Letting off the pressure
1 Thank you, Brother Ruddell. I am so happy to know I got a son in the Gospel. Yeah? Well, fine; that's good. Yes, I certainly appreciate Brother Ruddell. And I--I believe Paul once had a son called Timothy. He called him his son in the Gospel.
And if I'm not sure, is this Flossy Ford, used to be? My goodness. Flossy, I... Been a long time. Yes, it has. I remember when I was a boy; her brother Lloyd and I used to run around together. And she used to bake big cakes, you know, and we'd come in up there and eat till we was just about sick. You know.
3 I remember one time they ask me come up, Lloyd did, and we... Flossy had baked... She was just a kid then. She baked a big cake, and--and we just eat till we couldn't eat. And I thought, "Now, I'm going to stay all night with Lloyd. Kinda got to getting dark, you know, and I--I made out I just had to go home then. So I--I took off and run down the road and scared to death trying to go home.
And now, I remember her father. Is your mother's still living, I suppose? Well, that's fine. And been a lot of water went down that river since them days. Yes. Here we are now both middle-aged people, grandparents, and... Well, but there's a land where we'll never grow old. See? I'm so glad to know, Flossy, that you're looking for that land and assurance of finding it.
And Jim, how is Jim, is he... Yes, I remember that. Jim, that's her husband, and I remember him well. And I knowed a few of the children; we kinda... By that time I'd got on the field when they were married and their children growing up. And we kinda got away, you know, from one another.
I see Brother Lloyd once in a while, holler at him down on the street. They cooked me a many a meal, and I've--like a real brother and sister.
7 Now, I'm so glad to see that Brother Ruddell's first push was here in this place to convert--starting out converting a roadhouse into the house of the Lord. That's very fine.
And of course, you know, if sometimes if you can foresee anything, you know... And--and then that makes it better. So we could foresee there was something in this boy. And he was bashful; his dad and I there used to work together years ago. And I knowed his daddy was a up-and-at-it and a go-getter, so why shouldn't that be in the boy? I knowed he had a darling mother. So he was--he was sired right, so there had to be something good behind him. You see? And that longing in his heart to serve the Lord... When the deep calls to the deep, there's got to be a deep to respond to that call. And I'm so glad to see Brother Ruddell going on.
9 This wonderful bunch of people up here... And it's a grand privilege to me tonight to come up here and to speak to this bunch of saints that are sojourning here. We are not... This is not our abiding place, you know. We're pilgrims. We're--we are--we're not at home.
And I remember, Sister Ruddell, how you'd come with him and set there. And he'd hold his head down. And you had a lot of confidence. They sure did; she believed he'd--he'd preach the Gospel. And so with a good wife like that, and a father and mother and all praying for him, something had to happen, Brother Ruddell. So here it is. And I pray, Brother Ruddell, that this will just be a--a standing place for you, where you can spring to the highest of heights for the glory of the Gospel.
11 I know that Brother and Sister Ruddell, Max there, would be real happy about it tonight. How I'd like to see Billy Paul stand in the pulpit. And I hope to live someday to see Joseph standing in the pulpit. And that's mighty fine.
Our toil's and troubles then that we have raising young children through the teenage and things, that makes us feel fine then. Look back and see the gray in your daddy's hair and things, you remember, some of your--some of your wrong doings put them there. And that--that's right.
13 Well, it's good to be here, and I'm just a little bit hoarse. I've been preaching... Brother Gene Goad and I took little trip yesterday and went down. And the fish was biting. And--and so we had a good time, come in late. And we kinda got out on the water and a little bit of cold, but I trust you bear with me.
Now, we are fixing to leave on a summer's campaign, about ninety day campaign. Expect to be back again in last of August, first of September. And we're going over now... This--this week I begin in Green Bay, Michigan, come back to Chicago for Sunday afternoon at the high school at a convention. I'm going to speak the original convention of the Christian Business Men in Green Bay, Wisconsin. And then from there to Chicago, and then Monday I'm in Chicago at a--a conventional meeting, a missionary rally for Brother Joseph Boze. And then return home to go up to South--Southern Pines, North Carolina, and down into South Carolina, and over to the Cow Palace at South Gate, Los Angeles. Got forty some odd oneness churches sponsoring that meeting. It's first time the oneness ever sponsored my meeting.
Then from on--on up to California through Oregon, on in to Canada, and from there in to Anchorage, Alaska, and then back again this fall. Where Brother Joseph Boze is going to Kenya, Tanganyika, Urban, and Africa, South Africa to set up meetings for later on in the fall.
Now, to say I have a leading to go to any of these places, I do not, but I feel that it ought to be sowing seed somewhere, doing whatever I can for the Kingdom.
17 And now, let us just bow our heads again for another word of prayer, not that we haven't been prayed for, but I'd just like to ask the Lord to help me here now that--would provide some words for you.
Our heavenly Father, we are now approaching Thy throne of grace in the Name of the Lord Jesus, Who has give us the permission and bid us to come, and we would be granted the things that we ask for as we approached. Now, we would not ask at all to stand in Your judgment, but we want to stand at the mercy seat so that we can obtain mercy, confessing that we are wrong and there's no soundness in us. But we present ourselves, Lord, nothing we can offer, just the prayer of our Lord Jesus and the bidding that He said this: "He that heareth My words and believeth on Him that sent Me has Everlasting Life and shall not come to the judgment, but's passed from death to Life." We believe that. He told us to come, ask anything in His Name, it would be granted. We believe that.
19 Upon the basis of our faith, we come asking that You bless this church and our gracious brother, Brother Ruddell, and his family, and all the families that's represented here.
As I look over and see Mrs. Morris here tonight and to think of the days gone by... And God, as I said to her, lots of water's went down the river and many dangers, toils, and snares. You've already brought us through them, Lord, and our trust is in You that we go to the end of the road in Thee.
