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1 Shall we pray. Gracious Heavenly Father, we want to thank You again for Your love and mercy and grace extended to us. You've given us health, Lord, in a good measure You've given us strength, and above all You've given us spiritual perception, we believe You have, Lord, for this last day, this last hour making us wise unto salvation. You have said in Your Word, Lord, that the wisdom of the wise would truly increase in the last day, the rest would just run to and fro. They wouldn't know just what they were doing, but there would be a people who would have direction from You. And we believe that's our lot today, Father, we don't want to put ourselves where You haven't put us. But we believe by grace, Lord, You put us in that particular position.
So, help us, Lord, to heed all the admonition there be a Word and to live according to truth. Give us that strength by the Spirit of God within us in Jesus' Name we pray. Amen. You may be seated.
2Now, we've been dealing with questions that have come up especially concerning the ministry, and some having to do with the congregations. And so we're going to continue that. [Bro. Vayle goes into local issues]
So, getting back to the thought then of questions, we've been sort of been given some questions. I brought some up myself, raised some. But we have a couple this morning, one which has to do with the White Throne, and I'll see if we have time to cover it. But there's a question here, and if you have any more questions, please be sure to get them to me. Because when I close off on questions it's a long time before I ever take them again. So we want you to have the right to ask anything you feel that you need information on.
Now, the question comes in:
"Bro. Vayle, am I correct to say that you have set forth a principle in the Church, which I believe you called a 'Word base principle', wherein you teach the Word and water It by constant repetition and enlargement. And then as far as you are concerned, you can but wait to see the life of that Word manifest Its Life in the hearers."
Well, I'm going to read that again to you. So, because I think that is pretty well what I have tried to do here.
"Am I correct in saying that you have set forth a principle in the Church, (in other words something to go by in our Church here,) which you call (maybe it's loosely called that, but it's none the less,) a 'Word base principle'. And the teaching is that the Word of the Lord is preached here and watered by constant repetition and enlargement. (That's what Bro. Branham did, and the apostle Paul did.) And then as far as you are concerned, you can but wait to see the life of that Word manifest Its self in the hearers."
3Now, that's so far so good. Now the rest is, here is what I'd like to know:
"What steps can we take, if any, as we try to lie in the Presence of the Sun and ripen, as Bro. Branham told us to? Are there active steps of faith that we do our best to use based upon passive faith?"
Now, that's a pretty good question. And maybe it's got a good answer. I hope so, because it's directed to what we try to do here, rather than as I've said so many times tried to ride herd on a congregation, we use the Word of God.
And it's like a farmer, if he's got a good piece of ground, and the Bible speaks of it to Israel and said, "Look, I've got a choice piece of property, I took out all the rocks, I took out everything offensive, which would not be good for what I am going to plant in the soil. And I've properly fertilized it. I got good plants, I put them in there, and they were grape vines." And he said, "When it came time...and I watered it, (he said,) I gave it lots of fertilizer and I gave it lots of water, and lots of sunshine, but when the time came for the grapes to appear, they were sour grapes. They weren't nice, ripe, rich grapes."
4Now, Paul talks about the people as being God's husbandry, and he as a faithful farmer, or a steward entrusted with a husbandry of God, he did those things which were necessary from his view point, and God's view point, so that God would then bring the rain and the sun, and the people then should be able to produce a fruit. Now, that is the logical sequence of how a Church is built up in the grace of God and manifesting good Christian fruit as we should manifest.
Now, of course with that we understand problems can arise, because as long as we are here in the flesh, we have a tremendous battle going on in our minds from various pressures that are in nature, that are in nature covers the whole gamut of human (you know) pressures, peer pressure, and all those other things. So that many times, there might be required a certain amount of discipline. So that's where the question then will be coming from.
What can we do, or what are we supposed to do, as well as receive the Word of God? Believe It intensely. Expect that Word of the Life in the Word to come forth in us. And what are we going to do about it?
5All right. Now, first of all, I want to read a little Scripture here to sort of settle us down, it's found in Micah 6:6-8.
(6) Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
Now, Bro. Branham...you'll read in the Scripture where Paul said, "Though I present my body to be burned, and I don't have love, (he said,) it profits me nothing." [1 Cor 13:3] So there's lots of things you and I can do. And since this Church is not a holiness church per se, it is not Pentecostal, it is not Methodist, it is not Nazarene, it is not some Church of God, and neither are we extreme like the Baptist and some of the Presbyterians and all, who would not believe in any type of discipline, but just kind of more like a club, which not trying to hurt anybody's feelings, but I came out of some of those churches. So I know what I'm talking about. But just trying to be good Christians. As we say, we don't ride herd on people, so what does God want of us?
If we're not too (you know,) to be pressured into things. But something's to be working in our lives, and thereby coming forth.
(6) ... shall I come with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
(7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands rivers of oil? (In other words, just begin giving Him things, and giving Him things.) shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
In other words, can you just go hog-wild as it were? This is extreme. And people are extreme. I'm sorry to say that, but if you don't know that by now...we've had a lot of miscarriages. We've got a lot sitting right here in this church. That's not insulting, that's just the truth. You know that people are extreme. Now, we're going to get down to what is not extreme. What is the norm? What is the thing in here? Now listen:
(8) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
6Now that's all the way from flying high to coming right down on a level where you exist normal Christian lives. Now, let's look at It again. What is it? Not all these things up here. This is not what counts. It is nothing extreme, and yet it is very extreme to do this, because where do you find it?
"He has showed thee, O man, what is good; and what the Lord wants from you." Now, we want to know what God wants from us, because we've had all this revelation. We had a prophet at the end-time. We've had much given to us.
"Do justly," be a just person. Weigh things carefully in the light of the Word, and then stand with It to the best of your ability.
"Love mercy." That's the good one right here. "Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy." [Mt. 5:7] So learn to love mercy. To learn to be bearing and be forbearing. To bear when it comes, and forbear to retaliate. See? You got to be careful there.
"And to walk humbly with thy God." And that's a very good instruction for this hour when you realize that God is Present in a way that He has not been Present for a long, long time. He's here to bring a Church to perfection, to raise the dead, to get us out of here to the Wedding Supper, then come back to the Millennium.
7All right, these verses to me spell out exactly what Bro. Branham was telling us as to how to conduct ourselves now that we are living in the period of Rev 22:10-21, which Scripture, or which wording of Scripture God Himself has already brought to pass according to our understanding of the prophet Elijah.
Now look it, in [Rev] 22:10, It says,
(10) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
In other words, Rev 10:4, "the seal up the Book" is now opened. Whoever opened It, people are going to argue. People today still don't believe It's opened. They don't believe a prophet came. Those that don't believe aren't looking for a prophet. They're looking for some 'hocus-pocus', 'mumbo-jumbo', hit or miss, that they will call this is God by the pure imagination of a persuasion of verbosity, an intellectual theology from the Book. Instead of any proof that God ever did it. Now you do with what you want with it. But I'm not interested in hocus-pocus and hit and miss, or some pedantic person who say, "Well, I'm really satisfied now, because a certain explained all about prophet." He explained it the way that man wanted it. I just want one sign the man was right.
Do you want a sign that I've got over two dollars in quarters? Come on up here and look at them kid. [some laughter] These are little kids. I've got ten bucks in my pocket. I don't bluff. Neither does God. God had better open this Book in a way that we had better know, or God isn't God.
For It says, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed unto us, belong unto us and for a thousand generations that we may do all the will of the Lord." [Deut 29:29] God doesn't bluff. The Book must open one day. We believe It's open now.
8Now look it, that time which signifies the literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom, It says, [Revelation 22:]
(11) He that is unjust, (will) be unjust still: (it's over. You miss it, and you're gone.) he (that's) filthy, (will) be filthy still: he that is righteous, (will) be righteous still: and he that is holy, (will) be holy still.
And then He said:
(12) And, behold, I (will) come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
And that's exactly true, because the Bride alone gets out of here living, everybody else gets burned by the fire of God in the Great Tribulation. This is not my interpretation, this is what the Word says, and this will be...what a prophet who was vindicated by God said. We know that, because he quoted Mal 4:1 on it.
(13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
I am the One that was in the Garden of Eden that stopped the meeting of the Tree of Life to become immortal in that condition, I am now ending it, because their period of probation is over. There will be those now who can now come to the Tree of Life and become immortal. I'll read, I'll prove what I'm talking about, because the next verse say,
(14) Blessed are they (that wash their robes, not do his commandments. That is not in the Greek. It's not in the Aramaic, it's in nowhere. It's an absolute wrong translation.) Blessed are they (that wash their robes,) that they may have right to the tree of life, and enter (it) through the gates (to) the city.
So therefore, when you talk about the Garden of Eden restored, you immediately talk of the Holy City which we're going to. It's the same thing. God has as an end for us, not to take us back to the place where Adam and Eve were and live one thousand years, (which we will,) on this earth here, but He's going to take us to the "Holy City which has foundation and the builder and maker is God." [Heb 11:10]
(15) (And) without are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Now, if you think that isn't fit for burning, you tell me why you want to save all the old corn cobs, and you want to sow wild oats in your field, and chickweed and everything else, you don't. You say, "Let's get rid of the stuff and burn it."
(16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify (my messenger, to testify to) the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
(17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
(18) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add (to) these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
(19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Now, concerning this revelation which we have here that I speak of, that we believe that Bro. Branham brought us, the excitement of the Seven Seals and the Seven Thunders; the excitement of their revelation will never leave us, for they constantly stimulate us. But after those highs of excitement in the heavenly places of inspiration which we received under the prophet, we have to stop flying so high. In other words, passive faith now takes on an active faith. This which I read is absolutely passive. You and I could beg and scream, try everything we could, as a matter of legislation in this church, and say, "Well now, Bro. Vayle will lay hands on you and we will pray steady for forty eight hours as least, and then we'll go into chain prayer. There will be somebody praying all the time until You open this Book." No way could you twist God's arm. No way can you get this. This is by the divine grace of Almighty God, Who shut the Book. And there is only One Who could open and shut, and that's God. There's only One Who can shut and open, and that's God. There's only One who can bind and loose, and that is God. So this is passive faith.
This is the one place in history, especially American under the economist Friedman who said, "There's no such thing as a free meal." I contradict that. This is the one free-meal. Passive faith. You can have it, turn it away, it's your business, it's my business, what will we do with it? But there is a place to walk.
10Now, thinking on what Bro. Branham said, which he told us, "Just be real sweet, kind, Christians." He said, "Look, if you're waiting for the Lord to come (and you are,) and you're pounding nails and you knew He was coming tomorrow morning, you pound nails all that day long."
Now if you knew He was Coming at eleven o'clock, or two in the afternoon, you get up in the morning and start pounding nails till two o'clock. What's he trying to tell you? Just live simple lives like Micah said. Just be down to earth Christians.
11Now, what Bro. Branham said concerning his ministry, I think with Micah, we can see a very perfect picture strangely in James 5:7-20. Now, this is right after he speaks of the end-time where the financial system, and the manipulators thereof are going to run into trouble with God. Let me read It.
(1) Go to now, (you) rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Let's just stop a second here. We'll get this picture covered. Don't worry I've got time. Have you noticed that in spite of more of less unemployment, the GNP is up, the dollar is coming up, everything is moving up. There is a pessimistic attitude of everybody engaged in financial circles, and they're saying, "Recession has started. Depression is on. The Reagan Administration is horrible. Everything is rotten." They're weeping and howling already for the miseries that shall come. They're already doing it. Back in '29 it wasn't that way. It was over. Everybody was happy. They were flying high until they jumped out of windows to fly low. Today they're deliberately bringing upon themselves, because they know it's there. It is there. Let's not kid ourselves. This is going to crash. It's got to go down, because the money isn't there. You've got two small a group of people controlling the money. And Mr. Reagan as I've mentioned at times is very foolishly allowing companies to buy up companies and they're not creating one job, they're destroying jobs.
12Now let's keep reading.
(2) Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. (No prediction, they're going to be exposed.)
(3) Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. (There's a terrible depression coming. Terrible time yet.) (You) have heaped treasure together for the last days.
They've joined "house to house," [Isa 5:8] and land to land, which is a hundred percent unscriptural. I'm sorry, but it's unscriptural. And the White House and this government can proclaim they are Christians, they are not Christians, at least aware Christians. If they do they ought to read their Bibles. And this is not for the Republicans, this is for the Democrats, the Republicans together. You know the Democrats reminds me of a marriage?
Just like two people I knew down in Florida. Every time she got on the ball, he'd drag her down. Every time he got on the ball, she'd drag him down. And I'm just like...Jack Bell said concerning a couple in Texas, he said, "What you need is a couple of colts 45, take ten paces and blast each other." [laughter] He said, "Lee, they thought I was joking. They laughed out loud." He said, "I don't know if I was more serious in my life or not..." [loud laughter] See, they'll never get together on this.
13Now watch: [James 5:]
(4) Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of (harvest.)
Now there's something there about the farmer, he'll soon be out of existence.
(5) (You've lived in pleasure on the earth,...
Then who's going to raise your food for you? Importing apples out of Brazil cheaper than growing them in Buffalo, New York. America importing forty percent of her food, which was a drain basket. Well, it's coming, and here it is. Let it come, praise God.
(5) (You) have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; (What nation has been wanton with its resources? Physical, which embraces all these things out there in humanity. What about Vietnam? And you) have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
(6) (You) have condemned and killed the just;...
Show me where the people that have been attacked and destroyed by criminals have a fair shake in the judicial system? But the criminals get more than the fair shake. You put them in lovely prisons with beautiful TV's and good food. And people on the street that are decent can't even get a home.
(6) ...and he doth not resist you.
14Now watch: here's what I'm aiming at. This is our hour, when the Seals were opened, we're ready for the little return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(7) Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and (has) long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
(8) Be (you) also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
In other words, just...see what he's saying here? What's left to do in this day? You just got to learn to gear down. "To walk humbly before God, to show mercy, do good." [Micah 6:8] That's all. Don't twist, just twist you minds this direction, that direction. You know the truth now, gear yourself down.
(9) Grudge not one against another, (don't fight and split) brethren, lest (you) be condemned: behold, the judge (stands at) the door.
(10) Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
(11) Behold, we count them happy which endure. (They're prosperous.) (You) have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; (what God does at the end for you,) that the Lord is pitiful, and tender mercy.
15Now watch: here's what I'm driving at. This is answering your question.
(12) But above all things, (we're coming to it,) brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any oath: but let...your nay, (be) nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
(13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
(14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
(15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
(16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that (you) may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
(17) (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
(18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth (his) fruit.
(19) Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
(20) Let him know, that he which (converts) the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
16Now, I want you to notice in the 7th verse which is the main verse we really started with, the others are commentary in this hour in which we live. It says here: "Be patient for the coming of the Lord." [Jas 5:7] Which signifies the Resurrection and the Rapture of the Church at this hour. And then the word in there is the Presence, which brought us a Church order according to 1 Th 4:16, and1 Corinthians 15.
And in verse 9, It talks about, "the judge." So therefore, when you talk about a judge you understand that not only a judgment set, but you're getting decisions and an understanding of the Word.
Then in verse 10, It speaks of the prophets.
And in verse 17, It specifies who the prophet is. He calls him Elijah, is what you're looking at.
And in verse 11, It said, "You count them happy which endure, and we'll remember the patience of Job, and the goodness and tenderness of Almighty God."
17Now, bringing this together with what we read in Rev 22:10-21, which we did read awhile ago, this draws us to 2 Pet 3:3, and I'll bring it all together for you. And he said,
(3) ...scoffers (are going to come.)
(4) (And some will be) saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
(5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
(6) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
(7) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, (that is, exist today,) by the same word are kept in store, (that is, liken a store house, they're stored up, they're preserved,) reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
(8) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that (a) day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years (is) one day.
(9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering (toward us,) not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.
Now, what I've done is to connect that verse with that [in] James 5:11, say,
(11) (Beloved), we count them happy (or prosperous) which endure. (You've) heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
And I brought this over here to where Peter is saying in verse 4, and this is for the sake of your patience now: "Where is the promise of his coming?" Now, to me that doesn't mean, "Where is the promise of His Presence?" He has already come according to an understanding which we in this Church have in the form of the Holy Ghost in a Pillar of Fire with a prophet. Who brought us a Message which was vindicated.
18Now, what is the promise not of the Coming or the Presence, but what is the promise that comes out of It? See? What is that promise? The Message raising the dead, and getting us out of here.
Now, in between the time of the Message and the raising of the dead, and the getting us out of here, which we are now focusing upon the understanding that we are to get out of here before all the trials, and all these great things that happened in the three and a half years of tribulation come, your patience can wear thin. Like people...some preachers especially don't like the fact that I always talk about the Presence of the Lord as we understand It here. And they say, "Well, He's Present, so what?" See, it's wearing thin. Now don't let it ever wear thin. See? That's what you've got to watch for.
19Now, listen to what he says here in Peter 3:
(4) ...Where (then are the results,) since the fathers fell asleep?...
Look it, how long did it take for the virgin to bring forth the Body of God that He might incarnate Himself in It, after Isaiah said it? Hundreds of years. How long did it take before the flood came as said by Noah? Hundred and twenty years. Patience can wear thin, because people don't realize the prophets themselves were examples of suffering. How do you think that Isaiah felt? He died, the promised unfulfilled. How do you think Noah felt hundred years as a target of men? How do you think then we will feel? "Well, we're going to feel it not too good ."
So, you look at the prophets, their pressure, because they brought the Word of God which seems so unsatisfactory to man, and so dubious as to its fulfillment. So there's a big lesson being learned here. Gear ourselves down. How do I do now that I have a Message from God? The first thing that you learn to become very, very patient. That what It says right here. You've got to do that, you haven't a choice in it. See? Because everybody is literally steaming and screaming for the result.
20It's like we dedicate the babies here. Woman has nine month period of gestation in that time. Frankly I wouldn't want to be a woman. Men have it very easy in this respect. Women are prone to all the internal troubles that a baby can bring about. Varicose veins is one, some never get over it. Hemorrhoids which can be terribly, terribly painful. Never, never get over this again. Prolapsed organs, ripping and tearing, because doctors aren't proficient, or their bodies are not the way they should be. "Aw, that's not nice."
But you see, as we said this morning looking in expectation for a realization, brings about a nature in the woman to bring forth the baby. Even when it comes with hard times. And sometimes a second one is worse than the first, and the third is worse than the second. It isn't first one come hard, from then on easy. You just don't know.
So we see here in our waiting time, for our realization. Since we know this is we see, a prophet with a Pillar of Fire, as it were, the conception going through the gestation for Christ to be thoroughly formed, and to come forth is certainly not an easy breeze, or a very easy matter. See?
21Now, notice what he says here in James 5, at this particular time at verse 13.
Are you afflicted? Pray.
Are you merry? Sing.
Are you sick? Get some prayer. Have somebody pray for you.
Are you having troubles in your life? Tell the person...
In other words, I'm going to caution you. Many people take this word 'fault' and say that means 'sin'. Naw, not every time. It simply means 'a place in your life that you know you've got trouble's.
I don't know why the great Jimmy Swaggart didn't know this. He could condemn everybody, but he didn't take his wife in confidence or one person, and say, "I'm plagued with this monstrous devil that's driving me crazy." This is a word of caution what we see in these televangelists, and in preachers and everybody else.
When we have problems, don't run around the world and broadcast them. Don't tell any one person outside of perhaps a very one special person that can keep the mouth shut, and has enough love of God to pray with you, till you pray through, because you can.
22Now, what am I saying here in answer to the question? What is the great thing this Church must learn to do? Pray. But as Bro. Branham said, "Not to twist God's arm and get answers, but to let God twist your arm like Jacob did." Jacob wrestled with God, till God overcame him. We must learn to wrestle with ourselves, until we learn that "Greater is He that is in us, than we ourselves."
We got to be like the poor old girl that was...she was a lush and she was a good one. I guess she didn't have her corn-cob pipe, but she had her quart of rye. And one day she met the Lord face to face and she got wonderfully saved. But she knew she was on very risky ground. And one day she came face to face with the old problem drink when somebody offered her a snort. And she looked, and she said, "This is too tough for me Mr. Devil, I'm just going to ask Jesus to do it for me." And you know, that's what happened. She didn't take a snort of liquor.
23See, we have a theoretical understanding, and it's not just theory. No, no. It's more than that. It's a passive faith understanding of truth, "That greater is He that's in us, then we ourselves."
"I can do all things through Christ Who gives me inward strength." [Phil 4:13]
"I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, and yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." [Gal 2:20]
And you can see right here what I am saying in my own little vernacular, "Greater is He that is in me, than I am myself."
So therefore, we must learn by prayer, and literally the prayer is the struggling of where we are on our knees and our faces before God, to get off of our faces and knees, and meet the issue in the power of God, knowing it's going to be tough. That's the greatest battle there is.
24You know, many a man has finally gone to a court. I've said, "If they throw me in jail or hang me, I've got to tell them." Some they did throw in jail, and some they did hang. But, "Greater is He that's in you, than you yourself," and that One will see you through.
As Paul said, "I have been crucified, but I'm still living, and yet not I, there's Christ living in me. I'm living and Christ is living. And Christ's life is bigger than mine. And I'm now I've learned to live it through faith in that Life that's in me."
You know, many times we just pray. Hey, you know what? I don't think there's much sense in me saying, "Now Lord God, the great One that we know is descended on earth in the form of the Holy Ghost in a Pillar of Fire. We know that You are here. We know that You're a great God. And I'm asking You Lord now to strengthen me in my temptation, because you know as sure as I'm alive, that I'm going to smoke a cigarette if You don't help me." Ain't going to do you a bit of good. I think you should talk to the Christ within you as Bro. Branham said. Talk to the Christ in you.
"Now Lord, you know me better than I know myself. And I sure do know myself. I'm just going to snitch a smoke if You don't help me." Now, you're going to have to wrestle with yourself. But you keep calling upon Him to do it.
We do not have an inner strength my brother, my sister, we have an inner Strong One. An inner strength sounds like something that you've been handed. Well, that's true in a way, but I'm talking about a life.
25So, we're looking at Jas 5:16,
(16) ...pray one for another...
Do you know It says right here, that if you...(and before I say this,) look, where could you find in Scripture where God ever asked one man to stand alone? He either stood with him or had somebody with him. The Bible said, "When two sleep together, they get warm. One sleeps alone, by himself, he just gets cold."[Eccl 4:11] The Bible said, "It's good for two people to walk together and one fall down they'll pick him up."
All right look, we weren't asked to win the battles by ourselves. But wouldn't it be nice to know, and I'm not trying to get like Wesley, and I'm not trying to get anybody else, I'm just saying this is in your lap, you do what you want with it. You can have wives, can have husbands, husbands have wives, you can have friends or anybody else. If the burden is too great for the home, you say... "Look, I'm having problems here and I'm afraid one day they will surface." And I can see times when they have surfaced and we sort of kept the lid on. But one day the pressure will build when the lid could blow off. "I want you to pray with me, and I want you to pray for me," And then you know what you've got to do? You just maybe got to keep coming. And say, "Are you still praying for me? Because I'm having an awful time."
Been prayed from three years over this Candida that I had. I've been to doctors everything else. Not a trace in my blood anymore. The terrible effects I had have gone. I'm going to tell you something: people all over the world prayed for me. And I thank God they did. And I covet people's prayers more than I covet anything else. I don't need their money. I don't need their happy smiles, though it's certainly nicer than their awful frown, if I had to settle.
I can tell you this: prayer is the greatest thing in this world. And praying for each other and becoming a praying Church, not Wednesday night and Sunday's up here pounding and all, Look, I've been all through that, that's Pentecostal. You can have it. I'm talking of sincere prayer for each other. Where we love each other. And people need help they're going to pray and be prayed for.
26Now, It says there that this is the key to healing. Now Bro. Branham categorically said, "Oh," he said, "for the day when the gifts of the Spirit are put on the shelf, (so to speak,) and the sweet Spirit of Christ comes into the Church and everybody is healed." Then let me tell you: put the sayings of William Branham with James and you come up with a Church that majors in the sweet Spirit of Christ through prayer.
And you know something? There's nothing greater in this world to be on your knees and know that know that you've heard from God, and know the answer's there. And you don't have to beg or try to twist His arm, it's just getting lower and lower in our own spirits, and more and more in His, so that He can tell us, "Look everything is alright, it's going to be fine." We just don't wait on God enough. And now we can have healing. And It says:
(16) ...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
27Elijah was a man like anybody else. But when God's Spirit came upon him, heaven and earth moved. Fire came down. I want to tell you something: William Branham was like Elijah. And we saw by perfect faith, we knew in that meeting there're people were healed, by the fact because that man prayed to God.
In other words, we've seen the ministry of Elijah come back to earth here. We've seen the power of God demonstrated. We know that this is ours, based on the fact of proof. That's one of the great principles we've taught here. We're letting it go by the board, we've got to come back to it. Once you have proven something, there is no need for further proof, just that's it. That's it. We haven't come there, but we can come there, and prayer is an initial factor and a great factor.
28All right. Here we are told by James not to cover up, or gloss over our failures. Now let's understand this, because you want to know the answers to the questions. Is there something we can do? We pray. But here's something else. James says, "Do not cover up your faults and do not gloss over your failures."
Our lapse from a Christian attitude, we must be careful how we lapse, because we can lapse from it. Our lapse is from a Christian attitude are there many times, but if we recognize them and admit it, and pray, that is the big thing.
Now, what are you looking at here? Specifically, we are looking at each other. Why? Because we are still in the place of brotherly kindness and not in love, though love is here to consummate. But this age is brotherly kindness.
Bro. Branham said, "Brotherly kindness is characterized in the age by prickliness amongst the people, but if someone really needs help they knelt down and then come to help the person."
So, brotherly kindness, this Church is full of it. We're prickly. I'm prickly. I'm not going to stand up here and tell you I'm not prickly about things. I have to watch myself, because I'm aloof. It's not that I don't love people. I do love people. I'm very gregarious you know that. I go down town and I tackle anybody in a conversation. And I know that I shouldn't even do it. Because they might not feel like talking. I try to say something cheerful, something upbeat. But you know, I'm still inside I'm very aloof. It's a lack of a giving over to a thing.
29The apostles said, "We will give ourselves to prayer and to the Word." Now, to do that it means all the tension up here in the mind and the forehead and the scalp, and all the tension down here in the heart and the solar plexus goes. Because, you are going to give yourself over to it. Now, you maybe a little edgy about whether you can really flow with it. Because you know you're fallible like I am. But you got to believe it's going to work. The apostles knew it would work. We're going to give ourselves to prayer, and to the Word.
Now, what I'm trying to bring you to is this: we're prickly people. And I find it very hard to give myself in a complete submission to people. Not that I expect people in a position I have to submit to. It's submit yourselves one to another. In honor preferring each other. Being more gentle. More giving, bearing, forbearing. See? And we're praying all the time, because we're sure going to have to, believe me.
30Now, so, here we're told by James not to cover up, or gloss over failures, our lapse's from a Christian attitude, but to recognize them and admit it and pray. And that's prayer as in contradistinction to everything else. It means real prayer.
Now here is the point I want to get across: the Church is like, (our church this here is like all of the churches) all of us have a weakness (we're talking about it,) and our failures, we're all human, we're all prickly to a degree. And we all kind of hold ourselves in a certain position which is not bad, but we got to get more and more into the Divine flow of God, and oneness with each other. And we ought to recognize them...now let me read this again.
Now here is the point I want to get across: This Church is like all of churches, all of us have weaknesses and failures, and we ought to recognize them, but not excuse them, or judge them so much as to constantly pray for each other with an eye to believing we are all going to make it together.
31Now look, there isn't one family here that doesn't have problems. Everybody's got problems. And those problems, (I'll be honest with you) they spill over into the congregation. Now why am I saying this? Because I don't want anybody in this Church that especially comes here think for one minute that the Church doesn't know pretty well as a whole everything that's going on in your homes. And if some of those things are not right, the Church knows it.
Now, we're not here like...as I say a bunch of holiness folk, and I'm not against them. God bless them, they're fine people. We do not ride herd on you. And nobody in particular is going to come unless gross immorality is there, and the thing is going plumb to pot. Will somebody come and say, "Hey, the chips are down kid, you're going to face it." But understand this, and start to be at home with it, that everybody here we're small enough to pretty well know problems that exist. Parents, children, relatives, in-laws, the whole bit. Anybody can stand up here, or sit there and easily surmise by observation what everybody would not like to have brought out, simply glossed over. And nobody is going to stand up here and call anybody by names.
32Now, why am I saying this? To make you feel at home in this respect: It's something like the old saying, "There's so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to point the finger, or the kettle to call the pot black."
In other words, we have the saying here that God is not put us here to judge each other, but to help each other. See? And when we see these things, remember, people see them. The same as you and I know them. And nobody wants to hurt you. But nobody wants to see your families going down the drain, or seeing somebody in that family hurt, because you spout off too much. Or you cut too much. Or you won't stand up and be counted. Or you let sin drift in and out of your doors.
Now, you sitting here know that I know what I'm talking about, and you know who I'm talking about. Don't look at me funny like that. We're not stupid. None of us are stupid. I'm just trying to help you with answers here, because we're all going to get there. This Church is going to get there. And it's not going to get there by beating you over the head. No way. It's only going to get there by the Word of the Living God, that you understand that Word, the implications, the problems that arise in us as human beings, and we look at them and we say, "Yes Lord," and we pray about them, and we become helpful within ourselves, and without ourselves, and together we become one people. That's what God said in His Word that He wanted. "They may be one, as You and I are one Father." [Jn 17:21] Oh my, what a tremendous...
We don't look at that and say, "Hey, I don't think we'll get there."
We say, "By the grace of God somebody's going to get there and we're the somebody."
I tell you frankly, I don't know about you, I do know about you, pardon the expression, I do know about you. I've seen monumental strides in this Church. And I've had great strides in my own heart and life. Brother/sister listen, what we believe in absolutely is going to take us to Eph 4:13-16, which the full Headship is in Christ, Christ governing a Church body and that Church responding every member under the love of God. Prickly brotherly love, is giving way to the love of God through the Life that is in the Word. Now, let's understand that, because there's no understanding apart from that in my book .
33All right, let us face it, unpleasantness arises in every home sometime or another. Not all the time. And in some homes even the church more time than it should. It is husband many time against wife, or wife against husband. Problems as well as children as I've said, this opens the door often to second marriages. People can't get along. They should. They should learn under every speck to get along. Bend over backward, see what God will do, but they blow it. They won't be patient, they won't endure. Bro. Branham himself even said, "Look you couldn't get along, don't get back." Then what happens? Second marriages comes along, then children are involved.
Like old John Harris one day told a little joke. This woman and a man got married and he had kids and she had kids. He said, "Come quick Molly, (he said,) your kids and my kids are killing our kids." [laughter] There were problems come along.
34Now look, there again, because these things do happen, what is the norm of the church? The norm of the church first of all knows, that if these parents have anything, and they say they do have something if they come around here, they will be trying to solve the problems. So you pray for them. Now, what if things get a little out of hand?
All right, well you've got to do something about it. Because if we know the problems we can pray from our hearts. Now in some cases, if not most cases, who is to blame is not the real issue. See? The real issue is not blaming somebody. The real issue is not the problem. The real issue is getting the victory. Yeah. Everybody blows his life. Come on! And yet, if we lived it over again, we'd do the same thing. So you got to remember we are a bunch of flat tires a lot of the time. But God can pump us up again. He said, "The righteous man can fall seven times, the Lord will raise him up." [Prov 24:16]
So, the real issue is not who is to blame, but getting the victory over the issue that is caused, which means there's a disturbance in here, and that can only be ruled out through the "greater that's in you, than you yourself." And that's where the people must pray more and more, and their faith will begin to come through for those people, because if their faith on their own could stand, they wouldn't need you prayers and mind.
Look, I've explained it many times. Call the elders of the Church. Why do I need the elders to pray for me, if I could pray for myself and I've got faith? The thing is, I'm sick. The elders are not sick. They can say, "Hey, Lee old boy, no problem kid." Sure they don't have any problems, I've got the problems. My problems are between me and God. God is obscured. Human nature, I'm sorry. Too much of the time
35Now, It says, "Their prayer of faith is going to raise me up."
I say, "Boys, hop to it, you pray." I haven't seen too many elders.
Years ago I told you, I used to pray for the sick, I don't anymore like on the road and all, made a regular ministry out of it. I would say to some folk, I'd say, "Will you please pretend you're in Africa or someplace else. Pretend you're not even here. Let me pray for you with my faith." You should have seen the results. Woman, shake with palsy, [makes a slapping sound] instantly stopped. Eyes blind her, halfway couldn't see what...come right along. People suffering over years, instantly healed. Why? That's where you and I come in, recognizing "Lord, I don't have this problem, but I know that this problem shouldn't exist, and I have that faith for this person."
So, the issue is to get the victory. We pray for each other. In most cases, something friendly and considerate can be done to ease the tension and try to bring about a happy situation by doing something nice. Ever stop to think how much you can help people by being nice?
36I've told you different times how...Star Daly, he was kind of (you know) half of a favorite of mine. He was a fellow converted in prison. The old lifer in there when Star Daly got wonderfully saved, and he was treacherous. I mean, he was completely demon possessed somehow. They could whip him, hanging him up by his thumbs, anything else, he just came back ready to kill. Till one day, the cell broke open with a vision of Christ, a holy light filled the whole room. Star Daly's life was changed. So he said to the old lifer, he said, "What should I be when I got out of here?"
The old lifer said, "Well, how many things would you like to be."
"Well," he said, "There's three things." I forget what they were. One was which was an author.
He said, "Tell me Star, which would be the hardest to do?"
He said, "Be an author."
He said, "Be an author." The man became an author.
He tells of this woman Mrs. Bean. She had the biggest tongue in the city, not just the entire block. Was the kind that could lick the jam off the door knob thirty feet away. [laughter] And she was malicious, and vicious. And one day they saw her coming up to his gate and coming in. And they said, "Oh God." So they said, "Well, we'll fix her."
They brought out the best china, gave her the nicest tea, the nicest tarts, (you know,) tea scones and crumpets. Patted her on the back, made her feel like a million. She grinned, she loved it, she said, "I'm coming back."
"Oh Lord." [more laughter] Thought he got rid of her by being nice.
37She came the second time, oh they were just smooth, like the crystal sea, polished glass and all that. And one day Mr. and Mrs. Star Daly said, "Look, that's not the way Christ would do it. We're all show off, we're all pretentious. Let us love her. They began loving the woman, within a few months the woman was saved. And from being the most malicious gossipy woman you ever saw in your life, never doing anybody a favor, always running to harm, no one could visit more hospitals, sit by more beds, nurse more people, open more hearts and arms than that woman did.
What did it? They no longer looked at the problem, they looked at the victory. And they helped by their prayers and their attitudes. I've seen it in this Church already, by your writing letters, remembering birthdays, anniversaries, sending cards, buying gifts, because you wanted to make somebody feel a little happier in an unhappy situation.
This is what I call visiting the sick in prison. And this is what I call doing those things in Matthew 25 advocates that we do. The secret is to be understanding and helpful, and not ignoring the situation, or (you know,) somehow putting it out of our minds as though we could just gloss it over and all. But to meet it head on with prayer, fervent prayer in combination with the Spirit of God working in us to see what we might do for the people that they might have help.
38Now, let me say to those who get help.
"If you've had a kindness shown, pass it on."
"It was not meant for you alone, pass it on."
"Let it wander through the years, let it wipe another's tears, till the last in heaven the deed appears, pass it on."
You got to keep doing these things, I must do them myself all the time. If something nice is not being done, we have no guarantee that something harmful isn't being done. You see? It's like they said years ago, the devil always finds chores for idle hands to do. You know. Used to sing a little song:
"Be careful little eyes, what you see.
Be careful little ears, what you hear.
Little tongue what you say,
Little feet where you go,
Little hands what you do."
Now remember, all those things are controlled by an ego. And remember, God has an ego also. His ego, is what we want to look up to and listen to.
Now, as I said the Church is already doing this. It has that harmony that I think is wonderful and is coming along just great. As Bro. Branham warned us, let us keep that way no matter what comes, let us let nothing disturb us, but keep pressing on together.
39Now, even the mildest correction is often taken as an insult or an intrusion of privacy. Ever see churches like that? Aw, they're all over the country. No doubt we have a little problem here with (you know,) sore thumbs and things. Even the mildest correction is often taken as an insult, or an intrusion of privacy. The courts would say that.
Yet we are responsible for each other and to each other. And there are times we can be helpful in encouraging people to deal with personal problems so as to gain a greater victory. And that's what we're after. So, we should share our needs which the great ones are spiritual. But we must have the knowledge of the Spirit of God to do this. It is not always easy to be a real caring person, and the Bible admonishes this to be so.
40Let's go to Romans 15, and I'll conclude with a couple of verses here through this Scripture where It says here 1 and 2.
(1) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Oh my, I've seen that happen in this Church. It happened when I was sick. I appreciate that.
(1) (Let them) that are strong (those that are strong) ought to bear the (weaknesses) of the weak, and not to please themselves.
(2) Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
On other words, we don't please ourselves, and at the same time we're not trying to be men pleasers. We are acting on the Word of God to do the right thing, good thing, kind thing, the humble sweet thing. And remember, we're trying to do everybody good. It says in verse 3,
(3) For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
41Now, let's go to 1 John 4:20, because we're being told something's here that are (you know,) good for us.
(20) If a man say, I love God, and (hates) his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
All right. We talk about the love of God, and the love of God then being the true love of God would motivate us, "because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost," [Rom 5:5] would motivate us to the Christian experiences of not simply tolerance and of observation, but of doing something sacrificial about the condition. What is it costing me to help my brother and sister in this Church. If it's not costing anything, they're not getting any help. That's all there is to it. Let's be honest about it.
So, the love of God is certainly exemplified as we love our fellow beings. And we can begin to check ourselves, how much love have I really got for God?
42In Galatians 6:
(1) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, (you) which are spiritual, (In other words, you haven't fallen in this trap,) restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Do you ever get these telephone calls like I do, where somebody really is there to set the world in order? And boy, if anybody needs setting in order, he does. It's usually a man, not a woman. It's almost always the same man. [laughter] Well, what do you do? You just take that part of your daily cross and walk on. You know there's nothing you are going to tell him, nothing you can do for him, because...what can you? Pray, that's all. There's nothing left but pray, and pray you do. Here again, now:
(2) Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (What's the law of Christ? To love.)
(3) ...if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he (deceives) himself.
In other words, if we ever come to the place where we think that we have arrived, and we have become true examples in a sort of permanent way, our thinking blurred by believing we are not perhaps invincible, but we're pretty close to, because (you know,) we're really something. That's entirely wrong, because you can fall.
(4) But let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
(5) For every man shall bear his own burden.
Now, It tells you right here, there's two things: It tells you each one is obligated to grow up and come to a strength in his own Christian reality that he positively knows right from wrong, attitude and action, has demonstrated through the exercise of this type of walk, that he is capable of helping others, and does help others. And you are obligated to do it, and I am obligated, because if we don't do it, we're responsible to God for not doing it.
The Bible says, "For him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." [Jas 4:17] "And whatsoever is not of faith is sin." [Rom 14:23]
So therefore, put them together, have real faith, all of us together that we can and will help people.
43I saw in myself, you might not think this is so great, but I thought a great step is when you... when I see the brothers all get together and those that aren't even with us, haven't been with us very, very long, they want to come and work and they do come and work. And I say, that's good, because I know there's brothers have an interest of commoners, what happened? Something else comes up. You watch, that brother and sister will begin to do good. See it all the time.
You see, to do good, if the question comes up, my passive faith, hey, that's great. But you mention active faith. What about it? Well, I'm telling you some of the things that everyone is obligated to do. I'm obligated. You're obligated. How can I see anybody in this congregation need food, clothing, shelter, and then say, "Well, God bless you, and not do something about it?
Now, if that person deliberately will not do the things that he knows that he should do, there comes a time when you say, "Look bud, you're on your own, you better start hustling." Because nobody is obligated to take care of anybody in this church, outside of a widow, who is a widow indeed, seventy years of age. And yet thousands of dollars have gone through this church. Sometimes we have as many as seven, eight thousand dollars in the benevolent fund at one time. You wouldn't get a church eight times this size have that kind of money. You know why? Because they just don't want to help people. No, brother/sister, you got to be...we must shake ourselves. But we don't shake ourselves like somebody coming to a pecan tree, and a pecan tree is full of nuts, and shake the tree till the nuts fall down. We are not nuts, except for God.
44So, we don't take it. We don't take advantage of people. We don't want to be taken advantage of, but we all want to take advantage of God, in the sense of the Life that's in His Word in us. And we demonstrate in us, because it's being done around here, and it can be done. And we can see the problems that arise, and we do have our problems, and we can see them corrected until they're no longer problems, they are victories.
Now remember, war is a long time. There are many battles and skirmishes, but always keep the eye on the victory. America to date, (well, except for the Vietnam fiasco,) has been a victorious nation, but her internal squabbling's and folly have brought her down. With Vietnam being a part of it until America is bringing herself to disaster, because it will not pull together. They will not pull together.
Let this church take a lesson this morning. We want to know, hey, what are the simple things we can do? Keep our eyes open to help people. When we see a need, begin praying. Pray earnestly, pray sincerely, pray a long time necessary.
We got people that... well there's Bro. Ron Zimmermann up here in the northwest area, I pray every day for him, that he and his wife will be able to sell their place and move. They want to move Cincinnati. Why? Because they want to be where the gospel is preached. He works for Delta Airlines. He can move there, there's a work there.
People want home churches desperately. There are young men in this congregation who need wives. I have...you say, "Why, hey, there's a lot of women out there." Not the kind of women that God wants for those godly men to have. Ever thought of praying for them?
"So, my marriage wasn't so good."
Who's fault is that? That's yours. I have great love and respect for the young people here. Their marriages to me and the little children are pure inspiration. Maybe I'm too old to know better. One time I was too young to know better. I'm back to childhood, too old to know better. But I love it, I appreciate it. And you know my heart, I wouldn't stand up here and tell you these things as a bunch of lies, I'm not a flatterer. I know flattery will get you somewhere, but in the long run it doesn't pay. So I wouldn't flatter you up here. To tell you the honest truth I'm very proud of our people here, and their sincerity, their love of God. And we're looking and see brother/sister. we're looking at the end of the trail the great victory to get out of here. Not just with flying colors, never mind the colors, it's going to be pure white. White robes. White robes, get out of here, and the flying will be of God. As on Mount Transfiguration He took them in His arms and raised them right up there. So this great God in the form of the Holy Ghost and the Pillar of Fire, one day is going to call forth the dead, and take the people to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and come back here in the Millennium.
The Lord bless you. Next Sunday we'll talk about the White Throne if we ever get there. This time let us rise and be dismissed.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we want to thank You again for Your love, and Your grace, and mercy which You've bestowed upon us, Father. We come together here and discuss the things of the Lord, the Way, the Walk of Life and all, to help each other, Lord, we do love You we know that. We know that, because You shed Your love abroad in our hearts. We love Your Word, Lord, it is stimulating. It is energizing, Father, there's nothing like it, O Living God, we appreciate that so much and we thank You for it. But Lord, we know that there is a walk on earth here, and that walk we know is reflected amongst us as children of God, and around the world here we do not partake with the world, but neither do we panic in the sense that we have ought against it, we try to help it, O God, and especially the household of faith.
Settle our hearts and our minds, Lord, to pray more for each other than we ever done before. To take the time, to be sincere when the problems arise, and the prayer requests come in to make a real note of it, and take time off, and to pray, and to pray, and to pray. And whatever we find near our hands to do, may the hands be anointed to do. The homes to visit. The people to help. Whatever it may be, may it be with consideration as you said in Your Own Word. "That when you do it unto the least of these my brethren, you've done it unto Me." [Mt 25:40]
So, Lord, we know the way has been cleared before us. It's been so clear, Lord, that's the trouble, we stumble over it, it's been so clear. Help us, Lord, not to be that way anymore, but to hold it dear and sincere and honest in all things. Bless Your people today, O God. Heal the sick amongst us, and where there's a need, Lord, we pray You'll meet those needs that are there. Whether they be jobs, whether they be for marriage partners, women, men, back and forth, whatever it is, Lord, we know, my God, that You made it this way, that there would be an amplitude of all.
So, Father, we commend and commit these things to You today, that this Church may know the full grace and the provision of our God, and grow up, Lord, and one day meet You face to face in that glory. And unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the Only wise God be all power and honor and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. The Lord bless you.
'Take the Name of Jesus with you.'