IT IS I
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Source transcript: VOGR
I would if you wish to turn with me to Matthew the 14th chapter. We want to read just a portion here, for a little setting, of just a few minutes talk before we call the prayer line. And my son gave out some prayer cards a while ago to the people that we might line them up and pray for them in a little bit. Turn now to Matthew the 14th chapter, and let’s begin at the 22nd verse:
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went into a... into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with the waves: for the wind was contrary.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them saying, Be of a good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And if I should call it a text, I would like to take the text, “It is I.”
It must have been about the time the sun was going down when the big, brawny, muscle back of the big fisherman begin to push the little boat’s bow into the water. And as I can see him, as he pointed it across the sea, climbed aboard himself, and about the middle of the boat taken his seat by the side of Andrew, his brother, set down. And it was man propelled, and they begin to dip their oars into the water, as it made it’s little waves crossing over the sea.
And of course, the multitudes standing on the bank was just simply, their breath was take... took from them that afternoon, when they would seen great signs and wonders by these people. Most Israel was rejoicing in those days. And as they stood on the bank, thousands of people waving their hands, and bidding them farewell, and hurry back as most people would after a group of ministers had been, and done, and acted in the midst of the people, like they had seen done that day...
I can imagine every once in a while, to see one man leave go of his oar, and wave back, and someone on the bank waving, and their handkerchiefs and so forth, as the little ship begin to get on it’s way across the sea.
After while, perhaps, they were plumb out of sight from the shore, as the multitudes begin to wander back towards their homes. Let’s think, it was quite a while of silence; no one said anything. Twilight set in. It must have been the young John, being the younger of the group, that stopped oaring, and wiped the perspiration from his face, and said, “Children of Abraham, and brethren, we can rest assure, now, that we are not following some kind of a fanatic, that this Man is just what He says He is. He is not no fanatic, as many of our people believe today, neither is He a false prophet.”
“I can remember” and he’d say, “when I was just a little boy, when my pretty Hebrew mother used to take me on her lap, and tell me the stories of the Old Testament, how our ancient people was brought to this land, and of the great prophets of old.” How he liked to hear the story of Elijah, and the Shunammite woman, with bringing the little baby back to life. “How my mother would tell me, ‘Darling, one time, God was with His people, and they lacked for nothing.’ Then one of the great stories, that she used to tell me, that was breathtaking, was how that God fed His ancient people, when they come to the place they had no bread, yet standing in the line of duty, on their way from Pal... from Egypt to Palestine. And when they had no bread for their children, they had nothing to travel by, no more food, that God, Jehovah, rained bread out of the heavens, already cooked, and politely, by His Angels, laid it up on the ground every night. And how our people would go out and get this, and it was... had been dipped in honey, and how it would... tasted, and for forty years without ceasing, great Jehovah God fed our people, because they were in the line of duty.”
“And now, brethren,” he must have said this, “that didn’t it bring that story anew to me today? This Man is associated somewhere with Jehovah, for when He stood there, and I climbed up on that rock behind Him, and seen Him take those five biscuits, still feed His hungry people. There’s something about Him that’s associated with God, the Creator, ’cause only God... I’ve wondered and say to mother, ‘How could God get all that flour up in heaven to feed the people for forty years? Where could He find enough bees to make honey to dip all that manna in honey.’ And my mother would say, ‘Sonny, God is a Creator.’ And brethren didn’t that make your hearts burn today, when we seen that same God with human hands, take biscuits? I climbed up and looked at Him as He broke one, handed it out. I never seen it happen only one time; I seen it happen more than five thousand times this afternoon, when two mortal hands created bread and cooked fish, and fed more than five thousand people: I wouldn’t be as sure today that this Man is from God.”
Then it must have been Simon Peter; he said, “Years ago, when my father and I, and many of you brethren knowed my father, knowed that he was religious man. He was a... the stricter of our denomination. He was a Pharisee. We believed, as Pharisees, that God means every Word. We must keep that Word. My father was a great, strict man. He believed that God kept His Word.”
“Many times have I thought since then, that when he would take me in the late of the evening, when our fishing was over, and grab my little muscle and pull it up, and say, ‘Simon, you’re as strong as iron,’ then stroke my hair back and hug me to his bosom, when I would pat him, and look at his eyes dimming in age, he’d say, ‘Simon, set down. I want to talk to you just a little bit. I’m getting old, Simon, and someday I’m going to have to leave. I’m going to have to leave my boat and my nets with you. You too will seine this sea, as I have done. And you too will probably attend the same synagogue that I have. And I’ve tried to instill in your little Jewish heart that all the days of my life, I’ve looked for One to come, but He looks to be farther away now than ever, but perhaps, He will come in your day, Simon. And if He doesn’t come in your day, you teach your son. There will be much tinsel in those days, but Simon always remember what the prophet said, for we as Israelites believe our prophets. And the prophet Moses said, ‘That when this Messiah would come, that He would be a prophet like him.’ Now, He will not be an educator. He will not be some great theologian, but He will be a prophet. Because Moses said, ‘The Lord, your God, shall raise up a prophet liken unto me.’ And you remember when you see this Messiah come, that’ll be the sign that it’s Him, because He will be a... the God prophet. He will be God in a form of a prophet, and by that you’ll know.’”
“And when my brother Andrew went down to these meetings and told me that there was a Healer from Galilee, a healing the sick people by prayer. Oh, I never thought much about it, and he persuaded me to go down and listen to this One called Jesus of Nazareth. Andrew had already believed on Him as the Messiah, but to me, I stuck with my fish nets. And then, one day, I attended the meeting. And when I left my boat and went down the bank to where He was, and walked into His Presence, without Him knowing me, His eyes turned like lights seeming to search every corner of my soul, and said to me, ‘Your name is Simon, and you’re the son of Jonas.’”
“Then all my daddy’s teaching flashed before me. This truly was that Messiah, because He was a God-prophet, not only did He know me by name, but He knowed that godly old father of mine, for He said, ‘You are the son of Jonas.’ From that day, I followed Him without one doubt in my mind. No matter what the world says about Him, what our people says, to me, He, since that hour He’s been the Messiah.”
John said, “When I seen Him out of a Bible story, associate Himself today with creating bread and fish, I know He had to be that Messiah. He must be.”
Then right back, I would believe, towards the stern of the boat, the boat was floating at this time, because twilight was setting in, and they were, what we would call today, catching their wind from their hard pulling on the oars. It must have been Philip that said, “Brethren, you should have been with me. After I seen Him that day, stand there and tell you, Simon (that your name was Simon, and He changed it to Peter, which we call you now.), speak of your father, who I knew, I was so convinced then that I wanted to tell everybody.”
And you know friends, to stop in our little drama, there’s something about it, when you once get convinced that it’s truth. You can’t hold your peace. You’ve got to tell somebody about it. There’s something that you just can’t keep still about. It’s life, and you want everybody to know it.
And he said, “You know, I had a friend, our brother now, beloved in the Lord, Nathanael, and he was some fifteen miles away from where the services was going on, and I took a foot around the mountain. Finally, I come to his house, and knocked at the door, and his lovely wife a... came to the door, and I asked where Nathanael was.”
“And she said, ‘Philip, he’s taking a stroll out in the gardens.’”
“And I went out into the gardens, and I heard someone over there under a tree. And he was praying like this, ‘Oh, great Jehovah, we have longed and longed for the time that You’d send us deliverance. Won’t You please send the—the Deliverer now? As You sent Moses when Your people were in trouble, send us help now.’”
“And I was so carried away to tell him that help had come, that I even forgot to say very much when he got up off his knees. I said, ‘Come, see Who we have found, the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.’ I just couldn’t take time to tell him anything else. It was so on my heart; I just had to burst it out.”
That’s the way when God gets a hold of a heart and really convinced. You just can’t keep still; you’ve got to tell somebody. You can’t keep this hid. Lighting a candle and putting it under a basket does no good. You’ve got to let your light shine.
And he come quickly to the point, and said, “Come, see Who we have found, Jesus of Nazareth. And of course, you brethren know that Nathanael always was quite a theologian. And he said, ‘Now, wait just a minute, Philip. I’ve knowed you for many years, and I—I have thought you to be a good sane, sound man. But now, you don’t mean that you’ve gone off on some tantrum, or some deep end, and have got lost out here with some fanatical prophet so-called. If there was to be any Messiah, don’t you think that the high priest would know about it? Don’t you think that He would come to our denomination and tell us about it?’”
