrong," and right "right." So they didn't want that.
The churches today don't want a pastor filled with the Holy Ghost that'll really boil out, and tell you what's right and wrong. They don't want it. They'd fire him, right quick. Deacon board get together and turn him away, get another one will talk about their creeds.
Brother, I know no creed but Christ, no law but love, and no book but the Bible. That's what we need. That's what the churches need.
86 But the--the--the people don't want It. So they got the church so wrapped up in these denominations till they can take a trustee board or a deacon board and turn a good pastor any way they want to. But they can't turn God, that's one thing sure, God's going to remain God. They won't welcome Him. They welcome their--their friends and their politicians, and so forth, but they won't welcome Christ.
They'd rather have Santa Claus anytime. The world's took over; Santa Claus has took over. Well, you know, little children don't even know no more what Christmas means.
88 They don't know what Easter means; it's a--it's an Easter bunny, some kind of a rabbit or a little yellow-colored chicken, or something. What's God, the resurrection, got to do with a chicken, the dirtiest bird there is? What's any more filthier than a chicken? And they--they put it in there to take the place of Christ.
What's any more of a myth than Santa Claus? Never was such a thing. Telling children lies, you'll be responsible for it at the day of the judgment. Yes.
No wonder people don't know what to do. They're... They--they just don't want the real thing. They'll take anything artificial, but they don't want the real thing. They don't want the gifts of God. Oh, my. Certainly. They don't want Jesus; that's one thing.
91 I got wrote down here one reason they didn't want Him, is because that when He went into their temple, and He found their filth in the temple, He turned over the tables and run the money-changers out. He cleaned it up.
And if they would ever let the Holy Ghost get into one of these big churches around here, He'd clean it up. So they can't accept It. You see? It'd make them quit gambling, make them stop them rock-and-roll parties, putting their picture in the paper, as beatniks, like a Methodist preacher did down here in Howard Park, Clarksville. Got a brother setting here now, if he didn't comb his hair down for him. Any man, servant of God, put his picture in the paper, have a beatnik party of a thing in the church... If John Wesley knowed that, he'd turn over in his grave. Why? They turned down the Christ that John Wesley knowed (That's right.) and accepted a beatnik. They got a beatnik religion. They got beatnik children, beatnik papa, beatnik mama, beatnik President, and just a-rolling on, and so just keeps on going. Oh, what a disgrace. Why? They refuse the real.
94 God said He'd give them over to strong delusions to believe a lie and be damned by it. God said He would do it. You refuse right, you have to take wrong. There's no other way. You refuse to go right, you have to go left, go some other way beside right; so you can't go right and wrong at the same time. When they refused the Holy Ghost, they refused Christ, they refused God's program, they refused the messenger, they refused everything; so therefore, they're left in their sin. There's nothing left then but judgment. Brother Ben, that's right. Just that's exactly right. They have. They've refused Christ; they've refused His program; they refused His Spirit. He's tried for fifty years, that the Holy Ghost has been falling in America; they've refused It for fifty years. And tonight it's blacker and darker than it ever was.
95 And even upon those It fell on in the beginning, their children has organized and denominated it, and wound it into organizations, till they're refusing the very God that their fathers received. They claim they're Pentecostals. Oh. No, doesn't make a sow a horse to live in a barn. No, indeedy, no more than it does to make a Christian out of a man belonging to a Pentecostal church, Baptist, Presbyterian, anything else. He's still a sinner until he's converted. And when he's converted, he's borned again of the Spirit of God and changed over; and he's accepted Christ, and the Holy Ghost has come in and made him a new creature, a new creation.
96 Then... They refused It then; they refuse It now. He'd turn over their money tables. He'd turn over their trustee board, their--their pastor board. They--they wouldn't, He'd... They'd get a board, all right. Oh, what a difference there'd be if He come into the churches today. But He can't get in.
We found Him the other night in this church age, ousted out by His Own church, standing at the door, knocking, trying to get back in again. A merciful Father, after being kicked out by His Own people trying to get back in His church again. He said, "I'm the One that walks in the midst of the seven golden candle sticks." And on the last church age, here He was on the outside. They kicked Him out. Whereabouts? In this Laodicean age. Standing again, trying to get back in again at His Own door, to His Own church. What a pathetic thing. That's one of the most pathetic pictures that the Bible paints is that 2nd chapter of--Revelations the 3rd, rather. How that it is the Christ, ousted...
98 There's another pathetic thing. I think one of the most pathetic Words that Jesus ever said, was when He said, "Father, I sanctify Myself, that they might be sanctified." In other words, He had a right; He was a man. He had a right to a home; He had a right to a family. He was man, as much man as you are or I am, as much human in His manhood as we were. He had a right to it. But He was training twelve men that was going to take the Gospel to all the world, so He sanctified Himself for their sake. "I sanctify Myself for their sake": a Gift of God, keeping Hisself sanctified.
Oh, gifts of God, you people who claim that you've received His Spirit, keep yourself sanctified (Yes, sir.); keep away from the things of the world; be sanctified. Oh.
100 Who did know what was in this Gift Package? Was there anybody ever found out what was in It? I'm so glad that there was. Who knowed it? It was a hidden Thing, a rejected Stone, but there was somebody found out what was in it. I'm so glad.
I like to search out things. Don't you? I like to dig up nuggets and polish them over, see what--what's in them, put them before the Geiger.
102 He was put before the Geiger too on Calvary. He was a hundred percent. Sure, He was, the greatest Gold that they had ever found, the most expensive Diamond that was ever, ever... The--the Bible said that, "The Kingdom of heaven is like a man that buys diamonds. And when he found this great One, he sold all his other ones, and just to get It, to buy It." He's the greatest carated Diamond that was ever brought out of the dust of the earth, the greatest Gold that was ever brought from the dirt. He's a Jewel, the Jewel of heaven, a big Diamond.
103 When a big diamond's found in South Africa... I've been through the--the big diamond mines at Kimberley. And they take those diamonds, and then when they get them out of the dust, raw, then they chip them. And the reason they chip them, cut them, is to reflect light; put lights off of that, the carat of that, showing you what carat there is in that diamond. If it doesn't have a lot of fire and sparkle, it's not much diamond. But when it's got... It's glass. But when it's a real diamond, a real carated diamond, it'll reflect and show different colors.
