1 Thank you, very much. I certainly deem this one of the highlights of my life, to be here in this great city of New York, to speak to this chapter, or these chapters, rather, having this time to set on the platform with my ministering brethren, and to speak to the businessmen and women of this city about our Lord Jesus Christ. There's no doubt but many of you know Him, from your action this morning, and rejoicing and praising Him for His goodness and mercy.
I feel pretty small here, standing here with these renown speakers and have to stand here and speak to this audience, because I'm not much of a speaker: always said I was a spare tire. You know, you use a spare tire when you got a flat; but we haven't got any flat, but they just letting the spare tire roll along a few minutes, I suppose.
3 I was remarking about, in my soul, a few moments ago, and mind, about the--about bearing the fruit of the Spirit, as one of the brothers give that quotation, "bearing fruit." You know, we can't manufacture fruit. We have to bear fruit. See, a sheep doesn't manufacture wool; but because he has wool and bears wool, he's a sheep. That's the reason he bears wool. That's the only way we can ever be Christians, is not because that we have the name, or try to work up to something, to manufacture it. Being a sheep, you just bear wool. Being a Christian, you just bear the fruits of it. Yeah.
And setting this morning, I know our time's limited in these meetings.
5 Another reason we're in New York at this time, I was sorry that I did not get to attend that convention. A very dear friend of mine misunderstood me, when he said, "Would you speak at the convention in New York?" Mr. Williams... I live in Tucson, Arizona; he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, just about a hundred and twenty miles apart. And I said, "Yes, I'll--I'll be there in November, I'll be glad to do that," to meet with Brother Nelson, Brother Sweet, and my friends here. And come to find out, it was October. And October I was to be in Alaska, so I was quite a ways from New York at that time.
6 But finding this privilege of coming here with Brother Vick of the Rock Church, and the ministers, and we're down here in the Marc Auditorium, where we've been having a grand time this week, seeing the Kingdom of God among us. We're so happy for that. And then coming to this time this morning, where perhaps men, businessmen and women from all walks of life set here: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and whatmore.
It reminds me of years ago, when I used to work on a cattle ranch up in Colorado. I was... We'd take the cattle off... The Hereford Association grazes the--the valley, and it's called the Troublesome River Hereford Association. Our little ranch was up at the head of the river. And we had the East and West Fork, and we grazed the East Fork. And then the spring of the year, when we take the cattle off of the pasture then, to put them on to the Arapaho Forest, where the Association grazes...
Now, it's a Hereford Association. There's many people on the--in the Association there that raises Hereford cattle. And if your ranch can produce two tons of hay, you're permitted, by the brand, to put a cow on the pasture for the summer, so that you're hay can grow up where they irrigate, and feed them out through the winter.
9 Now, when we'd have the spring roundup, and driving the cattle up on the pasture, there's a drift fence. Drift fence is where the cattle don't drift back on--on private property; it's on government property. And the ranger always stands at this drift fence, and he watches the cattle as they go by. Well, there's many brands that goes through that--that gap, or little fence.
And there is, well, Mr. Grimes is one of the big ranchers; he had what they call the Diamond Bar. He had several thousand head of cattle. And the Turkey Track, and the Lazy K, and many up-and-down there, they went through.
11 I stood a many a time, or set, rather, in the saddle with my leg up over the horn of the saddle, and watched that ranger as he looked at those cattle going by. And the amazing thing, he never did notice the brands on the cattle. He didn't. They all have to be Herefords or they can't get in there. And the only thing he was interested in, whether it was a Hereford or not; not what kind of brand they were wearing. There's a blood tag in the ear, that showed that they were Herefords.
And I just thought, that the way it'll be at--at the great roundup of the great entering in of the Kingdom of God. He will not notice the brand, whether we're Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian. But He'll watch for the Blood tag. That's... We must all have the Blood tag, "For when I see the Blood, I'll pass over you." Men has tried to educate people into Jesus Christ; we've tried to lecture them in. But God has one way; that's under the Blood we have things in common.
13 Sometime ago, a family was separating. And the attorney told them they'd better go down and divide up their estate before the divorce was granted, because there wouldn't be nothing left if the attorneys got ahold of it. So he happened to be a personal friend to them. And they went into one room, the living room, the husband and wife, and they divided up, and fussed over what was in there. And the next room, they fussed again. Finally they went up in the attic, an old garret, and they found a trunk up there, and they were dividing the spoils that were in there: one reaching and grabbing. And that's mine. And this is mine."
14 And finally they raised up a piece of goods, and they both grabbed at something. And when they grabbed, they caught each other's hands. And beneath these hands was a pair of little baby shoes, which had been the results of their union, that God had called the little thing home. No one could claim it, 'cause it belonged to both of them. They'd found something they had in common. And there, looking each other in the face, it wasn't long till they were in each other's arms. The divorce wasn't granted, they could annul it, because they found something they had in common.
I think that's what we should find. There's one thing. We might not all agree to be Methodists, or Baptists, or Pentecostals, or so, but there's one thing we have in common: Jesus Christ. We have Him in common.
16 Someone asked me, sometime ago, said, "Why are you hanging around with these Full Gospel Business Men? You're supposed to be a preacher."
I said, "Well, I am a businessman."
Said, "A--a businessman?"
I said, "Yes, sir, I'm--I'm a businessman."
Said, "What kind of a business are you in?"
I said, "Eternal Life assurance." That's right.
I never said "insurance." I said, "assurance." If any of you is interested in the policy, I'd sure like to talk it over with you, immediately after the meeting.
18 Reminds me of when I was in school, as a boy, we had had a chum there, was a very fine friend, he was an insurance salesman. And somehow, nothing against insurance now, but I just don't have any this earthly insurance. So sometime ago this young fellow... His brother is a Baptist minister also, and he writes articles in the Upper--for the "Upper Room." And he came up to my house, and he said, "Well, Billy, I'm sure glad to get to see you again."
I said, "Set down, Wilmer."
19 We got to talking. And I knew what he was coming for. I got a brother that sells insurance, but I just never did take any somehow. So he said, after we talked awhile, he said, "I understand, Billy, that you haven't got any insurance," he said, "and I thought maybe I could talk to you about a policy. And..."
"Oh," I said, "thank you, Wilmer, but I've got a--a paid-up policy."
And he said, "Oh, I'm sorry," he said, "what kind of a policy do you have, Billy?"
And I said, "Eternal Life."
And believe it or not, the boy said, "I don't believe I'm acquainted with the Company." Says, "Where is its headquarters?"
I said, "Glory."
"Oh," he said.
It's blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory Divine!
I'm an heir of salvation, purchased by God,
Borned of His Spirit, and washed in His Blood.
"Oh," he said, "that's very nice, Billy, but that don't put you up here in the graveyard."
But I said, "It'll get me out." I'm not worried about getting into; I'm... I'm not worried about getting in. It's getting out.
So I--I'm so glad to have this assurance that I will come out. Because He Who made the policy, that we could all come out, I have received that assurance in my heart, that I've passed from death unto Life. And I know someday that He'll bring me out.
26 Now, just before we approach the Word, I'd like for us to bow our heads and speak to the Author just a moment, if you will.
And while we have our heads bowed and your eyes closed, and I trust our hearts are bowed too in His Presence, I wonder right now, if there's anyone in here that really doesn't hold such an assurance of the resurrection hid away in the safety box of your heart, this morning, and you'd like to be remembered in prayer? Would you just, without anyone looking, just raise up your hands, and say, "Include me, brother." Thank you, thank you. The Lord bless you. Dozens of hands, while we pray...
28 Most gracious God, eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who raised Him up on the third day after His crucifixion for our justification, has presented Him to us in the form of the Holy Ghost that now comes blessing our hearts and ministering to us the things that we have need of in this life's journey.
Realizing and seeing these hands go up, Lord, there's a great need among us this morning. And I pray, God, that You will not let one of those people go out of here without having this assurance, that their sins are under the Blood, and they have been born again, and sealed into the Kingdom of God, by the Holy Ghost. Grant it, Father.
