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2 Now to further understand how our mind is like a garden, we shall look further to the book of Proverbs 23:7 Here we read, "For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he." Therefore, a man is what he thinks in his heart. Now, we already have shown that our thoughts are likened to the life in a seed. Therefore, we conclude that a man is literally what he thinks, and therefore his character is the sum of all of his thoughts. "As every plant springs forth from a seed that was hidden in the earth, and could not have began without a seed, so too every action that we do, springs forth from a seed that was planted in our minds as a thought." Therefore our actions manifest what thoughts lay in our heart.
3That is why brother Branham said, the mark of the beast is not a mark on the hand or on the forehead, but rather in the forehead, or in his thoughts, and in his hands therefore in his actions. What he thinks and what he does, therefore identifies that he is a beast. That is your mark.
4Mark of the beast 54-0513 P:74 Now, you see what the mark of the beast is? It's the mark of apostasy. It's a person who just thinks that, "Well, I belong to church, and I'm just as good as the next fellow. Am not I belonging to this church?" And you realize where your church organization that you're depending on, where it come from? Do your realize? The Bible said, "He that worships the beast, receives his mark, or the letter of his name (Now, watch.) in forehead or hand." That's knowledge or deed. That don't mean you got a big tattoo on your face. It don't have to be that. It's not talking of the outward. It's talking of spiritual. You watch him and see what he knows about the Scripture. Listen to him and see where he goes to. "If any man don't have this doctrine, there's no Light in him," the Bible said. See? See? Watch where it goes to. Watch what he does. You say, "Well, I belong. I'm Protestant. Yes, sir. I belong to this certain church. Yes, sir." And on Sunday you just have about enough respect for it to come in out of the rain. He goes down, instead of going to prayer meeting, you'll close up the church and set and watch television. He goes out here and he drinks and carries on and acts like the rest of the world, yet he belongs to the church. Remember, that's the mark of sin.
5In Luke 6:45 Jesus tells us that the words we speak all come forth from the abundance of the heart. And the word heart as we know, means the understanding which is the compilation of all of our thoughts. Therefore our actions and speech are only the fruitage which comes forth to manifest the seed-life within.
7Therefore, the life that is in the seed must become manifest. And therefore, whatsoever life is in the seed will come forth in an outward manifestation in due season. Our thoughts then are the seeds of our actions. And therefore if a man is righteous, it is because he has righteous thoughts. Prov 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
8Therefore, what distinguishes a righteous man from a wicked man? His thoughts first, and then his actions following. Ps 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
9Brother Branham taught us the simple principle that before you can actually do the sin-act in your flesh, you must first think it in your mind. Therefore the Greatest battle ever fought is in the mind.
10Since we know that God created man in his own image, then we must consider that as God brings forth into manifestation His thoughts and desires of His heart, so does man do the same. Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he has executed, and till he has performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. Well, this is the latter days and we are considering this.
12In a natural garden we plant the seeds that we want to bring to harvest. We cultivate our garden so that no weeds will grow in it. It takes work, hard work, but if we sow we shall also reap. The problem is that there is another who also wishes to sow in our minds as well. Jesus tells the parable of the two sowers who went forth sowing seeds. The First was the Son of Man and the other one was the devil. The Son of Man sowed forth good seed which was the Word of God. But the devil sowed his own word seed which brought forth tares or weeds. Now we are likened as to the husbandmen who are responsible for this garden. We are supposed to act as good stewards of the good seed which is the Word of God. But if we are not really interested in what kind of harvest we shall reap, then we do not cultivate the good seed. We just let whatever grows to grow. And this results in weeds taking over the garden every time, and then it is a real mess to straighten up. Why? because weeds always outgrow the True planting of the Lord because after all they are wild. And we know that “many more are the children of the harlot than she which has a husband."
17The Bible tells us, "As a ma thinks in his heart, so is he." Therefore we are the product of our thoughts just as any fruit is the product of the seed that was planted in the ground. That is why we are told to cast down any thought that would exalt itself against the Word of God.
21And again in Luke 3:8-9 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. You claim to be a believer in the End-Time Vindicated Message of God, and yet where are the fruits that show it?
22If we are righteous it is because we think righteous thoughts. If you have your source from God then you will not be able to help but to think God thoughts. Remember the parable of the two sowers. They both sowed seed, but the Seed from the Son of Man was called he good seed. And we see that a good plant will only produce a good fruit.
23Now I believe that everything you are, even your Character comes forth from the garden of thought that is in your heart, making you what you really are. Brother Branham told us that when we are born again, we receive everything that we will ever have need of to bring forth the image of God in us.
25Therefore, this morning, I want to show you how the garden of your mind affects every thing about you, not only does it affect your character, and the molding of your character, but it will even affect the circumstances that you enter into daily, which circumstances are used by God in the shaping of your character into it’s final product that God has predestined for you. Therefore, every trial you endure, every test that God puts you through, comes about as a result of the Seed thoughts that lay within your heart.
26In 1 Peter 4:12 we read, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory (His doxa, his values, his opinion, his judgments, his mind) shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
27In other words, if you suffer because of stupid things you have done, don’t be surprised either. But regardless if you are tested and suffer whether as a Christian or for your own shortcomings, all things still are working to shape and mold your character. And that is the glorious thing about being his son of daughter. He will not leave you nor forsake you. And all things are working together for your good, and in all testing’s whether you deserve it or not, you are getting it to shape your character to be like his.)
2816Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
30In fact we see in 1 Peter 1:7 that not only are we ordained to these tests, but we are also ordained to pass them. WUEST TRANSLATION ....In which last season you are to be constantly rejoicing with a joy that expresses itself in a triumphant exuberance, although for a little while at the present time if perchance there is a need for it, you have been made sorrowful in the midst of many different kinds of testings in order that the approval of your faith, which faith was examined by testing for the purpose of being approved, that your approval being much more precious than the approval of gold which perishes, even though that gold be approved by fire-testing, may be discovered after scrutiny to result in Praise, Honor and Glory at the time of the Revelation of Jesus Christ;
31Therefore, we can say that every trial that you go through and ever time you are put to a test by God and you can not see beyond the circumstance which surround your life, just remember that these are all a result of the seeds of your thinking and they have spawned forth from the garden of your own mind. Remember, what Paul told us in the book of
32Romans 8:28-31 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
33And so if everything about us is already predestined from God, then the very thoughts we think, He knew before the foundations of the World, and He knows not only what you have thought, but what thoughts you will think too. Then we can see the relationship of these thoughts that we have and how they influence our growth into the image of His Son.
35And as we receive each and every new experience, our minds begin to examine the circumstances in our lives with a more mature understanding. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, because I understood as a child understands, because I thought as a child thinks, but now that I have become a man, I put away from my mind childish thinking." And so we see that our mind is in a constant growth pattern, in which our garden or thoughts are constantly being upgraded so to speak, or renewed by what life experiences we go through on our journey of becoming.
36Paul tells us in Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
37Notice he says we should glory in our tribulations, or testings. Now the word testing is translated from a Greek word which means those things that seem to bring forth pressure upon us. We always think of these trials as coming from an outward source, but we are told by Paul that we should glory in these things, because he went on to say, "knowing that tribulation works within you patience; and patience; experience which is character, and character brings forth an earnest expectation, and having an earnest expectation makes us to be not ashamed, because we know that the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts or understanding by the Holy Ghost which God has given to us by the receiving of His Word.
38Therefore we can see how God uses circumstances to bring forth His Character and Grace in us, and we need to understand that since our character development is dependent upon receiving every outside stimuli that will produce in our thinking, the thoughts of God, thus we can see the dependence upon these stimuli in order to bring us into fulfillment toward the ultimate goal of receiving the very mind of God. Therefore, our reactions that we show toward these circumstances is an outward indication as to where we stand in our development toward the end-product of our being.
39How we handle each circumstance will depend upon what stage we are in, in our progression toward our ultimate character. Then what appears to be a test at one stage in our progression, will not appear to be so at a further stage in our character development.
40Circumstances are just like taking a test in school. What would appear to be a very difficult thing for us in the first year of schooling, would not even appear to be a test after twelve years of schooling. The further on in our progressive state that we move toward the image of the Son of God that we are conforming to, the further developed will be our response mechanism that we harbor in our mind set or seed garden of our thinking.
41Don’t ever forget that Jesus who came forth in the image of the Father the bible tells us, “he learned obedience by the things that he suffered.” Therefore every circumstance that we face in life is ordained to come forth because it is there to bring forth growth within our own mind or thoughts into the very mind of Christ.
43But when we come to the place where we realize that circumstances that come forth in our lives are a direct result of our own mental state, we will begin to appreciate their use and purpose in our growth toward the finished product that God has destined for each one of us.
45Anyone who has for any length of time, been a practicing Christian, and who has practiced self control and self purification or sanctification, will have noticed that the alteration in their circumstances have been in a direct ratio to the alteration in their mental state. When a man purposely and earnestly makes an effort to remedy their personal character defects, and makes a swift and marked progress toward bettering themselves in those areas of weakness, they pass swiftly through a succession of unpredictable changes.
46Therefore, the soul attracts that which it secretly desires, and also that which it fears the most. It not only reaches the heights of it’s desired aspirations, but it also falls to the level of it’s un-chastened desires, and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives what it longs for.
48Sooner or later each thought seed we have sown in our hearts will have to take blossom and become manifested in our lives as an action or deed. And each action or deed will bear it’s own fruit in terms of opportunity or circumstances. As the Scripture tells us, good thoughts will bear good fruit and bad thoughts will bear bad fruit. That is why we must come to the place where we begin to monitor and control what we think and believe.
511 Peter 2: 20-22 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
52Here we find Peter tells us that if we suffer for Christ sake it is acceptable with God, but if we suffer for what we have caused, then we should take the consequences patiently, knowing that all things are working together for our own good. As you can see, you thoughts are seeds that must by their nature of being a seed, bring forth into manifestation the nature that is in the seed.
531 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. You see the testing and suffering are only for a season, or until we come to the image of the first born son.
54Since the life in the seed will make itself known, then when the seed thought does give way to a life experience in the form of an action or a deed, it will then cause other things to happen in response. Therefore as Peter said, don’t be so shocked and surprised if your own actions cause circumstances to happen which you may feel you can not control. You really can control them by not causing them to happen in the first place.
55We all are aware of the principal in physics that says, For every action there is a reaction. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful how we do things. If we really believe that everything we sow will result in a reaping, then when we sow hateful speech, or criticisms, we should not be surprised when the hateful speech and criticisms come back our way.
56Therefore I hope you can now see how the outer world of circumstances actually shape themselves to our inner world of thought. Both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors which make for our ultimate good, or work together for our good. That is why we learn by both suffering and receiving blessings. Each of these outward stimuli helps to further our growth toward that image of Christ that we so long to be in our souls. Therefore we should be able to see that our actions are only an expression of our thoughts. Circumstances do not just happen, they grow out of the conditions of our heart.
57Just as our spiritual lives are progressive where word must be piled upon word to bring forth that Glorified body, so too do our circumstances add to our suffering in order to help our character to grow and develop. Every situation we face in life is like the piece of a large puzzle that once fitted together gives purpose and meaning to each of them. The circumstances and conditions we face each day are only reflectors which help us to know how far along in our development we have come. Therefore, you may not always receive what you pray for, but know one thing for sure, you will always receive what you have sown for.
58Therefore our desires and prayers are only gratifying to us when they are in harmony with what we are actually sowing in the recesses of our mind. When we fight circumstances, we are only revolting against the effect of what we have been sowing. We see the circumstances that are without and we may not like what we see, yet they are there only because we keep nourishing them in our minds, and we keep feeding and thus preserving them in the Garden of our Mind.
59We so often wish to improve upon our circumstances, but yet we are so unwilling to improve ourselves. And that is why our circumstances remain the same. If we shrink from crucifixion of self, we shall never achieve our hearts desire. A man who wishes to have a better life style, must be willing to work for what he wants. Too many people live at the poverty level and wish daily that they could rise above it, and yet they are personally unwilling to do something about their condition other than gripe and complain about it. You are the reason you are what you are. What you have sown is what you are reaping in your life.
60You don’t get a close knit family by the luck of some draw, but you get a close knit family by hard work and constant communication. Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results. Jesus told us that a Good tree can not produce bad fruit. Therefore if we think good thoughts, we will have good actions which will produce good results.
61Matthew 7:17-19 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
65You make the commitment; you are the one who must sow, and then God simply honors the Law or Reproduction that says, every seed will bring forth after it’s own kind. I have seen too many people complain about their lack of victory, yet they do not sow victory, but they sow defeat.
66From brother Branham’s sermon E-17 Hour Is Come 51-0415E He said, “Your right mental attitude towards God's Divine promise will bring any promise to pass. Now, maybe you don't believe that. You say, "Well, my faith is weak." I wouldn't confess it. See? Don't let the devil know that. Always say, "I have good faith. I believe God with all my heart." See? Don't testify nothing of the devil. And when you accept Him as your Healer, don't never act like you're sick or crippled any more. Believe that you're healed. Take Him at His Word. Then it's all over on God then and not on you. See? As long as you take God at His Word, then the Word will produce what It promised to do.”
70From brother Branham’s sermon Serpent Seed 58-0928E he said, The Bible said that we were predestinated to the sons and adoption of the sons of God before the foundation of the world. Then when God slayed the Lamb in His own thinking before the foundation of the world to prove out His attributes, what He was, when the Lamb was slain, we were slain with It. When the blood of the Lamb was caught in His Own mind back there before the foundation of the world, mine and your names were written on the Book then. All in His great thinking. He's infinite. If He didn't, why did He permit it? 41 Which is the strongest, as I said, the Saviour or sinner? Which has got the most strength?
71Then the stronger had to permit the lesser. And He only does it for His glory. When He made Lucifer, He knowed he would be the devil. And He had to let it be there to show that He was the Saviour, the Christ. He had to let it happen that way. Now, don't the Bible say all things work together for good to them that love God? So what are you scared about? Let us be up and doing with a heart for any strife. Be not like dumb driven cattle, had to be begged and persuaded. Be a hero. I like that. Stand up. 42 A little poem, that used to help me so much when I was a kid, goes something like this:
73In the Roman Emperor's days; Who heard a coward croaker, Before the castle say: Oh, it's safe in such a Fir tree, There's no one can shake it. 'Oh, no,' said the hero, 'I'll find a way or make it.' There you are. That's right.
7443 If this Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever... It wasn't a easy thing, when I stepped out of this Tabernacle that day, and everybody was telling me this would happen and that would happen. "You'd be considered a fanatic and thrown into jail. And all of the medical association would get against you." But God said do it. The Bible said He was, and now a revival fire burns in every nation under the heavens. That's right. Stand up to it.
75How do you tackle your work each day? Are you scared of the job that you find? Can you stand right up to the work ahead of you? Have you got a tired and empty mind? (I hate that stuff.) Or do you stand right up to the work ahead of you, Or is fear ever running through it? If so, tackle the next you find, By thinking you're going to do it. Stay with it. Certainly.
78So energetic thoughts will crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry, which will solidify into circumstances of courteousness: Gentle and forgiving thoughts will solidify into protective and preservative circumstances. Loving and unselfish thoughts will crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for others which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches.
79The Bible says, "To have friends you must show yourself friendly" and in order to show it you must first think it. If you keep sowing the same particular train of thoughts, be it good or bad, it cannot help but to produce its results on the character and circumstances in which you live.
80Isaiah 58:11 “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose water s fail not.”
82Therefore, everything you are, even your Character comes forth from the Garden of thought that is in your heart, making you what you really are. And the Garden of your thoughts affects every thing that is already in you, not only affecting your character, and molding your character, but even to the circumstances that you enter into daily, and the way you handle those circumstances. And God uses those circumstances in shaping of your character into it’s final product that He has predestined for you.
83Therefore, every trial you endure, every test God puts you through, comes about as a result of the Seed Thoughts that lay within your heart. Therefore, every thought seed that is sown, or that we allow to fall into the fertile soil of our minds, to take root there, will produce it’s own, after it’s own likeness or nature.
84Sooner or later each thought seed we have sown in our hearts will have to take blossom and become manifested in our lives as an action or deed. And each action or deed will bear it’s own fruit in terms of opportunity or circumstances. As the Scripture tells us, good thoughts will bear good fruit and bad thoughts will bear bad fruit.
85Therefore Loving thoughts create an atmosphere of help, and trust, which crystallize into habits of Grace, kindness, and charity, which creates further circumstances of friendliness and cheerful benevolence, and reciprocity on the behalf of those who are the recipients of your loving thoughts.
86Paul spoke of our Love which is our outward manifestation of our revelation as something which is reflective of your character inside. 1 Thessalonians 1: 4 Wuest "Remembering unceasingly your works produced and characterized by the Faith which is yours, and your toil which is motivated and characterized by your divine and self sacrificial Love, and your patient endurance under trials which finds it's source in your hope which rests in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of God, even the father."
87Therefore, if we look at what motivates us, it is our faith which is our Revelation, or the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul said it motivated his works and toil, and his patient endurance. And when that Faith is expressed it produced an outward work we call love.