|Behold, I Stand At The Door And Knock (58-0617)|
E-1 I believe that it's right. And then being that we are now swiftly approaching that age, and the coming of our blessed Lord, I think it's most profitable for us to speak to the people in the age and the hour that we are now living.
And may God add His blessings to the reading of His Word. And bring forth the context, as we read the text to His people that we would be warned of the time we're living. And reading now from Revelations the 3rd chapter and the 20th verse…
E-2 This is a very unusual Scripture to use at a convention. But, you know, God is unusual. And He does things in an unusual way. We become so earth bound with our finite way of thinking to His great, infinite mind till we just get one, little course set up, and we feel like we're just going fine; but if we could only look and see as God sees, how much different things would look and be to us.
And the Bible says that God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. And then, it might be said that this is rather a small text to take for a big convention. But it is small. There's just a few words in here, but it's not the size of the text. It's what the text is. It's the Word of God.
And that's where the value lays. It's not in the paper that it's written on, nor neither is it the ink that–that made the letter on the paper. But it's what it is.
E-3 Sometime ago, in Louisville, Kentucky, just across from where I live, I had a little friend over there… I knew of him. And he would go up into the attic, one day, the old garret, and was searching around up there to see what he could find, just like a little boy of about ten years old would do, just little busy-body.
And down in an old–old trunk he found a little postage stamp that had turned yellow. It was perhaps many years old.
So with one thing on his mind that maybe he could get out of the sale of this postage stamp, enough money to purchase himself an ice cream… So he knew a stamp collector and down the street he went to the collector.
E-4 And he said to this collector, "Take a look at this stamp and tell me what you will give me for this stamp." And the collector picked it up, and looked at it, and put it under the glass, and he said, "I will give you one dollar for that stamp."
Why, he would thought a five cents would've been a good price. So he sold the stamp quickly, and taken the dollar, and down the street for his ice cream.
Sometime later, I guess about three months, that stamp collector sold that stamp for twenty-five hundred dollars. And it went from one to another, until now that stamp's worth more than a quarter of a million dollars.
You see, it wasn't the paper. The little piece of paper had turned yellow. But it was what was on the paper that counted. That's what meant so much.
E-5 And that's the way it is tonight with this little text. It isn't the paper, or what size it is, it's what's wrote on it. It's the Word of the eternal God. "All heavens and earth will pass away, but this Word shall never fail." It's God's Word.
And many times we overlook the value of little things. I think that's a great thing today, that we're all trying to be something big. And you… Sometimes a minister that's got just a little a group of people back in some mission, he feels like maybe, "Oh, I can't be a Billy Graham or a Oral Roberts, so I'm not very much in the picture."
But he doesn't realize that he's just as important as Billy Graham or Oral Roberts, if he's in the will of God of doing his place.
E-6 One time I was in British Columbia with Mr. Baxter, a friend of mine. He was talking. And the late King George was over to visit the schools. And all the schools turned out that afternoon to see him in the parade. And what a sight it was to see him. And we were told that he were suffering with ulcers so bad that he could hardly hold his face straight from agony from suffering. And he was also stricken with multiple sclerosis in his back.
I had the privilege of praying for him, as you all know, and the Lord healed him.
And while he was setting in the carriage and his beautiful queen, and her blue gown or dress on… But in the face of that and all of his suffering, he set up straight in the carriage. And as he passed by his subjects, how he would bow to them and the queen smiling.
And Mr. Baxter, when they passed by him, he just turned his head and wept. And he said, "Think of it. The King of England goes by."
And I thought, if that would make a Canadian feel that way because the King of England passed by, what would it be to the Christian when Jesus passes by…?… How it ought to make us rejoice and be happy.
E-7 And the teachers turned their children out and gave them a little flag, a little British flag to–to wave to the king to show their loyalty and their patronage to him.
And in a certain school, a–a little girl didn't return with the rest of them. The teacher being very much disturbed, she took off down the street looking everywhere to find the child. And she found this little girl standing behind a telegraph pole, weeping.
E-8 And she picked the little thing in her arms, and she was just weeping like her little heart would break.
And she said, "What's the matter, honey? Did you not wave your flag?"
And she said, "Yes, teacher. I–I waved my flag."
Why, she said, "Then what are you weeping about? Did you see the king?"
She said, "Yes, teacher. I saw the king."
"Why," said then, "why do you weep?"
Said, "Teacher, I'm so little. He didn't see me." Said, "I saw him and waved the flag, but I was too little for him to see."
Now, that might be right with King George, but that isn't so with King Jesus. No matter what little thing you do, He knows every little thing that you do. So, you see, it's small things we pass over that mean so much.
And then again, the Word of God is a pardon; it's healing; it's any of Christ's redemptive blessings belongs to you if you can accept this Word.
E-9 Now, I go on record on these tapes, saying this, that if you take the right mental attitude towards any Divine promise God has made, it'll come to pass. If you'll just look at it right, if you'll believe it what God has said… Now, you have to look at it right.
Many of you might've knowed John Sproule who was a mute and that was healed and is a minister now. I don't think he is at this time. He used to be a minister. He preached some.
And he was saying one day that he went to–out to Alsace Lorraine, France. And he and his wife… That was before she was–was deceased.
E-10 And he said that he noticed the statue of Jesus. And he was standing with his hands in his pocket, and he said, "Oh, what a–what did the sculptor mean by making such a–a statue as that?" Said, "It's discredited to the Lord Jesus." Said, "Well, it looks almost just like a form of a man there; there's no expression to it." And he was talking to his wife, and the guide come up.
And he said, "I suppose, sir, you're criticizing that statue."
He said, "I am."
He said, "You see, you're not looking at it right." He said, "Come with me."
And he went down to the foot of the cross, and there was a–a kneeling rail or an altar. And on this altar was a pad and it was fixed real nice.
He said, "Kneel down, Mr. Sproule." And he said, "Now, look up." Oh, Mr. Sproule said when he looked up that he thought his heart would cease beating in the expression of his agony, and his suffering, that what He did for us sinners.
E-11 And the guide told him, he said, "Sir, the sculptor in making the statue, he made it that people would kneel down and look up to see it. It wasn't made to stand off and look at, but to get down and look up this a way."
And that's the way the Word of God is. It isn't made to stand off and say, "The days of miracles is past. And there's no such a thing as Holy Ghost religion, and–and heartfelt, and borned again." It's not made… It wasn't printed for that purpose. It was printed to get down and look up at the promise. Then it'll look different to you.
E-12 When you get down before God and hold His Word and say, "O great, infinite, eternal, almighty, Jehovah God, Who sent this Word, and It was made flesh and dwelled among us, are You the same? Have you lost Your power?" Look at It that–one time like that on your knees. You'll find out that the Holy Spirit will answer you back, that He's just the same today as He ever was. But you must look at It right, on your knees, reverent.
And then, as we think of the knocking at the door… "Lo, I stand and knock at the door."
I just can't call that artist that painted the picture of Jesus knocking at the door, which I suppose every Christian here is familiar with it.
E-13 But, however, when a picture is painted, it must first go through the hall of critics before it can go in the hall of fame. And what a beautiful picture that is of the Church. Before the Church can ever be raptured and taken through the hall of fame, it goes here through the hall of critics. "All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutions." It must go through the criticism: no criticism, no glory.
E-14 So, this artist, when he was take… watching his picture as the critics were criticizing, or trying to find something, there was a certain critic come up and said, "Oh, your picture is very good. The profile of Christ is perfect. And Him coming by night with the lantern in His hand and knocking at the door, it's astounding. And with His expression of His anticipation to hear from the inside…" But said, "Sir, there's one thing you left out of your picture."
He said, "What is it, my good man?"
He said, "You never put any latch on the door. How could He get in if somebody would answer from this–from His knock inside?"
Oh, the artist said, "You see, sir, this is a different kind of door. See, the latch is on the inside."
That's the way it is tonight. The latch is on the inside. You have to open. It isn't nothing that He hasn't already done. He sent His Word. He sent His servants. He's performed signs, wonders, miracles. But you still must open up to let Him in. And to think of Him knocking at a door.
E-15 Many people knocks at doors. Many great men has knocked at doors down through the ages. For instance, what if in the days of the emperors of Rome, what if the great Caesar would've come down to a–a peasant's house? Now, that would've been a great let-down for Caesar because he was an emperor. But what if he would've come down to the peasant's house and knocked at the door? And that peasant would've went to the door, looked out, and seen that it was Caesar standing at the door of just a poor, humble person. Why, they would've been so honored, they'd have pulled the door open and said, "Oh, great emperor of Rome, enter into my house; you honor me, to think that the emperor of Rome would come to my door. Come in, and if there's anything in my house that you want, just help yourself." Sure, he'd have been honored to have the emperor of Rome at a poor man's house.
E-16 And then, what if in the days of the late Adolf Hitler, what if Mr. Hitler, in his days being the dictator of Germany. What if he'd have went down to the house of a foot soldier and would have knocked at the door? [Brother Branham knocks three times–Ed.] And the little soldier would've raised up the curtain and seen the great dictator of Germany standing at his door, and him just a footman… Why, he'd have throwed the door open, stood at attention with the German salute and would've said, "Oh, great Hitler, you have honored me and honored my building and my place of abode. It's most too humble for–for you, sir. You being the Fuehrer of Germany, enter in. And if there is anything in my house, you are welcome to it. It's yours." Certainly, for the dictator and Fuehrer of Germany to come to a foot soldier's house…
E-17 All right, say this. What if the–the our President Dwight Eisenhower, what if Dwight Eisenhower come to the door of the best Democrat there is in Greenville? You'd be honored to have President Eisenhower at your door. You might disagree with him on politics, but he's a great man. He's one of the great Americans. And he's the President of our beloved United States.
And I don't care if you did disagree with him, it would be an honor for you to do it. And I want to tell you something else. If Mr. Eisenhower, which I love him; he's our President… And if he did do that humble himself to come to your door, the television would pack it. The newspapers would pack it. The whole world would know that President Dwight Eisenhower come to Greenville, South Carolina, to a poor man's door, and went in, and had a visit with him. Sure, because he's an important man.
E-18 What if the Queen of England that just recently visit the United States, what if she would've come to Greenville and found the most humble home that there is in Greenville and knocked on the door? And it would've been your home and you'd went to the door and seen that was the Queen of England, it would've been an honor for you to entertain the Queen of England. Certainly.
You would've said, "Oh, queen, come into my house, and if there is anything in here that you desire, you can have it." If you'd had a little trinket that your mother gave you, or some good friend gave you, and you'd cherished it very high, yet the queen would say, "I would like to have that." You'd give it to her, because it would be an honor for you to give it to her because she's an important person.
E-19 You see, though you're not her subject, but she's the greatest queen on earth, that is of the realms of the nations, England, Queen of England, the greatest queen on the earth that we have today…
And it would've been an honor for you to give her anything that she asked because she's an–one of the most important women in the earth today. It's the importancy of the person at your door.
But, oh, who's more important than Jesus, and who's more turned down than Jesus? Maybe the President might want to give you a sharp bawling out or do something harm to you. The queen might want to take something out of your house when she visits you, or the Fuehrer of Germany might want to execute the soldier.
E-20 But Jesus wants to give you the best thing that anybody could give you, and the only One that could give it: Eternal Life, healing for your body, swap your weariness for joy, take the gloom away and give you a shout of victory: wants to take away your sin and give you Life, wipe death away from you and give you Eternal Life. And yet, He's turned away from more doors than all the potentates and kings that this earth ever had.
You see, He stands and knocks at the door, He says, "And if any man will open, I'll come in." He's wanting to talk to you. He's wanting to do something for you.
There's only one thing that He'd take away from you; that would be your sins or your sickness. And surely, you don't want to pack them any longer.
E-21 So He knocks at the heart. But because of the Devil that's perverted righteousness, keeps the people away from Christ. Oh, you say, "Brother Branham, just a minute. I want to differ with you just a little bit. I let Jesus in my heart twenty-five years ago, or a year ago." I appreciate that. Any minister would appreciate that, you letting Jesus in.
But I want to ask this church tonight a question. And I want you to get it real good and straight. When you let Him in, on what conditions did you let Him in? Did you let Him in just to save you from hell, or did you let Him in to be your Lord? Now, there's quite a difference.
E-22 What if I come to your house and knocked at your door, and you said, "Brother Branham, come in." And I walked into your house and–and you said, "Brother Branham, you are welcome at my house." Why, I'd feel at home. I'd go over, and if I was hungry, I'd get the icebox and make me a sandwich. And–and if I felt like I was a little tired, I'd take off my shoes, and lay across the bed, and eat this sandwich, and I–I'd just feel at home. I'd take your word for it.
But if I went to your house, or you come to my house, and you knocked at my door, and I let you in, but I said, "It's all right, sir, you can come in, but don't you go any further than this door. You stand right here." Now, that's the way too many Christians today let Jesus in. They don't want to go to hell. But they're afraid to let Him be Lord. Lord is rulership, to take over everything, and to rule you, and to govern you, and to take full possession of everything you are. That's the way He wants to come in.
And there's too many of you Pentecostal people that's just letting Him in like that. We'll dig into it just in a minute.
E-23 Now, we find out that when Jesus comes in, and you tell Him, "Yes, don't let me go to hell, Lord. But I…" When He gets into the heart, did you know there's many little doors inside that door? Oh, the whole wall's full of little rooms all around your heart.
And the first little door, when you get into the heart, we would say, let's–let's put it on the right hand side when you walk into the heart. There's a little door there that's called, "my private life."
Now, you let Jesus in, "But don't have nothing to do with my private life." Now, that's the way too many Christians let Jesus in.
E-24 Sometime ago, I had the privilege of shaking hands with your state evangelist here, wonderful man of God, Billy Graham at Louisville, Kentucky.
And I was listening… I was at his breakfast with Doctor Mordecai F. Hamm. You all know that I come a Baptist myself. And Dr. Hamm was… Billy Graham is his convert to the Lord Jesus.
And Dr. Hamm and I were setting together eating. And Billy got up to speak, and he said, took the Bible and he said, "Here is the example." He said, "When Paul went forth in his day and had a convert, then he came back in a year, and that convert had made thirty." He said, "I can go into a city and…" I wouldn't say the figures, 'cause I don't remember just how many he said.
E-25 But, say for instance, like this, "I'll have twenty-thousand converts, come back in a year and can't find twenty." And he said, "The reason of it, you preachers set in your study with your feet up on the desk, and write the people a letter, instead of going out and shaking their hand and give them a good, warm talking to, and inviting them into your church." I thought that was very good, and I appreciated that.
But I… Not to disagree by no means with this gallant soldier of Christ, but I would like to say this. You see, there wasn't no preachers to take a hold of that one. The thing of it is, is people nowdays, in these great revivals that we are having in the nation, they become worked up into emotion, and come up to the altar and say, "I accept Christ as my personal Saviour," and go back, and never go deep enough with God to actually be borned- again. That's what's the trouble. It's an intellectual conception of Christ. That'll never work. It's got to be an old fashion experience like Paul taught, the baptism of the Holy Spirit back and a new creature in Christ Jesus.
E-26 If every creature in the country turned against that convert, he'd hold out, make converts anyhow, because he's been somewhere.
And there's no man, in the world that really ought to be placed behind the pulpit until first he has had a backwoods experience, or I'd say, a backside of the desert experience where he met God Himself. A man that's ever met Christ face-to-face upon the backside of the desert like Moses did, is never the same from that time on.
Oh, theologians can raise today; they can explain the days of miracles are past, by the Bible. The infidel can rise, and take the Bible, and prove to you there's no God. And the Methodist can prove they're right. The Baptists can prove the Methodist is wrong, and they're right. The Pentecostal can prove they're all wrong and they're right. But there's a whole lot could be proved about the Pentecostals too.
E-27 But, let me tell you, brother… But if a man has ever stood on that sacred sands, let him be Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, or whatmore, and ever met God face-to-face, there's no theologian in the world could take that away from him. He's been somewhere. He knows what he's talking about. He's had an experience of the burning Presence of the living God.
And all the erasers and all Scripture explaining and diving away, will never take that from his heart, for he's been made a new creature in Christ and become…?… with the power of Almighty God, and made alive in Christ.
And the Devil, the enemy of your soul, can't tread on those sacred grounds where you met Christ. You know what you're talking about. You might not have education enough to explain it, but you know what you're talking about. That's true. We need more such as that.
E-28 It's not explaining it; it's receiving it. I can explain the nine gifts, but I haven't got them. I might not be able to explain lots of things or to explain. That has nothing to do with it. Receiving Christ is receiving the Person of the Lord Jesus, something that you know that happened for you were there.
And then as soon as the little trials come up, the Christian that's just walked up and accepted Christ as personal Saviour, never been borned again, then he finally drifts off, the first little persecution comes up. Now, the…
Why is it? When Christ comes into the heart, He comes right straight first to that private life of yours. I don't aim to hurt you. But I just want to ask you something. I wonder if… Lot of Pentecostal people, which I think this is a Pentecostal convention… I just wonder if a lot of the Pentecostal people isn't say, "Now, don't you go to meddling with my life." Let's look into it and find out.
E-29 It used to be wrong for Pentecostal women to cut their hair. "Now, don't go to med…" There you are. See? Now, the Bible says it's wrong to do it. And if the Bible says it was wrong, and mother didn't do it, it's wrong for you to do it, and God will hold you responsible for it. That's right.
It used to be wrong for the Methodists, and the Baptist women, especially, and in the Pentecostal, to wear these little old clothes that they wear now. Well, if it was wrong in mother's day, it's wrong today. You just can't make it anything else. God is infinite.
E-30 And I look upon the streets, and, friends, it's… You say, "Now, Brother Branham, about me wearing long hair…"
The Bible said if a woman cuts her hair, her husband has got a right to divorce her.
You say, "Where do you find that?" In Corinthians. If she cuts her hair, she dishonors her head; and her husband is her head. That's correct. And a dishonorable woman should not be lived with. That's right.
Now, you might not love me after this, but you're going to know what's the truth as far as I know it. See? Because I'm responsible; I believe Christ is coming soon, and we've got to preach this Word. Something's went wrong.
And old Methodist preacher friend of mine used to say–sing a song.
Well, you let down the bars. That's just exactly. It's the truth.
E-31 And to see Pentecostal women, and Methodists, and Baptists, and all of you out on the street with these little old clothes on, little what you call shorts… You say, "Now, you're getting off…" Now, I'm getting into your private life, and I'm talking about doors.
"Now, you got other things to preach on." Yes, but this ought to be preached on too. See? It's been neglected too long.
And I'm not saying this disregarding my brethren at all. But what it is has been… We need not so much of this little fancy, curly haired, snicklefritz, Hollywood evangelism; we need some old fashion, God-sent, Holy Ghost, backwoods, sin killing, religion like your fathers had when they beat the tambourine down on the corner, and mama had. But what we've got is a bunch of little incubator chickens around here, chirping, chirping; and all they think about is a big offering, or some big something to do. We don't need big churches, big crowds. What we need is the baptism of the Holy Spirit back into the church and the real power of the living God. You know that's the truth.
E-32 Why, you say, "Brother Branham, I don't wear shorts. I wear slacks." That's worse. That's right. The Bible said that any woman that'll put on any garment that pertains to a man it's an abomination.
And you boys run around here with them little haircuts like this Arthur Godfrey, or (What is his name?) Elvis Presley. Why, you look like a woman. And women chop all the theirs off to look like a man. God made man one way and the woman another way.
E-33 Well, you say, "I don't wear neither one." And some of the women in these little old dresses you're wearing, going down the street, looked like you was poured into it, the skin so tight till skin's on the outside, and Pentecostal preachers' wives (that's right), deacons' wives. Why, shame on you.
How you going to have a revival on such as that? You can never do it. God will never build His church upon such as that.
We can denominate, or interdenominate, whatever we want to; until we get back to God's Word, we are just fighting the air. Repent and come back to God.
E-34 Let me tell you something, sister. You may be as pure as a lily to your husband or your boyfriend, but at the day of judgment, you're going to be counted an adulternous. When you dress yourself like that, these old sexy-looking clothes that they wear and get out here on the street, do you know when a sinner looks at you, and though you be as pure as you can be, that sinner lusting after you commits adultery with you, said Jesus, in his heart. And when that sinner has to answer for adultery, who presented theirself to him? You are guilty. Right.
If he committed adultery, who did he commit it with? What caused him to do it? Because you dressed yourself like that. "Get out of my private life." That's what you say to the Lord. This is His Word. You say, "They don't sell any other kind of clothes, Brother Branham." They sell sewing machines. So there's no excuse. That's right. You know that's right.
E-35 You say, "Quit picking on us women." All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and act like that, it shows what you're made out of. There's not much man in you. That's exactly right. Man is not measured by how much muscle he's got, how big he is. I've seen men that weighed two hundred pound, didn't have an ounce of man in him. Man is measured by character. Right. A man that ain't got enough man about him in character to take care of his own home, how could he do in the house of God? Right.
We need a cleaning up all the way from the pulpit plumb to the janitor. That's right. No wonder this Laodicean Church, luke-warm… "Lo, I stand at the door and knock." Laodicean, we can still shout; we can make a little noise, but what good's the noise if the life don't compare with it? There's something wrong, or we'd have a revival sweeping the world right now. Something went wrong. If Satan can't come in one way, he will another.
"I stand at the door and knock." See? There's… "Don't fool with my private life." And some of you women card-playing, out here in these… And some of the men even taken a little social drink, why, it's a disgrace.
E-36 All right, there's another little door after this, private life. Let's leave that door for a minute. I hope the Holy Spirit tells you what all's in there. But there's another little door right next to it, and that's called pride. Oh, my. Pride, oh, that's an awful door.
So many people are so stuck-up. And what you got to be stuck-up about? You think you're somebody.
E-37 I was standing in a great coliseum sometime ago, and I was looking at a–in a–a museum, rather. And I was looking at the analysis of a man's body that weighed a hundred and fifty pound; that was a male; the female isn't worth that. But the… A hundred and fifty pound man, you know how much he's worth in chemicals? Eighty-four cents if he's a good, healthy man.
And isn't it strange that you'll put a twenty dollar hat on eighty-four cents, a hundred dollar suit…? And some of you women put a hundred and fifty, two hundred dollar mink coat on, and paint them lips, and turn it up like if it'd rained, it'd drown you, and think you're somebody; and you're not even eighty-four cents. That's right. That's exactly right.
But my old southern mammy… We was raised in a little old cabin, no floor, and just windows, not like your windows here. It was just a door you pushed out, down the mountains of Kentucky here.
E-38 And every Saturday night, all five of these little Branham's would come up to get a bath all in the same tub, the big old cedar tub. And we didn't have much to eat, so mama used to… Making our corn pone and things, she'd have to get meat skins from the grocer, and–and render them out in a pan, put the grease in it, and we didn't live very good.
And–and every Saturday night, mama'd make us take a big dose of castor oil, and–and then so we would go to school on Sunday and I can't, or Monday. I couldn't even smell the stuff yet without vomiting. And I used to come with my nose like this… I was the first one, the oldest.
I would say, "Mom, this stuff makes me so sick, I can't stand it."
She said, "If it doesn't make you sick, it doesn't do you any good."
E-39 So, that's the way with preaching the Gospel. If it doesn't stir up your spiritual gastronomics, it isn't doing any good. What we need today is a big dose of the Gospel poured down us. Exactly right. Might make you sick and angry for a little while but you'll pray through maybe. See? Oh, what a need there is this day.
And a woman… You women go with men, go down the street worth eighty-four cents. And it used to be wrong for you people at the church to wear this manicure on your lips. Or that's not… What is that stuff? The–it's paint. I forget what… Lip–lipstick. Used to be wrong for you to do that. But you're doing it. "Oh, I just wear a little."
E-40 Let me tell you something, sister. There was only one woman in the Bible that ever painted her face. Her name was Jezebel. And God fed her to the dogs. So if you see a woman wearing paint, you know she's dog-meat in the sight of God. So that He… That's what He's going to do with her, feed her to the dogs.
What is it? It's the hounds of hell. Go down the street [Brother Branham whistles–Ed.] like a wolf call. It's not a wolf; it's a hound of hell. And you're making yourself attractive to that person.
Live true to your boyfriend or your husband; he will like you a lot better if you keep that artificial stuff off your face. That's right.
E-41 Now, what is it? This little door of pride. I'd… Them two boys was standing there looking at this eighty-four cents. One looked over at the other and said, "John, we're not worth very much, are we?"
"No, we're not, Bill."
And I said, "But, boys, your body ain't worth very much; that's true; but you've got a soul in you that's worth ten thousand worlds."
You go down at the restaurant. What if you got a bowl of soup and you found a spider in it? Why, you'd sue the restaurant. You sure take care of that eighty-four cents. There's nothing goes in that wrong.
E-42 But you'll let the Devil push every old, ungodly thing he can down in that soul and be satisfied with it. That's true and right. "Oh, don't fool with my private life. And don't have nothing to do with my little pride. You know, I got some pride. I'm a southerner." I am too. But, brother, when we become a Christian, we lose all of that. That's right. We must be Christ-like.
E-43 Hurry to get to another door. There's a little door in the heart that's–that's called the eyes. And, oh, how that little door is a hard door to fool with: the eyes. God has did everything that He could do to wake the church up with all kinds of signs, miracles, revivals, with Billy Grahams, and Oral Robertses, and Jack Schullers has crossed the country, and the Church goes right straight on in and sin. And there's more sin in the world today than there was fifty years ago. What's the matter? It's that little doors of your eyes. If God could only open that door.
You look on the television, and you see Oral Roberts praying for the sick; miracles happen. You go into the churches. It becomes so common to you, you don't notice it no more. You go down at the church… The Holy Spirit… And in spite of all of our sins, He will bless us; and when He does, the people will rejoice, (See?) "Well, pretty good meeting, uh-huh," go on. There you are. You forget it. See?
E-44 Your eyes ought to be open to realize that God is present. God is here. This is the house of God. Oh, you say, "Preacher, you talk about the coming of the Lord. My grandmother talked about it." Yes, Jesus did too. But one day It's going to happen. That's right. It's going to be here. Every sign…
"Oh, I've seen those things. I've heard them for years." But you're going to hear them the last time one of these times.
You know, I was raised in Kentucky, as I told you, up… Mama used to put us up in the loft. Old clapwood shingles, I don't know if you know what they are or not. And the little old cracks in the logs where the–the chink was out of the mud, chinked up… And we'd have to put on an old featherbed and a straw tick under it. And then, she'd put a big piece of canvas over us to keep the wind off of us, 'cause the draft through there would give all of us a cold.
E-45 We was all in one bed, two at the foot, and two at the head, and two in the middle laying crossways. And so we'd a… We didn't have no more. And we'd take cold at night, and in the morning time when we'd wake up, our eyes would be closed sometimes. Mama said it had matter in it. You know, cold get in your eyes, stick your eyes together.
Did you ever see a kid do that? Sure. Then my… Our eyes would be stuck together. And of the morning I'd call… Mama would call, say, "Billy, all of you come down."
I'd say, "Mama, I can't even see how to get out of the bed. My eyes is stuck together."
"Oh," she said, "you got matter in them."
E-46 Well now, Grandpa was a coon hunter. And he'd go out and catch coons, and he'd take those grease, and render it out, and put it in a cup. And she'd save this grease, and it was good for anything. So she'd set that grease cup on the stove, and she come up there, and take that coon grease, and rub it in our eyes; and believe it or not, they'd clear up. And we could see how to get out again.
Now, I'm going to tell you, brother, there's been a big freezing spell in the Pentecostal church. A lot of their eyes are closed. There's a big spiritual drought that's went through it. But, it'll take more than coon grease to open the eyes of the church. Yes, it will.
E-47 In the previous verse of this, Jesus said, "Because you say you are rich, have need of nothing, don't know that you're miserable, poor, blind, naked, wretched, and–and don't know it." Could you… Why, the…
You'd be a lot better off instead of having so many big churches, if you was back down on the street corner in some store mission down here, and have God with us. Don't you think so? Certainly.
Oh, we got big churches, and our preachers got degrees of Doctor So-and-so. And like Mrs. McPherson said a few weeks ago. I was having dinner with her and Roth, and she said, was talking about some man come out there with a–a latter rain. And it started, took all their members. I said, "What happened, what took place?"
And he said, "Well," said, "see, it's latter rain."
E-48 I said, "Latter rain?" I said, "Mrs. McPherson was latter rain too." She was. She was the latter rain to the Assemblies.
The Luther was the latter rain to the Catholic. The Baptist was the latter rain to Luther. The Methodists was the latter rain to them. The Pentecostals a latter rain to the Nazarenes. Latter rain, latter rain. What is it? When the Church gets organized and set down home and just a big bunch of cold statues, then the Holy Ghost moves out and starts a latter rain.
And she said, "That's right, Brother Branham. What have you got here but a white elephant, a million dollars of nothing but steel."
E-49 I said, "If you had the old fashioned revival back like Mrs. McPherson used to have, everyone one of them would be right here because they was being fed." A hungry child would eat out of a garbage can.
And what is it today? We need some old fashioned, God-sent, Holy Ghost preaching from the pulpit…?… church back…?… bring them to repentance. That's right. We're too formal and set down.
You say, "I am rich." Isn't that a Phila–not a Philadelphian, but isn't that a Laodicean age? "I am rich, have need of nothing. Oh, we got good ministers." We have. "We got big churches." We have, just as big as the rest of them. "We are… Our organizations is just as…" Yes, sir. That's right. Exactly. And know not that you're miserable, poor, wretched, blind, and don't know it. And don't know it…
E-50 That's what's the matter with the Church today. It's in all this condition, and yet doesn't know it. He said, "I counsel with thee to buy from me eye salve, and anoint your eyes, that your eyes might be opened."
What we need today is God's Eye Salve, God's blessed Holy Spirit to wake us up to a place. What's it got us? Where have we got?
You know I'm a missionary. And overseas and around, seeing the millions of heathens receive the Gospel, and the churches are setting dormant, is because we've got so we think that we just–we got everything; "We have need of nothing." And you don't realize that the very chief thing that you do need, it's left off.
E-51 Oh, you can still play the music, and you can beat the drums, and you can join church, and fuss about your baptism, everything, "And we got the most in our congregation," and all this. Oh, you can still do all that. But that's the wrong thing.
What this world wants today is to see some old fashion, God-sent love of the Holy Ghost back in our midst. That's right. No matter how many miracles, how many signs, how many wonders…
Paul said, "Though I speak with tongues of men and angels, though I have the gift of prophecy, and the knowledge and can move mountains, I am nothing." You're leaving off the real thing, the real thing, friends, that we had years ago.
E-52 What's happened to it? Christ has come in, yes, but He's not let be Lord. You've let Hollywood, you've let television, all these different things… You stay home at night to watch "Who loves Sucy–Lucy," or ever what that woman's name is that plays on Wednesday night, and you stay home from prayer meeting. It goes to show you've lost something.
And you with these Elvis Presley's rock-and-roll records in your house and your kids playing, then wonder where we get juvenile delinquency. That's right.
And you women on early morning, ten o'clock, to listen to a person like Arthur Godfrey with all them dirty low-down jokes and not them old fashion prayer meetings you used to have in your home on early morning… There's your doors. That's what's the matter with the church.
E-53 I've been ten years among the–the people and trying everywhere, standing between them, trying to bring a revival. What are you doing? You're saying, "I belong to the Assemblies. I belong to the–to the Church of God, I belong to the Four Square." That doesn't mean [Brother Branham snaps his fingers–Ed.] that to God.
What have you done? Organized yourself, broke up brotherhood and everything. And God's standing… He loves all of His church. He wants us all together. And when we come together, then in one accord, in unity, in power of the resurrection of His Son, Jesus… We need a love.
E-54 I don't care how much your minister knows. If he fusses and says this other guy hasn't got anything to do with it, because I don't baptize like him, and he don't belong to our organization, he needs another dip at Calvary. That's exactly right. Until we can have love one for the other… God's standing at the door and knocking. "I knock, and no man seems to be able to answer."
What it is, God's shook every gift before us. All kinds of signs and wonders and–been done, and still we just won't let Jesus come any further. You're afraid to take His Word, afraid to trust Him. If you just only know how good He is to you, if you'd only wake up to realize…
E-55 Sometime ago I… What the world is looking for, just a moment, is to see some display, not of shouting (That's all right, I believe in that.), not speaking in tongues (Now, that's all right. I believe in that in its place. I believe in the whole Bible.), not some miracle of healing (I believe in that, every bit of it.), but what the world is looking for is to see some real Christianity, some real life that you live. Out on the street, wherever you are, sealed with the power of God, with the glory of God, not running down the street hollering, "Hallelujah, hallelujah." That isn't it. But a sweet, humble Christian walk before men, living the life, acting like a Christian, being like a Christian, behaving yourself like a Christian, that's what the world's wanting to see.
E-56 And people will go down the street and say, "If there ever was a Christian, a sainted person, there she goes, or there he goes." But you see what we've done. You know that's true, friend.
When the Church gets back to living what we're professing to be, then it… Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth." But if the earth has lost its–if the salt has lost its savour, it's not good for anything but to be put under the feet of man, made roads out of.
Now, let me ask you something. Listen to this. A salt is a savour if it contacts. If you've got a barrel of meat here and a barrel of salt here, the salt–the meat will spoil unless the meat and salt get together.
E-57 And when you… If you're the salt of the earth, then you've got to live such a life, a written epistle, till all men will know what you are. [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] Will profess to be…
You know they say this, "Your life speaks so loud, I can't hear your testimony." That's right.
Some time ago… A little story I want to tell you just before closing of this–of this door that I'm speaking of, and think of the importance of Jesus at the door trying to get in to create a brotherly love.
You let this audience tonight, right what's in this building, just a few hundred people setting here, let them become one accord, let all their traditions, and all their every different denominational barriers and everything… Let the women straighten up. Let the men straighten up. Let the preacher straighten up. Let's all come together in a real, big bundle of godly love, I'll show you that Greenville will know there's been a convention here. That's right.
E-58 When you Methodists can shake hand with the Baptists, when you Church of God can shake hands with the Foursquare and the Assemblies of God, likewise, and say, "We're brethren, regardless of what they do. We are brothers and we're worshipping the same God."…
Why, my brothers don't look nothing like me, and I don't look like them, but we're brothers. We've got to recognize one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
I used to hunt up in the north woods. I was just up there a few weeks ago. I met an old friend of mine I used to hunt with. And I… Not to kill the game, I love to get alone in the woods to be away from God–away with God, rather, away from the world. Get up into the mountains where you don't smell gasoline, and cigarettes all the time, up where God can breathe, up in a–a place high… Like Peter said, "It's good to be here. Let's build three tabernacles." I love to get alone.
E-59 Had a fellow that I hunted with, he was a great hunter, a good tracker, and he was a good man, good shot. But I… He was the meanest man I ever seen. He just wanted to be cruel just to be smart. Now, that's the trend of the American people.
Just… If you're a preacher, they love to blow smoke in your face because you know you don't believe in it. And people in the–around where you live, if you preach against women wearing those little old dirty clothes, they'll just come right out before you just to show that they'll do it. They don't realize that they're devil-possessed.
E-60 There was only one thing that ever made people strip their clothes. That was the Devil. Find it in the Bible. Exactly right. What is it? A heathen trait.
I've seen tens of thousands of black people. I've seen… Look, I want to ask you something. At Durban, South Africa, I saw thirty thousand raw heathens come to Christ at once. Woman give birth to a baby setting as close as these is, these people setting here. And never had no help, just give birth to the baby, and picked him up, and give him a little spanking, and turned him up to the breast, and begin let him nurse, and listen at me preach: just as primitive as they could be.
E-61 Notice, them women there with no clothes on or clout, and as soon as they… I seen thirty thousand of them accept Christ at one time, break their idols on the ground because of the great miracle the Lord had did in telling something that was going to take place, and it did. Just then they seen that it could only be God. It couldn't be a man.
And when they did… I want to ask you something. Is civilization going on? Is this a modern civilization? Why, we've been swinging backwards for fifty years.
Those naked women that didn't have nothing on, but in front of them a little clout about so big, as soon as they accepted Christ, and I asked them to raise their hands and receive the Holy Spirit, were two hundred thousand standing there at one time… And as soon as the Holy Spirit come on those women, they walked away from the presence of those men with their arms folded. You didn't have tell them to put on clothes. See them on the street the next day, they're dressed. Christ puts on clothes. Don't take it off.
E-62 And we think that we're civilization, why, we're becoming more… This is educated heathenism. That's right. Now, there's something wrong.
Them women not even knowing they were naked, they don't even know which is right and left hand. And as soon as the Spirit of God strikes them, they cover themselves up like this and walk away. What does that?
And you say you got the same Holy Spirit that makes you take your clothes off. God doesn't do things like that. So there's something wrong somewhere.
E-63 So this fellow, being mean, just to act smart, he come and he'd shoot these little fawns (That's little baby deer.), just to be mean. And I'd get after him about it. He said, "Oh, Billy, you chicken-hearted preacher." Said, "You're a good hunter, but you're just too chicken-hearted."
I said, "Burt, there's a lot difference in being a hunter and being a killer." See? I said, "Don't do that." Now, if the law permits you to kill a fawn, that's all right. There's nothing wrong with the size of the deer, but it's killing the whole bunch of them just to be mean. Be the same way to kill birds, chickens, or anything else just to be mean, that's cruel.
Abraham killed a calf and fed it to God, and He eat it. That's exactly right. So there's nothing wrong in the little part of it. But he'd just kill the little fellows just because I was along. String them up, and sometimes cut the quarters off of them, throw the rest of it away just to be mean.
And I said, "Burt, you're a good guy, but you're the–you're the meanest guy I ever knowed of."
E-64 And one year when I went up there, he made himself a little whistle. And he could take that little whistle, and go just like a little baby deer crying for its mammy. Well, I thought, "Burt, you're not going to use that whistle, surely not."
"Oh," he said, "go on, Billy."
There's was about six inches of snow on the ground that morning, late in the season. Hard to hunt those white-tailed deer because they've been shot at, and they're scared and they're–they stay back in hide out.
E-65 We hunted till about noon and hadn't even seen a track. Deer was scarce. I shall never forget it. And about noon, he was in front of me, and he set down in a little opening about the size of this auditorium. And he went back in his shirt. I… We usually pack some sandwiches, and some hot chocolate, and so forth. We'd drink and–and eat our sandwich, and then we'd take separate roads that go back where–back to the main camp in the afternoon.
We hadn't seen no tracks, so hunting had been very bad that morning. And when he set down, he kept reaching back like this. He set his rifle down. He was feeling for something. I thought it was his lunch. And he pulled out that little whistle. I said, "Burt, you're not going to do that."
"Oh," he said, "go on, preacher."
E-66 And he took the little whistle in his mouth, and he blew it; and it sounded just like a little fawn crying for its mother. And to our surprise just across the opening about twenty yards, a great big, beautiful mother deer stood up, a doe. Why, I could see her big brown eyes, and the veins in her face, those great, big ears standing up. She was so pretty.
And she stood up. Now, that's very unusual for a deer to do that that time of day. Burt looked back at me with them lizard-looking eyes, looked at me, kinda smiled, reached down for his rifle, real easy. I said… Motioned my head to him. He just laughed, looked again. And he blew the whistle again.
E-67 That mother stepped right out in the opening. Now, if there's a hunter here, you know that's absolutely unusual for a deer, especially in hunting season after being shot at, there at noontime. They're hid down good under piles of brush, stand in thickets. They won't come out in the open.
But what did she come out for? She was a mother. She wasn't playing church. She wasn't arguing her denomination. She was a mother at her heart. There was something in her. She heard a baby. It was in trouble. And she was a mother. She must get to it. She didn't think about fear. She wasn't putting that on like a lot of so-called Christians do. She was a real… There's something in her. She was borned a mother.
E-68 Oh, if the church could only be that real. If the–if the members of the body of Christ could only be that real. It's love that pulled her out there, not to say to the other deers, "Hey, all the rest of you, deers, all you bucks and does over there. Look at me, how brave I am." No, no, wasn't that. She wouldn't have done it. She knowed better.
Christians so-called don't. Just to play church and to play Christian… You got to be a Christian. That's what we need is to be a Christian.
Then when they… She walked out there. I thought, "Oh, my." And I heard him pull that .30-06 shell up and put it in the chamber, and lock it down, raise his gun down (Oh, he was a dead shot.), those cross hairs laying across that loyal heart of that mother.
E-69 I thought, "Burt, how can you do that? Why, in a second from now, you'll blow that loyal heart plumb through that deer. Why, you'll turn her fifteen feet in the air that close to her with that hundred and eighty grain bullet striking about a ton and a half at a–that distance. Why, he'd turn that little, about a eighty or ninety pound mother, why, he'd blow the heart plumb through her, when that mushroomed, it'd blow a hole that big around standing that close to her."
I thought, "How can you blow that loyal heart out of that mother and her looking for her baby? She's not a hypocrite. She's a mother." And I seen that rifle level down. I turned my back. I couldn't watch it. It was too much. I just couldn't do it. I turned my back. I thought, "O God, don't let him do that."
E-70 And I was just listening any minute to hear that big gun fire. And I waited for a few minutes; it didn't fire. And I looked around, and the gun barrel was going like this, shaking. And he threw the gun on the ground, turned around, and the big tears running down his cheeks, he grabbed me by the pants' leg. He said, "Billy, I've had enough of it. Lead me to that Jesus that you talk about."
What was it? My sermon? No. He saw something real. He saw something that wasn't put on. He seen something that was genuine, what real love would do. That one, that sinner, there I turned him around on that snow bank there. And that mother walked away. And there on that snow bank… That mother deer done something to that sinner, that was more than all the church members he'd seen in his lifetime. She displayed something that was real.
E-71 He said, "Billy, if God made that deer, and He made her a mother, and she's not afraid to die for the cause…" He said, "Tell Him, Billy, to make me a Christian like that, make me a Christian, much Christian as she is a mother."
God, that's my prayer. Make me a Christian, Lord. If everything else fails, make me a Christian, Lord. Put something in me that's real. Knock at my heart, Lord. Tell me my short place and where I'm short at. Come in, Lord, and open up my doors of my own life; open up my private life; open up my eyes; open everything, Lord. Let me see You, the love of God that's shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. That's what I want.
E-72 That's what Christ wants to do to this Church. Not give you any more gifts. You got too many of them now. What He wants to do is to give you Himself: Love, the love of God, the abundant Life in your heart that makes you love everybody, makes you love Him till you can't rest.
Remember, the Bible said that when the Holy Ghost went forth to seal those for the Kingdom, the Holy Ghost was bidden to only seal those who cried and sighed, day and night for the abomination that was done in the city.
Can anybody raise your hand tonight and tell me of a Christian, one in Greenville, that lays on their face, so burdened for the sins of Greenville, that they cry and sigh before God day and night? Tell me where that person is; I can show you the mark of the Holy Ghost. For the Bible said, "Mark only those who sigh and cry for the abominations did the city."
E-73 Now, can I say, "Can you show me somebody that belongs to church?" Thousands. Can you show me somebody that shouts? Thousands. Speaks with tongues? Thousands. Works miracles? Thousands. But show me somebody that sighs and cries for the abominations did in the church.
See how worldly we get? Get away, cutting hair, wearing wrong dresses, drinking, cigarettes, out… or drink, smoking, all these things.
You see where it's at? We let down the bars, compromised with sin. What we need tonight is to listen to that knock coming at our door. "Return, oh, to Me. If the people that's called by My Name, shall set themselves together and pray, then I'll hear from heaven."
I wonder as we bow our heads just a moment, I'd like to ask you…