30 Bless us then as we listen to Thy Word. We know Thy Word is Truth, and there's no other Truth outside of That. And we pray, Father, that Thy Word will become a reality to us today. For it is written, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The same yesterday, today, and forever..."
And He has told us that the works that He did, we would do also, because His Life is in us. And we pray, Father, that this will be a clear understanding with all of us this morning. And if we should profess this morning that the Shakespeare lived in us, we know we would do his works, composing poems. If the works, or the life, rather, of Beethoven lived in us, we would be a Beethoven; we would compose songs. But when we confess that the Life of Jesus Christ is in us, Eternal Life, then the Life itself will testify what we are. And as the brother has spoke of--of the bearing of the fruit, we know Christ's Life in us will bear evidence that He's there. So we pray that You'll grant that experience to each of us, this morning, as we wait.
Opening Thy Word, we cannot open It. We can turn the page back and read, but only the Holy Spirit can take the Word and divide It to our hearts as we have need of. And we'll humbly praise Thee, for we ask it in Jesus' Name, Thy beloved Son. Amen.
33 I would like for you to, if you have your Bibles... And many times, people like to attend the service, and then listen to what the minister reads. Because after all, the Word of God is Truth. See? There's no other truth can take Its place. It's all Truth. The Word is God. It's God in letter form.
God is going to judge the world someday by Jesus Christ. We know that. He cannot judge it by a church. If it would, the Roman Catholic said, "He'd judge it by our church," then what about the Greek Catholic? The Methodist say, "Judge it by our church," then what about the Baptist? So you see there is too much difference. There's got to be some standard. And if Jesus Christ is the Word, then He'll judge it by the Word. So whatever God has said in His Word, that's what we live by. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
37 Let us turn to Saint Mark the 10th chapter, read just a portion of the Scripture.
And while you're turning, I would like to invite you to the auditorium. But I seen a saddened sight last evening, even when I got off the cab, or got out of the cab, rather, to go to the pulpit. There were literally hundreds walking down the street, many of them crying, because they were turned away from the auditorium. There was no room. We're sorry we couldn't find any place larger. But we hope someday, if we can all come to see... If we don't, we'll see you just across the border, just on the other side.
39 Now, 17th--or the 10th chapter, beginning with the 17th verse, just for a little text to make a--to draw from it a conclusion of a context, that we trust that God will give us.
And when he had... was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeling down to him,... asking him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit Eternal Life?
... Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but--but one, that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and thy mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou has, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasures in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at this saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
40 I want you to notice this young man, that he was not an atheist. He was supposed to be a believer; he was a church member. And I'd like to speak this morning for the next few minutes, I don't know just how long this is lotted, but I would like to speak to you on a few Scriptures I have written down here upon the subject of "Investments."
41 I would believe that any businessman ought to be interested in some good investment. And we are talking, I presume, to businessmen of this great, famous city, New York. And any man that can make an investment that would help him, he should be interested in it. Now, we have all kinds of investments, but the investment I'm asking about this morning... You might've made many good ones, but this is the best one you could make. I, as I have just quoted, I am an agent for Eternal Life.
42 It's not a good business to gamble, take chances. The... Our brother here was just speaking a few moments ago on, he was going to the places and gambling. That--that's taking a chance. A good sound-thinking businessman won't do that. He shouldn't do it anyhow. It's a gamble; you--you could go broke at once with such a--a thing as that.
And then a good sound businessman, or a good sound-thinking businessman, would never invest in some "get rich overnight," some unestablished firm to make an investment. He--he would never do that, a good sound-thinking businessman, as I believe you are, and women...
44 This "get rich overnight." I had a friend once that had his life savings in a bank, drawing a small interest, and someone come by with a shortcut. You know, we hear today of so many, shortcuts the thing. The world's full of it; advertisements, and television, radio, newspapers. And if the American people fall for such as that...
Here long ago, I was listening at an advertisement of a--a woman, or talking on the--on the radio. I was in my car, going somewhere, and they said, "Use these fine dishwashing powders," of some sort, "you don't even have to wash the dishes. You just put them in there, and pour a little bit in, and shake it up-and-down, and it's no washing, no rinsing, no drying, no nothing." And it was one of the greatest things that science had ever given us.
And right back over, about the next commercial, was, "Don't use these new detergents. Look at mother's hands, how pretty they are. They burn your hands up. Be... Have pretty hands like mother, and don't use the new detergent."
And I happened to live in Jeffersonville, at that time, where Colgate Palmolive Peet big factory is, and the same company made both products. See, see? It's a--it's a gimmick. And there's so much of it in the world today.
And I say this with reverence and respects, and I hope it doesn't sound sacrilegious, but that same thing's got into the church move. God has no shortcuts. You just pay the price. You come and take the way that God provided for us.
49 A "get rich overnight," you invest in it, and, the first thing you know, this fellow lost everything he had. It's unsound business to do anything like that. It doesn't show good intelligence or good business thinking in some unidentified business.
And then it's not a good business to keep what you got in your pocket, because you better put it to work. You remember the Lord talking about the talents?
I won't have time to break this all down, but I'm su--hope you understand what I'm--I'm speaking, giving a parallel here to make the point that I wish to make to you.
52 Now, we find out that if you keep your money in your pocket, thieves can take it. And we don't want to do that, because that's not a good policy, to keep your money in your pocket. You can lose it, and you could... Somebody could take it from you.
And don't put it in some foolish investment. But invest it in some good reliable firm that has proven and been thoroughly identified that it'll pay off. Now, that's what you people think, you businessmen and women. If it doesn't pay off, then you're afraid of it. But if it's been proven that it does pay off, and it's reliable, then you make your investment there. You can put all you got into it, because it's been proven, thoroughly proven, that it pays off.
54 And this young ruler, or young businessman, I'm going to call him... This young businessman of the city had an opportunity to make an investment in one of the greatest identified things in the world. He had an opportunity to take out a--a policy, as it--we'd call it, of Eternal Life. But he wasn't interested in such a policy, because the price of it seemed to take away from the things that he wanted to do. There is a point.
55 Now, the young man knew that there was something that he was lacking. Though we... He's thoroughly understand that he must have had a--a good father, a good mother, and a church experience, that he belonged to the church, because Jesus asked him, "Keep the commandments. Honor the father and mother. Do not kill, commit adultery," and all these morals that the church teaches. But yet Jesus told him, "One thing yet thou lackest."
He wasn't--did not ask Jesus, "What can I do that I might join Your church? What that I might do, that I might become a--a member?" But he said, "What can I do to have Eternal Life?" Yet, being a member of a religious body, yet the young man was sensible enough to know that he lacked Eternal Life.
57 And there's only one form of Eternal Life. We strive for that. And he was given that opportunity to receive It, when he asked, because it's written, "Ask and you shall receive." And It was presented to him, but yet foolish enough to turn down because the price was too great.
And as a Christian, and traveling the world, I find that same desire in so many people's hearts today. As my wife used to say, "You want to eat your cake, and keep it too." You--you can't do that.
You can't hold to the love of the world, and to God, at the same time. "For you cannot love God and mammon," which means, "the world." And if you love the world, or the things of the world, the love of the Father isn't in you.
60 But so many people like to say, "I belong to so..." But that's not the question. That's not the policy that I'm talking about this morning.
It's Eternal Life, Everlasting Life. And anything that's eternal, never did begin; therefore, it cannot end. Eternal never begin. And then the only way that you can be eternal, is to receive Eternal Life. And there's only one thing eternal, and that's God. Not by joining a church, or creeds, or turning a new page on New Years, or whatever it is; but it's receiving God, the Person of God in the form of the Holy Spirit into your life. And you become part of God, and just as eternal as He is, because you're a part of Him. Everything has a beginning has an end. The world begin, it ends; heaven begins, it ends. Jesus said, "Heavens and earth will pass away, but My Word shall never," because He is the Word. He is the Word, and that is eternal.
62 And that Word in you produces the Life of Christ. If I could take the life out of a peach tree and put it in a pear, it wouldn't bear peaches no more; it would have pears on it because the life in the tree would produce what it is. The life that's in you shows what you are. Your life testifies so loud in you, until your testimony's not heard. They know what you are by the life you live and the things that you do. If the Life of Christ is in you then, therefore, the works and Life of Christ you live; because that's His Life living through you. You're just in a vessel to carry on the work of God.
63 What a rashal thing this young man did when he--he wasn't interested in such an investment. He had great wealth, we're told. But the wealth of the world has to perish. What about the young man's condition today, wonder where he is at? He turned down the opportunity he had. Yet, he was a Christian believer, or a believer, we would say, to be more fundamentally. He was a believer; he was walking in all the light that the law had, and probably a loyal member of some great congregation, but yet knew that he lacked Eternal Life.
64 Now, he had seen something in Jesus that he never saw in other men. He had saw his priests, seen his people, he'd seen good men, but there was something special about Jesus Christ. They seen, even the scribes and the soldiers that was sent, and from the temple, to arrest Him, they said, "Never a man spake like this." He not only spoke as a priest or a--a layman, but He--He had... God backed up what He said. He was...
He never wrote no books. We don't have anything that Jesus ever written in His life. Only thing we know, He wrote one time on the sand, when a--a little lady in ill fame was brought to Him, then He erased that back out. Why didn't He write? He was the Word. He was the living proof that there is a living God, His very Life within Him.
He said, "If I do not the works of My Father, then believe Me not. Though you cannot believe Me... ('cause Him being a man), yet believe the works. Search the Scriptures, for in Them you think you have Eternal Life, and They are that that testifies of Me. They tell you Who I am." That was a foreign language to many of those clergymen of that day.
It's too bad; it seems to be repeating again. But it's... The world remains the same. Spirits doesn't change, they leave from one group to another, one man to another; evil spirit, and good Spirit from God. The Holy Spirit remains just the same as It was when It fell afresh at the day of Pentecost, when God, in that great Pillar of Fire, separated Himself among His people.
68 But in this Jesus he saw something that no other man had, he saw God living in a human being.
And then, as intelligent thinkers this morning, if that same Life that was in Christ is in you, how can It keep from living the same thing, and being the same thing? It must do it. So we might get emotionally worked up; we might get so indocumated with some creed or something, that we would think that that was it. But when we read what He was, then that's what He is today. What God was in Christ, your Brother Redeemer, that's what He is in you as a redeemed child.
70 Jesus saw this young man, and He loved him. Now, there's one thing that we seem to lack a lot of today, because the people that doesn't love us, it seem like we don't want to love them. Since I've been amongst the Full Gospel people, and that's one thing that I find, until I met this Business Men's group, that the organizations of the Pentecostal beliefs seem to isolate themselves. That isn't expressing the Life of Jesus Christ. He loved all, and He loved this young businessman. Though he turned Him down, yet He loved him.
And the young man found something in Jesus that he didn't find nowhere else, and was invited to receive this that He had, but the price was too great. And though he had seen that the investment that he was asked to invest in, it cost him all of his worldly possessions, for Jesus told him, "Go sell what you have."
72 Now, men and women, don't--don't misunderstand me. I don't mean we don't have to have money. But when you make that your god, when that's what you're depending on, it's got to perish. And today too many times, that businessmen and women are trying to see how much they can get ahold of, where we ought to be seeing how much we can let loose of. What a difference it is today in the Christian realms, and in the denominational churches, and so forth, of all of them. How much difference it seems to be today, than the early Pentecostal church. Today they seem to try to brag on, "I got a fleet of Cadillacs, and I'm spiritual because I own so much of the goods of the world." And we see that too much exalted, even amongst our brethren. The Pentecost of the early days sold what they had and distribute to the poor, and among them.
73 A young fellow not long ago in Jamaica, where we was at the racetrack... I was with the Full Gospel Business Men. I made a remark something like that one night to a gathering of the businessmen that had gathered from all over the islands, down in all--all over the islands. And this young singer come to me, and he said, "Brother Branham, your statement wasn't too great tonight, upon what you said about the Pentecostals selling what they had."
I was preaching on critics of Pentecost, and saying that that's where they had a right to criticize that one thing. I said, "You businessmen are always telling how to get rich. Those men know how to get rich. They're already rich. The thing you want to sell them is Jesus Christ, something that they don't have."
75 You can't take the Gospel over into the world. We got to get the world over here. Hollywood reaches after shiny things, a monkey does the same thing. Hollywood shines, but the Gospel glows. There's a quite a difference between shining and glowing. We're trying to put on big things and be something big. That's no way to get the outsider. Live the Life, and let Christ live in you, that makes him hunger and thirst to be like you. You become salty; he'll get thirsty. The only way you can be salty is let the Life of Christ be in you, for He is that. Salt only saves as it contacts.
76 Now, we find, this young man knew that this Man was more than just a ordinary man. He knew he must be God, because the Life of God was reflecting through Him; and He was thoroughly vindicated by the Word, that He was God.
Now, I want to speak just a moment to my minister brethren, also. We're a congregation here of both ministers and businessmen. I'm just a little afraid that our great system of our churches today has come to that same place, for the Bible claims that we will come in the last days to the Laodicea church age, which is rich, increased in goods, has need of nothing. And knowest thou not that thou art miserable, poor, wretched, blind, and don't know it. There's the sad part, "Don't know it, blinded."
78 Why wouldn't those Pharisees and scholars of the seminaries know Jesus Christ when He was thoroughly identified by the Bible, when He proved that He was the prophet that Moses said would be raised up? And they hadn't had prophets for hundreds of years. And here He stood amongst them with the very Word of God, but the Bible said that they were blind Pharisees. And the Bible tells us that they must be blind. What a pitiful thing.
And the same Bible that said that they would be blinded, said the Laodicea church age would be blinded, miserable, wretched, poor, naked, and blind, and don't know it.
If we could find a Man on the street, or a person that was in that condition, it would be a pitiful thing; if you could go to him now, and talk to he or she... And if you looked at the dressing of some of our modern women, you'll find out they're just about that way in the natural. But if you go to them and tell them that they're wrong, and if they would listen, understand that they are naked, they would try to help themselves. But naked, and don't know it...
81 Now, in this day, God has sent back the Holy Spirit, which, if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, then He's still the same Messiah. And the Life of Christ is in His church, vindicating His Word. That's how God was in the earth in the form of Jesus Christ, being the Word, to make the Word live. And the Holy Spirit is today in flesh, making the Word of God live to every promise and every wonder. And everything that He promised, it's there.
And the churches has been given the opportunity to receive this policy of Eternal Life, but they made the rashal mistake that the rich young ruler made. They have went off to the councils, uniting together, all coming under a form of ecclesiastical head which is predicted by the Bible. We see that in our organizational systems. And they're in Rome, and so forth now, Now, we have no axes to grind, no punches to pull, just tell the truth. That's the way it's written. God always vindicates His truth. And the church in that kind of a condition, is offered to take the policy.
83 And upon the same basis, that many of you businessmen here this morning, belonging to those churches. I don't say, "Leave it." No, sir. You go there and be a light, but take Light with you. See? Notice.
The same basis that that rich young ruler turned down the opportunity, the same basis is that the church turns down the opportunity today for Eternal Life. Because the church itself, it would mar their inheritance of their fathers, the great traditions that the fathers stood for. And then if the Holy Spirit fell in some great ecclesiastical system, why, I'm afraid that the officials wouldn't put up with it. It'd be excommunicated from that organization. See? And they can't hardly afford to do it; he would no more be "doctor, holy father," whatever it was; he would be just a common man among us.
There's no big people in Christianity. That's the world does that. We are all the same size: sons and daughters of God, and not no "holier than thou art." We are children of God by the grace of God.
86 When we read in the Bible that God told John on the Isle of Patmos, that the deeds of the Nicolaitanes He hated. "Nikao," "conquer laity, to conquer the laity" and put all the holiness in some certain man. Holiness is to all. The Holy Spirit fell upon the whole group. There is no holy man anyhow; it's a holy God. See? We don't say" holy church, holy people." It's "holy God." We're not holy, but He's holy. Not a holy minister; it's the Holy Spirit, He ministers through the minister. It's not holy men; we're none of us holy. But they seemingly too many times, are turning down the same opportunity.
87 In Revelations 3 we read this, that the Laodicea church, we're pictured one of the most saddest pictures of all the Bible, Revelations 3, at the Laodicea church. All the rest of the churches, through the Lutheran age, and the seven church ages, each one it didn't, it said about Jesus being in the church, "He that's in the church." But in Laodicea he was on the outside, knocking, trying to get back in. What a pitiful thing to think that, the Son of God, knocking on His Own church, trying to get back in.
But the riches of this world has blinded their eyes. Not only rich in money, but rich in popularity, rich in the things of the world, the cares of life, until you've rubbed shoulders, and intellectual men has come in and taken away that Grain, that--that Pearl of great price. But God predestinated a people to be there; somebody's going to be there. But they turn It down. Not all of them will; some of them will receive It.
89 Now, they put him out of their love, their love of His Word. The... They pick up a creed and adopt the creed, anything you take instead of something.
For instance, you were married to a lovely woman; she loved you and you loved her, you said. After while, you take another woman, or you take another man, you have to turn your first love down.
And that's the only way we can adopt a creed is when we turn our first love down, the Word. You cannot believe a error, until first you step over the Truth. But we got to a place till we shake hands, and put them on the church. They still smoke, drink, have parties.
91 I was speaking of... last night, coming down on the elevator. There was a lady on the elevator, talking about she was going to a church party, said, "It's in the basement of the church. We're going to play bunco, and they had turkeys they was going to give away, and this was to help pay the pastor and the missions" See, you're adopting something. That isn't God's program. If it ever gets to a place that I cannot preach the Gospel until it's to indulge in things like that, I'd close the Bible and go home. It's too bad, but we have it. Why? Because its turned down the policy of Eternal Life. That's what does this: lost their love.
92 I went into a little place in the hotel lobby, night before last, and I was going to have a sandwich; I said to the lady, "Bring me a--a sandwich and a glass of buttermilk."
And I'm not sure if I say this right or not. But the little lady looked like she'd cankered, with all that blue under eyes and things; and--and about enough clothes on, you could put in an aspirin box. She said, "You want bourbon on rocks?"
I said, "I beg your pardon?"
She said, "Bourbon on what?"
I said, "I said, 'buttermilk.'" See?
She said, "Well, what do you want to drink?"
I said, "Buttermilk."
She said, "Well, we have some fine mixed drinks here."
I said, "Lady, I'm a minister of the Gospel."
She said, "Our... I'm Catholic." And she said, "Our priests come in and drink."
I said, "I--I'm not a Catholic priest. I'm a minister of the Gospel."
She said, "Wouldn't you have a mixed drink?"
I said, "Don't mix nothing with it, just bring me plain buttermilk." Yeah. And she didn't know. But there you are (See?); there you are.
97 Religion, just the same as the world. "Religion" means "a covering." If you can be covered by the world, you'll act like the world. But if you're covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ, you linked with Him; you don't care for those things no more. You see nothing but the Blood. And God only recognizes the Blood. "When I see the Blood, I will pass over you." Amen. We are grateful to God for these things.
Now, we're talking about this policy of--of Eternal Life.
99 And many times, being among those Pentecostal people, they--they can just preach so fast, and--and I--I--I am so slow. I'm a--I'm a rebel to begin with, a Southerner; I--I just have to take my time. Like out here on the street, they almost run over me, and I--I get back in the corner, and wait till all the crowd gets by. And then look like it don't end here, so I'm kind of slow; they have to bear with me a little bit.
100 Let's think of--of some of the holders of this policy. Let's invest--investigate, rather, this morning, some people who has taken out this policy before, so we can see if the policy is reliable or not. I'm talking about the Word of God, which is Christ in flesh. Someone who's held this policy... We will begin back and quickly go through a few holders.
101 There was a man, one time, who was offered this policy. He was a farmer. And the Lord God met him with His Word and said, "There's going to be a--a flood that's going to destroy the whole world. You're going to act very funny now if you want to receive this policy, but it'll save your life. I want you to build an ark." It was Noah. And although the rest of the religious world, in that day thought the old man was crazy, and it certainly didn't meet the scientific order of the day.
Because Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah (a world like that), so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man," when the policy has so many names wrote on it; and He's up there, redeeming, this morning all those who will have their name on that Book. Now, after while, the last name is going on, and that--that will finish it. Come in now, my brethren. Don't wait. After while, it might be too late. Come now while you have the opportunity, while you--while it's offered to you.
103 We find that Noah made this investment, was very popular farmer, and probably knowed many people, and had great things. But he sold out, maybe his farm, to get the material to build on the ark. People laughed at him; Satan caused that. He might've been called a holy-roller.
As one stated this morning, he become a holy-roller on the floor, when he found and signed his name in the Blood of the Lord Jesus, that he wanted to hold this policy.
And he, Noah, did the same thing. And got rid of what he had, and he built an ark. Laughed at, tried by Satan, but we find out that his policy paid off in saving his life; not only his life, but his house.
And I believe that that's true. Not only you; maybe the--the wife, a businesswoman, the man, a businessman...
You say, "What's that got to do with my family?"
107 It was asked one time, Paul and Silas. The Philippian jailer, he said, "What can I do to have Eternal Life?"
He said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou and thy house..." Why? If he truly, not make-believe, but believe... Jesus said, "These signs (in Mark 16) shall follow (not maybe), shall follow those that believe." And if you've got faith enough for your own salvation, you can also claim your family by faith. If you've got that kind of faith, your faith can help your family, "thou and thy house."
109 And Noah's family, seeing that the father, a good man, was pounding away, his sons and his daughter-in-laws, and so forth, come pounding away with him, bearing the reproach of the Word. You always have to do that. The Kingdom of God doesn't come without trials. Men press into It, into the Kingdom of God; not observation. Now, but it paid off in saving his life. We could stay hours on Noah.
110 But let's go to another one by the name of Daniel. Being a prophet, the opportunity become God's prophet. And the Word of God comes only to a prophet. No other way. It always comes to a prophet.
Sh... [Tongues and interpretation--Ed.]...?... Amen. Praise God. Thank the Lord. We understand... Maybe to those who would not understand, a businessman, I--I wouldn't say nothing critical about that. See, it must be an important thing, that the Holy Spirit would break in upon the message to do such a thing, give a warning.
Now, we believe in unknown tongues as a gift. I used to think that it was wrong. When I was just first come among the people, I thought that maybe those people, speaking in tongues, maybe was just putting that on. But I wouldn't say nothing, because you remember, we can blaspheme the Holy Spirit, that's talk about wrong things. So I find out, when I went to Africa and traveled the world over, there isn't a sound without a significance of it. Every little cluck and move has a meaning of some sort.
Then we just keep still till the Holy Spirit speaks Its word back. And that's the reason, perhaps, He broke in on the Message, to say, as I understood it, I hope I did, that, "Hear the Words of the Lord, and to obey the Words of the Lord." Now, just remember, that wasn't me. That was men, gifted men, with speaking with other languages. And--and the men, themselves, would not do that, I don't think. When a message was going on, they wouldn't speak it, if it wasn't something that the Holy Spirit was urgently getting to maybe one soul here. I don't know. See, I don't know nothing about that; that's up to God. See? But we always want to respect and give reverence to anything that God would do.
114 Now, back to the thought of the policyholders, of the very policy that these men are also filled with, to do these works now, to bring in the midst of a message, something to inject in there and say, "This is the Holy Spirit," other words, "speaking to you."
Daniel, was the one that we was talking to. He was a policyholder. He was a man filled with God's Spirit. Because the Word was in Daniel; Daniel was a prophet.
And the Bible said in Hebrews the 1st chapter, "In di--times of old, God, in divers manners, many places, spoke to the fathers by the prophets." Now, the prophet is a compound word, which means "a revealer of the Scripture" and "a foreteller of things that is to come," to show that God doesn't change His Message. Every age, God has always used, not an organization, nor a group, or a system, but a man.
And the unchangeable God, He made one way in the garden of Eden, that man should be saved; that's by the Blood. We can have educational systems and denominational systems, but God turns it down. It still remains Blood. That's the only way.
118 God uses an individual. Two men will never see the thing alike, so God can only get one person in His hand; then through there, like Moses and through Daniel, and through the different prophets. And listen.
You say, "Well, what about the Holy Spirit?" The Holy Spirit doesn't change it.
Look, the Word of the Lord comes to the prophet. John was the prophet of the hour. He was standing in the water, declaring that the Messiah was already among them somewhere. He would know it by a sign. And when the Messiah, being the Word, He came into the water to the prophet, the Word coming to the prophet.
Jesus said, in these days, He said, "He (which is a personal pronoun), He the Holy Ghost, when He's come upon you, come to you, He will show you these things I've taught you, and will show you things to come." Remains the same thing, the Holy Spirit is the Prophet among us today. The Holy Spirit is the Prophet.
122 Daniel was a prophet. The words of God, the Bible, was invested to Daniel, to manifest to the people that God still lived. And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile his investment.
Oh, if the church could only do that, if the church could only purpose in your heart that you won't defile your investment with any tie up with things that brings you into a system that'll take you away from Him.
Daniel purposed in his heart. And what did it do? It saved his life from the lions.
125 The Hebrew children made an investment in God, that they would not break His commandments no matter if they made an image of their holy brother, Daniel. Which, I believe the image was of Daniel, 'cause he was Belteshazzar's god, and we find out that he made an image to this holy man. No matter how holy the man was, they wasn't to bow down to any form of image, no matter what the image is. The Gentile world was issued in by worshipping a holy image; it's going out in the same way; and you see the system building it today. So the Hebrew children would not bow to any image, and you find out that their investment paid off by saving their life.
126 Now, just a few moments. We find another fellow by the name... He's a commercial businessman, a businessman that had a commercial job. He--he was a fisherman. He was called Simon. And his brother was Andrew. His father was called Jonas. No, I beg your pardon. Yes, it was. I believe that is right.
And so we find out that this fisherman's brother had been attending a Baptist revival, John the baptizer. And he had, this baptizer, said, "I haven't got It, but It's coming."
It'd be a good thing if our organization, and me being a Baptist for a while, would do the same thing. Yeah. It's coming. If you... It'll have to come from above. It's a promise.
And one day this Baptist, or baptizer, announced, "There It is, right among you."
It so elated Andrew until he went and got his brother, the fisherman. He was so busy in his business, till one morning he might've attended a--a breakfast. I don't know what he attended; it was down by the shore. And when he did, he walked up into the Presence of the Speaker, and the Speaker said, "Your name is Simon, and you are the father--or Jonas is your father."
132 Right quick, that member of the Sanhedrin, that member of a great ecclesiastical body, that had read his Bible and knowed that the very man, Moses, that they'd been following, had told them that when Messiah come, He would be a Prophet. He listened to what the Word had to say, regardless of what the ecclesiastical system was he belonged to.
Could not we, today, listen to the same Man, Jesus Christ, Who told us what would happen here in the last days?
And as he come to this Man, and He told him who he was; not only he, but his godly old father that was gone; quickly he invested in this policy, Eternal Life, and become the bishop at Rome at the church. Nathanael, after...
135 There's a man there named Philip had seen that, and so elated him. He knew that was the Messiah, because He was a Prophet. They'd had all kinds of prophets, but it wasn't the right kind of prophet. When they seen this Prophet come, fully identified by the Word...
That's the way the church is a prophet today, ought to be fully identified by the Word of God, which is the Prophet. And if we organize ourselves and get groups, and separate from one another, seemingly not having the faith, how we going to take the Word? See, we can't do it. Come back to the Word, This is Eternal Life, "My Words are Life."
137 Now, notice what happened. We find Philip becoming so enthused, till he run around the mountain. If you'll measure it, or ever over there, it's about fifteen miles. Probably come back the next day, bringing a man, Nathanael; who had found his friend, that they'd had Bible study together. And he was under an olive tree, praying, because he owned a grove. And, quickly, he never had any time now to fool; he was also a holder of the policy and was wanting to show others. When you get this policy, there's something about it, you become a salesman right quick. And he never waited or talked about how his grove was getting along. He said, "Come, see Who we found, Jesus the Son of Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth."
Quickly this staunch Hebrew from the great Sanhedrin courts, from the synagogue, said, "Now, could there be anything good come out of Nazareth?"
139 See how God just humbles men, humiliates them? When they got theirself built up to something, God raises up some little something don't even know his abc's, and just humiliates the thing. See, that's the way God does it. Because God's still God, He takes nothing to make something out of it. What if He'd have come to Caiaphas and the high priests, and the clergy that was trained to take the ministry of that day when the Messiah come? They'd have had something to brag about.
140 And may I say it, not being rude; I hope I'm not understood that way. Could it not it happened again? So what we think, "We Methodists has got it; We Baptists has got it," and God might raise up a man that never come from any sort of a school, or some bunch of people that He could anoint with His Spirit, that don't even know their abc's. The Bible said that Peter was an ignorant and unlearned man. But what he had, they taken notice to it, because it was God living through him. "Such as I have, give I thee," (See?) to the lame man.
141 We find then in this great time, that this man said, "Well, now wait a minute, could there be any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
Now, he gave the man a real good answer, he said, "Come, see." Don't sit home and criticize, come find out for yourself. Don't tell or say what somebody else has said. Come, see for yourself.
On his road around the mountain, they might've talked about the time that--that they were went to buy some fish. He said, "You remember the old fisherman that could not sign his name to the receipt, the old fisherman?"
"Yes, I remember him. Simon."
"Well, when he walked right up into the Presence of--of this...
145 [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... holder of Eternal Life, why, He said to him, as He looked around there and He said, 'Your name is Simon, and you're the son of Jonas.'" See? And he said, "You know that we're taught by our leader that left this word, that in this last days, for us, 'there will come a Prophet,' the Lord will rise among us."
"Oh," he said, "I can hardly believe that. I'll have to go see."
And as soon as he walked up into the audience; not a critic... Now, I hope that's the same way you come this morning; not a critic, just come to see if it's right or not.
Walked into the audience, just stood there. And as soon as he did, watch this Source of Eternal Life, and the only Source; He turned and looked upon him, and He said, "Behold, there's an Israelite in whom there is no guile."
He Said, "Rabbi (so many words of this), when did You ever know me? I never seen You, and You've never seen me. How do You know anything about me?"
"Why," He said, "before Philip called you, when you were under the tree, I saw you." The day before and fifteen miles around the mountains.
What? He invested in a policy right away. He fell at His feet; this staunch man, a member of the church. What a difference between that and the rich young businessman. "Rabbi, You are the Son of God. You're the King of Israel." Quickly he--he took out a policy.
150 How about the little woman at the well? Them were Jews; let's go to the Samaritans.
And now we're at the Gentiles. The Jews and Samaritans was looking for a Messiah, not the Gentiles. We worshipped idols. Romans and Greeks, and whatever we are; we worshipped idols. But the Jews were looking for a Messiah, and so were the--the Samaritans, and we find out that the Messiah only reveals Hisself to those who are looking for Him. If you're here this morning, looking for Him, He will reveal Hisself. If you don't, He won't. "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever."
So the Samaritans was looking. And He had--was going to Jericho, but He had need to go by Samaria. And while setting at gate of a city Sychar, we find out that His disciples went in to buy vittles. And He was left alone.
153 And a--a little lady, a little woman, a woman of ill fame, she didn't have any money. She wasn't like the rich young ruler. So she come, only one thing that we know that she had, she had an old water-pot; and she set it down and was fixing to let the windle down into the well to get the water.
And she looked over to her side, in a little panoramic, and there set a Man, a Jew, looked to be, I guess... The Bible said, "You're not a Man over fifty." I suppose He looked fifty, but He was only thirty-something. And it wasn't customary for Jews and Samaritans to have any fellowship, because there was a segregation.
So He said, "Bring Me a drink," contacting her spirit.
And she said, "Well, it's not customary for you Jews to ask a woman of Samaria such."
But said, "If you knew Who you were talking to..." And then He caught her spirit, and He said, "Go get your husband and come here."
She said, "I have none."
He said, "You've said well, for you've had five, and the one you're living with now is not your husband."
That stopped her. What was it? She said, "Sir..."
158 Remember the Pharisees, a few days before that? Seeing Jesus show that Messiahic sign, that He was the Prophet that was supposed to come, and they said, "He's a spiritualist. He's Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, some kind of a fortuneteller." They had to answer to their congregation; the works had been done. They had to hold their own face before the congregation. The works had been done; they couldn't deny it. They said, "It's an evil spirit."
Jesus said, "I forgive you," the Lamb had not been slain. "But when the Holy Ghost is come to do the same thing, a word against It will never be forgiven." See, see? So here we find them in this condition.
160 And this little woman had nothing. She probably kept away from church; she'd seen so much in it. Because down in her heart was laid a seed, Eternal Life: "All that the Father has given Me will come to Me." And as soon as that Light flashed upon her, she didn't call It a devil. Look at the difference between that woman and the clergy. She said, "Sir, I perceive that Thou art a Prophet. We know that when Messiah cometh, that's the things He's to do. We're looking for a Messiah. We haven't had a prophet for hundreds of years. But our leader, Moses, told us that there'd raise up a Prophet in the last days, and He would be Messiah," which means the anointed One, anointed.
161 He was the Word. God is the Word, and was in Christ. And the Bible said that "the Word of God, the Word, is quicker, more powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4), piercing to the sunder of the marrow of the bone, and a Discerner of the thoughts and intents that's in the heart." That's the reason He could look upon them and perceive what they were thinking about, because He was the Word. He was Life. He's still the Word, and He's still Life. And in you, He does the same thing. Now, we find...
162 [Someone speaks in the congregation--Ed.] Amen. Blessed be the Name of the Lord for His message on this.
Oh, that Life policy. Life, Life, the greatest thing there is is Life. And there's only one form of Eternal Life, and that's God.
Now, look at the little woman, as the prophecy just went forth, that she had a water-pot in her hand. But she also had one in her heart. She said, "I perceive that You are a prophet, and we know when Messiah cometh, He's going to--to do these things. That's what He'll do. That'll be His a vindicated sign. He'll be the Word, perceiving. And You read my very heart to me. Who are You?"
And Jesus said, "I am He."
Then this water-pot set still, but this one was filled up, and she took out a policy of Eternal Life. He said, "The waters that I give is Life Eternal, bubbling up, and springing up in the heart."
166 And then she could not keep still; she wanted her fellow-men also have the policy, and down through the city she went. Honestly, she had no rights to do that, she was a woman of ill fame. You men and missionaries here know that in the east that's still the... They wouldn't listen to her, but they... How they going to keep from it? She was full of Eternal Life. They had to listen to her. Like a house on fire, on a dry windy day, you couldn't stop it. Away she went. And not only that, if she had not been filled up, the men wouldn't have listened to her. But she had something positive that she knew about. And we find out, they said... "Come, see a Man Who's told me the things I've done. Isn't that the very Messiah?"
And they brought Him into the city. He never done it anymore, but the people believed the woman's testimony. And they were all believed on the Lord Jesus.
168 Quickly now, 'cause I--I'm sorry to hold you like this. But if you'd just give me... Just bear a few more moments. I got something here I want to say. Notice.
169 Nicodemus was a great man, and he was a religious man. He was a master, a ruler among his people, a renown man, something like Simeon, the priest, at the birth of the Lord Jesus: promised by the Holy Ghost to not see death until he saw the Lord's salvation; how he was led by the Spirit into the room to bless the Child.
How Anna the prophetess, blind over in the corner, never parted day and night; but the same moment, nobody told them, led by the Holy Spirit, that blind woman winding her way through the people, and stood by the side of Him, and blessed God for Him. If a woman that is physically blind, she was in a bad shape; but there's people in New York, this morning, that's blinder than that woman and can see out of both eyes. But she was led by the Spirit, a Spirit of Life led her to the fountain of Life.
172 Because you thirst for That, there's got to be a Fountain somewhere. David said, "The deep, when it calls to the Deep, there's got to be a Deep to respond to that call." In other words, before there was a fin on a fish's back, there had to be a water first for him to swim in, or he'd have never had that fin. Before there's a tree to grow on the earth, there had to be an earth first for it to grow in, or there'd have never been a tree. And you see what I'm trying to say, if there has to be... Because you're hungering this morning, because that people are thirsting, it shows there is a fountain of Life open somewhere (See?) for you to respond to That. There has to be a Deep first to respond to the deep that's calling (See?), or that call wouldn't be there.
173 That's the reason people are--go join church and just put their name on the book, instead of being borned again, taking out the policy of Life. Then they go right out and try to hush that holy calls, by smoking, drinking, and--and gambling, and running out, immorally. See they're... How dare you to try to hush that holy call of God, that God put in there to thirst after Him. You have no right.
I have the thing for you this morning; it's Life. That's what you want. It's Life.
And that's perverted life. That's death. That's the place the Bible said, "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she's alive." See? So you can't live in worldly pleasure and have Eternal Life.
176 The policy is right, friends. So Nicodemus, he came to make an investment He came by night, but he found the bank's always open. So it might be late, but it's still open. It's open, He always, the bank is open to do business. And so he--he found Eternal Life by coming to Jesus.
Let's investigate just another person or two. Let's take Luke 24:49. The disciples had believed on the Lord Jesus. And now, it was time of the promise was drawing nigh. And so Jesus told His disciples, policyholders, that they were going to draw a dividend on this, but they must wait at the city of Jerusalem until He went to Headquarters and sent It back to them, till the check returned. He was going up; He had signed it in His Own Blood, and He was ascending up to send back their dividends, but to wait for their dividend.
178 Now, didn't say, "Wait five minutes, and be discouraged." If You've got faith in Who's talking to you, God talking to you, He said, "Stay until," how long? A week, ten days, five days, whatever it was "until you receive this remuneration, until the dividend. For, behold, I'll send the promise of My Father upon you. But wait at the city of Jerusalem until you receive It, until you're--you're endued with the dividends from on high, for your policy of believing on Me."
Oh, you Baptists, you Methodists, you Presbyterians. I don't want to get excited, but this is enough to make somebody excited. Why don't you wait there? You're a policyholder, but there's dividends on this.
180 Paul said, in Acts 19, to those Baptist people. I'm Baptist myself; I'm a Pentecostal Baptist. So they said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" Now, we're taught we receive the Holy Ghost when we believe, but he said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
They said, "We know not there be any Holy Ghost."
He said, "Then to what was you baptized?"
They said, "We already been baptized."
He said, "That won't hold up anymore." And when they heard this... They was to believe on Jesus that was to come. And when they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Paul laid his hands upon them, and the Holy Ghost came upon them; and they spoke in tongues and magnified God.
183 Paul said also over in another chapter; he said, "If--if a angel from heaven preaches any other gospel than this that you heard me preach, let him be accursed, whether he's a bishop, cardinal, whatever it might be." Yes. "If an angel from heaven (let alone a cardinal, or a bishop, or a preacher,) that preach any other than this policy of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ, let him be accursed."
You said, "Brother Branham, you're getting beside..."
I know right where I am. See? I'm not lost. I know right where I am. I may be excited, but as I said here the other night...
Someone said, "You are going crazy."
I said, "Well, just let me alone; I feel better this way than I did the other way, so I--I have Life."
Because it's Life. It's foolishness to the world, but to me it's grand. I'm saved, where I wasn't saved. I now have the--the resurrection of Christ in me. And there's many other here, brethren, who know that truth; you have it in you, the resurrection. Yes.
186 They went up, these policyholders, to draw dividend. Oh, my, ministering brethren, let's do that this morning, let's draw dividends now. "The promise," Peter said on the day of Pentecost, "the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that's far off, the Gentiles (Listen closely, brethren.), even as many as the Lord our God shall call." And He's sure to call every one who has their name on the Lamb's Book of Life. The dividends, it's for all. Yes. "For you, and your children, to them that's far off." And the interest on the policy was paid off on the day of Pentecost.
187 Now, the rich young Paul met the same One, for He remained the same after His death. He's still the same.
Saul of Tarsus, a well-scholared man, scholarly man; pardon me. And he--he was a fine man. He'd been taught by Gamaliel, the great Hebrew teacher. His parents were rich. Paul was kind of a rich man. He could speak in many languages. He had an education. His ambition was to be a--a lawyer, one of the lawyers, or a priest, or something in the--or a lawyer, rather, in his church. Smart, he knew the Word. He was rich, and he had his ambitions.
189 When he heard that bunch of carrying-on, noise, and screaming, and speaking with tongues, and, why, he thought, "That's ridiculous, to the society of Jerusalem. That ought to be stopped." So he got letters from the high priest. He--he went around making havoc of the church. So he went into the cardinal or the bishop, or whatever you want to call him, the high priest, and got a letter from him, placed it within his possession and went down to Damascus.
190 But, you see, the church seems to have all the authority, with the keys to the Kingdom, and everything, and they had chosen Matthias to take Judas' place. But look what a foolish choice man can make. There's not a thing he ever done. He might've been a good man. No doubt he was a good man. No doubt he was a humble servant of Christ. But, you see, that don't always spell God's choosing.
God chose a little critic of the church, a little Jew, the hook-nose, and enough temper to fight a buzz saw, and he would, he... There he was, on his road down. He's going down and arrest them holy-rollers. He'll put them in chains. He'll bind them. He's got authorities from his bishop. He's going to do it.
192 And about eleven o'clock one day, he was stricken down, with a paper in his hand. And he looked up, and he saw a Pillar of Fire. You know, he--he had to recognize That. Paul knowed better than to worship idols or evil spirits. But being a Jew, he knowed that that Pillar of Fire was the same Pillar of Fire that led His people out of Egypt, and here It was.
When Jesus was on earth, He said, "I came from God; I go to God." After His death, burial, and resurrection, and ascension; here He was back to God again, the Pillar of Fire.
And He said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? You got a paper in your hand. You're a great man. You come from a certain organization, the most staunch organization and--and honored organization in the country. You got a paper in your hand, but you're doing wrong. Why you persecuting Me?"
195 Watch this Jew say, "Lord." He knowed Who It was. There you are, the same Pillar of Fire that led Moses and talked. He had never had the opportunity of ever seeing Jesus, so he said, "Lord, Who are You that I'm persecuting?"
And He said, "I'm Jesus."
And there on his back, you know, he--he tore up the paper, and he said, "What can I do?"
He said, "I got a prophet down there, and his name is Ananias. Now, you go down the street called Straight; he'll tell you what to do."
So the Lord spoke to Ananias. And come up, said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus that appeared to you in the way and wanted you to take out this policy, I come to deliver it to you, by laying my hands upon you." He was a changed man. Watch the difference. What the... See?
199 After Paul had seen the clear vindication, that this wasn't no other person but the same Person. God and Christ was the same Person. It wasn't some foolishness, because He saw that the Word was the Pillar of Fire, had been made flesh to redeem; and here it was back, the Pillar of Fire again, that God and Christ was the same Person. And here He is, and back as the Holy Spirit, now called, because He'd been upon a man. He saw It clearly identified, and--and been a-vindicated. "Lord, what will You have me to do? What must I do?" Now, remember, that was a religious man and a businessman. "What will You have me to do?"
What a difference there was between the young businessman, rich, and this other young fellow, Saul. One, the price was too great.
"Well," you say, "Paul didn't have nothing to give up?"
201 He had his church, his brethren. He was a fugitive from the church after that. He had to run. And finally his own church took his life; they killed him. And we find out, persecuted from city to city, and was stoned, almost dead once, and so forth: his own brethren. And he said, "I would become a curse for them." He didn't despise them. When he received the Holy Spirit, he loved them. He wanted to save them. Don't isolate yourself; go to them kind. Paul would be made a curse himself; because it was the Spirit of Christ that was in him, that was cursed and hang on a tree for His Own.
And we find out what a difference between this young man, the rich ruler, the businessman, and Paul.
203 Paul had to give up his education, all of his theology that he had learned through years and years of research and teaching. He had to forget it all. He told the Corinthians, "I never come to you with smart, high words of wisdom, that your faith might be in the wisdom of men. But I come to you through the power and the demonstration of the Holy Ghost."
That's the thing we need today, friend. That's the policy I'm talking about. Not some join church, or put your hand on; nothing against it; that's all right. But this is another hour, that's all I'm trying to sell you. To join some church... I'm trying to tell you that there is a policy and a fountain that's open for sin and uncleanliness. What is sin? Unbelief. Unbelief in what? The Word. "He that believeth not is condemned already." Right.
205 Notice what a rashal decision. He's like many people of today of popular opinion, this young man was. He went away. Instead of taking it seriously, he lost his policy. Now, we're closing.
Did he... Then bad luck turn on him? No. Good luck turned to him. We find him, the next place; he had so much money till he had to rebuild his barns. And he even said, "Soul, take thy rest."
Now, we find out in there, he wasn't no bad fellow. When they had a bazaar or a church party, or something, the poor in spirit laid at the gate, that was a policyholder that he had turned down; he swept him a few crumbs, and give him some missionary offering, or something. He wasn't no bad fellow. See, he swept off the crumbs to them that were persecuted. He said, "Oh, I attended one of their meetings; I guess it's all right. There's really nothing I can say against them people." Sweep off a few crumbs, but that didn't work. Finally his payoff came.
208 And remember, friend, the payoff's coming to me and to you. It's coming to all of us. I want you to think real seriously now in closing.
His payoff came, certainly. He had a great funeral service, no doubt some well-trained clergymen come and spoke. No matter, I guess, he had the Christian Business Men for pallbearers. And he had the celebrity of the country out, and maybe a government official that they half-mast the flag for him. All the dignitaries was there. And the pastor, no doubt, or the man, priest, whatever preached his funeral, preached a--such a--a sermon that would touch the people with how great this man was, "Even to the poor in the street, he gave. Oh, our brother's in heaven today."
But Jesus said he lifted up his eyes in hell, and saw the policyholder of Eternal Life, far off in the bosoms of Abraham, that had took the way with the Lord's despised few.
211 As Jesus said, "Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you," in the 5th chapter of Matthew, "say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My Name's sake. Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom. Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth. And you're the policyholder of Eternal Life."
Yet he remained a member of the church. See? Now, notice. You say, "Did he?" Yes. "How can you prove that, preacher?"
Here it is. He said, "Father Abraham... Father Abraham, I pray thee to send that policyholder down here with just a little water. These flames are tormenting."
214 Watch Abraham, "Son..." a professed Christian, professed believer, as we would call it (See?) "you had your opportunity. You was offered the opportunity of the policy of Eternal Life, which would give you the assurance of coming here, but you--you turned it away. You wouldn't take it. And now this man, poor, yet he accepted it. Now, he's comforted, and now you are the beggar."
Oh, don't let this happen to you, friends. Don't--don't--don't make that same mis... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... way the assurance can come is by Christ, the assurance that you're saved, that you're a policyholder. Now, if you haven't got that, why not take it?
216 You might think, well, as this young fellow said this morning, "I--I walked into the places and they all... I was a great businessman, and bowed, and things like that." Don't look at that.
A young player just recently took a trip to Russia. He was a singer. And he certainly made a--a great hit with the Russians. And so all the people were clapping and going on like that, when the young man had played his music. And they were so elated, they stomped their feet and clapped, but the young man never paid any attention to all the applauding. And so they wondered why. So again they thought, "Maybe he doesn't understand," so they all clapped their hands again real loud and applauded him. They... He had done a wonderful work. But they noticed, he--he... Again he didn't notice their applauding. And they noticed he kept his eyes up in the balcony all the time; come to find out the master that had trained him... He wasn't caring what the people said; he was looking what the master had to say about it.
And I think today, friends, instead of sticking our chest out and say, "We belong to church." Let's take a look up and see what the Master says about it. See?
219 Let's bow our heads just a moment. [Tongues and interpretation are given--Ed.] In Jesus' Name... The Lord bless...?... Amen.
With our heads bowed now, our hearts bowed, just give place, just a moment or two. I wonder this morning, with all sincerity now, without any disturbance, think just a moment. Have you got this great blessing? Do you hold this policy of Life, the witness of the Holy Spirit that your life has turned in to Christ, and Christ is in you?
As I said in the message; if Beethoven was in you, you'd do the works of Beethoven, you'd live the life of Beethoven. You couldn't do nothing else. You could do nothing else but compose songs. And you'd be the great writer, Beethoven, 'cause he's in you. That's who you would be. You would be a reincarnate Beethoven.
And if Christ is in you, the Life of Christ you will be, the lover of the Word. Nothing can stand and take the place of the Word, 'cause He is the Word. He can't deny His Own Word and remain God.
223 And you have not received Christ in your heart. You belong to church. Now, certainly, I have nothing against church, and against the great institutions, and organizations, and the systems, but I'm trying to say that isn't the answer. It's been proven it isn't the answer. Christ is the Answer, the Person Christ. And if you have not received Him into your life, this morning, and you would like for us to remember you in prayer, I wonder if you would just humbly. We have no place for an altar call. But, you know, if you... I believe if you'd just stand up, you know, and say, "Pray for me," just as you stand up, and I'll offer prayer. If you believe that God will hear my prayer, I--I--and you are sincere in that, I believe that He will hear it.
224 And you in the halls, and crowded around the doors, and things, no matter where you're at, in the balconies, on the steps, if you'll just say, "I want Christ to remember me now, that I want His Life in mine. I'm sure by my action; I--I'm sure by the way I think and the things I do, that I want to be like that, but I haven't yet come to that place. I--I really want this policy, Brother Branham. Truly, I want it. And you--you ask Him if I can have it. I'm ready to receive it."
Would you just stand to your feet, and so I can pray with you? Just... And God bless you, God bless you. That's right. That's right, just remain standing just a moment. Just remain; stand up. You say, "I'm--I'm interested, Brother Branham. I--I've got a soul, and I--I've got to leave. I may leave yet today, and what is it going to do me any good if I am not filled with that Life?" 'Cause remember, any other life has to perish; it had a beginning.
226 You say, "Well, I been a member of a certain church for years." That's very good. I appreciate that. But that's not what I'm talking about right now.
Are you a holder of Eternal Life? Would you just stand, up in the balconies, around the front, and the right and left? God bless you. Stand up.
You that's already standing in the halls, if you'd just raise up your hands, so some identification, something that you can do, to throw yourself into a motion, "I've accepted it myself, that morning." God bless you. All right.
And around on the stairs and wherever you are, just raise your hand and say, "Remember me, Brother Branham. I--I'm... I truly want Eternal Life."
230 Now, think real close. This--this might be the time that it'll all be settled. I'll--I'll be sincere, friends, this is Life to me. And I--I--I know that it's right. It's right.
Would there be some more? Just seems like there was more than that held their hands awhile ago. Now, if you're not sure, would you just do that much, just stand up on your feet, and say, "Remember me in your prayer, Brother Branham, as you're praying." All right. How many more? Stand right up on your feet, no matter who you are, just stand up and say, "Pray for me, brother." God bless you. I see you through the balconies and around. Now, you sure that's all? God bless you. Another group raised up. Would there be some more now? Just raise to your feet. Say...
232 Now, I know we're late, and the Holy Spirit interrupted us a few times. Well, that's wonderful; we like for the Holy Spirit to do that (See?) as long as He is bringing His Word. That shows it's not only my word, but It's His too. All right.
Now, let's raise up (See?) everybody that hasn't been filled with the Holy Spirit, that you know there's no evidence in your life that you're filled with the Holy Spirit, and you want This.
234 Now, you might be a fine, loyal member of a church. And that, oh, how I appreciate that, certainly. You just continue right on in your church. That's right. Because the sleeping virgins is coming up now; you see that. And remember, Jesus said, when the sleeping virgin, the one that tried to live a good life within theirself, they was a virgin, but they didn't have any Oil. Oil symbolizes the Spirit. That's why we anoint in oil. See? The oil symbolizes the Spirit. They were good people, fine people, members of fine Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, all kinds of churches, but they had no Oil.
And they come in the last watch, the seventh church age, to buy Oil. And while they were in process of buying Oil, what happened? The Bridegroom came. Now, that was just read in the Scripture awhile ago, by this notable minister here. And don't you see, was there ever a time down through the age, you Pentecostals? Down through the age, it's never been a time that the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian has cried out for the Holy Spirit like they're doing now. See? And when they do, what is that? He come right then. That was the hour of His coming. And right while they, all of these brethren and churches are hungering, it's got... This virgin rises, you know, in the last day in the judgment, the white throne; but not the Bride.
236 Now, if you have no Oil in your lamp, while the doors of mercy, I trust, is still open, won't you rise, and say, "Remember me, Brother Branham." In doing that, it'll symbolize to God, "I'll... My Oil is--is not in my lamp, Brother Branham; I--I believe in Christ. Certainly, I do. I've been a member for a long time. But really to say my life is filled with that lovely Holy Spirit, and everything's different, and I'm a new creature, I'm not that way, Brother Branham. You pray for me." God bless you now. There's many, many standing, in the balconies and everywhere.
237 Now, I want you ministering brethren here, my--my precious brethren, to pray with me now as we pray, each one of you.
How did you stand up while you stood? See, you are a life. Something's in you. If there was no life, you could not stand up. And according to science (See?) gravitation would hold you down. But a--a spirit within you made a decision by the witness of another Spirit, a Life that says, "You need Me," and you stood up. You defied the laws of nature by standing up as a witness. Jesus said, "He that will witness Me, in otherwise, before men, him will I witness before My Father and the holy Angels." Now, you're needing the Holy Ghost.
239 Now, if some of you people are standing near these people that's standing, that you have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, would you... I can't reach them all; we haven't the time. On the balconies, in everywhere, would you just raise over and put your hands on them (See?) in a memorial.
You know, they... When Philip went down to preach to the Samaritans, they had not received the Holy Ghost as yet. See? Only Philip had baptized them in the Name of Jesus Christ, but the Holy Ghost had not come upon them. And Peter and Philip went down, or Peter and John went down and preached, and laid hands upon them, and the Holy Ghost came on them.
241 Now, you believers that's received the Holy Ghost, look who's standing up, all around you, then lay your hands over on them as a commemoration that you are a believer; touch their hand or something while we pray. Don't doubt. Believe now. It's not an emotion; it's the sweetness of the Holy Ghost that comes down and fills every life. Now, they're in your hands. You've made a contact with them. Just like when you put your hands...
The Jew put his hand upon the sacrifice to connect himself with the sacrifice... One day you laid your hands upon Jesus and connected yourself with the Sacrifice. The Life of the Sacrifice has come back on you. Which I may be speaking tonight at the church, "the Token," and it's upon you now.
And you've connected yourself with this man or woman who wants to believe. Just stand right up now and lay your hands on those who wish to receive It. That's right. God bless you. What a wonderful time. Now, don't doubt. Don't be in no hurry. Just remember, pray for this person.
And you pray too, say, "Lord Jesus, my poor heart's a hungering. I--I want You in my heart. I want you in my life. Fill me, Lord. I'm here, ready."
245 Our heavenly Father, as many are on their feet, they signify by this that they want Life. And Life comes only through obedience to Christ. He is Life. He has the condition that we must meet. And by meeting this condition... As we think of Abraham, he believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. And after it was imputed unto him for righteousness, God give him the seal of circumcision as a confirmation that He had received his faith. Many of these people profess to have faith, but they haven't been sealed yet by the Holy Ghost. And now, they're standing, Lord, as a commemoration that they do believe. Now, seal them, Lord, with the Holy Ghost. May It fall upon them and seal every heart here just now. May the Holy Ghost fall in this ballroom just at this time.
And, Satan, you get out of their life, turn them loose.
And may the power of the resurrected Jesus Christ come upon these people just now, and may they be filled with the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen.