Lean not unto thy own understanding
1 Let us remain standing just a moment now for prayer. How many in here has a request on their heart, that you would that God would do something special for you in this convention? Let's bow our heads now to Him.
Heavenly Father, we are a privileged people to be assembled together here in the Name of the Lord Jesus, in a free country where we can worship You according to the dictates of our conscience, as yet. And we pray, Father, that this will long be. And now, may we take advantage of this great privilege we have. And may we put our whole heart into the service tonight to worship You, that it might be said, that God was in our midst tonight, blessing His people. Save every lost soul that's in here tonight, Lord. And every backslider, may they come back to the house of God. I pray for every sick person, may be healed, the afflicted might walk, and the blind see, the deaf hear, praise and glory be given to Jesus Christ among His people. May it be long remembered, Lord, because that we have assembled ourselves together and asked in Jesus' Name for these blessings. Amen. May be seated.
3 Somehow, in coming to the Ramada Inn, it always seems like coming back home in a way, because I've been here so much till I--I think they just must begin to know me. And I'm glad of that, because I've found a fine bunch of people at these Ramada Inn's. The one in Tucson and one here, they've been very kind to us, letting us have services. Not long ago I had a service of my own, down in Ramada Inn, and the manager wouldn't even let me pay for the rent of the building. That's really nice. I'll remember that when I'm crossing the countries too, now, those who are good to the household of God.
4 Now, we've had, since Sunday night, or Sunday afternoon, rather, some great times in the Lord, or at least I have. I've had a wonderful time enjoying His blessings, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and with His people.
I--I like to remember that together we are worshipping God. You are an attribute of God, part of God, when you become the son and daughter of God. And God is in you, willing His will, if you'll let Him do it.
So we hope tonight, that every person will forget about the things that's been in the days, and laying everything aside, and just put our hearts right into the service now; not only to this night, but in the coming convention. No doubt many delegates has gathered. And I do see some of the extras tonight on the platform, gathering for the convention that starts tomorrow. And I ask the people who are here for the revival that we've just had, that if it's all possible, I wish you'd stay over for the convention. We're going to have some fine speakers listed. One brother could not come, and--but we got many will be here to take his place. I want to be in the complete convention myself to enjoy this fellowship.
7 You know, we get up here as ministers, and we speak, and we're always giving out to the people everything that's in us. I preached a subject one time, where Jesus said, "Behold the lily, how they neither--neither toil nor spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one." And I find out, the lily has to grow day and night, spin and toil, and to make itself radiant. But it gets no blessing out of it itself. He opens up himself, and--and the by-passer smells the perfume from him. The bee gets the honey right out of the heart. He gives everything out that he toils to take in. And I call my message, Reverend Mister Lily, so that's kinda a odd text.
But--but it is, ministers give themselves out to the people, and it's good then just to set down and--and listen to others. Like warming by the fire, we like to set under each other's fire blaze and warm our hearts with the Gospel that our brethren is preaching to the people. And I'm grateful to have this opportunity to do that.
9 And now, I'm trusting tonight... Billy told me that he gave out prayer cards totally. And we couldn't get a prayer line up here if we had to. See, you'd have to go out around through there, and through a dark hall, and come up this way. You'd stumble over everything to getting in here. And the afflicted and crippled would be in an awful shape, doing it.
But we don't know what our Lord may do. He may fall right among us tonight, and--and heal everyone that's here, every sickened. Oh, I'd rather see that than all the prayer lines I ever had in my life, just--just to see the sovereignty of God fall among His obedient children. I--I always like that.
11 Usually, if you have any personal contact with the people, like of laying on of hands, it could be, I don't think too many would do that, well, they would say, "A certain-certain minister laid his hands upon me, and glory to God..." That makes the people look at that minister then.
But if you can just stand here, preach the Word, and let the Holy Spirit heal every one, then there's--it's absolutely just the grace of God. And then God gets all praise, glory, there's not a shadow of nothing for no one else. That's the why I... In my ministry, the reason I don't get to too many, 'less... Now, last night we tried to pray for as many as we could. But laying on of hands...
13 And usually in the night, just maybe the Holy Spirit come right among us and go to manifesting Himself, making Himself known among us. And then by that, I think it's real when He can maybe in sovereignty... See? I can't say now, "This man, or this woman, or that child." See? The Holy Spirit moves out on the building and speaks to whomever He will speak. See, that's sovereign. And then that brings the knowledge, because it's a promise of God, and that brings the knowledge of--of the--God sovereign and also brings His Presence down among us. We should see it and rejoice and... And no matter...
You say, "Well, I was crippled in my hand. I was there last night. I--I--I didn't get any better." That don't have anything to do with it. To you, it's already finished. You're not looking at your hand then; you're looking at a promise. You see? And therefore, you can't say, "Well, Brother So-and-so didn't pray the prayer of faith, or so-and-so." It's the Presence of the Lord gave you faith (You see?), and then He sent His Word and healed them.
15 Now, last night I--I broke my promise again. I'm going to sure try to keep it tonight, if I can. And now, somebody said, "You didn't stay on your text last night." No, I--I didn't; because I'll tell you why. I was going to preach on a subject, now I forget just what, "But God Rich In Mercy."
And I got to trying to explain how that Paul, speaking there, said, "We who were in past times," one time, some other time than now, "we were dead and in sin and trespasses; who God has quickened, made alive..." Now, see, before anything can be quickened, there has to be something there to be quickened by. That's right.
17 So you see, if you were in the foreknowledge of God, then you are becoming a part of God. And the only way you can be a son of God or a daughter of God, you had to be a part of God, and God isn't complete without you. Has to be. That's right, 'cause there is One, only one resource of Eternal Life, and that is God, and Him alone has Eternal Life. See? Now, and you were a part of Him, insomuch that you're an attribute, or in His thinking in the beginning. And that, because He thought of you in the beginning, it gives that little tug towards Him. That's what has to be quickened. Some of them will never be quickened; they just don't have it; that's all.
Just like if you would put a grain of corn in the ground, didn't have... Ever how pretty it was, if it didn't have the germ of life in it, it can never be quickened. But the germ of life has to be there first.
19 I got that little story about that eagle, walking with the hens and the chickens because he was hatched out and born there, but he never did feel just like them chickens. And, you know, when his mammy come by and hollered, he heard a voice that sounded awful good to him, because remember, he was an eagle to begin with. He just had to come to find himself to find his place.
And that's the way every believer is. You wasn't born for this world. You was created in the image of God to be a son of God. And you don't belong in this chicken yard out here. You're a eagle.
And you know, I got on that "eagle" and I couldn't get my feet back on the ground, so I just got... I went too long, and then I forgot what my text was, and I--and I lost my notes and everything else. I was having an awful time. But that's what it was, it was just on that "eagle."
22 Now, may that Eagle, God... You know, God likens His prophets to eagles. And He calls Himself an eagle; He's Jehovah Eagle, Papa Eagle.
And the reason He does that, an eagle can fly higher than any bird there is, and because he is made different from any other bird. Now, he does not build his nest on the ground like chickens and so forth, but he goes high to build his nest.
And another thing, that, he is a special built bird. Now, if a--if a hawk, or a crow, or a buzzard, or any other bird would try to follow him up into heavens, he would disintegrate; he's not made for it. He has to be a special person to go up there. His feathers are tighter than any other bird.
And--and his eye is sharper than any other bird. And the higher he goes, the further he can see. Well, some of them birds, when they get as high as they're supposed to be, they're as blind as a bat. And that's the way with... Well, when they leave that creed, they don't know nothing about it then. "Days of miracles is passed," why? They can't see it.
But eagles can go into the heavens, and heavens of heaven up there. What good does it do to get up there if you can't see? Oh, I'm so glad to be one of them, and associated with a whole nest full of them now.
27 Let us turn in the Old Testament now, to the Book of the Proverbs, written by Solomon, one of the wisest men in the world, outside of our Lord Jesus. But He wasn't exactly like Solomon, insomuch that Solomon was a man borned of a woman and was begotten by an earthly father, David. But Jesus was a virgin-born Son, and was not altogether a man; but He was God, the God-Man, and He was more than a man; He was a man plus. See? But Solomon was just a man like you and I, and he asked God for wisdom to run his kingdom. And he had a gift of wisdom, the smartest man that we've ever known of outside of our Lord. He wrote the Proverbs, and I think they're very good.
And we're going to turn now to the Book of Proverbs the 1st chapter, and--or the 2nd chapter, rather, and the first few verses of the Proverbs, of 2, beginning with 1. Proverbs 2, beginning with 1, the continuation of Solomon advising his sons.
My son, if thou will receive...
I am sorry. I have Proverbs 3:1. I'm sorry. I looked over here on--on my book, and I see that it is Proverbs 3 instead of 1 or 2. I'm sorry. Proverbs 3:1.
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall be... shall they add to thee.
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tables of thine heart.
So shall thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.
Oh, I think that's the most beautiful Scripture. Now, I want to take for a text, out of the--the 5th verse, "Lean Not Unto Thy Own Understanding."
31 Now, this is a--a very strange text for the day that we're living in, because the emphasis today is certainly laid upon education and upon our own understanding of things, the day of--of learning. But we find out here that this strange statement, like other Scriptures, it has its place, and we trust that God will let us see where the place is.
Today we send our children to the school to have understanding. Then after they are through with the grammar schools, we send them to high school for a better understanding of knowledge. Then after they are through there, some children are even fortunate enough to go to college, and go through college to complete their education and their understanding of knowledge. What they are acquired of by... Many times to get a job, you have to have at least a high school understanding, or a college education, or so forth.
33 Yet, the wise Solomon told us that not to lean to it, not to our own understanding; learn not of these things. Because we wonder why that he would say such a thing as this, for it's because that usually our modern understanding is usually the wisdom of man, which is contrary to the Word of God. I think that's what that Solomon was trying to advise his sons, was not to be illiterate, but not to lean to their understanding.
And I think it would be a good exhortation today, if we said to our sons and to the sons of God, that it's all right to have an education; there's nothing against that; but when that education is contrary to the Word of God, then lean to the Word and let your education go (See?), because the Word. And education will stand and will give you a good job, probably a good standing amongst intellectual people, but, that's all right, which will probably be a great help to you, help you in your financial and your--your livelihood, make living maybe a little better for you.
35 But remember one thing, my son; you've got to die. No matter how much education you got, and how much culture you are able to accumulate, you've yet got to face death, because it is written, that man must die, and after that the judgment. And God, when... Death is not so bad, but coming to the judgment is the bad part. Now, you can die, "but after that the judgment." And God is not going to inquire of you how much schooling you got when you were here on earth, how much knowledge you accumulated, whether you've got your Bachelor of Art, or whatever degree you might've been, even as a minister. It's not going to be required of you.
But it's going to be required of you, what you did about the understanding of God's Word. That's where the requirement comes, because that... Your education; fine, but the Word of God is Life. "My Word is Life," and to know It is Life. And He, He said, "Know Him." He is the Word. So you can only know Him by the Word, for He is the Word. That's the only way you'll know Him, is by His Word.
37 Somebody could come up and say, "This is God," or "That's God," or "This is God," or "This is right," and "That's right," but we come back to the Word, which is the Truth.
And the Word is just like the--the North Star; it's a true star. No matter which a way the world's a floating, that North Star is centered with the earth. You set your compass to the North Star. It's always in the center of the earth. Other stars float around with the world, but the North Star stays stable.
Now, the compass is the Holy Spirit, and (the) your--your tie post would be the North Star, so the Holy Spirit will always point towards the Word. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to anything else but the Word of God. So how could a man accept a creed, when it's contrary to the Word, and then still say he has the Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost would point you away from that. It takes the Holy Spirit to point you to the Word, for He is the Word. He is the Word, and It can only... As the--as the magnetic in the compass is only set towards the North Pole, that's the only way it can draw. And when the Holy Spirit is the Author and Writer, and the quickener of the Word, how can It point the person to anything else but the Word?
40 So when a person says they have the Holy Ghost, and accept something contrary to the Word, it shows that ain't the genuine Holy Ghost they got. See? It may be a ghost; I wouldn't dispute that, but it--it isn't the Holy Ghost of--of Christ. Now, you know, many times, they take one another's spirits; and so that might point in a--like a group of men to a certain thing, but it won't--it--it won't point to Christ. But the Holy Spirit always points to Christ, and Christ is the Word.
We see this so plainly in the Bible. Or, I do. Maybe I might be wrong, but--in my thinking, but I don't think so; because that this, "Lean not to your own understanding of things." If you lean to your own understanding, then you're bound to get off of the right road. You can't lean to anyone else's understanding when it comes to Life. To find Life you've got to lean to the Word. That's Life.
42 We see this from the beginning. It's so plainly made known to us from the beginning, that God gave His first family on earth His Word to live by. Only His Word, was to live by. Now, that's not through eating the food and so forth. But His Word they were to live by eternally. And as long as they kept that Word, they lived eternally. But the first little phrase of that Word was misplaced, the whole chain broke, and the human race plunged into death. See?
Now we notice Eve, which was no doubt an intelligent person; the first right off of Adam, who was the--the son of God... And Eve, certainly being in that spot where there had been no sin, no place for sin, she certainly must've had a wonderful conception of what God was. Because every afternoon, she and her husband walked in the cool of the garden in the evening, and talked face to face with God. What a--an unreasonable thing that a person who would walk face to face with God each day, and then would turn to the reasoning of something that reasoned her away from the Word of God.
44 We still got them. They so easily be reasoned away from the Word of God, after setting in the Presence of God. Seeing the Word of God preached, the Word of God made manifest, drunkards and sinners come to the altar and be converted and made new creatures in Christ, people of ill fame made ladies and gentlemen; and then to turn from that blessed thing that led them to this Life, and then be perverted off after some kind of a creed to become more popular or--or get into what they would call a better class of people.
Why, you're in the best class that there is: sons and daughters of God. Well, I like that company better than I would with all the kings and potentates, and everything else. Give me that humble bunch of people, if they don't know their right hand from their left. As long as they know God, and love Him and serve Him, that's the celebrity of heaven to me. Yes, sir.
46 Now, but we find that Eve was easily persuaded by Satan from the Word of God, and she leaned on her own understanding, because Satan had projected something to her which wasn't to her real understanding of God. But she had something else told to her by the enemy, Satan, and she believed it.
Now, we find the results of this. It plunged the whole human race to death, because the first mother on the earth leaned to her own understanding, contrary to the Word of God, and plunged the whole human race to death. Now, do you believe that? That's the Word. Well, a woman is always...
A church in the Bible is typed to woman. And a church today can accept a bunch of dogmas or creeds, and plunge the whole congregation in a separation from God. Those people who adopt those things in the stead of the Word of God are just like Eve. And it's been done over and over, till it's got this whole generation plunged away from the Word of God.
49 And when the Word is made manifest, the Word is revealed, they won't accept It, because they won't do it, because they lean to their own understanding. "This church was built here. It's a beautiful place. It's a great organization. It's a member of a great body of people. Why shouldn't we belong to that? I'll trust in it." Trust not in your own understanding, but trust in the Word of the Lord.
Now, now it ended finally in death to the whole race, as I said, same as now, to the many people who rely upon their own understanding, their dogmas and creeds, and so forth, claiming, "The Word of God is not altogether true, that some of It is inspired and some is not." How can you have faith in a Bible, if part of It is inspired and part of it's not? If one--if one quotation is wrong, then the whole thing might be wrong. It's all got to be right, exactly right.
51 And some of these so-called perverted Bible schools teaching man's knowledge, accumulation, where they get together and set in a council of people, and say, "Now, look, if the days of miracles, it ended in the days of the apostles." And many men under the bishop or the high man, would set there and say, "Well, if I can just agree with him, no doubt but I might be in line next for his position." See, then you lean to your own understanding, instead of standing on your two feet for the Word of God. That's what causes these things.
52 Sometime ago, someone... I was in a dispute on the income tax. And they said to me, said, "Why, your trustees are nothing but puppets, I suppose."
I said, "If I had a trustee on the board, that had a different idea, and wouldn't stand up, and (I don't care who's speaking about it) would express his own views of it, I'd throw him off the board." Yes, sir. Though it was contrary to my belief, I want him to express what he thinks is right. That's what I got him there for, see what he says about it. But we have that.
54 Notice, Jesus said in Saint John 10, "My sheep know My Voice," A Voice, of course, is His Word when He's speaking. "My sheep know My Voice. My Voice has been proven to them to be true. It's been vindicated that it is My Voice." Now, now, notice, they are not subject to following any other voice. They won't. "My sheep know My Voice, and a stranger they will not follow." In other words, they will not understand a theological voice that's teaching contrary to the Word. The sheep don't understand that no more than the eagle, last night, could understand the clucking of the hen. They don't understand it, because he was an eagle. And that's the same thing with a genuine born again child of God, they understand only the things that are of God.
Now, somebody'd say, "Well, now look, you could do this, I think. It's, I believe that it isn't this a-way. I believe that the days of miracles is passed. I don't believe that that's Divine healing. I don't believe this." Now, a genuine born again Christian, that'll never stop in his ears; he don't understand it at all. And how could a man that believes in God, and can read the Bible and see that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, will ever accept such a thing as that, I don't understand it.
So they do not lean to their own understanding.
56 Just like a--a baby. You take a little baby, and let him be born and let him once lean upon his mother's bosom, nurse from her the warm milk, lean his little head upon her bosom, though he's just a few hours old. In a day or two from then, take him away from his mother and give him over on the breast of a strange mother, he'll kick them little feet up in the air and yell. It's not his mother. See, he has already had a something about him, because he is a part of this mother, and yet nature has provided him a way to know his own mama.
And if nature has provided a way for a baby to know its mother, from where it's born from, how much more has he a son of God that's born by the Spirit of God. He knows his Mama. He knows, because he was borned of the Word, and he understands the Word. Put him in a strange place, he certainly is out of--out of place, he'll get out of there as quick as he can. Because he has, he doesn't lean...
Somebody'd say, "Now, wait, dear, this is your mama now."
It's not his mama, because he has a way of knowing that he's part of this mother, that's his mother; no one else can ever take her place. He knows his own mother.
59 Notice how it's--how it is really so, God has made everything after its kind, the cattle after their kind. Many time in bringing a roundup down, we'd bring the whole herds of cattle and the little calves; I used to wonder how they would ever know their own mama. Now, they--they coming down out of the mountains, the cattle all mixed together. A--a--a cow that is with the calf, maybe a little hungry calf might nurse a little from the other mother, if he's real hungry; but when we stop them, out on the prairie, that mama starts through that crowd of cows and calves till she finds her own, and the calf is running for its mother. It knows that certain little whine in her bawl. And she's bawling for that calf, and other mothers are bawling till you can't even hear yourself think, but that little calf will find that certain call of its mother, because it's part of the mother.
60 And a borned again Christian from heaven, he is a part of this Word. Right. Another mama he will not follow. He's a part of the Word. He stays with the Word. "If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who can prepare hisself for battle?" said Paul. He knows the sound of the Word. Notice how--how this is, the predestinated hand of God following them through. He knows that he was ordained; he was in the Gospel Truth. He knowed that he was born by the Spirit of God. He knows that the Spirit of God cannot deny the Word of God, so therefore, a stranger he will not follow. Notice how...
61 I was looking back here on a note that I had wrote down here. I--I passed by it, but I just happened to see the Scripture reading, thought I'd refer back to it again. Notice how His own predestinated sheep followed Him, right in the days of the greatest theologians that we ever had. They come right out, because they knew Him. They knew what the Word had promised for that day. They knowed what the Messiah was to be like when He came. And Simon Peter came to Him, which was only "Simon" then.
And Andrew had tried to tell him about that. "This Man is the Messiah." Well, Simon, of course, he was maybe a little hardheaded, and he wouldn't go.
But when he walked up into the Presence of Jesus, when Jesus said, "Your name is Simon, and you are the son of Jonas." Now, we know that Jesus told His apostles that He knew them, and He--before the foundation of the world. They were the attributes of His thoughts. Therefore, being that seed laying in him, and he knew that the Word said and had been promised that the Messiah would be a prophet. And when he seen that, he was through with fishing. He knew then that he would drop his nets, because he would go--go and become a fisher of men.
64 For now there stood others standing there, who seen the same thing done, and classed it a evil spirit. That was the theologians, because it wasn't in the taste of their theological teaching. And they turned it down, because they leaned to their own understanding, by their doctrine; when Jesus Christ came in the fulfillment of the Word of promise, and they were too blind to see it. They leaned upon what the priests said, and upon what the church said, instead of upon what God said.
Now, Jesus rebuked them for it. He said, "Search the Scriptures, for in Them you claim you have Everlasting Life. And They are They that testify of Me. These Scriptures that I'm asking you to search, they tell you who I am."
But they wouldn't lean to what the Word said, but they leaned to what their understanding was. They leaned to their own understanding. And the Scripture tells us that they were veiled. The veil of their own theology had them blinded.
You say, "Brother Branham, what are you getting at?"
67 I'm just getting to this. That thing is occurring again, till men and women and people will lean to a certain church that they have joined and belonged to, no matter what the Word of God says about it. They go right on with that, leaning to their own understanding, and ignoring the Word of God, as if It hadn't (never) even been written. It's ungermitized seed of human life. It's got the physical life, but no spiritual life in it to be quickened. The veil was over their face.
Now, notice, they had their own thoughts of what God should be, they had their own ideas of what Messiah should be. But the Word said what the Messiah should be. Now, see, they had their own understanding of what He would be. No doubt but what the high priest said, "All my priests under me, now when the Messiah comes... We've built a great temple here. We've done all this. And the Bible said, 'He'll quickly come to His temple,' and all these things. When He does, the Messiah will come right up here and recognize Himself with us, and say, 'I am the Messiah. I have arrived. I am that Messiah that you've been looking for.'" Well, when He did come, He come in such a different way from what they thought it was, they didn't recognize Him. They didn't know Who He was. But His...
69 And what if some hypocrite would've walked up there and said, "I am the Messiah. I am Doctor So-and-so"? They would've accepted it.
But when they come to a Man that was born with a darkened birth behind Him, no education of any school He ever went to learn, no seminary did He have, no fellowship card; but He was the interpretation of God's Word made manifest. "The works, that I do tell you Who I am. If I do not the works that was promised I'd do, then believe me not."
And could we not apply that to this day? When the Holy Ghost comes, that they want to apply to some other age, when He comes in the action and the demonstration of His power of Eternal Life, the people want to call it a--a wild fanaticism. Why? They are leaning to their own understanding and not to the Word of the Lord. You know that's right.
72 The identification, that God's Own interpretation is the manifestation of the promise. Maybe I'll say it, make it a little plainer. When God speaks the Word, He doesn't need any man, or any woman, or no one else to say what That means. When He said... Well, you say, "God meant this." God means just what He says it means. See?
Now, how does He interpret His Own Word? By fulfilling It. The Bible said, "A virgin shall conceive"; she did. That don't need any interpretation. God said, "Let there be light," and there was. That don't need any interpretation.
God said also, that in these last days He'd pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and He's done it. That don't need any interpretation. That only needs an acception, somebody to accept what God has done. It doesn't need an interpretation. God interprets His own Word. God promised the things that we see day by day, that He would do it in the last day.
76 People today, like it was then, they lean upon their own understanding. "My pastor says that that's fanaticism." But the Bible said it would happen. Whose understanding you going to lean upon?
The Bible promised in the last days, that the Laodicea church Age would get so rich, and get so insuffic--or in a sufficiency of their own, "I am rich. I have need of nothing. I set as a queen." And she's rich. And He said, "Thou knowest it not that you are miserable." Now, that's the entire church age, the church. "To the church of Laodicea, you are naked, blind, poor, miserable, and don't know it." Setting in her riches, ten thousands times ten thousands, and thousands of members, wealth of the world in her hand almost. Putting it all together they--with the Catholic church and the Protestants together, as they're going together, they got the wealth of the world.
78 We are busted in this nation, just about. We're borrowing on tax that'll be paid in forty years from now, they tell me, so they said on "Lifeline." Taxes, we're spending now, will be paid forty years from now. My little grandson, if Jesus tarries, the taxes that he'll pay when he is forty years old, we're spending on it now, sending to foreign aid, and our own Indians and things starving to death; trying to buy fellowship. You don't buy fellowship. You don't buy a friend. No, but that's what we're doing. That's the way we're set up, taxing people to everything they can get onto, tax, tax, tax. And we'll not be out of war debt for--for hundreds of years yet, I suppose, that we been throwed into by politicians. And now we shouldn't be that way. There's no reason for us to be that way.
But the churches themself has become rich. "Pretty near the wealth of the world," says the Bible, "lays in the Catholic church." That's why Russia run her out, why Russia excommunicate. That was the very grass roots of communism, because the church taught to be something, they wasn't no more from the rest of the world.
80 When we was up there in Finland, that little boy was raised from the dead, there stood them Russian soldiers at attention, and they said, "We will receive a God that can raise up the dead."
We have made denominations, and schools, and--and buildings, and failed to do what Jesus told us to do, was preach the Gospel. We've tried to educate the world. He never said, "Educate the world; he that's educated shall be saved." You've got to be borned again, filled with the Spirit. That's the reason we have so miserably failed everywhere. See, we got the wealth, we got the thing.
Now, what will happen? And when this church, World Council of churches goes together, can't you see who is going to do the leading? Can't you Methodists and Presbyterians understand that, the rest of you, even to Pentecostals? You say you're not going in. You'll either go in or you'll bust up the denomination. You'll do one or the other. It's right before you. You've got to do it. It's a forcing, the mark of the beast. That's what it is, exactly. Denominationalism absolutely (I can prove it by the Bible) is the mark of the beast. "She was a whore; she had prostitute daughters." And we know that that is the Truth. Organized religion, it's contrary to the Word, and it's antichrist in its principles. Not everything in there is antichrist; but in its principles, its system is antichrist, because it's against the Word of God. Every organized system is that way.
83 There you are (See?) and you lean to somebody else's own under--their understanding, instead of leaning to God's understanding, by what God said about it. That's the reason it's wrong. Boys go off to seminaries who has good education, off to these Bible schools, so-called. And maybe they got a--got a call of God in their heart. And they get out there and they're so indocumated with one view, that, "So-and-so said it, Bishop So-and-so. This one said it. That one said it. The council of men agreed, this way it should be."
Don't care what anybody says. Jesus said, "Let every man's word be a lie, and Mine be the Truth. No matter whose it is, Mine be the Truth."
Now, how do we know what's Truth? When the Bible declares that something will happen, that something's going to take place, and it happens that way.
Now, the Bible said in her was the--the wealth of the world: gold, silver.
Now, if we're on the gold standard, and we're broke, now what is going to happen? What's going to happen? You know, the rich people of this nation, these big factories, and whiskey men, and tobacco men, and so forth like that, is not going to stand to change the currency, so the only thing we'll have to do is borrow it. And there's only one place we can borrow it. And when we do, we sell our birthrights out to it. That's right. Then what are you going to do? You're owned by it, the--that system. There's nothing else you can do.
88 Oh, people, don't think I... You may think I'm crazy. But when my voice is silenced in death, these tapes will still be playing, and you'll recognize that what I've said has come to pass. I'd be a most silly person to take the stand that I have took to even against this thing, I--I would be--I'd be against God, I'd be against everything that's God, if I did--if I had--was wrong in my thinking and my calling. The thing would be against God. But I have took my stand because I see it here in the Word. It's God's Word. Then I see it being vindicated, proven that it's the truth. That's the interpretation that God gives of His Word. God's own interpretation of His Word is how He vindicates It and makes It true.
89 Why were these Pharisees blind? What made them so blind? Because they would not accept revelation or vindication of the Word. And that's the reason today that the churches are blind, is because they won't accept revelation that's being vindicated. If the Word says so, and it's revealed, and then it's proven, still they won't accept It.
That's the reason these Jews, the Jews to this day will not. You cannot talk to them about Christ, because the veil is still over their face: blinded to...
And the church, you can't talk to them about the full Gospel and the power of God, because the god of this world has blinded them from the truths of God, and they lean to their own understanding. When women come into the church and bob off their hair, because their pastors tells them, "Oh, that's all right. That man's crazy." But the Bible said she has done wrong when she does it; God refused to answer her prayer. And some of them women make another disgrace and try to be a preacher, then she's done a double thing. The Bible said she should not do that, none of it. But the church organization will receive it, and ordain her, and send her out; they're leaning to their own understanding.
93 One Word of God misplaced, or misconstrued, or It not accepted, breaks the whole Chain. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Why is it, women, you hear me preach against these things, of wearing shorts, and paints, and--and hairdos of this here bobbed hair, and all that kind of stuff, and then every year when I come back you're still setting in the same condition? Is because you're leaning to your own understanding instead of the Word of the Lord.
And, pastors, why don't you clean up your church? Because you're going to your denominational creed instead of the Word of the Lord. That's right. Lean not to your own understanding. Well, lean not to your own understanding, but upon the Word of the Lord.
96 They would not accept it, because they would not accept vindication. Jesus come with a--a Gospel, just exactly the way He said He would come. Even many times...
John was a little bit confused when he was throwed into prison, and he--he got down there... And he had preached that there was "Coming in the Messiah, Whose fan was in His hand; He'd thoroughly purge His floor, and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire, and gather the wheat into the garner." The Spirit of God bringing forth, gulching out of Him like a--like a fountain. And then when he seen Jesus come on the scene, a little, meek, lowly sort of a Fellow being pushed around, around here for His life, and over there. Why, they didn't...
John couldn't understand it, so he sent some of his disciples to find out from Jesus if He really was the One. What a dishonor to Jesus, after that prophet standing there in the water, with the Word of God, said, "I knew Him, because I seen the--the Holy Spirit like a dove, God descending from heaven like a dove and going into Him, and I heard a Voice from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son,'" and then John said, "Go and ask Him if really He was the One, or--or--or do we look for another?"
99 Now, Jesus never sent him a book on how to behave in prison, or what church he should've joined. But He said, "Stay around a little while and watch what happens, and then go show John the things that you have seen and done," because that His works that He did vindicated Him to be the Messiah, the Son of God. "Blessed is he who is not offended in Me."
So many have become offended. So many people get offended so easy at the Word of God. It--It's contrary, they want to lean to their own understanding. They don't want to take the Word of the Lord. And they have to go just the way that--that they've been taught to go, and the way that they are taught--their church leans upon it. No matter if God promised He'd--He'd rain, have rain in the morning, and the church said, "that's nonsense," they'd believe the church instead of God. Because why? They're born of the church.
But a man that's borned of God, is of the seed of God. And the seed of God is the Word of God, and he only lives by That. That's his Life.
102 Now, they leaned onto their own understanding, but they didn't want to lean on God's Word. They knowed better. It was in the Scripture. They called it a evil spirit, that Man. 'Cause why? Their priest said, "Anybody that goes to hear this Man preach, they'll be put out of the synagogue."
When a man was healed that was blind once, by Jesus. Even his parents, so happy about the healing, but they was afraid to confess that it was Jesus that did it. Yeah.
He said--he said, "Is this your son?"
Said, "Who made him well?"
Said, "I--I don't know." Said, "He's of age, you ask him. He--he can talk for himself."
Because it had been said that any man that leaned to His, Christ's understanding instead of their understanding, would be put out of their church. Now, isn't that just the same? I ask you a pine blank question. That's right. And they do the same thing. No matter what God does, it has to be according to their understanding, not what God vindicates to be the Truth. Now, and that man had the answer though.
He said, "Who healed you?"
He said, "One called Jesus of Nazareth."
Said, "He's a sinner. We don't know from whence he come."
He said, "Now, that's a strange thing. You're supposed to be the leaders of this hour. And here's a Man opened my eyes, that hasn't been done since the world begin, and yet you say you don't know from whence He come." Oh, my.
107 Why? They was leaning to their own understanding instead of the Word of the Lord. Because Isaiah said, "The blind would see; the lame would leap like a hart; deserts would break forth in joy." But, you see, they leaned to their own understanding, not to the Word; their own system they had drawed up.
Now, notice the churches of today do the same thing. They have formed a great super race of understanding in their denominational systems. That they have such a super understanding, they don't want nobody else to fool with it, nobody to come in unless they belong to that group.
Don't tell me; I live in Tucson, Arizona. I come down there three years ago; I met with the council of churches, and I said, "I never come to start a church. I come to fellowship with you. I come to help you. I'm a missionary, evangelist, whatever I do."
They said, "Are you coming here to start a church?"
I said, "No, sir. I come here... If I want a church, I got one in Indiana." I said, "I come here because the Lord led me here in a vision. I'm going to stay for a while now, unless He leads me away, but I never come to start a church. I come to help you brethren."
111 That's been three years ago; I've never been invited to one place. Why? Because there was a get-together right after that, and said, if any man had me in their pulpit, they would excommute that preacher. See why? Leaning to their own understanding! Certainly, that's is--is so-called; they form their super understanding.
'Less you put your name on their book, you say--you're lost. A minister told me that. "Oh," you say, "that was some quack." It was a Pentecostal.
Jack Moore and I set there and listened at him in Dallas, Texas. He said he was going to have to take a man off the book.
I said, "Why?"
"'Cause he fellowshipped with you."
I said, "Well, take it off."
He said, "Well, he's lost then."
I said, "Lost?"
"Why," he said, "if his name is not on it..."
I said, "You mean you're a district presbyter and believe that?"
He said, "That's the truth."
I said, "Get off the phone, mister. You--you... That ain't the grace of God, that--that. See?"
116 "For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body, and become members of that Body." I don't care what brand you got on you, that don't have nothing to do with it. You are absolutely a Christian by birth; that's the only way. That's the only way you can be; not by joining, not by creeds, not exciting this, or reciting this, or any other thing, or by education, theology. You're a Christian when you're borned again, and you cannot be borned again 'less you've been elected to be borned again. "For no man can come to Me except My Father draws him, and all that My Father has given Me will come. (Amen.) I'll raise him up again at the last day."
These great so-called Bible schools we have, they'll say, lean upon their own learning. Oh, my. They, no matter what the Word says, they can so plainly explained it, oh, to their ownselves, make their ownselves believe it, and their own kind believe it, that, "The days of miracles is passed. There is no such thing as prophet, prophets, apostles. There is no such a thing as gifts of healing, and so forth. It all ended back in the Bible days." They can make themselves believe that.
118 You know, the Bible said you can believe a lie and be damned by it. See? That's exactly the truth. They form, no matter what the Word of God says, they lean to their own understanding. They--they lean on it; they believe it; they think it's the Truth. You can keep believing a lie over and over and over till it's the truth to you. That's right.
But how do we know whether it's Truth or not? God proved it's Truth, 'cause it's in His Word and He a-vindicates It. He does His own interpretation of It.
How do they do, get to this? They do it by their culture, their education, of their understandings of their--the degree of doctor's degree, and so forth, that they have come from some certain seminary and learned these things.
121 But look, friends, listen. Nowhere in the Bible are we asked to understand. We're not asked to understand It. We're asked to believe It. Believe It by what? By faith. If you understand It, then that makes faith annulled. You can't understand it, but you believe It anyhow. If I could understand God, I wouldn't have to believe God. I do not understand God. No man understands God. I cannot understand the Word of God, but I accept It. I believe It. I'm not asked to understand It.
I don't, went to no seminary and all this great understanding of man's knowledge on that. I just know that the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and I look for Him in that same category. I know He promised what He would do in this day; I look for Him to do it and He does it. That's right. He promised grace; I looked for it and I received it. He promised healing; I believed it and I accepted it, and I received it.
123 Now, don't want to take too much of your time, but I want to ask one thing if you'll bear with me a minute to consider some of those who did not lean on their own understanding; some characters of the Bible, just for a few, that leaned not to their own understanding, regardless of what the understanding of their age was.
Let's take, for instance, Noah. Noah lived in a day of great scientific research. In the days of Noah they probably built the pyramids, that they cannot reproduce again. Now, we haven't got nothing to do it with, nothing to lift the boulders up there. They could not today. Them days, they had some kind of a chemical they could put in dye and make the clothes look natural till today. They had an embalming fluid that they could make a mummy; we could not make one today if we had to. We've... A lot of the arts that we have lost. The day that he lived, in a smart scientific age.
Jesus referred to it, that that same kind of an age would return again before He come back, "For as it was in the days of Noah..." Now, you will believe that, won't you? Do you believe that Jesus said that? Do you believe we have returned to that age? Now, that is in the Book of Luke, the 17th chapter and the 29th verse.
126 Now, in Luke 17:30, He said, "And as it was in the days of Lot, when the Angel of the Lord..."
Now, He was reading the same Bible we are. And when He... Go back and find out what kind of day it was before Noah's rain. Go back and find out what kind of a day it was before the world was destroyed in the days of Lot. Find out what it was, and you see what Jesus was talking about.
"In the days of Noah, they was eating, drinking, marrying, and given in marriage; knew it not until Noah entered into the ark, and the flood come, taken them all away."
In the days of Lot just before the world was--the fire burned the Gentile world, the Sodomites, there were homosexuals, perversions, everything in the world. A great... It was a modern Los Angeles; not a modern only Los Angeles, but a United States; not only in United States, but a world. It sure was perversion. Men lost their natural source of life and their natural understandings of common sense, become perverted by an evil spirit that changed the whole course of their natural life, and they were possessed with demon spirits. If that ain't the picture of the days of Noah, I don't know it, and in the days of Lot, I mean. In days of Noah also, eating, drinking, marrying, given in marriage, divorce courts filling, and everything, just like it was.
130 But remember, before the world was destroyed, Abraham was sent on the face of the earth and was given a promise of a son. And Abraham met God in many stages, as a type of the church has met God. But just before the destruction and the promised son returned, or came, rather, the son had been promised, came, God came down and was manifested in human flesh in a Man, three Men. And They come down to Lot; come first to Abraham, and They set down. And Abraham had had his name changed from Abram to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah.
And this Man, the speaker, Elohim, when He came down to speak to him, what did He say? He said, "Where is your wife, Sarah?"
Said, "She's in the tent behind You."
Said, "I will visit you according to the time of life." And she laughed in the tent behind Him. And He said, "Why did Sarah laugh?" See? Now, He would've took the life of Sarah right there for laughing at His Word; but He could not do it, because Sarah was a part of Abraham.
133 And today, Jesus said in Luke the 17th chapter and the 30th verse, "As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be at the end time when the Son of man..."
Now, remember, "Son of man" is a prophet. Jehovah called Ezekiel a "son of man." Jesus come in three names: Son of man, Son of David, Son of God. He called Hisself "Son of man" so that the people would understand, for He was that Prophet that the Lord God would raise up.
Now, notice, then He promised what? The Son of man would reveal Himself again just before that time, before the fire. And that was the last sign that Abraham saw before the promised son arrived; and he turned back to a young man, and she to a young woman. Before... Now, notice, the Scripture specifically says that, now we must look for that.
And then if we see the world in perversion and the things that's in it today, carried on the way it is, then how can we say that's right and don't say this other's right? Because somebody, you're leaning on their understanding and not the understanding of the Prince of Life Who was that Person that was there at the gate with them at Sodom. Now, we notice, we lean not to our own understanding.
137 Noah did not lean to his understanding. It was a great scientific age, but he didn't lean to his understanding of his day. But he leaned on the promise of God, and moved by the power of God, and prepared an ark in the saving of His house, when it was absolutely contrary to common sense. There was no water up there, never had been. But he knew if God said there would be, there would be. So he leaned not to his own understanding, but by faith he moved by the Word of God's promise. The Spirit moved him, and he did it.
Abraham, he did not lean to his understanding about human life. He had married his wife at about seventeen years old. Here he was, seventy-five years old, and she was sixty-five years old, being ten years younger. But Abraham did not lean to his understanding, when God said that He'd give him a son by Sarah. But he called anything, any scientific proof that was contrary to God's Word, any learning outside of God's Word, as though it wasn't so. And he give God praise, strong, giving Him praise. He did not even consider looking at his own body, or the deadness of Sarah's body, or--or his body. He did not consider anything, but leaned upon the promise of God. He leaned not upon his own understanding. He leaned not upon reasons.
139 "Why," you say, "Brother Branham, it's reason that God wouldn't heal the sick; we've got so many fine doctors."
The Bible said, "We cast down reasonings." We don't reason. Faith don't reason. Faith believes and accepts. Notice.
But he believed instead of unbelieving, and called the things, which were not, as though they were, which was absolutely against any reasoning. But he didn't reason. He just believed it. There was no reasons could prove that that baby could be born. That woman was about twenty years apast menopause, and his body was as good as dead. And when he was a hundred years old, twenty-five years later, he still was giving God praise, against any kind of a understanding. But by faith, he knowed that God would keep His Word. He leaned not to his own understanding.
142 What if Moses would've leaned to his own understanding, when God told him that he was to--to take Pharaoh--or the children of Israel out of Pharaoh's hand? What if he'd have leaned to his own understanding, when he was there by the Pillar of Fire, when God said, "Go down and I'll be with you"? What if he'd have leaned to his understanding when he brought them to the Red Sea, and there they was at the water, and here God had promised them the promised land? What if he'd have leaned to his own understanding, "How am I going to get across there? We haven't time to build a bridge. Here's the army coming right behind us. Here's the mountains on either side. Here is the water in front of us, the Red Sea"?
Now, if he'd leaned to his own understanding, he'd throwed up his hands and run, fell at the feet of Pharaoh, said, "Pharaoh, forgive me; I did wrong."
But he leaned not to his own understanding. But he prayed, and God told him to step forward, and the sea opened up, which was against all reasonings. But he leaned not to his own understanding.
145 What if Joshua, when he went over there with the other ten denominations, and walked over there and seen that promised land of God, and would've come back with them and said, "Now, wait a minute. It is true. We look like grasshoppers. They're giants. How can we ever take them? We don't even have swords, just what we've picked up. How can we ever go in and take that land? Why, it's totally impossible. They outnumber us fifty men to one. They are trained soldiers, and we're nothing but just a bunch of sheepherders and mud-daubers out of Egypt. How? We don't even have shield and things, how will we ever take it?"
Why, understanding would sure prove that they could not do it. Any military man like he was, or Moses, could not have leaned on their own understanding. But their understanding, they leaned not on. But they knowed that God said, "I have given you that land. Go take it."
147 Lean not to your own understanding. If you lean on your own understanding today when you're sick, maybe setting in a wheelchair, dying with cancer, heart trouble, and the doctor says you're going to die, if you lean to that understanding, you'll die. But don't lean to that understanding. Certainly not.
What about at the walls of Jericho, that they say they could run a chariot race around the top of them, them great big walls? God said, "Go up there and march around it so many times, and sound a trumpet, and all of you let out a shout, and the wall is going to fall down." Well, that was absolutely would be silly to the carnal mind. But Joshua, knowing how thick those walls was, 'cause he had built plenty of walls down in Egypt. He knowed the cement that was in them, how tight they were to hold them chariot races on top, and even houses built on top of it. But he didn't lean to his own understanding. He believed what God said was the truth, and obeyed His Word, and the walls fell down. Leaning not to his own understanding.
149 What if he was fighting that battle, and, as I was preaching on Sunday, and there the sun was going down; the enemy was routed. That night they'd get together and they'd come with another force, kill plenty of his men. Now, what if he'd have said, "I need some daylight. I've got to have some more sunlight. Well, now wait a minute. God set this order, and the sun turns so the world turns. Now, let's see, if I'd say for the sun to stop... Maybe if the world stops now, then it'd loses its gravitation, I'll fall"?
He didn't listen to his understanding. Only thing he said was, "Sun, stand still; and, moon, you stay where you are," and it obeyed him. He didn't lean to his own understanding. But he leaned to the promise of God, "I've given you that land; go get it."
151 He's give you the promise of the Holy Ghost. You can get It in this convention. You can get It now.
Don't lean to, "You know, I'm tired. I tell you; I eat too much supper. I--I--I'd hate for John to see me doing this." Oh, for goodness sake, you're leaning to your own understanding.
"The promise is unto you, and your children's children, to them that's far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
"The doctor said I'm going to die. He examined me, and said I had this cancer, I had this, or whatever it was. I've got to die." Don't lean to that understanding. God is the Lord thy God Who heals all of thy diseases. So don't lean to that understanding, no man's understanding. Lean to God's understanding.
155 What if Samson, out in the field, when the Philistines, a thousand men run up on him? And there he was standing there, a little bitty, curly-headed shrimp, about that high. He did... Well, he wasn't a swordsman, 'cause he didn't know; he had no training, military training. He was just a little old curly-headed sissy like, with seven locks hanging down: mama's boy standing out there, and here come a thousand Philistines. Well, he didn't have nothing in his hand. He looked down, and he found an old bleached out, white jawbone of a mule, and he picked it up.
Now, said, "Let's see, now, I won't do much with this, because them helmets on their head is... Them Philistines, all them soldiers, they've all got spears. They've all got coats of mail. And their helmets weigh about fifteen pounds apiece, great big men, all out. Well, if I'd ever hit with this old brittle jawbone of the mule, upon one of them helmets, why, it would burst to pieces. That's it"?
He didn't lean to his understanding. He just took what was in his hand and started beating Philistines. And after he'd beat down a thousand of them, he still had the jawbone in his hand. Amen.
158 I don't care what man's theology says, don't lean to that. Lean to the Word of God, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever." Certainly, he believed it.
What if David would've listened to Sam's--Saul's theology? There stood Goliath out there with his big boast, and all everybody scared. Saul, head and shoulders above all the army... Goliath said, "Somebody come out and fight me. There's no need of--of all of us dying. If I kill you, then you all serve us. And if you kill me, why, we'll serve you," 'cause he had the edge on him. That's the way the devil likes to do, when he's got his whole seminary out, and all of them, when he's coming along. See?
Little old David walking around there, a piece of sheepskin on him; ruddy, stoop-shouldered, a little bitty guy about a hundred pounds, a hundred and ten, he said, "Do you mean to tell me that the armies of the living God, that's circumcised to a covenant, will stand there and let that uncircumcised Philistine defy the armies of the living God?"
161 Saul said, "Come here, boy." He said, "I admire your courage, but the days of miracles is passed. We don't have no such a thing as that. And let me tell you something, what fellowship card can you show. See? You ain't even got an armor. You ain't got nothing but a slingshot in your hand. See? You haven't got a Ph.D. or LL.D. How you going to do this? Why, that man is a warrior. Why, he's--he's a D.D., double L, Ph.D., LL.Q. Why, he's got so many degrees, he could plaster a wall with them. And who are you? A sheepherder."
He said, "But I want to tell you something." He said, "You know what?" Said, "I was herding my father's sheep out there," and said, "a lion come in and grabbed one of them, and run out. And you know, I took this little slingshot and went after him, and knocked him down. I took the--the lamb out of his mouth, and he rose up against me when I did. I just took the knife and killed him." Said, "I went on back. And here come a bear in, after that sheep, and grabbed him and run out. I slew him too." He said, "Now, the God... Not my Ph.D., not my own understanding. I can't tell you how I do it. I don't know how it's done. But the God (Amen.), the God that delivered me out of the paw of the bear and the lion, how much more will He deliver me out of the hand of that uncircumcised Philistine."
163 A bishop Saul, said, "You know, I believe you got a calling, boy. I'll tell you; if you'd come over here, I'll learn you how to duel. (See?) And I'll tell you, I'm--I'm the doctor, so you put on my armor. I want to dress you up." David stood there, and they give him a Ph.D., a LL.D., and all that, and he--and the poor little fellow couldn't even move. He didn't know how.
He said, "I never proved this. That ecclesiastical vest don't fit me. Take the thing off. Let me go with what God helped me with." That was faith in the power of God. And he--he didn't lean to his own understanding. He didn't lean to what somebody else said. He leaned to faith. Because he knowed if God had saved him from the bear's paw, how much more would He save him from that Philistine.
Well, if God loved you well enough to bring you up out of sin and to fill you with the Holy Ghost, what's the matter with you poor spineless weaklings around the country, won't He much more deliver you from your affliction when He promised He'd do it? God's Word said so. He'll do it. Sure, He delivered him out of the hand.
166 Oh, every one of the prophets, what if they would've leaned to their own understanding in their age? They'd have never walked up to them priests and high priests, and called them whited walls and everything else. They'd never prophesied contrary to them. They'd have been like some of them modern prophets, would agreed, wore fine clothes, and been in kings' palaces.
What if John would've tried to lean to his own understanding? But he walked right up.
They said, "Now, wait a minute, John, don't you preach on marriage and divorce."
He walked right up to Herod's...?... and he said, "It's not lawful for you to have her." Yes, sir.
Say, "Well, you know who that is? That's the Procla..."
"I don't care who it is." He didn't lean.
He said, "Now, you know you haven't got much. You're down here on this wilderness. The association won't receive you, if you go to acting like that." He didn't care about any association. He didn't lean to his own understanding, but to the understanding of God. Sure.
171 There was one man who did lean to his own understanding, and his name was Judas Iscariot. Oh, he... I--I don't see how he could've done it. He'd walked face to face with Christ, just like Eve did in the beginning. He had seen the vindication; he'd looked at God in the face, like Eve did in the cool of the evening. Eve looked at Christ in the cool of the evening in the garden. And Judas had set in the cool of the evening in the garden of Gethsemane and many places, and had looked at the same Christ; had heard Him teach, prove Himself by the Word, vindicated to be the prophet that Moses had spoke of would be raised up, and told them in the Scripture Who He was, and all about it. They had seen it proved by God, that He was, and then he leaned to his own understanding.
172 How could he do it? It was because he never had it down here in the first place. He wasn't a germitized seed. He was the son of perdition, borned out of perdition, returned back to perdition. Now, we notice. But he went out, and maybe he might've had an idea of his understanding. He might've thought that Jesus... He had so much respect for Him, "Now, you know; I might sell Him for thirty pieces of silver. And if I do, I'll have some money, and I can do something with that. And He's able to deliver Himself." See, he didn't know in the Scripture that He had raised up to take that same place.
And neither does the people today realize what condition that they're in. It's ordained for this Laodicea church to be in this condition, putting Christ on the outside, and Him knocking, trying to get back in, [Brother Branham knocks on the pulpit--Ed.], no cooperation nowhere though. Vindicating His Word in the day now, like He did in every day, and they walk right away from it. Leaning to their own understanding, that's--that's all there is to it.
174 Or, maybe, let's say this that--that he thought maybe if he did sell Christ for thirty pieces of silver, why, that he would have a--a fellowship with some of the great denominations of that day, the Pharisees and Sadducees. He'd say, "Now, wait, He can take care of Hisself. I've seen Him in great battles; I--I know that--that He can take care of Himself. So I might make some money, kind of a--a little retirement, as it was. And then, again, I might have a great standing with these churches today, if I would betray Him to them." See? But he leaned to his own understanding, instead of the understanding that that was the vindicated Word of God, and he did to Jesus just what the Scriptures said he would do.
And today, the church world has turned Christ out in this last days, just exactly like the Book of Revelation said they would do it. It's the spirit of Judas again in the form of church, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the Word." See? That's right. Now, oh, my, what did it result in? Death, just like it did to Eve. And it does to all others who tries to pervert the Word of God and lean to their own understanding. Even now they sell, not for thirty pieces of silver, but maybe become, oh, some great officer, some seminary experience. Wouldn't be worth thirty pieces of silver, but they sell it anyhow; sell their understanding of God out for such a thing as that.
176 How different from the great learned Saint Paul, who had all the knowledge he could brag about. But he said, "I've turned the whole thing of my reasonings down. I met a Pillar of Fire one day on the road down to Damascus." And he said, "I never come to you with excellency of speech, because if I did, you'd trust in the wisdom of man. But I come to you in the power and demonstrations of the Holy Ghost, that your--you would lean upon the Word of God." Amen. Said, "If an Angel from heaven come, preaching any other thing, let him be accursed," Galatians 1:8. That's right. No, sir. He never.
The little woman at the well, she was immoral. But she knowed that the churches had excommunicated her. And, but she never leaned upon her own understanding when she met this One at the well, who told her all the sins that she had done; she run into the city. Now, it wasn't right for a woman to do that, to go in and say anything, 'cause she was a prostitute. But when she had met Jesus, she never leaned to the understanding of the people, them days. She come, said, "Come, see a Man Who told me the things I've done. Isn't this the very Messiah?" She never leaned upon her understanding. No.
178 The virgin Mary, when the Angel Gabriel met her and told her that she was going to have a baby without knowing a man... Whew. Never been. She never leaned upon her own understanding, that a woman could not have a baby without having a--a husband. She didn't lean upon that. But she said, "Behold the handsmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Your Word." She didn't say, "How am I going to do it? And when will I do it? And how's this all going to take place?"
The Angel said, "The Holy Ghost shall overshadow thee; and that holy Thing will be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
She said, "Behold the handsmaid of the Lord." She didn't take her reasoning, say it couldn't be done. She just said, "Behold the handsmaid of the Lord." That's right.
181 Notice. The--the woman that had the blood issue, the doctor told her, said, "There's no hopes." She'd spent all of her living, with the physicians, and none of them could help her. And she didn't lean upon that. When Jesus... She walked through the crowd, and she said, "I believe if I can touch that Man's garments, I'll be made well." She goes over.
"Now, wait, the doctor said, 'You can't get well.'" She'd had this blood issue for years and years. She got weaker all the time and worse. The doctors had give her up. That's all the understanding they had.
But she said, by faith, There's no Scripture telling her to do that. But she said, "If I could touch the border of His garment, I'll be made well," and she slipped around and touched Him. She walked back, set down.
And Jesus turned around and said, "Who touched Me?" He looked around till He found her. He told her of her blood issue.
And she felt at that moment in her own body. She couldn't prove it then, but she felt in her own body that her blood issue stopped. She never reasoned, if the doctor had turned her down, how could anything else help her? She never went to reason, but she went to faith.
186 Now, the Bible said that He's the High Priest today, that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Is that right? Don't go to reason, say, "Oh, that's..." He said today He's that. He is right now a High Priest that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. The same yesterday, today, and forever.
What do you think when I was out there as a Baptist preacher, and that Angel of the Lord met me out there and commissioned me to go do this that I'm doing? Why, my pastor said, "You've gone crazy. Why, you had a nightmare, you..."
I said, "You'd better take my fellowship card right now."
Now, he said, "How can you with not even a grammar school education, preach around the world? How can you ever pray for kings and potentates, and you--you--you can't even use your grammar right?"
I wasn't trusting in my grammar. I wasn't trusting in any ability I had. I was commissioned. Hallelujah. And I didn't go to reasons.
190 If I had have listened to reasons, there'd probably have been thousands of people died years ago. But I carried a Message exactly like He said, around and around the world. And I'm going again, by the grace of God; not by reasons, but by a commission. Hallelujah. I leaned not...
You say, "You're fifty-five years old." If I was ninety-five, that don't mean a thing. He's still the same God that He was with Abraham. Yes, sir. Lean not to your own understanding.
And after the sign went forth, and the Voice following, and the churches begin to turn me down and close their doors upon doctrine, that any of them is daresn't to stand before me to say it's right or wrong. I challenge any of them. Uh-huh. Not to be smart, but I know where I'm at. See? That's right. What did they do? What did they do? They shut every door. "Now, what are you going to do?"
192 The other day, up on the mountain, I was standing there. I said, "Lord, I got one open door in the whole nation, as far as I know; that's Phoenix, Arizona, is the only one I got." And I started down off the mountain. Just as plain as I ever heard anybody speak, said, "What's that to thee? Follow thou Me." Amen. No more of my own understanding. I'll lean upon His promise.
Oh, friend, don't lean upon reasons. Then you cry out, with Eddie Perronett of old.
All hail the power of Jesus' Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all;
Crown Him Lord of all.
That's right. Don't lean upon what you think, what somebody else thinks. By faith accept the promise of God. Will you do it? Now, it isn't whether somebody else did it, whether they didn't do it, but what about you? What will you do with this Jesus called the Christ, that makes Hisself known in this day, the same as He did in that day? Do you believe Him? Let us pray.
195 Lord Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods, God of all potentates; the First, the Last; the Alpha, Omega; the Beginning and the Ending; the Bright and Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley, Root and Offspring of David; come, Lord God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Bless this crowd of people, Lord. This... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.] just getting ready to start tomorrow. We've had a little meeting here, and You've blessed us in it. You've made Yourself known to us. I pray, God, that You will continue to make Yourself known to us. Bless us tonight. Help us now. We are needy people.
And, Lord, Thou knowest I don't like to scold people, but how can I hush that holy burning? I don't like to do that, Lord. You know my life, my heart. I must do it. And I pray, God, that You'll help me to do it. Just give me grace, and never let me lean to my own understanding, but let me lean upon Thy promise. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
198 I want you, everyone to be real reverent just for a few minutes. In this crowd of people, there's men and women setting here, no doubt, who are sick. How many is sick and afflicted in here, raise up your hands, just say, "I am in need of God"? Just raise up your hand right now, "I'm in need of God."
Now, I don't know very many people. I know these three boys setting right here. I know Mr. Dauch and his wife setting there. I think--I think this is Sister Moore. I'm not sure. Is that right, Sister Moore? Outside of that, I guess that does it. Or Brother Mike, and the platform. That's as far, as I see, that I know.
But the heavenly Father Who promised, and in this day He would vindicate Himself in this age, just exactly the way He did at Sodom... Did He promise it? Manifest Himself? Do you believe that?
201 Now, if you will pray, and by faith... Now, don't try to reason, "How can I touch Him as the High Priest?"
Now, the Bible said, the New Testament; He is a High Priest right now. He continues a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. He's the High Priest forever. There's no other High Priest but Him, no other mediator between God and man, but the Man Christ. That's right. He is the only One, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Now, if He remains that same High Priest, and the Bible said, we can touch Him by the feeling of our infirmities, like that little woman did that touched His garment, your faith can touch Him tonight and He'll act the same way in human flesh, like He did when He was in human flesh there at--at Abraham's oak. You believe that? He promised He would do it. Now, just pray, anybody that has a need. And I--I...
204 It's like I said: a gift is not something that's like you take a knife, and if you want to cut this with it, you can cut it; or you cut this, you can cut it, or whatever you want to. That's not a gift of God. See? No.
A gift of God is some way you have of getting yourself out of the way. And gifts and callings are the predestination of God. "Gifts and callings are even without repentance." You're born with it, a little gear that you pull yourself over in, but you cannot step on the pedal. See? God has to operate it. You have to get yourself out of the way.
Your faith can operate it, not mine; yours. Mine just takes it out of the way. You believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ lives today.
207 Don't lean to your own understanding; you say, "Well, now look, I--I'm in serious shape, brother. You don't know me. I've been in this wheelchair. I've been... I--so..."
I don't care what you've been, and see if God won't come down and do exactly like He did when He was here on earth in a physical body. He'll do it in your body, in my body together as a unit believing in Him. He'll do it because He promised He would do it.
Now, don't lean to what somebody say, "Oh, that's--that's mental telepathy," that they call It. Said Jesus was the same thing. They said He was a fortuneteller, a devil. But He was the Son of God, because He was according to the promised Word of God.
210 Now, as I said, our--our places, we don't have to have that to come up and lay hands on people. We laid hands on them last night. But the only thing you have to have is faith and then recognize. By faith you accept it, by faith, not--not anything that... Don't say, "Well, now how can it be done?"
If I could tell you how it was done, then it wouldn't be no more faith. I don't know how it's done. I don't know, but I believe it. I--I don't know how--how God saves a sinner, but He does it. I don't know how God does any of these things, but I accept it. He--He does it; that's the way. Because I can't explain it. Now, well, I... Never will be explained. No one can. Because if you do, then it is no more faith.
I don't see how God and Christ could be the same Person, but They were. Scripture said. Well, you can't explain it, but they were. "My Father's in Me. It's not me doeth the works; it's My Father in Me. If I do not His works, then that shows I'm not of Him. But if I do His works, then He testifies Himself that I'm of Him."
Well, it's the same thing now, exactly the same thing. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, if you will believe.
214 Now, there's a man setting right here before me, he's got dark hair. He's got a watch on his arm, a dark suit. He's wearing glasses. You can look right here; you see him setting with his eyes closed, praying. I don't know that man. The heavenly Father knows I don't know him. But I'm just going to look to him just for a minute, 'cause he looks like he's so sincere, setting there. Ever since I made mention, the man just closed his eyes and started praying. The man is a stranger to me; that's to my hands. I don't know him. God knows that man, and He can reveal to me. If that promise is true in the Bible, He can reveal to me what that man's got his eyes closed for, and what he's praying about. Do you believe that?
Do you believe it, sir? If you'll open your eyes, you're setting right here, look right here. You believe that? All right. Now, you know I don't know you. We're strangers to each other. But God knows you. Now, he started crying, weeping. Because I can tell him now that God's going to answer his request (See?), because that was what struck him just then, that Light; from darkness, changed to Light. See?
216 Now, the man, he's praying for somebody else, and that's this little boy setting over here by him. That's his son. That's right. Now, that little boy is suffering with a--a stomach disorder, and also something wrong with his intestines. That's right. That's right.
You're not from here. You're not from Arizona. You're from California. That's right. And you're a minister, and your fellowship is with the Assemblies of God. That's true. Reverend McKay is your name--or, Reverend Kaid, that's right. Is that true? Wave your hands like this. Now, your little boy's going to get well. Your faith...
Now, what? Now, there's the man with his hands up; he doesn't know me; I don't know him. But what was it? He touched the High Priest. Now, see, he couldn't lean to his own understanding. Now, what he's got to do, what does he do now? He's got to believe that what was told him, the truth, 'cause he knows he knows not me. That's right.
219 Here, here sets a woman setting right down here in front of me also, she's got her head bowed. She's suffering with a cancer. She also comes from California. I hope she don't miss this. Miss Adams, that's her name. I never seen her in my life. Yeah, that is true.
There's a lady setting right back out here. I can't just put my, point to her, but I see a Light hanging over her. She's deeply in trouble. She's got trouble with her neck for one thing. And another thing, she's--she's got spiritual troubles wherein she's troubling about. And she has got a domestic trouble; her daughter just run away. That's right. That's true, isn't it? She's got her hand up. Mrs. Miller, that is right. You believe? God will send her back, heal your body. Now, I never seen her in my life. She's a--completely a total stranger.
Here's a lady setting here in the audience. She--she's not from here; she also is from California. She's got cancer, and the cancer's on her breast. She's been operated on, one breast, and it's went to the other. That's right. Mrs. Kaland, that is right. You believe that God will make you well? All right, you believe it. I'm a stranger to you, lady. I don't know you. That's true (See?) she's...?...
222 That you might know that God is present, there's a lady setting right next to her. Her name is Mrs. Harris. She's a total stranger to me. But when the Spirit struck this woman, she also in sympathy with her. And she comes from California. That's right. And she's got trouble with her shoulder. That's right. You believe that God will heal you? If that's true, raise up your hand so that the people can see: total stranger.
Lean not to your own understanding. What can do that? You can't explain that. That's a paradox. It's beyond explaining. Ask those people; I never seen them in my life, never knowed nothing about them. It could just go on through the meeting.
But, now look, don't lean to your own understanding. But lean to what He promised, that He would do that; if that isn't the same Spirit that was dwelling in human flesh, that knowed that Sarah laughed in the tent behind the Man... Is that right? And He promised just before the world was destroyed with fire, when the Son of man would reveal Himself again in like manner, as the--the Son of man (prophetic) would reveal Hisself in human flesh like He is here with us tonight, as He did then. Now, what hour are we living in? Just near the destruction.
225 Friends, don't stand in here, no longer, a sinner. Accept Jesus Christ while you're in His Presence. Now, I know, usually it's customary for ministers to make pleas and tell stories about mother that's dead and gone on. That's all right. But we don't come upon the basis of our mother being dead. My mother's dead too, my father also. But we come up, intelligently, accepting upon the basis of God manifesting Himself in Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the world. We come and believe upon the atonement. And while He has a vindicated His Word...
I don't care what church you've gone to, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, or no church at all. If you will admit that you have understood it different, and know that you really never have been born again, but you want to be, and want to accept it now, the promise now. You might not be filled now, but you will be filled when the--as the meetings goes on. You want to accept it upon those basis, would you stand up to your feet and let me just offer prayer for you right where you're standing. Everyone in here that knows...
227 Don't lean on your own, "Oh, say, I spoke in tongues." Now, that don't have nothing to do with it. I believe in speaking in tongues too. But I've seen witches, devils, and everything else, speak in tongues and interpretate. That's right. Ask missionaries down here, we can find out, Brother Creech, and you know that's right. I've seen them speak in tongues, and drink blood out of a human skull, call on the devil. Sure. I've seen them lay a pencil down, and it'd get up and write in unknown tongues; and the witch, wizard stand there, interpret it.
So speaking in tongues is no sign you got the Holy Ghost. If that--and if you speak in tongues and deny this Word, there's something wrong somewhere. Right, right. Don't lean to your own understanding.
Somebody now, you said, "Well, I shouted it." I do too. But don't lean to that.
I've seen all kinds of demon powers shout and scream. I've seen Mohammedans shout and scream till they worked theirself in such a place, they could run splinters through their hands. In India, I've seen them scream and jump up-and-down, take balls of water, with hooks in it, and push it through their skin and walk on hot fire coals (That's right.), denying Jesus Christ.
232 See, don't lean to your own understanding, but upon the Word of God. If your life doesn't cope with this Bible, to believe every Word that's in there; and you want to believe it, and want God to work His will through you, because you can be a part of God, will you stand and say, "I will accept it right now, brother." Thank you. Thank you. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. Wonderful. God bless you. May God grant to you, all these sincere. You say... Just--just keep standing, just...
You say, "I'm a church member, Brother Branham, but really I'm a Pentecostal; but when it really comes to really saying I can believe all that Word's the Truth, I just can't do it, but I--I want to do it. You help me; you pray for me. I want to stand up and say. I--I don't, you say look setting here, or, I'll--I'll testify in this church, that I was." But you know down in your heart you're not. God knows you're not too (See?), so why not just stand. Don't lean to your own understanding, but lean to His Word.
234 Will you stand, some more? Anybody else wants to stand? God bless you. God bless you. God bless you, you. "God, help me." God bless you all. That's good. Just keep standing.
Say, "Will that do me any good?" Stand up one time, see if it does. Really mean it, "I want, Brother Branham, I want to be right. I want to be right."
Now, I'm not saying leave your church. No, sir. Stay right there where you're at, just be a real Holy Ghost filled person in that church. You say, "Well, I don't know what my pastor will say." He'll appreciate you if you're--if he's a man of God. See, that's right.
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify the Father."
God bless you. Well, God bless both of you, and you; and you, brother, you. God bless you, each one. God bless you. God bless you, son.
239 Now, you that raised up, if you feel better after raising up, just raise your hands to tell others that you feel better about it after you raised up. See, every hand. See? Sure, you do. See, you're sincere. You're standing up, say, "I'll be a witness."
"He that will stand for Me here, I will stand for him there. He that's ashamed of Me here before these men, I'll be ashamed of him before My Father and the holy Angels." Don't be ashamed of Him. Don't lean upon your own reasonings. Lean upon the Word of God. "He that will confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father and the holy Angels."
Would there be some more, just before we pray? Let us bow our heads then. God bless you, sister. Sure. God bless you, you, brother. Certainly. Would there be any other, just while we have our heads bowed? God bless you, you. Now, that's right, they're still standing. We'll just wait a moment, just a moment. God bless you, brother. God bless you. Say, "Does it mean anything, say, 'God bless you'?" That's pronouncing my blessings to you. God bless you.
242 Some of you that's standing around the wall, where you have no room to set down, would you just raise your hand, say, "Me, God, it's me"? God bless you, brother. God bless you, and you; and you, sister; and you, my brother; and you, my sister.
Oh, the Holy Spirit's so sweetly moving over the audience. Can you feel that? God bless you, young man up here on the platform. God bless you, over in the corner. God bless you, young fellow. Yes.
O Holy Spirit, move freshly in our hearts now. Show us our wrongs, Lord. We don't--we won't lean to our own understanding, our own reasoning. But we lean upon You, because we know that we're standing in Your Divine, vindicated promise of today. You have made Yourself known beyond any--beyond any reasoning. We could not reason and explain it. But You've come right down here in our midst now, and made known to us that You are here, and men and women are believing that and accepting it.
God, take each one of us into Your bosom, and hide them in the Rock of Ages until the fires are passed. We're fixing to be burned, Lord. We know it. We're back in Sodom. But the righteous shall not perish with the guilty. You'll call Your children, Lord. You told Lot, "Get out of there. Get out." I pray, God, that each one that's in that condition tonight, that's out there, not sure where they're standing...
God, they wouldn't take a chance on going down a one-way street, the wrong way. They wouldn't take a chance on running a red light, if they're in their right mind, because they might get killed. Then how could a person take chance on their eternal destination, just guessing, presuming, adventuring without really authority to adventure, because they belong to a church or a denomination? And really they can't--they can't understand how that the Word of God could be today as it was then, how these promises might be made manifest. "The apostolic age to be gone." Help them, Father. I commit them to You in Jesus Christ's Name. Amen.
247 Thank you, my brother, sister. I'm so glad to call you my brother, sister.
And remember, God will make me answer for every word, at the day of the judgment. Everything that I preached tonight, I got to answer for it. I'm conscious of that. And what have I done since a little boy, preached this Gospel, and then be a castaway?
Now, how many of you is sick and afflicted here tonight and you want to be prayed for? Raise up your hand. Now, will you just do one more thing for me? Lay your hands over on one another. Lay your hands on each other. Everybody bow your head now, and just like you was in church, up here on the platform.
Dear God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, in of--His Presence, a vindicated Presence... The very Word that's been preached has been confirmed that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let the Holy Spirit of God sweep over this crowd of people just now. Many of them has come and accepted You as their Saviour; many backsliders has accepted You and come back. O God, I pray that in the Name of Jesus Christ, that You'll heal every person. You said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; if they lay their hands on the sick, they shall recover." You promised it, Lord, and the believing children have their hands laid upon one another.
Satan, you are defeated. Come out of these people, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Let them people go, for the Kingdom of God's sake, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
252 All that believes that Jesus Christ now is your Healer, as well as your Saviour, and you want to accept Him upon them same grounds, stand to your feet, say, "I now accept Jesus as my Healer, as well as my Saviour." Wonderful. Praise the Lord. Thank the Lord. Now, let's raise our hands and sing to Him.
I will praise Him, I will praise Him,
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His Blood has washed away each stain.
Oh, don't you feel good? Wave your hands. Oh, my. Let's sing it again.
I will praise Him, I will praise Him,
Praise the Lamb for... (Remember, same yesterday, today, and forever, that Lamb is.)
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His Blood has washed away each stain.
254 You love that? Let's reach over and shake hands with somebody. This is the breaking of the meeting, started in the convention. Say, "God bless you, brother, pilgrim. God bless you." That's fine. That's good. Wonderful. Now, do you believe we're going to have a great convention after this? We thanked God for a great meeting, now we're going to have a great convention. All that believe it, say, "Amen."
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb (Let's look up to Him now.) Calvary,
O Saviour Divine;
Now, hear me while I pray,
Take all my sin away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!
While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's fears away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!
Amen. The congregation said, "Amen." [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] Hallelujah.
Oh, praise Him,
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His Blood has washed away each stain. Amen.
256 How wonderful. All right, shall we bow our heads now for the benediction. I don't know who has been chosen to do it. Brother Johnny Manadal, from California, while we have our heads down... Now, don't forget tomorrow night, that's the first, beginning. Tomorrow night, the convention will be right here, right here in this hall at seven-thirty.
God bless you. Have you enjoyed the Presence of God? Amen. [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] Now, let's bow our head while Brother Johnny dismisses us.