Bless this place. Place Your Name in here, Lord, and give to them the very best that's 'lotted for this place. May evil, as the brother prayed tonight here... This young man prayed that You'd take away all hindrances. Grant it, Lord. Answer his prayer.
Heal the sick that's among us. Give salvation to the soul of those that's hungering and thirsting for righteousness. And now, Lord, sanctify the voice and the--and the effort of Your unprofitable servant. And bless Thy Word, and may It not return void; but be--and may It be so that It'll accomplish that which It is purposed for. May the Holy Spirit take the things of God tonight and encourage our hearts from the greatest to the least. In the Name of Jesus Christ we ask it. Amen.
23 Now, this morning I preached a long time. And I didn't know about preaching; I was just kinda teaching a Sunday school lesson. And one day I taught six hours. Won't be that bad tonight, I'm sure...
But I just got a little text here that I would like to read some Scripture, because I know His words won't fail. Mine's may-mine may do it. And I'm going to try to keep my word right with His and take His Word--take my word to build a context around His Word, as we use for a text.
25 I want to read two places tonight. I want to read in the Book of Proverbs in the 18th chapter and the 10th verse for one place. And another place, I want to read Isaiah 32:2. Now, in Proverbs 18:10:
The Name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and are safe.
And in the Book of Isaiah, 32nd chapter, 1st and 2nd verses:
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, a prince shall rule in judgment.
And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as a shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
27 And now for my text I want to use this as a text: "Let--Letting Off the Pressure." That's a odd text, "Letting off Pressure." I chose this, because that before coming to a meeting I always try to pray and to try to seek the Lord, not to stand before any congregation small or great, one to a million, would be to stand there not to be seen or to be heard, but to do something to glorify my Lord. Therefore, seeing the need of the people...
And I wouldn't come here to be heard, because I'm not much to listen to, bad voice, not an educated man, and never stay with my text, skip all over from Genesis to Revelations. And I'm--I'm not a--an eloquent speaker, but I do love the Lord. And I--I can't love Christ until first I love His people. See? I've got to love His people. So if I love His people, then I love Him.
29 And then, I want to be like He did. I want to--to make my objective the same objectives He had; and that was always trying to do good, to help somebody.
And seeing this day that we live in, and knowing that this church here has a grand pastor...
Now, I don't say that flattery; I say it from my heart. If I said anything different, I'd--I'd be a hypocrite. And I--I believe that this church has a pastor that would stand on Truth regardless of what come or went. I believe that. That's my confidence in my--my son. And I--I believe that. And I... And he's a--fearless as fearless can be. And you... I believe he's a honorable, holy man, sent from God with a ministry for this last day. And he preaches the same portion of the Word that I preach; that's from Genesis is to Revelation, just the way It's wrote. And I like that, no compromising, just stay right with the Word. And I like that.
32 But then I thought with a man like that, for me to walk in behind his pulpit, yet a young man, what could I say that would help his congregation; because that's why he wanted me to come up. He's a shepherd, and he's watching his sheep. And he would think maybe now, to kinda change around a little, there might be something to help his people. And he's interested in you; he's interested in your welfare. Day and night, he'll go anytime, anywhere, help do anything that he can. Well, that's--that's a real servant of God.
33 And as he said--he said he plagued me, or bothered me, or pestered me, or something... He doesn't do that. That makes me love him that much more, when he keeps asking, 'cause that--I love that, 'cause he's got confidence. It shows... He wouldn't bring me up before his sheep if I thought I was going to hurt them. Nope, no shepherd would do that, because he'd think I would do what was right. And it's a--he--it's a great privilege he pays me when he does ask me to come. And I like his--his objectives; that's hang on till it happens. That's a--a man of faith. And I like that.
So then I thought, "What would I speak to this congregation?" I thought, "Well, they're probably trained right in everything, no doubt." But there is a pressure on the people today. And that pressure has no limitation or any denominational lines; it has no age line; it has no respect of person. It's on young and old, good and bad; it's on everybody: pressure.
35 We are living in a neurotic age, nervous tension. Everybody's racing here and going there, and going nowhere. It's just at that kind of an age. And I know this church would be plagued with it as everywhere's plagued with it. Tabernacle's plagued with it, everywhere, the whole world.
It's a day of pressure. Hurry, hurry; hurry, hurry; hurry up and wait. Drive ninety miles an hour and then--to get home for supper and wait two hours till it gets ready. That's right. It's--it's the time. And in that rushing and speeding it gets you to a nervous tension; the wife say something a little contrary, you want to fly off: temper. Husband say something, you'll pat your foot and tell him to get in the room. See? "Well, now husband, I don't want no words with you; go out there."
"Wife, oh, I'm so nervous." See? Why? What's the matter? See?
38 All this together, this tension building up, then the results of it is doing something wrong and acting out of place. That's right. Now, it'll make the poor act that way; it'll make the middle class act that way; it'll make the rich act that way. It'll make the wrong act that way; it'll make the pretty good act that way; and it'll make the good act that way; because it's tension, steam built up. Got to blow it out somewhere. See? If you don't, you blow the boiler up.
Now, we find that. It builds up as the day goes. You talk to your boss if you're working, "Oh, so-and-so." And if you speak to the kiddie, "Come in here." "Mama, I'm..." See, there you are. It builds it up. Ooh, my. See? You feel like you're going to--head's going to come off. I know; I'm with it every day. So I--I know what it means. It builds up.
40 I was... Thought of this the other night. I was at a certain hospital. And our pastor, I thought he was sick; but he had just wore out: run, run, run, run till he just exhausted. And some of them said, called up... They called in the office down there and asked if I'd make his calls. Well, I'd been with business acts all day, and ministers from different places, and I said, "Yes."
Well, I went to make his calls. And I went to a certain hospital. And they give me a woman's name and a--and a number where she was at. I goes up to this room; I went over to the lady at... It--it was about fifteen, twenty minutes before receiving time for visitors, so I went over and told the lady I was a minister and would like to see certain, certain woman. She looked me in the face, and she was doing something. She turned around first, said, "So what do you want?"