104 That's what He was; He was a Diamond. "And He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquity. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we were healed." Oh, them rays of God's love and Light reflects from Him healing power, love, resurrection. God wounded Him, and bruised Him, and chopped Him, and cut Him by a Roman sword, and a--and a--a Roman whip, until His sides was riven, and the Blood running out of His back, and was over His head, and down through His beard, and off of His feet. But what was He doing? He was reflecting love. He embraced the cross; instead of a soft, feathered pillow; a manger of straw. Instead of a little, pink gown to wear; a swaddling cloth.
105 Oh, brother, can you see what the depths of love is? I was speaking to some people in my home the other night. No one could ever tamper with how deep God's love is. That, "Oh, love of God, how rich, how pure!" That last verse, or the first verse, I believe it is, was found on the wall of an insane institution.
If we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Or could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
106 Think of the stalks that's been on the earth, making quills, and the billions of men, scribes by trade. To write five little letters, l-o-v-e, I mean four little letters, "love," the love of God, would drain the oceans dry; when, four-fifths of the earth's in water. When I stood yonder, Mount Palomar, and looked through that glass, could see a hundred and twenty million years of light space; or could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
107 The love of God, how God unfolded Himself and come a Christmas Package, was laid on straw. The first thing He had was to press against His little head was straw and a dirty piece of swaddling cloth wrapped around Him. The last thing He had was a thorn crown with a dirty rag wrapped over His eyes, and hit on the head, saying, "If you're a prophet, tell us who hit you," and then tacked to a cross. Love reaching out, when His Own children crying for His Blood, He screamed, "Father, forgive them, they don't even know what they're doing." That's love.
The church don't want That. They want creed. We need love. The church is dying by creeds. It can only live by love, because love is Eternal Life. Love overcomes all things. Love's the most powerful force there is. No, they didn't want Him, because they knowed what was in the Gift.
109 But some of them had it revealed to them, what--what this Gift was, what was in It. Some of them looked into It. I believe the first ones to look into that Christmas Package, you know who it was? I believe it was Angels. The Angels knew it. It was revealed to them. They knew it, because they come out on the hillside.
Perhaps, the little Mary setting up there, tired, dusty, a poor old shepherd boy come by, stinking like sheep, seen that little mother setting there in that night, gleaming something. Just like people today can see that there's something fixing to happen; tremendous times, people don't know which way to turn. Maybe an old shepherd boy came by and seen that little mother. Something struck him; he said, "I have some cool water here in this flask, would--would you want just a drink?" And the little family thanked him; the little to-be-mother taken the drink of water.
111 And maybe that was one of the little shepherds a-laying on the hill that night, when down in the stable, where a little Baby was crying... Oh, and the world, there was no room for Him; nobody wanted Him. But in that same time, a shepherd out on the hill, the Angels came down and begin to sing the first Noel, "Today in the city of David is born to you Christ the Saviour." It was revealed.
That's the only way anybody in the world will ever know what's in that Package; It has to be revealed to you. You'll turn It down and say it's a--it's a fanaticism; but when you get the revelation, you'll seek for it, you'll open up. And God will come in and sup with you, and you with Him, when you're ready to open the door and let Him in. That little Package knocking at your heart, the greatest Christmas Gift was ever given, the first One and the greatest One, that little Package knocking at the heart of a man, "I'll come in and sup." You'll never know It until It's revealed to you. When It's revealed to you, then you'll go to hunting for It.
113 When you see that It's Life, and the only way of Life, when you see that your church is dry and dead, when you see that your--your handshake with a pastor, or you sprinkle out of a salt-shake, has nothing to do with It, then you'll go to investigating.
When you're laying on the bed, dying, and the doctor says, "There's nothing left for you, you'll be dead in a few minutes," you'll want to look into that Package then. Look into It tonight. 'Course It'll be turned from you then. The Bible said, "If you reject Me in your days of health, like you are now; when the calamity comes, I'll only laugh at you," so you'd better investigate the Package tonight.
115 What's all This about? Lights, sacred Lights coming from heaven, having pictures taken, great signs, discernment, powers, speaking with tongues, interpretation, telling things that's forecoming, power of the Gospel, healing the sick, taking the cancers and healing them, blind eyes opened, all these kinds of things, what's it all about?
"Well, it's a bunch of holy-rollers." Be careful, that's swaddling cloth. It may be.
So did Balaam. How did he think that God wouldn't curse a people like Israel? But he failed to see. He looked at the swaddling cloth instead of seeing the smitten Rock and the brass serpent that was going before them to make an atonement.
118 So is it today. Instead of seeing the power of the Holy Ghost doing His signs of the Messiah, and the wonders among the people as He promised He would do in the last days; as He said, "As it was in the days of Lot, so will it be in the coming of the Son of man."... When He begins to do those signs and wonders amongst the people, showing Himself alive, what is it amongst poor and humble, the poor people? They going call it fanaticism, cast it out. Better investigate 'fore it gets too far on you. Yes.
119 These stinking shepherds, the people would hardly have them around. They laid out here and slept with those sheep, and on--on the same pallets they did, and on the same ground, rather, and--and tended to them, till they--you could smell them just like the sheep coming.
Anyone knows that a shepherd that herds sheep, lays right down in the door with the sheep, lays right down among them. Jesus said, "I'm the Door to the sheepfold." I often wondered how that was, till I was in the holy--Holy Land, or the orients, rather, and found out that how the shepherd puts the sheep on the inside, then lays down in the door. The sheep can't get out without crossing over him. The wolf can't come in without crossing over him. He is the door.
121 I'm glad that Jesus laid down in the door of our heart. We can't go out, or do anything, without Him knowing it, or nothing can come in without Him knowing it; so He'll make everything work together for good to them that love Him. It ought to make us cry, and shout, and praise God, and say, "Thank God for a Saviour, a--a--a Shepherd that'll lay at the door of our heart, and warn us when anything's coming up, be ready for it." Yes.
122 Way across the country was some humble wise men, they was called Magi, "stargazers." When I was in the east, not long ago, they still set the same way. They're a very poor type of people. They go in threes. They set right in the street. Billy and I, there in India in back in there is where they come from, India. Now, they said, "We have seen His Star in the east." They was in the east when they saw the Star. Jerusalem's west, so Palestine was west of--of India. So they saw His Star while they were in the east, and come to worship Him.
