We have seen His star and have come to worship Him
1 I'm deem this a great privilege to be here this evening, at this fine gathering of Christian people, to have this opportunity to speak to you of our blessed Lord Jesus, Who we're all here in honor of, to honor Him.
It's nice to be with Brother Tony and Brother Williams, the--the two presidents of the chapter here at--at--at Tucson and also at Phoenix. We had the service up there last Saturday morning, certainly had a grand time there in that Ramada Inn up there. And we expect to have another great time there, beginning the nineteenth of this month, where it's my privilege to go back for an extended service.
We have, I believe it's four nights, beginning the nineteenth. And I think the Business Men's International Convention begins on the twenty-second--twenty-third. I'm there until the twenty-second, and then I have a--a night or two, I think, in the--in their convention. So this is a grand privilege for me to have the opportunity to gather with the Christians around different parts of the country, to express my feeling and love towards Christ, with them, and have the grand fellowship together. Now, I'm sorry I didn't get here to enjoy this fine meal that I know you had. But I think...
3 I been out here on interviews, praying for the sick, and trying to help somebody along the road. And this is a sick old world we're living in, so much sickness and trouble. But in the midst of all of this, isn't it a wonderful thing that we have Someone that we can look up to, above these things, press beyond this.
What if there wasn't a real Christmas? If there had not been a real Christmas, well, things wouldn't be the way they are tonight. If there wasn't a Christmas, there wouldn't have been no salvation. And now that we're facing Christmas again, it's too bad that we have changed it, the real meaning of it, being the birth of Jesus, until just... Well, it look like that Santa Claus has taken the place of Christ in Christmas, and some fiction of a Kriss Kringle coming down a chimney with a sack of toys on his back, that visits the whole world in one night. And I don't know what you think about it; it's all right if you want to tell your children that; but I was taught, thought the Scripture said, "Thou shalt not lie." And then someday they're going to ask you, "Is this Jesus the same thing that Santa Claus is?" when they find out there's no Santa Claus.
So I best think it's best, myself. That might not be your idea. I'm not telling you how to raise your children. But I... If they catch you lying on that, then they're going to say someday that maybe this other's a lie also. So just tell them the truth, straight truth, and then they'll know how to, what you mean. So no matter how bad the outside looks, and what they're doing out there, that should not bother us from making Christmas what it should be. See?
5 I think that the light shines the best in the darkness. Darker it is, the better the light shines. Sometimes just a small light, where there's much light, it's not noticed. But the darker it gets, that small light will shine that much stronger. And remember that there's no darkness can exist in the presence of light. Light is so much more powerful than darkness, until it cannot stand in its presence. Darkness cannot stand when the sun starts to shine, because the sun is so much greater, the sunlight, that it just presses the darkness out, and it's no more.
And this dark world someday is going to turn to all light. When Jesus Christ the Sun of righteousness shall come again, then we'll have no more darkness. Until that time, just as we look out at nighttime and see the moon shining...
7 The moon and the sun is husband and wife, as to say. And in the absence of the sun, the moon reflects the light of the sun, to the earth, giving it a lesser light, that we can see how to get around by the moonlight until the sun rises. And then the sun and moon becomes one, the same; sunlight and moonlight is all the same.
That's what the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ should be, reflecting the Light of Him while He is absent from the earth in a physical body; the Church should be the reflection of Jesus Christ in these dark hours. When Santa Claus and tinsel all over the street, we should scream out, "It's the birth of Jesus Christ, and not the visit of Saint Nicholas." We're living in an awful dark time, and that's when our light should really shine.
9 Now, before we read God's Word, I wonder this, that if we will honor His Word... How do we honor His Word? We honor His Word by reading It and then believing It. Now, we should read It, "Faith cometh by hearing." And then if we honor It by reading It, then we honor Him by believing what we have read.
So now, to do the first honor, while we read His Word, let us stand to our feet while I'm going to read a portion of Scripture. We stand in honor of the reading of His Word. I'm going to read where I want to speak from tonight for just a few moments. It's going to be from the Book of St. Matthew, the Christmas story. In the 2nd chapter of St. Matthew, we read this.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in... days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he... born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he'd gathered all the chief priests and the scribes... people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophets,
And thou Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, art thou not least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel,
Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
11 Now, let us bow our heads just a moment while we speak to the Author of this Word.
Almighty God, we thank Thee tonight from the very depths of our hearts for the love of Christ that's been shed abroad in our hearts in these last days by the Holy Spirit. We thank Thee because that we have the privilege of assembling ourselves together and worshipping Thee, and having this blessed assurance that someday You're coming for Your Church. We thank Thee, to be the Light-bearers of this age, to be here ready to manifest the promised Word for the age that we're now living in, knowing that in the beginning You 'lotted out Your Word. Knowing the end from the beginning, each age You allotted Your Word to that age. Somehow, we don't know how it ever happened, but in each one of those ages, as we look back upon Thy Word, and we see that there was an anointing come in that age that fulfilled that Word... And in the days that we are now living in, there is a allotted Word, a promise for this age. We believe that the Holy Spirit is here on earth now, trying to find hearts to manifest and to bring to pass by vindicating the Word that's now prophesied for this day and hour.
13 As we look back some nineteen hundred years ago, there had been a Word prophesied since the garden of Eden of a Saviour coming, and there was One come and fulfilled every Word that was prophesied. His life vindicated God's Word, because He was the Word. The Fulness of God dwelt within Him. He was the--the Answer and the Fulness of all the prophets had said. And now, tonight we are here approaching again the celebration of His birthday.
And, Lord, we are so sorry to know that even our nation has wrapped theirself in some kind of a--a fictitious story of someone that was supposed to have been some mythical myth. But, Lord, we know that the true believer knows that that is wrong, and it's only done of the enemy to beset people's mind from the true and living God.
15 God, we pray that His Presence will be with us tonight as we get into the Christmas story. And grant, Lord Jesus, if there would be some businessman or woman here in the--the building tonight, that has not yet accepted Him as their Saviour, may this be the night that their own heart will become a manger that will cradle tonight, as it was then, the rejected and despised Jesus, the Messiah of God. May they go away from here tonight with the Morning Star hanging over them, lighting up their way till they can cross Jordan someday by the Light of this One. Grant it, Father, for we ask it in His Name and for His glory. Amen. (You may be seated.)
16 Usually that I'm a little long in speaking. I would not try to preach tonight, because I'm hoarse. But I'd like to give a little drama of this Christmas story. And there's no doubt but what you'll hear it many times, and this same Scripture read, will come on your radios, into your televisions, and--and at your churches, your fine loyal pastors of you businessmen, and so forth, will--will hear the Christmas story, and will tell the Christmas story, rather.
And now, I would like to approach it a little different than what I did last Saturday at the Business Men's Chapter of Phoenix, on why Jesus was borned in Bethlehem. And there could not been any other place He could've been born (See?), because it spoke His Name and what He was. And we found that out through the Scripture, that He, Bethlehem, is the House of God's Bread, and He was God's Bread of Life. And there was no way... And it gives us to know then that we, all borned again Christians, are borned in Bethlehem. Christ is God's Bethlehem, His House of Bread of Eternal Life.
18 Now, tonight we're going to approach it from a different way. I'm going to take my text tonight, the Lord willing, "We Have Seen His Star And Have Come To Worship Him."
These wise men, we have an idea here that, and we're told by tradition, that there were three wise men, yet we don't know that to be true. The Bible doesn't say there were three. However, I've had the privilege of ministering in India, from where they come from, and they travel by three's. That's... We still see them. Just not long ago I was in India. And here you see them kind of squatted on the street with their--in the daytime, with their heads bumped against each other, with their turbans, setting there kind of like in a daydream. They never set right down, they just squat down. And that's the reason, I think, that we believe there were three wise men, because they travel in threes.
And they said, "We have seen His Star in the east and have come to worship Him." In other words, "We have seen His sign for this age," that they were living in. It was prophesied so.
21 See, I believe that the Word of God is eternal, for, "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." So the Word can never be changed; It's eternal. It's God Himself in--in print form is the Bible, God's Word.
He's got to judge the church by some standard. And He cannot judge it by the standard of any system that we have made, because every one of our systems are manmade. And you'd have to be judged. Then if--if you would want to disagree and say, "No, I believe you're wrong there, Brother Branham. I believe ours..." Or the other fellow would say, "Well, ours is." Then which one is right, when there's nine hundred and something different systems of it? So God could not judge the church by nine hundred and something different differences in systems.
