Preached on Wednesday, 12th May 1954 at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S.A. (1 hour and 39 minutes)
(Listen to this sermon - Get MP3 from www.en.branham.ru)
1 Blessed Lord Jesus... And it's with great anticipations that I look forward to this nights of service, trusting that somehow in some way, that our heavenly Father will smile His blessing to us. And ever so often I get an opportunity to get in to have these services here in the--in the church, with the group, you little group that the members here of the church and the visitors, of course.
2 And this was not announced. It was just a regular Wednesday night prayer meeting. And I said, "Maybe tonight we'd find out whether coming back." And I thought we'd taken it over, maybe, and announced it for the next week, why, it would... We can't seat too many people here.
And these type of services, if God willing, is not directed to the... It's directed to the Church, for the benefit of the Church, where we feel that it's so greatly needed at the time everywhere, is to--for the edifying of the Body of Christ. And now, this in teaching... I've had healing services for eight years straight; and then teaching, it's going to be kind of something new.
4 And I was thinking this afternoon when I opened the Bible, after being very busy through the day, I thought, "Well, I told the people I'd teach on 'The Seven Church Ages,' maybe, if the Lord willing." I got to reading, and just got that, real happy, when I started reading It. And I thought, "Well, I can take all that in one night, in an hour."
So I didn't know what the Holy Spirit would have us to do. We--we don't try to set anything. It's just, "If it be Thy will, Lord." See? That's the best. And then, if it be the will of the Lord, I'd like to teach tonight on the Church Ages, and tomorrow night on "The Mark Of The Beast, and the next night on "The Seal Of God," and that.
6 And then, Saturday, as my brother, janitor, was just telling me, today; he said, "If they had it Saturday night and Sunday morning, usually, when the strangers come in to our midst, why, the church would be very dirty, and so forth."
So they suggested just have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and Sunday morning, Sunday night. And I said, "Well, that would be perfectly all right, as far as I was concerned."
So then we'll try, if the Lord willing, have it Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. And perhaps Sunday night we may have a baptismal service, as people has already been asking about being baptized. And so now...
9 And we'll try, every night to begin just on time at seven-thirty. And I get to the platform by eight o'clock we ought to be evacuated from the tabernacle by nine-thirty, the Lord willing. So that you... I know you work, and we have respects to that.
10 And now, these little messages out of the Book of Revelations are directed to the Church. And I wish everyone would bear this in mind, that they're not directed towards anybody's religion, or any other motive; only just to my best of my knowledge, to the reading and explaining of the Word of God. See? It's not pushed through any selfish motive, or it's not directed towards anybody, any individual, or anybody's church, anybody's religion.
11 And the reason that I like to teach on this revelation here at the tabernacle, being my own church, why, I just feel like I'm home. And--and I just, you know, kind of give my sheep the kind of diet that I thought they needed, you know. Some far...
People sometime have to put a little salt in when the--the--the alfalfa is a little moldy, you know. It might hurt the sheep if you don't. So once in a while, when maybe the alfalfa gets a little moldy around this church, and--and a little differences come up, so I think a little salt, kind of, is a savour. Don't you think so? It kind of keeps them from getting sick.
13 So now we pray that--that God will bless us in these efforts. And how many just feeling, just as men and women, like we are, I would like to look into that tomorrow night, on "What is the mark of the beast?" There's so much about it in the Bible. "Who has it? And who will have it?"
14 And then, the next, there's coming a time where that's going to be. And I don't know, it may be now. We'll look and see. Yes. That there's going to be only two classes of people on the earth, and one's going to be marked with the Devil, and the other one the mark of God. And I think, that if we're nearing into that time, we better kind of go to looking around, find out what that thing is. Because it certainly isn't going to come in only as some great big something. The Bible said it would slip in so easy that it would deceive the very elect if it was possible. So we'll try, if God willing, to look through it tomorrow night. Now, that's just the best of my...
Now, bring your Bible along, and your pencil and paper, and you want to take down Scriptures. And you just don't think that's just exactly right, write me a little note and put it on for the next night.
16 I remember staying a year and six months in this Book of Revelation in--in the Tabernacle here. That's what I like in--in teaching. I just love teaching. Oh, my. I--I--I think it's wonderful. It gives the basis and settles the church.
And in preaching, now, there's some people that are preachers. They can pick up the Word with inspiration, and sway It out there in places. That's watering the Seeds that the teacher has taught. See? Now, you got to put some Seed in first, and then water It. And the watering comes from the preaching of the Word.
There's a great vast difference between a teacher and a preacher. See? It's two different gifts of the Spirit altogether, two different gifts. And I humbly say this, but I haven't a gift of either.
19 But mine, as of usual, is praying for the sick. That's what the Lord called me to do. And then, in this time it gives a relaxation of my mind to study on something different, not having Divine healing services, just--just teaching the Word. And oh, we get along pretty good here. We... I remember, you put up with me for a long time, about twelve years around here, on it.
And I used to say with... Not meaning it for a joke, but the teaching is so rough, I said, "It's just like a fellow going to the table and eating the cornbread and beans." Now, it's good for you, but you get a little tired of it once in a while. But you might have something on the side, some ice cream and cake, once in a while, but it kind of balance up the diet. But the good old fashion stuff will stick with you pretty good, and at least it gives you some starter.
21 Now, in this it's to my humble belief that we are living in the closing days of the world's history. I want to make that real clear. Now, I could be wrong. I don't know. No one else knows. Jesus said, "Not even the Angels of heaven would know." He didn't know Himself. He said, "That's only by the Father, is the only One Who knows." But it's sure and authentic that He is returning. And I just can't see anything else left but the coming of the Lord.
When I look and see the nation's broke... I see politics broke. I see the homes broke. I see the church broke. Now, there's just nothing else can mend it but God; that's all, 'cause they have not nothing else. The morals of the nation's broke. And the political parties are broken. Where we trusted so much in our politics, they are broke.
And some great fellow in England not long ago, said, "Well, democracy was--was all sails and no anchor." That said, "There'd come a time that they'd be on soap boxes, electioneering." Well, that's true. But he didn't think of his own beloved Houses of Lords, how it was a lot of sails and no anchor too. It flew away also.
And every kingdom of this world will be broke to pieces. Jesus Christ will rule and reign. That's right. So there's...
My hopes is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' Blood and righteousness;
... all around my soul gives way,
He's all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand,
All other grounds is sinking sand.
25 And oh, how I wish now we were starting in for about a three-months teaching service, so you could get into the Book of Revelations and tie it in with Daniel, the great vision.
How many's left in the little flock here, that used to remember when I had the old chart across here? I know Brother Head was, and we had several of you here when they had the old chart.
How the Book of Revelations, how It's made up, and Daniel ties in with It. Isaiah ties in with It. All the Old Testament ties in with It. And It's the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (See?), the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
And then, in there there's Seven Churches, Seven Plagues, Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets. Now, a trumpet represents war, a seal, a mystery unfolding; and a plague is what follows every war.
And by God's help, and with the book of history, I can prove to you that we're living at the Seventh Trumpet, for the Seventh Plague, and the Seventh Seal to be opened, and the Seventh Vial to be poured out.
30 When the sixth one sound... We'll get on that maybe the sealing away on Friday night. When the First World War, why, the--that Sixth Trumpet sounded according--exactly according to the time God spoke of it, exactly, geographically, following the seal before that. And when the mystery was revealed in there, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the--and the people then, how the Church did not move up; and those who were moving refused to walk in Light, and went back; and the plague was opened at that time, and poured out upon the earth, which was influenza, that killed all the people as it did, the thousands times thousands...
And then coming down into this last age where we are here... And just come and listen what the Lord has to say about it in His Word. Now, that isn't my makeup. I'm just be reading it like a newspaper right out of the Word of God. So this is His direct revelation to the Church, to the Church: The Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Church.
32 Now, before we speak to Him, or speak of His writing, let us bow our heads and speak to Him just a moment in a word of prayer.
Our kind heavenly Father, as we solemnly bow our heads to the dust, whence we were taken and shall return someday if Thou does tarry, we bow in humility to ask that You will be near us tonight, to bless us. I can lay back the pages of this Bible, but there's no man that's able to open the Book or to loose the seals thereof. And it's written in Here, "He that takes out of This, shall be taken out of, his part, of the Book of Life and who adds to It, the plagues of God will be poured out upon him."
Father, realizing as mortal men and women setting here tonight, knowing that we're an eternity bound people, God, may the Holy Spirit come, the Writer of this Bible, and open up these pages to us. And may Thy humble, unprofitable servant preach as a dying man to dying men, as if this would be the last service I'd ever have this side of eternity, the last night we'd ever gather together. And may every one of the laity act tonight as if this was their last sermon they'd ever hear. God, take away all folly. Make us sincere, knowing that we must answer at the judgment of God someday. And our attitude towards Him and His Word now, will 'termine our eternal destination.
So Father, with trembling hearts, we come to Thee, and ask: Let the Lord Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit, take the Word of God tonight, and give It to every heart, as we have need. For we ask it in His Name. Amen.
36 It just may seem a little strange to me for a few moments now, in trying to start opening up a subject to teach. Because it's always been on Divine healing for the last few years, and then--then not on prophecy, by no means, and then--and then go right into a prayer line.
But now, tonight we want to get the background of the Book that we're asking God to open for us; that's the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
38 This Book was wrote about A.D. 96, according to the writers, and it was John the beloved.
And he had this vision on the isle of Patmos, an isle in the Asian Sea, about fifteen miles, or something, around it in circumference, a real rocky place full of serpents, and so forth; where the Roman nation used it as an Alcatraz, as we would have it today, a place of exile of criminals that the government could not control.
And this Book was wrote by the last one of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, believed to be the beloved that leaned on His bosom after the resurrection, and He said, "What is it to thee if he tarries till I come?" John died an old man. Every one of the martyrs sealed their testimony with their own blood.
41 John, his destiny was met like this. He was caught and boiled in a vat of grease for twenty-four hours, of hot boiling grease, and without any harm coming to him. And they put him on the isle, as commonly believed, as a witch, "He bewitched the grease so it wouldn't burn him," they said. 'Course, it was the power of God, that... You can't boil the Holy Spirit out of a man. Why, so they tried to boil It out of him, but God wouldn't permit it. And He had a work for him to do. And until God was finished with His man, there's nothing in the world can bother him. That's all.
42 Now, John being old, he... They are told by historians, that he was brought to the--to the church to preach. And he was so old, the only thing he would say, was, "Little children, love one another."
I tell you; that's a very good thing to preach on. "Little children, love one another." As I get older in the ministry now, and my... about in my twenty-first year. I think, all the time as I go along, that this... The more I think of the Lord Jesus, the more I begin to find out that it's love that covers the whole thing, the love of God, shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit.
44 Now, we'll just read a few verses here to be--get started, and then we'll go right into the teaching of the Church. And then try to bring it to a place, if God willing, in this much time that I have, to get it over to where we can get in to where we can pick up The Mark Of The Beast, for tomorrow night.
Now, this is to the church. Now, I'm going to try to get, at least, the church of Ephesus, the first church, and the last church that we're living in now, the church of the Laodicean, now.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent his angel and signified... sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Now, the Scripture gives us a start here. It is the Revelation... Or the word "revelation" means "something that's revealed." The Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to John, and an Angel was sent to bear record, or to signify of it.
And he bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of... the things which he saw.
Blessed is he that readeth...
How many would like to have a blessing? [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] Then read It. See, "he that readeth."
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
In other words, not the time at hand then, but the time is at hand when they see this Word being completed, like a complete Revelation.
49 When God started off, like an artist drawing a picture of something, He begins to fill in His parts. You can begin to see it shape up. And as you begin at the first of the Book of Revelation, you see Jesus Christ begin to come into the picture. And at the last of it, you see Him complete, seated with His Church, glorified. All the days of sin and trouble and temptations are over, and Christ is seated with His Church in the great heavens above.
50 All right, 4th verse. Listen. "John to the churches..." Now, this is John speaking. First, was God introducing the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Second:
John to the churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before God.
51 Oh, if we just had a blackboard here now to get the drawing a little... See? "The seven Spirits which are before God..."
Now, to save a little time, and believing that... I, knowing that I wouldn't misquote anything, for nothing in the world... And if you get a little doubt about it, jot it down and then ask me, and I'll give you the Scripture for it. And now, as we have to hurry to get into this, to press for time.
53 Now, "the seven Spirits that are before God." These seven Spirits was represented as the seven Spirits that would be sent forth for the Seven Church Ages: "seven Spirits before God." We could pick up from the Old Testament and pick it out there, if we just had time.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us...
My, just look at John get all wound up there, when he look. He just goes to speaking. He said:
... to him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God... his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
"He has made us priests and kings unto God." "Us" is plural, not "made me priest and a king", but "made us," the Church.
Now, he's addressing these seven churches, for it's Seven Church Ages.
Now, he said, "Dominion and glory, and be to Him for ever and ever."
"Has made us priests." Did you ever know what a priest is, what his office is? A priest is to make sacrifice, to make intercession. And over in Hebrews It said that we, the Church, is the royal priesthood, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people (See?), a holy nation, peculiar people, royal priesthood, offering (Here it is now.) offering spiritual sacrifices. Every man and woman that comes to God enters into the veil.
59 In the Old Testament, there was only... There was a veil that hung between the holy place and the holiest of holy. Only Aaron, alone, was to go in there once a year. But every man that became a priest could have a bite, or a taste of the original manna that Moses and Aaron picked up the first day the manna begin to fall from heaven. When they crossed the river of Jordan...
The enemies was killed, behind them. And the next day they went out, and all over the ground laid little wafers. God rained it down out of heaven. They called it "manna," tasted like honey. And people were just supposed to pick up enough to last them for that one day. If they kept it over, it contaminated.
And God told Moses and Aaron to go out and pick up several omer fulls of it, great baskets, and take it into the--by the ark, the holy place.
And there, that, every time after that generation, that every generation following that one, as long as that Levitical priesthood would last, I suppose, that every man that was eligible to become a priest, when he was ordained a priest, he had the perfect right to receive a mouthful of the original manna. Think of it. What a privilege that the men thought they would have, when a man knowed that he was coming into the priesthood. He was going to get a--a mouthful of supernatural baked, supernatural stirred up, supernatural food that came from God out of heaven, that had been kept supernaturally.
The whole ministry is the supernatural. How can people ever say that they're Christians and deny the supernatural? I don't know how they do it myself. Look. But a supernatural... He got a swallow of the supernatural, as soon as he become a priest.
64 What a beautiful type of now, that every person... Them days, they had to be born in a certain lineage, a Levite, before they become a priest; but now it's "whosoever will, let him come." See? And as soon as they come though, they must... A birth is considered in it also. You must be borned again. And every man or a woman that's borned again of the Spirit of God, has a right for the, this day, the manna. This manna is the Holy Spirit.
65 When Peter... After they'd come out of the great confusion, and the cowardliness had got away from them, and the Lord was blessing them, and the Holy Spirit fell on at the day of Pentecost, they went out into the streets and begin screaming, and acting like crazy people; for insomuch, that the people all thought they were drunk. "Say, I wonder what we're going to do about that?" Every per... Even the religious world then thought those people were drunk.
And listen, my Catholic friend, the blessed virgin Mary was with them. And if she couldn't get to heaven until she went up there and got a taste of Something that made her act like a drunk woman, how are you going to get there anything less than that? See? But she received Something. "A hundred and twenty, with the women, Mary Magdalene and those had went out into the street, acting like drunk people, staggering till, the real (If you'll pardon the expression.)--the sophisticated church of that day said, "Look at them; that shows what they are. They're all full of new wine."
68 That's what It was. Now, listen. Peter said... Then they begin to say, said, "You men of Jerusalem, you that dwell in Jeru--Judaea, let this be known unto you, and hearken to my words. These are not drunk." I'm talking about the Ephesian church here now (See, see? All right), the first church age.
He said, "These are not drunk, as you suppose. This is the third hour of the day; the saloons are not even open. Why, this is the third hour of the day." He said, "But This is that which was spoke of by the prophet Joel. It's written in your own Bible. In your own Bible this is written, that this thing will take place. Why," said, "you ought to have knowed this, you teachers."
69 Well, could it be, just as--as the church was brought in under that demonstration, and the same demonstration promised for the last days, can't you point back and say, "This is what was spoken of?" See? There you are. And the outside world doesn't know nothing about it; it--it's foolishness to them. Now, they said...
He said, "Looky here." And they said now, when they heard this... He told them how that they had crucified Jesus. And every time...
You can get forgiveness for crucifying Jesus. You can get forgiveness for taking His Name in vain. "But who speaks against the Holy Ghost will never be forgiven him in this world or the world to come." We're in the last day; so be careful. Walk humbly. Have a contrite, broken spirit, a humble heart, willing to let the Holy Spirit lead you. Amen. All right. Oh, my.
72 Here they are, they're all up there, just the people acting like... They was cowards a few hours before, closed up in the upper room. But when the Holy Spirit come upon them and filled their hearts, out into the streets... I don't imagine they were... They were not doing things that was wrong. They were out there rejoicing and praising God in--in such a way that there was a manifestation. They were just not out there fussing with one another now, whether they were Methodist or Baptist, they were--whether they were Pharisees or Sadducees. They were out there rejoicing because that they had got a taste of heaven in their soul. God had give them the spiritual manna.
73 Now, as God poured out the manna there in the natural, and it lasted as long as they were in the journey: a beautiful type. And the day they entered the promised land, the manna ceased. And on the day of Pentecost, the same thing...
Look at Pentecost to Moses. They looked back and they seen the enemy was dead. Miriam grabbed a tambourine, begin to beat it, and scream, and dance, and run down the bank. The women followed her, doing the same thing. And Moses threw up his hands and sang in the Spirit.
At Pentecost the women come out, staggering, and jumping, and dancing, and carrying on. Peter stood up in the midst of them and said, "You men of Judaea, and you that dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known unto you, and hearken to my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it's the third hour of the day. This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel, 'It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I'll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; upon My handsmaids, and maidservants will I pour out of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I'll show wonders in the heavens above, and in the earth below: pillars of fire, and vapor, and smoke. And it shall come to pass, before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come, that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.'" On and on he went preaching.
76 And when they heard this, they listened, said, "Look at that fellow. Where'd he get this education?" Some of them said, "He can't even write his own name." The Bible said he was a ignorant and unlearned man. "What school's he from?"
"Why, how did this ever come about? How did this ever happen?" They took heed, said, "Well, say, that man's really quoting Scripture. We never heard It like that before." See?
He said, "Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, your children, to them that's far off, and as many as the Lord our God shall call." In other words, "This manna blessing that's fallen here, like it did the manna back there, is going to be for this generation, the next generation, the next generation, to Jeffersonville, Indiana, and to the utmost parts of the world."
And the same Holy Spirit that fell then, falls now, same results, same thing, same people. See what I mean? Just perfect.
79 Notice, "I will give unto him. He that overcomes, I'll give him the Bread of Life." He said that before one of the churches. "And he will not thirst no more, neither shall he hunger no more. He will never thirst no more." If a man ever once... Here it is; get the jacket tightened up tight. If a man or a woman ever truly once receives the Holy Spirit, you'll never be able to move him no more. He knows where he's at. You may come with isms and everything. He will walk right straight through them. "He will never thirst no more." He knows just exactly Who his Maker is, never be confused. Don't bother him; he moves right on.
"I will give to him of the Bread of Life, and he will never hunger no more, and neither will he thirst anymore." See? "And the Tree which is in the midst of the paradise of God, and he will eat from (See?), the Tree." Which, the Tree was Christ Jesus. See? And Christ Jesus, being dead, He come back in the form of the Holy Spirit. So He's here, and the manna that's eaten in the Church.
Notice, behold that, the 6th verse.
And he has made us priests and kings unto God.
Spiritual priesthood, royal nation, spiritual offering... What is it now? Spiritual sacrifices, that is (quoting the Scripture), that is, the fruits of our lips, giving praise to His Name. Now, what kind of a what? A spiritual sacrifice.
82 Now, now we might as well get started right here, notice, a good place to start from.
When a little confusion comes in the church, you don't run over to one side and pout now. If you are, you sure ain't a priest. See, you pray through: spiritual sacrifice, the fruits of our lips giving praise to His Name. See what I mean?
"Well," you say, "I just don't feel like going to church." But you're a priest. It's your duty. You've got to be there.
"Well, I just don't feel like taking a part in the service." You're a priest, making a sacrifice, a spiritual sacrifice, not giving somebody some hand-me-down, as they call it today. That's all good, I have nothing against it. Not going to get somebody to come to church; that's all good; I have nothing against it. But it's you, you making the spiritual sacrifice, the fruits of your lips giving praise to His Name.
When you see the time coming that everybody blaspheming and saying these things, and doing things wrong, what do you do, walk away? You're supposed to stand there with a spiritual sacrifice, saying, "The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin, makes me a new creature in Christ Jesus."
"You're crazy, fellow!"
"According to what you say. It's all right. But to me it's the power of God unto salvation. I believe It." See?
Now, you say you believe in Divine healing? "Oh, uh, I don't believe... Better ask our pastor."
What do you think about it? You're the priest now. You're the guy to say, "Yes, sir. I believe It, because God's Word says it's so."
"Do you believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
"How do you know?"
"I've received It." That's right. A spiritual blessing... The Holy Spirit that fell on the apostles, the same Holy Spirit falls now.
You say, "Just for the apostles?" We'll settle that in a little while, see whether it was or not.
91 All right. A spiritual priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices...
Now, now the 8th verse of... the 7th.
Behold, he cometh with clouds...
92 Now, let me stop here just a moment. "Clouds," doesn't mean that He's coming on a big thunderhead, as mama, bless her heart, she is sitting here somewhere... When I was a little boy, she used to set and tell me, said, "He's coming on. A great big cloud's going to raise someday, and God's going to come."
And now, the clouds that He is coming... If we just had the time to get all this back, and get the real background of the whole thing... Now, the cloud He's coming in, is not a cloud like a thunderhead, but it's a cloud of glory He's coming in. See, see?
Now, when Jesus was overshadowed by God on Mount Transfiguration, clouds overshadowed Him and His raiment... See? And when Elijah would come down, a cloud come down and received him up, not a--not a Pillar of Fire, not... I mean, not a thunderhead, but a cloud of glory.
97 His great, glorious Presence shall strike the earth. "He cometh in clouds." Oh, I love that. "Clouds," there will be wave after wave of His glory will come across the earth, and the resurrection of the saints shall come. When that blessed Holy Spirit that's lived in their hearts, and they died with their corpses laying there, and the tear stains over their cheeks, and things like that, they're placed out here in a graveyard. A great wave of that same Spirit, and a "whoossh," wave after wave.
"He that was last will be first, and he that was first will be last." How can it be that way? That's the order of the resurrection. I won't know nobody in the generation before me or the generation after me. I'll know those in the generation of this. And every generation will come successfully, right as it went down. "They which were last will be first." Sure, it has to be. See? I'll know my people. The next fellow, my dad will know his people; his grandfather, his people, on down like that.
Wave after wave, after wave, after wave, and the saints arising from everywhere, won't that be wonderful. Amen. That makes the old people feel young again. Yes. Now, notice closely. All right.
... comes in the--in the clouds; and every eye shall see him... (No matter how far back they died; they'll still see him.)... and they also which pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
100 John just had to holler, "Amen." That's "So be it. Let it be that way."
I am Alpha and Omega...
Now, Alpha is the "A" in the Greek alphabet. Omega is the "Z" in the Greek alphabet. Alp... In other words, if it was translated today, "I am A to Z." Now, who else is this? "I am the First; I am the Last. I am from A to Z."
102 Wish we had time to get in on the Deity of Christ, right now, which would be very appropriate at this time, the Deity.
Today's when so many people are trying to make Him just a teacher, just a philosopher, or merely a prophet. He was God. He was either God or the biggest deceiver the world's ever had. If He was a prophet, His blood was a man. If He was a--a teacher, an educator, His blood was a man.
He was God, and His Blood was Divine. Almighty God overshadowed the virgin Mary and created the Blood cell in her womb that brought forth the Son, Christ Jesus. And God condescended and lived in that body, God, Emmanuel, made flesh among us takes away the sins of...
105 When God made His first man, He made him in His own image, which was a spirit man in Genesis 1:26. All right. Then there was no man to till the soil. After He'd done made man, male and female... We will get into that, after while, on those "seven stars." But just... But He made him both male and female back there in the beginning (That's right.) in His own image. And God's a Spirit.
And then, Genesis 2, there was no man to till the soil, so God put him in the flesh, made man, not in His image, but out of the dust of the earth (That's right.), give him a hand like a monkey, and a foot like a bear, or whatever; I don't know. But He give him five senses to contact his earthly home. And then that man sinned.
And God came down and was made man to take away the sin of man (Amen), redeeming.
I'm Alpha and Omega...
108 I looked at Him over here in Revelations the 4th chapter. When John turned to see this Voice again, what was speaking to him, "He was sitting upon a throne, and a rainbow was over His head." And the rainbow has got seven perfect colors, and these seven perfect cover--colors represented the Seven Church Ages. That's right again. And what was it? Here it is. Brother, now this is fresh. Look, seven perfect colors, seven, and a rainbow represents a covenant.
God gave Noah the rainbow first, as a covenant. And those elements are still in the earth, as God's promise before him; when it rains, he sees the bow. He said, "I'll never destroy it with water no more."
110 And then he looked upon Jesus, had seven rainbow colors above Him; He was in this, which was God's covenant. And He was standing in the midst of Seven Golden Candlesticks. And He was to look upon as jasper and sardius stone. Jasper was Reuben, and sardius stone was Benjamin; that was the first and the last of the patriarchs. That Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the Ending, and the seven rainbow colors, Seven Church Ages, the covenant with Him, and the Seven Golden Candlesticks with the seven stars... Oh, what a picture, if we get to it after while, maybe, the Lord willing. All right.
... Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord, which is, which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Who is He? What's this the revelation of? Jesus Christ. And here He's not a prophet. Here He is the Almighty, God manifested, the Alpha, Omega. "I'm from A to Z. I'm He That Was, Which Is, and Shall Come. I am the Almighty." Pretty clear, isn't it? No chance of controversy there. "Lord, which Was, which Is, and shall come, the Almighty."
112 Now, John speaks. Listen.
I John, who also am your brother, in compassion in tribulation, and in the kingdom the patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that's called Patmos, for the word of God...
Say, could you imagine a man being put in a place like that, for the Word of God? Yes.
... for the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
114 He was exiled out there for preaching the Word to a religious people. That's what the Word says. Isn't it? He was out there for preaching: exiled, excommunicated from the church, from society, from all the world. Amen. But he wasn't excommunicated from the One Who loved him and washed him in His Own Blood. He was with His Presence in the isle called Patmos, "for the Word of God's sake."
I wonder how many preachers today would go? Gets down till he goes... do a little something... A little something get upset, we get so disturbed about it. And here this man had been boiled in grease for twenty-four hours, and throwed out on the isle of Patmos, and the Lord was still with him.
I just like that old song they used to sing, "If Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere." We sing it, but I wonder if we really mean it. To my honest opinion, it won't be too long till you're going to be given a chance to prove it, so you better be really sure. Check up, take inventory, see if everything's just right.
117 Now, just how, just got a--getting started here now. John answers, and he said he was in the isle of Patmos, for the Word of God, and testimony.
I was in the Spirit... (I like that.)... I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day...
Speaking of another day now, to my Advent friends, which we're sure to get into it, after while. All right.
... in the Spirit on the Lord's day... (got in the Spirit), and I heard behind me a great voice... of a trumpet.
119 Let's not leave these symbols now. We're basing up now, so we know what we're talking about when we get over here. See what we're going to speak about, "Who is It? What is this Fellow? What's the revelation of Jesus Christ? Who is He anyhow? How did it come? What does it mean to me?" See if It means anything to you. See? "See what it takes place there, to me." Notice.
I was in the Spirit...
120 No matter how saintly you are, how godly you are, how much of a minister or lay member, or whatever you are, you'll never be able to get anywhere with God till you get in the Spirit. That's right. I don't mean get in emotion. I mean get in the Spirit. See, see? You get in emotion, do anything. But when you get in the Spirit, you see things. That's right.
121 I can imagine old Elijah, the old prophet, down there that day when--when--when Ahab's son, then made an alliance with some unbelievers, and--and Jehoshaphat had joined in with them, and they went out in the desert for seven days, and didn't fetch any compass, for just seven days, enough to take care of them for seven days... Didn't consult the Lord; just went on out anyhow.
Isn't that just like people? "Oh, I'll tell you; that's a better job. I'll just quit this church and go over to that one." Now, you better consult the Lord about that, find out what it is.
Went out there and found out they got in trouble, the water supply got cut off. That's what's the matter with the churches today, going around, doing a lot of things you don't consult the Lord about, and your supply is getting cut off. You wonder why you're not getting the blessings you used to get, and the power of God working among you, maybe the supply line's been cut. You know, when you get out in water...
124 I get into the desert sometime, out there in Arizona. And I notice that every little old bush on that desert is harmful; it'll stick you. Every time you get against it, it'll stick you. Because it doesn't have enough water to take care of it, stickers come out for a defense.
You come back up here, or up in Oregon, or somewhere where it rains all the time, and every one of them same kind of bushes hasn't got a sticker on them. See, the water keeps them soft.
And that's what's the matter with the church. When you get all dried up and shackled up, and everything, you get so cold, and formal, and indifferent, you don't get any spiritual blessing; then your heart gets all filled up and full of indignation and wrath; and everybody, "Oh, I'll get even with him. I'll get even with her. I'll quit the church." Just a bunch of stickers living in a desert. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
Spirits... What you need is some good old fashion Holy-Spirit Water rained down upon you, soften up that old hard heart. Amen.
127 I'm not--I'm not trying to clown. I'm trying to get this to you. Brother, you're going to find out, if you take the mark of the beast, where you're going to be standing. And you're absolutely helpless and hopeless when you do it. There's no remission for it. You can never get out of it. That's right. You can do it by the wink of your eye nearly. See? But be careful. Now, here it is. Will give unto him... Notice the desert...
128 I said, the--the waters, how that the waters kept them soft. That's what we do today, get in the Spirit. John said, "I was in the Spirit."
When Elijah out there on the desert, they come down. Jehoshaphat said, "Let's go down and consult the prophet." They went down in front of the prophet.
Well, now, he got up his righteous indignation. He looks over to that fellow, and he said, "Why don't you go to your mother's god? Why don't you go back to your own, old, cold, formal church? Why'd you come to me for when you got in trouble?" That wasn't a very good thing to say, but that's just so much words that meant that. "Why'd you come down to me? Why don't you go to your mother's god? You all have those big fine churches, and all those fine-fed priests, and so forth, back there. Go on back and ask them about it. Why do you come down here to me?" Whew. My. He kind of got all stuffed up, sure enough, didn't he? He said, "It wasn't that I respected the presence of that godly man Jehoshaphat; I wouldn't even look at you." Oh, my, what a condition that prophet got into. Now, he's all in that kind of fix.
He said, "Well, bring me a minstrel." Some people don't believe in music in the church. But he said, "Bring me a minstrel." And when the minstrel begin to play some good old hymn, "Nearer My God To Thee," or whatever you want to call it; I don't know. When the minstrel begin to pray, the Spirit of God got on the prophet. And when the Spirit got on him, he got in a vision; he begin to see things.
You have to get in the Spirit of God. Well, you say, "I can't understand how people can say, 'Amen.'" Get in the Spirit once. That's right.
I can't see how they stand at the baseball game, and beat one another on the back, and holler, and hoop, and pull the hats down and carry on. Seems like crazy to me. "Well," you say "you're not a very good baseball fiend." I'm just about as much...
How about you as a Christian? All right. That's right. You've got to get into the Spirit of it.
135 That's the way it is when you used to go to dances. I don't believe you'd to go now, surely not. But if you--you used to go, they'd to play up the hoop-up music, and beat the bands, and beat the drums, and do every kind of a thing there was about it; and the women run out there, half naked and everything else, and dance on the floors, and things; get you in the spirit to dance. Well, that's right. You get in the spirit of it. It's the spirit of the Devil. Glad you said, "Amen," because it's the truth. I'll prove it by the Bible. That's right. All right.
Say, "Well, I don't believe it, brother." Well, you, it ain't what you say, or what I think; it's what God's Word says. That's what settles it. That's the final Word. Yes, sir. He said, "If you love the world, or the things of the world, love of God is not even in you." That's right.
And you remember that little woman taught her daughter to tap dance, and things like that, and went down there and danced before the king, and required the head of John the Baptist; seventy of her children died as prostitutes and on gallows. You can see what it does like that.
Moses' mother stayed home and kept him and taught him the Word of the Lord; you see what happened to him and his. Through him come out of Abraham, and so forth, and on down.
All right, just depends on what you want to do. You, you're a free moral agent; you act on whatever you desire to act upon. Right. God has put before man, like the garden of Eden, the Tree of Life or the tree of death. You make your choice. See? Whatever your soul is charmed for, that's what you'll eat. Notice, now. And they were...
140 I want to read this again now. He was in the Spirit. The Spirit come upon him. He begin to see things. Now, watch.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard... I got in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice of a trumpet.
"Trumpet, trumpet" is an "announcement." Gabriel, at the coming of the Lord, shall sound the trump of God. This was God's trumpet blowing. In other words, He's fixing to announce the eternal destination of the world. A trumpet, what is it? "Get ready. I'm going to give you the revelation of Jesus Christ, to give to the Church. I'll speak to you, what'll be the destination of the world, for those who receive and those who reject."
A trumpet of God... "Attention!" Every man, when the trumpet blows, he grabs his sword and stands to a place, attention. The trumpet...
Paul said, "If the trumpet give the uncertain sound, who shall prepare for war?"
144 That's the way it is today. Oh, brother, when I look around and see all these cold, formal, indifferent churches, and things like that, "having a form of godliness, and denying the power thereof," how can a man prepare himself? Giving an uncertain sound...
Say, "Well, now, I'll join the churches. I'll go over and try the Methodist, or the Baptist, or the Lutheran, or the Pentecostals. I'll do something. I'll make some kind of a move." Oh, that's not it.
"Except a man be borned again." I don't care if he's Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, or whatever he is, you got to be born again; you'll not enter the Kingdom. Amen.
147 Look, "Voice of a trumpet, saying unto me, 'I am Alpha and Omega.'"
The first thing I want... He introduces here, "The I am, the First and the Last." The first thing, when the trumpet of God sounded out, he turned. And He said, "I'm Alpha and Omega. I'm from A to Z. I'm all of it now. Stand and listen to Me awhile." All right.
... the first and the last:... What thou seest, write in a book... (that's this Book we're reading)... and send it unto the...
Where? Addressed specifically where about? Back to the age? No. To the Church, to the Church. Notice.
... What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia... (which, was a type of the church.)
150 Now, we'll get into that in a few minutes, showing how the Old Testament typed up in seven ages. Seven ages set... Or seven churches set here in Asia, which the Bible plainly teaches, which was a shadow, or a type of the Seven Church Ages that was coming. And by God's help, and with the Bible, can prove that every church age landed just exactly where It said it would, just exactly where the Bible said it would. And we're at the end of the last church age.
I can go back in the Old Testament, pick up Daniel's dream, and show you the vision of the Gentile kingdom, how that he saw an image standing with a head of gold, breast of silver, and thighs of brass, and feet and legs of iron and clay; and showed how every one of those kingdoms have succeeded one another, just exactly the way the Bible said. And look, the head of gold, Babylon; Medes and Persia; Greek; and the Roman empire. And the Roman empire broke up into ten kingdoms, eastern and western Rome and so forth. And in there, there was iron and clay, and they wouldn't mix together: Protestant and Catholicism under the same Gentile domination. And he said that even to try to break one another's power they would intermarry with one another, just exactly what they're doing today, exactly.
152 And that kingdom in the days of those kings, the God of heaven cut a stone out of the mountain without hands, that smote this image in the feet and broke all the Gentile kingdoms down. And the Kingdom of Christ ruled, and reigned, and growed, and covered the earth and the sea and the sky. The Gentile kingdoms faded away like trash, like the husk on a thrashing floor in the summertime. What a picture that we're living in. That's true.
And today, you see Catholic and Protestant marrying among one another, trying to break the power down; raise your children, have to promise them to raise them this way or that way. We'll get into it, after a bit in a few nights. Notice that how it is, and how the other, the strong of the iron dominated over the other, broke it to pieces and shattered it away.
But the Lamb came and stood. And the holy people in that day...
And how that that Roman power went through every nation. There's not another power in the world, and only one way it can go through, is through Catholicism, the Catholic church, into all the world, breaking out in there. It's a marvelous, great picture here.
Now, to you Protestants, just keep your shoes on, 'cause, brother, you're right with it. And I can prove it by God's Word. You're right into it just as big as--as the rest of them.
157 Now, watch now, "The First and the Last. What you see, write in a Book." Now, He said unto him:
... Write this in a book, and send it to the... churches, which are in--in Asia; unto Ephesus, and to Sardis, and Pergamos, and... (so forth), and Philadelphia, and Laodicean.
Now, we'll stop there, just a moment or two, just see how much time I got, 'cause I want to get to this last keynote here on Ephesus, and pull it over to Laodicean, and see if we're not patterned up in the same church (See?), see if we're not living in this day.
159 Oh, Church of the living God, rise and shine. Look. You don't realize. I wished I had some kind of a shock that I could give you, some way. I wish the Holy Spirit would come in His great power and move you to a place that you'd grab this Bible and say, "Let me look into This," when you see:
Nations are breaking,
The signs that the Bible foretold;
Gentile days numbered,
With harrows encumbered
"Return, O dispersed, to your own." (That's right.)
The day of redemption is near,
Men's hearts are failing for fear;
Be filled with God's Spirit,
Your lamps trimmed and clear,
Look up, your redemption is near!
That's right. Oh, what a day. "Write it, and send it to the churches."
161 Now, just as Israel come in in its beauty, back in the beginning under Abraham, come on down through the patriarchs. And in the day of Ahab it went into the dark ages, the darkest age that the Church seen. Went out of there... And in that time, how that Ahab married Jezebel, brought idolatry into the orthodox church.
The same thing, that Protestantism married Romanism in the fifteen hundred years of dark ages, in the Pergamos church and come out with idolatry, under the form of Christianity, going on out into lukewarm age that's coming on before us. And we're in it right now. We're in the lukewarm age.
163 You don't believe it? Now, I'm going to sit down on the--you people out in the other churches. You're in a lukewarm age. And your evangelists are crossing the earth, around the earth, preaching things like that; you'll get nowhere. You're hollering... You Baptists are hollering, "A million more in '44." What have you got when you got them? Just got a bunch of sinners come in with their names on the book (That's right.), say they belong to the Baptist church. Not only that, but you have the Methodists, Campbellites, and the whole group, just as formal and indifferent. Billy Graham had that, "Thirty thousand converts," he said, "and six weeks..." And six weeks later he couldn't find thirty. Why? Why? They never got nothing to start with, just a bunch of sinners, when they put their name on the book, under the spell of a revival.
He said, "The Kingdom of heaven is like one pitched the net the sea. When he brought forth, he had everything." He had turtles. He had crawfish. He had terrapins. He had spiders. He had water bugs. He had serpents. That's right. But in there he had some fish also.
Now, when a man preaches a revival under the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, the net is drawed around the people. That's right. But if he's a bug to begin with, he's a bug at the end of the revival.
If he's a water spider, the first thing you know, he will go looking around, saying, "I don't believe in this old stuff anyhow," and pop off back to the water.
If he's a snake, he will say, "I told you about it," and away he will go. He was a snake to begin with, his nature was. And he will never be nothing else until that nature is changed.
168 A man can't join a church, or get all emotional worked up, or anything else, and become a Christian. It's got to be a solid birth of the Spirit; sincerely dying out, crying out, lying there till he's dead in Christ. Remember, life can only come out of death.
A grain of corn, if it abides, it abide alone; it'll never mean no more than that one grain of corn. "Except a corn of wheat fall in the earth, it abide alone." But when it falls there, it rots, contaminates; and out of that midst of corruption comes the germ of life that gives it life and produces more.
Except the church will be borned again, die out to their creeds, and theologies, and so forth, and be borned anew of the Spirit of God, it'll be an old, cold, formal, ungodly, indifferent. Amen. That's right. That's old fashion sassafras preaching, but it'll save you, brother. That's right. It'll keep you when the storms are blowing hard. Get rooted and grounded. Get all the dirt scraped off 'fore you pour your concrete; notice, that's right, and the anchor rods down good and tight. Oh, brother, what a day that we're living in: formal, indifferent church age. Yes, sir.
"To the seven churches," said, "send this message."
171 Now, in that church age they begin to come in; they wedded into idolatry. They do the same thing now; they come in, doing the same thing. And out of that come in formal Christianity, begin to fading away until they're getting down to the last church age.
Now, the modern church, which we call the denomination... We holiness people, you know, we call them, the modern, and they go out there and they start in their revival, too. You say, "They're not getting anywhere."
173 But now wait just a minute. What have we got? Got nothing, no more than they got. That's exactly right. As long as we fuss and stew and carry on among one another, we still walk as men. Until a man can get down at the altar and get right with God, till he can overlook little things and move on like a Christian ought to... Pot can't call kettle black. Right. Don't holler at them. Let's clean our own steps first.
Excuse us, strangers, I'm giving the church a little Gospel spanking now. Notice, that's right. It's exactly what you need.
"Oh," you say, "we got It." And get up there and beat the piano as hard as it can go, and a bunch of drums, and run up-and-down the floor, and go out and fuss with your neighbor. Have you got anything? Oh, no. No, sir. The only thing we got is a lukewarm. As long as the music's running, we're running. When the music stops, we stop. Brother, don't call the other fellow something; let's look around your own door first. Amen.
I tell you we need an old fashion revival like we used to have down in the country, when they laid on their face all night long, not to carry on. But when real godly sorrow, and not go back to the altar and stay, but go out and make it right with the neighbors they had made it wrong with, and get straightened up... You know that's right. Scorching, but, brother, it'll help you. That's right. You've got to know that, my friend. Yes, sir.
177 Lukewarm, that's a horrible condition for the church to be in. You don't watch, the Branham Tabernacle's got in that same sway. Listen, you know these things. It's been taught year after year, after year, after year, over this platform, warning you of these things coming. When the Bible said there would be a time they'd go from east to the west, and north and south, trying to find the true Word of God, and fail to find It, you'd better get anchored, where you know where you're standing.
178 But when a man is once borned again, not emotionally worked up, not some enthusiasm, not by putting his name on a church book, not by joining the biggest church in the city, but when he's actually cried through, and begged, with tears in his eyes, until God has forgiven his sins, cleansed his soul up from a life of sin, and filled him with the Holy Spirit; with such love, and godly, till he takes them old tire tools back, he stole from the neighbors, and goes and makes up to these things, and lives godly before men... We'll never have a revival in this country till we have that.
Judgment begins at the house of God by the Word of God. Amen. Not a textbook, but the Bible. Not what some church teaches in their theology, but what God says. Then you'll have a revival where great powers, and wonders, and signs, and miracles, and everything else will take place.
180 We're lukewarm. Because we're lukewarm in this age, God said, "I'll spue you from My mouth." This church age will be rejected. There'll be a remnant out of it, that'll be saved. So better mark yourself right good to find out if you're in that remnant now. We'll get into it in a minute, if God willing. Just notice now.
And I turned to see the voice that spake unto me. And being turned... (Look.)... I saw seven golden candlesticks;... (Or "lampstands," the Greek says.)
Now, that's the first translation, 'cause they didn't have the candles in the... They had the little lampstand. Now, the Seven Golden Candlesticks, we call them.
182 Now, in the holy place, where the shewbread... And many of you clergymen understand, and that. And you people here at the tabernacle, being taught with a good teacher here, you--you know these things.
The Seven Golden Candlesticks, they were--had little lamps on top of them that burnt oil. Over in Zechariah, where he saw the vision, I believe it was, and he saw the wild olive tree and the tame olive tree; the Jew and the Gentile, way before the dispensation of Gentile. They had a golden censors, and both of these golden censors run into this one candlestick here that furnished oil for all the lamps. And he couldn't understand how these things was: the wild olive tree and the tame olive tree. And the tame olive tree, of course, was broke off, the wild olive tree grafted into it.
And that oil to the lamp... Oil represents the Holy Spirit, always. We'll get in that on the marking the people, Friday night. Notice, but this oil represents Holy Spirit. That's why we anoint the sick with oil, is because it represents the Holy Spirit.
The Bible said, in Revelations the 6th chapter, when the plague went through, he said, "A measure of wheat for a penny and two measures of barley for a penny; but don't hurt My wine and My oil." Wish we was going to take Revelations on through, for a few weeks, and get into that, who that wine and oil is. "See that you hurt not My wine and My oil. Don't you come near it." Amen.
186 Now, notice these golden candlesticks. This oil poured into these candlesticks. Now, the oil was what was put in the lamp to burn. Now, Aaron was... It was his duty to light these lamps. And these lamps had to be lit. Hold it on now. Look. Keep reverent, and listen. These lamps had to be lit by the fire that God had lit. Aaron's sons went in with some strange fire, and God slew them in the door; that's right, strange fire. The fire that God started...
187 And look. Now, the candlesticks run in an arch. Here was one candlestick, two, three, four (way up), five, six, seven, like this. Now, those golden candlesticks here, as he says in a few minutes...
Let's read a little farther, maybe we'll get it. And listen what he said now. All right. "And His head..." I believe I've got ahead of the 12th verse there, "Seven Golden Candlesticks." 13th verse:
And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and a girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head was as--as... his hair was as white as wool,... white as snow; and his eyes were flames of fire;
189 Now, let's stop there just a minute, 'cause we can't leave that picture there just like that. See? Look at these candlesticks standing here now. Now, those candlesticks, as we'll find a little later, represents the Seven Church Ages. They represent Ephesus, Pergamos, and on down to Philadelphia, and, oh, to Laodicean: Seven Church Ages.
And each one of these little candlesticks had a little cruse of oil setting there, and this oil burnt on this candle. Now, when one candle was lit by the fire of God, they taken that candle and lit the other one, then set it down; and lit the other one; and one lit off the other one, off the other one, off the other one, till the last candle. Notice, same oil.
191 Now, these Seven Church Ages begin with Ephesus, and 'Tira, Pergamos, and on through. And the Holy Spirit, which is the Oil of God, fell on the Church at the beginning in Ephesus, the Ephesian Church, which was the Church of grace. You Baptist ought to holler "amen" there. And then on the Church of grace, which in Ephesus, and the Ephesian letter sets us out, who we was before the foundation of the world. It fell there, and they received the Holy Spirit.
But wait a minute, my Baptist brother, how did they receive It? How did they get It? By joining the church? Never. They got It by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You say, "Yes, Brother Branham; that's right." What happened to you when It fell on you?
Notice, the same Fire that burnt the oil there in Ephesus, burnt it in 'Tira; the same Fire burnt there, burnt in Pergamos, burnt on down through to the Laodicean Church Age. The same Holy Spirit, lit by the same God, by the same Fire, and the Fire that fell on Pentecost has lit the candle, the Church, through every age, right on down now.
194 But the trouble of it is, we Baptists, we Methodists, we'r are way back up here, trying to take some historical thing, and here goes the Church down here. That's right. That's where we're left behind. Every church, when it started, there wasn't...
Look at Luther in the first reformation. What a revival: Luther. Look, I've got his textbook at home. How that that man shook under the power of God, how he believed in Divine healing, accepted It himself; believed in the power of God, even so much, till he spoke in tongues: Martin Luther. That's exactly right. Martin Luther spoke with tongues.
196 And then the next age come down, John Wesley. John Wesley done the same thing. When he was preaching, he said, "What are these words that I mutter, unknown to myself?" That's right. Speaking with tongues; believed in Divine healing, and when he come to America, the churches here treated him like they do the holy-rollers today, they put him out in churches. And they preached the Gospel out there, and fell under the power of God, until they laid on the floor all night at a time.
And John Wesley's own textbook, that I got at home now, of where he was riding a horse one day to pray for a woman that was sick, and the horse fell and broke its leg. And he got off the horse, and took a cruse of oil, and anointed the horse with oil, and got on him, and rode away. Same Fire burning there...
But you've got it down to a ritualistic form of something, and the Holy Ghost is moving on. Right. That's right.
199 And in the Methodist church, "They got something wrong with them," the by--their book said, "they got the jerk." And they would start to walk, and they'd jerk and jump, and act like that in their tent meetings and things, the Methodists. Why, brother, if John Wesley could rise on the scene, he'd be so ashamed of you, he'd deny you; unless he'd give you a good Gospel whipping with the Gospel that he preached.
I stood not long ago by the shrine, where they turned their hounds loose, that day when he was preaching the--the new birth, and so forth and that. And the high church of England turned them dogs loose on him. And he said, "The sun will not fall on your head three times, till he calls for me to pray for him." And he did; and he died. That's right. Sure.
201 That's what we need today. We need that kind of Methodist. We need another Baptist like John Smith, who stayed in the room and agonized with God, and prayed all night in such a way, till his eyes was swollen so bad at morning, his wife would lead him to the table to eat.
Oh, what do we do today? Stand out on the corner with a cigarette in our mouth, a deacon in the church, and go down and act--to picture shows, and watch televisions all night; and stay away from church: smoke, drink, gamble, and run to horse races, and call ourself Baptists. Oh, tommyrot.
What we need today is another old fashion, God-sent, Holy-Ghost revival. Amen. I don't mean... I ain't trying to get you to get excited. I know you're not excited. But brother, that's the truth. Trying to get the point to you. It's the truth. It's what we need. All right.
204 Now, that's the Bible. That's what the Spirit said. See? The candlesticks... All right. Now, the 13th verse.
And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like the Son of man...
What? One like Him. Who was this? His Bride. One like Him, watch how it was.
... clothed with a garment down to the foot...
The holiness of Jesus Christ covering Her. Has washed us from our sins, with His Own Blood. All right.
... girded about the paps... (not a man; a woman)... with a golden girdle... (The Gospel that held the power and glory of God over the Body of Christ.)
Oh, what a beautiful picture we got here under consideration. Looky here.
... down to the foot, and a gird about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head and his hair was white as wool... white as snow... (Righteousness, holiness, white speaks of...); and his eyes like flames of fire; (Looks right through us.)
Don't try to hide from Him. He knows who you are, where you are, and what you done. Yes, sir. He sees everything. Oh, God...
We got just a few minutes left, to get to this other church age, if we can. Notice.
And his feet were like fine brass...
210 Brass always is judgment, you know, the brazen altar, and the brass serpent, and so forth. Brass speaks of judgment. His feet, then, the Church of Jesus Christ is set upon Divine judgment. Christ dying in our stead, the Just One paying our judgment up there, at--before God, and died there as a sinner on the cross, and His soul descended into hell. And God, not suffering His holy One to see corruption, raised Him up on the third day for our justification; Who sets at His right hand now, a High Priest can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; which shall return in like manner as He went into heaven, to receive a glorious Church that's made Herself ready, Blood-washed and second-born. What a--what a vision. Amen. All right. "Like fine brass," or, now watch, "and His... and..."
And his feet was like... fine brass, as if they had been burned in a furnace... (That's all the dross taken out..)... and his had voice the voice of many waters.
211 Watch, it's the Church speaking to Him now. "Waters..." Revelations 17:15, said, "Waters means thickness and multitudes of people." Now, "His voice," or this Being that was standing there looking like this, Christ in His Church, as the Bride and Christ being one, like husband and wife is one; the Church and Christ being molded together with one Person, the same Holy Spirit.
And the things that Christ did, the Church does also. Do you see it? That beautiful Church there in holiness, in power, in majesty, with seeing visions, signs, wonders, everything just like He did, here it is on earth; giving all praise to God, saying, "I can do nothing except the Father shows Me; but He showed Me, and here it is." And they come see these things go to taking place.
Now, Christ molded into one.
... and the voice... of many waters...
Many people, not just the one; it was the whole Church, the Seven Churches molded together as one great ransomed Body of the Lord. The Methodists, the Baptists, the Presbyterian, all that's born again with the Holy Ghost, speaking with the power of God, that's the Body. That's the Body.
And he had in his right...
214 "Right." Everything in the Bible has a meaning to it. See?
... in his right hand seven stars... (Now, He--He's a King.)... and out of his mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenances was like unto the sun shining in his strength.
Now, "Out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword," out of the mouth of This standing there, Christ and the Church as one...
... in His hand He held seven stars.
And you'll see in a few minutes; I want to get to it, let the Bible just speak what it was. It was the seven ministers, one minister to each age of these Seven Church Ages, come out, hold them in His right hand. Amen. There He is. There was seven angels, seven messengers, one to each church. Get it?
There He's standing there.
And out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged Sword:...
What is a sharp two-edged sword? Hebrews the 4th chapter said, "The Word of God is sharper, more powerful than a two-edged sword, even going to the marrow of the bone, and a discerner of the thoughts of the mind." All right.
And when I saw him, I fell on my... I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and I have the keys of hell and death. (That's Jesus. Now, watch.)
Write these things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and these things which shall be hereafter; (All right.)
And the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, are... hand... and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are seven angels of the seven churches:...
218 Um, hold that. "Seven angels are seven ministers of the seven churches." There was a church of the leader of Ephesus. Now, if God would permit, and we'd continue on with this, and not take The Mark Of The Beast, I can show you every one of them, right down to this last age, which--which they was; show you the Philadelphian Church, which was the Methodists, John Wesley; show you the--the Church Thyatira, immediately after Pergamos; which was Martin Luther, and go right on down the age, and show each one of them that come and brought the message, established the message in the earth.
And right down to the last Message today, that's right, where God sent an Angel from heaven, a vindicated His servant, and sent a Message forth to everyone. This will not be a church. It'll not be an organization in this last days. 'Cause God has laid the organization on the shelf, and all of you're aware of that. And wait till we get through tomorrow night, on The Mark Of The Beast, and see where your church is at (See?), and your organization.
... the churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
They are the churches. And the stars, which He's holding each star...
Now, look. Could we just stop a minute? I know I've got about twelve minutes to go here. And I want to get to this chapter right here, and read it through, if nothing else. I want to get this to you. A star was the minister, and a minister anointed with a Spirit from above.
221 Do you realize that you represent a star in heaven, and every star in heaven represents you? Did you know God told Abraham that his seed would be like the stars of the heaven? First they were the dust of the earth, and then in the resurrection they were the stars of heaven, innumerable. Did you realize that?
Did you know that Jesus was the Bright and Morning Star, the greatest Star of all the stars of heaven? Oh, hallelujah. When I think of it, my soul leaps for joy. There He is. There in His likeness, in His Presence, we shall be seated someday (Hallelujah), when the things of this earth has passed away.
223 But listen, another Scripture comes to me. Daniel said... When He said, "Close..."
When he seen this Angel come down with a rainbow over His head, put one foot on the land, and one on the sea, and held up His hands, and swore by Him that lives from ever and ever. When those seven voices uttered their--the Seven Thunders uttered their voices, He said, "Seal it; not known until the last day." He said. "But the time this mystery of God should be finished, when these will be revealed to the Church; and He swore by Him that lives forever and forever, that time should be no more."
Listen what He said there then. He said, "Go thy way, Daniel; shut up the Book." See? "For thou shall rest, and you shall stand in the last days in your lot. But many of those who turn many to righteousness shall outshine the stars forever and forever."
There you are, "stars," those seven ministers, seven ministers, through Seven Church Ages, which consists of two thousand years.
From the first two-thousand years, the antediluvian destruction; second two-thousand years, the first coming of Christ; the third two-thousand years, the sixth, is the second coming of Christ; and the millennium, and the end, the seventh-day rest.
228 "Unto the church..." Oh, will you bear with me just a few minutes longer? [The congregation says, "Yes."--Ed.] And I don't want to wear you out, but I'll read right fast now.
Unto the angel...
Now, watch, He's addressing this directly now. And we're going over to Pergamos and get the last of it then... I mean, to the Laodicean, and then we'll close. Tomorrow night we'll pick up from here, on The Mark Of The Beast.
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus... (the first)
229 Now, watch, when Jesus was standing with His hands out... Here's a little thing I don't want to leave out, to you. Hear it. Watch Him. He's standing in the midst, that's the middle, of the Seven Golden Candlesticks.
Now, if I was standing here, and the candlesticks arched around, here on my one hand is where I got it out, and here is another one, in the sign of the cross, 'cause it's through the cross that brought the Church.
Here He is standing; and a rainbow over His head, as a covenant. "I've made My covenant with the Church, through Abraham through his Seed, all that's called."
232 My brother, the other night receiving Christ, he said, "Don't ever push me, Bill." Said, "When God speaks to me..."
I said, "You can't come until He calls you."
"No man can come to Me except My Father draws." Somebody does something else, pulls you up, that's somebody else. But when God speaks, you'll come. See? That's right. Standing there... "No man can come except My Father draws him."
234 There He is standing there, to look upon as jasper and sardius stone, the first and the last, Benjamin and Reuben, all the twelve patriarchs. And how, the Bible, every bit just dovetails right straight together like that, everything perfect. Notice as He's standing there, to look upon now, watch what takes place. He said He was Alpha and Omega. He was the Beginning and the Ending, He which Was, and which Is, and shall come." He had in His right hand, now, the seven stars.
235 Now, here He started off with Ephesus, and He begins to light the candlestick. He lit it there. Then the next age, we find out, the next church age, it begins to dim out; the next church age dims a little more; until the fourth church age, the fifteen hundred years of dark ages. And around 500, 1500, along in there, it begin to get so dark until they was way up, and it almost went out.
And notice, each one of those church ages, He said, "You have not denied My Name. You have not denied My Name. You have not denied My Name." But when He comes out on the other side of the dark ages, said, "Thou has a name that thou livest and are dead." She'd organized. She took up another false name.
Watch, tomorrow night, what the antichrist is. He's got a false baptism, making you believe it's the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He's got a false water baptism (Yes, sir.), which ain't even Scriptural. He's got all them things, just enough to impersonate, to be cunning and slick.
Watch where it comes out of. Right there is where it started, right in there; comes out on this other side over here.
Then He said, "You have just a little light," Luther.
Then along come Wesley, and how it was in his age. It begin to brighten up.
Then from between that age and the last age, He set an open door. He set an open door for those who would come in.
Then He said, "She went on off into lukewarm condition." And He spurted it from His mouth, took the remnant, and the resurrection come, and away He went with it. That's right.
241 There it is, standing in the Seven Golden Candlesticks. Now:
Unto the church of Ephesus write; These things... write, These things which saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
I know thy works... (Remember, you're not forgotten.)... I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and thou cannot bear them which are evil...
243 And we just put up with anything that's evil and call it religion. "Oh, well, they go... We go to church. We're as good as the rest of the fellows." Go right home, stay home on Wednesday night and watch the television, the very pits of hell. That's right. And go right out and listen at the picture shows, to the drive-in. It's too hot to go to the show, even--to the church; and even the preacher closes up, through the midst of the summer. You say, "It's too hot to go to church." It's not be too bad to go to hell, brother. You'll go some of these days, where it's hotter than that. You better listen.
How can you? Brother, you couldn't make a dove eat a dead horse, if you had to. He couldn't do it. His nature's different. A dove ain't got no gall. He can't digest it. And a man that's born again of the Spirit of God cannot eat those things. He can't tolerate it. It's out of his mind. He can't do it. He can't.
You know, birds of a feather flock together. And today, the world and the church is so much alike, you... They talk alike; they drink alike; they smoke alike; they cuss alike; they dress alike; they act alike; and they... You can't tell one from the other, and yet you're supposed to be sealed by the Holy Spirit.
That's awful strong, brother. But I tell you, it'll give you Life.
248 There was a fellow, one time, went up to a bunch of preachers, where they had a seminary, called the school of prophets. And one of them said, "Put on the big pot now. We're going to have some dinner." Said, "Elijah come up, a man that's really got a double portion."
So one of the fellows went out to pick some--some peas, and he got a lap full of green gourds and put them in the pot, and begin to boil it up. Why, they started eating. They said, "There's death in the pot." That's just about like some of these seminaries they cook up too. That's right. Said, "There's death in the pot."
Elijah said, "Wait a minute, we can take care of that." He goes and gets a handful of meal and throws it in, so that changed things: Meal, the meal-offering: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever, burr-ground the same for the meal-offering, and it made the difference.
... can't stand them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say that they are... (preachers, or)... apostles, and they are not, and has found them to be liars:'
That's what He said; I never said it. I'm just quoting Him. But you know what God requires? God requires the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or you're lost.
252 And a man off here with a couple of D.D.D.'s, and L.D.'s, and Ph.D.'s, and Bachelor's Degree, and everything else behind that, and sometime know no more about God than a nothing. That's true. Brother, that don't mean anything. But a whole world say, "Well, our minister is a Doctor of Divinity." Oh, mercy. That don't have no more to do with God than--than taking a drink of water; not as much. That's right. God don't care how many Ph.D.'s, or D.D.'s. And--and you know what the Bible calls... Now, this is not joke, 'cause I don't believe in telling it. But the Bible calls D.D., "dead dog." That's exactly what the Bible said it was, "dead dog." All right, said, "They can't bark." So then, all right.
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake...
253 Oh, I want to grind that in, 'cause you're going to get that in a few nights, God willing.
... has laboured, and has not fainted. ("You stayed right with It." All right. Notice.)
Nevertheless I have some things against thee...
Now, here is where I have to leave off now for a little bit, till I get this right up here so we can catch it tomorrow night.
... have a few things against thee, because thou has left thy first love.
256 What's the matter at the tabernacle? A man ought to be able to say, when you meet a man, "Is your Christian experiences... When was it the dearest to you?" You ought to be able to say, "Right now!"
"Well, my best experience was back when I first got the baptism of the Holy Spirit, when I come."
Just say, "Oh, brother, you've fallen from grace." That's right. Look,
... has left thy first love.
Showing that they had something in the beginning, and has left it.
Not he that beginneth, but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. "Not all that saith, 'Lord, Lord,' but the one that doeth the will of My Father." Oh, let me just let that soak just a few minutes. I was talking fast tonight anyhow, so let's let that soak just a few minutes. See? "He that doeth the will of My Father." "He that endureth to the end. He that endureth!"
If somebody say, "I believe he--that guy's an old hypocrite."
"Well, if you think that about me, I'll leave church. I won't have no more to do with it." All right, there you are. See? Shows what you're made out of. But if it was a wheat to begin with, it'll be a wheat at the end. You just never stayed long enough down here. You never make the thing right. That's right.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen...
Go back and remember when you used to have the experience where you wouldn't talk about nobody. Anything went wrong in the church, you didn't set on your neighbor's steps over there and talk about the church, and talk about everybody else, fly loose and go join another church. No, you stayed right there, patiently and prayed it out, and God brought it on through. See?
Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent... (You know what "repent" means, don't you?)... and do thy first works...
Go back and get your first experience. Do the things you did in the beginning. Go up to the altar and make it right with God, in other words. That's right.
... do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Uh-huh, "If you don't, you'll have a broke-up church, and gone to pieces, 'less thou repent."
266 "But this thou..." Oh, now here we come. Hold tight. Listen close. Keep your ecclesiastical vest on now, and take your umbrella down. Listen. For...
But this thou has, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitan, which I also hate.
"You hate the deeds of a Nicolaitan." Now, watch. What was "deeds" in Ephesus, in the next church age was a "doctrine." We're going to pick that up, tomorrow night, "the Nicolaitan."
And he that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Now, the next, the next verse starts in with the Smyrnaean Church.
269 Now, "Nicolaitan," that's where we're going to start with, tomorrow night, taken out of Revelation 13, the Nicolaitan priesthood, how it begin right there in Ephesus. And that's where that church age fail in three hundred years of its existence. Before it went out of existence, the Nicolaitans begin to start up a doctrine, a priesthood of brethren.
And then, the first, it come from Nicolas, which was one of the--the apo--one of the... and he... In Acts the 6th chapter, I believe, and the 5th verse, where he went and chose out the deacons. And they took this one, which was Nicolas there, and started from there and called it the Nicolaitan, and begin to organize a priesthood. And from there it become a "deeds," what they were doing, saying these things on confessions, and so forth. And then it become a doctrine over here, and went into Babylon, and ended up down here, at the last time, with all Christianity wrapped around it; just a little remnant to be saved out of it. Watch and see what it is, tomorrow night, if God being willing.
271 Oh, my dear brother, my dear sister, to Him that's able to keep you from falling, to Him that's able to hold your heart in grace, may He shed His blessings upon you. May you never forget that we're living in the last days of the last church age, where it's predicted to be a lukewarm church age, just halfhearted about It. And stop being halfhearted. Really come to Christ, with all your heart.
I ain't telling you what church to join. That don't have... God will never ask you that in the judgment. No, sir. He don't care what church you belong.
He wants you; it's an individual. And you must be borned again and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or you're gone. See? You're just playing church; you're just impersonating until you actually have an experience of being borned again.
And now, Him that stood there, and the Seven Golden Candlesticks, through the Seven Church Ages; and the same Holy Spirit that lit the Church there, lights It over here.
Now, there's been impersonators in that church, and this the Nicolaitans there, and all down through every church age, impersonators, till it gets down here till it's just got the one great big conglomeration of organization. And God kicks the whole thing out, and takes a remnant of people to glory.
276 May the Lord bless you. This is kind of rough, friends, but it's good. It'll help you and keep you from falling. Now, don't go around, say, "Brother Branham throwed off on my church." It wasn't meant for any church. It was only meant to you as an individual. I don't...
If you belong to the Baptist church, then you be a real Holy-Ghost-filled Baptist. If you belong to the Methodist church, be a real Holy-Ghost-filled Methodist, whatever it is. And you'll not be an indebtiment; you'll be a credit to any church, or any neighborhood, for the glory of God.
May the Lord bless you now, while we stand, if you will.
278 Dear Master of Life, after reading Your Word, we stand in awe, realizing that someday this reading tonight will be... We'll hear It on the tape recording, as it was, at the day of judgment. What are we going to do about it, seeing that we're living in this last age, darkness everywhere? What a time. See the Coming of the Lord, signs appearing, great tidal waves a roaring; men's hearts failing; fear, perplexed of time; distress between the nations...
Many say, "Oh, I've heard that for years." But did not the Scripture say they'd say that, "There is no difference in the time than when our fathers fell asleep?" not knowing that we're right on the threshold. He may come before morning.
And Father, what day or what hour, do we know, that this little brittle threads of life we're walking on will break from beneath us. Our poor souls will hang yonder in the balance on the Word of God, and our attitudes of what we have heard and read.
It behooves us, Lord, to stop now and check ourselves. And while men and women, boys or girls, standing here in this little audience, tonight, sane and sound, may they think deeply just now. And if they have not yet been borned again, may they purpose in their heart right now, "I'll never eat or drink until You fill me with the same manna that You filled them with at the day of Pentecost. Until the world becomes dead, and everything secondarily but Thee, My Lord, and the love for everything else will fade... But take all the love of the world from me, and let me from this day be wholly Thine." Grant it, Lord.
Be with the people as they go to their homes. Remember the needy, O God, the poor in our land, the poor in spirit, those that are hungering.
God, raise up ministers, everywhere. Fill them with the Holy Spirit, and send them forth, preaching, Lord, like firebrands. We don't know what hour... We only pass this way once. We're only mortal once, and thanks be to God for that. But the next life, we'll not preach the Gospel in the next life that is to come; but we'll rejoice in the Gospel with them of the ages who's accepted It; with the Head Captain, our Lord Jesus Who's all worthy, and all praise be to Him for ever and ever. Amen.
284 God bless you. Turn and shake hands with each other, while we sing "Blest Be The Tie That Binds." If you will...
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that Above.
Before our Father's Throne,
Now, shake hands with each other. It's just ten minutes till the time, for the lights now is on relay. You all shake hands; go home, rejoice, and come back tomorrow night. At seven-thirty, exactly, we will begin the service, God willing. How wonderful.