The Great Shining Light
1 My text this morning is found in the New Testament. First there will be a Scripture reading out of Matthew the 1st--the 2nd chapter, beginning with the 1st verse. And then also I wish to take as a text, out of the 4th chapter, and the 14th and 15th verses. I love to read the Word, because the Word is God.
3 I wish to take my text from the--as this: "The Great Shining Light."
It's a very unusual Scripture. And for this time, these people usually has preached so much on "no room in the inn," at the yule season, and "Joseph and Mary," and--and "the birth of the Lord Jesus." Yesterday I was thinking that I would try to approach it from a different way, that many of you hear your radio and television.
And while thinking, this come into my mind, about the Magis and the star. And what struck me was, that, what does a Magi have to do with Christ? Therefore, by reading many of the ancient scholars last night late, till I went to sleep at the desk, trying to find something that would bring a little light on the subject for today.
Then it's an unusual thing to speak of these things, because, after all, God is unusual. God does things in an unusual way, and sometimes at an unusual time, because He's very unusual. And those who serve Him are unusual; they're a peculiar people.
7 So as we, this time of the season, as we focus our thinking towards Christmas, it's too bad that we have to lot it to a myth called Santa Claus, in the stead of the real Christmas that it's supposed to be. Many little children in the land today know nothing more than Christmas means "a sleigh full of toys, and some mystic reindeers pouncing on the house," to only learn later of this myth; to even hurt their faith, when it comes to know the true Christmas story, that it had nothing to do with reindeers, or a man smoking a pipe, with fur around his coat.
It was the birth of our blessed Lord Jesus. And it's most unusual to see how God worked in this manner, because no other time would've ever worked in all the history of the world. It had to be just exactly at this time. And now, for a few moments let's just look right at the season.
9 It was a time that when Herod, the murderer, was king. It had to be; this heartless man had to be king at the time, for we're acquainted with the Scriptures that said he slew all the children from two-year-old down, trying to find the Christ. And it had to be just at that time.
And then there had to be, at the time, that there had to raise a taxation to cause Mary and Joseph to go back to their home town of Bethlehem where they were registered, and their births was on the record of the courts and in the temple, to be taxed. And Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, and they were many miles away when this took place.
11 And we've been noticed at the perils they had to go through in order to get there. Now, they didn't have a great, fine plush ambulance to take Mary up there. And they didn't have it as today, that we could've had some kind of an excuse. It was the king's order. No excuses are made. It must be fulfilled. "The king said so." No matter her conditions, or what, they must return to their homeland. No comfort for the little expecting mother, and no way of travel, only by foot, or on the back of a little donkey.
And we're told that Joseph taken Mary, this expected mother at any time, and setting her on the back of a little donkey. And if anyone ever road a donkey, knows what a rough ride that is. The little fellow, along a narrow trail that wind up over the mountains, coming to Bethlehem, from lower Judaea, very rough and rugged road. What if the little donkey would not have been sure-footed and would've fell with this little expecting mother?
13 Or, in the days when there was so much travel coming into their homelands, the whole country was working, alive with pilgrims and travelers, back to the homeland, a very good set-up for robbers in those days. When they seen the little caravans of small peoples, the riders, robbers could've rode right in and slew them, and took their goods, and went off. What a thing it was to this young married couple, that they had to face, and how it would've been.
Also what if some of the wild beasts, which there was lions and many destroying, wild animals that roamed in the deserts that they had to cross. What if a wild beast would've took towards the little party, what could Joseph have done with a stick in his hand, and a wife that could hardly move? They had that to face.
15 But it gives us consolation to know this: that we do not hold our destiny. God holds our destiny. And He has ordained it to be so, and there's nothing will ever interrupt the program of God. We are bound to arrive.
16 And there was to be no fear. And yet maybe Mary and Joseph, themselves just common people, not educated, and they didn't have the way of knowing these things that were taking place right at that time, was fulfilling the Scriptures.
And it's the same today. That things are taking place right in this day that we live in, and many of us know nothing about it, how God is moving.
I was just asked by one of the recording ladies in the room here, when was I going to speak on that subject of the handwriting and the sputnik in the air. "Would it be next Sunday?"
I said, "I don't know."
But, oh, to see in this dark enveloping of time, God's great hand moves steadily on. Nothing shall stop It.
20 And we can see as it was today, as the little donkey and the two travelers finally arrive, as they come by night, over the deserts, it was so hot. And then let's say they are setting just on the little mountain to the east of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem sets in a valley, and there's a little mountain. And the road that comes into Bethlehem, curves east of Bethlehem, and goes down into the city. Near the corner, where you make the last curve to start down the hill, there's a great pile of jagged rocks lays there. And it's been thought by historians that perhaps Mary and Joseph stopped there for a little breath before they went down into the city that night.
22 Let's see Joseph in his tender handling, picks his little bride from the donkey, and helps her to the ground, takes her over and sets her down on the rock, and said, "Dear, there is the little city just below us, where perhaps our little newcomer will be born."
I can imagine seeing the stars just twinkle a little and brighten up, as they set looking over Bethlehem, to their east of them. And as they set there, wondering as they gazed at the stars, way, hundreds of miles east of there, there was another scene developing.
You know, God works in His universe. He makes things take place in one country, where He's making it shape up to meet it in another. There we see way in the east, as we're told by many historians, that these fellows, the Magis, as we know them to be...
