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Five Definite Identifications Of The True Church Of The Living God
1 Thank you, Brother Neville, Lord bless you. It's certainly a privilege to be here tonight; I am so happy that God permitted us to do it. I am a little shy of cameras. I like... Go ahead, take them; that's all right. I just watch them; I'm conscious of them. And that's all right; it's all right. Now, it's rather warm. We've had two tremendous messages from the Lord.
2 And now, I thought tonight, seeing that many of my friends are here that has to drive a long way, some of them from way down in Kentucky... I see Brother Welch Evans and his family here from Tifton, Georgia. I met people out here from California. There's some here from Germany and different places, coming in to this one little spot to serve the Lord. And I see Sister Nellie Cox; I believe that her mother-in-law and them are here: which will perhaps go back many miles tonight in Kentucky, Georgia, down into Tennessee, up into Ohio, my friends here.
One friend here, Brother Ted Dudley, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona... There's many of them here; others, if I could just call their names, come here to visit with us today. Ninety percent of them I haven't got to even touch their hands. I see my friends from Chicago, and just all around. How many people's in here from out of town, raise your hands. Ninety percent of the audience. Now, it's made up of different friends from different churches around over the country.
3 And I preached a long time this morning, prayed for the sick till one-thirty, so I got just a little bit hoarse. And I have to preach a little while to kind of get in what we call second gear, before I...
There's Brother Lee Vayle, I've no more than shook his hands, one of my associates: Baptist church, Ohio.
Is that you, Ben? [Brother Ben says, "Amen"--Ed.] I hadn't heard you say, "amen" yet, or I'd have knowed you. All know Brother Ben. And I know he's out of town, so I don't know just... Where you from now, Brother Ben? ["Well, we're up at North Borden, Indiana, Brother."--Ed.] Borden, Indiana.
6 We're so glad to have everyone here. And now, I'm not going to keep you very long because of the tremendous miles you have to drive. Wished I could take each one of you home with me tonight. I really mean that. I got to leave at about three, between three and four o'clock in the morning, and I--I wish I could take you along.
I see my friend here from Arkansas, his wife. Aren't you the man that we--the Lord spoke to and told these things in here the other night? I thought you were. Just as I look around and see new and old friends... So God knows the intents of my heart, that I'd like to get to see you, and take you home with me, and have a good chat, but one day we'll do that where we won't have to say, "We got to hurry up. Got to pick up the children. Somebody's sick." That'll all be over then, that great day. I hope we meet many more times.
7 Now, it's my intention, while I'm waiting on the Lord now to find my direction... Now, Tuesday, I'm going to need prayer worse than I ever needed it in all my life. I'm going to ask you if you'll pray for me. I--I'll need your prayers. Be sure to pray for me. The way the wind turns Tuesday, may mean a great thing to me, and to the church and to the cause of Christ. So be sure to pray for me.
8 Now, then, until I find just which direction to go and what to do, I'm waiting on the Lord. During that time, I'll be around the Tabernacle here, in and out, preaching, praying for the sick, doing anything that I can do. We want to someday, if the government doesn't stop us, we want to build a church here, a nice church where we can have seating capacity, a main floor, and balcony, and so forth, so it'll be a real nice church, air-conditioned, so the people can set in comfort, listen to the services, if they let us do it. We hope so. Now, pray for us.
9 And now, tonight we're going to approach the subject that I promised this morning, the Lord willing, to talk on tonight, and it's going to be, more or less, teaching, because of voice. I want to speak tonight on: "Five Definite Identifications Of The True Church Of The Living God," five definite vindications of the true Church, or identifications, rather, of the true church,
10 Now, before we approach this great and mighty subject, I'm going to ask for a word of prayer. I'm going to ask our pastor, Brother Neville, if he'll come up and offer prayer over the Word of God while we turn, all of us to St. Matthew the 16th chapter, the 18th verse to begin with. St. Matthew 16 and 18, while Brother Neville is making his way for the prayer of consolation.
[Brother Neville prays--Ed.] Truly, Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. Grant it, Lord. Do, Lord. Grant it, Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. O God. Yes, Lord. Amen.
Has that got all the volume it'll take...?... It's all on. Is this the mike, the right mike? Both of them. Can you hear me all right? Back in the back, can you hear me? All right, fine.
12 I wish to read now out of the Book of Matthew, 16th chapter, and the 18th verse; I'll begin with the 17th verse.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:... flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
I say... unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I'll build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
May God add His blessings to His Word.
13 The word "church," on each one of these subjects that I have chosen tonight to try to speak to you on, one of it is, "What Is The Church? Who Set It Up? What Is Its Message? How Do We Become A Member Of It? and Can We Get To Heaven Without Being A Member Of It?" Now, each one of those texts could last for hours, combing back and forth, but I wish to just hit a few fundamental points to show what the real church is. And now, I want you to have your Bibles.
14 Now, the first place, the word "church," itself, means "the called-out." Now, Israel was not the church of God as long as they were in Egypt; they were the people of God. And then when God called them out of Egypt, they become the church of God, because they were the called-out. Now, that still remains the same today. The word "church" means "the called-out ones," those that have been called out, separated, made different.
15 Now, in the Old Testament the known church was called the Kingdom of God, God's Kingdom. Now, I'm taking this from chronology of the Bible. The Old Testament, the church was called the Kingdom of God. In other words, God is a King, and the church is His domain: God's Kingdom, Old Testament.
In the New Testament It's called "the Messianic empire." Oh, I like that: Messianic. In other wise, "the Messiah's empire," where the Messiah rules and reigns. No denominational barriers or nothing, the Messiah rules in His empire. Isn't that wonderful thinking? Messianic empire. Therefore, the church is not an organization; the church is not a gathering of people. The church is the people of God that's been called out of the world to serve in another Kingdom.
17 This would stand quoting. A few months ago, wife and I were going to the shopping center. And we found a strange thing; there was a woman on the street that had a skirt on. All right, you wouldn't believe it, but we actually found one. And the wife said to me, "Well, look at that."
I said, "She must be a Christian; she's so much different." It's a shame.
Then the question arose, "Why is it, Bill, that we, as Christians, and this faith that we believe in, why is it that we constrain our women to wear dresses to act that way? Does not people of other churches? They wear those clothes like that, the immoral clothes, and why is it? You couldn't say they were immoral."
I said, "That is true. I can judge no one. But to see them, by their fruits they are known. They may not actually commit the crime, but on them is a spirit that's driving them to immorality."
21 Now, Jesus said, "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart." Now, when that sinner has to answer for committing adultery, who will be the guilty one? The woman that presented herself. You may be as pure as a lily, as far as virtue is concerned, but if you have presented yourself before the people in a immoral way, though you're innocent of the act, you caused a man to think evil of you, when it's your fault. Jesus said you'll be guilty of committing adultery, and an adulternous will never enter heaven.
22 But as I travel around the world, I find every nation has its own spirit. And all nations are controlled by the Devil. All governments are ruled by the Devil. The Bible said so. They fight, they war, and they will till Jesus comes, and then He'll set up a Kingdom that there'll be no war. But Satan said that all the kingdoms of the world was his, and he'd do with them whatever he wanted to, right in the face of Jesus Christ. And they're all Satan's instruments, Satan's kingdoms. Satan told Jesus, "I'll give them to you if you'll fall down and worship me."
Jesus knowed He'd fall Heir to them in the millennium, so He said, "Get thee hence, Satan." He knew that God would give Him all of the kingdoms, and they would be His, and they'll all be one Kingdom.
24 When you go into Germany, you find a German spirit. You go into England, you find a English spirit. You go into Sweden, you find a Swedish spirit. And you go into France, you find a French spirit. You come into America, you find American spirit.
I stopped at San Angelo, at Rome, sometime ago and wanted to see the catacomb. And to my surprise, and to a rebuke, as an American, standing before the catacomb gate where you entered in, said, "To the American women: please put on clothes and honor the dead before entering here." When a nation sinks that low, it's terrible, when we get to that place. So you see, because...
26 I asked a woman one time, "Are you a Christian?"
She said, "I'm an American; of course I am." That has nothing to do with it.
Brother Bosworth asked one, one night, said, "Are you a Christian, sister?"
Said, "I'll give you to understand; I burn a candle every night." Like that had anything to do with Christianity, burning a candle. Christianity doesn't consist of such things as that. And the church of God doesn't consist of such makeup as that.
29 Now, what makes the women... We never compel them women to do that. We never compel our men not to drink, not to swear. We just preach the Gospel, and lay down the pattern of the Bible. Many men that comes to the Pentecostal faith and the holiness faith, come in and profess to be, when they're not in their heart; many women does the same thing. We don't tell them they have to do it; we just give them the pattern, tell them what the Bible says, and if they are borned of a heavenly Spirit, then their spirit is no more Americanized, it's no more Germanized, it's heavenlyized for the Kingdom of God. Because we are in another Kingdom, a Kingdom of God, where decency, holiness, and power exist.
30 We have access to our King. We have an interview with Him whenever we want to call upon Him. We have no other intercessors, no other mediator between the King and us, but that one Man, Christ Jesus. So we are living in a Kingdom. And It is called in the chronology of the Bible, "the Messianic, Messianic Kingdom." In other words, where the Messiah rules in every life in His dominion, ruling the lives of His people, a called-out people from every walk of life, gathering them together in a group, that He calls It, "His church," or "His Called-Out Ones." Isn't that a beautiful thing?
31 Now, Israel was the people of God until (We find in Acts 7:38, if you're putting it down.) that then they were called the church of God, because they were called by God out of Egypt, out of the world, out away from other churches, out away from other religions to walk with God alone.
And now, the church of God today is the same thing: called out of everything of the world, called out of every religious cult, called out of every religious denomination, called out of every religious organization to walk with God; not being governed by a bishop, but being governed by Christ in this Messianic Kingdom that we live in. Christ is the King. Christ is the One.
33 Now, Christ is the Head of this; Christ is the Head of this Messianic Kingdom. And you cannot organize a Kingdom of which Christ is the Head. You cannot denominate a Kingdom which Christ is the Head. Because Christ is King, and you cannot take the intellectuals of a man and make an organization to which Christ will govern. Therefore, any companies, any peoples, any groups of men, that tries to organize the Kingdom of God is going contrary to the King. And if they're going contrary to the King, it would be against the King. So if it's against the King, it would be an antichrist. That's pretty rough. If I had just a little more voice, we'd make that clear. It is a antichrist. And if you'll bear with me a few minutes, I'll prove that.
An antichrist spirit tries to take a--a people and call them from organization to organization, organizing them together, which never was the will of God. People has always fussed at me because I struck so hard at organizations. It isn't the people in there that I'm striking at; it's that dominating spirit that makes the people think that "We are the people."
34 God's people is His called-out people. I believe they're in every denomination; they could be Catholic; they could be Protestant; they could be Jewish; they could be any kind of a church. But the real church is the mystical Body of Jesus Christ.
Now, you cannot organize the mystical Body of Christ. Now, every person that comes to Christ, comes out of the world, comes into Christ, comes into His mystical Body. And you are a member of that Body when you are brought into this church, called-out and are baptized into this mystical Body. You get it? It's not Methodist, not Baptist, not Pentecostal, not Nazarene, not Pilgrim Holiness, not Catholic; but the Body of Jesus Christ. We'll pick that up a little deeper in other questions in a few minutes, as we go on into the deeper parts of it. But the Body of Christ is the church.
36 Now, He likened it in many parables, like in a husband and wife. He calls the church the Bride. And the bride is no longer, and the bridegroom is no longer two people; they are one. She's flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. And then when a man or a woman is called to the mystical Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, they become a full member of His Body when they're filled with the Holy Ghost, 'cause God took the Spirit out of Christ, raised up His body and placed it on His throne, and sent back the Holy Spirit to make up the mystical Body of Christ, which will be united at the marriage supper at the coming of the Lord. You cannot organize it. It is a mystery.
37 Jesus said to Nicodemus, "The wind blow where it listeth; thou cannot tell which way it come or where it's going. So is everyone that's borned of the Spirit." You can't understand it. It comes from somewhere. And it isn't Methodist; it isn't Baptist; it isn't Pentecostal; it isn't any organization. It is a birth, born into the Kingdom of God.
Now, trying to organize it, then brings it to antichrist, because anything that's against the teaching of Christ is antichrist.
39 Now, where did this organization start at then? Jesus, when He was on earth, never organized any church. He spoke of a coming church, but He never organized any church. There never was a church organized for hundreds of years after the death of the last apostle. And the first organized church that ever was on earth was the Roman Catholic church. Now, I have the Pre-Nicene Fathers, Foxe "Book of Martyrs," the writings of Josephus, Pember's "Early Ages," and many of the great ancient writers, and nowhere, nowhere is it ever written on any page of history where there ever was an organized church until the Roman Catholic church was organized. And it become an organization, which was contrary to God.
Now, if such a thing was coming... Oh, I wish I could get this over to you. If such a thing was coming, it would be such a great antichrist, should not God foreknow it if He's the infinite God? He's infinite. Would He not know that these things was coming? And if it's such a horrible thing, would not He warn His church beforehands? Now, I hope you have a better understanding of why that I strike, not at the people in the organizations, but the organizations and their disposition. It can be nothing else but antichrist in every one of them.
40 Now, you say, "Wait a minute, I thought you didn't preach nothing but the Bible."
Let's let the Bible say it then. Let us turn now and read awhile, turn with me to Revelations the 17th chapter. This is the revelation of Jesus Christ to His church, church called out. Revelations 17, and we'll try to make this just quick as possible. But now watch as we read:
... there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying... Come hither; and I'll show thee the judgment of the great whore that setteth upon many waters:
Now, this is all symbolized, because it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, sealed up. Did you know that? It is a hidden thing, and only can be revealed, not by the intellectual mind, but revealed by the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Spirit, "To him that has wisdom let him count the numbers of the beast. To him that has wisdom, the gift of wisdom, let him do this and let him do that." And this is the revelation.
43 Now, anyone knows that when a woman is symbolized in the Bible, it pertains to a church. Christ's church is called the Bride. Paul said, "I espouse you to Christ as a chaste virgin."
Now, here we're speaking of a great woman who is a ill-famed woman. "Come hither and I'll show you," said the Angel to John, "the judgment of the great whore that sets upon many waters." Now, "woman setting upon many waters," sounds very mystic, but it's all here. The Bible explains it. Now, let's turn over to the 15th chapter, so we can--or 15th verse, rather, of the same chapter, so you can see what the--the--the--the "waters" means.
And he said unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore setteth, are peoples,... multitudes,... nations, and tongues.
45 Therefore, the waters that the woman was setting upon, up over, she had control of the nations, peoples, multitudes, and tongues. She controlled it all: a woman, a ill-famed woman. Now, if a woman is ill-famed, if we know a woman was called that in the natural, to a--a woman, we would know that she was untrue to her husband. That's what she'd be called. Then she would be pretending to live true to a man, and living untrue to him. Is that right? Well, then this is the church that says that Christ is her Husband, and her doctrine is contrary to His Teaching. She's a whore. And she's got control of the peoples, and multitudes, and nations. "Come hither and I'll show you the judgment of her." Now, we got the picture.
... whom the kings of the earth have committed fornications, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
What is fornication? "Uncleanness, to be unclean." She's a whore. She's got uncleanness about her, and all the rich people of the world, the kings and great men of nations and multitudes, have committed fornications with her, has taken of her evils. You see where it's coming to, don't you? You see?
47 Now, I'm not responsible for writing This, but I am responsible if I don't teach It. We're talking about church now. Now, if you'll notice, as we go a little further...
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman setting upon a scarlet coloured beast,...
Let me get these symbols as we go along. Now, scarlet is red. Red, in one way, is a good color. Red, in another way, is an ill-famed color, red light, danger color, a scarlet colored... She was decked in scarlet color, red, prostitute, and was setting upon a beast. A "beast" in the Bible means "power." If you notice, many ministers, I see them nodding their head, right, 'cause they're teachers of the Bible. A "beast" means a power." We see these beasts of the--of the Bible, of Revelations 13, and of Daniel, coming up out of the water: beasts, powers coming up from among the people.
50 But did you notice in Revelations 13, when the United States come up, is the only beast in the Bible that come up that did not come out of waters. The Bible said it come up out of the earth, where there was no peoples. That was this new kingdom. And it looked like a lamb, but after while it spoke like the dragon. That's this country. It's got to happen. Someday they'll make a mistake and elect the wrong guy. They'll raise up a Joseph--or a Pharaoh that doesn't know Joseph. They tried it before, and they'll do it again if they fail this time. It'll finally come; the Bible said so. And I'm not a politician; both sides of them are crooked. I'm casting my vote on Jesus Christ; He's the only One I'm interested in. But I tell you; you'd better wipe your glasses off now, if you expect any freedom for your children. I don't know how close it is. Pray. All right.
(Having what?)... So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman... (church)... setting upon a scarlet coloured beast--scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Seven heads... And on down here, it said, "The seven heads which was on the beast, is seven hills on which the--the city setteth." Now, what city's built on seven hills? Rome (It's exactly.), a city setting on seven hills: a church, a woman, a prostitute that'll control the world with her powers. Why, it's just as plain as reading the newspaper. See? Certainly.
Now, and the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colours,... (the woman, the church, rich),... and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls,...
Tell me where one of them ever paid income tax. Tell me where they're taxed for anything. Ride away with anything they want to do. And yet God's got children in there, certainly He has.
Just the same, pot can't call kettle black. Lot of times the Protestants say, "Well, the Catholics they murdered this, that, the other." Who murdered Joseph Smith? I don't agree with him, but he had just as much right for his teaching as I've got for mine here in America. And the Methodist church murdered Joseph Smith. When you come into the--the Salt Lake City, it's got a great big sign up, "You Methodist, watch the Mormon crickets!" Right, the Methodist church shot Joseph Smith down: Protestants. So don't holler about the Catholic. Watch just a few minutes, the Bible will say so too.
... precious stones... pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of the abomination of the filthiness of her fornications... (her doctrines, what she was giving out),... kings of the earth drinking it.
Anybody could believe that could believe Brother Jagger's vitamin pills, that you can sprinkle water on a woman that's been married to a man for thirty years and had a bunch of children, and turn her back to a virgin and send her to her bridal bed that night with her husband. Anybody could believe that holy water will do that, can believe anything. That's right. But the kings of the earth commit such things as that. It's so they can live and have a peaceful feeling. Down in your heart you know you're rotten. Take the Blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you.
But now notice, she was the first organized church, the Bible speaks of it here.
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Now, watch. We all will agree, and Roman's own books, the Catholic's own books agree that that is the Roman church. So their own books could agree with it. I've got what's called "Facts Of Our Faith," only belongs to a priest; a catholic was converted to mine, which her boy was a priest, and she gave me the book. Then he talked her back in church; she come for it, and I wouldn't let her have it. I kept it for evidence, wanted to know what I was talking about. When I say anything, I must know it; God's going to hold me responsible for it.
56 And remember, she was called "Mystery, Babylon," we know that's the Catholic church; but notice, she's the mother of harlots. What's a harlot? The same thing that she is, the whore. Now, where did these organizations come from? There's their mother, that's what they are to begin with. Then you say, "That's the antichrist." That's true. Then if that's antichrist, then what about our organizations? Just as harlot and whore is the same thing, committing adultery, committing fornications, accepting false things because of the mind and intellectuals of man... As the Bible said, "Teaching for doctrine the commandments of man." That's what's called church today, which is against God's Kingdom.
57 Like in the Old Testament, God wanted to be King over Israel, before it became a church, and He was King. And although they had a prophet, Samuel, a good man, and when he had told them that if they wanted a king... But they wanted to be like the rest of the people; they wanted to be like the Philistines.
That's what's the matter with the Protestant people; they just won't let good enough alone. They just... When the Holy Ghost fell on them back yonder, forty years ago, and the power begin to pour out, and they begin to dance and shout and speak with tongues, they wouldn't leave it alone; they had to organize it. Then along came one and they called them a General Council. Along came another one with a little Light on the Name Jesus Christ, and they called them the "New Issues" and turned them out. Then they got them an organization called the P. A. of J. C., the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. A little friction come in between them, whether He's coming on a white horse or how He was coming, and they organized another one, called P. A. of W., Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Oh, my, my. Then on come the Church of God. Then they broke off by prophecy, organized again. And every time you do it, you go out of the will of God. The antichrist spirit...
59 God's church is free. God's church is bound by no boundaries, because from sea to sea is God's; every human being under the earth belongs to Him. Whether he's been Catholic, Protestant, or whatever he is, God seeks those with an honest heart. And we're saved by faith, believing Him. That's the church. Now, you see, the church is not an organization.
And every time you see organization, just remember, "antichrist" is wrote over it. Here it is in the Bible. That's as plain as I know how to read It. I--I've got plenty of precious friends setting here that belongs to organizations; I don't say you're antichrist; I'm not calling you that; but behind the whole thing, and it looks like the Devil has twisted it in such a way till you have to have something like that or they won't even let you preach. That's the same thing the nations has got. You can't be a man without a nation; you have to have a nation somewhere. You have to either be American, German, or something. See, it's all twisted around.
61 So really, a real borned again Christian is almost a wanderer; in the sight of the world he's a renegade. But in the sight of God he's precious. Wish we had time to go to Hebrews 11, and see how them faith warriors, how Abraham stepped out and called himself a pilgrim and a stranger, said this world was his home, but he was wandering about, seeking a city whose Builder and Maker was God. And if we, being dead in Christ, we take on Abraham's Seed and are heirs with him by the promise. And what does that make us? Pilgrims and wanderers.
62 When Israel come up out of Egypt. There was Moab, the great organized country. There was also Esau, the great organized country. And here was Israel, an undenominational, coming along: both of them, fundamentally, in the Word. Remember, Balaam offered the same sacrifice that Israel offered, seven altars. God's requirement. Seven clean sacrifices, seven rams speaking of the coming of the Just One. Fundamentally, they were both right, speaking fundamentally. But what Balaam failed to see, he failed to see that supernatural amongst Israel, that interdenominational group. No place to go, they were wandering, but they were on their road somewhere.
That's the way the church of the living God is today; it's unorganized, as far as the world's concerned. But it's bound together by not organization ties, but by the power and the Spirit of Jesus Christ, by the bonds of love.
64 Takes a Methodist and Baptist pat one another on the back and say, "My precious brother," when they have seen they can't walk together unless they're agreed.
People say, "Are you a Christian?"
"I'm a Baptist." That don't answer the question at all. "Am I a Christian? I'm Pentecost." That don't answer the question.
If you are a Christian, you are a borned again creature. You are in a mystic Kingdom of God. Your eyes are not on things of this world, but on things above. And that's when you're in the church. That is the church. It is not an organization; it can never be an organization. Take me on record. The church of the living God can never be any certain group. It cannot be an organization. It has to be a mystical Body, the Holy Spirit. A little farther, if we get time, we'll get right into it.
67 Now, now you see what church means? "Church" means, a "called-out bunch," a called-out people that's governed only by the King of this Messiahic Kingdom. Oh, isn't that wonderful? I love that. When I read that in the... today. And when it said there, "The Kingdom, the Messianic Empire." The writer put it, "Messianic Empire." The writer also said, "There is not such a thing as the church of the living God ever being organized. Organization is something that was adapted, adopted into, to take the place of."
68 That's just exactly the way all these false doctrines was brought in to take the place of the real. That's the reason the woman had in her hand a cup of the filthiness of her abomination. Now, you see, I'm not saying... The Pentecostals is just as guilty as the Catholic, or the Pilgrim Holiness, or the Nazarenes, or the Baptists, or Methodist. But in all those denominational churches, God has children. They belong into this mystic Kingdom. The only thing they're waiting for is to see that something take place that it'll draw their hearts into it. I'm so glad to know tonight that they're coming from the east and west, north and south, pulling themselves out, worshipping, waiting for the coming of the Lord. The Bible said they'd do that in the last days; that's exactly right, and said they'd "Run from the east to the west, north and south, seeking for the true Word of God; a famine not for bread and water, but for the hearing of the Word of God."
They want you, "Come join this. Come join this." There's nothing you join in the Kingdom of God, there's not one thing you can join. It's an experience of being born into the church, not joined into it. Now, I may get a little more on that in a minute, I got some more Scriptures wrote down there.
70 But now, let's go to the second thought, so we can try to get through all of it. "Who Set It Up?" that is, its mystical Body? Who started This? Jesus Christ. And it is the... He is the Head of this mystical Body. He's the King over it, working His Own will in His dominion. Not a bishop's control or a church board's control, but a King, which is Messiah Himself working in His Own Domain. When did it begin? At Pentecost. Not the Pentecostal organization; the Pentecostal experience. That's when it begin with you. He spoke of Its coming. He said what would take place. He told it was coming.
71 Now, if we will, we can turn to Luke, 24th chapter, 49th verse, and we can see here, start reading some Scriptures so these people that's taking this can put it down. Luke 24:49, we'll see what He said.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until you're endued with power from on high.
Now, He promised of a coming church, a coming Kingdom. Now, turn right over to Acts 1 and 8. Now, remember, He spoke also in Matthew 16:18, of, upon this rock He would build His church and the gates of hell should not prevail against it; we're going to get to that just in a few minutes, as we go on down into the other subject. Acts 1 and 8.
But you shall receive power, after... the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,... Judaea,... Samaria, and to the utmost parts of the world.
A coming Kingdom of witnesses, witnesses of His resurrection, witnesses of His power, witnesses of His... of being alive. "You're My witnesses," now, Acts 1:8.
74 Then we also find, that in Ephesians the 1st chapter, 22nd verse, you that's putting that down. Just there's plenty of it to put down, but just to nail it down to make it sure that you're--you see it. All right, the 22nd verse of Ephesians the 1st chapter.
And has put all things under his feet,... (That's Christ.)... and gave him to be the head over the things to the church,
Which is his body, and the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Who set this church up? Jesus Christ, no bishop, no group of men, no pope, no manmade powers at all. But Jesus Christ spoke of It being His Kingdom that was coming in power. "Some stands here... "16th chapter of Matthew, "Verily, I say unto you, some stands here shall not see death until they see the Kingdom of God coming in power." Just a few days after that, He was crucified and the Holy Ghost fell. "Some stands here shall not see death until they see the Kingdom of God."
76 "Will Thou restore the Kingdom at this time?" the Jews asked Him.
He said, "It's not for you to know the time or the season, what the Father has put in His Own mind. But you shall receive power," Acts 1, "you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you." You shall receive power after you're made a bishop, after you're made a preacher, after you're made a pope, after you're made a priest? "You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come on you." That's the witness that God was looking for, a witness after the Holy Ghost is come. Not a witness that I'm a bishop, not a witness that I'm a pastor. But a witness of what? Of the resurrected King. That's the true church of the living God. All right.
78 And also in Colossians 1:17 and 18, we might read this just while we're at it: Colossians 1:17 and 18th verse.
And he Who is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church:... (Who He is),... who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Who is the Head of this church? Jesus Christ, What Kingdom is it? The Messianic Kingdom, the church, not an organization, a church, a mystic Body to which Christ is the Head. Oh, I love that, walking in the Spirit, obeying the King; foolish to the world, precious in the sight of God. Walking in the Spirit; misunderstood, laughed at, made fun of... "All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. If they persecuted the prophets which were before you, called the Master of the--Master of the building Beelzebub, how much more will they call them of His disciples." But you're walking in the Spirit, turning your back on the things of the world, not bound by any fetters. "He who the Son has made free is free indeed." Amen. That's the church of the living God. That's Who set it up.
80 Now, we see in witnesses, in Acts 1 and 8, He said, "You shall be My witnesses after the Holy Ghost has come on you."
What is the church? The mystic body of Christ. Who set it up? The Lord Jesus Himself. It wasn't set up at Rome; neither was it set up in England by John Wesley; neither was it set up by Calvin, or in America, the Baptists by John Smith, neither was it set up in California by the Pentecostals. It was set up by Jesus Christ, the King of the Messianic Kingdom. That's Who it was set up by. He is The King. He wants to be King. He wants to rule us. He wants to be Lord.
82 People let Him in, say, "I'll let Him be Saviour," but they won't let Him be Lord. "Lord" means "ownership, rulership." "Come into my heart, Lord, save me from hell, but don't tell me what to do." That's the attitude of the people. That's the reason no wonder the Bible said, "All the tables have become full of vomit." You know what vomit is. "As a dog turns to its vomit..." If these organizations didn't work in the first time and God had to vomit them out, go back to them, they'll make you vomit again. He said, "I would that you were hot or cold, because you're lukewarm I'll spue you from My mouth." You make God sick at His stomach, and He vomits us out.
83 Tell me an organization that ever fell that ever rose again. Show me by history where one ever did. A man will rise up with a ministry; God will bless that man. The first thing you know, he'll turn it right around and get amongst men and make an organization out of it, and that kills it right there. Look through the histories and find one that ever come up. Not a one, because it's all an antichrist spirit amongst the people.
84 Like Moses, and them wanted something they could do themselves. "Lord, we have so many members this year." What difference does that make how many members you have? We're not looking for members of a church; we're looking for members of Christ's Body, borned into the Kingdom of God, not by the will of man, but by the will of God, not by the spirit of man or the intelligence of man.
Paul said, "I never come to you with the wisdom of man. I come to you with the Spirit of God and the power of His resurrection, that your faith would not rest in the wisdom or the enchantment words of man, but in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ." That's what He come in. God help us that we do the same thing.
86 Now, we don't want to spend too much time on each one. Now, I want to find out, "What Is The Message Of This Church?" What should this church teach? What's its message? The first message that I can think of, that this church (mystical Body) will teach, will be repentance. Let's turn to Luke 24 again, just for a moment. Luke, 24th chapter, the first thing the church is to do, is to repent, and it will teach repentance. Now, Jesus, fixing to leave, this is the last chapter, when He's fixing to leave the earth. Luke 24:46, let's begin with the 46th verse.
And He said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins... (Oh, I want that to soak in, 'cause I'm coming to something in a minute on that, "remission of sins")... repentance towards God, and remitting of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things...
87 [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... "He suffered," said the Scriptures. He's the One the prophets spoke of. He's the One the whole Bible's turned around, involved around Him. Surely He'd know what ought to be taught; He'd know what ought to be done. And He said repentance and remission of sins must be preached to all nations for a witness, beginning at Jerusalem. Now, organization begin at Rome; organization church begin at Rome, come on to Germany for Martin Luther, on to England for Wesley, on to the United States for John Smith, California for Pentecost. But the church begin at Jerusalem. Repentance towards God and the baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins, begin at Jerusalem, and should..." "Should," He said. Didn't say they'd all reach it. It should begin; It should go to all the world; It should be preached, but there's very little of them. But that's what He said, His message. That's the message of the church. Show me the church that's teaching it. Tell me where it's at. You don't find them.
88 Now, Jesus is King (the second message), Jesus is King and is alive forevermore, Matthew 28:20. Jesus is King and alive forevermore; that's what the church should teach. Matthew 28:20.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (That right?)
Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." That's the message of the church: doing His work, proving His resurrection, and giving witnesses. Now, Acts 5:32, where we see whether they had it or not. As we turn, Acts the 5th chapter, 32nd verse.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him. (He's got to be witnessed.)
90 John 14:12, He gives the teaching what the church should do. In John the 14th chapter, the--and the 12th verse, we'll see what that says. John 14:12, so we read it, make it official. All right, John 14 and the 12th verse.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these do he, do, shall; because I go to my Father.
That's the message of the church: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever," living in the church, King of the church, raised from the dead, same yesterday, today, and forever, performing the same works, doing the same things that Jesus did. That's the message of the church. If the church isn't teaching That, it's teaching some false theology. That's what Jesus commanded them to preach.
92 What else will be? How will we know whether these people... They say, "Well, I'm a believer." Let's see what His last commission was to His church for believers, Mark 16. Take Mark the 16th chapter, and we'll find out what His last message was to the church, and we'll see then whether we're following out His commission. Mark 16, let's begin at the 14th verse.
After he appeared unto the eleven... (that's after His resurrection)... as they sat at meat,...
Here's the commission to the church, now listen, the last commission. We'll check ourselves whether we're believers, or whether we're in this church or not.
After he appeared unto the eleven as they set at meat, and upbraided them with the hardness of their heart, with their--their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after his resurre--after he was risen.
94 Somebody had seen Him. Somebody was trying to tell them about it, and they did not believe it. If that isn't the same thing today. We know He lives; we have a witness of His Spirit in us. We see His power move over the audiences, and tens of thousands of people, and discern their thoughts--thoughts and hearts just exactly like He did when He was here. Like the Bible said, "The Word of God..." He is the Word of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us." "The Word of God is sharper, more powerful than a two-edged sword, cutting even to the marrow of the bone, and a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Christ, "The works that I do shall you also." See Him doing that. How many seen Him do it? Sure, we know He does it. He lives here. He's in our hearts.
95 They don't believe it. They didn't believe it then, they don't believe it now. They believe He died and that settled it, and we got some kind of a historical thing that some fellow raised up a few years ago, and established a church and wrote a catechism, and that's what we hold on to. That's pagan. That's right. No truth to that. Oh, I don't say, "truth," the man might've done it, the man might've been ever so sincere. But God doesn't control His church like that. He never did want it.
96 When they asked for a king, Samuel called them and said this; he said, "I want to ask you something. Have I ever failed you? Have I ever asked you for any of your money? Have I ever told you anything in the Name of the Lord but what was right? God don't want you to have a king, He wants to be your King."
He said, "O Samuel, sure, you're right. You're a good prophet, You've never told us nothing but the Truth. You've never begged us for money. Them things are true, but we want to be like the rest of them. We want a king anyhow."
Samuel said, "It's going to cause you heartaches and troubles. It's going... He's going to take your sons and daughters. He's going to pollute them in the things he'll do. He'll do it." And he did. But still they wanted a king.
99 That's the way they do today. Oh, we've got to have some kind of a name attached to us. We got to tell the people when they ask if we're Methodists, Baptists. Just say you're Christians, that's right, Christ-like. After He had risen from the dead, they didn't believe it.
And he said unto them,... (Watch the great commission.)... Go ye into... (How much of the world? [Congregation says, "all'--Ed.] "Oh, I thought just Jerusalem," somebody said, "these signs only went to Jerusalem.")... all the world, and preach the gospel...
100 How many knows what the Gospel is? Not the "Word." Paul said, "The Gospel come to us not in word only, but through the power and manifestation of the Holy Ghost." The Gospel is the power of God to make the Word act what It says It'll do. Preach the Gospel all the world. Preach the Gospel to just the white people or just the brown, yellow, black? "To every creature." Amen.
Every creature: you believe that means that? I seen God baffle a bull one day. I seen Him cause hornets not to sting. I seen Him raise up a opossum that'd been laying dead all night. Every creature... The Gospel will take effect upon anything that you ask. You say, "That's wrong, Brother Branham." It isn't wrong.
102 Jesus said to that tree, "Cursed be you; no man eat from you, from henceforth," and the Gospel was preached to that tree. Amen. I feel religious right now. To every creature... Amen. Preach it to what? Every creature. Oh, if we could just had time for these things.
Now, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;... ("Oh, I believe in baptizing." Fine, good, all right.)... He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;... he that believeth not shall be damned.
"Oh, I'm glad I'm a believer." Wait a minute. "And," and's a conjunction, tying the sentence together.
And these signs... (Oh, I thought you didn't believe in signs. That's Jesus' Own Words; argue It with Him.)... these signs shall... (not "they maybe, sometimes they do")... they shall follow them that believe;...
Now, we're going to see whether you believe or not, going to see whether your organization believes or not. They might say they believe. Jesus said, "These signs will follow them that believe." Why, they deny those signs.
... these signs shall follow them that believe;... (How much?)... In my name they shall cast out devils;...
105 And you that don't believe in Divine healing, you churches (This is taped, you understand; I'm not only talking to you; somebody else is going to hear It.), claim that you believe in God and believe in the commission, that your church is commissioned to take the Gospel, and the very first thing is Divine healing. What was the first thing Jesus told to His disciples when He sent them out? Matthew 10:1, "Heal the sick; cast out devils." What was the last thing He said to His church? "Heal the sick; cast out devils." Alpha and Omega, Benjamin and Reuben, First and Last, He that Was, Which Is, and Shall Come, the Morning Star, the Root and Offspring of David... Hallelujah. That's Him. Yes, sir. "These signs shall follow them that believe. In My Name they shall cast out devils." Just at Jerusalem? "To all the world, and to every creature." Is that the Bible? That's what it said. That is the message of the church. All the world, every creature, the Gospel... To everyone that believes, these signs shall follow.
... In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
And you poor Nazarenes, calling them a bunch of tongues people. You wouldn't even set in church with them. Ain't that awful? What are you going to do when you get to heaven? Jesus died, speaking in tongues. They said He spoke, and He spoke in another language. Sure, He did. "He spoke in Hebrew." He did not. That's not Hebrew writing. He spoke in a heavenly language.
107 When--when Abel offered his lamb on the rock, when the little lamb was dying, he was hacking it on the neck, a type of Christ, way back in the garden of Eden... The little lamb bleating in another language, as he was dying, it typed... As his bloody wool being bathed with his own blood, it typed the Son of God hanging yonder on Calvary, chopped to pieces, with our sins, dying, speaking in another language, "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?"
108 That's the message of the church, "In My Name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." That's what He said. That's the message of the church. That's what He commanded the church to do, to cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues.
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink a deadly thing, it shall not harm them; they... lay hands on the sick,... they shall recover.
That's the commission of the church. That's the real believing church. It's not taught in the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran, Nazarene, Pilgrim Holiness. No, sir, they deny it. Glory. Why? They're organized, and they can't do it. There's a many member in there that believes that, but he can't say nothing about it because he'd be excommunicated. That's an antichrist spirit, got them organized. The church of the living God is free-born, don't need any denomination; they follow the King of the Messianic Kingdom. They don't have to take the people's things. They're free-born, made free by the Son Who makes them free indeed. These signs shall follow them.
110 This Gospel shall be preached. Who's going to preach it? God's able to take the ignorants; God's able to rise up stones to children of Abraham. God can do whatever He wants to do; He's God. And that's the way He does it. When He come, He never called Caiaphas. He never called one priest. He never called one theologian. He took fishermen, herdsmen, and the ignorant and unlearned. The Bible said that "Peter and John were both ignorant and unlearned," but He could give them and work through them the Kingdom of God, and confound the eyes and the minds of the wise and mighty. They said, "They took heed that they were ignorant and unlearned men, but had to take heed to them that they had been with Jesus." Why? They had His Spirit on them. They were acting like He act. They were doing the things that He did. That's exactly what He said would take place: Messianic Kingdom. Oh, how glad I am of these things. "These signs shall follow them that believe." Certainly, signs will follow them.
111 Now, another thing this church will teach, will be Divine healing, the message of the church. I just quoted it, Matthew 10, when He sent His church out. Let's just go to Matthew 10:1, and find out just a minute. Watch what Jesus said when He ordained His church and started it out.
And then he... called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast out--cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases. (the first commission to His church)
112 The last commission, "Go into all the world, preach the Gospel. He that believeth and is baptized..." Let me quote it the way it should be, the way it's broke down. "Go ye into all the world and to every nation and demonstrate the power of the Holy Ghost. He that believeth on this and is baptized shall be saved; he that denies it will be damned. These signs will follow them that believe: they'll lay hands on the sick, they shall recover; they'll cast out devils; they'll speak with new tongues. This will be the signs that follows." The last verse said, "And they returned. The Lord working with them, confirming His Word with signs following." That's the way the first church was.
113 And, listen, Jesus said, "I am the Vine; ye are the branches." And if a branch brings forth a vine, and that vine bears grapes, the next branch comes forth, it'll bear just like the first branch did.
Oh, you say, "Brother Branham, but we, look at all these churches." That's grafted vines. Now, you can graft citrus fruit. You can take an orange tree and put a lemon on it and it'll grow. That's what you--man grafted in. And these organizations is what man grafted in. It's a lemon all the time. It'll grow because it's stuck out in the church name. But let me tell you; if that tree ever puts forth another branch itself, it'll bear an orange. And if the power of God ever puts forth another church, it'll be another Pentecost. And another Book of Acts will be wrote behind it, because it's the church of God.
115 Jesus said, "I am the Vine; ye are the branches. You cannot bear fruit in yourself, but I throw My Ownself into the branch." And what kind of a fruit did it bear? "These signs shall follow them that believe."
The second church rises up, the mystical Body of Christ will have the same signs. "Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more. Yet ye shall see Me, for I will be with you, even in you, in every branch to the end of the world," Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. That's the church of the living God. That's Who it is. That's the kind of a witnesses He has.
117 Now, also the church must teach baptism. It must be baptized. That was the commission. Jesus said here in Mark 16, we'll just use it. "He that believeth and is baptized." Believe first, and then be baptized for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"And the Holy Ghost will also come upon..." will be a teaching of the church, for Jesus said in Luke 24:49... We're right close to it, so let's just turn to it just a second, the 49th verse here. We read the 46th and 47th. Look at the 49th.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye,... (or wait, "Tarry" means "wait.")... in the city of Jerusalem, until you're endued with power from on high.
If Christ would not let a bunch of men who'd walked with Him for three and a half years go preach any Gospel, or could not preach any Gospel until they waited for the Holy Ghost, the church today has to do the same thing. Wait for the Holy Ghost.
120 I was talking to a Catholic lady here not long ago in Oregon, and she said, "Well, do you mean to tell me that that bunch of idiots down there where you was preaching, and screaming and crying, going on like that, do you mean that they'll be in a heaven, and rule in heaven?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She said, "Well, we don't believe in such stuff."
I said, "Because you don't believe the Word of God."
And she said, "We believe that Mary intercedes for us."
I said, "That's absolutely heathen."
She never was a goddess; she's a woman, "Mother of God," how could God have a mother? "Hail, Mary, mother of God..." how could God have a mother? She bore the Son of God, Christ Jesus. No woman is a creator; she holds the seed of a man. The man's not a creator. God creates the life. It's just a routine of--of order that God put to bring children. She's no mother of God. God can't have a mother, 'cause He had no beginning of days or ending of life. He's Eternal. She can't be a mother of God.
122 And I said, "What if I tell you that your blessed virgin that you look to as a goddess, what if I tell you that God wouldn't let her come to heaven until she acted like them people did last night?"
She said, "That's not right."
I said, "Did you tell me the Catholic church wrote the Bible, the apostles, and you said they were Catholic?" I defy that. There wasn't no Catholic church for three hundred years after the death of the last apostle, till after the Nicene Council. Show me page of history, anything you want to; not your catechism, 'cause it don't compare with history. There never was such a thing. But I said that, "Mary..." The Bible said that, "Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the rest of the women, with the hundred and twenty, all had to climb those steps to the upper room, and be filled with the Holy Ghost till they staggered like they were drunk, speaking in tongues and acting like a bunch of drunkards." That's what the Bible said. I put my finger on the verse, and I said, "Read It."
She said, "I don't want to read it. I'm not suppose to read it."
124 I said, "You're not honest. Here's where virgin Mary received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues and staggered like a drunk woman. Now, if you go to heaven, you can't go with her, 'cause she had to receive the Holy Ghost. And if she had to do that, being the mother of Jesus Christ, how much more do you require it."
She said, "If I had to go to heaven with anything like that, I wouldn't want to be in heaven."
I said, "You don't have much to worry about. I don't think you're going anyhow, I'll tell you...?... I don't think you have much to be bothered about." That's exactly God's Spirit.
127 "Now, you're a witness of Me after the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Now, what is this now, what are we saying? What Is It? Who Set It Up? And What Is Its Message? Now, to hurry up to get just a little farther along.
The fourth thing, How Do We Become A Member Of It? "How do we join it? We see what it is; now what--how do we join this church?" You don't join it. You can't join it. There's no way of joining it. You're borned into it. I've been with the Branham family fifty-one years and never did join the family. I was borned a Branham. And you're borned a son of God or a daughter of God.
129 Let us take John the 3rd chapter, just a moment, and just see what God said here about it. How do you get into this church? What's the proposition God offers you? John the 3rd chapter, 1 to 8.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know... thou art a teacher come from God:... no man can do the miracles which thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him... verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,... verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
130 How do you get into it? Born into it. Let's read the question further.
Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he's old?... (See that carnal? a teacher, a great man, a priest, aged, read the Bible all of his life.)... can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (Now, isn't that like some of these intellectual teachers you hear today?)
Jesus answered and said unto him,... verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water... (How do we get into it?)... of water and of... Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
131 "Less he be joined into it? You can't be joined into it. You got to be borned into it. Not "come and join," come and born.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I say unto you, You must be born again.
The wind blow where it listeth,... thou cannot tell the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it come, nor whither it goeth: so is every one that's born of the Spirit.
See you don't join it. It's a mysterious thing. You're born into the mystical Body of Christ. That's how you get into it.
132 I Corinthians, 12th chapter, let's just go a little farther; we just got a few more. I want to try to get it out if I possibly can, if you'll just... I know it's hot, but let's start here just a minute. I Corinthians the 12th chapter, the 13th verse. "For by one handshake, by one vow, 'I vow to believe in the great holy Roman church,' come shake my hands, put your name on the book, by one letter, come by letter." You might read that in the Old Ladies Birthday Almanac, but you don't read it in God's Bible. Yes, sir. Yeah.
For by one Spirit are we all... (joined, recorded?)... baptized into... (one organization?)... one body, which is the Body of Christ, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made... all made to drink of one Spirit.
Not Methodist spirit, Baptist spirit, Pentecostal spirit, but by one Holy Spirit we have all been baptized into this
Fountain filled with Blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
Where sinners plunged beneath the flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That Fountain in his day;
There may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.
134 One Body... How do we come into that Body, how do we get into it? By one Spirit we're baptized into one Body. And when in that Body, free, guarantee of the resurrection. "God placed upon Him the iniquity of us all." Not by "one handshake," not "one church letter," but by one Holy Spirit, Jew, Gentile, yellow, black, white, have all been baptized by one Spirit into that one Body, through the Blood of His Own covenant. "And when I see the Blood, I'll pass over you," and are free from death, free from pain, free from sin. "He that's born of God, does not commit sin, 'cause the seed of God remains in him and he cannot sin. No sin... "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect," Jesus said. How can you be perfect? You can't do it. You was born in sin, shaped in iniquity, come to the world speaking lies. But when you accept Christ as your sin-bearer, when you accept Him by faith, you believe that He saved you, and He died in your place and took your sins, then God accepts you and baptizes you into the Body and cannot see no more sin. How can I be a sinner when there's an atonement on the altar for me?
135 How could a policeman arrest me in the city, when the city ordinances give me rights to run any speed that I want to? You cannot arrest me. If the mayor says, "Reverend Branham, you're going on sick calls, make any speed you want to in any zone," gives me a letter of recommendation of that, no policeman can take me in. Because the mayor has put confidence in me, that I wouldn't do it 'less it was on emergency.
And when God accepted me and baptized me with the Holy Ghost, He had confidence in me that I would not sin willfully. Amen. I would not sin willfully. Therefore, His Son made an atonement for me, and I cannot be a sinner as long as I'm justified and He's took me in His Body; I'm redeemed with Him. Not what I do, but what He did for me. That's the Gospel.
137 Ephesians 4:30, says, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you're sealed until the day of your redemption."
A famous Baptist preacher said to me, not long ago, said, "Brother Branham, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. What more could he do but believe God?" He said, "We believe we receive the Holy Ghost when we believe."
I said, "But you're wrong; you're honestly wrong. Paul said in Acts 19, to those Baptists who had a good pastor up there, a converted lawyer, 'Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed?'"
He said, "The original doesn't say that."
I said, "It does say that. I've got the "Emphatic Diaglott," and it does say it in every translation, both Greek and Hebrew. He said, 'Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?'" I said, "Abraham believed; that was true. But God give him a sign that He'd accepted his faith, by give him the seal of circumcision." That's right. He'd accepted him, because He give him a sign that He'd accepted him.
If you say you believe, and haven't received the Holy Ghost yet, God hasn't sealed you yet, hasn't had enough trust to trust you yet. When you come to God, God seals you with the Holy Ghost till the day of your redemption. And that's the message of the church. Amen.
142 Just a little farther. All right. Now, I Corinthians 12 and 13, "By one Spirit we're all baptized into one Body."
Acts, here's the way we entered. Here's the inauguration of the church: Acts the 2nd chapter. When the first message was preached to the church after the day of Pentecost, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Mary, all the apostles, were all filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, and just carrying-on like a bunch of drunk people. And when they were just having an awful time, just shouting and praising God, and staggering under the impact of the Holy Ghost, they didn't care whether it was Sunday, Monday, what day it was. They was having them a big time, just shouting and going on. Why, the--the great intellectual people said, "These people are drunk on new wine."
143 Now, here stands Peter with the keys to the Kingdom, on his side, the keys to the Holy Ghost. Jesus said, "I say thou art Peter. Upon this rock I'll build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." What is it? A spiritual revealed truth. "Flesh and blood has not revealed This to you. You never learned this in a seminary. Somebody didn't teach it to you out of books, but it's a revelation." Revelation... "I say that you are Peter. I give unto you the keys to the Kingdom. Whatsoever you bind on earth, I'll bind in it heaven. Whatsoever you loose on earth, I'll loose it in Heaven." He has to keep His Word. On the day of Pentecost, who was the spokesman? Peter, 'cause he had the keys.
144 And they were laughing at him, said, "These men are full of new wine."
Peter said, "This being the third hour of the day, these are not full of new wine, but this is That which was spoke of by Joel the prophet, 'It'll come to pass in the last days, saith God, I'll pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Upon My handsmaids and maidservants I pour out of My Spirit. Your young men shall see visions, your old men will dream dreams. And I'll show signs in the heaven above and the earth below. It shall come to pass that whosoever call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.'"
"When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what can we do to be saved?'" There's the condition of the church. Now they want to find out how you get into this mystical Body. All right.
Acts the 2nd chapter, begin at the 37th verse, the inauguration sermon. You can't change it. You can't change it. Listen.
148 If your doctor wrote you a prescription, and you took it down to the drug store and some quack druggist, you know, he could kill you with that prescription. You see, that doctor writes so-much in that, because he's trained to that. And he writes. There's so-much poison, and he puts an antidote in there to kill so much of that poison. He has to set something to upset the other drug. And if that prescription isn't filled just exactly the way that doctor writes it, it'd kill you.
149 And that's, God is the Doctor. He's the Doctor of the soul. He's the Doctor of salvation. And He educated a man in His Own Theology, Peter, an unlearned man. He couldn't even read his name when it was wrote before him. But He give him the Holy Spirit, and give him the pencil to write the doctrine about. So on the day of Pentecost, he wrote the prescription. Let's see what he wrote. Doctor Simon Peter, let's see what your prescription is for salvation.
Let's see what it was wrote out for.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and... the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what can we do? (Watch out, you got the keys.)
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of You in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that's far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
That's the Prescription. Don't doctor it up; you'll kill your patient. That's what's the matter with a lot of these people talking this "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," they're killing a lot of spiritual people, doctoring with the wrong thing.
150 There's no such a thing, nobody ever baptized in the name of "Father, Son, Holy Ghost," in the Bible. There never was such a ceremony ever said till the Catholic church; the Catholic church is the mother of that. Search the Scriptures, search the history and find out, the first order was ever done by "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" was a Catholic priest. They sprinkle them. Sprinkling was ordained by the Catholic church: mother of harlots.
Come right back down to a harlot. It says in the catechism, "Is there such a thing as a Protestant ever being saved?"
Said, "Sometimes, of course, because they admit the--the Catholic doctrine." They won't take their Bible. They baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and they have no Scripture for that. Said, "But the Catholic church started it," and they admit it. "By the Catholic orders, there might be some saved." No such a thing, nobody ever baptized that way. Nobody ever sprinkled in the Bible, poured, or any other way but immersing in the water in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. What did we read awhile ago, and I told you we'd get to it later? That repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His Name. To where? Just to Jerusalem, to the Jews? To all nations, all the world, beginning at Jerusalem.
154 Now, Doctor Simon Peter wrote out the prescription. What about you doctors? Why are you trying to put something with it? Don't add nothing to it. Take it the way it is. That's the commission of the church. That's how you get into it, by repenting and being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins; and a promise that you will receive the Holy Ghost. Now, that's what the Bible said, "Baptized into the church, baptized into the church..."
155 Let's read Galatians 3:26, just a minute. We ain't got but just one or two more, three more things here, and then we--we'll have to close. Now, let's read over here in Galatians the 3rd chapter. If anybody gets it before I do, read it, go ahead. [A sister reads Galatians 3:26--Ed.]
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26? Maybe I might've read it, wrote it wrong here then. Now, it might be Colossians, let's read Colossians. I--I don't know where I was going to; let's see if it's Colossians 3:26. No, there is no 3:26. What is that now, Galatians 3:26? Here, here I got it. That's right. Read on, sister, Galatians 3:26, since you started it. Here it is, 26, 27, and 28, now listen close. [The sister reads Galatians 3:26-28--Ed.]
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized unto Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
How do we get into this Body, how have we done it? Baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ Jesus.
157 Now, another thing the church message is, how we get into the church, is through sanctification. And sanctification, Hebrews 13:12 and 13, "Jesus suffered without the gates, that He might sanctify the people with His Own Blood."
Now Ephesians, let's go here; we got to read that one: Ephesians 5:25, right quick now: Ephesians 5, and 25. All right, here we are: 5 and 25. No, I still got the wrong thing. I haven't got it wrote down here right. Oh, let's see. Therefore, preachers and priests... Oh, yes. I was writing this down real quick awhile ago, so I must've hit the wrong... Oh, I got the wrong page. Amen. Yes. All right.
159 Hebrews 12 and 13, "Jesus suffered without the gates, that He might sanctify the people with His Own Blood."
Therefore, people, and here's how we come to the church, by repenting, being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins, and a promise that we will receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, there is no preacher can shake us into it. There's no priest that can vow us into it. But we are borned into it by the King of the Messianic Kingdom. Amen.
Now, just this; can I get just one more, then go ahead? How many will stay with me just a few minutes longer? [The congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] Just to... It's nine-thirty, and pass time.
162 Now, Can We Get To Heaven Without The Church? Just take a couple of comments on this, 'cause I got about a dozen wrote down here, as you see. But I--I... Just one thing, that we might know. No, sir, you cannot get to heaven without being a member of this church.
Now, first thing, in John 3: and 5 Jesus said, "Except a man be borned of water and of Spirit..." Repent, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall then be borned of the Spirit, born of the water, borned of the Spirit. Except a man gets this, he cannot even enter the Kingdom of heaven; he cannot even see the Kingdom of heaven." Then if you are borned of water and Spirit, you are in the church. If you're not borned of water and Spirit, you're not in the church, and cannot see the Kingdom of heaven. Does that make sense to you? It's just exactly right.
164 Now, did you know... You say, "Well, Brother Branham, I believe," well, listen, "and I've never received the Holy Ghost." No, you don't believe yet. You are just believing unto belief. You have hope. For in I Corinthians the 12th chapter and the 3rd verse, let's just grab that right quick while we're close to it, if you want to. I Corinthians 12, the 12th chapter and the 3rd verse, and we'll get that just right quick, and--and read this here and see what the Lord has in this for us.
I Corinthians 12, all right, and the 3rd verse.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaketh by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and... no man can say... Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
165 You don't know nothing about it until you've received the Holy Ghost. You say, "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour." Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? If you don't, you can't even call Him the Lord, because He's not Lord, He's a historical Being that you by faith have accepted. But when He's come into you by the Holy Ghost, He is your Lord. No man can call Jesus Lord, only by the Holy Ghost; until you are borned of the Spirit of God, and the Holy Ghost is in you... Then if you are, you are borned into this Kingdom, and you're part of the church. You're the called-out ones then. You see it? All right, now.
166 Can life come out of a corn, except that corn had life in it? If a grain of corn is put in the ground, one is germitized, and the other one's not germitized. The one that's not germitized, can it live again? Not by no means. There's nothing in it. Although, materially, it'll make just as good, just as good of corn flakes as the other one will, it'll make just as good of corn bread as the other one will, it'll look just as good on the shelf as the other one will, but if it hasn't got life into it, it cannot rise again.
A man that's a good man, can be just as good church member as a Christian. A man that's a good man, can be just as good a citizen as a Christian, a good man, moral man. But when he dies, that's it, unless he's borned again of the Spirit of God. Because, everything that had a beginning has an end.
168 God is the only thing that's Eternal. Therefore, we are part of God by receiving His Life. Jesus said, "I give unto them Eternal Life." The Greek word there is "Zoe," means, "God's Own Life." And the only way that you can ever live again, is to have Eternal Life, which is God's Life. Because your life will perish. But His Life will be raised up again, because God is Eternal. And you've got Eternal Life, and can no more die than God can die. Aw, "He that believeth on Me has Eternal Life, and I'll raise him up at the last day, raise him up again." The Eternal Life that's in him will raise him up.
169 Now, can we get into heaven without be in the church? You can't be in the church until you're borned again. You can't go to heaven until you're borned again. If you're borned again, you're in the church. So you can't go to heaven until you're a member of this church. And you can't be a member until you're borned into it.
And now, let me smother you a little. And you can't be a member unless God has called you to be a member. Now, how happy you ought to be for that, for you were predestinated before the foundation of the world. And your name--your names was written in the Lamb's Book of Life, the church Book, before the foundation of the world. That's the Bible. The Bible said the antichrist, the organizations, the Catholic church with the rest of organizations--organizations, will deceive all upon the face of the earth, whose names were not written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Jesus said, "All that the Father hath given Me will come to Me." That's His Own Word. It's not what you done, but what He done.
171 Let's settle that a minute; let's turn to Ephesians the 1st chapter, right quick. Listen to this; this is Paul. Now, he had to go on to perfection with this church. Paul's addressing this to Christians. How many Christians is in here, let's see your hand. All right. This is not for babies now; this is--this is those who can eat meat. Now, the 1st chapter, watch who he addresses it to.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,... (not by the ordination of the bishop, not by the organization)... an apostle,... (one that's sent by the will of God)... to the saints... (That's the sanctified ones, or sainted ones.)... which are at Ephesus, and... the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Who is it he's addressing it to? To those that's already in the church. When you're in Christ, you're in His body. Is that right? Then you're members of the church.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and... the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
How did He do it? What did He do it? They had reached Jordan, they had crossed into the promised land, and they were setting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Here it is: Blessed us together with heavenly blessings, the teaching of the Word, as the church, the called-out Ones that's in Christ Jesus, as we're setting together in heavenly places, like the church, when we're borned in Christ Jesus. The sainted, called-out ones, oh, my, somebody you can teach something to... Had so much trouble with the Corinthians, but not this church, he could teach them great things. All right.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all... (You remember my last two messages?)... all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According... (Listen, let this shock you now.)... According as he hath... (past tense)... chosen us in him... (At the last revival? Did I read that right?)... According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, before the world,... (Looky here.)... before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
What did we do? Nothing. What He done is what I'm looking at. When did He do? Chose us, put our names on His Book, on His church Book to be a member of this mystical Body before the world ever began.
And has predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to His own good pleasure of his will,
175 Whew. You got to be in that church, brother, if you make it, for He's coming for a church. Well, what kind of a church? A church that's without spot or without wrinkle. How can we be that? By being dead in Christ, baptized by the Holy Ghost into His mystical Body, and the Blood atonement of the Son of God laying there for us every hour of the day: found blameless, that's the church, without spot, or without wrinkle. He chose us in Him, and put our names on His Book. The Bible said that "Jesus Christ was the Lamb slain... Nineteen hundred years ago? How far? The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
176 When God, in the Bible, the word in Genesis, Genesis 1 said, "In the beginning God..." Take that name "God" in the Hebrew, and see what it means, it's spelled El, Elah, Elohim, which means "the all--self-existing One, the all-sufficient One, the strong One." There was nothing before that. There was no air; there were no stars; there was no moisture; there was no--there was no atmosphere; there was no atoms; there was no molecules; there was nothing before that. It was God, the eternal One. And in Him were attributes to be a Saviour, to be a Father, to be God. There... He wasn't God then; He was--He was God, but there wasn't nothing else, no worship. So "god" is "an object of worship," and there's nothing to worship Him. So there was attributes in Him to be that, to be a Saviour, to be a Healer, to be all these things that He is.
177 So the first thing He created... Now, some of you want to know about my Genesis story; God said, "Let us make man." The first thing He created was angels to worship Him, then He become God. Then when He said, "Let us make man after our own image," what kind of a man did He make? Spirit man; then when He made that man, He give him control. Then He made man out of the dust of the earth; then he fell. Then He become a Saviour: a God, then a Saviour. Sin brought on sickness; then He become a Healer. Hallelujah. There ain't nothing going wrong. He knowed all about it before the world was ever formed. He knew we'd have this meeting tonight. He knowed every gnat would ever be on the earth, and how much tallow he'd make, and how many times he'd bat his eyes. He's the infinite God, knows all things. Amen. Aren't you glad tonight that your name is on the Book?
178 What a beautiful thought I am thinking, concerning a great speckled bird, and they say that her name is recorded on the pages of God's holy Word. All the other birds flocking around her, she's despised by all of them. What was that speckled bird? I different with the guy that said that was wrong. What was the speckled bird of the Bible? It was not Israel, as they said it was. It was the church of Jesus Christ. For a sin-offering, what did they do? They took a turtledove, pulled the head off of one and turned it upside down, and poured the blood upon the living mate, and turned the mate loose. And the mate sprinkled it with the blood of the dead mate, went across the earth, sprinkling as he flew his wings. And the blood splashing upon the earth, cried, "Holy, holy, holy, unto the Lord. Holy, holy, holy, unto the Lord."
179 It was a type of Christ. And the great speckled bird is the church that's been specked by the Blood of its dead Mate, the Saviour Jesus Christ. And she's crossing the world today, flopping her wings, crying, "Holy, holy, holy, unto the Lord." Amen. I'm so glad that I know of her. I'm so glad my name is on her Books, put there not by my goodness (no, sir, I'd never be there; or by your goodness), but by the goodness and mercies of God before the foundation of the world, put our names on His Book.
180 What is the identification of the church? What is she to be? What was she? What is it? The called out group. Who set it up? Jesus Christ; not a bishop, not the Catholic church, not Methodist, not Luther, not Wesley. No, sir. Who set it up? Jesus Christ. What is its message? Repentance, water baptism, baptism of the Holy Ghost, Divine healing, salvation. How do we become a member of it? By being borned into it. Can we get to heaven without it? No, sir. For those that are dead in Christ will God bring with Him, and not--not anyone else but those who are dead in Christ. Jesus is coming for those that are dead in Christ. Ephesians 4 chapter said that the... No, Galatians, I believe it is, the 4th chapter said that "Those that are dead in Christ will God bring with Him. Those that are dead in Christ will God brings with Him."
181 Now therefore, she is a called-out group, a mystical Body. Christ set it in order. Before He died, He spoke of it coming, He said, "I will come and be King over this domain. A little while and the world won't see Me no more, yet you shall see Me. You won't have nothing to do with the kingdom of the world."
That's the reason they're in such a confusion, called "Babylon." One with, "Bless God, I'm Presbyterian. Bless God, I'm Methodist. Bless God, I'm..." Bless God, I'm a Christian. Amen. That's it. How do I know I am? These signs follow the believer. See, there's your identification card. Not say, "Wait a minute; I believe I got my fellowship card." No. I ain't got any. Mine's up there. I might lose this one down here, but He told me before the world begin He give me my identification card to everyone that's come into the Kingdom. It's kept in heaven so the records are straight. I'm so glad. I...
Somebody said, "I sought God, I sought God." That's contrary to the Bible. It's God seeking you, not you seeking God. God went up-and-down the garden of Eden, crying, "Adam, where art thou?" Not Adam crying, "God, where art Thou?" It was God crying, "Adam, where art thou?"
184 Oh, I'm so glad I'm a member of her, aren't you? I'm so glad, in this great church... I'm sorry to have kept you so late, but do you believe in this great church? Do you believe in it? Do you believe it's a mystical Body?
Now, you Catholic people, the only thing you have to do to be a member of it, is to accept Jesus Christ and be born of the Spirit. You Baptists, you Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran, whatever you are, listen here. Don't think I'm taking up for the Pentecostals. There's just as much Pentecostal renegades as there is in any other church. That's exactly right. They come in only by name and profession; that's all. But possession, they don't have it. That's right. Because when you're borned of the Spirit, you become a new creature, and God begins to deal with you then as sons, and you're led of the Spirit of God. No matter what organization you belong to, that ain't--that's just a little old worldly order that's going to pass away. But are you a member of this great mystical Body of Christ? If not, may you receive Him tonight, as we bow our heads just a moment for prayer.
186 While we are thinking now, would there be some here would raise up your hand and say, "God, I raise my hand to You, make me a member of that church tonight. Give me the birth, that it belongs to me. Have You called me, Lord? Then I want to be a member of that church. I belong to one of these earthly organizations, but I don't have the experience. I don't have the power to cast out devils and do these things as You said would follow the believer. I haven't received that as yet, Lord. And You said that sign shall, 'shall' means You 'will,' give me power, Lord."
187 God bless you. God bless you, and you, and you. All you that's got your hands up, God bless you and give you that power to be a member of this great church, the church of Jesus Christ. Someone else before we offer prayer? God bless you, young lady. God bless you, sister. God bless you. Yes, I see your hands way back there. God bless you, over here; I see your hand, son. See your hands here, brother. Yes. God bless you and your little one there, the young girl. God bless you. Someone else, just raise your hand. God bless this sister setting here. "I want to be a member. I want to have His Blood upon me as I go out of this building tonight, that I might go out and my life cry, Holy, unto the Lord. God bless you back there, son. God grant the blessings to you. Someone else now, raise your hand? Someone else say, "God, be merciful to me"? If you desire to walk up to the altar for a word of prayer, while we sing this song, "Come home, come home, ye who are weary, come home." If you're uncertain about your conditions, I invite you to come...