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1This morning I would like to continue with our study of Brother Branham's sermon, Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed 268 "Notice. Now, Lucifer comes in the cunningness and breaks the unity of God to man just like he did in Eden by great temptations of promises of self-power and exaltations.
2Notice what brother Branham is saying here. Satan gets the people thinking about self, he said self-power, self exultation, in other words, look at me, me, me. and that is the day in which we live, it's all about self. But eternal life is not about self, it is living for others.
3That's why we read in Romans 8:5 where the Apostle Paul says, For they that live for self do mind the things of self; but they that live by the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be self minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the self focused mind is enmity against God: (enmity comes from the root word enemy, self minded is an enemy to God) for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that live for self cannot please God. 9 But ye are not self focused, but Spirit focused, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
4So there you are. and that is what brother Branham is showing us here, that the devil's plan is to get you to be self focused and not Christ focused. For if you are self focused you will be focused on personal power and personal ambition, instead of yielding your spirit and soul to God's will.
5Now, this has been the theme of my ministry for the past several years, but sometimes I know my emotions get in the way, and I know that sometimes in driving this home, I hit the nail pretty hard, and it might look like I'm accusing the ministers, but what I'm trying to do is to get you to see how that all these camps, no matter which ones they may be, they began with a Word based thought, some scripture or some quote from God's prophet, but after a while every one of the camps became a personality based camp.
6Therefore, I'm not digging at the ministers themselves when I hit these things, because they are the ones that saw a certain point that perhaps others had not seen and they dug in to the Message or Scriptures to try to prove their point what they were seeing. And because they put their necks on the chopping block so to speak, people got behind them, and pretty soon, what they were looking at initially became blurred as the people got into it and to protect it they organized around that certain doctrine, or that certain ministry.
7They organized on a doctrine to protect their minister. Now, I don't blame the minister, I blame the people for lifting up the ministry above Christ and His vindicated Word. Because even brother Branham was clear that he never wanted the people to lift him up. He wanted Christ lifted up. Paul wanted Christ lifted up. Peter wanted Christ lifted up. Apollos wanted Christ lifted up. And you can't blame Paul, Peter or Apollos for the people lifting them up. It's the people who are to be blamed who do it.
8That is why we hear the Apostle Paul say in, 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I am of Cephas; and I am of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
101 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
11And then we can skip forward to verse 18 and read, 1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
13268 Notice. Now, Lucifer comes in the cunningness and breaks the unity of God to man just like he did in Eden by great temptations of promises of self-power and exaltations. "Why, you might become a bishop if you'll just stay with us. You might come a district presbyter. Why would you go to something like that?" See? That's Pentecostal, the Catholic and so forth. See? A great false promise to man to receive power outside the Word and promise of God. You receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you, not when you become a bishop, or a deacon, or whatever he was. See? But Lucifer's at his job again. Does this church understand that? Raise your hand so that I'll see that. All right, I won't stay with it any longer then.
14269 Breaking apart from the Word of God... See? He did the same at Nicaea, Rome. You know what Constantine give them? You went through the Church Ages. He give... They didn't have nothing, but just Christ. And they set in little old buildings anywhere they could on hard rock floor. You know that, if you have took the Nicaea Council and the Pre-Nicaea Council and the Nicaea Fathers and so forth and the history of the church. They had nothing. But when they had this council and inducted some of the Roman paganism into Christianity and put "holy men" and bishops and so forth, and popes and all of this kind of nonsense... What did Constantine give them? I ask any theologian to tell me. He gave them property. He give them freedom and all that they wanted. And they swapped the Word of God for the wisdom and culture of men. And that's the same thing Lucifer did then, he did in the garden of Eden. And they died right there. The Pentecostal church died at Nicaea, Rome, but to be resurrected in the Bride Tree in the last days.
15Notice what brother Branham is telling us is that what is personal appeals to the natural man, but if you are spirit filled you don't care what you have physically, all you want is the Word of God undiluted with creeds and man's wisdom.
17In the Philippines an entire congregation walked over a mountain, 26 kilometers, just to hear the Word of God. In Honduras, they packed dozens into the back of a Pickup truck to come halfway around the mountain to hear the Word of God, because the Holy Spirit told the pastor that something was taking place down in the town below that he must hear. In Malawi, they came 1500 kilometers packed 70 people to a cattle truck. No room to sit, and it took them three days to travel bunched up in this cattle truck. These people have a passion for the Word. It's live die, sink or drown for them.
