E-1 While we remain standing just a moment, let's pray. Our heavenly Father, we are approaching Thy throne of mercy in the Name of the Lord Jesus. We're nearing the end of this convention now, and it is told us in the Scriptures that Jesus at the end of the feast, stood and cried. There might have been expectations that He'd hoped that would've been fulfilled. God, we're waiting with great anticipations, knowing the feebleness of human beings. But God, we have expected a great outpouring of Your Spirit, something extraordinary.
And I look upon Your little servant, Carl Williams, see his little twisted hands, and scraping his feet across the ground; setting here pouring something into his nose constantly to breathe. And know that both day and night has he worked and labored. My heart goes for him. God, You won't disappoint him.
E-2 And this week, passing through the valley here with these, Your servants, preaching in their churches, they never told me what to speak, just said, "Go on." To see that fine cooperation and lovely spirit, they too, are here waiting for something to happen. So we literally feel the Holy Spirit crying out in us, "Come, Lord Jesus." Fill our expecting hearts. Give us that what we are searching for, Lord: great measure of Your grace, we pray.
We are unworthy to ask such a blessing. But Lord, there is none of us worthy. But we do not cling to that; we're only thinking of the Sacrifice that Jesus made for us that He'd cleanse us. And we come asking in His Name now, that each heart will be ministered to some time between now and the closing of the service. That when we leave today from here and go to our different places, may we be able to say like those coming from Emmaus, "Did not our hearts burn within us?"
E-3 For the risen Lord walked with them, and He did something in the midst of them. After walking with Him all day, and they did not understand just who He was; they knowed it was a blessing to be with such a Teacher. But when He did something just like He did it before the crucifixion, they knew no man did that like that but He. And they really knew that it was the Lord Jesus. Quickly they went to tell others.
God, we pray that it'll repeat again today. Do the exceedingly abundantly for us, Lord. We might leave this convention Monday night, going to our homes and different places, and saying, "Did not our hearts burn within us as we heard Him speaking through His servants throughout the convention?" Grant these things, Lord, to we unworthy servants, in the Name of Your Holy Child, Jesus. Amen. Be seated.
E-4 [Brother Branham speaks to someone at the platform--Ed.]...?... This is indeed a extraordinary time for me. And I'm under great anticipation also, and expectations for something to take place during this meeting that's different. And if we should be closing the service this afternoon, I'm sure that all of us could say, "It's been good to be here," the first night to hear Brother Oral Roberts, and his mighty message to the people of the moral decay of the people. Then along come one of the most impact messages of twelve or fifteen minutes, from our Brother Velmer Gardner. I looked upon him and admired him with great admiration, how that he could pack so much in just a little time.
E-5 I was telling my wife back there that--about it when we got home, and she said, "Well," said, "Bill, that's what they always... You keep them too long."
I said, "Honey, I'm just too slow. I--I can't think of it that fast. God's just merciful to me to let me be slow, I guess, and kinda let me go along, show me His goodness."
Then to hear a medical doctor the other night... Yes, last night, right, Brother Shakarian. You know, I have many fine medical doctor friends. I was interviewed at Mayo's, you know. You got the magazine, the... I believe it's called the... oh, "Reader's Digest," about five years ago, "The Miracle of Donny Martin" over there at California. And I met that staff of doctors there, the nicest fellows you'd want to meet.
E-6 But when I heard that doctor the other night, giving that exhortation about Jesus, I thought he might be real good on his diagnosis if--if he's going to examine the physical body. And he didn't do too good--or too bad a job on diagnosing the spiritual condition; he had a real good diagnosis of that. And the words that he said... I hope I never have to call for his service. But if I ever do, I want a man like that to perform the operation, if I ever have to have one--one that's got his trust in the Lord.
E-7 Along with that, and hearing other men, some of them I didn't even know... I certainly believe it would be great if we just went home right now. It would be wonderful. But I believe He's going to grant us some more blessings, because there's many here. I'm waiting to hear this Brother Brown, I believe, tomorrow night. And I've never... Episcopalian, huh? [Congregation laughs--Ed.] Presbyterian. Mistake like that, I might as well read the Scripture and go on, hadn't I? May I say this, Brother Brown: a brother in Christ. I know I'm right then. I've heard much about him, and I sure want to hear him.
E-8 Get to meet all of our friends. And then the little chopped-up, stirred-up message yesterday morning. Then to see Satan jump on a little woman, rush her out there... Oh, if the people just be spiritual... Standing here, I felt that great pressure. She went out, and I prayed, "Heavenly Father, send the Holy Spirit after her." He caught her right out there, brought her back, cast the evil from her. And I understand she got the Holy Ghost now. So we're thankful for that. "In My Name they shall cast out devils."
E-9 Now, let's turn to a--a Scripture. And I've got about six pages of them wrote down here, but I won't get to all of those, but--but just a few. And just express my thanks to all of you for your fine fellowship and cooperation, and can bear with me the way you do.
We was at a little church this morning, the Church of God over here, somewhere back... We went up this way, and went back... I--I wouldn't know where it was at, but certainly a lovely pastor there also. And that church had just waited... I was just ten days late for that church, ten days late. But we certainly had a wonderful time, fellowship with the Lord Jesus.
E-10 Now, you that mark down texts, if I should call it that, or you mark down the Scripture readings: from Joshua, the book of Joshua, feeling that the Holy Spirit has laid this upon my heart for this afternoon, Joshua 10:12, one verse:
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
Say, "That's an unusual text?" That's right, or an unusual Scripture reading. My text this afternoon is "A Paradox."
You know, God takes unusual things, does things in unusual ways, and He's very unusual. But He works all things together for good to them that love Him. Drawing from this the conclusion of the subject of "A Paradox."
E-11 Now, I went... Thinking of that, I got the dictionary. And I thought, "That's kind of an unusual word. We don't use it too much." And I thought, "Maybe, Lord, because You placed that upon my heart, there may be something there that I should look up." And Webster's dictionary says a "paradox" "is something incredible but true": something that's incredible, but yet it's true. Doesn't seem like it could be true at all; but it is true. That's a paradox.
E-12 I begin to think then how many paradoxes that we could point out. And if we would stop this afternoon, it would amaze you to see how many things that scientifically it could not be, but yet it is. This world hanging in space is a paradox. We're told that it's turning around, making its complete circle every twenty-four hours, and it's approximately twenty-five thousand miles around the world. And you know, you can... There's nothing in the world that'll move that perfect like that world does. And the eclipse of the moon from the great solar system... How are they standing in the air, revolving so perfectly, and around the equator, till you can time it for twenty or thirty years, and it'll not miss a second.
E-13 I have a watch here, and it was give to me by some good friends over when I was in Switzerland, just a common Swiss watch... A little watch probably cost about a hundred and fifty dollars, or something. But it's a good one to me. And it's called the Vulcain Cricket, and it's one of the best timepieces I ever wore. Yet, I can set that and time it; within two or three months it's either fast or slow. And there's nothing that we have that'll keep anything perfect.
But God's time is perfect. It just doesn't miss a tick. How is this great celestial ball hanging in the air not fastened onto anything, turning itself around and around this a way every twenty-four hours, and every twelve months completely around, from the sun coming back, summer, winter, autumn, spring: perfect, just exactly. And it's been doing that for thousands of years. There's not a man on earth that can explain that.
E-14 Which is up and down? Is the North Pole on top, or is the South Pole on top? We don't know, because we're in space. And you throw a ball in the air and can watch it. It will not make two revolutions in the same place. It's falling, going up, and it's making its own wind and--just as the earth, gravitation holding it. But it won't turn twice in the same spot, either going up or coming down. But yet, this great ball has turned thousands times thousands of years, not missed a bit. That's a paradox.
E-15 It's a paradox when you watch that moon. Look at the tides out on the coast here, how those angry waves with about four-fifths of the earth, almost, in water... Go to the seashore and watch that tide as those angry big waves breaking way out there, half a mile out in the ocean or more, beating against that ocean bank. Why doesn't it just come on over? There's just one thing keeping it from doing so. That's the moon. That moon's God's watchdog. He watches over that seashore because God has set its boundaries, and it cannot pass that.
But when that moon begins to turn around to look at Father, notice that tide will slip out, or slip in. Then when he turns back, it takes its place again. It--it has to, because it's God's watchdog.
E-16 That moon millions of miles away from the earth, how can it affect the earth? How can it draw a line? Why don't that sea run in a few hundred miles and then stop? Because God set its boundaries. It cannot pass that. And He's got a watchman to see that it doesn't pass it.
And anyone knows when the moon goes down, the tide goes with it; rises, it rises with it: another paradox. No one can explain it. We don't know how, what effect that that moon upon the earth would have, and what would it do to the tide? It's a paradox.
We can plant a seed in the earth, and that seed will lay in the earth all through the winter. Like a wheat, that wheat seed is composed of a skin on the outside. Then the inside is a pulp. And in that middle of that pulp is a germ. That's right. That's the way you're composed.
E-17 You've got... made up of soul, body, and spirit. The outside, which is the body, is controlled by five senses. You enter that body by five senses: see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. Inside the body is a soul. That soul has five gates: conscience, and so forth, memory. But inside of that is a spirit. That's what controls it all. There's only one gate to that, and that's free moral agency, to act: to receive, or refuse.
