Preached on Sunday, 25th January 1959 at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S.A. (1 hour and 11 minutes)
(Listen to this sermon - Get MP3 from TheFreeWord.com)
1 And it reads like this:
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was an inhabitant of Gilead said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these three years, but according to My word.
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cedrith--Cherith,... (I meant to say)... that is before Jordan.
And it shall be, that thou shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee...
So he went and did according to the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
And it came to pass after... while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
Rise, and get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
So he rose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and for my son, that we may eat it, and die.
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou has said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it to me, and after make for thee and... thy son.
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went in and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD which was spoken by Elijah.
2 For this morning's talk just before going overseas, I have chosen a text of this: "Be Certain of God."
And now, Lord, bless Thy Word as It goes forth, and may the Holy Spirit capture our minds and our thoughts and prepare us for His visitation, as we have asked Him to come. For we do not come to the house of the Lord to be seen or to see, but to learn of Thee, and to know of Thy nature, and Thy way, and Thy causes, that we might be able to face the problems of life with a real assurance, being certain of God. Grant it, Lord. In Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.
3 It must have been a dreadful morning. It was so hot and dusty, and people was in the street starving, and the earth was so hot it was ready to burn. All this was the reflection of their sins and their moral decay.
You see, Ahab was reigning in--in Israel at the time--or over Israel, and he was the wickedest of all the kings of Israel. There had been no king as wicked as Ahab. For he, being taught and knowed better, he failed not to continue to displease God in everything that he did. Although he had a great military system, and the people had become very prosperous under his reign. But yet, you cannot displease God and expect to get by very long.
5 And then in his wedding, instead of marrying among his own people, he went over and married a sinner, an idolater, worship of idols. He married Jezebel. And she was not a believer.
And no believer should ever marry an unbeliever, under no circumstances: should always marry believers.
But Ahab had done this evil thing. And no doubt but what Jezebel was a beautiful woman. And he'd fell for what she looked like in the stead of what she was. That's... So many people make that same mistake to this day.
And she had brought idolatry in the nation, among the people. And the people, the priests, their ministers, had fell victim to this great popular demand.
9 And it's a very picture of our country today. We have fallen under the popular demand. No doubt that the priests thought it would be all right as long as their government okayed it. But I don't care what the government okays; it's got to be what God okays. And the people thought that it would be all right if they anticipated in some of their worldly things.
And one might ask me to retrace what I have just said, that it was a very likely picture of today. We may not think that we are idol worshippers, but we are. And the government endorses it. People today are idol worshippers, because they--they worship idols. Some of them worship movie stars for idols. Some worship money for idols. And some worship television stars as idols. But all that you put before God is an idol, let it be whatever it may be.
11 Even to Satan, our great adversary is such a smart one, until he even puts sometimes the church before God. You might have a great church. It may be a great building, or it may be a great denomination; and again, it may be a great congregation, but let nothing come before God in your heart. Anything in--before God is an idol.
And these people knew that they wasn't spiritual like they used to be under the reigns of other kings. And they thought just because they was a religious nation that everything would be all right. And that's the way we have come to that place also.
13 Some months ago I was talking to a very fine friend of mine. And he said, "Brother Branham, I believe that you pin this United States down too close." He said, "You're always roaring out the sin and how God is going to punish this nation."
I said, "He's got to do it in order to be just." He said, "But Brother Branham, you forget that this nation was founded upon the Scriptures, and our forefathers came here and God gave us this heritage, and we are a religious nation."
I said, "That is true, all of it. And no one knows how I appreciate this nation. But look, my brother, Israel also was chosen of God, and He sent her prophets and great men. But God cannot stand sin. He made Israel reap every grain they sowed. And if He made Israel reap what she sowed, He'll make us reap what we sow. He is no respecter of person."
16 And we've got to the place to think that because we're resting upon what our forefathers did, or what upon our great founders of our churches, what their great sacrifice was to God, which is all right and so much appreciated. But we cannot draw salvation from what they did. Salvation is an individual affair between every person and God. Not with our nation, with our church, but with ourselves before God we answer.
It's come to the place in our country until in the midst of the most spiritual people that we have... You go to spiritual men and women, and you find in their heart that there's something lacking.
18 We have been... In the last few weeks I've been going over some of these things and finding that in the men that I thought was the kernel, yet I found that they're putting emphasis upon temporal things, going around and saying, "God gives me the biggest so-and-so; God gives..." You're bluffing.
Great material things don't always rest in God's will. God makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. But what the world needs today is not a bluff of faith, to try to bluff yourself into something and call it spiritual.
20 Sometimes faith will do great miracles and still doesn't come from a spiritual heart. Did not our Lord say, "Many will come to Me that day and say, 'Have not I did this and that in Your Name?' and I will confess to them, "Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity." What is iniquity? It's something that you know to do right and don't do it. "I never knew you," He will say. And we're living in that day.
What we need today is not a lot of material things; we have that. We don't need greater churches; we don't need greater congregations. We don't need more on radio and on television. We don't need so many more of these things. But what we need today to be spiritual, is a person that will humble themselves before God if they haven't got a penny, and will pray till that spirit within them is satisfied with the goodness of God, and a revival takes place on the inside of their heart that changes their attitudes and atmosphere that they live in.
22 You might not have a pair of shoes on your feet. You might be dressed in rags, but something in your heart singing the melodies of God. I'd rather have it than all the money in the world.
So you can't say that natural things is always the sign of God's blessing. David spoke that to the Lord, that he'd seen the wicked spread forth his--like a great bay tree. But God asked him, "Did you ever consider him at the end?" No matter how good of clothes we wear, how much we have to eat, that isn't what goes in the Presence of God. This body that we dwell in perishes regardless of how it's taken care of. But it's the soul that's in man; it's a condition of the spirit that moves into the Presence of the living God.
24 But we take things for granted. We think that just because that we are a nation... So had Ahab and all of Israel in that day had taken things for granted that everything was all right. Their priests and preachers had tried to tell them, "All is well; everything's just fine." But they had one; he cried out against the wrong thing, because this one knowed that a holy God could not be satisfied with modern trends of an unholy religion.
So does the God of heaven remain the same today. And all of our efforts and big things that we're trying to do, God will never be pleased outside of an entire sanctified life before Him.
26 We might build schools, and shrines, and tabernacles; we might have organizations; we might do great things, but yet God won't be satisfied until the human soul becomes a sanctified on the altar of God, consecrated for the works of God. And you don't find that no more.
You find our prayer meetings are so weak, just about a minute of prayer, jump in the bed. We find out that happens about once or twice a day. When all of us are guilty... Our nation morally is decaying. We've got Billy Grahams and Oral Robertses everywhere, but until there comes a thirsting in the heart of America to bring it back to a living God again, to a living experience, till a undying faith in the living God, we're only beating our brains, as it would say, out.
28 We might walk with our chest out, with our collars turned in the back, and walk down the street and desire to be called doctor or reverend. We might pastor the greatest churches there is in the land, and we might be as pious as we could be, that no man can put a finger on our lives. But until that soul that's on the inside of us is on fire for God, until something in there that's yearning after Him, "Like the hart panteth for the waterbrook, my soul thirst after Thee, oh God."... Until we get to that type of an experience...
Therefore, Communism and so forth will gain the grounds as they're doing, and all the joining that we can do will never stop it. It's predicted to come. But God is calling to His church.
30 How that this little woman must have been of the caliber of Elijah, because usually your action shows what you are. And again, she had been chosen to entertain God's prophet. Remember, she was a Gentile, not a Jew.
And the land was burning up. And no doubt that this little woman, being of that caliber, being of the believer type... For we see that God would not have called to her, if she hadn't have been a worthy one to entertain God's prophet. For He would've never sent His prophet to a house that was unworthy.
It was not his choosing; it was God's choosing. It wasn't her bidding him; it was God bidding him. He had been placed by a brook; the ravens were feeding him. But it was God's command for something to take place. And God surely went to a believer of the same nature of Elijah.
33 She was a widow woman. And we all know what she--a widow woman would've went through with, her husband dead and a young boy to raise.
And in the lands there they depended on their crops. They didn't have projects as we have today and--and defense plants. They depended on their crops. And because the iniquity of the people and their moral decaying had brought a drought on the land, here they was all starving and dying.
And then we find that no doubt she'd prayed night after night all night, as she begins to see that meal barrel going down, down, down. And it must got to a place till there was not even another cupful of meal in the barrel. All she had was just a little handful. Death was coming right into the gate, at her door. For there was no way of getting any more. The whole nation was starving.
And the oil was, just a good spoonful left in the little container. Just that much oil and that much meal lay between her and death. She must've got real sincere about her prayers. You let that strike your home; it'll be a little more sincere than we are this morning. When we know that death lays at the door.
37 And I believe maybe we'd think perhaps this: that she'd prayed all night long, for one more day settled it. She could look at the pale lips of her little boy of about three or four years old, and she could see her own bones dwindling away as the flesh was going from them. And it must've been a terrible thing as this mother, seeing these things going, and yet with her hands before God praying day and night. "Now, we're down to one handful of meal and a spoonful of oil."
