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The Testimony Of A True Witness
1 Thank you, Brother Neville, the Lord bless you. Morning, friends. It's a privilege to be back here in the house of the Lord this morning, and to tell again the old, old story that we've told all these years to many peoples, that how that the grace of God has appeared to us through Jesus Christ.
And so glad to know today that we are fellowshipping this grace around the world with the peoples everywhere, know that God has His children everywhere. Maybe sometimes we don't exactly see it just in each other, as we would do or should do. But usually when it's in a time of trouble, that's when the real colors show.
And that's one of my thoughts this morning, that I would not know how to express to you people my thankfulness and gratefulness to you for what you have done for us as a family in our time of trouble and need. Only eternity will be able to--will I be able to explain to you what your fine loyal friendship meant to us in this time of our trouble, as the going away, going home of mother. I never realized what it meant so much as now, as what it meant when someone comes to see you when you're sick.
4 Many times that I have run against those problems of being so many calls that I could not make them, and I've turned my calls to other ministers, and to help me to get by. And then, realizing that it causes a little disappointment, for, perhaps maybe they called this other minister too, but they'd called for me to come. And it just makes me feel like that I wished I had super strength of some sort to make every one of them.
For I know, when I sent for different ones to come, how that every one come right on time; and how--what it meant to me to see them show up. And to you people who set up at nighttime with mother, Sister Wilson here, and Brother Fred Sothmann and his wife, and, oh, so many of you, and so many offered your service; that we did not have to accept it, but you offered your service; so many that there'd have been someone, with her, changing every few minutes. You were so nice.
6 And at the time when we were--had her laying in the funeral home, how you come and visit, and shook our hands, and put your arms around us, and give us your sympathy. I never realized that that meant so much until it come to me. Flowers, bouquets, and baskets from everywhere, insomuch they couldn't even put them in the funeral hall, they had to put them back in rooms. How that... Never thought that just sending a bunch of flowers meant so much, until then.
And many of you has sent in cards from different places, and saying--sympathy cards, putting some money in it to help out on the expenses and things: never realized that a little gift to someone or a little thing like that would mean so much, until it come to me. God ever richly bless you.
8 I'm so glad to know that I am a part of a people that has this kind of a spirit. I'm so glad to know that I am your brother. And I trust that I'll never have to return it in that manner, but in some other way.
Then I, standing in the funeral home, by the side of mother, and so many coming in... And some people that look at, perhaps, maybe a person around my age, and take my hand, say, "Billy, it's been a long time." I'd look back, couldn't remember them; they'd changed so much. "You preached my baby's funeral. You preached my mother's funeral. You was come to me on a cold dark night," and all those things like that.
It truly expresses the Word of the psalmist, I believe it was. "Like bread upon the water, it will return to you someday." And if I had, was eloquent enough, or had the speech, I would like to just tell each one of you what I think. But I--I can't do that, because I--I don't even know how to express it. But I'm saying it this way, that you, each one, would know what I mean. I thank you from the depths of my heart. And how the Scripture's fulfilled, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
13 It's been a... Her going was something that was strange to me. And I never fully realized why that the Holy Spirit did not tell me beforehands, as I expressed the last time I was in the pulpit here on that morning. And they told me that she was dying then in the hospital. I did not accept it, because that He hadn't told me she was going. Now, of course, we realize this, that there's many things that He do--He can do, and does do; He don't have to tell us anything. He just tells us... And I know this one thing though, that He makes it all work together for the good.
14 And this morning while laying on bed thinking of that... The first one to go in our family was my brother Edward. And I was out west working on a ranch when he went. I wasn't home, but I saw him, yet a sinner, saw him in a vision before he went.
The next one to go was Charles. I was... He went quickly, suddenly. He was... I was preaching down here at the little, colored Pentecostal church that night, when Charles was killed up on the highway by an automobile.
The next one to go was dad, went in a heart attack, died in my arms. I committed his soul to God: went suddenly, quick.
The next one to go was Howard. I was out in the west on a vacation down the River No Return, when planes flew in, dropped little parachutes, that he was gone. But I, 'course, saw him go, years, two or three years before he went. We knew he was going.
18 But mother has been the only one that lingered. And I thought maybe that's the reason He didn't tell me. All of them going so suddenly, why, He... All of them went suddenly except mother. She lingered some six weeks, right at six weeks.
But I might just say this in expressing it: my ambition was to stand by my mother and to commit her soul to God when she went. Some strange Thing sent me out to the hospital that morning, the wife and I. And she was pretty low. And the last thing I can remember her doing, when I can--could say to her. She couldn't speak. "Mother, if you still love Christ, and He means everything to you, nod your head." And she'd nod her head, and the tears would run down her face. He still meant everything, right at the end of the road. I patted her on the cheek, pulled her face around with my hands, and I said, "Mother, you are a real soldier. I'm proud of you."
20 I thought, "Wonder how Satan might've said like he did in the days of Job?" You know, God cannot take our lives. Satan has to do that. We're just turned over to Satan.
And Satan knewing that--knowing that her time had come, knew that she was going to go, said to God, "You know, she's got a boy that's a preacher, and children that profess to be Christians. Let me just torture her awhile; I'll make them all deny You."
No, by the grace of God... And the last thing she nodded her head to, that Christ was still everything to her when she went.
23 Coming home, I thought, "Well, isn't..." I went in, stood there in the room. I picked up a Bible, a new Bible. And I said, "Lord, You're God. I don't... You don't have to tell me what You do. But I just wondered if You kept, the reason you did that, taking her, was it because to keep from breaking my heart? If so, would You comfort me with Your Word."
And I did it, you know, how you take a Bible and just pull It open like that. I just took my fingers and run down, turned It open. Matthew 9, great big red letters sticking out, "She is not dead, but sleepeth." See? And first thing my eyes fell on in the Scripture when I looked down...
That, course, now, I don't use the Bible for a Ouija board, you know. We just don't do that. But I was so tore up at that time, I...?... believing that God let me see that. Because what followed, proved it right.
26 That night, of course, was a restless night. And the next morning I was at the--got up. I guess we was about eight o'clock, in the room, eight, or maybe later. I begin to see children coming in, they bringing in crippled children from everywhere. Looked like it made about a city-block wide, and about two city-blocks deep of just afflicted children. On the left side and on the right side were people seated, and all along, looked like it was up high. And it kind of, stadium, run down and then come up again in the back end, to keep the very back people from not seeing; they could look forward at it. While I was standing with a blue suit on, I thought, "Now, this is strange. I--I know I'm standing in the room at home, but here I am in a blue suit." And I was leading the singing, "Bring them in, bring them in," making both sides sing, "bring the little ones to Jesus, bring them in from the world of sin."
And there was a renown lady entered the back of the stadium. Somehow another, I knowed that she was coming in. But she started coming up through the audience. And I was just kept leading the songs and... "Bring them in." I'd say, "This side sing it, 'Bring them in!' This side, 'Bring them in,' like that, 'bring the wandering ones to Jesus.'" And I was going to pray for all these little, afflicted children and sick.
And this lady came and went to the box on like in a theater, where it's like where the celebrity sets, or a President's box, or you know what I mean, in that kind of a place, to my left.
32 The lady had just got in. She turned around to the other people that was there, and just bowed her head. I noticed she was dressed kindly old fashioned. And the lady turned around to bow to me, just before... And I'd walked up in the pulpit then to preach. And--and just as she held her head down, and I turned around like this, to her. And when I raised my head up, and she raised her head up facing me, it was mama. And she looked at me and smiled. She was young, real young. And a great thundering Voice shook the place, and words came forth and said, "Do not worry about her, she's like she was in 1906."
And when the vision left me, I looked to see what 1906 was. That was the year she was a bride to my father. And I--I know now too, that she's part of a Bride, the Bride of Jesus Christ.
35 I will always miss mother. She was sweet and dear to all of us. I can remember her old shaking, palsied hands, when Deloris had to steady her arm right there to give her communion. That's the last time she was at the Tabernacle, besides when her funeral was preached.
I want to say another thing that right by when mother was going, strange, unpredictable, we didn't know she was going at that time. But Brother Neville stepped in. My wife said, if ever one time that I was happy to see Brother Neville, it was that time. Said... I don't know why, but just something, just how God works those things. Brother Higginbotham was there too, the one that just gave the message just a few moments ago, he walked--he stayed at the hall door. And Brother Neville came in. And I got the children around the bed, and I said, "Now, let's all get around, and have--let Brother Neville..."
Mama always loved to hear Brother Neville pray. She just liked to hear him, said, "He talked just like, sincere, he was talking to God."
That was the last she heard on her ears, Brother Neville was standing, praying. I was holding my hands on her head, and one on her hand, and while he was praying. And while he was in prayer, God called her. And I felt that little odd jerk, and I looked around. She had turned her head and looked at me, and I knew she was going. So I said, "Almighty God, I commit her soul to You now." And she... Like a wind came through the room, and she was gone to meet God. So some glorious day on the other side, I will see her, young woman.
39 'Course we know her now as an old broke-down mother, shaky. When she had her children, ten of them, it wasn't like we do today. We didn't have the modern way, and we didn't have money to afford it. Mom would have her baby, say, this morning, and this afternoon she'd do her washing. And it just broke her down.
But not an old shaking mother with palsy trembling over her, but a beautiful young woman will she be in that Kingdom that's beyond.
And I thought of the comfort of God, to let me come to that moment. And then right after it was all over, then tell me why, and then give me those comforting words by a vision of my mother.
42 Therefore, friends, the Gospel that I have stood for, I've watched It when it come down to the hours of death. I seen It on my mother. I seen It on my wife. I seen It on my brothers of... I--I know what it means when you come to the end of the road with an experience with God. It means something. So I am now determined, by the grace of God, to go to every quarter of the world that He'll send me, to every creature that I can, and preach this Gospel, because It is the power of God unto salvation.
43 Knowing this, that when this life is over, we have a life on the other side, where we turn back to young people again, and will live in His Presence and His blessedness for ever and ever. I trust that every precious mother in here, and every daughter, every son, and every father, will die in the Lord. "Even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." Some bright day we'll go and see them. Yes.
If that isn't so, then why are we standing here this morning preaching in vain? But, friends, our religion is not in vain. It's the power of God, tested right down with the acid test of death. Through sufferings, through any kind of way it wants to come, what difference does it make? We're going to meet God.
45 Now, I wish that I had, we had seats for everyone. And I want to announce, I believe tonight is communion. Is that right, Brother Neville? [Brother Neville says, "Yes, that's right."--Ed.] Tonight is communion night. And everybody at...
I just thought of something on communion. There was a certain person the other day went to a church, and had to have a cab to come get him and take him down to church. He's a real poor man. And he went down and take communion, and his neighbor is kind of a--oh, kind of one of those wayward fellows that doesn't know God. And he asked his neighbor, said, "Where'd you go this morning in that cab?"
Said, "I thought..." He, the man, hardly hasn't got bread on the table. He said, "The church was taking communion, so I went down to take communion."
He said, "What is communion?"
He told him what it was the bread and wine of the Lord.
He said, "I had some too." Said, "I had a pan full of biscuits and a quart of whiskey." And on his table, right immediately, fell into a heart attack. They're looking for him to go at any minute. Don't be irreligious. Don't be irreverent. See? Respect the Word of the Lord (See?), for we don't know what minute we're going to be called on to answer and--to God.
49 [Someone says, "Are you going to be here tonight?"--Ed.] Now, pardon. ["Are you going to be here tonight?"] I'm aiming to come. Yes. They asked me if I was going to be here tonight. I'm aiming to hear a good preacher tonight, if I can, Brother Neville. But I aim to come on every communion night. I think it's our duties, as much as we can.
Then if it's all right, if it's pleasing to God, and pleasing to the church and to Brother Neville, I want to be here next Sunday again, if the Lord willing. [Brother Neville says, "Amen."--Ed.] And if it's all right. See? ["Oh, amen. Yes."]
51 And I--I just think that I want to give every little ounce that I can, every bit of strength that I have left for the Kingdom of God; everything, to save every soul that I know how to save. Because, after all, what--what would I do this morning if mama wasn't a Christian, if we didn't have that blessed hope of the other side? If I...
I remember, right down below my house, I baptized her thirty-one years ago in the Name of Jesus Christ, just below my house, there in the river. And I can just see her coming up now and hugging me. That meant a whole lot. I said, "Mama, someday we'll put you into a muddy grave." I said, "But he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Yes, yeah.
And so if I had no--won no other soul to God, than that of my mother, I--every effort is a million times paid. Yeah. Yes, sir. That's right.
54 Now, for a Scripture reading, I've got two Scriptures. So I want to read one of them first, and then we'll have prayer, and then I want to read another one. And you'd like to read with me, turn in your Bibles to the 1st chapter of Acts. And I would like to announce my text this morning, if the Lord willing. Now, the reason... I've got many Scriptures and notes here to talk on. I won't try to keep you too long.
But I try to study out, set in the room. And if the Lord doesn't give me anything, that I think it's worthwhile...
56 I want this congregation and all to know. I don't come down here just to be seen. I come down here, not because we need a minister. Because I think our pastor is one of the best there is in the land. That's exactly right. It's not that. But I come because that I feel that God has put on my heart a message that'll help this people (See?), something that'll help them. And together as--with our precious pastor, both of us led of the Holy Spirit, we place our time together, and conserve it to the saving of every soul that we can. And I come this morning, because I felt that the Holy Spirit give me a message that would help the church. And that's why I'm here.
58 Now, in the 1st chapter of the Book of Acts, we start reading at the 1st verse.
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to teach,
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that... through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of... things pertaining to the Kingdom of God:
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore came together, they asked... him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.
But ye shall receive power, after... the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in... Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked stedfast towards heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.
60 Let us bow our heads just a moment for prayer. Our heavenly Father, we are now coming in the approach, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, to offer before You, first our thanksgiving for what You have done for us; and for, above all things, that blessed assurance that rests in our hearts, that we are saved; saved from death, saved from hell, saved from a life of sin, saved from the things of the world, and have been called to the great wedding supper of the Son of God. How we love Thee, Lord, for this. More than life to us, it's Eternal Life.
And we are assembled this morning, Lord, to give these expressions in songs, thanksgiving, and in preaching the Word, breaking the Word of Life to those, Lord, may be here, who doesn't know Thee. And it is our desire, and our ambition and intentions, that this today will be the cause of many who doesn't know You, come and confess their sins, and call upon the Name of the Lord, and have their sins remitted by confessing their sins and being baptized to wash away their sin. And then, Father, we would pray that You'd fill each with the Holy Ghost, for It is the Seal of the promise that God has given us.
62 We would ask that You would remember all that are sick and afflicted and needy today. For truly the world is in a needy condition, all because that we do not turn to Thee for our defense and our refuge.
How we can think, this morning of the times in the Bible, when the people were in trouble and distress, how that they called up the prophets, and many of the great men in those days thought those prophets to be neurotics and--and nervous people. And, which, they might've been, but yet they had the Word of the Lord. God, today how we need to refer back to the Word of God. They have told us of the end time, and what would be. And let us, like real Christians, look at their--their testimony, and, Father, then give witness to the world. Grant it, Lord.
Heal the sick that's in our midst this morning. For we realize, Lord, that a tired, weary, sick body dragging around, cannot enjoy the blessings of God as they could if they were well. And we realize, as Christians, that we live so far under our privileges, that You do not desire us to be like that, tired and weary, and run-down and weakening. You desire us to be filled with the Spirit of God. Grant that to us, Lord, as we wait further for Your Message. In Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.
65 Now, if you will again turn in the Word to St. John 3. I wish to read a few verses out of St. John the 3rd chapter, beginning with the 31st verse, about three verses of this, to get a little context of what I wish to say. This is Jesus speaking, St. John 3:31. And listen close to His Word.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what he has seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receives his testimony.
He that has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true.
I wish to read that 33rd verse again, to put emphasis on that 33rd verse.
He that has received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
For a text this morning, if you'd... I want to use this, "The Testimony Of A True Witness." Testimony and witness, that's the reason I read the two different Scriptures, one of testimony and the other of a witness.
68 Now, a testimony... Before... A person has to have an experience before they can testify. If you were called in court, you'd have to--as a--give a testimony, you have to know something before you can testify. And a witness is a person who has seen something, that knows that it is the truth, and they're called to give witness. And then, a witness must know what he's talking about. He must be not, "Someone told me a certain-certain thing." He must be the witness himself. If not, he's speaking of someone else that could be a witness at the scene.
70 Now, I think that, being that we see out from our congregation, that life is so fragile, then that death is so positive, we need to come to a place that we are positive sure that this that we speak of is right. See? It is not nothing that you can just haphazardly, as we would say, accept it. You've got to be positive sure that it's right, because we do not know what kind of an end that we will come to.
71 Now, the one reason that I am a Calvinistic thinker, of security of the believer, is because that I believe that when a man or a woman is in their right mind, that is the time to accept the Lord Jesus and get it all settled then, once for ever. Because when we come to the end of the road, we don't know just where and how we're going to be sick. We may be sick in our mind; there might be a fever that would really cook our very brain; and we might say anything or do anything at the end of the road. We don't know. But, you see, if we have already anchored in Christ, no matter what sickness takes us, or what condition we are when we go, it's already settled. We are sealed until the day of our redemption. Ephesians 4:30, says, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed until the day (not of your death, but) of your redemption." See? After death's done over, you're still sealed.