E-18 And that seed planted in the ground, then what happens? The winter comes on and bursts it. The skin's gone; the pulp's gone. And that germ of life, you can't find it. But in the springtime it comes back again.
Here sometime ago I was down in Kentucky squirrel hunting. And I... we'd dry weather and we couldn't find any squirrels. So we went over in the knob part of the country.
Mr. Wood, a friend of mine, said, "Well, Brother Branham," said, "I know a man over there that's got lots of timber, and there's some big hollows down deep. It'll probably be damp; we can slip through those."
E-19 And while I was over there, why, we pulled up to a house, and he said, "I wouldn't get out, 'cause this fellow's an infidel." Said, "He just doesn't believe in God, and he curses the very thoughts of God."
I said, "All right. I'll stay in the car."
So then, we pulled up, and he walked over under a little apple tree where the old man was setting, about seventy-five. And he spoke to him, and called him by name. He said, "My name is Bank Wood." He said, "I would like to know if we can hunt on your place."
The old fellow looked at him, said, "Are you Jim Wood's son?"
He said, "I am."
He said, "Help yourself, anywhere you want to go; plenty of room here. I got five hundred acres of woods." He said, "Well, how is Jim getting along?" Talked just a moment.
E-20 Brother Wood said... Now, he was a Jehovah Witness that his boy, crippled, one leg drawed up under him, was healed in the meeting. He's a contractor. So he just quit contracting, moved next door to me, been there about ten years. Now, all of his people, by visions--every one of them, even readers in Jehovah Witness movement, is every one filled with the Holy Ghost. So then we standing there, he said, "I brought my pastor with me."
And this old fellow said, "Wood, you don't mean you've got so low-down, till you have to bring a preacher with you everywhere you go?" And I thought it was time for me to get out of the car then.
So I got out of the car and walked around where the old gentleman was setting. I said, "How do you do?"
He said, "How do you do, sir?" And he said, "And you're a preacher?"
I said, "Yes, sir. I'm supposed to be."
And he said, "Well," he said, "I think not much of those fellows."
I said, "Well, they're pretty good fellows, most of them."
He said, "Well, that's the kind I haven't met yet."
And I--I said, "Yes, sir."
And he said, "I believe..."
I said, "What makes you say that?"
E-21 He said, "I believe they're barking up the wrong tree." Now, anybody knows that a dog that you hunt with at night, and he barks the wrong tree, you're always fooled. So he said, "They're barking up the wrong tree." And now, he said, "They claim to have something treed, but you can never see it."
And he said, "They're always talking about something, but can produce nothing."
He said, "There was a certain preacher come here about two years ago, up here at a little place called Acton, up at the Methodist Campground. They had a meeting." Said, "There was an old sister who lives up here on the hill, was dying with cancer." And said, "This man had never been in this country."
E-22 And said, "At the meeting that night where several thousand people had gathered," he said, "this woman's sister was setting over in there crying about her sister." Said, "She couldn't even get on the bedpan no more. Wife and I had to pull a draw-sheet from beneath her." And said, "She... her sister out there with a... crying." Said, "This minister looked at that woman, and called her name, and said, 'You're weeping over a sister that's dying with cancer up on a certain ridge.' 'Yes,' said the woman."
Said, "The minister said, 'THUS SAITH THE LORD. Take that handkerchief right now that you have in your pocketbook, that you put in your pocketbook when you left home, and took it out of a top dresser drawer--a little handkerchief with initial in the corner of it, white handkerchief with a blue initial. Take that handkerchief and lay it on the woman in the Name of the Lord.' And said, 'She'll get well.'"
E-23 "Well," said, "the woman took off with some more people." And said, "Honest, it's three miles nearly over there," and said, "we thought they had the Salvation Army on that hillside around ten o'clock one night." But said, "We went over there the next morning, and the old lady was up cooking breakfast, eating fried apple pies for breakfast." And said, "That's been two or three years ago." And said, "You know, she hasn't even had a sick day since." He said, "Now, if I could see something like that happen."
"Oh," I said, "You..." Brother Wood looked over at me, and I shook my head. So he said... Standing there, dirt and squirrel blood, and everything, whiskers about that long, been in the hills camping... And I--I said, "Does that puzzle you?"
He said, "No, sir."
I said, "Do you mind if I have one of those apples?"
He said, "Help yourself. The yellow jackets are eating them up."
I said, "All right." I rubbed it on my old dirty pants and took off a bite. I said, "That's a good apple."
He said, "Sure is. I planted that tree there thirty-five years ago."
I said, "Let's see, this is about the last week in August."
I said, "Sir, I want to ask you a question."
He said, "Go right ahead."
I said, "When you planted that tree there, how big was it?"
"Oh," he said, "it was just a sprout, about this high."
"Uh-huh." And I said, "I want to ask you... It's right now the last week in August. We haven't even had a cool night. But the apples are all dropped off that tree, and the leaves is dropped off of it."
"That leaf has gone back down into the root."
"That's right." I said, "Sir, why did that leaf drop off? Did it get wore out?"
"No." He said, "Well, the life left it."
"Oh, I see. And then the life left it and went back to the roots."
I said, "Sir, if it didn't go back to the root, then what?"
"Well," he said, "the tree... It has to go back to the roots. The tree wouldn't live. It would die. The winter would kill it." Said, "It gets twenty or thirty below zero down here sometimes."
E-24 And I said, "Uh-huh." I said, "Sir, tell me what intelligence tells that sap to leave the tree, and go down to the roots for the winter. Now, you set a bucket of water on the post out there, and see if the middle of August, the water will start going down to the bottom of the post." I said, "The tree has no intelligence. It doesn't know the season. It has no intelligence. Yet, there is an intelligence somewhere that sends that tree back to preserve its life."
He said, "I hadn't thought of that like that."
I said, "Then you see it right here in your yard. Why would you want to see that preacher then, when you see it right here?" I said, "The same Intelligence that told me that that woman's sister was dying with cancer (and in a vision I saw her healed), that same Intelligence is so close to you till it controls the tree that's setting in your yard."
Raised up and shook my hand. I led him to Christ that afternoon. He died about a year later. I was down there this year and I met his widow. I went up to ask her to hunt. She was going to run me off the place at first, when I got back there. I said, "Wait just a moment." She wasn't there when I come up.
E-25 She said, "Sir, can't you read?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am." I come up. I said, "You don't know me."
She said, "No, sir. I don't. Them Indiana license on that car?"
And I said, "I'm Brother Branham. Your hus..."
"Oh," she just started weeping, and raised her hands up, and begin to praise God. She said, "Son, you can hunt anywhere you want to. Stay as long as you want to."
What was it? A paradox. No one knows, no one. You can't find the Intelligence that controls Mother Nature. But it's a paradox. We can't explain it.
E-26 I was thinking of death, and if we're on leaves... A leaf hangs on a tree to serve a purpose. And you and I are hanging on a Tree of Life after we've accept Christ. And after while when the season changes, the life goes out of that leaf down into the root, comes back again next year bringing a new leaf.
And we Christians who believe in Christ have Eternal Life, and hanging on the Tree of Life... But someday this old leaf will drop off, return back to the God that give it--only to come again in another season. This season we are divided, we're men and women. And all it is, is a seeding season. The tree continually year after year to bear record and testimony of the living God...
E-27 The sun rises and sets to show birth, death, resurrection; birth, death, resurrection, perfectly turning. Summer, winter, autumn, fall, just perfectly showing death, burial, resurrection; death, burial, resurrection. But when we come forth again, it'll be a complete new season. It'll be in the millennium. There'll be no more death. Oh, we could stay all afternoon on it. How wonderful to see God's paradoxes, to see how He--He does it.
In Hebrews, the 11th chapter and the 3rd verse, it says in there that God made the world, framed the world together with things that does not appear. This very earth that we're setting on is a paradox. What is it? It's the Word of God made manifest. Think of it. The chair that you're setting in, the ground that you put your feet on is a spoken Word of God. He made it without anything to make it out of. Only thing He had was His Word, and His Word is a creation in itself. When it's once spoke, it can never return again until it's accomplished that which it's been purposed for. Hallelujah.
E-28 Doctor, I'm beginning to feel religious. His Word cannot return until It's accomplished that which It's been spoke for. God's a waiting this afternoon on a people that'll take a hold of that Word and hold It until It's accomplished that which It was purposed for. Yes. It cannot return. It's a paradox. The whole Word of God is a paradox--cannot return, has to accomplish which It was spoken for.
E-29 Now, to our text: Joshua. As you read on through the chapter, you'll find that the Bible says that there never was a day like that before or after, that when God listened to a man. I've got a teen-age girl: Rebekah. She's in high school. And here some time ago I was reading that. And she said, "Daddy, there must be a mistake there somewhere."
I said, "No mistake. Not a... No mistakes in the Word of God."
She said, "Daddy, the... Joshua never stopped the sun, daddy." I said... She said, "He stopped the earth."
I said, "Rebekah, he stopped the sun."
She said, "Daddy, he couldn't have done it."
"Why," I said, "you think God's Word makes a mistake, honey?"
Said, "No. I don't believe that, daddy. But I believe Joshua just didn't understand."
I said, "Knowing God well enough to perform a miracle like that, and yet he didn't understand? He knowed what he was talking about."
She said, "Daddy, the sun's already stopped. It doesn't move. He stopped the earth."
E-30 I said, "He wasn't talking about that missile. He said, 'Stand still over Gibeon; and in the valley of Ajalon, hold still.' And the sun never moved off of Gibeon, or Ajalon for twenty-four hours. He wasn't talking about that missile out there. He was talking about the sun crossing the earth. He wasn't concerned about that. He was concerned about enough light to bring the enemy of Israel down." The sun is what he was talking about--the sun--the reflection of the sun. That's the sun he was talking about.
God's Word doesn't make no mistakes. What it says, It doesn't need any--somebody's interpretation to twist it around and make It say something It doesn't say. Just take It for what It says, because It's God's Word.
E-31 Now, yet that being there, the writer that wrote this Book and said there never had been anything like it... That same God that stopped the sun said this in Mark 11, 11:22 and 23. He said; Jesus said, when He was speaking about the tree, "Verily I say unto you, if you shall say to this mountain, 'Be moved,' and don't doubt in your heart, but believe that what you have said will come to pass, you can have what you've said."
Now, it just wasn't for Joshua only. It was for any believer that can take God's Word. First, you've got to have the right motive and the right objective, the right reason for it. Now. But it was a paradox.
E-32 We know... Many of us know... I've seen, myself, such things like that happen: creative things that I know has happened. The impossibility... If I had time to linger on it, but I haven't, of scientific proof of the impossibilities of creation. Only God Himself could do it, 'cause He's God. A God that could perform a paradox there is still the same God today that still can make a paradox. That's right.
E-33 Noah's time, in Noah's day it was a paradox. You remember, there had been no rain on the earth till the day of Noah. God watered up through the springs and so forth. But Noah begin to build an ark. What was he doing? Before the paradox ever taken place, Noah made preparations for it. Oh, may I say this afternoon, if we here today will only prepare for a paradox... The One Who can bring a paradox is with us. The God Who all of His works is paradox, past understanding, incredible, but true, He can bring a paradox.
E-34 Noah got ready for it. I'd imagine in his preparation times that people said, "Wonder what that old crank is having out there, up there pounding away on an old wooden ship. It's never rained. It's a... There is no such a thing."
I'd imagine science could come out to Noah and say, "Looky here. We have instruments that we can shoot the stars, and there's no rain up there. How in the world can your words be true, when it's going to rain, and there's no water up there?" But you see, if God has said it was going to rain, He can make rain. So he got ready for it, made ready the par--for the paradox. And it rained.
E-35 Abraham, when he was on top of the mountain with his only child, little Isaac... He'd waited for twenty-five years to get the child. And then, when the child was about fourteen years old, God told him... What was He doing this for now? To confirm that God keeps His Word. No matter how unreasonable it seems, He still can perform and make a paradox.
He said, "Take this little fourteen year old boy of yours, take him up on the mountain, and offer him up for a sacrifice." And he took him up to the mountain.
And now, if that--him being then about a hundred and fifteen years old... Waited twenty-five years on the boy, and here the boy... And he was going to destroy the only evidence he has of seeing this promise of God, to be father of nations, ever taking place, and then he's asked to destroy that. That's the reason he called the place, "Jehovah-jireh." For when he was just about ready to fall in line with complete obedience to God, the Holy Spirit caught his hand, and a ram bleated behind him, hooked by its horns in the wilderness. What was it? A paradox.
E-36 Look. He was three day's journey from his home, back among the wild beasts, and besides that, on top of the mountain where there couldn't have been a sheep. And he wouldn't have been up there where there's no water. Where did that ram come from? It wasn't a vision. He killed the ram; blood run out of it. It was God, the Creator. Because he stayed in the line of duty to God's Word, there come a paradox, and he killed the ram... died in his son's place. A paradox.
E-37 It certainly was a paradox in Sodom, a little before then, when Sarah laughed at the voice of a Man in human flesh out there, which was God. And He had His back turned to the tent, the Angel did. And He spoke to Abraham, and called him his name, "Abraham" called Sarah, "Sarah," when he'd just received that name a few days before, and said, "Abraham, I'm going to visit you according to the time of life." And Sarah, in the tent, laughed. And the Angel with His back turned to the tent... Not--not one of these, just like a theophany. He was a Man with His back turned to the tent, said, "Why did Sarah laugh in the tent, saying, 'This cannot be so.'?" It was a paradox.
E-38 One time when Israel's armies was standing in defeat... And there was great soldiers there, mighty men, Joab, Saul (head and shoulders above every man he had in the army), all armored with great armors and swords, trained men from boys to fight. But because they seen the opposition so great, they was afraid to meet the challenge of the boasting Goliath of the Philistines, afraid to meet it.
But there come a little stoop-shouldered, ruddy-looking fellow. His mama had baked some raisin pies, and he brought them up to give them to his brothers. And while he was a milling around, hunting his brothers in the camp, this Philistine walked out and made his boast, said, "Choose you a man, and come over here and fight me. If... We won't have any bloodshed between the nations." 'Course that's the way the enemy likes to brag, when he thinks he's got the edge on you. Said, "Bring him over here, and then we'll choose. And we'll fight, and then, if I kill him you serve us; if he kills me we'll serve you."
E-39 And you know what? He said it at the wrong time. There was a little old stooped boy in there, ruddy, the Bible said, that had knowed what God meant. He'd seen God in action. He knowed that the God of Israel was a God of eternity. He knowed that God had delivered him out of the paws of a lion, out of the paws of a bear, with a slingshot.
And he said to his brethren, "Do you mean to tell me that you Israelites of the armies of the living God will stand here, and let that boasting Philistine say the days of miracles is past? Do you mean to tell me that you'll let him get by with that, when God's promise is behind us? Hallelujah. God's promise is back of us. Do you mean to tell me you'll let him boast, and say...?"
E-40 David was the smallest of the whole army, and he wasn't even in the army. He'd not affiliated with them yet, so he--he was kind of an offspring, an off-scour. And he wasn't a trained man. He hadn't been in the seminary yet, and he didn't have the ecclesiastical jackets that the rest of them had. But... And when they tried one on him, it didn't fit him.
And I think it's about the same thing today. When we get Saul's ecclesiastical jacket on us, and telling us the days of miracles is past, there's no such thing as the baptism of the Holy Ghost, it doesn't fit a man of God. Right. God's people believes in a paradox, believes in God.
E-41 And this little fellow stood there, shoulders drooped, a little piece of sheepskin around him, no great armor, and so forth, on. So he said, "You mean to tell me you'll let that uncircumcised Philistine, that unbeliever say there's no such a thing, and defy the armies of the living God?" Said, "I'll go fight him."
It was a paradox when a little boy challenged a giant with fourteen inch fingers. A man with no sword or no shield, as they could see, challenged a man that had a spear like a weaver's needle, about thirty-foot long. It was a paradox.
What did he do? He said, "You meet me as a Philistine in the name of a Philistine. You meet me with an armor, and with a spear, and in a trained college. But I meet you in the Name of the Lord God of Israel." That's it. And a little ruddy child, boy, probably sixteen or eighteen years old, with a slingshot, slew that big boasting giant: paradox, because he trusted God. Certainly.
E-42 Moses, after being a well-trained man, a military man, knowing what he was talking about; he knowed how to hold an army. He knowed how to fight and had tried his weapons, but it didn't work. It was a paradox. After talking to God in the form of fire on a bush, that took a dry stick off the desert and went down and took over a army: took over a nation with a dry stick: Took over an army took over a nation at the age of eighty years old with nothing but a stick in his hand. Hallelujah.
What was it? It wasn't Moses, nor the stick. It was the God of creation in that, was what was a doing it: God, in this old dry stick. "Take this stick in your hand and go down there," as I said the other night, a one-man invasion.
Now, where Moses got in trouble in the flesh and killed one man, it always hung on him. But he went down there in the Spirit, and slew the whole nation. It was a glory. Sure. He was following the commandments of the Lord. That's what does it.
E-43 I've often thought how ridiculous that might've looked to the carnal mind: an old man, whiskers hanging down over his bosom, probably his bald head shining through the sun, hairs drooping down, pulling a little donkey behind him, his wife setting on there with a young'un setting on her hip, this old stick, his eyes looking out towards the skies, walking down through there. "Where are you going, Moses?"
"Going down to Egypt to take over."
The thing of it is: he done it, because he could go in the Name of the Lord. God only needs one man in His hand. He can do the rest of it. He's tried to find men. Sometime He can get a man in his hand. And he went down and took over a whole nation with a stick in his hand.
E-44 Now, you just tell me if that's regular, the regular routine, for a man to take a stick in his hand and go over and take over Russia. If God sent him, he will do it, 'cause the God that sent him will be with him. Jesus said, "As the Father sent Me, so send I you." And when He... The Father that sent Him was in Him. And when God sends any man, Christ goes in him. Sure. "As the Father sent Me..." The Father that sent Him went with Him. And the Christ that sends the man goes with the man. See? There's just paradoxes everywhere. Now. A dry stick... But he went down and took it over: how ridiculous, seems strange.
E-45 It seemed ridiculous when there wasn't a well nowhere. Down in the valleys, all around over the hillsides they couldn't even find a smell of water. And the driest place that was in the desert was that old rock. Go out here in the desert and look and see. Look like back under a nice palo verde, or somewhere, there'd be a little spring. Get down in the valley where all the waters run down, and dig down there you'll find water the quickest. But God sent him up on the hill to the driest thing there. That's the way God does. He likes to take something that's nothing and show that He is something. As I've often said, "God takes the nobodies to make somebody out of them. But when people think they're somebody, then they become nobodies in God's sight."
E-46 Now, we find out that Moses took that dry stick and hit the rock. And when he did, water sprang forth. Now, get a stick and go out in the desert today and start smiting on rocks. It was a paradox.
It was a paradox when God rained manna out of the heavens. Yes. It was a paradox. No doubt... Wonder if He didn't have big ovens up there to bake it. He didn't have to have it. He was a Creator, and He created the manna that fell fresh every night. He didn't have to have ovens; He's a Creator.
E-47 One time when a believer got in the wrong company... (We have that all the time.) A believer by the name of Jehoshaphat got into the wrong company with Ahab, a make-believer. And when a make-believer and a believer gets together, you got trouble. Now, when you get a believer in a seminary that's got a bunch of make-believers in there, you got trouble again.
So Jehoshaphat wanted an axe to grind-or Ahab, rather, sent for Jehoshaphat to come down. He showed him all the glory of his Kingdom. And Jehoshaphat, like a believer... Sometimes seeing the exciting, something extraordinary, he becomes excited about it. And that's when the man has to watch. That's where you girls have to watch some little guy with his hair slicked down and... Be careful. And some of you boys has to watch that little--you little Jezebel, you know, and would lead you off the wrong way. Be careful. Stay in the right company. Notice.
E-48 So here was a believer in the company of a make-believer. So he had an axe to grind, of course. And he said, "Now, we'll tell you what we'll do. You know we're brothers. We're all just the same." But we're not the same. No, sir. You don't mix oil and water. No. "We're all just the same, so let your chariots be ours, and ours yours. And we'll go up to Gilgal, and we'll fight this battle, and push these--the enemy off."
Well, Jehoshaphat had enough common decency about him to say, "Don't you think we ought to consult the Lord first?"
I can imagine great President Ahab saying, "Hmph... Why, certainly so. Sure. We're--we're a great nation here, believes in God. So you know what? I've just got the answer." Oh, yes. "I've got a seminary down here so full of them. I got four hundred of the best-trained prophets there is in the country. I got the best. You ought to hear them say, 'Amen.' You ought to hear the sweet little prayers they can pray. Bring them up. Let's see them."
E-49 So they dressed theirself to make something handsome-looking, set out in the gates. And when they did... They brought up four hundred prophets, and when they did... All of them prophets... And they said, "Go up, and the Lord bless you. Go up there. We're four hundred strong with one accord. Go up. I'll bless you, be with you."
But that didn't strike Jehoshaphat. You know, they can tell you all these things are fine, but right down in your heart you know... As I said yesterday, "That little still small voice turns the whole wheel." Something didn't seem right. He said, "Sir, haven't you got one more?"
"One more, when the whole seminary's here? (See?) Why, here's Archbishop So-and-so and all the rest of them. He's done made hisself some iron horns, and said, 'By this you'll push the enemy off the land.'"
E-50 And it seemingly, it was just exactly right, because actually the land did belong to Israel. See, it can look so real and so right. But if you want a paradox, you've got not to divvy one speck from God's Word. You've got to stay right with the Word. Jesus said, "If ye abide in Me, and My Word in you, then ask what you will." But it's on a condition.
Now, it seemed like... "That land belongs to us. Why can't we go get it? It's ours. It belongs to us." And those men were not just heathens; they were Jewish prophets. They said, "Go up. The Lord's with you." But what it was, they got mixed up in the world. During the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, she'd led them around and--and got them all mixed up in the world. And really the Spirit of the Lord wasn't with them.
E-51 So then, he just brought them out there and they prophesied. But yet, that didn't kind of satisfy Jehoshaphat. He said, "Haven't you got one more that you can consult?"
He said, "Yes, I got another one, but he's a holy-roller. I--I just don't like him. He's always cutting at me. (Praise be to God.) He's always bawling me out. He believes I got the worst wife in the world. He's--he's horrible. We just can't have him around here."
"Oh," he said, "don't let the king say so. Like to hear him."
Said, "He's Micaiah, the son of Imlah. But I--I just don't like him. He's always saying something bad about me. I've had him in jail a dozen times. But he's one of them holy-rollers. But we don't want him up here."
"Oh, don't let the king say so. Send for him."
So they had a forerunner, sometimes like you do when you're going to a revival. "Ah, sh, but don't say nothing about this. Don't you preach against this. Oh, the--they don't believe in that. Now, you leave off of this. Now, don't you say nothing about (hmph)..."
Well, you know what I want to say, don't you? [Congregation laughs--Ed.] "Don't say nothing about that because you're going to hurt--you hurt their feelings. Now, they've got pastors there, and they--they tell them this, that. Don't you... You say the same."
E-52 Micaiah, a man anointed, he said, "I'll only say what God puts in my mouth to say."Amen. God, give us some more Micaiahs. "But I'll only say what God puts in my mouth."
Let's see if his vision was with the Word. That's the way to judge it, which is right. See which one lines up with the Word. Micaiah come down.
He said, "How many times do I adjure you?"
Micaiah said, "Go on up. First give me the night. Let me see what the Lord will say. Then I'll tell you what's THUS SAITH THE LORD." That's right. Seek ye the Kingdom of God first. Let's see what's right.
So that night Micaiah had a vision and he saw the Lord. And he examined that vision with the Word, and it was with the Word. And any vision, dream, or anything else that's contrary to the Word, is not right.
E-53 Let me stop just a minute. A man come to me not long ago, come from overseas. The man was wrong. He had three or four children, and a wife, and he was running around with a woman over here. I don't say anything immorally, but it just didn't look right. You see, you have to watch what you're doing in the eyes of the public. You're written epistles.
And he said... I kind of called his hand on it. I said, "Sir, I hope you don't think I'm rude. But I'd just like to say something as a minister. Don't you think that the people here will think..."
"Oh," he said, "No, no. That's all right in my country."
I said, "But you're not in your country. See? You're over here. And if people will think something about that." He said...
I said, "Do you know the woman?"
I said, "Do you know her background?" (I did.)
He said. "Yes." Said, "Brother Branham, I know she's living right now with her fourth husband." Said, "And, Brother Branham, you know what? She's such a sweet woman." Said, "I went to the Lord, and I said, 'Lord, tell me what's the matter with this woman.' Said, 'Why would you bless her with the Holy Ghost, and everything, and living in adultery?'" He said, "Well," said, "you know, the Lord give me a dream." He said, "I seen my wife living immorally with another man." And I said... And said, "Then she come up to me, and fell down, and said, 'Will you forgive me?'" And said, "Sure." And said, "Then the Lord said, 'I forgive her.' Said, 'You see, no matter if she has done the way she's doing, I forgive her.'"
I said, "Sir, your vision, or your dream was sweet. But it don't line up with the Word of God. That's right. God can't say one thing, and take it back over here. He's got to say one thing, and stay with it till it accomplishes that which it was purposed for." Then you see the paradox.
E-54 So we find out. And Micaiah said, "Go on up, if you want to. But I seen Israel like sheep scattered, having no shepherd."
And then Zedekiah come up (which is the high bunch of the biggest, one of the prophets, or the most effectual one, the leader of them), come up and said--slapped him in the mouth, and said, "Which a way went the Spirit of God out of--when it went out of me?" He didn't have the Spirit of God.
He said, "I seen Israel scattered like sheep on a hill."
And so he said, "Take this man," the king did, "and put him in the prison. And feed him with bread and water of sorrow till I return in peace, like all my shepherds here say that I will. And you return in peace."
E-55 Now, if Ahab would've set down and listened... Remember, we know that Elijah was an a-vindicated prophet. A prophet's just not jumped up overnight. Prophets are born prophets. Sure. And he'd been a prophet since his childhood. And every word that he said, all of his doctrine was of God, because God vindicated him that he was a prophet. He did.
So then when he did that, he knowed then Micaiah saw the vision, and the vision was comparing with--with the vision of the prophet. Two prophets got together. And Elijah had told Ahab what was going to happen, that the dogs would lick the blood off of him. And how could Micaiah bless what God had cursed?
E-56 Now, let me stop a minute. How can God today bless what He's cursed? Can't do it. Lying, stealing, cheating, all this stuff is wrong, and many other things I could say. If it's wrong, it's wrong. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
What happened? We find out that was a paradox; that one man, one little ragged holy-roller, stood up here in the face of a whole seminary of prophets, and God vindicated his word because he was with the Word. That's right. It was a paradox.