You know, it's a strange thing. May God let this soak into every one of you if you never hear me preach again. Let this be a message. It's strange, most strange, that sometimes that God does things that way.
39 You know, when we have confessed our sins and met every requirement that God requires... We believed on God. There's a circumstances has to be met, and it's according to His will. And we've confessed our sins, and we've made all the wrongs that we have did right, done everything that we know how to do, every requirement that God had made or asked, we have met that requirement, and yet He lays silent; He just won't answer us...
I'm sure that I'm speaking to peoples this morning who's come to that place. I've been there many times myself. When I've went back and traced my life and turned over every stone, and I'd find that I did something wrong, I'd go confess it and say, "Lord God, I'll make it right," and go do so. Then come back again and say, "Now, Lord, Thou art God; You'll answer me. Surely I've met every request that You required me to do. And every requirement, I have met it." And still He won't move, seems to set silent; that's when you've got to be sure that He is God. Don't be discouraged; the only thing is, that in your heart to be certain of God.
41 My text, be certain first before you do anything; be certain in your heart that it's God. And when you've met everything that He said, then you're sure that He's God, that's when faith goes to work right there. Faith stands steady, for it knows that He is. And you met every requirement. You believe that He is, and faith holds steady. Oh, blessed be His Name. Faith won't move, for it's sure that God is and a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
May this go way down deep and never move from you, Branham Tabernacle. If you've met God's requirement, and in your heart you believe that He is, God's only testing your faith, for He loves to do that. You've confessed your sin and you've met every requirement that God requires, and still He lays silent, remember, faith says that He is. Then faith holds onto it, not knowing what it's all about, but it knows that He is, and it's certain that He is.
44 Then remember, if He is, His Word has to be true. And if He required you to meet these circumstances and you did, He's obligated to take care of His Word. Don't back off and say, "Oh, I never got healed. I..." Oh, you poor, weak faith. Don't believe that. If everything's confessed, and everything's out, and you met God's requirement, faith holds right there. There's nothing will move it. He is, and you're sure. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with the wings of an eagle. They shall run and not be weary; if they walk, they shall not faint."
Wait, when you've met His requirements; that brings your faith to a showdown. If you have met... God's requirements has been made--or met, and you have fully considered it, and you have done everything that God required you to do, then your faith rests right there that He is. Be certain of God.
46 You know, He loves to test us. He loves to see the reaction of your faith. Did you know that? God likes to see how you'll react. When you say, "Oh, Lord, I believe You; Thou art my Saviour. I believe that You are the Healer; I believe that You are the One Who gives the Holy Spirit; and the things that I am requiring, You are the God Who gives that." And then when you confess all your sins and promise God what you'll do if He'll let you get well, and then because it don't happen, you run off like a coward somewhere, God can't use that. There's no way for Him to use you. There's no way for Him to answer you, because He only answers by faith. Then all of a sudden you go away and He can't answer. But real true faith stands there, being sure that God is. Be certain that He is.
And if God asks this thing to be done, to confess your sins and so forth, and you've done it, faith says that He is; it's certain that it's going to happen. Your request has to be granted. Oh, I--I hope you don't miss that. If you're sure of God, God's sure of His Word. He's only waiting to test you.
48 He did it many times. Let's rehearse one or two cases. Let's think of the Hebrew children. They wasn't to bow to an idol. God had confidence in them. And when they heard they had to go to the fiery furnace, they said, "Our God is able to deliver us from this furnace. But if He doesn't do it, we're not bowing to any of your idols." See, they were sure and certain of God.
They knowed that He was Jehovah. They knowed that He answered prayer. But whether He did in their case or not, it would have to be for the good, so they just made their statement, confessed their sins, and walked into death.
When they were going to the fiery furnace, knowing that they were certain that if God let them burn up, He'd raise them up again in the resurrection, they were certain of God; because they knowed that God would work everything for their good. And when we are certain of God, we know that God works everything for our good.
51 So they made one statement. They were certain. And they walked right into the fiery furnace, and God let them walk there, setting looking at them. He wanted to see their reaction.
When the king said, "Did you bow when the trumpet sounded?" they said, "No, we did not bow." There's your faith, holding tight.
"Well, then if you did not bow, do you know my decree?"
"Yes, we know your decree."
"My decree is that the furnace will be het seven times hotter than it ever was, and I'll throw you in there. Do you now want to bow?"
"No, we will not bow." There's their faith.
God said, "Well, I'll see what they'll do about it. I'll see what reaction their faith has."
So he said, "Bind their hands, and bind their feet, and start them to the furnace." And they walked up that furnace with the fire in their faces, God still standing looking at it. But they were certain that He was God. They had made their confession. They had made everything right that they knowed of. They were certain that He was God.
So they walked right up that fiery furnace. And right at the last moment, there He come riding out of the heavens on a chariot of wind, fanned the breezes off of them while He consoled them and talked to them. God lets your faith come to the spot to where it'll react.
57 There was Job of the Old Testament, when Satan, our accuser, accused him of being a secret sinner. But Job knowed that he had not sinned. He knowed that he'd confessed everything that he'd done and put a burnt offering out there. That was God's requirement. That's all God required, was that burnt offering and a confession. And Job done those things.
And Satan said, "I'll take his camels, for he's a rich man; I'll take his sheep." And finally he taken his children, the closest to his heart. But still Job stood pat, for he knew that God... Well, he was certain He was God, for he'd talked to Him, and he'd met His requirements. He searched down and found out, "I've made every burnt offering. I said in my heart, 'Perhaps when my sons gave a--a feast and my daughters attended, perhaps maybe they did secretly sin in their heart, so I'll offer a burnt offering from them and confess their wrong."
60 Oh, God, when a man keeps what God said do, he's certain He's God; He has to answer. Faith calls Him on the scene every time.
When you've done what you know is right, when you've met His requirement, when you've confessed and made right and done restitutions, and laid it before God, I don't care how silent He is, He's still God, waiting to put that faith there. You done your works, now He wants to see your faith by your works. He wants to see what you'll do.
If you've been anointed and prayed for, God's waiting to see what you'll believe about it, not run up next Sunday, and run the next day unto the next healer comes through the city; He's waiting to see your reaction on your faith, not walk back next day and say, "I feel so bad; I don't guess I got healed." You're not fit for the prayer line in the first place. You're not--you're not--you're not ready yet. You don't believe that He is God. I don't...
63 You might say, "Brother Branham, I disagree with you." Your own action proves what you are. "By their fruits you shall know them." If a man says that he is a Christian, and he still drinks, and smokes, and gambles, and tells dirty jokes, and says part of the Bible's right and part's not... He might preach the Gospel and deny part of the Bible; he's still a sinner. He's not right yet.
But when you openly confess that God is the same God and your life applied in His hands to be, "Lord, I am the clay; Thou art the Potter," then ask what you will. Faith will never move; it'll stand right there.
Though circumstances will seem to fall from right and left, but that faith never moves, because you're certain that He's God. And if He's God, He keeps His promise. He can't make a promise and break it. If He's God, He's got to keep His promise. Oh, I love that. He's got to stay with it.
66 Job made his offerings; he done everything. He knowed that he was right. And here come the church members by, some of the churches of other denominations, said, "Job, you might as well confess that you're a sinner, for God wouldn't let you be punished like this unless you was a sinner."
But Job said, "I've made my confession. I've put the burnt offering out before God, and I'm not a sinner." He knowed where he was standing. Then everything went on, just on and on and on, just as hard as it could go, trying to down Job and to bring Job to a place that he would deny God and deny that burnt offering. The very minute you take action upon anything that you confess, it shows your weakness, your doubt of God. You ask God for anything and walk around doubting it, then you are a doubter and not a believer. Job knowed where he stood, and he stood firm on that foundation.
69 No wonder Perronett said in his dying hour,
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other grounds is sinking sand.
On that solid rock of Job's confession... Even his beloved wife walked out. When his health was gone, and the boils was all over him, and he scraped himself, and cursed the day that he was borned, said, "May the sun not even shine; may the moon stay down at night."
His wife said, "Job, you're so miserable; why don't you curse God and die."
He said, "Thou speakest like the foolish women." He was certain there was a God, and he'd met the requirement. Oh, I feel religious. He knowed that he'd met God's requirements, and that settles it. God was testing his faith. He'll test yours; He'll test mine.
72 But when we've met His requirements, "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 gift of the Holy Ghost," that's His promise. "Any among you sick, call the elders of the church; let them anoint in oil and prayer. The prayer of faith shall save the sick and God shall raise him up." That settles it. "Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another."
You've met God's requirements, "These signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name they shall cast out devils; they'll speak with new tongues; if they take up serpents or drink deadly things, it shall not harm them; if they lay their hands on the sick, they shall recover." That settles it.
Be certain of God. Be sure that in your heart that you believe that that's God's Word. Job was.
His wife said, "Why don't you curse Him and die. Why, you're getting worse all the time."
75 How Satan likes to throw that at you. "Why, you're no better than you was when you was anointed. You're no better than you was when them preachers prayed for you. Them preachers ain't right in the first place." It doesn't matter about that preacher; it's your faith in the living God what mounts. It's not what the preacher is; it's what God is. The preacher never made the promise; God made the promise. It's not up to the preacher; it's up to God and your faith to believe that that is God. So be certain of God. Be certain that it's God, and that's God's Word, and God is in His Word.
And Job said, "Thou speakest like a foolish woman." Said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord." He was certain that there was God. And when he got that out of his mouth, the thunders begin to roar and the lightnings begin to flash; God moved on the scene; it always calls Him on the scene. He sets silent for a long time.
78 That's what He's doing, looking at this bunch of hell-bound Americans, church-going hypocrites. I'm not angry, but sin angers anybody that's right with God. I'm not angry with the nation, not angry with the people, but I'm angry with the devil who has caused these things to blind the people.
These blind pastors and preachers let them get by with some kind of a little manmade theology. You've got to be born again, and God keeps His Word. Seen Him as He's...?... them. Better be sure that there's God. "Having a form of godliness, then denying the power thereof."...
80 This poor, little woman, she knew that He was God. As that barrel went down, down, down, down, circumstances got worse and worse all the time. But God was letting it get that way. He just loves to do that. He loves to put your faith to a test to see how you act on it, let you be anointed and prayed for, then make you worse, say, "Come on, Satan, put him to the test; I know he believes Me." Bless God forever. Oh, my. "Put him to a test now; I know he took My Word for it." Could He say that about you?
He said that about Job, said, "Do anything to him you want to, but don't you take his life, for I know he loves Me. He's made the burnt offering; he's made the requirements; he did what I told him to do, and he believes it. Now, roll him over the coals if you want to." He took everything away from him; God doubled it when He give it back to him. Sure He will.
82 He puts our faith to a test to see if we really believe that He is God.
That little woman no doubt said, "I prayed; I prayed; I know I'm an unworthy Gentile."
You remember, Jesus spoke of her in the Bible; He said, "Wasn't there many widows in the days of Elijah? But he was only sent to one, and she was a Gentile."
Oh, he said, "I prayed." And maybe when she seen that last little cake, death had done entered the gate and come into the door. One more bite apiece and she and her son died. I can see her all night praying, the hot winds a-blowing, and the earth parched, and the people crying and screaming in the streets. She walked around through the house. She looked at her little boy, looked at his little pajamas, they were all out, and his little feet sticking out, looked at her own hands, wrinkled. She walked back and forth, but she said, "I know that He's God. I've made all of my confession; I've done everything that He required; and I'm asking for our lives for His glory." God seen her.
86 Rest of them was going out and having a big dance somewhere, prettying themselves up, having a modern television show or something, carrying on with the world. But that woman was alone with God.
Daylight broke. She said, "The little fellow had cried all night for something to eat; what'll I do with one little handful of meal?"
You know, that meal was Christ. Any Bible student knows that Christ was the Meal-offering. And that meal offering had to be ground with a special burr too, till it cut every little piece of corn the same, because Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And every believer believes that and rests upon it. Hallelujah. You can have all your old, cold formal religion you want to. For me I believe Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I make my stand in the world of infidels. I still believe that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Them burrs cut every bit of it just the same, because He is the same. He's the same God that He was then, He is right now this morning. He always will be the same. That's what the meal meant.
90 And the oil means the Spirit, as we know according to Ezekiel 4 and so forth. That's the reason we anoint with oil; it's the Spirit. What is it? As St. John 4: "The Father seeketh such to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth." Jesus was the Truth. He was the Meal-offering, and this Oil was the Spirit. And the Spirit mixed with the Truth has got to bring something. Put it together; it makes a cake.
Oh, where's your faith? When God's Word's preached in Its simplicity, though in Its power that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the Word goes forth for the Meal, you've got the Oil to mix with It. It may be just a little handful or a spoonful, but whatever it is, it's real.
92 Now, what's it ready for? It's ready for the cross. It's ready for self-sacrifice. That's what you have to do. If the Word's been preached, and you've got the Spirit in It mixed together, it's self-sacrifice to deny every pain, to deny every sickness, to deny everything that's contrary to God's Word and stand on it.
The doctor says this, that, or the other; that don't make a bit of difference. You stand on it, because God said so. The Meal comes; you got the Oil; you mix it together.
94 Now, I hear a voice. It's a little after daylight. A voice speaks and said, "Go out in the yard and get two sticks." Did you notice the Scripture said two sticks? The cross. She's got the meal and the oil, but she's going to be called on to act now, act with it. Ever much you got, much Meal or Oil as you need, but you've got to act--self-sacrifice, two sticks.
In the old times they never found a better way to make a fire. When you take a stick and lay it across a stick, and light it in the middle, you scoot both ends. The Indians burn their fire. I've burned a many time all night long, just take a log and lay it this way and one that way, and just keep pushing it into the fire as it burns.
That stick was a cross. Two sticks the Bible said. The voice said, "Go through the yard and get two sticks." The same time up on the mountain there's a voice thundered down to the prophet and said, "Go to the city; I have commanded..." Oh, my. Both of them obeyed. Something has to happen. Both of them are obeying.
97 If the preacher preaches the Word, and the man that receives It believes It and acts upon It, something's got to happen. If you're a sinner, you'll have to be saved. If you're sick, you'll have to be healed, because God promised it if we are certain of God.
As certain as He's God, He has to keep His Word. Certainly. Then the command was, "Go to the city, for I have commanded a widow woman..." A vision broke before the prophet. Here he comes, walking. He doesn't know where he's going; don't make any difference. He's just obeying.
99 She don't know where the sticks will be laying, but there's two sticks in the yard somewhere. She starts off; she goes out in the yard. She looks around, "Oh, how hot." The screams from the city, the night prowlers coming in, scrambling along drinking their wines and so forth. She looks down the street; she sees nothing. She finds one stick, part of the cross, self-sacrifice. She gets another piece of stick, and when she picked up that second stick...
Oh, how gloomy it must have been, death laying at the door. Her and her son had to eat one little piece of the hoe cake and die. That was all of it. And sometimes right in the midst of gloom that we hear the voice.
When she picked up that second stick and started back, there was a voice come over the gate, said, "Fetch me a little water in a vessel."
102 She turned to look with these two sticks in her hand, with the meal and oil mixed and ready. She said she'd dressed it, mixed it together. That's what, the Word and the Spirit has to mix together, lay it upon the cross of self-sacrifice to deny anything that's contrary to what you've asked. That's right. "I mixed it; now I'm going get these sticks."
And that voice said, "Bring me a little drink of water in a vessel."
She looks, and she sees a man standing, leaning across the gate, thin-cheeked, bearded, baldheaded, looking across the gate with an old piece of sheepskin wrapped around him. Looked like he was a kind of a kind looking old gentleman. She said, "I'll share my water with him."
Waters of Life, you're willing to give it to anybody, to tell anyone, to go anywhere.
105 "Just a moment, sir."
She starts back with the sticks in her hand. And the voice thundered again. "Not only do you share your water, but bring me a little morsel of bread in your hand." Bread of Life, water of Life, was it of Life? She'd die as soon as that perished.
"Bring me your water and bring me your bread." What do we find here? What lesson can we find? "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness; other things will be added." Bring me a little water and a morsel of bread."
Then she turns in her gloom; I can hear her say, "Sir (something like this), you're different from men that I've seen. And men that I can hear speak, you seem to be so positive of what you're saying. But I've only got enough meal, just a handful, and just a spoonful of oil. I've dressed it, and I'm going to cook it with these two sticks. And I'm going to eat it, me and my son, and die. That's all I got."
108 What we hear then next? "But fetch me the little cake first." God first. No matter what anybody else says, what anything else, what any evidence, how gloomy it looks, whatever it may be, take God first, His Word first.
"Doctor said I can't get well," but His Word first. "I'm too much of a sinner." "I'm a prostitute." "I'm a gambler." "I'm a drunkard." God's Word first. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; red like crimson, they'll be white like wool." First God...
"Go bring me a little cake first. All that you've got bring it to me." Are you willing to give it into His hands?
My life, all that I am, I'm fifty years old. "Are you willing, William Branham, to lay it to Me? Are you willing, you little children to lay your life to Me? Are you willing? Can you do it? Sick people, can you trust Me? Put Me first."
112 "Bring a morsel of bread in your hand and fetch me a little water." She looked at him. There was something told her that that man knowed what he was talking about. God knows His own. Sheep... "My sheep know My Voice. They know whether it's Scripture or not, whether it's right or not."
She turns in obedience. That's what you've got to do. And when she turned to obey what the prophet said do, then come the thunder from heaven that every man looks to hear. For there come a thunder out of the voice of the prophet that every sinner and every sick person longs to hear, "THUS SAITH THE LORD." How we long to hear it.
114 How that people set in my driveway and say, "Come to this door; my daughter's in such, my baby, my so-and-so, just say the word." How can you say it before it's in your mouth? You'd be saying it yourself. But they long to hear that THUS SAITH THE LORD.
There it come across the fence, because she was obeying, and the gloom broke: "THUS SAITH THE LORD, the barrel will not go empty or the cruse run dry until the day that the Lord God sends rain on the earth." Oh, what a consolation.
116 She made the cake; she give it to the prophet. She went back and made some for her son and herself, and they eat and drank with plenty upon the earth. Where did it come from? How did it get there? Scientifically tell me where that meal come from. Where did that oil come from? How did it get in that cruse?
She'd poured it dry every morning; she'd emptied the meal barrel every morning. And it was dry, but when she went back for more, it was there. Where did it come from? Take God at His Word. Be certain of God. He's the Creator.
You might've lost your health. You might've lost your fellowship. Take Him at His Word. Be certain that He's God. The gloomy times that's looking now may not look so gloomy if you'll just take His Word and be certain that He's God.
119 In Germany once I saw a picture, and it always stuck with me. A German painter has painted the--a picture that's--that's called "The Cloud Land." And when you see it off at a distance, it's the horriblest looking gloom you ever seen, just clouds matted together when you're looking at it from a long distance. But when you get real close to it, it changes; it's angels' wings beating together, singing hallelujahs to the Lord. So that's what gloom is sometime. If you look at it at a long distance, it looks gloomy and dark; but take God at His Word and be certain that He's God, and move up close to it; you'll find out it's just angels' wings a-beating together.
120 She was somewhat like Abraham was, called on to give everything she had, lay it on the altar of sacrifice. Maybe you're called like that this morning: Give up your ways; give up your unbelief; give up everything you've got, and then take the Oil and the Word and mix it together, and put it on a altar of self-sacrifice. You'll find out it'll call God on the scene as certain as I'm standing in this pulpit.
121 Think of it while we pray. Have you a need today? Have you a need greater than you're physically able to obtain? Is the money so low that you can't pay your rent? Is the children wanting new shoes, and you ain't got the money to buy them? Is the barrel empty at your house and the cruse about run dry? You can't buy feed for your stock, and there's something wrong, remember, He made a promise.
Are you sick and the doctor says that you need an operation, and you haven't got the money to do it? You have need.
123 Are you a sinner? Is your need great, knowing if God should call today you'd be lost? Are you a backslider running from God and you know you belong to some church, but you know you're not right; your own conscience tells you according to the Word that you're not right, and you have a need? Don't let these words fall in thorny grounds or on rocks, stony hearts; may they fall in good, fertile soil.
If you're sick and you--the doctor says you can't get well and you promise God that you'll serve Him all the days of your life, and you're certain that He's God, come meet His requirement. If you have a need, will you first do as much as to raise your hand to God that you have a need of something? God bless you. Let us pray.
125 O Lord, just as certain as I'm in this pulpit this morning, I know that there could not be one of those hands go up without You knowing it, for Thou art God. You said, "Is not so many sparrows sold for two farthings? How much more are you than a sparrow?" How much more did You see the hands of those mortal beings in which Your Son Jesus died for. How more did You see their hands than You would a sparrow if it fell this morning. I suppose for--a dozen sparrows wouldn't sell for a penny this morning, 'cause no one wants them; there'd be the trouble of burying them. But You know every one of them; You know every feather that's in their body. You know every hair that's on our head.
O Lord, answer prayer; let them be certain this morning that You are God, and It's Your Spirit. May the dullness and glamor of this modern day religion drop away from them, saying, "Oh, I belong to certain-such church." God, may that fade from their minds right now. In this one moment may they catch a glimpse of Eternal Life. And then they'll seek and hunger for it, to know what God is, and they're certain that He is; He keeps His Word.
127 To the sinner, may they repent quickly, make ready for baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. And You promised You'd give them the Holy Ghost. You said it, Lord; You keep Your promise.
There's a backslider that's certain that You are God, and they've wandered away, may they come today because You said, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white like snow; red like crimson, they'll be white like wool."
And if there's those who are sick, may they realize that You're God; You keep Your Word; You must keep Your Word. And as they lay theirself with their Oil, the Spirit that's in them that's confessing they believe, and then also with the Word, the Bread of Life that's went forth, Christ ground up to them in the Old Testament and in the New Testament to show that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. May they mix that Word with the Oil, Spirit, that they've got, then stand to their feet at the altar, saying, "This is all I got, Lord; I bring it." Oh, how You'll multiply it, how it'll call the God of history on at the scene; how it'll make Jehovah rise with a heart swelling that, "I got a child that'll obey Me. I've put him through the test, and he proves that he loves Me and he believes Me. He's certain that I am." For it is said, "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and a rewarder of those that diligently seek after Him." Grant it this hour, as we commit it to You.
130 And now, while we have our heads bowed, and those that are in need of anything, would you stand to your feet that wants to place... Now, if you're not certain that He is God... If you're certain He is God, and is going to keep His promise, salvation, healing, whatever it is; if you're certain that He's God, stand to your feet. If you got someone else you want to pray for, stand to your feet if you're--if you're certain that He's God. "Make your request known in the assemblies of the saints. You're doing it as you stand to your... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]...
I'm certain He's God. I believe that He keeps His Word. And I'm sure that my request... I'll lay it under the Blood right now. If you do that, lay every sin, every... Sin is unbelief. You might be a church member, but I'm meaning sin, your unbelief. You're laying it down as a sacrifice; you're going to sacrifice it; you're coming to the cross. You're going to sacrifice now all your unbelief and give it over to Him and know that He is, and you're certain He's going to answer. If you're that, raise up your hand. Remain that way.
131 Lord, Thou are God. Here is their Oil and their Corn mixed together; they're bringing it to the cross where the fire of God shall fall into their hearts, if they really mean that, and consume that sacrifice. You'll move on the scene, rise the hide waters. Coming from heaven in a chariot of fire You'll shake the whole heavens and earth to reward them.
As they stand with their hands up in the air, signifying that they believe and have laid themselves and every request that they got right on Thy altar... O God of heaven and earth, the Judge of the heavens and earth, surely the Judge of heaven and earth will commit righteousness; surely He'll keep His Word, You Who know the hearts of men, the hearts of women, the hearts of these people.
133 Lord God, I put my own hands up, for I know that I've got a change of ministry now. And I believe that You are; I've seen You standing yonder in a Pillar of Fire. I've seen You search the secrets of men's hearts, and not one time have You failed. You promised it when You made it yonder across the street here, when You first started dealing to do these things. And You protected me around the world and around and around. I'm sure You're God; I'm certain of that.
I offer myself with these people and a sacrifice of all that I have, Lord, to You for service. I'm starting again, Lord, moving around the world. Help me, O God. If I've disbelieved You at any time, forgive me of my sin, forgive me of my unbelief. I know that You are and a Rewarder of those that seek You.
135 Likewise, I confess the sins of my people this morning, their weaknesses and their doubtings, as they're standing with their arms in the air. I confess their sins, Lord, and all of our weaknesses. Send the Holy Ghost upon us with the seal of Your approval, that You are God, and You're here now to receive us, and to take us into Thy arms, and to redeem us of everything that we've lost. If it's our health, may it be restored a hundredfold. If it's our soul, may it come to us as a blooming, shining article, filled with the Holy Ghost to be presented before God. If it's unbelief, may it become to us again, Lord, with faith to move mountains. Grant it, Lord.
We believe that You're moving, the Holy Spirit, saturating through this building, over these people, and in their hearts, moving them to accept the living God. This we do in the Name of Jesus Christ.
137 My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my sins away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
Do you mean it? Do you receive it, raise your hands, say, "I now receive it of Him."
While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's fears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
138 Let us bow our heads. After this stern, hard-cut message, rude and brought out in a rough way, but it's the truth... And if you'd humbly believe what you have asked for that you receive, don't you never let nothing push you from that straight road. Stand right there. No matter how much I'd preach, whatever I'd do, or whatever any man would do, it'll never take effect till you accept it as your own personal property.
If you believe that with all your heart, everything that you have desired... If you've confessed your sins, God has forgive you. Don't you never doubt it no more. If you're a backslider, you've been taken back this morning. If you need the Holy Spirit, then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. That's God's Word. He will not alter It for no church, no denomination, for nobody else. It must be that way. We got to meet His requirements, not the church's requirements, His requirements. That's what we must do.
140 If He said the prayer of faith shall save the sick... If you're sick, I've prayed the prayer for faith for you. You've prayed it in your own heart and believe it, accept it, stand pat on it, it'll have to be that way. Nothing can take it.
No matter how gloomy it looks... You say, "Well, it might look like I'm still sick." That doesn't... It's just angels' wings gathered together. That's all. It's God in a form of blessing. It's looks gloomy to you. Draw a little closer to it and look at it again. See if it ain't God standing there keeping His Word.
Now, as we have our heads bowed, I'm going to turn the service to Brother Neville, our pastor.