123 Now, these Magi, they never set down flat; they just hunker down, and they set there through the daytime. At nighttime they got a big tower, and they go up there and stay at this tower. And they burn fires, and talk about the countries, the fall of kingdoms, and the--and the diminishing of empires. And they--they'd worship one true God. That's right. They are--they are believers; they're Mohammedan. Really they sprung from the Medes-o-Persians way back in the days of Daniel. And they are... They...
And Peter said in Acts 10:35, that he perceived that God was no respecter of person or nation, but He... all in every nation that would fear Him. And any man who'll fear God... Look at those Magi over there, seeing the Star Gift of God, and recognized It, before the priests in the temple at Jerusalem, among the religious people. Amen.
125 The Magi, I can see them setting around that sacred fire one night. (Have we got just a little time? Yeah.) Setting around that sacred fire, talking, then they'd go up. Oh, they studied the heavenly bodies; they were well acquainted with all of them; every move, they knowed about it. So one night while they were setting there, maybe singing hymns, and they'd go up on this great thing and study. They knowed every star, where it stayed, knowed it by name, 'cause they studied the heavenly bodies. And no wonder that a Stranger amongst that heavenly body stirred them. "Well," they wondered, "what's this new Fellow up here?" Oh, my. "There's something new that's happened, It's supernatural." That... What did it call to? Back to the Scripture.
126 Now, they knowed of the Scriptures, 'cause Daniel was their chief. You know that. Second chapter of Daniel tells us that he was made chief over them, so he taught them. No doubt, one night they was setting there, reading in the Scriptures about... "And Daniel said, as he beheld all these kingdoms, till finally they become into what they was, each, the Medes-o-Persians and on down till it come into Rome. And then finally he saw a Stone cut out of a mountain, without hands." And they said, "It must be about that time." Then they remembered the rehearsal of--of way back in before that time, way back in the days of the journey of Israel, when they come up and heard Balaam say, when he seen Israel, he said, "There'll rise a Star out of Jacob." Amen. It must've been about that time when they was thinking about those things, that the new Visitor appeared.
127 It's usually when you keep your mind on Christ that He comes to you. It's reasonably, usually at times when you're thinking about Him when He appears. You know, when you're thinking about getting right and doing something right, that's when He comes to you to help you.
And it must've been about that time, and they--they must've looked up and seen this new Visitor. It begin to lead them towards the west. Quickly they started with going westward, leading down across the Tigris river, down through the desert, over through the mountains, down through the sloshes, oh, my. All along they knew that something was happening; there was a supernatural thing had taken place.
129 And where did they come to? They said, "Surely, if this is Daniel's prophecy, that great city of Jerusalem, the capital of the religious people of that nation will all be ready to receive their King. They'll know what it's all about, when we get there. We don't understand, ourself, 'cause we just Magi, poor, humble people. But we've been looking for something, and we see something rise up among us that's a little supernatural." Oh, my. They were ready. Hallelujah. They went out, humble men, to find God's Star Messenger. They was going to follow God's Star Messenger till they come to the perfect Light.
130 Oh, Revelations 20, or Revelation 1:20, said that the Stars of these churches... What we ought to do today is find that Star Light (Amen.) that's reflecting His glory, that's reflecting His power, that's reflecting His Deity, and follow that till we find that perfect Light. "Keep westward leading, still proceeding; guide us to that perfect Light." Oh, just keep moving, no matter what the price is; over the mountains, down through the jungles, everywhere else.
131 And finally they arrived at Jerusalem. And as soon as they got to this great big denominational church, the Star left them. Strange, they thought, "It must be here." So up-and-down the cities they went, saying, screaming in every alley, down through the streets, "Where is He, He that's born King of the Jews? We've seen His Star in the east, and we've come to worship Him. Where is He?"
Strange, they didn't have the answer, right in their own circles. Oh, my, I could almost speak with tongues now. They didn't have the answer. They didn't have the answer then; they haven't got it now. They don't know. The wise men didn't find Jesus in the circle of their religion; he found it outside of the circle of their religion. And the wise men today, the wise in heart, don't find it in these big denominations. They don't know nothing about it. They haven't got the answer. "What's all this Divine healing going on this day? What's all this about tongues and interpretations and prophecies, and the--the Messiah sign? Oh, that's nonsense. There's nothing to that. Don't... There's nothing to that." See, they don't have the answer. They didn't have it then; they haven't got it now.
133 But It did do one thing; it started them to searching. I think our Brother duPlessis kind of taken up on that right now. They gone back, the sleeping virgins, gone back to buy some Oil; but that's when He come, while they were gone after It. So how close are we now, when we see these great churches going back, say, "Well, maybe we've left off something. We better find it"? They'll never get it. Just remember that. They'll never, never get it. They're dead. And they'll dead and dead, and that's all. They'll never come to life. Just remember. I speak in the Name of the Lord, and this is on tape. Yes, sir. They'll never, never come to life. They're done, so that's the reason I'm not interested in them programs. I'm interested in one thing: blasting just as hard as I can to whosoever will, not resurrect a denomination, but bring back a Jesus Christ. Yes, sir. Never in a denomination; it's against God, always has been, always will be, binds God outside, and rejects everything there is that's godly. It'll--never will come to life. So it's no different this Christmas than it was that first Christmas; it's the same thing, them Magi's going up-and-down the city, "Where is He? Where is He?" Oh, my.
135 Let me just stop here for a minute. I got a film. I haven't got it here now, some doctor's got it, Doctor Dilley, a--a--a woman doctor was healed in my meeting. And she's got the tape now, called "Three Minutes Till Midnight." And when we got... Them Jews coming into their nation over there now, right now in Palestine, which was spoke of by the Lord that they'd do it, before His second coming, that they would do it.
A brother here the other day, going to Israel, asked the question, "Can I go over there?" And they refused him. Israel will come as a nation, not an individual. "A nation will be born." It'll come as a nation.