And I said, "I would like to know where a certain, certain lady is in this ward."
She said, "I don't know."
I said, "Well, I was given a number, a certain place, and I thought I'd ask first."
Said, "Well, if you got a number, go see it."
"Thank you." I goes down there and said at the door of the ward, and I said, "Is there a lady in here named so-and-so?"
Well, I went back and looked at my ticket; that's where it said. So I goes back, and the lady was standing there; I said,
"That was the wrong number."
"What did you say her name was?" I said... Said, "She's not on this floor."
"Thank you." I said, "I'll go upstairs then."
41a So I goes up to the next room, and I went to the... First, there was a doctor setting at the desk, and I--setting there scratching his head. Said, "How do you do?" He just looked up, looked down. "Well," I thought, "I'd better leave him alone." So I went on down the row a little farther, and I found a lady at the desk, a nurse. I said, "Pardon me."
Said, "What do you want?"
And I said, "Is there a lady up here by a certain, certain name?"
And she said, "I don't know." And I--I said... She said...
I said, "I was supposed to have a--a room number 321--or 221." And I said, "I went to that room, and there was no one there. And the lady said, 'There's no one down here named that,' so said, 'maybe it was upstairs.'"
And she said, "Well then, why don't you go to 2--321 then."
I said, "Thank you." I goes down to 321 and I said--or 22--321, and I said, "Is there a lady in here named So-and-so?"
There was a lady laying there, said, "She was across the room, across the room over on--on the other, 31."
"Thank you, lady." I walked over; I said, "Is lady So-and-so here?"
"No, they moved her out; she's downstairs."
41b I thought--I thought, "My." I goes back downstairs again; I--I... And she--they--they give me the room number. And I went downstairs, and I looked all... I was afraid to go to that desk again, so I looked all up and down, trying to find that room number. And I--I looked; and couldn't find it.
They got little wings and things cut up in this hospital, so here come this doctor walking down with his stereoscopes in his hand and satchel. And I never did see a man was four foot tall and four foot wide, but he just about matched the... He was walking along there; I said, "Good evening, sir. Could you tell me where room number so-and-so was at?"
He said, "Up this way and out that way."
I said, "Thank you for your information."
That's the truth; he said, "Up this way and out that way."
And I said, "Thank you." I thought, "I haven't got anywhere yet."
42 I looked back, and there was a kind of a kind looking lady standing at the desk again. I walked over to her, and I said, "Good evening."
She said, "How do you do?"
I said, "Lady, I'm all confused." And I told her my story. I said, "There's a lady here somewhere that's going to surgery in the morning, and she's near death. I'm a minister, and our pastor up there couldn't make his calls, and they give me this number."
She said, "Just a moment, Brother Branham, I'll find out." She...
"Well, I thank--thank the Lord."
She laid down everything, and walked over there, and got... "Oh," she said, "yes, Brother Branham, she is in room so-and-so to your left, right there.
I said, "Thank you very much." I turned around and looked, and I thought, "That's it, letting off the steam."
45 Everybody... It's just becoming a--a neurotic age. Everybody's all built up, haven't got no time. And that builds up to a place that it breaks up things, it causes people to have hard feelings when they snap them off and--and say things you don't mean to say.
Now, everybody's guilty of it. I'm guilty; you're all guilty, We--we do things under pressure that we wouldn't do otherwise. So they's a--they's an excess pressure built up today. I believe, before I go any farther I might say this: I believe it's the enemy coming down and pressing. I believe it's the devil.
And we know the coming of the Lord is at hand, and the Bible said in the last days that the devil would go about like a roaring lion. And if he could get you under pressure, hurrying, running over something, you'll make decisions that you wouldn't make if you'd set down and think it over.
48 About three years ago I was on a hunting trip, and I had a Indian guide. And I--I hunt real fast. That's stuff--that's just me (You see?), one of them pressure builders.
So I--I was hunting with the Indian, and I jumped off the horse. And there was some elk up on the mountain, and I started around the bend. And the old Indian was about ten year's older than me; he was just a puffing coming behind me. I said, "Come on, Chief, come on."
Said, "Too fast too fast."
I thought, "Oh, well..." I said, "Come on."
I started, and he said, "Too fast." I slowed down next gear; "Too fast." And I got down to a walk, "Too fast."
Oh, my. I said, "Chief, the elk is up there."
He said, "Him stay there; he were born there."
I said, "I guess that's right."
"He stay there; he were born there." He said, "Preacher hunt too fast, scare all the game away." Said, "Do like Indian: walkum once, lookum nine times."
51 Well, I wonder what kind of a gear I'd have to get in to get down there. Where I was on a run up the mountain, he said, "Walkum once, then lookum nine times. Look all around over everything nine times before you make another step." Oh, my. But you see, he's in no hurry.
I thought of that. And my precious old mother that's in glory tonight... Someone said, "Why don't you wear a white flower today, meaning your mother's dead."
I said, "My mother's not dead; my mother's a-living. And then I'd wear a red one, and then people'd say, 'I thought your mother died?' So to keep from confusing them and building up more steam, I just left it all off." See? She's not dead; she's asleep. She's with Christ.
54 And then the nervous, neurotic age that we're living in... And you know, in all of this the doctors don't have the answer, 'cause they're plagued with it too. They don't have the answer. They don't know what to do.
You say, "Oh, doctor, I--I--I'm just about to blow my head; I don't know what to do. I..."
"Well," he'd say, "I am too. Well, there isn't nothing you can do." He'll give you a tranquilizer, and when that wears off, you're more nervous than you was in the first place, like a drunk man taking a extra drink to get over his drunkness. You see? So you--you can't do it. There's no answer; they don't have it.
But God has the answer. That's what we want to take--talk about. They have the answer; God's got the answer. He is the Answer. Christ is the Answer to every problem we got.
56 Now, we're going to talk about Him now. Now, in the Old Testament there was a time when a man could build up pressure way back there. And that was when he done something wrong. If he shed innocent blood, well then, he was on the run. Because as soon as that man that he killed--the wrong he did, that man he did the wrong to--some of his people would hunt him till he found him. And there he'd kill him. It was a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. And, you see, a man had no place to stop.
If he done something accidentally, and of course, the people wouldn't believe it, well, he had to take off. Because just as soon as--as he did this, then the--the relatives of this man or woman, whoever it was, they started hunting him. And when they found him, it was tooth for tooth and eye for eye. That's the way they lived.
57 And so he couldn't stop nowhere. He was a fugitive. He didn't know what to do, and he was on the run. A very type of today, I think that's what's causing so much pressure; we're on the run. That's what's the matter with the world: knowing they're wrong, knowing the coming of the Lord is at hand, and the pressure's building up; and they're on the run. Roadhouse, gambling den, luxury, sin, immoral decay, anything to give vent; listen at television, dirty jokes, anything, give vent. They're on the run. There's something fixing to happen; they know it; and they're drinking themselves to death with pleasures and everything else: on the run.
They know there's something fixing to happen. The world speaks of it. We know that something's fixing to happen. This world may be blowed up before daylight. Every nation's under tension. Why?
59 One time I was in Africa, and I was watching a sheep feeding. It was a lamb, oh, a middle grown sheep. And the little fellow was eating very peaceful, and all at once he got restless. And he'd take a bite; he'd look around; he'd take a bite. When he was peaceful, I was watching him; he looked just as calm. I thought, "Isn't that peaceful out there? Look at that little fellow." The shepherd that had been watching them had gone to the corral, back: native, colored.
And I watched this little fellow, and after while he got nervous. I thought, "What's the matter with that little guy?" I was watching him, 'course, through binoculars. And he got so nervous; he'd look this way and that way. He started bleating; he didn't know what to do. "Well," I thought, "what made the little fellow get so excited all at once?"
61 Now, he was in a little pasture field. But way over behind there I noticed something raise up and let down again: about a half a mile from him, hid good in the weeds, a lion slipping up. And that little fellow, something in him was building to a place that he knowed there was danger somewhere; he couldn't see it. But the lion had smelled the sheep, and he had to get quick now to get him before the shepherd got him, got him out of the way.
So then watching him, tension had built. And in a distance this lion was slipping up real easy. Yet the--the sheep couldn't see the lion, but there's just something inside of him that told him that danger was at hand.
That's the way it is today, that there's something inside of people that lets them know something is fixing to happen. We know it. The Christian knows it. The world knows it. The drunkard knows it. The gambler knows it. The businessmen, the governments, the U.N., all of them know that something's fixing to happen. It's built a tension.
64 Women, mothers, just one cigarette after another... I watched them come to the school. They drive through our lane there till I have to watch my kids and my dog, on a twenty mile zone, seventy miles an hour, women taking their children to school, cigarette in their hand, hanging out one door, fussing with their kids, and down there and squeak the brakes and--or the wheels, or lay tires on the street... And here they come back again. The... I seen the wind blow four or five little kids plumb off the road the other day of some neurotic mother. Where's she going? What's the matter? Certain television program on, maybe comes on she wanted to see.
But that's it, tension. There's something causing it. They used to didn't do that. Something's approaching. Death and destruction is on its road here; it isn't very far away. Something is approaching.
66 Now, in the Old Testament God seeing in some of this trouble was accidentally done... So if you're innocent and not guilty, God makes a way for you.
Now, if a man killed a man just deliberately, premeditated, he was lost. He could not come to this place. But if he did it accidentally, he didn't mean to do it, then there was a city of refuge. One was at Ramoth-Gilead. And four places, I think, Joshua placed these cities of refuge.
Now, now, the people could come to this city of refuge. If accidentally he done something wrong, he didn't mean to. He would come to the city of refuge and go to the gate. The gatekeeper would ask him why he coming, what was his idea of coming. Then his case was pleaded. And when his case was pleaded at the gate and the man be found innocent, he did it not willfully, then the man was taken into the city as a place of refuge. Then the enemy could not get him. And if he lied and done wrong and come into the city of refuge, though he was holding to the altar horns, his enemy had the privilege and right to drag him from that altar and kill him. Yes, sir. Because he was guilty, premeditated, and he had to be punished.
69 Now, there was something went with that. 'Course that man would be nervous, my, maybe a dozen men behind you. Somewhere, every rock, every hill, every bush, the enemy, somebody was standing ready for him. He was nervous. And then when he once got into the city, he could let off the pressure. He was safe. He was all right, 'cause there's a provided place made for him, God's provided way for that innocent man not to be slain, but could be exempted from the slaying, because he did it accidentally.
Now, if he didn't mean to do it... Now, if he meant to do it, well, he--he had to stand the circumstances. But there's no chance for him if he did it willfully.
71 And there's two classes of people today. May I say this; there's men and women in the world today, Brother Ruddell, that really don't want to do these things they're doing. There's men and women in the world today that don't want to sin. I feel sorry for them. They don't want to do anything wrong, but they do it. They're drove to it. Now, there's a place for that person that wants to do right. There's a place to let off that pressure. It's true. But there's some that doesn't care.
72 The other day a Brother Hickerson got me a pass from the warden here of the federal prison in--at La Grange, Kentucky, to go in, go fishing. And I met a colored boy back there from Louisville, and he told me... I said, "A fine looking, intelligent man like you, what are you doing in here?"
He said, "Well," said, "Reverend, here's what it was." Said, "I... It's nobody's fault but mine." Said, "I--I--I once belonged to the Lord." His name was Bishop. He said, "They called me holy Bishop, because that I served the Lord." He said, "Me and my wife, we have--got a little girl." And said, "One time I just couldn't stand it, so I just went with the world, went away from the Lord." Said, "I had a Christian father and mother." And said, "I served four years overseas in Korea," how many battles he was in, citations and things. He said, "But out there the thing we done is just go to dances and so forth."
74 "I got mixed with the wrong crowd, and one day two boys come by and said, 'Bishop, we want to go up the Quaker Maid and get some groceries, will you run us up there?'" Said, "My wife had just called me to dinner. And I said..." Said, "She called me in there, said, 'Honey, don't you go with them; there's no good in them guys. We got to get away from them and back to church again.'" And he said, "Well," said, "'I said, I hate for them, the boys wants groceries,' said, 'I hate not to take them.'" Then he said, "'I'll let them have my car.' Said, 'Don't you do it; they'll tear it to pieces.' And said, 'Run them up there and then come back then.'"
Said, "I run them up there and stopped in the parking lot." And said, "I was setting there waiting, all at once the--the alarms went off and everything, and here come these boys each with pistols in their hand. And I shut the door. I said, 'You're not getting in here.'"
And one of them whacked him across the head, and jerked him back up, and throwed this gun and said, "You're not taking these..." throwed the gun in and said, "If you don't want a hole through you... And we'll throw you out here and take off."
76 He said, "You can't go nowhere. You're going to get caught. You boys tell them that I was free; I--I didn't mean this. I--I was setting here; I'm a innocent party." And about that time the police had them.
They pleaded the case, and he said, "I first thought evil of the prosecutor, because he said..." Here's the questions he said: "Is this your car?"
He said, "Yes, sir. But I..."
He said, "Answer my questions." Oh, brother, the devil has a way of doing it. He said, "Answer my question." Said, "Is this your car?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
"Is that your license number?"
He said, "Was you up there in that lot?"
He said, "Well, I tell you..."
He said, "Answer my questions."
He said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "There you are." And on circumstantial evidence they give him ten years--sent the other boys for life.
Now, he said, "See, brother, I just got in the wrong crowd. It's nobody to blame but me." And that's right. Now, he's got ten years to let off the pressure in. I prayed for him, Brother Wood there and I--we was setting out on the water--and took the boy by the hand and prayed for him out on the water, that God would give him a parole. And I'm still praying for him that God will.
What is it? Pressure, innocent, a man innocent, Now, that man should have a chance.
81 Now, if you want to do right, I'm so glad tonight to tell you that there is a City of refuge; that's Jesus Christ. If you don't want to do wrong, the enemy's after you, then there's a way of escape; and that escape is Jesus Christ. There's a place where you can come and let off the steam. But if you're--love to sin and you don't want God, then the enemy's going to overtake you somewhere. You have no... You can't come to Christ, because you don't want to.
And when this man comes to Christ, this place of Refuge... When a man come in in the Old Testament, the first thing, he had to come upon his own free will. And that's the way you have to come to Christ.
84 Another thing, you must be satisfied while you're there. You don't... You can't hang around every day crying, "I'd like to get out of here; I'd like to get out of here." They put you out. You must willfully want to stay. It must be that you must want to stay in that city.
And when you come to Christ, you can't look back to the world. The Bible said, "He that puts his hand on the plow and turns to look back's not worthy of plowing." Now, there's where so many so-called Christians make their mistake. See, they act like they're going to plow, but the first little thing comes along, they blow up about it.
86 The other day I had an experience of that, as you all know. And I thank you for your prayers. As I hunt, and fish, and shoot targets, and things, I've always wanted a Weatherby magnum rifle. Well, some of my friends would've bought it for me; I know people, if I'd just have mentioned it, they'd gladly done it. Frankly, two or three wanted to do it. But I couldn't see them put that much money in a rifle when I know missionaries ain't got shoes on their feet. I couldn't do that. And Brother Wilson give Billy Paul a little .257 Roberts. And a brother friend of mine said, "Brother Branham, Weatherby can bore that gun, I can have it done for a cheap price if you'll let me do it for you." Well, I let him do it.
Come back, put a shell in the gun, and went to shoot it, and the thing blowed up in my hands. And the barrel went almost to the fifty yard line, the bolt way back behind me. And it's a wonder it just didn't cut me half in two. There was about five or six tons of pressure that close to me.
One of the doctors said, "The only thing I know, that the good Lord was setting there to protect His servant."
89 Now, the thing that I'm thinking of, here's where it comes. If that would've been a Weatherby magnum to start with... What was the matter? There was a flaw in the rifle. The headspace was bored too loose. That's what's the matter with a lot of us in our conversion: our headspace is bored to loose. And--and...
Now, if that had been a Weatherby from the very beginning, from the very steel that was poured to make the barrel, it would been bored out and made a Weatherby magnum. It would not have blowed up. But because it was tried to be converted to something that it really wasn't, then it blowed up. And so will every man find the same thing that professes to be a Christian, that doesn't get the right start from the new birth. He'll blow up somewhere. There's too much pressure on it. It won't stand it. He'll find hisself blowed up somewhere.
91 People trying to take--impersonate somebody's ministry that hasn't been called to it, finally it's going to blow up. You've got to be ordained of God. It's got to be God, not some handshake, some sentimental story; but it's coming upon the basis of the shed Blood of Christ and your faith in what God did for you through Jesus Christ. If not, you're going to blow up somewhere. Somebody will step on your toes, and away you go. See? See, it's a pressure building up all the time, and soon it'll blow up.
92 The man must want to stay in the refuge. He can't go in there complaining. He must want to stay, no complainings about it. Outside he dies; inside he's safe.
Well, I want to say something to the people here if you're not a Christian. I come to this City of Refuge about thirty-one years ago. And, brother, I've never wanted to go out. Oh, I come into Christ. Everything that I longed for was in here. I don't want to go out. I pray daily, "Oh, God, I'm so happy here. Just let me stay." I never want to leave, and I know He'll never leave me. I know He'll never leave you. And the pressure gets great; if it does, then He is our Outlet. So we don't have to--to worry about it.
If you're all pressured up, and don't know where you're going, what's going to happen to you after death (and you know you're going to die sometime, you've got it to do), then the thing to come is come to Christ the Refuge and let off the pressure. Settle it once for all.
95 No matter what takes place, Christ is our Refuge. And when we come to Him, we can let off the pressure. You can quit worrying about, "Well, if I die, what's going to happen to me? What's going to happen to the wife. What's going to happen to the husband? What's going to happen to the children?" Just come to Christ and let off the pressure. No, He give us all things. All things are ours by Christ, so just let the pressure off.
The only one way you can do it... Somebody might give you a million dollars; it would build up pressure. You might join a church, and it'll still build up pressure, 'cause the Methodists will tell you they're right and Baptist's is wrong. And the Baptists say, "They're wrong and we're right." So it just builds up more pressure, 'cause you don't know where you're standing. But if you ever come to Christ, you can let off the pressure. 'Cause it's all over then; just settle it down.
97 God's provided Place of safety where God said, "The Name of the Lord is a mighty Tower, the righteous run into It and are safe." In a time of sickness, when sickness strikes, and the doctor says, "There's nothing else I can do about it," don't build up pressure; let off the pressure. Call your pastor; let him anoint you in oil and pray over you: Prayer of faith shall save the sick. Let off the pressure. See?
He's our Refuge. While you're in this Refuge, you've got a--you got right to anything that's in the Refuge. And Christ is our Refuge, and everything you have need of is in Him. Amen. In sickness don't build up pressure; let off pressure.
99 You say, "Well, I--I wonder, Brother Branham." You don't wonder; you just let the pressure off. Commit your case to God, and go on as if it was all over. Don't build up pressure; it lets off pressure.
"Well," you say, "I am so worried, Brother Branham, I just don't know." Let off the pressure. Amen. In the city of refuge He took your worry, so you--you don't have to have it. Cast your cares on Him, for He careth for you. Don't you worry about your cares; that's His business.
101 I met a woman here some years ago in a ten cents store. She was about sixty years old, looked about thirty years old. I said, "How do you do it, sister?"
She said, "Brother Branham, I've got two sons that's doctors that's older than you are." And honest-to-goodness, she--she didn't look over thirty years old. She said, "Here's what it was. When I come to Christ when I was about twelve years old... And I set down and thought about it. I studied other religions, but when I found the true one..." She said, "I come to Christ and took my case, my soul, my all to Him," and she said, "I've never had a worry since." Said, "Now, He promised to take care of all my troubles." And said, "If He's not big enough to do it, I know I'm not big enough to do it; so what's the use of me worrying about it." See? That's it.
Christ promised that He'd take all your cares. Cast your cares on Him. So what are you worrying about? Worry builds up pressure; pressure blows up. So just cast your cares on Him and quit worrying. All right.
104 Now... "Well," you say, "how do I do it?" Just trust His promise. He made a promise that He would do it. Even in the time of death when the death angel comes into the room... "Oh, Brother Branham, I know I'll be nervous." Oh, no. You're in the Refuge. No, no. You know you're going to die; you've got to go some way, so just get into the Refuge; feel safe. That's right. You're safe as long as you're in the refuge. You remember, He died for you. He cares you. He died for you.
Now, let's take a look. You say, "Brother Branham, you mean when the death angel's knocking at the door, you're still not to get steamed up?" No, not a bit. "Well, why do you do that?" Come to the Refuge; that's all.
"Well," you say, "Brother Branham..."
106 Well, now wait a minute. Let's take Israel down in Egypt. There come a time where God said, "I'm going to send the death angel through the land, and I'm going to take every one of the elders of this family unless there's blood on the door," that great night of the passover. Now, here's Israel a promised people going to a promised land, and they...
It's the night of the passover. The death angel is in the land. And we hear a scream coming from down the street. We look out; two big black wings are waving down the street. You think Israel was all excited? No, sir.
Death was at the door. The little boy looked out the window; he was the oldest of the family. He sees that big, black angel. He looks and said, "Daddy, do you love me?"
"Sure, son, I love you."
"Well, daddy, am I not your firstborn?"
"Yes, you are, son."
"Looky there, daddy, that angel got that little boy. I knowed him; I played with him. Oh, daddy, here he comes towards the house."
"But, son, you see on that door post?" Hallelujah.
"Daddy, will he get me?"
"No, sir, son. He can't get you."
"That's His promise: 'When I see the blood, I'll pass over you.' Go back and get your toys and start playing, son. There's no need of worrying. We're in God's refuge. Let off the steam."
110 Israel could set back and read the Bible. While the rest of them was screaming and building up steam, Israel was relaxed. Why? Death right at the door, what difference did it make? It can't hurt them.
So when death comes to our door (Glory to God.), as long as God's requirement, the Blood's been placed on the lintel of my heart post, what difference does it make, it can't bother me.
The doctor says you're going to die tomorrow, what difference does it make, the Blood is on the post. You got to die anyhow. But if that Blood's been applied I've got a resurrection coming. Amen.
113 Israel could be calm, no building up steam for them, 'cause they knowed that the death angel couldn't strike them. They were under the blood. It was God's provided way.
Now, notice. Say, "Can I be assured of that?" Now, Christians, here we are. "Can I be assured of that?" I spoke on it last Sunday night.
Now, Israel was a promised, covenant people: God's people. They had been promised a land that was flowing, with milk and honey. So they... They'd never seen that land; not a one of them have ever been there; but they had a promise of it. See, they'd never been over there; they didn't know nothing about the land. But they were promised that land, and they come out of their slavery by the hand of God through His prophet, and was sojourning, professing that they were pilgrims and strangers, and was going to a land that they'd never seen, or none of them had ever seen it. Think of it. So they come close to the borderline. And there was a great warrior among them named Joshua. "Joshua" takes a--means "Jehovah Saviour." And Joshua went over the Jordan into the promised land and come back with the evidence that it was a good land. They brought a bunch of grapes that taken two men to pack. It was just exactly what God said it was. It was flowing with milk and honey. That should've made every one of them rejoice. Why? Joshua brought back the evidence of a land that nobody knowed nothing about that God had promised to give them. See? 'Cause they were--had a promise to a land, was on the road to it.
116 Now, one day the human race was in a trap, and there come Someone to the earth by the Name of Jesus Christ. "Jesus" means "Jehovah Saviour." And He went down to the Jordan of death, went over the Jordan in death, and rose up on Easter morning with the evidence that a man can live after he dies. Hallelujah. Death is not the end; Jesus proved it, that a man can live after he's died.
He stood before them, and He said... Before He left He said, "In My Father's house is many mansions. If it wasn't so, I would've told you. And I'll go and prepare a place. I'll go over and fix up a place, and return back, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also." And on Easter morning after He died till the moon and stars and sun was ashamed of themselves, He died till the Roman soldier pierced His heart with a--with a spear and water and blood had separated... He was the deadest of the dead. He went to the grave like any man did. His soul went to hell, as the Bible said. But on Easter morning He came back from death, hell, and the grave, and said, "I am He that was dead and I'm alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and hell. I'm a Man."
They said, "He's a spirit."
Said, "Give me a fish sandwich." And He eat fish and bread. He was a Man that died, and went to the land, and returned back with the evidence that a man can live after death. What's death got to do with us? Amen. Let off the pressure.
119 Now, not only that, but He give us the promise. What was it? He give us the earnest of our inheritance. He said, "Now, to prove this to every believer, now, you're walking down here in unbelief. You don't believe the Word. You're walking in sin in the things of the world. But he that believeth on Me has Eternal Life, a Life that can't die."
Notice. Now, when we receive His Spirit, we who are once dead in sin and trespasses, He gives us new birth, new life. What does He do? He... We die and are buried in Jesus. We raise in the Spirit from the worldly things unto the heavenly things. And tonight we are setting together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
121 How many Christians in here still love the world? If you do, you're not a Christian. You are a professor of Christianity and not a possessor. For when a man once tastes of Christ, he's dead to the things of the world and by no means he has any desire to go back into that.
What does it do? "The life," Paul said, "that I once lived, I live no more. Yet I live; not me, but Christ in me." Why? He raised him from this low level of worldly sin up to a place that we ourselves can look back and see where we come from (Glory.), look back and see where we once lived. Now we live different, What is it? It's the assurance that we are dead and our lives are hid in Christ through God, and are sealed by the Holy Ghost, and raised above those things. Then we are alive with the same evidence that He come back with to prove to us.
123 The land is glorious and this is the down payment. This is the earnest of our salvation. It's the first money that holds the contract (Glory.), that holds God's contract. "He that heareth My words and believeth on Him that sent Me has Everlasting Life and shall not come into condemnation, but passed from death unto Life." Let off the pressure, brother. Yes, sir. Amen. Do you get it?
Looky, as Elijah that great prophet, a type of Christ, Elisha, the type of the Church, which a double portion of the Spirit come upon the prophet... He walked to the Jordan one day, a type of this day, this government and things they have now, Ahab, Jezebel and so forth, as you remember my Jezebel sermon. Notice, when Elisha following Elijah for a reason... Amen. Where did he take him? To Jordan, to Ramoth-Gilead, up to the school of prophets, and down to Jordan. That's the way He takes you, through justification, sanctification, and die out to receive Life (Amen.), not to a denomination or some creed, but to death to your spirit, so you can be borned again.
125 And Elisha... Elijah struck that water, walked across Jordan, and Elisha followed him. And when Elisha returned back to the land again on the other side, he come back with a double portion. Today we follow Jesus to His death, burial, and baptism--death, burial, and resurrection, rather, through baptism. We believe Him; we're die out to the things of the world, confess that we're nothing, baptized in His Name, buried with Him in baptism, raised with Him in resurrection. Our spirits live up above the things of the world; then we're in Christ. Now we got one portion.
When we return from across the death line of Jordan, we'll have another portion: the bodies that we now have, with spirits that we have, have the Earnest, the Holy Spirit that can't die because It's part of God. And the bodies that we live in... "He that eats My flesh and drinks My Blood has Everlasting Life, and I'll raise him up at the last day." Amen. Let off the steam.
127 What difference does it make atomic bombs or anything else strike. Let them do whatever they want to...?... [Bad spot in tape--Ed.]... of this one thing that we have Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So what do we care about what the world's got to say. What do we care about pressure. Don't make any difference to us. Why? Because we can let off the steam. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
Come where the dew drops of mercy are bright.
Shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus the Light of the world.
Now, with our heads bowed, let's raise our hands.
We'll walk in the Light, beautiful light;
Come where the dew drops of mercy are bright.
Shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus the Light of the world.
129 Our heavenly Father, Satan has lost the battle. Just be patient. Don't build up a steam. Standing here preaching on letting off the steam, and then Satan thought he could run me from the pulpit, get me out of this altar call. No, Lord, in my heart there was something burning, saying, "There's somebody here. There's somebody hunting for that Rock." We thank You, Father, for the victory, and when that last person walked to the altar, the lights come on. He seen he'd lost so he might as well give up the battle.
Here stands tonight that number of grace, five precious souls: Five: J-e-s-u-s, f-a-i-t-h, grace, g-r-a-c-e. O God, You're God. You never fail; You're always right.
131 I'm looking, standing on the side, here's Sister Wilson's daughter. I can remember that little girl. I remember when You called her. I remember the night at New Market long years ago. Down there that night, I remember, Lord.
Here stands by her side a lady coming down from New York to sojourn with us.
Here stands a young man and a young woman just at this turning point when the world is out here doing all kinds of immoral dances and carrying on. They've walked, hunting for that Rock.
At the end of the altar stands a young fellow, his hands raised. He--he wants to find the Rock. Jesus, You are that Rock. And You said this: "Wherever two or three are gathered in My Name, I'll be in their midst." Then that Rock is right here.
135 It may seem very strange, Father, very simple. You make things so simple, so that we won't error. But because that they raised out of their seat and come on the invitation, because that Satan tried to keep them from doing it, every effort he could put forth he tried to do it, but he lost. Now, as Your servant I'm going to lay my hands upon them and pronounce Your blessings. And God, may it follow. Because that they are honest and sincere to follow the leading of the Spirit, I do the same.
Now, I ask that the soul of my sister shall never perish, that the desire of her heart for Eternal Life will be granted to her. Through Jesus Christ's Name.
137 I lay my hand upon my sister and know that many trials has beset her. I know she prays for her darling boy. I know the father, as the tears run down his cheeks tonight as he passed that little piece of tithing. And this morning when we prayed and committed the boy to the Lord God... This mother and father love the child. And, God, they want a place where they can just let off the steam and know that everything's all right. Father, we've committed it to You. You'll grant it; we have no fear. Give her that assurance just now, Father, through Jesus' Name I pray.
138 Father, this young man and young woman come together, so I lay my hands upon them. They come to let off the steam. A young couple like this, handsome young people, we know they're a very bait for the devil if he could only use them. But they've been snatched like a firebrand. They come, Lord, because they want to find that Shelter. They want to get to the place where they can just let off the steam, let off the pressure, and quieten themselves before God, and know that He is God. I pray, Father, that You'll give them that blessed assurance just now. May every little scale be beat off right now.
139 This young fellow here, Lord, that stands with his hands up, that very last one. And as soon as he rose to come up the lights come on. That was the number You wanted, that was Your calling. "All that the Father has give Me will come." The only thing we have to do is hold the Word there, and them the Father has ordained to Life will follow. And now, he comes. He wants to find that cleft, Lord, so he can set down and rest a little while. I pray, God, that You'll lead him to that cleft right now.
140 May every shackle be broken. May everything, every opposition that's bothered any of these. May it fall from them just now. May that little thing, little temper, little whatever it is, little temperamental, that little worry, that doubt, that little besetting sin, Lord, as their brother and Your servant I intercede for them as standing between the living and the dead. God, I claim their souls. I claim their victory in obedience to the altar call. And we know that Satan tried to stop it. But we claim them; I do now as Your servant, and I present them to Jesus Christ as the trophies of His grace, the trophies of the Presence of the Holy Spirit tonight Who called them under difficult conditions and brought them to the rock. May they let down the pressure now and know that Jesus said that, "No man can come until I have called him. And all that does come, I'll give them Eternal Life and raise them up at the last day. It's settled, Lord. I present them to You now in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
141 God bless you as you stand there. As you return to your seat, go and know that everything that you desired and every besetting sin and thing that was wrong is under the Blood. It's finished. Do you believe it? Do you believe it? Do you believe it, brother? Do you believe it, sister? Do you believe it? Then it's--it--not shall be, it has been done. That's right. It's a past tense.
God bless you. The very best in life and Eternal Life which you now possess... You have climbed then above sin. Sin is under your feet. What good would it do for me to stand here and tell you something wrong? I'd be counted a deceiver at the end of the road. See? You received Eternal Life, because you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, laying aside every sin and every shackle, go free; let off the steam. You're a Christian. You're raised above sin, and you got the Earnest of your eternal salvation, because Christ has received you.
143 Now, didn't He say, "No man can come to me except My Father draws him; and all that comes I will give Eternal Life and raise up at the last days"? Then it's settled. Amen. It's all over. God bless you now, be gracious to you. Do you love Him, out there?
I love Him, I love Him,
Because He first love me;
And purchased my salvation
On Calvary's tree.
How many feels the pressure all gone?
I've anchored my soul in a haven of rest,
I'll sail the wild seas no more;
The tempest may sweep o'er the wild stormy deep,
But in Jesus I'm safe evermore.
145 As the story of Charles Wesley on his retreat down by the seaside one day... He had a little shack; he was studying; the Lord led him down there. And he was studying; oh, God was moving on him for a song. And he couldn't--he couldn't get nothing to start on. He'd start on something; the inspiration would leave him. So he went walking down along the seashore, listening at the waves, and thought he could find some inspiration in the waves lapping. All at once a storm came up. Nothing happens by chance; everything is ordained of God. No matter what happens, all things are going to work together for good.
146 And he started towards his little cabin. When he did, the winds got to blowing. He thought, "Oh, I'll be blown off this--the--the shore before I get there. And be pulled up his coat and started to run, and something flew into his bosom. And he looked back, and it was a little sparrow come for refuge. He just held it in his bosom until the storm was over and the sun come out. He set this little fellow upon his finger, and he let him fly away. And he flew away, and then the--the inspiration struck him:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Oh, I like that. See? Rock of Ages, that Rock in a weary land, a Shelter in the time of storm. That Rock in a weary land, Hide Thou me, Hide me, O Rock of Ages cleft for me.
148 The great inspired writers of the songs and the things that we so enjoy today... You say, "Are those songs inspired?" Jesus referred to them when He was here on earth, said, "Is not it written in the Psalms, David said certain-certain thing." Sure they're inspired. Just like preaching or anything else, it's inspired. I'm so glad that I have a Refuge. Other refuge have I none.
Yet my hopes is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' Blood and righteousness;
When all around my soul gives way,
Then He's all my hope and stay.
For on Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other grounds is sinking sand (no matter what it is).
God bless you, your pastor now, Brother Ruddell. I'm sorry Satan turned them lights out, but God got the victory anyhow. Amen.