Today they would be, more or less, called astronomers, not in the sense of fortunetellers; but there is a mock of astronomy, which is called fortunetellers. And people rush to those things, which are really a bogus conception of the real astronomer.
26 Hampton told us, the great historian, that it was... They were Medes-o-Persians, these astronomers. Let's chase their life for a little bit. And we find that the Medes-o-Persians got acquainted with the Gospel of our Lord when down in Babylon. Years before, in the time of King Nebuchadnezzar, they had such people as astronomers who watched the stars and the bodies of heaven. And they could tell by signs and the moving of the stars, of certain events was to take place.
And the kings of the early days consulted these such men to know of events and of things that were going to take place. God always declares it by His celestial bodies before He makes it known to the earth. God writes it in the heavens.
And the star which we look at, and we think of them as little five-cornered parties in the heavens, but what they are, they are worlds far larger than this, reflecting the sunlight.
29 And these people certainly got acquainted with the Gospel in the years of Israel's captivity, of seventy years in the land of the Chaldeans, and, surely, Daniel being made the chief of the Magi... The prophet, by his great wisdom to know the end of things, and to know what God was going to do, and he was called the chief of the Magi. And the Magis had old manuscripts that they referred to, of their ancient fathers. And Daniel brings in the writings of the Lord.
And so we understand that during this time they had counseled much together, and they had seen the wisdom and the power that the one true God produced, that was far beyond any astronomer or Magi. It was proved it at the night of King Nebuchadnezzar's or Belteshazzar's dance, that, none of the Chaldeans or the astronomers could read the handwriting on the wall. But Daniel, through the Spirit and the power of the living God, could do it. And his writings were kept sacred, and are till this day.
31 Now we call them, in the east... I have had the privilege of speaking with them in India. And they are called now the Mohammedans. But they were really the Medes-o-Persians. Indians are called the... I believe they call them the unclean. And the Medes-o-Persians are really the Mohammedan. And they are the ones that were originally with King Nebuchadnezzar. And their great sages were scholars who studied the--the natural things, to declare spiritual things that was to happen.
32 So in this long hundreds of years, and the manuscript of Daniel's teachings, and so forth, they had kept them.
And what they would do in the early times of the evening, they would go up into the...?... Mountains. And along up here they had a castle. And in this castle was the castle of the Magis. And they would have their...?... feast. And after the feast they would walk out on the canopies, or upon the terrace, and there to some observation tower after the sun had set. And as Mohammedans usually do, bow to the sun and holler, "Allah! Allah!" And many times bless themselves with the sacred waters, and so forth, even to this day. Mostly, of their most sacred thing, was fire. They believed that this one true God lived in fire.
And how strange it is to know that the one true and living God does live in the Light, and He is a consuming Fire.
How that they burnt the sacred fires, and they watched this fire, because they believed that the one true God lived in this fire, and He reflected Himself to them. And the fire burnt the brightest when the--the light of the sun went down.
36 And so they would go out on this observation tower and they would look up. And they were well-trained. And they knowed every move of the great heavenly body of stars. They watched diligently for any move.
Oh, if Christians would only do that, not watch the stars, but watch God's Word as It's unfolding. If we would only notice it today, and see that how God has promised in this day the things that we so gallantly stand for. God has promised to do these things, such as healing the sick and doing the great miracles.
38 The same Daniel that taught them of the events, said, that, "In the last days the people that know their God shall do exploits." Those Scriptures must be fulfilled. If we would only search... And if you'll notice, God only reveals Himself to those who search and long to see Him. "Draw nigh unto Me, and I will draw nigh unto you," saith the Lord. And sometimes God let's things happen so that we will draw nigh unto Him. For God has surely ordained that certain events must take place, and they will unfold just as His great time clock ticks it off.
39 And upon, we'll say, a certain night, after the feast was over, and they had bowed to the setting of the sun, our party goes up into this observation tower. And as the great heavenly bodies begin to show into the sky, old manuscripts of long ago of sages was brought out and unfolded, and they looked into them, and they said, oh, certain things that was predicted. And the subject, perhaps, went on a long time, of the great falling of the kingdoms, and the collapse of their great empires, and how the social standings of the people, and the wars, who had torn the earth and bathed it with the bloods of their comrades. And as men who are spiritual understand only spiritual things, how that the unfolding of the great days gone by, and their shame, as the sacred fire licked its way up into the air and vanished, to represent the one true and living God.
And as the night grew on into its middle part, say, ten o'clock or eleven, as the host was setting there, perhaps singing their hymns, or maybe they were praying... We do not know just what they were doing, and the historians doesn't make it plain. But, however, they must been in a spiritual attitude, for God worships where there is unity and spirit.
41 God will come to us this morning. He will spare the life of this little darling girl, and the many of you here who are perhaps dying with cancer and with other diseases, if we can only get in spiritual unity with His Word and with Him. God will reveal Himself. He always does that.
On the road to Emmaus, after the resurrection, it was only when Cleopas and his friend begin to speak to Him, and the Scriptures was quoted, and the God in Christ revealed Himself to them. And then on the road back, they said, "Did not our hearts burn within us as we talked to Him along the road?" Something about talking of the Word...
43 And in their old manuscripts, as they read of the different Magis who had passed on. And I can't pronounce their Bible at this time, or they had called Zedakoah, something on that manner, that they read and referred back to this writings of their sacred men. And how that many of them was idolaters, and brought shame and disgrace to the people, no doubt that these Magis bowed their heads in shame. But, yet, then the sacred fires a burning represented a true God.
44 Then I can see coming from the castle, one with a scroll in his hand. And he presents it to the sages as they set upon the observation tower, watching the stars and everything moving perfectly in harmony, as it did night by night, just as God ordained it.
And in here, while they're speaking on kingdoms falling, they read a portion of Daniel which said, "I beheld until a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and it smote the kingdoms of the earth, and they become as--as chaff on the threshing floor. And this great stone raised into a mountain that covered all the earth. And His Kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom." Their hopes then was kindled to a time that when empires would cease to fall, and when kingdoms would cease to be ruined, for there was coming an everlasting Kingdom appointed of the one true and living God.
And as they thought on these things, on the Scripture, one must've looked up. And there was a stranger among them. They saw a Light that they had never seen before. It was a majestic Star that had not, till this time, belonged, or did not come into the view of the eyes of the Magi. But there it was. Why? The Scriptures must be fulfilled.
47 You say, "Then, Brother Branham, do you think that God would deal with those Magis?"
The Bible said in Hebrews the 1st chapter and the 1st verse, that, "God, in sundry times, in divers manners, all kinds of manners He spoke unto the fathers."
It's also written in Acts 10:35, that, "God is no respect of person, but He honoreth those in every nation who desire to serve Him in righteousness." Though you be in error, yet, in the righteousness of the--the projective of your heart that you desire to serve God, God will honor that. So, therefore, denominations has no lines that they can set that'll stop God to any certain creed, because God will look upon the motive of the human heart, and there He will work from that spot.
50 And we find that these Magis, honest in their heart and desiring to see that one true God, and looking for His prophecy to be fulfilled, which said that, "The Lord shall raise him up and make a... His Kingdom shall have no end. It shall be an everlasting Kingdom."
It was at that time the Star, that we know today as called Star, appeared in the sky. I can imagine that those Magis with one accord stood speechless as they looked at the phenomena of a Star that had defied the laws of the solar system, and had come from the great constellations of the heavenly bodies to declare something when it was fixing to happen.
52 I hope at this point you can read between the lines and know what we mean, that in this day God has defied everything to declare Hisself, that He's alive today, has raised from the dead, in His great celestial Body. The picture here of His Being would defy every infidel in the world. He's alive forevermore. God does things in His own way, unusual.
53 But, they had watched the heavenly lights, but this Light seemed to be different from all the rest of them.
And we've watched today, the lights in the church. We've watched the Methodist, the Baptist, the Pentecostal, the Presbyterian lights.
But to those who look for Him, there seems to be a different Light has begin to shine, that's declaring Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In His great magnificent beauty and power of a heavenly Body that's been sent in the form of the Holy Ghost, in this last days to the Church to declare His resurrection power, and He's forever an eternal Light that now exists among His believers. Oh, how marvelous it is to see that what He does.
56 And there as they stood spellbound, one could not speak to the other, for the glory of this Light had spellbound them.
Oh, how it is today, my poor decrepit friend, that when the man who has never knowed His power, to give new light and to give new hope, when he walks into the Presence of the Divine Person of Christ, with a faith that holds him spellbound to His majesty... It isn't like walking to the altar and giving the minister your right hand; neither is it like going into the pool to be baptized, or standing with a shell to be sprinkled. It's walking into a Light that you have never witnessed before. It's a anchor of a Divine faith that calls anything contrary to the Word of God as though it wasn't. It puts new Life. It gives hope to the dying. It gives courage to the weak. It gives healing to the sick. It gives blessings to the unfavored. How wonderful it is to step into the Light of His Presence. Not a myth, neither is it something that somebody has just fleshly, in their minds, drawn up. But it's coming directly into the Presence of the King of glory, the eternal Light of the living God.
58 When something happens that anchors that hope in you, that no matter how sick you get afterwards, it's absolutely no good for the devil to try to tempt you anything contrary. It's anchored forever. No matter how much the enemy would cause you to try to live the wrong life, you're anchored forever, for you've stepped into His Presence, into a Divine Light that's changed your innermost being and put a joy bell of salvation, ringing into your heart, that the world knows nothing about, that you've passed from death unto Life. Death and its shadows has flown from you, and you become a new creature when you step into this Divine Light.
59 As those Magis stood spellbound, as they watched that Light, finally I can hear one say to the other, "Oh, isn't this a magnificent token that something's just about to happen?"
Truly, today also, when we come into the Presence of the Lord Jesus, it's a Divine token that something's about to happen; His glorious second coming is at hand.
And when they looked one to another, and after while... They watched It, perhaps, all night. How It gleamed, it seemed to be brighter than the other stars. It seemed like they couldn't take their eyes off of It to look at any other star.
And I'm sure, if we see that great eternal Light shine into our face, we will not look at our denominations, to say, "We are Baptist, or we are Presbyterian, or we are Pentecostal," or whatever it might be; we only look to the Light and live. He is the eternal Light.
63 And as they watched It, when the sun finally rose... Through the day they sleep. I've watched them setting on the streets in India with their limbs crossed, their heads together, as they in the daytime would sleep, and at nighttime they'd go watch the stars, watching for any move.
64 It's only those who look for Him shall see Him. It's only those who believe in Him shall enjoy His blessings. It's only those who believe in healing shall receive healing. It's only those who believe in salvation shall obtain it. All things are possible to them that believe. But at first, it must not be just a drawed up fleshly idea. It must be a direct revelation sent from God alone.
65 And as we watch, we find, night after night, they watched It. They discussed It. They looked at the Scriptures. And in searching I can see one coming, and say, "Here is another Hebrew writing. It comes from one of their prophets, by the name of Balaam. And he said, 'There shall rise a star to Jacob.'" And they seen the Scriptures being fulfilled. Oh, how their hearts rejoiced.
And how it should make our hearts rejoice to know that in this evil day that we're now living, to see God's holy Writ being fulfilled and revealed to us as a great searching Light over our being.
67 Then, after while, as they watched It, strangely one night It begin to move. And we always move with the Light. And the Light begin to move westward. Quickly they packed their camels and all their royalties. They taken gifts. And I can see them as they take their journey following the Light, for they knowed that it was a celestial Being. It had to reflect some greater Light.
So is it today, friend, when we see the star shining, we know that it's a reflection of the sun. When we see the moon shining, we know it's a reflection of a greater light.
When we see the church shining, we know it's a reflection of a greater Light, the immortal and eternal Light. But when we darken ourselves, and turn our hearts, and turn our faith away, and say, "The days of miracles is past, and there's no such a thing as these any more," we are turning our backs on God's eternal Light.
70 And as they wandered on, I can see them leaving the mountains and go to the west slopes. They followed the slopes down to the Tigris River, and there they follow the mighty Tigris on down till they come into Babylon, crossed the ford at Euphrates, on down, and skirted the lands of Palestine. Rejoicing, they traveled by night because it was cool in the night for them to travel through the desert. Another thing was, the Star shone in the dark, so they had to follow the Light. And the Light was their guide.
And as they come up, finally It come to Jerusalem. But when It hit Jerusalem, It went out. It suddenly disappeared when they hit Jerusalem, because it was their time then to shine the Light.
72 And down through the crooked streets of that great metropolis, down through the streets of the ancient capital of the world, nearly, Jerusalem, the one time seat of the great Melchisedec, where the great ancient prophets and scribes had wrote so of... But in their slothful, fleshly, half-dazed, ungodly living, the Light of the Gospel had gone out.
And here was Gentiles in the city of the Jews, crying, "Where is He that's born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and we've come to worship Him." What a striking event of this day. O merciful Father, as we look and think: the Jews so asleep until Magis, eastern Gentiles, had come from far lands, traveling to find the King of the Jews, and they knowed nothing of it.
Today, God has taken uneducated men, boys and girls who probably have no more than a grammar school education raised up by the power of the Holy Ghost, that's crying in the ears of the church, "He's here in His great power to unfold Himself and to make known," and the church knows nothing about it.
75 They come to give homage. They come to give honor to the King of kings. And the church in its denominational sleep, knows nothing about It. They're strangers. How, when these well-delighted beasts in their oriental tapestry hanging from them, and the tassels. And as Philian once said, "They were not kings, but they were--they were great enough to be the honored guests of the King." And here they are, setting a back of these stately animals, as they go through the streets, saying, "Where is he that's born the King of the Jews?" The Bible said that all Jerusalem and Herod also were troubled. Their testimony stirred something.
Isn't it too bad today, that the church can't arise out of its stupidity of its theological exercises to see the power of the living, resurrected Christ in His glory, as a illiterate, uneducated, interdenominational move is striking at the world. Come and see the glory of the living God. The Holy Spirit is falling just as It did at the beginning. The Scriptures must be fulfilled, and here it is at the end time.
77 And as these Magis moved through the street, they stirred from the king to the porter with this message, "Where is He? Where is He at?" They didn't have the answer.
And today when sputniks are sweeping in the skies, when signs of total annihilation is at hand, when women and men are indulging in sin and living in an ungodliness, the people scream, "What meaneth this?" And the church doesn't have the answer. She's laying asleep.
But the Holy Spirit, God's immortal and eternal Light, is here to shine upon whosoever will and can receive It.
80 The Light was gone. They were giving their testimony. And finally they called the Sanhedrin together for a council meeting. And the sages and the prophets come in with a little prophet, little minor prophet, by the name of Micah, his prophecy. And they told the king, "It is written, 'Thou Bethlehem, are you not the least among all the princes of Judah? But out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule My people, Israel.' Therefore, it must be Bethlehem where the Christ is to be born, the King of the Jews."
Well, no one would tell them how to get to Bethlehem. But they walked out the gate, and when they left that city of darkness, the Light appeared before them again. The Star appeared. And the Bible said they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. They must've actually shouted a little. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy. They were overwhelmed. They... Star had appeared to lead them to their final destination of their journey.
82 They followed It. Now, they noticed It hangs lower than It used to. It's just a little closer now. And finally, as they went along, rejoicing and praising God through the night, led by the hand of the Lord till finally the Star come to a little stable, which was a little place in the side of the hill, a cave, and there the Star rested over the cave. And these mighty Magis, over a year and six months in their journey on their road, traveling, watching, following nothing, no other direction but the Star... And when It rested, they went in and there they found the Babe, Joseph and Mary. And they brought gifts from their treasure chest. They offered unto Him, gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
If we just had the time... Let's stop a minute.
84 What did the gold represent? He was a King. He wasn't to be made King; He was born King. He was God's eternal King. He was a King, so they offered gold.
And they offered frankincense. That's a perfume, very costly, the best that could be gotten. What did frankincense mean, the perfume? He was the sweet smelling Saviour unto God, for He went about healing the sick and doing good: Gold, because He was a King, frankincense, because He was a sweet-smelling Saviour to God. His life so pleased Him, that God breathed in His holiness and beauty, for it was His own holiness reflected in Him.
Oh, if we could be a sweet smelling savour, if God's holiness could be reflected in us, till we'd go about doing good, as Jesus of Nazareth, till it would be a sweet-smelling savour unto the Lord.
But we fuss; we argue; we stew; we doubt; that's the reason it becomes a stench in the nostrils of God. Our lives, we're in and out of old places we should not be. We say things we ought not to say. We do things we ought not to do. We fuss and take sides with the world, and deny Christ in the great crucial moments. That's the reason we can't be a sweet smelling savour. But He was, and these Magis gave frankincense.
87 Now they gave Him myrrh also. And anyone knows that myrrh is a very costly but bitter herb. Myrrh, what did myrrh represent? His great supreme sacrifice, His crushed out, young life at Calvary, where the sins of the world ground Him into bits. Gold, because a King, Frankincense of His sweet loving life, and a myrrh because of His sacrifice for sinners, that He died. "There He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquity. The chastisement of our peace upon Him, and with His stripes we were healed." That's why they offered Him myrrh.
88 Being warned of God in a dream, they went the other way. Didn't turn back, but their--their journey was completed. The Star had finished Its course.
What does the Star mean to us today, friend? Daniel gives us the answer, Daniel 12:3. It said, "Those that are wise and know their God shall shine as the firmaments of the heaven; and those that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and forever."
90 What are we today then? We are stars. Every borned again Christian is a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ, a star to reflect the power and holiness of the Lord Jesus: to reflect Him in His life, to perfect Him in His speech, to perfect Him in His healing power, to perfect Him in His resurrection, to reflect Him in every way that He was reflected to us by God the Father. We are stars.
Watch. What kind of a star should you be? This Star was not guided by Its own power. It was guided by the celestial powers of Almighty God. And if we're ever going to reflect sinners to Christ, we've got to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:1 said, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that's in Christ, that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." If we're going to be a star to reflect the Light of Christ to bring sinners to Him, we've got to be guided by the Holy Spirit. That's right.
92 And we cannot be an ordinary. We have to be unusual. We cannot be usual, because God's people are a peculiar people. They've been through the ages.
Although peculiar, yet the Star was brilliant, not brilliant in world's educational, world's affair, but brilliant as sacrifice before the Lord. We prostrate ourselves, as the Magis did in the Presence of the King of kings, to reflect His Light.
94 You're a star. Every Christian is a star to guide the lost, to guide the weary, the foot of the traveler, to those who are seeking. Then the star cannot be guided by itself; it must be led by the Spirit. It must reflect the brilliancy of God in its life to abstain from the things of the world, and to live godly and soberly in this present life. It must reflect the Light of its great One that shined.
What are we to do then? To rise, and shine the Light of God to the dying. In depth darkness of this world, we are to reflect and shine the Presence of the Lord Jesus in His resurrecting power. As He is yesterday, so is He today, to reflect Him.
96 But remember, then the Star again, when it's finished its course, it takes no honor. The Star just brought the men to their destination, and showed them that perfect Light.
And we, as members of the Body of Christ this morning, friends, we are God's lights, but we take no honor to ourselves. When we've got our--our patient, and our--and our person that we're leading, when we've got them, we must dishonor ourselves and lead them to the great and perfect Light which shineth, to light the way of every man that cometh into the world, the Lord Jesus Christ: not a myth called Santa Claus, not some church by denomination; but that true and perfect Light, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
98 Let us pray. With heads bowed to the dust where God taken you from, someday, as sure as the stars shine at night, and the sun shines by day, you're going back to that dust. If you are here, upon the eve of this Christmas, and you would like to have the Holy Spirit to lead you to the Saviour, and accept Him in thus manner, would you just raise your hand to Him and say, "God, be merciful to me. Shine upon my path as I walk daily. And lead me at last to that perfect Light, so that my life can blend with His and I'll have immortal, eternal Light."
The Lord bless you, my dear sister; and you, my sister; you, my brother; you back there, brother; and you, sister; and you, my brother. God sees your hands. Oh, you sister, the Lord sees you. Yes, over here, lady, the Lord sees you, certainly.
100 "O Jesus, send forth the Holy Spirit this morning; direct my poor misled life. I've run and joined one church; I was a Catholic, and then I was a Baptist, and then I was a Presbyterian. I went to the Pentecostal. I've just went everywhere. And I come to find out, Lord, I--I just wonder; I don't know where I'm standing. But let that heavenly Body, let that celestial Being of the Morning Star, the great Spirit of God, lead me today to that place in Him where I want to be, where I can manger my heart and cradle that One; that He might lead me through the--all the shadows, the valleys of the shadows of death, that I'll have no fear when I come down to that road."
Would there be another just before closing? God bless you, sir; and you, sir; and you, sir. Yes, that was a great time of men. Yeah, the other one mostly was woman; this time was man raised their hands. Sure, it was wise men who came searching, following the Light. God wants you.
102 Little Mar... Little Mary and Joseph had went into the city, and there Jesus was born. At the time the Magis arrived, they'd been coming a long time, but finally they'd come to their great climax; the Star had led them. Now you've been wanting to be a Christian for a long time; maybe you've took a long journey. This is the climax this morning, maybe, for now you will receive Him as your Saviour while you cradle Him into your heart. One more, before we close this altar call? The Lord bless you. Very good. Thank you.
103 And now, how many would say in here, "O Lord, as I have been told by the Scriptures which cannot fail, that in this myrrh that was offered to You, represented in there the pouring out of Your life. 'You was wounded for our transgressions, with Your stripes we were healed.' You suffered the bitter whipping at the whipping post, that Your stripes might heal us. I need Your healing power, today, Lord. Will you just take from my life all doubts. Take it from me, that I'll never doubt no more. And let me come humbly to You just now and believe You for my healing." Would you raise your hand, that, you sick people? The Lord grant you your request, my dear friend.
Could you doubt Him? Certainly not. He stands today as the Easter Child--as the--the Christmas Child, the Son of God, the all-sufficient One. He meets every requirement. He meets every need that you have need of. Just receive Him. What are we told to do in the Bible? "Lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."
106 Now, heavenly Father, I bring to You this little group of people that Thou hast sent out this morning to hear the Message of the Star, how that You deal with men of all walks of life. You deal with the bootlegger. You deal with the drunkard. You deal with the scientist. You deal with the housewife. You deal with the minister. You deal with the church member. You're God. You're so great that none can escape You. And those who are sincere in their heart, You show mercy to them of all nations and all beliefs.
So we thank Thee this morning for those who raised their hands, some twenty or thirty, I would estimate. And I pray, God, that this very moment, just now, that the great eternal and immortal Light will break in upon their soul, that they'll find that peace of mind that they've longed for and searched for by joining churches and--and going through certain rituals. But may the Holy Spirit shine upon them.
As Isaiah said, "This people set in gross darkness, but a great Light has shined upon them." Grant, Lord, that they're, this prophecy might be fulfilled today in these hearts who are longing for You. Give to them that peace that passes all understanding, and gives them a perfect satisfaction that they have met You and have talked with You, and offered to You their lives, all broken and torn, that You, with Your gold, frankincense, and myrrh, might heal them and make unto them people, honorable vessels for Your own glory. Grant it, Lord.
109 And now, for the sick and afflicted, there is an order that Thou has given us, that we should pray and lay hands upon them. And You said, the last words that fell from Your precious lips, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel. These signs shall follow them that believe; and if they lay their hands on the sick, they shall recover."
We know of one, a darling little girl laying here, who has been flown by faithful loved ones from Florida, and she is at a very serious stage just now. When many of Your servants has prayed, and--and many doctors has looked at, and they've shook their heads, and said, "There can be nothing else." But I'm so glad that the little mother, and those who are concerned, are not willing to take that as an answer. They are determined to see that every stone is rolled over. If they can only find favor with the living God, their darling little one shall be made well, and shall live. Oh, grant it, Lord, along with others who are setting here.
111 Many are setting here this morning, who could rise and give testimony as the Magis did, "We have seen His star in the east." Many could rise and say, "We have tasted of His goodness, and we have felt His healing power," that's taken away from their bodies cancer, and blinded eyes, and crippled limbs, and all kinds of diseases. And we're screaming His praises to the top of our voice throughout the nations, Lord.
Let these, this morning, Thy children that's here today now, be likewise partakers of His blessings. As we perform our duties as ministers to pray and lay hands on them, grant, Lord, that they shall be healed in the Name of Thy Son, the Lord Jesus, Who said, "Ask the Father anything in My Name, I'll do it." How could we doubt it, if God said it? Just as true as those prophecies of Daniel had to be fulfilled, as true as God lives, every Word has to be fulfilled. And I pray that You'll grant it for His glory. Amen.
113 It's to my most humble belief, and the sincerity and the integrity of my heart, that if men and women out here who raised your hand to accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour... I know it's customary to bring people to the altar. That's all right. I have nothing against it. But coming to the altar, you can only do one thing; that is, tell God you're thankful He saved you. For the minute that you mean what you say, when you raise your hands, God accepts you upon your testimony right then. You defied the laws of gravitation, and just the same as that Star defied the laws of the solar system.
The solar system moves according to a routine. That's the way it has to move. But this Star defied it, passed right over it all, because God was doing the leading.
115 Today the regular routine says that many of you here must die. The doctor's done all he can do. That's right. But the Spirit of the living God defies that, said, "I'll take you through." Don't... Might not happen in a second. They endured, as seeing Him Who was invisible. Abraham was given a promise, and waited twenty-five years before it happened, but he marched on and called anything was contrary to the promise as though it wasn't.
I would not stand here on this Christmas eve and say these things before this little group of people if I didn't know from what I was speaking of.
117 Yesterday... The woman may be present, her name is Mrs. Wright. Are you here, from New Albany, a Mrs. Wright? Many of you might know her. She's, I believe, a well-known woman in New Albany. The last healing service here, where... I didn't know; it was under the discernment. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
Next Sunday night, the Lord willing, we may try a discernment. We can't get it on Sunday morning good, because you seen last Sunday morning, it was a week, what happened. See? The people don't get in here in time to get lined up, and so forth, of a morning, 'cause you got your dishes to wash and so forth. But, on Sunday night, we're going to try it, maybe next Sunday night, the Lord willing.
While the discernment was on, just one case I want to mention, right after I tell you of Mrs. Wright.
120 She couldn't get here. The doctors of New Albany, I could call their names, but it might not be wisdom to do so, 'cause many times they don't want to, you to do that. We try to live with peace with all men, as far as possible.
And we love our doctors. Doctors, perhaps, setting here this morning... I have many doctor friends, good men, Christian men who trust God. They're not healers; they're just men. And what they can do, physically, they'd do it. They just aid nature. They don't... They set a bone, take out an obstruction, something like that. But God has to create cells. God's the only One Who can heal or--or build tissue; no medicine will do it.
Now, this woman had a blood clots laying at her heart. She was in her sixties. She was swollen so bad till she was again as big as she ordinarily was. And they called on the phone, and my wife brought me to the phone, and said, "Billy, they... A woman wants to speak to you in New Albany."
123 I said, "Well, sister, come on, this morning. We're going to have a healing service up at the Tabernacle."
She said, "My dear brother," she said, "I wish I could bring her, but she can't even move." And said, "She's dying right now." And said, "There's not a hope for her." And said, "We have heard of the great things that--that God has did by your prayers. Won't you pray for her? Will you come?"
I said, "I can't come. But can you put the phone to her ear?"
She said, "I believe I can move her bed over." And she moved the bed over and got the woman: couldn't hardly speak.
I said, "If you will believe..." Faith is the substance of things hoped for, not what you just think, but what you really know. Faith is...
128 I said the other Sunday, "If I was starving to death and I asked..." One loaf of bread would save my life, and you give me twenty-five cents; I could rejoice just the same as I had the bread, because there's plenty of bread.
And there's plenty of power to heal. "If thou canst believe," that's the twenty-five cents. I can rejoice because, maybe the bread's a ten miles from me, but when I've got the twenty-five cents, faith is the substance of things hoped for. I'm just as happy with that twenty-five cents as if I was eating the bread, though I got a long ways to journey yet, go through creek beds, and cross the fords, and over the foot-logs, and down through the briar patch, and up over the hill. I may get hungrier all the time, till I get cramps I'm so hungry. But I'll rejoice all the time, because I'm holding the twenty-five cents, the purchase of the loaf of bread, no matter what the conditions are.
Abraham rejoiced for twenty-five years, holding the faith in his heart that God was able to perform what He had promised. And he got what he asked for.
131 Dear darling there, sister. No matter what the circumstances are, take that twenty-five cents, that faith, f-a-i-t-h. Take that in your hands, take it in your heart; say, "No matter what happens..." Now, you can't make-believe. You've got to really believe. "My child shall live, because in my heart God has made a promise, and I've got faith to believe it." And then everything else becomes negative. See? God makes it move right into that--that realm.
132 That woman called me yesterday. Some of them answered the phone; she wouldn't take it. My wife went to the phone; she wouldn't take it. She wanted to speak to me. She said, "Brother Branham, I'm praising your name."
I said, "My name? What are you doing that for?"
She said, "Oh, if you could only see me..."
I said, "Then praise God; He was the One Who did it."
She said, "There here... The doctors can't even find a piece of that blood clot. It's scattered and gone. And I'm normal, walking around in good health, the best health I've been in in years." Her name is Mrs. Wright. She lives, and...?... (She told me her first name.) somewhere in New Albany, I don't know just now.
134 Under the discernment last Sunday, it was a week, standing here, I said, "I don't want anyone of the Tabernacle folks. I want those who are not of the Tabernacle. Let the Holy Spirit speak." But somehow, way back somewhere in one side or the other, there was a little fellow by the name of Hickerson, all of us know Brother Hickerson. He's a real genuine trophy of God's grace. And he scooted down under some people. I didn't even know him. But the Holy Spirit had it all ordained. He was looking through the arm of some man, setting back in there, and I didn't know who he was.
And I said, "The little fellow looking at me, through the arm of that man. He's praying about a loved one, I believe, a brother or brother-in-law, or something, that was in the insane institution, mentally gone, and no hopes for him to ever recover." And It said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD. He shall recover." And the little fellow believed it, yet I knowed nothing about it for days afterwards.
And yesterday they dismissed him from the insane institution in Kentucky, as, a perfect, normal, well man. And our little Methodist preacher brother, Brother Collins, another trophy of God's grace... He may be here this morning. Both of them, all of them, may be here. Come to my house last night, with Brother Palmer from Georgia, and was telling that this boy passed by on his road to Louisville, after being dismissed from the insane institution. He's been saved, also, and was going down to make restitutions for all his wrong that he had done: a trophy, God's immortal grace.
137 He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don't let the enemy cheat you. There's an immortal Light shining; that immortal Light is Jesus Christ, God's Son. Believe on Him. Anchor it in your heart. Receive it as faith.
Let us pray...?... lay hands on you, anointing you with oil, watch what God will do.
139 No matter what the circumstances, Jesus said in Mark 11:24; He said, "If thou shall say to this mountain, 'Be plucked up and cast into the sea,' and don't doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say shall come to pass, thou shall have what you say."
Now, let me quote the lexicon, that's the original Greek. Here's the way it reads. "If thou shall say to this mountain, 'Be ye lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and don't doubt in your heart, but believe that what you have said is coming to pass, you can have what you say."
141 When you said, "Mountain, be moved," and it still stands there, you say, "Well, it didn't happen?" Oh, it did happen. When you said, "Mountain, move," maybe one little significant grain of sand turned loose out of the hundreds of billions and billions of tons. One little grain moved, but it's begin to take place. Hold that faith and watch that mountain disappear. Certainly.
Thou shall say in thy heart, "Disease, move from my child. Disease, move from my body in the Name of the Lord Jesus," and don't doubt. Right there the good germs take on a new armor and a new weapon, and the enemy begins to back up. He's defeated because Christ, in the drinking of His myrrh at Calvary, defeated the devil and every one of his powers. And He stripped him of everything he had, and he's nothing but a bluff; he can go through with it, he will do it.
We are determined by God's grace to preach the Gospel and reflect His Light until He comes.
144 Now, Lord, the rest is to You. We shall now call these people, and may the Holy Ghost come to this little tabernacle and make a faith in every heart, as they stand and come by here to be prayed for. May they leave today and do like those wise men when they seen the Star again, after the spell of darkness, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And may these people, as they are anointed and prayed for... James said in the Gospel, "Call the elders and let them anoint them with oil and pray over them. The prayer of faith shall save the sick." May the people rejoice with exceeding great joy, knowing that the faith of God has broke into their hearts, and they shall have what they ask for.
Now, Father, You've done Your part. I've done all I know how to do, except lay hands on the people and anoint them. Now, the rest will belong to them. May it not fail. May every wheel of God's immortal clock work perfectly this morning, as the sick are anointed. For Jesus Christ's sake we ask it, in His Name. Amen.
This same woman, same pianist, far as I know, introduced the song to me eleven years ago before I left in the ministry. Paul Rader, my friend, wrote it.
148 Jesus, coming down from the mountain, He saw a boy with epileptic. The disciples could do nothing about it. He said, "Lord, have mercy on my child."
He said, "I can if thou will believe, for all things are possible, only believe." There's where Paul got his text.
151 Just remember, He's standing here. He's lovely. He's promised it. He reflects His lights; look at others being healed. Sure, you can too. "Look at me," a blind man healed. Look at others, look at just how, my, what the Lord has done.
Watch what takes place. That disease will start tearing. It'll start moving. The first thing you know, the doctor will say, "What's happened here?" That's right. If thou canst believe...
154 Would you come, Brother Neville? Now, let those that are in this aisle here, stand up to this side. And you that's in this aisle, go right around the back and come right around, if you will, so we can have one single line. We'd have the elders to come forward to stand with the people, as they're being prayed for.
Now, the little girl, we'll walk down and pray for this little child laying here. We'll just come right where she's at.
156 I want the ones who... Others are to be prayed for; go over on this side now. I want every person in here to be in prayer right now. You are a part to do with this. The ushers, standing up there will direct you in the line that you're supposed to line in at this time.
157 My dear friends, there's many in here praying for you now, good men and good women, saintly, godly women and men.
My Brother Neville stands here by my side, which I've knowed for years to be a godly person. People that comes here from out-of-town, they called me up on the phone, said, "Who is that little fellow is your pastor? Give me his address; I want to write to him. He seems like a very sincere man." I'm so happy that I can say, "one of the godliest persons I know." He lives what he preaches and talks about. He's got the anointing cruse in his hand. God's got the power in His hand. Have you got the faith in your heart? If you have, it's got to happen. Out across here, here's ministers, godly people setting here's going to be praying for you. Something has to happen now.
160 Something brought you this far; it was the Star, now--the Star, the Morning Star. Now, receive the immortal, eternal Light, just as you, we follow this routine, like baptizing you, or anything. See? "Anoint the sick in oil; pray over them; the prayer of faith shall save the sick."
Jesus said, the last words to His Church, "These signs shall follow them that believe; they shall lay their hands on the sick, they shall recover." In other words, I'd say this, put it in words you know it, "Wherever this Gospel is preached in all the world, My servants shall lay hands upon the sick; they'll get well." Right. See?
Now, there's only one thing to condemn that, that's unbelief. You see, that doesn't lay... Even if--if a brother and I were--wasn't even fit for to preach the Gospel (which we're not, only by His grace.)... But no matter what we would be, it's His Word. He--He don't have to stick by us, but He has to stay by His Word, "If thou canst believe..."
163 Now how many out there in the audience is going to be praying for these people? Raise up your hands. I want you people to look out there. That's where the prayers are going towards heaven for you now. Now, every head bowed and everyone praying as brother anoints.
164 Just a minute now, we will have this congregational prayer for these here.
Merciful Lord, we go forward now as Your servants to do the duty of ministers. There are many here, Lord, in the line, who's very, very sick, no doubt. Some of them are near death. And some of them are still in their seats; for instance, the little girl that's been come from Florida. There's some here from Georgia and from different places, from up to Indianapolis, some from over in Ohio, gathered in this little group this morning, been waiting here in hotels and everything, waiting for the hour to be prayed for. They've been in the meetings. They've watched Your hand move and work. And right here now the... Lord, take away the fiction of Santa Claus and bring to them the real Christmas gift. Give them good health just now, Lord, because they have come believing.
And we are coming, standing between them and the Lord God of heaven, to make intercessions for them, to pray and to give utterance of our own voice in their behalf. May not one of them, Lord, fail to have faith.
We know the Word says it. We know that we believe it. Now, Lord, may they believe it and receive what they've asked for. We go forward now as ambassadors of Christ, with this whole church body a praying in one accord for their healing. May it be so. And when they leave, may they go with exceeding great joy because the--the Dayspring has come upon us. The flood Lights of heaven has turned our way, and we see the resurrected Lord Jesus in His power and glory. Amen.
168 As she, being anointed in the Name of the Lord Jesus, we lay hands upon her, and ask that her sickness be cured by the hand of the Almighty God, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
God bless you. Go and receive it in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
As being anointed in the Name of the Lord Jesus, we ask for the desire of his heart to be granted, in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
Being anointed with oil, we lay hands upon our brother, in the Name...