74 Now, to give witness, there has been many things and many questions in people's mind, and there has been in mine. When I stood a few weeks ago when my mother was still alive and could hear, I was on one side of the bed and my sister standing by me. And mother looks up and said, "My first and my last." I am her firstborn; Deloris is her last with nine boys between... Or, betwee--there's nine boys and the girl. And mother begin to say that, "Bill, you have fed me (and because I guess, being in the ministry, I was more able to do it), and have taken care of me. And, Deloris, you loved me and--and helped me do my housework and washing." And said, "Then, Bill, you led me to Christ and have watched over me spiritually. And when I was wrong, you didn't hesitate to tell me that I was wrong, and--and that I must make it right."
And I said, "And, mama, we've..." Some of the boys drink. And I said, "We broke your heart."
And, as a mother's love, she said, "Billy, that all goes to make the big wheel."
I said, "Mama." She knew she wasn't going back home, or she said she wasn't, back to the 409 Maple, and she said to me. I said, "Mother, when I was just a little boy, I knew there was a God, because I had seen His Person in different forms." And I said, "I--First, I... Being in our family, and we lived by the side of Mr. Wathen up there on the Utica Pike, and we knowed nothing about church. They were Catholic."
78 And I said, "I begin to studying. Now, as the Catholic church says that God gave His great power to His church, and said to His church, so much being a body of believers, 'Whatever you do, it's all right.'" And I said, "Then if... I studied that. Then I begin to find out there's almost nine hundred different organized bodies of believers. Then if God gave His authority to His church, and told them, 'Just discard this Word; you don't need it; that's just a history. And--and then you can go ahead and do, and whatever you say will be all right; not the Bible, but the church, whatever the church says.' Mama, I could not base any faith. Because the Catholic church says one thing. The Lutheran church says 'It's this a way.' The Methodist church said, 'No, they're both wrong. It's this way.' The Baptist church says it's some other way. And nine hundred different beliefs, I could base no faith on that."
79 But I said, "What I did, mama, I went back and read the Bible. And I taught just exactly the way the--them apostles taught It. I never varied one bit. Where they said baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ, I said baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. Where they said the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I said baptism of the Holy Ghost. And I taught it just the way they taught it. Mama, I got the same results that they got. And I seen the same God that come by their teaching, the same God that comes into our midst and does the same thing He did for them back there, He does for us today. Therefore, His promise is, 'He that eats My flesh and drinks My Blood has Everlasting Life, and I'll raise him up again at the last days.'" The Word is the testimony of God.
80 There is other witnesses we could call in this morning. One of them, let's think of the tree. It's fall of the year, and when the autumn time is here now. And we take a leaf; that's like a life. And we are, if we are borned again, we are a leaf on the Tree of Life.
And this tree that we see out here in the woods, the life finally leaves, pulls away from the leaf, because the season is over for the leaf. And that life leaves the leaf, and the leaf will drop off when the life leaves it. We're all real sure of that, as we look at it from our very windows now, that as soon as the life leaves the leaf, the leaf will drop off. And that's the body that we bury.
82 But the life that was in that leaf goes back where it come from, down through the tree to the root, and there it remains in the root of the tree until another season. For this season the sun has rocked away, or the earth has rocked away from the sun, and it's following the--the orbit as it goes around; and it's way away, and cold weather is headed for the earth. Therefore, the root holds the life of that leaf until the earth rocks back around again, and then there is no way to ever hide that leaf from coming back again. It'll come back just as sure as the sun comes back. It'll come back. But it has to wait for another season before it comes back.
83 And today that gives us a great testimony, as a witness of the God of creation. Because that when we are in the season of mortal life, raising our children, marrying and bringing forth families, this is a life or the season of mortal life. But when we have been borned of above, the body returns to the dust from where it come, and the spirit goes down to where it come from, or goes up, rather, to where it come from, to the God Who gave it, and there will come another season. And that season that will come will be the immortal season. And when the Son of God rises with healing in His wings, it'd be totally impossible to hold those bodies in the ground any longer. They'll come forth in the brightness of the Son of God. Very nature itself testifies of that.
84 So if we are a Christian, and we are borned of the Spirit, death can hold nothing but victory for us, because this old corruptible body that Satan still has power over will drop into the dust of the earth. But when that season... This is the wrong season now; this is mortal season. But immortal season is coming. When the immortal One comes He will bring with Him the immortal spirits that has returned to Him from the earth, and they shall come forth again in the resurrection for the great millennium, and shall shine in His glory.
85 Everything on earth gives a testimony. The sun rises in the east to show the beginning of life; it goes over and sets in the evening. Of a morning the birds wake and sing, and they're happy; we feel fresh; the evening we're tired when the sun sets. It gives testimony that there is a life and a death; a day was born; a day is gone.
A tree lived, the leaves dropped off. God preserved in the roots of the tree, where this life origined, where it started at, down in the roots, the--went forth and made the leaves for shade, comes back again to where it come from, only to rest to come at another season.
Life in the little flower that drops out of the seed returns to somewhere that we know not where. But all the pulp might go out of the seed, and the seed rot in the ground, but yet there is a life in there that's hid for a resurrection again. Everything speaks of--gives testimony.
88 Now, I've had the privilege of traveling very much around the world. And I've heard different religions. I've heard different views. I've heard the Mohammedan, the Buddha, and Sikhs, Jains, and, oh, many hundreds of different views of religion, gods, goddess, and all those things. But there's none of them, not none of them, not one of them that's got one speck of truth about it.
This Christian religion is the right religion: death, burial, and resurrection, all nature, heavens itself, and earth, testifies of it. It is God's witness to His people every day, that there is a death, burial, and resurrection. Each season passes over our heads; we see death, burial, and resurrection. So we know that this is Truth; Christianity basically is the truth. It gives its testimony.
90 And it goes to show that it was made by a great, supreme Intelligence to serve a purpose. It's here for a purpose. God did not have to make trees like that. He made them like that, though they different one from another and so forth. He made all of that for His purpose to give witness and to give testimony. He could've made trees like something that would--would been something else, like rocks. He could've made trees any way He wanted to. He could've made flowers any way He wanted to. But He made them to bear witness, for they are God's witnesses. They are a true witness that all other religions is false and Jesus Christ is right. Death, burial, and resurrection gives witness that we are not dead eternally, but we live again: shows a supreme Intelligence.
We might, if time would permit... Which we don't want to take too long. But we might speak again... And not to pattern ourselves, this is the Tabernacle where we have our own teachings and our doctrines, and this is the place where I can teach what I think is right.
92 I want to notice another Intelligence, speaking of the grace of God that has appeared to us. Did you notice, the first thing is the root; the second thing is the stalk; the third thing is the fruit; and that ends it: justification, the root; sanctification, the stalk; and the fruit, original Seed. And that's Martin Luther, John Wesley, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. That gives testimony to our views on the Scripture. And I have a dozen things wrote right here, that I could say about that, that--of different things that bears witness. By looking at the natural things, they testify of the spiritual things: justification, the roots; sanctification, the stalk; and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the fruit that comes forth from the results of root and stalk. That root came from a seed. The seed was like what went in the ground; it's back again.
And today we've lived through the Luther age; we lived through the Wesley age; and now we're living in the redeemed age of the Pentecostal. What is it? Bringing back the very same church, the very same thing that was planted on the day of Pentecost. Nature itself gives testimony to it, just the same as it gives testimony to death, burial, and resurrection.
96 Oh, to the eternal God and to His testimonies, if we could only look around, you see God on every hand, watching Him testify daily. How do we willfully, ignorantly stumble over those things, that simplicity? Why, every tree preaches to us. Every flower preaches to us. Every garden preaches to us. The whole world is a-preaching to us. God is God, and we see His glory, and yet we so willfully stumble over it, and exchange these things, and cast our eyes from such things, and our imagination to vain things of the world to satisfy the lust that lives by the spirit that we let dominate our lives. How we ought to get rid of that spirit and get the Spirit of God.
All nature, all everywhere, testifies, the heavens, the skies. So many things, I--setting in my study yesterday I wrote down; I won't have time to go to it. But you can just look around to any thing that God created gives testimony to His glory. Anything, any creation of God gives testimony to God and for His purpose: shows the great supreme Intelligence.
98 I have stood on top of the mountain and watched the pygmy spruce, just about so high, that the sheep eat, the wild sheep, and see that pygmy spruce up here. You go down a little farther, and then you hit into the hemlock, a different nature, different specie that lives in a different place; on down a little farther, and you hit the pine, on down a little farther into the quaking asp. Out of that you go into the buck-bush, the brush, on down to that into the grass, and on down into that, into the weeds. And on down into the desert, where nothing... Each one, a cell and a life of its own, speaking of its environment and where it lives, only an intelligent God could do such a thing. Each one, a individual life. See the palm tree in Florida, see the oak tree in--in central America, and the quaking asp on the mountains in the Rockies; each one, a separate life giving testimony to the glory of Almighty God.
99 Watch the great sea when you stand by it. And its angry billows breaking the bank, with such anger, till it dashes and jumps like an angry dog at the end of a chain. It would drown the world if it could; it would be tired of its sin. But God set a watchman up yonder in the skies called the moon, and He set the boundaries of the sea, that they could not pass any more. And that watchman watches it day and night. When He turns His back, to look around towards God, to see what God looks like, here comes the tide sneaking in; but when He turns His face again, away goes the tide. He's watching that boundaries, and he cannot go. When he turns his back, the tide would slip in; but when He turns His face again, the tide runs back. God's put a watchman. What does it do? It gives testimony that the God of Genesis, the God of the Bible remains God. It's a testimony that He is.
100 We could call some more of the old testament prophets, how they give testimony of the birth of Christ. For instance, in Isaiah the 9th chapter, Isaiah 9:6, hundreds and hundreds of years before it happened the prophets give testimony. And they said, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." How did they know it? How could a man that's borned of a woman know such a thing? How could a man, hundreds of years before it happened, tell exactly what would happen, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given"? Told His Name shall be called Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, told where He'd be born. The prophet under inspiration said, "Thou Bethlehem of Judaea, are you not the least amongst all the princes? But out of thee shall come the Governor."
102 What struck those prophets? What inspired them, that perfect accuracy? Not only that, but the prophets told what He would do. The prophets even saw Him born, where He'd be born, how He'd be born, not an ordinary baby, just a baby born to some woman; It said He would be born a mysterious way: He would be borned of a virgin, "A virgin shall conceive." What would strike a mortal man to make him see that hundreds of years before it happened, perfectly accurate, exactly on the line? Talk about testimony of a supreme Being, a living God. Not only that, but told where He'd be born, and how he would be born. Told what the world would say about Him. Told the very signs and things that would follow Him to prove He was Messiah. Proved that He'd be rejected, and even in the Spirit, groaned His Words from the cross hundreds of years before He was born.
104 David in the Spirit, as I like to refer it to it, as Jesus said there, "Why did David in the Spirit call Him Lord?" David, not David, but David in the Spirit, there's a lot of difference between David, and David in the Spirit. There's a lot of difference between church, and church in the Spirit. "Why did David in the Spirit call Him Lord, if He was his Son, saying, 'The Lord said to My Lord, Set Thou on My right hand'?" They could ask--answer Him no more, ask Him no more questions after that.
But David in the 22nd Psalm fell into a Spirit, the Spirit, and when he did, he even gave the Words that He groaned at the cross. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? All My bones, they stare at Me. And how they pierced My hands and My feet."
Yet, "He was wounded for our transgression," here comes the other prophet, "bruised for our iniquity; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we were healed."
107 The accuracy, the perfection of those prophets, not one Word did they speak about Him but what come to pass. The last seven prophesies give of Him was answered in the last seven hours on the cross. How that every Word was fulfilled, not one thing was left undone.
What does it speak of? A supreme Intelligence. It wasn't those men. Those men were just men like you and I. But they were inspired by a supreme Being which was giving testimony that we in this generation, and in the generations to come, and all the generations between them and here, could look upon His Word and know that they are true. It's a testimony that the Word of God is Truth.
109 All His works are perfect. They're perfect and on time. They don't miss one hour. Sometimes we think they're going to, but they don't. After it's over, we seen it couldn't have come any quicker; it couldn't have been any better. It's perfect and on time.
Even in our day today, when we see these visions happen, and of things take place, and they are foretold, and we wonder when they'll be fulfilled, what will take place, but we find out that they are perfect and on time, exactly.
How could I have thought of my mother, how that I seen her old and shaking. But then when He give me the vision, and I see the condition she is in now, I glorify God. I know that she'll be again. She's not dead; she sleeps. She's in Christ.
112 How we see that God's fore-speak these things. The last time when I was in your pulpit, or the pulpit here, I told of a vision the Lord gave me about going up into the north and what would take place. And how those fellows, coming down the mountain, saying, "Brother Branham, you mean to tell me, somewhere between here and right yonder, half a mile, that there'll be a grizzly bear, silver-tipped? Never seen one before... But you'll receive it before you get there?"
I said, "That's according to His Word."
And it happened just that way. Why? It gives testimony that He's still God, that all of His promises are true. God gives testimony, and His testimonies are true. He gives witness, and the testimony bears record of His witness. It speaks of an Intelligence. Yes.
114 When Jesus of Nazareth came to the earth, all of His mighty works testified of His claims. No one should've never doubted Him. He said, "If you don't believe Me, believe the works; if you can't see Him to be God."
"Thou makest thyself... Being a man, you make yourself God."
He said, "If you can't believe Me, then believe the works; for they are the testimonies of God, bearing record that I am what I spoke I was. If you can't believe Me, believe the signs that was to follow Me. Was not Messiah supposed to do these things?" What was He? Testimony. They bore record of every claim He made.
117 Martha stood there by Jesus, and her brother dead and in the grave. Corruption had set in, his body was gone, and he was just mortifying out there in the grave. Bugs was already crawling into his body, the skin worms. And his face had fell in. But she said, "Lord, we believe that Thou art the Son of God that was to come into the world. We are sure of that.
He said, "I am the Resurrection and Life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die. Believest thou this?"
She said, "Yea, Lord. Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Son of God that was to come into the world."
"Now, I'll go show you that I am Who I was, and spoke that I was. I'll give testimony to it. I'll prove My claims, that I am what I am. Where have you buried him?"
And she said, "Lord, come see."
121 Then showing His human part, He wept with those who weep. He laughs with those who laughs. He's in victory with those who is in victory. Let's keep Him in victory.
He went to the grave and stood there when they rolled away the stone. And there that little body laid in there with the worms in it, corrupted, laid down upon the earth, face fell in, and as corruption sets in. He spoke them Words, "Lazarus, come forth!" And that man who had been dead stood on his feet and lived again. That made every claim that He ever claimed that He was the Son of God. He was more than the Son of God; He was both Son and God. He was the Tabernacle of God, 'cause no second person could ever have power like that. It taken God Himself to call back the life of a man that been dead and buried four days. His Own works testified of every claim that He made. He was God. We know that's true, 'cause He said it was.
124 The testimony of the prophets, the testimony of nature, the witness of the nature, the witness of the prophets, the witness of Jesus...
And He never left Himself without a witness. God has always had His witness. And when He was here on earth, He said, "It's expedient for Me that I go away; for if I go not away, I can't send this Witness, this immortal eternal Witness."
126 He was borned of a woman, therefore He had to corrupt... He had to die, rather. God wouldn't suffer His body to see corruption. But He had to die like a mortal to take away our sins. But before He went away He left us a Witness, the Holy Ghost. Most all the prophets, all down through the age, way back in the early beginning spoke of this great Witness that would be in the last days to the church: our great Witness, the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost is our Witness. He is the proof. He is the seal. He's the bonafide Rights. He's the Abstract Deed to every Word God spoke. Amen. He's a witness that Christ lives. And because He lives, we live also. He's the bonafide statement.
With such a Person to come in the last days to guide the Church, it was behooving to God to tell His people that He would be here. All the prophets, nearly, give witness to His coming, of the Holy Ghost.
130 Eight centuries before it happened, Joel the son of Pethuel prophesied that He would come. Eight hundred years before it happened this great son of Pethuel, a prophet; considered a neurotic, off at his head, nervous, emotionally, mentally upset; prophesied, Joel 2:28, and said:
... it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I'll pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy...
... upon my handmaids and my maidservants will I pour out of my spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I'll show wonders in the heavens above and in the earth below, signs, pillars of fire and smoke and vapor.
And it shall come to pass, before the great and terrible day of the LORD shall come, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved;
Eight hundred years before this great Witness come, the son of Pethuel testified of It, prophesied of It. What struck that little fellow?
132 Tell me what could tell a man, that was borned of a woman, of few days and full of trouble... That's what he is. Tell me what could stir his innermost being, that he could look through space and time, and see this great Witness coming to the church in the last days. Tell me what could do it. Nothing but an intelligent, supreme, great and almighty God. That's the only thing could do it. Strike a mortal, "A man that's borned of a woman, and full of trouble, and of a few days," as Job 14 said. "Cometh forth like a flower, is cut down; yea, he wasteth away, giveth up the spirit." But on that kind of a person, the Spirit, the intelligence of a great, mighty God can break all barriers and time, press down through there with His Spirit, and show a mortal what will come to pass. Hallelujah.
If that's not a testimony of the living God, what is one? That can tell it before it happens (Amen.), that can see it before it happens, and foretell it with intelligence and perfect accuracy that it happens just exactly the way he said it... If that isn't a testimony, what is one? What could speak more of a living God? Sure, He's a witness.
135 Prophesied that it would come to pass, "In the last days, that He'd pour out His Spirit upon all flesh."...
Seventy-five years after Joel prophesied. Isaiah, the son of Amoz, he prophesied concerning this great Witness that was to come to the Church.
What am I speaking of? A Witness, a true Witness, a real Witness, bring Him through nature, through the prophets, through the Bible. Now, we're getting Him, coming down into the day that He's to be given.
Seventy-five years, approximately seventy-five years after Joel prophesied, then Isaiah said, Amoz's son, the great prophet who gave the complete Bible from Genesis to Revelations in his sixty-six chapters (as a book has sixty-six books in it)... And he started off with creation in Genesis and ended up in the millennium. This great man, he foretold of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
138 Let's just go back and read It. I got Isaiah 28:11. Let's just read for a moment and find out here what he said about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah the 28th chapter, let's begin at the 5th verse,
In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory...
He's speaking of this great day that when the Witness would come. What is our crown? The Holy Spirit crowns us.
... a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
The residue, the "people that's left over." He'll be a diadem, a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty. Think, this is seven hundred years before it happened.
... for a spirit of judgment to him that is sitting in judgment... (That's what He does to us at the altar.)
... for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate... (Let me see.)... that turn the battle to the gate.
141 Them who is standing for Him and with Him, this great Spirit (Holy Spirit that's prophesied) will be the strength of him that stands at the gate in the battle. He is our Strength. We rely upon Him; not upon culture, not upon education, not upon things of the world: "Not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." The Church rests solemnly in that. "He will be the Strength of him that stands in the gate." Not his theological background, not his denomination, but the Holy Ghost will be his Strength. He'll be the one that'll stand at the gate. He'll rely upon the strength of the Holy Spirit to turn the alien away.
But them that have erred through wine,... (Now, listen.)... and through strong drinks are out of the way, out of "the" way; the priest and the prophets have erred through strong drinks, they're swallowed up of wine, they're out of the way through strong drinks; they err in vision, and stumble in judgment.
In other words, in vision, they don't even believe in such a thing. And in judgment they say, "Oh, as long as you join the church, it's all right." And what have we got? A bunch of drunks. Watch what the prophet said; there's God's witness.
For all tables are full of filthiness--of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no clean place.
No place is clean; the tables. Why, they go in, drunkards and harlots, and--and take a piece of light bread and cut it up, and make communion, where the clean and the unclean eat together: vomits, the tables are full of vomit.
Whom shall he teach knowledge,... (in a day like that?)... and whom shall... make to understand doctrine?
Who could they do it, when they got their own theological experiences and things to rely upon? They won't go back to the Word of God. They say, "Oh, that was for another place. That's for another generation." Their tables are full of vomit. Listen to this prophet with this supreme intelligence of God speaking through him.
... them that are weaned from the milk, and are drawn from the breasts. (Not church babies)
For precept must be upon precept...
He's talking of the Word now. Don't say, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," when It said, "Jesus' Name." Don't say "shake hands," when He said borned again.
... precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; and line upon... line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
For with stammering lips and with other tongues will I speak to this people. (Hallelujah.)
With a stammering lips, "murmur." Maybe the congregation just setting in reverence and quietness, someone--one can pick up that murmur and understand what they're saying. "With stammering lips and with other tongues will I speak to this people," prophesying of the Holy Ghost,
... stammering lips,... will I speak to this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest...
Now, you Adventist brethren that takes the seventh day, what about this? This is the sabbath,
... This is the rest wherein you may cause the weary to rest;...
God, give us gallant men to stand in the gate with That, and witness It.
... This is the rest that you may cause the weary to rest;... this is the refreshening: but they would not hear.
That's the sad part, they would not hear It. They wagged their heads, and mocked and scoffed, and went on.
150 But Isaiah prophesied and said that, "It would come to pass that He would send His Spirit, and It would be a crown of glory for the Church, and strength for him that stands in the gate." How would we know it was the Spirit? Said, "'Cause, with stammering lips and with other tongues will I speak to this people, and this is the rest and the refreshening."
But for all this, they wanted their organizations and their denominations. And they went on after their vomity tables, and world, and mixed, and pleasures of the things of the world. They're not borned again. They turn away from the Truths, and go to the things of the world, and make the Lord's house an abomination of filthiness, where they have dances and parties, and carry on; and women wearing undecent clothes and shorts, and cutting their hair, and using makeup, and all such stuff as that, as the Bible prophesied.
Isaiah said they would do that: Isaiah, the 5th and 6th chapter. Read It, how that he said that the women would do that in the last days. God's witnesses are true. They trusted in the vanities of the world, instead of the power of God to save them. Now, that was seventy-five years after Joel.
152 Thirty years after the birth of Jesus. I've got several other prophets wrote down here. But thirty years after the birth of Jesus, there was that prince amongst the prophets (Oh, my.) John the Baptist. All men knowed he was a prophet from God, the forerunner of coming of Christ, which is predicted again in the last days.
Jesus said, "What'd you go out to see, a reed shaken with any wind, any denomination turn him this way or that way? Not John." Said, "What'd you go to see, some dignitary with some kind of a psychiatrist with him, to keep his clothes just so-and-so, and tell him how he must dress?" And He said, "Them kind kisses the babies and stay in kings' palaces, and talks to public schools, and so forth; he's not a warrior; he's not out on the front line; he don't know how to handle a two-edged Sword. See, they are the kind that does that. But what did you go to see, a prophet?" He said, "Now, I say, more than a prophet."
155 Listen at this great prince, coming with a piece of sheepskin wrapped around him, living off the herbs of the woods (Hallelujah.): no theological seminary experience behind him; but a experience that he'd talked to God and was born for the purpose to do it. The Word spoke that he would come. Yes, sir. Walked out on the banks of Jordan with his feet in the mud, said, "Don't you think, you Pharisees that say, 'We have Abraham to our Father,' for I tell you, God's able of these stones to rise children to Abraham."
That prince of the prophets, the one that had the privilege of introducing the Messiah; and saw the sign of the Messiah, and recognized it, as that Light fell from heaven and went upon Him, was a witness of it, what did he say about it? Here's his word, that prophet said as a witness.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that come after me, who's mightier than I, his shoes I am not worthy to loose; he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
And his fan is in his hand, and he'll thoroughly purge his floor, and gather the wheat into the garner; but... burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.
157 He prophesied that there would come the Witness for the Church, the Holy Ghost. "I indeed baptize you with water; that's my mission. I'll baptize you with water unto repentance." Hallelujah. "But there's coming One after me. I bear this witness with water, but there's One coming that's going to send something greater. He'll send another Witness, not water, but Spirit. He'll baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire." Hallelujah. God's Witness, He'll take all the church membership away from you. "He'll give you a true witness, for He'll baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire. And His fan is in His hand. The axe is laid to the root of the tree; and every tree that don't bring forth good fruit, will be hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore, repent, get ready, for the hour is at hand."
158 That great prince, how a great prophet... Three years later after he prophesied, Jesus our Lord had finished His ministry, His earthly ministry. Said, "It's expedient for you that I go away. For if I go not away, the Holy Ghost will not come. But I'm going to send Him. A little while... And you want to know Who He is. A little while, and the world will see Me no more; yet ye shall see Me, for I'll be with you, even in you, to the end of the world."
159 In Luke 24:49, at the end of His ministry, when His earthly ministry was finished, He said in Luke 24:49, "Behold, I send the promise that these testimonies has said. I send the promise that Isaiah spoke of. I send the promise that Joel spoke of. I send the promise that all the prophets, that the Father showed through the prophets, I send the promise of My Father upon you. Behold, I'll send the promise of my Father upon you: but wait in the city of Jerusalem." Stop your preaching, stop singing, don't do nothing else but go up there to the city of Jerusalem, and wait until you be endued with power from on high.
160 What kind of a witness was it going to be? "Wait at Jerusalem until you have completed twenty years of high school or seminary"? "Wait till you have received your Bachelor of Art degree"? "Wait till you have learned to--to speak in other languages, so, if He happened to call you to the mission field, you could speak in them"? No, that wasn't it.
Just let power from on high come, it'll take care of itself when It comes. "You wait until you're endued with power." O God, why can't the people see that? It's not a joining of church. It's waiting for power. "Wait until you're endued with power from on high, for I'll send Him. He's a promise of God, and I'll send Him. I'm going to bear record. He, when He comes, He'll bear record. for He'll not speak of Himself, but He'll speak of Me." Amen.
162 Watch what He'll do. "He'll bring these things that I've taught you." Not some seminary thing. What? "He'll bring these things that I have taught you to your remembrance, that they're Words of God. You'll forget about all your seminary experience. You'll get these things, the Words that I have taught you. He'll bring them things to remembrance. And He'll do something else: He'll show you things that's going to come." That's the true Witness. That's the true Witness of God. "He'll bring the Gospel back to you, this Holy Spirit. Though It may be forsaken for about two thousand years, may--they may tramp It under their feet on manmade theology; but when He comes, He'll bring you back to It. Not only that, but He'll tell you things that's going to come. He'll speak to you with stammering lips and other tongues. All these things He'll do. Everything that God has promised, He'll do it. I have... I'm going to send the promise of the Father."
163 At Pentecost, when It came, what did they say? They said, "We are His witnesses. We are the witnesses that these things that's been spoke of has come to pass." Oh, my. That makes me feel religious. Standing up there, they said, "We're His witnesses. We have no degree." What were they? Proselytes, some of them were Jews, renown, stiff and starchy, it'd all been took away from them.
Look at that self-made Simon Peter, how that he thought he was so starchy. He wouldn't eat anything unclean.
How about that self-made Paul, persecuting the churches from everywhere? What happened when He met that One, that Holy Ghost, on the road down to Damascus that day? Stood before Festus and said, "I'm not mad. But in the way that's called heresy, that's the way I worship the God of our fathers."
166 They said, "We are--we are His witnesses." Now, there was three definite witnesses at Pentecost.
First, the Word of those prophets, that God would pour out His Spirit in the last days upon the people. The witness that the prophets had, was the Word of God, It had been fulfilled. That was one witness; the prophets' message was fulfilled. "I'll pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. They shall have stammering lips, and other tongues will I speak to this people." There it was. They couldn't deny it. Then there was three witnesses. That was one, that the prophets' Word had been fulfilled.
Another witness, was the people. They were testifying, "Something has happened."
169 "I was hid up there in a room. I was too bashful. I was ashamed. I--I--I knowed that He'd been taken away, and I--I was ashamed of all this great dignified group around here. I was ashamed of them. I was ashamed that I'd, maybe, I didn't want to say anything about it, because I was afraid I'd start an emotional something another."
That's what's the matter with the self-made churches today. They're afraid they're going to raise too much disturbance. They're afraid they'll do something that's not right. Oh, you, the self-made, self-satisfied... What we need is a Pentecost. What we need is a filling, a coming of the Holy Ghost.
171 They said, "We are His witnesses, because we are filled with It."
Peter said, "You men of Judaea, and you that dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known unto you. These are not drunk as you suppose, seeing it's the third hour of the day. But this is That which was spoke of by the prophet Joel, 'It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I'll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.' We are bearing witness that the prophets' Words are true, because we are filled now." Oh, my.
That's what we need. That's what the church needs. That's what these, a hundred and seventy million professed Christians around the world need, is another Pentecost: not go back and study twenty-five years; but a filling of the Holy Spirit, a witness inside of you, bearing record of the resurrection of Christ, and to the Word of God.
"John set on the isle of Patmos, for the Word of God, the record of the Word of God."
173 There was the prophets' Word fulfilled. There was the people bearing witness. And there was the Holy Ghost Itself. There's three of them. And the Bible said, "In the mouth of three witnesses, let every word be established." That's right.
There was the prophets' Word fulfilled. There was the people, said, "Oh, something's happened to me. Something's happened. I'm no more afraid. I'm not afraid of death. I'm not afraid of nothing. Something happened. I forgot all my theology. I forgot all of my manmade traditions. Something's happened. Let this be known to you, and hearken to my words, these are not drunk." They did; they lost all their dignity. They were just drunk on the Spirit, just...
175 That's what we need. That's what we need, a sane, sensible group of people that can walk up and face God and say, "Lord, don't make me a church member, but make me a witness. Pour out Your Spirit upon me and fill me. Let me be Your witness." That's what we need. That's what the church is suffering the lack of today. It's anemic condition, is because it has rejected the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Holy Ghost bearing record Itself, saying, "It's so." There they was. And the men couldn't deny It.
177 These men hadn't waited in school to find any great education. They were ignorant and unlearned men, fishermens and peasants. They were common people. The Bible said, "The common people heard Jesus gladly," not the riffraff, no, not the celebrity, but the common people heard Him gladly. And there was common people; they'd heard Him, and they said, "We're witnesses that we have received something; and we don't know, hardly, our own language."
But the men said, "How do we understand them? Are they not all Galileans?" Galileans was a poor class of people. Said, "How do we hear them Galileans speaking in our own language wherein we were born?"
Giving testimony of the Holy Ghost, bearing record that the Word of God had been fulfilled. "I'll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. And with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this people, and this is the rest": bearing record, a witness. This is the record of it. Sure.
Had three witnesses... What? The prophets' Word, God's Word. Because those prophets spoke not their word, but it was the Word of God as He put It in their mouth.
180 I'm sitting here now looking at a little Norwegian, doctoring--doctor, medical doctor setting over here, who come all the way from Norway, over here to be prayed for. And the other night, while we were setting together in a private interview, the Holy Spirit moved into the room.
He said, "I'm waiting, Brother Branham, to see what will be said."
There the Holy Spirit went way back down through his life, all the way back to when something happened, told him about it, and what happened, and what condition, all about it, and told him that thing. What was it? God's Spirit giving witness.
184 There's perhaps another little fellow setting here that the--Brother Palmer's church sent up: all confused, and knowing not what to do; he got tore up about something. A nice little fellow; I suppose he went home. But there was... He sent him up here. Brother Palmer wrote me a letter, and said, "Brother Branham, I know it's a strenuous time," or something like that, "but when you can get a chance, see him, because he's a good brother." And--and the church had sent him up. He was on the interview. While setting there, this great deep something in his mind, before he had a chance to say anything the Holy Spirit reached down and got it, brought it out, showed him. And he rejoiced, and the tears run down his cheeks. Why? God bearing witness. By what? By William Branham? No, sir. By the Holy Ghost. Amen. That's God's Witness.
185 Let me tell you something else. Why did... This little fellow setting over here, called Higginbotham, a deacon was here in the church; served his time out, now just a loyal member, he raised, this morning to speak in tongues, I believe, and prophesy. Why did that Holy Spirit, said, in this morning, when he was giving the interpretation, "I have anointed My servant to bring you things that you ought to know"? Oh. Why? And I heard him standing here, with my head down, was choking the tears down through my heart. That man knowed no more; I had never said a word to him or nobody else, what I speak on, 'cause I just come to the pulpit. And there he was, revealed the text, and told the people to set themselves in order for It. "I'll speak to you," said, "I've sent him to many nations, to many peoples, this same Message. And I'll speak to you this morning. Take heed to It," He said, "for I've anointed him and sent him in." O God. What is it? The Holy Ghost, the true Witness of God. What is it? Deity tabernacled in men. Hallelujah.
186 What? Church, that's the reason I can't take the baptism of the Holy Ghost of crying, shaking, or speaking in tongues, or any sensation. They're all right now. See? Them--them things are all right, but the devil can impersonate that so real.
But the Holy Ghost is Deity, God tabernacled in men. It's more than a sensation. It's more than speaking in tongues. It's more than shouting in the Spirit. It's more than weeping. It's more than joining church. It's God living in men, Deity, God Himself tabernacled into that person, when he can speak and it's just the same as God speaking; that's the Church of Jesus Christ. That's the way that first apostolic church went forth.
188 How different, churches of today, how different, that we've got away from It, since our denominational organization started about second century after Christ, in the early Catholic church, making organization, and teaching philosophy of men.
Today there's many people; we are do-good people. We join church. Listen to me. Here's what Brother Higginbotham was speaking about this morning; not Higginbotham, but the Holy Spirit spoke through him. We are a do-good people. We join church, and we want to be so loving and so sweet. See? We just don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, of course not. We want to be such a sweet Christian. We want--we want to manufacture Christ. Christ is not manufactured. Hallelujah. Oh, if I could only get some Words that God would give me, so you'd see what I mean.
191 A sheep's not asked to bear wool. He's not asked to manufacture some wool this year. If he's a sheep, he'll have wool, because he's a sheep. He don't have to say, "Well, now I--I'm--I'm... I believe I'm a sheep, so I better get--hurry up around here, I got to get some wool for the master." He don't have to worry about that. As long as he's a sheep, he'll bear wool. He don't have to manufacture it.
You don't have to manufacture no self-made piety, and, "I, I've got... I... Now I shouldn't do this; I know I'm a Christian." Oh, brother, trying to save itself by itself, by its own human efforts, yet, sincere.
What's the matter is weak pulpits, weak schools, weak seminaries. That's what's the matter: teaching man's theology. They give... You say today, the strength of a Christian, they just...
"Are you a Christian?"
"Oh, I'm Methodist."
"Are you a Christian?"
"Oh, I--I--I'm Baptist."
Now, that's the strength of Christianity. How different. Hallelujah. How different from that first Church. They had none of these things to say. But they had been filled with an energy, a power of the Holy Ghost, that had set them free from sin and death. They wasn't nominal. They had a love of God burning in their hearts, that sent them to death.
195 Becky, my daughter, was reading to me, "The Gladiators," the other night. Said, "Listen to this, daddy." And I cannot at this time, I'm sorry, I can't call the name. But a--a young Christian had been throwed out as a gladiator to fight at the Roman arena. I've stood in that arena, praying. The old walls are falling in.
And when they would set there, and they--they just loved to see them. They had to kill one another. God speaking... In the old days they--they just meet one another and kill one another, and that was it. God was against that.
197 And one of the very--one of the--one of the very first signs of Christianity, refused to kill a man. That's right. And you can kill him more ways than just sticking him with a knife; speak against his character, many ways you can do it.
But this gladiator, they turned a lion loose on him. And with the strength and power of God he killed that lion with his sword, a knife. The people clapped; it was gallant. They stood up. They turned another one loose, and he killed it with his sword. And then they turned a man loose, a big, great, tall, dark African pagan. And this Christian had to fight him, which he didn't want to do. But in the fight he knocked the--the African down, had his sword right up over him, of course. The African said, "Sir, kill me quickly, so I won't suffer. Don't torture me. Kill me quickly."
The Christian threw over his sword, took off his armor, walked out before the emperor, and said, "Emperor, I am a Christian and my Lord and Saviour forbids us to take one another's life. I'll take the life of a wild beast, but not of my brother. I refuse to kill a man."
200 All of the emperors of Rome, and so forth, stood up, and said, "You mean a gladiator, a slave will refuse to obey the voice of Rome?"
And they called the man, "Jump up, and take that sword and kill him." He jumped up, and took the Christian's sword. The Christian, unarmed, laid his arms out. And the man struck him through the heart with a sword; right through his heart with a sword. And when the gurgles, between the blood gushing out, and filling up of his lungs, when this big knife went through his lungs, the little Christian fell on his knees, and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And we talk about suffering for Christ? What will our testimony be with men like that?
Oh, faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, flame, and sword.
202 Them were men, who meant death to confess Christ. What had they been? They had received the Witness. They was filled with the Holy Ghost. Them first Christians wasn't afraid of death. After that, the Roman Empire saw that there was something about them. What did they do? They nominated it, went along and made a denomination out of it, and just bring them in by profession, without receiving this Witness.
There's where they are today, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, and too many Pentecostals, so-called; we're going down this journey without receiving God's Witness. And the Holy Ghost is our Witness. Yes, sir. How different, them churches of that day.
204 The church of today is, "Just join the church." As the old saying is, "When a man joins the church, he puts on a new coat." That's right. But when he's filled with the Witness, they put a new man in the coat. It isn't a new coat on the man; it's a new man in the coat. What we need today is more new men in the coat; that's the clergy coat, I'm talking about. Yes, we need it different. The early...
This church today is trying to save itself, with its own good works. "Oh, I'm a Christian, I must be real sweet. I must do this." But that first church, what was they doing? Waiting. Not trying to change themselves, but was waiting for God Himself to come and change them from Pharisees to witnesses.
And what we need today is another waiting on the Holy Ghost, the Witness of God to come change us from a bunch of Pharisees, cold and starched, to witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah.
208 The Holy Ghost is not an empty shell, a place where people go and--and... The church is not an empty shell, rather, a place where people go, and a big old hall, building, or something another, worth a hundred million dollars, or something another. And we're spending all of our money upon such as that, putting millions and millions and millions of dollars. The church is better off today, financially, than it ever was. But we buy buildings. And here I see a great organization is putting six million dollars over here in Missouri, in a place. Where they, all the time, and we say, "The coming of the Lord is at hand," a Pentecostal movement. Others are... Pentecostals, are coming up out from the side streets, and things like that, and they're trying to build the biggest buildings, and get the best educated preacher they can get in there. And they're getting away from all the filling of the Holy Ghost, getting away from Divine healing, getting away from the Holy Ghost, the power.
210 And all we're doing now is trying to compete with the Methodists. And now have joined these great leagues of churches, and so forth, absolutely denying our evangelical stand, because we organized, affiliated. Now, they belong to the Council of Churches. What a shame. What a disgrace for such a thing. What a pity, with the opportunities of a dying world, with communism eating it up. And communism was formed because of the weakness of Christianity (That's right.), so-called Christianity.
What an opportunity the Church of the living God has today to rise to its feet with a witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and shake this world.
212 In the Bible, Jeremiah the 42nd chapter, they had a time like they got now. They were afraid that the king of Babylon was coming over to take them. And all the celebrity, and the big officers and things, they didn't believe them prophets. They just wanted to say they did it to be religious. So they called up old Jeremiah, and they thought he was a-crazy, brought him out of the wilderness there, probably with a blanket wrapped around him, and hair hanging over his face, eating herbs, and whatever he could get out in the wilderness to eat. Walked up, and said, "Prophet, find out from the will of the Lord, for us." Said, "Tell us what we shall do. And we'll obey the Lord, whether it be good or evil."
He said, "I'll seek the Lord for you then."
He went out and was gone ten days before the Lord spoke to him. Come back, and called them all together, and said, "I got THUS SAITH THE LORD." Said, "Hear, ye people." Hallelujah. "That you're scared of the king of Babylon," like we're scared of Russia. Said, "You're all getting ready to run down into Egypt, 'cause you know he's coming."
214 And we're fleeing from one city to another, trying to get away from atomic bombs, and building shelters and everything else. What good's it going to do? Get rid of the sin question.
Jeremiah said, "If you will turn to God, give your heart to God, turn your hearts back, and keep His commandments and all of His statutes, and do these things that's right, then don't fear the king of Babylon."
You know what the people said when they heard the--the witness of God? They said, "Thou prophesieth falsely. We're going into Egypt."
When they got down there, Jeremiah come and took two stones, and laid them in the slime pit, said, "My servant, King Nebuchadnezzar, will come right on down here. He'll take it anyhow. You'll die by the sword anyhow."
218 Brother, there's no way in this day at all to escape this damnation that waits people, outside of an old fashion, Holy-Ghost-sent repentance.
I have nothing against my brethren. And I'm speaking of myself, but we are evangelists. Billy Graham's a great evangelist; Oral Roberts, a great evangelist. Them are great men. We appreciate them. But we don't need evangelists. What is it? Organizing politics, getting the Methodists, and Baptists, and all the Pentecostal groups together to cooperate and show how big we can be, and how many we can draw out. We don't need that.
We need a waiting on God till the Holy Ghost comes with power and a deliverance. We need salvationists, not evangelists. We need salvation. "We can take this mountain. "Who is that mountain before us, Zerubbabel, it will be like a plain," God said. "Remain in the land." That's right.
222 What we need today is a--not a revival, a breaking out of salvation like in the days of the Welsh revival, when the people in the shops fell under conviction, crying, the bootleg joints and pleasure places closed up, and went to weeping and praying, that's what we need today. Not gather a hundred and fifty thousand, like they did the other day, some of them saying, "Hail Mary," and the other one saying something else, a little prayer; and go out and get a sociable drink, and go back. That's not a day of prayer. We need a day of weeping, and mourning, and waiting until God sends the Holy Ghost, His Witness, not an empty shell, not an empty denomination, but Deity tabernacled in men.
223 Jesus said, in Mark 16, that the Holy Ghost, when He come, He would testify in every succeeding generation, to the end. He said, "These signs... Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; these signs shall follow them that believe; in My Name they shall cast out devils." How long's this Witness going to be? To the end of the world. How long? Every generation. "In My Name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. If they taken up serpents, or drink deadly things, it wouldn't harm them. If they lay hands on the sick, they shall recover." Jesus said that the Holy Spirit that He would send would be a Witness to the end of the age, every generation afterwards.
Now, being that He said that, we are His witnesses. Amen. In closing listen close, put on your understanding now and listen as I close. We are His witnesses who have received of His Spirit.
225 His Word testifies in the last days that there will come a falling away, and there would come up a cold, formal, powerless church age." That's what we're living in. A church that had no power, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away." He give the sign that there'd be times when a man would set in the temple of God, showing himself he was God. He'd come, ruling the nations. How perfectly, they--all of these things, how God's Word has been perfect.
How king Nebuchadnezzar, back there when he dreamed that dream, and Daniel interpreted it to him, how those kingdoms, each one, from the Babylonian, to the Medes-o-Persians, to the Greeks, and to the Romans; just as they fell, just exactly date, time, and exactly the way God said it would.
227 God's Word is a true witness. And God's Word said in the last days there would come perilous times, and men's hearts would fail them for fear, and perplexed of times, and distress between the nations, and there'd come a falling away from the Church. And men would rise up, and showing themselves big dignitaries and so forth, and would--would power away from the church, and have a form of godliness, and deny the real power of God: church joining. He spoke of the church getting in that condition.
We are a witness that the Word of God is fulfilled. The church is in that, every organization is in that same state right now. I'll--I'll challenge any man to show me any organization on fire for God, filled with the Holy Ghost, with signs following them. Rise and tell me one, any organization. There is no such a thing. It's not on the pages. That's right. They're all powerless and dead. Get it.
But He also prophesied there'd be a real Church in that day, a little flock, a remnant. He said there would be, and there will be. "There will be a people who know their God," said the prophet, "will do exploits in the last days."
230 He said there'd be evening Lights in the last day. The prophet said so. God's true witness said so. There'd be evening Lights. What is an evening Light? The same as the morning Light. The prophet said, "There'll be a day where it wouldn't be night or day," a gloomy time like it is outside today, just enough light to see how to get around. But said, "In the evening time, it shall be Light." What would it be...?... coming back, going back to the early time. "There'd be evening Lights in the last day, shining."
He said there'd be a prophet rise in the last days (Malachi 4), giving the signs of the days of Lot, so forth, also prophesying for the people to return back, turn back to the faith of the first Pentecostal fathers. Turn back to the original. Turn back to the Bible. Get away from organization and denomination and go back to the first. Go back to the original Pentecost, to the original filling of the Holy Ghost, to the original power of God. The Word testifies that that'll happen.
It shall be Light in the evening time,
The path to glory you will surely find;
In the water way, is the Light today,
Buried in the precious Name of Jesus.
Young and old, repent of all your sins,
The Holy Ghost will surely enter in;
The evening Lights have come,
It is the facts that God and Christ are one.
232 God's Witness, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost Itself living in us would never affiliate Itself in organization. You can't organize God. He's God. What will it do? Go back the way it was at the first place. It'll go back to the beginning, back to the original, back to where it started from. It'll baptize the same way they did. It'll teach the Holy Ghost the same way it did. They'll teach the people the same way it did. It'll abstain from organizations like they did. It will have a room for all like they did, who will come. They'll be clean and holy like they did. They'll be filled with the Spirit like they were. They'll be fearless like they were. And the same things that happened to them will happen to these in the last days in the evening Lights like it was back before. God, send that Voice, call out.
233 We have all kinds of witnesses. We have all kinds. We have Methodist witness, Baptist witness, Presbyterian witnesses, Catholic witnesses. I'm going to preach next Sunday, the Lord willing, on the four different stages of church, if the Lord willing. Now, we have all kinds of witnesses today, but there's one true Witness.
Nature still witnesses there is a God. He still remains God, like He was, the first tree He ever created. Is that right? [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.]
235 Prophets, prophets back there, witness and had the Word of God, and spoke the Word of God, and It was fulfilled right before them. And God said, "If there be one among you, who's spiritual or a prophet, I the Lord will make Myself known to him, in visions, speak to him in dreams. And if what he says comes to pass, then hear him."
That same God does the same thing today. We see the very same thing happening. He spoke of the evening Lights would come, a return. "There'd be one rise who'd turn the faith of the children back to the fathers, before that great and terrible day of the Lord would come that would burn the earth like an oven."
237 And we see the atomic bombs hanging yonder. We seen where Russia exploded theirs the other day, fifty times hotter and more powerful than that at Hiroshima. No wonder Japan's crying for peace, crying and praying. Hiroshima, when it burnt their eyes and tongues out, for hundreds of miles away, and this one they exploded was fifty times stronger. Now, I see where the fallout missed America, as it went around, but when it comes back, it comes over America again. Fallout, shelters...
I tell you, it's time for falling out, all right, falling out of the things of the world. "Where will you fall, Brother Branham?" Back into the arms of God. That's right. Let the Holy Ghost bear witness. He is God's Witness.
Let us pray. "Where shall we fall, Brother Branham?"
239 We believe This. We believe the Word is true. We see It's true. We see that He prophesied this in the last days. We see it. We see His tree bearing witness. We see His flowers bearing witness. We see His Word bearing witness. We see His Spirit bearing witness. "What must we do, Brother Branham?"
Fall out, fall out of the world. Fall out of the things that you're in. Just rely, just... "Where will we fall to, Brother Branham?"
Retreat to the arms of God, say, "Lord, fill me. Fill me, O Lord, with Thy Witness. Let the Holy Spirit be my Guide. Let Him not... Let me not go around each day, saying, "Well, I--I--I'm a Christian, I mustn't do this and I mustn't do that.' Let me be just so energized with the Holy Spirit, that my soul can't stand still."
You say, "I'm afraid of fanaticism." Don't you never worry. If you fall into the arms of God, there'll not be one bit of fanaticism.
243 In the Welsh revival, when the great leader of that Welsh revival... They said to him, said, "You'll have a bunch of fanaticism."
The only words that he would speak, was, "Relax, and let the Holy Spirit have Its way; relax, and let the Holy Spirit." Not one speck of fanaticism raised up. No, they were all truly borned of the Spirit.
Holy Ghost revival, O God, send It upon my little church, Father. Send It upon this waiting people. As we sing that old song, Father, so many times:
They were in the upper building,
They were all with one accord,
When the Holy Ghost descended
That was promised by our Lord.
O Lord, send Your power just now,
Lord, send Your power just now;
Yes, O Lord, send Your power just now
And baptize every one.
246 Father God, from the little children, I got two girls and two boys in this room today, Lord, youngsters; Lord, send the power upon them. Other men and women are here with youngsters; send the power just now.
Mothers are setting here, and fathers, maybe if they was dying today they would have to cross the--the Jordan, alone. And, O God, when they come down to that, nearing that shore, when the breath is about to leave, the lightning flash, and the wrath of Jehovah upon a sinful body that's been born in sin, how the breakers will dash and the lightnings roar, and the great breakers, and the dangerous shoals. O God, may they anchor just now in Jesus, that when that time comes, knowing that there's a anchor that holds, that'll guide them across every dangerous shoal. The lightning or nothing can sink them. They're safe with Jesus. Grant it, Lord.
248 Have mercy upon us. Forgive us of our sins. Grant it, Lord. Fill us with the Holy Spirit. May we just not be satisfied, Lord, with joining church and trying to be a Christian, being some self effort, some way to try to manufacture something, saying, "Now, I'm... I joined church, and the people going to expect me to be a Christian. And now I'm not have to do this and not have to do that no more, because I'm a Christian." O God, may we get away from that Pharisee condition, God, that bunch of hypocrites. O God, somehow let the Holy Spirit speak what I mean, Lord. I can't find words to say it. We don't want to be self-made Pharisees.
God, fill us with our--with Deity. Fill us with power and energy until our souls are aflame, that our strength will be Him, our testimony will be God, our words will be His. Devils will tremble. The world will shake and rock under the impact of it, Lord. If You can only find people who are willing to wait upon the Lord.
They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up like wings of an eagle,
They'll run and not be weary, they'll walk and not faint;
Oh, teach me, Lord, teach me, Lord, to wait.
Teach me to wait when hearts are aflame, (Great revival that's going through the land, saying they're having thousands and thousands, and so forth, Lord; great flowerly things.)
Let me humble my pride, call on Your Name;
Keep my faith renewed, my eyes on Thee,
Let me be on this earth what You want me to be, Lord.
251 May we consecrate our little frail boats this morning, this little tabernacle of shameful flesh that we think so much of, to work so many days to keep it a comfortable place, and we live in fine homes and nice cars... And, O God, and then we get our eyes on that, and off of this great re--ransom. O God, let us lay aside these frail little things to know that we leave them here on earth. Let us seek that heavenly Treasure, that Holy Spirit, that true Witness of God.
Success never bears witness of God. The Spirit bears witness of God. Whether our denominations grow, or whether our church grows, or whether we have very many members, or whether we dress good, or drive good cars, or eat good food, what difference does that make? We must leave it. What good would that have done my own mother the other day, struggling along there? And I realize, Lord, those things count nothing.
And may our eyes be fixed on Jesus, on the Holy Spirit, and let Him come into our hearts and be witnesses. May we be His witness, Lord. May we stand in that condition, Father, and bear witness.
254 Laying upon this pulpit this morning, lays handsful of handkerchiefs, coming from sick and afflicted. God, let the God that--that give me this message yesterday, let the God that spoke through Brother Higginbotham this morning and predicted It was coming, let the God Who shows the visions, speak.
I defy every devil and take this mountain by faith. Who are you, great mountain of sickness, that would stand before the Lord? Why, you'll become as a plain. Who are you, river or--or dead sea, that would stand anything dead before God? Open up your way, we're coming over. We're going to the promised land.
Heal every one of these, Lord. Heal every one that's setting present that's sick.
Who are you, sickness, who do you think you are? Satan, who do you claim to be? Every claim that you have was canceled at Calvary. You're a bluff. You have no rights. We defy you, in the Name of Jesus Christ as a Holy Ghost filled body. And let the God that has guided me through my life, the God Who gives the visions and speaks His Words that comes to pass, let Him, through the Name of Jesus Christ, drive every sickness away from this people this morning.
You said, "Speak, and don't doubt, but believe that what you've said will come to pass, you can have what you said." Who did that? The Witness of God said That. And I bear witness this morning that that Word's true, Satan, so you have to leave.
260 Every person in here could be healed right now, the power of God come over them, heal every one. The faith, the faith, that--that real faith; not that hope-so, not that do-good, but that selfsame God that spoke the Word, fall upon this people. Fill them with faith. Fill them with the Holy Ghost. Fill them, and make them witnesses, Lord, that we on this corner can be a witness to You, a witness that You live: a true Witness.
Tonight we're coming to the communion table to take the--the particles, little parcels that represent the body of our Lord Jesus, and to drink His Blood. God, cleanse our sinful hearts. I cry for myself and this church. We're weak, Lord. We're not worthy. We are a church that professed, and we haven't exercised the things that we have claimed. We haven't let the Holy Spirit take us over in full. We are sinful; by that, we mean, Lord, we're doubting; we're afraid.