137 But, look, those poor Jews way down there in Iran and different places... You've read it in "Life" magazine. They didn't want to get on them airplanes. They'd never seen in one. They was plowing with old wooden plows and things. They said... Why, the rabbi stepped out there and said, "Wait a minute. Did not our prophet tell us, that when we went back to the homeland, we'd go on the wings of an eagle?" Oh, my. And they come and got in the TWA airplanes, raised up.
The prophet didn't know that they were run by motors. They just looked like big eagles, and they went way in the air like an eagle, so the prophet said, "When you come back..." That was twenty-five hundred years ago. O God, twenty-five hundred years ago when they were took captive by the Romans, and scattered to the winds of the world, He said, "They... I won't forget them. I'll bring them back again. But I'm going to blind their eyes so, the Gentiles, I can take a people out of there for My Name's sake, put My Name on them. And when that day is over, I'll gather them again. And when they return to their homes, they'll come on these kind of things." And Isaiah seen them rise up and come across, and he said, "On the wings of eagles."
139 That old rabbi stood out there, and said that, "our prophet said that we'd go home in the end time on the wings of an eagle." They climbed aboard.
And when they got off down there, packing the old ones, blind and crippled over their shoulders, walking them off, they had an interview with them. I got it right on tape. Said, "Did you come home to the homeland to die here in the homeland?"
Said, "No, we come to see the Messiah."
Oh, brother, what's the matter? And their church hasn't got the answer. What's the matter? We're at the end time, brother, when the evening Lights are shining, the power of the Holy Ghost is back in the Church again, just the same as it was at the beginning. The prophet said, "It shall be Light in the evening time." The church don't know why they're gathering there. They haven't got the answer. The atomic bomb's got the answer for them over there, though. It sure has. But we're in the evening time, the later hours than what we think. Sure.
142 These Magis, up-and-down the street, they didn't have the answer. What happened? What happened? Finally, we find out that they started following This. When It got over there, they couldn't find It. They couldn't find no answer in the city in their religious realms. No, neither do they now. They what? Jerusalem, they didn't know nothing about no--no supernatural sign. "What kind of a supernatural sign you talking about?"
"Oh, we seen a Star when we was back in the east. We followed it."
"Where's it at? I don't see it. Oh, we don't know nothing about that." It was exactly fulfilling the Scripture.
145 But they didn't have the answer in their religious circles. They haven't got it today. "What's this speaking in tongues? What's this bunch of people that rising up, healing the sick, and doing all these miracles and things, and shouting, crying, and all these kinds of things?" Sounds like they did in the Bible back there. "Ah, nonsense, there's nothing to it."
They don't know nothing about the supernatural. Why? Here it comes. They won't follow the Star of Light, the Light Star, God's compass to that perfect Light. Oh, "Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to that perfect Light, O Star of Bethlehem."
We seen His Star here in the west. Just what kind of a Star? His church Star, the Holy Spirit moving in human being. We have seen His Star, and we've come to worship Him. Amen. That's what it is, wise men, wise women, humble in heart, we have seen His Star and we've come to worship Him.
147 Oh, they didn't know nothing about the supernatural things; they didn't know nothing about Lights and things; they--they know nothing about It. It stirred them, sure. It's the same today. They didn't know nothing about It, though, the religious circles didn't. Neither do they know anything about It today. Notice, I like this, oh, this is what's fine.
148 As--as long as they was in them denominational realms, the Star never did appear to them. It went out at the gates of Jerusalem, and stayed out (Brother.), stayed out, as long as they walked through those denominational realms. "Where is He? Surely you pastors ought to know something about It. What's This all about, you rabbis and you priests? And you, you Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterian, Catholics, and you old churches like that, surely you got an answer for it. Where is He?" Oh, my. See, they knowed nothing about it. And them that were in there, stayed in the darkness till they come out of it. And as soon as they got out of the city, there stood the Star again. Glory.
149 "Come out of her, My people," said the Lord. "Come out of Babylon, confusion. Come out of your creeds and your self-styled things. I will receive you," saith the Lord. "Touch not their unclean things," their beatnik parties in church, and bunco, and all other kind of stuff, and dances.
150 Here not long ago, my mother called me, said, "Bill, come down here a little bit." I think she is setting here in church somewhere tonight. I went down. I said, "What's the matter?" They called me down there. And here was a big Methodist church up here in Indiana, had a rock-and-roll party in it. And they interviewed the pastor; he said, "Too long has the Methodist church forgot the beautiful art of rock-and-roll." Devil-possessed, don't know nothing about God; they know no more about God than a Hottentot would know about an Egyptian knight, they just... No more than a rabbit would about snowshoes... When you come to a place where the only think you know is just theology, some manmade creed...
151 When the power of the Holy Ghost comes in, you accept God's promise [Another possible transcription: prophet - Ed]. You accept God's Gift of the Holy Ghost, and see how much rock-and-roll you can have in a church. You go back to the Gospel that John Wesley preached, and see how much you can have in it; got away from the beaten path. Go back to John Smith of the Baptists; go back to Martin Luther. But what is it? They know nothing about the supernatural today. And that's right. The Methodist church knows nothing about Divine healing.
When John was standing there preaching Divine healing, some of the high church of England come up and made fun of him, turned a fox loose, and a bunch of hounds. He pointed his finger in his face and said, "The sun will not set on your head three times till you call for me to pray for you." He died that evening, calling for John to come pray for him.
153 Why don't the Methodist church get that back in it again? Why? Because it's dead. That's right. You're scared to look into that Package, 'cause It'll reveal your sins. I call you Methodists to look back in the Package again. I call you Baptists to look back to the Package again. And you Presbyterians and all, you Pentecostals, Catholics and all, look back to God's Christmas Gift. Look back to the Present. Throw away the box, and take the Present. Yes, sir. Get away from the tinsel of Santa Claus. Get back to the Gift of God. Get back to the Holy Spirit. Oh, I know It'll reveal a lot of things, but that's what you need: a cleaning up, scouring out. I know that's awful hard folks, but we got to have it. It's God's Word. Yes, sir, it's good for you. That's right. Oh, yes.
