The choosing of a Bride
You can find this sermon at ChurchAges.net
1 I'm certainly happy to be here again tonight, in this beautiful auditorium, and amongst this wonderful group of people. And we were coming in out there a few minutes ago. The people standing out on the street said they couldn't get in. And I said, "Well, maybe I can get you some room," and they wouldn't let them come down. So I'm sorry we don't have enough room for them. They said the basement was full, also. And so we're sorry about that. But we're happy to be here, and happy to see all this fine group of ministers, the businessmen here, and all you delegations from different parts of the country.
2 I had the grand privilege of speaking this morning at the breakfast, which I certainly cherish to be an honor, to speak before such fine people. And I was on a subject of, "The Shuck Won't Be Heir with the Wheat." I didn't get to finish it, and it was not the brother's fault. He tried to get the management to let us stay a little longer, but he just wouldn't do it. And I certainly appreciate that, Brother Demos. It was very, very nice. I certainly thank you for your kindness, each and every one. But they just wouldn't let us do it, so we just had to close off. I'll pick that up some other time, to finish that up---"The Shuck Will Not Be Heir with the Wheat." Did you understand that, you that were there? I hope there was enough that it would be understood.
3 Now, I know tonight that there is a panel, also. So I don't want to keep you here long enough that you would miss that, because I do think that was certainly an asset to the Pentecostal-believing people, that panel we saw the other night. Such a fine bunch of men, and such wonderful answers, straight. Made me feel real good to see that. And trust that the Lord will bless it tonight. And ever who looks, may they believe. That would be my sincere prayer.
4 And so many reports coming in today from, in the mail and by calls, of so many being healed in this meeting. I was so glad of that. That's, to see people sick, that is kind of my ministry. I get up here to preach. You know I'm not a preacher, but I ... with this, my Kentucky grammar, "his," "hain't," and all those words. So I can't say, as what we call a modern preacher of today, I couldn't take that place, because I have no education. But I do like to express what I know about it to others, or what I feel that I know about it to others---how I've learned it, how He is to me. He is all my life, all that I could ever expect to be, and so much more than I ever thought---that I would ever have a friend, hardly, on the earth, when I was a little boy, but I certainly am thankful for great friends today. I'm sorry. I'm kind of out of focus here somewhere [regarding public address system].
5 Now, to get right straight into the service, let's turn for some scripture reading. I always like to read the Bible because it's the Word of God. I believe that, and I believe it to be God's infallible Word. And now I have a few scriptures written down here, and some notes that I would like to refer to for a few moments, maybe for forty-five minutes. And then we'll get out in time to go see this wonderful panel again tonight. And I trust that God will continue to bless you right on through. I know what you've got to do, and I'm supposed to drive to Tucson yet tonight, see. So you can imagine---that is ten hours drive. And I'm leaving for overseas, and I've got to get a yellow fever shot on test in the morning at the Government. So I've got to get over there. I had to postpone it the other day, and they're not going to take "No" for an answer again now. And I've got one more tetanus and typhus to take, and my boosters.
6 So I'm so thankful for this opportunity, and this fine meeting we had prior to the convention. Certainly did thrill my heart. You're a fine bunch of people, and I trust that God will bless you. And when the great hour ever... That great monster laying up yonder, that flipped himself over in Alaska a few days ago, threw its tail up again this morning along about, down around Washington. He could head this way mighty easy.
And if the Holy Spirit ever tells me definitely... Some of you has been asking me that. "Is it going to happen here, Brother Branham?" Now, I don't know that. I just don't know. And till I do know, that is the truth. I've always wanted to be honest with you. I'm just not going to presume, take any ideas, or some what I believe, or something like that. When I tell you, it is going to be... Well, He has got to tell me, first, and then I'll tell you. I know the whole world is in a shaking condition. We're at the end-time. But one thing I've tried to be...
7 Brother Shakarian was saying this morning, how he used to go through the prayer lines, and reach down there and get those cards before the people come up, and look at them, and see whether I told them what they had wrote out there. They write all kinds of stuff on their prayer cards, you know, and he was going to see if it was right. He said out of the hundreds that he had checked there had never been one wrong. There never will be one wrong, see, because it ... as long as it's God. If I ever project myself into it, then it's wrong right there, to begin with.
Little girl, whose father is sitting listening at me now, come to me not long ago. She had a dream. She said "Brother Branham, what does this dream mean?
I said, "I don't know, sister. I'll have to find out, if the Lord will tell me." So I went on, and tried to ask the Lord. And He never did tell me. So the little girl come back again.
She said, "Well, now, where is the interpretation of my dream?"
I said, "Come here, honey, and sit down." I said, "Your father and mother are very good friends of mine, see. And they've come all the way from Canada, retired and sojourned here with me. They've believed this, what I'm trying to say. And I have never said anything wrong to anybody willfully in my life. I think I know what the dream means, but until I see that dream myself, and then He tells me what it means, I can't tell you. See, if I just make up something, there might be a time where you needed me, between life and death, and then you wouldn't know whether to believe me or not.
8 If I tell you anything in the name of the Lord, it is truly that's who told me that."
And so far, of all these years throughout the world and around the world, it has never been wrong one time. Because... Now, you know a human being can't be that infallible. It takes the Spirit of God to do that.
And now, I have a message that I'm responsible for. And many times I've been considered, amongst the people---well, maybe someone who just didn't sit down and think a minute---that I was an ... oh, an awful person; that I didn't like people, and I was always cutting them. And that's not so. That isn't so. I love people.
But you know, love is corrective.
9 If your little boy was sitting in the street out there, and you said "Junior, dear, I don't want you out there, but..." And cars buzzing by him! And you brought him in, and he run back out again---why, you should correct him. If you love him, you will. If you have to...
If you seen a man floating down the river towards a falls, in a little boat that you knowed that boat was going to sink when it hit the falls, would you say, "John, maybe you ought to think a while---maybe you might not make it." If I know he is not going to make it, I'm going to almost jerk him out of the boat, if I can, because it's love that does that.
10 And now, in these messages that I speak, I never try to bring in any doctrine, or so forth. I do that in my own church. But out here amongst men and women who are different denominations, and different ideas, I just try to take it in a mild form, and explain; but enough to where, if you are born of the Spirit of God, I believe that you will understand what I mean, amongst Christian men---Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and whatmore.
11 Now tonight, I want to turn to Genesis the twenty-fourth chapter, and I want to read beginning with the twelfth verse of the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis:
And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.
Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down the pitcher, I pray thee that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed me kindness unto my master.
Genesis 24:12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
Genesis 24:13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
Genesis 24:14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
12 And then in the book of Revelation... That is the first of the Bible---Genesis. Now in the last of the Bible, I want to read in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation and the ninth verse. We know what this scripture of Genesis here... You read the whole chapter if you wish to. It is God sending out Eleazar, or Abraham sending out Eleazar (pardon me) to select a bride for Isaac. And the beautiful Rebekah came out, and was perfect answer to the prayer that Eleazar, the servant of Abraham, had just prayed.
Now in the ninth verse of the twenty-first chapter of Revelation:
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
13 Now I want to take for a subject tonight for that, "The Choosing Of A Bride." And this is, if my brother that records here will, this is the tape that you can go ahead and let out. Now in this... It doesn't exactly mean that I'm speaking this to this congregation present, but these tapes go around the world. They're translated in practically, oh, a great deal of the languages, even into the heathen lands around the world. We send them tapes free on a society of the church, and they're translated in... All out through the jungles of Africa, and to India, and around the world goes these tapes.
Now, choosing a bride...
14 In many things of life we are given a choice. The way of life itself is a choice. We have a right to make our own way, choose our own way that we want to live. Education is a choice. We can choose whether we are going to be educated, or whether we are not going to be educated. That's a choice that we have. Right and wrong is a choice. Every man every woman, boy and girl, has to choose whether they are going to try to live right, or not live right. It's a choice. Choice is a great thing.
Your eternal destination is a choice. And maybe tonight some of you will make that choice of where you will spend eternity, before this service ends tonight. There will be one time---that if you turn God down many times---there will be one time that you'll turn him down the last time. There is a line between mercy and judgment, and it's a dangerous thing for a man or a woman, boy or girl, to step across that line; for there is no return when you step across that deadline. So tonight, it might be the time that many will make their decision where they will spend the endless eternity.
15 There's another choice that we have in life, that is a life's companion. A young man, or a young woman, stepping out on life has been given a right to make a choice. The young man chooses; the young woman has a right to accept or reject it. But it's still a choice on both sides, both man and woman. They have a right to choice.
Also, you have a choice as a Christian. You have a choice of the church here in America, so far, that you can go to. That is your own American privilege to choose any church that you want to belong to. That is a choice. You don't have to go to any of them if you don't want to. But if you want to change from the Methodist to the Baptist, or the Catholic to a Protestant, or so forth, there is nobody can tell you, or make you, come to any certain church. That's our, that's our freedom. That's what our democracy is. Every man can choose for himself---freedom of religion. And that is a great thing. God help us to keep it as long as we can.
16 You have also a choice whether, when you choose this church, you can choose whether---you in this church---whether you will choose a church that will guide you to your eternal destination. You can choose a church that has a certain creed, that you might think that creed is just what you want. Or, the other church has their creed. And then there is the Word of God you have a choice of. You have to make your choice. There is an unwritten law among us, of choosing.
I believe it was Elijah, one time upon Mount Carmel, after the showdown, in a great hour of the crisis, that we're just about to come to right now. And perhaps it may be to you, or I, tonight---that we make this choice like the Mount Carmel experience. Frankly, I think it is going on world-wide, now.
But there will soon be a time where that you will have to make a choice.
17 And you men here of your denominational churches, just believe this: that the hour is right on you, when you're going to make a choice. You're either going to go into the World Council, or you're not going to be a denomination anymore. You're going to have to do that. And that choice is coming soon. And it's a dangerous thing to wait till that last hour too, because you might take on something that you could never shake out of it. You know, there is a time when you can be warned; then if you step across that line of warning, then you're already marked on the other side, branded.
18 Remember, when the jubilee year come, and the priest rode with his trumpet sounding, that every slave could go free. But if they refused to accept their freedom, then he had to be taken to the temple to a post, and an awl bored him through the ear. And then he served his master always. And it was put on his ear as a type of hearing. Faith cometh by hearing. He heard that trumpet, but he didn't want to listen to it.
And many times men and women hear God's truth, and see it vindicated, and proven truth. But yet they don't want to hear it. There is some other reason, there is some other choosing that they have, than to face up to truth, and facts. Therefore, their ears can be closed to the gospel. They'll never hear it again. My advice to you---when God speaks to your heart, you act right then!
Elijah gave them a choice which they should... "Choose you this day whom you shall serve. If God be God, serve him; but if Baal be God, serve him."
Exodus 21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
Exodus 21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.
Leviticus 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
19 Now as we see that all of the natural things is a type of the spiritual things, that we went through in our lesson this morning---as the sun and its nature. That was my first Bible. Before I ever read a page in the Bible, I knew God. Because, the Bible is written everywhere in nature, and it just corresponds with the Word of God---how the death, burial, and resurrection of this nature, and the sun rising, crossing, setting, dying, rising again---just so many things that we could type God in nature, that we have to bypass for this message.
20 Now if the spiritual ... or the natural is a type of the spiritual, then the choosing of a bride in the natural is a type of choosing a bride, the bride in the spiritual. Now it is a serious thing when we go to choose a wife, a man, for the vow here is, "Until death do we part." That is how we should keep it. And you take that vow before God, that only death will separate you.
And I think we should... A man in his right mind that is planning a future, that he should choose that wife very careful. Be careful what you're doing. And a woman, choosing a husband---or accepting the choice of a husband---should be real careful what she is doing, and especially in these days. A man should think, and pray, before he chooses a wife.
21 I think today what has got so many divorce cases, now, that we lead the world, in America, in divorce cases. We lead the rest of the world. There is more divorces here than anywhere else. This nation, and supposed to be, and thought of, a Christian nation. What a reproach! Our divorce courts... I think the reason of it is, because that men has got away from God, and women has got away from God. And we find that if a man prayed, and a woman prayed over the matter ---Not just look at a pretty set of eyes, or big strong shoulders, or such as that, or some other worldly affection---but would look first to God, and say, "God, is this your plan?"
22 I think today there's so much cheating. Just like in school, when the kids come by of a morning... Many of the kids in the neighborhood, friends of mine, will come by and say, "Brother Branham, will you pray for us, we're having a test today? I've worked all night, and I don't seem like I can get it settled. Pray for me."
I think that any school kid, if you would---and the parents at the table of a morning---if you would say "Mother, John has got a test today. Let's pray for him now." I think that it would beat all that you could ever do any other way, or looking over on somebody else's paper and cheating. I think that if you would just come out and pray over the matter...
23 And if we would study what we're doing when we're going to get married, when we choose our wife or husband, if we would study it over. A man should pray earnestly, for he could ruin his entire life. Remember, the vow is, "Until death do we part." And he could ruin his life by making the wrong choice. But if he knows what he is making the wrong choice, and is marrying a woman that isn't fit to be his wife, and he does it anyhow---then it's his fault. If the woman takes a husband, and knows that he is not fit to be a husband to you, then that's your own fault, after you know what's right and wrong. So you shouldn't do it until you thoroughly pray through.
24 The same applies of choosing a church. Now, you must pray over the church that you are fellowshipping in. Remember, churches have spirits.
Now, I don't want to be critical, but I realize that I'm an old man, and I've got to leave here one of these days. I've got to answer at the day of the judgment, for what I say tonight, or any other time. Therefore I've got to be dead earnest, and truly convicted.
But you go into a church, and if you'll watch the behavior of that church---you just watch the pastor awhile---and you'll usually find that the church acts like the pastor. Sometimes I wonder if we just don't get one another's spirit, instead of the Holy Spirit. You get to a place where a pastor is real radical, and carrying on---you'll find out the congregation is the same way.
I'll bring you to a church where I seen the pastor stand, jerk their heads back and forth. You watch the congregation. They do the same thing. You take a pastor that will just gulp down anything, usually the church will do the same thing.
So if I was choosing a church, I'd choose a genuine, fundamental, full-gospel Bible church, if I was choosing one to put my family in. Choose.
25 The boys the other day, Brother Shakarian's son, and his son-in-law, taken me up here to pray for a young fellow, a singer, a dandy boy, that just come back---Fred Barker, that was his name---just come back from a trip. And they called me, that Fred was dying. And then, before I could get in the house, another message come, "He may be dead right now." And they said he had a hemorrhage in the brain, and he was paralyzed, and he was dying. And his wife wanted me to pray for him.
And I thought. "Oh, if I try to fly, he would be dead before I get there, and may be dead now." So I called quickly, and got the little lady on the phone. And we got the phone hooked up into Fred's ear. He couldn't swallow. They was giving him artificial swallowing. And when we prayed for him, he said, motioned, take it out of his throat. He could swallow! The doctors didn't believe it. And they took it out, and he could swallow. And he was sitting up the other day!
A church, choosing a church.
26 Phone call just come in awhile ago. This morning, a member of my church---which is really a Baptist woman out of Louisville---she died early this morning. And my church at home, a real group of consecrated men, assembled themselves together, and went down before the undertaker embalmed her; stood over her and prayed, until life come back in her! And she is living tonight. The elders of my church! Why? They had been taught to believe that all things are possible. Come to God sincerely.
So, you must make the right choice.
27 Again, the kind of a woman that a man would choose will reflect his ambition and his character. If a man chooses the wrong woman, it reflects his character. And what he ties himself to shows truly what's in him. A woman reflects what's in the man, when he chooses her for wife. It shows what's down in him. No matter what he says outside, watch what he marries.
I go to a man's office, and he says he is a Christian---pin-ups all around on the walls, that old booglie-wooglie music going on. I don't care what he says, I don't believe his testimony, because his spirit is feeding on them things of the world.
What say if he would marry a chorus girl, or what if he would marry a sex queen, or just a pretty, modern Ricketta? It reflects, it shows what he has in his mind---of what his future home is going to be ---because he took her to raise his children by. And whatever she is, that's the way she will raise those children. So it reflects what's in the man. A man that takes a woman like that shows just what he is thinking of the future. Could you imagine a Christian doing a thing like that? No, sir, I could not. A true Christian will not look for such beauty queens, and chorus girls, and sex queens. He'll look for Christian character.
28 Now, you can't have all things. There might be one girl that is real pretty. And the other girl, maybe she is a ... her stature looks better than this one. And you might have to sacrifice one for the other. But if she is not the stature of a lady, of a woman, and she... I don't care whether she is pretty or not. You had better look at her character, whether she is pretty or not pretty. Now, for it is becoming, if a Christian would choose a wife, he ought to choose a genuine, born-again woman. Regardless of what she looks like, it's what she is, what makes her. And then again that reflects his own godly character, and reflects what's in his mind, and what's going to be in the future (for his family will be raised by such a woman), for the future plans for his home.
If he marries one of these little modern Rickettas, sex queens, what could he expect? What kind of home could a man expect to have, if he marries a girl that ain't got enough moral about her to stay home and take care of a house, and wants to work out in somebody's office? What kind of a housekeeper would she be? You'll have baby-sitters, and everything else. True.
29 Now, I'm not much of this modernistic taste of women working. When I seen these women with these uniforms on, riding around in this city on motorcycles, as police---it's a disgrace to any city that will let a woman do that! As many men that's without work, it shows the modern thinking of our city. It shows the degrading. We don't have to have them women out there like that. They ain't got no business out there like that.
When God gave a man a wife, he gave him the best thing he could give him outside of salvation. But when one goes to trying to take a man's place, then she is about the worst thing that he could get ahold of. Now that's right.
Now, we can see the spiritual application. I know that's bad. You think it's bad, but it's the truth. We don't care how bad it is, we've got to face up to the facts. That is what the Bible teaches.
30 Now, we here see plainly, the spiritual plan of God's planning, for His future home with His future bride comes into view now. If a man marries a sex queen you see what he is looking for, for the future. If a man marries a woman that won't stay home, you see what he is looking for in the future.
And I, one time... This sounds awful, and I just feel to say it. And I ... usually if I feel to say the thing, I ought to say it---and it is usually God's way. I used to go with a rancher that I worked with, to buy cattle. And I noticed the old fellow always looking right in the face of a heifer, before he went to bidding. Then he turned her head, and looked back-and-forth. I followed him along, watched him, and he looked her up-and-down. And if she looked all right in statue, then he would turn and look her in the face, and sometimes he would shake his head and walk away.
I said, "Jeff, I want to ask you something."
He said, "Say on, Bill."
And I said, "Well, why do you always look that cow in the face?" I said, "She looks all right, a good heavy cow."
He said, "I want to tell you, boy. You got a lot to learn."
And I realized it, after he told me. Said, "I don't care how she is made up. She might be beef plumb to the hoof. But if she's got that wild stare in her face, don't you never buy her."
I said, "Why so, Jeff?"
"Well," said, "the first thing is," said, "she'll never stay put." And he said, "The next thing is, she'll never be a mammy to her calf." And said, "They put her in a pen now, the reason that she's fat. You turn her loose with that wild stare, she would run herself to death."
And I said, "You know, I kind of learned something. I believe that applies to women, too."
That wild, starey, Ricketta look: better stay away from her, boy. All that there blue stuff, over the top of her eyes---I wouldn't want that. I don't think that's becoming to a Christian. I don't care how much the television, and the paper, says it's pretty. It's the most horrible-looking, hideous sight that I ever seen in my life.
31 When I first seen that, here at Clifton's Cafeteria one morning at a breakfast, I seen some of them young ladies come up... Brother Arganbright had just come in, and I ... and he had went downstairs. And I looked, and that girl come in. And I thought, "Well, I don't know." I never seen it before. It was some kind of, oh, it looked like she was cankered, you know---just kind of funny looking. I'm not saying that to be funny, I'm saying it to...
You know, I've seen leprosy. I'm a missionary. I've seen all kinds of freaks, you know, of how diseases... And I was going to walk up to the young lady, and tell her, "I'm a minister. I pray for the sick. Would you like for me to pray for you?" And I'd never seen anything like that. And then here come two or three more in. And I kind of stepped back then, and waited, and Brother Arganbright come back. I said, "Brother Arganbright," (He may be here.) I said, "What is that matter with that woman?"
And he said, "That is paint."
I said, "Well, my, my!" I thought they ought to have her in a pesthouse somewhere, you know, to keep it from breaking out all over other women.
32 But you know, you have to plan, and look, and pray, when you're choosing. For we see by this, the word of promise---she, the bride that a man would choose, is going to reflect his character. It reflects what's in him. Now, could you imagine a man filled with the Holy Ghost take something like that to be a wife? I just don't see it, brother. Now maybe I'm just an old crank. But, you know, I just can't understand that, see. Notice, for it is going to reflect what is in him. She's going to help him make his future home.
Now, then when we change back now for a moment to the spiritual side. And when you see a church that's in the world, acts like the world, anticipating in the world, partaking of the world, counting God's commandments as if he never had wrote them, then you can just imagine... Christ ain't going to take a bride like that. Could you imagine taking the modern church today for a bride? Not my Lord! I could hardly see that. No!
Remember, now a man and his wife are one. Would you join yourself to a person like that? If you would, it would certainly kind of disappoint my faith in you.
33 Then, how about God joining Himself to something like that? A regular denominational prostitute! Do you think that He would do it? Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof---He would never do it. She must have His character in her. The real true born-again church must have the character that was in Christ, because the husband and wife are one. And if Jesus did only that which pleased God, kept His Word, and manifested His Word, His bride will have to be of the same kind of character. She could not, by no means, be a denomination; because then, no matter how much you want to say "No", she is controlled by a board somewhere that tells her what to do, and what she can't do---and many times a million miles off the true Word!
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
34 It is too bad that we ever got away from the real leader that God left us, to lead the church. He never sent state presbyters, He never sent a bishop, cardinal, priest, popes; He sent the Holy Ghost for the church, to lead the church. "When he, the Holy Ghost is come, he will lead you into all truth, reveal these things to you that I've told you, bring them to your remembrance, and will show you things that is to come." The Holy Spirit was to do that.
Now, the modern church hates that. They don't like it. So how could she be the bride of Christ? The people of today choosing a modern denomination---what it does, it only reflects their poor understanding of the Word. I don't mean to hurt, but I mean to let it go deep enough till that you will look at it.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
35 I've married many couples, but I've always ... reminds me of Christ and His bride. One of the weddings that I performed here some time ago... It was quite an outstanding thing in my life. It has been several years ago, when I was just a young minister.
My brother was working on the PWA. I don't know whether anybody ever remembers that yet, or not---anybody as old as me---and that was a project that the government had. And my brother worked up about thirty miles. They were digging out some lakes, a project for the conservation. And there was a boy that worked up there with him from Indianapolis, about, oh, about a hundred miles above Jeffersonville where I live (or lived). And there was... He said to my brother, one day, he said, "Doc," he said, "I want to go get married, if I just had enough money to pay the preacher." He said, "I've got enough money to get my license, but," said, "I haven't got enough money to pay the preacher."
Doc said, "Well, my brother is a preacher, and he may marry you." He said, "He never charges people for things like that."
He said, "Will you ask him if he'll marry me?"
36 Well, that night my brother asked me, and I said, "If he has never been married before, either one of them, and everything is all right."
He said, well, he will ask him. And I said, "If it is, tell him to come on down."
So when Saturday come along, and the boy came down... It's been a great thing for me to always look back upon this. I'd... Rainy afternoon, and an old Chevrolet car, with the headlights wired on with baling wire, drove up out front. It was just a while after I had lost my wife, and I was "batching" in two little rooms. And Doc was up there with me, waiting for them. And the boy got out of the car, and he certainly didn't look like a groom to me, or would to anybody, I guess. Yet, I could buy a pretty good pair of shoes for a dollar-and-a-half; and he had on a pair that was run over, and his trousers was real baggy. And he had on one of these old moleskin jackets. I don't ... guess some of you older people would remember it. Looked like it had been run through a washing machine without being rinsed, and it was streaked and tied up like this, the corner up.
