1 In my throat from several, fifteen services out in Arizona… Had a wonderful time, the Lord Jesus just blessed us exceedingly, abundantly. They tried to work just a little bit of the Lord's strategy; I trust that that would be the right way to put it, going in and rim-firing the place first. I went in several days ahead of time, had ten or twelve services at all the major big churches throughout Phoenix, Sunnyslope, and Tempe, and Mesa, and down through there, and kind of rim-fired it all around, and then led it all to the five nights of the convention. And it was the biggest convention we've had in North America. It was a great one. The biggest breakfast, and–and also the–the banquet that night…
2 I just couldn't say how many it was that received the Holy Ghost. It was–it was tremendous how many received the Holy Ghost, and how many was healed, and–and got saved; it–it's just a wonderful. So we're grateful to God as we see the time moving up. Many great men came in. One of the…
This will do Brother Neville lots of good. I seen a Presbyterian minister out of the greatest Presbyterian College in the–in this nation, dancing in the Spirit. Oh, my, it was really something; he received the Holy Ghost. And then he told me; he said, "I got one of your tapes." Said, "It wasn't very good." Said, "It just kind of jumpy," but said, "I took it right into my college and played it." And said… Being the great man of psychology there, he kept them all quiet. "Well, they got to hear It once anyhow," he said. And he said he had a…
And said he got to dancing in the spirit at his church after he received the Holy Ghost, and they said, "Reverend, when are you going to learn a new step?"
He said, "When my congregation learns this one." Thought that was pretty cute, you know, Presbyterian hierarchy, said, "When my congregation learns this one." So that's a good thing. Just like a little baby, just new and yet he's been… Well, you know what he'd have to be, to be the professor of psychology in the greatest Presbyterian College in Boston, well, it's in the United States.
6 I seen one of Mayo's head heart surgeons preach the Gospel in the Spirit and speak in tongues. Oh, my. I seen another specialist, which was a Seventh-day Adventist, out of… He was a–a–a specialist on the heart and throat also, and he, an old man, received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He received It. One night I laid hands on him over in the courts, and he received the Holy Ghost. So we're… Just so many things that our Lord did that we're thankful for, and especially seeing at this time.
Then I said to them, "Do you realize what hour this is when the sleeping virgin begins to ask for oil?" It was time that the Bridegroom came, and the people, the ready Ones went in. Oh, I'm so glad to know that we're living here in these last days. See? I believe that we're living in one of the most tremendous times that the world's ever known, just on the eve of the coming of the Lord. Isn't that wonderful? Think, that most any time now, all Scripture's just about fulfilled. And so we're expecting Him at any moment. And we should live under those kind of expectations, that just any time it can happen. Be prayed up, ready.
8 On some of the interviews today, I, one, I met a missionary from Formosa, a gallant woman, seventy-three years old, and would pass for about forty-five. And she is still a Miss, and must've been a beautiful young girl. And she said she was raised up in a Christian home where "yes" meant yes, and "no" meant no. And she come up under that strict teaching. And she said, "Brother Branham, at the age of about, oh," said, "about eight years old, I thought that I gave my life to the Lord Jesus." She said, "About twelve years old, I was enticed by a certain denominational minister, that I must get the second blessing," and said, "and was awfully deceived in it." But she said, "About seventeen years old, I really received the Holy Ghost." And–and she's back here now try to wake up some of these sleeping Baptist churches. She said if–if there was anything that she seen was dead, she's a Baptist herself, she said, "are these dead Baptist churches back here." She called them morgues.
I said, "Well, I guess when you're on the battlefront…" I think now she's… Just think, me, fifty-two, she was out as a missionary before I was born. And then I think I was getting too old to get on the field. And I think, "My, forgive me, Lord."
10 And she, fine, just as bright and brilliant as she could be. And then telling me experiences along the road, and how that the Gospel was needed in Formosa, and in China, and Japan, and so forth. So they sent her back from the field, said, "You can't go in the fields after you're past seventy, you know." So they sent her back. But she's not going to be still; she's going to all these Baptist conventions. And she said, "Billy Graham," said, "the way he was carrying the Baptist message, was an indebtiment to the Baptist church." Said, "He don't take them far enough to get the Holy Ghost," she said. Oh, sister, you stay right with that. That's all right. She said, those Chinese back there, said she wouldn't let them just go along and say, "We believe Jesus Christ." Said, "That was all right," but said she made them stay there till something happened, and then they become real Christians.
I said, "That's the way it goes, sister. Just tell them… Let them stay till something happens."
12 What if the apostles would have said, now, after nine days, "We believe that we got It (See?); let's just accept It by faith and go ahead with our work." See, it never would've worked out. They waited there until they knew that something happened. See? And that's what's the trouble of us is today; we don't stay long enough. Well, that's the reason afterwards we can just live any kind of a life, do anything, don't bother us, because we don't stay there long enough. Today we're in; tomorrow we're out, and this way and that way. If we stay long enough till you get in and close the door behind you, you're going to stay there then. You're sealed until the day of your redemption. I'm so glad of that.
13 And we had a great time, as I said, at Phoenix and through the valley and the–many of the Christians there, many of them holding on with dear life.
I went up on South Mountain, wife back there and I, one day when the friends… My brother Doc kept the two girls, and–and Brother and Sister Wood kept the boy, and me and my wife had a second honeymoon. And she said, "Bill, you know, this one was more of a honeymoon than the first one." She said, "The first time we went on a honeymoon, the only thing I done was set in a camp and wait for you to come in from hunting," she said.
I kinda used a little a-strategy, you know. I thought, "Well, now, I haven't got much money saved up in a baking powder can, enough to go on a hunting trip, and yet I was going to get married that fall. So I thought, "Just make it all together," you know. And–and while I was going on a hunting trip, it'd be the honeymoon, you know, and so we consolidate. But this time we paid up for it and really went out, and to–by–had a great time.
16 And many of them come from the Tabernacle here. I believe Brother Sothmann, his family's back there, and Brother Tom Simpson and them, and Brother Maguire, and we all had great times in the Lord.