18Then when they do come, they are not treated to air conditioning, and running water, and soft cushioned chairs. No, their pews are long logs cut in half, and turned upside down so they can sit on the flat side. No back. just a flat chiseled off log. Dirt floors, no fans going, hot, humid, dusty, dim and flickering light bulbs so you can hardly read your Bibles if you are privileged to own a bible.
19And the overflow is so great that hundreds have to sit outside to hear the word, and some pier through the windows just to get a glimpse, and do they complain? Never. They are thankful to get a chance to hear even a few words, and to get a small glance at the man of God who is delivering the Word to their hungry souls.
20I remember years ago when we first moved to Ohio, and we attended Grace Gospel every Wednesday night because our own church at that time rented our building and we could not get Wednesday night so we settled for Sunday afternoon worship. And my family would drive up to hear brother Vayle every Wednesday night and there would be only a dozen people in that church, and my wife and the two older girls together we made up 1/3 of that number. And Br. Don, Cindy and the two boys made up another third of that number. But that Word was Life to us, and we never counted the cost. We just wanted to be closer to the Lord and fill our souls with the bread of Life.
21But most of us Americans can't even take a couple hours out of our self important schedules to come on a Wednesday night to hear from God. And you get what you come for, I hope you know that. Some say, I haven't gotten anything out of church for the past year. Others say I've drawn closer to Christ this past year than anytime in my life. What's the difference? You get what you come expecting. You expect to hear from God you will. You expect to hear from just a man, you most certainly will. You get what you are looking for, and the Bible says in Hebrews 9:28 "them that look for him shall he appear the second time" Are you looking for Him? Are you expecting Him? Or have you just come to fulfill your religious duty to be in service, and only expect to hear from a man.
22Jesus said in, " Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (and what is iniquity? You know to do what is right and you don't do it. Notice.) 24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:(upon a revelation) 25 And the rain descended, (remember his doctrine shall fall as the rain) and the floods came, and the winds blew, (every wind of doctrine) and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.(for it was founded upon the Only doctrine worth having, the doctrine of Christ.) 26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, (the same doctrines) and the floods came, and the winds blew,(the same winds of doctrine that fell) and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Why did it fall? because it was not founded on the Doctrine of Christ.
23Questions and Answers COD 54-0103M P:66 But it's accepting the Person Christ Jesus, and these other things come right on in and they fit together. Let every member in this body this morning, let this little group of people, if we could pull the curtains down along on each side and every person in here receive the Person Christ Jesus, there wouldn't never be a fuss; there would never be no argument. There'd just be a perfect love. Yet you'd still believe this and believe that, but it'd just be so full of love, you'd just... See? That's it. Now, Jesus said, "By their fruit you shall know them." And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, meekness, gentleness. Now, I'm going to... I'll give you my estimation of what I think that the closest thing to an evidence that a man is a Christian, than anything I know of. You know what it is? It's travail of soul, a person that's always so hungering and thirsting for God. They just simply... Day and night they just can't stand it. They got to do something for God. They're full of love and they're just a soul-travail, just travailing all the time. The Bible said, "He that goeth forth sowing in tears will doubtless return again, rejoicing, bringing with him precious sheaves." Is that right? All those things...
2467b "I'd rather have a church that had such a burden on their heart for prayer that they just stayed at this altar and would be here day and night, and everything else; and in their house, was constantly in prayer, and humble, and trying to get people to come to God, and making calls at the hospital, and visiting the sick, and trying to get people to come to church and do right. I'd rather have that than all the other put together; although the other is right, it belongs in the church."
2568 But if I had to have it, I'd put that first. 'Cause if you've got that, the other will take place. Uh-huh. See? If you've got that, if you'll just get so hungry for God, shouting will take place. If you got so hungry for God, speaking in tongues will take place. If you got so hungry for God, you'll just keep on hungering, keep yourself. Now, you go to seeing yourself getting indifferent, just remember, look out, there's another spirit trying to work itself in there. Stay right before God, humble, with travail of soul. Just be all that good old fashion...
2669 I can prove by the Bible that the first time the Angel of God went over the lands to seal with the Holy Ghost; He only sealed those who cried and sighed for the abominations done in the city: Ezekiel the 9th chapter. Is that right? Set a seal upon the forehead of those who sigh and cry for the abominations that's done in the city. Now, I want to ask you a question. I'll ask you this question. (Now, we'll close just as quick as I can.) What would take place today if the Holy Ghost went through Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Louisville, to seal those this afternoon who would be at home, "God, send a revival, just so hungry for a meeting. O God, look at the sins of the city. Oh, isn't it terrible, God? Oh, won't You please send a revival, God. Send some good preacher, send someone. O Lord, let the Holy Ghost just... "Where--where would He seal? Think of that?
2770 Now, "Well, Brother Branham, what do you mean?" I mean this, and I say this now reverent, walking on brittle threads. I believe that day is about finished; them that's in is in. See? The doors are closing together; you don't have that burden no more. Billy Graham's had meetings all across the country, and Oral Roberts, and all the rest of us. We've cried, and prayed, and prayed, and everything else. But you see, the doors are closing. "Let him that's filthy" I'm quoting Scripture, "be filthy still. Let him that's righteous, righteous still. Him that's holy, holy still." And I believe the doors of the Gentiles is closing together. See? The day, the time, the season is just about over, just a few more to come in. The reason you can't have no kind of a meeting like that, there's no travail of soul. You don't get that burden.
2871 I remember years ago. You always heard them talk about the sawdust trails and things in the Tabernacle. That didn't make it any more, not a bit more. But then it was fresh; God was calling His church. I've seen them sob and cry and lay on the altar all night long. I've went to their houses, and you could hear them when you come up, just in their bedchamber, men and women, crying, "O God..."You'd see them walk through the church, and I'd see the piano start playing, "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross," and the tears flowing down there, you know. [Brother Branham sniffles--Ed.] Walk into this church, then walk down to another church, and hear them there, "There's a precious Fountain..." "O God, save my boy. Save my daughter; she's lost, Lord. Please."
2972 You don't find that no more. What's the matter? The Spirit of God is withdrawn. Jesus said, predicted this, that the love... because the love of many... the love would fail. "That because iniquity would abound, the love of many would fail." See? See, grow cold, go away... The love is dying away. And what they got into, just a form; beat the piano up-and-down real hard, and holler "Glory to God. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord." See, like that, it's just a form. Don't fool yourself (See?), just to fool yourself. See, doesn't matter until we... I go like this, I'm talk...Now, I'm not talking about our Tabernacle; I'm talking about what I find around the United States. It's become just a form, just kind of acting what we used to have. And that travail of soul, it's just about over. O brother, sister, God, have mercy on us, well, God have mercy."
30Concerning what brother Branham said above, I would like to just ask you this question. Where is our passion for the Word of God. Where is our anguish for being right with God. Where is our concern for our own soul, and the soul of our loved ones.
31And to borrow some words from David Wilkerson, "As I look at the whole religious scene today, and all I see are inventions and ministries of man and flesh."
" it's mostly powerless".
"It has no impact on the world."
"And I see more of the world coming into the church and impacting the church, rather than the church impacting the world."
"I see the music taking over the house of God".
"I see entertainment taking over the house of God".
"Obsessed with entertainment in the house of God",
"A hatred of correction and a hatred of reproof".
"Nobody wants to hear it anymore".
"Whatever happened to anguish in the house of God?"
"Whatever happened to anguish in the ministry? "
"It's a word you don't hear in this pampered age. You don't hear it."
"The word anguish means extreme pain and distress."
"The emotions are so stirred that it becomes painful".
"Acute deeply felt inner pain, because of condition about you, in you, or around you".
"Agony of God's heart".
"We've held onto our religious rhetoric, and our revival talk, and we've become so passive".
"All true passion is born out of anguish".
"All true passion for Christ comes out of a baptism of anguish".
"You search the Scriptures and you find that when God determined to recover a ruined situation, He would share His own anguish, for what God saw happening to His church and to His people", and he would find a praying man, and he would take that man and literally baptize him in anguish".
"You find it in the book of Nehemiah, Jerusalem is in ruins".
How is God going to deal with this? How is God going to restore the ruin?
"Nehemiah was not a preacher, he was a career man. This was a praying man".
"God found a man who would not just have a flash of emotion, Not just some great sudden burst of concern and then it die".
"He said, "No. I broke down and wept and I mourned and I fasted, and then I began to pray night and day".
Why didn't these other men, why didn't they have an answer?
"Why didn't God use them in the restoration? Why didn't they have a Word?"
"Because there was no sign of anguish".
"Not a word of prayer."
"It's all ruin."
"Does it matter to you today, Does it matter to you at all, that God's Spiritual Jerusalem, The Church, is now married to the world?"
"That there is such a coldness sweeping the land?"
"Closer than that, Does it matter about the Jerusalem that is in our own hearts?
The sign of ruin that is slowly draining spiritual power and passion."
"Blind to lukewarmness, blind to the mixture that's creeping in?"
"That's all the devil wants to do is to get the fight out of you and kill it."
"So you won't labor in prayer anymore. So you won't weep before God anymore."
"You can sit and watch television and let your family go straight to hell"
"Let me ask you, is what I just said convicted you at all?"
"There is a great difference between anguish and concern."
"Concern is something that begins to interest you, You take an interest in a project
or a cause or a concern or a need."
"I want to tell you something I've learned over all my years of fifty years of preaching,"
"If it is not born on anguish, If it had not been born of the Holy Spirit, Where what you saw and heard of the ruin, that drove you to your knees, took you down into a baptism of anguish where you began to pray and seek God, I know now, Oh, my God do I know it, until I am in agony, Until I have been anguished over it, And all our projects, all our ministries, everything we do..."
"Where are the Sunday school teachers that weep over kids they know are not hearing and are going to hell?"
"You see, a true prayer life begins at the place of anguish."
"You see, if you set your heart to pray, God's going to come and start sharing His heart with you."
"Your heart begins to cry out- Oh my God your name is being blasphemed."
"Your Holy Spirit is being mocked."
"The enemy is out trying to destroy the testimony of the Lords Faithfulness, and something has to be done."
"There is going to be no renewal, no revival, no awakening, until we are willing to let Him once again break us."
"Folks, it is getting late, and it's getting serious. Please don't tell me, don't tell me you're concerned, when you are spending hours in front of the internet or television set",
"Come on, Lord there are some that need to get to this altar and confess. I am not what I was, I am not where I am supposed to be, God I don't have your heart or your burden. I've wanted it easy, I just wanted to be happy. But Lord true joy comes, true joy comes out of anguish."
"There is nothing of the flesh that will give you joy. I don't care how much money you make. I don't care what kind of house it is, there is absolutely nothing physical that can give you joy".
"It is only what is accomplished by the Holy Spirit when you obey Him and take on His heart."
"Build the walls around your family. Build the walls around your own heart. Make you strong impregnable against the enemy."
"God, that's what we desire."
33In his sermon Desperation 63-0901E P:33 brother Branham said, Usually it takes a state of emergency to throw us into desperation. See? It's too bad it has to do that. But human beings are so slothful in their mind, that it takes an emergency, Something arises, and when they do, then it throws them into that desperation. And really, in doing that, in desperation it brings out that real thing that you are. It shows what you're made out of in the time of desperation. It usually pulls out all the good things that's in you.
34You remember the Shunamite woman, it took desperation to drive her to seek out God's prophet. Her little boy lay there dead. That boy that she had prayed so earnestly for God to giver her, and it lay there dead. Heat stroke or whatever it was that took it. And her desperation drove her to God and it drove her to God's prophet.
35And again in Desperation 63-0901E P:79brother Branham said, desperation drove the woman to the prophet, and desperation drove the prophet to the baby. And desperation in both of them drew God on the scene. With love of God and love for his people brought the love of God down and threw faith out on the battlefront, and the work was done: case closed. Amen. That's it. Desperation does it. Certainly. She wasn't going to leave.
36She wasn't going to leave until she got her answer from God. And what about you? Do you want your children saved? Do you want your siblings saved? Do you sigh and cry for the abomination that is being done in the city? Does your heart cry to be ready for the rapture with all your loved ones?