|Let Your Light So Shine Before Men (61-0903)|
E-1 This is just as unexpected to me as it is to you. I come down… I'll have to confess that I kindly played the part of a hypocrite. I come just a little bit late. I said, "Brother Neville, will be preaching when I get there, so he won't say a word to me. He will go right ahead."
When I come in the door, Billy said to me; he said, "Brother Neville's already preaching. You're just in time."
And I said, "Fine."
Walked in, and he said, "I haven't started preaching yet; I was just kinda waiting."
So I thought, "Well, maybe me…" I said, "I know he–how it is to preach two or three times a day." It kinda wears you out (We know that.), especially when they're young like we are, you know. And them young fellows that–that doesn't take long. So we're kinda together as brothers, and we kindy hold our shoulders together, and our hearts together, our notions together, so we can work together for the Kingdom of God.
And we like to be together with you. It's a–it's a grand thing. So I just asked the Lord to give me a little text here or something another, to kinda get it started off. Don't what I'm going to say yet, but we just get started, and then wherever He leads us…
E-2 It is true that we are… I was supposed to begin a six day meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, the fifteenth, beginning the fifteenth. But I don't think I'll be able to get up there at this time, because I have a another appointment I'm going to over in British Columbia. So I–I don't think I'll be able to get up at this time to… They want to organize a Businessman's chapter, Christian Businessman.
I certainly solicit and desire your prayers for the oncoming meetings, that we're trying to prepare for now. And I had an invitation a few days ago, of the–something that sounded good to me. And I don't know whether it's the Lord in it or not. I'll just have to wait and find out.
The Businessmen wanted me to come to Phoenix in January and go to every church, one night, all through the city of Phoenix, and then have the convention afterwards. That sounded kindy interesting to me, because it would give an opportunity for me to get to speak to the churches and to all the ministers.
E-3 Usually, the people think when–about me, because that I so rap against organizations, that I'm against the man, that's in the organization. I am not that, by no means. I'm for the man.
It's just like if I seen a man coming down the river here in a boat, and that boat was full of leaks. And I knowed it, and knowed that boat would never be able to go through the ripples down there, I'd be screaming and condemning that boat, just as hard as I could. But not the man in the boat.
I'm condemning the boat. I know the boat won't make it. And I know the organization won't make it. But I know the man in there will make it, if he will just step out. See?
E-4 But it's like if you had an old car, and you was going up a mountain, and I knowed when you started down the other side you had no brakes. I wouldn't be against the man and screaming against him. It's not him; it's the car that he's in. He's going to get hurt. And that's about the organizations; I think the people that holds on to those organizations as if it was God Himself, and they leave off the Word of God, just to hold the organization.
Well, when they do that, I'm afraid they're going to make a vital mistake. And it's not that I got anything against the individual man, but it's the boat that he's riding in (You see?), I'm sure it won't make it.
The organization will never make it, but Christ will. So just step out of the–out of the leaky boat of organizationism, in to the safe Ship of Zion. And the old Ship that's never failed yet to land in times, Christ. And that's… think it would give me an opportunity to get to speak to those men.
E-5 Now, I thought maybe tonight, it's communion night. And I hear they've had a baptism and going to have another one. I like to come down for–for communion. I missed it the last time, not being here. I missed it. And I knew this was the first Sunday, so I made preparations to be here, so I could be in communion for tonight.
For I truly think that it's the duty of every Christian to take communion. The Bible said, "If you take this not, you have no part with me." And I believe that it is a–a showdown time for the Christians. If we do not take it, we have no part with Him. And if we take it unworthily, then we're guilty of the body and death of Christ.
So it gets to a place, where it keeps the Christian prayed up, so when he comes to communion, we should come reverently, solemnly, sacredly, walking up, confessing all of our wrongs, praying one for the other. Not only that, but we should feel… If there's a brother or sister among us that we feel is just a little bit out of line somewhere, our hearts ought to be burdened for that person on communion night, especially, to see them, that they'll be able to walk up and take communion and not be condemned with the world, because they are our brothers and sisters.
E-6 Now, for the last few weeks, two or three–two weeks, going on three, I haven't done very much speaking. I've just been resting. For this is kind of a little rest season for me before the–the big push.
And hearing Brother Neville speak of these predictions amongst the politicians and men who really have understanding of those things, about an atomic war close at hand… Would last from December to January. Well, it just–have just about right. They'd declare it, and get it started, and then a couple bombs and that would settle it.
So the nation cannot survive an atomic war. We just could not do it. But that doesn't alarm the Christian, or it shouldn't alarm the Christian. We should be ready at any minute, waiting for our Lord to come.
E-7 And oh, many times, see these… This is not taped, this is just here at home. There's no tape, so you don't have to watch what you're saying, about going to someone else or so forth. It's just the home folks.
I'll tell you what I been doing. I been going squirrel hunting. And but, I haven't been doing very good. There isn't too many squirrels. And I'm going to Alaska now, sheep hunting.
And maybe some persons might… A lot of people, you can't say that on a tape or something, because there's many people don't believe in hunting at all. And, but I always noticed, it's them that don't believe in hunting, just bring them a piece of meat, and they're very well satisfied with it. You see?
E-8 And like a lady, one time, told me. She said, "Brother Branham, do you mean to tell me that–that you hunt rabbits?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am." Now, I'm not talking about the precious soul. She's gone on.
And she said, "Oh, that's ridiculous. You shouldn't shoot those rabbits." So then, wasn't–the season wasn't over till the same lady said, "Would you bring me a couple of those rabbits?" She said, "They're the finest things I ever eat."
I said, "Well, I guess that's what I call culture." See?
And someone said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "That lady has culture." I said, "Culture is someone who hasn't got nerve enough to kill a rabbit, but they eat after someone else has killed it." So I guess that's what–that's what you'd call culture.
E-9 Oh, I am… I do not… I'm a conservationist. I do not believe in killing and wasting. I teach my boys, them who are hunting with me, never take nothing 'less you're fixing to eat it. See? Leave it alone. Don't shoot a bird just for a target. See, that's not right. Got a target? Set it up out there and shoot at it.
[Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… put here for that purpose. And to waste it, is just like wasting anything else. It isn't right to do it, shooting animals for–for a target.
E-10 When I go into the mountain change. It isn't so much going up there for the–go hunting. I'm going there to get alone with God. Some of you, if you'll notice, my greatest experience I have is when I'm out hunting, when I meet God. Out of all my experiences, I never had one like I had the other morning, right up here, going squirrel hunting.
I've seen many things in my life, signs and wonders and so forth. But that struck me stronger than anything that I've ever had yet.
Just imagine now, just about the time of the break of day, raining, solid cloudy all over, and see standing in front of me, rising up from, like a cup setting on a hill, setting there, three rainbows, rising higher and higher, until you was so numb all over till you could hardly speak, then walk close to it and hear Him speak and confirm the very message that you're preaching to be the truth. See?
E-11 Said, "Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old. He's just changed His veil." Well, I set studying that; I find out that same word where He changed His countenance in the Greek did mean changing His mask, not exactly His veil but His mask. It come to the place He was transformed. See? That means He changed His way. He was God-Jehovah. And God-Jehovah changed Himself from a Spirit and became a Man. He's the same Jehovah God. Which that was the Father, and this is the Son, being the same Person.
And how… Then He gave me something to speak. If the Lord's willing, I aim to be at that same tree in the morning, about daylight.
And I'm… I hope He appears to me again. I–I ought–trust that He will, so that I'll can know what to do. I got a burden on my heart for the people. As I see the hour approaching and know that people are not ready, and a lot of my loved ones, I don't know what to do or say. And I'm going up to see what He will tell me.
E-12 So be in prayer for me. Then I leave tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday morning. A brother, here in the church, and I are leaving for British Columbia. And I'm going out with a–a group of Pentecostal ministers that's sponsored the trip; it doesn't cost me one penny. And they sponsored the trip and got the guide, and the guide is a Pentecostal brother filled with the Holy Ghost.
And then, I've got some people to baptize in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, some trappers and–and things, while I'm up there, Norwegian trappers and so forth. That the… Through these tapes that's went out, has seen the Light, and wants me to baptize them in the Name of Jesus Christ.
And the head of the Ministerial Association of British Columbia, I'm to meet him next Saturday evening at the Pine Lodge at Dawson Creek, British Columbia. And he is hungering and thirsting to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.
So you see, it ain't altogether hunting, friends. I want to baptize this guide and every preacher that goes with me this time in the Name of Jesus Christ. So you pray for me. See? Which I know is true. It makes my heart hunger and thirst to see God.
E-13 Now, before we approach the Word, and I won't take too much of your time, just teach a little bit out of some Scripture, till we can get a place to find where we can go to praying and getting… I believe somebody's standing and… I–I'm… Pardon me. Did somebody a little closer say, "I didn't hear just what the brother… "? Dedicate his baby? Certainly, my brother. Yes, sir. Bring your baby right up. We'll be glad to do that.
And now, I–I believe in this. Now, so that I might explain it to the people before they come to… Is Brother Teddy… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] All right. If he will come to the piano for us.
E-14 Now, many people sprinkle these little babies. And they call it a infant baptism. Now, if your church does that, that–that's all right. But you see, if they do, it's a order of the church. It is not a Scripture. The Scripture does not support baptizing or sprink… The Scripture does not support sprinkling in any manner. There's no one ever sprinkled in the Bible. They was… Everybody was baptized by immersing in the Name of Jesus Christ.
But now, the babies in the Bible, they brought them up and dedicated them to the Lord. They brought little children and dedicated them to the Lord, gave them into arms of the Lord Jesus.
E-15 It's all right, sister. Bring your little one on. And any other ones, got their little ones, that wants them dedicated, why we'd be glad to do that, make it a dedicational service for our little babies.
Now, Jesus in the Scripture, the… Now, in this church here, we have mixed up organizations of all kinds, some of them Protestant, some Catholic, and even have Jews that come in here, that's Orthodox Jews. That's the reason we strictly call ourselves interdenominational.
And now, so that you would understand, we try at–at this church to be a Scriptural church, just staying with the Bible. Wherever the Bible says anything, we follow that right exactly that way.
E-16 Now, the first church, and all Christians, and you ministers will admit, that this is the history of the first church. We all know that. This is exactly what took place.
I was speaking to a priest (a Catholic priest, lives up here on the road), recently. And he said, "Mr. Branham," said, "are you a–a non-Catholic or a Protestant?"
I said, "A Protestant."
He said, "Then you protest us."
I said, "No, sir. I do not protest–protest the people; it's the–the church, the doctrine of the church."
He said, "Are you… Then do you call yourself Baptist or Presbyterian?"
I said, "No, sir, just a Christian."
And he said, "Well, where do you form your form of doctrine? To be a Christian, you will have to have a basic to form a doctrine."
I said, "That is true." I said, "It's the Bible."
"Well," he said, "that's the history of the Catholic church."
And I said, "Well, is that… The apostles are Catholics?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
I said, "All right. I'm going to admit that that's right." He.. I said, "Then why don't you also stay with the Scripture?"
He said, "You see, Christ gave the Church power to change the Scripture anytime they want to."
"Well," I said, "then you've changed and got it what you got it today?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
I said, "Then I wanted to ask something: Then Christ must not be pleased with it, because upon the first Church He poured out the Holy Ghost. They healed the sick, and raised the dead, and cast out devils, and done great mighty miracles, under the doctrine of the first Catholic church, and it hasn't been seen in the Catholic church since they changed the doctrine."
E-17 Now, let's go back and be original Catholics. Let's go back and be what the Bible says–what they were. Christ walked with those. And that's the reason, friends, that we try (not to condemn any church, any of the people in the churches) but we try to keep it just as the Bible says.
Now, in the Bible there never was a baby ever baptized. There never was a baby sprinkled anywhere in the Bible. But here's where… In the Bible it said, "They brought little children to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and bless them." And He said, "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for such is the Kingdom of God." Now, that's exactly true.
Now, therefore, we bring the little children and offer them up from the mother's arms or the father, to our heavenly Father, and give them in dedication.
E-18 Now, in all deepest of sincerity, my children, I've got two yet, that has never been baptized, as yet, because they've just been dedicated. I got a baby in glory that was just dedicated, not baptized, because baptism is for remission of sins (See?), to show that you have repented. That baby has done nothing to repent for. It's a baby, just born here in the world. It hasn't got no power with coming here. See, and it has no sin.
When Christ died at the Cross, He died to take away the sin of the world. Until this baby has done something to repent for, the Blood of Jesus Christ makes an atonement. But now, the mother as–and father, parents, has the right to bring the baby and offer back to God the baby that was give to them by God.
E-19 Hannah in the temple. She promised. She was barren. She was old. She had no children. She prayed so sincerely at the altar, till the priest walked out and accused her of being drunk. She was screaming and crying at the altar, for God to give her a baby. And she said, "God, if You'll give me a baby, I'll bring it right back to this place and give it to You."
Mother, that's the way you got your baby. God give you your baby. It's just as much as He give Hannah her baby. And now, you're bringing your babies back tonight to the temple, just like Hannah did little Samuel, to–in dedicational service.
Now, we dedicate and give your baby back by prayer to the God Who gave it to you. And I pray that these little boys and girls that's standing here tonight, will be prophets and prophetess like Samuel was of old to the Lord, that you're given them back.
E-20 Now, if the audience will bow their heads just a moment. Most loving and gracious God, we approach Thy throne of grace and mercy this hour, for the generation that's coming after we are gone. These little fellows who stand in their… holding–holded–being holden tonight in their mother's arms and father's arms. They are the seed of tomorrow's race. To be sure that they get the right start, these mothers and fathers are bringing these little ones up here for dedication, to give their little lives over to the living God.
Father, the pastor and I walk forward here and offer these children to You in a prayer of dedication. Bless them, our Father. We pray that You'll bless them to be Your little servants. May they live long happy lives here on earth and see the coming of the Lord Jesus. Not only that, may they live a long, healthy, happy life, and be servants of Yours.
E-21 May You lead them. May You make preachers, singers, evangelists, missionaries for tomorrow, out of these children, if there is a tomorrow to come. Grant it, Lord. We'll dedicate them to You the best that we know how, according to Thy Scripture that Thou has left us, the holy Word, which is written in the last book of the Bible, "God will take out of the Book of Life, for that man who will take one Word out of this or add one word to it."
We realize then, that Bible is the sacred Word of God. And we cannot add one thing to It or take one thing from It; therefore, Lord, we leave It just the way You give It to us, and teach It, and try to live It by Your grace.
Now, as we dedicate these children, as they brought them to Jesus in the days gone by, if He was here on earth tonight in a physical form, these mothers and fathers would rush up to His feet and bring them little ones, and He'd lay His hands upon them and bless them. You're setting at the right hand of the majesty on high tonight, Lord Jesus. And we are left here as Your servants. We'll lay our hands upon them in prayer to You, that You'll take their little lives and use it to Your glory. In the Name of Jesus Christ, we ask it. Amen.
E-22 [The following are dedicational prayers given for children at this time. Brother Branham apparently steps away from the microphone and portions of the recording are not clear–Ed.]
"Bring Them In." What's his name? [John…?… ] This is the little John Meyers, the little one we was all prayed about the other day. Here he is with us tonight. Let us bow our heads.
Lord Jesus, we ask Your…?… Lord, and Your blessing tonight. Taking from the arms of its mother…?… to the on-looking Father. With great expectations for this little one, in the days to come… I now present little John Meyers to You Lord, for Your service. In the Name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate him to God. Amen. God bless you…?…
Elizabeth Collins…?… I know see, but… Little Elizabeth Collins coming to our way. Heavenly Father, make this another little lamb. Make it a servant…?… Lord. Bless her and bless her father and mother in their home. And may she be reared to the glory of God. Grant it, Lord. We give to You little Elizabeth Collins and dedication of her life. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. God bless you…?…
E-23 All right. What's her name? Yvonne Hail? That's it…?… This is little…?… Mother and them just is coming to the church, and then receive the Holy Spirit and baptized. Let us bow our heads.
Our heavenly Father…?… encouraging this young mother and father, her pretty young lady…?… and the progress that she's done. And I ask You now bless these young tender hearts. We give to You this little darling, that You bless her little life, Lord, and may she be a servant of Yours. Bless her father and mother together, and may she always be raised in a Christian home under the admonition of God. We give her to You in the Name of Jesus Christ in dedication. God bless you…?… Thank you. God bless you.
E-24 How do you do, little girl…?… Would you come here just a minute?…?… Right here she comes…?… What's her name?…?… Maybe she'll let me raise her up…?… little girl. Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father, we give Thee this…?… now with its mother…?… and we pray heavenly Father that You will bless her and make her life a…?… in obedience. Bless her father and mother, and may this child be raised in a Christian home in the admonition of God. We lay our hands upon her and dedicate her to You, her young life, for a present to You. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Bless you, sweetheart. Bless you…?…
E-25 What's his name? John…?… little brother…?… Let us bow our heads.
Our heavenly Father, as we give to You this little darling, yet too young, Lord, to know what's going on. But Thou knowest all things. We pray that You'll bless his little life, Lord. Bless his home. And, Lord, may this little fellow live to the glory of God a good long happy life, if possible, see the coming of the Lord Jesus. Grant it, Lord. We dedicate him to You for Your service in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen…?… go home…
Now, watch, the mother's watching very closely, I've been told…?… Little William…?… You're a darling little fellow, bright little young fellow. Let us bow our heads.
Lord Jesus, we give to You…?… the mother and father bring him up, Lord, that he might please You to the glory of God. Now, Lord… Dear Lord Jesus, may they…?… home God bless them and bless them…?… poor representatives…?… but we ask in His Name, in Jesus' Name we…?… for a life of service. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Bless you…?…
E-26 I believe I can hold you…?… Let us bow our heads. Heavenly Father, this bright eyed…?… not knowing what lays down the road, none of us does. But the father and mother, they want her to…?… that the beautiful little gift…?… such a beautiful little…?… But they brought it so that…?… How their little…?… In the Name of Jesus Christ we ask it. Amen…?…
Oh, how… Don't you love little children? If people doesn't love little children, there's something wrong. Jesus said, "Except you become converted and become like one of these little ones, you'll not enter the Kingdom." No one… A father had two little girls back there, yet he wanted to bring them. I told him, "Bring them right ahead." See?
E-27 Except we are converted and become like these little children. You know what? You could hurt their little feelings. And papa and mama knows a lot of times, they get in trouble, give them a spanking. Why, in two minutes their little arms are right around you and forgot all about it. And that's the way we got to be. No matter what goes on, we got to be forgiving and kind to one another, and–and–and be like that, like little children, willing to–to forgive and forget, and–and like that. That's what we're–we're supposed to be.
And then when we do like that, we're coming near to the Kingdom of God. I believe two little girls is kinda bashful. Papa and mama had to walk up with them. Well, that's mighty fine. We just like that. We like bashful girls.
E-28 First time you see one can… Oh, these are them little singers, isn't it? Isn't this the ones that sings? I thought so. All right. Now, what's your name? Ruth? That's very pretty. Ruth is a very pretty name. I like it, like it real well. Now. And what…?… Myers, little Ruth Myers is one of our little singers here. Are they twins? Look a whole lot alike, don't they?
Our heavenly Father, we give to You this little girl. Which the father and mother says has never yet been dedicated to Thee and believed You, in service in the Kingdom of God. We lay hands upon little Ruth tonight, little Ruth Myers, and ask that the power of Almighty God, Who has given her a talent to sing, will continue to bless her, and may her life be dedicated to You, all the days that we're here on earth. We give her to You in the Name of Jesus Christ…?…
E-29 What's the little sister's name? Laura? All right, little Laura. My. Heavenly Father, we lay hands upon little Laura, that's also with a talent in a young age to sing the Gospel. Bless the talents of these children, Lord. And now, their lives is being dedicated to You by their parents.
Soon Lord, they'll be old enough to be baptized. When they begin…?… and really realize what's going on and things, and begin to do wrong, then they must repent and be baptized. Until that time comes, Lord, we dedicate them to You. May You use their talents to Your glory. Use their life…?… a long happy life and serve You. We dedicate this little girl to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God bless you. Go, and may God be with you. And ever bless you in everything you do…?…
E-30 Oh, I–I just think they're so cute. I… My girls is getting to be big now, so I just kindy have to… I used to ride them piggyback. But they could almost give me piggyback now, they're so–so big, Becky especially, great big girl.
Now, let us open up the Word of the Lord unto Matthew the 15th–or the 5th chapter. And we will read just a portion, and then I will draw from this, the Lord willing, a little text for about fifteen, twenty minutes, and then we'll have the communion, and footwashing, and baptismal service. We'll take it to about nine-thirty then, or a little later, to get finished.
E-31 I would like to begin from the 5th chapter at the 12th verse.
I would like to take a–a subject from that last verse there, which is the 16th verse. "Let Your Light So Shine Before Men." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
E-32 We find in the Scripture that there is two places, that's two different men speaking of justification. And one of them was Paul, and the other was Peter: Saint Paul and Saint Peter. And Paul was justifying Abraham by faith. And Peter was justifying him by works.
Peter said that he was justified by his works. Paul said he was justified by his faith. Now, they did not contradict each other. They were looking at it in two different viewpoints. And Paul was speaking of Abraham's faith; that's what God saw in Abraham. And Peter was speaking of his works that spoke of his faith.
So it is written, "Show me your works without your faith, and I'll show you my works by my faith." Now, therefore Paul seeing what, was talking to what God saw. And Peter was talking about what man saw in… Because if a man has faith, he will act like it. His life will show it to others.
E-33 So I'm going–want to speak on that tonight, "Letting Our Light Shine." Now, just for these few minutes, I just don't want to get up here to–just to be seen or to be heard. That wouldn't be right. But maybe, God helping me, maybe we can speak some words of something that'll be edifying to us, that'll help us all of how that we could do better and live a better life. I'm sure that's what we are all here for, is to take correction and to get an understanding of what we can do to make us better Christians.
If I had one thing in my life that I desire, is to be a better Christian than I am. And I'm sure that's the heart's cry of every soul that's here tonight, is to be a better Christian.
E-34 Sometime ago, I was going down a road, and I–driving along at a pretty rapid speed, and watching as I usually do, by myself, driving. And–and it's a lonesome drive, when you're driving by yourself. You can't turn the radio on 'less there's some of these family networks, where you can get religious music; because it's all things that would take the very Spirit out of you.
And wherever I go, after I've gotten a little old, why, I carry a little pad of paper. And when the Lord reveals something to me, I just jot it down. And I've even wrote on my gun stock in the woods with a bullet. And things like that, just to get a thought that is presented to me. Take a piece of tag out of my clothes or something and write on it, something another to keep the message in my mind.
