|Church Order (63-1226)|
871-1 [Brother Billy Paul opens with a few words, then discusses with the prophet about the switching off of the tapes–Ed.] Yes, how do you turn them–turn them–and don't turn them off yet… Then we'll… And then you be ready to turn them off, then when I motion my head to you like that… See? See? When I motion my head to you, you… The way you want me to…
Brethren, we've called this meeting together here tonight for the purpose of knowing how that to operate the church of the living God, which we believe to be a part of this church.
I want to, first thing I want to say, that in my travels around the world, so far as I know, this is one of the most spiritual places where you feel the Spirit of God more than any other place I know. I had two other places in mind that used to be, but so far we–we don't seem to see those places; one of them has went into the organization, and the other has–has kind of fallen.
So I was called yesterday and was–was told me that you all wanted a meeting to ask me these questions concerning your duties in this church, and I–that's what I'm here for tonight, is… And to–to set the church, or to give to you the things that I think that–that is what's substantial to make this church to continue on…
871-4 Brethren, I'm sure that you do realize, that, as I've made this remark about this being a spiritual place, it isn't the biggest place in the world, and it isn't what we have the most singing, the most screaming, and the most hollering, or the most speak–speaking in tongues, and things; that isn't it; but it's the quality of the Spirit that's operates here in this Tabernacle. And so far, I want to commend and thank Brother Neville, and–and you brethren here, trustees, and deacons, and Sunday school superintendent, and all, for–for what you have done in–in helping keeping this this way. It's been a long prayer of mine, and a desire since a boy, to see the church put in order and kept in order.
871-5 Now, we dedicated the church, I told you, a little later I had something to talk to you about, how to set this thing in order, the way it should be run. And you started off… After leaving here, we had ministers and so forth. But now, Brother Neville being just young among us, come among us, I thought it'd be better for Brother Neville to get better established in the faith before I presented such things as I'm about to do now. But now, after I find out that he is getting well established in the faith, and understands what the doctrine is, and–and has played the part of a faithful witness to Christ and holding for what we believe to be the truth, I think it's the hour now, would be a good time to approach him in the–and among you elders and things here of the church, that you would take these orders and remember them; they're the best of my knowledge before God. And then I'm looking to you to carry these things out the way that I'm saying them, because somebody has to be a head around here. You have to have…
872-6 Now, I'm not trying to usurp authority or something like that, but (You see?), a man or anything with two heads to it, it–it doesn't know how to go. God never did have two heads to His church; He never did; it's one head. He always dealt in every generation… As we've studied through the Scriptures, there's always one individual that He deals with. Because you get two men, you got two opinions. It's got to come to one final absolute, and my absolute is the Word, the Bible. And as a pastor here of the church, my absolute is the Word, and I want… I know you are brothers, you kind of look to me to be your absolute to what… As long as I follow God as Paul said in the Scripture, "You follow me, as I follow Christ."…
872-7 And then I'd expect you brethren, at any time that you see me to get away from this Scripture, to come to me privately and tell me where I'm wrong. I don't care if you're one of the trustees or the… Or if you're the janitor, whoever you are, you're duty bound to me, as a Brother in Christ, to tell me when I'm wrong Scripturally. And if there is a question, let's set down and solve it out together.
And that's why you come, I suppose, to me tonight, brought me in here, is because that there's questions here that seems to be questioning you in your mind for the things that I have–have here. Now remember, brethren, I don't know… There's no names signed to any of these tickets, but… And they're wrote, and I can't–don't know who wrote them, but they're questions that's on your mind, and I'm here to answer them the best of my knowledge.
872-9 And remember, God is looking to me to see that I stay in the Word. And I'm looking to you to see that you carry out the Word (See, see?) in this church. And keep it spiritual, for remember, all the forces of–of the dark kingdom of Satan will be turned against you as you begin to grow in the Lord. And you must be soldiers, not just fresh recruits. You're aged soldiers now, and been trained to fight. And Satan will come among you, cause you to dispute with one another if he can. Turn him down just immediately; you're brethren; and it's the enemy. And we're here to hold a standard in this evening Light time, that when the world is darkened and the whole church kingdom is going into the Council of Churches… And pretty soon they'll try to tack a sign on this door here, "Closed!" And then we're going to have to meet other places, 'cause they'll certainly close these churches one of these days if we don't take the mark of the beast. And we're depending on staying true to God till death sets us free, and that's what we intend to do.
873-10 Now, straight to the… And I would ask, that if ever a time that any of these things come into question, that this tape may be played before the members of this church (See?) at your meetings, or prior the meeting, just before the meeting start. Turn this tape on and play it. And may the congregation here understand that these men are duty bound to God, as their oath in this church, to help hold these principles. You may disagree with them; and if I let you run it, then I'll disagree with you. We've got to have some source somewhere where there's got to be a–an ultimate. And the best that I know, I'm giving it under the Holy Spirit, letting Him be my Ultimate. And let this tape be your ultimate on these questions.
873-Q-220 Now, the first one is:
220. How shall the church act towards calls for financial help of–for food and clothing? What–what act, what–what should the church do?
Now, we realize that the church is responsible for its own, for our members here of the church; we are totally responsible as far as we have needs to supply them with. We are responsible for our own; that's steady, constant members of the Tabernacle that come here and worship with us. We are duty bound to them, as our brothers and sisters who have proven to be our members of this gathering.
Now, we realize that there is millions tonight without food, without clothing, and we would love to be able to help the whole group of them, to do everything we could; but financially we cannot do that; we can't support all the world. But we are duty bound to our own. And I think, in that, and then if we have anything left over that you'd want to contribute to people who are not members here of this church, something that you'd want to give to them, it should be met between the board of the deacons.
874-13 The deacons is the one that–that has to meet this opposition, or this problem, rather; because that in the Bible when the dispute come up about food, and clothing, and so forth, in the Book of Acts, they called the apostles in about it, and they said, "Go look out for yourself seven men of honest report and full of the Holy Ghost that they might attend to these things, because we will give ourself continually to the Word of God and in prayer."
And it isn't the pastor's duty to look out to the–for the food and so forth. That's supposed to be by the deacons. It isn't the trustees; it is the deacons' office to do this. And then this should be… Remember in the Bible they was contributing to their own, the Greeks and the–and the Jewish, where the argument come up that one was getting a little more than the other, but it was people who had sold all their goods and had give it into the church for its support, and then to–to be divided out among them equally. And there was a little dispute come up, and there's where we got our first deacons. And that's one of their duties, is to do that.
874-15 I think that, as our own, as our own people, we should take care of them. And it should be turned in, any complaint, to the chairman of the deacon board, and then it should be met by the deacon board and see what they're able to do about it. And all of those things which is clothing, and food, and financial help, or whatever it is, should come through the deacons. Then the deacons, when they decide that they are–that they are–what they're going to do about it, then it should be presented then unto the–the treasurer, to see if the treasurer is able at this time to pay this certain amount of finance, or–or buy these clothing, or whatever it is to that. But the–the deacon board should meet on that, and it doesn't go to the trustees or to the pastor. It's a deacon's thing altogether.
875-Q-221 Now, then question number two:
221. Is it sufficient to say openly from the pulpit that tongues and interpretations should be done in a meeting before the service?
That's the second question on this slip of paper that I have here, which is a little card. Now, this would be pertaining to the pastor here. See? Because he–he, after all, over the spiritual part, he's the head of that. Deacons are policemen in the church, to keep order and to take care of these things, and feeding the poor, and so forth. The trustees are over the finance and the building, and that's what they are to look after. But the pastor is over the–the supervising of the spiritual part, and this would go to you, Brother Neville.
875-17 Now, there… Sometime ago when the order was set in the church… I do believe in speaking in tongues, and interpretation, and all the fine spiritual gifts that's ordained of God to be in the church. But we are living in a day just like it was in the Bible time, where the churches… Now, you notice Paul, he founded the church at Ephesus, the Ephesian church, which was a well established church. Did you notice? We believe that Paul, and did say so himself, that he spoke with many tongues, and we know that he had gifts of tongues, not ones that he had learned, but those who were spiritually given to him, because how he speaks it in Corinthians there. And to save time, I'm not just turning in the Bible and reading it for you, because it would make our–our stay here too long tonight, as I don't have too much time. And now… But just so that you could openly see…
875-18 Now, Paul never one time had to speak to the Ephesian church or to the Roman church, or any of those other churches, about their spiritual gifts, about how to put them in order. But he did have to speak to the Corinthians continually about it, because they made it an issue all the time. And Paul said when he come among them, if they found out if one had a tongue and one had a psalm, and he thanked the Lord for all their fine gifts and things like that. And if you'll notice in the first chapter or two of Corinthians, Paul was telling them, positionally, what they were in Christ, how he–they was positionally in Christ.
Then after he told them, then like a father he begin to let the whip down on them, and say, "I hear there's contentions among you, and I hear that you get drunk at the Lord's table." He didn't unchristianize them; and don't you brethren do that: unchristianize them; but it's the way they're behaving themselves in the house of God. That's where it's at.
876-20 Now, I would say this, that as Paul of old said, that, "When you come together, if one speaks, let another interpret. If there be no interpreter, then hold your peace. But if there be an interpreter…"
Now, I've watched the church here, and I've seen you grow up, and I've seen many spiritual gifts operating among you. Frankly, one I had to come to Brother Neville about with a word from the Lord to correct him on something that he was doing.
And if I… If the Lord has… The Holy Ghost has made me an overseer of the flock, then it's my duty to tell you the truth. And I'm very grateful to Brother Neville; he heeded to the truth. I can only say It as He tells me.
876-23 Now, on this, as I have noticed your church growing, and noticed it. And in the church, here's the way we had it first, and this is the way we–we want it again.
Now, if you don't watch, when babies… The first thing a baby does is try to talk when he can't talk. See? He makes a lot of bubble, and noise, and–and so forth, but he thinks he's just–he can out-talk the preacher at that time. Well, we find that not only in the natural life, but we find that in the spiritual life also. It's a little one. And if you try to correct that baby and spank him a little bit because he's "gooing" and trying to talk, you'll ruin the child (See?) and you'll hurt him. And it's best to let that baby grow a little while until he actually can speak his words right, and then tell him when. Not when papa's talking or when mama's talking. But when it's appropriate time, let him have his say. Do you understand me? Now, let him talk when his time comes to talk.
876-25 Now, if I've ever had anything that's been a thorn in my flesh out in the meeting, it's someone to rise up when I'm speaking and then give a message in tongues and break the Spirit. I just come out of a meeting in New York and different places to where ministers let that go on time after time, and it's nothing but–but a confusion. See, when God is dealing in one line of thought, He… It would be–it would… He would be defeating His own purpose, if He's trying to get a line of thought to you, to the congregation, to make an altar call and something butt in.
For instance, like this. We're setting at the table, talking, and we're talking about the Lord. And junior runs in to the table real quick, takes all the attention away from what we're doing, and he hollers, scream out, "Dad, mom. My, my. I just hit a home run down at the team. And we done all this, that, and the other." And when we were right on a real right-down sacred subject… Now, him hitting a home run, that's all right. At the baseball game, that's all right. But he's out of order when he breaks in on the message that we're talking about. Let him wait till his time comes and then tell us what he did at the baseball game.
877-27 Now, that's just the same thing we find with gifts today. That's the reason God cannot trust too many spiritual gifts with people; they don't know how to control them. That's what's the matter today, the reason we don't have no more than we do.
And we do find there's a lot of impersonation of spiritual gifts. But I don't believe that's so here in our church. I'm thankful for that. I don't believe it's an impersonation at all. I believe we have genuine gifts, but we must know how to control those gifts.
877-29 And then when you go to doing something good… Just like you was working for a boss and you started out on the first of your job and you're willing to take orders, then the boss has confidence in you and he will keep raising you up to a higher office all the time.
Now, I believe that time has struck the Branham Tabernacle, to know what–to take the gifts that God gives us, that God can trust us with something even greater than what we have got. But we cannot go along… And you see a man that's always have to be telling him and everything… And remember, "The spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophet," says the Scripture. When you see a man that you have to correct, or a woman, and that person gets out of order, and then you're telling him the Scriptural truth, then it shows that the spirit that's on them isn't of God. Because the Bible said, "The spirit of the prophets," or, "prophesying," that's, testifying, preaching, speaking in tongues, or whatever it is, 'cause tongues interpreted is prophecy. So it's subject to the prophet, and the Word is the Prophet. So we–we see that it's out of order for a man or a woman to jump up and give a message, no matter how much they want to do it, while the preacher is in the pulpit.
878-31 Now, I suggest this for the Branham Tabernacle, that being that our–our gifts that we find… And we have some very fine gifted people here. Now, each one of those gifts are a ministry of their own. They are gifts, just like preaching is a gift, like healing is a gift, like other things are gifts; these are gifts; they are ministries of their own. And each man is commanded to wait on his own ministry.
Therefore, let the Branham Tabernacle be operated like this. And in the day, especially this day when we've had so much (And I don't want to say this, but) so much make-belief. We don't want make-belief. No man, no honest person wants to have a make-belief. We… If we can't have the real, let's not have any at all; let's wait till we do get the real. Now, I believe you–you men would agree with that. We don't want nothing make-belief. Brethren, we can't start on make-belief something and leaving this world. We got to have what's real, and what's genuine. If we haven't got it, let's wait till we do get it, and then say something about it. See?
878-33 Now, I would say, let all these men and women who speak in tongues, and prophesy, and give messages… And I'm–I'm believing with you men that they're genuine. Now, the Bible has said, "Prove all things and hold fast to that what's good. For with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this people; this is the rest that I said that they should enter into," over in the Book of Isaiah.
Now, I would suggest this so that the sanctuary will only be ministered by one gift at a time, for it brings us straight back in order again of what I'm trying to say: if one's speaking, let the spirit of the prophets be subject to the prophet. Do you understand? Now, let those who have a ministry to the Body of Christ… And now, it's being said, now let it be done. Let those who have a ministry to the Body of Christ wait on their ministry, because it is a ministry from Christ to the church. But you can't all minister the same time; there's got to be one at a time.
879-35 The Branham Tabernacle shall be like this. Let those who speak with tongues, and those who interpret tongues, and those have prophecy that's to be given to the church, let them come among themselves early in the–before the meeting starts; let them gather in an appointed room and wait on the ministry of the Lord, as the pastor has to do himself before he comes into the audience; he must take the Bible, study in the quietness of his room, in the Spirit, and be anointed to come out before the audience to speak. If he doesn't, he's going to be confused when he gets out there. (Let each man and each woman with a spiritual gift come before the Lord.) And being that the pastor has a single ministry, he is a prophet; the English word, "a preacher," means "a prophet," that's a forth-teller of the Word.
879-37 Let those who have ministries that has to be part of someone else, like one to speak with tongues and another to interpret, they wait together on their ministry. They cannot stay in a private study and speak in tongues and then come tell the other one what he said, because he'd have both tongues and interpretation. See? Now, if he has that, very well; we want to receive it like that. And we want the church to benefit by these gifts that's in our church. God sent them to us, and it's… We want our church to benefit by these spiritual gifts. So let the men who speaks with tongues, and the one who interprets, and the one who prophesies, let them come together before the–the church ever meets. Let them meet in a room to themselves, waiting on the ministry of the Lord to the church. Is it understood?
879-38 And then, like this, if Brother Neville, say… Well, now let me… Pardon me; let me say this. If Brother Collins speaks with tongues and Brother Hickerson gives the interpretation, then they have a ministry together for the church. Now, that isn't the ministry of Brother Neville; that's your ministry to the church. I'm giving this as example. Then you brethren should be just as interested in getting your ministry in the place in the house of God as the pastor is interested in getting his, because it's just essential that you do it. But you can't do it in the privacy of your own room; if you speak and you interpret, you've got to come together. Now, come together in the church off in a room to yourself, because you have a private ministry. It's not an openly ministry; it's one that's to help the church. See? It's something to help the church, but it isn't to be done in the main congregation, only the way I'm going to tell you it is to be done. See? Then, whatever Brother Collins speaks, and Brother Hickerson gives the interpretation, as examples, then let Brother somebody write this down, what it is. And then if it's coming…
880-39 Now, we all know that the Lord is coming; we're aware of that. And if Brother Neville got up each night and said, "Behold, the Lord is coming. Behold, the Lord is coming," that would be all right. See? But he's saying that (the pastor) at the platform, for he's got the Word for that. And if he be a pastor, prophet to the church–or a pastor, rather, he's to study the Word of the Lord and tell you what's written in the Word of the Lord about the coming of the Lord, and you're warned by that. A ministry otherwise (to the church) which he wouldn't have any connection with, is tongues, interpretation of tongues (which is prophecy), or a prophet speaking; that's something that's not written in the Word. What's written in the Word, he's to bring it; but what's not written in the Word, is what you're to tell him. Like, for instance, "Tell Brother Wheeler, THUS SAITH THE LORD, 'Tomorrow, in his sand pit, not to go to it, because there'll be a truck turn over,'" or something like that, and it's got to be done. And you've spoke it and he's interpreted it, and then lay that on the platform after your ministry is finished. The–of a night, after the church… the hymn, and start singing and so forth; if your ministry is finished then, let them come forth with what prophecy has been given.
880-40 And I do not think that we have… Or if you do, put this in there. When these people meet together, let them who have wisdom first come. Because (You see?), if one speaks in tongues and gives an interpretation according to Scripture, that cannot be received unless it be witnessed by two or three people, two or three more witnesses (See?) has to witness to that, that they believe it to be the Word of the Lord. Because… And sometimes in these minor ministries, just like in any other ministry, you get spirits that's wrong (See?); they'll fly in there. And we don't want that. No. We want these ministries ready to be exposed if they're to be exposed, because anything of God can–don't worry about exposing it; it'll–it'll stand the test if it's of God.
Just like the pastor, if somebody challenges him on the Word, he don't have to back up about it; he knows just exactly what he's talking to, "Come on up here." See? And same as these other ministries, got to be the same way.
881-42 Now, if–if one speaks in tongues and gives a message… Now, some people speak in tongues when they're just edifying themselves, the Bible said; they just have a good time. They'll speak in tongues, they feel. And they do speak in tongues, they actually speak with tongues, and it's the Spirit doing it. But if it's setting out there in the audience, speaking in tongues, just edifying themselves, then it isn't any profitable thing for the church; the man's edifying himself, or the woman, or whoever's doing it. See?
To speak in tongues is a gift of God to edification, as Paul says in the Scripture, that it's to edify the church. So it had to be some direct message from God to the church, outside of what's wrote here in the Bible. See? It's something that…
881-44 If you could ask me, "Brother Branham, how must I be baptized?" I can tell you right quick. You don't have to speak in tongues and tell me that; it's wrote right here in the Bible what to do about that. See? I don't have to… You don't have to ask no questions on that and have somebody speak in tongues and tell you. See, that's already written.
But if you say, "Brother Branham, what must I do, I've got a decision here I've got to make whether I should take this church or go to another church," or something like that. "Or should I do this, that?" Now, that'd have to come from God. See, God has to tell us that. But that would have to come through another ministry, 'cause the Word don't say "Let Orman Neville leave Branham Tabernacle and go to the Fort Wayne Gospel Tabernacle." See, it don't say that in the Word here (See?), so that's what these gifts are for.
881-46 Like a person coming up here and say, "Do you believe in Divine healing?" We preach that; we believe it; we believe in anointing, the oil.
But here's some man says he can't get through; what's the matter? Then it takes God, through tongues, interpretation, through prophecy, or some way to go down in that man's life, and pull out that thing that he's done, and tell him about it. That's a ministry that doesn't belong to the pastor; it belongs to these ministering gifts. But they're not to be done out there in the audience. See?
882-48 Now, Paul never one time had to tell those–tell those Ephesian church anything about that, they were in order, the Roman church, or none of those other churches; only the Corinthian church, and they never could get themself… Now, Paul believed in speaking in tongues. He had speaking in tongues in the Ephesian church, the same as he did in the Corinthian church (See?), but he could speak to the Ephesians greater things than what just speaking in tongues, interpreting of tongues.
Now, then if someone writes a message that's been given in tongues or given in prophecy, and laid upon the platform, it must be read by the pastor before the service starts, of "THUS SAITH THE LORD" from these people who spoke and interpreted it. And if that comes to pass exactly the way the interpretation said, we raise our hands and give thanks to God for His Spirit among us. If it doesn't come to pass, then don't do it any more till that evil spirit's out of you. God don't lie; He's always Truth.
Then, you see, you're old enough now to act like men, not children: "Goo, goo, goo," you got to have some meaning to something.
882-51 Let the church now, as it's coming in order, come to this order. If one prophesies… If one come among you, unlearned, and you speak in tongues, you'll be a Barbarian to him; he don't know what you're talking about. See? And really in this day where there's been so much confusion about it, it causes a stumbling block. But let one speak in tongues, and another interpret and give the message, and let it be read off right here at the platform, of what's going to take place, and then let it happen, see what happens. Tell them that tomorrow at a certain time, or next week at a certain time, it's going to be a certain thing, and then let the unbeliever setting there listen to that and see it's foretold before it happened. Then they'll know what kind of spirit's among you; it'll be God's Spirit. That's what Paul said, "Then if one can prophesy and reveal the secret things, won't the whole congregation fall down, or the unbeliever, and say, 'God is in the midst of you'?" See? Because it cannot be…
883-52 But now, we don't want… "When we was a child," Paul said, "I acted like a child," he told the Corinthians there; "I spoke like a child." He had a child mind. "But when I become an adult, I put childish things away."
Now, I'm telling you all. See? Now, a few years ago you were children with these gifts, playing back and forth. But you've been to a long school now; it's time to be men, not use these just to play with. These gifts are sacred; they're of God, and you don't play with them. Let's let God use them. That's what your ministry wants to be. And that's the way to put the Branham Tabernacle in the service. And–and if this is questioned, anytime, let this tape stand as a witness that that's the way it's to be done in the Branham Tabernacle.
If there would be a stranger come in… 'Cause you have them all the time, because this being an interdenominational tabernacle, there's people come in that doesn't have this well training; they don't have it; they know no better. And their own pastor, they'll jump right up and break his message up, and tear a altar call up, and speak in tongues and everything like that. You're a better trained men than that. See? Then after the service, if he gets unruly, then it's the deacon's place to go to them. Don't let your pastor have to do it 'less it comes to a spot where there's no deacon here, but a deacon is supposed to see to that. See?
883-55 Now, after the service… If the person just raises up and gives a message, the pastor if he wants to stop just a minute and go ahead, very well (See?); that's up to the pastor. But then immediately let the deacon, before that person gets out of the building, take them to one side and talk to them about it. And if they question it, bring them to this tape and say, "This is what the bishop or the overseer of the church…" Which is bishop (See?) any overseer. See? That's what it's called in the Bible, "bishoprick," (See?), so that's general overseer of the church. Let… "This is the orders and the way our church does it. Now, we love for you to come, give your message. But if you've got a message from the Lord and it's… Let it be given, come up here and lay it on the platform and our minister will read it to the congregation, a message to this congregation." But it must not be just repeating Scriptures and things like that. It must be a direct message to the people of something that's fixing to take place, or something they should do. Is it understood? All right.
884-Q-222 222. Now, is there any better way to keep order in the church than to keep reminding the people with a–a repeat from the deacons accordingly?
No, that, I just explained that. That's question number three. The deacons, your duty is to keep order in the church with kindness and friendliness. And then you are supposed to, if someone gets out of order in the church, or comes in here like a drunk, or somebody come in. Like they shot that minister out of the platform the other night up there. You heard about that, that drunk coming in with a double-barreled shotgun. And he screamed for his wife, and–and wanted a…?… and went up towards the pastor. And the pastor showed him his wife setting there, but he was going to shoot her right in the church, and the pastor started to dealing with him. And instead of–instead of the… The man with the shotgun turned around and shot the pastor out of the pulpit, and then shot his wife, and then shot himself.
Now, if there'd been a bunch of deacons there when that man entered that door with that shotgun, they'd have had their arms around him and the shotgun out of his hand. See? See, that's–that's orderly deacons. And now, these things have gone the way they're doing now, and you might just expect anything.
But, remember, the deacons are God's policemen in the house of God, no matter what anybody else thinks. Sometimes a policeman want not to have to go up and make an arrest on somebody, maybe one of his friends, but he's sworn to an office; he's got to do it anyhow. That's his duty to his city. See?
884-59 That's the duty of a deacon to the church. And if someone jumps up and starts interrupting the pastor, or something other like that, and the pastor in his message, the deacons supposed to walk up to them people, two or three of them, say, "Could we speak to you, brother?" See? Bring him from the church, out into the office, in here or some other office, and speak to him about it, saying, "You're not to interrupt." You know, it's a–it's a great fine by the law to interrupt a service anyhow. See? But some people, such as a delinquent person or something, come among you, you know, and–and some religious fanatic, and–and start carrying on, then the deacons… And if–and if the deacons don't seem to be able to control it, then the trustee board or anyone else in the church can step up and give help to such a person, you know, that…
885-60 And–and now let me ask the question again here.
Is there any better way to keep order in the church than to remind the people with a repeat from the deacons, now, occasionally?
Now, I think that the–the pastor, ever so often… Or play this tape; let that stand for a witness. Deacons are policemen, and their word is law and order. See? And they have the authority from the church and even from the laws of the nation to make that house of God be the right place. And anyone to contrary a deacon like that, is subject to–to two to ten years in federal prison. If you tell them to go and they don't do it, or something like that, somebody with disorderly conduct, he just don't know what he's doing to… He's subjecting himself, allowing himself to all kinds of fines, anything.
And then if it comes to the spot that somebody… Now, like… And if somebody jumps up and gets disorderly… Just maybe speak in tongues or something, I wouldn't go in on that. See, let them go, 'cause that they're a stranger. If they're our own people, then just let… The next night, you deacons just get this tape, and say, "Now, we're going to play the order of the church before we start the service, I want everybody to understand it." And you pastors and you all can work together like that.
885-Q-223 223. Now, Brother Branham, what about the Sunday school? Brother Branham, about the Sunday school (All right), should it be before the preaching service?
Yes, we've always had it that way. Have the Sunday school before the preaching service. And that gives a chance for the little fellows who attend Sunday school to dismiss their classes. And if–and if they want… The little fellows don't understand it; they have to set all the way through the preaching service and then have Sunday school, the little fellows are wore out. Let the Sunday school be first; have a set time, just at one set time that Sunday school goes to session. Sunday school superintendent is supposed to see to that, that that Sunday school goes to session at a certain time, set time. And it's dismissed at a certain time. All the Sunday school's allowed so much time for that, and then dismiss.
886-Q-224 224. Should the teacher for the adult class be someone other than the pastor?
If it's so agreed. If the pastor wants to teach the Sunday school and then bring the message later, that's fine and dandy if he wants to do the double service. But if he doesn't, then have your adult Sunday school teacher (See?) for your adult class. And then if a–if the pastor has somebody else there in mind, and the person wants to do it, give yourself thirty minutes, or whatever you're going to allow your Sunday school for, thirty or thirty-five, forty minutes, whatever it is.
And there should be a bell set here. And when that bell is tapped, that means–or either the church bell, when it taps on the outside, that's dismissing Sunday school. And when that bell rings, that means everything come to order right there.
There be so much time then for a hymn or two, whatever you want to sing. Not too much time, you'll wear the people out by keeping them too long. See? And just tap the bell, have a hymn and whatever you're going to do, and then send your classes to the place. And immediately when that time comes, say it's going to be at–at ten o'clock, or ten-thirty, or ten-fifteen, whatever it is, tap that bell and every teacher dismisses their class, come to the audience out here. And then… And give the report, Sunday school report, and then dismiss the whole thing, and let all that wants to stay for preaching service be next. See, then it's in order.
886-67 Question? How many… [Someone asks Brother Branham, "Then we have a split class, in other words?"–Ed.]
Oh, yes, you should have. A–a three-year-old can't understand what a fourteen-year-old would understand. I think I got that a little farther:
886-Q-225 225. How many classes should there be?
You should put your classes in… Like a little bitty class that wants to have flannel-graph; that's too much for a fourteen-year-old boy or girl. See? You should have someone to take a class for those little babies, some old mother or something who knows how to take care of them. Other classes, I think, should be somebody who's more able to present the Word. See? And there should be classes. To say now, there'd be like a class of from the… At least three classes…
There should be a little bitty baby class; there should be from about five years old. And all the others under that should be kept with their mother, and taken to the nursery if it's necessary during the time of–of the preaching, if they go to carrying on. That's what the nursery's out there for.
And I think that the–the classes should be arranged from like the little babies about five or six years old up to eight or nine, ten, something like that. And then from ten years old on to fifteen should be in a–the teenage class. And then the adult class over the fifteen, 'cause they… If they're old enough to–to… Nowadays they can get a job and they're wanting to vote at that age almost; so they–they should be able to hear the Word, but come out in the main auditorium and have that.
887-Q-226 226. Who should be the teachers?
There you are; that's up to you to vote your own teachers in. And you ought to do that. Put them in there; get somebody. And meet with the church, and say, "Who's… Who here feels led of the Lord?" And then get a qualified teacher. And then let it be done. It's got to be strictly business, brethren. If the teacher can't qualify to it, then change teachers.
When the time comes, as under God, if I feel like that Orman Neville can't no more qualify to be pastor here, I'm going to mention it to the church. When I see one thing here, think that you deacons couldn't qualify to be deacons, I'm going to mention it to the church, that, "I find out there's a certain deacon out here doing something he shouldn't do, and he doesn't keep his post of duty," and so forth like that, or a trustee, or whatever it is. I can't vote it in or out, the church has to do that, but I'm certainly going to present it before the church. See, because that's what I should do. That's what I'm supposed to be. As overseer, I'm supposed to look and see what's going on. We're going to heaven, not out here somewhere to a rally or something to have a lot of fun and run over one another, and play baseball. We're here having the most gracious thing there is on earth, the Word of God, and it's to be carried on in godly order.
887-73 Who should be the teachers?
That's up to you to select them. But I would take… For the babies, I'd take an old woman, some that can do that. But for the teen-agers, I'd take some teacher that's strict, and not just going out here and having wiener roasts. That'd be all right if they want to go on a wiener roast, but just put all the thing to that… Put it to the Word; let somebody who's able to hold the Word. And it's going to be, this church stands not for… Wiener roast is all right, and–and little picnics that you want to go together and fellowship, that's fine; that–that's what you should do to entertain the children. But in this place in here, this is the Word of God. Wiener roast is when you get together, something like that, but not in this house of God. And these know, of course we know we don't believe in this here foolishness of–of–of parties and everything like that around here; we–we… You know better than that.
888-Q-227 227. Who should be over the Sunday school to keep it in order?
The Sunday school superintendent. That's what his business is. He's not supposed to have anything to do with the deacons, trustees, pastors, or nobody else; he's got a office of his own. Whoever your Sunday school teacher is, I know not. But that Sunday school teacher is supposed to see that every class is in its place, and every teacher is present, or substitute another teacher for that teacher if they're not there on that day.
Then just before the Sunday… While the–the lessons are going on, the Sunday school superintendent is to go by and take up the offerings that they've had in there (the Sunday school collections), and the report of how many present, how many Bibles they had in this class, and so forth, and make a report of it. And then stand before the audience just before the preaching service, when he's give a spot to do it, when they have the Sunday school report after the Sunday school's over, tell how many teachers, how many present, how many of the whole Sunday school total, the whole–whole total of offerings, and so forth like that. Deacons, trustees, pastors, are not supposed to do that. They have nothing to do into it; that is the Sunday school superintendent's job.
And then if he sees that the Sunday school needs certain things, then he is to present that to the–to the trustee board, and the trustees has a meeting upon it first. And then the trustees, if they find that there is sufficient funds and so forth, through the treasurer, then this can be purchased; if he wants something another for literature, or whatever it is, or some Bibles or something, they want to buy a Bible for the one, you know, that can find the most words and quote the most Scriptures, some prize or something they're going to give away like that, present, and they want to buy it through the church. Then let that be presented to the–to the–to the–the deacons. And then let them find out if it's–if it's–if it's in the treasury. See?
And then I think that takes care of them five questions on that.
889-Q-228 Now, on the next one, is:
228. Brother Branham, in respect to the order of the church we have tried to go accordingly to the way we understand the orders given in the dedication of the new church. And by doing so, some have gotten mad and left the church. And others will not listen to anything we say, especially the children. We have talked to the parents about their children, and they won't take care of them. Now, have we misunderstood? Or, are we going about it in the wrong way? Thanks.
889-78 Now, let me answer this as they come down:
In respect to the order of the church, we have tried to go accordingly to the way we understood it given in the dedication of the new church.
Now, that's correct; you're doing right. Now, this is supposed to be deacons, I suppose, 'cause it's right here at the deacon's job. All right.
889-79 And by doing so, we have often… people has often gotten mad at us.
They do at me too. They'll do it any man. See? A person that does that, there's something wrong with that person. They're not right with God, for the Spirit of Christ is subject to Christ's teaching, Christ's house, Christ's order. See? And any man that, or any woman, or any persons, children, that would get angry with a godly deacon, that would tell them to be… And, or any parent would get angry with a deacon… Really, we want everybody in this church that we can get; but if that would only cause trouble somewhere else, there's a thorn or, "a rabbit in the woodpile," as we used to say it. That person isn't right.
If they leave, there's only one thing to do: let them go, and pray for them. See? Then maybe some of the deacons go to their church–or go to their house sometime, and find out why they left, and ask them what was wrong. Then, and if they… See if you can reconcile them. If you can't, then take two or three witnesses with him, that they might be understood. Then if they can't be understood, then it's told before the church if they are a member here of the church. Then they are…
890-81 And then if they're not members of the church, 'course they're not members of this congregation, they should be made to be ruly. See, they–they've got to listen to our orders here, because this is the orders of the church. This is things we don't want to do, things that I don't like to do, but it's things that must be doing. And I'm exposing myself and telling here by this tape; it's me; they can hear me talking and know that it's me, not you men. You've asked me these questions, and I'm giving it to you the best that I know how from the Word of God.
"Now, if those people get angry and go out from you, what does the Scripture say about it, Brother Branham?"
"They went out from us because they wasn't of us." That settles it. "Left the church," that's what they did. All right.
890-84 Others will not listen to anything we say, especially the children.
The children are supposed to know discipline; they should get it at home. But even if it's mine, my kids get in here at anytime, they get disorderly, I don't want you to draw one string; Sarah, Rebekah, Joseph, Billy, or whoever it might be. You tell me; I'll see to it. If they can't behave, then they'll stay away from church till they do learn to behave. This is not an arena; this is a house of God. This is not a place to play, and skate, and write notes, and laugh, and cut up; this is the house of God, and is to be carried out godly.
You come here to worship, not even to visit. This is not a–this is not a picnic ground; this is not a visitation place; this is the visitation place of the Holy Spirit, listen to what He has to say, not to one another. We don't come here to–to fellowship with one another; we come here to fellowship with Christ. This is the house of worship. And children must be disciplined, and if they are of their parents. Let it be known, that if these deacons… If these parents of the children will not listen to what these deacons said, then this parent should be corrected themselves.
891-86 We have talked to the parents about their children, and they won't take care of them.
If they are members of this church, then you should take two or three with you and call that parent into a private meeting, into one of the offices. I don't care who it is, if it's me, if it's Brother Neville, if it's Billy Paul and his little boy, if it's Brother Collins and one of his children, or any of the rest of you. We're… We love one another, but we're duty bound to God and this Word. If it's Doc, no matter who it is, we're to call one another in and be honest with one another. How can God ever deal with us, if we're not honest with one another? How we going to be honest with Him? See?
This is an order; we must keep the house of God. And deacons are supposed to know how to do that. See? And that's why I'm telling you now to keep them things caught up. And if this, you tell the parents and they won't listen to this–won't listen to it, then you get you another deacon or one of the trustees, or some good person of this church, and call–take your trus… Take your deacon board, all your deacons together, say, "Brother Jones, Brother Henderson, Brother Jackson," or whoever it might be, "their children are dis-behaving, and we've told them two or three times about their children and they won't listen."
Then call Brother Jones in, or Brother Whoever-it-is, and say, "Brother Jones, we've called you in here for a meeting. We love you, and we… You're a part of us; you're one of us. Let me just set this certain tape and listen what Brother Branham said about it. See? Now, we've asked you to make those children behave. See? If they won't behave, and you can't make them behave in church, leave them with someone while you come to church until they learn how to behave themself in the house of God." See? But this is an order; it's got to be carried out. See?
892-89 Now the other question goes on:
Now, have we misunderstood?
No, sir. You haven't misunderstood; that's correct. I'm saying it again, the orders. In the army they don't ask you, "Will you go do a certain thing?" If you're in the army, you're compelled to do it. See? And that's the way it is in the… I'm compelled to preach the Gospel. I'm compelled to stand for this regardless of what my other men and brethren and so forth say about it; I'm compelled to do this. I have to hurt feelings and cut men to pieces, but if I…
You don't want to get like Oswald. See? If you can't disagree with a man and things, then shake his hand and still have the same feelings towards him, then there's something wrong with you. If I can't disagree with a man, bitterly, from one side to the other, and still think as much of him as–as Christ would, then there's something wrong with my spirit; I haven't the Spirit of Christ. See?
If he says, "Well, Brother Branham, I–I believe that your teaching is this, that."
"All right, Brother, let's come together to reason, you and I. We'll take it ourselves. We'll go over here in the room to ourself; we'll reason it out." And he just cuts me to pieces, and I have to say things back to him. If in my heart I can't feel the same about him, that he's still my Brother and I'm trying to help him, then I'll never help him; there's no way for me to help him. If I don't love him, what's the use in going over there? Tell him, "The first place first, brother, I don't love you, and let me get that out of my heart right here before we go in there, because I can't help you until I love you."
And that's right, and that's the way. See, carry it on; you've done it exactly right; that's the way it should be. You never misunderstood it.
892-94 Are we going about it the wrong way?
No, it is the right way to carry that. Let order be kept. Because it's constantly… Now, little children and mothers, little babies and things, they–they'll cry, and if they get crying too much and interrupting your pastor up there, remember, you are his bodyguards; you're his Gospel bodyguards. See? And if it's interrupting the message of the Lord, then you are deacons, what are you to do? Just like a man speaking in tongues, he's duty bound. And a man preaching, he's duty bound to the Word, he's duty bound to these things. Each one of you is duty bound to an office, and that's–and that's just what we're–we're here to do.
Now, we don't want to wait too long, and I know I got an appointment in a few minutes, so I'll–I'll just try to hurry as quick as I can.
893-Q-229 229. Brother Branham… There's three, two questions on this card here. Brother Branham, what should be the policy of taking up offerings in the church for people? How should this be done?
I think taking up offerings in the church for people should not be done unless it's for your pastor. And I think if someone comes in for charity, or something like that that… Or someone in–in bad need, like one of our members here or congregation, say if one of our brothers, and they had some trouble; well, I think then that should be announced at the platform, and let the pastor do that, I think it's his duty to do that; some brother that's in need of something, let him present it to the church, if it wants to be taken that way.
If it's someone in need and–and then you don't want to take the offering up for the person that's in need, then let the boards meet together and agree upon certain sums that they want to give to this person out of the treasury. But if the treasury's low at that time and they can't afford to do it, then it has to be taken up, well, let–let the–let it be talked with the board, giving orders to the pastor, and let the pastor ask for this certain thing. Say, "Now, tonight, our Brother Jones, he had a–a horrible accident, his house burned down. And tonight, as Christians, we're going together, to each one of us make a pledge of what we can do to help Brother Jones back with his house again." See, or–or whatever it is. See, we–we do that. Let that be said from the platform, that's the way to do that. And then let the pledges be give in, and then give it over to the treasurer of the church. And these pledges be paid through the treasurer of the church, and give to them. And–and give the person a receipt for it, 'cause I don't know whether that's tax redemption or not; I guess it is for something like that.
894-98 Now, but when it comes to like a–a stranger come in, a stranger come in like he's… A man comes in and says, "Well, you know what? I–I–I'm on a journey, and I–I blowed out a tire, and I want a new tire. Take me up an offering tonight for a new tire." Now, that shouldn't be done. No, that should not be done. And if it seems to–if it seems to be a worthy thing, of somebody that you know, the board could meet and designate a certain amount of money from the treasurer to buy that man a tire or whatever it was. Or either if the church treasury is low, and it's decided by the board that these… The pastor shouldn't have nothing to do in this, the–the deacons is supposed to do this (See?), or the boards. And now if this… If it's agreed, then give to the pastor, the pastor can take the offering. But, notice, if it's a stranger, and it's in an emergency, a fellow needs a little money and you feel that it's for a just cause (now this is my opinion), if it's for a real just cause and you know it is for a just cause…
894-99 Now, first, if you go up there and look on my books at the house of people coming by and say, "I'm Reverend So-and-so from this certain-certain church, and I–I had some trouble down the road here, and I–I need a set of tires," and knowed that I just come in from the meeting and had an offering, or something another like that, I'd give it to him nearly to go get a set of tires. And look in the minutes, there never was such a minister as that, never lived in such a place. And there is ten or twenty thousand dollars on the books from these years that I've give out like that, never know nothing about them where they was. Come to find out, other ministers say, "Why, he made me for so-and-so and so-and-such.
Now, the church is not responsible, only for their own. That's right. Their own, they're responsible.
894-101 But if there seems to be a worthy cause, and then if you–if you trustees might say, "Well now, wait a minute. This man, there he is, his car down there, that's his did happen, and this. It's not of our congregation (See?), but it is." Then if they want to do it like that, and would say something special about an outsider… Not our own, now (See?), not our own people, our own people be taken up right here amongst their–their own, their brothers here. See?
But if it's somebody on the outside, and a fellow says he's hungry or–and somebody wants to reach down in his pocket and give him some charity, that's up to you; but I'm talking about from the church. And then if the church people are asked to donate, then…
895-104 Now, if you got an evangelist, of course, in here preaching, then you take… you… That's understood before he comes, you know, that you'll give him an offering, or pay him salary, or whatever he wants to do.
But then if this person is here, and it's for a just cause, and the pastor, and the board would want to agree and tell the pastor upon it, then let the pastor say, "A certain-certain person is setting here; we don't know the man; he come in and he asked us for… He says his children are hungry. We haven't got the time… We haven't had the time to investigate the–the–the–the–the claim." See?
895-106 If there's anything like that, then our–our… If there's anything among our own, our–our own deacons go investigate those claims. See? And then if it's worthy, then do it. If it isn't worthy, don't do it: don't have to. But now if it's a man here, you–you–you let the pastor say, "Now, the trustee board told me they did not know this person. But the man is setting here; he says his name is Jim Jones," or whatever it might be, "and he's setting right here. Would you stand up, Mr. Jones? Now, Mr. Jones, at the end of the service, you stand just at the back door there, as you go out. And if any people feel in your heart, or anything that you want to do for this man, give it to him as you go out." Is that understood now?
Did you get that on your… To those who are on the tape… And one of the… Brother Collins missed it on his tape. I want to reinstate that quotation again if… 'cause he's one of the deacons.
895-108 If–if there be any of the–one man comes in that you–and is in emergency, and he wants an offering from the church, let the trustees or deacons meet together, and let the–meet together, and make this decision, then tell the pastor that it might be done like this. Let them… Let the pastor say that this certain man, call him by name, "we know him not. And our policy here is to–to investigate before we take offerings for people, and, that is, of our own. But this man here, he says he's broke down; he's had an emergency; he's got sick children; he's trying to get medicine for his children," or whatever it might be, the emergency. "Now, he's standing right here, Would you stand up, sir?" See, and let him stand up. And say, "Now you people see what–who he is. Now, at the close of this service this man shall stand there at the front door, and people going out, that feel that you want to contribute to this, you're at liberty; we only announced it in the church." You're not sanctioning it; you're only announcing it. See, that's hospitality to a stranger. See? Understand now? All right. I think that settles that question.
896-Q-230 230. What about the tapes? Now has… What about the tapes? (It's got a question mark) As, many are writing the office and blaming you for the action on the tapes. Also, about others around the church selling tapes, if Mr. Maguire has to pay royalties on them.
All right. The tapes is by a contract. And if I… I don't know just exactly when the contract is expired, but the trustees, this belongs to the trustees, not the deacons, the trustees: not the pastor, trustees. The trustees, ever so often they–they write a contract, as I understand it. And if this–this is wrong, then the trustees correct. These trustees has an agreement with the person who is making the tapes, and the tapes are by a franchise.
No one else can make tapes unless it be permitted by the person that has the franchise, and they cannot be sold unless permitted by the person that has the franchise, because that's the law (See?), that the franchise holds it. See? And if the fran… The one who holds the franchise wants to let So-and-so make tapes, that's up to him. If he wants to let everybody make tapes, that's up to him; he wants everybody to sell tapes, that's up to the person who holds the franchise. He should have a–a little written note signed from the holder of the franchise to make and sell tapes, because then he's clear in the law; 'cause if he don't, the man that has the franchise on it… You'd be liable yourself to a… If there'd be a–a foul person that wanted to cause some trouble, he could really do it. You go over that franchise… 'cause that's just like a copyright (See?), the same thing; you're not allowed to do it. It's a great fine to do that.
896-112 So if the people are making tapes, perhaps they have an agreement from Mr. Maguire who–who has–who–who draws royalties on the tapes. And now… And I don't know about that, 'cause I'm not here enough with you to know who these things are, and who it would be referring to. I suppose that Mr. Maguire still has it, because out there, I'm in California or Arizona, where I'm at; I understand they're still buying tapes from California. Brother Sothmann, the father-in-law of Mr. Maguire, which is our brother here in the church… I think that Mr. Maguire still has it, the–the–the franchise on it.
And now, there has been complaints all along on the making of the tapes. Now, when there is a complaint on anything pertaining to the finances of this church, it's duty bound to the trustees to see that thing is cleared. See? There should not, by any means, be anything…
897-114 Now, you see here, it says on this card here, that,
They're writing to the office and blaming you.
Frankly, I've had many letters on it, and want to know why they can't get their tapes. Now, you know your contract with the one who has the franchise, as I understood… The tapes, I–I want nothing to do with them myself, if anybody can use the tapes for furthering the Gospel, "Amen."
But, first, Brother Roberson and them started to make them, Brother Beeler and several of them started to make them; and then the two boys, Brother Mercier and Brother Goad made them for years; and, of course, when each one of the men has made them, there has been complaints on every one. But it seemingly here lately, there's been a great complaint about not getting their tapes. People has called me up from across the country. And then another, being, retracted tapes. They'll be playing one thing one minute, and play back on another another thing, and then you can't even understand what they are.
897-116 Now, these people paying for these tapes should get a genuine tape. I don't care what they have to do to get it; we want to see our customers and our brothers (which they are our customers and our brothers), so forth, they must have an "A-number-one" tape. Now, you trustees see to that, that these people are satisfied. If not satisfied, their money must be returned to them immediately.
And someone's called me, and say they been waiting for months for tapes. Now, I don't know how Brother Maguire tends to this. I–I don't know about that, as I know nothing about it. And I… It's none of my business to know nothing about that; it's his business with them and the trustees. And I'm not trying to step in, but I'm just telling you what the law of it is. See? The law of it is that these tapes, from the time that they send for them, them tapes are supposed to be on their road within a day or two, three or four, five days; after they send for them tapes, it's got to be in the mail or the franchise can be canceled at any time when these orders are disobeyed. See?
898-118 Now, and every six months or a year, this is supposed to be renewed; this agreement is supposed to be renewed. You're supposed to meet on this certain date that this franchise says that you got to meet. And then it's supposed to be, that's, other people are supposed to come in at that time, and you're supposed to notify others who have been asking about the tapes, and come in with their agreement and set down and talk it over.
Now, these orders must be carried out. See? And it must be carried right, because it is complaining. They complained with Leo and Gene; they complained with every one; it's complain with Brother Maguire; and it'll be complaining with somebody else, but let's find out what their complaining is.
Now, but when the tapes are begin to pile up, boxes of them, letters by the dozens pouring in, and they… See, it doesn't fall back to the tape maker; it falls on me. They're always bawling me out about it. Now, it's my duty as a Christian to see that the people get what they pay for, and I want you trustees to see that they get it. If they have to charge more, get a better tape, get a better machine, we want somebody to make that tape who makes it right. That's our interest. The tape must be made right. And the customer must be satisfied, or stop the whole tape thing altogether; we won't have no tapes, just let anybody make them that wants to. But if they're going to charge for them, let them see that they get what they paid for, 'cause that's Christianity. That's no more than do…
898-121 And when they come here to listen to the Gospel, I want to give them the best that I know how to give them (See?), and when they come here I want you to see that everybody and everything's carried on. That's the reason I'm telling you deacons, trustees, and pastors, here tonight, that you must carry this out to the letter, because the people are coming here to find God, and we got to have these things in order.
And also the tapes must be put into their place. If they have to charge more, if you got second-class tapes they're running, then get better tapes. If you have to charge more for them, charge more for them, let the person get what they charge for.
I'm not interested in one bit of royalty, and not one penny, and neither is the Tabernacle interested; I don't want you to be. Don't be interested in that, in–in royalties. If they'd pay some, I guess you'd have to take a little royalty on account of they're being made here. I think that's something that he said to Mr. Miller and them about the law; we have to take certain royalties or so forth. That's up to you all to see to that. I'm not have nothing to do with it, but what… That's set together; you all take care of that. I can't take care of all of it; I'm just telling you the way it should be and must be run. That… You understood, I said "Must be run." So we want this run out right.
899-124 And if you have to have a better machine to take it, then get a better machine. If it has to be… Now, I said to them; I said, "Every meet… mission that I go into the field, before I go, I'll notify you what sermons I'm going to preach on out there, something that I've already…" And I promised you all, which I'm going to retape back again Sunday night, that "Before I preach any new message, it would come from this Tabernacle first, because they seem to get a better recording." You remember that? Then when I come here to preach my messages, then go back out and notify the tape men what services. They ask me, "What ones? What you going to preach?" I told him, "this night I'm go to so-and-so, and this night so-and-so," so they can have it made up and ready for the customer to get it right there; got it right with them, a better tape than they'd have out in the meeting, because it's made right here at the Tabernacle where the acoustics are good. See?
899-125 Now, now, I'm going into this great evangelistic, what I'm going to do now in overseas and things; I can't promise that (You see?), I can't promise that I'll preach my first message here. Because when you preach around the messages; you've got to have something that… It–it gets stale to you, and it's bound to get stale to the ones that's listening at it. You've got to do something different (You see?), and bring just as the message is there. But let them put a machine in the field, or whatever it is, that'll take these tapes perfectly.
And make a perfect tape, and each tape played back and checked before it goes, or just stop the whole thing; don't even have nothing to do with it; let every man make his own tape. See? But get it done right (See?), so that this complaint will stop. We don't want no complaints at all. If there is a complaint, let's take care of it, then we'd have it over with.
Now, I'll hurry just as quick as I can. Billy got about two more questions here, or three, then we'll be finished.
900-Q-231 231. How far, Brother Branham, can or should a deacon go to keep order in the church? Should we keep the order or wait until Brother Neville tells us what we should do?
That isn't Brother Neville's job; that's your job. See? You don't tell Brother Neville what to preach on, how to preach it. See, that's your job, you deacons; you're supposed to do that. You take care of that. That's nothing to Brother Neville that's your job. See?
Now, if a policeman's out here on the street and he sees a man stealing property out of a back of a car, should he call the mayor and say, "Now, Mayor, your Honor, sir, I am working for you here on this police force. Now, I find a man up the street here, he's–he was stealing some tires off of a car last night. Now, I just wonder, what's your opinion of that?" See? See, that wouldn't be sensible. Would it? No, sir, If he's doing something wrong, arrest him.
And if a man's doing something wrong here in the church, or anybody, stop them, talk to them. Don't be arrogant; but if they won't listen, speak in a way that they know what you're saying. See? See, like you tell a child, say, "Walk back there," and he's misbehaving. Deacons, stay at your place. Put… There's four of you; stay two in front and two in the back, on these corners or somewhere like that. And watch real close for renegades and everything else come in like this. You see? And you be on the guard, and you get to your post of duty and stay there; that's your seat; or stand right beside a wall and watch everybody come in.
900-131 A deacon takes care of the house of God. Someone come in, speak to them; be there to greet them, shake their hand. That's… You're the policeman, "Could we show you the cloak room?" or "Would you be seated?" "Could we hand you a song book or something?" or "Now, we would like for you to enjoy yourself here, and–and pray, and–and we're happy you're here with us tonight." Lead them right down to a place, and say, "Would you like to be closer or would you like to be back here?" or wherever more. That's hospitality.
A policeman (or the deacon) is a military police to the army, courtesy, but yet with authority. See? You know what a military police is, is actually, if he carries out his rights, I think he's just like a chaplain. You see? It's courtesy and everything, but yet he has an authority. See, you must mind him. See, he puts… These rookies get out there and get drunk, why, he puts them in their place. And so is the deacon to put them in their place.
Now, remember, the deacon is a policeman, and a deacon's office is actually more strict than most any office in the church. I don't know of an office any more stricter than the deacon's office. That's right. Because he's got a–he's got a real job, and he's God's man. He's God's man just as much as the pastor's God's man. Certainly, he is. He's God's servant.
901-134 Now the trustees, only thing, they're under duty by God to watch that finances and take care of that, the things that goes on like that. I told you about them tapes, and–and about other things here that goes on, about the building and repairs, and taking up the finances and things, that's–that's what they're trustee of: the property, finances, and things. The deacons has nothing to do in that. And neither does the–the trustee have anything to do with the deacons' office.
Now, if the deacons wants to ask the trustee's help on anything, or the–or the trustees the deacon's, and you're all working together… But that's your duties, is singling out. See? All right.
901-136 Now, no, don't ask Brother Neville. If Brother Neville asks you to do something, then that's–that's your pastor, with courtesy and love and everything… If he'd say, "Brother Collins, Brother Hickerson, Brother Tony, or somebody, would you see what's wrong back there in the corner." At the post of duty like that, you know, as a real man of God.
Remember, you are not working for Branham Tabernacle, neither are you working for Brother Neville or me; you're working for Jesus Christ. See? You… That's who you do… And He–He's respecting your loyalty just the same as He is to that pastor or to anybody else; He's expecting your loyalty. And we want to show our loyalty.
902-138 Now, sometimes it gets hard. It's hard for me in the field. A minister setting there I love with all my heart, just have to really tell him (See?), but in a way of love, I've got a hand out to help him. So see? And they come to me and say, "Brother Branham, you're just a wonderful person, why can't you just compromise a little on that baptism, and on this, that, and the other, that security, and the serpent's seed?"
I say, "Brother, I love you, but now, let's us take–just take the Scripture and see who's right or wrong. See, I've got to be able to…"
"Oh, no. Now, Brother Branham, I tell you, you're all wrong." See, goes flying up.
"Oh," I say, "well, perhaps I am. Then if I am, surely you'd tell me, you're… You know where I'm wrong at, then you show me where I'm wrong. And I'm willing to take. See?"
Same thing, "Hey, you ain't got no business telling that child to set down." Now, the deacon is the–is the custodian at the house of God. See? Now, if you… He takes care of the house of God and keeps it in order. Now, that's what the Scripture says, and if you got anything else that a deacon should do, you come tell me. See, there's the same thing, but that–that's your duty to do that, yeah, just back up.
And you should ask nobody; that's–that's just your duty. Brother Neville don't ask nobody; the church don't have to ask… I mean, the–the–the trustees don't have to go ask Brother Neville if–if he wants the roof put on the Tabernacle. See? No, no, that's not nothing to Brother Neville; it's not nothing to me; that's to you. The deacons don't have to…
902-144 The same way to the pastor. "What are you going to preach on? I don't want you to do this." They ain't got no business saying that; he's under God (See?), their pastor. And then if–if–if Brother Neville, he preaches a message that the Lord has give us, and we're all together in this. And if I tell Brother Neville something wrong, God holds me responsible for it. That's right. See? So God is the Boss of all of it. See? And we're just working as His ambassadors (You see?), down here in these offices.
903-Q-232 232. Please… (The next question, and then I think we got one more and then we–we'll stop.) Please explain just how the gifts of tongues are to operate in our church.
I have did that.
When can the church be put in order as–or just where the gifts are to operate?
We've just explained that.
903-Q-233 233. Just how many c-h-r-i-s-t-m-a… Could you see what that is? [Billy Paul answers Brother Branham, "instruments"–Ed.] Oh, instruments. How many instruments are we to have in church beside organ and piano?
Well, it depends on if you had a string band or whatever you had. You see? I don't know what you got, what this means; I don't understand it. But the organ and the piano are property of the church. Now, if the song leader would take a notion to have trumpets and cornets and so forth like that, and somebody's coming to church and they play these instruments… And they're in a band, and–and then, 'course, then that's for your trustees, to take it up with the trustees and see if they got money to buy their instruments and so forth, or whatever like that. I guess that's what their question is.
But if they have their own instruments, wonderful. If they don't have their own instruments, and they're a member here of a band, not just a person running through here and plays once in a while, and runs out like that, it's got to be a band in the church. The church wouldn't buy a–a–a trumpet for a man that plays it here and tomorrow night somewhere else, and somewhere else, and drop in once in a while and play a little bit. No, sir. It's got to be a band right here, organized band with the–the leader, and then the church, talk to them about buying the instruments.
903-Q-234 234. Please explain just how we are to–how we deacons can keep the people… just in the sanctuary before or after… Please explain. [Billy Paul reads the question to Brother Branham, "How do we keep the people quiet in the sanctuary before and after church?"–Ed.] Oh, all right.
I would suggest this, brethren. Now, there's a great thing; wish we had more time to put on it, for it's–it's… It means something to us. See? Now, the church is not a…
If he wants to… If you want to run this tape down some night and play it before the meetings, that the people will understand it, let this be played; just this part of the tape if no more, just this. Any part of this that you want played for a certain thing, just keep running it till you find it, and then play it. See, 'cause it's questions.
Now, deacons of the church, and as I–as I said, are the police of the church. But the church is not a general meeting-house for–for fellowship, and friendship, and frolic. The church is a sanctuary of God. We come here… Now, if we want to meet one another, let me come to your house or you come to my house, or you go to one another's house and meet one another. But just to frolic around through the church, and talking and things like that, it's not right, brethren; we come here; we get the whole thing off of our mind. If we would come here…
904-150 Look the way we used to do it years ago. Sister Gertie was the pianist. When I pastored here, I was–I had to be pastor, deacon, trustee, and everything else at once (See?), but I–I had to do it. Now you don't have to do it that way (See?), because you got men to carry this out. But when the… I had ushers, Brother Seward and all of them at the door. They had books piled around there at the door, setting in a chair, or something or another. And when someone come in, you showed them a place to hang your coat or helped them to their seat, give them a song book, and asked them to be in prayer. And then everybody set in their seat and silently prayed until starting time. See? And then at starting time, Sister Gertie, the pianist, got up there and started the music before–when the people are–are coming together.
I would suggest to have your organist to get up there with some real nice music. And if she can't be here, put it on tape and then play it, or something another, and have music, real sweet sacred music going on. So… And ask people… And if people goes to talking and carrying on like that, let one of the deacons get up at the microphone up there at the desk and say, "sh, sh, sh," like that. Say, "At the Tabernacle here we–we want you to come to worship. Let's not make noise now; listen to the music. Get your seat, set down, be reverent (See?), pray or read the Bible. This in the sanctuary here is where the Lord dwells. And we want everybody to be real reverent and worship, not to be running around, talking before the services. Congregate yourself, and you've come here to talk to the Lord. See? Either be in silent prayer (See?), or read your Bible."
905-152 When I went into the Marble church up there at–at the… Norman Vincent Peale, you've heard of him. You see? And I went into… A great psychology, he's a teacher, you know. And I went into his church, I just thought that, "I wished my Tabernacle would do that again." Them deacons standing right there at the door just as soon as you come in. They, of course, they hand you a Sunday school slip, taken you right down. You had to empty three times, you know, it only hold about four or five hundred, you know; and New York's a big place, and he's a popular man. And I think they had to have one class at ten o'clock and one at eleven, same sermon right over again, same service exactly, same sheet of paper. But when they dismissed, and they had (I believe) five minutes for the church to be exactly… Nobody else could come in till they got out, then the deacons opened the way and the other church filled up. They had those old box seats, you know, they go in like that, and set down in the pews where you open the door. And old fashion, it's been standing there for–for around two hundred years, I guess, the old Marble church has.
905-153 And you could have heard a pin drop anywhere in that church, and everybody in prayer for at least thirty minutes before the first note was ever hit on the organ, the prelude. And just everybody in prayer. I thought, "How wonderful it is." Then when that minister… That prelude, about… I think they played one prelude for about three to five minutes, How Great Thou Art, or something like that, and on like that. And then when they did, everybody stopped praying and was listening to the prelude. See, it give a change from prayer to the prelude. And then when they played that, then the choir leader directed the choir. Then they had a congregational song and the choir. And then they were ready for their Sunday school class. See? And then–and then when it was over, there was nothing went on except divine worship, all the time, and that's what we come there for.
905-154 And I think it would be a good thing if our church… And I'm just saying this; we're going to do it. See? Let's do it. If somebody does anything, the thing… And I think it'd be a good thing. If it's a good thing, then let's do it. See? We don't want to put off any good thing; we'll do it anyhow. See? And just go ahead and–and stand up there, and if they start on a morning, or something like that, people visiting, just let some or one–one of the one of the deacons, or somebody walk up there and say, "It's been made a rule in the Tabernacle here…"
I don't know if they do it, they may–they may. I'm never here (You see?); I don't know. I'm never here before services.
And when they come in and they start talking, let somebody get up there and say, "Sh-sh-sh, just a moment." See? Let the–let the… Get a little sister, get her up there and get her playing that music. If you don't, put it on tape and get it out there (See?), of the organ music. And say, "Now, we're… There's a new rule in the Tabernacle. When people enter here, we're not to whisper or talk, but to worship. See? Now, just a few minutes the service will be starting. Until then, just either read your Bible or bow your head and silently pray." And a few times like that, they'll all learn. See, see?
906-157 You hear somebody talking, and then it gets down for–after a few times like that, after a while you hit a place where somebody say… See somebody talking, nobody else talking (You see?), well, then one of the deacons walk up and say, "We–we want you to worship during the time of the service (You see?)?" See? See, it's not a house of talk, it's a house of worship. Understand?
I think that was it: Please explain… (Yeah. Let's see. Yeah)… Please explain how to… the deacons should… in the sanctuary. Yeah, that's all. That's right. That's it.
906-Q-235 All right, now here's the last one:
235. Brother Branham, when we have had opportunities on the beginning of the service, I'm–I'm… the comp… No, they had "complaints." It's wrote real little. "And I've had complaints," ain't it? [Billy Paul answers, "Uh-huh," and continues helping Brother Branham read the small writing–Ed.]… had complaints in the beginning of the service. We have… (Let's see.)… We–we–we have songs, testimonies, and prayers, and prayer requests, special singing, and m-a–maybe get it–get into the message at eleven, to… or after, but don't have too much time for the Word. Some of the people get restless and have to leave before it is–is–before–before it's over. Is… Please explain how many songs, and what time to start the message. And some–sometime we have prayer requests and it ends up in a testimony meeting, some things that–that don't be–don't seem kind of right at the time.
907-158 Now, I hope I've got that. Billy's trying to help me here. Upon the tape, you have to… somebody in our midst may… meeting, in the service, listening to what this was, is Billy trying to help me read it, because it's wrote very, very fine, and I couldn't make it out. I got the general idea, it is, "How many songs should we sing before starting the service, and what time should service start?"
Now, the first thing I want to make here is a confession. And when I'm wrong, I want to admit I'm wrong. See? And I–and I–I will make a confession here that I am kind of the leader of that. Because it's been me a-holding these long services and things, is what got the church into this routine (See?) of doing so, but it shouldn't be. And now, remember, I have… I am… Was telling you all, "Sunday night, if the Lord willing, on Sunday night, that, I'm trying to allot my services from henceforth, if I have to stay a week extra, to about thirty or forty minutes at the longest for my services."
907-160 Because I've found this, that a service that's… It stands up, and the message is given in the power; if you go too far, you wear the people out and they don't get it. The reason I been giving… I knowed that all along. See? The most successful speakers are those who have exactly… Jesus was a Man of few words, watch His sermons. Watch Paul's sermon on the day of Pentecost, probably taken him fifteen minutes, and he punched the–there, something that–that–that sent three thousand souls into the Kingdom of God. See, just right straight to the spot… See?
And I–I am guilty. Because, the reason I have done this, not because I didn't know different, but I'm making tapes (See?), and these tapes will be played in houses for hours after hours after hours. But as you'll find out in the coming Sunday, the reason that I've done it, this coming Sunday, the reason I have done these things… I might say it right now on the tape. The reason that I have did this is because of this tremendous weight upon me for the Message of this hour to get It out. Now the Message is out, now I'm taking a thirty minutes or something like that, after the first of the year, in my meetings out in the–everywhere I go, and try and even set my watch to a thirty minute, or not over forty at the most; punch to that message, and make the altar call if I–or whatever I'm going to do, or call a prayer line; and not take that much time, because you do wear the people out. I know that.
908-162 But looky here. I guess, in the year, we haven't had a dozen people get up and walk out, and sometimes I keep them here for two and three hours. See? That's right. Because it's been making these tapes that goes all over the world (See?); and the people out there, they'll set for hours and listen to that; and ministers, and so forth, Germany, Switzerland, Africa, Asia, and everywhere (See?), listening to that.
But, see, for the sanctuary, for the church… And that's all right. If you're here making a tape, and you got a two-hour tape, put a two-hour message on it; but if you're not making a tape for something like that, then cut a message (See?), cut a message down. I tell you why, there's some fill up easy, some fill up long (See?), like that, and you got to be at a happy medium between that.
908-164 And now, many times that we ruin our services by a dragged out testimony meeting, which I know I'm guilty of doing it. And you get out when we used to have street meeting, and let some old brother stand out there, and he'll stand out… And ask him to offer a word of prayer, and he'll pray for the mayor of the city, and for the governor of the state, and for the President of the Union, and–and everybody like that, and all the pastors around, you know, each one by number, and Sister Jones that's in the hospital, and things like that; and the people standing, walking by on the street meeting, just keep–just keep on walking, See? He just wore them out. Well, just a…
See, the main thing now, your prayer is to be in secret, your main, long prayer. Pray all… Enter into a secret closet, close the door. There's where you want to pray all day, all night, or two hours, pray there. But in here, when you've got the attention of the people, make your prayer short, quick, at it. Make all your service… And put the most of your service time into that Word. That's the main thing. Punch that Word just as hard as you can (See?); get the Word to the people.
909-166 Now, here's my suggestion. Now, now remember, I've confessed that I'm guilty of leading this on. But then I've told you why I've led it on; I'm making two-hour tapes to be sent overseas and everywhere, of a Message. You see? But the church shouldn't pattern that (the message here at the Tabernacle) after them tapes (two hours) to be gone places (See?), and go out like that.
Now, here's what your order… Let me just give you an example. Would that be all right, a suggestion? I would say that the church should have its doors open at a certain time; let the congregation come in; let the songs be playing. And let everybody come in to worship, not to visit. And don't let them visit afterwards, tell them to dismiss and get out, not to visit. If you wanted to visit, there's the whole outside. But this is the sanctuary, let this be kept clean. Now, if the Spirit of the Lord is dealing here, let's keep it the Spirit of the Lord. See? And–and It'll keep moving. If you don't, you just mark my words, it's going to fall; it sure will. And let's keep it; it's our duty; that's why I'm here tonight. Let's keep this thing lined up with these–with these orders.
909-168 Now look, I would say this. Ordinarily, unless we are giving out especially… And tell them you're going to tape a message. See? Now, if Brother Neville has a message here that he's going–he's got a message he wants to get out to the people, out on tape, or something, say, "Now, next Sunday night we're going to tape a two hour tape," three hour tape, or what–or whatmore. "We're going to give a two or three hour tape," or whatever it might be, "next Sunday night." And then the people know. And then when they come in, say, "Now, we are going to tape a message tonight. And I got a message here that it's one… I want it taped and sent out. I been… I feel led to send this message out. And it's going to be taped; it may be two hours," three hours, or whatever it is, say that.
But, ordinarily, just as I do when I'm going into a place like one of them Business Man's meetings, or I'm out in my meetings out there for a prayer line, if I stood up there and give a three-hour message of a night before having the healing service, you see where it puts me? See? Why, the people, next night your congregation's half of what it was. See? 'Cause they just can't do it, they got to go to work and everything.
910-170 I'd suggest this, that ordinarily… Now, I watched Brother Neville last night when he preached. Now, I know we all… That was a startling message. I took notes of him, got here in my pocket, can use it in other messages of my own. That's right. The Way of Escape (See?), and that was a marvelous message. You see how quick he got that through? See, about thirty-five minutes (See?), and he–he had it over. See? Now, that was fine. Now, and Brother Neville, usually his messages are like that. See, that's not long. See? But where you kill your meeting is all that drawn out stuff before you get to it. See?
Now, and–and where you do that… Now, I know, and now look, I'm not saying that dishonorly to you trustees, or deacons, or–or pastor, but I'm just telling you: see what's truth, and this is what it must be. Now, you… What does it, now, everybody, you all good-natured, every one of you men are good-natured. If it wasn't so, I'd say, "All but Brother So-and-so, he's not got a good nature; we're all praying for him." But you–you do have good natures, and you're long-suffering, gentle, quiet sort of men. That's fine, but don't be a sissy with that.
910-172 Jesus was good-natured too, but when it come time to say things, "It's written, 'My Father's house is made a house of prayer, and you are making it a den of thieves.'" See? He–He knowed when to speak and when not to. That–that–that's what we got to do. See? There never–never was a person like Jesus; He was God. And remember, He even… Talk about being a deacon in the church, He–He took over. He plaited some ropes together, and He didn't wait to gently walk them out; He beat them out (See?), at the house of God. And He was playing the part of a deacon, for an example to you deacons. See, He was your example. "And now, it–it's written, 'My Father's house is made a house of prayer.'" Now, remember, Jesus was a deacon then, and you know that Jesus was taking the part of a deacon.
When He come to the part of a pastor, what did He say? "You blind Pharisees, leaders of the blind…" See, He was taking the part of a pastor then.
And when He told them what was going to happen, He taken the part of a prophet. See?
And when they required that there must be tribute paid, He taken the part of a trustee, "Peter, go down and cast the hook into the river, and the first fish you take up has got a coin in his mouth. Pay them (See?); pay your just debts." Said, too, "Give Caesar what's Caesar's, God's what is God's."
911-176 He was both pastor, prophet, trustee, and deacon. Sure was. So then you see what He did, let that be your example in the house here at this Branham Tabernacle, that we want to be a house that He will be honored in with everything, every office, every place, that there be no taking back. There'd be gentleness, and sweetness, and kindness, but just straight on the line; every man's at his post of duty. See? That's the way, that's the way He wants it. He never slagged. When it come time to say, call what was what, He called it. When it come time to show gentleness, then He showed gentleness. He was sweet, kind, understanding, but stern; and everything was right to the dot with Him, and He did that for your example. Now, the Holy Spirit just give me that. So I never thought about that, Him being a deacon before, but He was. See? He–He acted as deacon.
911-177 Now I say this, say if your services begin at seven-thirty, if that's the time, open your church half hour beforehand, seven o-clock. Let the pianist… Tell the organist… You pay her? You all pay the organist? Is she paid, or the pianist? She does it free-will. Ask her with gentleness. Even if she wants to have pay for it, to give her something for it, tell her we want her a half hour before service. And if she says, "Well, I can't do it," or something, complaint, then just have her come here and make a tape of some sweet organ music. You see? And let… put that on the… Don't have to be here every time, set your tape up. See? Let one of the deacons, trustees, or ever who opens, the janitor, put it on up there, the tape on, and let it be playing while the people come. See? 'Cause if the deacons are not here, or somebody, let a trustee or somebody be here to do it, then let them play for a half hour.
But exactly seven-thirty, let that bell toll on top the building. See? You still have your bell out there? Yeah. All right, let your bell toll at seven-thirty, and that means that we're not going to walk up and down the church and shake hands with Joneses and all that. Let the song leader be on the job. If there's no song leader there, let the deacons see that there–or the–see that there is somebody to start leading songs when that bell starts tolling. "Turn to your hymn-book, number so-and-so." See? Let it be right on the dot at–at seven-thirty.
912-179 All right, then have a congregation song, and then maybe a second congregational song, and then have somebody already spoke of (if you can) to lead in prayer. Let the–the pastor, ever… Well, the pastor shouldn't be there, the–the song leader should do that. It's Brother Capps, I think. See, he'd know what to do, let–let him have someone spoke–or either lead in prayer hisself. Have the congregation to stand in prayer (See?), just stand up, and let somebody lead in prayer. Now, if you don't watch…
Now, we believe that everybody should come to the house of God and pray, that's the–that's the place of prayer. But when you're in that sanctuary, conserve your time. See? You call them all up around the altar, you'll find out there'll be somebody will be there for fifteen, twenty minutes, and your time's all run out.
912-181 Let your… See, your praying's at home. Jesus said, "When you pray, don't stand like the hypocrites do, and–and for a long–maybe a long prayer, and say this, that, or the other, and–and all like that for a showing." See? He said, "When you prayer–pray, enter into the closet, secret closet, close the door behind you; pray your Father that seeth in secret, He shall reward thee openly." Now, that's the way to have secret prayer, that's what He said do.
But when you, somebody, when they come in, like the song leader, say, "All right…" After the first song, then let somebody have prayer, yeah, ever who it is, just a short prayer. Don't stand up and pray for all the governors, and so forth like that. If there's any prayer requests, let it be known, let it be sent in, have them sent in. Write it, say, "Here." "For tonight, in having prayer, we're remembering Sister So-and-so, Brother So-and-so in the hospital, So-and-so, and So-and-so, and So-and-so. Remember them in your prayers as you pray. Brother Jones, will you lead us in prayer. Let's stand." See? Let it be laid on the platform; Tell them, let them get used to that, "If you got a request for prayer, lay it up here, up here." Don't be speaking, "Who has a request now, would you be let it known by…" And then, the first thing, somebody get up and say, "Glory to God. And you know…" Start off like that, and the first thing you know, it's a half hour 'fore they set down sometimes. See?
We are responsible for this church, not others; this is our responsible ability to God. These offices are your responsibility to God. See? The reason I'm standing here tonight, telling you all this, is because it's my responsibility to God; it's your responsibility to carry it out. See?
913-184 Now, and when something like that… Let somebody lead in prayer, and when they do, that's fine; let them lead in prayer then set down.
And if you–you got a special… Now, I wouldn't say this; I wouldn't go along… And if anybody wants to sing a special, announce it in the church. Tell them that "Any specials, or anything that wants to be sang, let them see the song leader before the church ever starts." And have it… Say, "Well, I'm sorry, brother, I'd like–sure like to do it, but I–I've got my special for tonight. Maybe if you tell me you're going to be here on a certain night, I'll put it on the program for you. See? I got my program wrote out here."
913-186 Let–let Brother Capps or ever who's leading songs… And have a song leader, no matter who it is. And don't let them stand up and say–or carry on a lot, they're a preacher. See? Let them stand up there and lead songs; that's their business.
It's the pastor's business to preach (See?), not lead songs. He ain't to lead songs; the song leader leads songs. He's responsible, and should come out freshly under the anointing of the Holy Ghost from the office in there, somewhere, when it's come time. He don't even have to be on the platform when this is going on. Let him stay in the office back there (See?), or back in here, or wherever it is; the intercoms here will bring it in (See?) when it's time. When he hears that last… If there is a special, like a solo, duet, or something, for your third song. See?
That you've had two congregational songs, prayer, your offering (if you're going to take it). And let every man be at his post of duty. Say, "All right, while we're singing this last song now, if the ushers will, let them come forward for the evening offering." See? And while they finish singing that song, here's the ushers standing here. Say, "All right, now we're going to have prayer," and they offer prayer, "We want to remember So-and-so here, and So-and-so," and read that off, you know, like that, like that. "All right, everyone stand. Brother, will you lead us in prayer." Then it's all over.
914-189 Then while they're singing this second song, or whatever you're singing, you're to take your offering if you're going to take your offering. Leave it… I'd take your first song; then have your evening offering, and then go on with your second song, and then on through. Then let your last song here… Let your last song (See?), be the pastor's call. And as soon as that last hymn is sang, let the organ start with your–your prelude, your pastor walks out. See, everything's in order; everybody's quiet. There's nothing else to be said, every deacon at his post of duty, the pastor standing there.
Come out, greet his audience, turn to his book and say, "Tonight, we're reading from the Bible." See, after he makes it up, "We're reading from the Bible." And it is a good thing sometimes if you say, "In respect to the Word of God, let's stand to our feet while we read the Word." See, then read, "Tonight, I'm reading from the Book of Psalms," or whatever it is. Or either let somebody else read it, the song leader, or associate, somebody there with you, let him read it, whatever; but it'd be best if you read it yourself, if you can. Then read it like that; then take your text. See? And that much time, you've spent about thirty minutes; it's right then about eight o'clock.
914-191 And from eight to about a quarter till nine, somewhere between thirty and forty-five minutes, lay that Word in there just as the Holy Ghost gives it to you (See?), just like that, just place it right in there the way He says do it (See?), under the anointing.
Then take your altar call, say, "Is anyone here in this church that would like to accept Christ as Saviour, we're asking you, inviting you to the altar right now; just stand to your feet." See?
And if–and if no one stands, say, "Is there anyone here that's a candidate for baptism, that's already has repented and wants to be baptized in water for the remission of sins? If they wish to come, we're giving you the opportunity now, will you come while the organ's still playing." See?
If nobody comes, say then, "Is there anybody here that would–that has never received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and would want to do so tonight, would want us to pray for you?" Well, maybe somebody comes up, then let two or three lay hands on them, pray for them; send them right back in one of them rooms, somebody in there with them, instruct them somewhere how to come through with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The congregation's all away from them.
915-195 If anybody comes to be–wants to accept Christ and standing there at the altar to be prayed for, make your–may… Let them pray. And when they do, just say, "Bow your heads now; we're going to pray." And say, "Do you believe?"
If any little thing that would delay the congregation in anyway at all, send them right into the prayer room, and go in there with them, or send somebody in there with them. And let the congregation go right on (See?), like that; you haven't held them nowhere then. See?
And then while… before… In a–in a few minutes, you say… If nobody comes, then say, "Would there be somebody that would like to be anointed with oil tonight for the–sickness? We pray for the sick here."
"Well, I'd like to see you privately, Brother Neville."
"Well, you see me in the office. See one of the deacons, they'll take it up. See?"
"And I've got something I'd like to say to you, Brother."
"Well, one of the deacons here will see you to the office, and we'll–I'll see you immediately after the service."
915-199 "Now, as a… we'll stand now for dismissing." See, and you haven't been over about a hour and forty-five minutes in the whole thing. See? See, a hour and thirty minutes, your service is over. You've had the little quick punch; you–you give it what it's done; you've done the… And everybody's satisfied, and go home feeling good. See? If you don't, then (You see?), if you let… See, you–you–you mean well (See?), but see…
You know, this is about thirty-three years in this platform for me, thirty-three years, and the world around. You learn a little something in that much time, surely. See? If you don't, you better quit. So then (See?), I find out this. Now, if you're dealing with just Saints altogether, men, you could just stay all night if you wanted to. But you're… See, you're not dealing with them exactly; you're trying to catch these out here. Here's the ones you're catching; you got to work on their field. See? And don't… Bring them in here and then let the Word come, and then (See?), there's nothing can be complained.
If there's anything they wants to see you about, well, fine, take them right on into the office like that, but don't hold the congregation.
916-201 Then, you know, people will get up and say, "Well, I tell you, let's have a good testimony meeting." See? Now, I don't mean any critics on this; I just mean to tell you truth. I mean to tell you truth. See? I've found testimony meetings of more–they–they do more harm sometimes than good (See?); they really do.
Now, if somebody would have a red-hot testimony in time of a revival, you know, and you're having a revival on, you know, a meeting, somebody got saved and just wanting to say a word, well, bless God, let him unload his soul (You see?) if he–if he wants to–if he wants to do that (See?), just in time of revival, say, "I just want to say, 'Thank the Lord for what He's done for me.' He saved me last week, and my heart's a-burning up with the glory of God. Thanks be to God," set down. Amen. That's fine, go on. See, that's all right.
916-203 But when you say, "Now come on. Who's next? Who's next? Now, let us hear a word; let us hear a word of testimony." Now, if you got a meeting set aside, a certain night for that (See?), you're going to. "Tonight… next Wednesday night, instead of prayer meeting, it's going to be a testimony meeting. We want everybody to come in, and it's going to be testimonial meeting." Then when they come to–to the place to give testimonies, read the Word, have prayer, and then say, "Now, we have announced this is testimony night." So let people testify for that hour or forty-five minutes, or thirty minutes, or whatever it is, and then–then go ahead like that. See what I mean? And I think it will help your congregation; it'll help everything, altogether, if you do it that way.
916-204 Now, I'm getting late. So, brothers, brethren, these are the best of my knowledge. I see what's on your heart; this is the best of my knowledge the questions that you have asked. Now, from now on you know. And if it's ever in your mind, come to the tape. Ask that… Listen to the tape. If it's for deacons, trustees, or whatever it is, let the tape be played. Let it be played to the congregation out there if they want to hear it. All right. And that's–that is the best of my knowledge to the will of God for this Tabernacle here at Eighth and Penn Street, and that's the way I'm commissioning you brothers to carry this out under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, with all kindness and love, showing your grace before people that you are Christians. And Christians don't mean a baby that can be pushed around anywhere, that means "a man that's full of love, but just–just as full of love for God as he is for the congregation." See what I mean?
917-205 Is there a question? The tape's about to run out here, and I got somebody waiting for me over here. What time was he supposed to be there? [Billy Paul answers, "Right now."–Ed.] Right now. He's coming over himself? [Billy Paul answers, "I'll go get him."–Ed.] All right. All right, sir.
Now, I know we're going out now if there's no–no further–any word. Now, if not, let's dismiss…?… Yes, Brother Collins? [Brother Collins says, "It might be better if this tape was turned off."–Ed.]
917-207 Well, brethren, I've appreciated being here with you tonight, and Brother Neville, and to the deacons, and trustees, and Sunday school superintendent, all of you. We trust that the Lord will help you now to carry out these orders for the Kingdom of God. The reason I've said this is because that I think you have grown from children to adults. When you was a child, you talked like a child, and you understood as a child. But now you're men, so let's act as adults in the house of God, behaving ourself, and honoring our offices, and honoring every office. Every gift that the Lord has give us, let's put it in order, and honor God with our gifts and our offices. Let us pray:
917-208 Heavenly Father, we thank Thee tonight for this gathering together of men that's put in the offices here to carry out the work of the Lord that's being carried on here in Jeffersonville in this church. God, may Your hand be upon them, may You help them and bless them. May the congregation and the people understand and know that this is to in-better the Kingdom of God, that we might become men of understanding and know the Spirit of God, and know what to do. Grant it, Father. Dismiss us now with Thy blessings, and may the Holy Spirit watch over us, and guide us, and protect us, and may we be ever found faithful at the post of duty. In Jesus Christ's Name, I pray. Amen.