17 And so we went up on South Mountain, which is just South of Phoenix, and got up away from that pressure. Umm. A pressure in a modern city… No wonder when the people begin to multiply upon the earth, sin, violence set in. And I looked up there, and setting way high so we could see the valley of Phoenix, I said to the wife, "Wonder how many times, since we been setting here this fifteen minutes, that the Name of the Lord is taken in vain in that city?"
About, well, in the metropolitan area, taking in Tempe, and–and Sunnyslope, and through there, I suppose there's right at a million people in that valley. I said, "Three hundred years ago there wasn't nothing but cactus and coyotes in here. And it probably, in the sight of the Lord, it'd be better if it was back like that." That's right. Although the great–great city that they built there, and beautiful homes and so forth is pretty. But it would be fine; it would be better off if the men and women were walking up and down the streets with their hands up in the air, glorifying God and thanking Him. But instead of that, it's cursing, carrying on, drinking. Just let civilization come in, and wickedness is there.
19 I said, "How many adulteries was committed last evening, last night in this city? How many drunks? How many homes… How many–how many disorderly things has been done in the last hour, in this great city?"
And wife said to me; she said then something like this, as I thought, "What would be the use of coming here then? Why did you leave home to come out here?"
Then I said, "Here's what it is. After all of that, which certainly is in the majority, but there is a little minority down there. How many faithful prayers went up in the last evening down there, just coming on to the service?"
22 And He was so good to us that the churches would be packed out before sundown, that you couldn't get in the yards around the place. And them organizations and so forth, and the Lord poured out His Spirit and blessed them. And I never held any punches, just keep punching right away at the Gospel. And sometimes, of course, it's pretty rough, but it's the only way I know it. It's rough in here. So it's going to be rougher at that judgment bar where we have to stand up to it. So altogether, it was a glorious thing. And we want to thank the church here for praying and holding on to us, and–and keeping us near the cross.
And now, coming back home then in here, and I would've gotten down this morning maybe to pray for some of the sick; I got many of the interviews that's waiting, cases that some of them I got on to the last couple days since I been here, been waiting a month since I been gone. So they're trying to get in to them just as fast as they can, get them from different places where they're located.
24 And the Lord willing, in about two more weeks I'm going to Tucson; that's down lower part. And now, the businessmen this time, so you can pray for this… I never like to do anything until first I believe it's the will of the Lord. Now, the next convention comes up in Modesto and then from there to Washington, the state, Washington, and to Zurich, and then Palestine, and then into South Africa. And that all takes place between now and June. And I was invited to be the speaker at all these conventions. And it might give me an opportunity to get into South Africa again. Their call, every months we get invitations. But if one…
25 There's a big split in the churches, the Pentecostal churches. And if you go to one side, the other won't have anything to do with it. And they won't cooperate together, so I've just stood back now for about five years with a call in my heart to go. And now, maybe if the Business Men will take me in, just enough to get established, that's from both sides (You see?), and so that makes them all come to tall. They all have to come to cooperate in that because the financial needs of their–needs of their churches is there, so they have to come to save their face. You see? So maybe it might be the will of the Lord; however, I don't know. It sounds good, but I don't know.
26 And then, in this year, Brother Borders give me the itinerary or the invitations. And honestly, it was a book two times that thick that's come in since last Christmas of invitations around. It's too much for a human mind to try to solve it out, so I didn't take any of them. I'm just going to take one meeting, and wait and see where the Lord tells me to go from there, then I'll go next, and then next, and wherever He tells me to go. So you pray for me.
I remember last year, down at Brother or Sister Cox's down there, when Brother Arganbright called me to go on this trip up to Anchorage. What if I would've went on that just by presuming that it was all right?
Now, I was thinking that, presuming, I preached on the subject of that. I said when I went out there, told the tape boys, "Don't take no tapes. Don't go out for no tapes; I'm going to preach on the same subjects I did here." I think I preached one that I did here, the rest of them was all new ones. And Brother Maguire got them all though.
29 Presuming… So if I'd have went, presuming up there, it would've sure been different than what it turned out, the vision wouldn't have been fulfilled. But the vision was fulfilled, and you all are aware of that, how the Lord did bless.
Now, there's another thing that's been on my heart a long time. Church, pray for it. All you people here knows that since I've been a little boy I've never been satisfied in this country. All my heart has always longed for the west. And I remember when I was mowing the grass for my mother-in-law up there in the little place that was the–belonged in to the church here, that the place… I was setting on the steps, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me, He said, "I cannot further bless you until you fully obey Me, like Abraham." See? And Abraham, God told him to separate himself and go to himself. And when he did, he took along with him his father and his nephew. And until Abraham completely obeyed God, then there was a complete fulfillment of what God promised him. And I–the tie, one of the main ties that bound me here was my mother. You know that. And now mother has gone to be with the Lord Jesus. And I–I don't know which way to turn, what to do, so you pray for me.
31 Now, Brother Neville, I walked out on the platform; I thought, "Well, I'll go out there." Someone met me and said, "My, they got a great lot of service tonight." Said, "They're going to have preaching service, song service, prayer service, and then take up the collections, and then said they got a–got a foot-wash, communion, and baptismal service."
I thought, "Poor brother. My. My, all of that, I know what that is, probably after preaching hard this morning. Now, I thought, "I'll slip up there; maybe he'll want me to give communion."
And he said, "Would you speak for us tonight if you feel led?" So I know what that means; so then I went back and got a Scripture here and got a few notes, and maybe the Lord will help me to deliver just a short message of about four hours, and then we'll have our–our feet-washing, and then the communion. And–and, oh, I, maybe I'll get done before then. No, I was just teasing you. About twenty, thirty minutes, and then we'll have the baptismal feet… What follows this, communion? Communion follows this, then baptismal service.
34 Now, we're happy that you're going to be baptized. Now, if God is willing and that pleases Him, and it's all right with the pastor and the people, next Sunday morning I'll be down to pray for the sick and to speak, if the Lord willing, this coming Sunday, 'cause I perhaps the following Sunday I'll be gone again then. And now when I'm in, I like to come in and–and speak here, 'cause we're kind of associated together as brethren, and Brother Neville and I here, and we–we love one another, and we–we–we want to stay close and help one another as…
35 This sounds sacrilegious, but I hope it don't sound that way to you. Mr. Cory said one time, he… I was in a lamp campaign, selling bulbs for the company. And he bought enormous lot of bulbs which would keep him for four or five years. I turned around and bought a Ford from him. He said, "Billy, I believe we're just scratching each other's back." So that's, well, just kind of helping out in the time of need. So that's–that's right. We know how to come to one another's rescue and help each other.
36 Now, let's go to the sincere part of it now. And if I'm not mistaken, I believe I see Brother Beeler back there in the back, another minister brother. And today when I passed by, Brother Junie Jackson was standing out here in the yard with Brother Creech. Did they have a service here sometime? Baptismal service, I see. All right, we can furnish the water if they'll get the candidate. We–we got the water, all right.
37 So now, being that we're going to have the communion, I thought it would be good if I talked on communion just for a few minutes.
Now, before we approach the Word, let's lay aside everything now, and all of our childish and kiddish ways, and–and approach into the Presence of God by prayer. Let us pray. Now, with our heads bowed, and I trust our hearts also, if there is a request in here that would–you'd like to be made known to God, and would like for me to remember you before God, would you just let it be known by raising your hand to God. God grant each and everyone's request.
39 Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who raised Him up from the dead and set Him at the right hand of the Majesty, ever living to make intercessions upon the things that we believe that He did for us, and confess it to be so, we pray, Lord God, that tonight, that You'll forgive our sins. Oh, we want to keep under the Blood at all times, for we don't know just what might happen. All things are about wound up, we feel, Lord, that the coming of the Lord is at hand. And we're fixing to take a journey. And as we think of a journey, we might think of suitcases, and–and extra clothing and extra shoes. But how different from this journey, it's not packing up; it's unpacking, laying aside. As Your great servant Paul said in the Book of the Hebrews the 12th chapter, "We lay aside every weight and the unbelief that does so easily beset us, that we might run with patience the race that's set before us."
40 And we cannot prophesy now of good things to this modern world. The only thing that we can prophesy through the Spirit is disaster, troubles, earthquakes, great tidal waves, sun and moon failing, the church in the Laodicean age, Christ outside the door, knocking to get in. O God. Just as Micaiah of old, how could he bless Ahab when prophecy was against him? When that great mighty prophet Elijah walked up to him, and because he had took the life of that innocent man Naboth, so he said, "The dogs will lick your blood." Then how could Micaiah prophesy good things?
41 How can the Spirit-filled children of today prophesy good to a sinful, indifferent people that has turned the Lord outside? O God, we only see the bitterness of judgment ahead. And screaming to those who are not right, "Flee to the Lord, for He is the Rock in a weary land. He's the Shelter in the time of storm. And the Name of the Lord is a mighty Tower, and the righteous run into It and are safe." How can we think of those great cities built of refuge, and when the pursuer after the man and he got into the–the tower, he was safe, nothing could touch him. O God, let us run and make haste to the Lord, for He is our Refuge and our Strength, and a very present Help in the time of trouble. So by seeing by the eye of the eagle, as it was, trouble making up, the clouds a-rolling, the thunder and lightning of judgment bearing down upon the earth, we know that the storm is at hand.
42 Tonight, Lord, we pray for these here that raised their hands. I don't know what they wanted, Father; Thou does. I pray that You'll supply everything to their precious souls, that the meaning behind that hand was raised for. Grant it, Lord. Heal the sick. Comfort the weary. Give joy to the oppressed. Give peace to the weary, Food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, joy to the saddened, power to the church. Lord, bring Jesus in our midst tonight, as we're fixing to take the communion representing His broken body. We pray, Lord, that He will visit us in an outstanding way.
Bless this little congregation, its beloved pastor, our Brother Neville and his family, and the deacons, the trustees, and every person that's present. Bless others, Lord, all around the world, that's waiting with joy for the coming of the Lord, lamps trimmed, and the chimneys all polished, and the Light of the Gospel shining in dark places.
Now, help me, Lord, with these few words. And bless It as we read It, and give us the context, for we ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
45 Now, we might turn in the Book to the 6th chapter of St. John, and it would be good if each one of us read this whole chapter when we went home. I would like to read, beginning at the 47th verse, down to the 59th, inclusive, just for a way of building a text on the subject of "Communion," Jesus speaking now at the feast. It was a great time, these feasts were. They drank the water from the rock, to represent the Rock that was in the wilderness. And they eat, for the manna that had fallen many hundreds of years ago, in commemoration. It was just a passover feast, as we have tonight.
46 May the Lord bless His Word. I want to, just for a few minutes, speak on: "Communion." What does the word "communion" mean? "Commune" means "to talk, to have to…" "Communion" really means "to have fellowship, talk with each other." If you talk on the phone to someone, you carry a conversation there, you are communing one with another. And if we should come aside and stand back in the back of the building, any individual and the pastor, or any two people, they are communing one with the other.
47 Now, you do not commune by radio, because you cannot talk back, or television. But when you can by telephone, because you are communing one to another; it just isn't one side. It is… I cannot commune with you now, because you do not talk back. So therefore, it would not be coming to hear a minister deliver his message. That would not be coming together to communing. Communion would not be that… If you come just to commune with the minister, you'd call him to one side, or any individual, and commune with him or she.
But to what we come into communion, is for each of us as individuals to commune with Christ. That is communing. Then communing is not altogether one doing the talking, us doing all the talking, but waiting and seeing what He says back to us.
49 Now, there's where, many times that we make our great mistakes is we do all the talking and don't wait and give Him a chance to answer back. We go sometimes, say, "Lord, I would that You would do so-and-so and so-and-so. Amen," and get up and leave. Now, that really isn't communing. That's going and asking a favor. But when you stay long enough until He answers back, that's when you're getting communion, communing with the Lord. Now, and a great way to commune is to be agreed; you must agree upon certain things. Now, and it's strange that sometimes when we get those things…
Eating is associated with it. Now, you take business people, when they want to make a business deal, they'll invite somebody out to dinner, and after they are set down and eat, and then talk with one another. A good salesman, usually he cannot talk to a person on an empty stomach. It's best to wait till he is feeling good, and then after he has his breakfast. Don't get up there and get him out of bed and tell him about something you got to sell him, but wait till he has his breakfast and–and is set all right in condition.
51 The other day, preaching on the woman that washed Jesus' feet… Up in Canada I was speaking this, saying that when a guest came to visit another person, this person had certain processes they had to go through before they were actually felt fit to come to visit or commune. A visit is a communing. Now, they would come to the… Invited, first you had to be invited. Then you would come to the door and the flunky would wash the feet, because travel, you had the smell of the–of the animals and so forth along the road. They all… The people traveled the same road with the animal, and–and then there was a smell and the dust, and the Palestinian garment picked it up and it settled on the sweat of the legs, and the face where it was uncovered, and–and on the hands. And–and they would catch them at the door, the flunky would, and would wash their feet. And then another man stood there with a towel and an–an alabaster, and they would sprinkle this alabaster on the hands, and they would rub it like this, and–and rub it over their face, then take a towel and wipe themselves off. That taken all the dirt and the smell. And it would have something in it that give a refreshening, like menthol, and it made them feel better.
52 Then when they went in, not with your old dirty shoes on, those fine rugs, they'd have a little, like a little house-slipper, and they would walk in, And then the–the guest would go in and–and then the host would–would kiss them welcome. And ,see, you wouldn't want the host to kiss you if you smelled bad. You wouldn't want to walk on the rugs when you were dirty. And then the host would kiss you welcome, and then you were just one of the house.
53 And now, God has such things. Before we are really ready for the communing of God, we must first be washed by the waters of the Word. Separation, the waters of separation separates us from our sins. Now, the first, you cannot talk to God, and you cannot commune with God, and there's… First, you have to repent for what you have done, because you cannot believe right until you are repenting, "Lord, forgive my unbelief. (See?) Forgive my unbelief." You have to repent first. And when you repent, then you are–your back sins are forgiven, then you're a candidate then for the baptism. Now, then, He promised the Holy Ghost after the baptism.
54 Now, the thing is, that on this communing we find out that there was a–a foot-washing and things associated with that, also, to wash our feet, as a symbol of the cleanliness of the Holy Spirit.
Now, then there must a mutual feeling. If you are at edge with your–your host, then you–you cannot commune. No, you–you can't do it, because you're disagreeing with him. But if you are in agreement, then you can commune. So that's the way it is when we come to the Lord's table; we've got to be in agreement with His Word. See? We must be borned again, the Spirit of God in us saying "Amen" to every Word that He has written, then we can commune with Him.
56 This we have of God, if our hearts condemn us not, then we have favor with God. We know we get our requests and our petition, is because that our hearts condemn us not. Now, if God tells us we must be borned again, and we have not received the new birth, then we'll feel a little funny about going, asking Him anything (See?), because we know we haven't met His requirements. Only thing then is a sinner's prayer. But we talk with Him when we are in fellowship with Him; that brings communion.
57 Now, this means of communion, I'd like to explain for a little while. Now, we take, what we call communion, is the bread and the wine. Now, that has been so misrepresented, till it's not even good to speak of it. Oh, how that has been misrepresented down through the years. That is really not communion; that is just keeping a commandment. See? Now, the reason we call it communion, is because it come from the Catholic association of being the "Holy Eucharist, which is literally the body of the Lord Jesus." But it isn't the Lord Jesus' body. It's only in commemoration of His body.
58 And I don't care how many priests or preachers, or whoever blesses that, it's still bread and wine. There is no priest as we'll–they tell us, that God is obliged to listen to the priest when he turns the communion (what they call communion, the Eucharist) into the literal body of the Lord Jesus, then the believer takes that, and that is communion. That is wrong.
"Commune" is "to talk to, commune with, something that you can speak to and it'll speak back to you." That's communing. A wafer cannot speak back. So, really, the real communion is the Holy Spirit speaking back. When you ask Him, then He speaks back; that is correct communion. This is a memorial to take of His crucifixion and His resurrection, and not a communion. We call it that, but it isn't. It come from the Catholic church of taking this wafer as we went through the other day in the order, and talking about it on "Paganism Versing Christianity," how that this little round wafer is the literal body of Christ. Now, the Catholic church believes that.
60 Did you ever notice, in passing a church, they cross themselves, tip their hats, and so forth. It isn't the church; it's that wafer in there, that body that the priest has turned from a wafer to the literal body of Christ, where the rats and mice could pack it away. Why, you don't–can't think of civil thinking and think that a piece of bread would be a body of the Lord Jesus. It cannot be.
"Communion" is "to talk, and it talks back, something that you talk to." The very word "commune" means "to talk to, or be associated with something that's talking back to you." And God talks back to you: communion. And it's still bread and wine that we call communion.
62 Now, Jesus said here, as I read, "My body is meat and drink; My Blood, body and Blood is meat and drink."
Now, we want to think of Jesus and associate Him, what He was. What is His body? What is the body of Christ? It's the body of believers that's associated with Him in the Holy Spirit, not an idol, not a piece of bread, but a Spirit that's in the heart of the believer, and they are associated together, that when man and God can talk to each other, sons and daughters of God. Mortal man, through the shedding of the Blood bought remission of sin, and this man and this woman, boy or girl that has fellowship with Christ is communing with Him, the body.
64 As a husband and wife would set down and talk it over, or a boy and his girlfriend, Christ and His church is communing together. That's the reason we can hear from Him, and see the future before it gets here, and can tell the future that it's perfect, because that we commune with a God Who holds eternity in His hand. Communing one with another, the body of Christ, the mythical, spiritual body of Christ, not associated with any kind of an idol, or a bread or a–a wine, but in a–a spiritual form.
65 Now, Jesus said the same thing. You take St. John the 4th chapter, talking to the woman at the well, she was speaking on a thing such as, "Our fathers drank at this fountain, and–and dug this well, Jacob, and–and gave of his children and his cattle of this water, and You say, 'Worship in the–a certain city,' and others say 'In this mountain.'"
And Jesus as–as much as said, "Just a minute. We are Jews, and we understand what is, what worship means. But listen to this, woman. The hour is coming, and now is, that the true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in Truth. (Thy Word is the Truth.) And the Father seeks such that will worship Him in Spirit and in the Word, the Truth. 'Thy Word is Truth.'" Now, He told that to the woman.
67 See, Christ… God is a Spirit. "Christ" means "the anointed one, a man anointed with God," which made Him the Christ. Now, Christ said, "I am Food and Drink," not a wafer, not a wafer that we take here. That isn't Christ. The wine that we drink at the altar is not Christ. It represents Him in a figurative way. But Christ is the Holy Spirit, the Anointing that's upon the Church; that is the Meat and the Drink.
68 The greatest cry that there is in all the world, I hope none of you ever heard it, but, if you ever did, there is no cry to equal the cry of hunger. When you see a mother with her baby, and she can't walk she's so weak, and the little baby dying, with its belly swelled out from hunger, hearing them sobs coming from that mother's heart, see that baby with its cheeks drawed in till they're skin and bones, and its little gums a-shining, and he can't make a noise, hardly, his little eyes bugged out. There's no cry like the hunger and the thirsty.
69 Out into the deserts, how many men has lost their lives from thirst. Many stories, that I could keep you all night, of true stories of the desert. How that when you get–become thirsty, how the Devil gives you a–a mirage. You've seen them here; you don't have to go west to see it. Go down the road, and it looks like there's water down the road. Every one of you has seen that that's drove and been on the highway. That's a false mirage.
Here sometime ago, about three or four years ago, I read where some ducks, flying across the country, seen a mirage and fell on the road, thinking they were hitting the water. And they just disintegrated, hit the hard road, thinking they were landing in water: a mirage.
70 How many times has the Devil done that same thing to people, give them a false mirage where there is nothing there, but it's just a make-belief. So many people today get a make-belief religion, trying to make up something or pretend there's something when it's not so. Like the little missionary woman said that she waited until she was positive. We better do that. You can't come back and try it again, You got one chance, and you got the Blueprint, so we better go right down to the mark.
71 The cry of hunger (listen.), it's a great cry because it's a distressful cry. The person is dying. And, oh, if we could get to that place, if this nation could get to a place to where it so hungered for God… It's a–in a worse starvation than in the nations like India that's starving physically; this nation is starving spiritually. But after you hunger so long, it gets to the place you don't know you're hungry.
Just like freezing. After you get so far freezing, you get so cold, then after while you become warm. And when you do, you're dying. That's what's the matter tonight. The churches has got so cold until they're freezing, and think that they're warm by membership, and are dying spiritually: dying, don't know it. Finally, he lays down to sleep, and that's all of it. He never wakes no more, because his blood's froze in his veins.
73 Now, thirsting… Jesus said, "My Blood is drink indeed." If you're hungering for life, hungering for life, Jesus has the only water that can quench that thirst. "Come unto Me, all ye that are labor and heavy laden." Over in Revelations It said, "Let him that's thirsty come to the fountains of water of Life and drink freely," if you're thirsty for Life.
74 We see that the astronomers are predicting, sometime in this early part or the first part of the month, beginning on the second or the fifth, or somewhere along this month, the Indian astronomers predict the world to blow to pieces. And the American newspapers make fun of it. I do not believe the world's going to blow to pieces, but I do say it's wrong to make fun of it. Because something's fixing to happen one of these days, something similar to that, when the five planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus, and–and so forth comes into their–their… They never have did it. Oh, they claim maybe twenty-five thousand years ago, but who was back there to know it?
75 I predict that this has a spiritual application. I believe it's the coming in of the issue of God, that the great revelation of the Word will be opened during this time. Remember, they claim it was three stars came into the orbit when Jesus was born. And this is five, and five is grace, the number of grace. Three is the number of perfection. Five is the number of grace: J-e-s-u-s, g-r-a-c-e, f-a-i-t-h, so forth, number of grace. God ever sends His power to the church, it'll be His grace; it won't be the obedience of the people. And Isaiah said in the 40th chapter, how to cry to Jerusalem, that her warfare was over, yet she was guilty of idolatry, but it was God's grace that was sending it. God sends anything to us, it'll be His grace and not our merits.
So it may mean something. I predict that there will be a change. I don't know what it'll be, but I believe it's fixing to happen. We're on the–right on the eve of it now.
And if any man hungers, let him come to Christ. If any man is thirsty, let him come to Christ; He quenches the thirst. He is the Satisfier of all of our thirst and hunger.
77 I had a story that was told me sometime ago. I might've told it in this church. If I have, you forgive me for repeating it just to hit the spot. There was an Indian guide, or kind of an overseer of the Indians. He was traveling in the Navajo country, and was got lost. His name was Coy. And he was going down a trail, a game trail, and he thought, "Now, if I hit this trail, I'll surely find water." And his horse was so thirsty till its tongue was hanging out and dry; the nostrils had turned red and caked with sand. He'd held his handkerchief over his face in the sandstorms until it was caked over, and he was perishing for water. And he was leading his horse when he struck the trail. And he said, when he got on the horse he saw this game trail, said, "Surely it'll take me to water." So he jumps a-straddle of his horse and started down the trail.
78 And the horse knew also it was on the trail to water. How God gives instinct to the dumb beasts. And down the trail it went. Finally, a few turned off to one side, just a very few off the beaten path. The horse wanted to turn that way, but Coy thought different. He tried to keep it in the main blazed trail, and he started down and the horse would not go. He spurred it, and it nickered and started the other way. And it started rearing up. She was too weak to buck him off.
79 So he started pulling the spurs to it again, until he cut the horse, so excited to get to water, his life would be spared, until the horse stood, quivering, bleeding. And he looked down, looked down there; she was quivering like that and almost falling under him. He looked down at her, and seen the blood on her side. He was a Christian. And he said to his horse; he said, "I've often heard that wild–or beasts had an instinct. It don't look like that that little bitty bunch turned off that way would be going to water. It looks like this great path here would lead to where they go constantly to water." But said, "If you've carried me faithful this far, I'll follow your instinct."
80 Oh, how I think of that about Christ. The way to destruction is posted and blazed all the way, but there's a narrow road that leads to Life. Few there will be that find It. Only, not instinct, but the Holy Spirit will turn you aside to that water of Life. I think, "It's brought me safe this far, I'll take It the rest of the way."
81 To finish the story, he–he hadn't gone a half a mile, until, all at once, the faithful horse plunged right into a big hole of water. The horse knew what it was talking about, what it was meaning in its way of expressing to the–the rider. He got in there. He said he throwed water up into the horse's nose. He bathed himself; he screamed and he hollered; and he was shouting to the top of his voice, and pouring water down his throat, and screaming, "We're saved. We're saved. We're saved." And the horse, drinking, and quivering. And he looked at her bloody sides, then all whelped up from the spur marks.
82 And said just then, he said… heard somebody say, "Come out of the water." And he looked, and there was a little disfigured cowboy standing there. And he got out of the water. He said he smelled fire, and he looked over, and there was a bunch of men camping there. They'd been up on a prospecting outfit. They'd struck some gold, and on the road back they had their horses and pack horses along, and they come to this water hole and was resting, and they'd all got drunk.
And said they had some venison cooking, and he did eat with them. And said, one of them said, "Take a drink." He told them who he was; he was Jack Coy, the–the Indian guide. So he said, "Well, now, take a drink."
He said, "No," he said, "I don't drink."
And that's kind of an insult to them people. So he said, "You'll take a drink from us."
He said, "No, I don't drink."
So he throwed the jug up and said, "Take a drink." Drunk, all of them, you know, about a half a dozen.
And so he said, "Thank you, boys."
Said, "If our venison's good enough to eat, our whiskey's good enough to drink."
And you know how they are, drunk. And he said, "No," he said.
And they threw a shell in the rifle, and said, "Now you'll drink or else."
89 He said, "No. No, I won't drink." And he started to aim the rifle. Said, "Just a moment." Said, "I'm not afraid to die." He said, "I–I'm not afraid to die." He said, "But I–I want to tell you my story 'fore I do, the reason I don't drink." Said, "I'm a Kentuckian." He said, "And in a little old log cabin one morning, where a mother lay dying, she called me to her bedside, and said, 'Jack, your father died with a deck of cards in his hand, across a table, drunk.' And said, 'Don't never drink, Jack, whatever you do.'" And said, "On my mother's brow I laid my hands. And I promised God, as a little ten-year-old boy, I would never take my first drink." He said, "I've never took it." And said, "Now, if you want to shoot, you just shoot."
And as the drunk raised his rifle and throwed the jug up again, said, "Take it or I'll shoot." And just then a gun fired and the jug bursted.
91 Standing at the side of a canyon was a little old cowboy, disfigured, with tears running down his cheeks. He said, "Jack, I too come from Kentucky. I made a promise to a mother one day, but I broke my promise." He said, "I was waiting till these guys got drunk enough, and was going to kill the whole bunch of them, anyhow, take what gold they had." He said, "But I've been a drunk and I've done wrong." But said, "I'm sure when my gun echoed up through the canyons of heaven, mother heard me sign a pledge I'll never do it again." There by the grace of God he led all those people to Christ, all those out there.
See, there's something about water, something about refreshing. My point was to get to the water when you're thirsty. There's something it does to you, is to get to the water when you're thirsting.
Now, He said, "My peace I leave unto you. My peace I give you." Not as the world gives you peace, but the way He gives you peace. His peace quenches our thirst. If we are longing for peace, then let us refresh in His peace, to know that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our peace Giver that quenches our thirst.
94 The verse that says, "He is Meat indeed and Drink indeed." I have a little mark here, the 57th verse, "Meat indeed and Drink indeed." Listen what He said here.
In other words, "The Father sent Me, and I live by Him." And every man that comes to Christ must live by Christ. Oh, my, there you are; that's the communion. That's the real communion that you find when you live by Christ.
96 Now, our bodies need food and drink each day to survive, our physical body. If we don't take food each day and drink, then our body weakens. There's something in us that we must have food. One day's food will not last for the next day. You've got to have food each day to strengthen your mortal being. You can live over, but you're weaker. And the second day, you're still weaker. And the third day, you're getting tremendous weak.
Well, that's what many times that we do in the spiritual realm. You see, each day we've got to commune with Christ. We've got to talk to Him each day. We've got to settle it with Him each day. Paul said, "I die each day. (See?) Each day, I die; yet I live, not me but Christ lives in me." So if your physical body needs food each day and drink each day to survive, your spiritual body needs spiritual Food and communion with the Lord each day to survive. Yes.
Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." So each day we've got to study the Bible. Some people doesn't study It at all. Some picks It up every two or three times a year. But a real, real believer that's really spiritually built up, he reads his Bible every day and talks to the Lord. That's right. He has to. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
98 Now, another thing we take food for is to build up our body to resist diseases. If you don't take food, and let your body get weak, then it's subject to diseases. Diseases will break right into the blood stream, and here you're gone. If your blood isn't rich and pure, well, then it'll, disease will go right into your blood stream. So you've got to eat good nourishing food to keep your blood stream right. If you don't, you're allergic to diseases. That's what's the matter with a lot of Christians.
99 Like hothouse plants… You know, you take a plant out of the hothouse, you have to baby it. It don't know the weather. It doesn't know the sunshine and things; it's been covered over and babied. That's what's the matter with too many so-called Christians; they're hothouse plants (That's right.), subject to every bug comes along. You know, it's only the–the–it's only the–the delicate plants that has to be sprayed, or, the hybrid plants.
100 Do you know, you take an old hereford cow and turn him out there on the pasture, and turn a longhorn out there, that longhorn can make his own way because he's original breed. But you take a Brangus or a Hereford that's a cross breed and a hybrid, it's a better cow to look at, sure, fatter and healthier, but you turn them out there and they can't make their way. They'll die. They've got to be babied. See?.
And that's what's the matter today, we got better-dressed Christians, bigger churches, and a lot of–of education, lot of theology, but they have to be babied all the time; you have to look through their glass or you're not seeing at all. What we need is some thoroughbred Christians, born under the Blood of the Lord Jesus, that live not off of church theology, but off of the Word of God, the communion with Christ. The Word coming into the believer, his–his spiritual body is built up. Not a hothouse baby…
102 There was a certain minister said today; I heard him, he said that on a broadcast, he said, that when he come into the country, he had a great sinus trouble, and they were talking of an operation. And they said that they was going to do this and that, and cut on him and operate, and take part of the sinus glands out, which would sink his face in, and so forth like that. And he said he'd taken pills by the barrel. Look like there was so many pills that he had to take. But when he come to a good Christian doctor, the doctor said, "Let's forget the pills and let's forget the operation, and let's build up the body so it can resist the sinus." That's it.
103 What's the matter that people don't live as long as they used to? We have to take a shot for this and a shot for that, and spraying ourselves over with all kinds of medicine. What does it do? It gets us soft, fat, flabby, no good. When the man of long ago… Why, we're allergic to everything. Now, they're getting mal–allergies and everything else.
I've stood in Africa, couldn't take a shot for Malaria. But a Malaria mosquito would light on my hand; I had Malaria. They don't buzz, and you don't know hardly. They light; they just light on; that's it; you've had it. And if you live, you'll have it for fifteen years. And then sometimes you die with it. And there was those natives in their little huts, with mosquitoes all over their legs, them naked. Mosquitoes sticking on them, malaria mosquitoes, and it didn't bother them. Why? They'd built up an immunity. They had a God-given inoculation.
105 And that's what's the matter today with the people. That's what's the matter with the church. We got so much baby shots and manmade theology, until we're sprayed over. What we need is God's inoculation by the Word of the Lord God. Man shall live daily by that type of a Food to build his soul into inoculation from spiritual diseases that's flowing and jumping around the country. Got lots of notes on this, but I'm going to have to stop.
106 Now, build up, get ready for the inoculation. Now, we live by this; our–our bodies must have this. And if we don't then we are subject to all kinds of diseases. And the Word of God, as we believe It and accept It by communion, "Lord, Thy Word is Truth."…
"My church says you don't have to be born again. They say shaking hands is born again. They say sprinkling. They say all these other things, that's it: Father, Son and Holy Ghost." But the Bible said to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. See? Now, you go ahead with those artificial shots if you want to; you'll make yourself an artificial Christian. See? You don't want that.
108 You can't have Life, only through Christ. And now what does His Word do? It builds up our spiritual body, strong, as we commune with Him to resist the Devil.
You say, "Brother Branham, what's that you say, 'communing in His Word'?"
Yes, He is the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us." And we are to eat His body. Then His body is His Word, because He is the Word. And He said in St. John 15, "If ye abide in Me, and My communion, My Word, abides in you, then you can ask what you will and it'll be done for you." There you are. That's true. See, ask what you will.
111 What do you do? You're building up your body to inoculation from the… Somebody comes in and said, "Oh, our church don't believe in shouting." See, you're built up. What? You got communion in you: the Word. And you're inoculated from it. If a bunch of nonsense comes in, what is it? It has no Word in it, then you're sure it's wrong. I don't care how real it looks, if it's not the Word, leave it alone (That's right.): leave it alone. I don't care what it does; it must compare with the Word.
112 In prayer as I was quoting Micaiah standing there, look, it looked really right, while there was Israel, and that piece of land belonged to them. Those aliens had come in and took it away from them and had built their own houses, and they was occupying part of the land that God give them. So it looked like those four hundred Hebrew prophets was right. But, you know, there's something about Jehoshaphat was spiritual; he said, "Haven't you got another one?"
Said, "I got another one," but said, "I hate him. The only thing he does is prophesy evil."
Said, "Go get him and let's hear him."
And he went up, he said, "Go on, go on up there, but I seen Israel scattered like sheep having no shepherd." And then he told his vision.
115 Now, whose is right? It looked like the four hundred was right. Four hundred well trained man, saying, "Go up, the Lord is with You." And even Zedekiah had a–a–a–had a… Zedekiah had a–two big iron horns built. He said, "By this you'll push the aliens out of the land." He was sure he was right. He knowed he was right. But, you see, he was wrong.
And here's Micaiah, one against four hundred, and he said, "If you go up, Israel will be scattered with no shepherd."
And the others said, "Go up; the Lord is with you." Now, materially, they was right; the place did belong to Israel. But the Word of the Lord had condemned Ahab, so how could God bless what He had condemned?
118 There it is today. See? The Word of communion was in Micaiah. Now, if you're communing with God in taking the real communion, and the spirit in you disagrees with this Word, you're not communing with God; you're communing with devils. And they're so impersonating… The Bible said, "In the last days they'd almost deceive the very elected if possible. But heavens and earth will pass away, but My Word shall not." And if a… Paul said, Galatians 1:8, "If an angel from heaven preaches any other Gospel than this that you've already heard, let him be accursed." Even an Angel… In the early church, when those men, like Saint Martin, Irenaeus, those godly men, when the Devil would appear like an angel of light. But you watch, he'll be a little bit off the Word.
He appeared to Eve as a angel of light, told her, "Sure, the Lord said this, the Lord said this," but he disagreed with God right at the end. And that's the way false communion does today. When people think they're praying to God, and won't obey the Word, it's a false communion.
120 "If ye abide in Me, and My Word in you, then ask what you will (See?) and it'll be done." Now, it just can't go one time, then off the next. "Ye abide in Me, My Words abide in you," that's, stay there. Abide means to "rest there, stay right there." Yes, and it's inoculation from sinful diseases,
121 Now, let me close in saying this one word now, 'fore we go to the communion table. The Blood and the Body of the Lord, mixed with faith, that the Blood and the Body; that's the Spirit and the Word, mixed with faith equals Eternal Life. "He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the last day." There you are. What is it? The communion of the Lord. The Word and the Spirit, this Life is in the Blood; the Word and the Spirit equals Eternal Life by faith in the Lord.
122 Here's my prayer as I see the end approaching, and see at any minute something could happen, and know that we're not far off from the coming of the Lord. Lord, then in the Name of the Lord Jesus the Son of God let me take the Word, the Sword, and wave It with what faith I have and cut my way through every demon power, till I see Jesus, by the communing of His Word then, commune with His Word. "If ye abide in Me, and My Word in you, then ask Me what you will and it'll be done for you." How beautiful. There's real communion with the Word and the Spirit, with faith to wave It together, "Ask what you will, and it'll be done for you." Let us pray.
124 Gracious and noble holy Father, God, the great I AM, the El Shaddai to Abraham, O God, how this great communion of the Lord equals Eternal Life, and how it inoculates from pride, how it inoculates from unbelief, how it inoculates from the sin of the world. It's communion, with love Divine to our heavenly Father. And by the righteousness of Jesus Christ we have the access to this table. And we pray, Lord, that You will give each of us that access tonight in the Spirit. Forgive us. And we want our spiritual bodies to grow. We do not care about joining some church or denomination. We want to build the spiritual body to the inoculation of sin, to a place where there is no more desire to do wrong, where the Holy Spirit can take His Own Word in our midst and speak It just as fresh as It was spoken on that day, because It's the same Spirit that was in the Lord Jesus. I pray, Father, that You'll give that to us.
125 The hours are closing in. Just when, we don't know, that the last one will be saved. But I pray tonight, Lord, if there is those here who doesn't know You as their Saviour, may they find You tonight as they come to this water of baptism, as a memorial, to confess to this body of believers that they believe the story that Jesus of Nazareth was born of the virgin Mary, and was killed, crucified by Pontius Pilate, and was raised up the third day by God, and sets on the right hand of His Majesty tonight, ever living to make intercessions.
126 Grant, Lord, that that same person, obeying the commandments of the Bible, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins… For there's not another name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved.".. O God, may the people see the sincerity of it, and the firm Word, "There is not another name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved, but in the Name of Jesus Christ." Therefore, the apostle said, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto every age, as many as the Lord our God shall call." Grant it, Lord, that there will be much calling tonight.
127 And it is said also by our Lord, "No man can come to Me except My Father draws him, and all that the Father has given Me will come to Me. My sheep hear My Voice." A stranger, and if a stranger speaks a voice that's not Scriptural, quickly the sheep will recognize it. O God, and if it's Your Voice the Bible, what It says, every sheep will hear It, because It is sheep Food. They have communed. They know what kind of Food the Father feeds. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth from the mouth of God." Grant, Lord, that many will see and will understand, and will come to Thee tonight.
Those without the Holy Spirit, may they not put it off another hour; It may be too late in another hour. They may not be here.
129 And, Father, as we've gathered around the table now to take this representation of Thy broken body, we pray that if there be sin in our midst, Lord, forgive us. You said, "When you come together, tarry one for the other." God, if there's a sin in this congregation anywhere, I pray that the Blood of Jesus Christ will separate that man from his sin, or that woman, boy or girl. And, Father, I pray for myself, that You will separate me from every doubt, every sin, every unbelief, anything that… We know that unbelief is sin. It's the only sin there is, "He that believeth not is condemned already." And only sin there is, is not to believe the Word of God. And, Father, if there's any unbelief in me, forgive me, O God, which there is much, and I pray that You forgive me. Forgive my congregation that Thou has given me tonight, and feed them upon the Word. Grant it.
And as we take these little commemorations of the broken body of Him Who is raised from the dead and alive forevermore among us, may we receive communion from Him, Lord, the communing of the Holy Spirit. Grant it, Father; we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
131 Now, to you that must go and cannot stay for the about fifteen-minute communion service… There's not many of us, and we'll take the communion. It is not a closed communion. It is absolutely for every Christian believer. God don't have the line drawed between Baptist, and Methodist, and so forth. We are all by one Spirit baptized into one Body, and we're fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God. And if there be someone among us who's strange (I'm not here too much, and don't know who is members and who is not.), remember, no matter what church you belong to, that has nothing to do with it. There's only one Church anyhow, and you don't join in It; you're borned in It. That's right. And you're borned into this Church of God. And we pray that you'll receive Christ tonight, commune with Him as we remember His broken body, and these little elements that we take of the passover, and may God sprinkle our hearts and conscience with the Blood.
132 Now, they'll bring forth the communion, and we'll read now from I Corinthians the 12th chapter. And we're going to take the communion immediately after this, and we trust that God will bless you abundantly. Then as soon as we read this, or just before we read it, if you have to go, well, you can go out easily. And then be with us again Wednesday night, and Sunday morning, and Sunday night. If you can stay to take the communion with us, we'll be so happy for you to do it. Then immediately after that, will be the Lord–will be the baptismal service, which will be in about fifteen minutes, or twenty at the most, I suppose. I Corinthians the 11th chapter and the 23rd verse.
133 Now, just a moment of silent prayer for every one of us, pray for me while I pray for you. [Brother Branham pauses–Ed.]
Grant these requests, Almighty God. Forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us. This we ask in Jesus Christ's Name. Amen.
134 These little parcels that is kosher bread made without lard, seasoning, and so forth, which represents the body of the Lord is not round; it's broke in all pieces. It's because that it means His broken body that was broke for us. And may God grant His blessings to everyone that eats it. Now, it is not the body; it only represents the body. I have no power, no one else does, to make it anything but bread. God alone. And that's what He told us, to eat this bread and drink this cup of wine. Now let us bow our head.
135 Most holy God, Whose servants we are, in the Name of Jesus Christ sanctify this bread for its intended use to make us, as we receive it, remember that our Lord was crucified; and His body, precious and holy as it was, was mingled with stripes and thorns and nails, for us, that through His riven body came forth the Spirit that gives us Eternal Life. May we, Lord, as we eat this, have journeying grace, as Israel did forty years in the wilderness, and not a feeble one among them. Father God, grant this, as we pray You sanctify this bread, kosher bread, for its intended use. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
136 The cup of the New Testament, the Blood… I think of that song, "Every since by faith I saw that stream Thy flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die." When I see this blood, grapes, the blood of grapes, I know it represents the Blood that came forth from the Lord Jesus' body. May ever who receives this have Eternal Life; may sickness depart out of their bodies; may weariness and feebleness, oppression, may the Devil in every form leave them, that they might have great strength and health and Eternal Life, to let their light shine before this wicked and adulterous generation we live in to glorify God.
137 Heavenly Father, we present to You the fruit of the vine. In the Name of Jesus Christ sanctify it to represent the Blood of Thy Son Jesus, in It we have, "Wounded for our transgressions; with His stripes we were healed." Grant, Lord, that Life will come to us, Eternal Life in great abundance, that we might be able to serve You better, have strength and health to carry us from place to place where we've sent to serve You, wherever You will call us. Grant these blessings in Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.