E-57 When God took John the Baptist and made him the forerunner of Christ, instead of taking one of the rich, royal priests, it was a paradox. How would God take a man that had no education at all? Went into the wilderness at the age of nine when he lost his parents, stayed out there in the wilderness, come out looked like a fuzzy worm, the beard out on his face, and a piece of sheepskin wrapped around him, and stood in mud up there, and called the--the audience he was preaching to a generation of snakes in the grass. Could you imagine God taking a man that would say that to an audience of sophisticated Jews and believers, supposed to be?
E-58 He said, "You generation of vipers..." Not, "Hello, Bishop So-and-so. I'm so glad to see you." Oh, you sissified... "Oh, you generation of vipers, who's warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Don't you think, 'We belong to this or that.' God's able of these stones to rise children to Abraham." When God vindicated, it caused a paradox. He saw the Holy Ghost descending like a dove upon the Son of man. It was a paradox.
What was more of a paradox than the virgin birth? I know I'm not--don't want... Now, we got a mixed audience. Now, I want you to understand me, for I'm expecting something. And to expect something, you've got to stay with the Word. "If ye abide in Me, and My Word in you, then ask what you will." That's the conditions, not today, and tomorrow something else, and twist for this one, and twist for that one, but stay straight with the Word and Calvary. Then ask what you will.
E-59 Now, we find that in this virgin birth, many of the people... You precious Catholic people... My background's Catholic too, you know. So we find out that today you take Mary and make her a goddess, an intercessor.
Brother Valdena, here somewhere on the platform, I believe, was down in Mexico. General Medina, Medina. He was here the other night. Put his arms around me, and spoke through his interpreter, and said, "Brother Branham, I admire your courage to stand on your convictions." Said, "Stay with it, son." He's a man, military man; he knows what it means to give an order, and stand out there on the front line, "You stay at your post." That's what God wants His soldiers to do: stand at the post of duty regardless of what comes or goes. Stay there. Stay right there. So he said...
E-60 This virgin birth... I was down in Mexico there, and there was just all kinds of saints. That's where the little baby was raised up from the dead. You saw it in the Christian Business Men. I want to thank you for that compliment. God bless you. When the little baby... We wouldn't let it go just like that, until the doctor stated that the baby died that morning at nine o'clock. And this was about ten or eleven that night. And the little sister standing out there, a little Catholic girl with the baby in her arm, and three hundred ushers couldn't keep her off the platform.
E-61 Billy come to me, said, "Daddy, you'll have to do something about that"; said, "that--that's all there is to it." Said, "She ain't got no prayer card," said, "'cause I've looked." Said, "That brother, I don't know..."
Excuse me, Mexican people, but I called him "Manana, which means "tomorrow," See? He was supposed to come get me at seven o'clock and he come at nine--always about two or three hours late. He was bad as I am. And then, here he was; he was giving out prayer cards, and he was walking along with all of them, you know. And Billy watching him, to be sure that he didn't sell one, so--watching him, walking along... be careful... I sent him down there to do so. So he was decent about that.
E-62 So I'd got on the platform. The night before that there'd been an old Mexican brother come up. And the whole rack piled full of old clothes that night. Poor old Mexican, little old dirty feet, about eighty years old, stone-blind, old hat in his hands sewed up with twine cord, dust all over it. And he was going along there saying something in Spanish, and I couldn't understand him. And so, he was trying to get to me when he found out... He reached down in his pocket, and brought out a rosary and started... Not necessary. He was blind, and I pulled the old fellow up to me.
E-63 I thought... You know, you have to feel the person's condition, or you'll never help him. You've got to enter into their suffering. If you don't, just cold-heartedly it'll never work. You've got to place yourself as... I looked. He... I thought, "Poor old fellow, maybe a big gang of little children out here somewhere."
And their economics are very poor. That's right. Maybe Pancho gets thirty pesos a--a week, and he's a brick layer; and the other one gets fifteen pesos, Pedro, and he's a section hand. And--and he's got a bunch of kids to feed. And then, old greasy tortillas somewhere made out of ameba lettuce, and things they'd throwed away, but he's got to save so much to buy a grease candle to go on a million dollar altar for his sins. Nonsense. Christ is our Sacrifice. Christ is the One. We need no altars of million dollars. We need a open heart.
E-64 So that little old woman down there, Billy said... And first, about this old man. I put my foot up to see if my shoes... There I was standing there with pair of shoes on. He probably never had a pair. I thought, "If my shoes would fit him, I'll give them to him." Put my shoulders against his. He was much bigger, so I couldn't give him my clothes.
And I put my arm around him. I thought, "If my daddy would've lived, he'd have been about that age." And I said, "O, Lord God." Brother Espinosa (he's probably here somewhere), he never interprets the prayer. And I prayed, "Lord God..." And I heard him holler, "Gloria a Dios." And he looked around. He could see better than I could. He was--could see. And there he went screaming.
E-65 And the next night, old shawls and coats piled up like that all over the platform. And Billy said to me; he said, "Daddy, you cannot keep that woman off there." He said, "She's got a dead baby." Pouring down rain, and they'd been standing there. No place to set down--that big place, no place to set down, just leaning against one another since nine o'clock that morning. And this was about ten-thirty that night, standing in that sun and rain. (Oh, America, America, how one day you'll come up on the little end of the horn unless they repent. That's right.) Loving God... That night I saw about twenty-five thousand people coming to Christ at one time there at Mexico City.
E-66 Then I noticing this little woman, down there screaming. The ushers would try to stop her. She'd stick that baby under her arm and run right between their legs. They'd try to hold her. She'd jump up on top of them, climb over them, scratching, fighting, everything to get up there. And they said, "You can't get up," holding her back.
So I said to Brother Jack Moore (I was wondering if he was at the convention); I said, "Brother Jack, go over there and pray for her. She don't know me. So pray for that baby, and that'll stop her." And I turned back. I was like this, turned to look. And I saw in a vision, right here in front of me, a little dark-skinned Mexican baby, no teeth, grinning at me. I waited a minute. I backed away. I looked again. I said, "Wait a minute (paradox); bring her here." The ushers opened up the line.
E-67 She come up there, and fell down, begin to holler, "Padre."
I said, "Just a minute. Get up." I said, "Heavenly Father, I don't know what that meant, but under this blanket (and it soaking wet) is a little dead baby. They said it died this morning at nine o'clock. And this little woman's heart is a longing. That's her baby. I lay my hands in obedience to that vision." About that time the baby went "Whaaa," and he screamed, and begin to holler: come to life. It was a paradox.
I said, "Brother Espinosa, don't write that down. Go to the doctor and get a signed statement that baby died." And he did. See? Paradox. I've seen that happen five times now: five times, paradox.
E-68 The virgin birth was a paradox. I do not believe that Jesus was any part of Mary. That was not His mother. It was a woman that God used for that purpose, a incubator to bear His Child. If Mary... If the seed of the woman, which, she is the egg and the man has the hemoglobin... If that's right, doctor, and (See?) the--the blood. The life lays in the blood cell.
And a hen can lay an egg. But if she hasn't been with the male bird, it'll never hatch. I've often said this, and I say it again: It's coming springtime. The birds will all be building their nests. An old mother bird can get on her nest and shuffle them eggs, and stay on there so loyal until she nearly starves to death. She gets so poor she can't fly off the nest. Them eggs will never hatch, if she hasn't been with the mate.
E-69 Now, brother, nothing wrong with Episcopalians, Methodists, or Baptists. But what have we got? As long as it's an organization... Let it be Pentecostal--if those people hasn't contacted the Mate, Jesus Christ, you got nothing but a nest full of rotten eggs. They'll lay right there and rot. I don't care how many Ph.D's, LL.D's, double L.D's, or whatevermore you put to them in seminaries, that's only of the world. We've got to find the germ of Life, God's spoken Eternal Life. "Except a man be borned again..."
What you got? You make deacons out of them, bishops, and everything else. You got nothing but a bunch of rotten eggs. The only thing to do is clean out the nest and start over again. Right. It'll never be able to do it until we get started. You want a paradox? You want Life? You have to bring Life into it. That's right.
E-70 Mary... If that baby's body (which the flesh comes from the egg), and if that baby's body was flesh of Mary, then what? Then Mary had to have some kind of a sensation. You see where you put God doing? God created both egg and blood cell. And He wasn't Jew; neither was He Gentile. He was God, God in the form of sinful flesh. That's the reason "I'll not see--let My Holy One see corruption, neither leave His soul in hell." He was the manifestation: God, to come into a tabernacle that He created Himself. Jesus never did in all the Scripture call her mother. He called her "woman"; not mother, "woman".
Said, "Thy mother's outside seeking Thee."
He said, "Who is My mother?" Looked at His disciples, said, "The one that does the will of My Father is my mother." That's right. So you see, it was completely virgin birth, both sides, virgin birth. A paradox cannot be explained. There's nothing can explain it.
E-71 Here some time ago I was in the mountains hunting. There was a big old, tall fellow by the name Gevrez, G-e-v-r-e-z, a Frenchman. We was riding back, and I'd just met him. And he said, "What are you?"
I said, "I'm a preacher."
He said, "You look too intelligent for that."
And I--I said, "Well, I... that's just opinion."
And he said, "I guess you believe that that baby was--was virgin born."
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "Sir, that's against all scientific rules."
I said, "You can't prove God by science. You have to believe Him. You don't prove God; you accept it. You believe it. If you can prove it, it is no more faith. Then it's something you can explain. God cannot be explained."
Then rode a little farther, and he said, "I don't believe, and there's nothing in the world can make me believe." Said, "Joseph was the father of that baby."
I said, "God was the father of that baby."
Said, "There is no such a thing."
And I said, "Oh, nonsense."
He said, "Look, Mr. Branham." He said, "Before you can raise corn, before you can raise a tree, or anything, there has to be an actual contact to male and female before it can do." Said, "You cannot do that. It can't reproduce without actual contact."
I said, "I want to ask you something then. You told me that man come from the (teaching the ethics of Darwin), that man came from a single cell which was a little jellyfish or something that turned into a sponge, then a jellyfish, and then growed out, and growed a little wart, and a arm come, and so forth--all like that.'" I said, "Then you claim that that was the first man?"
He said, "I believe it."
I said, "My faith's not that strong, sir." I said, "I couldn't believe that. I just believe what God said about it, see: that He made man in His Own image." And I said, "I want to ask you something then. If... You'll admit that this woman could've had the baby, but she had to have actually contact with a man?"
He said, "Yes, sir. It's against all scientific rule."
I said, "Then I want to ask you something." (You know, mama always told me, "Give a cow enough rope, it'll hang itself.") And I said, "I want to ask you something then. Where did the first man come from that had neither father nor mother? Where would that come from?" He hasn't answered me yet. There's no answer to it. God created the first man. God is the Creator. It's a paradox.
E-72 I got to hurry, friends, very much hurry. Oh, my. How does those... Where does all the time go to? I want to meet you all over yonder where I can just stay for a million years with each one of you. We'll talk about these things.
E-73 Notice. One time there was a--a man (Oral Roberts talked about him the other night), Samson, just an ordinary man. I'm going to go more ridiculous than him. He was not just an ordinary man. He was just a little bitty, old shrimp, little bitty guy. If a man had shoulders like a barn door, it wouldn't be nothing to see him kill a lion. But this little old curly-headed shrimp, seven little curls hanging down his head... And he was walking along out here, mama's little boy. And here he was walking out like a little sissy.
And the first thing you know, a thousand Philistines run upon him. Now, if you ever seen the Philistine garment (wished I had time to explain it) but that helmet is about a inch and a half thick of solid brass over his head. Now, remember, they could temper brass in those days, that we can't today, 'cause Solomon had a razor was brass. Now, notice. The brass helmet, and all over his body was thick wrapped brass, so he could move in his armor.
A thousand of them trained, and here they met the servant of the Lord out there, a little curly-headed shrimp, probably a little jacket on. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he picked up the jawbone of a mule, and beat down a thousand Philistines. Yes.
E-74 Why, brother, that old rotten jawbone of that mule... You'd hit one of them big brass helmets with it, why, it would've splattered in a thousand pieces. Sure. But it was a paradox. God was on that old jawbone. Hallelujah. If He can get on a dead one, surely He can get on ours that's alive. Notice. A paradox, it was indeed. And he took that jawbone and beat the helmets right down like that, till they mashed down a thousand Philistines: paradox.
E-75 Jesus, when He was here on earth, He walked on the water. Explain that to me. Scientifically tell me how a man can walk on water: paradox. One day He took five biscuits and two fish and fed five thousand. What kind of a atom did He turn loose? Now, that wasn't even fish alive. When He broke that bread, broke it off of a piece of biscuit... When He handed it out, time He got his hand back again, there was another biscuit there, already raised, the wheat in the field, already cooked, all the grease in it (See?), seasoned. Here was a piece of fish, He broke it off, and another piece of cooked fish. Amen. Hallelujah.
That element is given to us, if we'll just abide in the Word. Stay there. I believe we're on the verge of seeing it happen. Live true to the Word. There you are. He had cooked fish. That was a paradox.
E-76 It was a paradox when He went to choose His church, that He chose fishermen instead of priests. That's contrary to nature. Look like He'd had a great big church, with all bunch of ministers all shined up and polished up, and knows their theology, and got all their Ph.D's, and everything. That's where He come to. But He just bypassed the whole bunch, went down and got some fishermen that couldn't even sign their own name. The Bible said that Peter and John was ignorant and unlearned. That's who He got for His church. That's a paradox. Certainly. Yes, sir. He chose fishermen, instead of men--instead of priests.
E-77 Now, we find out that on the day of Pentecost... It's strange that He chose a bunch of unlearned people, and sent them up there with a commission at Pentecost--not to go to some seminary, but to wait until they was endued with power from on high. If that man Peter, and John and them, wanted to preach and they were ignorant and unlearned, look like He'd said, "Boys, there's a fine school right over here. You go till you learn your ABC's. Then after you do that, you'll take your grammar school. Get it all, that through. Then you'll take four years of high school, then four years of college, and then about four or five years of Bible School. Then you can go out."
But He said, "Wait in the city of Jerusalem, for I'm going to send the promise of the Father upon you. And then you'll be witnesses of Me (Luke 24:49), witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth." That's still His requirement.
E-78 You know, I've had some experience (I'll hurry) with pagans, pagan religions, idols. I've been in Africa, India. I've seen the fire-walkers when they was standing up there with a great big old image there, with big eyes (rubies) like that, and big rubies in the ears. And how those poor people... They're not hypocrites.
Farmers come out there, and they get ready for that. The priest blesses them, pours the holy water on them. And--and they take big fishhooks with balls, about that big around full of water, and just hook their flesh full of them, doing sacrifice to an idol. Then they take, put them in their ears, sew their mouth together, put a lance up through there. If they've lied, put their nose and mouth together and pull it down. And then walk through fire, a strip four or five feet wide, thirty feet deep sometimes, all the way across for thirty yards, through that fire, getting themselves ready for that, for an idol. Now, idolatry is a bad thing.
E-79 Now, let me just background this just a moment, 'cause I'm just going to... A few more remarks, then I'm going to close. But I want to make this. You see, it was... It's going to be a paradox.
The pagan, the idolater... Now, the Indians out here, here in the southwest, they used to worship idols. They had what they called the rain god. It was a mud turtle. They knowed he lived down in the rain, and down in the earth, and they believed that that god of the rain come into that mud turtle.
Now, in the old pagan Rome they used to have Jupiter, and many of the gods. And they say that those gods live. And they had wars. You've studied mythology, and so forth. So these gods was supposed to...?...
E-80 How they did it, they had a great big altar, and this statue stood upon it. And the worshipper come in, and he paid the priest for a candle. And they took... And he went down to the temple. Sometimes there was several gods. And he set it on the altar so, (I guess), the god could find his way to his right image. And they set it down there and lit this candle.
Then the worshipper went and got... The priest got some fruit ready, and made a sacrifice, and brought wine. And he actually had communion with the idol. Then he prostrated himself before the idol. And he laid there in such a stupor until the imaginary god (that looked like the image that he had built) come and got into that idol and talked back to him through that idol. That's idolatry.
The imaginary god, what they thought, through an idol, that he was able to hypnotize this god with his offering and his burning candle, into this god. And then, when his soul got so entangled with that... You see where it's the devil? See? And he--and he would think that god spoke back to his conscience through there, and it was actually a god to him.
E-81 Now, God was going to show them what a real God was. And on the day of Pentecost... They prostrated themselves for ten days. And not an imaginary, but there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were setting. And God never took an idol. He took a living man, and placed Hisself by the baptism of the Holy Ghost into this man: not imaginary god, not imaginary thing, but a reality of a real God in a real man. And then this man rose up, and worked the works of God.
Strange that He did that. Strange that He didn't take some smart men that knowed something about that. They'd try to figure it out. But He took a bunch of ignorant fishermen and put them up there. And they prostrated themselves on a promise of God for ten days and nights. Then the God of heaven came and dwelt in those men.
E-82 Jesus said, "A little while and the world won't see Me no more; yet ye shall see Me for I will be with you, even in you." John 14:12, He said the... "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also. More than this shall he do 'cause I go to My Father." That's the reason He said in Mark 16, "These signs shall follow them that believe." It was a living God in a man that could lay hisself out before God, according to the Word of God; and the Word of God would be made manifest in Him. Amen. It's--it's a paradox.
E-83 Every time you see a man receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, it's a paradox, how the God of heaven makes Hisself known in this man, talking through him, working through him, living through him. It's a paradox. And we are in the image of God, and God took His own images and brought Himself into the image of His own image that He made. A paradox.
E-84 God once lived in man, then sin drove Him away. And then God killed His own Son, and then let God come back and live in His people again. Yes, sir. It's a paradox. It's a strange thing how that He does it. The church... God chose His church to be a paradox. How that He took, instead of the polished scholars, and making that a church, the theologians, He took a bunch of ignorant, unlearned fishermen. And He give the keys to the Kingdom not to Caiaphas, the high priest, learned. What did He do? He gave it to the ignorant fishermen. Not a man who knowed all the ins-and-outs, He gave it to a man that had prostrated himself before Him and knowed Him. Now, you know, not to know His Book is Life; but to know Him is Life. And the keys was given to Peter. Paradox, that He'd do that, instead of Caiaphas, the smartest man in the--in the religious realm. He gave it to Peter.
E-85 Now, you believe in paradox? An old druggist told me not long ago; he said, "Brother Branham, one day during the time of the depression," said, "son and I were setting in the drugstore." And said, "Oh, it was hard." And said, "A--a woman come in that was to be mother. She had a prescription to be filled." And said, "My son went up to wait on her, her and her husband." And said, "When he looked at the prescription," he said... She said, 'I don't have the money to pay for this.' And he said, 'Right over there is the place where your... The county will--will get it for you.'"
And said, "Her and her husband turned gently to go out, to see if the county would fill the prescription." Said, "Something struck me. 'Don't let that mother...' Said, 'She ain't hardly able to stand on her feet, let alone have to stand in that line there for hours to get that prescription filled.'"
Said, "Son, go call her, bring her back."
E-86 Said, "He went and called her, and brought her back." Said, "I went back there and filled the prescription with the very best drugs that I knowed that I had in the store." And said, "I walked it up, took it in my hand, and laid it in the hands of that woman." He said, "Brother Branham..." We was setting drinking a malt together, the old druggist, a real man of God. He said, "You know what?" He said, "You may think I'm crazy when I say this," but said, "when I laid that in her hand, I looked. It was Jesus standing there. I had put it in Jesus' hand." Yes. A paradox.
E-87 The great St. Martin, he was a heathen--his father was. He wanted to serve God. There was a law in France at that time that if the father was a military man, the son had to serve till he was of age. Listen close. And when they drafted him in the army, he had a servant. And of course, every soldier had a servant. And instead of the servant shining his boots, he shined the servant's boots. He was a great man. He loved God.
What taken place? One night, cold winter night, the winds blowing, people freezing to death that hard winter, when he passed through the gate, there laid a old bum laying there, saying, "Please, somebody help me. Somebody help me. Somebody..." And people who could've helped him passed him on by.
E-88 Martin had give everything he had away. And he looked... The soldiers wore a cape, a coat. He needed a coat. He'd freeze himself. So he took his coat off, took his sword and split it half in two, wrapped the bum up in part of it; he took the rest. The people laughed at him. "What a funny looking soldier, with a half of a cape on."
But that night in the barracks, he woke up. And when he looked, there stood Jesus wrapped in that piece of garment. There stood Angels all around Him, and He said to the Angels, "You know who wrapped Me in this?" Said, "Martin wrapped me in this." Then Martin knew what Jesus meant when He said, "Insomuch as you do unto the least of my little ones, you have done it unto me." When he wrapped that old bum, he wrapped Jesus up, for Jesus was in that old bum. So we don't know who we're passing by. It was a paradox. I believe in them with all my heart.
E-89 If we just humble ourselves now before God, believe with all of our heart... Here sometime ago, a great intellectual man come up before a bunch of Pentecostals. He was going to make a Pentecost--a intellectual speech and tell the people where they were wrong, and all about this, and such and such. And he had it all--a real speech. But he walked up with his chest out, you know, and "Me, the big guy, with so many degrees," and so forth like that.
And he started talking to Pentecostal people, and the Pentecostal people didn't take it. See? So he seen he was defeated, so he--he folded up his notes. Nothing had been said about the intellectual speech, but trying to say that the Pentecostal phenomenon of speaking in tongues was wrong, the Pentecostal miracles they was talking about was wrong; that didn't hit with them people. So he was so humiliated till he took his textbook and walked off the platform.
There was an old saint setting out there. He said, "You know what? If that man would've went up the way he come down, he'd have probably come down the way he went up." So that's--that's about right. See? See, humility--to humble ourselves before the Lord.
E-90 It really is a paradox. God is a paradox. The visions are a paradox. We just can't explain them. How that God can show things that was, which is, and shall come, it--it's beyond any of our research. The old prophets' visions back yonder hundreds of years ago and we see them happening yet today. It is a paradox.
It was a paradox, when Andrew went and got Peter (His name was Simon then.), brought him up before Jesus, and told him, said, "You know, our daddy told us there'd be all kinds of isms going on before the real Messiah come. But he told us, according to the Scripture, that Messiah was to be a prophet. 'The Lord your God shall raise up a prophet unto--liken unto me.' Now, the Messiah is going to be a prophet." The Jews all believed that.
E-91 The Bible said, "If there be a man among you who's spiritual or a prophet, I, the Lord will make myself known unto him in visions. And what he says come to pass, then hear him." Right.
So when Andrew took Peter up there, and He looked around to Peter, Jesus did, and said, "Your name is Simon, and your father is Jonas," Peter knew right then that that was a paradox, that God was... Absolutely the only one that knowed him and his old father would have to be God.
E-92 When Philip went down and got Nathanael, and brought Nathanael back up before Jesus, and he come in the Presence of Jesus, and Jesus said, "Behold an Israelite in whom there's no guile," that stunted him.
He said, "How did You know me, Rabbi?"
(Listen.) "Before Philip called you when you were under the tree, I saw you." What eyes, fifteen miles around the mountain. He saw through the mountain, through time, and saw Philip under the tree.
E-93 When the woman at the well at Sychar came out there--a beautiful young woman, perhaps, to get some water. Maybe the... She had to come out when the rest of the decent women was gone. Jesus was setting over, a little panoramic something like this. And so, she said...
He said to her, "Woman, bring Me a drink."
She said, "It's not customary. We have segregation here. You Samaritans, us Jews, we have no dealings with one another. Not right for You to ask me, a woman of Samaria, such a question."
He said, "But if you knew Who you were talking to, you'd ask Me for a drink."
She went to talking about the well, how deep it was, and what the fathers had said, and so forth. What happened? In a few minutes He--she said...
He found her trouble. He said, "Go, get your husband and come here."
She said, "I don't have any husband."
Said, "You've said the truth. You've got five husbands--had five. And the one you're living with now is not your husband."
E-94 What did she say? Listen. When He did that before the Jews, the Jews said He's reading their mind. He's Beelzebub, fortuneteller, a devil. But this woman said, "Sir, I perceive that You're a prophet. We know when the Messiah comes, He will do these things." It was a paradox. You see? "We know that You must be a prophet. Messiah will do this when H comes. But Who are You?"
He said, "I'm He that speaks to you."
She knew that was God. She knew that was the sign of the Messiah. So she hurries into the city and said, "Come see a Man Who told me to--my troubles. Isn't that the very Messiah?" And the people of the city believed on Jesus for the woman's saying.
Now. I believe the same God that performed paradox then, can make a paradox right now. Do you believe it? Amen. The Bible said, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Just bear with me a minute longer.
E-95 Before He left the world, He said, "As it was in the days of Sodom, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man." Sodom... Remember, Abraham's seed had... Abraham had come along and seen all these things of God. But the last vision, the last thing that Abraham seen just before the lukewarm world was destroyed... Now, remember, as I've always said, there's three classes of people: the unbeliever, the make-believer, and the believer. They're all vindicated. They was all vindicated right there: the Sodomites, like the world today; the lukewarm believer, down among them, living in their muck; and then Abraham, the elected church, called out and set aside.
E-96 Angel came down from heaven. Two of Them went down and preached in Sodom. They didn't do no miracles. They blinded them one night. Preaching the Gospel does blind the unbeliever. A modern Billy Graham out amongst the Sodomites out there, laying away. I believe Billy Graham's a man of God. And he's out there preaching his message of repentance, and "Get out of this Sodom." That was the message they heard.
But remember, this one Angel didn't go down there. But the other Angel that was sent to the church elect, He set--He was a man, eating flesh, drinking milk, and He had set with His back turned to the tent. Called Abraham his name, that had just been given him by God a few days before that, and Sarah the same way. Said, "Where is your wife, Sarah?"
Said, "She's in the tent behind You."
He said, "I'm going to visit you according to the time of life."
And Sarah laugh at... "Me? an old woman have pleasure with my lord?"
What did He say? "Why did Sarah laugh?" And Sarah come out and tried to deny it. What? He knew what she was doing back there. That's the same thing Jesus did. He perceived their thoughts. Why? He was the Word. Hebrews 4 said, "The Word of God's sharper than a two-edged sword, a discerner of the thoughts of the heart, the mind." The Word, Jesus was the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us." Now, "If ye abide in Me, and My Word in you..." What about that? Did God lie? He can't lie. He can't lie; He's God. Do you believe it? I believe it. Let's bow our heads just a moment. May God be merciful.
E-97 Stop just a minute. The first paradox was when you was saved. The next paradox was when He gave you the Holy Ghost. Now, let me ask you something. If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever... If I told you the spirit of John Dillinger was in me, you'd expect me to have guns, be an outlaw. If I told you the spirit of a painter was in me, you'd expect me to take the brush and paint pictures, like is on the wall. And if I tell you the Spirit of Christ is in me, then I'll do the works of Christ. That's exactly what He said. You believe that? If you believe it, don't doubt it, God will make it manifest.
E-98 Now, heavenly Father, I've spoken at length. And Thou art God. Now, the only thing I can do, Father, is speak; You are the One Who has to manifest it and make it true. And I pray Thee, Father, that Thou will grant this privilege to us, through Thy Son's Name, the Lord Jesus. Give to us that which we desire, that these people might know... Even rough, hard, tearing-in, yet it's ordained of You, not with malice but with love to keep the church running smooth.
E-99 The Bible said there are given to us first apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, all for the correction of the church, to keep the church in order. Sometimes our pastors tells us things that--it trims us. But God vindicates it by the man with the Word, proves it. And You're still God. And I pray that You'll make it known this evening that You're God, and these things I have done at Your command. These things I have done not within myself, but because that the Holy Spirit was leading me. I pray for mercy. I pray that You'll grant the requests of these people, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
E-100 Now, just keep your heads down a minute and pray, have faith. If you will believe and not doubt, just believe with all your heart. If you believe that God will do the exceedingly abundantly, I believe God will make Himself known.
I don't know a person in this building as far as know. I heard Brother Fred Sothmann saying, "Amen," while I was preaching. Outside of that, I won't count the platform, 'cause I know some of the men here, but in the audience... But if Jesus Christ, if He is alive, and risen from the dead, and you people have a need out there, He's here to supply that. You believe that? Just keep praying. "If thou canst believe..."
E-101 Now, how many in here that's never been in one of my meetings? Let's see your hands up...?... Many of you. I'm a man just like any other man. But I believe in Jesus Christ, believe that He raised from the dead. I believe that He is God. He's God in us now in the form of the Holy Ghost. And He said, "The works that I do shall you also." Now, to talk about it is one thing, but for Him to do it is another. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible."
Now, I want you to raise your heads just a minute. How many sick people's in the building? Raise up your hands. How many people's got someone sick that you could pray for? Raise your hand: sinner, whatever it might be.
E-102 Now, there's a little woman one time touched the border of Jesus' garment and was made completely whole. He passed by, and all the people were touching Him, and--and He said... This little woman slipped through, and touched Him, touched His garment. He turned around and told her... Said, "Somebody touched Me."
Everybody... Peter rebuked him. "Oh, You know a thing like that..." He said, "The whole crowd's touching You. How could You do... How'd You know who touched You? All of them's touching You. Who touched..."
But he said, "But I perceive that I--virtue's gone out. I got weak." And the little woman that touched Him... He looked around in the audience till He found her. And when He did, He told her what her trouble was, and her faith had healed her.
E-103 You believe that same God lives? Would it help your faith if He'd come today and do the same thing? What about you businessmen? You believe? You believe it? Will you pray for me? I'm not sure of this, friends. I never had a meeting like this of--amongst the Business Men here. I'm trusting. Be alert. Pray.
Now, the Word--the Word... If I've told the truth, and if God vindicates that truth, He will show us signs and wonders. He will show it Biblely, just what the Bible says. It'll have to be that kind of a sign and a wonder. Do you believe that?
E-104 If He will at least... Two or three people out there in the audience that's sick, or needy, or something, if you'll just pray. Now, look. If you'll look to God and say, "Lord Jesus, Brother Branham don't know me, knows nothing about me. But he's made a declaration, and I've heard him explain it out of the Bible, that You still live. And I heard him praying that You'd show us something just like You did before You was crucified. Therefore we'll... The great Holy Spirit that we believe we have, it'll prove itself, that it's God." Is that right? Prove it among us.
Now, you pray, and just believe now, and say, "Lord..." Now, does the Bible say this, ministers? All you preachers that believe this, look. "Jesus Christ is a High Priest right now, setting at the right hand of the majesty of God (Is that right?), a High Priest that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities." Is that right? How many knows that's New Testament doctrine--New Testament doctrine. All right.
E-105 Then how would that High Priest act, if you touched Him? If He's the same, He'd act the same way, like that woman that touched Him. You say, "I'd have been there, I would've touched Him." You can touch Him right now. The Bible said so, and that's what I believe, is the Bible. You believe it, all your heart; don't doubt it. Anywhere in the building...
Now, be real reverent. Just as reverent... I don't say God will do it. I don't know. How many ever seen that picture of the Angel of the Lord? Oh, sure. We got it. See? I had that in the notes this afternoon, not time for it.
E-106 Just be praying. Now, Lord, this is... If You desire it, Lord don't let me tempt You. Father, never do I want to be a tempter of God. But, Father God, if it will glorify You, then let the people know that I've told them the truth. Speak that I've told them the truth. Grant it, Lord. I spoke of You the best I knowed how, Your Word. That's the Word. I stayed right with it, Lord, regardless of where it went, how it... whatever, I stayed with the Word. Now, Father, I pray Thee, speak back that I've told the truth. Vindicate it, Father, in Jesus' Name.
E-107 Just keep praying, saying, "Lord Jesus, I believe that. I believe it." I don't know, friends. It'll be up to the Lord now. See? I can't feel it, somehow. And I'm--I'm just like this microphone, a perfect mute, without something speaks through me. But that's a gift, a way to relax myself in the Presence of God, that He will show me visions. I trust that He would do it when I got down on those paradox. But maybe He doesn't desire to do it. If it is, I can't help that...?... I just have to wait and see what He says.
Just real quietly, everybody praying. I'm just watching across the audience. [Someone speaks with tongues--Ed.]
Still small voice, keep reverent. All right. You can raise your head. He's here. Now, I challenge any unbeliever. Now speak or forever hold your peace. You just only believe that... Anything now, seek God, and see if God won't answer back that it's the truth. [Someone speaks in tongues and interprets--Ed.]
E-108 Be real reverent. I want you to turn your head. A little lady setting right over here, she's suffering with a bronchitis condition in her throat. She comes from Flagstaff. If you will believe with all your heart, you can have what you ask for. Do you believe it, sister? Rise up on your feet and accept your healing then.
Now, let me repeat her prayer. She was saying, "Lord, I'm suffering so. Let Brother Branham speak to me." Wave your hand if those things--if you was praying for--for me to call you at that time? When I called you, you was praying for that. Is that right? Wave your hand like this, if it's the truth. Are we strangers to one another? Wave your hand back again. I don't know you. If that's true, wave your hand back again. All right. What did she touch?
E-109 There's a lady setting right out here that's praying for a friend that's got cancer. You believe with all your heart? God will answer your prayer. See a person, a man, very, very sick. If you'll believe it with all your heart (I'm looking into a vision.), God bless you, you can have it. I don't know the woman, never seen her. If that's right... The lady setting right through here, I'm looking at her. There you are. Wasn't you setting there praying, "Lord Jesus, let this..."? God bless you.
Somebody pray. Here--here's a--a person setting right in here. Don't you see that Light? Right over the top of a little gray-headed woman setting right down here, yes, the lady that raised her hand. She has diabetes. She is not a native here. She's from a mountain country: Switzerland. There's a whole group of you there from Switzerland. That's right. Believe, and you can go back home and be well. You believe?
E-110 Back in here, you people, here--here sets a lady setting right here. I never seen her in my life. But she's suffering with a trouble with her throat, trouble with her eyes; she setting right here looking at me. She's a woman preacher. Stand up on your feet and accept it, lady. Be made well. I don't know the woman, never seen her in my life.
You try to hide your sin now. Here's a man. He's been passing his opinion of me. That's right, sir. Your profession is a teacher. And you have spiritual problems you're wondering about. If that's so, raise up your hand. They'll all be settled. You accept me as God's prophet. I'm telling you the truth. THUS SAITH THE LORD.
E-111 Do you believe? Here's a lady setting right back here. She's suffering with a condition on her breast. She's had three operations. She's missing it. Let... God help me. Miss Alexandra, receive your healing in the Name of the Lord Jesus. If that's your name, and that--we're strangers, stand on your feet. Stand up on your feet, if that's right. I never seen the woman in my life.
Do you believe it? If that isn't the same Jesus that once lived, I don't know; I'm a man. Do you believe? Receive Him.
Here. There's a woman setting right down here: don't know her, never seen her. She's a nurse, and she's praying for her patient. Patient's suffering with a mental disorder. We're strangers to one another, aren't we? If God will tell me who you are, will it help you? Will it help the audience? Here's my hand. I never seen the woman in my life. If we're strangers, raise your hands, lady. You're Mrs. Brandon. THUS SAITH THE LORD.
E-112 Do you believe, all of you? Is that a paradox? Why, He's still God. The Holy Ghost is all around here now. Do you believe it? Now, the words that I've said's true. God's confirmed it.
Now, do you believe God with all your heart? Then put your hands on one another. Start praying to get the baptism of the Holy Ghost. How could you be any closer to Jesus Christ than you are right now? Lay your hands over on one another and pray the way you do in your own church, that God will fill you with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and you will see a paradox like you've never seen before. Believe it. God will show you a real paradox.
O, Lord God, hear this prayer of Your servant, and may the devil turn this audience loose right now, through the power and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen.