1 Let's just remain standing just a moment, while we speak now to Him, as we bow our heads.
Our heavenly Father, we are indeed grateful for this time again that we can stand to present the Gospel to this city, Chicago, as it's upon the hearts of these people here, these Christians, to see their people saved. And, Father, we know that no man can come unless You've drawed him first, Jesus said so. And we believe that, every foreordained seed that lays in this city now, there's no way to keep them from receiving the Light of the Gospel. You will–You will grant it, Lord. You'll watch over it to be sure it gets there. You present the Message, and I believe that You're able, and will bring those to the Light of the Gospel who You've ordained to see It.
So, Father, as we let our lights shine, and put forth our efforts, in all that we know how to the–to bring this great Gospel of the evening time… The tides truly of sin is flowing in, unbelief on every hand. Oh, so many horrible things facing the face of us, but we have the assurance that the–when the enemy comes like a flood, the Word of God will raise up a standard against it, Father, and You promised it, so we thank Thee.
And now, today, help us as we settle down now. I'm thanking You for the jubilee of the morning, these wonderful songs and testimonies, whatever has been done. And now, may we look to Thy Word, Lord, to draw from This, strength for the day. We ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen. (Can be seated.)
5 Thank you, very kindly, for the fine invitation of coming to be here with you. And now, I want to thank the little lady here for her song, how wonderful it was. I believe it was the first time I've ever heard her sing. And then, of course, our Brother Mel Johnson there, I requested he'd sing that song, when, "Remember Me." And we've got it down home, and I want to get it anew.
And Billy Paul, I think, just lives on those songs. He put them in the… And while they're in the office, and playing it constantly for people who are coming and going from across the world… And you can come around the office and you can hear Mel Johnson singing quite often around there on the tape. And then when I get feeling kind of wore out and tired, I–I'll go down and set somewhere in a room, and just speak–bring one of the speakers up, and I'll listen to it again.
7 So we–we're very grateful for these fine singers. I'm thinking of the time when we cross over this river of Jordan. I want to hear that golden voice of Mel Johnson blending in with Einar Ekberg and many of those great singers who has crossed the river. So we are looking for that time.
I want to thank my good friend here, Doctor Lee Vayle, a former Baptist minister, a very fine scholar and wonderful man, who's stood before me this week and has brought up the ministry in his way of doing it, give me a great help here in the meeting.
9 When we're having those services, prayer for the sick, we call it healing service, many time, just before the people. But, of course, we realize that we can't heal people; we just simply pray for people.
Someone said, sometime ago, said, "Brother Branham, did you heal so-and-so?"
I said, "I never healed anyone in my life. But I've had some direct answers to prayer, because Jesus promised it, and I–I believe it."
12 I remember the night that the–the picture of this great Being, the Holy Spirit, that from Exodus 13:22, I believe, or 21, where "the Pillar of Fire shall go before thee to lead thee in the way," and how that Pillar of Fire that'd been with Moses, It went before them.
And then when It was made manifest here in a Person called Jesus, which was the Son of God. And then He said He come from God and returned to God. Then after His return back, after the ascension, how great it was to Saint Paul, before he was Saint Paul, was stricken down. Now, him being a Jew, he would by no means call that "Lord." "Lord, what would You have me do?" See? But he knew that that was that same Pillar of Fire that had followed his people–or led his people. That's the reason he called It, "Lord, what would You have me do? And Who are You?"
And He said, "I'm Jesus."
15 And now, in this last hours to see It return back to us. And that night when It was first officially taken in Houston, Texas, the… A–a brother, a Baptist minister was discussing with Doctor Bosworth, as many of you probably here was there, about Divine healing, and I… Said that I was a Divine healer." Doctor Best said that.
And I said, "If preaching the Gospel of salvation, and believing that Jesus heals the sick, because that the Word said so; if that would make me a Divine healer, it would make a man who believes in salvation a Divine Saviour, because it's the same Word. You see?" He's Jehovah-Jireh and Jehovah-Raphi.
17 All of His compound redemptive names was represented in Jesus Christ, and there's where they were brought out and magnified what God was. Where the great attributes of God before He even was God, before there was… God's an object of worship. Before He ever become that, He was still God. He's Eternal, and these attributes was in Him. And they just display themselves, as being a Father, and the Son, and–and a Saviour, and a Healer. That's just God's attributes displaying themselves. So we're grateful that we have the privilege of enjoying this fine time of fellowship and the assurance of our salvation, through the attributes of God, Who is the Saviour. May His Name be praised.
18 Now, I want to thank Brother Vayle, a able man to explain these things. I'm not a theologian, as anyone knows. I'm just haven't the education.
I heard this little brother here from the Moody Bible, stand up, and I thought, "My, I wish I had the boy's education." And–and I trust that God, giving him this vision, will use him. As I'm getting old, as I go down along the road, that these young fellows will come up to take this Gospel in a more powerful way than it is now. As the generations goes, and the enemy comes in, God keeps raising the standard higher and higher and higher, until finally we'll meet with Christ. That's Who we look forward to seeing anyhow.
21 Now, remember this week and the–the finishing of the services. And everybody's invited, and even all the denominations.
Now, I might say this while I got the opportunity. Don't never get in your mind that I'm against those people. I love those people. It's the system of denomination that breaks up fellowship. That's the… I'm going into South Africa now, after I've been invited since I was there the last time, because we got some chapters of the Full Gospel Business Men. And I don't belong to any organization, nothing but this Full Gospel Business Men, and to yet it isn't an organization; and when it becomes, then I, 'course, I'll have to leave it, 'cause I… It's an organization. An organism is all right, but not an organization. So we…
23 The–the groups in Africa, like on the east side, it's a English speaking people, and–and Pentecostal Assemblies of God. On the west side, it's Afrikaans, which is a Boer; and from the Boer, the Dutch, and they have what they call the A. F. of M., the African–Apostolic Missions of Africa.
And there's two sections of those, two divisions. They baptize, a triune baptism, by… One of them baptizes, I think, three times, face forward, once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the Holy Ghost, making Him three gods instead of One. And the other one baptizes three times, backward, in the Name of the Father, and one in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost; baptizing three different times, once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the Holy Ghost.
One of them says, "Why, we're baptized to His death; and when He died, He pitched forward.
The other said, "Whoever buried a man on his face? You bury them backward." So they're such as that.
And each one of them writes me letters, and signs here, "Brother Branham, Africa's calling for you. Come at once, but will you please teach this doctrine?" Well, I can't go over on such as that. See? I have never…
28 I was ordained a Missionary Baptist minister. And I have a great respects for my Baptist brethren, and–and I love them, but in order with the gift that's sent, not to the Baptists, not to the Presbyterians, but to the Church. I have to stand between them, independent; not independent from them, but a brother with them. I believe, like the third well that Jacob dug, there's room for us all. And I–I believe that. There's room at the Fountain, for every one of us, for–for whosoever will.
29 Now, I do have, of course a, why, I wouldn't want to call opponents, but I have people who does not accept the Message. And, why, my, I can't think hard of them. Jesus had the same thing in His day; everybody else has. And each time, of a Message of God, the world has never received It. But that doesn't make one speck of bitterness towards that person, or them people, or that organization. It's still just the same. I'm so thankful for that. That's one of the evidences that I know that I passed from death unto Life; no matter what the brethren do, I still love them. You see? In my heart I love them (See?) 'cause it's a love that–that God has put in my heart for my brethren. And now, the Lord bless.
30 And now before we approach the Word, I'm going to ask a–a dear friend of mine, a young minister setting out here, that–that… He had kind of a complex. And he and his little wife used to come to my house all the time, and he'd set around and he wouldn't talk. And he'd–he'd just ask one question, "Brother Branham, what do you think, the Lord's called me to the ministry?" And I saw the potentials of this young man from a fine Bible institution, but just he lacked. Like Moses with all of his training, he… What Moses lacked, the burning bush had. That's what Brother Ruddell lacked, is what the burning bush had, and one day it caught fire. And the brother has a church there just outside the city limits, I believe, of Jeffersonville, a real ongoing work for the Lord, one of our sister churches from the Tabernacle.
And I would like if Brother Don Ruddell, I see him setting back here, would stand to his feet and offer prayer for the Holy Spirit to use the Word this morning, in the way that He would see to use it. Brother Don, if you will, while we bow our heads. [Brother Don Ruddell prays–Ed.] Yes, Lord. Amen.
32 Let us turn now for the Scripture reading, as I change what I was going to say this morning, had in mind saying, after I heard about this Business Men's "Voice." You know, I've had a little idea about this myself. And let's turn to Saint Mark the 10th chapter, and begin with the 17th verse, I believe, is the way I have this written down here.
The Lord add His blessings to the reading of the Word.
34 I will–have had a little, kind of a little saying that I–around the Full Gospel Business Men. Some of them, as we ministers know, they'd say to me, "Say, you're a preacher, what are you–what are you doing around them businessmen."
I said, "I am a businessman."
They said, "What kind of business you in?"
And I said, "Eternal Life assurance." See, not insurance now. Assurance.
And I would like to, being that this is businessmen, and businessmen like to talk on business terms. And I want to say to the businessmen, and businesswomen also, that's setting here; I want to take this text first and call it: "Investments."
37 Now, most any businessperson is interested in good, sound investments. If you're a businessman, that's–you're interested in that. And a–and a businessman is always looking for some good, sound investment. You know, it's–it's a good thing that we are. And I'm going to speak to you this morning on the–the best investment that I know of. And I want you to listen close, on Investments.
38 Now, it's not a–it's not a good policy at all for a businessman to take chances. After all, taking a chance is gambling, and gambling is wrong. We don't want to gamble on nothing, because it's a–it's not right. Some of these here, oh, get rich overnight, you know, some broker or something that's not even established very well, but he can present something to you that sounds so good, you'd say, "Oh, my," and you just fly into it. And when you do, the first thing you know, you find yourself broke. But if a man is a good, sensible businessman, he must first try to find a business that's been established, an old reliable firm.
And then, it's not a good thing for a businessman to keep his money in his pocket. If you don't… If you keep your money in your pocket, it won't earn you anything. But you've got to get it to working somewhere, put it out. And then, watch what you do with it.
40 Now, I think that's kind of business terms, that we would… I think it's a good logical thing that we think that–of it in that way, of what I'm going to say. Now, we find that if you… We got so many in the world today is a shortcuts, and get rich overnight, and they spring up here and there.
And I just had a friend that was taken for all of his life savings on such a–a–a thing as that, that someone told him, "You invest your money here. This is just it. This is it." And the man looked at the painted picture which was before him, and invested his–his life's savings in that, and lost everything he had overnight, just in a few days. And the firm closed up, and there they went. Now, a man is a most foolish to do a trick like that. A good, sound thinker won't do business on them kind of a terms. See?
42 First, you ought to investigate the–the–the firm that you're going to deal with. And if the firm is no good, no matter how good a proposition they offer you, you wouldn't do it. If you're a good businessman, you wouldn't take such a chance as that, of your life's earnings to invest in such.
And now speaking that, parallel like, there's a lot of these religious things that's come up in the last day, that's a do it overnight. And tonight you're a–a barroom singer, and tomorrow you're preaching the Gospel. I–I don't go for such stuff as that. No. I think a person's got to be proved first.
44 I think there's where many of us Pentecostal denominations let down a little bit there. Because we take a woman tonight, she's a striptease on the–on the platform somewhere, and the next night she's out here singing somewhere, and going out and got a Bible under her arm, the Lord called her to preach. I don't doubt that. That's all right, but I think that woman ought to be proved first. That's right. Let it prove; let the seed grow a little while, and see what kind of a life that's behind it.
'Cause even the people that she's going to be associated with will not believe her testimony, nor his testimony, whatever it might be, if they see her one night, or him one night, in the bar, and the next night out there with the Gospel. They say, "What kind of a–of a hoax is this anyhow?" But when that woman lives such a life in the city, for a while, and around the people, until they see there's a change in that woman, then her testimony will stand out. Until that time, she'd be better just to live the life, until it's established.
46 Now, we don't want this get rich overnight. It… And we don't want to keep it, because if you keep your money, I say, "Thieves will break in and steal it."
And if you've got something in your heart for God, and you won't express it, and so forth, and just keep putting it off, "Well, later on, later on." And that little desire that you once had to serve God will be taken from you. The–the devil will come in and steal that away, and then you won't have any desire to serve Him.
So if you have the least desire. There must be something that even brought you to this breakfast this morning. There's something. "Faith cometh by hearing, hearing of the Word." And there must be some desire or you wouldn't even be here. Now, don't let that desire trinkle off into some little join, or shake hands, or be sprinkled, or something out there. Let's find the real firm that's established, something that's–that's really all right.
Some good reliable firm that pays off in great dividends, that's the way you want to make your investments, is something that's worthwhile.
50 And I'm thinking, the reason I thought of this this morning, I believe, for this group, was this rich young ruler, this young fellow as we know him, as called the rich ruler. He was a young fellow, no doubt, a fine character. He'd come up in a good home, perhaps in a very religious home, from the way he approached the Lord Jesus.
You know, Jesus said to him, "Keep the commandments."
And he said, "This I have done. I've observed this since my youth. I have did this." You see, he had a–a good background. That means a whole lot, because ordinarily he probably wouldn't have never approached Jesus.
But there must've been something about Jesus, that attracted his attention, different from what that he had been used to in his synagogue. Because, you see, Jesus was different.
53 And as this young fellow here just testified from the–the Moody Bible Institute down here, a great place, there's no doubt at all. But, you see, one day he found something that (See?) it was different, and he–he was presented with the opportunity.
And this young man was presented with an opportunity for an investment. Being a businessman, as he was, a ruler, of course, he had great possessions. And Jesus knowed there was a much potential to this young man, because the Bible said, "Beholding him, He loved him." He must've been a–a kind sort of a fellow, with a nice character, and his approach was dignified.
55 He never run up and said, like some little Ricky of this day would say, "Say, You. Come here, Preach." That wasn't his approach.
He come up and he said, "Good Master… (See?) Master, or teacher, what must I do to have Everlasting Life?" Now, you see, he'd found in Jesus; though he'd kept the commandments, though he'd been loyal to his synagogue and to the cause, but yet he found something in Jesus that–that produced Life.
57 Now, the law has no Life in it, at all. The Life… The law, pardon me, the law is only a policeman that points you to your sins, but it has no grace to pardon your sin. It only points you and tells you that you are a sinner.
And that has been twisted so that it's been brought over into Christianity, just a form, just to say that we should, and make a–a–a declaration of–of creeds or laws, by-laws of Christianity. And–and we have been very able, with intellectual beings to present this to the world. But, you see, we don't find them taking it like they should, because it hasn't got Life in it. See, we–we must find something that… Every man is looking apast the curtain from that, somewhere beyond, that he come from, and knows he's got to return someday. Not everybody wants to–to see that, wants to know what is beyond that.
59 A very beautiful picture, Jesus said, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man." Did you notice He never said, "When he's cast out of a man"? But when he goes out by his own will, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, and he returns back to this man and finds that the house that he lived in has been swept, garnished, then he goes and gets seven other devils, demons, unclean spirits, and enters into this man; and the last estate of this man is seven times worse than it was at the first." Did you notice the devil went out by his own will, and he returned by his own will? Now, if this house had already been occupied, when he returned, he would not been able to get in. But, you see, he just found it swept and garnished.
60 It's a very beautiful picture of a moralist, as we would think today of a man that's a–a–tries to think he's going to heaven just because that he quit gambling, or maybe he quit running with the woman that wasn't his wife, or stopped his drinking, on New Year's Day, and turned over a new leaf and joined church. See? You see, he doesn't–he really isn't converted. He's just a moralist. And the–the devil using moralists just to–to go out and–and make a foolish representation, when really, the real power of the living Christ isn't there. See, they–they…
61 The world is wanting to see Christ. Jesus said, "I am the Vine; ye are the branches." And the branch bears record of the Vine, because it draws its energy and Life from the Vine. Well, the first Vine, first branch that came from this Vine, it–they wrote a Book of Acts behind that branch. We see the way the Holy Spirit acted in that first church, that church of Pentecost. And then when we–we believe that if this original Vine ever puts forth another branch, they'll write another Book of Acts behind it, because it's the same Life that's in the Vine.
And if the first branch put forth a bunch of grapes, and then we find a bunch out here that's got watermelons growing on it, or pumpkins, or cucumbers, we know that it isn't the–the life that's in the vine.
Therefore, I think, even where we would call ourselves Pentecostals, has failed to represent the–the real thing that Christ has set forth for us to represent, the–the Holy Spirit and the Life of the Spirit. See, we represent sometimes sensations, and we represent joy, but, and–and that's good, but there's more to it than that. There's a fruit that goes with it, that the hungry man is a looking for this fruit of the Spirit, and this is the quality that was in Jesus.
64 Because Jesus wasn't just an ordinary man. Jesus was God. He was nothing short of God. Not just a prophet, yet He was a prophet; He was the God-Prophet. He was the–the House in which all of God dwelt. In Him was the Fullness of the Godhead bodily.
God coming down to become man to die… God could not die as a Spirit, because He–He could not die. He's eternal, and He could not die, but God could make Himself in such a way that He could feel pain, and He could feel and suffer. God could not suffer, as the eternal Spirit, but when He become man, He could suffer, and feel the–the pain and the temptations that–that man went through like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and everyone since.
He had to become that in order to–to fulfill His Own law to take upon Himself His Own law. He could not been the second person. He could not been the third person. He could been nothing else but the Person. See? He had to be.
67 If I had the jurisdiction of the–this congregation, this morning, in the same measure that He has the earth, and I would say, "If anyone looks at the post, he must die." And this young Catholic woman setting here would look at the post. Well, I'd say, "After all, she's just a newcomer among this; let her die the death"? But yet I–I feel sorry for the–the lady. I'd say, "Then let this man here die in her place"? No, that wouldn't be right. Well, I'd say, "My son, Billy Paul, I'll let Billy Paul die in her place"? That's still not just. Because the suffering is upon somebody else, and leaving me secluded from it. But the only way I can be just, as God is just, would be take her place. I've got to take her place.
Therefore, God had to be manifested in the flesh, in order to suffer death, the only way He could die, and through that He brought redemption. And this young man saw, in Jesus, something more than the commandments had.
69 Now, I realize this, gentlemen, maybe not in the faith that we're trying to represent, don't… We are poor representatives of what we're trying to say; I am myself with a bowed head and heart. The–the Message that has been given me for the church in this day, I'm a poor representative of it. And my life, though I try to do what's right, I–I have my ups-and-downs. But I–I don't ask you to look that what I'm, what I am. Look at what I'm saying, Who I'm talking about, is the Lord Jesus, in Him is salvation.
70 And this young fellow saw that, that this Man surely had God in Him. He–He could look down into the hearts of the people and see what was wrong, and could tell them of it; could raised up the dead after they had died. Now, he knowed that the law did nothing like that; he knowed that His own church did no such miracles as that; yet he was conscious that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was alive; He could not die. But he saw all that God was in this Man called Jesus, and his heart hungered.
And he knew that, yet he'd be a member of a church, a fine church member, maybe his father was one of the–the great, the trustee, or the–the one of the great executives, or something on the board, or… And the boy had been raised to that law, and he'd kept it reverently and respected it. Yet, down in there there was something that longed to–to find something more.
72 I trust that that's in the heart of every man and woman here this morning to find something that's real. You remember, you can't come back and make the second trial. You got to get it now. "The way the tree leans, that's the way it falls." I…
There is no Scripture for a hereafter repentance. That's–that's your time now. No matter how it becomes popular today, and a–a purgatory somewhere, there–there's no such, there's no such thing in the Bible. It was wrote in one of the books of the Maccabees, or something another, but that wasn't added to It. And, look, in that one book is purgatory mentioned, yet in the rest of the Bible it's not mentioned nowhere. And after all, Jesus speaking of this same young man when he died, He said there's a gulf fixed that no man has ever crossed, and never will after death. See? And that settles it, when Jesus said so.
74 Now, we find out in this, that this hunger for this to become a–a partner, or not a partner, but a–a source of Life that existed in Christ, this young fellow was wanting to be part of it, just what Jesus was there to give, the new birth. See?
That's what we got today, the opportunity to receive the new birth, that we become part of God (See?) sons and daughters of God. You understand?
76 Notice, just like a sin. The–the church has long forgot its place; the–the–the denomination by blindly walking away from this, by blind leading of the blind… Look, if I had one drop of–of black ink in my pen here, and I had this cup full of bleach, or–or a tub setting here full of bleach, that the women use. Now, it used to be that bleach…
Well, when I got something on my shirt, when I was just a little boy, mama used to get some coal oil, or some turpentine, or–or something, and put on it, and try to take the–the–the color of the stain out. She only spread it, but it wasn't all in one spot. But now they have manufactured something called bleach. And, my, that bleach will take that stain right now.
78 Well, there was a law of God, that under the blood of a lamb, that didn't take away sin, it just scattered it. And when man sinned, he crossed the great chasm. When he sinned away, he separated himself away from God, leaving hisself no way back. But God, in tender mercy, accepted a substitute for him, and this substitute lasted for thousands of years; but it wouldn't take away sin; it only covered up sin. But when, not manufactured…
But God in His creative power created a Blood cell without sexual desire in the womb of the virgin, that don't only cover sin, It omits sin. It–it takes it so far away till it's never in the mind of God again. It don't make a bridge across the chasm, but It moves the chasm. That… Drop this little drop of ink into that bottle of bleach, or whatever it might be, you'll never find that color again.
80 Where did the color come from? Now, we find out that in making color. Now, I–I do not know. I'm not a chemist. But I'm just saying, if there would be a chemist setting here, you'd think I was mentally upset, or didn't know what I was talking about, if I used these terms. But just to let you know what I mean, let's say now, the color, now, at first, we'd say it come, it's some kind of an acid. Well, then where did the acid come from? Let's take it on back and say, well, it was a certain type of acid, went with another kind of acid to make a color.
Which, there is only one original color, and that's white. We all know that, others are perversions from it. No color but white; that's the only real color there is.
Now, now, we find out that this chemistry, we'll run it back just a moment, and we find out that maybe it says it comes in now to atoms. Well, we'd say atom B-1 times atom B-C times 4, makes black. If it'd been atom B-8, would come out pink. And then molecule times molecule times so-and-so comes out black.
Now, there shows there was an intelligence behind it, that brought it out black. And then if you take it beyond that, and beyond that, it… As long as it is a creation, it has to come from a Creator. There cannot be a creation without a Creator. Now, we find out then when this come in, and any color is a perversion…
84 And anything outside of a pure unadulterated son of God is a perversion. And what is sin? Is–is righteousness perverted. What is an adultery? Is the act that God ordained just to–to replenish the earth has been perverted. What is a–what is a lie? It's the truth misrepresented. So, you see, the whole thing now is–is a perversion.
And the original color is white. We've got to get this back to white, yet it's black. It's perverted somewhere. But when it's dropped into this, this ink is dropped into the–the bleach, it sends it all the way back, and it's white just like the bleach is. You'll never find it again. It's finished forever.
86 Now, all your sensations, as we Pentecostal people like to jump and shout, I do. I believe that's right. We like to speak with tongues. I believe that's a gift of God. The devil can impersonate anything that you can produce in that line, but notice, then it shows that something's wrong, the Life of Christ isn't flowing through the church the way it should. The Body, the Bride, it's not going through there like it should, now it finally clogged up somewhere.
Notice, when this, your sins are confessed, and your sins are dropped into the bleach of the Blood of the Son of God, it remits sin so much that it's–it's put in the Sea of God's Forgetfulness, and can never even be remembered in His sight anymore. Then what that, does that make a man? A son of God. God never remembers you to be a sinner. You are a son; you are a daughter; there's no more remembrance of sin at all. God puts it in the Sea of Forgetfulness, the bleach. The Sea of Forgetfulness is Christ's Blood that was shed for you. And therefore, then, you and God, are Father and son by Jesus Christ's grace; not by anything you done, but by His grace. You are sons and daughters of God, and a partaker of His blessings and of His power and of His Life. His Life is in you, for you are a son of God. Oh, if the church could, we would only to represent that.
88 No wonder Jesus said, "If ye abide in Me, and my Word in you, then ask what you will." See? "The works that I do (John 14:12), he that believeth, confessed and believeth on Me (See?) the works that I do shall he do also." Because God is in the–the believer just like He was in Christ. Not in the Fulness He was in Christ, but He is in you just like He was, because you are a son of God through Jesus Christ.
89 Oh, how this young man and his church life could see that this was something in the Lord Jesus. And he was presented with this problem to come to Jesus, yet it was against his church. But he had the audacity, he had–he had the something about him that wanted to find out, a hunger, and he came to the Lord Jesus.
And this young fellow, I think of him being presented then with the opportunity for this investment, but he wasn't interested in such an investment. It was all right if he could go on living with his friends, and go on living in the things that he was doing, and affiliate in it, and yet not willing to surrender.
91 Now, there's where we find the great trouble today is, the church knows the Scripture. Here this institution that this young fellow here just come from, and these–this Baptist brother setting here, they know that Word. They–they–they are students of the Word. And yet if they… They say, "Well, we believe it; we accept it."
It's just like a bottle of medicine, a cure. See, not morally cure; it reproduces the Life of Christ. See? If you take the Gospel, then you become part of the Gospel. And if you become a part of it, like Peter, James, and John, and them, did on Pentecost, your life is another living Book of Acts. There's no way out of it. Jesus said, in Mark 16, "These signs shall follow them that believe." But the people are learning, and go through seminaries and schools to learn it, but don't want none of it themselves, yet they think that they got it. See? They think that they got it, but the actions speaks louder than all the words. See, your–your life proves it, whatever you are.
93 And this fellow was not interested in such. Although this great investment was not just some overnight something; it was just not something that Jesus asked him, "Come, jump right into." Jesus had thoroughly been identified, the Son of God.
How could a man walk to a grave where a dead man laid, and say, "Lazarus, come forth," that wasn't God?
How could a man stand on a ship, when ten thousand devils of the sea swore they'd drown Him then, Him and His disciples that night, and could put His foot upon the brail of the boat, and look up and say, "Peace, be still," and the winds and the waves obeyed Him?
96 How could a man look down into a human heart and say, "You done such-and-such and such-and-such"? It had to be God. It was thoroughly a-vindicated. And he wasn't asked just to invest in something, that, just a–a mythical thought, or some cult. It was thoroughly identified, what his investment was to be in.
If he could said, "Now, I don't know about this." But, you see, he called Him, "Good Master." And he knew there was something, but yet he wasn't ready to take the medicine, because Jesus asked him something to do.
And that's what does the hindrance among men today, is they… They believe there's God. There's no man with good intelligence but what knows there's God, because if he doesn't recognize God, the Bible plainly says he's not mentally right. He's a fool. See? The Bible said, "The fool has said in his heart there's no God." Now, but if he believes there's God, but yet he's not willing to separate himself in the very same way that Jesus was asking this young man, young businessman, to make his investments…
100 He saw something in Jesus, that other men never had. He saw there was something that Jesus had, that those priests didn't have. He saw something that the rabbis, the teachers, none of them had it. But he recognized it in Jesus, and recognized it to be God. But he thought, "Well, if I can come in, why, and not have to do all this, I'll go find out." But he found out that there's only one way to come.
And that's where the world's got to learn today, and Christ is that Way; not a church, not an affiliation, a denomination, as good as they may be, and I have nothing against them in that manner. But yet you've got to realize that it's Christ, the new birth.
102 Men, you businessmen of this city, I–I'm not condemning your churches, as you set here. We appreciate you being here. But I'm–I'm trying to–to sell you an assurance this morning. I'm not trying to sell it to you; I'm a representative of this–of this firm, and I–I–I want to tell you that the policy's free. See? And it has, it's well identified on earth today, that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, by His same works, His same signs, His same Gospel, the same Word of God. He's perfectly identified as it was then.
Now, you're here this morning for some reason. See? Why, why are you here anyhow? There's a little tinkle in there that tells you. Now, I'm not saying leave your church. Huh-uh. You go to your church a better person than you was when you left it, and you'll be a light that's set upon a hill, a candle that's lit and not covered with a basket. You'll have Eternal Life.
104 Now, we find out, it puts a man right back in the place where the–the–the people are today. That a… The Bible said over here… I have a Scripture written down here, I'd like to refer to. Jesus said, in the 3rd chapter of Revelation, that the–the Laodicea church, the Laodicea church, is the last church age. And we are all believing that we're living in the end time, and this is the last church age. Now, compare this church age with that rich young ruler. Compare them.
Now, didn't Jesus say the Laodicea church was rich, increased in goods, had need for nothing? Isn't that the condition of the church today? And yet Christ has unfolded Himself through three church ages, through Luther, through Wesley, and through the Pentecostal age; has unfolded Himself in the–in His Word of justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (the restoration to the gifts), and now His Own personal identity among them. See, trying… And you rich young ruler, businessmen of Chicago, this morning… You see?
106 Laodicea… We find, all the other church ages, Jesus was still in the church. But on the Laodicea age, He was on the outside, knocking, trying to get in. And this is the age that when the manifestation of Christ come so perfect in the image of Christ, in His church, until the churches, as the brother said awhile ago, is closing the door. And yet He stands with love, knocking, "If any man hunger or thirst…" Do you understand? We–you expect a closed door; it's the Laodicea age. The Bible said it would be that way.
107 And now if your–if your denomination has closed the door to such a Message, and such a Messenger. Not me; I'm your brother, fellow servant with you. But the Messenger is the Holy Spirit expressing Himself through a–a human beings, the Church that Christ sanctified for this very purpose.
And now, you are presented with the opportunity to make an investment in this Eternal Life. Your business may be legitimate and great, but there's no business any greater than the saving of your own life. See? You have the opportunity.
109 Now, your church may put Him out, but–as a whole. But Jesus never come just for a church, just any certain group. He come for individuals. "Ye shall receive the Holy Ghost," the individual. Now, that's what He come for.
Now, we find out that the Laodicea church age now is presented with the same opportunity for investment in the same Person that the rich young ruler turned down flatly. And so is the Laodicea church age turning it down flatly, put Him out. They love…
111 What did this young ruler, what–what was it he said? "He went away sad, because that he had great possession." It was–it was a great opportunity, yet he was so wealthy that he–he felt that it would mar his wealth.
I wonder if a man's popularity at the Kiwanis, or–or at the lodge, or maybe his popularity in the church, even as a pastor, would be so great in that denomination, that you'd walk away from the same opportunity, and turn it down coldly, because it would–it would mar your inheritance with the church. Wonder if your–if your stewardship of the church, the organization, is great enough to you this morning, that you would turn away from It, some of you men who belong to churches, and setting here this morning as businessmen? Think of it.
The rich young ruler was presented that and turned it down, and Christ turns and said the church age will do the same thing in the last days. Now, it's in Chicago now, that you are faced to make a decision. The time is running out. You must do it at once. Make your decision for Christ to be born of His Spirit.
114 Now, now, we find out that this rich man did this because that he loved the world. He loved his fellowship with his organization more than he loved the fellowship with the Lord Jesus.
Many of them this morning, say, "Well, I would be considered one of you Pentecostals, I'd be considered a holy-roller, if I did such a thing."
Now, where is your treasure anyhow, is it in your church, is it in your business, or is it in heaven? "For wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So why not make an investment this morning, of Life? Your business will go to ashes someday.
117 I don't know, that brother that prophesied, and the brothers, rather, about the tidal wave, that may be so. But I'm telling one thing; I know this, the Bible says that this earth will burn. And Chicago has never had a fire to what it's going to have one day. And God, the just God, cannot–cannot let Chicago escape the wrath of God.
As a friend once put it at Jack Moore said, "If God let this generation get by, from spurning the Gospel, and for doing the things that they're doing, and living in the type of sin that they're living in, immorals and so forth, why, He'd be obligated to raise up Sodom and Gomorrah and apologize for burning them up."
119 So they spurned; they've shunned It, and they've looked Christ in the face. It… The movement of Christ, has never been no great big worldwide thing. It's humility. Why, He was in the world in the–His days of His ministry, perhaps one third of the Jews in Palestine never knowed nothing about Him till He was gone. See, see? And they–they never know it till it's too late.
But let's think this morning, that this is a special day that we are presented, as business people, to make an investment in Jesus Christ; to give up, be ready, and just forsake everything that there is that's dear to this world, that we might find the treasures of heaven. As Jesus told him, "And come, follow Me, take up your cross."
Not take up your popularity, where everybody saying, "Certainly, doctor, come right in. It's such a great thing to have you here. Oh, the deacon, you fine…"
See, it's a cross. And you, they might call you crazy, heresy. And as Paul, you could testify, "In the way that's called heresy, that's the way I worship the God of our Fathers." See? We've had other men before us, who had to make these decisions.
123 And remember, Saint Paul and the rich young ruler versus one another. Paul was a man with great opportunity before him also, and was presented with it, but he accepted it. Now, you can look at their outcome and place yourself, what your outcome's going to be.
You can base it upon the Word, the inchangeable–unchangeable, rather, Word of God, the promise of God. God cannot do one thing, and then turn around and do something else about it, and say that He done wrong in the first place. God cannot change. He's God, and God is the Word.
125 Now, this Word was well identified to be the Son of God. He saw something in Jesus that other men didn't have, but the price was too great.
And it's too great today with the Laodicea church. But remember, they went out of the synagogue because that–put Him out of the synagogue, because they had no room for Him in the synagogue. They are putting Christ out of the organization today, the real living manifestation, thoroughly identified, vindicated Word of God that no man can stand against, proving that Christ is raised from the dead and His Life is living in His people, doing the same thing that He done. It's got to be called devil, fortune-telling, and everything else, but remember the Word is the same. One word against It is unforgivable. Never in this world, or the world to come, will it ever be forgiven.
127 This is the last church age. It could not be any other ages. It had to be in this age. Every timepiece, if we just had the time, could voluntarily put in here and prove this. The Word of God is now being fulfilled. And the last word that the… The called out church and Abraham is–is in the type, and Sodom. Now, you remember, He–He expressed so definitely about Sodom. See? Now, He said, "As it was in Sodom, in the days of Lot."
Look at the modern Billy Graham, the angels, messengers down in Sodom, calling the people out to see if they can find forty just people; and God would even compromise for ten, and yet they can't find it. This great evangelist, Billy Graham, and Jack Schuller of you Methodist people, and, oh, Oral Roberts of you Pentecostals, how that out there in Babylon in these organizations that's co-operating…
129 But, remember, Abraham did not represent any of those; he was not a city. He was looking for a Kingdom, (Uh-huh.), and he had a group with him. And there was One of the three that stayed behind and showed him a sign of Who He was, with His back turned to the tent, and knowed what Sarah said in the tent, a discernment of spirit. Jesus plainly saying, now remember that was… There was not one more sign done until Sodom was burned. The last thing that the church is going to see, is Christ manifested in His power, in fulness, in His church, just before the fire falls. Remember, Lot was the one the fire fell from the sky. Not–not back in the days of Noah, the water came. But Christ expressed what type of ministry would be in the days of Lot, and now we see the Holy Spirit moving among His church in the same manner. We find it in the Laodicea condition, just as it was then.
130 Now, let us find out here why this man wouldn't invest in this policy, the holder of it, because that there was too much on the other side that he didn't want to give up.
And that's what's the matter with the church today. There's not a man with his common sense, a pope, potentate, or anything else, can stand and deny that Jesus Christ didn't say, "These signs shall follow them that believe." How far? "All the world, to every creature." And cannot say that Jesus didn't say, "A little while, and the world (kosmos, world order) will see Me no more." Or, order of the church, order, order in the world, of the world, they think.
132 And God's Kingdom is never of the world, no matter how many intellectual man you can stand up. I'm not condemning those people, but I'm trying to show you a trick that Satan's done. They–they–they cannot, I don't care how big. You Pentecostals want… You oneness wants all the threeness to unite with you. And you threeness wants all the oneness and Church of God, and so forth, unite with your thirty-some odd organizations, become one. You Methodists and Baptists, and so forth, the same way.
133 This ecumenical council that's just meeting over there this week to discuss the–the problems, they're all wanting to unite it in one. And they'll do it. The Bible says they will do it, "Make an image unto the beast." You see where the very background comes from? A beast is a power, and it'll be a power, but it'll be the wrong power.
Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this world. If it was, His Kingdom, His delegates would fight. But said, "My Kingdom is of above." See? The Kingdom of God is not an organization that can make a great thing. It's the power of God, the Holy Spirit in the human life.
135 Quickly now. I–I don't want to keep you here a long time, and I've done kept you too long now. But just could I have a few more minutes? Yeah, we'll hurry. I think you know what I'm speaking of. I–I'll…
Let's just investigate some of the policy holders of this Eternal Life, that's took this investment in Eternal Life, the holders of this Word-of-God policy.
Remember, This is God in letter form. "My Words are Spirit," Jesus said. "They are Life." Did He say it? He also said this in Saint John the 1st chapter, the Bible tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh (as I just got through telling you), and dwelt among us."
138 He's still the same yesterday, the Word that was, the Word that is, and the Word that is to come. He is all things in the Bible. And if you read the Bible and don't see Jesus, then you better ride back and read that Scripture again. Because This is the testimony of Jesus Christ: Old Testament in type, New Testament fulfilled. Then Jesus is He that was, the history; He that was back, the beginning. The prophecy, He was the prophecy. He was the history. He was the Psalms. He was the Lord Jesus, and He is the things to come, that's in the Bible. So He is, the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Bible.
Now, and the Bible is called the Word of God, and God's got to judge the world by some standard. If He put you here with, and going to judge you, then there's got to be some standard.
You say, "By Jesus Christ." Every man's got his conception of That.
141 This little lady here, the–the Catholic… My background was Catholic too, you understand. I'm an Irishman. Notice now, the Catholic church says that they are the church. Now, look, there's many different types of Catholic church. Which one of the Catholic churches is it? If it's the Roman, then the Greek Orthodox is lost. Then if it's the Greek Orthodox, the Romans are lost. If it's the Lutheran, then the Methodists is lost. If it's the–if it's the Methodists, the Baptists is lost. If it's the Pentecostal, then rest of them's lost. But if it's the Presbyterian, then the Pentecostals are lost. See, it's too confusing. You can't understand it. Which is right? They're none of them right.
142 Jesus said, "I am the Way (and He is the Word,), the Truth, and the Life." No man can come only by That; not through your church, through your creed, through your prayer. You've got to come by Jesus. He is God. He is the Word. He is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life. And if a candle's setting here not lit, and you light the candle, it throws a light. What will it reflect? The same light it reflected when it was lit the first place. And when the Gospel is manifested, He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do you see it?
143 Now, let's just investigate some of the holders, now, and find out what taken place in their great intellectual day. Just for the next ten or fifteen minutes, and we'll close.
Noah made an investment in a promise of God, the Word of God. And, remember, it was the Word of God, that Noah made his investment in It.
And, yet, as soon as a man makes an investment, remember, Satan's going to come there to take that policy from you, if He can.
It is written, that, "Man shall not live by bread alone (That's the physical life.), but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Not just part of It, a little piece here and there; but by every Word man shall live by the Bread of Life. And what is the Word of God? Is Life, Spirit, Life. And when It's manifested, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he also. More than this shall he do, 'cause I go to the Father."
147 Now, we find out now that Noah was tested when he made his investment. So will you, my brother. And if there's no testing time, then you haven't made your investment yet. Because your enemy's standing there with the hammer back on his gun, with the bowstring drawed, and he's ready to shoot every poison dart that he can send, every cult, and every little idea, and every intellectual giant like Goliath. He'll send them around there, that looks so taller than the–the brethren that you're associating with, your little, ignorant and unlearned brethren. He'll send such spiritual intellectual giants, and big schools, that can explain the whole thing away from you. But if you have made your investment, and got your policy stamped and sealed by the Holy Spirit, there's nothing going to rub it out.
149 No man has a right to preach the Gospel until secretly, back on the backside of the desert, he stood on the ground with him and God alone. There's no intellectual being in the world could explain it away from you. That's right. You were there; you know it happened. No matter how much they can explain it, but wait, something happened, you know it did. You saw it with your eyes. You talked to It; It talked back, and It sealed you into Its Being, and you become a part of It. You'll walk away from the intellectual giant. And we got plenty of them in the world today, and some dangerous ones too, that's well theologically trained, or theologically speaking, are trained to use that, and they know what they're doing. But don't fear, David, if the Lord God is with you.
150 Notice, Satan tried Noah, on his–on his investment. And he–he tried him to make him doubt it. The scientists rose up to tell him there's no rain in the skies, and there were scoffers in the days of Noah.
Now, if there's scoffers in that day at the in-come, at the end time, rather, on the investments that–that men took in their heart to believe God's Word, there's scoffers today against the Word, because It don't look sensible. But, you see, you're not supposed to use your own sense.
You say, "I thought. I think. I…"
You ain't got no thought or think coming. The Bible said, "Let the mind that was in Christ be in you." And He always did that which pleased the Father, because He was the Word. See? So we have no thought coming. We must just believe what He says. I don't…
Say, "Well, I can't explain It."
No, if you could, then you could explain God. You don't know God by intellectual conception. You know God by faith, is the only way you know how to believe God. Just you can't explain it. No one can. It's not for you to. No, nobody can explain God. God is without finding out by exclamation; you've got to believe Him; it wouldn't be a faith no more. Now, you've got to believe it. Now, notice.
154 And, then, Noah's great investment one day paid off. When he stood the persecution, when he stood the scoffers, when he stood against all the things and the policies of the world of that day, and all the religious things that seemed to be against him, it paid off by saving his life. He believed it. His investment paid off.
Now, businessmen, let me say another thing. Daniel made an investment one day. He was taken down into a world that wasn't like the world that he was used to. He was taken among people that didn't believe the same thing he believed. But he made an investment, and look what he done. He purposed in his heart that he wouldn't mar, he wouldn't defile that investment. See? The investment that he had made in God, he purposed in his heart; though it took his life, he would not defile it by disbelieving it.
156 Don't disbelieve it. When you make your investment, stay there on it. If you're not ready to believe it, then don't make your investment. But when you're ready to let the mind that was in Christ be in you…
You say, "Well, this is that and that." Better watch it. If it isn't in the Word, then leave it alone. The Word is the basic facts and Truth, no personal interpretation. It's writ just the way… If God's going to judge the church by the Bible, then, the Bible, God has watched over It to keep It, and it's written just the way it should be written: no private interpretation. The Methodist interpret It one way, and the Baptist another, and so forth. And then bring it down to the showdown, neither one of them's right. It's man's mind, where they run off.
158 Every time God raised up a great founder like Luther, and Wesley, and–and John Smith, and Calvin, Knox, Finney, Moody, or so forth like that, then after their death, then they organized. And got a bunch of–of good college graduates around there, they put their own interpretation to It and made an organization, and there where they died right there. And never a place, in history, where any church that ever organized ever lived from then on. Where did they ever have the great revivals in the church like that? The church died when they organized it.
From the–the Roman Catholic church, the first Roman Catholic church before it become a Roman church, it was a catholic church at Pentecost. Some nearly three hundred years later at Nicaea, Rome, it changed from the apostolic catholic church to the Roman Catholic church, that injected man's ideas, the little Roman pagan superstitions into the Scripture. And since then, she's never done nothing but laid there dead, with members.
Out come the reformer, come Luther, and Luther come out as a man of God on justification; the Word taught it, by grace of God. Where, the Catholic church said, "There's no–no salvation outside of the church. God was in His church. The Bi…"
161 I was–had an interview with a priest, not long ago. He said, "Mr. Branham, you're trying to talk about a Bible. This is the church." Said, "God's in His church."
I said, "Show me where."
The Bible said that God is in the Word. He is the Word. And if the Word in you, It produces God again. And He said, "The Word is a Seed, and the Seed produces what Its kind is." It'll produce a godly life, a full consecrated life to Jesus Christ.
163 Now, notice Daniel, after his investment that he made in God, then it paid off by saving his life from a den of lions.
The Hebrew children made an investment one day, that when the proclamation come forth that they was all going to have to join this group and worship some other way besides the way that God had told them was the right way, they made a–an investment in God. "Though they throw us in the furnace, we're not going to do it. We're going to stay with this Word." It saved their life, converted a nation (See?), because they were willing to keep their investment. Yes, sir.
165 Peter, a fisherman, he was a businessman. He had a great business; he sold fish. And that was a great thing in those days, living there by the lake, like a place something like Chicago here by the lake. And he was a commercial fisherman. But–and he was kind of a hard man, because he was a Pharisee, and his father was an old Pharisee. But one day…
I–I was reading a story. And though it might not be authentic, and I… Perhaps it's not, but it–I think it would stand the test just now.
[Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] "… come. But you know, son, He hasn't come yet, and He might come in your day. Now, just remember, as your father, I want to say this, that there'll be many cults rise up; there'll be many false prophets go forth." As Jesus said about this day. "But by their fruit (and the fruit is the fruit of the Spirit. See?) you know them." He said, "There'll be many of this," which there was. But he said, "Now, I want you to know there might be great, smart teachers rise up." Which there was one that claimed to be the Christ and led four hundred out, and they perished in the wilderness, because it was contrary to the Word.
169 He said, "But I want you to remember that, this Messiah, He'll have an identification tag on Him, and He will be a Prophet. Now, we're Hebrews, and the Lord God has told us that we… He sent us the prophets because the Word of the Lord comes only to the prophet. That's right. And He said, 'If there be one among you, is spiritual or a prophet, I the Lord will speak to him. And what he says, if it comes to pass, then hear him. But if it doesn't come to pass, don't hear him, don't fear that man. But fear him if you–if it comes to pass, what he says.' And Moses said, 'The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet like me, and Him shall you hear.' Now, this Messiah will be a Prophet. Remember, not an educator, not a priest, not a clergyman, but He'll be a Prophet."
170 And when Simon set on that chunk of wood, perhaps that day when Andrew taken him down to the seashore, where Jesus… After they toiled all night and seen nothing in their nets, set down there… And He borrowed the boat from this Peter. And–and then he said, after He got through using the boat… Peter might've listened to His talk, and maybe halfway put his fingers in his ears, setting on this chunk out there, when Jesus floating around out in his boat, on account of the press…
Then we find out, that out there in the boat, Jesus must've beckoned to–to Simon to–to–to bring the boat in. And when He went out there and said, "Now, I know you've toiled all night and taken nothing, but there's fish on this side now. Cast your net in, and there's a draught of fish waiting."
Well, it's still just a word. But when he throwed the net in and he begin to pull, and there was the fish, that also meant there was the Messiah that his father had told him about, a Prophet. And he said, "Depart from me, Lord, I'm a sinful man."
He said, "Fear not, Simon, now you've seen the truth. From henceforth you'll be a fisher of men."
Peter was ready to leave his fish nets, his business. He made a complete investment in Jesus Christ, because he saw that that was the promised Messiah, for there was the Word that He spoke made manifest, and that was the Messiah. He knowed that's what that the Word said, that his old Pharisee father had told him, that, the Messiah will be the incarnate Word, and He'll be a Prophet making this promise of the Messiah to come to pass, and there it was. So Peter made his investment after he had seen the identification, the vindication of the Word.
175 Nathanael made an investment, as I spoke of last night. And so did the woman at the well.
Nicodemus, a great theologian, let's say, something like someone that spoke this morning a great scholar. And they–they came–he came to make an investment. And I want you to notice the expression of this great man, Nicodemus, found in Saint John the 3rd chapter. He was just not an overnight man. He was a theologian. And watch what he said.
And no doubt, the Sanhedrin Council, the institution, they had discussed this Man's ministry. Though he was called a Prophet of Galilee, yet there'd been a thorough investigation made of His ministry.
Now, notice the confession, if it don't go over top of your head. Watch what Nicodemus said to Jesus. "Rabbi. We (the Pharisees)–we know. We can't confess it. We can't make it known, 'cause we'll lose our position. We–we'll lose our investment in our–our–our bread and our butter. We'll–we'll lose our position amongst the people. We will be an outcast like the Galileans or the fishermen. We'll be considered a–a–a very bad intellectual person, maybe a nervous, upset, hysterical, not a subject to make a good decision; therefore, the church can use us no more if we make this decision. But–but we know that You're a teacher comes from God, for no man can do those things that You do except God be with him."
179 You see, Nicodemus, a lot of us go on about Nicodemus. They say, "He come by night."
He come to make his investment, and he found the bank was open twenty-four hours a day. Sure. Though it be at night, the–the bank was open. It's open this morning, here in Chicago. It's open all the time, if you're ready to make an investment. He found the doors open, a welcome heart to receive him. Took him up on the housetop, and as they set there in the moonlight, and then Nicodemus was going to make his investment.
And he made his confession first, "We know that Thou art a teacher comes from God, 'cause no man could do the things that You do except God be with him. We know that." Now, he–he said, "we," that meant the council, the–the organization of the council. They had a united council, like we're trying to get in our churches, a federation of churches (See?) World Council. And he said, "We–we understand that." But none of the rest of them wanted to admire. Like the rich man, they wanted to keep their worldly riches.
182 My business friend this morning, men or women, could you afford? Count the price. Will it so mar you to accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Will it so mar your business? Would you rather have your business marred here on earth, or your position in church changed, or would you rather have Eternal Life? Depends on what policy you want to hold. Remember, Nicodemus was a great man, and he had a lot to go against, but he accepted this policy.
183 We find in Luke 24:49, that these policy-holders… (And I'm closing in a moment.) These policy-holders, in Luke 24:49, all that had made an investment… You know, if you hold a policy, it pays off in dividends. Many times, you could draw a dividends on your policy. Well, they had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and had accept Him as personal Saviour, but they understand that there was dividends ready to be paid off on the policy, for Jesus told them, in Luke 24:49, "Behold, I send the promised dividends, the promise of My Father, upon you."
184 Joel 2:28 and many other Scriptures that had promised it. I believe, Isaiah 28:19, where it said, "Precept must be upon precept, and line upon line; here a little, and there a little. Hold fast to that what's good. For with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this people." Joel said, in Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I'll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and upon My handmaids and maid servant will I pour out of My Spirit. And your young men shall see visions. Your old men shall dream dreams. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." And these people understood, by the Scripture and by accepting Jesus Christ as their Life policy, that there was dividends.
185 Now, businessmen, you may belong to some organization. But there's dividends. You may have accepted Christ, you might've been baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, as Christian baptism, you might've done all these things, but yet there's dividends on this investment.
And in Luke 24:49, as I just said, they–they went up to draw the dividends, and while they were all assembled together and begin to wait upon the Lord. They waited, not just for two days or three days.
And maybe somebody got up, maybe say Matthew. He was a tax collector for the government. He might've been a very intellectual man. He might've stood up and said, "Wait a minute. Why do we wait any longer? He told us to come up here; here we are. We–we done been up here eight days now, I think we should take up our ministry and go on." But that wasn't what the Word said.
"With stammering lips and with other tongues will I speak to this people. I'll pour out My Spirit, and I'll show signs and wonders." They waited for the vindication of the evidence that their policy was good.
189 Talking to a fine Baptist brother not long ago… I won't call his name, 'cause he's a well-known man, a fine man out of a great church. He come to me, and he said, "Billy, why you ever get mixed up in such a stuff as that?"
I said, "What stuff?" I said, "I got mixed up in Christ," I said, "my Life."
He said, "Now, you, formally a Baptist, you know." Said, "Look, the Bible said Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness."
I said, "That's true."
Said, "What more could God–or could Abraham do but believe God?" And he…
I said, "Well, do you?"
He said, "Yes, I believe God."
And I said, "Do you think then," I knowing Baptist doctrine. I said, "do you believe that you received the Holy Ghost?"
He said, "Certainly. When I believed It, I received It, 'cause that's the reason I believed It."
I said, "How contrary to Saint Paul, in Acts 19."
195 When he found those Baptists up there, that was John's converts to Christ, He said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost, drawed your dividends, since you believed?" Not when you believed, but, "after you have believed."
They said, "We know not whether there be any."
He said, "How was you baptized?"
So they said, "We've been baptized to John; that ought to settle it."
He said, "No, not now. John only baptized unto repentance, not for remission of sins; the Sacrifice hadn't been offered."
And when they heard this, they were baptized over, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Paul laid his hands upon them, and the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they prophesied and spoke in tongues, and drawed the dividends like it was at the first place.
199 He said, "Why, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him." Said, "How much more can the man do?"
I said, "Truly, he believed God, but God vindicated it by giving him the seal of circumcision. And now when you say you're a believer, God has never recognized your faith until He sealed it with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then He's recognized it as a predestinated seed." That was a good word for a Baptist. You see? See? And it's true. Certainly, it's true.
"No man can come to Me except My Father draws him. And all the Father has given Me will come." It's our duty to preach the Word till It goes out. Some falls by the wayside. But some hits that seed yonder and brings Life all at once; they see It right now.
So you find out, they went and drawed dividends.
202 Yes, the rich young Paul seen this vindication, by the same Spirit, and He changed him when he was on the road to Damascus. Why? He seen that Pillar of Fire, and he knowed that was the same Jesus. Then he cried out, after he knowed it was God. And Jesus is God. And when Paul could see…
Being a theologian, Paul had great intentions. He was a theologian. He was taught under Gamaliel, the great man. He had ambitions of being a priest someday, or–or maybe a high priest. He was a great intellectual, scholarly man, a great man, indeed. But when… And these cults of jumping and running around, and carrying on as they was, he thought they was a bunch of–of heretics. But when he was on his road down to Damascus, as I said… And now, he was rich too. He was a fine man, a young man, and on the road down, all potentials that he'd been educated, laid before him, the opportunities. Watch the difference between the rich businessman and this rich businessman; one accepted it, and one turned it down.
204 Notice. And then, all of a sudden, he was stricken down by a Light, a Pillar of Fire standing there, and he recognized It. He said, "Lord, Who are You?"
And He said, "I'm Jesus."
And when he got the revelation that God and Christ wasn't two different people, they were the same-self Person, then he was ready to make an investment. I wonder if we could see that same thing today. When Paul seen then, being a Jew, that, "The very God that led me through, led my people through the wilderness, there He is, and calling His Name Jesus."
From "I AM," He was the I AM. And "I AM" is everlasting; it's eternal. Not "I was, I will be." I AM, (present tense, all ages,) the same yesterday, today, and forever."
Then Paul cried out, "Lord, I want to make an investment." What will You have me to do? What will You make me do, Lord? What must I do?" Oh, my. "What can I do?"
208 And he went down to Arabia for three and a half years, and took the Scriptures to find out if that wasn't the same God. And he came back. And all he's been trained for, all of his–his denominations had passed away from him, all of his–his potentials of his education.
And he said, over in Corinthians there, "I never come to you with intellectual words, because you'd base your… You–you would base your thoughts upon me, of being an intellectual, a great man. But I come to you in the power and manifestations, demonstrations of the Holy Spirit." If that isn't the same thing Jesus said in Mark 16, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel," means to demonstrate the power. 'Cause just preaching of the Word alone, won't bring it. You've got to accept It, and then It demonstrates, these signs shall follow them, because it is the Word. See?
210 Now, we find that Paul then, it paid off for him with great Eternal Life. What a rashal decision now.
I'm closing, if God help me. You're such a fine audience. I know I've wore out your–your patience. Forgive me. But just trying, I'm…
I'm not sufficient to stand here to–to talk about a thing like this. It's more. I–I cannot… I can't bring myself into the spot, and I–I put myself to be a teacher. I–I couldn't do that, because I–I–I haven't got the intellectual knowledge. But I have a revelation that's exactly with the Word, and the Word lives back and produces what It's saying It'd do. See, see? Neither did the apostles; only Paul, and he said he had to forget those things that he knowed (See?) to make his investment.
And maybe you might have to forget that, "I am so-and-so. I belong to this. My mother belonged to it." You might have to forget that, if you want to make an investment. So wouldn't it be rashal? You wouldn't want to do like this young businessman, what a rashal thing that fellow did when he turned away from such an investment that…
214 Now, I'm not asking you to invest your money. That's up to you, what you do with that, to some missionary society, or whatever it is, to send missionaries. I don't know about that. God will take care of that. I'm talking to you about the policy of Life. "Come, follow Me. Take up your cross. Let everybody call you what they will; but you–you come, follow Me."
Now, he wasn't quite willing to do this. He made a very rashal thing, just exactly like the people of the Laodicean age today, in the policy. They're not willing. They don't want to.
216 That's like the rich young man. What if I could follow him just a few minutes? Let's do just for a minute, watch. A few, just a little bit later on, we find this rich young fellow. Let's watch his end, and then we'll close. Look at him. We follow him, and he was a businessman. And did his business prosper.
So, businessman, remember, prosperity don't always mean that you're a Christian. The devil… You know, David, I believe, one time said, "I seen the wicked spread forth like a green bay tree."
But God said, "Did you ever behold him at the end?" That's the difference. Look at the end of the road.
218 Ern Baxter, one of my colleagues, a very fine-cultured man. Many of you know Ern, a very fine, able minister of Canada. He was telling me a little story, one day. He said, "Brother Branham, we ride bicycles." And said, "When I was a kid, we could… I could go downtown, get a sack of groceries for my mother, and never even touch the–the handlebars on my bicycle. And this company come up there, named Schwinn, was going to give a bicycle for any kid could ride a foot-wide board standing two-foot high in the air, for thirty yards." And he said, "Every one of us knew that we could do it."
And said, "There was one little sissy boy there. We never would even fellowship with him, because he–he didn't look like he knowed too much," he said, "so we thought we were just a little better class than he was. And he qualified, or wanted to–to enter the race too." And said, "You know what? Every one of us fell off of that board but him." And he said, "He rode it right out to the end, and got off and bowed, picked up his Schwinn bicycle and started to ride away." And said, "We boys met him down at the corner, and we said, 'John, we–we want to know. How did you do it?'"
He said, "Well, now, boys, I'll tell you what happened." Said, "I watched what you all done, and I went another way." Said, "You see, when you got on and they give you the push, you were better. All of you are better riders than I am; you know that," said, "because I can't ride without holding the handlebars."
221 And neither can I go without holding the Cross. You see? This Word has got to be my Life. That's what yours need. I–I–I can't–can't speak without this Handlebar to guide, this Holy Spirit that moves me and directs me.
He said, "I can't. I–I–I'm not the rider that you fellows are." But said, "I see where you made your mistake. You were looking down like this and trying to balance it." And said, "That made you nervous and you fell off." He said, "When I got on there, and they pushed me, I just kept watching the end of the road and held steady."
Now, businessman, don't look here, your business may feel–fail tomorrow; it might fail some other day; but watch the end of the road, there's where your policy's going to payoff.
224 This young fellow increased in goods, but we find out his finally payoff day come. His greed and goods so increased till he found that he had to build new barns. Oh, his business kept increasing. He stayed a member of the church. You say, "Yes?" Yes, brother, that's right. He stayed a member of the church. And one night, he got so big, till there was a man that was poor in spirit.
You know, we don't have to be so poor in money; we might get poor in spirit. Jesus said, in Matthew 5, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the (not the organization,)–the Kingdom."
And the poor in spirit laid at his gate, and he give him a few crumbs. In other words, when they passed by, he might've give something in the collection box, or something. Or he might've said, "You know, they're nice people; I have nothing against them. I'll go to their breakfasts once in a while." You'll furnish a few crumbs. That might be so. "Oh, my wife belongs down there. But I, me (See?) I–I admire my–my–my position with my business colleague. See?" And he swept the crumbs off.
227 And Lazarus, a poor in spirit, lay there with not even enough medicine to take care of himself, and the dogs licked his sore. But one night, he–they both died. And when they did, the Bible said that the poor in spirit was carried by Angel pallbearers to the bosoms of Abraham, the one had invest, made Him his investment in Eternal Life. He didn't live for what he had here. For his popularity, he had none. He was a beggar at the gate. He–he had nothing. He had no money. He had nothing. He had no friends. But, yet, he was a believer. He'd made his investment. And he died on the street, with the dogs licking his sores. And the Bible said, that Angels packed him into the bosoms of Abraham.
228 And the same night, the rich, old ruler now, he'd had a great prosperous life, and he died. Now, he paid off in dividends too. Some intellectual preacher come along, perhaps with his collar turned around, and–and maybe in all of his priestly garb, and he said… And they half-mast the flag, and–and the flowers couldn't be held in this ballroom here. And, oh, what a great to-do and they had, and all the business. Maybe the president of the bank association, and all of them come, and was pallbearers for him. And maybe the intellectual minister stood up and said, "Our precious brother, how many times has he wrote checks for the widows, and how many times has he paid in our great organization and sponsored our program." And maybe the businessmen might've got up and made a talk. He got his reward. That's right. His investment paid off like that. But from the world he was a great man.
But because that he rejected the investment that Jesus gave him, the Bible said, "In hell he lifted up his eyes." And he saw the man who had made the investment otherwise, safely in the bosoms of Abraham, comforted, walking around, fine. And he cried. Now, watch. You say, was he a Chri… Yeah. "Father Abraham," a Jew, right, "I pray thee, send Lazarus, the poor in spirit, that made the investment. I turned it down. But send Lazarus with just a little water; these flames are tormenting me."
He said, "Son, you had the opportunity." He did.
Jesus presented it. "Sell what you got, and come, follow Me. Make your investment in–in This. Take up your cross." But it was too great.
He said, "Now, he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, there's a great gulf fixed between you and he, that no man has ever crossed or ever will."
232 That's knocks purgatory and all these doctrines to pieces. That was Jesus Christ that said that. Don't wait too long, mister. My precious, wayward brother, fallen from Christ, don't wait too long to make this investment. He might've intended someday to do it, but as the old southern saying is, "Hell itself is paved with good intentions." See, the intentions doesn't do it. Read the prescription on the bottle, but then take the medicine if you want the results. Make your investment. Sign your name in His Blood over your heart. See?
233 Notice, look at him. "In hell he lifted up his eyes." He had been paid off. And then notice, he said, "Then, Father Abraham, if you cannot do this; don't let my colleagues, where all my inheritance went back in the earth, my investment that I made, tell them don't make the same mistake that I made."
Could that be you, this morning, my Jewish friend or Gentile friend? Don't be rashal like that fellow was.
He said, "Send him back, and let this message be brought to them." Oh, he wanted to become a minister then. He wanted to accept. It's too late; can't do it now. His time, he had the opportunity, but he didn't make his investment.
And he said, "They have the prophets; they have what the Word said, and the law."
He said, "Yes, but if one raised from the dead, and it could be proven that he's raised from the dead, then they'll believe it."
He said, "They wouldn't believe though one be raised from the dead."
239 And two thousand years has passed since that scene. In 1963, One is among us this morning, proving that Christ has raised from the dead. And the Life that was in Him is in His Church, doing the same things to fulfill His Word. Won't you, my brother, sister, make this investment this morning? Surrender your lives to Christ, as we bow our heads solemnly.
Let not these Words be in vain, "You must be borned again." You must. Now, I'm not talking about you might scream, shout, speak with tongues. I mean being born again, really, with that deep confession of sin. That you've never been able, yet you've always held to your organization, though you know they were contrary to the Word, but yet for selfish ideas, and for pride, and for popularity, you've stayed in the big church. You wanted nothing to do with the mission on the corner. See, there your treasures are, your heart is also.
241 Oh, businessmen, this morning, I am offering to you, as an agent of Jesus Christ, an Eternal Life, a policy of Eternal Life, that Christ my Lord, and my supreme Boss, for I am dead to the things of the world to live only to Him. Using not our own mind, but just letting His mind, we're prisoners, as Paul, as Moses. No matter what anyone else says, you're prisoned to that Word. The Holy Spirit leads; He forbids to go places; He forbids to come here; He–He sends you to places you would not go and keeps you away from places that you would go. Do you want a policy? Do you want to make an investment?
Now, there's no place here for, as the Methodist people and most Pentecostals call, altar calls. But that's an altar right where you're setting. The Bible said, "As many as believed, were baptized." And if you want to make a confession, and know that you've been wrong, and you'd like to have one of these policies, and would desire. And I hope you don't think now that I… I hope it don't sound sacrilegious when I say, "policies." I'm only making this statement according to my text. And you're… And–and you want to have Eternal Life, and you want to invest your life in Jesus Christ, if you will, now, think hard.
243 Now, according to science, gravitation holds your hands down. But there's a life in you, that can defy gravitation, and you can raise your hand. And if that life in you tells you this morning, that like that rich young ruler, "Though I've been a good man, or a woman, but I–I don't have that policy. I–I'm sure of that. And I–I want it though." And to the Creator Who's present, Who speaks and knows the heart, and you know He could speak your name right now, but He's doing it to you. "And then because that You're giving me this opportunity this morning, Lord, I'm raising my hands to You. Have mercy, Lord. I will not walk away from this ballroom this morning an empty, dry Pharisee. I accept Your program. I accept Your Life in mine. I'll forsake my life. I'll become a prisoner to Your Word."
"Pray for me, Brother Branham. I raise up my hands to show to God; not to you, Brother Branham, but to God Who's present; I want this investment."
245 Would you raise your hands now, while every head's bowed and every eye closed. God bless you people. No matter if you are… I see ministers. That's right. Be honest. See, ministers are not excluded. Frankly, they are the shepherds; they should be the one take the lead. All right. Would there be another before I pray? Yes, God bless you. God bless you, up there in the balcony. Bless you. Yes, He sees your hands everywhere. Now, sincerely, as you put your hands down, you've made your decision now.
Now, as I pray and ask this great God Who was manifested in flesh, and now re-given to us, in the form of the Holy Spirit, may He come to your heart and settle the question forever, and write "forgiven" across your life's book, and put your name on the Book of Life, and give you Eternal Life and the assurance of the resurrection, because Christ will be resurrected in you. The One you've been seeing moving through the meetings this week, bringing forth and proving, raise the dead, heal the sick, knows the secrets of the heart, foretells everything perfectly, that comes to pass, year after year, and never one failure, It's the Word. And the… Jesus said, "heavens and earth will pass away, but My Word can never fail." That's the reason It don't fail; it's the promised Word for this age.
247 Heavenly Father, the evening time is on. We know, in the Bible, that You were the Tree of Life that come from the garden of Eden. And we know the Seraphims took a sword of Fire, a Flame, and guarded that Tree. 'Cause if a man ever touched that Tree and ate from It, he'd live forever. You guarded the Tree then. But the same Fire, from the Sword, the Word of God, is herding people back to that Tree, that Tree of Life that come on earth so beautifully, born in a manger, over a–a stable where the–the cattle and the sheep had–had bedded and–and laid, and little Jehovah crying in the form of a Baby. Oh, it ought to be the thing that would thrill the heart of every man and woman.
And then Jehovah dying on the Cross, suffering the sins of the world, He didn't have to do it, but He did do it. His grace constrained Him, His love, "God so loved," and His love constrained Him, because this had… This human race had to display His attributes of being a–a Saviour. They had to be lost. There was nothing lost; He made things perfect. But Satan was brought in and perverted what He had made perfect, on the basis of free moral agency they was put. And then He had to redeem it, and He did.
249 O eternal God, come in mercy and speak to every heart here. And may today, as these hands went up, and maybe some who at that time when I asked, didn't have the–the real feeling, but now has, may they sign with the blood of their own life, God, to from this day henceforth, that they are making their investment of their entire life to Jesus Christ and to His Word.
And that great Tree, that great Tree of Life, when He come on earth, they chopped it down by a Roman spear, and hung it on a Roman tree, a cruel, cursed tree, but in there He redeemed a Bride Tree, the Bride Tree, one just like Him. That Eve tree from the garden of Eden, the tree that had fallen, Eve, in the beginning, and Adam walked out with her; now Adam comes with, the Second Adam, knowing that He had His eyes open to come to receive His Eve.
251 And now as the prophet said, the prophet David, said he'll be like a tree that's planted by the rivers of water. Grant, Lord, that the waters of Life will water this Bride Tree in the last days, where all the denominational branches have been pruned by the husbandman. And now, the Spirit of God is living anew in the top of the tree, which come from the heart of the tree, the Word. Grant it, Lord, and may they bring forth much fruit. And may their state be, if it be like Lazarus, if they have to take it that way on earth, knowing that our treasures are in heaven, not of the earth…
Bless these businessmen, Lord, these businesswomen, and all that's concerned. And we commit them to You now, for the furthering of this Message. And You promised, Lord, that You–that You would grant it. And I, as Your servant, commit them to You. And You said, "No man can come except My Father draws him." And they raised their hands, Lord. Now, I give them to You, as love gifts from the message this morning of Thy Word. Keep them, Lord, until that day. You said, "No man can pluck them from My hand. And I'll raise him up at the last day."
May they receive that germ of Life, that only a germitized seed can come up, and the only Words… Every man's word is a failure, it dies, it isn't germitized. But You said, "My Word," which is the Bible, "shall never fail." It's Life. Grant that the Life that was in Christ will grow by the Word this morning, that they have received. I, as Your servant, commit my prayer to You to be answered in this, in Jesus Christ's Name. Amen.
254 The Lord Jesus Christ bless you. I'm so sorry to keep you here at this late hour. Forgive me. But to each one that raised your hands, will you promise me that you'll go to some good Christian church that's filled with the Spirit of God? And be baptized in Christian baptism, if you never have. Take your position, my brother, for Jesus Christ.
Until we meet tonight, God bless you. And the service turned back then to Brother Carlson.