37 And a little lady got out on the side with a little, oh, some of them little checked-looking dress, I don't know. I made a mistake on calling that kind of goods one time. "Ging-ham," I believed it's called. And so, it was a... (I said it wrong again. I'm always doing it.) So, and I said a... She got out of the car, and they come up the steps. And when they walked in, the poor little thing, she ... I guess she, just about all she had on was a skirt. She didn't have no shoes, hardly, on. She had hitch-hiked from Indianapolis down, that little hair hanging down back, in long kind of plaits down her back---looked very young.
And I said to her, "Are you old enough to get married?"
She said, "Yes, sir." And she said, "I have my written permission from my father and mother." She said, "I had to show it to the court here, to get my license."
I said, "All right." I said, "I'd like to talk to you a little bit before we perform this wedding."
They sat down. The boy kept looking around the room. He needed a haircut real bad. And he kept looking around the room. He wasn't listening to me. And I said, "Son, I want you to listen to what I'm saying."
Said, "Yes, sir."
And I said, "Do you love this girl?"
And he said, "Yes, sir, I do."
I said, "Do you love him?"
"Yes, sir, I do."
I said, "Now, have you got a place to take her after you're married?"
Said, "Yes, sir."
And I said, "All right." Now I said, "I want to ask you something. I understand that you are working up here on this PWA."
And he said, "Yes, sir."
That is about twelve dollars a week. And I said, "Do you think that you can make a living for her?"
He said, "I'll do all I can do."
And I said, "Well, that's all right." And I said, "Now, what if he gets out ... what if he loses this job, sister? What are you going to do? Going to run back up home to mama and papa?"
She said, "No, sir. I'm going to stay with him."
And I said, "What, sir, if you have three or four children and nothing to feed them and you haven't got any work? What are you going to do, send her away?"
He said, "No, sir. I'll struggle right on. We'll make it some way."
I felt little, and I seen that he really loved her, and they loved one another. I married them.
38 And then I wondered where he taken her. A few days I asked my brother, "Doc, where is it?
Said, "Go down to New Albany" (a little city below us). And down on the river, where I had some tin laying up, where I went every day, when I was a lineman... So when the rest of the fellows---they all sat around and told jokes, and things---I would get in the truck and run down on the river and pray during that, and read my Bible under a big piece of tin, where an old ironworks used to be.
There was a bunch of old boxcars setting down there. And this fellow had went down there and got one of them boxcars, and sawed him a door in it, and had taken newspaper and tacky buttons... How many knows what a tacky button is? There is no Kentuckians here, then. It's, take a piece of cardboard, and put a thumbtack in it, or little sprig, and then push it in. That's a tacky button.
39 So they had put it all over. And he had went up there to the ironworks, and got him some stuff and made a step. They come up, and then got some old boxes and had him a table. And I thought, "One day I'll go down and see how they're getting along."
About six months before that, I had married E. V. Knight's daughter to E. T. Slider's son. And E. V. Knight is one of the richest men there is on the Ohio River. And he runs a great factory through there, making these pre-fab houses, and so forth. And Slider, Mr. E. T. Slider is a sand and gravel company. Millionaires' children, and I had married them.
And I went back in a place, practiced it for about two weeks. And going back in a booth, and kneeling on a pillow, and all the pomp---and everything I ever went through nearly---had to go through to marry that couple. And when they come out, why, they was... This other little couple just stood there, in a little old room where we had a little couch and a folding bed. But they both was married by the same ceremony.
40 And then one day I thought I would go down and visit this rich couple. They didn't have to work; their fathers were millionaires. They had built them a nice home. Frankly, this E. V. Knight, up here on the hill, his doorknobs are fourteen carat on his big palace. So, you can imagine what kind of home they lived in. They didn't have to work. They had a nice Cadillac given to them every year, and just only children, and they had just everything they wanted.
I walked up one day... Now, how I got acquainted with them, one of their friends was a good friend of mine, and we all kind of chummed together. And that is how I got acquainted, when they wanted me to marry them.
41 So I went up to visit them, and I got outside of my old Ford outside, and walked up the steps. And I got up a little bit too close, and I heard them. And they were really fussing. They were jealous of one another. They'd been to a dance. She was a very pretty girl, and she was kind of one of these beauty queens. She took many prizes around there, and won some cars and things for being beauty queen.
And I looked at them. And one was sitting in one corner, and one the other, fussing about some boy that she had danced with, or some girl, or something. When I come up, they jumped up real quick and grabbed one another, across the floor---their hands across the floor---and come walking over towards the door. Said, "Why, hello there, Brother Branham. How are you getting along?"
I said, "All right. How are you all getting along?
And "Oh," he said, "we're very happy. Aren't we, Honey?"
And she said, "Yes, dear."
42 Now you see, you're putting on something that isn't real. Now you can't get warmed by a painted fire, like some of these churches trying to paint Pentecost of something that happened a thousand years ago, or two thousand years ago. You can't get warmed by a painted fire. Pentecost is just as real today as it was then, see. The fire is still falling. It ain't a painted fire; it's a real fire. So, there they was. See, I wouldn't want to live like that.
43 Well, I thought, "You know, just down over the cliff there and over on the river, there is where this other couple wound up." I thought one Saturday afternoon I'd slip down there and see how they was getting along. So I was dirty on the face, and dirty overalls on, and my tools on. I thought I would slip up on them. And I slipped on, like I was watching for insulators being cracked by the lightning, or something, as I walked along by the side of the telephone wire, the electric cable, along the river. And the old Chevrolet was sitting out front about a year later, after I had married them. And there was... The door was open, and I could hear them talking.
So, this sounds like a hypocrite, but I walked up close enough that I could listen, see what they was saying. Stood there, and I just wanted to know for myself. I like to find out, and be sure I know what I'm talking about. That is the way I do about God's Word. Is it the truth, or isn't it the truth? Will He keep His Word, or doesn't He keep His Word? If He doesn't keep His Word, then it's not God, see. If He does keep His Word, He is God, see.
44 And so, I wanted to see how they was getting along, and I slipped along the side real easy. And I heard him say, "Well, Honey, I wanted to get that for you so bad."
She said, "Now look, sweetheart," she said, "This dress is all right." She said, "Why, this is just fine." Said "I appreciate that, but you see..."
I slipped around so I could look in through the crack, where the door had been shoved open, there in the boxcar. And there he was, sitting in there and her on his lap, and his arm around her, and her arm around him. And he had one of these old slouch hats, and had put a little hole and mashed it down in the top, and poured out his paycheck in that. He was laying it out on the table. He said so much for groceries, so much for insurance, and so much on the car. And they couldn't make their ends meet. Come to find out, he had seen a little dress, up there in a window---he had been looking at it for a couple of weeks---that cost a dollar and something. He wanted to get it. He said, "Well, Honey, you'd look so pretty in it."
And she said, "But, Honey, I've got a dress. I don't really need it," see.
And that little queen...
45 And I backed off and looked up. I could see the steeple on the top of the other house. And I stood there, and looked a few minutes. I thought, "Who is the rich man?" I thought, if ... "Bill Branham, if you want to take which place, where would you go?"
For me, I'd take not that pretty thing up on the top of the hill, but I'd take this character down here, as a real homemaker: somebody that loved me, and stayed with me; somebody that tried to make a home without bleeding you for everything, for fineries; somebody that was with you, part of you.
46 That's always stuck with me---of how that was. One chose a beautiful girl; the other one chose character. Now that is the only way you can choose. First look for character, and then if you love her, fine.
Notice, God's first Adam didn't have any choice for his wife. He didn't get a choice. God just made him one, and he didn't get to choose her. So we find out that she led him astray from God's Word. He didn't get to pray over the matter. He isn't like you and I; he didn't get a choice.
And again, by doing that, she led him from his rightly position as being a son of God. And she did it by showing him a more modern way of living, something that they really shouldn't have done. But the character of her showed that she was wrong. Her motives and objectives were simply wrong. And persuaded him by her reasoning that the modern new light that she had found, which was contrary to God's Word, was a better way to live.
47 And how many women today and vice-versa, men, that could pull a good woman away from God, or pull a good man away from God, by trying to tell him this religion, you Pentecostal boys... "That religion," they say, "oh, that is old-fashioned. It is old fogy." Don't you believe that. You'd better pray hard before you marry that girl, I don't care how pretty she is! Same thing to a man!
She persuaded him out of the will of God, and caused him to do something that he should not have done, and by it caused death to the whole human race. That's why the Bible forbids her to teach, or to preach, or to handle God's Word in any manner.
I know, sister, many of you say "The Lord called me to preach." I'm not going to argue with you, but I'm going to tell you the Word says you're not to do it. "She shall not teach or usurp any authority, but to be in silence."
"Well," you say, "The Lord told me to do it."
I don't doubt that one bit. Did you hear my message the other night about Balaam? Balaam got the first straight-cut decision of God, "Don't do it." But he kept on fooling around till finally God told him to go do it. God might permit you to preach. I don't say He didn't. But it is not according to His original Word and plan. For she is "to be under obedience," as also saith the law. True. Therefore she is not supposed to do it.
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
48 Now, notice again, how the natural bride types the spiritual. The Word says that she was made for man, and not man made for her. Now I'm going to speak on why in a few minutes, on the bride of Christ. But I'm trying to show you the background of it.
Woman was made for man, and not man for woman. That's the reason under the old laws that polygamy was legal. Look at David, sitting down there with five hundred wives. And the Bible said he was a man after God's own heart, with five hundred wives, and Solomon with a thousand. But not one of them women could have another husband.
Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
49 You get my tape on Marriage and Divorce. That, up on top of the mountain at Tucson, here not long ago, I was up there praying about it. They dismissed the school to watch that pillar of fire circling the mountain, and go into a funnel, back-and-forth, up-and-down. People right here knows it---there, and saw it. And it ... when He told me the truth of this marriage and divorce questions... If there is one side going this way, and one side going that way, there has got to be a truth somewhere. And after those seven seals, He showed what was the truth of it.
50 Notice, now. She could not have but one husband, because woman was made for man and not man for woman. That whole five hundred women was just David's wife. It was a type. When Christ sits on the throne in the millennium, His bride will be, not one person, but it will be tens of thousands---the bride, all-in-one. And David had many wives as individuals, but only all of them together was his wife. Like the whole body of believers is the bride of Christ, because it's she, the woman. He was the man.
Now, we were made for Christ; Christ wasn't made for us. That's what we try to do today in our text books, is try to make the Word, which is Christ, suit us; instead of us trying to make ourselves to suit the Word. That is the difference.
51 When a man chooses a certain girl out of a family, he must not rely upon beauty---for beauty is deceiving, and beauty (modern, worldly beauty) is of the devil! "Oh," I hear someone say out there, "be careful here, preacher." I say that these things on this earth, that is called beautiful, is absolutely of the devil! I'll prove it to you. Then in the light of this remark, let's search God's holy Word to see if it's right or not. And some of you women wants to be so pretty, see where it comes from.
In the beginning we find that Satan was so beautiful, till he deceived angels. And he was the most beautiful angel of all of them. Shows it lays in the devil. Proverbs said, Solomon said, "Beauty is vain." That's right. Sin is beautiful. Certainly it is, it's attractive.
Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
52 I want to ask you, and say something here to you, and I want you to notice in a few minutes. Of all of the species in the world---birds, animals---we find that on the animal life (all besides human), it is the male that is pretty, and not the female. Why that? Look at the deer; the beautiful big buck with his horns, and the little muley doe. Look at the hen: the little speckled hen, and the big beautiful, feathered rooster. Look at the male bird and the female bird. Look at the mallard duck and the female. See? And there isn't one specie in the world, that's made, that can deceive and stoop as low as a woman.
Now, sister, don't get up and go out. Just wait till we hear the end of This. See? See?
There is nothing, no female besides a woman, that can be immoral. You call a dog a "slut," you call a hog a "sow," but morally they've got more morals than half of the movie stars there is out here. They cannot be nothing else but moral.
53 And the woman was the one that was changed over for the perversion. Right. See where beauty takes her to? Now that's why that today we find that women is on the increase of beauty. You take Pearl Bryan. Did you ever see her picture, that was supposed to be America's great beauty? There isn't a school kid out of any school but what would have her in a back row.
Did you know it is supposed to be that way? Did you know the Bible speaks that that's the way it's going to be? Do you know the fall came by women at the beginning, and fall ... the end is going to wind up the same way? Women coming into authority, and ruling over men and so forth? Did you know the scripture says that?
You know the day that she puts on men's clothes, and bobs her hair---all of those things are contrary to God's Word? You know she represents the church? You watch what women are doing, and you'll see what the church is doing. That's exactly right.
Now, now that's just as true as the Word of God is true.
Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
54 No other female is made that can stoop like a woman can. And yet, through that, being made an off... She was not in the original creation. All other females is in the original creation---bird, male and female; animal, male and female. But in human life, God only made a man, and He took from him. And a woman is a by-product of a man---because God did not institute such a thing. Search the scripture. That's exactly right. God... No, sir! In His original creation she was put out there.
But if she can hold herself right, what a greater reward she has than man. She is put on a testing ground. Through her come death. She is guilty of all death. But then, God turned around and used one to bring life back again. Brought His Son through the woman, an obedient one. But a bad one is the worst there is. There is nothing that can be as low.
55 Cain, Satan's son, thought that God accepted beauty. He does today. Cain was Satan's son. "Well, now," you say. We won't go into details on that, but just let me settle it for you. The Bible said that he was of that evil one. So that settles it. All right.
Now, he was Satan's son, and he thought that bringing in an altar, and making it real pretty for worship, that's what God would respect. They think the same thing today. Certainly. We build a great building, we'll have great denominations, we'll make the biggest building, and the finest dressed people, the most cultured clergymen. Sometimes God is ten million miles from it. That's right. Yet, it is the church.
1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
56 So if God just respects worship, sincerity, sacrifice, Cain was just as just as Abel. But it was by revelation that he understood that it was not apples that his parents eat.
I'm going to say something here that don't sound good for a minister, but I'm going to say it anyhow. I hear these other ones saying things, so I ... saying little jokes. Now, I don't mean it. I say this though: if eating apples caused the women to realize they were naked, we had better pass the apples again. Forgive me for that. But just so that it would change ... I've got you tied up here, and talking about the women, and so forth---I want to relax you a minute, for what next is to come.
Now, notice. It was not apples. We know that.
57 The church has become in these days, with its achievement like all other man-made achievements, it is becoming scientific. They're trying to make a scientific church, with the attraction of pictures, and great steeples.
It's too bad that the Pentecostals got into that rut. You'd be better off with a tambourine down on the corner, and the Spirit of God around you. But you're trying to compare with the rest of them because you're denominated. That's what did it, see.
Churches are trying to be scientifically. And remember, as man achieves progress with science, he is killing himself every day. When he invented gunpowder, look what it done. When he invented the automobile, it kills more than the gunpowder does. Now he's got himself a hydrogen bomb. Wonder what he's going to do with that? Right.
58 And so is the church. As it tries to achieve by science, by man-made schemes, it is taking you farther away from God, and into death more than it was in the first place. That's right. Don't choose your church the same way you did your wife, see. What science did for her was a marvel, but you had better keep away from your church on that. He made paints, powders, and all these other things. Choose the character of His Word.
Now, let us compare the natural bride of today, with the so-called church bride of today. Compare a woman going to get married today. Now just look what science has done for her. She comes out first with her hair chopped off---with one of these Jacqueline Kennedy hairdos, see, or something like that.
And you know what the Bible says? The Bible actually gives a man, if he wants to, the right to put her away in divorcement if she does that. She is a dishonorable woman that will cut her hair. The Bible said so. That's right.
Didn't know that, huh? Oh, yeah. I preached too much in California for you not to know that. That is right. What good does it do me? They do it anyhow. You can't take the pig and change his ... make him a lamb.
1 Corinthians 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
59 Notice, you're going to hate me after this, but you're going to know the truth.
Let's compare it. Here she comes up with a whole lot of paint, something that she's not---a modern bride. Wash her face, and you'd run from her, maybe. Scare you to death to take all the stuff off of her.
And so is the church, with the big painted front, of complete theological Max Factor. Both has a beautiful false face on; man-made beauty, and not God-made beauty. Not much character in either one. Notice, just like Satan---enough to deceive by.
Compare the modern bride now, with her. Wears shorts, wears paint, cuts off her hair, wears clothes that look like men, and listens to a pastor that told her that was all right. He is a deceiver. He'll suffer for it in the regions beyond. That's right. Doing that to deceive, to be something that she's not,
60 that is the way the church does. Gets big DD, Ph.D, LL.D---so you can say, "Our pastor is this, that, and the other." Maybe knows no more about God than a Hottentot knows about an Egyptian knight. That is right. Some theological seminary experience out there, knows no more about God than nothing.
Modern church, and their theological paint, have their women all with their glory shaved off, by their ... some Ricky-etta pastor that they got. Like a Jezebel if there ever was one. Bobbed hair, shorts, paint, and all fixed up in a theological taste, that's the way the church stands. That's right. But her spiritual character is far from that being the homemaker that Jesus Christ is coming to receive.
61 If any Christian would marry a woman like that, it shows he has fallen from grace. His taste of God, and his taste of a home---what a home ought to be---is far ... when he'd choose a woman like that. No, sir! She sure wouldn't fit a Christian's taste. Her spiritual character is the lowest ebb, dead in denominational beauty and lust of the world.
That's exactly where the church stands today. Sold her Word-given character to Satan for a scientific man-made religion; when she had the right as the church of God to stay with the Word of God, and have the Holy Spirit working among ... welding the body together with the Word and love of God. Instead of that, she sold out her birthright, like Esau, and took a denomination that would let her do anything she wanted to. That's right. Just to be popular, like her mother did at Nicaea, Rome. God's Word! Oh, how it has entered into our Pentecostal realm. It is too bad, but it did it.
62 Notice just a minute. A nun in a Catholic church---that woman, to become a nun and take that last veil, she is absolutely sold out to that church. She is soul, body, and spirit, property of that church. She has no mind of her own. She can't have, when she takes that last veil. No mind of her own, no will of her own. See out here that Satan makes them, his bogus, like the true? The true church of Christ (the bride) is so sold out to Him and His promised Word, till the very mind that is in Christ is in you. What a difference!
And we find today, that the modern church, the modern world church, the modern world church and also that the spiritual church, are both pregnated to give birth to sons. One of them, a denominational birth, is going to be give one of these days at the World Council of Churches, which will produce to the world the antichrist, through a denomination. That is exactly the truth. I may not live to see it. I believe I will. But you young people, remember that you heard a minister say that: that it will finally wind up, that that is the mark of the beast, when she forms that World Council of Churches. And she will give birth to her son---the antichrist.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
63 The other is pregnated by the Word of God and will bring forth the body, the finished body of Jesus Christ---which is the bride. The body of Christ isn't finished yet. How many knows that? A man and woman is one. And Christ is one body, the Word---the bride will have to be the rest of that body. And the two together makes the one body again, like Adam was at the beginning.
A man and his wife are one. Now, she---the true bride---so sold out to Him that she uses no mind of her own. His mind, of course, is His will, and His will is His Word.
64 Now, look at the so-called bride chosen by man, and compare the spiritual to the natural of today. A modern Jezebel bewitched by her Ahab, Max-Factor beauties and everything. Look at the church: the same way, but a prostitute to the Word of the living God. Big denominations, big buildings, big money, big salaries---all sold out. Men standing in the pulpit, endorsing that that's all right, and let them get by with it. Just deceit, that's all.
Truly a blind Laodicean church age, just exactly what the Bible said would be. Said, "I am rich, I sit as a queen. I have need of nothing;" and knowest thou not that you are poor, miserable, blind, wretched and naked, and don't know it. If that isn't "Thus saith the Lord" of Revelations 3, I've never read it. That is what she is, and don't know it.
Think of it!
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
65 If you would tell a man or woman on the street that was stark naked, and tell them they were naked, and they say "Tend to your own business," why, there is a mental deficiency there somewhere. There is something went wrong with their mind. And when you can read the Word of God, how that people should do, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost that we have today. And people, why they look at you as if you were crazy.
You tell them that they have got to be born again, they have got to believe the Bible.
66 They'd say: "That was a Jewish fable for years ago. Our church has the way." Wretched, miserable, blind, naked, and don't even know it. What a... And the Bible said that that's the condition that they would get into.
How could a true prophet ever miss seeing it? I don't know. Drifting right into all of our churches everywhere, just look at it---just in a modern trend. The old whore and daughters of Revelation 17 giving to the poor, blind, miserable people her doctrine of theology, contrary to the Word of God. And they found in her the souls of slaves, and men and women of everywhere.
Instead of attracting the people ... Christ vindicates His Word, which attracts the people. He don't attract the people of churches that are attracted by big denominations, and big doings, and great big carry-ons, and fancy things. But the Word of God attracts the bride of Christ.
67 Now notice, it's interesting to notice how that the church tries to attract the attention of the people by fine robes, and dressed choirs, and bobbed-haired women, and painted faces. And they think they can sing like an angel, lie like a devil, run around all night to the dance like ... and think nothing about it. And that's what they think is all right. That's beautiful. But you see, that's false-made---that's not the Word of God
68 ---while the true bride attracts the attention of God by keeping His Word.
Now notice. Now let us notice Christ. You say, "Well, now wait a minute. What about this beauty you're talking about?" The Bible said, in Isaiah 53:2, that when Jesus come, there was no beauty of Him that we should desire Him. Is that right? There's no beauty. If He would have come in the worldly beauty, as Satan is today, the people would have run around Him, and accepted Him, the way they do the church today. They would have believed Him, and received Him---as they do Satan today. Certainly, they would.
But He didn't come in that kind of a beauty. But He always comes in the beauty of character. Christ wasn't a beautiful, great, strong, stout man. God doesn't choose that kind.
Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
69 I remember one time a prophet went up to take a king ... to make a king out of Jesse's sons, to take another king's place, Saul. And so Jesse brought him out and---he was a great big, fine boy---and said, "The crown will look right on his head."
And the prophet went to pour oil on him, and said, "God has refused him." And he refused every one of them, till he come to a little old stoop-shouldered, ruddy-looking fellow. And he poured the oil upon him, and he said, "God chose him." See, we choose by sight; God chooses by character.
Character---there never was a character like Jesus Christ. It lives in Him, manifests Him. We see it true. It's not worldly beauty of Him that attracts His bride; it is His character, the character of the church that Jesus looks for. Not whether it's big buildings, whether it's great denominations, whether it's big membership. He promised to meet with wherever two or three are gathered together. Truly. That is where the true believer rests his hopes: is upon that Word of God being vindicated in truth. What is it? Choose by His Word, not a worldly-loving group.
They hate that. No wonder she is divorced from Him, because she has missed His revelation, and she don't have it. He cares not for her ... the way she acts, and does, and how much of this worldly stuff she has.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
1 Samuel 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
1 Samuel 16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
1 Samuel 16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
1 Samuel 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
70 He is looking for her character, the character of Christ.
Now, just a moment now. That is it. He chooses a bride to reflect His character, to which the modern churches of today certainly misses His program here, a million miles; because they deny this to be the truth. So how could it be?
Now He is looking for the day for that bride to be formed (Hebrews 13:8) just exactly like it was, like He was. It's got to be His same flesh, same bones, same Spirit, same everything---just exactly built up---and them two then become one. Until the church becomes that, they are not one. The character of Him, the Word for this age, must be molded. She must be molded like He is.
71 Now, in closing, I want to say the reason that I've said these things, and I'll close: the other night about three o'clock in the morning, I was awakened up. Now I take any of you to answer this. Have I ever told you anything in the name of the Lord, but what it was right? It has always been right. So help me, God knows that's true. There is no one nowhere in the world, of the thousands of things that has been told, that He has ever missed one word of it.
Always been perfectly come to pass, even to when I was at Phoenix the other day (or about a year ago it was), and told you that ... about that message on "What Time Is It, Sirs." And told you seven angels would meet out there ... and would be the opening of these seals and what... And there the "Life" magazine packed the article of it, this great flame going up into the air, thirty miles high, twenty-seven miles across. And they said they couldn't make out what it was, don't know yet.
And men sitting right here in this building tonight, was standing right there with me, when it happened, just exactly the way it said. He told me of the things that is coming to pass, and it happened just exactly---how each of those seals opened, and told the mysteries that had been hid down through them ages of the reformers, and so forth. Just perfectly.
72 How I was standing up on top of the hill---men, three or four of them standing right here, present now, yes, more than that. Going up the hill, the Holy Spirit said, "Pick up that rock." We were hunting. He said, "Throw it up in the air, and say 'Thus saith the Lord.'"
I did. Down from there come a little funnel of wind, and I said, "Within twenty-four hours you will see the hand of God." Men sitting right here present, now.
The next day, about ten o'clock standing there, I said, "Get ready, get under the car there" (a veteran). I said, "Something is fixing to happen." It was a clear sky. Right up in a big canyon, down come a whirling fire from heaven, just as hard as it could scream---hit the walls like that. I was standing right under it. I just took off my hat, held my head, and it come about three feet or four feet above me, and cut a ditch plumb around that wall, like that. And blasted, and went back up in the air, and whirled around again, and come down three times. Even cut the tops of the mesquite bushes out for two-hundred yards. Hear them fellows saying, "Amen"? They were there when it happened, see.
And it made three blasts.
73 When they got out from under the cars, and everything, and come back over, said, "If that hit you, there wouldn't be a greasy spot."
I said, "It wasn't... It was Him. He was talking to me. God speaks by a whirlwind, see.
And there was that same pillar of fire that you see on the pictures, standing there. And when it went up, they said "What is it?"
I said, "Judgment is striking the West Coast." Second day from that, Alaska like to have sunk. See, it struck once there, the first blow, where the...
You have to do something to symbolize it. Like, a man put some salt in a cruse, and threw it in the water and said, "Thus saith the Lord, 'Let there be sweet water.'" And another one, Jesus picked up water and poured it into a jug, and made wine out of it. You have to have something to symbolize it.
And that's what that was, that went up in the air and come down, that started that little whirlwind. Within twenty-four hours it had shook that mountain till it had cut a ridge around it.
74 Reverend Mr. Blair, sitting here looking right at me now, he was up there, and picked up some of the pieces of it and so forth. Here is Terry Sothmann and them standing here, and Billy Paul, and Brother ... many of these others sitting in here, that was right there to see it happen. When it tore it out ---that's not fiction, that's the truth.
That wasn't back in the Bible days, that's now, see. That same God that's always showed me these things, and they've come to pass exactly to the letter, never have they failed one time. Now I'm bragging on Him.
75 A few weeks ago I was in a vision, and I was standing up on a high place. And I was to see the preview of the church. And I noticed, coming from my... I was standing more like this way, facing the west, and coming this way was a lovely bunch of women---real nice-dressed, long hair fixed nice in the back, sleeves, skirts down neatly, and they were all in a marching tune, like "Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before."
And as they passed by, I stood. And there was something there ... some Spirit, God. And he said, "There is the bride." And I looked, and my heart was happy. And she went around this way, and passed around behind me.
After a while, when she come back this a-way, it said, "Now, the modern church will come into preview." And here come the Asian church up. I never seen such a filthy bunch. Here come the other churches up, of the different nations. They looked horrible.
76 And I say this, because I am duty-bound to tell the truth, before God. And when he said, "Here comes the church of America, now, to be previewed," if I ever seen a bunch of devils, it was that!
Them women were stripped naked, with an old gray-looking thing, like a color of an elephant's hide. And they was holding it in front of them, with no upper part on it at all, and they were doing this kind of stuff that---these dances that these kids do out here---that twist, and stuff, and that kind of music going on. And when I seen Miss USA come up, I almost fainted.
Now, this is "Thus saith the Lord." If you believe me to be His servant, you believe me now! I wouldn't say that for nothing in the world. There's not enough money in all the world to get me to say that, if it wasn't true.
And when she come by, that was the filthiest-looking thing I ever seen. I thought, "God, as hard as preachers and we brethren have labored to get you a bride---and that is the best we could do!"
She was twisting, holding this in front of her like one of these hula skirts of a thing---holding it in front of her parts, her lower parts, like this ---dancing and twisting like these kids do out here on these vulgar shows that they have. Twisting! That was Miss Christianity of America!
77 So help me, by the help of God, that's what it looks like in His face. I just ... I could have fainted.
I thought of all the trying, and the preaching, and the persuading ... every one of them with bobbed hair. And they were twisting and carrying on, holding this in front. They come around where I was standing there, with this supernatural being. I couldn't see him---I could hear him talking to me. He was right around me. But when they turned this way they were hold ... just twisting, and laughing and going on, carrying on like that, holding this in front of them.
Now, me standing in His presence there, and His servant, and of all that I'd tried, that was the best I could do. I thought, "God, what good did it do me? What good did it do---all the crying and begging, and persuading, and the great signs and wonders and miracles that You showed? And how I stood there, and go home and cry after preaching to them, and things! And what good did it do me? And then I have to present something like that for You for a bride!"
78 And as I stood there looking, she passed on by. And you could imagine the back part of her with nothing on---holding this in front of her as she went shimmying by like that, to this twist, throwing her limbs out like that, in her... Oh, it was vulgar how she was carrying on, her body shaking around like that. Now, I...
You say, "What does it mean, Brother Branham?" I don't know. I'm just telling you what I seen.
And when she passed by like that, I looked at her and, oh, I just got real faint and I just turned around. I thought, "God, I'm condemned. There is no need of me trying any. I just might as well quit."
Mrs. Carl Williams, if you're sitting here, and that dream that you told me about a while ago that you had the other night, that has been bothering you, there it is. The steering wheel is taken from my hand,
79 Then I just thought I just might as well forget it. I was gone. Then all at once, I heard it coming again. And coming up on this side, come the same bride that went around this a-way. Here come them little ladies again, and each one of them was dressed in their national garb, from where they come from---like Switzerland, Germany and so forth, each one wearing that kind of garb. All long-haired, just exactly like the one at the first. And here they was coming, walking, "Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war."
And when they had passed by the preview stand where we were standing, just all at once every eye went that way; and then they turned back, and on they went marching. And just as they started to going right up into the skies, this other one went up to a brink of a hill and went down like that. These started marching, right up into the skies.
And when they went to marching, I noticed a couple of little girls in the back---looked like they might be of some foreign girl, like Sweden or Switzerland, or somewheres---they started looking around, and got... I said, "Don't do that! Don't get out of that step!" And as I screamed like that, I come to in the vision standing there with my hand out like that. I thought, "Well..."
80 That's the reason I've said what I have tonight. I want to ask you a question. Is it later than we think? Could she already be called and chosen, sealed away? There won't be one extra one, you know. Could it be possible? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Remember what I said the other day at the breakfast? In the pollen of breeding, male and female, there is a million germs goes forth, million eggs goes forth, but there is only one of them lives. And yet they're every one just alike. One out of a million. Every one of them the same egg, and the same kind of germ. One of them lives; the rest of them dies. No one can tell which is the one that is the ripe egg, and what about it. God has to decide that. Whether it's going to be a boy, or a girl, blond or brunette, or whatever it is going to be---God decides that. Not the first one meets, but the first one God decides. Maybe one come up here and one... If you ever noticed in a test tube, to see them come together---I've watched it. God has to decide that! One ... every one of them just alike, but by election---the natural birth is by election---God takes one, out of the million.
81 When Israel left Egypt on the road to the promised land, there were approximately two million people. Every one of them was under the same sacrificial lamb, or they wouldn't have lived. Every one of them listened to Moses, the prophet. Every one of them was baptized to him in the Red Sea. Every one of them danced---the women---with Miriam, up and down the side of the seashore when God destroyed the enemy. Every one of them stood with Moses and they heard him sing in the Spirit. They, every one, eat manna out of the wilderness, that dropped down from heaven---new manna every night, which is a type of the message. Every one of them eat from it. But out of the two million, how many made it? Two. One out of a million!
There is approximately five hundred million Christians in the world tonight, counting Catholic and all---five hundred million so-called believers in the world. If the rapture come tonight, that would mean---if one out a million was the count (I don't say it is) but if it was---five hundred people in the next twenty-four hours'd be missing. You would never even hear of it. There will be that many missing anyhow, that can't even be counted for.
1 Corinthians 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1 Corinthians 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
82 Then it could be, happen to us, friends, like it did when John the Baptist came.
Even the disciples said, "Why did the scriptures say ... why did the apostles, or the prophets say ... why does it say that Elias must first come, and restore all things?"
He said, "I say unto you, that Elias has already come, and you didn't know it." One of these days we could be left sitting here. What about the rapture before the tribulation sets in? It's already come, and you didn't know it.
Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Matthew 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Mark 9:11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Mark 9:13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
83 All the body is sealed in, just keeping it in step. I ain't saying it is that way. I hope it isn't that way.
But friend, when... Let... If we've got a feel in our heart tonight, that we should straighten up our lives and the things that we have done, let me advise you as a minister brother... And I'm going to say this for my first time over the pulpit. I've stretched out farther tonight on this, than I have on anything else anytime, anyhow, before the public, because I've had a great freedom in these meetings. If you believe me to be God's prophet, you listen to what I've told you. If there is one little tinkle of feeling in your heart, you go to God right now. You do it.
84 Stop just a minute, men. Look at your creeds that you serve. Look in your churches. Is it just exactly with the Word of God? Have you met every qualification? Say, "I'm a good man." So was Nicodemus, and so was all the rest of them. They were fine, see. That don't have nothing to do with it.
And women, I want you to look in the mirror, and look what God requires a woman to do. And see, in God's mirror, not in your church mirror now, in God's mirror---and see if you could qualify in your life, the spiritual bride of Jesus Christ.
Ministers, think the same. Do you cut corners here to save somebody's feelings over yonder? Would you do this if it wasn't ... if they would put you out of the church? If you are feeling that way, my dear brother, let me warn you in the name of Jesus Christ, flee from that right now. And lady, if you can't measure up to the qualification of a Christian---not as a nominal Christian---but in your heart, and your life is patterned exactly like God's marriage certificate here says it has to be... And church member, if your church isn't like that---to measure up to God's qualification of His Word---get out of it and get into Christ!
85 That is solemn warning. We don't know what time, and you don't know what time that this city, one day, is going to be laying out here in the bottom of this ocean.
"Oh, Capernaum," said Jesus, "Thou who exalted into heaven, will be brought down into hell: for if the mighty works, had been done in Sodom and Gomorrah, it would have been standing till this day." And Sodom and Gomorrah lays at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and Capernaum is in the bottom of the sea.
Thou city, who claims to be the City of the Angels; who has exalted yourself into heaven and sent all the dirty, filthy, things of fashions and things, till even the foreign countries come here to pick up our filth and send it away; with your fine churches and steeples and so forth, the way you do. Remember, one day you will be laying in the bottom of this sea!
Your great honeycomb under you right now, the wrath of God is belching right beneath you. How much longer He will hold this sandbar hanging over that, when that ocean out yonder a mile deep will slide in there, plumb back to the Salton Sea! It will be worse than the last day of Pompeii!
Repent, Los Angeles! Repent, the rest of you, and turn to God. The hour of His wrath is upon the earth. Flee, while there is time to flee, and come into Christ!
Let us pray.
Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
86 Dear God, when in my spirit is shaking, my heart is dropping teardrops of warning, grant, oh, God, that men and women will not think of what I've said as a joke; and the church people will not think of it as something that was prejudice, or against them. May they see, Lord, it's in love. Thou bearest me record, Almighty God, that up and down this coast I went year after year proclaiming your Word. Bear me record, O God, if it would happen tonight, I've told the truth. Thou knowest this vision of the bride is the truth. I've took your name by it, Lord, and said it was "thus saith the Lord," and I feel that I'm conscious, Lord, of what I'm doing.
So I pray thee, Lord, in Jesus' name, let people shake themselves tonight, and flee from the wrath that is to come. For Ichabod is wrote over the doors, and over the nation. A black check mark is come across it. The Spirit of God is grieved away from it. And they're weighed in the balances, and found wanting.
The feast of King Nebuchadnezzar has repeated again with drunken parties, and half-dressed women, calling themselves Christians.
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Daniel 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Daniel 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
Daniel 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
87 O God of heaven, have mercy upon a sinful world, and a sinful people, Lord, as we are tonight.
God, I'm trying to stand in the breach, and ask for divine mercy that You will speak into this crowd tonight, and call your bride to attention, Lord, to march---not by the sign of any creed---but by the sound of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Grant it, O God.
Let it be known this night that Thou art God, and thy Word is truth, while solemnly in the face of this people, we call them to attention of thy Word.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray for them, Lord. They have seen You beyond any shadow of a doubt, move across the crowds and tell them what is in their heart. And Thou knowest, Lord, that right now, what is going on. Thou knowest that to be truth, O God.
And I pray Thee in Jesus' name, let the Holy Spirit intercede again, Lord, and pull from this audience, Lord, those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. Grant it, O God. I pray it with all my heart.
These people naturally, Lord, would give me the last penny they had to support the message. They would do anything that they could. But, O God, when it comes to coping with it, and coming into it, I pray, God, that this will be the night that You will reward them, and pour down your Holy Spirit upon this convention.
And may there not be a frolic or jumping around, but a weeping and a crying, and a repenting---holding on to the horns of the altar while we see judgment roaring beneath us tonight. Grant it, God. I pray as sincerely as I know how, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
88 My brother, sister, I don't know what more to say. If I have found grace in your sight by the power of God, if you believe me to be His prophet---this is the first time in public I've ever said that---but I feel a strange warning of some sort. I'm not prone to this. You know I'm not. I don't act like this.
I hesitated to speak that message, and say those things. I run sideways and everything else to keep from doing it. But it's been said, and it'll stand at the day of the judgment, as a witness that I've told the truth, that's "thus saith the Lord God."
O Pentecost, run for your life. Flee to the horns of the altar, and cry out before it's too late. For the hour will come when you can cry and it will do no good. For Esau sought to find the place of his birthright, and couldn't find it.
I commit you---O California, O convention of the Full Gospel Business Men who I love, who I have left and strung to with all my heart---I commit you to Jesus Christ tonight. Flee to Him. Don't let the devil ever cool you off from this. Stay right with it, until you are every one filled with the Holy Ghost, insomuch that it will make you come to this Word---that'll make you women straighten up, that'll make you men straighten up. If you say you've got the Holy Ghost, and won't cope with the Word, it is another spirit in you. God's Spirit is on His Word, the Messiahic---the anointed Word. The bride must be a "messiahette"---the anointed Word.
Hebrews 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
89 Let us stand to our feet, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you never hear my voice again... If God willing, I'm sailing to Africa in a few hours. I may never return---I don't know. But I tell you, with all my heart I've told you the truth. I haven't shunned to declare to you everything that God has told me to say. And I've said it in the name of the Lord. It's a solemn moment, I don't know how to express it. I've tried to leave the pulpit three or four times, and I can't do it. This is a solemn hour. Don't you never forget it.
This is a time that maybe God may be making His last call. I don't know. He will make His last call someday. When, I don't know. But I'm telling you, according to that vision, it looks like that that bride is about finished.
Look at the nominal churches coming in. When the sleeping virgin come for oil, she failed to get it. The bride went in. The rapture went up. While they went to buy oil, the bridegroom come.
Are you asleep? Wake up quickly, come to yourself, and let us pray, each one like we were dying at this minute, in the name of the Lord. Let's each one pray in your own way.
Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
90 God Almighty, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy on me. Have mercy upon us all. What good does it do---no matter what we do ---if we fail in these things. I stand and ask for mercy, O God, before this great city sinks beneath the sea, and judgments of God sweep this coast. I pray, God, that You'll call your bride. I commit them to You now, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.