But there will be One. He said He would judge the world by Christ, Jesus Christ. And Christ is the Word; therefore we will stand the judgment by the Word of God.
24 Now, God never does anything without first showing a sign. He's not guilty of ever doing anything but first--first declaring it by His sign.
And these wise men said, "We have seen His Star in the east." They were in the east when they saw it, which was in Babylon, which was east of Jerusalem; and they were in the west two years later, saying, "and have come to worship Him."
Christian tradition has us coming to a little Baby laying in a manger, the wise men. That isn't so. The Scripture's contrary to that. The Scripture says they came to a young Child, not an infant. Herod slew all the children from two-year-old down. See, and watch where they had to travel by camel to get there; it taken them right on two years to make the journey, coming down through, by the Tigris River and across. "We have seen His Star (when they were in the east) and have come west to worship Him."
27 Now, notice. Christmas now has changed. Now, the real day of Christmas, we--that would be disputed, because we do not know it. The way we take Christmas, if you ever studied it, we are taking the--the Roman Catholic church's conception of when Christmas was. Actually, Christ could not have been born on the twenty-fifth day of December and be according with the Scriptures, because there's thirty foot of snow in Judaea in that time (See?) so they... It could not been shepherds out on the hills, and so forth, and it'd be contrary then to all nature. He came like nature.
Because God has a law, and those laws can't be changed. The sun goes down; you can't say, "Well, it won't rise." It does rise. Summer, winters, and so forth, it's God's laws that He's set in order. And they every one work perfect.
29 Now, but, He was perhaps born in April or May one, when... He was a Lamb, and every other thing proved He would be a Lamb. That's the reason He was born in a manger in a barn and not in a house; because lambs are borned outside in the barns, in straw and stuff, and not in the house. When He was taken to the crucifixion, He was led away. You remember, you lead the sheep. We go to the slaughter house down here; they got a goat or something that leads the sheep; the sheep won't go hisself; he's got to be led. In every way He was, so then in nature He had to be born when lambs are born. And that's in April (See?); that's about when He was born.
30 But then when Christianity was brought into Romanism and mixed at Nicaea, then they had the sun god, Jupiter, the sun god of Rome, his birthday was on the--between the--about the twenty-fifth day of December. Because the Roman circus started on the twenty-first and lasted till the twenty-fifth, which was in celebration of the sun god's birthday. So blending Romanism paganism to--to Christianity, they said, "Let's make it the Son of God's birthday, and then we can all agree upon it." See, it's always been on systems of compromising to the Truth, every time, has always been.
31 So today we find out that in there they've injected everything, all of our holidays are polluted. Our Easter, it's no more the resurrection of Christ; it's a some kind of an Easter rabbit, or a new hat, or--or something, or a little pink duck; has nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ, no more than Santa Claus has anything to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. But it's the world. And the commercial world has got everything in such a tangle and mess until, no wonder, God's justified to burn the thing up. And He's going to do it; He promised He would do it. And it has to get in this mess in order... There's no hopes for it; it's gone.
And the now, but in the hour of this darkness, as I say that we live in, still Christians should be holding forth that Light, that there is a truth to Christmas, that it is the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The zigzag, forked lightning into a dark, cloudy, angry skies, shows there can be light in darkness. It proves that there can be light in the time of darkness.
33 This that I'm speaking of tonight might seem just a little bit unusual, and especially of these notes and Scriptures I have written here, which I will refer to, as many of them takes down the Scriptures, and so forth. Now, it's a little unusual. But I want you to always bear this in mind: God is unusual; God does unusual things. That's the trouble with us today; we get so set in the usual things, that when something unusual takes place, then we--we--we're all out of it; we don't know what's happened. God does the unusual. And any man that's ever read the Bible, knows that God always does the unusual.
And, remember, this is all prearranged by God Himself, this birth of His Son. And when it was to take place, and how it was, and when it was, was all prearranged by God Himself.
35 Did you notice, it had to be just at this time when this murderous king, Herod, nothing but a murderer, killed all those little children, that it might be fulfilled which was spoke of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "In Rama, Rachel reaping--weeping for her children, and they were not." See, there had to be a murderous king to fulfill that prophecy that was spoke many hundred years beforehand. But when God speaks a Word by His prophet, It has to come to pass if It's God's Word. No matter how long It lingers, It'll still come to pass because It's a Seed. Jesus said that the Word of God is a Seed that a Sower sowed. So It must bear Its fruit in Its seasons. And now, this murderous king had to be at that time to kill those children.
36 Another thing we want to notice is, just at that very time, that he had to raise taxes on the people. And in doing that, that forced Joseph and his wife (his espoused wife, Mary) to be forced back into Bethlehem.
God knows how to do things. He'll even make the works of the enemy praise Him. When we think sometimes it's all "we got to do this and do that" to make the clock tick just right... God's timepiece is ticking perfectly, and Jesus will be here right on time. He won't be one second behind. Everything will happen just exactly the way God said it would. So whether we do it or whether we do not do it, it'll be here just the same, 'cause God has spoke it, and it will be so.
38 Now, we find out, that the taxes, that this Herod said that all the people that were strayed from their birthplace, must return back. That... He thought he was doing something great there, when he done this, and not knowing that he was working exactly in harmony with Jehovah. How many of the priests probably cursed Herod at that time, in the Name of the Lord. How many stood up, probably secretly, and said, "Oh, this Roman, what a... If we could get ahold of him, we'd do so and so, and so," not knowing it was working exactly according to God's plan.
Sometimes today we curse Communism and all these things. Which, I guess, it deserves it. But if you only knew the truth, it's working exactly in God's hand to do just exactly what He said it would do. He's got to raise up something to take Babylon off the earth, and He's got the instrument in His hands. You just read the Scripture; it's written right there what He said He would do.
And if those ministers of that day had just read and studied that Word, they knowed that had to happen.
41 Now, we notice then that on this great taxation, the king gave forth his rule, or his order, that all people would turn to their birthplace, regardless. Now, it looks like a horrible thing, that poor little woman in that place that she was in, heavy with child, and would have to take that long journey. Today, we'd hardly think of taking her in an ambulance. And she had to. If you was ever in Palestine, and see where she had to come through that rugged, granite boulders, up through there on the back of a little mule. No matter how bad it was, and how cruel it seemed, that was the king's orders; everybody must do it, young or old, prepared or not prepared; they had to do it, anyhow.
42 And sometimes we think that our burdens... I might inject this right here, that we think our burdens are so heavy sometimes, that there's nothing like it in the world. Do you know all those things are good for you? They are all to mold you, make you. Prophets and sages was molded on the backside of the desert in the hot blazing sun, through tribulations, and trials, and persecutions. And these things that we have today, there's nothing happened to us that hasn't happened to other Christians before. Other Christians has had to stand in the hour of darkness like this, and even be fed to lions for their testimony.
43 And then we take down on a little prestige, or somebody that we think we are, "Well, well, I belong to So-and-so, this certain church you know. I'm afraid I'll bring reproach if I..."
Don't be afraid of your testimony for Jesus Christ. Shed forth your Light. Stand for your convictions, that He is the Son of God. And this is not a night of visit of Kringle, Kriss Kringle, but it's the birth of Jesus Christ that we're celebrating. See? Now, we find those things that it's done.
45 Did you ever see them when they was fixing to mold a bell, some famous bell for a church chime or something, that had to give a certain ding? You see, if you're ringing a chime, it takes a certain range for each bell. And it takes certain materials to go in there, so much brass, so much steel, and so much of other ores, to go into this bell. If it's just straight brass, it won't ring right. It's got to have all kinds of materials throwed into it to make it ring the right kind of a tone. And the man who has put the mold up, and set the mold, he knows exactly what it takes to go in that cupola, what it takes to go into that--that metal, to make that bell ring that tone.
46 God is our great Cupola. God is the... He is the great Refiner's Furnace, that where He has to put these things upon us, and trials, and persecutions and things to mold it together to make our testimony ring for a certain time, and a certain note that He wants rang out in a certain day.
We're made different. We're all made different. We see different. But we all see one thing; that's Jesus Christ. Let's look at Him. And the only way you can see Him... If He looks contrary to this Word, you're not looking at Him, for That is Him. So if you see a creed or see some certain denomination that you just think, "I belong to that, and that's enough." If it doesn't look at that Word, then look away from it. Look to that Word. And that's what we're looking for: Christ, the manifestation of God's Word. He is the a-vindication of God's Word.
48 Now, all these great things, and happened down there to--to this little couple. It seems strange. But it might seem strange to them, but it all was working together good.
Now, Joseph's dream, I'd like to speak of that just a moment. I've got the Scripture written here for it. God has at all times, all ages, spoke to His people, and revealed Himself by dreams.
Now, dreams are not an assurance. Every dream is not from God. Now, there's many people that has dreams, and they have all kinds of dreams. And you go to bed at night, and eat a big supper and go to bed, and you might dream anything. You might have a fever, and you might have all kinds of nightmares and so forth; that isn't God. But yet, God does deal with people through dreams.
51 We find Joseph early, Jacob's son, that how he was a prophet. And a prophet understood dreams. Now, if a dream is interpreted, then it becomes a vision; it's a prophecy.
Now, we find out even before that, king Nebuchadnezzar, and back into Daniel, and way all back, that God dealt with the people through dreams, spiritual dreams. I believe in them. We have them now. How many times could I have to testify, hundreds of people that's had dreams, and correctly interpreted it, and they happened just exactly.
53 But a dream is kind of a--a fictitious thing. Now, one time under an examination, I was asked about dreams. And now, a dream is when (We are told.) you're in your subconscious. Now, a person has a first conscience, and in this first conscience your five senses are active, see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. But when you go to sleep, these five or con--senses are not active, and then you're over here in a subconscious, which sets way away from you, and then you're over there dreaming. But when you return back and wake up... Doubtless but what there's not one person, not even a person here, but what has had a dream sometime in your life, that you still remember. Then there was some part of you somewhere, that when you come back to your senses again, you still remember it. Maybe it was years ago. I remember dreams that I had when I was a little boy. I still remember them; then there's bound to be something, some part of me was somewhere. Now, that's dreams, so (You see?) you're way off from your senses. Then when it comes back and you tell your dream, if it's of God...
54 There could be an interpreter of dreams. The Bible said, "If there be one among you who's spiritual, a prophet, I the Lord will make Myself known to him in dreams, and will speak to him through visions."
Now, we find out that Joseph, the son of Jacob, was that type of a man. That... They'd dream dreams, and then he'd interpret it. He could interpret dreams, and he saw visions. It's all a act of the Spirit.
56 Now, we find also, in this, that when a man is born to be a seer, or see visions, you--you're--you have to be called of that, by God.
Notice, here is your subconscious natural, and here is your first conscious. Now, you have to go out of your senses, five senses, into sleep to go into the subconscious, then come back to it. That's a dream.
But a seer, both consciouses are right together. You don't go out of this five senses; you're still in the five senses, stand right straight and look what's taking place. See, you never leave your senses. You're right there, know where you're at and what you're doing, speaking your words. Now, that is a--a predestinated gift. "Gifts and callings are without repentance." See, God does that. You do not go to sleep; you're standing with both eyes open, looking right straight and seeing what you're looking at. See? And what a--a vision is, is of God, of course.
59 We sleep today. That's the trouble with the world today; it's sleeping. And so many people just love to sleep. But I--I'll say this, there's no beds in heaven. We won't sleep when we get to heaven, because there's no night there. There's no night, so you won't have to sleep when you get to heaven, 'cause there's no beds there.
But notice, when our--our conscience... God can use every part of us if it's converted to Him. Everything that we are, when it's given completely into the hands of God and converted to His service, He can use us in dreams, He can use us in speech, He can use us in all senses. And everything that we are is converted to God, then God can use it. You believe that? See, when we are--everything is converted to Him, He can use it. When our whole being is converted, then Christians can have this day, spiritual dreams that can mean something, that can foretell them of things. We know that that's the truth.
61 A spiritual dream is interpreted, rightly interpreted, is the same as a vision. And what is a vision? A vision is the forecast of future events; it foretells the thing before it happens. And that's the way God always a-vindicated whether it was true or not, or whether the man, that was in the Old Testament, was supposed to be a prophet, what he said come to pass. Then they knowed if this man said this, and it kept constantly coming to pass... Now, that man cannot just be hands laid on him, or shook up, and give a--a gift; he is born with that gift, born in him when he's born, before he's born.
62 Look at the prophet Isaiah, prophesied of John seven hundred and twelve years before he was born, said he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Look at Jeremiah, before he even was conceived in his mother's womb, while he was yet there, God said, "I knew you, and sanctified you, and ordained you a prophet to the nations." See? Gifts and callings are without repentance.
And you can only be... That can only work when there's something there for it to work with. Like if there's a right hand to work, and you got a right hand, then let it work for the Kingdom of God. If you got eyes to see, then see the right things; lips, voice to speak, speak the right things. Whatever it is, do the right things. And convert all you've got to God to His glory.
65 Now, we find out that the forecast foretells future events before they happen. Strange as it seems, that almighty God foretold and took the welfare of the Baby, Jesus, and revealed it by a dream, what to do. Now, that God in this secondarily way, to His own Son, revealed it to Joseph by a dream. The Bible said He did. Yes, sir. Now, Joseph was a good man; he was the son of David, and he was espoused to Mary.
I'd like to pass this on before we go further. Espousing in the east was the same as marriage: is betrothal. As soon as they--as they were espoused, they were married. When that sacred vow between them was taken, read Deuteronomy 22:23, and you'll find out that when this woman and man agreed to be married (yet they did not take the vows for months later), if they even broke that vow, they were guilty of adultery. That's right. When they was espoused, they were just the same as marriage. The law had not give them rights to live together as husband and wife yet, but before God, when they promised one another, their words were sealed in God's Kingdom. And to break that was just committing adultery. And now, Joseph was espoused to Mary. If minister brothers, if you'd study that right good, it'd clear you up on this marriage and divorce case that's so--so hard and different amongst the people today. Now, notice Joseph, her husband, being a just man... See? Now, we find out that this could not be broken.
67 She told, must've told him. This young virgin, beautiful, young Jewish maid, she become... We're all adults here, as far as I can see. She become to be mother. And Joseph going with her, noticed this, no doubt. After he was espoused to her, he found out that she was to be mother. Now, he was a just man; the Bible said he was. She must've told him of her innocence. The lovely woman, I can hear her just as it were to say, "Joseph, my beloved friend, my beloved husband, I am innocent of this." And she must've told him of the visit, with her and the great Archangel, that the Archangel had come to her, Gabriel, and had visit her with these great signs that He had told her about, that what was going to happen.
68 And then we notice she too, after she had this visitation, she was so elated by the Angel's message, that she took up into the hilly country of Judaea: from Nazareth, where she was a native of the city of Nazareth, a very mean, little city...
And when she got up there, her cousin Elisabeth was also already six months to be mother, who had been called barren.
Her husband Zacharias was a priest at the temple. And one day while he was waving the offerings, which was the burning incense, rather, over the prayers of the people that was being said outside, Gabriel, the Angel of the Lord... Now, He hadn't been seen, nor nothing been seen of anything Supernatural for years and years, and hundreds of years. But here stood that Angel at the right-hand side of the altar, and told him that his wife would conceive and bear a child, and he was going to call his name John. And we all know the story.
And then when Gabriel also, six months later, visit Mary in Nazareth, and told her about the event of her cousin Elisabeth... And then quickly, Mary having this great secret in her heart, that what was going to take place, she hurried up into the hills to see her cousin.
72 And when Elisabeth had hid herself, because she didn't want to appear out before men in the condition she was, and she had hid herself for six months. Now, according to my understanding of the Scripture, she was worried; the baby had no life to that time. And it was way subnormal for a baby not to move within, oh, at least three months, or four, of time. But now it was six months, and the baby had never moved. So when Elisabeth and Mary met each other, they, no doubt, hugged each other, embraced each other, as cousins, and--and were so happy to see each other. And let's just think of what they said. I can hear Elisabeth say to Mary, "Oh, darling, you look so pretty."
And Mary said, "You know, I know that you're to be mother."
"Yes, it's kinda bothered me, and it's six months and my baby has not moved yet."
"Oh, but I've got something to tell you; I just can't hold it any longer."
75 You know, there's something about when you get in contact with God, you can't keep still about it. You just got to say something about it; that is, if you got a real, true conversion. I don't care where you are, you've got to express it somewhere.
And I can hear her say, "You know, I've got something to tell you. I'm going to have a baby too."
"Oh," said Elisabeth, "I suppose then... Why didn't you invite us to the wedding, you and Joseph, when you were finally married? I know you were espoused, but why didn't you invite me to the wedding?"
"Oh, we're not married yet."
"And you're going to have a baby?"
"Well, Mary, I--I--I don't quite understand."
"You know, the Angel of the Lord appeared to me: Gabriel. He was the One that told me that you were to be confined. He was the One told me. And He said the Holy Ghost was going to overshadow me; and that holy Thing would be born of me, would be the Son of God. And I shall call His Name Jesus, for He'll save His people from their sins."
79 And the first time that that wonderful Name was ever spoke by human lips, little John, being dead in his mother's womb, leaped for joy, and received the Holy Ghost, dead in his mother's womb. If--if the power of the speaking of the Name of Jesus Christ will bring a dead baby to life in a mother's womb, what ought it to do to a church that claims to be His servant, borned of His Spirit? As Elisabeth was so startled, as she looked at Mary, she said, "Whence cometh the mother of my Lord, the mother of my Lord? For as soon as thy salutation come to my ears, my baby leaped in the womb for joy." John was born from his mother's womb, full of the Holy Ghost, by the Name of Jesus Christ. What type of a baby should this be?
No doubt that she rehearsed this to Joseph.
80 Now see, Joseph, being a just man, he kind of wondered, "You know, now I know if she's caught in adultery, the first thing's going to happen to her, she's going to be stoned. She cannot..."
They cannot live that way. The Bible said that if a damsel that's espoused is in a city, and has been ravished by a man, and if she doesn't cry out, then both of them are stoned together; they're killed. But if she's in the country, and in the field, and she cries out and nobody can hear her, the man is to be killed, she is to live. Now, then the penalty of that... That's Deuteronomy 22, where I asked you to read awhile ago.
82 Now, notice now in this, we find that she was to be mother, not married. So to Joseph it seemed like that Mary was trying to get him to be her shield from the scoffers and scorners. See? Joseph was to be her shield; go ahead and marry her anyhow, and be her shield, but not to be a husband to her in the--the way of family relation, but it was to be... He was to be a--a shield for her.
He wanted to believe her; I--I really believe that. He wanted to believe her, but her story was so unusual. It was hard to--for that believer to believe.
84 And you pardon me, men. And so is it today. The story of the power of the Holy Ghost upon the earth today in the Church is so unusual to the organization and the denominational mind, till it--they want to believe it, but it's too unusual, It's too fantastic. But it's the Truth. The Bible said it would be this a-way, and here it is. Many men tied up in some creed, really wants to believe that, but it's so unusual he just can't hardly do it. He--he--he don't know what to do. He's just in a--in a predicament like Joseph was.
85 The Bible said, "While he was thinking on these things..." See, he was a good man, and he didn't want his own name marred; and yet he knowed if that woman was that way, that he couldn't marry her; she was to be mother by another man. "And yet," he said, "that innocent little woman, her life has been like a pure as a lily, and I want to believe her, but I--I don't know what to do."
While he thought on these things, he was minded then to put her away privately. He said, "I won't cause any great disturbance about it." Now remember, he had never took the oath yet, but he was espoused. But he put her away privately. "And while he was thinking on these things of put her away privately... See, it come to the best of his knowledge. See, he was a just man and a good man.
Brother, sister, let me say this. If you are just, if you are honest in your heart, then God's obligated to reveal the thing to you.
88 Joseph, her husband, being a just man, he pondered on the things. It was so unusual, as I said, he--he could hardly comprehend that. "How could those things be?" But he, no doubt, set down, prayed over it, studied it in the Scriptures. "How could these things be?" While he was studying, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. He wasn't a prophet. And there wasn't a prophet on the earth in those days, no one who could come to him with THUS SAITH THE LORD, so the Lord took the secondarily way. That's the reason God took the welfare of His own Son, to a man, by a dream, and put Him in Egypt, and brought Him back out, and hid Him, from the wise men, or the wise men went another way. There was no prophet in the land, so He took secondarily, the dream. But there was men who wasn't born to be a seer, but they were good men, and when they did, God visit them in their subconscious and revealed Himself.
If you'll just yield yourself to God, God's got many ways that He can reveal Hisself to you. See? Might not, you might not be a prophet; you might not be a teacher; you might not be a Sunday school teacher; you might not be a preacher; but there's ways that God can reveal Himself to you. You see? Whether it might be dreams, it might be in some other way, if you'll just submit yourself like Joseph did.
90 No doubt he said, "O great Jehovah God, I--I come through the lineage of David. And I--I'm a righteous man; I hope I am. I'm trusting in what You said to be the Truth. And my beloved little sweetheart here, that I have--I'm espoused to... I... To put her away otherwise, I--I'm guilty of committing adultery. And she's to be mother, and I don't know her as a wife. What is these things, Lord?"
See, he was not a prophet, so He couldn't speak to him that way. So He--He let him get to sleep and sent the Angel of the Lord to him in a dream. Amen. The Angel of the Lord came to him in a dream, and touched him, and said, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." There you are. "That which is in her, is not some man; the Holy Ghost has done this. The woman's told the truth. This unusual story, this unusual thing that's happened, Joseph, that's got you all tore up, it's of the Holy Ghost."
92 Oh, that same God still lives tonight. You still have subconscious. And you have... You Christians, if the thing seems unusual to you, that you see that, if it's still right exactly with the Word, then God can reveal the unusual things in many ways.
So He told Joseph, "Thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee thy--Mary, thy wife." Remember, already his wife. "Take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Now, then when God sent His Angel and revealed it, His revelation of the dream come to Joseph, he knowed; there was no mystery in it. The Angel came to him in a dream. He saw the Angel in his dream.
95 Now, a prophet or seer doesn't go to sleep; he sees the Angel standing here. The other man just goes to sleep, and he sees the Angel.
And the Angel said, "Now, Joseph, there ain't no riddle; there's nobody there can interpret it for you. So I'm going to tell you about it. I'm going to make it real to you, 'cause there's nobody there can make it real. Now, don't fear to take Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Then when Joseph rose from his sleep, oh, how his heart must've been full of newborn faith. That mystery that had bothered him, that something that he wanted to believe, but that something that he dared to believe, it was so unusual, yet was made known to him by a dream. New faith sprung up into his life. Oh, my. He had faith in God. He had faith in his wife then; both faith in God, and love for his wife, and love in the one that he loved. There's no more question, no more question about it. He knew that was the Angel of the Lord. He knew that God had revealed to him just exactly the question that was in his mind, so all questions was gone.
98 When God, in any way that He desires to do it, reveals to you the question that's in your mind, there's no more doubt; there's no more question about it. It's a revelation.
When you see something here in the Scripture, you say, "Well, now, I believe that was just for the apostles. I believe Jesus did that in the days gone by."
But the Bible said He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, just the same Jesus. Then if that seems to be a question to you, and you ponder over it, you can't make it out, and you see the thing happen, and you wonder about it, then the Angel of the Lord in some way, if you'll be sincere, will reveal it to you. And then it's no more a question; it's the truth then. Oh. And then you can scream and shout, "Oh, I'm so thankful."
101 I can imagine how Joseph felt when that taken place; it was all--the mystery was all over then. Then... And when this was done, he was found rejoicing, because he was happy. Now, we find out that, right away he married her. Oh, he was no more question then. He took to him Mary the wife and knew her not as a wife, until the Child. Happy about it. He was glad to be Mary's shield. He was glad to bear her reproach.
When a man can be revealed that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, no matter how many creeds try to turn it back, you're glad to be a shield. You're happy to be a shield. Let them say what they ever, you got a big shield up there to knock the fiery darts off.
I hope I don't get too loud for them out there. Let them hear It too; they ought to. Notice. Yes, sir.
104 You're happy to be a shield. You're a doormat, whatever wants to be, it doesn't matter; it's been revealed to you by the Lord. The Lord has showed it to you by His Word it's the truth and then confirmed it to you to make it live again. You say, "There it is. My, nothing's going to..."
No man even has the right to preach the Gospel until he's come face to face with God. That's right. No man should be in the pulpit without receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Jesus commissioned His disciples not to preach anymore, but "wait in the city of Jerusalem until you're endued with power from on high." Watch what the Holy Ghost did when It come. And the Holy Ghost is God.
106 The Holy Ghost is the Father of Jesus Christ. Matthew the 2nd chapter and the 20th verse says that, "Mary, His mother, when she was espoused to Joseph, she was found with a Child of the Holy Ghost." The Holy Ghost is the Father of Jesus Christ.
And when the Holy Ghost comes and reveals the Word, and makes It live just exact, then It's a revelation to you, you see It; It's unfolded, His promised for the hour.
Joseph seen that, that that was Isaiah's prophecy fulfilled. Isaiah 9, "Unto us a Son is born, a Child is given. He shall be called The Counseller, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. And of His Kingdom there shall be no end." He knew Who that would be, because he--he saw the whole thing when the Angel of the Lord told him this, that "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." "A virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son." Now, that was a great mystery, the super sign that God give to all the world, a super sign that that was His Son.
109 Now, notice as we go on now. I won't take too long, try not to. Notice when we find going on, when Jesus... Now, I think if... The little children here won't understand, but I got to say something here so the adults will...
When Christ Jesus was being formed in Mary, that's when the persecution set in. That's right. That's right. That's when her persecution started. And it's the same thing in you. Galatians 1, or Galatians 4:19, says that when Christ the hope of glory formed, formed in you... Christ is being formed in you, when you are dying and Christ is coming to Life. Watch the persecution set in; watch trouble start on every hand; watch the Devil go on a rampage, certainly, when Christ is being formed in you.
112 And when Christ was being formed in Mary, quickly come the king's commandment, "All you people..." Just as she was... The Christ was becoming a full baby, ready to be delivered, right then the great persecution.
Now, the--the baby's been formed for a long time, along in the womb. But this is coming the last days when the completeness, when the Fulness of the Godhead, when the Fulness of Christ is to be manifested among His people. He said so; He promised it in His Word. And when that Fulness (You see?), there is unusual things begin to happen, that He promised. That's the reason our great social lives and things can't understand that; it's foolishness to them.
Now, watch, they're forming a Council of Churches. See? Just the time when the Church is begin to get to Its feet, where the Supernatural is begin to work, now they've all went into a group, and now they're going to try to stop this stuff, just exactly like it was then.
114 As I said last Saturday at Phoenix, the Philistines are garrisoned at Bethlehem, that the people will not be able to come, 'less they come through that Council of Churches. Oh, they'll take them to a stagnated cistern, not to the fresh waters of Bethlehem, of course not. Now, we notice.
Then when the king gave his commandment, just when the Christ was being formed... Now, let's take them just a moment; let's watch them, carry them just a little bit before we close.
I can see Joseph say, "Mary, darling, that cruel king..."
But she'd say, "Listen, dear. Remember, the Holy Ghost told me that His Name shall be called Jesus, and He shall save His people from their sins. (His people from their sins.) Now, Joseph, dear, no matter what takes place and what the king says, I am able. I can set up on the little mule. It's several miles up around these rocky mountains and so forth. And if we happen to need a little help, there'll be many in the journey, 'cause we're not the only family. There's others that's suffered the same thing we have, so there's others along the road. And we can kinda go along with the rest of the crowd as they go up the hill, and--and go up into Bethlehem." For from Nazareth you come up across the mountains.
117 Now we find out that he must've got the little donkey, and--and fed him an extra bunch of hay and some oats that day, because the little lady was pretty heavy. So he sets her up on the little mule, and puts a bag of water and a few little biscuits; and gets the little donkey, and gets his stick in the hand. And up the road they start over, the little mule is staggering and falling... Oh, look what that little fellow is packing. Look at his burden, what it is. He's bearing the Christ to His birthplace. And here this little woman setting up on there, in pain to be delivered, holding to the mane of the little mule, and speaking to him as she goes along the road.
I can see them all day; they'd stop and he would rest her, and, "Dear, are you--are you very tired?"
"No, dear, I'm all right. I'm all right. Well, would you want to ride awhile?"
"No, dear, you set there."
And he'd set her off the little donkey, and let her rest awhile, then give her a drink of water, and a little sandwich. And set her back up on the mule.
122 Finally, it begin to get dark. Travelers along the road, much more able to travel faster, and they'd come on by. And she had to breathe the dust of the rest of them upon horses and carriages, and so forth, that could go over it. Because she had to travel real slow on the account of her condition. What a cruel thing to send that mother up there in that condition. But I can just imagine now, in the little drama, as they come up to the top of the hill. Bethlehem sets in a--kind of like a valley, and on the--the west side of the mountain of--of Bethlehem, the mountain where the little trail comes up...
I just can see them now, in a drama I'm saying. It gets dark. And Joseph is feeling with his staff along, as he takes every shortcut he can. Where the path wound around this way, where the carriage had to go, well, he probably cut through to try to save time, get out of the dust, with his little wife.
124 The stars begin to come out. And, after while he comes up to the top of the hill. And, or, once again they look over into the city where they were both born, over in Bethlehem, the lights of the city. Many was there, places was crowded, people on the outside, sleeping on the ground, out along in the fields. And the question, perhaps the first time, then struck Joseph's mind. "What will I do if I can't find a place, 'cause that Baby might be born tonight. She's been in pain all day, So now, what if that Baby is to be born tonight?"
125 As he stood there looking down across the valley, wondering, his eyes happened to look over sideways, and he saw a strange sight. You know, it's usually right in time of trouble, when supernatural things happen. He looked over there and he saw a Star. He had never remembered seeing one so big. It looked so low, and It was hanging right over Bethlehem. He looked up, and he turned, after he'd helped Mary up on a rock to rest a little while. He turned around to say to her, "Dear, did you ever notice..." And he could even see Its reflection in her pretty, black eyes, as she set and looked, smiling. Said, "Dear, isn't That strange?"
She said, "Joseph, honey, I have watched That since the sun went down. I been watching that Star. Somehow or another, I feel real strange tonight, that something's fixing to happen." Well, it's usually that way, you know; you have that strange feeling.
And she begin to watch the Star and Joseph. The little mule taking his rest, breathing... And they watched the Star. It had an odd action to It. It didn't act like the rest of the stars: seemed to be restless, moving. It was waiting for something, watching for something to happen. Now, let's leave our little couple setting here on this--on this rock for a minute.
128 Let's get in our minds and go, way hundreds of miles, way into the east, the Magis, way up in the east in India. That night, as it was their custom, they all, when a star--sun went down, the stars came out, they went up on a mountain; they got in a tower, kinda like an observation tower. And they got up there to--to worship and to study. And they--they kept time by the stars. And they studied events, and--and they'd go up there and they'd study the--the fall of powers, and of nations, and the collapse of--of--of nations, and so forth, of kingdoms. And how they would--they would think about it and talk about it. And they knowed them stars, every one of them. They knowed them like we know the Bible. Every move they made, meant something.
129 And you know God always declares His doings in the heavens before He does on earth anyhow? Ministers know that.
There they was watching the stars, because they know that any shift, immediately they search right back through the Scriptures to find out what it was. You say, "Scriptures?" Yes, Scriptures. They were Magis. But they were Mohammedans, what's come to be Mohammedan. They were really from the old Medes-o-Persians. That's where the Mohammedans come from. We all know that.
131 And, listen, they had a master down there. If you want to read it, it's--it's Daniel 2:43. Daniel the prophet was their master when they were down in Babylon. That's exactly. Daniel was their master prophet. And he had taught them all the things of God, 'cause he was a master over them. And he told them that there would be a Stone cut out of the mountain someday (You remember him tell that?) without hands. And it would smash the Gentile kingdoms to the world (See?), all kingdoms, and Itself would grow and cover the earth."
132 And now, these was not unbelievers, these Magis. No, sir. They were believers. They believed in one true God. We know that's the truth, the Bible said so. And if you want to read it, you read in Acts 10:35, where It said that "God is no respect of nation, but honoureth those who fear Him and do righteous." Now, yet, they wasn't exactly in line of Truth, but they believed the same God that we believe. The Mohammedans believe the same God we believe.
133 I've stood, a many a time, see that Mohammedan priest take that great big thing there, and hit this great big bong out there, and say, "There's one true and living God, and Mohammed is His prophet." We believe there's one true and living God, and Jesus is His Son. See? He says, "Far be it from God having a son." He thinks it had to be a spirit (You see?), so he--he said, "There's one true and living God, and Mohammed is His prophet." They still believe in that one true God. Is Ishmael's children.
134 Now, we notice as they were, as these Mohammedans studied these, those Mohammedans yet, they just called Magi, and they watched those stars. They burnt fire at night, as a sacred fire. And they attended their God by this sacred fires, as it burned at night. And they watched and they worshipped. And every night they climbed up here as soon as the sun went down, and they studied these things, just like we get together at conferences and study the Bible, and Word by Word. And they knowed every move of them stars.
135 And one night while they were up there, studying. And no wonder it was most alarming when a visitor appeared among them, a stranger; they had never seen that Star before. They didn't know what about This, no wonder they was alarmed. I'd imagine, all night long they watched It. They didn't know what to do about it. My, It--it was a stranger. In that great constellation there, they had found a Star hanging right here, that It was a stranger, a phenomena. They'd never seen anything like that. So, quickly they begin to dig back in the Scriptures to see what's this all about. 'Course they could find nothing in their own writing. But they went back to Daniel, and found out, "There's coming a Stone, the Star of Jacob will rise," that they knew there was something taking place. They must've all had prayer, and went to sleep; discussing It together. And they must have dreamed that night that the King of kings was borned on earth.
136 For we are told in a recent newspaper clipping, of the Magi there, that when those three stars lined up and made one star, that the Messiah was then on earth. And they were actually Jews up there studying, getting their education in astronomy. So then when they--when they seen that, they knowed that Jesus was born somewhere. That they didn't know where it was, but they must have drew straws to find out what to do, just how, who was going to go. Everybody wanted to go, everybody. But they always take, as I said awhile ago, three is a witness, to witness, to come back and tell them if it's the truth. So what did they do? They loaded up their wealth; they loaded up their gifts and everything to take to Him.
137 I just wonder tonight, brother, sister, if we sometime, we're always trying to see how much we can get ourself, when we ought to be giving what we got to Christ (See?), not learning how smart we can be, and how we can outwit the other fellow, but how all that we've got we can surrender to Him.
"God give me a dream; I wouldn't even believe it," I heard some people say.
"I don't believe in Divine healing." I was showing a fellow the other day about it. He said, "I don't care how many doctors would sign their names; I don't care how many you say, and what would be, or whatevermore," said, "I don't believe it. I don't believe it."
I said, "Certainly not. It was not for you."
Divine healing was not sent to unbelievers. It was sent to believers. Christ is to believers. The Holy Ghost is to them that believe only; not for unbelievers, wasn't intended for them. It's a blind stumbling block to them, always will be, always was. It's not to unbelievers. It's to them that believe. That's it.
141 Now, we find that these fellows, they was believers; they wanted to find out. They loaded up everything they had to take off. They wanted to find out what this is true. Now, they had a long journey, so they all pitched in their riches together, and--and everything, get ready, with gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and whatever they had to take to find out this King. They started their journey with their gifts.
And notice, to find this King they went by a heavenly, God-given sign, not by some man's theology. They had seen It in the Word; It was supposed to be there, and they followed the heavenly sign.
143 If men could only have the audacity that they had. If they could only have the--the understanding that they had. When God gives us something, if It's Scripture, hold to It.
Men say, "There's no such a thing as the baptism of the Holy Ghost." There is a baptism of the Holy Ghost. You're just exactly the way It was on the day of Pentecost, so does It come today, Divine healing, the power of God, no one can--can explain it in the Bible it's been taken away. I can show you where God give It to the Church. You show me the Scripture where He took It away? It's not there.
145 For, "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. For the promise is... And Peter said on the day of Pentecost, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that's far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." As many as ever called. The same Holy Ghost, tonight is just the same as It was then to the honest heart. If it doesn't... Is it too unusual for you to believe God?
As Paul said to Agrippa, "Oh, Agrippa, would you--would you deny what the prophets have said?"
147 Would you deny what Jesus said Himself, what the Bible Itself speaks out (which is Christ, the anointed Word)? And if the Word abides in you, then you're anointed person with the Word. "Ye abide in Me, and My Word in you, then ask what you will; it'll be done for you." That's Christ in you, anointing the Word for this age, whatever age they lived in. God divided His--His Word to ages. And every time it comes that time, the churches are all scrupled up, and God anoints somebody, sends It down and makes that Word act just exactly the way He said It did. Exactly. And there's a Word prophesied for this day. God's waiting to find somebody It's not too unusual to, that they can be anointed with the Holy Ghost to prove that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to be a shining light, to blind the eyes of the unbeliever. And they'd blaspheme It, would bring justice upon them; for God's law is just, and judgment can only come by His justice. And then He can condemn the world, and send it away into a flame of fire, like He did the Sodomites. Now, notice.
148 Now, we find on the journey they followed the God-given Sign. They watched. They never took anybody's word. They didn't go down and consult any bishop or anything else. God gave them a Sign. They seen It here, It was the Truth, and they took out after It. It led the way. It was the One that the Scripture predicted to. They knowed that this was coming, and they followed it. And what was it? I can see them leaving, waving good-bye, "We'll be back one day, brethren, bring you the message, for we know It's true." And they followed It, down across the mountains, down across the Tigris River, down through the plains, days in and outs, months in and out, hard as they could go, watching that Star.
149 In the daytime probably they'd lay down and rest, and sleep, turn over, talk to one another, "Oh, it must be wonderful when we get there; this heavenly Beam, this heavenly Light, this Light that we see, this supernatural." Amen. You think I'm beside myself? I'm not. Notice, this heavenly Beam, this Light that we're watching...
Now remember, nobody else saw It; It crossed over observatory after observatory, down by Magi after Magi. But It was sent for them. I believe they saw It, because the Bible said they did. Nobody else saw It.
152 Nobody saw the Light that Paul saw, the same Thing. It struck him down on the road up to Damascus. But It was given to Paul.
Nobody saw the Holy Ghost coming like a Light out of heaven, a Dove, but John. He saw It; he bear record. He saw It; the rest of them didn't. He did, for he was looking for It. The Magis were looking for It. And when you're looking for It, when you're ready to receive the real Christmas Present, the real Christmas Gift, God's Christ-Gift, the Holy Spirit. You're looking for It, you'll see It. It's a heavenly Light sent down from God out of heaven to bear record of Jesus Christ.
Now, they didn't take anybody else's word. In the daytime it was restless. They said, "Oh, I just can't wait. I don't know how much longer we'll go. We'll probably go to the--to Jerusalem, or down to the Holy Lands, Palestine, 'cause that's where the prophecy said that this One's to be borned at. So we'll find It, sooner or later. Nighttime come and the darkness begin to settle in.
156 Remember, the Light only shines in darkness. That's the only way It's recognized. If we ever lived in a dark time, when men and creed has got people away from God's Word, it's today, when these denominations has tied them up in all kinds of stuff but the Word of God. Insomuch, they'd be blind enough to walk into a Council of Churches, things like that, connecting themselves together with all kinds of unbelievers, when the Bible said, "How can two walk together 'less they be agreed?" And our churches going into such a conglomeration as that. Sure, they're blind. But it's at that dark hour when the Light comes forth. That's when the Light shines.
And they watched It. And when the night come, they rejoice and say, "Just keep leading, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to that perfect Light." On down across the rivers they went, down through the sandbars and everywhere, as they went, just wanting to find out the very Truth.
158 And look, Bethlehem was exactly in line with Judaea from where they... Or in--at Jerusalem was in line with Bethlehem from where they were standing. Notice. Oh, what a symbol, if you can catch it. Here is Bethlehem, and Jerusalem is up here. And from where the Magis was coming, they had to come to Jerusalem first, before coming to Bethlehem. Do you get it? That great, big, self-styled, denominational headquarters (yes, sir), Jerusalem, where all the denominations met together. The great Council met there, you know. So when these men, they came, and they come to this city, and they thought, "There it is. If anybody will know about It, can explain this great mystery Light to us, there's all the high priests. There's the doctors of divinity, there's the Ph.D., LL.D., and all this up there, they'll know everything about It. Oh, brother, Jerusalem's in sight. Here we go; we'll have it."
159 Right into the streets they bursted.
"Where you going?"
"We got a great message."
"What is it?"
"Where is He that's born King of the Jews? What's this mystery Light up here about? Who, where is He?" Up and down the streets, these rich men, and fine cladded camels, and gold and frankincense, up through every street, down through every alley, screaming, "Where is He? Where is He? Where is He?" But he found out that they didn't have the answer.
The great cry today, "Communism is on us."... Oh, every radio broadcast is always knocking Communism. You can discern Communism, but the sign of the time you can't discern.
Jesus said, "You can discern the face of the sky, but the sign of the time you can't discern."
Always talking about "Communism, Communism." You better find out there's something else goes with it.
163 What time are we living in? What is the sign God said He'd show last before it come to pass? What was the things He said? Israel in her place over yonder, the fig tree restoring herself back again. Look at everything just exactly setting in line. And the church in the Laodicean condition, with Jesus on the outside, a Fugitive to His own church; just as David was up above Bethlehem, a fugitive from his own people: a fugitive. And Christ, the Bible said, in the last days, was a fugitive to His own people. There in Revelations the 3rd chapter and the Laodicea age that we're living in Christ is on the outside, knocking, trying to get in, a Fugitive to His own people.
164 Was then that those warriors grabbed them swords, and David cried out for a fresh drink of water, and they cut their way through fifteen miles of men to get him a drink of water. And David poured it out upon the ground as a sacrifice, a drink-offering.
Yes, warriors today, Jesus wants a drink of good, old Pentecostal, fresh water. These denominational, stagnated waters is sickening to Him. Take the Word of God, and pull It, and cut through all these creeds and things, till we can hit that place where there's a fresh drink for Him: a real, true worship, a genuine heart, where He can pour down His--make His Word live in this day. He'll have it. He said He would: restore the faith of the people back to the fathers: faith of the children. Malachi 4 tells us it'll come, and it will be there. Don't you worry; it'll be right there. God has done said so, so that's all. The clock's ticking right on. Yes, sir. But today we see that those great, today that we see...
166 Why is Communism coming? Why is the world being swallowed up? Why could one percent of Russia? That's all is Communism. Ninety-nine percent still Christian. One percent of Russia, controlling the rest of the world almost, the eastern world: Communism. Why? Why could it do it? The Bible said it would; He's got the answer.
But you see now we're trying to fight this and that. And the very thing that God sent for us to watch, we don't see it.
They were take--in there, trying to find out what kind of buttons they should wear on their clothes, and the next conference, who should be their main speaker, and so forth, something on the order of that.
169 And here was the wise men watching that heavenly Light, coming down, said, "When I get to Jerusalem, they'll tell me what this heavenly, mystic Light is above us, that's leading us." And up and down the street they went, "Where is He? Where is He born, King of the Jews? We saw His Star in the east. We've come to worship Him. We got gold, frankincense; we got everything for Him. Where is He? Where is He?"
They said, "Where is Who? What?" That's the way it is today. "Oh, there's no such a thing as that happens today," they said.
"Oh, when the sun goes down, we see a mystic Light."
"I never did see It."
"Call the man on the tower."
"Did you see any kind of a mystic Light?"
"What'd you say?"
"You see any mystic..."
"No. What's the matter with you?" See, they didn't have the answer.
172 They haven't got it today. They don't know what these things are, where they ought to know it, where the great heads of churches ought to be aware of these things. But God always works in the minority, and so humble that it goes right over top of them, they don't know it. But yet, He fulfills His Word like that. That's it. We get our own selves twisted up in these great big things, and we can't move. God, cut us free from them things, that we can see what hour we're living in. If God has to work through a dream again, He can reveal it to you. Certainly He can. We're living at the last days. Now listen. Oh.
173 They had not the answer of the mysterious Light; they didn't have it at the headquarters. Neither do they have it today. So what did they do? They called for the Word of God. That's the idea. They said, "Let's look up in the Word of God, and find out where these things are." And when they called for the Word of God, the Magis was smarter than a lot of people today. The Magis saw, according to the Word of God, that they didn't have it, and wasn't going to get it. Amen. They found out that that wasn't even the city, that wasn't even the place. He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judaea (Amen.), of the least, the humblest among all of them, the little, bitty, tiny place, not the big self-styled. The wise men seen right quick. The Word of God revealed it, that they didn't have it and wasn't going to get it, so they got out of that mess. If we could just do the same... Warned in a dream, out of that mess they went. So they left it. Hallelujah, for them. They left it.
174 After they got out of that mess, then the supernatural appeared again. There it is. After they got cut loose from those things, after they got out of all that conglomeration up there, fussing, arguing, and everything, down there where all the big headquarters was, and all the big high priest, and doctors of Divinity, all of them walking around with their Ph.D., and their great, big, high turban hat on, they couldn't seen the Star, for that. Walking that... Such things as that blinds a lot of people: big names, and big people walking around.
A lot of them said, "Well, there is no such a thing as that. Four hundred years, we never heard of such a thing. What's the matter with them crazy people? Send them on back up in India where they belong."
176 "Well, what? The Word of God, what about That? He said, 'Thou Bethlehem of Judaea, art thou not the least among all the princes of Juda? But out of thee shall come...' Oh, we're in the wrong place," they said. "We won't join up with any of this stuff." So, they turned their camels and got away from it. God bless them.
Out of there they went. And as soon as they got away from it, there the Light appeared again. The supernatural begin to move in them again. Oh, my. They begin to follow the supernatural then, the Magis got out of their system. So after they go out of that, the supernatural Light from heaven appeared to them again.
Long as you're tied up with a bunch of unbelievers that don't believe these things, you'll never be able, you'll be as blind as a bat. Cut yourself away from everything; if it's mother, father, sister, brother, denomination, or whatever it is. "He that won't forsake his own and come after Me, is not even worthy to be called Mine. He that puts his hand on the plow, and starts, and even turns to look back is not worthy of plowing." Brother, sister, let me tell you; there is a genuine, true Christian Light shining tonight; It's Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Cut loose from everything. And He is the Word. He's always the Word.
179 God's Word is perfectly right. It's of no private interpretation.
You say, "It means this."
It means just what It says. The Bible said It's of no private interpretation. If It says--if It says black is black, and white is white, that's just what it is. It's the Ultimate. It's the Absolute. And every man that's born of the Spirit of God is tied to That no matter; nothing will separate him from It. He's tied to that Word, because it's Christ. Christ is the Word. And Christ cannot lie about His Word, for He is the Word.
You said, "Well, I know He said That, but..."
There ain't no "but" and nothing about It. He just said It was that way, and that's what It is. And He cannot change It. He can't; He's unchangeable. He said, "Heavens and earth will pass away, but My Words shall never pass away, never fail." It'll be right there in Its season. It'll, there'll be somebody there that'll make It shine." That's right.
And God spoke that Word, this Son would be there, and there He was to make It shine. There was that heavenly Visitor; and they was watching It, and come right straight to It. So they left the old creed, and started on the supernatural again, and away they went. How they rejoiced. They... The Bible said they rejoiced with exceeding great joy when they saw that Light come again.
182 Oh, brother, sister, how nice it would be if each one of you, if each one of us, us, me, if each one of us could lay aside all this here Christmas tinsel (See?) quit all this swapping gifts, one with another, all of this nonsense of the world, and just take off our pride and lay it down, and stomp the thing under foot, say, "Lord Jesus, guide me to that perfect Light," Watch something supernatural happen. The Holy Spirit will come in a phenomenal way. See?
183 On they went, following the supernatural. And what did they do? They followed the heavenly Sign of that day, now remember, the heavenly, God-given Sign. Do all of you believe that that's true? That was a heavenly God-given sign. They followed that Sign till they found the Word made flesh. You believe He was the Word made flesh? The heavenly Sign promised of that day, led them to the Word made flesh.
Brother, sister, He'll do the same tonight. This great Sign from heaven that we have, the Holy Spirit living among us, follow It. Something's moving in your heart, "I know I ought to receive That. I know I ought to do more than join church."
"I got a good business; I--I know it's flourishing." But, brother, do you know one of these days a heart attack might take you at four in the morning, and you have to leave that business? Then where you going after that?
186 [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... a-vindicated in your own flesh, you are the person that's borned of the Holy Spirit. Wouldn't you love to have that? Wouldn't that be the greatest Christmas present that anybody could get? The gift of Eternal Life. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life."
"We have seen His Star in the east and have come to worship Him."
188 Civilization has traveled with the sun, from the east, coming west. We're on the west coast now; east and west has met; we can't go no further. The oldest civilization's China, plumb back the other side of the world. Remember, it's gone...
And sin has traveled with civilization. And we're... I know it's hard to say this. But, brother, sister, even the thoughts and intents of man's heart, a man anointed of the Spirit can stand, and you've watched it and seen it on others. You stand and watch a person, just let them say a word or two, you can see right there them bugs a-flying (See?); they--they catch that anointing with them. Every thought of man is continually evil. It's just like it was in the days of Noah, till it even grieved God that He ever made man; He said, "I will destroy man from the face of the earth." And we've come back to that time yet, again. Notice.
190 But He has a little Church that He wants to take. He's got many thousands laying, sleeping in the earth; first watch, second watch, third, fourth, fifth, sixth. And this is the seventh watch. Remember, that's when He come, in the seventh watch. And in that watch He found wise virgins, and virgins that had the Oil out of their lamp. Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. If you haven't found That in your lamp tonight, my brother, sister, why don't you take That, God's greatest Christmas Present.
191 You know, today we get a great, big present; we wrap it up, and take three dollars to wrap it up, put all kinds of tinsel on it. And many times you think it's a great present. And a woman standing in a store the other day, two of them, talking, one said she was going to get her daddy... Said, "What," talking to her sister said, "what are you going to get daddy?"
Said, "I'm going to get him a deck of cards and--and a carton of cigarettes."
She said, "I got him a fifth of whiskey," and said, "I'm going to wrap it up." See, the tinsel on the outside isn't--doesn't declare what's on the inside. See?
But God's got a Christmas Present for you tonight. He wrapped It in a manger. The outside wasn't very much, but, oh, the inside is Eternal Life. Won't you let this phenomena of the Holy Spirit strike your life tonight and lead you to the eternal Light?
Let us bow our heads just a moment.
195 In the quietness of this moment, this little chopped up, if I'd call it a Christmas message, one of them... If you really believe it to be the Truth, and you've never yet found that eternal Light, you've never let the great Holy Spirit lead you to that Light, would you speak just now in your heart and say, "Lord Jesus, I want to find that Light. I don't care what anybody else says; it's me, I'm the one. I want to find that Light." Would you raise your hands now while you have your heads bowed? Raise your hand, say, "Pray for me, Brother Branham; I truly want to find that Light." God bless you, lady. God bless you. And God bless you, lady. God bless you, sir. Another, raise your hand, say, "I want... I want to... I want God's Christmas Present." God bless you, sir. God bless you, lady. Another, say, "I want God's Christmas Present. Send It to me, Lord; I don't care what It is. If It comes in a manger, if It comes in a barn, I don't care how disgraceful It looks to the world, how disgraceful I have to look to the world." You know, the--God's great gifts always make men act strange.
196 Look at Moses, a great theologian, great scholar, but one day he met a Light on the backside of the desert. He took off his shoes. A man eighty years old, and whiskers hanging down to his waistline, put his wife and his baby on a mule, and went down to Egypt. Where he had a whole army to take over for him one day, and he failed, now he goes back with just a crooked stick, going down to Egypt, to take over the nation. Why? He had found that Light, that supernatural.
197 And that little Thing that's twisting at your heart tonight, that's the Supernatural, that's the Light of the day. Won't you let It lead you to Jesus Christ, which can only give you Life? Is there one that hasn't raised their hands, would say, "Remember me, Brother Branham, in prayer now"? God bless you. Another? Bless you. Another, someone? God bless you. God bless you, young man. Another? God bless you, young fellow. Will another?
Say, "I want to follow... I want to follow the Morning Star, Christ. I want to follow and find my Jesus this day. I want to get away from all this here Christmas tinsel and things, because someday it's going to be burnt with unquenchable fire." And all those who are intolerating with it, will be burned with it. The world, the sinner, will punished--be... They will perish with the world. The worldly-loving people will perish with the world. And if you have though, still the love of the world in you, and you want to sell yourself completely tonight to Jesus Christ and His Word, raise your hand. Again now, anybody that hasn't raised. God bless you. Bless you. I just say that. God bless you, lady,
199 You don't know, one minute somebody might raise up their hand. Say, "What difference does that make, Brother Branham?" Difference between death and Life.
If that hand went up like that, and you really meant that, there's Something by you. What is It? That's that Light I'm talking about. That's that Light that tells you, "I been wrong. There's world in me. I don't want it anymore. I'll raise up my hands." That's a testimony.
Remember what, you know what a raised up hand is? In every language under heaven, a raised hand is a surrender, a sign of surrender. When you raise your hands, any army, anywhere you raise your hand, it's a--it's a international sign of surrender.
How many tonight, right in this quotation now, will raise your hand, say, "I surrender all, Lord. I surrender. I'm--I'm through. I surrender." God bless you. God bless you. That's right. That's fine. Oh, my.
I wonder if the pianist there would step to the piano while we're praying.
204 Heavenly Father, I realize It said, "As many as believed was baptized." That's all is necessary, Lord. If they believe You, something's got to happen. They are Yours; they're trophies of this little service of the Word of God: the Presence of Jesus Christ here at this fine group of people tonight, gathered in here, this little banquet. But tonight we know that You're here. Somehow, maybe, we might not seen It just with our eyes, but we felt It with our other sense, our sense of feeling, the sense of feeling in our heart, our conscience. Our soul spoke to us, and said, "We're in the Presence of Jesus Christ, the greatest Christmas Gift, the first real Christmas Gift from God to man."
And, yet, of all the gifts that we have received, many of us has never received that great Gift yet. We pray, God, for them tonight as they raise their hands; they want this all-sufficient. They've leaned that way, Father.
The rabbis did too, many of the great teachers of that day leaned that way, but they were afraid to step out and make that all-one-time surrender, and believe It, and accept the Message, and the Light of the hour, the vindicated Word. There was many who did it.
207 Lord, there's many here tonight, twenty or thirty in this little group of people. If I've underestimated, or over, forgive me. But, Lord God, maybe that many, more or less, has raised their hands. They're ready to surrender. God, give them Jesus; give them the Holy Spirit in their life. May this be the greatest hour of their life. May they go home tonight like Joseph, pondering these things in their heart, "Why did I raise my hand? What made me do that? How did I come to do that? Yet, I've claimed to be a Christian for years, but Something told me to raise my hand." Church members, even ministers raised their hands, Lord. I pray that You'll grant this blessing to them. Grant it.
And may the Angel of the Lord come and say, "Fear not, this is the Light of the day. This is the Light of the hour. The evening Lights are shining. The prophet said it'll be Light in the evening time, just before the sun sets." And, Lord, we see the sunset of time; it'll soon blend into eternity. Grant, Lord, that each one of them will find Jesus tonight. For I ask it in His Name. Amen.
209 Let's just raise our hands in a form of surrender, like this, as we stand to our feet.
I'm going to ask you something. You that raised your hands awhile ago, I--I prayed for you. That's all I know how to do, is pray. I'm going to believe for you. I believe that what I asked, He gives me, because He promised He would. He can't lie. He can't lie. The only thing--thing keeps it from happening is my--would be my unbelief. I'm believing for you, that you really meant that. And God's going to give you the Holy Spirit. He's going to give It to you, 'cause you asked for It; you want to make a surrender.
And if you did that, I tell you what I want you to do. I want you to find some good church who believes in the baptism of the Holy Ghost; go there. Go there. And if you're in that kind of a church, go to your pastor, tell him, say, "I raised my hands the other night in a little meeting." You don't even have to tell him where it was at. Say, "I raised my hands; I want you to pray with me, pastor. I--I--I'm seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I want It. I must have It. I must have It to live. I just must have It. I've seen the Light." Oh, God grant It to you. Will you do it now?
212 And now as everyone in here, as we're going to sing, "I surrender, I surrender all. All to Christ, my Saviour, I surrender all." Well, let us raise our hands now, and close our eyes as we sing.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.
Do you mean it? Say, "Amen." [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] I want you to do something real sweetly now. Somebody standing by you, reach over to their hand, and say, "Brother, I meant that. Pray for me." Let's do that, all together, do it right now. [Brother Branham speaks to those on the platform.] Brother, I meant that. Pray for me. God bless you. God bless... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... me." That's good. That's fine. Oh, don't it make you feel good? I meant that.
214 Now, if really from our heart, we mean it, we surrender everything, our own will, our own ways, everything that we have we surrender to Christ, let's raise our hands again and sing.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.
Let's bow our heads now and sing. [Brother Branham begins humming, "I Surrender All."--Ed.] Now, just get your mind on Him.
I'm wishing you the very merriest of Christmas, that God will send His Star from the east, that rose in the east nineteen hundred years ago, and will guide you to the Word made flesh. [Brother Branham continues humming, "I Surrender All"]
I surrender all,
I surrender (arms up to God),
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
God bless you, Tony.