E-35 As I drove along down this road, I noticed a great big beautiful signboard. And usually, you know, they have a lot of things plastered on these signboards. But I never noticed such things on this certain signboard.
Usually they have pictures of–of half dressed women or something another, advertising a certain brand of cigarettes, or–or whiskey, or beer, or something, on the great shining signboards.
But to my surprise, at my first glance, it attracted my attention, because it wasn't all smutted up with something another. The smut wasn't on it. And I gazed back to see it was a beautiful board. And setting in a correct place, just where when you turned this corner, you can't keep from seeing the sign. And to my surprise, it had one word wrote across it, "Hungry?"
Just "Hungry?," that's all there was. Then I noticed a little bitty, letters down at the bottom of the board said, "Three miles ahead. Hungry? Three miles ahead."
E-36 Well, I begin to study about that. The people wasn't so much… Usually if they got a restaurant ahead, they–they're trying to outsell the other fellow. They picture big sizzling steaks and so forth. And when you go in, you usually don't find anything, like they advertise, but just a–an advertisement.
But this seemed to have a different approach. And we know that the day that we're living today, it pays to advertise. And we find out that these people who are making such big progress in business, are–are great men of advertisement.
They–they put it on television. They smear it on boards, everywhere they can to advertise their product. "Smoke this one, not a cough in a carload." and "The thinking man's filter and some other man's paper," or something like that. I thought…?… is in a…?… lively longer with their beers." All the stuff like that, it's advertisement. And they write off a lot of their income tax just for advertisement. And it certainly pays off.
E-37 So, if it pays off for that, I begin to think, then why won't Christianity pay off if it's advertised? Well, I thought, "Then what–what is advertisement?" You've got to have something that is a little different from what the rest of them's got, or if it's just so common, like the things of the world, it'll never attract the attention of the people.
Now, if a man would've been looking for an automobile, he would've went on past that sign. But if he'd been hungry, he'd have been looking for that sign. So I believe that the Christian is God's billboard. I believe that each one of us is God's billboard. And we don't have to do so much of carrying on about as we do, just simply live such a life that'll make the people hungry to be like you.
E-38 Now, I noticed on this billboard, this certain one, it didn't claim any–nothing but just ask a question, if you're hungry. And you cannot sell anybody anything to eat, unless they are hungry. The first thing that advertisement does, the individual passing by has to see it.
Now, the only way that the world will ever see Christ is when He–they've see It in you and me. That's the only way they'll ever see Christ. Their–their conscience are numb to the sunset, to the call of the birds, to the leaves, and–and the grass, and the flowers, and the music, and the message, and so forth, that we enjoy after we have found Christ. But until we get to a place that we display Christ… Now, remember that.
Each one of you, from tonight on, remember you are God's billboards. And you're–you're God's advertising agent. Now, the world will look at you to see what Christ is. So we don't want to smear a big lot of stuff on there that testify about things that we really are not. Let's first be that. And then when we be that, then the world will see Christ in you and me.
E-39 The first thing that any advertisement, the person has to see it. Then the next thing, they have to want it. Now, if they see it and don't want it, then that's different. But you haven't put a vain advertisement out. But if they first have got to see it and then we've got to make it so attractive to them… Oh, I hope we see that, the attractiveness of salvation, what it says to the person. We've got to attract the world to Christ. And the Gospel does have an attractiveness. It'll have it just to those who are hungering for God. It only attracts those who are hungering and thirsting, and that's the ones we're out for. "No man can come to Me except My Father draws him."
But there's so many that the Father has drawed and are hungering and thirsting to find God, and they don't know where to find Him, because those who are supposed to be billboards is so smutted up with the things in the world, till they can't see where they've got any more than they got before they come to Him. They live like the world. They talk like the world. They sing the same songs the world does. They dress like the world, I mean, especially in the female sex. And then they act like the world. They go to the worldly places. They attend the worldly entertainment.
E-40 Someone said to me the other day about a certain minister. And I love the man. There's no doubt but what he's a great man. He said, "But he said that–that you were holy-rollers." (To me, that I was a holy-roller.)
And I said, "Well, I–I–I don't think I am." But I said, "I–I want to be holy, and if the Lord ever called me to roll, I guess I would roll. But I–I want to be holy, anyhow, live a life of holiness, means "cleanness" before God."
And so he said, "Well, that you run out overseas and run like that and made yourself a missionary. No church sent you, and you just made yourself a handmade missionary."
"Well," I said, "If I made a handmade missionary, it would never attract the attention of the world, because that they're not looking for that. They're looking for a Christ."
E-41 And we find out that those men and people that think those things, there is two different classes. God has two different classes. That a man who God uses to stay home, and merry the sick, and bury the dead, and kiss the babies, and marry the young, and so forth like that. Many of those men don't know what it is to pack a sword, and get out there with a two-handed sword on the front lines. But oh, what a battle it is to fight against the enemy.
They get out here and they're smart men, theologians, great men, who can stand with… Put a sermon out that's just so touched up, and also can talk with such language, till that Webster would hardly know what they were saying. They got degrees and college. But that's all right, when you're talking to an intellectual group, that's just looking for a church home.
E-42 But when you get out there on the battlefront, where those men have more than that. They've got to see the power of Almighty God in manifestation, or you'll never sell it to them. They've got to see Christ in His resurrection. Yes, sir. Those men don't know what it is to have a two-handed sword to fights toe to toe with the enemy there.
Where devils and witch doctors and everything else stand there, challenge you on every hand. They ought to…?… that'll say, "If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, let me see the Holy Spirit perform like it did back there." See? Then you can't take a scholarship and do that. It takes the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ to produce that. Yes. And now, that's what hungry natives look for. They've got to see it, and they've got to want it.
E-43 And that's the same thing this nation has got. That's the reason tonight, that we got all these warnings of an atomic war. It's because the nations has…?… this nation has…?… don't know it. And that's the reason that Divine judgment is upon them. It's because that we are in…?…
I seen where our President, Mr. Kennedy… Tom, I believe his name is, Kennedy, that sent down for this–so many officers, down for this segregational war. He sent down four hundred and something, down in the South, to stop this segregational war. And when he ended up a full post, he could send no more, he had exactly six hundred and sixty-six. It was in Time's magazine.
Oh, if the people was only spiritual and could wake up. And see, what it… Six hundred and sixty-six, that's exactly what they had. That's in this month's Time.
E-44 Now, we find out that until people begin to want God, until people begin to thirst… Jesus said, "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Now, you got to hunger and thirst for it.
We're Christ's billboard. And Christ is our Sponsor. And this sponsorship is by Christ, and He is giving us our life to sponsor Him.
Now, what kind of a person would you be if you sponsored somebody? What kind of a person ought we to be if we are–are sponsored by Christ? He gives us salvation. He gives us our healing. He gives us our health and strength. He gives us our food. He gives us our homes. Then we are sponsored by Christ. And pentecostal people who's filled with the Holy Ghost is sponsors of Jesus Christ. They have been sponsored by Jesus Christ and given the Holy Ghost to be an example to the people. What ought we to be today? Where should the Church be today?
E-45 We should be so–in such a condition that would cause all the world to be at–want to be like us. Because men go down the street and say, "There's a man; I might disagree with him on his religious doctrine; but I tell you one thing, that is a genuine Christian." Ought to be women going down the street say, "She may look old fashion; she may not be like the rest of any of these women you see, but there's one Christian in this town, if there's one, there she goes." Because we are sponsored by Jesus Christ. Amen.
Oh, what kind of a person would–should we be if we are His billboards and we're sponsored by Him? Then in Christ is the One where we get our life, and we get our strength. And we get all that we have comes from Christ. He is our Sponsor. Oh, I'm so thankful for that.
E-46 So we must be like Him and be careful what we do, what we say what we do in our daily life, because we are sponsored by Christ. How ought we to walk if we're sponsored by Christ? What ought we to say if we're sponsored by Christ? If someone says evil against us, what must we say if we're sponsored by Christ? We must be like Christ, isn't that right?
Now, now, there's only one thing… Then another thing we must do, not the only thing, but another thing that we ministers must do. We must preach a Gospel that's appealing to the hungry.
Now, if we preach a social gospel, and say that, "Well, you ought to come join my denomination. We got four thousand more last year in our organization." That's not it. "Well, if you come to my church or become a member of my church, we'll see that you're taken care of in the–and when you get old. And you be a faithful member, and it's like an insurance policy. You'd be taken care of when you get old. We'll see to that." That still isn't the attractiveness.
E-47 The thing that we want to do is to preach a Gospel that appeals to a hungry world. Now, how can you appeal to a hungry world, that won't even see where they've come from, who they are, and where they're going, and unless you preach a Gospel, that raises Christ up in a living atmosphere, right here around us now? We cannot do it. There's no way which we could join–we could join the Mason's, the–the Oddfellows, or any other lodge. Joining some lodge would be just as well, but we're to preach a Gospel that's appealing to hungry people, that'll catch those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
Now, how would they be? The righteous shall be filled. Filled with what? The Holy Spirit. The Bible said Stephen was a man full, full of what? Full of power, full of faith, full of love, full of the Holy Ghost. That's what made him what he was, is because he was filled with the Holy Ghost. And he was a real advertising board for Christ.
E-48 When he stood there that morning at the Sanhedrin court, and they accused him. They said, "This man…" and what all he was doing. And he stood alone, just him alone, out before the great Sanhedrin court, maybe two or three thousand Jews or five thousand, standing there with a pointing finger. The Bible said when he walked out there, that his face looked like an Angel.
That doesn't mean he had a light shining from his face; an Angel would be a messenger that knowed what he was talking about. Stephen walked out there, not afraid of death. He wasn't afraid of nothing. Because he knowed what he was talking about. And Paul said, "I know Who I have believed, and I'm persuaded He's able to keep that which I've committed to Him."
E-49 But Stephen walked out there before that Sanhedrin court, like a sheep among a pack of wolves, was hounding for his blood. And they accused him and pointed a accusing finger at him. What did he do? He said, "Men and brethren, God of glory appeared to our father, Abraham, when he was yet in Mesopotamia, before he was called out."
Went ahead and brought down all the history of Abraham, and how that through him would bring in the Gentiles. And when he got down to a certain place, look at him, full of the Holy Ghost. And they waiting to–couldn't wait till they could get their hands on him. He said, "You stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart and ears. You always resist the Holy Ghost. Like your fathers did, so do you."
E-50 He was God's advertisement board. And when they stoned him to death, throwed him outside the city and beat him to death with stones, when he was dying, he raised his head to heaven and asked forgiveness for those who was stoning him, the same as Jesus did at the cross.
Then God seen his little advertisement board being taken down. Stephen looked up to heaven and said, "Behold, I see heavens opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." And he fell asleep in the arms of God. He was a advertisement board for a hungry world.
You say, "Well, how many was there? You said there was maybe five thousand. How many of them got saved?" There was one. He never accepted it right then, but years later…?…
There was one held the coat, Saul, that young Pharisee, standing there, consulted and give witness to his death. But when he saw that advertisement of the power of the resurrected Christ in that little fellow, it never got away from him. That same man Paul, that one standing there that morning, led tens of thousands of souls to Christ. Because one man was willing to give his life to be an advertising board for Jesus Christ. What ought we to do today?
E-51 No matter… We don't have to have big audiences. We don't have to preach to ten thousand. We don't have to even preach. We can be God's advertisement board. How do you know that your life might not start some young man on the Gospel, some of you older men, you old women, start them young men on the field out there to win ten thousand souls to Christ. It was because that he saw Christ in you. It's you presented Christ to him in the simple power of the Gospel.
Yes, I think we need a–a Christ. Yes, sir. Only way we see Christ is when He reflects in each other. I see Christ in you. You see Him in me. That's how we watch Christ. I come to the meeting. I start preaching. I watch the people. You can see whether they're interested or not, just a few minutes. You look over the audience. You can tell who you're boring or whether you're not. See?
E-52 And the first thing you know, you see them standing there hanging on to every word, under expectation. See? I can see Christ reflected in that person, because he's hungering and thirsting for God. And then me preaching the Gospel, he sees the Christ reflecting in me. I see Christ reflecting in him. That means Christ is in our midst then. Amen. Hungering and thirsting…
I watch the audience, how they catch it, say something another, watch what–what effect it takes on them, watch their face light up, full of joy. They're ready right then to receive something. That's Christ. I see Christ reflecting in that person, because the Gospel, the simple Gospel of Christ is taking a hold in that heart, because they're hungering and thirsting.
E-53 And I show the billboard here, an advertisement. What kind of an advertisement? Not to some theology, not to some man-made creed, but to a Christ that…?… that…?… got to…?… more power, when He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen. That's right.
They see that power of God move, watching over the buildings and see it pick out the people, discern their hearts, heal the sick, or reveal the secrets of their heart, unstop the deaf ears and make the blind see. That's when it's appealing. Makes signboard. And the people see it, and they rally, and they praise God. I watch it in them when they're praising God. They watch it out here when it goes this way; so through each other we see Christ reflect His Life.
E-54 Now, no matter how much I could reflect it here, unless it reflects on you too, we'll never understand it; the Gospel would be of none effect, unless somebody was there to take it. There'll be many who won't take it. But the ones that will take it, it'll reflect in them.
There's maybe five thousand that morning at the execution of Stephen. But there was one it reflected in. Even at the end of his life, he said, "I'm not even worthy to be called one of the saints." He said, "Because I've persecuted the Church of God even to death." Give consent to the stoning of–without knowing, was Stephen… It never did get away from Paul. He said, "I persecuted the Church even to death."
E-55 He never got away from it, because he seen Christ reflected. How did Stephen do it? He never performed any miracles, although he knowed that Christ was a miracle performer. He knowed all these powers and things. But what did he do? He just presented his life in such a way, that they seen that it was the power of Christ. Amen.
You may never see a vision. You may never put your hands on the sick person and feel the charge of Almighty God make a skeleton of a man turn back to life again. You may never see Him standing over yonder in three or four rainbows. You may never see His image. You may never hear His voice. But still you can be a signboard, manifest Jesus Christ by a life that's been so pure, unadulterated from the world, not worrying about the dirty things around your life, but a pure thing that'll…?… cause God is in your heart to hunger and thirst to be like Him. Amen.
E-56 You're the salt of the earth. "If the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?" That's right, hungering and thirsting…
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work," see what you do and glorify the Father, what's in heaven. Hungering, signboards, reflecting, wonderful… Yes, sir.
Now, also we don't want to do this. We don't want to make a quick sale out of it. Just say, "Well, I got the glory last night, hallelujah. The whole world…" You can't do that. That's a quick sale. If we do that, the product's not much good. If he just lives good, say, "Now, I know one time, I–I lived good for two weeks after I was converted. I lived two–I lived–I lived two weeks, such perfect life." That's a quick sale.
That…?… this Hadicol we just had, nothing but a bunch of vitamins wrapped up together, and it didn't last but a little while. It finally went up. You ought to be an everyday Christian, every hour Christian, every year Christian, not a quick sale. But let your light so shine.
E-57 If you walk up to a man and ask him to receive Christ, he laughs in your face, don't go off and say, "Well, there's nothing to it, or he would accepted it." No, no. That's a Hadicol sale. We're not selling Hadicol. We're selling the Gospel, the power of the living God, Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. If the world hates you, they hated Christ before they hated you.
For this one cause drove Him to the cross. But we're His representatives; we're His billboards. We advertise Him. You don't have to have a lot of fancy stuff. A lot of Dr., Ph. D., L.L.D., the great sanctified church of so-and-so and so-and-so, that founded way back in so-and-so and so-and-so. We have so-and-so and so-and-so."…?… Make them hungry. Amen.
E-58 A…?… cleaning billboard with Christ wrote across your life, then men will see your good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven. That's it. Don't be smutted up with the trash of the world. Don't try to advertise yourself like… Somebody said, "Well, I belong to so-and-so, this big church. It's the biggest church in the city."
We got an–person here in our neighborhood, up there. They left the little church up here on the highway to go to a bigger church, because they said a better class of people went there, a better class of people. See, they don't know… They're–they're brain becomes dusty. It–it–it's smudged up with the things of the world. A better class of people?
What…?… class a people? A people that's borned of the Spirit of God, if they been so poor, they don't know where their next meal is coming from. That's the only class of people that's worth anything; they're the people that's borned again.
E-59 When Jesus come, what did–kind of a class of people did He have to get? Uneducated fisherman, men, Peter, apostle, the great saint, who was given the keys to the heavens could not even sign his own name. Stunk with fish from the old fish supposed to make the old greasy apron on. Jesus took that class of a man. Today they'd kick him out of the church, if he come in (Right.) to worship. See, the people are looking for class. And did you know the devil lives in class?
Do you know what caused the first battle in heaven, was when Lucifer set up a greater class of people, got a better class of angels, he thought, big a bigger kingdom, a more brighter, shinier kingdom than Michael had. And he was kicked out of heaven. See where class comes from? Stay away from class. The hungry don't want class; the hungry wants food. Yes, sir.
E-60 The cold wants fire, not a picture, a fire. And the hungering, thirsting for God, wants the Gospel and power of Jesus Christ. Amen. No matter how particular it is, how–how un–how unpopular it is with the world, they want reality.
A man that's dying, a man that knows he's got to meet God don't care about any class. He wants to find God. He wants to find assurance, that when he comes down to the river, there'll be somebody there to meet him and to show him the way. He wants something that anchors him now, that knows, "I know my Redeemer liveth; and at the last days, He will stand on the earth."
"I'm persuaded that there's nothing present, that which is future, or shall come, hunger, perils, or anything else can separate us from the love of God that's in Christ. That's what they want, want something that… Not a make-believe, something sells quick to get over here and join this church. I want something that…
E-61 Say, "Well, after I join the church, I will have a consecration service. The pastor will baptize me secretly and take me into the church." No, no. That's not it. That's one of them quick sales stuff. It won't last very long. I want real old fashion conversion, a man or a woman that's willing to walk down and say, "I'm wrong. I want to become like my neighbor. I know…?… walk like my neighbor. I want to be a man like my neighbor." I want to walk so godly before men, that people will think of me the same as they did of Him. I want to be like Jesus Christ.
E-62 Now, remember in closing, I–I–I just keep on. But in closing I want to say this: we're not His salesman; we are His billboards. Don't think we're His salesman. He don't need any salesmanship, just billboards.
I used to work for the Public Service Company. And we had this Mozeall lamp come out. They had a contest on it. Ever who sold the most lamps, got a–oh, a prize and so forth, and a certain percent, they got for selling.
Well, every person, every employee had to be a salesman for these lamps. Well, I got to thinking of something like this, if the product is guaranteed to me. The company guaranteed the lamp to me. Now, if that lamp's any good, it'll sell itself. And if it is no good, then I'm putting something over on the public that's not right. I never did believe in that. I don't believe in these high pressure sales stuff. That's the reason I don't believe it in religion. If I've got a product that's good, it'll sell itself. That's right, it'll sell itself.
E-63 So you know what I done? I went down there, and I said to the superintendent; I said, "Are these lamps absolutely guaranteed?"
"They will not turn?"
"And they're guaranteed if–the workmanship and everything is guaranteed?"
E-64 I seen they made a beautiful soft light. Any woman would appreciate it in her room. You know what I done? I just loaded me up about two hundred of them. And I started around to everybody I knowed. Said, "What do want, this morning, Billy? Didn't I pay my bills?" I had to pack bills.
I said, "No, you paid your bill. I want to make you another one." I'd say, "I got a lamp here."
"Oh, no. I can't afford it."
"Now, wait a minute. Just never asked you to buy it. I just got such a load of them, I–I want to unload one in your house. You just keep it a couple of weeks, and enjoy it, and I'll come back by and pick it up. We're supposed to advertise these things, and just take them out. So I'll just set it up in your house…"
"Well, now, Billy, I–I just couldn't buy it. I ain't got the money to buy it."
"Oh, oh, didn't even ask you to buy it, did I?" I just say, "I just want to set it in your house, let you enjoy it."
"There's no kidding?"
"Now I…?… You know me. I'll come back by and pick it up. I'll pick it up again in two weeks. All right, I'll be right by and pick it up. Only thing I want you to do, is just…?… unload it off the truck, get a place to set it. I've got to unload so many of them here, I–I want to get it off my truck. I–I didn't want you to buy it. I didn't ask you to buy it. I just asked that you set here."
"Well, what if it breaks?"
"That's my responsibility. I'm the one stands behind it." I knowed the lamp would sell itself. I knowed it was a real product. I set the lamp in the house. I didn't pick up ten out of two hundred. I won the contest. Because why? Why? The lamp sold itself. You once see it, and see what it is, then you want it. It'll sell itself.
E-65 That's the same thing. We don't have to have big organizations to sell Christ. We don't have to have highly educated preachers and high polished people, that's mayors, and–and the different things of the city. What we have to have is Christ. And Christ sells Hisself. You put Christ into a man's heart; you don't have to tell him, "You have to join this organization or that one." He's already sold on the product.
Are you hungry? Blessed are they that hunger and thirst. We're fixing to come to the communion table now. For those who has never yet–maybe has never taken Christ in your life… If you are a Christian, then you're hungering… I've been a Christian thirty-one years now. And each day, I hunger more for Christ than I did when I started. He gets sweeter as the days go by.
And I watch these little billboards, as I see them go down the street, watch them out here in the hospital, watch them in the hour of their death, watch them out here when they're at a showdown, watch that little lady, how she holds herself there as a real genuine saint.
E-66 I stood at a counter, here not long ago, watched a little lady. [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… started to turn around and said, "Do you know Jesus as your Saviour?" And the boy ducked his head down and ran out the door. See?…?… There you are. Oh, she didn't know me, but I knowed her. I knowed her. I watched her. She's married now. She married a preacher. And they're just doing fine.
So that's it. You see, I get to watch that billboard. I like to watch it. It's–it–it–it makes me hungry to get to the place to where they're–when you can even eat spiritual food. Because I knowed that girl just didn't belong to church. She was a Christian. That's right. Yeah, you can tell.
The Bible said… Although Peter and John, after they healed that man at the gate called Beautiful… He was lame from his mother's womb. And he didn't have much strength. He couldn't stand up very long. Peter had to hold him up to get him to walking…?… from his mother's womb.
E-67 And when they took him in before the council and forbid them to preach in the Name of Jesus. "And they perceived that they were ignorant," the Bible said, these apostles, John and Peter. They're ignorant and unlearned man. They didn't know any great theology. They were fisherman, couldn't sign their name. But said, "They had to take notice to them, that they had been with Jesus."
What were they? Billboards, billboards. Oh, we could go on. God help us to be billboards. May this Branham Tabernacle here, this little place consecrated and dedicated to God, may it produce little billboards across…