Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Source transcript: VOGR
Thank you very much. I would like to almost express my feelings. Like Brother Palmer said, “I’m a good listener.” I certainly enjoyed this this morning. I wouldn’t have missed this for nothing to hear these different brothers, and the ones who are giving these testimonies.
The brother just sing has been coming to our church up there, and his... I have knowed his mother and sisters here for, oh, many years. I’ve never gotten to the Tabernacle in time to hear him sing, and I was just going to suggest it. And then comes along, and said he was going to sing it. The brother here said he—he was going to sing it too. So I said you can get yours tonight. So we’ll be glad to hear that.
It’s always a—such a grand privilege to be around where the Presence of the Lord... And as there being, as our brother said, that there is so much flesh in our different denominations calling us away from each other, and... But there is a body, a mythical Body of Christ. That’s the body that we are all coming into by one Spirit, baptized into that one body. And then we become citizens of the Kingdom of heaven.
Now, I believe that we’re supposed to be out of here at twelve... What? Oh, is that all the time I got, just two hours? I’m kinda disappointed. You know, it takes me a long time to tell what I was thinking. But... And I’m thankful for an audience that bears with me. But I was just saying that. Just a few words for the businessmen and all that’s here.
And I want to say it’s been a grand time. Last evening my heart was warm, even when I got home, as they said, John Wesley said about “in his bosom,” to see that our God still lives. And we don’t have to guess about this. He’s—He’s real. It’s the simplicity of just accepting what He has said and seeing it be made a reality.
The—the Word is a Seed. And if that Seed’s put in the right ground under the right temperature, it’ll grow if it’s germitized. And we know this Word is germitized, ’cause It’s God Himself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It’s still God. It was made flesh and dwelt among us.
We’re so thankful to hear Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterian, Greek orthodox, and all together, coming together in one great place. And I believe Jacob dug a well, and the enemy run him away, and he called it “Malice.” He dug another well, and they run him away; he called it “Strife.” He dug another well, and said, “There’s room for us all.” So I think that’s about the way it is.
Luther dug one, and Wesley dug one. Now, we got one there’s room for us all. So let us just all stand and drink from this one well. If you’re riding a one hump camel, or a two hump camel, or a three hump camel, you can still come and drink. That’s all. We’re on our journey.
I think now, after our little senses of humor and so forth... As I think it’s good. Even God Himself has a sense of humor, you know. I think we ought to just bow our heads a moment before approaching His Word for prayer.
Our Father, great and mighty God, Who our singer has just expressed all of our feelings, “How Great Thou Art.” We approach Thee in the name of Thy beloved Child, the Lord Jesus, our Sacrifice. And as we come from this building into Thy Presence by faith, we look across our Sacrifice to Thy throne, knowing that He has promised us if we ask anything in His Name it will be granted.
We are going to attempt to read Thy Word and speak on it. Now, let the Holy Spirit take the Word and plant It into the heart of each one of us. Circumcise the lips that speak and the ears that hear. And may It fall on good ground to bring forth a hundredfold. We ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
If... Many people like to take the places in the Scripture usually where ministers read. I would like to draw your attention to the Gospel of Saint Mark the 10th chapter, beginning with the 17th verse, for a reading to draw from this a context:
And when he had gone forth into the way, there came unto him running, and kneeling down to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I... that I may have eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Hon... and... Honour Thy father and mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these things I have observed from my youth.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go Thy way, sell whatsoever thou has, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
I would like to draw a—a text from this on the subject of “Investments.” And I thought this might be appropriate for a few minutes speaking to businessmen of the city on investments, because that any businessman is always, if he’s a good businessman, is interested in good investments. That seems to be what they love to do, is to make a—a good investment, sound investment, because it pays off always.
And this morning I want to speak to you men whether, if there be some here, that—on the best investment that I know of. Some time ago I was asked the question by a noted minister of the Baptist church, from which I came from. He said, “Brother Branham, I hear that you’re with the Full Gospel Business Men.”
I said, “Yes, sir. That’s right.”
He said, “What business have you got with the Full Gospel Business Men?”
I said, “I—I am a businessman.”
He said, “Businessman?”
I said, “Yes, sir.”
Said, “What business are you in?”
I said, “The insurance.”
And he said, “What?”
And I said, “Assurance.”
Said, “What kind?”
I said, “Eternal Life.” If any of you fellows want to talk a policy over with me after the meeting, I’ll be glad to meet you, and—and talk it over.
Some time ago, a friend that I went to school with, he’s an insurance agent, and he’s a nice man. I got a brother that’s an insurance agent, but it just happens to be that I never carried insurance. And so I... Nothing against it, but I... The boy come up one time. His name was Snyder. His brother is a Baptist minister. Wilmer said to me; he said, “Billy, I’d like to talk over some insurance with you.”
And I said, “Wilmer, thank you.” I said, “I—I’ll talk about anything else,” but I said, “I already have insurance.”
And he said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” He said, “You have what?”
I said, “I have assurance.”
And he... And my wife looked at me as if I was a liar. She stopped, and she looked across at me, ’cause I don’t have any insurance.
And he said, “Billy, what insurance do you carry?”
I said, “I said assurance: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory Divine. I’m an heir of salvation, purchased of God, borned of His Spirit, washed in His Blood.’”
He said, “That’s very good, Billy. But it won’t put you up here in the graveyard.”
I said, “It’ll take me out. I’m am not worried about getting in; I want out. So... Not bothered about getting in there, it’s getting out. So that’s what I want to talk about.”
A fellow that’s got money wants to put it to a good investment, of course. A man that has as much as, say, ten thousand dollars, he would like to put it to some investment. Don’t keep it in your pocket, ’cause you know thieves will steal it. And so, you don’t want to do that.
So you want, if you’re a good sound businessman, you want to put it to something that’ll—it’ll draw dividends. You want to put it to something to usury. You know about the talents in the Bible. So you must put it to some use that’ll draw dividends out of it, some good sound business.
And then, in doing this, you don’t want to put it in something that isn’t sound. No man would want to do that. A good smart businessman wouldn’t think of such a thing. You men wouldn’t do that, put it in something that—one of these here “get rich overnights and don’t know where it come from.” Better be careful about that. You’ll lose all you got, ’cause it’s a gamble. And gambling is not a good sound business. It’s a... It’s got a chance to it. And you don’t want to take them kind of chances.
But you want to put it in something, in some good sound firm that pays great dividends, something that’s stable, reliable, something that you know that has paid off, and been proven that it will pay off.
When you have something like that to make your investment, why then you feel assured that you’re—you got something coming. You can rest assure when you put your money in that. But if the business is not too good, well, you wouldn’t want to try it. Some good reliable plan, something that would pay you off well...
And this rich young ruler, as we’d call it in the Bible, he passed up a great opportunity. He had the opportunity to put his richness of this world into a guaranteed plan, but failed it. He didn’t do it. He was given the opportunity that he could draw interest on it, and make a great investment. But he—he failed to accept that opportunity—so much... as many of us do today. And we find out that it’s too bad, but we do it. Now, although this plan that he was offered was perfectly vindicated that it was sound...
When Jesus came to the earth, He proved that He was what He said He was: that He was God, manifested in flesh, for He brought it to a—a showdown and said, “If I do not the works of My Father, then believe Me not.”
So this young man was like this great, rich Laodicea age that we live in. They seen a great opportunity to—to invest in something, but it’s not popular. Jesus was not a popular Man in His days, only amongst the poor and illiterate. The church of His day, the denomination of His day, or the sectarian religions had nothing to do with Him.
But there must’ve been something about Him, that this rich young fellow seen in Jesus that he did not see in others. And he did have the common good sense to come and ask what he might do, because he had seen in Jesus that there was a quality that his—he didn’t see in anyone else. But you see, he was very rich with the things of the world.
We have a lovely picture of this at the Laodicea age in Revelation 3, “Because you say you’re rich and have need of nothing; and yet knowest thou not that thou art wretched, poor, blind, miserable, naked, and don’t know it?”
What a horrible thought that is, to think that a person could be blind, or would be on the street naked, that’s a horrible thing. But the worst part of it is, is the man in that condition, and yet doesn’t know it. If that person knew that he was in that condition, he would try to help himself. But being in that condition and doesn’t know he’s in that condition... And you can’t tell him any different. That’s the picture that we see today, that...
Many of us people see God moving in this last day. We see the Holy Spirit come among us and vindicating the very promises of the Bible that Christ said would take place; and yet, with our denominational differences, and our creed, and our social standing as that young man had, turn down the opportunity like he does, or like he did.
They were afraid to make the investment. He would rather hold on to the things that he had: popularity, money, covetousness, instead of putting his investment, when he—the opportunity knocked at his door to the Kingdom of God.
I do not believe that anybody that—who loves Christ, could set in a meeting that takes place in a real Spirit filled Pentecostal outpour in this day, and see the very Presence of Jesus Christ strike down upon the people, and perform, and do the things that He promised would be done in this day... And the only way that you can is turn away the opportunity that God give you to become part of it.
What a rashal thing this young fellow did to turn away this opportunity. And what a rashal thing the denominations are doing today. Instead of accepting, and embracing the Holy Spirit, and forgetting their differences, they separate the brotherhood and try to draw away little groups after their own following.
We find out that in Revelation 3, at the Laodicea age, which we are now living in to my interpretation of the Scripture, that when the message has come forth of the Laodicea age (as it did in each age, and each age had a messenger) that we come forth in this last day, and find out that that church was very rich. And they were so disagreeable with Him, they put Him out of the church, because it’s the only church age that we find, even through the...
Well, we’d think the Ephesus church age, and the Sardis, and all the church ages as they were, even down into the age of Philadelphia, the Wesleyan church age, and so forth, even into all those ages He was not put out. But in the Laodicea church age He was on the outside, but was still knocking, trying to get into His own church.
With His Divine Presence, as it was when He was on earth, God was in one Person. Now, God is in His church, His life divided among His people, God living among them, trying to unite them together in a mystical body of Christ, which is called His Bride. And when He’s trying to do that... And He will do it, for as the prophet said... It come forth, His forerunner for His first advent, said, “God is able of these stones to rise children.”
And today, when the blessings fell upon the Pentecostals years ago, and they separated themselves, seemingly not having the faith, God is able of the Methodists, and orthodox, and so forth, of these stones to rise children unto Abraham.
And did you ever think, my brethren, did it ever come to you in the Scripture, that the very day that the sleeping virgin come to buy oil, that was the day that He come? When you see Greek Orthodox, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, coming in, hungering for this, “Where can we get this oil?” Remember it was that hour that the Bridegroom came. Let’s watch our investments, where they pay off at.
Now. They put Him out of their denominations. They didn’t want Him. The rich young ruler went away sad, although you notice that it says here in the Scripture, “Jesus holding him loved him. And He loved these people in these organizations. They’re God’s people. He loved them, and He’s offered, and has offered for the last fifty years, the opportunity to make another investment in Him, not in a building of a church, but in the power and the resurrection of Christ, and receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
It’s not popular. Certainly not. It’s never been popular. Anything that God ever done on earth never was popular from the beginning. Very much unpopular, it’s purposed to be that way. Did not Jesus call the Pharisees the whited walls? Said, “Which of your fathers has not persecuted the prophets? You whiten their tombs now, but you was the one that put them in there.”
They build it upon some great thing, the Methodist upon John Wesley, a great man; the Lutheran upon Martin Luther, and so forth. And now, the Pentecostals is trying to build a tomb to something was fifty years ago, that brought them out of this kind of a chaos. And now, they’re taking it right back in again, polishing the—the tomb of the ones that we actually put in. That’s right.
Now, this great assurance policy that I’m asking each to invest in today, let us look back. And all things should be like any other business. Before we make our investment, we should find out about the—about the company, or about the thing that we’re trying to buy. And I think it would be good this morning, in these next few minutes, if we investigated some of the holders of this policy to find out just what taken place. That’s the only way to do when you’re going to make a business investment.
You’ll usually go over and say to your fellow man, “Have... what about this Such-and-such-a company? What about this Such-and-such-a business?”
“Well, it did this for So-and-so. It did this for So-and-so. And it paid off with this. And this bonds, these coupons, government bank coupons, and they paid off at twenty-five percent,” and so forth.
That... It’s good to invest it—investigate it, and find out before you make your investments.
So as not exactly an assurance salesman this morning, but I’m talking for one, let’s go back and investigate, and find some of its holders, some of the holders that it—held the thing that I have been trying to tell you to hold to: that’s God’s Word, the Word of His promise regardless of denomination or creed. Men and women who took God at His Word regardless of what anybody else thought about it, we want to find some of their holders and investigate them.
Let’s start back with an old holder I could think of a long years ago. His name was Noah. He was a rich farmer. And we find out that while he had good possessions upon the earth, one day God spoke to him. And usually when God speaks, it’s so contrary to the earthly thoughts of the thing, it’s so different from the modern trend of the day, until the person that receives the policy... The other people that don’t have the policy, or know nothing about it, has never talked it over, think the man’s crazy by accepting it. It’s always been that way.
God told Noah by promise, “I’m going to destroy the world, and I want you to build an ark. Take the wood off your farm, and—and don’t make shade trees any more, but I want you to build an ark. It’s for the saving of your life.”
And Noah obedient to that... It did not cope with their modern scientific thoughts. You know, we’re taught that we had a greater civilization then than we have now. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man,” a modern civilization.
And we’re told by Genesis that they had never had rain down from the heavens. God watered by irrigation. The world stood up straight. It did not lean back. And we had no rainfall.
And here comes a man coming forth upon a policy that he’d been given of God, that judgment was coming, and the only way to escape it, that there was coming a phenomenon such us rain. Water was going to fall from the skies. Perhaps some of their modern scientific men could put their instruments up and say, “We can shoot the moon by radar, and there’s no such a thing as water in the sky. The man is totally insane. Let him alone; he will bring disgrace upon himself.”
If that ain’t a picture of the modern day believer today, he’s considered totally insane. He’s emotional. He’s crazy. I thank the brother at the end here for his compliment, “I was just foolish enough to believe the Word.” That’s all right. I—I want to stay foolish.
I seen a little sign one time. I’m told about a man out in California, had a big plate on the front of him here. It said, “I’m a fool for Christ.” And on his back with a question mark, said, “Whose fool are you?” So...
Noah was a fool in the eyes of the world in that day, for the God’s sake, and for the Word’s sake. But he had a policy that was going to draw dividends, going to pay off in the saving of his life.
As I’ve said before, it might not cope with all the scientific movement. They might try today to say this is purely emotion. As one brother testified, I believe here, he wanted no emotion. And that’s good. I think there’s a lot of radical stuff goes with it that moves...
I was reading the life of Martin Luther, or the history. And it said it wasn’t such a phenomena that Luther could protest the Catholic church, and get by with it. But the phenomena was, the man could hold his head above all the fanaticism that followed his revival.
That’s the same it is today. It isn’t so much a—of a—of a phenomena to see people come out of organizations and things. But a man that can stay with the Word, and hold his head above all the fanaticism that tries to follow such a move: sensations, and so forth, that base faith upon which is absolutely fleshly, as our precious brother quoted to us about the Greek. See, they go out the same thing: flesh, flesh, denomination, so forth.
But somebody can hold their head above that, and stay with THUS SAITH THE LORD... It’s true.
We find that Noah... That after you have received this policy that I am speaking of this morning, the assurance, the assurance of salvation, you’re always tried. And there’s always... The Kingdom of God doesn’t come by observation, and we know that you’re tried. Every son that cometh to God must be child-trained.
I think that’s what’s the matter with a bunch of our little Elvises and Rickys today. They didn’t have the right kind of child training. Papa used to take me to the woodshed, and I got a good education of how to behave myself. He had a hickory limb with all the ten commandments on the end of it. It certainly brought discipline to me.
It’s too bad we don’t have fathers and mothers, more of them today that would do the same thing, instead of hot-rodding, and out all night, and their daughters twisted up in some... Oh, you know what I mean.
Now. But you’re tried, put to the test to be proven. And Noah, after the days of his preaching when he stood in the ark of his door, and gave—the—the door of his ark, rather, and gave the very last call... And God told him, “I’m through with them. Get into the safety that’s been provided.”
I think that’s where we stand. Get into that spot of safety zone. The traffic of sin is getting terrific, but God give us a safety zone, as I was speaking of last night, the inoculation. Stay in there. Don’t go to wandering. As the brother said, you can totter out of it. Better stay put. Now, don’t go to wandering off on isms and dogmas. Stay with the Word. Stay with Christ. To know Him is Life. Not to know His creed, not to know His book, not to know nothing; but to know Him is Life.
We find that Noah... Let’s give a little drama of it. It’s getting late, and Noah told them, “This is your last call. I have the policy here, the assurance that it’s going to rain. I don’t care what your scientific rule says, but you’d better come in.”
They laughed at him. There was some that set close, of course, and listened. And others didn’t even come to hear him at all.
So Noah went in, and the door closed behind him. Noah did not close the door; God closed the door. And so will He do it again when the last member of the Body of Christ... It’ll never make it a freak body for you or I. We better come in while there’s opportunity. It won’t have six fingers on one hand, won’t even have two fingernails on one finger. It’ll be a perfect Body without blemish. When that last member’s been added to that Body, God will close the door between judgment and mercy, or mercy and judgment, should I said. Notice.
Then after the door closed, I can hear Noah say to his wife, as though I could listen in (and along one of those, as the brothers talked about, that grounded-wire way of speaking with tongues), hear him say, “Now, in the morning the clouds will rise, and it’ll be—it’ll be a—a raining. This a—the—the thunders will roar; the lightnings will flash, and there’ll come a great rain. I’ve done my best. But I’m in now, and the door’s shut. We know something supernatural happened, because we never shut that door. Somebody shut the door. It was God.”
And you know, that there were some of the borderline believers that stood close, and listened, halfway believed it, probably like the rich young ruler. But they said, “We better go up. We know he was a good old man. And if there would come such a thing, we’ll be standing close, where we can get... Oh, we can get right in, he will open the door.” But remember, Noah had no way of opening the door.
Don’t you borderline with God. Don’t you just be a good man or a good woman. You be filled with the Holy Ghost, baptized into the Body by the Holy Ghost. Don’t take no hearsay nothing about it. Stay there until you’re dead, and your life is new in Christ, and your whole life is changed. Just don’t take an emotion, a sensation, or some... Don’t do that. Stay there until something actually happens that changes you completely.
Noah inside, and now these borderline believers slipped up, and said, “Maybe it might rain, as the old man said. Something happened, something phenomena.” So can the world see it today, that something’s happened.
And the first morning when Noah rose up and went up to look out the window, the sun came up just as bright as it ever did. I’d imagine Noah checked up, said, “Wait a minute. Let’s see if I was right.” Went back to the Word, to his calling, to his promise. Everything was exactly in line. “Well, He—He just delayed it. It’ll probably be tomorrow.”
The next day the sun rose. Well, the borderline believer, he become a critic too, said. “See, there was nothing to it.” He went on out.
But then finally, after God had give him his last trial, on the seventh day that morning the skies was black, the thunders was roaring, the lightning a flashing. Then great big drops of rain begin to fall, and a—a frantic world of people begin to scream and hunt for that ark. But it was too late, like the sleeping virgin that knocked at the door. It was too late. Don’t wait till that time. Come now.
Notice. And then, after all this, the rain got heavier. The streets begin to fill up. The sewers filled up. The water begin to rise. Some of them said, “We’ll just build us a boat and float. We’ll get us a poplar log.”
That’s what too many’s doing today, try to float through on a poplar log. But we find out it sunk.
And they thought they could build a boat, and it would be all right. But their boats went down.
That’s what you think today: that we can build an organization, or educate a bunch of people into it; it’ll go anyhow whether it’s God-constructed or not. But the only thing that’ll pass the test is a God constructed church by the Word, filled with the Holy Ghost. Got to be God-instructed, God-inspired. Man has nothing to do into it. It’s God and Him alone.
The waters begin to come high on the ark. Mrs. Noah and probably her daughter-in-laws were wondering. Noah said, “Just hold still. God made the promise. Our assurance is absolutely assured to us.” And he knowed that his construction had been according to his instruction.
And I wonder today if we would watch, and take a look around, and find out if our constructions are according to the instructions. For He said, “If a man believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also.” I wonder if our construction will compare with the instructions that we have been given.
But Noah checked. Everything, every corner was pitched in. He said, “Mother, it’s got to work. God promised it this way.”
“Why,” she said, “I looked out, and I saw the Joneses,” or so forth. “Their boat sunk right down. And ours is still setting on the ground.”
It just takes a little more persecution, a little more judgment of God to bring it up. Finally the waters got deeper and deeper. After while the whole family felt something move. She left the ground.
I just want to be in Him, one of these days... I am kind of getting tired of this old pesthouse. At fifty-three years old, I—one of these days I expect to feel something move. We want to leave.
The ark was going up. While others sank, the ark was going up. God in His Word had fulfilled His promise. Satan tried him. Satan tried to discourage him. He tried to discourage him through the people of that day, the religions of that day, through the science of that day.
I read in the paper, yesterday I believe it was, day before yesterday, where science has found a way that man don’t have to die, have Eternal Life. Well, they think that’s something new. We’ve had that for two thousand years. Think that they got something new... As David duPlessis once said, “Russia bragged because they had a man in space. We’ve had one in space for two thousand years. We’re so far ahead of them they don’t even know where they’re at.” Sure. An intercessor between us and God, with the assurance, “When I see the Blood, I’ll pass over you,” when the judgments come.
Don’t you want to be interested in such a policy? You should be, ’cause all others are going to fail. That’s exactly right.
Finally, when the ark finally made its great last jerk and jump as she left the bottom of the ground, the Word paid off, and the policy paid off in dividends. It saved him and his household. I’m so thankful for that. We could stay on that a long time, but we’ll go a little further.
There was another man I’d like—a policy holder—to introduce to you this morning. No doubt but what you’ve heard of him. His name was Daniel. He took this life assurance policy, and he was carried away down into Babylon in his days. But Daniel, because he was a holder of the policy, he purposed in his heart not to defile his policy. He wasn’t going to defile his investment.
Now, I’ll get to what you said. You have the policy, but don’t defile it. If you’ve got it, quit teeter-tottering around with the world. Keep away from it.
And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile his inheritance with the king’s meats.
Now, some of you women let your hair start growing, right. Some of you men, start doing something. Shame on you preachers who are ashamed to say it. God have mercy upon you. You’re scared you’d be put out of your organization. How about put out of the ark? Remember, brother, it’s God’s Word that says that.
Don’t defile your investment. If you’ve made the investment, then hold with it, and keep it in a safe place inside your heart, in your soul. Stay with it. Don’t defile it with the things of the world.
Church, come back to God. Get away from these little old things you’re running after. The Oneness kick you out, you join the—the Assemblies. The Assemblies kick you out, go to the Church of God. Quit defiling your—your inheritance. Quit defiling your investment, I should’ve said. Go back. Keep it clean. Work for God.
I might call, and let you know that Daniel, it saved his life. Then they throwed him into the lions’ den, the lions couldn’t eat him. There was something wrong, ’cause the Angel of the Lord was sent to protect him. And it saved his life. And if there’s anything that’s great to any mortal, it’s life. What’s greater than life?
Which one... Could a doctor stand here this morning, and speak of a capsule that he had invented by science to make you live a hundred years, or a thousand years, why, you would—you’d sell everything you had to get it. Sure, you would. Life is dear. But I’m trying to tell you of a policy, of an assurance, that you don’t live for a hundred years, you don’t live for a thousand years; you live eternally, because it’s an Eternal Life assurance. And we want that.
The Hebrew children, they also had the same policy and the assurance. And they certainly wasn’t going to bow down to anything contrary to God’s Word, no matter how many things they tried to put before them (“You have to join this, or we’ll throw you out.”), they stayed true to the Word. They didn’t bow before any idols. And when the judgment come, their life was saved, because they was a holder of the policy that I’m talking about.
Simon Peter—we might speak of him a moment, because he was mentioned this morning. And he’s the—one of the apostles, and the one that had the keys to the Kingdom, in other words the knowledge, how to unlock the doors to the Kingdom, and we spoke of that last night. The key locked the door and unlocked it, and we heard of that last night, the original foundation. There’s no way to come back, only go back exactly where you started from.
The brother said this morning, speaking of Simon Peter, and what he did, look where he started from. He started from Acts. There’s where the church started from, and that’s where the church has got to go back to. Go back to that same prescription, that same Word of God and follow it through. If we’ve left it, then go back to it. The only way to come out right is head back, get straightened out.
I shoot, precision shooting, and I’ve had many trophies. And the other day, the Lord knowing my heart, knowing I needed a little rest, He let me shoot a remarkable thing. With a common model 70 Winchester .22 rifle on the range, I shot nine bullets in the same hole.
Two of the group of men standing there put the patch behind, said, “I believe you’re missing the target.”
What was it? I’d messed with that gun, and tinkered with it, and everything, till every little vibration had to be right. And if it misses the target, there’s something wrong somewhere.
The Winchester company said, “That gun will only shoot an inch group at twenty-five yards.” And I had nine bullets in the same hole at fifty yards, no matter what they said. It had worked before; it’ll work again.
That’s what I say today. They say, “You can’t have a Pentecost like they had then. People won’t believe that stuff. You can’t do it. We got to have the church. We got to have the organization. We got to have the education injected into it,” and so forth.
If it worked back there to illiterate fishermen who could take God at His Word, if it hit the target then, if it healed the sick, if it raised the dead, it’ll do the same thing today. If the right vibration’s put on the gun, she’ll zero right in. If it don’t, go back and check up your gun. So go back, and pick up the subscription, and find out where we’re wrong at; the only way I know to do it.
But it’ll do it, ’cause it hit before. It’ll hit again. If it worked for the apostles without denomination, without creed, without being Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterian, or what-more... It worked for them on the Word of God. It’ll work for me on the Word of God. It’ll work for you by the Word of God.
But you got to find out where your loose screws is. Sometimes you got (Excuse me.)—got plenty of them. Some of them even gets too tight. You have to loosen it up a little (That’s right.) to make the vibration. Like a musician with his—with his guitar, training his strings, he has to know the ting of it. A Spirit-filled man could tell the ting of it, whether it’s way beyond the Bible, or way behind the Bible. It has to be right in the Bible, exactly with THUS SAITH THE LORD, must be trained in right. Then it’ll zero. Then it’ll hit the spot.
Peter was a fisherman. He’d been shooting off the target for long time. His father told him ’fore he died, “Perhaps, son... I’m an old man. I look for the Messiah. We have since Eden. He wouldn’t come probably in my day, but He—maybe yours. But don’t be deceived, son. There’s a lot of things comes along all the time that says it’s Messiah. But we... When the Messiah cometh, remember, we have to stay with the Word what the Messiah will be.”
Lot of them... You know there was Jesuses raised up before Jesus Christ. There were leaders that raised up and pulled people in the wilderness by cults and denominational bands. But it wasn’t the right thing. They perished with it, like the gainsaying of Korah, who said, “Who’s holy? Moses thinks he’s the only pebble on the beach. There’s other holy men.”
But God had His way, and God had His man, and God had His things. God’s got His Word, and who’s going contrary to It? Stay with It. Now, watch.
Said, “Simon, my son, when the Messiah cometh, Moses, by the Word, said that He’d be a prophet like him.”
When Andrew had been to see Jesus, he come back and tried to tell him.
I imagine Peter shook his head, said, “I’m a fisherman. I’ve invested in my father’s nets. I’m going to catch fish. That’s my occupation. And I’m a Pharisee. So I’ll just let it be like this. I go to church. I am as good as any other man. That’s all. That’s good. I belong to the church that my father belonged to—or tradition, I’ll just keep with that.”
But one day he walked in the Presence of this One. And as soon as he come in His Presence, He said, “Your name is Simon, and you are the son of Jonas.” Not only did He know him, and who he was, but He knowed his godly old father, who had instructed him. And it was according to the Word, a prophet. Peter made an investment. He dropped his nets.
He said, “Come follow Me. I’ll make you fishers of men.”
How different from the rich young ruler who wanted to maintain his wealth. But he dropped everything he had to follow Jesus.
It was Nathanael, or, Philip who went and told Nathanael. Perhaps had a great olive orchard, he was out investigating it. And when Philip told him about what he had found, he was a little critical at first. But he just come to drop in on one of the meetings. And as soon as he seen Him... Being a—a scholar of the Scripture, knowed that what the Messiah was to be, and whether it was right to leave his church that he was on—these orthodox people who were casting down Jesus, casting down the policy and saying it was no good, it could not be trusted...
He was a man making Himself God; He was a Beelzebub; He was a wild man; He had no background; He was illegitimately born; He didn’t go to their schools; He wasn’t educated in their seminaries; He was against their doctrine; He was tearing up their churches; and His doctrine was hindering the people: that’s what He was claimed to do. Called Him Beelzebub, said He deceived the people by His doctrine. Now, that’s what had been injected in him.
But this godly man, Nathanael, as soon as he walked into, the Presence of Jesus, He said, “Behold, an Israelite in whom there’s no guile.”
He said, “Rabbi, when did You know me?
He said, “ ’Fore Philip called you I saw you.”
He made an investment. There stood his priest and all. He wasn’t ashamed. He’d found something real. He’d found God in action. What did he do? He said, run and fell down at His feet, and said, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.” He made an investment. His name’s immortal.
There were those there who laughed at it. I don’t know where they are today. That’s up to God.
Let’s see about a woman. There was a woman, probably a church member somewhere, and she was let run loose. She may have bobbed hair and so forth too. She was probably the trend of the day. But one day she come up to the well where there was a strange Man setting, a Jew, over against the little panoramic with curtains behind it. And when she come up there...
And she had her way of making a living, and she probably had the—several pieces of the Roman denarii in her pocket then, her little sock that she was carrying it in. And she walked up there to get some water. She’d been out all night. Maybe about eleven o’clock she got up there. I don’t know, but let’s just say it was that way.
And when she got up there, she saw a Man, ordinary Man, not a priest, not some denominational sign on Him, but just an ordinary Man. And she looked at Him, and He said, “Bring Me a drink.”
She said, “Now, You being a Jew, You know that’s not right. I’m a Samaritan.
He said, “But if you knew Who you were talking to, you’d ask...” See, she didn’t know by outward appearance. He was just a Man, but He seemed to be very stern in what He said. “If you knew Who you were talking to...” I like that. Like the little woman in her persistency, the little Greek woman that came to Jesus... [Blank spot on tape.]
Said... He said, “Go, get your husband and come here.”
It surprised her. She said, “Well, I don’t have any husband.” See, she lived in a denomination, let them marry and everything else, and remarry, and... See? Said, “I have no husband.”
Said, “You—you said the truth. You’ve had five, and you’re living with one now. So he’s not yours—your first one was rightly your husband. (See?) You—you—you’re living like that.”
She said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” What a difference from the scholarly priest that said He was Beelzebub, a fortuneteller, or a devil.
Said, “I perceive that You are a prophet. Now, we know... I’ve been taught (I am a Greek, or a Samaritan, rather), I’ve been taught that when Messiah cometh He will do these things. This will be His sign.”
He said, “I’m He that speaks to you.”
Right quick she made an investment. She invested. And she run into the city, and she couldn’t hold it still. She’d found the pearl of great price. She’d sold out everything else.
Do you know the tradition in them days? It wasn’t right for a woman to go into the street, a woman of that type and talk to the men. But stop her. Try to stop her. She’d found something. It was real.
Like Nathanael. It wasn’t ethical of his church for him to follow that Galilean so-called prophet, that they’d pronounced to be a Beelzebub. It wasn’t right for him to do it. It wasn’t churchy. It wasn’t ethical. He’d be churched for it. But stop him. He’d found something real.
This woman found something real. It wasn’t right for her to scream this in the streets. She was a woman of ill-fame. She was marked. But she had been forgiven. She’d found something real, and you couldn’t stop her. Like putting a fire out on a windy day. She was burning, joy and peace of forgiveness of sins. She didn’t want Jacob’s well any more. She’d found a fountain bubbling up with Eternal Life in it. She left her bucket there, and said, “I’m through with this thing. I want an investment in that.” What a smart woman she was. Sure. She found something to make an investment in.
Let’s take another character. I was going to speak on the little Greek woman for a moment. See, she had a lot of opposition. See, the first thing, she—it might’ve been... She was a Greek; she wasn’t a Jew. No doubt the people... “ ’Course, now wait a minute. Remember, your denomination ain’t sponsoring that.”
Didn’t make any difference to her. She had heard. She had need. And when you got need, and you hear that there’s something to help you, nothing going to stop you. If God’s calling at your heart, you can’t stop it. Nobody can. No, sir. You’re going anyhow.
I can imagine all the sisters of the church said, “Well, you’ll be a reproach amongst the people.” That didn’t stop her. She went on.
Another group met her, said, “Your husband’s a businessman. He will leave you if you go down to that bunch of that holy-rollers.” That didn’t stop her. She went on anyhow. She was persistent.
It pays to be persistent when you know what... Anybody that can achieve anything will be persistent. Men through all ages has been persistent if they ever amounted to anything. Washington, the father (called) of our nation, at Valley Forge he was persistent, regardless of how much the Delaware was froze. He prayed all night. He knowed he had to cross that river, and he crossed it. Regardless of what took place, he crossed it anyhow. He was persistent.
And after this woman got to Jesus, look there. Here’s what real faith does. When you find a jewel, when you find this policy, I don’t care how many people try to discourage you, whether if they put you out of your church, whether if they do whatever they want to, you still are persistent. You want the policy.
That’s the way Jacob was. It didn’t make any difference what he had to do to get that birthright, he wanted it. And we get in that condition, we get desperate. Then we’re persistent. “Well, I tell you. I, ahhh... Mama was Pentecostal. I’d pray through tonight, but I see, oh, so tired.” Hmmph. You need some of the toxin, what you need—something to make you persistent.
She rushed in. She fell down before Jesus, and she said, “Thou Son of David...”
He was no son of David to her. She was a Greek, Gentile. He didn’t pay any attention to her. And then finally He turned to her, and He said, “I’m not sent to your denomination. I’m only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. That’s all I’m sent to.”
She said, “But Lord...”
Now. Now, she got right: not Son of David, but Lord to her. “Lord...”
He said, “And another thing, you’re nothing but a bunch of dogs, and it’s not meet for Me to take the children’s bread and hand it to dogs.”
Oh, wouldn’t the Pentecostal blowed up at that. “You think I’ll let a Baptist tell me that and get by with it? No, sir. Or a Oneness, or a Trinity, or a what? No, sir.” You’d have stuck your nose up in the air and went away. But not her. She had to make an investment. She had need for an investment. Amen. No matter she...
The real genuine faith will always admit the Word of God is true, no matter what the circumstances is. She said, “It’s the truth, Lord, You wasn’t sent to us. It’s truth, Lord, that I’m nothing but a dog. But let me give You my side of it. I’m not looking for the blessings that they got. I’m looking for crumbs.”
“Now, Lord, if You’ll let me polish up and get down there, and put me deacon in the church; if You let me be state presbyter, I’ll kind of consider it.” You hypocrite. You don’t get it. You want to come for crumbs. You want to come and...
“Lord, if You’ll give it to me without speaking in tongues; or if You’d give it to me without shouting; if You give it to me without this other stuff, just let me receive it... Just—just gradually pour it into me, Lord, in a nice polite way.”
God don’t do it according to your way; He does it according to His own way. See?
Preaching some time ago, and a lady said to me... Or, not a lady. It was a Sunday school teacher in the First Baptist church. Said, “Billy, I couldn’t get into the church to hear you, but I was standing on the outside.” Said, “I was enjoying what you were saying, but that woman raised up.” And said, “She started crying. And down through the aisle she went running.” She said, “All that noise just made chills go over my back.”
I said, “You know what? If you think that’s noise, you’re living in the quietest world you ever lived in. You’ll freeze to death, if you’d ever get to heaven, for if you go to heaven, there is screaming, and shouting, and praising God day and night: the Angels around the throne, crying, ‘Holy, holy, holy are Lord God Almighty.’ If you’re in hell there’s weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. You’re living in a mighty quiet place.” Certainly.
Now, but the little Greek woman was persistent. She said, “Yes, Lord. I admit that what you say is the truth. And I’m not looking to maybe to be like the rest of them, but I...”
And remember, she had never seen a miracle. She’d never seen any of these things. But there was faith in there that believed that that was the thing she needed for her daughter. And when Jesus... The first miracle performed there upon this Gentile woman, He said, “Great is Thy faith.” See, that touched Him to see that she was dead earnest.
The trouble with we people today, we’re not dead earnest about these things. We cope our words... We’re afraid to say something that’s unethical. God promised to fill your mouth; turn yourself loose to Him. “Don’t take no thought what you’re going to say.” But we get so ethical with it. If I say something according to... My denomination won’t believe it.” They’ll be kicked out: premeditated murder, yes, there’s a penalty to that, you know.
There was a man called Nicodemus. He saw something in Jesus that was right. He was an old man, a great man in his organization. You know, he wanted to make an investment, ’cause he wanted Eternal Life. And he came to Jesus by night. Seemingly the banks had been closed. But His bank’s always open, day or night: open right now. He found the bank open, and Jesus gave him the prescription. He wanted Eternal Life. And there he made his investment in Eternal Life. We find all these groups. And it’s getting late. Let’s wind them up.
We find over in Luke 24:49, that Jesus said to these people who had sacrificed everything they had, and was signing up for this policy of Eternal Life (Luke 24:49), He tells them that He’s going to give them the dividends on it. He said, “Now, in order to draw your dividends, get all your differences away from you: quit fussing whether you’re Greek Orthodox, or whether you’re Baptist, Presbyterian (as the brother said this morning), black or white, yellow, brown. Go up there in the city of Jerusalem, and wait until I send it.”
And he had a hundred and twenty up there to sign up. And they signed up, and went up there to draw their interest on their investment. All of a sudden there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind. Their interest was paid off. It always pays off.
The day of the Pentecost, there was about three thousand souls who wanted to get one of the policies, and Peter told them how it was wrote out. He said, “Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. And then God will give you the interest on it right then. You’ll draw dividends.” Amen.
Are you interested in a policy? Well, it’s for whosoever will (That’s right.), whosoever will.
A little later on there was a rich young man by the name of Paul. And he was going around making havoc of these people, and he was on his road to Damascus. He knowed that there was a God, but he thought that was a bunch of holy-rollers. Why? He’d never investigated the policy holders. He’d run in, and persecuted them, made laugh—laughter at them. Many of us has done the same thing when we seen it: run in, and make fun of it, and say, “A bunch of holy-rollers.”
But one day on his road to Damascus he was stricken down. And he looked up, and he saw that Pillar of Fire that led his father, Moses, and his fathers through the wilderness.
And He said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”
He said, “Who are You, Lord?”
He said, “I’m Jesus.”
He found out and was sure that God had been made flesh and dwelt among us. He knowed by the Bible because he understood the Word, that that truly was the Messiah. And he had seen the vindication of it. And as soon as he seen the vindication of it, he was ready then to cash in, and he was going to get him a policy. He went on down into Damascus, and Ananias come, and laid hands on him, and baptized him, and he received the Holy Ghost. What a great thing it is. Yes.
When he saw that Pillar of Fire, and knew it was the Lord that had been made flesh... They knowed that that truly was Messiah, because He said, “I come from God, and went to God.” He came from the Pillar of Fire. He said in His teaching, “Before Moses—before Abraham was, I AM.” And the I AM was the One was in the burning bush. And here He was made flesh and dwelt among us, which is correctly Messiah. And there He returned back.
And it kind of stumped Paul. And we understand that he went to another nation and studied the thing through for three years before he come back. And he saw He was the Word made flesh. When he did that he was ready, oh, to invest his whole life and everything he had, all of his popularity, all of his education.
He said, “I forgot everything I ever knowed in order to know Christ.” He was ready to forsaken his great teaching from Gamaliel. He was ready to cash in his organization papers. He was ready, ’cause they’d kick him out anyhow. But he had found out something. Amen.
He’d found a firm that was reliable, because that Christ had died and rose again; and here He was again in that same Pillar of Fire. Hallelujah. (Don’t get scared. That means, “Praise our God.”) He wanted to make an investment. He was a great businessman; he had good sense. So he made the investment, and he become a bondslave of love to Christ. Oh, what an investment he made. That’s what we all need to make. That’s exactly right.
What a rashal decision (now in closing) for that young ruler. What a rashal thing he did. What a—an unethical thing for a businessman to do. When a man of business and had been prosperous, and was given the opportunity to receive an a vindicated policy, a man that he had seen in Him, hisself, the power of Almighty God working, and knowed that no man could do those things except God was with Him... And he was given the opportunity to receive Him, and rationality he turned it down.
He’d rather have the popularity of the riches of the world. He’d rather have the glamour that he lived in. May I say this with love and reverence? That’s what’s the matter with our churches.
A Jewish rabbi... When John Rhyn was healed (You’ve heard the story of his healing: a beggar on the street), I was taken over to a synagogue where a rabbi come to talk to me. And he said, “Mr. Branham...” John was with me. And he said, “By what authority did you give this man his sight?”
I said, “I never gave him his sight.”
He said, “Well, I’ve given him alms on the streets many times.” He said...
I said, “He can see.”
I said, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, give him his sight.”
He said, “Far be it from God, having a Son, a spirit having a Son.” He said, “Far be it from a thing like that.”
I said, “Rabbi, is it hard for you to believe the Scriptures?”
“Certainly not. I am a teacher of them.”
“You believe the prophets?”
He said, “I do.”
“In Isaiah 9:6, Who was the prophet speaking of?”
He said, “Messiah.”
I said, “What will Messiah... What connection will Messiah be to God?”
He said, “Messiah will be God.”
I said, “Now, you’re on the line.”
He said, “You Gentiles can’t cut God in three pieces, and give Him to us.”
I said, “That’s Catholic. That’s not me. There’s one God in three offices: Fatherhood, Sonship, and Holy Spirit” Not three gods; that makes a heathen. And you couldn’t poke that down a Jew: me, neither.
Remember, it’s the Word that makes it right. That was settled at the Nicaea council. They took the other side. The old prophets went back to their places with the truth. You’ll never kill it. It’s going on. That’s right.
See men scratch their heads and wonder. Just come to God. If a man lacks wisdom, let him ask God. God reveals all things and makes the Scriptures fit together. Notice.
Now, when this rabbi, he said, “Far be it from God having a Son.”
And I said, “All right.”
And he said, “It will be...”
I said, “Show me one place that He failed to prove He wasn’t God.”
He said, “God wouldn’t be a thief.”
I said, “He—He wasn’t a thief.”
He said, “He went on the Sabbath day in the cornfields and plucked the corn.”
I said, “Your own Levitical law tells you that a man can go through the field and eat what he wants to, but he can’t take any out in a sack.” His own law... He knowed it, and he turned and looked at me. I said, “John can see, can’t he?”
He said, “Yes.” Said, “Mr. Branham, I’ll admit He was a good man.”
I said, “Will you, Rabbi?”
He said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “More than that, I’ll admit He was a prophet. And if the temple priests would’ve listened to Him, we’d have been better off today.”
Said, “Rabbi, do you believe He was the Son of God?”
He said, “No, no, no, no.”
I said, “Wait a minute. You said He was a good Man, you can trust Him. If He’s a prophet He won’t lie. And He said He was the Son of God. Now, what about it?”
“Yes.” He said, “If I preach that...” We was standing at Benton Harbor. He said, “See down there? I’d be in the street, begging my bread.”
I said, “That’s a Jew for you.” That’s right. I said, “I’d rather lay on my belly, and drink branch water, and eat soda crackers, and preach the truth of God, than to have my name like yours on this building in gold letters, and have fried chicken three times a day. Yes, sir. The truth.”
The tears rolled down his cheeks, said, “I’ll see you later,”
I said, “Not... Let’s see Him now.” But he went back.
Then, when he went in the door, he turned around and looked at me, and said, “God is able of these stones to rise children to Abraham.” He believed it. What? He was afraid like this rich young ruler to make an investment. That’s right.
Not only rabbis, but ministers, laity, afraid to make that investment. What a rashal thing this man did, make a decision like that. The churches today, this popularity, you can’t stay popular and be with Christ. If you love God, you’re hated by the world. That’s exactly right. Popular, yes, sir... Man’s praises rather than the praises of God... They need a little toxin. Oh.
But this rich young man... now here’s something for you businessmen, and I have to close. Notice now, so you’ll—you’ll let this sink deep in your hearts. By rejecting Jesus it never stopped his increase of goods. He continued on. Let’s follow him awhile down through the Bible. His flow of goods got greater. And because your business picks up a little bit, don’t you never think that all the time that’s God’s blessings. The wicked prosper, you know.
This man, he got greater. And he got to a place till he was so great till all of his barns bursted almost. He had to build new ones.
Now, he thought he had done the right thing by turning down Jesus and not making an investment in Him. He thought he was—he’d done the right thing, because in the worldly possessions... (I’m going to say something now.) In worldly possessions he thought he’d done the right thing because he had prospered. And that’s what our denominations think. Because they organize themselves, and their groups become millionaires and billionaires, they feel that they are it.
Didn’t the Bible say, “Thou art rich and increased in goods (to this age), but don’t know that you’re naked, miserable, poor, wretched, blind, and don’t even know it.” What a miserable condition. Men and brethren, don’t make an investment in something like that. It’s bound to perish. Why not make an investment in something that’s proved down through the Bible? And you know, with the—the texts that I got written here, we could be here tonight, still on these texts proving through the Bible those who made that and who turned it down.
I am showing you a real investment to make. Put your life, your time, your money, your talent, put everything you’ve got in Christ. God guaranteed this to us, by raising Him up again: we’ll rise in the last days. He promised it. What more could you look forward to? Tell me any investment you could make would pay off like that.
Tell me what you could invest in this morning and make ten million dollars, and tomorrow be a corpse? What good would it do you? What profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his soul? What if you’re popular, and called So-and-so, and Deacon, Presbyter Dr., Bishop, Elder, Pope, or whatever you might be called? That’s praises of men.
I’d rather be called a holy-roller by the people, and had be a son of God in my heart, with the new birth and the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me, and Him proving it by the vindication of His Word and making me live. “The life that I once lived I don’t live no more,” Paul said. And yet he was a teacher and a scholar. But he changed his life, when he met Christ, and made his investment in Christ. He was a different man from then on.
Oh, increased in goods. Certainly this man did. You know what? Jesus told him, if you notice here, He said, “Go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor. And come follow Me. Take up your cross and follow Me, and you’ll have riches in heaven.” See? What an investment to make, but he chose not to do it.
Now, so has the Laodicea church age chose the same thing: not to do it. And remember, when he got so awful rich (as the church has today), the poor laid at his gate, and only got the crumbs that he swept off to the dogs: Lazarus, the poor in spirit.
Jesus said in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs in the Kingdom of heaven.” We don’t want to take that place, that rutted place, that way away place of being poor in the spirit. We don’t want that. We want somebody to praise us and be big somebody.
As some brother said a while ago, sure sealed it good, when he said, “How can you have faith, when you have respect one to another, or desire the—the praises one of another?” Don’t care what anybody says. You want the praises of God, the respect of God on you. He will only respect you as you keep His Word. All right.
Now. And we find out that poor man in spirit laid at his gate and scrambled for the crumbs. Oh, maybe, if it was the Salvation Army, he’d give him a dime when he passed by, or something, to keep it looking so bad. But I imagine he invested in his own church greatly, and his organization that kept him great big somebody.
But the payoff finally come. It finally got there: great funeral service he had. I imagine some old bachelor come along with a wide robe on and said, “Our precious brother now is in heaven. Oh, he did so-and-so. He is a member of our congregation. He is now in heaven. Oh, how we are grateful for our precious brother.” How different it was to the Word of God.
Jesus said his payoff, he was in hell. He made the wrong investment. And in hell he looked up and saw the poor in spirit, who had made his investment enjoying it in the bosoms of Abraham. And then he become a beggar.
Listen. He was a professed believer. “Father Abraham, send that beggar down here.” It turned back again. His investment was in the wrong thing, the possession of the world and the praise of men.
But this beggar laid there hungry, and he become in the bosoms of Abraham.
“Send Lazarus. He’s there where he can get a drink of water any time he wants to. He can there enjoying the blessings of God. Send him down with a few drop of water upon his fingers, that he might touch my parching lips here, because these flames are tormenting me.” That’s the payoff. What for? Rejecting to make the right investment.
Don’t do it, men. Don’t do it, businessman. I—I’ve got more confidence in you than that. If you’re a businessman, sell every pearl you got and buy the One of great price. Make your investment in Christ, in His Life in you.
Now, we realize that everything that has a beginning has an end. And there’s only one thing that never had a beginning, and that was God. And when the Bible speaks there (I don’t think I’m misquoting it, before a Greek scholar, and a Greek man.), the word “Zoe” means “God’s own Life.” Then if we have Eternal Life, the Greek word “Zoe” means that we have part of God’s own Life, because we become a part of Him. We are a son and daughter of His. Then we have Eternal Life, and that doesn’t die. You have Eternal Life.
There’s only one form of Eternal Life, and that’s God. God is eternal. He never did begin, He never can end. And the only way we can be eternal with Him is to come part of Him. The only way I become a Branham was because I become part of a Branham. Only way I become the human race is be one of them. And the only way that I can be a son of God is become part of God. Then I have to be borned of His Spirit. Amen. That’s it. Sell all your denominational creeds and invest in Eternal Life.
Businessmen, businesswomen, you see through the Scripture, many others have been running through your mind, as you know, I have a way of knowing it, of other things. Sell all your creeds, and all your denominations, and come find Life. You’re invited this morning to come. Don’t turn away like he did. He was a very foolish businessman. So don’t be like him.
Be like Paul. Sell all your popularity out. He said, “I never come to you with the great swelling words of my education, for—’cause if I did...” Then you’d trust in his ability, in his education. “But I come to you in the power and manifestations of the Holy Ghost, that your faith might rest in Christ.”
May I repeat his words, or not repeat it, but say it this way: I didn’t come representing an organization. I didn’t come as a scholar. My words are chopped up. Many of you good people who got education might not even understand, it’s so chopped up. But I come to you in the power of the Spirit, in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost which God vindicating His Word, that your faith will not rest in what man does, but what God has promised. Let us bow our heads.
Solemnly, Lord, we stand on the threshold where a decision must be made, this great time of—of jubilee that we are celebrating, over at the Life Tabernacle, of Your invitation fifty years ago to Your people. And we have thoroughly been through it to the best of our—my way of—of knowing it, and depending upon the God Who knows the heart of man, that He will reveal it in the proper way that it’s meant in; that men might see to return back, and the only way to do it is come to the truth of the Word. I pray Thee, heavenly Father, that none of us will be so foolish as to turn down an investment like that.
May we invest our time, our talent, and all that we got, to the praises of God, knowing this, that no matter if the—we gained the whole world, we lose our souls, what good did it do us? What good does the praise of a man do when atomic fire is burning the earth? What good will it be today, maybe when our tombstones will be floated up in some sands; when the howling winds... when this world is swept into the sun yonder, throwed out of its place, like it was before the antediluvian destruction; and throwed... instead of being thrown from the sun, throwed into the sun? No more water, but fire this time... The sands howl across the earth before the great Millennium, and our tombstones come up, “Dr. So-and-so, Brother So-and-so, or Bishop So-and-so.” What good will that do us when our souls are yonder somewhere in eternity?
And it’s got to be. The living know they have to die. And as men and women, boys and girls, this morning, Lord, we’re all realize that we’re—we’re not here to be seen or heard of men. We are here in the—the agony of Calvary. We are here with the Holy Spirit in our hearts weeping, as It did to our Lord over His rejecting in Jerusalem. And our spirits this morning weep out for a lost world.
Give us wisdom to know how to approach them, Lord. We don’t want them lost. The very Spirit within us would condemn us desiring their being lost. But may the Holy Spirit constantly cry, sweep out, until we put forth every effort with our talent, with our time, with our money, with everything that we’ve got; no matter how little it is, we offer it to You. Help us, Lord, to take this great message to a dying world.
I have very little, Lord, that I can offer: no ability, no personality, no nothing. But I just got my soul, Lord, my voice. And it’s all Yours. And I’m sure that speaks for this whole audience. Use it, Lord. If I had money, it was Yours. What time I have belongs to You; everything, my all in all... Help me, Lord, and help us all. We want to make an investment this morning in the Kingdom of God.
Forgive our slothfulness. How awful we have been to find this great treasure... And how the Holy Spirit in us should have the same interest that It did when It was in Christ, always to do the Father’s will and His bidding. And He come to save the lost. Give us the desire, Lord. May there not leave in our bosom that burning, as Thy great servant John Wesley said. May it never leave. May it swell greater and greater, until it throws us to our knees to beg and persuade. May it throw us to our knees to go to the highways, and the byways, and in the corners, and in the businesses, and everywhere; into the churches, and wherever we can get, and introduce this Eternal Life to men and women today. And when it’s all over, may we gather in Thy home.
As we set here this morning looking across this table, I seen Brother Herholzer that godly old saint, hear of him riding on that plow; and think of myself as a little barefooted boy with a pair of rope lines over my shoulders, behind an old plow. This great saint of Yours from California was at the Azusa Street, seeing those men and their shoulders stooped from hard labor in the field. I set at this breakfast with them. I’d rather be here than be with the President, setting in this godly bunch.
Our eyes, as we younger people look out and see our daddies and mothers, how they fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas. Help us, Lord, to take up where they’re leaving off. Grant it, Lord.
And someday when life is all over, and we set maybe no more at a breakfast like this, but we will set at a supper that’ll be served in the sky someday. And then the King in all of His glory with His great robes on walks forward, and we reach across the table to shake each other’s hands. “So glad to see you, brother.” Tears of joy run down our cheeks.
But the King will say, “The battle’s over. You did your very best.” Then with His hands, He will wipe all tears from our eyes, and say, “Enter into the joys of the Lord, that’s been prepared for you since the foundation of the world,” when our names was put on the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Lord, help us to be grateful to You. In the Name of Jesus Christ, may we serve You. Amen.
While we have our heads bowed just a minute, how many this morning in the Presence of His august Being, this solemn moment of the examination of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, if you have never as yet really received Eternal Life, let the Lord and I see your hand go up, while the rest of them keeps their head bowed. Would you do it?
Raise up your hand, say... God bless you. God bless you, you, around over the building. Raise your hand, say... God bless you. God bless you. “I want Eternal Life.” God bless you, young and old. That’s right. “I want to invest all that I got. I want to invest my soul. I want to invest my time. I want to invest everything I have to inherit Eternal Life. I feel Christ is calling me to do that, and I’m going to make it today.”
God bless you. And God bless you. God bless you, yes. Silently. God bless you, my brother. Bless you, my sister. That’s right.
“I want to make an investment this morning, God. I’m not holding my hand so that the minister can see me, I’m holding my hand so You can see me. You know my heart. I want to make it. I want to sell everything that I got. I want to sell out to all my popularity, to all my worldly possession of ideas of things.”
Now, I’m not meaning give your property away. I’m not meaning that. I’m meaning, the things that you’re holding on to that’s keeping you away from this investment. Business Men, I don’t mean give up your business. God put you in that; stay with it. But put your remunerations to His work in some way. “I’ll make my investment, Brother Branham.”
Would there be another one? There’s been a dozen or more. Would there be another one? God bless you, sir. Another one before we pray? God bless you, young lady. That’s a great decision. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you, my brother, over there.
Would there be ministers here? God bless you. God bless you. That’s good. “I’m ready, Brother Branham. I don’t care. I’m going to stay with God’s Word, regardless. I won’t... I know it’s unpopular, but I’ll stay with it, so help me God. I’ll make my investment this morning. I’ll be God’s businessman. I’ll put what talent I have to His glory, and to His Kingdom, and quit selling it to the riches of the world.” God bless you, my Christian brother. God bless you, my minister brother. God bless you, my minister brother. That’s good. “I will do it.” God bless you, my minister brother. “I will do it.”
God bless you, my sister. God bless you, my sister. “I’ll sell everything. I’ll stay with the Word.” God bless you. God bless you, my sister back there. God bless you, my brother. God bless you, my sister. That’s the way. He sees it. God bless you, my brothers, both of you there together. God bless you over here, and you out there. God bless you, my brother, you, sister. That’s right. You, my brother.
Remember, while you’re in prayer, you defy every law of science when you raise your hands. You say, “Brother Branham, that don’t do any good.” It does, if you mean it. Depends on what you mean. Jesus said, “He that heareth My words and believeth on Him that sent Me has Everlasting Life,” not make believe, but really believe it, and mean it.
Science says... According to science, the gravitation of the earth holds your hands downward. But you’ve got a spirit in you that made a decision, because there was another Spirit by you, the Spirit of God, said, “Raise up your hands,” and you defied the law of science, and up went your hands to your Maker. If you meant it, He put your name on that investment this morning.
Now, heavenly Father, they are Yours. They’re trophies of the message, the trophies of the Word, the trophies of Jesus Christ.
You said, “No man can pluck them out of My Father’s hand. He gave them to Me.” No man is great enough to do that. Keep them, Father. Send them forth as firebrands snatched from the fire, and make them burning lights for Your Kingdom. I commit them to You in Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA