IT IS I, BE NOT AFRAID
Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Source transcript: VOGR
Good evening, friends. I’m certainly not worthy of such a great compliment as was just give me by Brother Bigby. I hope I could live up to something like that. And I’m happy tonight to be back here. We’ve just... passing through the country, and we was up with the—Brother Parker Thomas in his convention. And when I knew that we’d be in this district, I had always had such a love and respect for Brother Bigby, and for this people. I deemed it a great privilege to get to come tonight, and for tonight and tomorrow night, and to know... Then, also, I’m just hearing that Brother Ned Iverson, a bosom friend, a great minister of the Gospel, is going to continue on. And I thought I would come tonight and...
I preached so much up there, last time in that convention, I just about preached my lungs out. And Brother Ned’s going to do the preaching down here. And so, I thought I would just come and talk to you about Jesus, just what I knew about Him, and pray for the sick people. And so... As I remember, when the church here was... I believe had just been built, or Brother Bigby had just taken it over, or some way... And I’ll never forget those glorious days that we were here.
I was talking, coming down the street. I believe it’s been about—about six years and three months, or something like that, since I was here... And these fine people all through the south and east. It’s such a privilege to fellowship.
Now, tonight, we have our pastor with us from the Tabernacle, that—that takes my place while I’m gone. I suppose maybe he’s been introduced: Brother Neville. We also have other pastors here of sister churches: Brother Bryant (I guess all of them), Brother Collins, Brother Willard Collins, a Methodist minister who just received the Holy Ghost recently, and in the faith. And Brother Neville also was a Methodist minister. Brother Jackson was a Methodist minister. And so it looks like the Methodists down our way is just coming right along. So we...
You know, I like to think of this like that last well that Jacob dug. There’s room for us all, you know ...?... no one has to run us away. And thinking the other night, that Pentecost is—is not really an organization; it’s a—it’s a—it’s a fellowship. It’s an experience. And we all can fellowship around and have a great time.
And so, to be here tonight, and to try to fill the pulpit where a gracious teacher like Brother Bigby; that’s a big order. And I would not try to do it all. And then knowing that after I—I leave tomorrow—tomorrow night, that Brother Ned Iverson... I’m sure you all know Brother Ned, and Brother Vayle, and those great teachers there; and Brother Ned’s father, the outstanding man, one of them, on the field today. And—and a little fellow like me, that hardly knows my... I just know my ABC’s. That’s about all. You know what that is? To Always Believe Christ: to me it’s ABC. That’s right. So that’s—that’s about all, I suppose I’d have to know that others around here know. You don’t have to fill it in around there, you know, just make it in. So that’s very fine.
We’re... Wish I could stay this week and listen to Brother Ned, and have a lot of fellowship with you people and fine pastor. But I’ve got to go home Thursday—Wednesday morning. I get there Thursday night some time, nine, ten o’clock. Four or five o’clock Thursday morning I have to take for the Cow Palace at the West Coast, and be in Los Angeles to begin out there just a few days prior, or, after I leave here.
And then I go up the West Coast, all the way to the Washington, Oregon, and up into Canada, and perhaps Anchorage, Alaska, to close the services. And come back and go overseas to—to Tanganyika, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, and down through there. I certainly need your prayers.
I guess you wonder why I’m all scarred up across the face. Maybe many of you knew, just about four weeks ago a big Weatherby Magnum rifle blowed up in my face, and about, oh, six tons of pressure struck me right in the face. Should’ve just cleaned shoulders and head and all off. But you know, He knew I had to come up here yet, so He just left me so I could. So He didn’t take me that time.
And so, I was—I always like to shoot targets and fish. And I’m kind of glad the Lord let me do that, because I like to be outside in nature. Someone had just give me a rifle. It was a—a converted over rifle, and so the headspace wasn’t bored out in it. And I put the shell in it, raised up to shoot the target, and that’s all I seen was red fire about as high as that ceiling. And the gun barrel went fifty yards out in front of me, and the stock and bolt went twenty-five or thirty yards behind me, and cut down the bushes and trees and things around me. And I don’t know... It’s only God let me live, is all.
And it’s a wonder it didn’t put my eyes out. It shot several pieces right into the skull around there, and knock—went through the lips here, and knocked that tooth out there. Knocked the top of it off. And fifteen pieces went just below the sight. Made a half moon to keep it from cutting the sight out.
They taken me over to the doctor. He said, “The only thing that I know, that the good Lord must’ve been setting there, and wasn’t ready for His servant to go yet.” Looked like Satan was sure trying hard. But you know, I’m—I’m so glad that He is our safety Zone. He’s—He’s the place where we can come and feel safe.
I was preaching the other night on “The Name of the Lord is a tower, where the righteous run into it and are safe.” Aren’t you glad to be in there tonight? The great safety zone where all the devil’s darts are passed away, by our shield of faith to know that we are standing in that safety zone, anchored in Christ, safe as we can be in there... Not even death, itself, can harm us. We’re already dead. Our lives are hid in God through Christ, sealed in there by the Holy Ghost. Isn’t that wonderful?
I was speaking, up at the meeting the other night. I said... I don’t... Things that I say is not very much, but once in a while the Holy Spirit gives me something to say, and I just cherish it so much. I just love it. And He gave me something, a thought the other night, down home at the Tabernacle before coming up. And it—it just seemed to be the profound something that just took a hold of me.
I was thinking about evidence, and I was thinking of when Joshua went down, or... Well, first when Israel, God’s people were all in bondage... They were slaves, and they—they had to take what was given to them. They threw out molded bread; they saw they had to eat it. If they had a—a lovely daughter, and the Egyptians wanted to take that girl out and ravish her, they couldn’t do nothing about it. Had a son, a fine fellow, they wanted to kill him, there was nothing to do. They were slaves. What a life that must have been for the people of God to have to live in such a condition.
But one day coming down out of the wilderness came a prophet with a Pillar of Fire a following him. He told them that there was a land that was flowing with milk and honey, and they could have their own home, raise their children, live in peace. God loved them, and was going to take them to that land. None of them had ever been over there, you know. They—they just had to take his word for it. So they followed him out.
They came to a place called Kadesh-barnea, which we understand to be the great judgment seat. And it’s supposed to be an oasis out there in the desert, where these big wells, and little springs which—we could go into types, and say that it’s the throne of God, and the little judgment seats, the churches, outlets where judgment begins in the house of God.
But however, among the group there was a great warrior among them. His name was Joshua, which means “Jehovah-Saviour,” and Joshua went ahead of the group. Went over, crossed Jordan, went over into the promised land, and brought back the evidence that the land was there, and the fruit was beautiful. Two men packed a bunch of grapes. They could taste of the fruit before they even got there, knowing that it was a evidence that the land was good. God had not lied to them. The prophet had not lied to them. The land was there, and they was right on the border of it.
They crossed over into the land. They was given different parts, their tribes. And then they raised their—their families, raised their crops. They lived in peace. They were a nation. They were a people. But finally, old age caught up with them, and they died. The little grounds became specked with graveyards on the hillside. With tear strained eyes they walked up over the grave of the saintedest of them, as they buried their loved ones.
Then one day, there came another great Warrior. He was the Warrior of all of them: Jehovah manifested in flesh, Jesus Christ, His Son. He came down, and He told them that there was a land far beyond this land. There was a land where men didn’t die no more. And He said, “There is life after death.” And He taught it for three and a half years.
And then one day He came to Kadesh-barnea, where He stood the judgment for us all: the judgment seat of God, where God poured out upon Him the iniquity, and the penalty for our iniquity, the wrath of God upon Him. And He bore in His body our sins, and He crossed the river that we call Jordan, death.
But on Easter morning, like Joshua, He come back with the evidence. Man lives again after death. They thought it was a spirit. He said, “Feel me. A spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones like I have.” Said, “You have something to eat?” And they gave Him fish and bread, and He eat it. Then He said, “I’m going to give you the earnest of this land. But wait up there at Jerusalem until you get the down payment.”
So they went up there and waited, and the earnest was sent back of that land. And today we can enjoy that. We are now, reckoned ourselves dead and buried with Him in baptism. We are raised with Him, spiritually speaking, we are now tonight setting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, raised up with Him.
We are now in the body of Christ. First Corinthians 12, “By one Spirit we’re all baptized into one body.” By what? That’s the earnest of our inheritance. We already got the down payment on it, that we know we’ve passed from death unto Life. We look back and see where we once were and where we are now. There’s sin in the world down there, and we’ve raised above it, setting with Him, our King, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. What an evidence.
And not even death itself... When a great warrior, Paul, come to face it, he screamed, “Oh, death, where is your sting? Or grave, where is your victory? But thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I better stop that. I’d be preaching.
I was at a convention not long ago and I heard a colored lady give a testimony. Sounds rather rude. You excuse me, please, for the rudeness of it. But it seems to fit right now. She raised up to give a testimony. She says (and if there’s any colored people near, I don’t mean to make this expression rudely.), she says, “Well, I’s wants to thank the Lord.” She said, “I... for being here.” She said, “I—I know that I’s not what I ought to be.” And she said, “Then I know again, I’m not what I want to be.” But she said, “One thing I do know: I’m not what I used to be.” So I think that’s right.
That’s one thing we can tell with this evidence. We’re not what we used to be. There it is down there, below us. And we have risen in Christ, setting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus with the evidence of Eternal Life, by receiving the Holy Spirit, as He promised at the day of Pentecost we would receive it.
And I’m here tonight to share that with you. And our—our Brother Iverson, as I said, will be preaching. And I think they have services tomorrow here. And I’d say, come out and hear this great servant of Christ. Precious boy. Brother Iverson is struggling. And we’ve set together, and I know God’s got something in view for Brother Iverson. He’s just probing, trying to find his way around.
Like I was illustrating the other night, the woman trying to touch His garment. Every time she tried to touch it, why, somebody’d get in her way. But she was persistent. She stayed there till she did get the touch. And that’s the way. Just keep pushing till you get the touch. That’s the only way to do it. Be persistent about it.
And now, I’ve come to pray for the sick people, while Brother Iverson come to preach to the saints, and so forth. And now, I would like to say this just before we read a text, and... I won’t keep you too long, because up there I kept the people till nearly midnight every night. And I—I just got through preaching at home, just a short sermon: six hours. And I don’t feel quite that good tonight though. So I...
So now, I think, though, while we are... We want to come to fellowship now for about thirty minutes around the Word, just a little around the Word of drama.
And I think that one of the greatest things that any Christian could think of, would be to know that they are now in the Presence of Jesus Christ. We talk about Him; we worship Him; we think of Him; and we read of Him. And now, to have the direct evidence that the One Who wrote the Word is here with us. We see Him moving, His Presence, just like watching something move through the audience, and with the people, and in the people, and over the people, and through the people: God with us, in us, through us, over us. I think it’s a wonderful consolation. Don’t you think so?
And now, you bear with me just a few moments, while I read some Scripture. If you’d like to turn to it, I’d like to turn to Matthew the 14th chapter and read a—a portion—about the 22nd until about 27th verse. And maybe from this God will let us draw a little context.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitude away.
And when he was sent the multitudes away, he went up 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 good cheer; It is I; be not afraid.
I’d like to use that for a text. “It is I; Be Not Afraid.” Let us bow our heads just a moment. While we have our heads bowed and I trust that our hearts are bowed too in His Presence, if there would be a request amongst the people for a certain something from Christ, and you’d want me to remember you, would you just raise up your hands, and God will know what’s below your hand. Thank you.
Most gracious God, Who brought up the Lord Jesus from the dead, and has kept Him among us now for these two thousand years, and someday will present that glorious body coming to the earth the second time to take away His church. We are so happy that that great breath of hope rests within our souls tonight.
We are happy, Lord, because we are not alone tonight in this fellowship of this great joy. There are many thousands around the world who’s sharing this privilege, as we claim that we are not of this world, but we are pilgrims and strangers. We are merely sojourning here. We care not for the world. Our only objective is to get the world to see the One Who died for them.
And to the sick children of this earth, they have a privilege of coming to this great fountain, and in there know that their sickness is paid for. Jesus of Nazareth, He was wounded for our transgressions, with His stripes we were healed.
And we’re so thankful for this, to know that we have this grand outlet tonight to all of our—get rid of all of our worries, all of our troubles, our sicknesses, diseases, and even the very fear of death itself. And death shall flee from us when we confess Him, and believe Him.
We are taught with His Own Words in Saint John 5:24, “He that heareth My Words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, has Everlasting Life, and shall not come to the judgment; but’s already passed from death to Life.”
God, how we thank You for that. That’s the Words of the eternal God. And we so cherish it in our heart, knowing that both heavens and earth will pass away, but that Word will never fail. All through the midst of troubles, trials, the atomic bombs, down through the shadows of death, it lives right on, because it’s the Word of God.
Hands was up tonight, Father. We seen almost a hundred percent over this building. Even inside and out, balconies and everywhere, that there was hands up. They’re needy, Father. I need You; we all need You. Won’t You come, Lord? Visit each one of us tonight. Give to us the desire of our heart. We desire to see You and love You. We know You’re most lovable, full of grace and mercy. And be merciful to us poor, needy people tonight, for we love You, and call Your name upon us. We are Christians. Thank You, Father.
We’ll look forward to You visiting now. I know You have in the singing, and in the prayer, and so forth. And I pray, Father, You’ll continue with us through the night. Tomorrow be with my precious Brother Ned. I pray that You’ll anoint him, Lord, and with tomorrow night’s service, and on continuing services. God bless our most gracious Brother Bigby here, this lovely church, and these sheep that he’s shepherded. God, be with this great man and guide him and direct him, Lord. May he feed the lambs and sheep of God. We ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Now, it must have been about the time the sun went down. It had been a terrible day. A lot of pressure had been on. And those are bad days, when pressure is on. And wherever Jesus went, it was constantly a press of the crowds. And this had been an exceptional day. And about time the sun started down, I can just see those great big muscles in that brawny back of that fisherman, as he’s pushing the boat off the bank. And he was a strong man. He knowed the lakes. He’d fished on them since a little boy.
His father was a fisherman before him. That was his occupation. He knew the kinds of water, how to fish, and where. And as they turned the little boat around... And Simon walks up, perhaps, to the middle of the boat, sets down by the side of his brother, Andrew, and picks up the oar...
Now, the ships of those days were not like they are now. Then they were propelled by manpower; sometimes had sails on them. When the wind was right, they could sail. When the winds wasn’t blowing, they could—they could row.
And the way the fishing ships were, (Pardon me.) they had maybe six or eight sets of oarlocks. And the—the oars were so great, they would take two men—one on one side, one on the other—because when the waves and things (storms on the sea and the lakes), they’d have to pull hard to keep the little boat in direction, or it would capsize: head into the waves just right.
You people know, who live along these lakes here, how you have to set the stern of the boat to angle the waves, so it won’t go up and down. It would pitch it right down, and fill it full of water. You’ve got to angle it all. And taken strong arms and experienced men to pull the boat.
Most all who lived around Galilee were fishermen. That was a great fishing country, and they spent much time on the lakes. And they’d had a great day, great things. And, of course, when... There’s something about fellowship when you meet a servant of Christ, shake their hand. And if they’ve ever been in contact with Jesus, there’s just something about them you can never forget them. There’s something that—that pulls, that you—you just hate to see them go.
I’ve often wondered how that Christians could ever fuss at one another, or difference because of little differences and things, when they really know that that’s a brother or sister who loves the Lord.
We used to sing a little song at our Tabernacle years ago, and many... I guess you have yet. I just come up—drove up outside, and heard that beautiful singing. And that song we used to sing, it’s an old timer.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred mind
Is like to that above.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
If the church could just feel that way. If each Christian could feel the other—other fellow’s sorrows, and burdens, and so forth, wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing? Jesus wants us to be that way. He said... His prayer was that we would be one. I believe He couldn’t ask God for anything, unless God will grant it to Him.
Like Martha said, “Even now, whatever you ask God, God will give it to you.” I believe that one... I believe all Christians, even now, feel that way about one another. That’s right. Of course, we know the great harvest field... There was weeds, and tares, and the parable of the net cast in. And there was all different kinds. It all has to come together. But I believe God knows His precious children that’s scattered along through there in this dark world.
As the ship moved out, those beloved people standing on the bank, waving, “Good-bye, come back and see us again. We were so happy to get to meet you. And now, we know that we’re fellow citizens of the great Kingdom of God. We are members of His family. Won’t you come back to see us again?” as the ship moved out into the sea.
And you know, they’d probably make a couple of big strokes, and then raise up and wave; and stroke the boat again, and the little ship on a calm sea moving as those great fishermen pulling the oars.
And it must’ve been a dramatic sight to watch the little ship, as it got smaller and smaller, and the group on the bank grew dimmer and dimmer, till finally they faded out as the sun begin to set. Pulling a boat is a hard job. I’m just going to think, now, that I’m setting in the back seat, relating something that happened out there.
And now, I see them as they stopped to rest just a little bit, pulling their oars in, and wiping the perspiration from their face. It must’ve been... I’m going to say young John, after they set catching their breath for a few moments, because they had quite a distance yet to go—most of the night to pull. And then, catching his breath, looked around, and said, “Brethren...” And this testimony meeting they are going to have now. And he said, “Let us have a testimony meeting while we’re waiting. And He will catch up with us after while, and let’s have a testimony meeting.”
And I—I’d like to do that tonight, while we’re talking about Him. Surely, He will catch up with us after while, along here somewhere. And—and let’s just talk about Him a little while. Let’s hear the testimonies they were having.
I can hear John say, “I would like to testify first,” because John was a young fellow. And he said, “You know, we can never be skeptic any more. We just simply can’t do it, because what we seen today. We know that no matter how many Pharisees, or how many Scribes say that this is wrong, we know it’s right. We are not following a false prophet. We are following the Lord’s Christ.”
And he said... I might’ve said something like this: “Years ago, as a little boy, I was raised down close to Jericho. And I can remember the days when I’d play out there on the hillside in spring. I can still see that pretty little Jewish mother of mine. When dad would be gone out in the fields to work, she used to rock me to sleep in the afternoon. And she’d set out on the—the porch, and rock me to sleep, and tell me Bible stories.
“And she’d point down to the ford, just below Jericho, and say, ‘John, don’t forget. Remember, there’s where the great, mighty, Joshua crossed the sea, or the... in the month of April... or the Jordan. And great Jehovah held the waters back, while we come into the promised land. And right down along that road going there, the great prophet Elijah and Elisha walked arm-in-arm. They crossed Jordan.’”
“‘John, don’t forget when God visited His people in that wilderness there. He kept them for forty years, and every day a miracle happened. John, we’re told now that the days of miracles is past, but the great Jehovah made bread and rained it down on the earth to feed about two and a half million of our people. For forty years they seen that miracle.’”
And John might’ve said something like this, as we listen to him. “Brethren, I’ve watched Him along as I have been following Him. But today I seen something. I used to ask mama, ‘Mama, where does God have a—a night force up there that—and big ovens up in the heaven that bakes all this bread, the Angels, and then pours it out on the ground for His children?’”
“‘Why,’ she said, ‘no, John. You know our God can create that bread.’”
“Now, I’ve always believed that story. And today, when I seen Him take those five loaves and feed five thousand, that settled it.”
I can hear him turn, and say, “Matthew, did you see the looks on His face? Why, He looked like He wasn’t surprised at all, that little boy.”
Matthew said, “Yeah, I seen him. Really, he’d played truant from school, (Well, we called it hooky,) and had run off. And I asked him... I—I looked around. I seen no one there that had anything to eat, but he had his lunch under his arm. And I asked him if I could have it. And he said, ‘Well, I brought it for my dinner. But if it’s to go to that Man that I’ve heared talk, He can have it.’”
I’d just loved to have heard Him, wouldn’t you? Just to see how different He was. And you notice, as long as the lunch was in the little boy’s hand, it was just five loaves and two fishes. But when it got into Jesus’ hand, it fed five thousand. So the little things that we have, if we’ll just let Him have it... The little faith that we’ve got, if we’ll just let Him have it, it’ll do great things.
John was so elated. He said, “He looked like Jehovah, as He stood there taking those biscuits and breaking them. And I climbed around behind the rock. I wanted to see where it come from. And He held the biscuit up in His hand.” (And, I’m saying “biscuit” because we southerners know what a biscuit is, you know.) “And so, He took this biscuit and broke it, and I watched that broke place, and He handed it out. And when He started back, before I could notice, the biscuit had done growed out again.” Said, “In those hands... must have been anointed with them same hands that made that bread up there in the heavens and sent it down. And I’m... say I’m giving my testimony to you brethren, out on this lake tonight. It’s a settled thing with me. That’s more than a man. That’s Who—Who the prophets told us about.”
And then I can see Simon. As always, you know, he wants to get his testimony in too. And I don’t blame him when you got something to testify about. You just got to let off the pressure. That’s all. So Simon must’ve said, “Now, brethren, it’s my time.” And he said, “Andrew, my brother setting here to my left, when he went down to hear John preach... Oh, you know, folks. We’ve heard all kinds of things, and I never paid much attention to it.”
“But one night he—he didn’t come home, and I wondered where he stayed at. And the next morning, here he came in, starey-eyed, and saying to me, ‘Come, see Who we found: the Messiah.’”
He stayed with him long enough to be convinced. That’s where many of us fail. We just don’t stay long enough to be convinced, not concerned enough. Be concerned. This is between life and death to us, between being well or being sick. And we ought to stay and see till we’re convinced. And then nothing’s going to stop us then, when you’re convinced. Faith has to have some object to work on, come from.
And now, “When he come told me... And I remember the day that I met him, and I said, ‘Well, I’ll go with you to the meeting. It’s going to be down there on the shore this morning, you said.’”
“And I seen a lot of the poor fishermen, the women turning their washtubs upside down, and going down there to—to listen to Him. And this Fellow was attracting quite a crowd of people. And I—I thought I would go down. And I—I got me a piece of driftwood, and thought I’d just set down and listen. I got way back.”
“And all the time, when He was speaking, it looked like He was looking right at me. And I kept getting more interested all the time. I kept coming closer towards where He was at. And I said, ‘Well, He speaks Scripturally. He seems to know what He’s talking about.’”
“Then all of a sudden, He looked right in my face. And He said, ‘Your name is Simon, and you’re the son of Jonas.’”
He said, “Then I was convinced,” said, “because Andrew, here will bear me record. My old father, a real Pharisee... And he was a strict religious man. And when we fished on the sea here (and we still have his boat) and he was getting old, and let us... seen his hair graying, and his face wrinkling, I knew dad was going to leave us pretty soon.”
“So one day, he set down after we had caught a great bunch of fish, and we could pay off our bills then. And that morning, how we had prayed, and asked God to help us, ’cause we needed those fish so bad. And we got the fish. And dad come in and set down; he said, ‘Come here, Simon, my son.’”
“He put his arms around me, said, ‘Simon, I’m getting old. And I’ve thought all my days that I would live to see the Messiah. But I’m getting old, and perhaps I won’t be able to see Him. But He may come in your time, Simon.’”
“‘And I know that before His coming there’ll be all kinds of things taking place. There’ll be false prophets; there’ll be everything going on, all kinds of isms—because it’ll be Satan trying to upset and perhaps deceive Israel.’”
“But, son, there is only one way we can be sure, and that is stay with God’s Word. That’s the only way to be sure.”
That would be a good testimony anywhere. That’s right. Stay with the Word.
“Then he said—he said, ‘Son, over in the Scroll in Deuteronomy, Moses, the one that give us the law, he said, “There will come the Messiah, one in the last days... or God will raise up among you (to make the Scripture right) of—of our brethren, and He will be a prophet. Lord, your God, shall raise up a prophet.” Now, you know, we are commanded by God to obey the prophets, because the Word of God comes to the prophets. They’re the one who has the Word and the interpretation of the Word.’”
“‘Therefore, now our Lord told us if there was one among us that was spiritual, or a prophet, and if he prophesied, and what he said did not come to pass, then don’t listen to him. But if it did come to pass, then listen. Now. And the Messiah is going to be a prophet.’”
“And, as you brethren know, that my dad has been gone for a long time. But when He looked out there, and told me who I was, and not only that but He knowed that godly old daddy of mine, I knew that was Him.”
A very good, striking, testimony... And before Simon could get through with his testimony, Philip had his hands laying on his shoulder, trying to stop him a little. You know everybody just tries to get in, and get a little ahead of the other, you know. You’re just so full of it, you just want to say something. When you hear somebody else talk, you just want to put in something there. That’s just the nature among us. And so, you know, Philip, it come his time to testify. And he said, “Oh, how I remember that. I was standing there. And you know, it thrilled me so much, till... Nathanael, you don’t mind if I tell it?”
“No. That’s all right.”
“You know, I knowed Nathanael was a real orthodox believer. He kept all the laws, and he was a good man. He’d served his time as an elder, and he’d done all different things, and he was a good man. He studied in the Scriptures day and night. I know he was well taught, and he was a good friend of mine.”
“So I took around the hill just as hard as I could to find Nathanael. Well, you know, brethren, it takes me about a day from where He was preaching there, around the hill, and I—and I found... First I knocked on the door, and Brother Nathanael... The wife come to the door and said, ‘He just went out through his grove.’ And I went out there, and I heard somebody praying.”
“And—and Nathanael was on his knees praying for God to send the Deliverer, like He sent Moses. And when he got finished, I knowed that he was in that kind of a mood, looking for Him. So I said, ‘Come, see Who we found. We... Your prayers has been answered. The thing you’ve been looking for is already here. We found it. It’s glorious. You should come, see.’”
“And Nathanael said, ‘What’s that you’re saying?’”
And he said, “We have found Him, that Moses and the law said was coming: Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.”
“And now, Nathanael, you know, was staunch orthodox. He said, ‘Now, just a minute, Philip. I know you to be a—a good scholar of the Bible. You must’ve went off on the deep end somewhere. Could there be any good thing come out of Nazareth?’”
“You know, I never wasted my words, because there’s no need in arguing with anybody. So I just told him, ‘Come, see.’ And on the road around, he said, ‘Why are you so convinced?’”
“And I—and I said to Nathanael, as I put my arm around him, ‘Now, Brother Nathanael, you know how many times we’ve set in the boat, and we have—we have discussed the Scrolls day and night, how we’ve kept up late hours, and we’ve studied the Scriptures, (oh, that’s wonderful), how we have studied the Scriptures together. And—and here’s what convinced me. Do you know that...’ Peter, will you forgive me if I say it?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“You know that illiterate fisherman that was always in trouble, and he bought some fish down there?”
“Oh, yes. Jonas’ son, Simon?”
“Yes, that’s him. And you know, you bought some fish from him one day and wanted a receipt, and he couldn’t even sign his name to it, didn’t know that much.”
“Yes, I remember him. Yeah. He’s got a brother they call Andrew.”
“Yes, that’s him. Yes. Well, Andrew believed this prophet to be the Messiah, and he come, got Peter (or Simon) and brought him around to Jesus. And when Jesus looked him in the face, He said, ‘Your name is Simon, and you are the son of Jonas.’ Didn’t know nothing about him.”
“Now, Nathanael, let me bring this to your memory. Did not the law say, ‘If a prophet prophesies...’? And four hundred years since we’ve had a prophet, and here He is right before us. You know. Why, it wouldn’t surprise me, Philip, that if He didn’t tell you who you were... or, Nathanael, when you got there.”
“Well, I’ll not go critical,” said Nathanael. “I’ll just go up, and listen for myself and draw my own conclusion. And if He’s Scriptural, I know what the Bible says about them. And if it sounds Scriptural, why, I’ve got to see it done first. If I can see it done, then I’ll believe it.”
All right. That’s pretty good. You know, they all don’t live in Missouri. You’ve heard the old saying, “I’m from Missouri. Show me.” So he said, “Come along.”
“And that day when we got there, there was a prayer line. And there was people standing in the prayer line, and Jesus was praying for the sick. And when I walked up with Nathanael, we noticed a bunch of rabbis standing out there, and great renowned clergymen.”
“And when we passed by, we heard their conversation, and one of them said, ‘Well, you know we’ve got to answer our congregation. And if they all get to running after that, what are we going to do? Well, we see what he done a while ago. How did he know those things? So we’re going to have to hold a council now, and find out what we’ll have to answer to our congregation next Sunday, when they ask about this. And you know, we can’t believe on him.’”
“So they said, ‘We’ll just say that he is Beelzebub, the prince of the devil. He’s a fortuneteller. That’s the best way we can do it.’”
“See, instead of setting down, and looking through the Scriptures, they just draw up their own opinion, what they think. While they were doing that Jesus turned around and perceived their thoughts, and He said... Do you remember? The Bible said they didn’t speak it out loud. They thought it in their heart, and Jesus caught it. And when He told them that He would forgive them for it, but there would come another day sometime that when the Holy Ghost would come...”
“Now, we don’t yet understand that, brethren in this ship tonight, you know, what about that Holy Ghost He’s talking about coming. But He said when it comes and would do the same thing, that to speak a word against It, would never be forgiven. Then, brethren, there must be something ahead that He’s fixing to do to make that so tight. It must be something great.”
“Now. And while Brother Nathanael was standing there, Jesus turned and looked at him and said, ‘Behold, an Israelite in whom is no guile.’ And you remember, Nathanael, it just took you off your feet.”
“And you turned, and you looked over sideways, and there stood your bishop (or your rabbi), standing over there in that council. And he looked down and saw you. ‘Hmmph.’ Cleared his throat because you played a big part in the church.”
“But then, it was to choose between what the rabbi had said, or what God had said. So you turned and addressed Jesus as, ‘Rabbi, Teacher, how did You know me? I’ve never seen You and You’ve never seen me. So how would You know that I was a—a staunch orthodox believer?”’
“And you remember, Nathanael, what He said?”
Nathanael said, “Can I say it?”
“He said, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the tree I saw you.’”
Nathanael said, “I don’t want to stop your testimony, but that settled it for me. Let me tell the brethren what I said. I don’t care if all of the celebrity was standing around, I run right up to Him and said, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God. Thou art the King of Israel.’” Because it was Scriptural, he knew it. “Thou art the King of Israel.”
Poor, old, patient Andrew, he’d waited so long for his testimony, and Nathanael... And then everybody knowed the moon was coming up. And so, the testimony meeting... You know, when a good testimony meeting gets started, why, they just—you just don’t know when time runs out. You just keep on going. Oh, they were so interested, each one listening to the other one’s testimony.
And then Andrew said, “Brethren, let us all think of this, being that we’re talking about His ministry, if it is with the Word of God or not. We all know that. Let me call your attention. You remember that day He said, ‘I’m going to take you all to Jericho’? We’re all aware of that.” And Andrew must’ve stood up, rocked the boat a little bit maybe, quietened in a minute.
And he said, “All of you remember when we went down... was going to Jericho. And the next morning, it was strange after we got up and put our coats on again, and He said, ‘I have need go by Samaria.’ We thought that was strange, how He’d go up around Samaria, instead of going right to Jericho. And we walked...”
“And do you remember? We left without breakfast, and we got hungry. And about eleven o’clock in the day, we come to this city called Sychar, and we—we set down there by the well. And He sent us all away, and we went down into the city. Remember, what a time, when they said, ‘Are you one of them holy roll—or, you one of them?’”
So I oughtn’t to have said that, maybe. You see?
But “‘Are—are you one of them with that Galilean group out there? Are you one of them?’ And so, they wouldn’t even give us nothing to eat. Oh, my. It was bad. And we slipped back out.”
“And we noticed a strange thing. There was a young, pretty woman coming up towards the well, with a pot for her water setting on her shoulder, her head. And as she walked up, we seen her set the pot down, and put the hooks in it, getting ready to let down the windle. And we noticed that our Lord was setting with His head bowed. We noticed His eyes when it raised up, and we noticed that she was marked a prostitute, ill-famed. She wouldn’t have been out at the pump at that time of day. The virgins go out early. So then, we knew that she was a woman of ill fame.”
And we just thought, you know... each one of us said, ‘Let’s see Him run her away from that well.’ You remember how carnal we were, brethren? We just see Him run her away from that well. So we hid in the bushes. You all remember it?”
“Yeah. Amen. We remember.”
“And we was going to watch our Master run this woman of ill fame out of His Presence. So she started to let down the—the water kettle, down to get the water, and our Lord said to her, ‘Woman, bring Me a drink.’ My. You remember how we looked at one another? That would be a strange, how that a woman of that type could be asked to do a favor for the Lord.”
But you know, God works in mysterious ways. He loves the worst of us. If He hadn’t, I—I wouldn’t be here tonight. And I’m sure we all feel that way. Yes.
“And when... she was surprised. She looked around, and she said, ‘Sir, you are a Jew, and I’m a woman of Samaria. And we don’t have any dealings with one another. Why would You get fresh with me, ask me a question like that?’”
“And He said, ‘Woman, if you knew Who you were talking to, you’d ask Me for a drink.’ And we wondered, what was He trying to do, and why was He trying to use a woman like this to do something with? Said, ‘If you knew Who you were speaking to, you’d ask Me for a drink. I would give you waters that you wouldn’t have to come here to draw.’”
Oh, my. I wish... Aren’t you glad that you got that same invitation?
“And we all wondered, as we was standing hiding in the bushes. Matthew, you remember, you wrote that down.”
“Oh, yes. I’ve got it. Don’t worry.” I’m reading it tonight.
So he said, “You—you wrote that down?”
“We was all hid back there in the bushes.”
“And they got into conversation and—about where people ought to worship.”
And you know, they’re still in that conversation. One said, “You have to worship—worship in the Methodist church.”
The other one said, “The Baptist church.”
The other one said, “The Catholic church.”
And the other one said, “The Pentecostal church.”
“But you know what He said? ‘The true worshippers worship Him in spirit and truth, and the Father seeketh such.’ And we wondered then, what He was trying to do, but now we understand. He was trying to contact her spirit. We realized then why He had need to go up.”
“You know, one time He told us... when He raised Lazarus up there, He said the Father had sent Him away. And you remember He told that man at—at the—that day, when he was... All of us was trying to touch His garments, and He went through that great multitude there at the pool of Bethesda. And He turned around and told them, ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing in Himself but what He sees the Father doing.’ So we understand now. But then...”
“And then we noticed that that woman was getting—setting oh, on the well, holding the pot on her hand yet, to get the water in. And He said to her, ‘Woman, go, get your husband and come here.’”
“And you know what she said that time, Bartholomew? How did He know she had a husband?”
“And the woman was surprised, and her—her pretty hair fell down around her face, and her big bright eyes shined, and she said, ‘Sir, I have no husband.’ And we all thought, ‘Oh, my. Something’s wrong now.’”
“And to our surprise, He said, ‘You’ve told the truth.’ Then we were surprised, wasn’t we, brethren? We didn’t know. He said, ‘Because you’ve had five, and the one you’re living with now is not your husband.’”
“Now, we wondered what kind of reaction was coming from this. And she looked straight into His face and said, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’” [Blank spot on tape.]
And about that time Nathanael said, “Yes, I thought how much different it was from our rabbi. She seemed to know more about God than the rabbi did, because he said He was a devil. Seems like the woman, we knew then, had been reading the Scriptures. We wondered what next she was going to say.”
“She said, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet,’ and we looked at one another. A woman of that kind of a caliber? She’s surely been studying the Scrolls, and yet she’s not a Jew. Watch what she says now.”
“‘We know that Messiah is called Christ. He’s coming, and He’s going to be a prophet, because Moses said so. When He comes, He’s going to tell us these things. But Who are You? You must be a prophet.’”
“Jesus said, ‘I’m He that speaks to you.’”
“And you remember? Upon that she dropped that pot, and took out into the city just as hard as she could go, screaming, ‘Come, see a Man Who’s told me the things I’ve done.’”
Now, you people who believe, to read the Scriptures, doesn’t the Scriptures say that that is the sign of the Messiah? Now, let me stop the testimony, and come down here just a minute, here to—to Columbia. Did you notice? He never did that before any of the Gentiles, just Jews and Samaritans. That’s right. And there’s only three races of people on the earth, if you believe your Bible. That’s Ham, Shem, and Japheth’s people. That’s where we all originated: Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile.
And the Jews was looking for a Messiah. He showed them what the Messiah was: Nathanael, Peter, and them, to prove that He was that prophet that Moses spoke of. And the—the Samaritans was looking for a Messiah, and He showed them right there Who He was.
But the Gentiles, we were worshipping idols then. We wasn’t looking for no Messiah. I’d like to ask if it—ask this question tonight, while we’re... Then we’ll—we’ll turn our screen on again. But while we’re here, the Gentiles.
Now, that was ending up for the Jews. And now the Gentile age is ending up. And if we are looking for a coming Messiah, and we believe that in the form of the Holy Spirit, He’s here; and the Bible said He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And if that was the identification mark in them days; and that Messiah said in Saint John 14:12, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.”... And He said, “As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man.” Did you notice it?
Don’t get them threes out of your mind, like justification, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, all those perfection numbers: first coming to redeem His Bride, second coming to catch His Bride away, third time coming with His Bride: all—all’s in threes, all through the Bible.
Now. Watch it close. There’s three classes of people. That’s believers, make-believers, and unbelievers. And at the end, when... There’s three churches that these three peoples belong to. Abraham represented the church elect. Lot represented the church formal in the world. But them Sodomites represented the world.
And coming to Abraham was three Angels. Two of Them went down, and preached the Gospel and tried to call Lot and his people out, trying to find even ten people that were righteous. But One stayed back. And the One that stayed back and talked to Abraham, and the elected Church...
I believe the church is elected. It’s... By God’s foreknowledge it’s predestinated to, because He predestinated by foreknowledge. You see? That church is going to be there. Now, whether I am or not, I don’t know. I have to work out my salvation. But—but I know the church is going to be there. That’s right. I just hope I’m part of it. And I believe, as long as I’m part of it, I’ll be there with it. That’s where my hope rests, right there.
And now, there Lot had the Gospel preached to him, and his—the sins of the city vexed his righteous soul daily. And when he seen these modern Billy Grahams, and so forth, coming, there’s something struck him. He knew that that was a little more than an ordinary man. They didn’t perform much miracles, just smote some people blind one night. And—and preaching the Gospel smites the unbeliever blind. That’s right.
But this Angel that stayed with the church elected, Abraham and his group, set with His back turned to the tent. And Sarah... She was a little different from some of our modern sisters today. You know... Don’t it make you feel kind of bad when, you know, men start talking, and women come out and butt right in, oh, it’s kind of rude?
You know, when God made a woman, He gave her the feminish spirit to be dainty and sweet, like the real Christian sisters are. But these women with overalls on, and a cigarette in their mouth, and stomp right out and cuss, and sing, “God bless America.” See? And that, it just don’t seem—seems rude. It just don’t... There’s something that’s wrong ...?... That’s right. And... But little Sarah was a little Pentecostal sister that stayed back to take care of her business. She was back in there cooking some dinner. See?
And so, the Angel setting there was watching Abraham. Now, remember his name was Abram just a day before that, just before it. And Sarah wasn’t Sarah—Sarra, S-a-r-r-a, and it changed to S-a-r-a-h, and A-b-e-r-h-a-m. Abraham, father of nations; and Sarah, princess. So this was a strange Man. He had dust on His clothes. He was just dressed like an ordinary man. And He stood there, and He said, “Abraham...”
Now, He just come up and set down. Abraham went out and invited Him in. He was just an ordinary man, started to pass by. He said, “Come in, set down. I’ll fetch a little water, and wash Your feet. And—and I’ll give You a morsel of bread. Then—then You go on Your way.” Abraham, I believe, kind of thought there was something strange there. See?
Oh, there’s just something about it. You can just feel it, when He comes around. You can just tell when you’re talking to Him.
Said, “Set down.” And he got the fly bush and... How many of you southerners still know what a fly bush is? No, the race is fading out. Why, we never had a screen door till just recently. And had the old fly bush out there, you know, and watching him eat. And he killed a calf, and fed this Man some bread that Sarah had baked, and some veal chops, and had some milk, and He set there and eat, and he shooed the flies away while They was eating.
And so He kept looking over towards Sodom, and He said, “Abraham, where is your wife, Sarah?” Whew. They call it telepathy today. I mean, the modern name they want to call it. That’s what they said Jesus was Beelzebub, a fortuneteller. What kind of a telepathy would that be?
“Abraham (called him by his national name, or international), Abraham, where is your wife, Sarah? (princess).” Watch it, how it’s spelled. And now remember, the Scripture said she was in the tent behind the Man. And He said, “Abraham...” ’Course, Abraham was a hundred years old right then, and Sarah was ninety. So they were both well stricken in age. Sarah a little grandma-like, you know, and—and they’d been promised this baby, and she was waiting on it; and Abraham with beard hanging way down, stooped, you know, on his stick.
He said, “Abraham, where is your wife, Sarah?”
And Abraham said, “She’s in the tent behind You.”
He said, “Abraham I (I like that: ‘I’ is a personal pronoun.) I—I’m going to visit you, according to the time of life,” that He’d promised. Now, you see Who that was.
And Sarah, in the tent... You know, we call it today “laughing up your sleeve,” you know. She said, “Me, an old woman ninety years old, and my lord (which was her husband) out there is old, well stricken.” Why, as husband and wife, they probably hadn’t been as husband and wife for ten, twenty years. And to think, “Me, an old woman, and my husband an old man, and we’re going to have pleasure together like young people?” And she laughed to herself.
And the Angel said, or, the Man said, “Why did Sarah laugh in the tent, saying these things can’t be?” She tried to deny it. But He said, “Yes, you did.”
Now, let me just drop a little—little note right here. I hope you people catch it, you people that believe in the God’s grace. Right then God would’ve slew that woman of her unbelief. He wouldn’t have fooled with her another minute. That—that was God, Himself. Now, you read, and see if it...
You say, “It was a man.” Say, “Could God eat meat, and God do this?”
Exactly right. Abraham talked to Him. See if It isn’t Elohim.
God made Hisself known in a body of flesh and performed this sign. And the reason that God didn’t take the life of Sarah... He couldn’t do it, for she was a part of Abraham, and Abraham had the promise.
You get it? Oh, my. Then He can’t take us. We’re part of Christ. See, He’d had to take Abraham too, ’cause that’s part of Abraham. And when He... We’re the Bride of Christ, the church is. And then, what is in Christ, we are a part of Him. And that... He couldn’t do it. And He said, “Yes, you did.”
Now, Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Sodom, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man.” What was it? God, Jehovah, manifested in human flesh. And now, the Holy Spirit, God, in the last days just before the destruction, or burning the earth with fire like He was going to burn the earth at Sodom, we got modern evangelists that’s sweeping the earth in church natural. And the Holy Spirit has come into human flesh, the church. That’s the sign to the Gentile.
Let’s go back on Galilee just a minute. Oh, what a time they were having. I believe they were all hollering “Amen,” too. And then, we could go to, oh, Bartimaeus, that how Jesus, going up there towards Calvary, coming out of Jericho... And Bartimaeus, that ragged old beggar setting there, and, why, He could have never heard him naturally.
Why, there was thousands of people following Him, hollering, “Hey, you that can raise the dead. We got a graveyard full of them up here. Let’s see you come do it,” throwing overripe fruit at Him, and everything. His face set towards Calvary, He’s going.
But that old beggar perhaps knowing... Might some young Christian girl might’ve come by, and the poor old fellow... They was tramping him down, and he said, “Madam, tell me who passes by? What’s all the commotion?” (It’s strange where Jesus is, there’s a lot of commotion, noise, one for, and one against.)
So they—they find out that this young lady said, “Why, sir, I am a follower of this young Prophet. You are a believer in the Scriptures, aren’t you?”
“Well, don’t you know... Did you ever read the Bible ’fore you lost your sight?”
“Do you know the Son of David?”
“Yes. He’s to come.”
“There, He’s just passed by.”
Then Bartimaeus must’ve said, “If that’s Him, my voice... I’m weak and old. The only thing I can do is say, ‘Jehovah, have mercy. Oh, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’”
And the faith of that beggar stopped Him. Just like the woman with the blood issue stopped Him with the touch of her faith. The faith of that beggar stopped Him, and He stood still. I’d like to preach on that tomorrow night, “And Jesus Stood Still,” if the Lord will.
Now. Notice, and He stood and called him, and said, “What would you that I would do?”
I can remember Zacchaeus up in the tree. And he got up there to hide, you know. He said, “Oh, I’m a businessman here in the city. I’d never be mixed up with that bunch of holy-rollers. Hear them coming up, so I’ll get up in this tree. And when He passes by I’ll draw my opinion of Him.”
Here He comes walking right under the tree, you know. He stopped, said, “Zacchaeus, come down,” setting up there with leaves pulled all around him, so nobody’d see him. But He knows just where you are. You might pull Methodist leaves, and Baptist leaves, and all kinds of leaves around you, but He knows right where you are.
While they were—while they were out there... We’ll hurry up the testimony and then pray for the sick. Let’s watch just a minute, go back, a little further back. Let’s go back now. They said, “Oh, praise God.” They were all shouting, and having a great time.
And a little breeze blew up. What was it? Satan must’ve looked up from over that desert dry hill, and he thought this: “There they are, and they’ve gone off without Him. Now’s my chance.”
That’s what he wants—to get the church. You know, lately we’ve been so busy anyhow. You know. There’s been a revival across the land. It’s kind of died down now. Fires are going out. But we’ve been so busy, making new organizations and new sensations. And I wonder if we don’t run off sometimes without Him. You know, He is the Word (That’s right.), the Word. Stay with the Word. God can do anything He wants to. But to me, just... He’s the Word. As long as it’s in the Word here, then I believe it. See?
So we’ve been running here, and there, and running after everything. But I—I—I... Maybe we might have left Him somewhere. So as soon as the devil sees the church without Christ...
You know, it’s too bad. I—I almost preached on that, but too many of us fell in love with television programs, instead of Wednesday night prayer meeting. Then we just—just kinda going off without Him. We got a hold of a lot of money, and we got to thinking about dressing, and our sisters all cut their hair off ...?...
We got kind of fashion, looking after other churches, and maybe we go off without Him. So the devil says, “Now’s my time to get them.” That’s when he takes that dead shot. So they’re going off without Him.
So he raised up across the hill, and begin to blast his breath out. “I’ll sink them.” And the poor fellows started pulling. They tried to hoist the sail. And the winds cut the sail down. And they tried to pull with their oars, and they broke. They tried to join one church and then another. First thing you know, their own little bark was waterlogged.
What’s the matter today? Oh, I—I tell you it’s—He is great. And I think a lot of little barks is becoming kind of waterlogged, but you know, they find out that they pulled with all their heart in sincerity. So no matter how much sincerity you pull, you’ve got to have Him. So they pulled, and they pulled, and all hopes was gone—just about ready to die.
And that’s about where it’s at now. She’s going right out formal again, the little church that once professed holiness, living for God, going right straight back in the world again, making her inroads right out. And if they won’t have them in this one, and act like this, they’ll go to another one, and act like that. Just little inroads. Devil will see that you got a way out. That’s right.
Now, we find out all this was taking place, and all hopes was gone. But you know what? Here’s the good part about the story. He hadn’t left them. He sent them away on a revival, waving and shaking hands with the people, and have a jubilee. But you know what He done? He climbed the highest hill there was around there, so He could watch them. That’s what He’s done.
He climbed Calvary. They cut Him off of there. They buried Him, and then He started climbing. And He climbed till He passed the sun, moon, and stars, Jupiter, Venus, Neptune, and Mars, just kept going on. He climbed till He passed this old house of clay, and then went running up the Milky White way; climbed so high till He passed heaven.
The Bible said He looks down upon it, you know. He’s higher than the heavens. His Name’s above everything that’s called in heaven. He got way up there, so He could look back and see the whole universe. As the old song used to go, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
And right in the hour when all hopes that the—the church was waterlogged and was going out on the wrong end, here He come walking right among them. And they were scared of Him. The only hope they had of saving themselves from that waterlogged ship in that storm, they was scared of the only hope they had. They were afraid of it. If they’d just knowed the Scripture... They were afraid of it, and they said, “It’s spooky; it’s a spirit,” and they cried out for fear. “Don’t have nothing to do with it; it’s telepathy, it’s a fortuneteller.”
Jesus spoke, said, “Don’t be afraid. It’s I.” He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. You believe that, don’t you?
I hate to stop this testimony, but I’d—I’d like for us... I trust now, as we pray, that He will give us a personal testimony. Don’t be afraid. It’s Him, the same One. He’s the High Priest, setting at the right hand of His majesty in glory, that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. And if He’s the same High Priest that He was then, He can be touched by the feeling of your infirmities, and He will act in the same way He acted then, because He’s the same High Priest. Let us bow our heads.
Great heavenly Father, Who has the—those great men that give the testimony to us tonight, the writer, Matthew, and all the dear beloved saints that were authorized to write this Bible...
[Blank spot on tape.]... say that it’s right.
But God, I believe that those disciples were authorized to write the Word, for at the end of the Book it said, “Whosoever shall add anything to it or take anything from it...” I believe it. My hopes is built on nothing else but that, Lord, and the hopes of this little group of people here tonight. We appreciate their testimony being kept by You, that we can read it. And we read there that You are the same.
Now, Father, I pray that You’ll walk in tonight, among the people. And the God that was in that mortal flesh that talked to Abraham, the God that was in the mortal flesh of His Son, Christ Jesus, may that same God make Himself known tonight in a church that He has sanctified with His own Blood, and has washed it, and cleaned the house out of unbelief, and moved in to abide unto the end of the world as He promised. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, I ask it. Amen.
Now, I come not to heal the sick; I come to pray for God’s sick children. I ...?... God heals the sick, and the sick is already healed. Anyone knows that.
I didn’t come to save the lost; I come to tell the lost that they’re already saved, if they’ll just accept it. I’ve come to tell those who have been saved, and wants this evidence, that they have—they have got the assurance and tasted the heavenly gifts from across the Jordan yonder, as Hebrews 6 said they would, “been made partakers of the Holy Ghost and tasted the heavenly gifts.”
If you’d like to taste of it, I recommend you to the Book of Acts, where Peter said at the day of Pentecost, “Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins; you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” If you’ve never been baptized yet, and you have repented, there’s going to be a baptismal service here tomorrow. Come down. Believe it. When you step into the waters, believe that God’s going to give you the Holy Ghost. He will do it. It’s what He promised. He can’t lie; He has to keep His Word, and He will do it. You come believing it.
And now, if you’re sick tonight, I say to you, that One that I’m talking about, when He died at Calvary, right there the stripes across His back, in the sight of God, purchased your healing. You’re already healed.
Now, they have orders of laying on hands. I think maybe... Recently we had our Pentecostal brethren, a group of them, to go off... I better not say that. I—I’m no judge of no one, because you know... I think of laying on hands, and giving gifts... See, gifts and callings are without repentance. See, they’re ordained before the foundation of the world to be in them things. You see?
We might recognize them, and lay our hands on them, as Paul did Timothy there, to sanction it. And knowing that the gift was in him, that they seen it work. And they just give him the right hand of fellowship, like, to bring him into the service of God. And that’s the only thing we do, by laying our hands on the sick, when they’re sick, because, Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe.”
Not that the people here... The people that believed would lay their hands on the sick, as a sanction that they believed it. Now. But I believe that Jesus Christ is here. I believe He’s here in every strength, and everything that He ever was on the earth. Only thing different is the corporal body that sets on the throne of God. And that’s there as a peace offering for you. It’s there of your assurance that everything that He died for, you have it, if you’ll accept it and believe it. Believe it.
Now, I believe my son said that he gave out some prayer cards. Usually the first few nights up there, we had no prayer cards, and usually do not. But he said the people were asking for prayer cards, and he gave out prayer cards. Has the people in here got prayer cards? Let’s see. He—he mixes them up together, and gives anybody a prayer card that wants them.
Anyone that’s been in the meetings before, know that there’s many more gets healed out in the audience then there is on the platform. You don’t have to have a prayer card. It’s just getting someone up here to pray for them. That’s all. Now, I will come pray; you believe.
Now, where is Billy? What prayer cards did he give out? I don’t know. What was it? Has anybody got prayer card 1? Let’s see if there’s one like that here. Prayer card number 1? Has anybody got it, hold up your hand. Prayer card number 1. Well, maybe it never... Maybe he started somewhere else then. Prayer card number 1? Nobody’s got prayer card 1? 2? Who has prayer card 2? Well, then he started there. All right, sir.
Prayer card 1, 2, 3, stand up. Now, it might—look around at somebody’s card. Maybe somebody’s deaf and can’t hear. See? They got prayer card 1, 2, and 3. Now, I only see one person standing up. 1, 2, 3, I see this one. What’s yours? 3. Here’s 2. Where is number 1? Well, if they don’t come in... All right. Come. Yes, sir. Yeah. That’s all right. All right, sir. Number 1, 2, 3.
Now, you come up this way, if you will. You all with the prayer cards come right here, 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 6 stand up. 4, 5, 6, all right, take your place right over here. 7, 8, 9, 9. Oh, all right. 7, 8, 9. I don’t think we’re going to have too much room there, to stand too many. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11? Way back in the back. 11, 12, 13, 13? Prayer card number 13.
I don’t want to miss anyone, because we want to pray for everybody that’s got a prayer card. See? And they come and get a prayer card. But don’t take—don’t take your prayer card, and go off, and don’t come back. See? Somebody ought to have it.
Prayer card 13. We’ll wait just a moment. Maybe it’s a mother with a baby, or something, they had to step out, or something. May be back in a minute.
We’ll start right here then, and start at this many, and pray for them, until we... How many you missing? All of them there up to 13? What say? Number 13 missing? Well, we’ll hold right there now, till they come in. All right, sir. Let Brother Bigby, if you’ll... Now, receive their prayer cards down there, Brother Bigby, if you will. All right.
Now, come up this way, sir. Just stand right there just a moment. Now, I believe the man’s a stranger to me. We are—don’t know each other, But as far as I know, he’s a stranger to me. And we do not know each other, but the Lord knows both of us, doesn’t He?
And how many out there that doesn’t have prayer cards, and yet you believe Jesus will make you well, you want Him to heal you? Raise up your hand. It’s just solid. Now, you don’t have to have a prayer card. I’ll say this: you do like the woman did that—that had the blood issue. You know, she didn’t have, we’d call it, say, a prayer card. But she just pressed her way until she got to touch His garment. You remember that? And it stopped Him.
Now, He didn’t feel it physically, because the Palestinian garment is loose. And everybody with their... Why, Peter even rebuked Him, said, “Lord, why would You say a thing like that? Why, everybody’s touching You.”
He said, “But I perceive that I have gotten weak.” The King James says virtue has gone, which, “virtue” is “strength.” And, “I’ve gotten weak,” and He looked around over the audience until He found the woman that touched His garment. And He told her that her faith had saved her. Her blood issue had stopped. Is that right?
Now, listen just a moment, now. It’ll do real good for you. Now, does the Scripture say that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and forever? I presume this is a minister. Now, does the Scripture say in the book of Hebrews, that He is a High Priest now? He ever lives to make intercession (See?), and He can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities?
Well, then if He’s the same High Priest, and if you can touch Him... You say, “Brother Branham, I’ll walk up and touch Brother Bigby.” Well, that would be nice to show your fellowship, or your love to Brother Bigby.
“Brother Branham, I’ll come touch you.” Well, that would be nice, but there is no virtue in us. We’re men. Any of these ministers here, we’re men. So it wouldn’t do no good to come here.
But why don’t you just remember that you’re risen with Him, and you’re setting with Him, the council of God, Christ. You’re setting with Christ now. All authority is right with you. So why don’t you by faith just touch His garment?
“Lord, I have a need. I’m sick. Father God, let me touch You tonight. I believe You. And Brother Branham has been telling us a little drama. But it was the truth, the drama was, and he throwed in a few Scriptures there that shows that You’re the same, and You have to be the same. So he said that You are here in Spirit form to work today, as You promised before the coming again, that You’d be so...”
You know, there’s a difference between the appearing of Christ and the coming of Christ. That’s two different words altogether. He’s appearing now in His church. We see Him; we know it’s Him. It’s the Holy Spirit. See? We know it is.
Now. We believe that the Holy Spirit is God. All of us know that. Like Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we don’t believe there’s three gods. We believe there’s three offices of the same God. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is three offices that the same God has worked in. That’s the reason Jesus said baptize, using the Name title Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, see, which they are not saying three gods, but they are meaning one God in three offices, the same God. Three gods would be heathen (See?), but it’s—it’s the one God, it’s in three offices.
The Fatherhood... not even an animal could touch the mountain, he must be stoned, or cut through with a—a spear. That great Pillar of Fire... Then that Pillar of Fire was made flesh and dwelled among us. What is it? God, condescending. We felt God, touched God, God was manifested in flesh among us.
Jesus said, “It’s not Me that doeth the works. It’s My Father. He dwells in Me.” Then He said, “I come from God, and I go to God.” Then He—He died, crucified; rose the third day, and after His ascension, Paul was on his road down to Damascus, one day, to arrest some Christians. And that same Pillar of Fire fell before him, even put out his eyes. The rest of them didn’t see it, but it was so real to him it made him blind. And he said, “Lord, Who are You?”
And He said, “I’m Jesus.”
And if that same God, the Holy Spirit, working among us... Then He manifests Himself in our flesh, like He did then. So I believe it, God. Now, I’m speaking to you as a believer. Now, You speak back the way You did through Your church. Why, that’s Him Who’s... When You speak in an unknown tongues, and they interpret it, and tell the truth, that’s God, God in you. See?
See, all that God was He poured into Christ. All Christ was He poured into the church. So it’s God above us, God with us, God in us. See, see? Now, you just believe, and look this way, and say, “Lord Jesus, I believe,” and God will send His Spirit down. And see if He don’t do the same way He did back there. Now, just be reverent. Don’t be just... I want you to praise God, but when you’re approaching these things, come real reverent.
Now, here is a man, and here is my Bible. I have never in my life seen this man as I know of. He might’ve been in a meeting somewhere, and perhaps he’s never seen me. If it has been, it’s been somewhere where he’s been in a meeting, or somewhere, maybe seen me or... Have you ever looked at me before? Never seen me in your life. This is our first time meeting.
Now, if the man... He might be sick. He might be standing there for somebody else. He may have domestic trouble; he may have financial troubles; he might be a deceiver. And if he is, watch what happens. See? Just watch. See? I don’t know. But if the Holy Spirit can come here, and tell two strangers... tell him something that has been, or something about him, or what he’s here for, then he will know whether it’s the truth or not. He will—He will verify that. And then, if He can tell him what has been, surely he’d believe if you’d tell him what would be. Certainly. See? That’s why we have confidence in the Bible. (See? See?) It’s truth.
And I wonder how many of you pilgrims tonight, sojourners here in the city, and around about, would believe, and know that it would be impossible for me—a man—to do that? Why, sure, it would. If you’re mentally right, you’d believe it. It’s totally impossible. So there would have to be some kind of a power to do that. You know he would. Well, now, it depends on what power you think it is where your reward will come from. See?
Now, the Pharisees said when they seen it, “It’s Beelzebub”; but the believers said, “It’s the Son of God.” Now, we know the Scripture has promised it in this last day, hasn’t it? He promised it, we know.
Listen to these ministers here saying, “Amen.” That’s your shepherds. They know what they’re talking about. See? They know it. And I am their brother, fellow citizen of the Kingdom, working for the Kingdom of God. They’re clergymen, speakers, great forceful preachers. I am not. This is my ministry. This is when I’m doing my preaching, just by a gift. And I love the people real well, and the Lord let me preach to them this way.
Now, if the Holy Spirit will say these things, and do that, will it convince you, every one, that Jesus Christ lives today, and He’s here again? It would do you, wouldn’t it, sir? It certainly did Nathanael. He was a believer, because no matter what any of the rest of them said, it sure worked on him. And he knowed.
Didn’t make any difference whether the people down in Sychar believed that woman or not. She had experience. She knowed it. He told her what her trouble was.
He knows your trouble. It’s your throat. That’s true. This might help you. You want that throat, because you are a preacher. It’ll be all right. Go ahead. It’ll be all right. Certainly. God loves His people.
How do you do, sister? Now, you believe with all your heart? Amen. Here’s a picture again, that I was talking about. There’s a man and a woman meet for the first time, I suppose. We’re strangers to one another. So if the people back in the back might not be able to see you nod your head, would you just raise up your hand, when I said we’re strangers to one another? I don’t know you, and you don’t know me.
Now, here is a picture about like the well in Samaria, where our Lord was setting, and a man and a woman meet for their first time in life. I don’t know her; she doesn’t know me. She’s just a woman, come down a while ago. And—and she might’ve held up her hand, and a boy handed her a prayer card over here. And it happened to be that she’s standing here in the line. That’s all there is to it.
Now, the next has to be God. But if He’s the same God, and He’s in you, and He’s in me, and our lives are consecrated to Him, and He has given a gift that I just submit myself to Him; and then He shows me a vision, and then I’ll say just while the vision is going on what’s taking place, and you’ll know whether it’s the truth or not. I think the other one just passed was a man; this is a woman. See? Then you’ll know.
The first thing, the lady is suffering with a bad case of nerves. She’s real nervous. She’s got kind of complications, many things that’s bothering her. Now, that is true, isn’t it? If that is true, raise up your hand, so the people see.
I catch that same spirit always saying, “You guessed it.” I’m not guessing at that, friends. That’s not a guess. Now, you remember, I’m catching your thoughts. See? I used to call them out. Many of you know it. Then it hurts feelings. See? How many’s been in the meetings, and seen woman with men pull a man right out of the meeting, and this one here, and prove they was living in adultery? You’ve seen all of that, and everything taking place. See? But you have to watch. I’ve got a little more wisdom since then (See?), ’cause Jesus said let the wheat and stuff grow together.
This is a good woman. She has a good feeling to her spirit. While she’s got that, let’s see if I was guessing it. I forgot. He said... Oh, yes. I see it now. Nervous, upset, bothered. Yeah. You’re bothered about something real bad. You’re scared of a cancer. That’s right. And that cancer is on... not in the middle. It’s on your left breast. That’s right. You’re scared of it; isn’t that right?
You’re worried about somebody else too. Do you want me to tell you? Is it all right? It’s your daughter. You want me to tell you what’s wrong with her? She has a—a blood condition. She’s been for a long time, a blood issue. That’s right. Do you believe now? You believe you’re—when you go back you’re going to find her all right? Go, believing ...?... Don’t doubt. Have faith. Amen. It’s a testimony. Now, you don’t guess those things, friends. Just don’t doubt now. Don’t doubt.
Before I start the prayer line, you know, praying for the people, I think that’s about two or three to witness or confirmation. I think that’s right, isn’t it?
A nice lady standing here. We’re strangers to one another, I suppose. You was in—well in a prayer line when I was here before. Well, of course, I wouldn’t know that. You know, so many thousands... I have no idea who you are, or what you’re here for, or nothing like that. That is right. I wouldn’t know. But He knows. If He will reveal it to me, will you accept your healing then? Well, if you’ll believe it with all your heart... You’re nervous too, and complications, and upset, but you’ll never have to have that operation for that tumor in your side. It’ll leave you, if you’ll believe it. Will you believe it? Go on your road, and say, “Thank You, Lord Jesus.” Believe it with all your heart. Just believe with all your heart, and you won’t have to have it, if you’ll just believe it. See, that’s your faith now. See? Let us have faith. Don’t doubt.
How do you do, lady? We’re strangers to each other? Just a moment. That’s a different woman. Now, just be reverent and pray. Just remember, you got... You can only have two thoughts in your mind. I’m thankful you’re ninety-nine percent right. (See?) You believe it’s God, and it is God. Just a moment. Just thank our Lord, the One that we’re going to love, and meet, and go up to meet Him. We’re...
You know, he come out in the evening time to walk in the fields, and the beautiful Rebekah had never saw him. She just heard of him. She jumped off the camel, and run to meet him. He’s already, maybe, left glory on His road down. We’re on our road to meet Him now, passing right up to Canaan land.
Something happened in the audience, another woman appeared here, not this woman. Yes, I see her now, setting back there praying. Don’t fear. You’re going to be all right. Your legs are troubling you, because you was in an automobile accident. You have on a green dress, and it was a different color green from this one. So there you are. Don’t worry. You’ll get all right ...?...
I don’t know the lady. We’re strangers. The Spirit, that Light hanging by the lady, it seemed to cross over to the next lady setting by her. No, it’s not that lady. She’s a-praying for a child. It’s a little girl that’s got a stomach trouble, that’s up for an operation. That’s her hand up. Lay it on the child, there.
Heavenly Father, may the power of Almighty God that now, that knows the secret of the heart... Lord, they know I could not heal, because You’ve already did that. But Your Presence makes them believe, Lord. And if that woman had enough faith that touched Your garment to pull You back into there, surely that baby will be all right. I pronounce it this way in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Just have faith.
That man setting across about evens where they are there, that’s got that back trouble setting there: Sir, if you’ll believe it with all your heart (kind of weeping, and watching), if you’ll believe, your back trouble will leave you; you’ll be all right. God bless you. It’s all over now. Go home and be well.
What do you think? Isn’t He wonderful? He sure is. We are strangers to each other. There it is again. It’s... it isn’t this... Oh, you’re standing for somebody that’s got leg trouble. It’s your sister. That’s what it is. Yeah. That’s right. I seen legs, and people that... Yeah, you want her to come to church, bring her. She—she couldn’t even get her shoes and things on. You believe? Go back, and find her the way that she...
You believe the infallible Holy Spirit, God, our Father? He’s glorious, wonderful, our Lord. But we—we must believe Him with all of our heart. That’s the only way that we can get our blessings from Him, is to accept Him, to believe Him.
How do you do? I suppose we’re strangers to each other. God knows both of us. Do you believe that that feeling that you have now... Now, there could not be a feeling like that come from me. See? I—I can’t explain it. It’s like another dimension. But right around you now, is a Light, the One that you all have here in the picture. That’s what makes her feel that way. Standing by a man wouldn’t do that. See? Now, it’s moving between me and you. Yes.
You are here, and you’re seriously sick. You have a kidney trouble that’s bothering you. And the trouble of it is, that your kidneys have—have failed to function, to throw the poison off, and it’s backing up and bothering you. That’s right. You believe? You’re not from here; you’re from Charleston. You believe with all your heart? Isn’t He wonderful? Listen, Pearl, go on your way. You believe?
He heals asthma too. You believe that, don’t you, sister? Amen. Go believing with all your heart, and you can have what you ask for. Amen. God bless you.
Diabetes is nothing for God to heal. He’s a real Healer, isn’t He? Amen. Just believe.
Arthritis cripples a many one. But if you will believe, it won’t cripple you, if you will just believe. Just have faith.
Are you believing? You didn’t get to hear what was said to the other woman, but arthritis... He can heal you too. Do you believe that? All right. Just right go on, saying “Thank You, Lord Jesus.”
Now, brother, do you believe? Go eat your supper then. Eat something. That old ulcer will leave you and do you’re ...?...
You believe? Back trouble. Do you believe it’ll leave you? Then go on your road, and just start rejoicing, saying, “Thanks be to God,” if you can believe with all your heart. But you must believe.
Just a moment. Something somewhere... A younger man than this must’ve been in the audience. Here, wait. Yeah, you that jumped just then. Impediment of speech. God can give healing to the impediment of speech, if you’ll believe it, if you’ll just have faith.
You over there with your hand up, the lady over there on the end with cancer upon your left breast, raise your hand. You believe that God can make it well and heal it? Did you know He healed you then. Go on your road, and be happy, and rejoice and say, “Thank you.”
Let us continue our testimony. Isn’t He wonderful? Does He lie? Certainly not. “Be not afraid. It’s I.” Why not invite Him into the little boat tonight? Are you sick? Raise up your hands, children. Raise your hand you believe this. Now, just drop your hands over on somebody near you. You said you was a believer.
Now, the One Who is our God, and our King that’s here with us tonight, has give us the assurance that if they lay their hands on the sick they shall recover. You believe that? Are you scared? Are you afraid? Or do you love Him? Do you believe it’s Him? Then invite Him in, say, “Come into me, Lord Jesus. Come into my heart tonight. I want you to take me safely through this journey. And I’m going to be well.”
Now, you pray for the person you got your hands laid on. Don’t pray for yourself now. You just pray for the—that man’s praying for you. You just pray. I’ll finish up the cards tomorrow night. Lay your hands... Or you might not have to have any tomorrow night. Just lay your hands over on one another, and you’ll go home, be well.
Our heavenly Father, we are bringing to this audience Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Satan has blowed his breath. He’s tried to tell people many times, people has took them off on wrong roads. But tonight we sure that this is Your Presence, and You’re telling them, “Fear not. It is I. Be not afraid.”
I’m putting my hands on these handkerchiefs laying here. It’s for sick and the afflicted. O God, may the power of God rebuke every devil that’s bound these people, and in the midst of the people.
And Satan, you unbeliever, you can’t hold these people. You can’t make them disbelieve any more. They are aware that the Son of God has been risen from the dead for two thousand years, and that His Presence is here now, in the form of the Holy Ghost. You can’t keep them sick any longer. You can’t keep them like this. Come out of them, in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Come out of every one of them that they can be made well.
They’ve got their hands on each other. They are believers. Jesus, You said, “These signs shall follow them that believe. If they lay their hands on the sick they shall recover.” It’s Your promise, Lord. Come out, Satan, and let these people go free.
All that believe, and accept your healing from Christ, just throw down your prayer card, and stand on your feet, and say, “I’m not afraid, Lord. It’s You, and I accept You.” If you’ll do that with faith you shall receive your healing, if you can believe it. You just believe it. Do you believe it? Then stand up on your feet and accept your healing, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I ...?...
IT IS I, BE NOT AFRAID
Columbia, South Carolina, USA