HE WAS TO PASS THAT WAY
Tacoma, Washington, USA
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Source transcript: VOGR
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Thank you, Brother Carlson. Peter said on the day of Pentecost, “This is that.” If this isn’t that, I’d just like to stay with this until that comes; this is wonderful. Who would’ve ever thought that Christian Businessmen would’ve produced something like this; it takes the grace of God.
I was thinking, as I was listening at the testimonies and hearing the great things that our blessed Lord has done with His people, and I was thinking how great it will be at that day. And I said to Brother, my good Brother Weston here... As he speaks each afternoon, it’ll do you good to hear him; he certainly is a marvelous Bible teacher. And I said, as I looked down this tables and see the young and old seated together, there is one blessed assurance that I have, that I’ll eat with you again. It will not be a breakfast, maybe, but it will be a supper, when it’s all over. I just wonder what we’ll feel like then; if just a little touch, a foretaste of glory Divine, brings this type of atmosphere, what will it be when we set in the fullness of His anointing?
I’ve often wondered what it would be, when the great tables was set across the skies, and the King of glory comes out, and looks down along that long table, and we set just across from each other, just catch each other’s hands and say, “You—you remember Tacoma that morning?” See, see?
Some old veteran setting here with gray hair that paved the road for me... I thought, the honor and the privilege it is to stand here this morning before such people and to try to speak to them, when many of you men were on the battlefield preaching, paving the road, when I was just a little sinner boy. I feel honored to stand here. And I... It isn’t... I have very little to do in this; if there’s any honor, it belongs to you. You stood on the street corners with a tambourine and a guitar, and you made the way. I’m just running over the road that you said would come. And God’s grace has provided for us all. To Him we give praise and glory.
This Christian Businessman’s Fellowship has been lots to me. I was ordained in the Missionary Baptist Church by Dr. Roy E. Davis from Big Springs, Texas. And then I was—been a Baptist. You know the Baptist church, you don’t be put out of a Baptist church for your doctrine, because they have no doctrine; it’s a fellowship. It’s a fellowship, the Baptist. And each church is sovereign in itself. What you’re put out of a Baptist church for is immoral living. So I left the Baptist church in order to be free from all denominations, that I could preach to the body of Christ.
I belong to one organization this morning. I have many honorary credentials at home, that people have sent me from different denominations, from the Presbyterian on down, and around. But I belong to one officially; that’s the Christian Businessmen. And I have their card in my pocket, and that, I’m proud to say that I’m affiliated with this great group, because it is interdenominational. And I found such a wonderful bunch of men, though being just laymen, they are trying to do everything that’s in their power to glorify Jesus Christ. And I’m certainly happy to be behind them with all that I have.
When I first come into the evangelism, on the field in this type, I never heard of Pentecostals. Oh, I’d heard them say a bunch of holy-rollers and so forth. But I found them; they were one of the sweetest bunch of people, just as free as they could be, loving, good-hearted, good-natured. But I found among them just like I did among the Baptist and the rest of them, differences between them. I could’ve taken one side like the Assemblies, or the—or the Church of God, or so forth, but I stayed free so I could stay in the breach and say, “We’re all brethren; let’s just come together.”
Jacob dug three wells. The first well, the Philistines run him away from it; I believe he called it “malice.” And the second well he dug, they run him away from it; so he called them “strife.” And he dug the third well and said, “There’s room for us all.”
So I think them who are riding a one hump camel, two hump camels or three hump camels, we can all drink from this fountain; we can all drink together. And I’m so happy for this, and believing, that someday that God will bring us all together, all people of all denominations, God’s children, in one great ransomed Church.
You know, Solomon’s temple when it was cut out, it was cut out in different parts of the world. The trees, the cedars of Lebanon floated down to Joppa, and from there to ox-cart to Jerusalem, and so forth. And the stone masons, in the years of cutting the different stones, they shaped different ways. But when they come together, there wasn’t a freak stone among them; every stone laid right to its place. And I think that’s what’s God’s a doing. He’s just cutting us out of the Methodist, and the Baptist, and the Presbyterian, and the Pentecostals, but when Jesus comes we’ll all go stone to stone, cemented with the love of God; and God will take His Church.
Now, it’s so good to be in Tacoma. Tacoma’s always had a place in my heart somehow; I don’t know. But it’s always been a real warm spot for Tacoma. And this northwest country here, beautiful, your trees and you’re... lots of water. Down on the deserts in Phoenix not long ago, I was out on the desert, and everything there that you touch has a sticker on it. And I... You touch anything, it’s just—it’s just lazy; it won’t move. And it’s got a sticker on it. Well, that same type of plant could be brought up here, and it will become a leaf, because it gets water.
And that’s what I think about our churches. Many of them we think are cold, formal, indifferent; but they’re just run out of spiritual water. All they need is a little water to soften them up, and they’ll come out into a lovely leaf for the shade. And we just... God’s got plenty of it. And you don’t have to drink sparingly; He’s the inexhaustible fountain of Life.
Could you imagine, I’ve had people to tell me, “Brother Branham, I would—I would ask God to heal me, but I—I know He’s busy.” My, could you imagine a little fish about that long, out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, saying, “I’d better drink of this water sparingly; I may run out someday.” Ha-ha-ha. That’s just as intelligent of thinking that you could ever exhaust God’s goodness to you.
Could you imagine a little mouse about that long under the great garners of Egypt saying, “I’d just better eat two grains a day; it may not last through the winter.” Oh, my, you can’t... He wants you to ask abundant, so that your joys could be full. Don’t be afraid to ask God for anything, for He’s willing, more willing to give it, then you are to receive it. If we just get that little shadow wiped away to know that He’s willing to do it. You’re His children; He loves you and He...
You know how you like to minister and to do good things to your children, how much... That very strain of fatherhood, of parent to your children comes from God (That’s right.), ’cause He’s the Father of us all; and He—He loves us, and He wants to do for us. If He can just get us lined up with the blessings and so forth, He can trust us, then there’s just... The heavens is open to all of us.
Now, this morning I know, I... You’ve had so many good things, and I—I know we don’t want to keep you too long; and I’m just a little hoarse from much speaking, and I don’t want to take much of your time. But I would like to just go into this little subject this morning as a little drama. And then, it won’t take too much voice, because I’m going to another eleven day meeting after, or a week, Sunday through Sunday after this. And I’d like to read a portion of God’s Word this morning out of the Bible. And just about the 19th chapter of Saint Luke we read this:
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was a chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not because of the press, and he—because he was little of stature.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way.
The Lord willing, I’d like to use my text ...?... now for a few moments while you pray with me, that “He Was To Pass That Way.”
It must have been an awful night; the little fellow was so weary; he was tossed about and... You know those sleepless nights... And his wife, Rebekah, said, “Zacchaeus, what’s wrong with you?”
“Oh,” he said, “nothing, perhaps maybe the business in the city was so bad today, and that’s what’s holding me, the way it is tonight; I can’t sleep.”
But you know, Rebekah knowed better then that. She had been a believer on the Lord Jesus, and she’d been praying for her husband, a businessman of the city, to become a follower of the Lord Jesus. And you know, conviction can make you very restless; it does that. And so, a good praying wife or mother, can do more for the Kingdom of God on her knees at home, than sometimes the preacher can do on the platform. That’s right.
So she knew that Jesus of Nazareth was coming to the city the next day, because she was a—a follower of Him; she loved Him. And she’d found something in Him that was different from other men. And no one can ever come in contact with this blessed Lord Jesus, but what knows that He’s just different from everyone else. When the Romans come to hear Him, they returned back and said, “Never a man spake like this.” There was something different when you meet Jesus; it changes your life.
And she thought if she could ever get Zacchaeus to go down and to meet Jesus, that would be sufficient.
But in them days they were very critical of Jesus, just like they are mostly today. They criticize it. And so, the popular belief of Jesus was, He was a fanatic; He was going around disagreeing with the priests and—and trying to tear up their religion. And they had everything just so settled down, till they didn’t want that tore up; that’s just the way they wanted it. But you know, sometimes God has different ideas.
So, she knew that if she could ever get Zacchaeus, knowing that he was an honest hearted man... Now, he was a businessman of Jericho, very rich man. And let’s say he owned a restaurant. But he was very rich, but he had not done anything wrong to be rich; he was honest. And no matter what business you’re in, if you’re honest, God can use you. An honest heart will always answer to truth.
So Rebekah knew this, and she’d been praying much for little Zacchaeus, knowing that Jesus had promised to visit the city. Of course, it always brings out a mixed multitude, there’d be some there to criticize Him and some would make fun, and others would believe. But if she could only get Zacchaeus to see Him. But you know, the priest had said, rabbi had said, “If anyone goes to hear this man, they get their—their papers.” They’d be excommunicated. Or, “We don’t tolerate such stuff as that. And He’s just coming here to the city just to cause trouble, to break up our churches, and get people all stirred up, so no one must go see Him.”
So Zacchaeus, being a—a charter member of the—the great church and a bosom friend. He played golf with the rabbi, and why, he just couldn’t afford to go out there, you know. So there’s only one thing that could change that situation; that was prayer. Prayer changes things. They just does something when you pray. So you can see why he had a restless night; Rebekah was praying; God was listening.
Little Zacchaeus couldn’t rest. Oh, he was so torn up. So finally, Rebekah kindy turned over on her side, and she said, “Thank You, Lord, I know You’re dealing with him, for he’s getting rest...” [Blank spot on tape.] Businessman... See? When he gets restless, just remember, God’s a dealing. So, they... She turned over... [Blank spot on tape.] ...trying every garment he had on. And he was grooming his hair before the glass you know. She said, “Zacchaeus, why, it’s early, what are you doing out so early?” [Tape interrupted with noises.]
Oh, I couldn’t sleep, I thought I would just go out and get some air, before I go to the work this morning.” She knew God was dealing with him, getting up early.
So he grooms himself all up, and she watches him as he went down the steps, and walked out to the street, and standing with his hands behind him. And as he stood there, let’s see what he’s thinking. He said, “You know, this is the day that that Galilean prophet is coming to the city. I would like to get a good look at that Guy. You know, I’ve heard the pro and con, but if I can ever see Him, I’m going to walk right up in His face and tell Him what I think about Him. Oh, yes, sir. I’m going to make Him feel little when I see Him. And I know now that He’s supposed to come through the south gate, so I will go down there at the south gate, and I will wait. And when He comes through I’m going to give Him a piece of my mind.” You know, we can get that way, you know.
So he said, “I’ll stand right down there and wait till this holy-roller Prophet, comes through, and I’ll let Him know that all of His Divine healing, and all of His—this stuff is nonsense. Because rabbi went through the high schools; he knows what he’s talking about. So I’ll tell Him. Now, He might be able to influence a bunch of illiterates with His mental telepathy, but He certainly can’t speak to a man that’s educated like me; I’ll be able to tell Him about it.” O God... [Blank spot on tape.]
This morning when I was thinking, when I went into the restaurants to eat and some little silly teen-ager come in and dropped in a nickel to this old boogly-woogly or ever-what that stuff is, and I just have to almost throw my ears in low gear to not hear it, so that you can eat. And this morning while we were eating, that beautiful song of “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.” Oh, how that thrilled my heart, my meal just tasted different. Because we’re in heavenly atmosphere. And where Jesus is it’s always heavenly.
And then, while they were waiting, he was pushing and crowding and he said, “Now, just a moment, if I stand here I’m so little, that somebody will push before me, and... Well, I might as well go back home.” But you know, if you purposed in your heart to see Jesus, you’ll not be defeated. That’s right.
Well, he puts his hands behind him, start walking back, something said to him, “Now, are you going to go away without telling Him what you said you were going to tell Him?”
And he said to himself, “No, I will not be defeated.” So he purposed in his heart; he’s going to wait till he sees Him. And then, after he sees Him, he’s going to be satisfied whether he’s right or wrong.
So he said, “You know I heard Rebekah saying that He was going over to Levinski’s Restaurant. Well, why would He go over there? Now, you know I have the best restaurant in this town, and so why would He eat over there instead of eating at my restaurant? Mine should be the best, after all my... I—I’m a—a great charter member up here of the great Sanhedrin, and I’m a notable man in this city. And—and I’m an intelligent man, and I have the best of foods. But why would He go up there to eat with them?” It was because He was invited up there to eat with them. Jesus goes where He’s invited. That’s right. He will never push Himself on you; you’ve got to invite Him. That’s true.
So he says, “I know if He goes up there, He has to go down here to a certain way to Hallelujah Avenue. So as He passes by Hallelujah Avenue, when He turns the corner to head up to the restaurant, I’m going to wait right there when He makes that bend, and I’ll be all by myself. I’ll get a good look at Him, and I will know, because I have the intelligence. So I will know just what that Fellow is when I see Him.” That’s right. You will.
So he goes up there to the corner, and he stands at the corner, and he says, “Now, here I stand. Now, I’m going to wait till He comes around that corner there, and then I’m going to get a good view of Him. And I’ll know all about this Fellow. When I stand up in my class next Sabbath morning, I’ll tell them about this Galilean Prophet; just wait till I see Him.”
So he stood on the corner patting his little foot, you know, and his face red. Because he’d been pushed out there; he thought he was somebody. As long as you think you’re somebody, you’re going to get nowhere. You just remember that. You got to get away from what you are. We’re not much anyhow.
Here some time ago I was down in—in Tennessee. I was in a museum, and they had the estimations there of the human body. And a man that weights a hundred and fifty pounds, in chemicals is worth eighty-four cents. So there’s two boys standing there talking about it. The human body, you got just enough calcium for so-and-so, and enough whitewash to sprinkle a hen’s nest, I guess, or something like that in your body. And then you’ll put a ten dollar hat on it, a fifty dollar coat on that eighty-four cents, and stick your nose up (If it’d rain it’d drown you.), and think you’re somebody. Now, that’s right. That’s the way the human race acts. Now, isn’t that right? That’s right. Somebody, and you’re eighty-four cents. That’s right.
One boy said to the other one; he said, “John, we’re not very much after all, are we? Eighty-four cents.”
I touched the boys; I said, “But, boys, you’ve got a soul that’s worth ten million worlds; take care of that. The eighty-four cents don’t mount to very much, but the ten thousands worlds means everything to you.”
So as this little fellow stood there, he begin to think, “You know what? Being as small as I am, and if that same crowd that was down there... If I’m told right, one glimpse of Him, they all follow Him after that.” That’s right, just once come in contact with Him, you’ll go everywhere He goes from that on. So he said, “If they come up here, I’m too little. The same crowd down there, plus all it’ll pick up between here and there will be here, so then, I won’t be any better off, standing right here than I was standing down there.”
So he begin to think, “Now, what could I do?” And if you’re determined to see Jesus, God will make a way for you to see Him. So he begin to think, “What could he do?” So standing by his side was a sycamore tree. He thought, “That’s a good idea. I’ll just get up in that sycamore tree. When I get up there, I’ll just get me a good place and sit down, and when He passes by I’ll be all by myself, and I can see Him good.”
But now, the next thing is, how’s he going to get up there; he’s little? And he had on his best garments; he was groomed to his best. You see, the world likes glamour. Jesus wasn’t glamorous; He’s just a plain, common, man. And the Gospel today is not glamour; it’s just plain old fashion salvation to all men. He hasn’t changed; He’s the same.
But the world thinks you have to be dressed so-and-so. You have to put on your best manners. You have to be something. As congressman Upshaw used to say, “Be something that you ain’t.” And that’s right. There’s so much put-on among people today, trying to be something, try to talk different, try to—something that you’re not. I pray that I’ll live to see the day when men will be what they are. Then every man will know how to take you. God speed the day, that when every man that claims to be a Christian will be just what he is. If I was, didn’t believe Christ, I’d be against Him; I’d be here speaking against Him. But I believe Him, and I love Him, and I’m for Him with everything that’s in me; I’m for Him.
So Zacchaeus begin to wonder how he would ever be able to see the—this Prophet as He passed. And remember, at home all the time in the house, was Rebekah still praying. “Oh, God, in some way, make a way that Zacchaeus will come in contact with this Prophet today. For he’s a good man; he’s honest. And I believe if You would ever let him contact this Prophet of Galilee, I believe he would become a devout Christian. So I’m praying, Lord, that You’ll help my poor beloved husband.”
God knows we need more woman like that today. When womanhood is broke, the backbone of the nation is broke. When women get to a place that our American women are today, it’s a disgrace the way our American women act. I got a clipping out of the paper, that I believe, it was about sixty percent of the boys that went overseas in this last war, was divorced from their wives before they come back, their wives running off with somebody else in these defense plants, working. She has got no business in a defense plant. A woman’s place is at home with her children. And when she... Now if her husband’s sick and she has to work, that’s different. But woman’s place is at home in the kitchen, and when she leaves that she’s out of her place. Exactly right.
And when women get to smoking cigarettes, as they’re doing today, and even women that call themselves Christians, smoking cigarettes... It’s the lowest thing that I know that a woman can do, is to smoke cigarettes. That’s right. I have no apologies for that remark. For if this Angel of the Lord, if you judge Him to be of the Lord, your chances will be thin when you come to the judgment bar smoking cigarettes. That’s right. There’s no use of it. And it’s the greatest sabotage; it’s the greatest fifth columnist plan that’s on the earth. Eighty percent of the mothers that give birth to babies in this United States, cigarette-smoking mothers, they can’t raise their babies as they should to their breasts; they have to give them the bottle because they take nicotine poison and never reach eighteen months of age.
Fifth col... It ain’t Russia that’s going to hurt us; we’re—our own morals are rottening ourselves. It isn’t the robin that pecks on the apple that hurts it; it’s the worm at the core. America is defeated by her own immorals. That’s right. And when motherhood is broke, the backbone of the nation is broke.
When I was in Hottentot Africa someone said to me, “Brother Branham, don’t you all have any nice women over in America? All your songs it’s something dirty about your women.” I just had to bow my head and walk away. It’s the worst in the world.
Oh, and you idolize these idols of these Elvis Presley’s and so forth, and permit that stuff into your house. Throw that trash out of your house. We are Christians. Buzzards eat on dead carcass, and we’re not buzzards; we’re doves. I’m preaching on that tonight. All right. So if your desires in your heart is right, and your appetite’s right, you’ll eat and do the right thing; it’s in your heart to do it.
Now, and the world wants glamour. They don’t want the old fashion preacher any more, the old hell fire and brimstone, as we used to preach it. Today they want a little curly-headed, Hollywood type, with a little frocked-tailed coat on with, and I don’t know what, and stand up and crack a few jokes. We’re got too many jokes on the public today, the Arthur Godfreys and so forth, and all these little, what you call them’s, and of that. But what we need today is the old fashion Gospel in the power and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and a clean-up in the church from the pulpit to the cloak room. That’s right. We need it, men and women. We got too much Hollywood evangelism, a lot of acting and pertaining. We need the real genuine Jesus Christ. Amen.
So that glamour doesn’t take with Jesus. All the old fine robe that he had on, his fine groomed hair, and his—his fine Egyptian-made robe wouldn’t never attracted the attention of Jesus Christ. He don’t care how—how poor you’re dressed, or how you’re otherwise. It’s your heart that He’s looking at.
So Zacchaeus thought, “Now, I cannot climb up that tree. If I would, and I’d have to come down and meet Him, I would not be presentable.”
Here some time ago in my church, there was a girl that I asked her to sing a special that night. And she—she was a wonderful little singer, and her—she was out of a poor home, real poor; and they had a hard way of going. And she said she could not sing. And I asked her why. She wouldn’t tell me why. And she went out; she told another girl that she didn’t have the money to put a manicure in her hair. You know, one of them curly things. And so she said that she didn’t... That’s wrong, I—I know that; that’s not right. What is it? Anyhow, a permanent—permanent in her hair. What is a manicure anyhow? Oh, fingernails. Oh, my. She wanted a—didn’t have the money to put a permanent in her hair. And I told that girl; I said, “You know what, I wouldn’t let you sing now.” That’s right. You’re not getting up there to show off, or to be a show before those people; you come to sing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s right. Any other attitude from that, God would refuse it. True.
So Zacchaeus, his little robe wouldn’t make any difference. But if you’re determined to see Jesus, God will make a way for you to see Him. So he said, “I can’t not get into this tree now. So there must be some way.” And God always has a way. So he happened to look down at the corner, and the city garbage can was setting there. “Well,” he thought, “perhaps, maybe I will go down, and get the garbage can, and pull it up here; I can get on the garbage can, and then shinny up the tree, and get up there all right.” So he thought that was a very good idea. You know, God knows how to take us off of the high horse.
So he goes down to the corner, and he takes a hold of the garbage can, and the city collector had not yet come by to take his deposit; so there was, every can was full. There was nothing else in sight, so he thought, “Well, being all... He heard coming down around the bend... “I’ll have to hurry, because He’s not very far down; I hear a great noise.”
You know, I kindy like that. Everywhere you found Jesus, you found a little noise. That kindy fits my Irish disposition, and especially when it’s been changed.
Then, you know, in the Temple when Aaron the priest was anointed to go into the holiest of holies, he had on the hems of his garment a pomegranate and a bell. And the only way they could tell that he had not been killed in the Presence of God, that he was still alive, was that noise that that walking made; they knowed he was still alive. And I think sometime when I hear a little “Amen,” or “Praise the Lord,” there’s still a little life somewhere ...?... just a little noise from somewhere.
So little Zacchaeus tried to pull the garbage can, and he couldn’t do it. So he said, “I’ll have to hurry.” So he reaches down with his arms, because he was determined to see Jesus now; and he takes a hold of the garbage can, new garment on. Here he comes, walking with the garbage can. And he hears somebody laugh, and he looks, and it’s his competitor standing on the corner, said, “I wish you would look; Zacchaeus has got him a new job. Well, the fine Zacchaeus, restaurant man has become the city garbage collector.”
Oh, his little face got red; he looked around. And you know, God just makes coming to Jesus so—so humble sometimes it makes your face turn red. He makes you do things that you think you wouldn’t do. But if you’re determined, you’ll do it.
So when he got there, you know, his righteous indignation begin to rise. He couldn’t deny it then. You know, like people sometime saying, “Well, I’ll go down; I’ll find out; I’ll set way back at the back.” But when you’re setting there, there happens to be somebody that you criticized the meetings to, happens to be setting over, says, “How do you do?”
“Oh, I... My... That’ll hurt my business as sure as the world, humph.” See? But you’re done caught. So that’s the way you are this morning; you’re caught now; you’re right among them. Here you set.
So their face got red, you know, and looked around; he said, “You know well, let it go anyhow. I’m determined to see it through.” That’s the way: Be determined to see it through. What, God’s put it on your heart to watch this Jesus of Nazareth to see if it’s the truth, to see if this great move of God comes from God, open up your Bible and stay with it; that’s the way to do it.
So he just took and squeezed up the old garbage can, and here he went, determined to see Jesus. Set it down by the tree; there he was, garment all full of garbage.
God knows how to do things, how to humble you, you know. Sometimes He does it in different ways, but He knows how to do it. He knows how to take that starch out of you. He knows how to make you the man that you ought to be; He knows the inside of you. You got a lot of put-on, a lot of glamour, a lot of outside; “Oh, my business is better than the other car lot over there.” God knows how to take that out of you sometime; He does it in great ways, in different ways.
So He had Zacchaeus standing there by the tree. So Zacchaeus thought, “Well,” and they laughed, and they was going on down to make fun of this Prophet; on down the street they went. And he said, “Now, looky here, my reputation’s ruined. Here I am standing here; my garment’s ruined; my reputation’s ruined.”
But you’re just then getting in condition to find Jesus, when you lose that reputation that you think is so high, and so classy, and everything; you’re just about ready then to find Jesus. When all that starch has been taken out of you, then is when you’re ready to find Jesus.
So he says, “I will get up in the tree before someone else comes.” So he climbs, and he twists, and he gets up the tree. Finally he gets up there, and “No, that limb won’t hold me.” He looks where two limbs meet (come down to a “Y”), he said, “Right here’s the place for me to sit, a good solid place.” That’s right. That’s a good place for you sit, where two ways meet: yours and God’s. There’s where the change comes.
So he sits down on the limb, setting there, garbage stink all over him, splinters in his hand, a businessman of the city, Zacchaeus, the great man. But he’s determined to see Jesus. God can get you in some horrible shape sometimes; but if you get that way and determined to see Jesus, you’ll see Him.
So sitting there pit—picking his splinters out, he said, “You know, I just remembered, Rebekah told me that that Man could stand in an audience of people and could discern the thoughts of the people. You know what? I’m going to play a trick on Him. I’m going to camouflage myself; He will never see me in this tree and nobody else will.”
So he gets the limbs, and he pulls them all around him, makes a good camouflage all around him. And when he did, he left one little leaf here so he could raise that leaf and look out, like a little window. You see? Said, “Nobody will ever see me up here where I’m sitting now.” Don’t you worry; God knows right what perch you’re setting on. That’s exactly.
So he set there, waited awhile; the noise got closer and closer. And after while he said, “Now...” The devil setting there talking to him, said, “Now, aren’t you a pretty looking sight, one of the most outstanding businessmen of the city; you know all the doctors; you play golf with all the different societies and so forth; and here you are setting here, garbage all over you, setting up in a tree to watch a holy-roller preacher pass by. What a disgrace you’ve come to.”
Well, he kept picking the splinters. After while he heard a noise; he looked, coming around the corner, here come a great strong-looking man walking in the front, kindly bald-headed and big shoulders back, the apostle Peter. “Stand aside, folks; we’re sorry; the Master’s on His way this morning, and He’s been up late in the night; we’re sorry, we—He can’t speak with you this morning.”
Here come eleven others on the side, “Stand back, folks; we are sorry to have to do this. We—we don’t mean to be rude, but we are sorry, the Master’s coming right down. He’s very tired. He’s not very big man after all; and He’s a small man of stature. And He’s been up much of the night. And He’s been praying much for the sick; and virtue’s gone from Him. So we’re sorry, but you’ll just have to stand aside.”
And as they pushed the crowd back, Zacchaeus pulled up his leaf and he looked; he said, “Now, isn’t that ridiculous.” So his eyes cast over this way, and there stood a friend of his, a man that had a little sick girl, and the doctor had told this man that that baby can only live just a few days. The best specialist in Jericho said, “That baby can only live just a few days longer. It has a tremendous fever, just the first breath of cold air would set up a more infection and would kill the child.”
And Zacchaeus said, “The very idea of a man would defy the intelligence of this mighty doctor, that would take that baby from the bed to come down here to visit such a ridiculous sight as this. Why, it’s suicide. I’m telling you; he ought to go to the psychopathic ward. Why, it’s terrible to think that a man would be so—so tore up, would be... He must be a psychic neurotic to bring that baby out of the bed, when a doctor told him that a little cold air would kill that child. And here he’s got that lovely little girl down here and depriving her of the next two or three days of her life, that she could’ve stayed, out here to meet this fanatic. Oh, it’s ridiculous.”
And I see the little mother holding the baby, and she’s patting it and kissing it, and the little baby almost unconscious. And then she says, “Dad, you hold the baby; I’ll try to meet Him.”
Zacchaeus looking through his little leaf watching it you know, “I’ll see what happens.”
So after awhile here come a Man around the corner; There was no beauty we should desire Him, might’ve been a little stoop-shouldered Fellow. As He walked around the corner, it was the Prophet from Galilee. And the first view that Zacchaeus got of Him, his mind was changed. He said, “There’s something about that Man that’s different.”
This little mother rushed up, and the big strong apostle said, “Lady, I’m sorry.”
She said, “But kind sir, my little baby is at the point of death. Won’t you just permit me to let the Master just touch the baby as He passes by?”
“Well, madam, I’m sorry, there’s thousands of others standing here in this same way; the Master’s very tired and weary. He’s going up for His meal now, and I—I—I would not have you to bother Him.”
And here He comes with His head bowed, walking, quietly, meekly. And His little ears caught that cry of that mother. He always hears it. No matter how faint it is, He knows every need that you have need of. Not one little prayer can be said without Him knowing it. She heard Him, saying, “Oh, Jehovah, be kind to your handmaid. My baby is dying. Let Your servant come near.”
Zacchaeus said, “I will see what takes place.”
And she rushes on a past the apostle, and she falls at the Master’s feet, said, “Master, my little baby is very sick. I’m sorry to bother, You look so weary and tired; but if You’ll just lay Your hand on my baby, it’ll satisfy us. We been throwed from the church now, because we brought the baby. The doctor said he would never return again if we mixed up with this at all. But oh, Master, I believe that You are the Messiah; I believe that You are the Son of the living God. That’s why I brought my baby.” Could He turn that down? No, sir.
Said, “Peter, hold your peace. Bring the child here.”
Here comes the Father through the crowd as everyone stands watching; the baby was well known in the city. And when they brought the little baby there wrapped in the blanket, the Master merely touched the little blanket where the baby was laying; all of a sudden the little girl raised up, and let out a big joyful scream, and it throwed the blankets, and grabbed her little rope, and went skipping the rope. Zacchaeus said, “It must be real. Only God could do that.”
And as they bowed politely to the Master, He went on down the street. Zacchaeus’ heart was beating heavy; He thought, “Here He comes; here He comes. Now, He can never see me, but I’ll see Him. So I will raise up this leaf, and I’ll watch Him. He don’t know where I am. ’Course, I’m a businessman; He won’t have nothing to do with me anyhow, but I wished He would. But I’m hid now. So I’ll just watch Him as He passes by.”
So he raised his leaf and he begin to look. Jesus walking along with His head bowed, He stopped all at once, looked up in the tree, said, “Zacchaeus, come down out of that tree. I’m going home with you today.”
He didn’t even know—only know he was there; He knew his name. He knew his heart. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Zacchaeus was convinced; he knew who He was; he knew that was the Messiah. And Zacchaeus dropped out of the tree; he said, “Lord, if I’ve robbed any man, I’ll—I’ll make it good. I’ll do anything; I’ll just do anything.”
Rebekah knew all of this; she’s already had dinner ready for Him to come when He’s going up to his house; salvation had come to his house.
Maybe there’s a Christian businessman or a man setting here this morning that Rebekah has prayed for. You knew He was to pass this way this morning. He knows where you’re at; He sees you. No matter how much leaf you’re raising up; He knows who you are; He knows right where you’re setting; He knows all about it. I wonder while we bow our heads just a moment in prayer...
Father God, we heard that You were to pass this way this morning. I don’t know these people; there may be a Zacchaeus setting here. I do not know. Maybe a dear mother has prayed for her wandering boy. Oh, he’s been blessed, truly. He’s in business; he’s got a family now. Mother’s done gone on, but her prayers are still real. We heard such a testimony a while ago of a wandering boy, dear old daddy who preached the Gospel. And oh, You’re always near.
Maybe that boy or girl, whatever it might been, has wandered far away, but they just drifted in the door this morning, said, “Well, I heard that He was to pass this way.” Just take that leaf away from them, Lord, this morning. Call them by name and say, “Child of Mine, I’ve come in answer to your mother, or your wife, or father’s prayer. I’ve come to receive you. I’m going back home with you this morning. I’m going to leave this New Yorker restaurant. I’m going home with you. Not only am I just going for dinner; I’m going to abide with you, till I bring you to mother and dad again.”
O Christ, Who knows the heart of man, Who knew that Zacchaeus was in the tree, You knowed his name; You knowed his thoughts; You’re speaking to our conscience this morning and to our hearts. We pray, God, that You’ll unfold our sins to us. And may that Zacchaeus slip lovely down from the tree just now, off of the high perch, come down, and humble himself at the foot of the cross to say, “Jesus, I come.”
While we have our heads bowed would there be one here this morning? You might think this is not appropriate at a breakfast. But is... Zacchaeus, are you here? Mrs. Zacchaeus, are you here? Would you want to... Him to go home with you this morning from this breakfast to abide with you forever, carry you over Jordan someday, safely on His lovely wings. Would you just raise your hand to Him and say, “By this I mean to come to Christ.” Would you put up your hand just now, every head bowed. Just let the Holy Spirit and myself see these hands.
Come on, Zacchaeus, put... God bless you. All right. God bless you, God bless you. That’s right, Zacchaeus. Come on and raise up the leaf; He’s here. That’s Him talking to you. God bless you. God bless you, brother. God bless you. Come on, Zacchaeus; He knows right where you are; you’re right there.
Oh, I know you prospered; your business has been great. But won’t you take Jesus with you this morning, won’t you let Him go with you? He’s come for you. He’s revealing to you now who you are, making you know that that little crooked deal that you did the other day, that little bad word that you spoke, that little smart-aleck thing you said to that woman or that man, He knows it. He’s speaking to you; that’s Him talking to your conscience. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?
“Lord, from this day, from this breakfast on, I make a covenant with You, that someday when life is over, and I set at that great table yonder, the King of king comes out and wipes all tears from the eyes, I want Him to say, ‘It was well done, my good and faithful servant; enter into the joys of the Lord.’”
Will you raise your hand, one that hasn’t? Say, “Remember me, God; I now raise my hand to Thee. I know You’re revealing to me my wrongs and my sins now. You know my heart. I want You to go home with me from this meeting this morning and live with me, go in my business office. I want to go back and tell all my employees that I’m a changed man. I met Someone down to the breakfast.”
“Oh, down where the Christian Businessmen was having a meeting. I was setting at a table, and all of a sudden Something spoke to my heart; my sins stood out like mountains before me. In a low voice I whispered, ‘God, forgive me.’ It all cleared away, and peace come to my troubled soul. I believe I’ll rest tonight. I have peace like the river. And I want you employees to know that I’m going to be a different man now.”
“Go home and see wife and say, ‘Wife, your prayer been answered; I met Jesus this morning. I heard He’s going to pass that way; I never did think He’d come that way. But I was just setting there, and all at once something struck me. It could only be Him. I’ve been hard-hearted, I’ve been indifferent. Oh, I’ve been a church member, sure, but something happened. He come home with me, wife. I’m going to treat you different from now on. You watch and see if I don’t. I’m going to be different to the children too; I’ll never drink no more. I don’t know why, but I—I’ve tried to turn new pages, but something’s happened to me. I’m going to be different now.”
“Oh, I—I professed to be a Christian; I’ve carried on, and used bad language, and went to—out into worldly things, and to movies, and bioscopes, and I’ve watched vulgar programs. I cracked dirty jokes, taken social drinks with my competitors and things; but I’ll never do it again. Something happened; Jesus come home with me.”
Don’t you want to do that? Is there another? There’s been four or five raised their hands, is there another would say that? “By God’s grace, I now take Jesus to go home with me; I’m the Zacchaeus. Yes, oh, I belong to church like Zacchaeus did. I thought I was as right as Zacchaeus.” Zacchaeus thought he was right, but he was wrong until he come in Presence with Jesus. That’s Him talking to you; slide down out of the tree now. God bless you. That’s right; that’s good. Are you sure now that He hasn’t spoke to you?
Blessed Lord, “No man can come to Me,” saith the Lord, “except My Father draws him first.” God, You knocked at the heart of the door, four or five people in this room this morning; You know their hearts; You spoke to them; You know them. God, may from this hour on, may they live so godly, may they go home... May they go to their place of business, these men that raised their hand. These women that raised their hands, may they go as a changed person; may their influence be great in the city where they live. May You bless them and prosper them in whatever they do. If they’re in business, grant that their business will grow and be greater. They got a new partner this morning, the King of kings.
Let them remember Mr. Ball of the fruit jar. Let them remember Mr. Kraft, of the cheese. How that he couldn’t make a go of his cheese, and one day a voice spoke to him, said, “Take Me for your Partner.” ...?... Many of the others, Colgate; when they took Jesus as their Partner, things changed. May it be with them today, Lord.
We love You. We thank You for this breakfast. We thank You for this gathering. We thank You for the natural food; we did at the beginning. Now we thank You for the spiritual food to build us and make us better children of God, stronger in the Gospel, more determined to do right. Until that time that we meet You at that supper, Lord, keep us, Lord; guide us; hold our hand; walk with us through the shadows. Be with us in the marshy grounds and in the shifting sands, till we finally meet at home. For we ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let’s just shake hands with one another and say, “God bless you.” Somebody setting next to you, just turn, say, “God bless you.” Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal...
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Oh, do not pass me by.
Don’t you love those old fashion songs? It just scours you out. I don’t... I have nothing against jubilee songs; them are fine. But for me, I like them old fashion songs. I’m just one of them old fashion type Christians; I love that meek, gentle Spirit that them songs bring over the people. Old blind Fanny Crosby wrote that song. “What do you think of Christ, Fanny Crosby?” She wrote this:
Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Thou the Stream of all my comfort,
Think of it.
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Or Whom in heaven but Thee?
She’s at her reward. When a poet... A bunch of men came to her, wanted her to write worldly songs. They said, “Mrs. Crosby, you’re missing a fortune; you should write love songs.”
She said, “God called me to write songs of Him.”
“Oh,” he said, “that heaven stuff...” They were both infidels, said, “There’s no such a thing.” Said, “When you get to heaven... If you... If there’s such a place as heaven and you go there...” Said, “You’re blind.” Said, “You’ll never see Him. How would you know it was Christ?” Said, “You—you couldn’t know Him because you’re blind.”
And she said, “I’ll know Him; I’ll know Him if I am blind.” And when they slammed the door and went out, she went down through the room with her hands up; she wrote this song:
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand;
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the prints of the nails in His hands.
It’s in those hours of criticism that the strain is brought upon us to test us. Like in your business or anything else, them are more precious than gold. They’re testing times, as I spoke at that breakfast the other morning, testings to prove us. She said, “I’ll know Him, for I’ll take His hand, and I’ll feel the nail scars. If I’m blind, I’ll still know Him.”
God bless you. I want to tell you businessmen something, you Full Gospel Businessmen here. You know what happened to Zacchaeus? I’ll tell you. He become a charter member of the Full Gospel Christian Businessmen’s Association of Jericho.