BROKEN CISTERNS

Sa 23.01.1965, vormittags, Ramada Inn
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Zerbrochene Zisternen

Verantwortlich für diese Übersetzung: SamSut

Transcript/text notes
Source transcript: VOGR

.

Lord, I believe; Lord, I believe,

All things are possible;

Lord, I believe.

Let us remain standing just a moment and bow our heads. Lord Jesus, we are trying in our humble way, to express to You, by singing this, that we believe. And we pray, Lord, that now, that You will continue breaking the Bread of Life to us, giving to us that which we have need of, out of Thy Word. For we ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

You be seated.

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I’m quite sure, if we should, if I’d say the all-sufficient word now of “amen,” that the august blessings of God would still rest upon this audience.

I have sat this morning and listened close to the service, enjoyed the testimonies, the different ways each one has of expressing themselves. And to hear the newcomers, the Baptist brother here that come to apologize for thinking that a little wrong. So I... I certainly appreciate the human, somebody that can be human enough, or... or gentleman enough to, if he thinks he’s made a mistake. He didn’t exactly apologize to me, it wasn’t me he was apologizing to, it was God. So I... I appreciate that, see. God bless our brother, and his evangelist brother.

My, that Baptist, you know, I used to belong to the Baptist church myself. I was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. When I come among the people, I know how you feel. I felt the same way, just full of something that I... I didn’t know.

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I remember my first experience of seeing a pentecostal, it was in Dowagiac, Michigan... I beg your pardon, I had been at Dowagiac on a fishing trip, and was coming down from Dowagiac, to down into Indiana. And so I seen the names, of “Jesus” all over the cars and things, and I listened to their services that day. And the next day they asked me to come to the platform, to say a few words, and I did. And I... They asked me what church I belonged to, and I told them I was a Baptist.

And that night they had an old colored man was going to preach, and he must have been in his late eighties, and he come out to the platform. The old fellow, they almost had to lead him out. He was, one of those long ministerial coats on, the velvet collar, and just a little rim of white fur hair around the side. And I thought, “All these man here and theologians, great man, how they’d let this service be given to a fellow like that? Well, the old man should be in a chair somewhere, sitting down.”

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They had been preaching that day about what Jesus had did here on earth. And, but he take, took his text, I believe it was from Job 7, 20, say, I wouldn’t be sure that’s the Scripture. However, this is the quotation, or some part of it, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world, when the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy?” And he spoke on what went on in Heaven, while they had been speaking on what went on in earth.

And somewhere, in about five minutes after he was speaking, he, the Spirit of the Lord hit him, and he jumped way up in the floor and clicked his heels together. My, there was so much room, there was almost half on this platform; and he went walking off, said, “You just haven’t got enough room up here for me to preach.”

Well, I was about twenty years old then. I thought, “If... if that will do that for that old man, what would it do for me?” See?

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Behalf of keeping everything just as orderly for our new brothers, that we certainly welcome them into our fellowship. I see, I believe they had made mention of a priest sitting here, I think; course, being Irish, my people are Catholic. And so there was a couple more, Baptist and different ones. You might have been a little confused, a while ago. I noticed none of the brethren spoke about it, but I thought I would try to straighten out. When Brother Shakarian... After the fine speaker here was got so filled with joy, of knowing the Coming of the Lord so close at hand, he... he spoke in an unknown tongue, to us. And we have interpreters that gives the interpretation. Which, the Scripture says, “If there be no interpreter, then let them hold their peace.” But if... if they speak in tongues and then interpret it, it becomes prophecy. So the little confusion of... of two of them at one time. Now, that wasn’t a bit confusing, see; because, one of them was giving the interpretation, the other one was prophesying. See? So that’s...

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I thought I would let our brethren understand, if they did not understand, because one of them was correctly giving... Did you notice the time limits of each one? And the other one was just so filled, himself, that the Spirit of God was prophesying through one; interpreting, the other was giving the interpretation. So that it might be clear, that you... we’re not... Sometimes, to the natural mind... Just like our precious brother that give the apology this morning. It is a bit confusing to the person who doesn’t understand. But to those who are in, the veterans of the battle that we’re in, why, we understand that, what these things are. So I just thought I’d say something about it, if it was all right.

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Now, I... I know this is no place to say this. But being that everybody has been telling little things, I... You know, that fellow said, the old colored man said, “You don’t have enough room for me to preach.” You ain’t got enough time for me to preach. [Congregation applauds.] Rather longwinded.

A man said one day, said, “A minister came up, he had been a pastor at the church for twenty years. And he always preached just exactly thirty minutes each Sunday morning at his church.” And he said, “This Sunday morning, he preached three hours.”

And so the deacon board called him in, and said, “Pastor, we really appreciate you.” Said, “We always know that... that you stand for the Bible and Its rights.” And said then, “And you always correct us so we can be feel pure and clean before God. And we really appreciate you, and we believe you’re God’s servant. And we certainly did appreciate that message this morning. But,” said, “there is just one thing that we want to ask you about.” Said, “We timed you, as a deacon board.” Said, “Every Sunday morning you’re just exactly thirty minutes, and today you were three hours.” Said, “Now, remember, we appreciate every bit of it. It was all right.” Making the old fellow feel good, you know.

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He said, “Well, brethren, I’ll tell you how it is.” Said, “Every morning when I go to... I’m called to the pulpit,” said, “I put one of those little Life Savers in my mouth,” he said, “and I just suck on it.” And said, “When the Life Saver is done,” said, “it takes just thirty minutes,” and said, “then I quit preaching.” He said, “You know, this morning, I thought I was a little overtime. I spit it out, I had a button in my mouth.” [Congregation laughs.]

I ain’t going to put anything in, so we hope we don’t get some buttons in our pocket. But we are... I hope that didn’t sound sacrilegious here. But I just... You know, even God has a sense of humor, you know.

So we are very thankful to be here and have this time of fellowship, and... and with this grand privilege to break the Bread of Life once again, in my own simple little way. I know, as theologians, as that man spoke here last night from England; my, hate to get up behind a person like that, with my seventh-grade education. But I hope that God will interpret to you the meaning in my heart. See? If my words are not right, my intentions, I... I trust, are.

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Now let us read in the Scripture. Many of you like to follow. And I am going to read this morning, for just a few moments, from the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet, the 2nd chapter, and I am going to begin now with the 1st verse:

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, and the love of thine espoused, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, and in the land that was not sown.

Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall... and offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.

Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:

Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and walked after vanity, and are become vain?

Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, and led us through the wilderness, through the land of desert and of pits, through the land of drought, and of the shadows of death, through the land that no man passed through, and... no man dwelleth?

And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when you entered, ye defiled, my land, and made my heritage an abomination.

And the priests said not, Where is the Lord? And the hand of the law knew me not: and the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Therefore I will... plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.

For... over this land of Chittim, and see; and in the Kedar, and consider diligently that, and see if there be such a thing.

Has a nation changed their gods, which are... no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.

Be astonished, O you heavens, at this, and be horrible afraid... very desolate, saith the Lord.

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

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May the Lord add His blessings to the reading of His Words. And I would like to... to take a text of that, as, "Broken Cisterns".

When, in reading this Scripture this morning; which, all Scripture is given by inspiration. And we come to the House of the Lord for correction and for understanding. And sometimes that we see the... any little thing in the way.

Like this military man, a while ago, was speaking to us and saying that some certain things, that perhaps maybe in some other country has a certain missile, or... or something on that idea, and we’ve got to find something to counteract that in... in a military strategy.

Well, the same thing goes into a church, to a parish where a man is preaching, or if he is an evangelist in the field. When he sees uprisings, and something that’s just starting, going, its infancy or whatever it is; it’s that man, if he is a servant of God, to block that thing so far from the people’s minds that they’ll keep away from it. And we don’t want that to happen, for us to get into places like that.

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Now, during the time of Jeremiah here, his prophecy, it had been about sixty years since the death of... of Isaiah... Isaiah. And they had been about sixty years without a major prophet. There was Habakkuk and some of the small minor prophets, but Isaiah was the last major prophet. And the people had, during this time, had had no one to call them out. They had drifted. Yet, they were God’s people, had drifted into this state now that... that we find them in, as Jeremiah came to prophesy to them. And Jeremiah also was... He prophesied before the exile, and also he went into exile with them.

And then, of course, Daniel come on after Jeremiah. And Daniel said that he had understandings, by the Scripture, of the seventy years that they was to be there.

Course, there was another prophet among them, that wanted to make this yoke, as he put it upon his neck, that it would be a small thing, that within two years, well, God was going to bring them all back, but Jeremiah knowed different from that. And we know what happened to the prophet who prophesied wrongly, he died that same year. So God wouldn’t let him stand.

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And now we also notice the conditions of the people in that day. Now I do not wish you to misunderstand me, I... I’m not, aim... in what I aim to say here, some Scriptures and little notes.

Used to be I didn’t have to... to write my Scriptures and things down. But after I passed twenty-five the second time, well, I... I don’t remember like I used to, so I write down a Scripture and kind of know, from that, where I’m going. And then so much time praying for the sick, and so forth, and out and gone, I don’t have time to really study like I should do.

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Now, but this great prophet of this day, was Jeremiah, and he was something on an order of Amos and many of the other prophets that rose up. He was stirred when he seen the conditions of the nation. Now there were places...

Sometime when you’re speaking about a nation, it might think that it’s reflecting to a... a certain group. It’s not that. It’s the overall picture of the nation. And we find, today, a... a very comparative condition today as it was in the days of Jeremiah, that the nation itself, altogether, has gone into, more or less, idolatry; kind of, I’d say, got away from God. And by doing that, it’s been the weakness of the pulpit. Because, if the pulpit would have stayed straight, and with the Word of God, God would be in every church like He is moving among us here. But they have led away from that. And that’s the thing that I... I want to talk about this morning. And now we find that that’s absolutely true in every age.

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I believe it was Amos, as I referred to him a while ago, that he said he was “not a prophet, neither the son of a prophet.” But said, that, “When the lion roars, who can but fear?”

And if anyone ever heard a real lion roar in the wilderness, these you hear in the cages around here are just meowing. But when one roars in the wilderness, everything takes heed. I’ve laid in the jungle, to hunt them. And he is the king of the beasts, and, when that lion roars, even the beetles stop hollering, everything does. The... the jackals and the... and the hyenas screaming, and the other animals, and the squawking of the baboons and monkeys, the beetles, you can hardly hear yourself think; but in the distance let a lion roar, and every beetle will stop hollering. See, everything is afraid of him. Yet, there is many things can kill him, but he’s recognized as the king amongst the beasts.

He said, “When the lion roars, who can but fear?” He said, “Then God has spoken, who can but prophesy?”

And that’s, I think, the condition meets that challenge again today. God has spoken. See? And we see the handwriting on the wall, so it’s very easy to prophesy and see that we’re at the end time.

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And we’re seeing God, from every section of denominations, all the way from Catholicism, through all the protestant churches, Buddhas and what-more, from India, and whatever more. He’s calling His people together, assembling them together. And I’m... I’m very happy for that, to see this day coming. Now we... It’s... it’s a great day, one of the greatest privileges.

That, if I had to, if I would have knowed before there was a world, when we were souls a part of God, that we are, for we were with Him before the foundations of the world. Because, there’s only one form of Eternal Life, and that’s God. And we’re a part of Him. We was not so much that we would know and... and could think, and had a being; but we were in His thoughts of what we were, before the foundation of the world. Because, we are a part of Him, like my son is part of me, and I am part of my father, and so forth. We are sons and daughters of God, by His foreknowledge.

And back there, if I could have known as I know now, and could have looked over the whole span of time, and He would have said to me, “What time do you want to live?” I’d have said this time right now, just the eve of the... the ending up of world history, and the oncoming of the Kingdom of God to be established in the earth. I think it’s the most glorious time of all ages, is right now.

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We find out here that Israel is accused by the prophet, when God had ordained him and sent him out, they were accused of two major sins. And we want to talk on those two things that they had done. And, from that, we want to prosper by it. Now, they had turned from God, the Fountain of living water, and had hewed themselves out cisterns. They had turned from the thing that God had given them, and had hewed themselves something that they had did themselves. And these cisterns, you notice, he had, they had broken and they were leaking.

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Now, a broken cistern cannot hold water. It’ll leak out. I was raised on a farm, and I know what an old cistern is, and the difficult we have with it.

And this leaking cistern is a... a very fine picture, I think, of this day, that when (our) everything that we have tried to do, to get man together, get people together, get churches together, it has become always in the realm of intellectual tryings. We have tried to make all the Methodists become Baptist, and vice versa, and the different denominations. And that was not God’s program, to begin with.

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God only has one meeting place. He said over there in the Book of Exodus, that, “I have chosen the place to put My Name, and that’s the only place that I’ll meet people.” And He had chose a place to put His Name. And where He put His Name, that’s where He met Israel. He has got a place that He meets His church today, and He chose that Name, and that Name is Jesus Christ. And there is where He meets the true believer, when he is in Jesus Christ. That’s where God chose to put His Name.

You say, “God’s Name?”

He said, “I came in My Father’s Name.” So that’s where God put His Name, was in Christ. And in Christ is where we can all meet under the shed Blood, and there have real, true fellowship.

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God made His program at the beginning, in the garden of Eden, where the place He would meet man, and that wasn’t upon intellectual understandings; if it had, Eve was exactly in line with His program. But we know that her accepting Satan’s intellectual conception, “Surely, God will not,” but God said He would! And so then He chose the place of redemption, and it was by Blood, and not by intellectual conception.

So we’re only beating the air, but it’s just human nature that... that people will try to... to do that. If we had time, we could break it down in many pieces, but I don’t want that button. So we’ll just try to make it as simple as possible, “leaking cisterns.” And we find that it’s... it’s absolutely happened again, it’s a very picture of our age that we’re living in, of all of our trying.

And no disregards to every effort that any servant of God, that even names the Name of Jesus Christ. He ought to be honored for just even naming His Name in reverence and respect. And the great evangelistical systems that’s crossed the earth, and so forth, in these last days, I think, still we’ll never be able to get people in one heart until we get them underneath the Blood of Jesus Christ. That’s the only place that we’ll ever be safely.

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Someone called me not long ago, from up in the East, and said, “Brother Branham, I hear you’ve moved out to... to Arizona, and you formed a... a place there where that there is safety.” And as you know how the Message come, and the Lord told me what would happen in Alaska, and how down through California it would be, and it’s just been that way. They said, “Now if that’s shaking, and everything, where is the safety zone?”

I said, “There is one safety zone that I know of. That’s in Christ. For those that are in Christ, will...“ It’s the only one I know.

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Now Jeremiah was called, also, “the weeping prophet.” And because, I believe, that made this prophet weep... weep, rather, was because him being a prophet (and the Word of the Lord comes to such) and seeing the people walk after their traditions, and thought they were all right, and no way at all to turn them.

For, they was going straight to exile, because we know you reap what you sow, regardless of who you are, what you are. And we as a nation have reaped, or, sowed, rather, and we’ve got to reap. I’m speaking tomorrow, the Lord willing, at afternoon, on Birth Pains; and I... and I touch that in there, that we cannot get by with nothing. We’ve got to reap what we sow.

And if God would let us get by with our perversion of Christianity today, and perverting the people into these things that’s so-called Christianity, as Brother Moore once said, “He would be morally obligated to raise up Sodom and Gomorrah, and apologize for burning them up.” That’s right, because God is still just. And where unjustice has got; it’s... it’s becoming to His holiness and His Word that He makes people reap for what they sow, and we’ll have to do that.

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Now notice they had left Him, the Fountain of living waters, and had hewed themselves cisterns.

Now there may be somebody here who wouldn’t understand what a cistern is. A cistern is a man-made tank that tries to take the place of a well. It’s something that somebody dug. And how many knows what a cistern is? Fine. All right, a lot of country people here this morning. So they... I remember the old cistern at the place, how it looked, and I was always afraid to drink from the thing. It was a... a man-made tank. And it never can be relied on. You cannot rely on a cistern.

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Now anything that man does is usually not very good. But just like the... the Lord set time into... into... into its cycle, and the earth turning; every year, every time it crosses, every day, every hour, and the sun setting, and it never fails. But the very best watches we can get, will fail many minutes in a month’s time, no doubt. But, you see, everything God does is perfect, and what man does is imperfect. So why accept what man does, when you can have perfect?

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I’ve always said that about us Pentecostal people. See, we know, and we’re not... we’re not out of the order of course, of God, we don’t believe; but we also know that among us we have people who try to impersonate the other fellow. That’s just human. They’ll try to do that. They did it in the Bible, “One, ‘I’m of Paul,’ ‘I’m of Silas,’” and so forth. But they... they try to impersonate what someone else did or is doing.

But why would you accept a false impersonation, when the skies are full of the genuine thing, when “the promise is unto you and to your children”? Why would we accept something that was different? Why would we take up a creed or a dogma, when the Bible is the unadulterated Word of God? Why would we try to add to or take from, when the Lord Jesus said in Revelation 22:18, “Whosoever shall take one Word out of It, or add one word to It, his part will be taken from the Book of Life”?

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When God first set the human race in... on earth, He told them they live by His Word. Now the Word of God is like a chain, you’re passing across hell with It; and its chain is only its best at its weakest link, and God wants us to keep every Word of It. Now that was the first of the Bible; just to break one Word, plunged the human race into a darkness of death.

Jesus came in the middle of the Bible, and He said that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word.” Not just part of the Words, or ninety-nine out of a hundred; but every Word, just like Eve and Adam was.

And in the last of the Bible, Revelation 22:18, He said that, “Whosoever shall take a Word out of This, or add one word to It!”

So why do we need to inject in Here somebody’s ideas of things, when this is God’s Own Idea about it? We want to take what He said. And it’s also written, “Let every man’s word be a lie, and Mine be the Truth.”

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That’s what was the matter with this prophet. In the days of Jeremiah, he was a prophet, he had the Word of the Lord. And this fellow was trying to inject something to It. Now, it cannot be relied upon. And I’m likening these tanks now to these systems that we have tried to take, and to take the place of the original Word of God.

For, nothing can take Its place. It is God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” And Hebrews 13:8, said, “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” How can we rub away from That? It’s got to be the Truth. He remains the same. He is the same in every principle.

That’s the reason you enjoy It, you Baptists and Methodists, and Catholic and Presbyterians, and so forth, enjoy that Presence. Somewhere, in you, you’ve accepted God. Maybe sometime in an intellectual way, maybe you have felt the Power of God, and you are a servant of God; but when you can really come into God, and recognize your place in Him, as a son or a daughter of God, that’s what brings that great thrill to you, that God intended you to have.

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Now we notice in Saint Mark, the 16th chapter, Jesus did not say, “Go ye into all the world, and... and... and teach.” He said, “Go preach the Gospel.” Preach the Gospel, is, demonstrating the Power of the Holy Spirit! “Go ye into all the world, and demonstrate the Power of the Holy Ghost.”

Talking to a brother, one of the sponsors on the... my meeting in India, in Bombay there, down into South Africa and different places, where the missionaries had taught It as a word or as an intellectual conception. But one day in the meeting, when the Holy Spirit came down, Hisself, and saved thirty thousand blanket natives at one altar call, and right on the same ground where they were standing. Women standing there, who had been as naked as they almost were when they come into the world, and the very minute that they raised their hands to receive Christ...

And the Holy Spirit fell upon the place and healed twenty-five thousand people at one time, off of wheelchairs, cots and stretchers. The mayor of the city had me, next day, look at these van loads going down the street.

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Them women standing there, naked, not knowing they were naked. But as soon as the Holy Spirit struck them, they folded their arms to walk away from the presence of their men.

And I am wondering that how that we in America call ourself a Christian nation, and in the Presence of God; and each year we, our women, take off more. And you ought to be putting on more. And more of Christ you put on, the more conscious you will be of your own conditions. Sometime I see the way people act on the street, I wonder if it’s just exactly mentally right. Seems like they don’t realize that when they do that, what they are doing, they’re making themselves a bait for the devil, and to send souls to hell. That’s right. But the world is in a corruption like it was in the days of Jeremiah.

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Now back to the cistern. Now, this cistern cannot be relied upon because it cannot fill itself. And it has to depend upon the local rains to fill it, the local rains or the local revivals, to have a little revival here and a little revival over there, or so forth, to get it filled up. So it cannot be relied on. It can’t fill itself. It’s insufficiency, to itself. It cannot do it. And it’s got to depend on the rains, to fill it.

Then let’s notice where it... it gets its rain, where it gets its water, the cistern. It comes off the top of the barns, sheds, where all the dirt that the dust blows up there, it washes right into the rain, and right down into the cistern, a man-made tank. It becomes almost like a cesspool. And it washes off the top of the barn where all the animals, of the smell in the barnyards, and so forth, and settle down. And the air blows in the... the dust and stuff on the barn, then the local rain comes along and washes, the rain, right off.

And then the water is carried by a man-made trough through a man-made spout, to a man-made tank. And then when it gets there, it’s filthy, so filthy that you have to put a strainer rag on it, or you couldn’t drink it. Now, see, it’s washing from the roof, by a man-made trough, man-made spout, into a man-made tank. And then it with a man-made strainer over the top of it, to see that some of the bugs and things is kept back.

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Now, now we notice, in these, a few days after the water sets there, in this man-made denomina-... , or, tank. Excuse me. Excuse me. All right. After it’s... after it’s been washed off, of all kinds of theologies and things washed into it; now we come to find out, when it sets there a few days, it becomes stagnant.

And anyone knows, in the history of the church, when God sends something forth, a message, and it becomes fresh from God, then after the... the life of that founder (or whatever it might be, you call him reformer, or whatever you want to say about it), after his death, then they get a system worked up and they make an organization. And as soon as they make an organization out of that, it dies right there. It never rises again. It’s did it through every time, back, plumb on back.

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In giving regards to this Catholic priest sitting here; when God organized the church... or, not organize it, God never did organize a church. He is not in that kind of a business. He is in birth, not organization. So, when God started the church off at the Day of Pentecost. And then finally down at Nicaea, Rome, they organized it, and there is where it lost its Power.

Then we come on down to the Lutheran reformation, and it was a great thing. The Word of God was given, “The just shall live by faith.” And when they did, instead of picking up, all together, all of them together and marching on, they made a Lutheran church, separating themselves from this group, and then it died.

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Then God raised up John Wesley, with sanctification, the message of the second work of grace, and it was a wonderful thing. But after Wesley and Asbury, they organized it, it died.

Then up come the Pentecostals with the restoration of the gifts. They were doing fine, what happened? Organized it and it died. Just exact.

Now in the midst of all this, God is still calling a remnant out of every one of those generations. He is certainly. And it’s our time of coming out, of gathering together. And that’s what I think, the Full Gospel Business Men has played a great part in breaking down these walls, and saying that, “There is no difference in us. Let us come together and worship God under one principle, not under an organization.” If it was an organization, I’d get off this platform right now. I have nothing to do with it.

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What it is, it’s got to be a fellowship, and not a fellowship of some creed, but fellowship in Christ, by the power of His resurrection. That’s the thing that brings Life, it brings birth.

And before birth can come, we realize there has to be death before birth. And a birth is a mess, I don’t care what kind of a birth it is. If it’s in a pig pen, or... or wherever it is, it’s a mess. And so is the new Birth, it makes you do things that ordinarily you wouldn’t think you would do. But when you’re ready to die to yourself, then you are borned again, a new creature in Christ Jesus, then things, open up and life becomes a new sight to you, because you’ve accepted the Person of Jesus Christ, and not some theory or some creed.

Or, even to the written Word, It’s got to be quickened by the Holy Spirit. No matter how much theology you’ve got, it’s laying there dead. I could have a handful of wheat; until it gets into the process to where it can be quickened, the wheat will never live. And you can have a doctor’s degree, Ph., LL., whatever you wish to; but until the Holy Spirit comes upon that and quickens it to you, as a personal experience with God, then the wheat does no good. Your learning is in vain.

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As this Englishman said the other night here, I was so astonished at that. All the learning he had, as Paul, he had to forget all he knowed, in order to find Christ, do things that he thought he wouldn’t do.

But that’s the way God does, He humiliates us in our educational system. Not as I’m trying to support ignorance, but I’m trying to tell you the difference. Education can never bring Life. It takes the Spirit of God to bring Life, and that Life must not come out of just the intellectual revival. It’s got to come out of the Bible, Word revival, and that Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And when It falls today, and quickens, you get the same results you did in Acts 2. Exactly. It always has, and it always will be, because it’s the Spirit of God that conditions the atmosphere.

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It takes atmosphere to do things. That’s the reason you men are always taught, “Bring your children here.” Well, certainly that’s right. I was glad to see my daughter, Rebekah, come in and sit down, just a few minutes ago. Some of you seen me wink at a woman, it was my daughter, so she come in and sat down. I want her to receive the baptism of the Spirit, and that’s why she is here in the meeting. That’s what the purpose of it. It takes atmosphere.

As old Doctor Bosworth used to say, “You can take a hen egg and put it under a pup, it’ll hatch a chicken.” Why? Because it’s an egg and got the right atmosphere.

I don’t care if you’re a Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian; in the right atmosphere, it’ll hatch out a newborn child of God. It’s the atmosphere that does it, no matter what denominational tag you have.

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Used to herd cattle. I noticed the ranger when we’d take them up into the forest, out of the... out of the feeding lands down at the ranches, and put them on the forest. He would stand there and watch as they went through the gate, at the drift fence. He never paid so much attention to brands, because there was all kinds of brands went through there. But there is one thing he did notice, the blood tag. It had to be a thoroughbred Hereford or it could not go on that forest, because it’s the Hereford Association that grazes that forest. It must have a blood tag, to keep the breeding right.

And I think that that’s the way it’ll be at the Day of the Judgment. He is not going to ask me if I was Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, or Presbyterian, but He is going to look for the Blood tag. “When I see the Blood I’ll pass over you.” That’s the thing.

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So we find that these cisterns, after they sit around a while, they be... they become stagnant and they are no good. And it becomes then, also, becomes the home of frogs and lizards and snakes and bugs and germs, and what-more, because it’s a stagnated condition that’s pushed into it. Could you imagine, washing off of a barn roof, or off of a house close to the barn, or anywhere the dirt would be, what kind of a bugs and germs, and everything, that washes into this cistern?

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Now, it’s a perfect example of any kind of a man-made system. He is a failure, to begin with. That’s the reason he needs a Saviour. He could not save himself, he cannot do nothing for it. He is lost, to begin with. He is borned in the world, sinful, he comes to the world speaking lies. He is a liar, to start with, so how in the world can he do anything for himself? How can a holy man?

There is no holy man. There is no holy church. It’s a Holy Ghost! Not a holy church, a holy people; it’s a Holy Ghost among a people, that’s what it is. Amen. Not a holy mountain where Peter and them stood; the mountain wasn’t holy. But it’s the holy God, on the mountain, that made it holy. Not a holy person; it’s the Holy Ghost used in that person, what makes it holy. Not the person; but the Person of the Holy Ghost! It isn’t the man; because, he’s just a man, “born in sin, shaped in iniquity, come to the world speaking lies.”

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Any man-made system will keep him right in that. He’ll blind the thing from the intellectual, the intellectual eyes, that they think, “I belong to church, my name is on the book. I have did this. My father was this, and so forth.” That sounds all right; which, it is, nothing to say against it. But still, friend, Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot even see,” see, there, doesn’t mean that he sees with his eyes, but, “understand the Kingdom of Heaven.” Until you’re born in!

How would this Baptist evangelist, how would that man who stood there and criticized and made fun of It? See, there is nothing in him that could even receive It; but God had to do it, see. God gave him the Holy Spirit. He manifested that this was not hypocrisy, this is the Word. He only hears it from a school idea, and they try to take all the... the blessings of God and place it on a day gone by.

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A young Baptist preacher, here not long ago, sitting present right here this morning; and he came to me, and he said, “Brother Branham, there is one thing that you are doing that’s wrong.”

I said, “Help me.”

And he said, “You are, I think you’re sincere and a good person, but...“

I said, “Thank you, sir.”

He said, “But there is one thing you’re doing wrong.”

I said, “I hope the Lord just finds one thing wrong.”

And he said, “Well, there is... This is what you’re doing that’s wrong.” Said, “You’re trying to introduce to the world an apostolic ministry, and,” said, “the apostolic ministry ceased with the apostles.”

I said, “As a Baptist to a Baptist, I would like to ask you a question.”

Said, “What?”

I said, “Do you believe the Word of God is inspired, every bit of It?”

He said, “Why, certainly.”

I said, “Then, He said, ‘Don’t add one word, or take One.’ For,” I said then, “I’ll show you where the apostolic Blessing come on the people, by a promise of God, now you show me the promise of God and when it went off the people. See, if you can’t produce that in the Word, then... then forget about it, see,” I said, “because It’s still going on.”

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He never said nothing for a few minutes. And so I said, “Well, then, brother, I’d like to ask you this. Peter introduced the apostolic message, on the Day of Pentecost. And we all know that’s true, for he had the keys to the Kingdom, that Jesus had given to him. And now watch what he said. He said, ‘Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that’s far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ Then if there is a place where He took it out, then what happened to Peter’s words on the Day of Pentecost?” See? No, it’s never ceased!

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious Blood

Shall never lose its Power,

Till all the ransomed Church of God

Be saved, to sin no more.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song,

I’ll sing Thy Power to save,

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue

Lies silent in the grave.

God help me to believe That and hold to It, and all of us, and stand by It, because It is the Gospel Truth! Yes, sir.

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A wise man should never look at these things. And know that they won’t work. They never have worked. An organized religion and an organized experience will never work in the Presence of God. It’s got to come, unadulterated, from God. It has never been used by God, no time in the past that God ever used such a system. Now you, oh, you get members and things like that. But I mean the genuine seed of God, the Blessing like fell on the Day of Pentecost, it never comes by organization; it comes by a birth, being born again.

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We’re invited to take Israel for... for an example, which they have been. Notice, “They have forsaken Him, their provided fountain, and had hewed themselves out cisterns.” Could you imagine a... a... a... a thing, when a man is at an artesian well, drinking, and then wants to make him a cistern, see, to drink out of it? Now that’s what the prophet said, that’s what the Word of God said. That’s what God said to the prophet. “You have forsaken Me and... and have left Me, the Fountain of living waters; and have hewed yourself out cisterns, which are broken, and they’re leaking out.”

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See, something, they wanted something they could control, or to show what they had done. That’s the... that’s the folly of organized religion. It’s always trying, they’ve got to have something in it themself. They got to have all these systems and societies, and things, “And I belong to this now.” Instead of just being humble children of God, they want something that they could show themselves. Instead of letting God do it His way, they wanted to do it their way. And that’s the way the systems has got the church today. Not... Each system, one wants it this way, one wants it that way. If you’re a Methodist, you must be it this way. A Baptist, this way. A Presbyterian, Catholic, whatever more, they got their systems. Nothing against that, but that ain’t what I’m talking about.

Man wants his way of doing it, and God has got His way of doing it. And He said, “You are holding to your way, a broken cistern; and won’t accept My way, the way of Life.”

And that’s the same thing as it is today. It just hasn’t varied a bit. Think how foolish of a man leaving an artesian well of pure clean water bubbling up, and then he want to go to a broken cistern that he made himself, and dig him out a cistern, with that trash that’s up on top of the barn washing into it, then drink from that. There certainly is something mentally wrong with that person.

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And when a man will cling to a... an ecclesiastical conception of the Scripture, instead of accepting the Holy Ghost which vindicates the Scripture and makes It real to you, there is something spiritual wrong with that person. That’s exactly right. Sure, the Holy Ghost! Each one has an interpretation of their Bible, what you think is right. God don’t need your help. God don’t need your interpretation.

God is His Own Interpreter. God does the interpretation the way He... the way He says He would do it. The Lord said in the beginning, “Let there be light,” and there was light. That don’t need any interpretation. That’s what God did. He said “a virgin shall conceive,” she did. That don’t need any interpretation. He said He would “pour out His Spirit upon all flesh,” He did. It doesn’t need any interpretation. God interprets His Own Word by vindicating It, and manifesting It, and proving It.

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That’s how a prophet was proven to be of God. He said, “If there be one among you, who is spiritual or a prophet, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in visions, speak to him through dreams. And what he says comes to pass, then fear him; but if it doesn’t, don’t do it.”

That’s the same thing when God speaks His Word, and the man says, “The Word is This,” and it happens that way, then it’s God doing it.

But if he says, “It’s this way, and the days are gone,” why it takes all the... He reaches for a hungry bread, in his hand, to children, and take it away from them; and them starving. Why would you want to drink out of a cistern when this artesian well was there?

What is a fountain of Life now? What is the fountain of Life, fountain of living Waters? An artesian well, we would liken It to.

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Now I want you to notice the difference between a cistern and a fountain of living water; artesian well, and an old broken cistern out there full of bugs, lizards, frogs, germs, what-more, see.

And here is an artesian well. Now watch this. It’s self-supporting. You don’t have to get any big systems and bring a lot of money into it. You don’t have to join a lot of members. It supports its members, of the Spirit of Life in them, functioning.

Notice the water that comes from it, fresh, pure and clean. Not a cistern, something stagnated that’s been indocumented by forty, fifty different minds, saying, “This is right, and that’s right, and this conception,” and vote and call on, and as they do, and then make a denomination out of it. It’s pure and clean, unadulterated Word of God, coming from the hand of God. It’s a real artesian well.

Notice, the secret of its power is within itself. Man cannot find it. Some kind of a pressure, beneath it, that’s making it push up.

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I remember when I, used to, was the state game warden of Indiana, I used to go by, in Harrison County, a certain well, a spring. It was always bubbling up. And just, oh, it looked like it was the most happiest thing. Whether the snow was on the ground, ice, was froze, how cold it was, it still bubbled; where the old man-made ponds and tanks, with frogs and everything, was out there froze over, solid.

And that goes to show that any denomination, through a little lack of Spirit or a little change of atmosphere, will freeze over. But God’s artesian well, He’s the... He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, it keeps all the things bubbled out of it and shoved out of it. And there is none in there, to begin with. And anything gets into it, it’ll push it out of the way.

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That thing was bubbling up like that, and I said, sat down there one day, I thought, “I believe I’ll talk to that spring, just for a moment.” I took off my hat, and I said, “What are you so happy about? What are you bubbling so about? Maybe it’s because the deers drink from you, once in a while.”

If he could have spoke, he’d have said, “No.”

I said, “Maybe it’s because that I drink from you.”

“No, that isn’t it.”

I said, “Well, what’s making you so pure, so clean? So what... what is it bubbling, that makes you bubble, full of joy all the time, and nothing can freeze you over? You’re spurting up in the air, and there is nothing; clean water.”

If it could have spoke to me, you know what that well would have said? He’d have said, “Brother Branham, it isn’t me bubbling, it’s something behind me, bubbling me.” And that’s the way it is with... That’s a poor word, but you know what I mean.

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And that’s the way it is with a born-again experience. You cannot contain it. It’s a... a well of water within you, bubbling up into everlasting Life. See, there is something about it, that you have nothing to do with. The man-made tanks may freeze, and them begging for revival and everything; but a man that’s under that Fountain, living in that Fountain, it’s day and night! No, you don’t have to wait on local rains and local revivals. You are full of It. “I’ll give unto him a fountain of Life, in him, bubbling up.” There’s something in It, that’s fresh every day, pure and clean. It’s the unadulterated Word of God in your heart and mouth, vindicating Itself, speaking for Itself. I don’t care whether it’s raining, whether it’s snowing, what kind of weather it is, you are still happy because the Holy Spirit is in there bubbling up. It’s the hidden Power. Notice. Oh, its secret is within it.

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It gives of itself, freely, to whomsoever will drink and use of its substance. Now you don’t pick out, say, “Well, now I just have to go to the Methodist church because I’m a Methodist, for a revival. I’ll have to go over here, but (if) I have to go a Pentecostal because I’m a Pentecostal revivalist.” I’m telling you, when you got that well of Water springing up, that Fountain, when you’re drinking by there, there is no difference, you give to anything that comes by. You’re willing to give a hope of Life to a Catholic, to a Protestant, to a Jew, to an atheist, or whatever it is. You’re really, really got Something in you, that’s doing it.

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