|Broken Cisterns (65-0123)|
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. May be seated.
3 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 set this morning and listened close to the service, and 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 humil–somebody that can be human enough, or–or gentleman enough too, 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.
6 I remember my first experience of seeing a Pentecostal; it was in Dowagiac, Michigan. I beg your pardon; I'd 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've 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, and a velvet collar, and just a little rim of white fur hair around the side. And I thought, "All these men here and theologians, great men, how they'd let this service be given to a fellow like that? Well, the old man should be in a chair somewhere, setting down…?…"
8 They'd been preaching that day about what Jesus had did here on earth. And, but he came take–took his text, I believe it was from Job:7 20, 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, at 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. And 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'll do that for that old man, what would it do for me?" So see?
11 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 setting here; I think; 'course, being Irish, my people are Catholic. And so there was a couple more Baptist and different ones. You might've been a little confused awhile 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 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…
12 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, that's 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.
13 Now, I–I know this is no place to say this. But being that everybody's 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: rather long-winded.
A man said one day, said, "A minister came up; he'd 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's 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.
16 He said, "Well, brethren, I'll tell you what 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's 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."
I ain't going to put anything in, so–so we hope I don't get some buttons in our pockets. 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.
19 Now, let us read in the Scripture. Many of you like to follow. And I'm 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.
20 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."
We had been reading this Scripture this morning; which, all Scripture's 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 awhile 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's 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.
24 Now, during the time of Jeremiah here, his prophecy, it had been about sixty years since the death of–of Isaiah–Isaiah. And they'd 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–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.
27 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 aiming 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.
29 Now, but this great prophet of this day was Jeremiah, and he was something on a 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…
Some time when you're speaking about a nation, it might think that it's reflecting to a–a certain group. It–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 a, I'd say, got away from God. And by doing that, it's been the weakness of the pulpit. Because if the pulpit would've 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.
31 I believe it was Amos, as I referred to him awhile 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's the king of the beasts, and, when that lion roars, even the beetles stop hollering; everything does. The–the–the jackals and the–and the hyenas a screaming, and the other animals, the squawking of the baboons and the 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's afraid of him. Yet, there's 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.
35 And we're seeing God, from every section of denominations, all the way from Catholicism, through all the Protestant churches, Buddhas and whatmore, from India, and whatevermore. 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–would've 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've known as I know now, and could looked over the whole span of time, and He'd have said to me, "What time do you want to live?" I'd 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. A…
38 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.
39 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 men 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 Baptists, and vice versa, and the different denominations. And that was not God's program to begin with.
41 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's got a place that He meets His church today, and He chose that Name, and that Name is Jesus Christ. And there's where He meets the true believer, when he's 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.
43 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–that's the only place that we'll ever be safely.
46 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's 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.
48 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 in the people into these things that's so-called Christianity, as Brother Moore once said, "He'd be morally obligated to raise up Sodom and Gomorrah and apologize for burning them up." That's right, because God's 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.
51 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 manmade 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 that 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 manmade tank. And it never can be relied on. You cannot rely on a cistern.
53 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?
54 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," and "I'm of Silas," and so forth. But they–they tried 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 Revelations 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"?
56 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, Revelations 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."
60 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's 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.
63 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 sponsor's 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.
66 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'm 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'll 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 that 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.
68 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 barn, sheds, where all the dirt that the dust blows up there, it washes right into the rain, and right down into the cistern, a manmade 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 manmade trough through a manmade spout to a manmade 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 manmade trough, manmade spout, into a manmade tank. And then it with a manmade strainer over the top of it to see that some of the bugs and things is kept back.
71 Now, now, we notice, in these few days after the water sets there in this manmade denominate, 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.
73 In giving the regards to this Catholic priest setting here; when God organized the church–or, not organized it, God never did organize a church. He's not in that kind of a business. He's in birth, not organizations, so when God started the church off at the day of Pentecost. And then finally down at Nicaea, Rome, they organized it, and there's 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, "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.
75 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's still calling a remnant out of every one of those generations. He's 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's 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.
78 What it is, it's got to be a fellowship, and not a fellowship of some creed. But a fellowship in Christ by the power of–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're 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.
81 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 a 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.
83 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 set down just a few minutes ago. Some of you seen me wink at a woman; it was my daughter; so she come in and set 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 new-born child of God. Atmosphere, that does it, no matter what denominational tag you have.
86 I 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's 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's not going to ask me if I was Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, or Presbyterian, but He's going to look for the Blood tag. "When I see the Blood, I'll pass over you." That's the thing.
88 So we find that these cisterns, after they set around awhile, they'd 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 whatmore, 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?
89 Now, it's a perfect example of any kind of a manmade system. He's 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's lost to begin with. He's borned in the world sinful; he comes to the world speaking lies. He's a liar to start with, so how in the world can he do anything for himself?
How can a holy man… There's no holy man. There's 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 to me. 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. It's 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.
91 Any manmade 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 into…
How would this Baptist evangelist, how would that man who stood there and criticized and made fun of It? See, there's 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.
93 A–a young Baptist preacher, here not long ago, setting present right here this morning; and he came to me, and he said, "Brother Branham, there's 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's one thing you're doing wrong."
I said, "I hope the Lord just finds one thing wrong."
And he said, "Well, there's… 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'd like to ask you a question."
I said, "Do you believe the Word of God's 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."
99 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's 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.
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.
101 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.
102 We're invited to take Israel for–for an example, which they have been. Notice, they had forsaken Him, their provided fountain, and had hewed themselves out cisterns. Could you imagine a–a–a–a thing, when a man is at a 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."
103 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, whatevermore, 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.
106 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's something spiritual wrong with that person. That's exactly right. Sure, the Holy Ghost… Each one has an interpretation of the Bible, what you think is right. God don't need your help. God don't need your interpretation.
God's 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.
108 That's how a prophet was proven to be of God. He said, "If there be one among you, who's 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.
112 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, whatmore. See?
And here's 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 indocumated 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 a-making it push up.
116 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 manmade 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 is that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. It keeps all the things bubbled out of it and shoved out of it. And there's none in there to begin with. The minute it gets into it, it'll push it out of the way.
118 That thing was bubbling up like that, and I said, set 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've spoke, he'd 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's nothing; clean water."
If it could've spoke to me, you know what that well would've said? He'd have said, "Brother Branham, it–it isn't me a bubbling. It's something behind me, bubbling me." And that's the way it is. That's a poor word, but you know what I mean.
121 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's something about it, that you have nothing to do with. The manmade 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're still happy because the Holy Spirit is in there bubbling up. It's a hidden power. Notice. Oh, its secret's within it.
122 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's 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 a atheist, or whatever it is. You're really, really got Something in you that's doing it.
123 You notice another thing about it, you don't have to pump it. You don't have to pull it, and pump it up. I've seen so much of that till it makes me sick: pumping up something, playing a bunch of music, and jumping up-and-down, or–or a great bunch of literature out in the town, and great big signs, "The man of the hour."
There's only one Man of the hour, and that's Jesus Christ, Who's the same yesterday, today, and forever. There's only one Messenger from God, and that's the–that's Jesus Christ. Yes, sir.
You don't have to pump this up, or pull it down. Or, not, you don't have to join it. You just take it, freely. Amen. "I am the Fountain of living Water; you left Me to go and make yourself some tanks." Now, you don't have to pulp it–pump it, pull it, and join it, dig it, nothing else. You just have to take of it freely.
126 You don't need any manmade theology for a strainer rag, either, to tell you what go through it, what it does not. Some manmade theology of some educational system, self-righteous religion in your–in their–this, or some cistern of religious system, you don't need it. It don't have to be there. You put a rag on that, it'd throw it plumb up in the air. It don't have nothing to do with it. It's self-supporting. It's the power of God springing up into Life. Why would a man leave a thing like that to join into a system, is more than what I could say. It don't need any strainer rags. It don't need it. It does not need to be–does not need to depend on local rains for its filling. It's full all the time. Amen.
127 A man, I hear them say, "I'm just down in the dumps today." Oh, my.
Oh, I'm glad to be living in the Presence of God, whether things are going right or not right. He's my Life. Amen. He's all our Life. He's the Life, the abundant Life. Yes, sir. His… And look what it does for us. Its power and purity is within itself. It needs no priming from the cistern or any other system.
Somebody say, "Well, what's your fellowship card? Let's see if you're a good Baptist. I'll see if you got a card. Or–or, a good Pentecostal, if you're a Oneness, Twoness, Threeness, or–or whatevermore." See? It doesn't need any priming. It's always a going. Yeah.
You know, I used to have this old cistern; I had to pour water down there and prime and prime and prime, with this old sucker pump to get it out of there; you know, pour some more water in it, and just poured a bunch of bugs and things in to pump out bugs and things. That's just about the way some of these systematic revivals is.
But, thank God, "There is a Fountain filled with Blood, where sinners plunge beneath the flood." You don't make church members; you make Christians out of them when they come to that Fount.
Why would you leave the Fountain of living waters to drink at such a cesspool as that?
133 No pumping up; Its power is within itself. It needs no priming (Yes, sir.) for itself, its own life is in itself. That's the way the seed of God is in a man's heart. The Life of God is within the individual, not in the church, in you; it's in you, you're the one that has the germ of Life in you.
Just one taste of it is convincing to all kinds of clergymen. Ask the Catholic priest; ask the Baptist, whatever it is. Just one taste of this great fresh artesian water, I'm telling you, it's convincing that it's the Truth. Your hungry soul, anyhow, it's convincing to the thirster anyhow. Now, if you're not thirsting… This little Baptist, he wasn't thirsting to begin with; but when he got thirsty, the water tasted awful good. That's right, but you've got to thirst, "the blessed thirst," as Jesus called that. "Blessed are you when you do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for you shall be filled." And Jesus said that, friend. Yes, sir. It's a blessed Fountain to the thirsty.
135 Why should any want to swap it for a swamp? How would you like to swap an artesian well for a swamp water, full of bugs and contaminations of all kinds of manmade theories, which God said that, "Adding one to His Word, or taking one of His Words away, his part would be taken off of the Book of Life"?
And when God promised that He'd vindicate this Word in every generation, "For the promise is unto you and your children, and them that's far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call," why would you pump on some systematic pump that's been contaminated for years from some old manna? Maybe the manna was all right, nothing against it, in the days of Martin Luther, in the days of this and the days of that, and the other reformers, nothing about it; but that's manna that fell a long time ago.
If we notice in the Bible, that they had to pick it up every day. They had to get new. After it got a little old, it rotted. It cannot rot without breaking down. It has to have bacteria in it, or something to–to make it rot. We know that's so.
And so is the systems. After it lays there from one great revival to another one, and it gets contaminated and gets full of bugs, and like a cistern full of wiggletails, as we used to call it, little old bugs that wiggled in there.
139 And that's what's the matter with so many people's experience today. They're–they're just full of wiggletails, wiggling from one to one, and one to the other, telling tales that ain't got no truth in it at all. That's right, wiggling out of one into another. "I was a Methodist; I joined the Baptist. I was a Catholic; I went to be this. I went to be that." It's just wiggletails. Oh, forget the whole thing and come to the Fountain (Amen.), the artesian Well, the ever-living Presence of Christ. I believe Him to be the inexhaustible Fountain of Life. More you get from Him, the fresher it gets, and the colder it gets, and the better it gets, and the sweeter it tastes. I've been serving Him now for thirty-three years, and each day grows still sweeter than it was the day before. I never been… He said you would never thirst if we drink in this Water. Notice how great it is. Oh.
Israel did as many do today, they left the fountain of living waters to go dig themselves cisterns.
142 Now, speaking of grace just for a moment, what the grace of God. We got laws and by-laws, "And if you don't measure up to this standard… I got a religious measuring stick; if you don't measure just up to that, you've got to, well, you can't come in," and so forth. But God saves us by grace, not by a measuring stick. See? But God, speaking of grace now, just how this happened to take place, drinking from Him. From this measuring stick…
Murmur, murmuring Israel. Watch, He said, "And I will visit you again." Notice in the Scripture. Notice, He's going to try them to visit them again. Murmuring Israel at the Red Sea was invited to follow Him through the stagnated Egyptian's water to be a free people. They was invited to come over to be a free people, with Him. Come out through the dead sea, the dead sea–the Red Sea, rather, come out through that to go into a wilderness to bring a separation between them and the impersonators trying to impersonate it without circumcision.
144 Oh, that's what caused the trouble. Every one of them perished right in the wil–or right–right in the sea, Pharaoh and his army. They seen human beings walking by supernatural power, so they come back around and tried to impersonate that without being in… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… sea. And when they did, they perished. It's carnal comparison.
A man that tries to do that, try to impersonate something, then he is making a carnal comparison of a real Christian.
146 My Indian brother there knows that. Come up around Bombay and you'll see the people there, the Hindus and so forth, laying on spikes and upon–walking on glass and–and walking in fire to show what they can do, and things like. That's carnal impersonations of some man back in the jungle there, is doing that to his sacrifice for his god.
We find that amongst all religious life, carnal impersonations, somebody trying to be like the other. There's only one Example you're to be like, that's like Jesus Christ, Who was the Word. And then when the Word of God comes to you, it'll be the same way.
148 But God led them right on to the promised land anyhow. They found also every tank… When they started through the wilderness in their journey now, after they had separated, they found out that every tank was dry to them.
And you'll find the same thing, brother, when you start this journey to the promised land. You'll find doors closed. Like that little preacher said, an Anglican, or whatever he was, and the first thing you know, his church turned him out. See? Just as long as he had so many receive the Holy Ghost, that was the end of it.
150 And we–and Israel found the same thing, as examples, in their journey to the promised land. The tanks were all dry. Yeah, their journey in obedience to His promised Word, their journey, and the tanks they found dry. Now, they found the tank–tanks could not be depended on for the journey.
And if you're going to journey in obedience to the Word of God, and try to join this and join that, you're going to find out there ain't a tank in the world that will support it, not at all. You are an individual. God leads you just the way He wants to lead you. Then we have found the same thing today, and all tanks are dried up.
152 But the promise, are always true to God Who will keep His promise to His people. He promised to supply all they had need of, so He did that. In the midst of the empty, dry tanks (Just think of it.), and complaining Israel in the desert in their journey, He called His servant-leader, the prophet Moses out to one side, and opened up a fountain of living water by a smitten Rock, so His believing children would not perish.
In this day, that speaks of grace to me. We are undeserving. The way that we've done, the way that we've lived, we're undeserving. But God in this day, like right here this morning, look to Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and all, He has opened up a Fountain. Hebrews 13 proves this, that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So it–it makes true John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life."
And it was lifted up for a compound reason, because the people were murmuring and sinning, and they were snake-bitten and they were dying; and for the forgiveness of their sins, and the healing of their sickness.
And that's the same Fountain that's open to us today, for our salvation and for our healing, physical healing. "For He's the same yesterday, today, and forever."
157 And when the Rock that was smitten by the promised Word of God had commanded, it was giving forth gushers of pure clean water; not–not stagnated, not contaminated, but God's own Presence. Was pure water, and it saved all that drank. Now, we know that that's true, because we read it in the Old Testament, as a type.
Now, you did not have to pull it, pump it, join it, go into the seminary to learn how to use it. They'll tell you how to use it there (See?), "Oh, well, you, if you have received the Holy Spirit, we believe that, but so you–you do it this way."
But, you see, there's no control of it. You don't use the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit uses you. See, see? You're not the–you're not to use the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit got you. A gift is not something you take like a knife, and sharpen a pencil with it. It's yielding yourself to God and getting yourself out of the way so the Holy Spirit can use you.
160 Notice, they never had to pump it or pull it, or they never had to ask, "Now, how do we use this water?" Because they knowed how to use it. They were thirsty. They knowed what to do with it.
And so is a man or woman, what, regardless of what creed or denomination he belongs to. If he's thirsting for God, he don't have to run back to the seminary, like this Anglican brother did, or British brother, last night, had to go back and consult how to the Anglican church, how he must use this great gift he's got, speaking in tongues, and how he must do this. They'd kick him out to begin with. See? He was thirsty, so God just filled him. That's all there is to it. It's thirsting, and then He just fill.
You don't have to have any control, somebody tell you what to do with it. God leads each individual in the–the way He wants you to do. You are a–an individual yourself. You are a part of God. Nobody can take your place. And there's no way to have to go to somebody, and say, "Now, I'll have to do this with it," or "I have to do that with it." No, sir. God uses it the way that–that He wants to. When you're thirsty, you know enough to drink. And if you're thirsting this morning, drink from it; that's all you have to do.
163 God had provided a way for their thirst, the thirsty children to partake freely of Himself. And God's provided a way for every man and woman this morning, who's hungering and thirsts. Perhaps there's people setting here, have never been saved. There's people setting here who's on the verge of being saved.
There's people here, setting here as church members; you want to do right, but you're drinking from a tank. They'll never tell you these truths.
The only thing to come, is take the promise of God and come to that Fountain, then He'll quench the thirst. "He that drinks from this Fountain shall never thirst again."
166 Notice now, how–how He liberated His–His ones who received this water by grace, and not by a system or a cistern of education. He vindicates His Word is a Life-giving Resource. How many in here knows that you received Life when you taken that Word and His water, just you know that you received Life?
Let's take, well, for instance, just another example, or two, and then I'm going to close just in a moment. I ain't got–I must have that button somewhere. But notice. I just keep talking, but I don't mean to do it. Look, let's take for an example, just a couple people.
168 Let's take the woman at Jacob's cistern, a dug well. There she was setting there. That's all the woman knowed, was this cistern where she come to get water. And over against the well she found, in the little panoramic there, a Man setting there, a Jew. And she was a Samaritan; it's a city of Sychar. And we find out that this Man, this Jew, spoke an unusual Word to this woman, said, "Bring Me a drink."
She said, "Now, we have segregation. It's not–not right for you to ask me a question like that; You being a Jew, and me a Samaritan."
He said, "But if you knew Who you were talking to, you'd ask Me for a drink, and I'd give you waters that you don't have to come to this cistern to drink it; be a well of water bubbling up in you." Notice, when she found that this proved to be the Truth.
171 Now, first, any man could've said that. But she said, "You say worship in Jerusalem, and we worship in this mountain."
He said, "Salvation is of the Jew. We know what we believe." But said, "Let Me tell you one thing," in words like this, "neither in this mountain, or at Jerusalem. The time's coming when man shall worship God in Spirit and in Truth, for the Father seeketh such." He said, "Go get your husband and come here." Watch, here it proved it. Here show what fountain she was at. Said, "Go get your husband and come here."
She said, "I don't have any husband."
He said, "You've said the truth." See, it looked like it was a plain contradiction to what He'd asked her, and said, "Go get your husband."
Said, "I have no husband."
Said, "You've said the truth." Said, "Because you've had five, and the one you're living with now is not yours."
175 Watch that woman, how different from the priests of that day. The priests of that day seen that same thing happen, and said, "That's a devil, a telepathy, or–or a Beelzebub." See, they failed to see the Word promising that.
But that little woman was better versed in the Scripture than any of the priests. She said, "Sir, I perceive that You're a prophet. We haven't had one for four hundred years, since in Malachi." But said, "We have looked for one, and we know there's one coming, the Messiah. And when He comes, this will be what He'll do."
Jesus said, "I'm He." Amen.
Did you notice, she left her bucket at Jacob's cistern, run down into the city, full of an artesian well. She'd seen it perfectly vindicated, and He was that Fountain in her Life. Let me introduce it to you. She left that. When He was proved to be the Word of Life, she left it; and had discovered that the same Rock that was smitten in the wilderness, was proven to be present then.
178 Let me say: that same God that was in the days gone by, that we speak so much of, He's present here now; not by some theological understanding, but by a personal knowledge of His vindication that He'd pour out in this last days the Holy Spirit upon His church. He is not an "I was." He is still the "I AM," present tense, always.
Then the cistern lost its taste. And so does every man who ever falls into the power of God by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the denominational systems lose their taste. You don't want no more of that stagnated frogs, and lizards, and bugs, and so forth. You're drinking from a Fountain that's fresh and pure: the Word of God, fresh every hour in your soul. The same as now, when the Word has been proven to be the Truth, taste and see if it's not right.
Though the cistern had served its well–served its time well; but (You see?), the Fountain of Life was there, not Jacob's well no more, for spiritual drinking. What they thought, if they drank from that well, why, it would be all right; but now the Fountain of Life Itself was setting there.
181 Now we don't need systems and organizations that we have. We're at the end time. And God promised in this end time the things that He would do. And we see it fulfilled to the Word. We hear the man of military might stand up, and shivering, and saying, they, "Something's fixing to happen." We feel the Holy Spirit warning us that something's fixing to happen. We see everything set in order. Then leave that system and come to the Fountain. Yes, sir.
Served its purpose, but now she was face to face with the Fountain itself.
183 In John 7:37-38, Jesus said in the last days of the feast of the tabernacle (What did He say?), "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink." Right in a bunch of theologians. "If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. For the Scriptures has said, out of His innermost being shall flow rivers of living Waters."
There's the living Fountain. That's the Fountain that the people has forsaken today. For the creed, they have forsaken the Fountain of living Water. Let me introduce you to Him. He, to me… And I'm closing.
He, to me, is that Fountain that saved Hagar's life, and the child, when they were dying in the wilderness.
I believe He is that Rock; in Isaiah 32, He's that Rock in a weary land. He's the shelter in the time of storm.
Zechariah 13, He is the Fountain that's open in the House of David, for sin. I believe Him to be that. Don't you?
In Psalms 36:9, He is David's fountain of Life. He is the still Waters of David, and the green pastures. He is the Water by the brook-side, for David.
189 In Genesis 17, He's Abraham's nursing breast, El Shaddai that when his life was gone from him, still he… God said.
"A man of a hundred years old, how will this thing be? I'm old; my wife is old, how can these things be?"
He said, "I am El Shaddai." Now, "El" is "the," and–and "Shad" is–is "breast," and "Shaddai" is plural, which means "I am the breasted God."
Like a baby that's fretting, and it's sick, and its strength is gone from it, lean upon the mother's bosom and nurse its strength back. Sure. Not only… When it's nursing, it isn't fretting no more. At the mother's breast, it's satisfied while it is getting its strength.
And any man that will take God's promise in his heart, that, "The promise is unto you, and your children, them that's far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call," and lay right against that and nurse your strength back… Fretting child, believe it. It's for the believers.
194 To the believer poet, I can think of many songs that the poets found us. There was one of them said one time, He…
195 To me, He's the Waters of the Word of Separation, that separates you from everything that's contrary to His Word. That's the Fountain I believe Him to be. Yes, sir. That… It's the Waters that separated me from manmade cisterns to the Fountain of living Water. Oh, friend, I–I can just… You can just go on and on, with the things that–that He is to us. He's Alpha, Omega. He's the Begin; He's the End. He's He that was, which is, and shall come. He's the Root and Offspring of David. He's the Morning Star. He's my All in all.
196 And, brother, sister, if you haven't had a–a… Just been drinking from this little manmade tank, all your life, why not this morning forsake that tank and come to this Fountain?
Let us bow our heads just a moment. With your heads bowed… [A sister begins singing in another tongue. Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… to my opinion, the altar call. How many now?
I–I was all nervous. I–I was keeping you too long, made me chop my message to pieces. But I believe the Holy Spirit wants you to get what I mean. [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] as He… See? Look, there's nothing more important in this day than getting right with God (See?); our dinners, whatever it is, whatever. The Lord is here. Now, I've only heard that about once in my life, since this time.
Now, how… All of you here, not "how many." All of you here that wants to drink from That, just stand up just a minute, just for prayer. God bless you. [Brother Branham pauses–Ed.] The Lord bless you.
200 Now, how many in here, that–that's standing present now, would say, by uplifted hand like this, "God, move on me; just fill me, let me drink from this Fountain. And I haven't done just what's right, but I–I want You to forgive me for it. I want You to wash away my sins. And let–let–let me from this day, just…" Just look. My…?…
Now, that you that's a Christian believer, you've accepted Christ as your personal Saviour, but you have not as yet… Now, if you haven't, that's the Fountain. The only One I know about is that Fountain from Emmanuel's veins. Now, and if many of you here…
202 It's just like I was speaking the other night about this little eagle walking in the barnyard with the chickens. And he never knowed nothing else but the chickens, but he knowed there was something about him was different from the chickens. And then his mother come hunting him, and she screamed from above. It was a eagle's call. See? He had to be an eagle to begin with, or he'd have never recognized that call. See, he…
There has to be something there, germitized, or it can never produce Life. And if the Seed, the Word of God, is in you, the Holy Spirit's here now to germitize that and bring It to a reality to you.
204 How many in here has not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, would you raise up your hands? All around, everywhere, just real honest, if you haven't received the Holy Ghost, and you'd like to, raise up your hand. Wherever you are, just keep your hand up, just a moment.
Now, I want, you standing around and looking at them, I want somebody to lay your hands over on them.
I believe right now the Holy Spirit will fill every one of you who wants It. Now, don't think about the food out there in the cafeteria. Let's think about this Food here. This is the One. This is Life. See, this is Life.
Now, turn right around, each one of you, and lay hands on each other. "And they laid their hands upon them." Now, I want you to pray for that person you've got your hand…
Now, don't think about going out. Don't think about nothing else. Just think, right now, the Holy Spirit's here to fill each individual. Open up your heart, dump all the cistern water out, and say, "O Fountain of Life, come into me. Fill me, O Lord God, with Thy goodness and mercy."
209 Lord Jesus, that inexhaustible Fountain, I pray, God, that You will fill each one of them. May the Holy Ghost fall here. I pray, God, that we'd forget all about anything else; that the Holy Spirit fall into the midst of us just now, and will give to us that Waters of Life freely from everywhere. Grant it, O God. While the–the continuity of prayer and song, blending together, Lord, knowing that's Your Presence, Your Divine Presence, we want to come to the Fountain. We want the real, genuine baptism with the Holy Ghost. Lord, these people are praying for It. I pray that this right moment now, that they will be filled with this goodness of God. Grant it, O God. Hear the prayer of Your children. May You come upon their being; may the power of God, and the Holy Ghost sweep over them. Grant it, God.
O how we thank You for the refreshening, for the Presence of the mighty God of heaven, standing in our midst. Right at this noon hour, Lord, feed us. Lord, we want food from Your table. Feed us, Lord, just now. Feed us with the Holy Spirit in our lives; our hungry parching souls are thirsty. As You said in the interpretation of the song, "It would pour forth water upon parched ground." Let it happen, Lord. Let Thy Words be made manifested in the hearts of Thy children: "Waters upon dry, parched ground." Eternal God, hear the prayer of Your servants, and give unto us that blessing. Amen.
Just keep praising Him now. Find out, the Holy Spirit's here. If you don't receive It, it's your fault.
\chftn \*\footnote\chftn If you have a tape with these missing words, please forward a copy to Eagle Computing. Oh, how I love Je…, (What if He would come just this moment?)
Let's sing it to Him now.
213 All that feel that, say "Amen." [Congregation says, "Amen."–Ed.] Oh, hallelujah. I see some people coming through now with the Holy Spirit.
Let's raise up our hands now and really praise.
Do you love Him? Oh, wonderful. Praise… That Fountain filled with Blood, where sinners lose all fear of man, all condemnation, just free in him. Hallelujah. Oh, my, that's really wonderful.
Now, while we sing that again, let's let all the Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, what is, while we sing this, "Wonderful, Jesus is to me," let's just turn around and shake hands with each other, just have a good old mix-up. You know, I, that's what I like. Come on, let's sing it now as we do it.
216 [Brother Demos Shakarian speaks to Brother Branham about President Johnson having a heart attack–Ed.]
[Brother Shakarian again speaks to Brother Branham." Brother Earl Prickett leads the congregation in singing, "Wonderful." Blank.spot.on.tape. Congregation sings "There's A River Of Life." Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]
218 The Bible said, "Pray for those that are in authority."
Our heavenly Father, we are standing in a desperate need for the leader of our nation, our President. He may never know this, Lord, but You know it. I pray for Brother Johnson, as he professes to be a believer in You. And, Father, a heart attack, we understand, has struck him. I pray, God, spare his life. We're in a–a national crisis right now anyhow. And let Thy Spirit come upon him, Lord. And right now, in the hospital or wherever he may be, let Your Spirit come down to that Walter Reed Hospital and touch his body, sparing his life. Lord, the man's under pressure, more pressure than what we understand. So we pray, God, as believers and as a part of this nation, we pray for our leader, that You will grant him an extension of life in this great hour, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.