The Key to the door
1 ... a privilege to be at the Tabernacle. It was a little unexpected to me too. I, knowing tonight was the communion night, I always like, if I'm around anywhere, to come in on the Communion. Because it's... I think that all Christians should anticipate in taking Communion, because Jesus said, "If you eat it not, you have no part with Me." Therefore, it's a--always a grand privilege to--to come into the Tabernacle. Then, tonight, Brother Neville said he was just a teeny bit hoarse, and--and liked if I'd speak to our congregation. I told him I'd be delighted to do so. I would like to announce also that if...
2 Tomorrow night is the men's meeting, the trustees, tomorrow night, and the businessmen here of the church, on their regular Monday night meeting and their... have a decision to make with the contractor. I guess you all understand that our--our--our papers went through, and we're going to be able to build the church. And so it goes through, and will probably start this week. The church starts up this week, as far as I know. And they turned us down on it here in Jeffersonville. But we went to Indianapolis, the state, and they give us permission, so we're going to build it. And so it starts, perhaps, this week. It'll be known after the meeting tomorrow night. And then after the meeting tomorrow night, if they do not start this week, if something happens, the contractor can't start this week, he's going to then start the following week.
3 And this coming weekend, Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night, of next week, this next coming Saturday and Sunday, the Lord willing, I want to have a--a--a triune meeting, again, like we did a few weeks ago. And then after we... That'll be Saturday night, and then Sunday morning, and then Sunday night. This next, that'll be the thirteenth and fourteenth of this month.
And then some of the brethren and I are going away after that time, over to Colorado, on a hunting trip, then come back. If the Tabernacle, when it's finished, if it be the will of the Lord, I want to take, maybe, a complete week before I leave again in the meetings, and have The Seven Seals of Revelations, just before... Like we had The Seven Church Ages, now The Seven Seals to follow that.
And probably in about the next two or three weeks, because I think they claim they, with the man that they're going to put on it, they can, we can build the Tabernacle and have it in about ten days, or fifteen, something like that. Then we're going to have seating room here for about twice the people we got, or three times, maybe more people. And that's the way I was waiting till that time.
6 Because the last Saturday and Sunday, it was terrific, you know. The people was standing out here at two o'clock in the afternoon to fill the Tabernacle up, 'fore the church ever opened up. The next morning, at five o'clock, a nurse lives next door to me, coming from up there, said, "There was people just packed all around the Tabernacle at five o'clock in the morning." So and then the people, when they get in, there's no place, and they get discouraged and they go away. And--and then those who are standing, and piled and they're jammed in the aisles, they feel all cramped up, and everything. And I see women standing there, sweating, you know, like that, and the perspiration running off of them. And some man give up and give his, some woman a chair; and then he'll stand till his legs are hurting, and somebody else will give him. You know, and like that, and it's pitiful, and mothers with little sick children and so forth, that's bad.
7 So we're trying to eliminate that now by building a bigger Tabernacle. And we'll have a nice place where the children, sometime that interrupt, like little children crying; well, we're going to have a room for that, so the mothers can go in, still see the service, and be broadcast right into the room, and have Sunday school rooms and everything just lined out the way it should be. And that, if the Lord willing, takes place, coming this coming week.
8 You all voted a hundred percent on it, so we've held right to that. See? The church is sovereign. What the church says, that's what... Trustees or nobody else... The trustees is just, each one, a vote. The pastor is just one vote. It's the church, that it's--it's the democracy of the church, the sovereignty of the church. The church in whole, speaks. That's all. And we like that, because we have no bishops, or hierarchies, or overseers, or so forth to tell us this, that, or the other. It's the Holy Spirit in the church, does the speaking; I like that rule, and it's very fine.
9 And I asked, "Did you all want to wait till we got enough to move the Tabernacle away and build a big church?" That was on the trustee board, and it could not be settled by the trustees. And then they asked me, as the general overseer, to come and ask the church. So I said, "Now, we have enough money to increase the size of the church and fix it all different, and everything, and what we had." I said, "Now, we can do that right away, or save our money till we get enough to put the complete church up, new, someplace else."
And we took a vote on it in the church, and it was unanimously voted for to put the church up right now, and it's just build a bigger church right now. And we've stayed right with that.
11 And the board here in Jeffersonville turned us down, said we couldn't do it. And we went over that, and went to Indianapolis and got the State onto it. And then they sent back the word, that, "go ahead," we have the right of way to build it. So then the city has nothing to do with it now; it's the State has to do it. So then we have the permission, and the contractor has the--the permit in his hand right now, and I guess they're ready to start at anytime.
This tomorrow night, if the--if the contractor says that he wants to start next week, then I'll just omit the meetings for the... until we come into The Seven Seals. And then if the contractor can't start next week, then the following Sunday, Saturday and Sunday, I'll have the meeting before leaving.
And then I was going to have it this Sunday, and then found out tonight being Communion night, so I omitted it this Sunday. Because such a crowd, you can't take Communion comfortably, and then when we have the bigger church we can.
14 Now, we got an oncoming President. The... Oh, you know what I mean, it was just delivered to the Hickerson family not long ago. And if the--our sister who's the pianist, if she'll come and give us a little chord on the piano, of "Bring Them In," if you will, or some little song of that type... This fine little gentlemen in the Hickerson family, that's been looked for for so long, has arrived, a very fine little fellow, and he sure is a jewel to the Hickersons. And they're all jewels to us; we love them and they're really our brother and sister. We're thankful to have this little one born into their family, which has absolutely revolutionized the family. And if they, father and mother will bring this little fellow now for dedication... Now, the Scripture says they brought unto Him children, infants, that He might lay His hand on them and bless them.
15 Now, there's people in the world that believe in what they call infant baptism. And that is, they take these little fellows and not baptize them at all, 'cause they just sprinkle water on them. Now, we don't find that anywhere in the Bible, where they ever did sprinkle anybody, adults, let alone children.
And so baptism is a confession that a inward work of grace has been done. And the little infants has no knowledge of sin. Therefore, when Jesus died at the cross, He died to take away the sin of the world. And when the baby is becomes a human being, and borned into this world, they have no sin of their own; therefore they have no repentance to be done. But when that--the Blood of Jesus Christ takes away that sin, 'course the baby is borned in sin, shaped in iniquity, comes to the world speaking lies, and they're sinners by nature, but the Blood of Jesus Christ atones for that. But when the baby is--comes to the age of accountability, and knows what's right and wrong, then it has to repent for what it has done. Its sin now is the sin just like it's born in sin; it's the human sin, the sin now is the sin that Adam and Eve did; and that was omitted by God, by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Now, the baby has no sins to repent from until he sins, then he's got to repent. See? And when he repents, then's the time to be baptized, and then he's baptized by immersing.
17 Until that time, we follow the instructions of the Bible, which, "They brought to Jesus little children, that He might lay His hands on them and bless them." This lovely parent tonight brings this little baby to the pastor and I for dedication. And they feel that placing it in the representatives of Christ's hands, they're placing it in Christ's hands. Then by faith we take the baby to God to give thanks for bringing it here, and ask God to bless it, which we call "infant dedication."
18 Now, you know how I'd be about my own children. I've got a little girl in glory tonight, and she was dedicated to the Lord, here at the altar. I've got a little boy and girl setting back there, tonight, that's never been baptized yet. One, eleven, I've been talking to her about it today, Sarah, for baptism. And Joseph is only seven, so he's too young for it yet, as far until... If he'd desire it, and say God was putting it on his heart, I'd do it then. But as infants, I just dedicate them to the Lord, 'cause that's the Scriptural teaching of it.
19 Brother Neville, if you'll walk out with me now to this fine boy. I was afraid to get... Is that Hollin? Hollin? Yeah, Hollin, Junior? Stephen Hollin. Well, that's fine. Why, I thought he was sleeping. That's that nature of the Hickerson's, anything going on it's...?... I seen him the other day, I said, "the President," and so forth. And 'course, that was too small for him (See?), speak of him...?... Well, how do you do? Well, I know that's bound to be a treasure to any father and mother. Wouldn't you think so? Very sweet. And now, Brother Hickerson and Sister Hickerson, as a servant of Christ, as your pastor, I take this baby by faith to the arms of Jesus Christ, in Whom you wish to place it into His arms.
20 Let us bow our heads as the pastor and I stand here with our hands on the baby.
Our heavenly Father, in the Bible they brought to You little children, that You might lay Your hands upon them and bless them. And truly, Lord, they were blessed. And now, to follow Your example, the things that You did, we've tried closely, Lord, reading the Bible and following the example just as You did. And this father and mother, Brother and Sister Hickerson, our beloved disciples here in the Tabernacle, bring to us this little bit of joy that you have placed in their care. It come from You, Lord. You gave them this child. And now they desire to give its little life to You to be a service to You. I pray that You bless this child, that You will give it a long life. May it live, if possible, to see the coming of the Lord. I pray that You'll bless it wherever it's at. May it be raised in a Christian home, as it has been born into one. And may it continue in this home. May the father and mother live to see the baby in the pulpit, if possible, preaching the Gospel. They would rather see it that way, Father, than on the--to a throne at the White House, or anywhere else, because they are servants of Yours, and desire the baby's life to be a dedication and a benediction to the work of God.
Now, I pray, Father, that You bless the child. And may the grace of God come upon it, and may it be healthy and happy all of its life. And may the father and mother live to see it grown, we ask again. Bless it who we bless in Your Name.
23 And now, little Stephen Hollin Hickerson, I give thee to Jesus Christ, that the blessings that we have asked may come upon thee. Be healthy and strong, my little brother, and may you live to glorify God. In the Name of Jesus Christ we ask it. Amen. God bless you. God bless you all...?...
Where we'll never grow old, never grow old,
In the land where we'll never grow old;
Never grow old, never grow old,
In the land where we'll never grow old.
Won't it be wonderful? The young will be adults, and the old will be young. Now, isn't that wonderful? And we'll never be sick, or never have sorrow, or never die.
25 Now, the services, Brother Neville has announced, I want to announce now also, that that meeting, don't forget it, and the meetings that he has spoke of. Also a Mrs. Ford that used to come to the church years ago, I just taken her to her daughter, a couple days ago, and she's eighty years old, and went to meet the Lord last night at eight o'clock, I think. And her services, the pastor and I will hold at the chapel at Coots, Wednesday, at ten--ten-thirty, this coming Wednesday. Mrs. Ford, Mrs... I think I forget what his... Levi, Mrs. Levi Ford. Our... That's--that's the Lloyd Ford's mother that you see in my book, that he was going to save that Boy Scout suit for me, and I only got one legging left. Now, that's--that's the boy's mother. So I taken her up the other day and prayed with her, the poor old thing. And she went to meet the Lord Jesus.
26 Now, if the Lord willing, I had something here that I might announce that the services, if they come up for this next week, if I've placed them in here, or at least I thought I did, about what I was going to speak on for the--the--the coming, make this coming service of the following week. If I--I think... I thought I put it in this book; I don't know whether I did or not. Yes, here it is. The Lord willing, Saturday night I want to preach on the subject of the--"Why One Man Influences Another's Life." And Sunday morning I want to preach on "The Capping Of The Pyramid." And Sunday night I want to preach on "My Guide," the subject, "My Guide," for this coming Sunday night. Now, may the Lord bless those things and help me, as I've been out, and just a little context to fit them up.
27 Now, tonight we want to hurry and have a few things. By the way, I have a letter here that--that just come in the mail, as Billy picked it up awhile ago, that some brethren are in Michigan, and this comes from the ministerial association that's got a lot of things. That's what gets things scrupled up. You see? That they claim in here that some brethren up there that said that I sent them up there, and they're preaching that men should leave their wives and hunt for their spiritual mate, and that--that I am perfectly infallible, that there's nothing... And, oh, some of the awfullest things you ever heard. And the ministerial association got ahold of it, and they're writing me a letter about it, and that I sent them up there and it's causing a lot of confusion. And some of them prophesying and saying that one man should leave this wife and go marry that one.
Now, this church knows that we don't stand for no such tommyrot as that. We believe in the Bible. We believe that when man takes a woman that's his wife, and death only can separate them. That's only... We don't believe such stuff as that. We don't believe in "free love" either. We don't believe in that stuff. We absolutely believe the Bible and That alone. So I'll just photostat it, copy of this letter, and give my answer to it and place it in the magazines, and that'll--that'll take care of that. I hope it does, anyhow, answer to them.
29 Now, tonight just before we open the Scripture, let's speak to our Lord.
Our heavenly Father, we are approaching Thy throne of mercy, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, that great One Who came down from glory to unfold to us the riches of the treasures of God. How we thank Thee for this great Jesus Who was the manifestation of God, made personally to us, and through Him we have redemption from our sins. And we have now passed from death unto Life, because we believe Him. For it is written of Him, that He said, "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 unto Life."
31 Bless Thy Words tonight, Lord. And we're here to take the communion just in a short time. Christian, fellow citizens of the Kingdom will gather around the altars, and there they will take what we call the communion, the--the little portion of--of sacrament that Thou has left us to show that we believe that You're died for our sins, and rose again on the third day, and alive forevermore, and doing this until You return, according to the Scriptures as we are commanded. Sanctify our hearts from evil thoughts and all that we have did that was contrary to Thy great will. Father, forgive us, and give us of Thy grace tonight. Break unto us now the Bread of Life in the Word, as we read It and speak on It. In the Name of the Lord Jesus, we ask it. Amen.
32 Now, in the Book of Revelations, beginning with one verse only, I wish to read the 20th verse, or the 1st verse of the 20th chapter.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having a key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Now, I wish to speak, if it would be, if I should call it the text from this, or draw a context from this text, for the next twenty or twenty-five minutes, I would like to call it, "The Key To The Door." Now, I do not wish to--to make it the "keys," because Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom. But I want to call this "The Key To The Door." And then immediately after this, I wish to give a few little comments on Communion, before we take it tonight.
34 Now, a key... I notice here as we read, that this Angel came down from heaven, having the key in his hand. I believe it's Revelations 13 or 19, we find again, another Angel coming with a key. And a key is, a purpose of a key, is to unlock something, something that's been locked up, or it's something that should be locked up. But a key is given for that purpose.
Now, there are many kinds of keys, because we have many uses of keys. There's keys to the storehouses; there's key to your own house; there's key to your automobile. And we call them keys, and they are keys. And they can be duplicated many times. Or to the house, there sometimes can be made, what we call, the skeleton key. In other words, it's a key that's kinda made with the levers, acts on it, that--that twists the lock in a certain way and can almost unlock any door, called, the skeleton key. It's a skeleton frame of many keys, and it can be unlocked that way, with our houses or even to our automobiles, can be duplicated. And then there is...
36 Any key cannot unlock no door until it's used by a hand. It's got to have something to use the key. The key in itself cannot use itself. It's got to have something to yield the key.
It's like this microphone that I--that I am speaking through. That microphone is a mute. Unless there's something to speak through it, it cannot speak through itself. It's got to have something to speak through it. So it is not the microphone; it's the voice or the--the noise behind that the microphone transmits to the--the air wave to your ear.
Now, that's the way it is in preaching the Gospel. It's not we ourselves as ministers; we are not the Gospel. But we are only transmitters that transmits the Voice of God through our agency of man to the hearer.
39 A vision is the same way. I know nothing to say to the church at this time concerning a vision. But if the Holy Spirit would show, first, me a vision, then I transmit that vision to the one that it's directed to. So it was not my, me, the vision was not me, I; it was God gave the vision, and I acted as a transmitter to bring forth the message of the vision to the people.
Now, a key is the same thing. Pardon me. The key is only to be held in a hand that unlocks the door. See, it's got to be hand. Now, and in the key I'm going to speak about tonight, is only one hand can hold this key, and that's the hand of faith. It's the only thing can--can hold this key. And hands hold other keys, and it takes a hand of faith for that.
41 Now, we take like the key to knowledge. Now, a man has to, if he's trying to accumulate knowledge (See?), now, there's a key to that. There's a way that this man has to open up. He has to be to get his books and his learning, and he cannot... No one can learn him. They might teach him, but he has to learn. And the only way that it can be done, he has to catch that key, that something in there that unfolds or un--reveals to him the knowledge that he is seeking.
And there are people like would try to play a piano and the--or music. They don't know just how they do it, but they could go there and the teacher might take lesson after lesson, and they'd never learn it. They just cannot hold that key to that mystery, how the rhythm and the sounds of the tuning and so forth rings out. It takes the key.
43 And mathematics, there's a key to mathematic, that you just have to get the hang of it. I've seen men that could take four rows of figures, and put their fingers, each one of their fingers on a row of figures, and just come right down like that for maybe five or six figures deep, and put the answer at the bottom. Figuring four rows at a time, anywhere from one to nine. Well, I have a hard time figuring one row, 'less I got enough fingers and toes to count, to--to get one row figured out. I just never could find that key. But, you see, some of them just has that key to it and know how to do it.
And there's a key to knowledge, a man after knowledge. There's a key to science, the scientific researches. Now, there's... That's a great key. People look for that key.
45 Like here sometime ago they found an atom, and knowed that there was atoms, and then the atoms form molecules and so forth. Now, they got to searching; someone believed if that atom held the--everything together, if the atom could be turned around, that would take that what it's holding and break it apart. 'Cause everything is held up by atom, we know that. Now, that post is held with atoms. You're held together with atoms. The grass, the trees, everything is to--held together with atoms. Well, if that atom, turning all one way, if it can be broken and turned back, then it would destroy. And now, great scientists believe that that could be done, and they worked and they worked, and they set hour after hour, and week after week, year after year, until finally they conquered it.
46 It was, I believe, Thomas Edison, on the light, that they say the man had a knowledge that he could make electricity light. He's the inventor of the light bulb. And he wouldn't even go to bed at night. He would take a sandwich in his hand, and eat his meal, and set there, and figure, and work. Somewhere way back in the back of his mind, something told him he could do it. What is it? It's a key that can open up the way.
47 Not many years ago, there was a--a man that he believed that he had a talent to write comic strips. He believed he held the key in his hand. And he wanted... He went... He lived in Kansas. He went to the editor of the great paper in Kansas City, and took some of his writings in. And the editor said, "Sir, you just haven't got it. You--you... There's no need of trying, you--you can't do it." But that didn't satisfy him. He knowed he had it. And he went back again and again, trying, but he--the editor would turn him down. Finally, he went to other places, and they turned him down, saying, "Mister, you just haven't got it. You can't do it." But yet he believed he could do it. Now, that's the way; he's got something in his hand. Finally, he got the job of writing some little script for, I believe, a editorial or something for a church, some sort of a little comic strip for the church. And he rented hisself a little rat or mice infested garage, where the mice was running all over the place and everything in his sheets, and he got to noticing a peculiarity of a certain little mouse. There's where the story of Mickey Mouse was born. Now, it's a multimillionaire is Walt Disney. Why? He had something in his hand, and he knowed he held it; he knowed he could do it. That's the way every great achievement is made. When men and women have something in their hand that they know they can do it.
48 When polio struck the nation. As we're all commanded now to go get this vaccine to stamp it out. When polio struck... Yesterday I was listening to a doctor as I was driving over the road, some doctor from Louisville. He said, "A few years ago, when the great plague hit Louisville," said, "if men would've stood where I did, and saw fifty-seven respirators at one time, and men, women, boys and girls, paralyzed with a disease called polio, and there was nothing could be done about it..." Said, "I never want to see a thing like that again."
But science thought, "If there is such an evil as polio, there surely is something to counteract it." They fought; they stood on the streets with boots, those firemen; they put hats out, and they begged; they bummed; they done everything, trying to find the key to unlock the door to liberty. And finally, one Christian gentlemen by the name of Salk found the vaccine. Why? There was an evil at stake, there was a killer at stake; there was a key somewhere that could unlock freedom again for man, and the Salk vaccine was the great treatment. Oh, what the key can do. The vaccine was brought forth, and now is stamping out the polio with this vaccine, because that it was a never tiring and never give up; that key laid somewhere. There was something would inoculate from it, and they were determined to find it.
50 And if there is such an evil as polio, diphtheria, smallpox, yellow fever, tetanus, lockjaw, and so forth, that science, these evils, has been able to fight, day and night, till they found a inoculation from it, because it's evil; it's a killer. How much more is there a key to salvation for a man that's in prison house of sin? There is a key to that door to liberate man from it.
A tre--key, usually, when it turns the lock, and when you find a key, it's got to be to some treasure, something that's worthwhile, or you wouldn't even lock it up. If it ain't worth locking up, just let it go. But when it's worth locking up... So a key usually is the--the note to something, or the way to enter to something that's worthwhile. The key, that's what it's for, now, it unlocks something that's worthwhile.
52 Now, we read in St. John the 10th chapter, Jesus said, "I am the Door to the sheepfold. I am the Door (not a door, the Door, the only Door). I am the Way (the only Way), the Truth, and the Life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me. I am the Door to the sheepfold and all that comes before Me is enemies, thieves and robbers." He is the Door to the sheepfold. He is the Door to salvation.
"There's not another name given under heaven whereby you must be saved, only through the Name of Jesus Christ." No church, no denomination, no creed, no doctrines of anything, only through Jesus' Name. That is the--that is the Key. No wonder Peter could use one of them on the day of Pentecost. They wanted to know how to get into that Door. He used the key. And there's only one Key, because there's just one Door. "I am the Door." And Peter had the key to It. And he said, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sin, and you shall receive the treasures of God." It's the key to the Door, and Jesus is the Door.
54 There's only one Door to healing, and Jesus is that Door. There's only one Door to peace. Yeah. "My peace I give unto you." He's only one Door to genuine peace. You might think you got peace. You might accumulate enough money to buy your home; you might accumulate enough money to get your children clothes, have food to eat, but you might have accumulated enough popularity to be popular amongst people. But when you slip off your shoes at night and get ready to lay down, there's only one thing can give you peace, that is, if you know you were dying that night, there's only one Peace, and, that's, Jesus is the Peace. He is our Peace.
He is our Healing. "I'm the Lord thy God, that heals all of your diseases." He is the Door to heaven. And there's no other door or no other way but through Jesus Christ. He is the Door to heaven.
And now, Jesus is the Door to all these things, and faith is the key that unlocks the Door. Now, if Jesus is the Door to all these promises of God, faith in His finished work unlocks every door to every treasure there is inside the Kingdom of God. See it? Key is... Faith is the key that unlocks every promise He makes. The key of faith does that, faith in His finished work. It's these keys that we're speaking on.
58 Now, in Hebrews the 11th chapter, I got a great string of them wrote down here of these heroes of faith. It was the key, to--to the Door, that stopped the mouth of lions. It was the key, faith, that unlocked the prison houses. It was faith, the key of faith, that quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, brought the dead back to life again. It was faith, the key of faith in the living God. That hand, that man, that woman who can take that key of faith that can unlock every promise God made. But if you haven't got that key, you're just progging; you'll never unlock it. You'll beat against it, because this key...
Any correct made key has levers on the inside of the lock, and it takes a certain form, a certain shape of them keys to turn those levers. And just one little lever out of the way, will mess the whole thing up.
60 Therefore, I believe in the full Gospel, every Word of God, that turns the power of God loose, that turns His blessings to the people. It's the key to the Door that unlocks It. All those great heroes, those prophets and great men of the Bible that--had that key. That's the reason they could stop the mouth of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, bring the dead back to life again, and do all kinds of miracles, is because they held that key and they knowed it worked, because it was a Scripture-born key.
Now, if I'm progging with a creed key, I don't know what it's going to do. If they say "My church speaks it's this," I don't know about that.
62 But when the Bible teaches it, and I hold the faith key in my hand, or in my heart, that says, "That's God's Word," that'll quench the violence of fire, it'll unlock healing for the sick, it'll unlock salvation to the lost. I have to come to the Door, everything's in His Name. "Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in His Name." Knowing that the key that you got is faith, because it's a Scripture-made key. Now, if it's a creed key, denominational key, I don't know what it'll do. But if it's a Scriptural key, it'll unlock, because God said so. Now, oh, no wonder they could stop the violence of fire, and so forth, they had the key.
63 God's first nod to one of those prophets, nothing could stop them. He didn't have to do like He does to me some time, pound it over and over, and perhaps you (I hope not.), but keep telling me, "Go do this," and then you'll stumble along, "Then go do this," and "Go back and do it again; you didn't do it right." Just one little nod, just they could just feel the Spirit tell them, "It's the thing to do," and nothing's going to stop them. Brother, they--they--they stopped the mouth of lions; they escaped the edge of the sword; they quenched fire; they done everything at just a little nod from God, because they held the key in their hand, that great faith. They done things for God because nothing will stop them. Oh, how glorious.
64 Like the young man one time came up to a--an old brother that was a godly old man, an old prophet of God. And he heard that man constantly testify, constantly telling about the goodness of God, and how that God was, and what Christ was, and just going ahead, speaking. Finally, this young man was going to be ordained in the ministry, so he came up to this certain old sage, and he said to him, "Sir, I want to ask you a question."
He said, "Ask on, young man."
He said, "Does Christ literally mean as much to you as you say It does?"
He said, "He means more to me than what I could ever have breath to speak." There you are. What was it? He had found the key.
That young man said, upon that, "If you claim these things, and you say to me that they're as real as you, then I want to know that same Jesus in the same reality." What was it? He knowed the old man had ahold of the key, that he could unlock and could lock up.
68 You know, a key that locks, unlocks too. See? You can loosen or bind. That's right. The same key that locks, unlocks. The key that unlocks can lock up. And that's exactly (See?), because it works both ways. How pitiful it is that the church has ever lost its vision of that. What a sad thing it was when the church sold itself out to creeds, as we've done today, and now call to unite.
We seen where the great Roman hierarchy and them are going to meet now; they're going to change some programs. I thought they didn't change; but they're going to anyhow, give each priest the power of a pope, and--and wherever he's at, and so forth. How pitiful, that the church ever sold out to dogmas instead of the Word. See? That's where they left the key right there. That's the reason the great miracles and signs are not done amongst the people today, that there used to be; they have lost the key. Yeah, they know the Door, they know the Door's there, but the next thing is the key to open the Door. The treasures is behind the Door. They're locked up, out of sight from the unbeliever. But the believer, who has faith and can take the key of faith, can unlock these Doors. Yes, sir.
70 One time here a few years ago, there's a missionary brother, and he felt he had a call to Africa. He was a young fellow; a wife and two children, very pretty, the young girls, about seven or eight years old, apiece. And this young fellow couldn't get away from it. He was a--a minister, he had a nice church in the country. But he just couldn't get away from that call; he must go to Africa. And he prayed day and night. He didn't want to go. And God kept speaking to him, "You must go." And finally he come to a place till he, a showdown, where, he--he must go.
71 So he went to the mission board of his church, and he said, "God has called me to mission fields way back in the jungles of--of Rhodesia." And in this jungle it's infested with malaria, with fever and with that hot sun, pellagra and leprosy, and all kinds of diseases back in this jungle, be where he was going to make, take the rest of his life. Sold his home and all he had. So the mission board wanted to test him, and they said, "Are you sure now?"
He said, "I am positive."
They said to him, "Sir, have you thought it on this manner, that you've got two pretty little girls, and you got a--a lovely young wife, and if you're just... Why don't you just go over and see how it is and then come back?"
He said, "No, the Lord told me. Oh, it's so real." He said, "The Lord called me. And I--I don't want to leave my home. I don't want to leave my church and my people, but the Lord called me back there in that jungle."
74 And he said, "Sir, did you know your little girls could take yellow fever or blackwater fever, and die overnight?" And he referred to different people that had lost their children, the little fellows, to take them back in there, on diseases that they had no inoculation for. And said, "Think of leprosy, of your pretty wife and your two little girls with leprosy, and that hot sun and things you got to put up with." Said, "Aren't you afraid in the danger of taking your children and wife in such a place?"
And the missionary stood there, the young fellow, and the tears begin to run down his cheeks, he turned around, he said, "My brethren. My vision of God's call," he said, "if God has called me to Africa, my children and family is more safer in Africa than any place in the world." Amen.
What was it? He had the key to his call; he had faith in what he was talking about. Oh, I thought, what a gallant remark. When I first heard that, my heart bounced. See, "If God has called me to Africa, my children in the leprosy and pellagra and everything else, they're safer there than any other place on the face of the earth." He had the key. That's what it takes.
76 When you got the key, there's no fear, there's no doubt, there's no question. You don't have to ask anybody else about it; you know exactly. You've got it in your hands; you know what to do. Amen. You know what the score is; you know the door's going to unlock. You've checked the levers and you know it's strictly the right thing; the door's going to fly open when you throw the key in it.
Oh, if the church only possessed the keys. If the church only possessed that key of faith, we could unlock any door, any sickness, any plague, any case that there is. It could be unlocked to us if we could only possess this key. This man had the key to his calling.
78 If you'll pardon a personally--a testimony. I remember about fifteen, seventeen years ago now about, when the Lord said to me down there on the river, when He came down in that Pillar of Fire Whose picture you see, and He spoke to me and He said, "You're to take this Message around the world."
And I remember at Green's Mill when He spoke to me. And I went and told the pastor, and he told me, said, "Billy, what did you eat that night? You had a nightmare." He said, "Go on back to your job. You're working at the Public Service Company, got a good job, go on back and take care of your--your business, son." Said, "You had a nightmare. You eat something." That didn't phase me one bit.
When I started out for the healing services, many of you here remember my message that morning, "As David Went To Meet Goliath," I preached on.
81 And they told me, he said, "In the day of modern science, when we have got all kinds of medical research, when we've got the best doctors, when the church has long forgot Divine healing and stuff from many, many years ago, how are you going before a great giant like that? How are you going to walk out in the face of the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterian, and so forth, and even the Pentecostals, who has forgot it a long time ago, and went into their creeds? How are you going to face, with no denomination or nothing else to back you up? What are you going to do, Bill?" Somehow another, it didn't phase me one bit, for I held in my hand a key. I said... They said, "Nobody will believe you. You won't be able to do it. Nobody will believe you."
I said, "I don't care. There's one thing sure; God called me, and I must go because God called me." I held the key. He had called me. He had showed me. He had told me, and I saw His Presence when He commissioned me, and the key was there.
The pastor said, "With a seventh-grade education and you're going to preach and pray before kings and monarchs?"
I said, "That's according to His Word."
84 About this time last year, or a week or two before, when I'd come to the church here and told you that the Lord God had given me a vision of go--taking a hunting trip, and a--a certain animal I was going to find, that was going to have forty-two inch horns on it. And on the road back from getting this animal (where it would be laying, and the position it would be in), on the road back I was going to kill a silver-tip grizzly bear. And I went to this certain section, and I spoke to the man, and he said, "I don't know of any animal that looks like that. And as far as a grizzly bear, I've never seen one."
I said, "But somewhere it's got to be here."
So he said, "We're not even going into bear country. We're going up for sheep, way up above timberline." Well, I went with him.
86 And the second day out in the very spot, exactly where the Lord said, there laid the animal. So when I went and got the animal, and while we were taking the skins and the horns and so forth, off, he said, "I want to ask you something. You told me, three days ago when we left the--the camp, that after you had shot this certain beast, that on the road back you was going to kill a silver-tip grizzly bear."
I said, "That's THUS SAITH THE LORD."
Said, "I'm not doubting," he said, "because my brother was an epileptic, and you'd never seen him in your life, when you was up here one time, and you told me that boy was going to be healed when I done a certain thing. And he was." He said, "Now, but, Brother Branham, I want to ask you," he said, "I can see all the way down that mountain to where the timberline is, them horses are standing. And there's nothing there. There isn't a speck of grass; there isn't a rock; there isn't nothing. Caribou moss, which is about two inches high, on above timberlines, for a mile or more above the timberline." Said, "Where is the bear going to be?"
I said, "God is Jehovah-jireh. If He's told me there will be a bear there, there'll be one there."
89 Down the mountain, about every time we get a half a mile or so, closer, he said, "Brother Branham, about time for that bear to appear."
I said, "Don't worry, he'll be here."
And when we were almost within about five hundred yards of where the horses was, we had to rest again with the heavy horns and things on our back. And he looked around again, and I seen his face as he looked at me, as if down in his heart he was wondering. See, he had hoped it would be there, but he didn't have the key.
But somehow, by the grace of God, He's never failed me. When He told me there'd be a silver-tip there, I had the key. I didn't doubt it one bit, not a bit. I turned to him, and I said, "Bud, it'll be there." And just as I turned, there was the bear standing right above us about a half a mile.
He throwed the glasses on; he said, "Billy, so help me, it's a big silver-tip."
See, the key, a vision, the Word of the Lord, there's nothing can change It or stop It. What the church needs tonight is not an education. What the church needs tonight is not a denomination. What the church needs tonight is not creed. What the church needs tonight is the key to the Scriptures, the Door. Which, Christ is the Door, and He is the Word. Faith in the Word of the living God unlocks every door. God, give us the key. Give us the key.
94 Hebrews the 12th chapter, says, "Seeing that we're compassed about with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the unbelief that does so easily beset us." It says "sin," which sin is "unbelief." See? Only one sin, that's unbelief.
And "sin" means "to miss the mark." Like you're shooting, you miss the mark, better adjust your gun (See?), because there's something wrong. You missed the mark. See, come back and try over. See, it means to turn around; you've missed the mark. When you want to be a Christian, and you go join the church, you've missed the mark. When you want to be a Christian, and you've been sprinkled in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost," you missed the mark, better come back. You'll not be on the target. You'll scatter, as sure as the world. There's only one Thing can hold you in perfect line; that's the Scripture, the Bible, the Word. For both heavens and earth will pass away, but God's Word will never pass away.
So hold the key:, faith in the Word. And every bit of faith that you believe, and don't doubt one speck, you can unlock every door that stands between you and the blessing that God has for you. May God help us to have the keys, is my prayer. Let us bow our heads now for a word of prayer.
97 Our heavenly Father, we thank Thee tonight that Thou has give us a key to unlock to us salvation. I--I thank You for that, Lord, that we are saved, and for the key that we have been able to use so far. But, God, give us faith, that every one of these Words wrote in Your Book is little levers, and this Key called Jesus--this Door that I mean called Jesus and the key called faith touches every Word, it unlocks it. It moves that little lever down and we can enter into that blessing. Heavenly Father, give to us the keys, that we might be able to have faith in the promises of God, that our faith might not fail, that we might be able to be a service to You and to those who we associate with.
Forgive every sin of our disbelieving, Lord, and help us to be Thine. We're coming now to the communion table, and I pray, heavenly Father, that You will forgive us of all of our trespasses, that we might be able to enter into the joy of fellowship around the table of God. We ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
99 My brother, sister, if you've got the key to the Kingdom, the key to the Door, the key of salvation, God help you to open the doors and let Jesus come in. Let Him give to you the things that you so--so desire.
Now, just a moment before we start to read on communion, I want to say a thing because it's on communion. And when we come to this altar, there's only one way to come; that is, if we hold the key of faith in our hands, that lets us know that our sins are forgiven. And if we don't have that key to unlock that Door, that our sins are forgiven, we have no business at the table of the Lord. Because he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Now, that is true.
101 I guess all of us know that today is the National Communion Day. This is the day that all churches take communion. It's the National Communion Day over the nation. And I thought that it would be appropriate to speak a word or two on communion before we took it, while the pastor, if he will, be getting the Scriptures ready for the reading of the--the order of the Lord's table. Now, this communion... Now, I won't take but just about ten minutes.
102 This communion that we're fixing to take, has been the greatest dispute of any doctrine in the Bible. That was their--one of their first disputes in the early church. And today the Protestant of Episcopalian and Methodists, and many of the Protestant churches would gladly accept Catholic, Roman Catholic doctrine, if they could get over the little hump of communion. But they will agree that the priest should be married and be ministers, the Catholic church agreed on that several times in their conferences and meetings. They agree on it. And they'll agree upon different prayers, and so forth, the Protestant church will agree upon it. And the catechisms and so forth, the little altar here and there, and the Catholic church is willing to do it. But when it come to the communion, there they fell. Now, anybody that's ever read history knows that. But, 'course, to my way of thinking, they'd have a lot to get away from 'fore I--I could accept it (You see?), because it isn't Bible.
103 But I want you to say one thing to the Catholic church. Do you know the Catholic church in the beginning was the apostolic Pentecostal church? Certainly was. It was the first beginning of the church. And you see where they--where they got to; they kept taking away the Word and injecting a dogma.
And if the Pentecostal church should exist another hundred years, it would be farther off of the Bible than the Catholic church is today, from the way it's going now.
It took the Catholic church several hundred years to get away from it, three hundred years from the early church to the organizing of the Roman Catholic church, which they started out. And they've caught, bringing in big dignitaries and things, and they cut out this, and put in this, and taken out this and put up that, and taken down pagan idols and put up Christian statues, and so forth, and just compromising on that till they come to what they got now, the Roman Catholic church.
And the Protestant Pentecostal church from the--the fifty years that it's been in existence, and where it's fell from where it started, it'll be a worse shape than the Catholic church in a hundred years from now. That's right. That's a big word to say, but just look where they've fallen from. They went right into organization; they went right in compromising on this and that, and everything else. And there they go (See?), going right back.
107 But communion, it's called the Lord's supper. Now, a lot of people, they want to take it in the morning. It didn't say in the Bible it was His breakfast. And how these people today, how they can still say "Lord's supper," and they don't... They've cut out supper, and omitted it, and called it "dinner," nonsense: It's supper.
Now, always a dispute in the Bible times, it was a dispute then. The people misunderstood the Lord's supper. When they come to the table, Paul told those Corinthians, they were coming and getting drunk at the Lord's table. See, it was misunderstood right then. He said, "If you want to eat, eat at home."
109 And another thing, it was misunderstood, what it was, Sinners, and men living in sin, come and took the communion. And that was misunderstood. A man living with his mother, foster mother, and the church had told him about it: still taking communion at the table.
And there were divisions among them, and they were still taking communion. He said, "I understand that you walk like the rest the Gentiles. And there's--there's friction among you, like there is at--at especially in Cephas' house, and so forth." Said, "You walk like the rest the Gentiles." See, it was misunderstood.
111 The communion has always been misunderstood. Now, I could go on for that for hours, but we got to get this communion and the feet-washing. Now, they've simply omitted feet-washing altogether, but just a few of the denominations. A lot of the Pentecostals has got completely away from it. See? And it's still in the Bible just the way it was wrote. See?
Now, Rome does not call it communion. They call it "mass." It's a holy mass. They don't take communion; they take a mass. It's a mass. And a mass, certainly, takes the real meaning from communion. A "mass" means, "hoping." They take a mass, hoping that in doing this in the mass, that God will forgive them of their sins, by taking the literal body of Christ, which the priest turns to the Body and the Blood of Christ, taking that, hoping that God will omit their sins by doing so. It's a mass.
113 The Protestants call it "communion." "Communion" means "thanksgiving." That the Protestant... The Catholic is taking a mass, in the mass hoping that God forgives them of their evil doing. The Protestant takes it with thanksgiving for what's already done with the communion with God: communing with Him, that it's already done. The Catholic is hoping it's done; the Protestant says it's already done. The Catholic is wondering if his sins is forgiven; the Protestant is confessing that they are forgiven, that he is free.
And a communion is communing with God. And these articles that we take, not in hopes that our sins are forgiven, but they are forgiven, because it's... One is hope; and the other one is faith. One's hoping he's right; and the other one knows he's right. See? The other one, one's hoping, because he don't know where he stands; the other one knows he's right, because he knows what God said. That's it. That's the difference.
So when you're just hoping, be careful; but when you know, then go on. See, then you're in communion with God. Protestant is, he says he's forgiven and he knows it; the Catholic has mass, hopes that it'll be forgiven. It's just like this: one is a beggar, hoping that everything's all right (See?); the other one is a beggar thanking for what's already been done. They're both beggars. But one's begging, hoping he'll get it; and the other beggar knows he's got it, and thanks Him for giving it to him. Now, there's the difference. That's communion. Yes, sir. One is hoping that he's forgiven; the other one knows he's forgiven and giving thanks for it.
114 So communion is for Christians that's borned again of the Spirit of God. And borned again does not necessarily mean now that you got the Holy Ghost. Now, remember. Now, many teach that. "I don't know anybody that teaches it like this," as old Brother Arganbright said the other night from the pulpit here. See? But new birth is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Scripture doesn't support it, I don't think (See?), to my way of seeing it. See? I believe that you're borned again...
115 And that's the reason I do use the word baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ, but not to regeneration. Now, the Pentecostal, United Pentecostal church baptizes in the Name of Jesus Christ for regeneration. I don't believe that. They can do it if they want to. But I believe that Peter said repent first. Water don't remit sins. The Church of Christ preaches it that way. But I believe that repentance, godly sorrow... "Repent" means "turn around, go back, you missed the mark, start over again." Do that first. And your baptism in water is only an outward profession of something that's been done inside of you, that you have accepted Christ as your Saviour.
116 I guess it's just the church here tonight, as far as I know, I'm not here enough to know who does come or not. I got a little criticism here not long ago on baptizing a man here in the pool, an old fellow. And I went to him; he was a good old man. I had the privilege of leading all of his family to Christ, all of them Christians. This old man was a nice old man, and I liked him, so I went to him and I said to him, "Papa, why don't you become a Christian?" He loves me.
He said, "Brother Branham, I would become a Christian when I can get good enough."
I said, "Tell you what you do, papa. You look all around till you find where you can get good enough, then tell me where that place is, I want to go too." I said, "Christ never come to save good men. He come to save bad men." When you think you're good, then He didn't come to save you. He come to save them that He knows are bad. See? Christ died to save sinners. See? And I said, "Papa, there's a line right here."
He said, "Well, I smoke these cigarettes."
I said, "I ain't going to even talk about them."
He said, "I've tried to give them up, Brother Branham."
I said, "I--we ain't going to talk about cigarettes."
He said, "Well, when I can..."
I said, "Don't--don't say no more about them; let them go. I want to ask you a question."
He said, "All right, what is it?"
I said, "Do you believe there is a God?"
Said, "Certainly, I believe it." Said, "I believe that as strong as you do, I would guess, Brother Branham."
I said, "Do you believe that that same God crossed His strain and was made flesh and dwelt among us in the Person of Jesus Christ in order to save man?"
He said, "Yes, I believe that."
"And He died to save sinners like you are and like I?" See?
"Yes, I believe that."
I said, "Now, it's just like this. We're all in one big building over here, and we're in jail, and I can't stand over in this corner and say this will help me get out of jail; if I stand over in that corner and say that will help me get out of jail; we're all in the same fix. And every man that was born in this world was born in sin, shaped in iniquity, come to the world speaking lies. He's a renegade to begin with."
123 Someone asked the other day, he said, "Brother Branham, if--would there be any difference between Adam and Eve and their children today, if they were all naked, walking in the... Would--would they're bodies be the same?"
I said, "No, sir." We was coming home from squirrel hunting, Brother Fred and I, and a bunch of them. I said, "No, they wouldn't be the same."
Said, "You mean Eve wouldn't be a woman like her daughters, and Adam wouldn't be a man like his sons?"
I said, "In many respects, but not in all physical respects."
He said, "What would be the difference?"
I said, "They wouldn't have any navel. They were created. Right. They wasn't attached to nothing."
As long as that bears out on everything that's born in this world, shows it's a renegade to begin with. That's right. I said, "Sure, there's a difference. They would have no navel. They wasn't connected to any female to come here." See, God created them.
128 Now, I said, "I want to say something. Every man in this prison house, who's holy? Who is the one that wasn't born by sex? Who's one can help the other, no matter what he is? We're all in this same prison. But God made Hisself one of His creations and come beyond sex, through the holy Blood that He created Himself, and through that Blood He redeemed us." I said, "You believe that, papa?"
He said, "I believe that."
I said, "Christ died for bad men like you. Now, there's only one way to do. There's nothing you can do. He offers it to you. You can't merit it. Nothing you can do to get it. He just gives it to you. Will you accept what He did for you to keep you from hell?"
He said, "I'll do that." He said, "But if I could just get rid of these cigarettes."
I said, "The cigarettes will take care of theirself. (See?) You just... I ain't asking you... I'm not a legalist; I believe in grace, 'And all the Father has given Me will come to Me.' I said, "If you believe that with all your heart..."
He said, "With all my heart, I believe it."
"Then will you accept it on those basis, that you're not worthy of it, but He's the One that's worthy. Don't look at yourself; look at Him, 'cause you can't do nothing for yourself. Look at the One that did something for you. What about Him?"
"Oh," he said, "He's worthy."
I said, "That's it, then accept what He gives you."
He said, "I do."
And I baptized him in the Name of Jesus Christ. And him go out of here and light up a cigarette.
134 A few weeks ago I was down to his homeplace. I saw a vision one night of an evergreen tree being cut down, turned upside down. I seen boards nailed on it. Right next to the last board was a notable board. And down below that board, right down towards the end, running out like this, the tree broke right there. And a Voice said, "It should have been you," or, "It would have been you." And Papa Cox fell, mashed his back in here. And so the next morning they brought his cigarettes to him when he was in the bed, the desire had done left him. Weeks ago... He's never tasted one, don't even want one or nothing else. See? And I seen him awhile ago, when his hands was just brown all over, a few weeks ago, with cigarettes, and now he can't even stand for one to be around him. Put first things first. Don't try to get good; you're bad to begin with, and nothing you can do. There's a separating line; all human beings is on that side.
135 Now, when I was born in this world, it was between a--a holy wedlock, between my father and mother; in her womb was an egg; in my father's glands was a blood cells. My life consists of that blood cell, not of my mother's egg, of my father's blood cell. And when that blood cell went into its proper place to meet the egg, when it did, nature was commanded to God to give me a body. And then that I was then born into the human race, I was given a opportunity to--to become a intelligent person like human beings are, where I could drive an automobile, or I could do things like human beings do, walk, talk, drive an automobile, and so forth. I was given that, because I was borned into the human family, and given power of intelligence to be a human being.
136 Now, when I was borned into the family of God, I came by the Blood; the Blood give me Life. And then after I become alive in Christ, He baptized me with the Holy Ghost and power to be a son of God. Now, just like I could walk, talk like a human being, drive my car like human being. Now, when I receive the Holy Ghost, I receive power to cast out devils, to speak with new tongues, preach the Gospel, heal the sick. I am baptized, not born; but baptized.
They were gathered in the upper room,
All praying in His Name;
They were baptized with the Holy Ghost,
And power for service came. (Amen.)
137 You believe unto Eternal Life, and are born again by your faith. Jesus said in St. John 5:24, "He that heareth My Words and believeth on Him that sent Me, has Everlasting life," not the Holy Ghost, just has Everlasting Life. He's born into the family of God, and then baptized into the Holy Ghost, with power of the intelligence of faith to believe the Gospel and to put It to work and make It act right. Amen. Then he acts like a son of God. Then he can cast out devils. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them (See?): In My Name they shall cast out devils, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, drink deadly things." See, he receives power by the Holy Ghost to do these things.
138 Now, when He went away, He said, "It's expedient for Me that I go away. For, if I go not away, the Holy Ghost will not come." See? Then when He comes, He will reprove the world of sin, and teach righteousness, and show you things to come; that's visions. "He'll take the things that I've taught to you, and reveal them to you." The very Words that He's come... No man can understand the Word outside the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And when a man says he's got the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and disputes the Word being right, there's something wrong.
139 Paul was a critic of the New Testament. It wasn't, the New Testament wasn't wrote. Paul was a critic of Christianity, Saul. And when he received the Holy Ghost, he went three years down in Asia and studied the Scriptures, because he was taught under Gamaliel, a great teacher. Then when he come back, and fourteen years later he went up to meet Peter at Jerusalem, and found out they were Word by Word the same Gospel. The same God that had Peter preach on the day of Pentecost and tell them to repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, that same Holy Spirit revealed it to Paul, and he told them in Acts 19 after they'd done been baptized one time by John, said, "You have to be baptized over again in the Name of Jesus Christ...?..."
140 See, the Holy Spirit stays right straight with the Scriptures. Its faith in That unlocks every mystery. Amen. The Bible said in I John 5:7, "There are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word (which was Christ), and the Holy Ghost. These Three are One. And there are three that bear record in earth: water, Blood, Spirit." These three are not one, but they agree in one. Now, you can't have the Father without having the Son; you can't have the Son without having the Holy Ghost; they are One. But you can be justified without being sanctified, and you can be sanctified without having the Holy Ghost. Sanctification's by the Blood, through the Blood comes Life. See? And the Holy Ghost is the power of God (See?), the power given to the church.
141 "You shall receive (What?) power (Acts 1:8) after this the Holy Ghost is come upon you. You shall receive power." (Not "you'll be born again.") "You'll receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Then you're My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, and Samaria, unto the uttermost parts of the earth." See? You receive power after you receive the Holy Ghost. But first you must receive the Holy Ghost, and that is the power of God (See?), to manifest and demonstrate. You're--you're... As you was a human, and learned to talk, and walk and do the things a human does; when you're baptized with the Holy Ghost, you're given power to act as sons and daughters of God. No wonder people act and do the way they do today; they've never been filled with the Holy Ghost. If they would, they'd act different. They claim they have, but Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." So how can you do it? You see? It's just all scrupled up. See? But come back to the facts.
142 Now, if you walk upright and are--claim yourself to be a Christian, we invite you tonight to the table of the Lord. Today, no doubt, the communion has been taken across the nation, some of them in one way and some in another. But I think the best way to do it is follow the Scriptures, just the way they did it in the Scriptures. I think that would be sufficient.
Do you have your Bible, Brother Neville? Brother Neville will now read the Scriptures. [Brother Neville reads:
In the 11th chapter of I Corinthians, beginning at the 23rd verse...
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
The Lord bless the reading of His Word--Ed.]
144 It's always such a holy thing, such a sacred thing, I think we should bow our heads now in silent prayer. You pray for me; I'll pray for you. Let's pray for one another, that God will be merciful to us unworthy creatures that's about to partake of this great sacrament in remembrance of the death of our Lord. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
This prayer of confession we offer to You, our Father, upon Your golden altar, with our Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus. We ask it in His Name. Amen.
146 Now, I believe the elders will take their place, and they'll--of the church, and they'll bring the people up as they come, row by row, for the communion. Always think of that song,
Dear dying Lamb,
Thy precious Blood shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved to sin no more.
Let us bow our heads. Gracious and Holy Father, Jehovah, the great Almighty, send Thy blessings upon Thy people as we wait. Forgive our sins. And now, we offer to You this sacrament, this wine, the grapes that's been grown, and hands of ministers crushed this together. And it was made into wine for the cause that we're now bringing it to You for, that it might represent to us the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray Thee, Father, to sanctify the wine for that purpose. Forgive every sin of ours. And may every person that receives this wine to their body, may they have health, strength, and salvation from You. Grant it, Lord. We ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
148 The Bible said that when He brake bread and blessed it, said, "Take and eat, this is My Body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of Me." And when we take these little parcels of bread, of kosher, which is made unleavened, it's made by Christians. It's made because that it--it represents the Body of Christ.
We understand that--that it was the disciples of Christ's day, or the day of the church, that took these portions and made the supper ready at the last supper, at Christ's last supper. And down through the Bible, it was disciples that ministered these things to the people. And today, our modern day disciples, our brethren here of the church, disciples of this cause, minister to the people. And they will take these portions and give them to the people.
149 And now, when you receive this bread, remember, it represents the Lamb. Long years ago when Israel's lamb was roasted over fire and was taken with bitter herbs, the people had strength; their shoes never wore out, their clothes never come threadbare all through the journey till they hit their promised land. May God keep us healthy, happy, serving Him until we reach the promised land that He's given us.
150 Let us pray. Gracious heavenly Father, as I speaking tonight of that Holy, sanctified Body of our Lord, in Whom dwelt the Fullness of the Godhead. When I think of that Body being creased and--and broken, and the Blood running out, His back and His ribs shining through, the lashes up and down His back; when I think of this wrinkled, beaten bread represents that, it comes afresh in our hearts. We lay our hearts, Lord, upon Your altar tonight. Forgive us, O God. And may this broken bread, as it goes into the mouth of these, Thy servants, and may they recognize that it was Your precious Body that was bruised and wounded, and by the stripes we are healed. Grant it, Lord. Sanctify this kosher bread to its intended purpose. We ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
(Just hold it a minute.) It is not closed communion. Every Christian believer is welcome to the table of the Lord, to have this fellowship with us. (Oh, of course you can.)