THIRSTING FOR LIFE
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Source transcript: VOGR
Good evening, friends. It’s certainly a... a privilege for me to be out here tonight to have this time of fellowship in this church. I did not know I was going to have this privilege till just a few days ago. And then, all of a sudden it come along that I was to come over to this Beulah Tabernacle to speak. And looking at this tabernacle, I really like it, and the way it’s built up. They... We’re fixing to build a tabernacle at Jeffersonville, and I may send some of them up here to kind of look this over. I like this for our own place down there, brother.
And then to see the nice building, and the... Met your pastor the first time, knowingly, just in his study a few moments ago there, the room to the side. Friendly, nice, hospitality, and come in and hear these old songs of Zion being sang. And found out they were Canadians; and of course, we just like glove on a hand. I certainly do appreciate being over here tonight, and no wonder, it’s a nice little church. A church is what’s on the inside of it, really. That’s what makes it up.
We pass down the streets many times, and we see a... a house. And sometimes we say, “Isn’t that a lovely home.” Now, it might look like a lovely house, but a home is the “order of the house.” You see the order that’s in it, order of the family.
And that’s the way I think the house of God is. It isn’t so much the beautiful temple, which we do appreciate, but it’s the order that’s on the inside of it. What kind of a order do they have? Are they really Christians, really worshipping the Lord, really love Him? Is it a house of correction, the Gospel being preached, and accompanied by the signs that Jesus gave us that would follow us? And I’m sure it’s that way here at this Beulah Temple.
When I think of the name of Beulah, it just reminds me of when I was just a boy. I was with a girlfriend, and she take me up to the... to the Zion Baptist Church near Salem, Indiana. And the song they sang was, “O Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land, as on the highest mount I...“ Well, looks like finally I got to Beulah land, doesn’t it? That was before I was saved. I never will forget that fine Spirit in that church. And I remember later on, that Zion was near Salem also, in the... in the Bible.
So to be here tonight with our lovely pastor, and Brother Grant, Canadian singers, Brother Boze, and many others, we just feel like we want a little time of fellowship around His Word.
I was trying to get Brother Grant to speak for me, when I come in. I was a little hoarse, and been speaking sometimes twice a day. And my meetings are just continually from place to place. And I just get tired. You know how it is, I’m sure. I was telling, the other night, or saying to Brother Grant, “Many times, we want to go like a... a rocket, and then we fall like a rock.” That’s about the way we do it. So we have to slow up once in a while.
Now, at this time, I was supposed to be, this week in the Fiji Isles. And then the 15th I was to begin, or the middle of this month, in Sydney, Australia; New Zealand. But I had to set it back for a few days, and that gave me the opportunity here, come to Chicago to visit. The first time over on this, I suppose it’s called the west side, isn’t it? [A brother says, “South."] South side, now I’m all turned around, the south side.
And the ministry that Brother Joseph was speaking of, I’m sure is no mystery to you people, because you’ve been in the meetings many times. And what our Lord does, that’s gracious, we do appreciate it with all of our heart.
On the road over tonight, I was talking to Brother Grant. And we were exchanging thoughts with him and Brother Boze about overseas, in Africa, and India, and... and different places where we have been.
And I was relating a case at India that happened, and that was on the platform. After that afternoon, I’d been interviewed by, I want to say, seventeen, it might’ve been seven, because it was through an interpreter, that, different religions was represented there that evening, or, afternoon. And all seventeen of them was against Christian religion. Now, you can imagine how you felt. I was in the temple of the Jains. Then there were the Sikhs, the Jains, the Mohammedans, the Buddhas, and so forth. And every one was against Christianity.
And most all of them believes in reincarnation. Therefore they make little mops, and sweep the walk as they go, so that they won’t step on a little ant or anything, because it might be a relative that’s died. Now, how would you ever preach a blood atonement for an antidote for sin to a person that doesn’t... that doesn’t... that thinks it’s wrong to step on an ant? See, you could never do it. So I spoke my piece. I felt that I would’ve been a traitor to Christ if I had not have said something.
So then that night at the gathering, we could not go outside the city, because it had a law that to have police protection, we had to remain in the city. And the mayor of the city had come out; he was with me that afternoon, and many of the great leaders, the bishop of the Methodist church, and many other Christian leaders, where we’d met at the Taj Hotel.
And so they said I’d have to have it in the city. And there were hundreds of thousands at the meeting to... to attend. You had no way of estimating how many would be there, because just as far as you could see was one mass of people. And there’s two hours and something, with guards on the side of the car to get from where the meeting started, pulled through with the car to get up to the place to speak. You can imagine how long that would take. They was just jamming, and pushing, and climbing on the car; move a few feet, and then the guards and things to make them move.
But when we got into the pulpit, to start speaking, I spoke on the subject of Jesus Christ, The Same Yesterday, Today, And Forever. And gave what He was yesterday, and that we could expect the same today if He is the same, that He is not dead, but He has risen from the dead.
And so, when that we could’ve have no prayer cards give out, you just had to let them jam up the best they could. And the guards would bring up people. Well, after a few had passed, and they had begin to see how the Holy Spirit would make known the conditions and what they had did, then...
Course, under the anointing, you could tell that the people was thinking it was a telepathy or something, because they have a lot of witchcraft and everything in India.
You just get ready to believe anything, things that you didn’t think you would believe when you get there, ’cause everything is a religion of its own. They’ll walk through fire; they’ll take a lance and run it through their mouth, take a sword and place it right through their heart and pour water right through it, and run out on the back side, pull it out, and don’t even bleed. And, oh, you can run up a tree and take a little boy had a sack, father run up there and cut him to pieces limb by limb, and dropped it off, and put them in a sack, and he kick and holler, “Let me out of here, daddy.” Just get ready to believe anything when you hit India.
Devil workers, and don’t you think they won’t challenge you; they will. And you better know what you’re talking about. There’s where you... you... you can’t do as you can in the United States, just get by with anything. You’ve got be sure that it’s right, or you don’t say nothing at all.
So the night on the platform, you could begin to feel that the Rajas and those setting out there believed that... that it was a telepathy. And after a while there was a leper came by. And I didn’t know too much about dealing with leprosy; only in Africa I’d had some experience.
This little leper with just stubs of arms, his face all eat off of him, just come, threw his arms around me. I prayed with him. And as he left the platform, then, the next come, was a blind man. And the Holy Spirit told him who he was. I couldn’t speak his name, just had to spell out the letters for his name. Told him how he had been in this condition for twenty years, and was a worshipper of the sun; and he had went blind worshipping the sun, looking at it, and then that he was a beggar, had two children. And all that was true. And then, I said, “You see, I cannot heal him, because I cannot do what God has already done, for He was wounded for our transgressions, and with His stripes we were healed.”
Divine healing is not something of a hocus pocus, or... or some little move, or some little blessing that people pack in their hands, but it is a undoubting faith that you have in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a finished work that was done by Christ at Calvary.
I might ask tonight, how many got saved during this revival you’ve had here? Some of you raise your hands. I’d say, how many’s been saved ten years ago? You’d raise your hands. But that in one way is right and another way it isn’t right. You wasn’t saved a week ago or ten years ago, you were saved nineteen hundred years ago. When Jesus died at Calvary, He expelled the sin of the world. But it’ll never do you no good until you accept it. You just accepted it last night or ten years ago.
And that’s the same time that “He was wounded for our transgressions, with His stripes we are healed.” It’s your faith in a work that’s finished, that God did through Christ for you at Calvary. It’s completely. There’s not a sinner here tonight but what’s been saved. And you’re still under the mercies of God, as long as you’re living and God dealing with you. But when you die, and you go beyond that, then you’re... you’re in judgment. You’ve done judged yourself.
And healing, there’s not a person here... If there’s anyone here sick, every one of you is healed now. It’s just as much as you ever could be healed. But it’s your faith to believe and accept your healing that Jesus was wounded for your transgressions, with His stripes you were healed.
So no one can heal. I never healed anyone in my life, and never will. But I’ve had some direct answers to prayer a lot of times when I prayed for people. It’s a prayer that... “The prayer of faith shall save the sick.”
So there’s no way for me to heal the man. And he was... been blind twenty years. A Methodist doctor was present which examined him. His eyes were white from being blind. And then as I offered the prayer for the brother and started him off the platform, it was the sovereign grace of God, there come a little shadow, like, over him, and I watched it, and it was a vision. There stood the man with his normal sight just like anyone else. Now, see, it was... it was the grace of God that did it.
Then it was the opportunity. There was my opportunity to speak to the people then. And I said, “I was entertained today at the temple of the Jains, and seventeen different religions there downing our Christianity.” And I said, “Now, tonight, here is a man who’s a worshipper of the sun, that’s blind. And you say that, the Mohammedan religion is three times the size of Christianity,” which is truth.
The Buddhas are far beyond Christianity, and Christianity ranks third or fourth place in the religions of the world. That’s numberly; that’s including Catholic and Protestant together.
But I said, “Surely, somebody’s right and somebody’s wrong. It’s got to be. There is a true and living God. He’s got a salvation for His people. And here is a man who has worshipped the... the creation instead of the Creator, we’d believe that. But he’s blind, and he wants to come to the real true God.”
I said, “Now, I ask the Mohammedan priest to come here and to restore the sight of this blind man. And if he can do it, then this blind man will become a Mohammedan, and I will also, if he can restore the sight to this blind man.” And I said, “I also challenge the priest of Buddha, or of Jains, or any of the rest of the religions here, any of you leaders, come here you holy men, and restore the sight to this man. For if there is a God Who created him, and he wants to come back with a true heart to worship that God, surely that God will restore his sight and put him back in conditions to worship Him.”
Now, I would no means have said that if there hadn’t been a vision that I knowed what I was speaking of.
That’s the way our Lord did. He said, “I do nothing until the Father shows Me first what to do,” Saint John 5:19. No prophet, or neither the Lord Jesus, ever went about doing things just at random. Jesus could not lie, because He was God. And He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing in Himself, but what He sees the Father doing.” Not, hears the Father doing, but, sees the Father doing.
Elijah on Mount Carmel, when he’d laid the bullock and everything, he come out before the people, and said, “Lord God, I have did this all at Your command.” Always God; flesh can’t glory nowhere. And it was a vision. And that’s the reason you could speak boldly, ’cause God had said so. That settles it.
So then, when, all of them was real quiet. I said, “This is an awful quiet group of people.” And I said, “Now today, you Mohammedans was trying to tell me how much greater the Mohammedan religion was than Christianity. Now, let the priests come forth and do it, or any of the rest.” I said, “The reason they can’t do it, the reason they’re not coming is because they can’t do it.” And I said, “Neither can I do it. But the God of Heaven that raised up His Son, Christ Jesus, Who is alive today, and Who I am representing, has showed me a vision that the man’s going to receive his sight. Now, if he doesn’t do it, then I’m a false leader and should be run out of India. But,” I said, “if he does do it, and all you people seeing how that your priests and... and your holy men are sitting quiet.” I said, “I... I want to see the man receive his sight. I don’t want to argue your textbooks and your religions. I just want that the man to be given his sight. And let the God that be God of creation, Who made the human race, restore back his sight, because it won’t take a hoax. It’ll have to be real, ’cause it’ll have to be created, because he has no eyes.”
Don’t be afraid. Our God is God. If He ever was God, He’s God yet. And if He’s God at all, He’s God of the whole creation. And so when saying that, then I said, “They won’t say nothing. And I can’t, but God has showed that this would be. Now, we’ll see if it happens.” And they bowed their heads. And when we prayed, the man’s eyes come open, could see as good as any person in here.
Oh, I said, “How many of you will receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour if this man’s eyes come open?” And just as far as you could see, tens of thousands of hands up in the air.
And then, with no cooperation amongst the churches, perhaps, tonight, ninety-nine out of every thousand is back in the temples of the Buddha and so forth, because of the lack of cooperation of men to get there and lead those people on into the churches. It’s a pity that there’s no cooperation among Christian people today when God tries to do something. That’s the hardest thing I have found, and the most misunderstanding thing, that people will not cooperate because you’re not of their denomination. It’s a disgrace to the world.
Now, tonight, I never come over to talk on Divine healing for you. I just come to speak to you a few minutes, get acquainted with you, that we would know one another, for we’re just passing through this world one time, and we’re to spend an eternity together hereafter.
And now, let us bow our heads just a moment for a... a word of prayer.
O Lord God, Creator of heavens and earth, we come to Thee just as humbly as we know how to come with bowed heads to the dust where we were taken from, and someday, if Jesus tarries, we shall return. But knowing this, like Job of old, “I know my Redeemer liveth, and at the last days He will stand on the earth. Though if the skin worms destroys this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” We are so happy for that hope that lies within our bosoms tonight, that we, someday, shall see Him Who we love and believe, Who is the unseen Guest in this building tonight.
Now, Thy Word lays open before us, Lord, and we would ask You to bless Your Word, to circumcise the lips that would speak, and the ears that would hear.
Grant, Lord, if there be any here who is not a Christian, may they humbly surrender to Thee. There be those here who have fallen away, may they come, like the prodigal son, back to the house tonight, to the Father’s house. And we pray, Lord, for those that are sick, if there be any of those here, or afflicted, that while the Word be going forth that they will receive Jesus and be made whole of their diseases.
Bless this little Beulah Temple. Bless its lovely pastor, and all of its deacons, and the board, and all the laity. May it long stand as a memorial to Jesus Christ and to His cause. May from here go missionaries and... and ministers that’ll help evangelize the world. Bless every effort that they put forth. And these brethren here, and these sisters from Canada, the... the song leaders, and... and the musicians, we pray, Lord, that You’ll bless their ministry. Make it rich, Father. Give them souls for their hire, because we believe that’s the desire of their hearts.
Forgive us all of our shortcomings. And let the Holy Spirit visit us tonight, for we wait on Him further in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Just to speak to you for a few moments, which I don’t know just what time your services let out. It’s already almost nine. And tomorrow’s a big day for us again, and I know it will be for you.
And I want to give all of you an invitation. If you’re ever around in any of the meetings, why, come in, make yourself at home. If you’re down around Jeffersonville, why, see us while you’re there. These singers that sang so pretty and the music a while ago, drop in the tabernacle and let us hear some of that down that way. And pastor, you know, you’re welcome, all.
We want to turn to the 63rd Psalm just for a... a little reading on a little familiar text:
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen... in thy sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better to me than life, my lips shall praise thee.
I often wondered what David was talking about. And I remember the first time that I read that Scripture, that I just couldn’t understand what David meant when he said, “Because Thy love-kindness is better to me than life.” What could be any greater than life?
If the Lord God tonight should come to me and say, “I will turn you back from an old man to a young man of about eighteen years old; I’ll let you live a thousand years on the earth, and give all the wealth of the world in your hands, and promise you to never have a day of worry, but all joy for a thousand years,” or, “I’ll let you live fifty years more, and make it till you’ll beg your bread on the street, dragging along in sickness; but yet at the end, I’ll give you Eternal Life.”
I’d say, “Lord, let me beg. Let me drag, or let me suffer, or anything just as long as I’ve got Eternal Life.”
Life is what conducts you. It’s what makes your conduct. You just can’t hide real life. There’s no way to do it.
Did you ever lay a sidewalk? Some of you men, no doubt, have done it. And just scoop up all the dirt, and lay the sidewalk out, pour it with concrete. But then in the summertime when you go to cut your grass, do you know where the grass is the thickest at? Right by the side of that walk. It’s twice as thick there as it is anywhere else. Why is it? Down beneath that concrete, you covered over some seeds; but just as sure as that sunshine begins to bathe the earth, and the season’s right, that seed’s got life in it. And you can’t hide life. It’ll work its way right over those grains of concrete till it comes out, so it can lift up its little head and praise God. You just can’t hide life.
That’s the reason if you’ve got Eternal Life, they may bury you in the sea, or... or cremate your body, but you’ll live again when Jesus comes. There’s no way to keep you down. You can’t hide real life.
I had a chaplain friend from the First World War. He was telling me, he said, “Billy, one day they’d thrown that there mustard and chlorine gas in the First World War over in France.” And he said, “We was out near La Salle, Lorraine.” And said, “It would been a... an awful day for me. It was Easter, and oh, the gas had just burnt down the trees, and the grass, and there was nothing alive.” And he said, “It was a rainy morning, and a nurse came through the room. And she had a... a big bunch of calla lilies in her hand. And she was passing by the bed of these wounded soldiers, and giving each one a lily.” Said, “Those crippled boys, and some of them burnt, some of them blind, would grab that lily and scream and cry, because it was a token from home.” Said, “I couldn’t stand it. I walked outside, and a Major said, ‘Chaplain, I’m going out to the front to check some tanks that was... or some vehicles that was torn up, and to see if there’s any of them that can be brought in,’ out into the no-man land where they moved the Germans back from that.”
Said, “I went out there and we went... took me out in the sidecar of a little motorcycle.” And said, “When we stopped out there on the... the field,” he said, “I looked around, and I thought, ‘Oh, if this isn’t a desolate place.’” Said, “There’s not a leaf on a tree. There’s not a sprig of grass to be found anywhere; and yet, it’s Easter.” And said, “I walked along and I kinda attracted to a little rock,” and said, “I turned it over with my foot.” And said, “What do you think that was under that rock?” Said, “There was a little Easter lily that had been hid under the rock all the time during the gas and the war.” Said, “I started to pull it, and I said, ‘It’s too sacred.’” Said, “I knelt there and said, ‘Lord, hide me in the Rock of Ages. Preserve my life, O Lord, as You have preserved the lily.’” Life, it’s a great thing. Life molds your character.
Some time ago down in the Southlands where I’m from, they used to have slavery down there years ago. The... the Afrikaans people brought over, the Boers, rather, and... and they brought over the... the colored man from Africa. And they would sell them in the South for slaves. Oh, it was such a sin and such a wrong thing to do. But they become so common, till they would just sell them like they do used cars on a lot, just go out and... and buy them. And brokers would come and buy them, and take them, sell them for make money, human beings to which Christ died for.
And it was told this story, that one day a broker came by a great plantation. And there was many slaves on the plantation. So he said to the... the owner, he said, “I... I would like to look over your slaves, maybe I could give you some nice prices.”
The owner said, “Help yourself.”
And he goes out to look over the plantation. And the slaves was away from home. They had been captured, taken away from mother, away from babies sometime, mothers, away from husbands, and just brought over here and used them like brutes of labor. And they were sad; they knowed they’d never see papa again, never see mama, never see the baby again. They were slaves and aliens in a strange country. They had no spirit in them to work. And they would take whips and whip them to make them work.
And they noticed one young slave, a young man. They never had to whip him. He had his chest out and his chin up. He was right on the job. So, quickly, the broker said, “I’d like to buy that slave.”
But the owner said, “But he’s not for sale.”
Well, said, “He’s so much different from the other slaves.” Said, “Is he a boss over the rest of them?”
And the owner said, “No, he’s not no boss. He’s just a slave.”
He said, “Well, maybe you feed him just a little better than you do the rest of the slaves.”
And he said, “No, he eats out in the galley with the rest of the slaves. He’s just a slave.” Well, the owner said...
“What makes him so much different than the other slaves?”
And the owner said, “I wondered that for a long time. But one day I found out the reason.” Said, “You know, over in the homeland, his father is the king of the tribe. And yet he’s an alien, but he knows he’s the son of a king, and he conducts himself like one.”
What ought Christians to do? We’re aliens. But our Father is the King, and we are sons and daughters of God. We ought to conduct ourselves like sons and daughters of God.
When I see the church becoming so loose, and the women is in their immoral dressing, and the men doing, it just grieves me, because we are sons and daughters of God, and we ought to act, and walk, and talk, and conduct ourselves like that. When we get away from that, I’m afraid there’s something wrong in us, we’ve lost the vision, who we are. Because the life that’s in us is what guides us and directs us.
So, thinking of David saying that... that Thy lovingkindness is better to me than life, there must be two different kinds of life, or, I would say like this: more than one kind of life.
And some people thinks that this life is just consists of carousing, drinking, or running around, or going to dances; they call that “life”.
I was conducting a meeting, I... I hate to go to this, because some of my friends are setting here from Canada. But I was in Canada; and the manager of the meeting is present now also, Brother Sothmann there, where I was holding a meeting at the ice arena. And they’d put me up in the hotel. And that afternoon when I come... I’d been in Canada for quite a little while, and I didn’t see the sin, and the carrying on, as we seen it here at home.
And when I went down that night from where I’d been in the country, came down to the hotel, I noticed the Americans coming over, whiskey bottles flying everywhere. And when I come in that night from church, from the service, I got on the elevator. And I’d been there for around a week; I’d never seen nothing like that.
And the elevator was setting, all around it, whiskey bottles and beer cans. And when the boy closed the door to take me up on the elevator, I looked around. And he knew who... who I was, and he said, “It’s rough.”
And I said, “Sometimes such characters as that makes me ashamed I am an American, with such conduct as that.” And he let me off on the floor, way up almost to the top.
And it was a certain lodge here in America was having their convention there in Canada. And when I got off the elevator, oh, the awfulest carrying-on everywhere. And way up at the end of the hall there was two young women, I suppose in their late twenties or early thirties. And they just had on their underneath garments with a bottle of whiskey in their hand, so drunk, and both of them with wedding bands on. Oh, of course, they was just having a little clean fun. That’s sin!
And they were trying to come down, barefooted, no stockings, in just their underneath garment, with this whiskey bottle in their hand there, blurry eyed; and men trying to get out of the rooms, falling over them, trying to catch them like that, so drunk they could hardly get up.
And I thought, “Isn’t that a shame!” But we call that, in the States here, just a little time of recreation. Maybe a daddy at home taking care of the babies. It don’t only to the women, the men does the same. Sin is sin; I don’t care where it is; it’s sin, and it’s wrong. And we, a Christian nation, visiting our neighbors like that, with our lodges and so forth, and carrying on in such a disgrace as that.
And I stopped. And one young fellow staggered across and hit his head against the other side and fell back on the floor, got over, and saying all kinds of bad things. And these young women come on down and stopped. I pulled back in a little place to watch. And these young women stopped right out in front of me. And they take each a drink out of the bottle, reached down and pulled up that little underneath skirt, and throwed their foot up in the air and hollered, “Whoopee, this is life!”
I stepped out in the floor and caught both of them by the hand. I said, “I beg your pardon, this is not life; this is death!” The Bible said, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she’s alive.”
And there’s too much of that kind of carrying on through our churches in the nations today, and yet calling themselves Christians.
That’s the biggest stumbling block Christianity ever had; not the bootlegger on the corner, we know he’s branded; but the hypocrite that calls themselves a Christian and live in the church with such life as that with them. It shows that they’ve never been acquainted with the Lord Jesus, or they wouldn’t do that. That kind of life is horrible. That can’t be the kind of life that David was talking of.
Some people thinks to make money: “That’s life: make money, plenty of it.” And after a while you’ll lose it, and you’ll take a pistol and blow your brains out. That can’t be life. That’s death.
Some people thinks that they’re young: gaiety, and running out, and dances and things, cutting-up, carrying-on, immoral; next morning with a headache, heartache, broke-up homes. That’s not life. That’s death disguised. That’s the wolf in the sheep’s clothes. That cannot be life. That’s death.
And the world is deceived by those things. But the question is, my brother, sister, tonight: What makes men and women do that, if they’re mentally right? What makes them do that? What makes them crave to drink whiskey? What makes the American people smoke cigarettes? when the Reader’s Digest said that a hundred and thirty-three thousand is doomed this year for smoking cigarettes. But they go do it anyhow; cancer on the rampage. Articles: “Cancer by the carload.” And they sell cigarettes more every day: “Buy a carton of cancer, a bottle of tubercular.” And they seek and suck on those things for pleasure. Something’s wrong. What is it? “They can’t help it,” they say.
If the devil can’t get you all twisted up with some of that, then he will take you and try to let you join a church somewhere to get away from it, and you’re just as bad off, trying to hide yourself under some church, or some creed, or some denomination. That’s wrong.
But what makes a man do it in the first place? is because when God made a man, He created him thus. He made a man to thirst.
There’s a little place in the heart that nothing will fill it but God. And men are thirsting for something, and that real thirst is for God. And nobody’s got a right to try to quench that holy thirst with giving it to the devil for the things of the world; got no right trying to hide that thirst by joining a church. God is the only thing that’ll fill that up. God, the Holy Spirit, is the only thing that can satisfy that thirst. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst for righteousness.” And it’s God trying to get to the human heart. And the devil tries to quench that by letting them drink theirself to death, or run themselves to death, or do something else. But God created man to have that holy thirst. And if you won’t take God, then you’ll have to take something else to... to kind of appease that calling. That’s what makes a man that way.
God made him to be King; God wants to set on your heart’s throne. And you’ve got no right to let the devil put the things of his makings in you. You’ve got no right to try to satis-... And let me say this, there’s nothing that will satisfy it but God. You can do what you want to, drink yourself crazy, but you’ll never be satisfied until Christ takes His place in the human heart. That settles it. Then faith comes in.
A lot of people see great churches, great denominations, the intellectual world. They look around, what they can see with their eyes.
I was in a breakfast with Billy Graham, some time ago in Louisville. And he said... took the Bible and said, “This is God’s Standard.” He said, “I’ll go to the city, and I’ll hold a revival. I’ll have twenty thousand converts in six weeks.” Said, “I go back in another year, and I haven’t got twenty out of that twenty thousand.” And then he said, “Paul went into a city and had one convert, and come back the next year and had twenty out of that one.” He said... Now here’s what Billy said, with a bunch of preachers, about three hundred of them, he said, “It’s you lazy bunch of preachers, that set in with your feet up on the desk, and don’t go out and visit the people.” Said, “That’s the reason they don’t stay.”
And I thought, “Mr. Graham, my gracious brother, a man who I take off my hat to as a gallant soldier of God, yes. But Paul had something different. Paul didn’t go out and visit them after his converts, because he left the city, and come back to that one convert. But what he done to that convert, he led him into Something that set his soul afire.”
It’s not the lazy preacher; if he had the same thing, he wouldn’t be lazy like that. He’d be on the mark for Christ, a burning Something in his heart that wouldn’t let him set still. We just take them to their intellectuals.
In the garden of Eden, the devil chose a man’s head. God took his heart. The devil tries to show him what he can see with his eyes. God, in his heart, makes him believe things by faith that he cannot see. “For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
See, man wants to see a big place, a... a great something with a psychological effect to it. God isn’t in psychology. He doesn’t work with the mental powers. You’ll never be able to reason out God. You believe God by faith.
Speaking at a breakfast this morning. I said the reason men go and join churches and put their names on them, is because they’re trying to bypass the new birth. They don’t want the new birth. Oh, some of the theologians today figure out what they call the new birth, “shake hands,” and, “put your name on a paper,” and, “believe a declaration of creeds.” But the new birth is to be... die, and to borned again, anew, a new creature in Christ.
Anybody knows that when a baby is born, I don’t care if it’s on a barn floor or on a straw tick, or in a... a decorated hospital room; it’s a mess, I don’t care where it’s born. But what is it? It’s a mess, but it brings life. And that’s what we need today, is a birth, a spiritual birth. It’s a mess, but it brings Life, Christian Life, new Life, Life, that sacrificial Life.
Some people say, “I wouldn’t belong to one of those full Gospel churches. They cry and shout, and jerk their hands around, and things like that.” That’s all right. They may act funny, but they’ve been born. They may look like a mess, but they got Life. That’s the thing, as long as you got Life. Ask one of them if he’s satisfied. Watch the way he acts, the places he goes.
You know the bird by its habits. A crow and a dove could have no fellowship; their diet’s different. And the Christian can’t mix with the world. A crow’s a hypocrite. A hypocrite is a... is a deceiver. A crow can set on an old dead carcass and eat all day long, and fly out in a wheat field and eat wheat with the dove. But the dove can eat wheat, but he can’t eat the dead carcass. Why? He hasn’t got any gall. He couldn’t digest it.
And that’s the way with a Christian; the bitterness is taken from him. He couldn’t digest the world. But a hypocrite can live in sin all day long, and come in the church at night, and shout like the rest of them. That’s the hypocrite.
Now, when you’re borned again, you don’t have to be a hypocrite; you are a new creature. The gall of bitterness is... the desire of the world is taken from you.
“Oh, Thy love-kindness is better than life, because I long to see Thy power like I have seen in Thy sanctuary. My soul thirsts after Thee like a dry land where no water is.” David was a shepherd. He was a woodsman. He knew the action of wildlife.
Now, we may have some hunter brothers in here. I am a hunter. And now, down in Africa, they have the deer, roebuck. Now, when... They have wild dogs; we have them here called wolves. The deer feeds usually in a herd, and there’s always a watchman on guard all the time, watching. You see, usually, they’ll go out and keep on the alert. And usually, it’s a doe, she’s watching her young.
If some of our American mothers just kept on their guard with their daughters like the mother doe does her little fawn, we wouldn’t have so much juvenile delinquency.
Then they notice, the wild dogs come after this deer, and they slip up real easy. The leader of the pack will slip up real easy, watching where the... the deers are. And if they can get a deer singled out, till he’s so interested in what he’s doing, he will never notice the dog coming up, ’cause the dog’s smart, he will get the wind in his face, or the wolf. He will slip real easy. How many times have I watched them do it. And they’ll slip up real easy, and they’re watching. And after a while, that little deer: senses in her begins to say that there’s trouble near. Yet she can’t smell the dog, neither can she see it. But she knows that something’s wrong; because she’s a deer, and she knows that, where danger is.
And there’s nobody ever deliberately walked into sin without God warning them first. Something will tell you. Tonight there’s a many a young girl out listening, and the wolf slipping up on her. You know, they got it, what they call the wolf whistle, they... the wolf whistle. And they’ll whistle at these young girls. And they’ll go out on the street and put on clothes that isn’t becoming to a young lady. And shame on you mothers that’ll let them do it.
Talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky where I come from: some of those old mammies up there, you let her girl go out and do that, she’d blister her from one side to the other with a barrel slat. That’s right. But, oh, you think she’s popular. You learn her how to tap dance, and do all these little things, and put the clothes on her like that, and then she comes up in disgrace, you are to blame. That’s exactly right.
What we need tonight is old-fashioned mammies like we used to have in America. We need godly, praying fathers and mothers, that’ll take their children before God instead of some Elvis Presley show or something.
Whistle at the girls to make them turn around. They think they’re cute. Honey, if you only realized that’s a hound of hell! That’s right.
Some of you young men, a little painted-up Jezebel out there, you think she’s cute. She might be, look like that on the outside; you ought to catch her when her face is washed; you might not think so much about her. Maybe a heart in her that’s as black as the smutty walls of hell. You can’t tell... Don’t look at that. That’s old and will pass away.
Look for something that’s real and genuine. See if that girl’s borned again. If she isn’t saved, then have nothing to do with her, and you, the same thing, by a young man.
The trouble of our ranks of... of Christians today is breaking down, marrying, and intermarrying, and it’s such a mess till there’s nothing could straighten it out. We’re ripening for judgment. God will clean the whole thing off one of these nights with an atomic bomb. And your names is written on it in Russia now. And the whole world’s trembling and wondering what’s the matter. The wolf’s slipping up. We’ve flirted too much with the rest of the world, with the things of the world.
Now, the next thing we know, this little deer oughtn’t to have wandered out from the flock where she had protection, away from the church where she get the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the Word. We’re washed through the Water of the Word. And then if you get away, and start staying home from church and watching television on Wednesday night when you got a prayer meeting going on, right then you’re on your road out. When your desires become more to see some television program than it does to hear the Gospel, there’s something wrong in your soul. That’s right. It’s true.
[One speaks with tongues; another interprets.] Amen. Now, if I understand the Scriptures right, one man speaking with an unknown language to himself, and another one interpreting it back; one man not knowing what he’s speaking, the other not knowing what he’s saying, but the voice is interpreted to us, a call from God. That’s right. “Look unto Me,” He said, “all the ends... I am the Healer, the One that gives Life, the vision of Life.” He is Life. Oh, how we thank Him that we have the opportunity to come to the Fountain that’s filled with Blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.
This little deer, just to finish that, if that wolf makes a jump to that little deer... He’s got two blood fangs. And he will grab that little deer right behind the ear. And he will sink those fangs in, and then swing his weight. And those big fangs will cut that little deer’s neck. And he will make a leap and then fall, and covered over with dogs in a few minutes, wolves, to pick the bones of the little fellow.
That’s the way Satan does it. If he can ever get close enough to you to once wrap you into there, the hounds of hell will jump right on, and pick everything there is about you off, all your morals, and all, everything you’ve got. You’ll lay bleached and defiled before God.
Now, sometimes if the little deer is on the job, very smart, she’ll see the deer... the dog coming, she’ll jump. And when she does, the dog will see he’s going to miss the ear, the jugular vein here, he will grab her in the side.
Well, that’s about the middle balance of the deer. The hindquarters is heavier than the front, but the front has a neck and head. So that’s about the middle of the deer. He will grab it. He will shake back and forth like that, and the deer can’t run. It’s out of balance and it’ll fall. And then, she’s covered, again, by the dogs.
Now, if the little deer is on to its job, and as soon as the dog grabs it in the flanks, if she’ll jump sideways real quick, or raise up just make a fl-... high, and fly, jump, and not try to run, just jump up, or jump sideways, the piece of meat will pull out of the dog’s... with the dog’s mouth. Then she’s got to run for her life.
That’s what David is speaking of. Did you ever see a wounded deer?
Down in the south, they hunt them with dogs. I think that’s a bad thing, but they hunt them with dogs. And when a deer is wounded, if that deer can ever get to water, it’ll live. You’ll never catch it, because he will keep drinking water, and it’ll curdle the blood, and he won’t bleed no more.
David said, “As the hart thirsts for the water brook, my soul thirsts after thee, O God.”
Could you imagine a little deer with the blood streaming out of it, and it’s run now, and the hounds is right behind it. And it’s got its little nose up [Brother Branham imitates panting.] sniffing everywhere. “If I could just smell water; I’ve got to get to water, or I’ll die.” Once to water it’s safe. It’s got to find water or die. David said, “As the hart panteth for the water brook, my soul thirsts after thee, O God.”
When men and women get to a place that they’ve got to have God or die, you’ll get to the water brook. That’s right. If you’re sick and you need healing, if you’re at the desperate condition, I can say, “There is a fountain filled with Blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, where sinners plunged beneath the flood, lose all their guilty stain.” It’s Life Everlasting to know Him; not to know His Book, not to know His church, not to know His creed, but to know Him; know Him, your personal Saviour, the One that’s filled you with the Holy Spirit. It puts Life in you to walk forward. That’s the Life that David was talking about.
My lips shall praise Thee, because Thy lovingkindness is better to me than Life. My lips shall praise Thee.
Let us bow our heads just a moment. I feel that message just a moment ago, was something cutting me off, and saying this is the time. We’re going to go to prayer.
I wonder how many in here would like to be remembered in prayer just now, if you’d raise up your hands, and say, “Remember me, Brother Branham, to God.” God bless you; that’s good. God bless you.
How many in here that’s not a Christian, would like to have a... a fellowship with Christ? You... Maybe you’ve joined church somewhere. Maybe you’ve been, even, immersed in water. But yet you know that that thirsting and hungering for God isn’t in your heart, but you’d like to have it there, would you just raise up your hands and say, “Remember me, Brother Branham; pray for me tonight.” God bless you, lady. God bless you, sir. God bless you, lady, yeah, that’s good. God bless you; that’s fine.
Is there a backslider here? Yes, back in there, sister; God bless you. Is there a backslider here? that’d say: “Brother Branham, I’ve wandered away. I don’t want to think I was a hypocrite, Brother Branham, but I... I really am not living where I should live. If I would leave this building tonight and go home, and I’d feel my heart acting real funny, I’d call the doctor, and he’d come up, say, ‘It’s a heart attack. She’s dying. He’s dying.’” It might be that way. “Brother Branham, I... I don’t want it to happen like that. I... I’m not ready yet to go. I... I’m not prayed up with God. I... I want a little closer walk.” Would you raise your hands, say, “God, remember me.” God bless you; that’s good. Hands everywhere.
I’m going to ask the pianist or the organist, whichever it is, to come to the organ just a moment, or the piano, one. And I’m going to pray.
Is there some here would really just, that’s living with God, but would like to have a little closer walk with God, just say, “Lord, remember me. My soul is thirsting, O Lord. I... My... I’m just... I’m just so thirsty, I don’t know what I’ll do, Lord. Help me. I’m... I’m in desperate need. I... I want You, come.”
“There is a fountain filled with Blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. No other fountain. Where sinners plunged beneath the flood, lose all their guilty stain. A dying thief, he rejoiced to see that fountain in his day. There may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.”
Just keep our heads bowed just a moment now while the music’s sweetly playing.
An ol’ boy lay dying on the field one day, a soldier. Another Christian moved up beside of him, he said, “You’re dying, buddy.”
Said, “I know it.”
Said, “Are you a Christian?”
Said, “I... I once was.”
He said, “What happened?”
Said, “I don’t know,” said, “I got away from John 3:16, but it never did get away from me.”
That’s it, brother, if you ever tasted the Lord is good, it’ll never leave you. You may wander out, but it’ll never leave you.
Lord, be merciful unto us, Lord. This, no doubt, will be the last time that some of us, Lord, will ever see each other on this earth. There are those here tonight that I’ll never look at them again until this sermon is played on God’s great recording machine at the Day of the Judgment, and the great film will be shown, and there will be the hands up. Lord, they’ll be a witness that they believed You and they want You. Now, You have said, “He that will come to Me, I will in no wise cast out. He that heareth My Words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, has Eternal Life; and shall never come to the Judgment, but’s passed from death unto Life.”
I know, Lord, that no one could’ve raised their hand without You seen that. And they broke every scientific rule when they raised their hands; because according to science, their hands are supposed to hang down. But there was a Spirit by the side of them, the Holy Spirit, said, “Raise up your hand.” And they raised their hand, breaking the scientific rule, because why? There is a Life within them that’s made a decision for the Creator and they’ve raised their hand. Receive them, Father God. And it is also written...
THIRSTING FOR LIFE
Chicago, Illinois, USA