But you know, as it was then, so is it today. Something that God sends, it must come to our denomination, or it—it just isn’t right. But God usually sends it out of every denomination, and confuses the whole crew, to those who are looking and waiting for something.
So he said, “I quoted him the story, and he said, ‘Now, Philip, you know there’s nothing good could come out of Nazareth.’”
And Philip, I think, gave him the best answer I ever heard. “Don’t stay at home and criticize, come, see for yourself.”
That’s a good thing, when people say that the Holy Spirit isn’t moving among the people today, that that’s emotion. I think the best answer is, “Come, see for yourself. See what takes place.”
When men of all walks of life, wicked, drunkard, all streetwalkers, and everything are straightened up and cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ and made saints, that takes more than psychology, or—or human theology, or... it takes the power, the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost to change a man’s soul, his mind, his way of living.
And he said, “Nathanael made ready, brethren.” And the little boat, of course, drifting along, getting dark. And he said, “Nathanael made his way across the country, and I told him about you, Simon. And told him that he remembered you, that how we had bought fish from you time after time, and even from your father, that you was not an educated man, that you couldn’t even sign a slip for a receipt for the fishes. But that you did know enough to know that that was the Messiah, because you knowed God had promised that would be the sign of the Messiah, and you believed it. And—and when I brought him into the Presence of our blessed Lord, and I walked up in the line to where He was praying for the sick, as soon as He looked into the face of Nathanael, it repeated again, He said, ‘Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile.’”
“And it astonished Nathanael in such a way, he said, ‘Rabbi, when did You ever know me?’ In other words, ‘You never seen me in Your life. How did You know that I was an Israelite?’”
Now, He would not of knowed it by the way he was dressed, because the Palestinian people dressed a great deal alike, never... kind of a dark complected. And they wore beards, and their turbans, and their robes, and so forth. So He knowed He was an Israelite: “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile.”
He said, “When did You know me, Rabbi?”
He said, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the tree, I saw you.”
“That settled it. From that day on, brethren, you all know that Nathanael has been a staunch believer, because he fell on his face and said, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God. Thou art the King of Israel.’”
“His signs and wonders has astonished us. And we know by His action, and what He says, because it comes to pass what He says. He’s not a man that just talks about something; He’s a Man that produces what He talks about.” How glad we are today, that He still does what He talks about in His Word.
I’ve held the Koran in one hand and the Bible in the other one before thousands times thousands of Mohammedans, and say, “They both can’t be right, because they’re contrary one to the other. And let the One that will speak, and perform, and do what He said He would do, let that be the One that’s God, let the One that keeps His Word... For if He ever was God, He’s still God. He cannot change, because He is... He’s immortal. And He’s infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and He cannot change. He’s the infallible God, and just as much tonight as He was then, and always will be the same. He can never change from what He is, ’cause He’s perfect; therefore, you can rest assure that when He says anything in His Word, lay your life that that’s truth.
Because if God is ever called on the scene to make a decision, His decision is perfect. He can never go back in another age, and say, “I was mistaken.” Because we can do that, because we are finite, and we make mistakes, but He’s infinite, and cannot make a mistake. So therefore, if God was called on the scene for a man that was lost in the garden of Eden, He made a preparation for that man to be saved, and saved him. And on that same basis, that same preparation, in the shed blood of an innocent victim, God will save every sinner that comes to Him.
If a man come to Him sick and wanted healing, he was past the aid of doctors and so forth, and God called on the scene, and He healed that man on the basis of his faith in Him, when the next man’s called, God will act the same way. If He didn’t, then He acted wrong when He acted the first time. See? So He cannot be a Healer once, and not a Healer again. He cannot be a God of miracles one day, and not a God of miracles in the next day. For the Bible said, “He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He’s still God. And if you’ll take the right mental attitude towards any promise... When you read it in the Bible, it’s the truth, no matter how many tries to put it on another age, it’s in the past, or a age that’s in the future. He never did declare He was the “I was,” He’s the I AM, always.
Now, it must have been about that time that Andrew setting by the side of Simon... And we altogether, if tonight, I’d say, “I’d like to have a testimony of somebody who was saved by His grace.” Why, we’d have to stop the service at two o’clock in the morning. Everybody wants to say what they know about Him, if you’ve ever knowed Him. Oh, there’s something about it that you want to tell everybody, because you know what you’re talking about. It’s not some mixed up, halfway, belief in something; it’s something when you have received Christ as your Saviour, and the Holy Spirit’s come into your life, you know something happened, for you was there, and it was you that it happened to. If you’ve ever been healed by the power of God, there’s not nothing in the world could ever take that out of your mind. They could not explain it away, because that you know.
I think every person that goes out to preach the Gospel, should never go until they have a personal experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that was the qualification that Jesus gave them: “Tarry at the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power, then you shall be witnesses of Me, in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and Shreveport, Louisiana,” as it would read like that. I hope that don’t sound sacrilegious, but you know what I mean by it.
No person, no matter how well you’re educated, how smart you are in the Bible, the devil’s twice as smart as you are. Yes, sir. He could twist it and make you look like Ned in The First Reader, if he wants to. He certainly can. But if you’ve ever got an experience and met God face to face, there isn’t enough devil’s in hell to take it away from you, because you know what you’re talking about.
Moses in all of his training, he could even teach the Egyptians theology. He didn’t go back down to Egypt, and God didn’t send him back to brush up on his mathematics or his war strategy. He never sent him back down to take another degree in college. For He met him by a burning bush on the sacred sands behind the desert, and give him an experience that you couldn’t explain it away from him. With all of his theology, he’d made a mistake, and he was a running from God, but when he met God face to face, something happened to him that he was ready to go back to Egypt. No matter what the circumstances was, he was on his road, because he had an experience. He knowed what he was talking about. That’s the way with every believer that’s received the Holy Ghost.
Therefore, I say tonight, them disciples in that little ship, was like we’d be here tonight: All of us wants to tell somebody, give an experience. We’d like to tell it in detail. That’s the way they were.
So it must have been Andrew next. He just couldn’t keep still any longer. They’d done pulled the oars in the boat, and probably it was a float then. The dark was setting in, and he said, “Brethren, what could we all say to this? Do you remember the time that we were going to Jericho, and He said, ‘He had need to go by Samaria.’? And we wonder why would He go up around those Samaritans. But when He came to the city, and He sat down at the well, and sent us away into the city to get some food. And when we come back, do you remember (all of us are witness of this), we came up close, and heard Him speaking, and we were all marveling at this, our Lord would talk to a woman like was talking to Him. But we heard the conversation when it... we broke into listen behind the bush or behind the wall, when He told her, said, ‘Woman, bring me a drink.’”
“And she said, ‘It’s not customary for you, Jews, to ask a Samaritan, a woman of Samaria a favor. We have segregation. We have no dealings with each other.’”
“But He said to her, ‘But if you knew Who were talking to you.’”
Oh, there it is. “If you knew Who was talking to you.” I’m sure if every sinner in here, feeling the Presence and the atmosphere of setting together tonight in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and that little feeling that’s telling you, if you knew Who that was talking to you: “You ought to have this experience. Maybe those people are right; it’s...” You’re thinking in your heart. That’s God talking, if you only knew Who it was.
“If you knew Who it was talking, you’d ask Me for a drink. And I’d give you waters that you don’t come here to draw.”
And she said, “The well is deep, and you have nothing to draw with, and so forth.”
But He said, “The waters that I give is life, springing up, Everlasting Life.”
And then the question come about through a religious debate, where you should go to church at. Said, “You say, we ought to all go to Jerusalem, and our father, Jacob, dug this well, and let his cattle drink from it, and his family, and—and we worship in this mountain, and you say, ‘At Jerusalem.’”
And quickly He said, “Neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem. But God is a Spirit; they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and the truth... Spirit and truth.”
And He said then, when He contacted her spirit and found what her trouble was; He said, “Go get your husband, and come here.” [Blank spot on tape.]
“Who art Thou?”
And He said, “I’m He, that speaks with you.”
No more needed to be said, she was convinced that that was the Messiah that was promised by the Old Testament. [Blank spot on tape.] She forgot all the things of the world, let... even left her water pot setting there, run into the city, and said, “Come, see a Man, that told me the things that I’ve done. Isn’t this the very Messiah?” And the men of the city believed on Him, because of the woman’s testimony.