154 They--they knew that there was something wrong when they hit that city, and the Light went out. As soon as they joined this denomination, the Light went out. "What's the matter?" They begin to scream, "Where is He? Where is He? Surely I'll find Him here; this is an old denomination; it's been here a long time. It's the capital of denominations, it's the Vatican City; why, sure, I ought to, I ought to find Him here. Where is He? Where is He, that Christ that said He was the same yesterday, today, and forever? Where is He, the One that said there'll be light in the evening time? Where is He that said, 'The works that I do shall you do also'? Where is He? Where is He?" and the light just stayed out. When they struck out of that thing, walked outside of the city, there the Light appeared again.
It'll be Light in the evening time,
The path of glory you will surely find;
In that water way, is the Light today,
Buried in the precious Name of Jesus.
Young and old, repent of all your sin,
The Holy Ghost will surely enter in;
The evening Lights have come,
It is a fact that God and Christ are one.
155 Yes, brother. Yes, sir. Repent of all your sins, the Holy Ghost, God's Gift, will surely enter in. He's at the door, [Brother Branham knocks--Ed.] saying, "Let Me in. If you'll let Me in, I'll sup with you; I'll reveal these things to you; I'll show you the supernatural; I'll heal your sickness. I'll--I'll take care of all these things for you, if you'll just let Me in." [Brother Branham stops knocking]
156 God's Gift Package, wrapped up in the form today of Holy Ghost. He was wrapped up then, He called the Son of God. God's Gift Package was just taken up and rewrapped again and sent back. Amen. He was wrapped up in the Son of God then; It's wrapped up in sons of God today, called the Church. That's right. God's Gift Package wrapped to the people, and they refuse It today just as they refused then. "If they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, a fortuneteller, because He could discern the thoughts, how much more will they do you?" Yeah, "They called the Master of the house..." Oh, my. Let's find out.
Yeah, the Magi, they received It. They were poor and humble, and they had seen a strange Light.
158 Another thing I want to hit right here. And when they seen this Light, was they ever happy. The Bible said, "They rejoiced with exceeding great joy." Oh, I'd imagine they shouted a little bit. Don't you imagine so? I just imagine so. Then when they seen they'd been in that old organization so long back there, trying to find something, wasn't nothing there, when they got outside the gate, they seen that Holy Ghost Light again shining yonder, that Star of glory pulling down before them, they got so happy, they had exceeding great joy.
Oh, what does a person do when they get so overjoyed? What do you do at the ball game when they get overjoyed? Oh, you holler, "Hurrah-hurrah. Bimity-bam, he hit a home run. Ha-ha. Ho-ho-ho." See?
160 And when you get the "exceeding great joy," you holler, "Glory. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord." That's right. Exceeding great joy. "There's the Star. Lead us. Oh, take us away from these organizations, and lead us to that perfect Light. Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect Light." Just keep on; the Star was the guide to the Light. Finally, It stayed over the Child.
When they... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.] In just a few minutes. All right. All right.
162 He revealed Hisself to poor fishermen. He was revealed, that Package, what was on the inside of it was revealed to the poor fishermen, to the unlearned, uneducated. He revealed Himself to men who couldn't write their own name. They couldn't be a deacon, or--or something another in the church. They couldn't be that. They were so unlearned, oh, my, they were terrible, so He revealed Himself to them. To the unwanted, those who were cast-outs, He revealed Himself to them. To the unloved, He was lovable to those who were unloved. To the sick, they needed healing, they was willing to look into the Package to see what about It, He revealed Himself to them. And to the hungry, He fed with loaves and fishes. Oh, we could stay... I've got a lot of stuff wrote down on that, but we have to skip that. See? Revealed Himself to all those people, the unlovable, when no one wanted them, called them fanatics, He revealed Himself to them. "I'm so glad that I can say I'm one of them." Unlovable, unwanted, sick and needy, hungry; He revealed Himself. Yes.
163 I was thinking of another hungry person. One day there was a hungry-hearted man named Paul, Saul then, was on his road down to Damascus, hungering, and he didn't know what to do. He wanted to do something for God. A Light shined around him, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" He revealed Hisself to hungry-hearted Paul, to an ill-famed woman, to a condemned Barabbas. He revealed Hisself (That's right.) to a hungry-hearted man, to an ill-famed woman, to all these that were cast-out. I think of that unfamed woman. Just a moment for her, please bear with me just a minute.
165 Simon, the Pharisee in the Bible, oh, he wanted--he wanted to know this Gift too, but he wanted to know It for his own selfish will, his own selfish motives, a Pharisee. So what did he do? He had a big feast, and he thought he could make some fun. The Bible, Gospel story, gives it to us. Look at it just a minute now before we close. There he said, "He would have Jesus to come." Because I don't think that Pharisee really loved Jesus, 'cause he had nothing in common. He was an old stiff Pharisee, and he--he hated Jesus, so he thought he'd get Him over there and play a few pranks on Him, see if He really was a prophet, or not.
166 So they sent and asked Him to come. The courier come, and run, and probably dusty and everything, walked up out there, and stood by the side of Jesus. Probably been healing the people, and going on, and He was tired. Finally, maybe it was Peter that said, "You can't see Him today."
He said, "But, mister, my master is Rabbi Simon; he's the pastor of the big church down here in Judaea. Why, you... He--he--he's invited your Master to come and see him. Oh, oh, oh, what a--what a big name that'll be for Him. See? You should see him."
"Well," he said, "I'll take you up and see what He says."
And so he pushed through the crowd. And the sun was about going down, Jesus tired and weary, and here come this little courier up. And he, instead of...
In the Presence of Christ... Oh, I've often wondered what was the matter with that courier? What was wrong with him? Standing that close to Jesus, and still had a message from the Pharisee, "My master wants You to come and see him. You know what, he's having a party down here. He wants You to come, be an honored guest."
170 Oh, I wished I could've took that message, been that close to Him. Don't you? I'd have never thought about what that Pharisee said. I'd have fell down at His feet, and said, "O Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner." I believe I'd have said that. Don't you? How he stood that close to Jesus, and yet refused the opportunity to ask forgiveness of his sin. And that close to Him... No, he had too much on his mind. He was a servant; he had to ask for the Pharisee.
And Jesus, poor Jesus, yet tired and weary, and knowed that He was despised and hated of him, He nodded His head, "I'll be there." When He says He'll be there, He'll be there. Don't you worry; He'll be there. Nothing will stop Him.
172 So when they got down there, that day they had killed all their fatted calves, and brought out all the new wine and everything. And now, the poor people wasn't allowed to come around where they were at. Oh, when they roast that beef on the outside, and stuff, what an odor. And them poor people standing out there, and just their mouth watering. They couldn't come in. No, sir. Yeah, that was just for the celebrity only. And so then standing on the outside... And he had all of his grapes and things, all in the--the very time of bloom, or the fulness of the grapes; and that beautiful smell of grapes, you know, when they're sweet, and everything. He had his new wines and everything.
173 And I often wondered how Jesus ever got in there without being noticed. You know, well, when anybody in the orients ever invites you to come to their house, you know they are great people for hospitality. Now, people in them days, when they walked, they had on sandals. And when they did, you hear about washing feet.
That's what we do here in commemoration. That was an order. When somebody asked you to come to their house, it'd be something like this. They'd greet you at the door, and then they had what they the lowest job of all the people. Some of them drove the chariots; some of them cooked; and some of them was chefs, you know; and some of them butlers, and... But the lowest paid man of all of the household was a foot-wash flunky. He was just a flunky.
And think, my Lord was a foot-wash flunky. And then we think something; we think we're somebody. Look at Him washing the disciples' feet, fishermen, dirty fishermen, sheepherders, and so forth, washed their feet.
177 And here that foot-wash flunky, when you come to the door, they'd--they'd wash your feet, because the dust and things got on your legs, and--and where you walked, you know, down the dusty roads where the horses and animals had been, you know, and it made a stink all over you. And then that sun, you know, was all over your neck. And that Palestine sun, direct rays of it, is really hot. And so when they come to the door, they'd set their foot out, they'd wash their feet. And then put--put their sandals up; clean them off, and set them up. And put them on a little pair of slippers, like little--women wear today for bedroom slippers, you know, something like that, put them on. And then to wash their feet.
178 And then they'd have a towel over his shoulder. And then what he would do, he'd wipe the dust from his face and take some oil of spikenard. Oh, it was expensive stuff the rich people use. The Queen of the South brought some of it up and give it to Solomon, made out of an apple up in the orients, like a flower, the little flower apple, and it's got from there: very expensive.
And they would take that spikenard, and they'd put it all over their face (oil like that), 'cause their necks was burning and things, take a towel and wipe it all off like that, and then they were--they were refreshed.
180 Now, that's the first thing, the foot-wash flunky got them and fixed them up like that. 'Course they wouldn't feel like coming into a man's house, where them great big Persian-made rugs, and so forth like that, smelling like where they'd been in a stable, and--and the--and the sun and blisters all over their face. They were refreshed.
Then when they come in, they met one another. And when they did, always to welcome a guest, if you were welcome, they shook their hand like this, Brother Ed. They'd shake your hand like this, and then they'd put their... Stand up, just a minute, I'll show you something. They put their arms around him [Brother Branham illustrates--Ed.] like that, then shake his hand. [Brother Branham illustrates--Ed.] That's the way they did it.
That was a welcome. Then you was a brother. You felt fine. Your feet was washed. You--you was anointed all over.
183 And then the next thing he did, they'd kiss one another on the neck. And that made them welcome. That last thing was that welcome kiss.
Remember Judas giving Jesus that welcome kiss? Said, "Why'd you do that, friend?" See, He knowed his heart.
So they made one another welcome. You didn't feel like coming in with dust all over you, and that old stink all over your face, and legs, and things. That old garment hanged down, pick up that dust as you walked, when you was walking. They didn't feel like doing, going in. But when you was all refreshed, and then when he come up, and your guest... You was a guest of honor, and then when you come up and welcomes you, and give you a kiss on the neck, why, you was a brother then. "Come on in." Go to refrigerator, get you a sandwich, anything. You was--you was welcomed then; you was welcomed in.
186 But how did Jesus ever get in here without all that being done to Him? See, He was setting over in the corner with dirty feet, unwelcomed. Probably the Pharisee was talking about something else, you know; he never noticed Jesus come in.
That's what's the matter in the churches today, too many of our Pharisee churches. The power of God come in and they don't notice It. See? He'd be willing to do something, but He's never made welcome.
And there he was over there, maybe telling some jokes, and having a big time with Pastor Rabbi So-and-so and Rabbi So-and-so over there. They didn't notice Jesus. And He must've slipped in and set down somewhere over in a corner.
I can see Him there with His dirty feet, blistered neck, no kiss of welcome. Oh, don't it make you feel funny, Jesus with dirty feet? They call Him, over there, "Jesu, Jesu." Said, "Jesu with dirty feet, setting in the corner." O God, how could it ever be? Nobody paid any attention to Him.
190 But a little prostitute (Oh, my.) an ill-famed woman, she happened to pass by, maybe she--maybe she was... There's nobody in town, everybody had gone to this feast, all the celebrities, so her business was poor. So she found out what's all this up here at this, up here at the Pharisee's house about. So she went up there, and probably looked through the crack in the fence, looking around. Oh, my. She happened to look over in a corner; she seen Him setting over there with His head down, dirty feet, blistered neck, unwelcomed, nobody paying any attention to Him.
191 But it was revealed to her. Oh, I can see her rub her eyes, and say, "Is that Him? That's that same Man that spared a woman just like me one time, when she was drug out by that church, and was going to stone her to death, and He said, 'Woman, where is thy accusers?' That must be Him." See, faith cometh by hearing, and it was revealed to her that that was Him.
She said, "But look, He's unwelcomed. He's got dirty feet. What can I do about it? I'm a woman, and--and if I happen to go in there and say something, why, they'd--they'd throw me out through one of them bars. I... And I'm a--I'm a woman of ill fame, and He--He'd know I was ill-famed. He'd know I was a bad woman, so what--what can I do about it?"
193 I can see her turn, and walk around, and say, "Oh, I got to do something. He's unwelcomed. But Something reveals to me that that's the only way that I'll ever have Life." There you are. Oh, brother. "I want to see what's in that Package. I know there's Something in there that'll forgive my sins. And though I am a prostitute, though I am evil, I want to look in that Christmas Package; I know there's Something in there for me."
There's Something for everybody. And that's right, sinner friend. There's Something for the gambler. There's Something for the liar. There's Something for every person. And there's Something in this Christmas Package for you. Don't cast It aside; how a Pharisee, the foolish moron took the tinsel and throwed away the Gift. What a pitiful thing.
195 Here he comes. He was setting over there. And this poor little woman, maybe she goes down at the house where she lives, goes up the old squeaky steps up there, and reaches in her stocking, or something another, and gets her money. She said, "Oh, what can I do? Now, wait a minute. I better put this back, because He'll know that I--I'm a woman of ill fame. But it's my only hope; it's the only thing I can do. I'm not invited to that feast, but yet I've got to get to Him."
Oh, I wish people could see that tonight. Get to Him or perish. What difference does it make, you're called holy-roller, or throwed out, or what other difference? Get to Him. Get to Him; that's your only hope.
197 She went down, and took this. And I can see one of those Jewish fellows down there, saying business been bad, setting back there, counting his money, everybody gone to the feast and everything. This woman walked in, "Well, what are you doing in here?" She poured out this Roman denarii on the counter, about thirty pieces of it. "Ah-ha, what do you want, lady?" See, that made it difference. He seen what she was; but when he seen she had some money, that's different. See? That's the world today; if you got money, you're a big shot; if you haven't, you're--you're nothing. "Oh, that's different. What do you want?"
"I--I want the best, the best spikenard that you got. This is all I got. Let me count it. Thirty pieces of it for you."
"Oh, yes, that'll buy this bottle right here, the finest."
"I want it."
"You mean you want to buy oil?"
"I want it. I want that whole bottle." That's all she had.
That's what you have to do, brethren. It costs every sin you got. It costs everything. But be willing to give it.
200 So she slips up to the fence, and I can see her looking in there. She sees Him setting there, still untouched. The Pharisee pastor over there still telling his dirty jokes and things, over there with the rest of them, carrying on, talking about some big thing somewhere, not knowing, unnoticed to our--to our precious Lord. She said, "How can I get in?" So now I see her slip in real easy, get up to where He is like that. And she looked up at Him. I can see her with the tears running down her face, and her big brown eyes looking up at Him like that. And she whacked the bottle, broke out the ointment, poured it on His feet. She wasn't going to let Jesus set with dirty feet.
You say, "I wouldn't either." Why don't you do something about it then? He's got the worst name there is in the country today, "holy-roller, religious fanatic." Why don't you do something about it? Rise and say, "I'll take the way with the Lord's despised few. I'm ready to receive that Package."
202 She poured the oil upon His feet. The whole room lit up with it. It was costly. There's nothing too good for Jesus. Give Him your best. Give Him everything you got: your life, your soul, your being, your time, all that you have, give to Him.
And she happened to look. She was standing there. Oh, my. She poured this oil on His--on His head. Then reached down to His feet, and begin... Oh, she--she picked up His feet, and looked, they were dirty. She had nothing that she... She got to thinking about her sins, and she said, "Surely, He--He'll--He'll condemn me." So when she had put the oil upon His neck, and rubbed it, then she got down there and she got ahold of His feet.
And she fell down, and she started crying, "Oh, I'm such a sinner, to stand before this Man. I'm such a sinner." And she looked up, and her big, pretty eyes. She thought, "He--He--He'll about kick me out of this room." But He never moved; He just set and looked at her. Oh, I like that. He just set and looked at her. "Oh, He knows my heart, I can feel Him right now reading right down in my mind. He knows I'm no good. I know it, Lord, but I can't stand to see You with the dirty feet. I just can't stand it. You're my only hope. I can't stand it."
What beautiful water for His feet. Oh, tears of repentance. Oh, oh. Old Pharisee couldn't furnish nothing like that. Waters, tears running down her cheeks...
206 And she begin to rub them, and [Brother Branham makes kissing sounds--Ed.] kissing His feet. Oh, It was her Lord; kissing His feet. She had no--she had no towel to dry it with. So I guess her curls, she had done up on top of her head must've fell down, because she took her hair and begin to--to wipe His feet with it. And kissing His feet, saying, "Lord, You know. Lord, You know I--I'm a sinner. I--I hate to be here before You like this, but I can't stand to see You with dirty feet." Oh, my. Jesus with dirty feet, unwelcomed, not a kiss on the neck. She was even kissing His feet, "Lord [kissing sounds], O Lord, O Lord, I--I'm--I'm a sinner. [kissing sounds] You know I am, Lord."
207 And, about that time, old Pharisee turned around. "Humph." Said, "Now look over there. Look over there. That's the kind of company that has that called the Holy Ghost." See? They haven't changed. "Look what it is. Look what kind of a people he associates with. You talk about that Holy Ghost, and Divine healing, what is it? The trash of the town."
Sure, that's who It's revealed to. She knowed what was in that Package; she knowed the only time, and any time she'd ever get anywhere. She couldn't go down to Pharisee; He'd kick her out of the church; not in her rank of society. But there was a Society for the sinner; I'm so glad of that. There is a Place where a sinner can come. There is a Balm in Gilead, will make the wounded whole. She'd found It. She wanted to know that Gift, and she was kissing His feet.
209 And old Pharisee said, "Ah-ah. Come here, boys. Ah. Humph. There's your Prophet. See? If He was any kind of a prophet, he'd know what type of woman that is washing his feet. Look at there. Talk about fanaticism, it disgraces my house."
Jesus never said a word, just stood and watched the woman. So after while... He know what their Pharisee was thinking, so He raised up.
That woman, I can see her, "Oh, oh, here--here's my time. He--He--He--He--He'll condemn me. He'll--He'll--He'll throw me out of this house." I see Him stand up, look like that. He feels pretty good now; His feet bathed with tears. O God, take mine. His feet bathed with tears of repentance, a true heart. Though immoral as she was; it's the only time she was ever at a fountain she could be washed clean. There she's setting there, looking in His face. I can see her with the tears streaming down her face like that, and stained all over. Her curls all dropped down, and full of tears and dirt from His feet. She was standing there, wondering, "What's going to happen. He'll throw me out. He'll have them put me in jail for coming in here."
212 He stood up like that; He said, "Simon, I got a Word to say to you. You invited Me to your house. And when I come in, you never give Me any water for my feet; I'd have washed My own, but you never give Me no water." O God. "You never give Me no oil to anoint My neck with, when it was burning. You didn't do that, Simon. Neither did you kiss Me and make Me welcome. But this woman, she has washed My feet with her tears, and she's kissed My feet, and she hasn't ceased doing it since she's come in here. I've got a few things against you, Simon. But her..." (Whether He's a Prophet, or not,) "I say unto her, her many sins are forgiven." O God.
213 What was it? She found what was in that Gift Package. She found there was love. She found there was forgiveness. She had seen That. Oh, how she seen that precious Gift of God work on her. How it must've made her feel when she seen that God's Gift was extended to her. Her sins were forgiven.
214 How Barabbas must have felt that day. You know Barabbas, the story. Barabbas was that outlaw that was caught, and was put down in the galleys, was going to die the next morning. He was a thief. He was an outlaw. He was a murderer. He was a criminal. And all night long he walked up-and-down that jail, pulling his hair, for the next morning he went to a cross, capital punishment. He'd die. How nightmares passed over him that night. How he couldn't rest.
And the next morning, no breakfast or nothing, know that his blood would be strung out like among wolves. And all at once he hears the chains rattling, [Brother Branham makes marching sounds with his feet--Ed.] tramping of the soldiers. Here comes four or five, or maybe a battalion of Roman soldiers, spears a-glittering, walked up there. The big jailer turned the keys, and said, "Walk out, Barabbas."
"Oh, don't kill me. Have mercy."
"Barabbas, there's nothing wrong. You're free."
"How'd I come free?"
Somebody pointed up that way. What it must've meant to Barabbas, when he seen the Gift took his place in death. I felt the same way. God's Gift took my place in death. How that dying thief on the cross, nailed up there.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That Fountain in his day;
There may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away. (Yes.)
Ever since by faith I saw that Stream, (That revealed to me),
Thy flowing wounds supplied,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die. (That's right. Oh.)
217 Closing, might say this. Today Christmas means a carton of Camels, a carton of Viceroy, a bottle of Four Roses, or Seagram, wrapped up in a pretty Santa Claus paper. But they still refuse God's Christmas Gift. They still refuse His Christmas Gift. They don't want It.
I want It. I'm glad I received It. O Emmanuel, God made flesh and dwelled among us, rejected and condemned all down through the ages, and His mercy extends today to every heart that will receive Him. Let us bow our heads just a moment.
219 I wonder tonight in this building on this Christmas time, in commemoration of nearly two thousand years ago when God gave the first Christmas Gift. I wonder tonight if you'd like to look on the inside of that Package and see, sinner, that there isn't Somebody in there Who loves you, Somebody Who died for you, Somebody gave Their life for you? Would you be willing tonight to take the swaddling's cloth off of Him, that dirty cloth that they call Him fanatic and holy-roller, wrap yourself in it, and take the way with the Lord's despised few?
If you're in the building tonight, like to be remembered in prayer, would you just raise your hand, and say, "On this Christmas night, I want to receive the Christmas Gift of God, God's true Christmas Gift"? God bless you, lady. God bless you, girlie. God bless you, sister. God bless you. God bless you, young lady there. Would there be some more who'd like to be remembered in prayer Lord... God bless you, my brother.
221 Someone else, "Lord, I'll take the way. I'll never see You set with dirty feet either. I'll never stand... I'll join up with them. I'll come right into the Kingdom of God. I'll--I'll be one of them that's despised. Abide with me, Lord. Come, go home with me tonight. I'll wash away all the dirt from Your Name. You wash away my sins, Lord, let me live the Life. Not the way I'm doing now; I've dirtied Your... I--I'm dirtying You every day, putting more upon You. Let me go tonight, Lord, and with my tears of repentance, I now come humbly at the foot of the cross to receive You as my Saviour." Is there another one before we pray? Just raise your hand. All right.
222 Precious Lord, we bring to Thee tonight, it seemed like it was quite a few women tonight, Lord, that raised their hands. Maybe they too can look down... Some of them are young girls, just at teenage, that raised their hands, they--they mean that, Lord. They--they don't--they don't want to be condemned with the world. They want to receive You now at this Christmas time to look into God's Package and receive Eternal Life. Grant it, Lord, just now, that You'll open to them the forgiveness of their sins, that You'll open to them a Fountain in the house of David, that's open for sin and uncleanliness, where sinners plunge beneath the flood, lose all their guilty stain. Grant it, Lord. Go home with them and abide with them tonight, Lord. Make life, for them, what it should be, Lord. Grant it.
Heal the sick and the afflicted among us. You are the Help of the helpless. You are He, Lord, Who can do where others cannot do. You are the abiding Grace. You are the Gift of God. And we humbly believe You, Lord. We follow the Day Star, we follow the Light until It leads us to that perfect Light, the Gift of God, Eternal Life, by the baptism of the Spirit. Grant it, Lord. I commit them to Thee now. In the Name of Jesus Christ, take their souls tonight and wash it in the crimson Blood of Calvary. For we ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
224 ... Lord, abide with me.
[Brother Branham hums--Ed.]... helpers fail to comfort me,
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Do you love Him with all your heart? Once more, for old time's sake, "I love Him, I love Him because He first loved me."
I love Him, (Everybody now.) I love Him
Because He (Let's raise up our hands to Him now.) loved me
And purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
Now, I want you to shake hands with somebody in front and back, and your side now. [Brother Branham shakes hands--Ed.]
I love Him, I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation
All that's received the Christmas Gift of God, raise your hands now.
I love Him, I love Him
Because He first loved me
And purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
227 Don't you love Him? Isn't He wonderful? All right, while we stand now.
Take the Name of Jesus with you,
Child of sorrow and of woe;
It will joy and comfort give you,
Take It everywhere you go.
Precious Name, O how sweet! Oh how...
Hope of earth and joy of heaven;
Precious Name, (Precious Name) O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!
Take the Name of Jesus with you,
As a shield from every snare,
When temptations... (What do you do when temptations gather?)
Just breathe that Holy Name in prayer.
Precious Name, (Precious Name)... (O how sweet!)
Hope of earth and joy of heaven;
Precious Name, (Precious Name) O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!
At the Name of Jesus bowing (Let's bow our heads now and sing.)
Falling prostrate at His feet,
King of Kings in heaven we'll crown Him,
When our journey is complete.
Precious Name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven;
Precious Name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!