E-1 ... to have these few minutes with you people. And I'm grateful for--to Brother Pearry for this invitation of being here, and for all your cooperation. I think this is our third visit to your fine city. We've always found the people here friendly and always speak, hand out, whether they know you or not. I visit some of the--the business places and how nice. Always seems different than it is up in the cold north. They see me come in, they wait on you, and go out, and that's all of it. But you very seldom visit a place 'less somebody says, "Thank you. Come back and see us again." I like that.
E-2 Then I think that Brother Pearry here, as I'd call him that, just... I'm older than his father, so I guess I can call him Brother Pearry. We hardly knew the boy, just on the introduction of my son Billy Paul, who went to school with him. But if there's anybody in this city or around about, within the reach of television, that'll be lost at the last day, it won't be because that Brother Pearry didn't put forth every effort to try to get people to Christ. He's certainly not left one rock uncovered. And I deem this a grand privilege of being here.
When Brother Pearry said to me, would I speak at a little banquet he was having, that some of his business colleagues would be here... I'm certainly not a speaker. I--I don't claim to be that. But I thought would... It'd be an honor for me, after having an invitation like that, to speak to the--the--his business colleagues.
E-3 I have the privilege of traveling internationally, around the world, and I speak much for the Full Gospel Business Men's chapters. And I know this is just a little time of fellowship, so I'd like to express something that was cute one time. There was a man, after I got through speaking (It was all businessmen.), and so, outside there was a fellow come to me and he said, "You're a preacher, aren't you?
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "What are you hanging around these businessmen for?"
I said, "I'm a businessman."
So he said, "Oh, you are?"
And I said, "Yes, I'm a businessman."
Said, "What kind of a business are you in, sir?"
And I said, "Eternal Life assurance." And he didn't get me just right. I said it fast.
He said, "Oh, Eternal Life Insurance?" I never said, "insurance", I said, "assurance." And he... But I never told him. And he said, "The Eternal Life." Said, "I don't know, I don't believe I've ever heard of it before."
I said, "That's too bad."
"Well," he said, "where's the headquarters?"
I said, "Heaven." I'm still in that business. I'd like to talk a policy over with any of you after the service is over tonight. I'm very enthused with my job. And so, as I never said, now, "insurance," I said, "assurance."
E-4 Insurance is all right, understand. I remember... 'Course I don't at this time have any. I remember, after I was married, my wife and I, setting in the house one day, and a good friend of mine... My brother's an insurance salesman, Western Southern. This boy was a salesman for the Prudential. I went to school with him: very fine boy. His--his brother writes "The Upper Room" for... I believe he's a Baptist minister, and he writes articles in the little paper called "The Upper Room": very fine people.
So he come up to see me one day, and he said--he said, "Billy, I--I hear that you got a little sting one time on insurance."
I said, "Yes."
He said, "It kinda give you a little sour feeling towards them?"
I said, "No, not exactly."
He said, "I thought I'd come and talk a policy with you, Billy."
And I said, "Well," I said, "Wilmer, thanks." I said, "I got assurance."
And he said, "Oh, I'm sorry."
And my wife looked around at me as if I was a hypocrite. She knowed I didn't have any. She looked at me just astounded. I said.
"Oh," he said, "I'm sorry, Billy." He must've thought I had it with my brother, Jesse.
And I said... My wife looked at me, and I said, "Yes, I have assurance."
And he said, "What company you with?"
And I told him the same thing, "Eternal Life."
And he said, "Oh," said, "is that it?"
And I said, "Yeah. I have blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory Divine! I'm an heir of salvation, purchase of God; borned of His Spirit, washed in his blood."
He said, "Billy, that's very nice. I appreciate that. But that won't put you up here in the graveyard."
But I said, "It'll get me out. I'm not worried... I'm--I'm not worried about getting in; it's getting out." I'd still like to talk a policy over with you after the service if... I'm sure it's right.
E-5 Now, I usually have the people to stand when we read the Word. But tonight I'll try to omit that, because it's so--so hard for you to stand. But just before we read the Word, let's just bow our heads for a few moments as we speak to the Author of the Word, as we've been kind of jesting with each other, and kind of letting down our, as we call it, letting down our hair.
So let's get on the sacred side now, and the sincerity, and turn our hearts towards heaven as we open the Word. Now, any man that's able to move his hands can open the Bible. But there's no one really can open the understanding but the great Holy Spirit. So let us speak to Him.
E-6 Our heavenly Father, we are certainly elated tonight to be assembled here with this group of people this side of eternity, and have this fine fellowship. And as we set around these tables tonight, looking across at each other, at business colleagues and--and Christians, we are aware that there's coming another time that we'll meet. We trust that we'll all be there, everybody present at that great wedding supper in the air, when the King will come out, wipe all tears from our eyes, and say "It's well done, My good and faithful servants. Enter into the joys of the Lord that's been prepared for you since the foundation of the world." There should be some, Lord, that doesn't know You in that way, and I pray tonight that something will be done or said, that'll cause them to change their way of thinking, turn to Thee, whether it's here present, or by the--the medium of television, or by the tapes that will be going out from this.
Bless us together now, and bless the reading of Thy Word. Turn our hearts and thoughts towards the ending of this life, and what will be our state at that time. For we are sure, Father, that all of us have to leave this world. We're mortals. And let us look to the eternal One, the only One that can give us Life beyond this. Through the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, we ask it. Amen.
E-7 I would like to call your attention for a few moments now to the reading of God's Word. I'd like to begin reading from St. Mark's Gospel, I think the 10th chapter, and beginning with the 17th verse.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came unto him one running, and kneeling down,... and asking him, saying 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 one, and 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 mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these things I have observed since 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 shall have treasures in heaven: and come, and take up thy cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
May the Lord add His blessings to the Word, as we endeavor to pull from this a text and context.
E-8 Now, thinking on the subject of being with business people, and always... I think that business people is always interested in--in good investments, so that I call a text now for the next few moments, "The Investments." A good businessman is always looking for a good, sound investment. If he isn't, then he isn't a good businessman. He must look for something that's real. And I'd like to talk to you on the invitation that I give to you a few moments ago on this Eternal Life policy, as I introduced myself as a--a businessman. And I have a business, and I'd like to talk to you a few moments about it. And a few Scriptures I have written down here and texts, I'd like to use these for a few moments, these notes.
It's not a good business to gamble. Any man knows that, that gambling is not a good business because it's taking a chance. You never, or seldom see a gambler... One day he's a rich man, and the next day he's begging. So you take too much of a chance to--to gamble. I think a gambler is just simply living on the spur of the moment, and not looking forward to the future, or he wouldn't be gambling.
E-9 And I do not believe in some of these get-rich-overnight investments either, by some unidentified business. Now any good businessman wouldn't take a chance like that, maybe on your--your life's savings, your earnings. And you would invest it in some get-my--get-rich-right-quick, and it's unidentified, someone running with some kind of an idea. Here we--we got a certain firm here. There's no background to it. I think a good sound thinking man would be foolish to try to make an investment in such a company as that, because...
I had a friend one time that--that tried such a thing. And when he did, he--he lost everything he had. And he lost all of his life's earnings, about ready to retire. And he thought, "Well, I'll--I'll take this chance, because the man seemed to be, he knew what he was talking about." But come to find out, the--the company was just a make-believe company, and no stocks or nothing. So the poor fellow lost everything he had. So I think if a man wants to make a good investment, he should first check his company, or whatever he's making an investment in to find out what he's going to do. I think any sensible thinking person would do that.
E-10 And then again, before I go on, I'd like to say it's not a good idea to keep your money in your pocket. Many people say, "I--I'll just put it in my pocket, and I--I--I got it." But, you know, you businessmen and women, you don't think in those terms. And it's not a good thing, because it could be stolen. It's best to have it in circulation.
Like the Lord said one time... He give so many talents to so many, and such, and then He--they made an investment with it. And those who made a good sound investment, He give them the dividends.
But when one man said, "I just--I just kept it. I--I didn't want to take any chances on it. I--I put it in my pocket," or, "I buried it somewhere." Then He taken that what He'd gave to him, and give it to the one that had drawed more dividends, had put it to a good investment. And that's our Lord's way of doing things.
E-11 Now, but if you were going to invest in something that you wanted to be sure in, you'd find some good reliable firm that has been proven that it'll pay off right. Now, that's a good sound investment, after you've tested the firm. You know its background, talked with somebody who's done business with this firm, and hear the testimony of every one. "A Hundred percent, they're always right on the dot with their dividends. And--and there's a great resource capital behind it, and the company's not going broke." And that's a good sound investment. And now, all through life people's been taught that.
E-12 Now, we're speaking tonight on the Scripture of a young Hebrew boy that was a wealthy type of a lad. He might've come from a real good home. No doubt his testimony showed that he'd come from a--a good home. He was called in the Bible the "rich young ruler." I'm going to change it tonight, just a little bit and say a "rich young businessman" because he had a business, and he was interested in--in business.
No doubt his father had been a great successful businessman, or he probably wouldn't have had what he had. But he was brought up to--to be a businessman. And he seen something in this young fellow of Galilee, this young prophet by the Name of Jesus of Nazareth. No doubt he'd heard his priest speak about Him, and maybe against Him. But when he got his first glimpse at the Lord Jesus, there was something about Him that was different from any other man.
And I say this, as a Christian it is truly--hasn't changed. We have great theologians in the land, throughout the world, we've had them for thousands of years, that can introduce to us a creed; and they're schooled in those creeds, and a church that's--that's a well-established church. But that still isn't my--my policy tonight, I'm speaking of. I'm talking about Eternal Life.
E-13 And this young fellow, knowing that he was a member of the church, but seeing in Jesus something different... So he was given the opportunity to make an investment when he found Jesus, and seen what He was doing, and had read his Bible, and seen in Jesus that the thing that... He's heard his prophets read in his church, and what they were, and he's no doubt studied that. And then when he saw in this Jesus of Nazareth, which was supposingly to be among the people a prophet, he saw something in this man that identified Him with the Scriptures.
And I think today it hasn't changed too much. Bible readers and Bible lovers, when we really get a glimpse in our intellectuals of what Jesus was, and what He is, it changes our entire attitude. There's no one like Him. No matter how fine we said... We understand that he... We suppose He had no much schooling, and talked like a common man, and dressed like a common man, and lived with common men. But yet there was something outstanding about this Man. And it attracted the attention of this young fellow, insomuch that he had all the wealth of the world, perhaps, that he needed and would use in his lifetime, and he was well satisfied with that. But he seen that this Man looked into the future, and told them the things that were coming, and identified Himself in the Scripture. And God identified Himself in the Man.
E-14 Now, there's not a man that lives, that's in his right mind, but what's always wondering where he come from, who is he, and where is he going. There's been many books written. Philosophers has raised and fell. But there's only one Book that'll tell you who you are, where you come from, and where you're going, and that's the Bible. That's the only Book. Of all the fine books we have, you could trash them, every one. This is the Truth. Anything contrary to This is not right.
"Heavens and earth will pass away; but my Word shall never fail. Every man's word shall be a lie; God's shall be true." And when you see something so definitely before you... And the Scriptures promised for that day what that Messiah was to be, and this young man seen that identified by God. Then that made Jesus altogether different from any other man he'd ever seen.
So he was given the opportunity. When he found the Lord Jesus, and perhaps seen Him in His meetings and His service, he run to Him and fell down at His feet, showing his attitude of approach was correctly. And he said, "Good Master, what could I do to have Eternal Life?" Now, that's the thing that's in question, not his money, or not, "Could I join your church, sir?", or, "Could I belong to your organization?", but, "What must I do to have Eternal Life?" That was the question.
And he was given the opportunity to receive it, but he made a rashal decision. He was--turned it down. He wasn't interested when he found out what went with it. He realized that in order to do this he had to give up his popularity, because Jesus was unpopular--unbelieved among, I would rashly say, ninety percent of the people, or maybe ninety-five percent was... He was disbelieved, as some evil-spirited person, and was called by many, Beelzebub, a devil. And yet the Scriptures perfectly identifying Him. He'd referred back to them, saying, "Search the Scriptures; for in Them you think you have Eternal Life: and They are They which testify of Me, or tell Who I am."
E-15 This Hebrew lad, being raised up in a home and knowing that the Bible had--had clearly told them, the scrolls, God, Jehovah had said that, "If there raised up one among you who is spiritual or a prophet, I, the Lord, will make Myself known to him in visions. And if what he says comes to pass, then hear that prophet, for I'm with him. But if it doesn't come to pass, then do not hear it." That's plain language. It's only sound thinking. If he said it, and it doesn't happen, then it's a lie. God did not say it. But if he says it, and it--it does happen, that's truth. And nothing's no more truer than truth.
So this young man had seen this in the Lord Jesus, and knowed that He held the keys to this Eternal Life--and he wanted this Eternal Life. But he turned down the opportunity to make his investment. He wasn't interested in such an investment, although the--the--it was well identified that He was the Son of God--was perfectly identified. The virgin had conceived, brought forth the Son. He'd done every sign that Messiah was supposed to do. But in order to accept Him, he had to get away from his tradition. He had to turn away from it.
E-16 We would like to contribute that only to the--this Jewish boy. But it's too bad, we have to also notice it today, the same way. It's a great price. We can contribute to the churches of today. And many times people who call themselves believers, and are unwilling to separate themselves and to depart from the things of the world, as this young ruler was asked to do to have the policy of Eternal Life... Yet, after we too, see it well identified by the Scripture, that the policies are still being given to whosoever wants to receive it...
As I said, he saw something in Jesus no man had. But the price was so great that he didn't want to pay the price. It's the same thing today, as I believe tonight I might be speaking to different denominations: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Orthodox Jew, Buddhist, whatevermore that's the business people of this city. But there's...
Really, when you see something with your own eyes that the Scripture's identified to be the truth, we would be most unreasonable people, that if we're interested in Eternal Life, to turn it down. It would be a rashal decision like this young man made. Many times even our clergy today, makes this same rashal mistake, though polished scholars in creeds that know it A to Z. But remember, those priests in that day knowed the scrolls from A to Z too, but they failed to see what this young man saw. And he was interested in--in Jesus giving him Eternal Life, But when he found out what it was going to cost him, then he wasn't interested.
E-17 You know, the Bible tells us in this age that we're living, and as our most gracious Brother Pearry here has expounded to us, that he believed that it was in the last days... I certainly firmly believe that with all my heart. I believe the Scripture identifies it. I believe that--that--that science identifies it. Scientists says that it's three minutes till midnight. The--the... Our programs that we see on television, and--and on radio, and--and how people are acting... As I made a remark here, or somewhere else, that it reminds me: of all the carrying on that they do, it reminds me of a little boy going through a graveyard at nighttime whistling, to try to make hisself think he's not afraid. But he is.
That's what's the matter with all of our turning to all we're doing today, of all of our popular carrying on. We are trying to make people think that we don't know that the hour's at hand. But we know it is. Our scientists know it, our... The Pentagon knows; all--we all know that there's something fixing to happen. You--you can feel it right in the atmosphere, and we know it's at hand.
E-18 And our Bible tells us in Revelations the 3rd chapter, that the church in this age is going to be identified just like this rich young Hebrew boy: rich, have need of nothing, this Laodicea age. (If there happens to be ministers here or Bible readers.) This is the Laodicea age. And it said, "Because I am rich, set as a queen, have need of nothing..." Said, "Knowest thou not that you are wretched, poor, blind, miserable, naked and don't know it?"
The sad thing of this Scriptural quotation is, if we seen a man or a person on the street that was blind, and naked, and miserable, and poor, that would be a horrible sight. There's no one but what would run to them as quick as they could and say, "Friend, you're naked. You must--you must... You're exposed. Come in quickly, and--and let me give you some clothing. And I'll take you to somewhere to see if I can get a physician and to restore your sight," or try to do something for the person.
E-19 What if you met such a person as that, and they would turn around to you and tell you to tend to your own business. They don't even know they're in that condition. Now, if you're that way and know it, it's not too bad. But when you're that way and don't know it, that's the bad part. You can't tell them. And this Scripture must be fulfilled, as all Scriptures must be fulfilled.
The Bible said that this would be the estate in the last days. And they turn down Jesus, and He was on the outside of the church, trying to get in: turned it down, just as plain as this young Hebrew did. And this was a Gentile church, the bride-church, called out, called the Christian church in the last days. But they put Him out for the same reason that this young Hebrew businessman turned Him out. The price was too great. They couldn't receive it.
E-20 The Bible said here that they were rich, said they had need of nothing. This young boy was rich, had need of nothing. "We're a fine denomination. We've got great orders built. We've got the brotherhood. We've got all this, that, or the other. We've had our creeds for the hundreds of years. We set... We have need of nothing. Don't tell us anything about it." Now, that's more of an arrogant attitude than this young fellow took. He didn't take that type of a attitude. The Bible said that Jesus looked upon him and loved him.
I wonder today, if in the midst of all of our confusion and our worldliness, and yet trying to hold our Christian profession, if it isn't the love of God that constrains the ministry to stay on the field. I wonder if it isn't the same thing as here we find Him knocking at the door, trying to get in. Now, we find these things, they... All through the ages it's been this way.
E-21 Now, to save time talking of the policy again, and just temporarily outlining it for you... Now, this rich boy, he didn't ask to join his church, he--he belonged to church. He'd proved it. Jesus said to him, "Keep the commandments. Thou knowest them. Do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, defraud, and do... And then honor your father and mother."
And this young fellow proved that he was a fine, cultured boy, not a just a some, what we'd call today, a hoodlum. He was a fine type of boy, been raised up in a good home. He said, "Master, I've done these since I was a boy, all my life." See, he showed that his parents was nice parents. He had went to a church that believed in keeping the commandments.
But yet, in the church, keeping the commandments, still didn't answer what he saw in Jesus. He knowed with our creed, and with our church, and keeping the commandments, still doesn't give us Eternal Life. It did not then; neither does it do it today. There's something you've got to do.
E-22 Now, we find that it wasn't because that he wasn't a church member, wasn't because he wasn't morally right. He was. But we can be a church member, and morally right, still not obtain Eternal Life. Not to know the Word... Some of them are theologians, and scholars, and Sunday School teachers, Bible expositors. But that doesn't mean anything. Satan knows that Bible better than any of us. The Bible said to know Him is Life, not know the Word, know Him is Life. Satan also believes and trembles. But we've got to have an experience of a death, burial, and resurrection from our old life to the new life which comes in Christ. It comes only by the Holy Spirit, the new life.
E-23 Now, let us investigate some of these people down through the ages that's held this policy, and see whether it pays off or not. Then I'd just like to bring you, as I told you in the beginning, that you should consult somebody when you're going to make an investment. Find out what happens, what--does it pay off right? You should do that in your business. I want to speak of some of the holders of this policy.
I bring to your attention tonight, back in Genesis, to a prophet by the name of Noah. Though he was tried in every way he could to--every way Satan could try him to make him give up that policy, but Noah held the promise of God, the policy of life, 'cause God told him that everything outside of that ark would be destroyed. And though it seemed kind of unusual to the modern-thinking people of his day...
E-24 That's what makes the Gospel today. It's the unusualness, because God is unusual. His Word is interpreted unusual to what we sometimes have it interpreted. But as I've said before, God needs nobody to interpret His Word. He does His own interpretation by--by bringing to pass the things that He said He would do. He interprets His own Word. He doesn't need our interpretation. It's... Our interpretation is our own manmade thoughts that we put with It.
When God said, "Let there be light," and there was light, that needs no interpretation. God said, "A virgin shall conceive," and she did. That doesn't need any interpretation. Jesus said, "The Son of man goes up to Jerusalem, and be given into the hands of sinful men. They'll crucify Him; and on the third day He'll raise up again." That needs no interpretation. He said, "A little while and the world seeth Me no more; yet ye shall see Me: for I'll be with you, even in you, to the end of the age, to the consummation." He's here. It doesn't need any interpretation. It's His promise.
"The works that I do shall he do also. He that believeth in Me, the works that I do shall he do also." That's found in St. John 14:12, and we know that that's true. So it--it doesn't need any interpretation.
E-25 Noah, with the Word of God, held on to It because he was a policy holder of life insurance--life assurance. He held the policy. And he was an agent for the policy, and he went forth everywhere. But because it was unpopular, he couldn't get anybody to take ahold of it, just his own family. He was... His--his policy seemed to be all out of date for the people. It seemed to be against the scientific reasoning of the day. Rains coming down from heaven, it had never rained upon the earth, you remember. The world stood up straight. We can prove that today, that it once stood that way. And God watered vegetation through irrigation and springs in the earth.
E-26 Now, scientists in that day were probably much smarter than they are now, because they built the Sphinx, and the pyramids, and so forth--things that we couldn't attempt to do today. We have no powers that could--could do it. But they built it. And I suppose maybe they shot the moon with radar, or whatever they had in that day. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah (another civilization likened unto that), so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man."
You see here, recently, where they dug up a modern water works here in Old Mexico. Have no history of it at all. It might've been from some other age gone by. Jesus said, "As it was in that day," smart men, intelligent... But if it was, then there will be a life policy offered to the people. He said so.
E-27 Noah--he might not be able to explain. As science said, "We can take instruments and prove there's no rain up there. Sir, you are out of your mind." But still, he knowed the voice that spoke to him was God. So if God had said there was water coming from up there, though there was no water... God is Elohim, the self-existing One. He's the all-sufficient One. If He said there can be water up there, He's able to put water up there to keep His Word.
E-28 Our father Abraham, which is the father of many nations... If there happen to be Jewish people setting near, and wonder how the Gentiles was brought in, Abraham was the father of many nations. And he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief. He held a policy also. God had made him a promise to be father of many nations, not only the Hebrew nations, but other nations that he'd be father of.
Notice. As he did, the promise God give him was rashal, radical. He was seventy-five years old and Sarah was sixty-five before he got the promise. But he separated himself from the unbelievers, because he knowed he was a heir of righteousness by the will of God. And no matter how long it taken...
Perhaps the first month passed by, and he said to Sarah, "How do you feel?"
"There's no difference."
Said, "We'll have the baby anyhow. God said so. Go ahead and make the booties; get everything ready. God said we'd have it. That settles it."
The first year passed. "Dear, how are you feeling?"
"Well, it's going to be a greater miracle than it was if it happened the first month." See, she was about ten years past menopause when the promise was given. They'd had no children. She was barren and he was sterile, so they... But he still held that policy because it was the Word of God, a promise. He wasn't going to part with it.
E-29 And the Bible said that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong, giving praise to God, knowing this, that He's able to do that which He's promised to do. So the child was born because that he held the--the policy.
Noah held his policy, and it saved his life. That was the payoff: not only his life, but his family's life, paid off with saving them.
Let's talk to another investor in this Eternal Life insurance. Daniel, the prophet, when, as we would call it... (If you excuse it as a worldly expression. I shouldn't make it, I suppose, here at the pulpit. It's the only way that I know to make it.) When the chips are down...
King Nebuchadnezzar had come in and taken the children of Israel because they had went away from God. They had...
E-30 Still doing all their sacrifices... When God asked them to offer lambs and bullocks and so forth. A man, a fine Jew, walked down the road with a fatted bullock or--or a little lamb under his arm, on the day of the atonement, went down to offer it for his sin, he was sincere when he killed that lamb, and the priest stabbed it, and he held his hands upon it, knowing that life was taken to save his life. He was sincere in it. And as long as he was sincere, it was all right.
But the time come when it become a family tradition. Then God said... He sent a prophet on the scene by the name of Isaiah. He said, "Your sacrifice and solemn feasts stink in My nose." That's where we people have got. We join church, which is all right. We do those things. But you say, "Are you a Christian?"
"Pentecostal," or something else.
It's a tradition. There's no entering it sincerity anymore. They won't move up, cope up with the Scriptures and things. They just live any way they want to. If they got a pastor tries to correct them, they out him. They have nothing to do with him if he can't bring Hollywood in the church: parties, bunko parties, soup suppers, and everything else. Let the women act any way they want to, dress any way they want to, immorally, anything. Sex appeal becomes a modern trend. It's a disgrace.
E-31 Jesus said to that woman. "You may be as virtuous as you can be, but you'll answer for adultery at the day of judgment, you wearing those clothes." Jesus said, "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." And no matter how innocent you are, that sinner will answer for adultery, and you're the one presented it. You Christians, aren't you ashamed? You should act like daughters of God.
And you men, members of the church, deacons, even to ministers, that'll permit your wives to do that, you should be sons of God. That don't sound like the behavior of a son of God, with the nature of His Father in him. Afraid to say something, because the organization would turn you out. That's right.
E-32 Daniel purposed in his heart that he wasn't going to defile his investment. He purposed, "No matter what the world, how rich the king gets, and how much he tries to get me off in the things of the world, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to defile my investment."
Oh, Christian world, don't defile your investment that you've made in Eternal Life. You'll pollute it. Daniel purposed that he wouldn't do it. It paid off by saving his life, when he was throwed into a lion's den. His investment really paid off.
The Hebrew children were determined that they'd not worship an idol. And it paid off by saving their life in a fiery furnace.
E-33 Then comes Simon Peter, a fine Pharisee, who'd been taught by his father that the day would come that--that there'd come the Messiah. All through the ages the Jewish people had looked for it. And no doubt that his father had told him, "Son..." (I--I read a little story one time about it; might have been fiction. I don't say it was authentic.) But he said, "I've looked for the time of the coming Messiah." And said, "I--I--I know that before that time comes there'll be all kinds of isms, false things going on. But, son, as a Hebrew, we're taught as Hebrews to believe our prophets, for the Word of the Lord comes to the prophets, and him only.
"The Lord said, 'I do nothing except I reveal it to My prophets first.' And this Messiah... According to Moses, 'The Lord, your God, shall raise up a prophet among you of your brethren, liken unto me.' And the Messiah will not be an educator; He will not be a denomination; He will be a prophet. And the Word of the Lord will be with Him."
E-34 Andrew had heard John speak of such a One coming, the baptizer. But then, one day Simon himself walked up into the Presence of this Jesus of Nazareth. And as soon as He looked upon him, He said, "Your name is Simon, and you are the son of Jonas." He took out a policy right quick. He knew that was the Messiah. That was the vindicated Scripture of His day, the Messiah. How did the others fail to see it?
There was one standing, the name of Philip, who went about fifteen miles around the mountain to a fellow named Nathanael. They'd had Bible studies together. Maybe their conversation was something like this, as he found him under a tree, praying. He said, "Nathanael..." ('Course, being a gentleman that followed Jesus... Any man that follows Jesus will be a gentleman.) So he found him praying, and he waited awhile. But you notice, he never talked to him about his olive groves, or so forth. He went straight to the mark, "Come see Who we found, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph."
He said, "Now, could there be anything good come out of Nazareth?"
He said, "Come see." That's the best answer any man could give another. "Come find out for yourself; don't set home and criticize. Come investigate it yourself."
E-35 On the road around, their conversation might've been like this. Maybe Nathanael said, "You know, we've been looking for a Messiah for years. You know, Philip, how we've studied this. Why, I believe if the Messiah come, God will pull the corridors in heaven, and let the great corridors come down the stairway, right on--or the great temple yard where the--Caiaphas our high priest, is, and He'll say, 'I'm here.'" Uh-hum.
But that's not the way the Scripture said He would come. He'll only come the way the Scripture said. He's coming a prophet, just like Moses was--an ordinary man, a sheepherder.
Notice. And when he come up into the Presence of the Messiah, and He was in the line, or praying for the sick, or whatever He was doing, we find that the Messiah looks over at him and said, "Behold an Israelite, in whom there's no guile." Now, you might think it was because he was dressed that way. But remember. all of the eastern people dressed alike--turban and beard, so forth. You remember, Jesus walked with them on the road to Emmaus all day long after His resurrection, and they didn't even know Him, dressed the same way.
So we find that in this great Presence of Him, he said, "Rabbi," this fine young Hebrew said, "Rabbi, when did You know me? When did You ever know me, know me to be an Israelite, and honest--of the reputation that I have? You've never seen me before. How did you know me?"
And He said, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the tree, I saw you."
He took out a policy. He fell at His feet like this other young fellow did, said, "Rabbi, You're the Son of God. You're the king of Israel." His name's immortal today.
E-36 There's a little woman. I might speak of her because of the ladies standing near. This little lady wasn't like you. She had a moral charge against her with the church. Maybe some young kid had been turned out on the street wrong. Maybe her parents hadn't taken care of her. She was a half Jew and Gentile, she was a Samaritan.
Remember, there's only three races of people, if our Scripture's right. And God forgive me for even mentioning "if it's right." It is right: God, Himself. "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.
So this young lady being turned out...
E-37 First I might explain Ham, Shem, and Japheth's people. Now, we, the Gentile, we were heathens in them days. We were worshipping idols. But the Jew and Gentile were looking for a Messiah. And He only comes to those who are looking for Him. Sometimes today we say we're looking for Him, and put millions, and billions of dollars, and things in building institutions and things. I wonder. And missionaries starving on the field. I know them out there tonight, preaching without a pair of shoes on. We put millions and millions of dollars in nonsense. Then... Why, our own acts condemn our testimony.
E-38 But here this young woman, as we know her, she was a Samaritan. Jesus was on His road to Jericho, which was below Jerusalem. But He went around to Samaria, and came to a city called Sychar, and sent the disciples in to buy vittles, food. And while they were gone this young woman come up to get water. And He--He said to her, "Bring Me a drink."
And she looked around and seen Him, being a Jew. She said, "It's not customary that You would ask me that." Said, "You're a Jew."
He said, "But if you knew who you were talking to, you'd ask Me for a drink. I'd give you water you don't come here to draw."
So the conversation went on about religion. Finally He contacted her life. He said, "Go get your husband and come here."
She said, "I have no husband."
Said, "You've told the truth. You've had five; and the one you're living with now is not your husband."
E-39 Now, a few days before there, the teachers and rabbis of that day, the men that ought to have knowed better, said, "He's Beelzebub. He does that by an evil spirit." They had to answer their congregation. So they made up, said, "It's an evil spirit."
And Jesus said, "I'll forgive you for that." The atonement hadn't been made. "But when the Holy Ghost is come to do the same thing, to speak against It, will never be forgiven."
And we know it happened, when Titus, after they had rejected the Holy Spirit, Titus burnt the temple, and scattered the Jews to all over the world. And they're just now gathering again. It's fulfilling Scripture.
Now, notice. Now this young woman... When those Jews seen that done, and called it a evil spirit, an unclean spirit... The Bible said, calling the Spirit of God doing the work an unclean spirit, a devil--like a fortuneteller, or some evil person...
E-40 And then, quickly this woman knowed different. When He said, "Go get your husband," she said, "I have none." He said, "You said truth, 'cause you've had five. And the one you're living with is not your husband."
Look at this. Quickly she said, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." Remember, they'd had no prophets for nearly five hundred years. Malachi was the last Hebrew prophet. "We--we know that Messiah's coming, and this will be the identification of Messiah. We know when He comes, this is what He'll do."
Jesus said, "I am He that speaks with you."
And she took a policy. And into the city she went to scatter the good news that she'd found the Messiah. She had Eternal Life because she'd believed on Him. How did she know? She seen the identification of the Scripture manifested by Him.
"We know that when Messiah cometh... Four hundred years we haven't had a prophet. And when He comes, that'll be the next man on the scene. And when He comes, we'll know Him. And He's to do that same thing."
He said, "I am He." She took a policy. She was interested in Him.
E-41 Nicodemus... a few moments in closing now. Nicodemus, a rabbi, man of about eighty years old, he'd been convinced that there was something about Jesus that was different than other men. So he wanted a policy. So he came by night for the policy, and he found the bank open for business. It's always open. It's open at a banquet; it's open out there on the street; it's open anywhere there's anybody ready to do business--this policy and the One Who holds it. He found the banks open. He took a policy.
E-42 Now, we know in Luke 24:49, after Jesus had chose His disciples, they were holders of the Eternal Life, policy. So now you know, in a regular insurance policy they always pay dividends. So they had already been accepted and chosen by Jesus. So they went up to Jerusalem, waiting till the day of Pentecost to get their dividends. And it paid off with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and power to manifest Jesus Christ.
E-43 Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterian, orthodox, whoever you are that claim to be Christians, why don't you do the same? You believe on Jesus Christ and become a member of the church. Why don't you go up to Pentecost, get your dividend, the power of the Holy Spirit? Them policy holders drawed it. You can too, if you believe it--and really believe it.
Peter, speaking to them, said, "The promise is unto you and your children, to them that's far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." They wanted to know what to do. He said, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." It was a promise.
So if you're just a confessor tonight, and never drawed your dividends, why don't you bring your policy tonight? Let me talk it with you a little while. Kneel with me for a few minutes, and find out if it isn't so. Be sincere about it, it'll pay off right now. If you're really holding a policy, He'll recognize a policy, your faith, if you say it's in God. If it's in God and in His Word, and not in some church or denominational creed, but just believe in Jesus Christ--it'll pay off. He knows his own policy.
E-44 Bring another character in just for a few moments, there was another rich Hebrew that met Jesus one day, after His death, burial and resurrection. If there should be a Hebrew here tonight, or whoever you are, Him being crucified... Not any excuse but what you can meet Him right here, just the same as the rich young ruler met Him. If you want a policy, He's here to do business.
There was a man by the name of Saul. And he was taught in all the great teachings and traditions of his people. Gamaliel was his teacher--one of the finest Hebrew teachers of the time. And Saul was so zealous of this, until he stoned Stephen, or witnessed to Steph or sanctioned it--held the coats of those, while he sanctioned... having authority from the high priest to throw all them people with that policy in jail, because he'd been told by his elders that this man was no prophet. There was nothing to this man but a radic.
He had letters in his pockets going down, because he heard there was some down at Damascus holding that policy. And they'd drawed interest on it, and they were really doing things. And the high priest told him, "Saul, you're a zealous man. Take this authority from me. Go down there, and arrest every one of them because they're nothing but radics. There's nothing to them. Go down, and bind them, and throw them in jail. If you have to kill them, kill them. It's all right. Go get them."
Saul said, "Your Honor, sir, Holy Father, I'll go."
Down he went. On his road down, he was going about eleven o'clock in the day, nearing the city. All of a sudden out of the heavens come the Pillar of Fire struck him down. And he raised up to look. There was that Pillar of Fire before him.
E-45 Now to prove that to you, he was a Hebrew, and he would have never worshipped anything, or called anything "Lord," 'less he knowed it was Lord. And he knew, as a teacher, under Gamaliel, that the angel of the Lord, which was the Logos that went out of God, which was Christ, that led them through the wilderness was in the form of a Light--a Pillar of Fire. And when It struck him down and he looked up and seen it there, he said, "Lord." Now, he'd have never called nothing but that "Lord."
But being a Hebrew, he knowed that that was Jehovah. That's the reason he had the revelation, could say that Jesus of the New Testament was Jehovah of the Old. That was his revelation, 'cause he'd seen Jehovah. And he said, "Lord, Who are You?"
He said, "I'm Jesus. And it's hard for you to kick against the pricks." And he took out a policy.
Compare the two men together, one rich young Hebrew that wanted to hold to the traditions, another one that was convinced. One of them seen Him as a man--that God was made flesh in order to die, to take away the sin. The blood of lambs and things, the life was in there couldn't come on the believer because it's a lamb's life. It has no soul in it: animal life. But this was God, Himself.
E-46 And then we become borned of that Spirit. We're sons and daughters of God, the life that was on our sacrifice. Compare the two men together. Seen it vindicated, that God was in Christ, the same Pillar of Fire that had brought his people through the wilderness and brought them to their--nourished them all day.
Remember, when Jesus was on earth, He said, "I come from God; and I go to God." He was the Pillar of Fire that took the children through the wilderness. The Bible said that Moses esteemed the riches of Christ greater treasures than that of Egypt. He forsook Egypt to follow Christ.
When He was here, that Pillar of Fire was represented in Him, God. He said, "If I do not the works of My Father, then believe Me not. The works tell you what I'm supposed to do. If I don't do that, then don't believe it. But if you can't believe Me..."
They said, "You're--you're a man making yourself God."
Said, "If you can't believe Me as a man, believe the works. They testify of Me."
Now, when He was dead, buried, rose, ascended, here we find Him again in that Pillar of Fire. He come from God and went to God. He's still the same One, same One now (Notice.), sure, same One that He was.
And when Paul, or Saul then, recognized that God, Jehovah, the Pillar of Fire of the Old Testament, had called Hisself Jesus, he took out his policy. He was ready for it then.
E-47 What a rashal decision for that young ruler. What a... How he must've... What? How could he do it? What would you give in exchange for your soul? After all your buildings, and you--you leave it for your relatives to fight over and everything, what about that soul, and where are you going to be? Remember, you'll be somewhere thousands of years from tonight. This might be a time for you to make your decision. Notice what a rashal mistake this busi... What a--what a poor businessman he was to try to hold to a tradition when it'd been proven to him, and a-vindicated, that here was Eternal Life. And he witnessed the same by asking Jesus about it.
E-48 Paul accepted it. We know how he come out. Like the people of today, they like the popular opinion--man's praise, instead of the honor of God. Paul didn't care for the praise of men; he wanted the honor of God.
Let's follow this young boy just a moment before we close. Let's follow him. We find the next place that this young fellow... You know what happened to him? He didn't become a pauper for doing this. He never become a beggar on the street. He increased in goods. He had turned down the opportunity. Many times people today will laugh and make fun of the Holy Spirit, then go on and increase in their business.
You know... Excuse this expression. But when they're laughing, say, "Why, look at me. If there's anything to it (See?) why, it'd happen to me. Something would happen to me." You know, there's a proverb that fools will walk with hobnailed shoes where angels fear to trod. This young ruler practically did that. See? He made a--a horrible mistake. And we find out that it never hindered his business, he increased. He got more popular, got more goods. We find out after while that he got so great till even he had to build new barns to put his stuff in.
E-49 And because that the church has turned down the Holy Spirit in this last days, it's increased. And now, you're going into the ecumenical council, just exactly what the Bible said you would do. Now, you're really Laodicea: rich and increased in goods, just exactly like that young man was. He was a type of the church rejecting. Paul was a type of the one receiving. Both of them had the opportunity, as you have tonight, and I have. He increased in goods. So has the church, the Laodicean age, increased in goods.
And remember, he got so great, till he become so popular, till even the monarchs, the great people begin to come. And he set a great banquet one time, and there was a holder of the Eternal Life policy at his bazaar. And we find out that he's laying down at the door. Oh, he might sweep some crumbs off to him.
E-50 He had the opportunity again, a witness, Lazarus, testifying to him. But he just swept the crumbs off. "Oh, well. I'll try this. Take this quarter," or whatever, you know. That's about the attitude of 1964. "Oh, I'll help a little. That's all right. Just let him go." See? But he held the policy. The poor in spirit, Matthew 5 tells us, that's the one. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
He went on increasing in goods, and getting greater and more popular, and a great man. But his payoff finally come. It finally come. On earth he had a great payoff. He had a great funeral service, no doubt. The great denominational preacher come, probably spoke great words over him. He might have half-masted the flag. Fine businessmen packed him to his burial. But the Bible said in hell his payoff come for rejecting the Eternal Life policy. In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment. And he looked off across the great chasm that Jesus said no man has ever crossed, or ever will. And he found the policy holder of Eternal Life comforted on the other side.
E-51 Both of them, one had received it. Both had their payoff. The crumb sweeper had the payoff, and now the rich man becomes a beggar. "Let the policy holder come back and touch my lips with the--a little water, for these flames are tormenting me." Don't make the same mistake, businessman. You're mortal, just like they were. You've got to make a decision. Make your investment now. Make it sure. "Make your election and calling sure." Take out one of the policies.
Look. Just a moment or two more, if you can. When Moses, who forsook being a king of Egypt, a Pharaoh, esteeming the reproach of Christ... Pharaoh looked out upon them people as a bunch of mud daubers. But Moses looked upon them as a people with a promise. How do you look on God's people?
Moses had his payoff. Watch his pallbearers. The Bible said they were Angels. Why? Nobody else could take him where he was going. They were his pallbearers.
E-52 There was Elijah in the time when all the women cut their hair like Mrs. Kennedy and them does today: painted their faces, the Jezebels. A king and all the people went worldly. The church did too. And God sent them a prophet by the name of Elijah to condemn that thing. After he got old and tired, he was ready to go home, he didn't even have to die. His payoff come also. God just sent him down a chariot and some horses, and packed him on up into the heavens.
Stephen, who stood at the Sanhedrin, spoke out to them and said, "Oh, you stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart and ears (rejecting the policy), you always resist the Holy Ghost. Like your fathers did, so do you." At his death he had a payoff. He looked up and saw heavens opened, Jesus standing on the right side.
E-53 Moody... the last days, of a hundred years ago, a little Chicago shoe cobbler, could hardly write his name... Paper sent to interview Moody one time. His ministry was so outstanding, they wanted to see it put in the paper what made it, what was about Moody, what kind of a preacher. He must've been a dynamic preacher. So they sent for an interview, to write in their editorial. Moody couldn't even read it after they wrote it. So his manager had to read it for him.
And they said... Here's the way the editorial read. It said, "Why anybody would go to hear Dwight Moody preach is more than I can say." Said, "The first thing, he's the ugliest man I ever seen, baldheaded and whiskers hanging down." And said, "He's as--he's as big around as he is tall." And said, "When he tries to preach, he can't read, and he whines when he preaches, talks through his nose, and lisps."
When he got through, Mr. Moody just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sure not. They come to see Christ." Well, that was it. No matter what the critics was, he held a policy. And when he was dying, and the doctor said, "That's death that's struck Mr. Moody," he raised up.
He said, "You call this death? This is my coronation day." He held the policy.
E-54 My good friend Paul Rader... When I was a little boy I was ordained in the Missionary Baptist Church, and Paul Rader was a Missionary Baptist also. So Fort Wayne... When I used to go to hear him preach... Later, got over here on the west coast, and got in so much trouble, and finance trouble till he'd gotten sick, finally led to cancer, and he was dying. Him and Luke had went together all their life, stuck together like my son and I.
So when Paul was dying, the Moody Bible Institute sent down a quartet, and they was standing there. Paul had a sense of humor. And the--the little Moody Bible Institute with this choir had sent down there, or a quartet; they were singing "Nearer, my God, to Thee."
Paul turned over and throwed the sheet off of him. He said, "Who's dying, me or you?" He said, "Raise up them shades and sing me some good, snappy Gospel songs."
And they began to sing, "Down at the cross where my Saviour died; down there for cleansing from sin I cried. There to my heart was the blood applied; glory to His Name."
Paul said, "Where's my brother, Luke?" Luke was in the next room; he didn't want to see his brother die. Said, "Tell him to come here." So Luke walked in; many of you knew him, big heavy-set fellow, walked in. Paul reached out his hand, laying on the bed, and took Luke by the hand, and looked up in his face, said, "Luke, we've come a long ways together. But think of it, Luke. In five minutes from now I'll be standing in the Presence of Jesus Christ, clothed in His righteousness." Holding his brother's hands, his policy paid off.
E-55 Old Dr. Bosworth, that was here the last time with me--next to the last time, eighty-four years old... Just returning from Africa, I had a call to come to Miami. I tore the tires off my car, nearly, to get there. Said he was dying. I rushed to him. I knowed he was a policy holder. I went down. I went in the room there, the little baldheaded fellow with his arms up, his little skinny arms... I run to him, and fell on my face, and cried, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof." He put his hands upon me, and blessed me. I said, "Brother Bosworth, can I pray for you?"
Said, "No." Said, "I'm not sick."
I said, "What's the matter, Brother Bosworth?"
Said, "I'm just going home."
I said, "I knew that." And I said, "I want to ask you something, Brother Bosworth." I said, "When was the greatest time of your life in your ministry? You've been serving God before I was born. We've been on the mission fields together. We've been in storms in the air and on the sea. You stood by me when I seen devils on every side, and witch doctors and... It was great thrills when we seen God paralyze them, standing there. What was the greatest thrill of your life?"
He said, "Right now." He was fixing to cash in his policy. He said, "All I've lived for, Brother Branham, has been Jesus Christ. And any minute He'll walk in the door to take me home."
E-56 Yes, those were policy holders that give everything they had, and invested it in the Pearl of great price. Won't you invest tonight too, while we bow our heads?
I cannot see across the audience. I do not know what's... how many, or who's looking in, in the closed circuit television tonight. I'm going to ask you, friends, let not this be idle words. You're mortal. You must die. You know it. And it may be before morning your time will come.
I'm not a person, not much on persuading, and because Jesus said, "All the Father has given Me will come." If there's a room in the heart for that policy tonight, won't you accept it? That policy is Christ, God's love offer policy for you, His Word to become alive in your heart, making you part of Him. He is the Word. Accept Him into your life. Won't you do it, and make this great investment?
As far as I can see... I can't see but about ten feet from me, or fifteen. I'm going to ask you to raise up your hands, if you'd like to receive one of the Eternal Life policies. Say, "I want it, Brother Branham. Just remember me in your prayers. You don't see my hand, but God does."
E-57 Our heavenly Father, this simple, rude, yet true, story of life... I spoke it this way, Lord, because that people, business people, would understand it more in the way of being something represented here on earth. That's the reason I called it a policy. Forgive me if I was wrong in calling it that. For we are now in a real sacred moment, where no doubt that there's many thinking seriously now, knowing that they too, have to have a payoff on whatever they have here. And they see what it means to turn down...
Now, that young man, as I know... Perhaps being so popular amongst the people, he remained in church. He kept the commandments. He did not commit adultery, or steal, or do those things, but in his own heart he knew that he didn't have Eternal Life. Make those, Lord, who are trying to meet You for Eternal Life with just those moral traits, may they tonight receive the invitation and just stay at their feet and say, "Lord, I'll do anything that You ask me to do." Grant it, Lord. They're all Yours now. I commit everything to You.
And if the seed has fallen anywhere, Lord, upon any ground, any predestinated seed... For many years they've been hungering and thirsting. It might've fell on some somewhere tonight. May they receive Life, Father, for I ask it in Jesus Christ's Name.
Now, with our heads bowed continually, I'm going to ask Brother Pearry, if he will, to come here and remain, take the remaining of the service.