Wonder if the men of Shreveport would believe on Him tonight, if He being the same yesterday, today, and forever, would come to the Life Tabernacle, and would do the things that He did then? I wonder if we would be so convinced, that we could tell our neighbor, and tell the people, “Come, see a Man, Who’s told me the things that I’ve done, isn’t this the Messiah?” Wonder then, if it could be told then that, “Truly this is the Messiah. It’s this Holy Spirit that they’re talking about. That the world calls a fanaticism, it’s proved to be the same Messiah, with the same signs, and the same wonders, and the same power, and the same deliverance.” Wonder if it could be said like that. It would mean more protection than all the bomb shelters you could get. That’s right. It’d be a rapturing experience.
Oh, they were all convinced. It must have been about that time, it got dark, and Satan saw them alone without Him. Now, that’s just what the devil wants, is to see the church without Christ. I don’t care what your name is, how much your name’s in gold letters, “We are the holy church; we are this.” It’s not holy church; there’s no such a thing as holy church. There’s no such a thing as holy mountain, holy relics, or even holy people. It’s Holy Ghost in the people what makes the holy part: Holy Spirit.
Say, “Oh, he’s a holy man.” He’s not a holy man; it’s the Holy Ghost in the man. I always kinda different with the saying, “The Acts of the apostles.” That isn’t the acts of the apostles; they were men. It was acts of the Holy Spirit in the apostles, that brought forth the great victory.
And when Satan seen the little church without Christ, then he said, “This is my opportunity. This is the time when I’ll teach them how to blaspheme me.” And he begin to blow with his breath, a storm down on the sea.
And the little boat was just about to sink, perhaps, in the... Galilee there; the waves was so heavy they went almost to the bottom. And perhaps, on every gleaming wave, and every lightning time that flashed, the devil would laugh out there, and say, “I got them now, because they’ve gone away without Him.”
I said something about that one time, and someone corrected me afterwards. Said, “But Brother Branham, He constrained them to go away without Him.”
I said, “Yes, but they done wrong by doing so.” I said...
“When Elijah and Elisha, which was a type: Christ to the church... Elisha taken a double portion of the Spirit, “These things that I do shall you do, and greater than this shall you do.” When the cloak that was on Him, the Holy Spirit was on Him, falls upon the church... ’Cause He was just one Man. Church is universal. “More than this shall you do for I go to the Father.” And Elisha knowed more about that, being a prophet, than the church does today. Elijah said, when there was a gathering, said, “You stay here. The Lord’s called me yonder. I’m going up to the school of the prophets.”
But Elisha, like the church ought to be today, “As the Lord God lives, I’m not going to leave you.” For he had an objective in his mind, and his motives was certainly right.
When he got to the school of prophets, he said, ‘You stay here; the Lord’s called me to Jordan.’
He said, “As the Lord lives in your soul and never dies, I’m not going to leave you.” He couldn’t leave him; he stayed right by him, both eyes on him, holding to him.
That’s what the church has got to do today. No matter what comes or goes, hold onto Him. If the church cools off, no matter what takes place, hold to God’s unchanging hand. Get a hold of Calvary, and stay there. That’s the way to get something from God. Hold to it, don’t let the devil shake you away.
Them disciples would say, “Where You go, I go.”
Like a—a Ruth to Naomi, the Moabite. “Let your people be mine; where you die, I’ll die. Where you’re buried, I’ll bury. Where your God is, I... that’ll be my God. I’m going to stay with you.” That’s the way she won Boaz. That’s the way the church wins Christ. Regardless, of what the world’s got to say, saying you’ve went off on the deep end, you’ve done this, that, or the other, stay with Christ. Hold onto Him. Stay with it.
Satan saw that. I believe he sees today. He blessed us. And oh, my, when Pentecost first begin to fall forty years ago or more, what great meetings we had. But you know, we got in such a building program: We had to get schools, and seminaries, and things for our pastors, so they’d have more eloquent speech, teach them to be doctors, and make them general overseers, and doctors of divinity, and all these great big names. Satan saw all that. And now the sea’s troubled.
He sees the church has gone on to a big building programs, or some kind of a great big out like that, and went off without Him, getting classic, starchy. What we need today is an old fashion revival, a power of the Holy Spirit again, back in the church. God knows we need that in all the churches, but we go off on classics, want to act like the rest of the churches, the rest... You are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a separated and called out. God knows that we need the church back with the Holy Spirit again. Even if we had to... no matter what we had to do, just don’t leave Him. Stay with Him.
Sometimes it means a lot. Sometimes it costs you something. Anything that doesn’t cost you something, isn’t worth having. All great things has to be paid for. The reason we’re worshipping today, freedom of religion in this Thanksgiving Day, this cost the blood of a many American, millions of them. It’s worth something. And if it’s worth something, it’s worth dying for. And this religion that we have, this pentecostal, Holy Spirit that’s fell on us, bring back to us a resurrected Jesus Christ alive after nineteen hundred years, is worth all of our time, and our efforts, and everything that we do; it’s worth all to us.
“Thou, the stream of all my comforts,” said Fanny Crosby. “More than life to me. Whom have I on earth beside Thee, or whom in heaven but Thee. Pass me not, oh, gentle Saviour.” Certainly, we need back and hold to Him.
The disciples seen that all hopes was gone. We’re just about at that place today. All of our great, fine, million dollar, UN’s and UN’s of churches, and million dollar church buildings, and so forth like that, one little atomic bomb will sweep the whole thing away. That’s right. “But oh, come buy from Me,” said Jesus, “oil, wine, gold tried in the fire.” When the world’s all on fire, I want something that’ll stand then. I want something: Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee. Let me hide in Thee.
Charles Wesley, I believe, when he was walking along, and a storm coming up, and a little bird flew into his bosom. He was trying to get inspiration for a song. And he took it in his little cabin, and held it until the storms was passed. When he went out, held it on his finger, and it flew away then he wrote that song. “Hide Me In The Rock Of Ages.”
Now, then when he saw... they saw that, Satan begin to blow his poison breath. And he begin to upset them. The little ship was just about gone.
And I wonder tonight in our little bark as we’re sailing over life’s solemn main, if maybe, Satan has upset your voyage, put a cancer on you, give you a love of the world (You’ve gone away from God.), upset you somewhere. Trouble’s come in; all hopes of ever living is gone. But you know, as it was then, so is it now. Jesus hadn’t gone too far. I believe He climbed the highest hill there was in the country, so He... Higher you go the farther you can see. He climbed up to the top of the hill, so He could watch them. All the time the trouble was coming on, He was setting up there watching them.
And I tell you... when He... they killed Him in the city of Jerusalem and buried Him in a borrowed tomb, but on Easter morning when He come forth, He started climbing. He climbed on beyond the moon and the stars until He set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. “And His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me,” said the poet.
And I see this day approaching when the prophet said, “There’d come a day in these last days, that it wouldn’t be night nor day, just dismal.” But he said, “It shall be light in the evening time.”
Now, the lights... the sun rises in the east. It sets in the west, the s-u-n. And the S-o-n also came in the east on the Eastern people, shined out a pentecostal revival. Signs and wonders of His resurrection appeared among them. The works that He did, they did also. He told them in Saint John 14:7, I believe it is, He said, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do, shall he do also. A little while, and the world won’t see Me no more, yet ye shall see Me (‘Ye,’ the church, the believer.). Ye shall see Me.”
He promised that He’d be with them always even to the end of the world. “I’ll never leave you or forsake you. Go ye in all the world and preach the Gospel.” How far? “All the world.” How... who to? “Every creature. These signs shall follow them that believe.” He’s still the same Christ.
Then there come a day then; there’s been a day passing by, a period of time, a dismal day, like it gets down here in Louisiana and Arkansas, all over the country, foggy. Can’t see the sun, yet we know the sun’s giving light. We’ve had enough light to make denominations; we’ve had enough light to join church; we’ve had enough light to accept Him as Saviour, but the prophet said, “The sun would shine in the last days, in the last hours. It shall be light in the evening.”
Now, the sun’s setting; it rose on the Eastern people, and it’s setting on the Western people. And the same sun that shined on the east, sets on the west. As it rises on the east, it sets on the west, the same sun. And we’re living in the last days, that when the day has come to where the same Son, the same S-o-n, the same power of the Holy Spirit is falling on the Western people like it fell on the Eastern people, showing the same Gospel light; not theologies, not church jo... organizations, not joining, but a power evidence of the resurrection and His power of healing, and signs, and wonders of Him being among them in the last days. It’ll be light in the evening time. We’re here; we’ve arrived.
The East has gone so far; civilization has come from the east going west. We’re on the West Coast now. If we go any farther, we’d be back east again. We’re at the end time. The boats are crumbling. Civilizations are crumbling. Churches are breaking.
That song that was wrote years ago, “Nations are breaking; Israel is awakening.” She is a nation now of her own. Israel’s in her homeland. “The signs that the prophets foretold. The Gentile days numbered with horrors encumbered, return, O dispersed, to your own.” This is no time to cool off; this a time to warm up. This is a time for prayer meetings. We’re entering the Laodicean age. It’s time to come to God, time for a revival.
When I met Brother Lyle back there a while ago, and he said, “Brother Branham, there’s sign of a revival in every meeting here now.” Thanks be to God. That’s what we want. Oh Lord, send the power just now. We want a revival, not a joining of churches, but a revival. Revive what’s in us.
Those disciples... Let’s not make the same mistake that they made. While all hopes is gone, they thought they could never have a revival any more, they’d never see Jesus in life any more, while they were here. But right at the darkest hour, when all hopes is gone, He come walking to them on the water. He’s walking to us today, walking on water: Revelations 17:15 says, “The water which thou sawest is thickness and multitudes of the people.”
When we see Jesus Christ, the resurrected Son of God walking, working among His people, doing the same things that He did back there... Those disciples and so forth, recognized Him to be the Messiah. It stirred their hearts. It should stir our hearts. But let us not make the mistake that they did on the Galilean sea that night.
The only thing that could help them, the only thing that could save them, the only thing that could deliver them, they was afraid of It, and they thought it was a spook. That’s exactly right. Don’t let us make the same mistake. If He will, He Who’s omnipresent by being omnipotent. He that knows and hears now, if He will only walk among His people tonight, if He will only do the things that He did then, that you might see that this Gospel that we’re preaching, is not a man-made the... theology, it’s not a man made theory, but it’s a power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ walking among His people. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s the only thing that can help you.
When you hear people say, “The days of miracles is past. The Holy Spirit isn’t like It used to be.” Don’t you believe that. Christ raised from the dead; He lives tonight. My prayer is that He will walk among us tonight, and perform, and heal the sick, and do the same things He did then, showing us that He’s with us, that’s He is the same. “Be not afraid, It’s I.”
Oh, say, “That... that man has a powerful mind. That woman has...” It’s not that; it’s not no psychology. All these people are ordinary people. And no matter how much Christ would anoint me, He’s got to anoint you too to believe it. “Many miracles He cannot do because of their unbelief in His own city.” He’s got to anoint you the same as He anoints me. If He will come tonight and anoint us all, oh, that’s what I want to see, is the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the church, upon the people, Christ. Then the people will say...
Paul said, the great Saint Paul said, “If there be all among you, speak with tongues and none interpret, if the unlearned come in, then the unlearned will go out and say, ‘You’re all mad.’” In other words, crazy, all speaking with tongues and no one to interpret. But said, “If there be a prophet, and the prophesier makes known the secret of the heart, then they’ll fall down and say, ‘Truly God is with you.’”
For it’s always been to God’s people, that the prophet they notice. The Bible said back there, God said, “If there be a man among you who is spiritual, a prophet, I the Lord will make Myself known to him. And what he says, if it comes to pass, then hear him.” That’s the reason those Jews of that day will be without an excuse, ’cause they seen what Moses said come to pass in Jesus Christ. What Isaiah said, what the Old Testament said, was vindicated in Jesus Christ. And He was the prophet, and He told the truth, and God showed His sign. But ’course, we know that they had to be blinded, because we wouldn’t have had a chance. But they were blinded that we might have a chance.
So if the stump was holy, and we be grafted vine, we’d better watch how we walk. Let us be not children of the night; let’s walk in day. And if the Holy Spirit will come tonight, raised up Jesus from the dead, He promised. “A little while, and the unbeliever will see Me no more, yet ye shall see Me, for I (and ‘I’ is a personal pronoun), I will be with you, even in you to the end of the world (the consummation). “I’ll be with you, even in you to the end of the world. And the things that I do, shall you do also.” Isn’t that a promise? It’s a promise, but will it work? That’s it. If that works, then it all works. If He can prove He’s alive, and He can prove He’s alive, if you’ll let Him prove it in you, and I let Him prove it in me, that to you, and you to me, that He’s alive, then He’s walking among His people tonight in the midst the water like He did then. Let’s not be afraid of Him, but let’s believe Him. Let’s bow our heads now for a word of prayer:
O Lord, Who brought again Jesus from the dead, and has presented Him to the church to declare Himself the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are so happy that around the world, that we have seen the heathen come into the meetings with a idol in their hand, the witch doctor with all of his spells trying to throw them, and see him stand paralyzed, numbed by the Holy Spirit; see the—the native heathen worshipper break his idol on the ground and saying, “Let that God be my God.” The God of power, You’re Jehovah, the God of power, the God of miracles.
In our own homeland, we’re so glad, Lord, to see even scholars and teachers hungering and thirsting. Oh, You said, “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled.” And to know today that great men are seeing light is breaking forth.
O God, we’re glad, today, to see Israel coming in—into her homeland, a nation, the old six-point star of David flying yonder, them Jews returning, saying, “They never come back to die in the homeland, but they came to see the Messiah.”
God, we know then, that our days are numbered. We’re watching just as Noah watched Enoch, and knowed immediately after Enoch come, the judgment was going to strike the earth. When we see the ark of the Jew being prepared again, we know that the translation is at hand. We’re waiting, Father.
And we pray tonight in this little group, that You have given us, that stood there till many of their limbs are aching, I pray that You’ll reward them, Lord, tonight. Bless them. Those women and men who are sick and got their little children here, may they just settle down right now and know that—that the whole armor of God is supernatural. There’s nothing natural; it’s all supernatural. Therefore, to be a Christian we must believe the supernatural, because “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And the armor of God is love, joy, faith, peace, longsuffering, goodness, meekness, gentleness, patience, the Holy Spirit. All those are unseen, but they are real; they do not die. They live forever.
We know that we love our love ones, till we could put them in our arms, our little children, and hug them, and squeeze them, and yet, we can’t feel satisfied. We want to draw our souls into their souls. We look upon the earth as coming down today, and seeing the grass dying, the trees dying, and I thought, “Yes, Lord, and I’m dying, and the whole world’s a dying.” Surely, there’s one world somewhere that lives. Let us set our compass and our anchor tonight, and sail away as we loose from the harbor of this earth, to fly away in faith to Him Who gave the promise.
Now, Father, it’s been asked that—that I would have a prayer line tonight, that the people might see You come forth and perform the works that we just talked about. You said, “If a man believes on Me, the works that I do, he will do also. And these signs shall follow them that believe.” And this the disciples knowed that there was a Messiah, and that was His sign. And you said, “As it was in the days of Noah, and in the days of Lot...” And we realize that when the days of Abraham, that there was a modern Billy Graham went down into Sodom and preached the Gospel and brought out Lot, the church natural.
But that church spiritual, Abraham, Sarah, there was One Who stayed with them Who showed the sign of the supernatural. When He had His back turned to the tent, He said, “Where is Sarah, thy wife?” How’d He know that he had a wife? He said He was a stranger. Said, “In the tent behind you.” And He told him He would visit him, according to the time of life, and Sarah, inside the tent laughed, within her heart, and the Angel said, “Why did she laugh?” That was a sign. Just a little bit before the world was burned.
You said, “As it was in that day, so will it be in this day.” God, You still have Angels. And we realize that Angel was manifested in human flesh, for soon He disappeared in the presence of Abraham, and Abraham called Him, “Elohim.” God.
Now, Lord, come to our flesh and sanctify us tonight and show the same signs that You showed at Sodom, that if there be unbeliever, a standing here, or sitting somewhere, that they might see that we’re at the time for the fire. For it was fire in the days of Lot, when this Angel made Itself known. Send Him tonight, Father, we yield ourself to Your Holy Spirit. May He do the things that Jesus did, like He did before His crucifixion. And then, when He did that, before Cleopas and another disciple, when He had them shut in a room, as they went on the road home, they said, “Did not our hearts burn within us, as He talked to us along the road?” Because He did something like He did before His crucifixion, they knowed that He was the resurrected Lord.
Now, Father, do the same things tonight among, us that those disciples were talking about in the little ship, that we talked of tonight. Many will go down the street saying, “Did not our heart burn within us, as He talked to us along the road?” We ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
IT IS I
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA