Explaining the Ministry
E-1 I haven't got no business up here, taking up Brother Brown's time and others. But I do appreciate the opportunity to be at Phoenix, and--and it's... No way for me to express how I feel towards the people here in Phoenix, that's gathered in (like I do people everywhere), and the fellowship that we have had this week--or last week, rather, among those churches out there.
I got to visit ten different churches, three or four different organizations. And the fellowship among the brethren certainly was tremendous. I remember when Brother Williams came by. I believe he was just coming down from Mayo's, and we had some time together.
Now, speaking of this convention... And I've spoke many times with the Business Men. Someone said one time to me, said, "Hey, you're a preacher. What business you got with a businessman?"
I said, "I am a businessman."
And said, "What kind of a business are you in?"
I said, "Insurance--assurance. Life insurance." If anybody's interested in a policy, I'd like to talk it over with you after the service.
E-2 An insurance agent, one time he come to my house. And we were good friends together, went to school. His name is Wilbur Snyder; he may be setting here tonight. So he said to me; he said, "Billy, I would like to interest you in an insurance policy."
Well, I had a little funny feeling about it. And I... Not about him, but just that insuring my life. It's already insured. So I said, "Wilbur," I said, "I don't have any insurance like that, I don't think." I said, "I have one policy," and I said, "I believe that'll be enough."
And he said, "Oh, you already have insurance, Billy?"
And I said, "Yes, uh-huh."
And my wife looked around at me as if to say, "What's happened to him?"
And said, "Have a... What kind of insurance do you have, Billy?"
I said, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine."
And he said, "Billy, that won't put you up here in the graveyard."
I said, "It'll get me out. I'm not worried about getting there. I'm never worried about getting there. I'll be there. It's just getting out."
So this policy that I speak of... So I'm a businessman. So happy to be affiliated with these people who have--is carrying the same policy; Eternal Life insurance.
E-3 And now, yesterday was the first time I ever tried to see that the Holy Spirit would speak in one of these conventions. And I will tell you, why, we're there just relaxed, and shouting, and carrying on with the rest of them, having a good time. And it's kind of hard then. Usually in services like that, I don't eat maybe for a day or two, come in to the service and stand there. It is a mysterious thing, yet, I know it comes from God. I'm assured of that, that it comes from God.
E-4 As a little boy, when I was first born... You've read my story, how that Light was hanging over the little bed where I was born. My mother, father, they knowed nothing of what it was. And later, when I was just a little fellow, It spoke to me, and said, "Don't never drink, (It just... ) or smoke, or defile yourself in any way. There's a work to do when you get older." It went on.
And my people thought maybe... When visions first started breaking before me, why, I'd go tell my mother, "You know, I--I saw a certain-certain thing happen."
She'd say, "Billy, you went to sleep."
"No, mother, I did not go to sleep." And we'd find out it happened just exactly that way.
E-5 And my Christian friends, we never know what time is our last meeting. If we meet here next year (I hope we do), but there's no doubt some of us won't be here; we'll have to go on before next year. In a group of this many people, where there's sickness, and elderly people, and so forth... And we've all got to meet our testimony again there. So we must be sincere.
I appreciated what Brother Ford said a few moments ago. There's only one thing that's right, and that's God's Word. That's exactly right. Stay right with That. Then, "If ye abide in Me, My words in you, then ask what you will."
E-6 Now, here's the way it's always seemed to me, friends: that if God ever was God, He's still God. And if He doesn't keep His Word, then there's nothing to It.
Like a young fellow one time went away to a college to learn to be a minister. And while he was gone, the mother fell violently sick. And she sent to the college to have the boy to return back home, because they thought the mother was going to die. And then the next morning, another telegram comes, said, "She's all right."
About a year later, the boy visited home. He said, "Mother, I would like to know what the doctor did for you, and who the doctor was. That was the quickest case of pneumonia I ever knowed of being made well."
And she said, "Oh, son," said, "It--it wasn't a doctor." And said, "Again, it was a doctor."
Said, "What was his name?"
Said, "Dr. Jesus."
He said, "Why, you mean Jesus, the Christ?"
E-7 Said, "Yes." Said, "You know where that little bunch of people down there on the side of the street, that's got that little mission?"
Said, "They were holding a meeting there one night. And they had a prayer meeting. And the doctor told me that I could not get well. I was done too far gone." And said, "They said they felt led to come up there and pray for me." And she said, "You know what, son?" Said, "Glory to God, Jesus healed me."
And so the boy said, "Mother, Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, ridiculous. Why, you even act like them. You shouldn't do that."
"Oh," she said, "but, son, it's right in the Bible." Said, "They read it to me right out of the Bible. Why, I said..."
"Mother," said, "you... that--that's not right. Those people are illiterate. They--they don't understand the Bible." Said, "We learned those things in the college." Said, "They don't underst..."
Said, "Son, wait just a minute. I marked it down." She went over and read Mark 16. "Lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."
"Oh," he said, "Mother, you understand that we learned in the college; Mark 16 from the 9th verse on is not even inspired."
She said, "Hallelujah. Hallelujah."
He said, "Mother, what's the matter with you?"
Said, "I was just thinking. If God could heal me with uninspired Word, what could He do with that's really inspired."
E-8 So Brother Ford, I believe It's all inspired. And that's what It's for.
I've almost left the field from service, because it's so tremendous around home. People come from everywhere. And there's nothing... I cannot manufacture a vision. It takes God to do that.
But let's... How many of you people ever seen that picture? They've taken it now many times. I guess there's hundreds in here that has it. That's come through Washington D.C., through the--the J. Edgar Hoover outfit, George J. Lacy of the FBI fingerprint and documents. It's been taken many times. It's a little Light, about so big around, amber light burning. And that's the One that always talked to me.
E-9 And let's just search back. If that isn't Scriptural, then leave it alone. If I ever say anything in your presence, as a doctrine or a teaching, that's not in the Bible, forget it, because it's not right. And if the--any angel (I don't care how real he looks, and how inspired he is), if he speaks contrary to the Word of God, leave him alone. He's not of God. Galatians 1:8 said, "An angel from heaven preach any other doctrine than this is, what already taught, let him be accursed." We don't--We don't take nothing but just what God...
E-10 Now, we find out that in the Bible, when God led the children of Israel across the wilderness... (Now, I'm not taking Brother Brown's time, I hope.) But when...
I know it's hard, setting under a strain. And a minister should be off in a room somewhere, and walk right before his congregation, out of the sweetness of God, and--and alone studying. And I know it's hard.
E-11 So when God led the children of Israel from Egypt... Remember the Angel of the Covenant was a Pillar of Fire. We all know that. That was the Angel of the Covenant. And we know that that was Jesus Christ. And we find out that Moses forsook Egypt, esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than that which Pharaoh could offer him in Egypt.
We find out when this Angel was made manifest, that He was the Son of God. He stood on the earth. We know the works that He did when He was here on earth. We find out that His--He was to be the Messiah, and the Messiah had a sign that would follow the Messiah. And that was the sign of the prophet, as Israel was always taught to believe their prophets. When He was here, He said, "I come from God, and I go to God."
E-12 After His death, burial, and resurrection, Paul was on his road down to Damascus. And on his road down, he was stricken down by a Light, Pillar of Fire. Now, remember, first it was a Pillar of Fire, then was made flesh, then returned back to God. And now, here Paul sees it. None of the rest of them saw it: just Paul.
You know, you can see things many times that others don't have nothing--can't see it at all. Those soldiers, or ever who was it was, temple guards that were with Paul, did not see that Light. But it was so real to Paul till It put his eyes out. And Paul cried out, said... he said... First, the voice said from the Pillar of Fire, said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?"
And he said, "Who are You, Lord?"
And He said, "I'm Jesus, and it's hard for you to kick against the pricks." How many ever read that? Sure.
E-13 Then He had been in the Spirit, made manifest in flesh to take away sins, God; returned back to God, Spirit. And now, when they take this picture today, with us, the people of the Lord, and It's the same Pillar of Fire...
Now, the only way It can be proven that It's the same Pillar of Fire, It'll do the same works if It is the same Pillar of Fire, the Spirit of God. Jesus said, "A little while and the world seeth Me no more. Yet ye shall see Me, for I will be with you, even in you, to the end of the world." Hebrews 13:8 said, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Then if this Spirit doesn't produce the Life of Christ, then it isn't the Spirit of God.
E-14 Now, if I stood here with nail scars in my hand, and--and prints of--all over my head here with--from a crown of thorns, and told you that the Spirit of God was in me, that wouldn't make it so. My hands could be actually scarred. That wouldn't be an evidence. But when you can say that the Spirit of God is in us, then the works of God will be manifested through your life.
In other words, if a tree... if a vine... He's the Vine (St. John 15); we are the branches. Now, the vine does not bear fruit; it's the branches. But it gets its energy from the vine.
Now, Jesus doesn't have any hands on earth but yours and mine. He doesn't have any--or any mouth on earth but yours and mine. Then we become energized with the Spirit of Christ. And if the Life that's in the Vine is in the branch, the branch will produce the fruits that's in the Vine. Certainly. We know that--many times, hundreds of people, coming from everywhere, from all nations.
E-15 Now, before I set down, I'd like to say this. Many times people comes like this: There's a man in here somewhere tonight (supposedly). He come up home, not long ago--just to give you a little illustration. Brother Welch Evans, I suppose he's here. Are you here, Brother Evans? Raise up your hand if you are. Yeah, over here against the wall. He comes--drives about seven hundred miles one way, every Sunday, when I'm to speak at the Tabernacle. Right about fifteen hundred miles a trip on Sunday--start on Saturday, go gets back Monday or Tuesday.
E-16 He had a new station wagon. He brought it to Louisville. And they got a--had a great thieving ring in Louisville. And they'd--they'd steal cars, take them to Bowling Green, about a a hundred and eighteen miles below, run them into a paint shop, paint them, run them out. And you don't have to have a title to sell a car in Kentucky. They take the number off the block and make you a title. And, oh, it was a horrible ring. Mr. Evans, not knowing this, come in to the--to Miller's cafeteria, left his car open, went into the cafeteria; he come back out. His tape recorder, their clothes, their car and all, was gone. He and Brother Fred Sothmann...
E-17 And then, they consulted one another. They didn't know what to do, and they said, "Let's go up to Brother Branham." They come up there at the house.
I said, "Well, I don't know. We'll just pray."
Now, you might think this would be wrong. But getting down and praying, I cannot make it happen. God has to do it. I don't control it; it controls me. See?
Then I saw the car on the road, going towards Bowling Green. A young fellow was driving it. He was dressed with an overall jacket on, had a brown tie. I started praying just as the vision was. The man turned hisself around in the road. The man had been a Christian, and the Holy Spirit stopped him, turned him around, and I saw him where he parked the car. Told Mr. Evans, "Go to such and such a place, and you'll find your car there. And you just filled your tank up."
"It'll be about half empty, because he's drove about a hundred miles in it."
Mr. Evans turned around, went out of the place. I held him there for a while until the vision could be brought to pass. Mr. Evans, on his road out to Mr. Sothmann's. Right on the side of the street, coming from Louisville, all the way over to Jeffersonville, across the river, parked the car right in that place, and it was setting there with the keys in it, ready. Is that right, Mr. Evans?
See, prayer. I want to tell you, you don't have to see a vision. But just pray. See? The Holy Spirit convicted the man and turned him around.
E-18 The same thing happened down there, when this--in Mexico, about the little baby there, the little dead baby that night, the little mother I was telling you about. Its spirit had gone. Same thing our Lord did when He was here on earth, when the spirit of Lazarus was four days somewhere. But with the Holy Spirit, He turned the spirit of Eli--of Lazarus back.
Many times people come, of all kinds of things, and says--ask these different questions. Here, a few... Brother Fred Sothmann, I believe I see him standing there at the door. He had just...
One thing, you can see what I mean. We do not believe in taking a gift of God, and making a ouija board out of it. You shouldn't do that. Just in cases... And God won't work it like that. It takes Him to do it after all.
Some friends was coming to see him. The trailer was locked up. He had no--couldn't find the keys for two or three days. He was just frantic; the people was coming. He called. He said, "Brother Branham, one time the sons of Jesse was out hunting for some mules, and they couldn't find them. So they went down to Samuel, and asked where it was. And Samuel told them that the--the mules had already returned." He said, "Will you ask God about the keys?"
Said, "Go to your closet" (after prayer) "look in a little sweater that you was wearing a few days ago." And there was the keys. See, what is it? It means this one thing, friends: that God is still just as much God as He ever was. See? Now, we--we must cope with that. We must believe that. We must know that that is true.
E-19 But those gifts will only operate... And it cannot operate through an individual. It takes the faith of some other individual to operate that gift.
The woman that touched His garment... Why many of them was touching Him, but that woman's faith touched Him. And during the time of the faith touching Him, it was... She never exactly touched Him; she touched God. And that's what brought the results.
It's always that way. If your faith can touch Him, then that kind of a gift is just a--a discernment that God speaks back through an individual. So that you... Many of you raised your hands the first time you'd ever seen It. Now, Jesus promised that gift to return to the church before the end time.
E-20 I was talking to Brother Demas a few moments ago about a Scripture, that if you people only knew, and I trust that you do... When you see these fine brethren of the denominational churches; Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, coming in to get this, don't you know your Scripture, what happens then? Don't... I don't mean to scold when I stand up here and say things, but it's for your good.
Now, no more than I said that, the Holy Spirit begins to move right here now. How many ever seen that picture? When I meet you at the judgment bar, you see if this isn't right. That same Light isn't two feet from where I'm standing right now. That's right. What is it? It's the risen Lord that Paul met on the road down to Damascus. It produces His Life. I'd better set down.
E-21 How many really believes that with all your heart? I--I know you did. One of those visions makes you weaker than if you'd stand here and preach for three hours.
Jesus... When the Father wants to show a vision... Now, when Lazarus died, the Father had showed Jesus what was going to take place. Now, remember, John 5:19, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing in Himself, but what He sees the Father doing: that doeth the Son likewise." How many knows that that's the Scripture? Then Jesus Christ never did one thing until God showed Him first. Is that right? So it's not me says--does the works, it's My Father that dwelleth in me. Now, we know that to be true. It's always the Spirit of God.
E-22 Now, He seen a vision of Lazarus, and went on till He knowed that Lazarus was dead, and said so, and returned back. He never said one thing about getting weak. But a little woman with a blood issue touched His garment, and He said, "I perceive that virtue's gone out of Me."
Why? Listen, friends. Once was God using His gift with Lazarus; the next was the woman using God's gift by her faith. Do you understand? See, the woman, her... Jesus never said--turned around and said, "Well now, you know I've got power, so I healed you." He said, "Thy faith has saved thee. Thy faith..." Her faith did it.
E-23 I don't know how I could make it clearer to you, anymore than to say that--that that same God... Not here just with me. If He would just be with me and not with you, why it would never take place. It takes you and I together. You've got to have faith. I've got to have faith. And a gift is just like pulling into a--out of low gear into high gear. See, it's just knowing to shift the gear; that's the gift. It's still the same person, but shifting your soul into the Presence of God and just see what He will say.
Now, I know He's here. You believe it? Have faith. Trust God.
E-24 Yesterday it was hard. I couldn't hardly... It was my first time; I was a little nervous. I didn't know this was fixing to happen. But there's people right here now can be healed. How many sick people out there is actually in your heart will admit you're praying right now? Raise your hands. Sure.
Lady setting right over here. She's praying for her little girl. She's Mrs. Boggs. That hemorrhage, if you will believe that with all your heart, that'll stop. Do you believe it, Mrs. Boggs, that your child will be healed?
E-25 I see a Light hanging back here. It's over a man that's sure to die if he doesn't have faith. The reason of this, there was a woman yesterday that requested prayer for this man. He's got cancer on his face, and he's praying. Mr. Peterson is his name. If you will believe with all your heart, God will make you well. Will you accept it, sir? You will? Raise up to your feet. God bless you. The man... I never seen him in my life. I never heard of him, never knowed nothing about him. If--if we're strangers to one another, mister, ever who you are, raise your hand, if that's right.
You believe? Just pray. I challenge you in Jesus' Name. Just be reverent just a minute. Just pray. Everybody's praying. Just have faith.
E-26 I thought it was Florence, but it isn't. It's an older woman. It's your mother. I never seen her, as I know of, in my life. She's a stranger to me. But between me and you stands your mother. She's going blind, something wrong with her eyes, like cataracts in her eyes. You believe? Now, she's faded away. Now, Sister Shakarian, you know I don't know your parents, your people. I've never seen them.
E-27 There's a little lady setting right here. She's got spiritual problems she's praying over. She's kind of turning gray. God, don't let her miss it. She's praying for someone else too. She's not from here. She's from another city by the sea coast. She's from Los Angeles. Her name is Mrs. Pascoe. Stand up to your feet. You'll never be bothered no more. Your faith has saved you. God bless you.
Don't never doubt again. Don't never doubt again. He's here. THUS SAITH THE LORD.
E-28 I'm going to step out just a moment. I'll be right back. Just kind of gets me... It's just flying everywhere. You see? I'll be back in just in a minute... I'll be right back. [Brother Branham leaves the pulpit for a moment--Ed.]
The Lord said to me when I stepped back there, said, "Pray, pray." I--I know... Don't think I'm beside myself. I'm not. I know where I am. Now, if there's a critic that wants to criticize, now's your time to stand.
E-29 Little sister there from Long Beach, don't worry. It's all over now. Have faith.
Now, I want you just to put your hands on one another. God, Who says these things, knows all what's right. Surely. The Bible... A man can come and speak anything. It can be right or wrong. But when God confirms that it's right, then that's right. The Word of God is right. Everything else is wrong if it's contrary to the Word of God. The Word of God said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; if they lay their hands on the sick they shall recover."
Our heavenly Father, I'm only doing this at Your command, Lord. It seems like it's all out of order from the regular program. But when You moved there in the corner in the building, You said, "Go back, pray." I'm just doing what You told me to do, Lord.
E-30 I pray that the Holy Spirit, at this moment, will shake this audience in such a way that they'll realize that the living, risen Lord Jesus is in the midst of us tonight, moving over us, through us, in us.
Look, Lord, they have their hands on each other. And they have need of the Holy Ghost. They have need of healing, many troubles... Let the God Who just spoke in those visions, let the God that raised up His Son, Christ Jesus, and has presented Him to us in these last days, let Him come in the power of the resurrection and heal every person that's in Divine Presence. Make well every one, and fill with the Holy Ghost. Lord, I offer this prayer in obedience to Your wishes, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.