Messieurs, Nous Voudrions Voir Jésus (Message De Noël)
1-1 ...?... All things are possible,
Thank you, Brother Neville, thank you. Good evening, friends. I was saying to Brother Neville, I--I tried to call him at his home this afternoon. I said to the people from down in Georgia and around last week that I--I just didn't suppose I'd be here today, because many of the people come...
And yet, at Christmas, you know, little kiddies, you can't tell them no different. They just... It's Christmas time for them, and they wouldn't have their little sock hung up, there would be something... It's a tradition, even in our nation, that they hang up a sock and something another. Why, I did when I was a kid. And--and although it's as far off the Scripture beaten path as it is, yet kids are... They hear the other kids say, "Well, I got this for Christmas; I got this." The little fellows stand around and look, you know. You--you can't make them understand. See?
1-3 So just... Christmas is here to stay, and it isn't the birthday of our Lord, the time He was born. Now, if you'll get on your--on the globe and look, Judaea is just as about as far under the equator as this is above it. So we find out in Judaea, in them mountains up there, that there's snow, my, it's--more snow than there is here. So the shepherds could not be at--on the mountain at that time herding their sheep.
And another thing, He... It'd be contrary to all nature. See? Lambs and so forth are spring born, not this time of year. Lambs are not born now; the--the ewes don't lamb now. And He was the Lamb of God (You see?), so there--He was born along in (they claim), along in April sometime, middle of April, or something like that.
1-5 But this being the 25th of December, why, making it the birthday, this is the sun god's birthday (See?), the Roman Baalim, the sun god. See? And the sun is just exactly halfway around now. And from the 20th unto the 25th was when the Roman circus was in celebration of the sun god's birthday. And the... So they said, "Well now, to please the--both Christian and pagan, we'll make instead of sun god, the Son of God and the sun god together. So we'll put it all together and make it the same birthday and make it on the 25th."
So it seemed to please the pagan and the nominal church then, or the first church of Rome was just... It was just all right with them, so they didn't care. So they made it both sun god and Son of God's birthday.
2-2 Now, the longest day in the year is along about the 21st or 22nd--the longest night, I mean, in the year is along about the 21st or 22nd, when in the solar system the sun is just bouncing over, coming back. Now, they'll start getting just a few seconds or minutes longer, and then sometime up in June or July we have the longest day in the year.
So... But Christmas is here to stay, so we're... We can't help it. Tubeless tires are here to stay. I hate them, but they're--they're here to stay. That's right.
Undressed women, they're here to stay. Shorts, they're going to stay. That's all. They're going to get shorter all the time, so ain't nothing I can do about. I can just say it's wrong and stay with it. That's right.
Sin, it's here to stay. It's here to stay. We're going to have it on and on, so just... It's here to stay until Jesus comes. And all these things are here to stay.
2-6 Now, I do not believe... Let me make this clear. I do not believe that Jesus would care what day you worshipped His birthday on (if it's the 25th, 26th, or whether it's April, May, June, July, or whenever it might be), just so you worship--you worship Him on any day.
But here's what it is. They have taken the sacredness from Christmas to make it not a Christmas, but--a worship day, but a celebration. See? We do not... You hear people say, "We're going to celebrate Christmas." That's wrong. We should never celebrate Christmas. Christmas is a day of worship, not a celebration.
2-8 We celebrate Lincoln's birthday; we celebrate Washington's birthday. And if you was down in the deep south, we would celebrate Lee's birthday, or--or Jackson. Their birthday is a celebration. But the birthday of Christ, I believe, should be a day of consecration, worship. Instead of tonight, of people at church on their knees, praying, thanking God for the real Christmas Gift... High heeled shoes, and painted faces, and frock-tailed coats, and goblets of whiskey will be tipped one to another; and tens of thousands times thousands of dollars worth of whiskey, and cigars, and cigarettes will be distributed tonight, when thousands of poor, little, hungry children lay without a bite to eat or a place to lay their head.
3-1 Worship--what we need, celebration's what we've got. Well, that's all right. That--they--it isn't all right, but we can't stop it; it's here to stay. We--we're going to have Christmas right on just the same.
And the word "Christmas," Christmas come from the word of "mass for Christ, Christ's mass--C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s (See?), Christ's mass." It's a Catholic tradition.
3-3 And my little... One of my daughters (I can't call her little no more.), Becky, was--had to write a story the other day on mythology, on mystic. And I said, "Just write about Santa Claus." That's--that's it. Santa Claus has took the place of Christ. And Santa Claus, there never was such a person. See? It's absolutely a Catholic tradition, not anything to do with Protestants or anything about it (See?), or Christmas, or the birth of Christ: not at all. But Santa's here to stay. But someday Jesus will come to stay; that's the One we're looking for.
3-4 Now, I sure would prefer Brother Neville taking this pulpit tonight, because it's... I told the people that I would stay away today; and if I did come down and say anything, I'd make a tape. And I hope that they... Have you got a tape recorder going? Have you? Make a tape, whether... If the Holy Spirit during the time of the meeting spoke anything, it might be that they would--they could hear it. See?
I've got some Scriptures and so forth wrote out here, a little text. And I don't know, I trust that the Lord will bless it. But the thing of it is, usually on these Sunday nights, the folks are out of here by around 9:00 or ten minutes after, and you'll be good to get out 'fore 1:00, so... But I suppose there is a watch... [Brother Branham has a conversation with Brother Neville--Ed.] Huh? A watch? Something... midnight service or... I mean... No, not tonight, no, that... He thought--he thought maybe I had it mixed up--this is New Year's night. Well, I--we're expecting a great time New Year's night. That's the time where we--every--all the brethren come in, and we have great fellowship one with another on New Year's night.
Now... But I was just teasing you about that. And I hope that didn't get on the tape.
3-7 Say, the other day, making a tape, I bumped this thing about several times, and--and I had that tape just ruined, on that "Christianity Vs. Paganism." The tapes was ruined. So if the tapes are--are playing or coming in, I wished ever who's taking would come to the door and just open the door or something, so I'll know that it's on now; I'll see which way this thing's turned, if it's operating. Okay, all right, that's fine. I'm going to cover it up, get over on this other side. I wasn't used to it.
Well, I want to take this opportunity to thank this church and it's members for the nice things that you gave me for Christmas. Awhile ago my son came in and gave me a great big box, and I was in the--my study room, studying. And I opened it up and found a new suit of clothes from this Tabernacle. And little personal things that people has sent me, just up there, which I haven't opened up until Joe comes in tonight and opens up his, and then... I--I certainly appreciate that. The Lord bless you.
4-2 I wished I could give Christmas presents to everyone. I can't do it. You know how it is. You just can't do it, that's all. If you--if you give to one, it shows respects, like that, and you just can't do it. A minister just can't do that.
And I understand that Brother Neville, this morning, was presented with a new topcoat. So grateful to you all for my brother. There's a little secret to that that Billy Paul and I know. You know, I'm so slow about anything, I--catching on anyhow about anything. Billy told me the other day; he said, "You know, daddy, I was over at the supermarket," and said, "who did I meet over there? (And he had a little quiver in his voice.) Brother Neville." And said, "He had on a topcoat, looked terrible."
And I said, "Would mine fit him?"
And so--and he said, "No, he's so much bigger man than you are."
So I said, "Aw, I'm just going down and get him one."
4-4 So then, I get my check from the church here like he does. So at that time, Billy come running up with a great big influential word and smile on his face, "Daddy, the church is going to get him one." Well, I know the church would--could probably get him a little better one than I, so I thought, "That's just wonderful, so we could all help." But we know that it come in a real fine place in Brother Neville needing that coat.
You know, I want to tell you a little something about that. I was reading in the history. That's all I've done in the last few weeks, months or two, has been take Bible history.
5-2 I once read the... My first book was the Old Testament, what God was in the Old Testament. Then I took the New Testament and see what God was, to compare it today, because I know He has to remain the same. See? Then there's one place of the church that I missed out; that was between the time of the going of the last apostle until the coming in of the Dark Age, when the Catholic church set in reign. They lost all the miracles, and all the Divinity out of the church, and everything. And I--I wanted to know what took place during that time, so I've just took some of the most ancient histories that there is, such as, Hislop's "Two Babylons," and Broadbent's "Pilgrim Church," Fox "Book of the Martyrs," "The Post-Nicean Fathers," "The Nicean Council," Pre-Nicean Council," and all those great historians that's wrote during those times, the life of all those precious men. When I read them, it seems like I could hear Longfellow's "Psalm of Life."
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
With partings leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;...
5-3 When I seen what those men and women went through with back there and see--to maintain this same Gospel, and when they preached this same Gospel, the same thing that happened in the Old Testament, New Testament, and then, just exactly the same, so that gives it one, two, three witnesses; every word is established. The same God that dealt with the old prophets, dealt with the apostles, and dealt with the Pre-Nicean brethren; and here He is today, dealing the same way with His people, with the same signs, same wonders, same Gospel, same power, same God, everything, with three as a witness to us that this is the Truth. This is Truth, God giving it in three testaments (See?), that history is...
5-4 The Bible is a history of what God was. So the history of the Old Testament... The New Testament is a history of the--of the New Testament, and the Nicean Council and Fathers, and Post-Nicean Council is the history of the church then. And now, history is making on just as it was, which this history will never be written. No. It's too close to the coming now.
And God help a man in these days... People who try to seek human honor, men who try to--to make themselves popular or--among human beings, don't you know that human being, when it perishes, all that perishes with it? But seek to gain the heavenly treasures; they shall never pass away.
God's richest blessings rest upon all you. I told them tonight; usually it's my custom to go to church somewhere on Sunday, if I possibly can. I...
6-3 Today, this morning I wanted to come down real bad and hear Brother Neville's message. But after making that promise, then I didn't want to break it. So then, I tried to listen to radios and--and so forth. And all I could hear was, "Immediately after this service, we'll all meet out in the lunchroom and have coffee together, and we'll..." What has the church come to? It's a lodge. Why don't you just say "lodge" instead of "church"? Church, you're not supposed to do that. Church is a--not a meeting of coffee, or dinners, or suppers, and things like that. We have communion with the Lord. A church, that's where we commune with Him.
6-4 I said to the wife, "Honey, I--I am getting so critical; I hate to go down to the Tabernacle or either enter the pulpit." Oh, the older I get, look like, worse I get. And I--I--I don't--I don't want to be that--like that. But there's something inside me drives me to be like that. And then I said, "Am I losing my mind? Why can't I go with the rest of the crowd? Why can't I go like the other brethren? Why can't I get me an organization and build around it like they do? Or, why can't I go out and quit hammering at people and things like that? Why can't I do it?" And I said then, "I think, 'Have I lost my mind?'" Then I come back to the Word, and there it is. I must stay with that Word.
6-5 I said, "I... If it wasn't for the Word of God and I knowed there was a God, I'd build me a little cabin somewhere so far back in British Columbia, way back up in Canada in the mountains, where I wouldn't see a human being once a year; and there I'd hear the voice of God in the rippling streams and hear Him when He screamed out in the wolf on top of the mountain. I'd hear Him as He whispered through the great big pine trees, and look at His lovely face in the mirror of the lake when it reflected the big snowcapped mountains. Why, I'd worship God every day of my life back in there. I know I'd get more real about God back there than I can listening to coffee suppers, and tea parties, and all this kind of stuff that we have today, so-called church: creeds, and fictions, and fables, and everything else to take the place of the Gospel."
7-1 I'd better read some Scripture, hadn't I? and get started.
Now, before we read, let's speak to the One Who wrote It, as we bow our heads. All that has a request tonight, this being a Christmas eve night, might have something like this: "O Lord, I'm grateful in my heart for Christ, and I want to come just a little closer now than ever before. I want to not go back to a manger in a barn, but I want to make my heart a manger, not for an infant Christ, but a Christ Who is God, Emmanuel." Would you just let it be known by your uplifted hand to Christ? The Lord grant your request.
7-4 Heavenly Father, now we are assembled in the house that's called the house of prayer, the place where we come together to worship the Lord Jesus in all of His great works, and to teach His Word, and believe that He is the Word. And we thank You for this night and its opportunities that lays before us to bring the Word of the living God to a living people, and especially to those that are living in Christ Jesus, that's been renewed, has been borned anew, become new creations--and the opportunity we have to present the--the facts to those who are not new creations in Christ, that this night they can become new creations in Christ. Give to each of these people the desire of their heart, and may they tonight, if they haven't before, come into this great, universal, catholic Church, this catholic as it is in worldwide, apostolic, borned again saints of the living God. Grant it, Lord. May each person become a member of It, because It's a Body, not a building, but a Body, the Body of Christ. And we are the members of this Body. Grant it, Lord.
7-5 May great gifts from the Christ be poured out upon the people tonight that belongs in the Body, not a package sealed up, not with Christmas presents in it, as we earthly beings can give to each other in appreciation of our love to each other; but let it be that seal of the Holy Spirit coming down into the soul of mankind, giving them Immortal Life.
Bless them altogether, Father, while tonight, as far as we know, being healthy and happy, a good warm fire to set by, a roof over our head and thinking of the thousands around the world with no place to go... Heavenly Father, be merciful to us and grant this request.
We ask tonight that You'll bless the Word as It goes forth now. Bless our pastor, and bless the trustees, and the deacons of the church, and every one that's affiliated with it in the membership of the Body, being borned again, for we ask it in Jesus' Name. Amen.
8-2 As I started a few moments ago to say--in the reading of the saints--Saint Martin come one cold night, and he found a poor old man laying freezing at the gate. And he seen people pass by who was able to give the old man a--a cloak of some sort, but they didn't do it. And him knowing then that it was his duty to do it--yet his father and mother both heathens--but he was a soldier, so he took off his cloak took his sword and cut it half in two, and wrapped the old fellow up in it, and then went on. And the people laughed at him, snubbed him, said, "A funny looking soldier, what a fanatic."
8-3 But the following night he was wakened up in the barracks where he was staying, and he was in a vision. And he looked, and he was in a room; and there stood Jesus with a bunch of Angels standing around Him; and Jesus had this piece of robe wrapped around Him; the cloak. And He said to the Angels, "Do you know where I got this?"
And they said, "Nay, my Lord."
He said, "Martin wrapped Me in this."
So Brother Martin knew then that was his call to the ministry, because when he wrapped that old man in that robe, Jesus was in that old man. So if He was in an old man, as we would call, a beggar or a bum laying on the street, Jesus will come to any of us. Then he knows, "What you've done unto the least of these, My little ones, you have did it unto Me." God help us to remember that.
8-5 Now, you that's got your Bibles and wants to take down the text, I want to read two places out of the Holy Writings tonight--one out of Isaiah, and one out of St. John. I want to read out of Isaiah the 42nd chapter and out of St. John the 12th chapter. I wish to read the Scriptures.
Isaiah 42 starts with 1, the 1st verse, and goes down inclusive of the 7th verse.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he hath set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Thus saith... the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and... which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of a people, for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out of prison from the prisons, and them that sit in darkness... of the prison house.
9-1 Now, in the 12th chapter of St. John, and let's begin with the 17th verse and read the--down about the 28th verse.
The people therefore... was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how we prevail nothing? behold, the world... goeth after him.
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip telleth Jesus.
And Jesus answered them, saying. The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
If any man serve me, let him follow me;... (Listen now.)... and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Now is my soul troubled;... what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for the cause--this cause came I unto this hour.
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
10-1 Now, I draw from this a text that I have used in another way, "Sirs, We Would See Jesus." Times before I have approached this subject, and--but a little different from what I aim to tonight.
Now, this is an unusual setting of the scene for a Christmas message. But I suppose today, you've--on the radio you've heard... "Three Men of Orient Are,' and "Little Town of Bethlehem," and "Silent Night," and heard ministers speak of His birth and so forth. And me, placing my Christmas message tonight, after you've had so much of it this afternoon and last two or three days, I thought I would take a different view of it, not from His birth, and would speak it in another way.
10-3 And this most unusual setting... But it's in the unusual things we see the truth of God's Word. It's in the unusual thing. It was in the unusual setting of God's Word that the people recognized Him to be the Messiah, not the usual setting that the Pharisees and Sadducees come telling them. It was the unusual thing to see the Messiah being born in a barn, instead of coming down out of the corridors of heaven, as they thought He would come or as they--they said He would come. It was an unusual thing, when at the river of Jordan, when the mountains skipped like little rams.
11-1 And the messenger set before Him, instead of him being a fine, cultured priest that would come out to announce His coming, would see a man with whiskers all over his face, and shaggy hair, and a piece of a animal skin wrapped around him for a coat, and walk out in mud up above his ankles, perhaps, and preach a--such a stirring message, and tell the Pharisees and Sadducees, and call those scholars, "You generation of snakes."... That was unusual for a man to do that.
But it also was the way of finding Truth and Life: the unusual way, not the set, routine way, but the unusual way. And it's my heart's desire tonight, that in this unusual Scripture, that we will find the true meaning of Christmas, what Christmas means to us, the way we should do it... Now... Or what--how we should approach Christmas...
11-3 Now, we find in here as we have read, these Greeks wanted to see Him. They came to find Jesus. No doubt that they, like you and I, had heard of Him, the great works that He had done, and the great preaching that He had done, and the unusual things of His life, so He became an unusual Person. And I wish to stop here just long enough to say this: that most always, when you find God in a person, you find a most unusual person being used in the most unusual way.
So Jesus was this type of Person, and He attracted the people to find out just what He was and Who He was. And of course, these Greeks were pagans, heathen, because Greeks worship idols. And they were great, well, I would say, sculptors and athletes. And they had lot of art, Greeks did, great Grecian art, that's never been competed even to this day, until their arts... And they were great athletic people.
11-5 And being--knowing that there was some God somewhere and they had thousands of them that they worshipped--and they'd heard of a historical God that done great miracles in the--among the Hebrews. And then, they had also heard that this God, that used to be the miracle-working Hebrew God, was over there in their land with them again. So it attracted their attention, so they came to see Jesus.
And notice, usually the way that people want to find Jesus is to find somebody who knows how to take them to Him. A leader or one of His servants is the way they find Him.
So Jesus, if He ever chooses a servant, He always chooses somebody that will bring the people to Him, because it's his purpose to serve the people.
12-1 Now, we find that they were brought into His Presence. Now, these Greeks... Philip... They had consulted Philip, and Philip said, "Now, here is someone that wants to see our Lord. So it wouldn't be just right for me to have the honor to introduce these Greeks to my Lord, so I'll go get Andrew to go with me." And so they went and got Andrew, and Andrew and Philip both came and--and presented these Greeks to Jesus.
Now, here is a great thing and a text that's unusual. Just as soon as these Greeks was pointed to Jesus, Jesus did not point to Himself, or He did not make Hisself known to them; because you cannot know Jesus in that way. Jesus isn't known in that way. But as soon as... We see here in the Scripture, that when these Greeks brought--was brought up to Jesus and was in His Presence, it looks like that Jesus would've said, "Well, this is I. I am the Messiah of the Jewish race that's been predicted by the prophets by inspiration down through the centuries; and I am here now. And I am the--borned of Nazareth. I'm of a Jewish mother; My Father is God. And I'm here now to make Myself known to you Greeks."
12-3 Now, that would be more like the 1961 version of it. But look, as soon as they were brought in His Presence... That's the main thing: Get the people in His Presence. And as soon as in His Presence, Jesus said, "Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone." What an unusual thing. Instead of accepting their introduction, the thing He done was pointed them to a place that they could find Him. "Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone.
What did He do here? He pointed them to that great Truth, how to see Him. They could not see Him in the way of Eternal Life, just standing there the way He was; He was a man.
12-5 A few mornings ago I had a vision about 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning. I had been praying to the Lord, feeling a call moving me constantly for the foreign fields this year--start right away, all the world. I want to go to Norway, and I want to go to Germany, Africa, and many of the nations this year, if the Lord willing: just a call in my heart to go.
And I was praying to the Lord, and a vision came over my eyes. And I was standing, then walked like across the floor, and entered into a--a room where there was two women, especially: one was at a counter, and the other was at a counter. They were selling different things. Well, I stood for a moment and wondered what it was about. Then I seen a man came in, and he bought from the woman at this counter, a little bottle of perfume that goes to another: his wife perhaps.
13-1 Then I walked up, and I said, "How much is that perfume? I would like some for my wife, but I want the lilac. I like lilacs."
And he said--or the woman said, rather, "The--this small bottle that that man bought for his wife is 40 cents, but it isn't lilac. This other bottle of lilac is one dollar and ninety-eight cents."
And I said, "I will take that." And I went to my purse to get the money; I thought I gave her two one dollar bills.
Handing back, she said, "Sir, I don't know this money."
And she handed it back to me, and it was a Canadian five dollar bill. And I said, "Pardon me. I thought it was a dollar." I said then, "I am--I'm a missionary, and I--in my missions I get money from different parts of the world. And in this I have made a mistake."
So she gave me the five dollar bill back, and I gave her the American one dollar bill. And she gave me the change, and she said, "A missionary?"
And I said, "Yes, ma'am."
13-5 And while I was talking, or looking at her, she looked over to the next woman, and she kinda nodded her head. And she said, "Dear, do you believe that Brother Branham is right, that we women today will have to live like he told us, with the cutting of our hair, and the wearing of our apparel, and things like that?" Said, "Don't you think that he is wrong in that?"
She said, "Yes," and--and she said, "Go ahead, honey, you, Ruth (or whatever her name was)," said, "you have the inspiration, say it."
Well, quickly, I knew I was in the vision, so I knew that that was them two women, always... See? The both oneness and trinity church, there they was standing there. And said, "Yes," said, "I don't think we should, because we have never seen His eyes. We have never seen His makeup. We wouldn't know what He looked like, so why would we do it."
14-1 And I had on an old patrol suit; and I said to the woman; I said, "Just a moment, my sisters. See, you do have to live just according to the Bible, no matter how It was."
She said, "But we never lived back there, and we never seen Him."
I said, "I have seen Him." And I said, "The thing of it is..." I thought, "Lord, now I'm before two great, smart churches; now You've got to give me wisdom." And so, then I heard myself go to talking. I want you to examine it. Never thought of it in my life. I said, "A man today has to be like he was then, because he's the same man. He's made up of five senses, and if he stood and looked at Him right in the face, he would still have to have that sixth sense of faith to believe Him no matter what He looked like. He'd have to believe Him anyhow."
And they hid their faces with shame and said, "We never saw it, sir, like that." And started going off, then I turned and started to the mission fields, which I know was a--a call back to the field.
14-5 Now, see, He pointed them there in His Presence; Christ pointed them to the Truth. He said how to see Him was to go to the cross. There's where it's at, at the cross: "Except a corn of wheat falls, it abides alone." And if He did not die, He would have to abide alone Himself, if He did not die. But Him being the Corn of Wheat that fell into the ground, and then if It falls into the ground, He said It'll bring forth abundance, if It falls into the ground and dies. First it has to be a germitized grain, or it won't bring forth nothing. But it has to have life in it before it can fall into the ground. And He had Eternal Life in Him, because He was Emmanuel. And He had to give His own Life in order to bring forth life again.
14-6 Take like the wheat. You say, "How could one grain of wheat?" Here's what happens: One grain falls in; it brings forth a hundred grains. A hundred grains falls in, brings forth a thousand grains; a thousand grains falls in and brings forth a million grains; a million grains falls in and brings forth a--a barge load, and on and on and on till it feeds the whole world. That's what He meant. "If I live My Life alone and die this way, and just live My Life alone, well then, there'll be no fruit after Me. But if I fall into the ground under the will of God... And I'll bring forth a new birth, and in that new birth, it'll bring forth another with new birth and another with new birth, until the whole world will be missionaried and Gospel-preached. 'This Gospel must be preached in all the world for a witness unto Me. These signs shall follow them that believe...'"
15-1 So if we ourselves then in our ministry, and in our thoughts, and in our life, if we abide as we are, we can do no good. We've got to also die at the altar, or we'll live alone; we'll live to some denomination or some creed; we'll live to some organization. But if we die to ourselves, then the Holy Spirit will be spread forth everywhere by our lips. We've got to die.
So many today... So it is like now, that if... We must realize that we've got to die in order to bring forth new life. So He said so much in this, "If you want to see Me, you must die, die to yourself, and then you'll bring forth a new life."
15-3 Now, if we want to see Him, if you ever expect to see Him, you'll never see Him by some joining a church, some book of laws that you keep, some creeds that you serve. You'll see Him when you die. When you come to Calvary and are crucified to yourself, then you'll see Jesus.
"We would see Him." First, before He said anything, He pointed them to the place to find Him. Like all Gentiles or all people, you find Jesus at the cross when you're crucified with Him.
15-5 Today we try to find Him in everything. We try to find Him in a church building. We try to find Him in a denomination. We try to find Him in saying some creed. We try to find Him by keeping certain days, by obeying certain rituals. But we cannot find Him till we come to Calvary. There we are crucified, fall into the dust of the earth, and die to ourselves, and then reborned again. Then we find Jesus.
Oh, so many try today to hold theirself and maintain your own idea, "I've got my way of it. I believe this." But you cannot find Christ until you die to yourself and accept Him, the Word, then you find Life. (Let's see.)
15-7 How different today. How different today--today with the churches, or the disciples of today. What did they do? If you come to disciples today... Them disciples, before they did anything, they took these Greeks right into the Presence of Jesus. And if He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, He'll have to act the same today if you're brought in His Presence.
Disciples today is so much different, for today they try to take you to a cradle, or a manger, or to a Santa Claus, or to a bunny rabbit for Easter, or something another instead of Christ. They never did bring you in the Presence of Christ. Christmas isn't Christ. No. Today they bring you some other place, to some statue, some church, some organization, some doctrinal laws, but never get you in the Presence of Christ. A real true disciple would bring you right straight in the Presence of Christ, and from there Christ would show you what you had to do.
16-2 Now, "The spirit is gone from Christmas," someone said today. I heard them on the radio, said, a man giving a argument, a minister, about so many people today saying, "Christmas isn't this, and we oughtn't to have Santa Claus and things." And that fellow tried to make his points clear, that if you took Santa Claus out of Christmas, you took the spirit out. You took the spirit of Santa Claus out; that's true. And the spirit of Santa Claus isn't... Santa, some myth of Germany, a German Catholic tradition, is not the spirit that makes Christmas. The Spirit Christ pointed to was the Holy Spirit, which is not a celebration, but a worship of the living God.
16-3 But he said, "You take Santa Claus out; there's no more spirit in Christmas." Could you imagine a minister saying that on the air? But that's what he said. Said, "You take Santa Claus out and you've got no more spirit of Christmas." Well, it might be, using the word "Christ mass"; you might not have much of that, but you take Santa Claus out of your life, open up your heart, and let Christ come in, die to these things of the world in order to have the real Christmas.
Yes, it's a lot different what it used to be, but it's changed. Not--not... Christ hasn't changed.
16-5 The disciples today is a lot difference from the disciples of old. Today the disciples brings the speakers--or the seekers, rather... Instead of... The disciples of old brought the seeker into the Presence of God. And today the disciples of the day bring them into the presence of some church organization, some affiliation, some creed, some doctrine, instead of bringing them into the Presence of Christ.
We take the word "Christmas." It's very seldom you ever hear Christ's Name mentioned. You don't hear it mentioned. The lights and tinsel is all on Santa Claus, not on Christ. The people hardly knows what Christmas is really for. They've just paganized it and paganized it till it's all become pagan. It's a great commercial day of celebration. Now, if they want to make a commercial day like Mother's Day, or Father's Day, or son's day, or daughter's day, that's all right; but keep that commercial off of Christmas.
And I seen a sign not long ago, said, "Put Christ back in Christmas."
17-2 Now, they bring you to a church; you learn a creed. They bring you to a Christmas, and what do you do? You see a Santa Claus. They bring you to a church; you see an organization. But Christ brought them to the cross. And when you get a real disciple that'll point you to Christ, Christ will bring you to the cross where you are crucified with Him. And His Eternal Life and your life meet together, and your life dies, and you take on His Eternal Life, and then you're a son of God. Amen. What a difference from the disciple of old and the disciple of today.
17-3 If you mention to a disciple, "I would love to know the Lord Jesus."
"Well, now look, we belong to the certain, certain church, come down and join that--join us." See? Or, "We was... We belong to this certain, certain society and come join that." And now, that's what you hear.
But Christ Himself pointed people to His death and said, "Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground, it abides alone."
Oh, how different it is. Yes, sir. How different. But your life and His Life find each other, not at the church, not in a building, not in a creed, not in good works, but in the cross where you are crucified with Him. That's where you find Christ. You don't find Him by doing better, turning a new page, starting a new life, you don't find Christ. You find Christ only in death, not in a manger, not in a confession. To believe in certain creeds and fables, you don't find Christ there. A true servant takes you to Him, and He is the Word.
17-7 You say, "Then, Brother Branham, if Christ is on earth today, a real servant would take him to Him, Christ." Well, Christ is here in the form of the Word; and the Word brings Life, because He is the Word. Christ is the Word. Yes, sir. He is the Word Himself. The true servant always takes you to the Word.
Now, He is the Word. He is this Bible made living. And when you die to yourself with Christ like a corn of wheat, then the Word lives in you, brings forth the same results as It did in that living Corn of Wheat that had to drop into the earth. Amen. You're partakers in His resurrection. You're partakers with Him in all of His blessings, in all of His manifestations. You're partakers with Him in all that He did.
18-2 Now, He is the Word with It's true interpretation. Now, you say, "Oh, we believe the Bible, sir; we believe the Bible."
But now, if you believe the Bible, Jesus said this in the Bible, St. John 14:12: "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also." That's the true interpretation of the Bible, for God Himself is in you speaking back His own interpretation. Glory. That's the true interpretation: God in you interpreting His own words. Amen.
Didn't Jesus say, "These signs shall follow them that believe"? God in you giving His own interpretation. You don't have to look to somebody else. Say, "The Word says this." Believe It, and It'll interpret Itself, because it's God using you to interpret His own Word. Amen. Christ is the living interpretation of His own Word.
18-5 Let's look at some, how He interpreted the Word. Now, if He's got the right interpretation... Now, we go down here to the Methodists, they say, "We got the right interpretation."
The Baptists, they say, "We got the right interpretation."
Presbyterian, "We got the right interpretation."
Church of Christ (so-called), "We got the right interpretation." All of them's got the right interpretation; they're all different one from another. Then there's something wrong somewhere. Now, the only way we can find, is to find the way Jesus told the Jews how to interpret the Word. Amen. And if Christ said so, that makes it right.
The Methodists say, "The way our brethren interpret It, the council..."
The Baptists say, "The way we interpret It..."
The Presbyterians say, "The way we interpret It..." But it's the way that Jesus interpreted It. That's right.
18-8 Let's look at how He interpreted the Word. He said, "If I do not the works of My Father's Word, don't believe Me." That settles it. That's how He interpreted It. He said, "If you can't believe Me, believe the works that I've done. And if I do not the works of My Father, don't believe it at all." Amen. That settles it. "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also."
Now, there's got to be something right and something wrong, or either what are we doing, what are we playing about? What are we going around here pretending to be Christians, and doing this, that, and the other, and joining these creeds, and shaking hands with this kind of Pentecost, or that, or Methodist, or Presbyterian, or Baptist, or Catholic? What's it all about? What are we doing? Playing hide the eraser, cat and mouse? Where we at?
19-2 Then there's only one way, only one foundation; there's only one sure way; that's the interpretation that Jesus gave the Word. Hallelujah. That's the interpretation that's right. Said, "If I don't do the works that God said I'd do, then don't believe Me." Amen. That's the interpretation. Interpretation today is, Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me, the same works that I do shall he do also." And the Scripture also said, "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever." Jesus said, "That's how to know whether I come from God or not." That's how to come to know.
They said, "Now, wait a minute. We got Abraham to our father." He said... "Our fathers eat manna in the wilderness."
And--and Jesus said, "They're all dead."
"We drank water from the smitten rock."
"And they're all dead." He said, "But I'm that Bread of Life that come from God out of heaven. And it isn't Me that speaks; it's My Father that dwells in Me. He is the Interpreter of that Divine Word. And He proves in here that He is God, because He's doing right with Me what He said He would do." Amen. That's the Scripture. That's the message to get to people, not a cradle, not a manger.
19-5 Christmas is not mentioned in the entire book of the Bibles. Never one time did Jesus refer them to His birth, but to His death. Not one time did Jesus ever say, "Join a church." Not one time did He ever say, "Recite a creed." But He said, "Come unto Me." And He said, "He that does come, the works that I do will follow him just as it is Me. For if I don't do the works of the Father, believe Me not; 'cause the Word said when the Messiah come these things would take place: 'He'll be a prophet. Yes, He'd be a prophet; He'd be a seer like Moses was. The lame would leap like a hart; the blind would see; the deaf would hear; and the dumb would speak. He would show forth in Him how He could perform the signs of the Messiah.' Now, if the signs of the Messiah doesn't vindicate My ministry," He said, "then don't believe Me. But here's the way you interpret the Word," He said; "if I don't have these signs, then don't believe it. But if I produce the signs and you can't believe Me interpreting the Word, believe the signs, for they speak of the Word." That's the real interpretation of It. That's it. That's the Message.
20-1 You don't have to take nobody's word. You don't have to join any church. You can't join a Church. You can join these organizations, but the Church of God, you're born into It from Calvary. You say, "Bless God, I am too, Brother Branham." Then the works that Jesus did, you'll do also. It's what Jesus said (See?): "Works that I do..." What? He said, "The works that I do testify of Me." Hallelujah. "The works that I do, they give witness." Don't you see? In other words, "The signs of the Messiah, can't you see what the Messiah was to do? And you don't believe I got the right interpretation of the Word, then why is My Father backing It up? You think I'm too hard on your organizations?" He said. "If you think I'm too--too radical, and you say, 'I'm a madman; I've got a devil; I've lost My mind...'" They told Jesus He was mad. "Mad" means "crazy."
"You're crazy. You don't belong to our groups, and you're out here like a madman. You've lost your mind."
20-3 Then Jesus could say to them this: "Then if you are of God, where is the signs of God. If you believed in Moses, where is the signs of Moses with you? If you believed in the prophets, where is the sign of the prophets with you? So if you can't believe I've got the right interpretation, believe the signs, for they testify that I'm right." Hallelujah. "They are the ones that testify of Me. They give record whether I'm right or not. All the Father has given Me will follow it and come to it. And no man will be able to come unless the Fathers's called them." Right.
Yet He had done so many works, the Bible said, yet they could not believe Him, because Isaiah said, "They got ears and can't hear, eyes and can't see." They're blind as a bat. Yet they can't see it, because the prophets said they couldn't.
21-1 Now, same thing is today as it was then. Yeah, it said, "if you can't... I do the works. It's not Me that's do--speaking the Word; it's not Me that doeth the works, otherwise; it's My Father. And if you know what God was... God was the Creator. God was the One that was upon Moses, and God in Moses foretold My day. God was in the Old Testament," He said, so much as to say, "The One that was upon the prophets told you that that Chief Prophet would come someday and to Him the children would be gathered. If you can't believe what I'm interpreting the Word to you, then believe the signs, for they speak of Me."
21-2 Oh, they couldn't believe. They--they couldn't see it. He was God in the flesh, because what was He? He was the Word made manifest. He was what God had promised. Listen, Branham Tabernacle, buckle yourself down on this Christmas Eve night. See? If He wasn't, then God would not have vindicated Him. Certainly. In other words, He could say, "Which one of your groups (Pharisees, Sadducees, or whatever they might be), which one of your men, which of your high priests, which of your scholars that God uses to speak His Word through and manifest It to say it's right?"
21-3 Well, they could said, "Our men are educated. We're smart; we know that Bible from generation to generation."
"Why then, why don't God make it live again in them men if it's God's Word? I and My Father are One," not three, "We are One." God is in Him. God speaks through Him. He's no more His own, but He's God's voice through human lips. Hallelujah. And every believer in Him tonight is likewise possessed, so possessed, so completely given over, till his words become like the words of Christ. He speaks and the Word is made flesh. He speaks and the Word is manifested. "The works that I do shall you do also. These signs shall follow them that believe."
21-5 Isaiah said in the 42nd chapter we just read, "Great light has come." Light... Oh, I don't want to get off the subject, but the greatest Light that ever shined was shining in that humble little Nazarene: a Man with no beauty we should desire Him; a Man without education, worldly speaking; a Man that knowed not the rituals and things of this world, but could tie demons, raise the dead. And devils trembled. And God recognized Him from heaven and spoke back, "This is My beloved Son," not before the plutocrats, but before a selected group that He had called. Great Light... Why, a greater Light was shining from His Word. What was the Word? Christ. He was what? The Word brought to life. And the Word brought to life gave a greater Light than He did when He said, "Let there be light," in Genesis 1. That was a light of a creation, a mortal creation, which must fall. But His Word was Life Eternal and Light Eternal. When a man believes that, you have Eternal Light.
22-1 "Light to those who set in the regions of the shadows of death," Matthew 4... Bring Light to the Gentiles who were possessed and condemned by God in their idols, but He come as a Light. What did he say? "Thy Word is a Light to my path. A Light to lighten the path to my--to my feet to guide me." And today the Light of God is the Word of God made manifest, that's the Light made manifest. The Light is the works of God spoken by the Word of God brought to life, and it's a greater Light than it was at the dawn of creation. Amen.
22-2 Light, He's a Lamp to the path, my... Oh, God... Light, the Word... In darkness as we are today, filled with creeds and denominations, filled with sensations and fanaticism, open hearts to sepulchers of any kind of a spirit that would even deny this Word from being the Truth; and say, "The days of miracles is past"; "There's no such a thing as the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking with tongues, prophets, and so forth; they died years ago"; then to see God in the midst of darkness, the darkness of creed, the darkness of denomination, take His Word and a bunch of people that will believe It, and shine forth His Life and His Light; there's more Light; It's Eternal Light, more than what it was at the dawn of creation. "Let there be light, and there was light." Certainly.
22-3 Now, Jesus never said, now, He's going to bring them to Bethlehem. Jesus never said to the Greeks when they come up, "Now, just a moment. If you want to see It, I'll take you back to Bethlehem where I was born; and I'll tell you how it happened back there." It wasn't that. He pointed them to a future place if they wanted to know Him. "If you want to know Me," in other words, "I won't take you back and tell you when I was borned at Bethlehem, and all about that. I'll point you to a place where I'm going to be crucified for you. And in there, if you'll be crucified with Me, and take up your cross and follow Me, you'll know Who I am. Otherwise from that, You'll never learn it through your ancient arts. You'll never..."
Well, you say, "Brother Branham, but we learn it through the art of the Bible." No, we don't. If we learn it through the art of the Bible, then why didn't the Pharisees have it? It isn't learnt through the art of the Bible, 'cause we've got too many artists trying to paint it. But the Bible is right, but God is the Artist.
23-2 The creeds today say, "Join this. Say this Doxology. Repeat the Apostles' Creed. Join our church. Shake hands." "Be baptized in the name of Father, Son, Holy Ghost." That is denominational creeds. Right. The Artist didn't paint the picture that way. The Artist painted it that Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. "He that heareth My words and believeth on Him that sent Me has Eternal Life. The works that I do shall he do also. These signs shall follow them that believe." That's the way the Painter painted it. So when God reflects that, you know you've struck the right painting. Outside that you got a bogus copy. Amen. Take that old bogus copy of some kind of a creed, and throw the thing out the door tonight, and take the Bible's Gospel Light, and let the Painter paint Christ in you. Amen. That's the way. That's it.
No. He never took them to the manger; He never took them to Christmas.
23-4 Isaiah said, "His Name would be called..." In the same chapter he said, "His Name shall be called..." No, 55th chapter of Isaiah said, "His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father." Amen.
Wished I had time. I ought to... I'd like to take a text on each one of them: Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Wonderful.
23-6 Let's just strike the thought "Wonderful" for a minute, Wonderful. Oh, Isaiah said He was Wonderful. Let's think of some things that He said that made Him Wonderful. What made Him Wonderful? When He said this: "I and My Father are One," Wonderful. Tell me what Pharisee could've said that. Tell me what high priest could've said that with God backing it up. See? Said, "If I don't do the works, now, don't believe anything I say. But if I preach this, then it shows that God sent Me to do it." Said now, He said, "I and My Father are One," not, "I and My Father are three." Jesus said...
24-1 Now, the creed says, "I and My Father are three," but the Bible said, and Jesus said, "I and My Father are One." That's Wonderful. See how God made flesh (Hallelujah.), not some second, or third, or fourth person, but God Himself. Jesus said so. Argue with Him, not me; I'm just saying what He said. "I and My Father are One. It's not Me that doeth the works; it's My Father; He dwells in Me. If you don't believe Me, believe the Word, 'cause He is the Word. And the Word was made flesh and I am. In the beginning was the Word."
This same Gospel writer, John, said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us." That makes Him and God the same Person if God is the Word and He is the Word; "I and My Father is One," then. Oh, that's Wonderful. Yes, sir. So many things we could say on that. Wonderful, things He said.
24-3 Another thing He said, "I am the Light of the world." Tell me a priest could say that. Tell me a denomination can say that. Tell me a creed that could say that. That's Wonderful.
"I am the Truth." Oh, my. Our creeds are a million miles from Truth. The creed cannot make God manifest. The creed cannot... Just like Elijah said on top of Mount Carmel, "If God be God, let Him answer." The creed won't do it. No, sir. But God will do it. Who is God? The Word, the Word made manifest. He'll do it.
"I am the Light of the world. I am the Truth that's in the world. I am the Way." No other way but Him. That's all. Don't go through a creed, "Come to Me." See? "I am the Way, the Light, the Truth." All that He was, them's Wonderful words that He said. "I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Light. I am the--I am the First. I am the Last. I am the Beginning. I am the End. I'm He that was, which is, and shall come. I'm the Root and Offspring of David. I'm the Morning Star. I'm Alpha to Omega. I'm All. I and My Father are One. He dwells in Me; I'm Him; He's Me."
They said, "You being a man make yourself God?"
Oh, like He said to the Pharisees one time, "You do err not knowing the Word of God, neither the power of God. You do err by not knowing Him." Certainly.
Wonderful words, Wonderful.
25-2 Let's think about wonderful works one time. What did He do? What was He that Isaiah said He'd be Wonderful? When he got calling Him all the names he could: Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, all this, he said, "He's just Wonderful." Wonderful words... Now we're going to talk about Wonderful works for a minute.
What works did He do that was wonderful? One day there was a funeral possession coming from Nain. A widow with her only son, dead, laying on a bier, stiffened out, corpse, embalmed, going down to the grave to be buried... He had traveled all the way from Nazareth, His feet sore, dusty, tired, weary. And He heard that crying; He looked. Coming down the road, there come a little widow, wailing. Her boy, her only son laid on that stretcher, dead. Worked out there that he passed by where Jesus was. And death and Life can't come together, you know. One's got to go. He said, "Stop the bier," walked over and touched the boy; and the life that--that was in the boy, that had been gone maybe two days, returned back. I can just see the shroud begin to move, see the people begin to look; and a man that was dead, raised up on his feet, walked over, and put his arms around his mother, perhaps. That's the works of God. Wonderful, wasn't it? Sure was.
25-4 I can see Jairus, a little priest, been a nice man. He believed Jesus, but he had to keep it still on account of his associates. So many secret believers today like that, they're afraid to get put out of their church (See?): cowards. God can't use that. God wants a man that can stand there. If it takes death, seal it. Don't fear him who destroys the body, but Him that destroys the body and sends the soul to hell.
25-5 Jairus... I see Him go to the home of this--of this minister, walked in where a little, only child of twelve years old, a little girl laid stiff, dead, laid out on a couch. Her little lifeless body lay there. Her little pale hands, her nails had turned white. Her lips was drawed down; a fever had killed her or something. Her little eyes was set and closed, and something was laying over them, perhaps. Her little hair had been combed, with roses and things laying around her. And the mother and father screaming, the neighbors screaming, his only child was gone. I see Him walk into that room. Amen. And He looked around; He seen them all. And they went to laughing at Him; He put them out of the room. That's Wonderful. See, one Man can take control of the whole crowd. Why didn't they say something? They was scared to say something. Why don't they condemn the Word today? They're scared to say it. That's all.
Walked into that room, took that little cold hand, and spoke in an unknown language out yonder somewhere; and the spirit of that child come back; and she lived again. Wonderful works. Yes, it was. It was wonderful works; proved that He was Wonderful.
26-2 I might also say of Lazarus, when they'd already embalmed his body four days before, put layer after layer of spices upon him and round the cloth around and around this young man... And there he was, laying in the grave and rotten. His nose done fell in; his lips fell into his face; the skin worms had begin to eat him up; and his soul was four day's journey out somewhere. I see Him, His little stooped shoulders... Oh, my. The world would've said, "Look at that. Look at that man. Look at him, and you called him God. There he is going down to the grave, crying mortal tears." The Bible said He cried. Tears dropping off His cheeks, snubbing as He went to the grave; He was a man then, but I see Him say, "Roll back the stone." Amen, amen. He changed the scene. Lazarus, that had been dead for four days, stood on his feet and lived again.
26-3 I can see the spice begin to squeeze through the blankets that he had him wrapped with. What? Life had come in again. The stink had gone away; new flesh had come on. A spirit, that was four days somewhere else, returned into his body, and a man stood on his feet. Talk about being Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, there He was. Sure He was. All right.
We find the woman at the well, when He stood and...
[Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... being tired, the devils had swore they was going to drown Him on that night. And they thought they just about had Him. When the sails had tore down, the oars was broke, the boat was waterlogged and filling up, they run back, the disciples, and said, "Carest Thou not that we perish?"
27-1 And He rose, and wiped the sleep from His eyes, said, "Oh, ye of little faith, how long will I be with you? What are you going to do now? What you going to do out here on this stormy sea when this big Galilee is going plumb to the bottom on every wave? What are you going to do when the devil's setting across that mountain yonder, whispering them waves down through like that, and throwing that...?... you know, down there? It's wreaking up the water for thirty or forty feet high. What are you going to do?" Said, "How long will I be with you?" Put His foot upon the brail of the boat and said, "Peace be still." And the winds shut up. In other words, He said, "Wind, shut your mouth. Waves, get back down where you belong." There wasn't even a ripple on the water. He stood there and looked around, walked back for a startled bunch of apostles standing there, laid back down again, and continued His sleep.
They said, "What manner of Man is this?" Wonderful. Amen. Wonderful. Don't you believe He was Wonderful? Sure He was Wonderful. Yes, sir.
27-3 When that Man Himself left the heavens, when the entire solar system was His crown--every billion stars that hung in the earth, every star, that millions of miles beyond... When they--you look through that glass out yonder at Mount Palomar and can see a 120 million years of light space, and all those billions and trillions of stars was in His crown... And He left them to take a crown of thorns. Who would do it? Wonderful. Oh, my.
Eternal was His robe. He was robed with Eternal Life. He never had a beginning. He never started at Bethlehem, you know, as people try to think He did. He had no beginning. Amen. Robed with Eternal Life, and pushed it aside to take an old, dirty robe of death for you and I. Wonderful...?... Heaven was His palace. All heaven belonged to Him. That was His palace. Nothing could ever shine with Him. And He came to the earth and even said, "The foxes has holes, and the birds has nests, but I don't even have a place to lay My head." That's Wonderful, don't you think so?
27-6 Friends, a lot of context I got wrote here, but I, perhaps, ain't got time to get it. I'll quickly hurry.
That's the Jesus that you must see, not the Jesus of denomination they talk about, not the Jesus of the creeds, not the Jesus of some sort of a mythical Christmas, not the Jesus of some bunny rabbit Easter, but the Jesus of Calvary, the Jesus Who laid aside everything, Who the prophets spoke of. We could go on with here: Wonderful Father, Wonderful--Wonderful Father, Wonderful Counselor, Wonderful Prince of Peace, Wonderful Mighty God. We just keep on going, going, going. See? But to lay aside we say this: We must see... If you... That's the Jesus that we must see to have His Eternal Life. You can't get it in a creed; you can't get it in joining a church; you can't get it by some kind of a fable you're told about Santa Claus. Santa Claus don't have Eternal Life. No. A creed don't have Eternal Life. Not to know His Word even gives you--to know It, it doesn't give you Eternal Life. To know Him, the Bible said, "To know Him is Eternal Life," not know His Word, know Him.
28-2 The Greeks wanted to see Him. They wanted to know His Person. "Sirs, we would see Jesus." Now, you don't see with your eyes; you see with your heart. See? You look with your eyes; you understand with your heart. To "see's" "to understand." You look right at something and say, "I don't see it," but you're looking at it. But you mean you don't understand it.
The Greeks wanted to know Jesus, and He give them the way to know Him: to know Him, not to know His creed, not to know His Word, not to know His miracles, but to know Him. And the only way you find that is at the cross, not at the cradle. No, it's the cross, so see.
28-4 He pointed them to a cross, not to the--not to some creed, or--or not some manger or manner of denominations, but to the cross. And now, it's the same today. A real disciple... And if you ever come to Jesus... He'll never say, "Jesus told me to go join So-and-so church." He never did do that; He wouldn't do it today. No. You'll just see Him; He'll point you to the cross. Go there and die, and then you'll know Him, if you want to know Him.
Not one time did He point any person to any creed, any denomination, or to His birth, or even to Christmas. Not one time did He ever do it. I could linger on that awhile, but I--I won't.
29-1 Yet if it isn't important, if Jesus... You can nowhere find it in the Bible, where He ever pointed anyone to anywhere else to know Him but the cross. That's right. And that is self-crucifixion to yourself: "Except a man be born again..."
Then if the manger, Santa Claus... Jesus never did write a creed. He never did ordain a denomination. And then, why is it we make so much of it and even lay every responsibility on it? I want to ask you that: Christmas now. Why is it then that our churches lay so much on it, that you must belong to this church; you've got to say this creed; you've got to do this, that, or the other? Why is it we lay so much on it if it's not important. It shows we've got a different kind of a disciples than we used to have. They want to bring you to their church, to their denomination, or to their creeds, and not to the Christ.
29-3 People today, if they're asked, "Are--are you a believer?" I've asked this a many time. "Are you a believer?"
They say, "Oh, I'm Baptist."
"I'm Methodist." Well, that shows you're not a believer then. See? That's right. Baptist...
They say, "I'm Pentecostal." That don't have one thing to do with it. No, sir. A believer's a new creature. But that's what they've got it to today. See? Why do they do that? What makes people say that?
29-4 The other night I was in a hospital. I was going to have prayer for a little woman, was sick. She got healed. And I said... There's a man and his mother setting there (I suppose it was his mother.), and she looked about like his mother. And I was talking to the lady; I said, "We'll have prayer now." And I turned around, "You mind if we pray?"
She said, "Pull that curtain."
I said, "Well, I just asked if you mind if we pray."
She said, "We are Methodists. Pull that curtain."
I said, "Then this would scare you to death. I better pull the curtain then." See? I said, "If you're just a Methodist, you're not a Christian, so I'll just..." That...
29-5 Why do they say that? Some false disciple just took them that far. That's all they know. See? Some wrong taught disciple... The disciples of Jesus took them to Jesus. A Methodist disciple take them to the Methodists; a Baptist takes them to the Baptists; and a Pentecostal takes them to the Pentecostals; but a disciple of Christ takes them to Christ, and Christ takes them to Calvary. That's the real thing. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
That's how far they was brought. They'd only been brought that far. See? If they--they say... Well, a Baptist, or a Methodist, or Presbyterian, or what, that's all the further they been brought. Catholic, whatever it is, that's all the farther they been brought, so that's all they know. But thank God, these disciples knowed Jesus, so they took him to--they took these Greeks to where they knowed was Truth. And a real disciple of Christ that's ever found Christ, takes the--the seeker straight to Jesus; and Jesus points them to Calvary, where they die with Him and are borned again, anew. Oh, my. That's as far as they are...
30-2 But, "Sirs, we would see Jesus." That was the question, "We wouldn't see a creed; we wouldn't see Methodists; we wouldn't see Baptists. We wouldn't see any of these; we want to see Jesus."
But what's the matter? (I just got to close, my brethren. Listen closely now, just a few comments here before we close. What? I want to make this drive home now if I can, tack the thing down.)
30-4 The Greeks wanted to see Jesus. He never found Him in Christmas, never found Him in some organization, never found Him in some creed; He never pointed them to such. Have you got that well? But He pointed them to the cross to die, to die. A real disciples says, "You've got to die." "How do I know when I'm dead?" When you recognize all this Word to be the Truth, then the Word begins to live in you.
"Well," you say, "but our church teaches..." I don't care what your church teaches; it's what the Bible says. Where you're going to? The other churches teaches something different, but this Bible teaches the same.
30-6 As Jesus said, "Whenever you accept this Word, this Word will be made manifested in you. It'll do the same thing that It says It'll do in you."
Oh, they say, "The days of miracles is past."
And the Bible said, "Jesus the same yesterday, today, and forever." How you going to make that meet, when Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me anywhere anytime..." Mark 16 said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." How long? To all the world. Has never even got there yet. Every creature... "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe..." There you are. The Word will be made Light. It'll shine Itself forth.
31-1 Not if you go to the cradle and say, "A little baby was born here long years ago." Nonsense. All kinds of creeds and fables told about it; we know Jesus knowed all that thing would perish and get all mixed up. But there's one thing isn't mixed up; that's the Holy Spirit.
31-2 Oh, one of them say, "He was borned right here. We got a church built over it."
Other one said, "He was borned over here." Like... You know how many nails they got, can prove it, original nails that was in the cross? Nineteen. Each fellow holding a nail...
"This, we got it; Hallelujah, we got it." They just got some dead bones of some... "We got it. We got it. This is the place He was born in."
Other say, "This is the place He was born in."
They say, "This is the place He was born." What difference does it make? Here's where He was born, in the heart. Amen. When I died, He was borned again--I was borned again in Him new. And that's it. Sirs, we would see Jesus. All right.
31-3 Well, what's the matter? He got lost again. People's lost Him. That's right. But He's been lost again in the big crowds, the crowds of creeds.
You remember one time He got lost to His parents? He's lost again. He got lost. Go down these streets, like it's been the last few days, look at the mad crowds, pushing and shoving, and drinking, and cursing, and damning: "Jingle bells, jingle bells..." Christ is lost. He ain't lost; the people's lost Him. Where did they find Him? Where they lost Him at. That's where we'll find Him. But He's lost in their creeds and in the crowds.
31-5 He's lost, Christ is lost in the commercial crowd. The commercial crowd's saying, "We got to celebrate Christmas."
A lady said the other day, standing there, when wife and I was standing there, said, "I brought my dad a quart of whiskey."
Other one said, "I'm going to get... I'll tell you what I'm going to get dad: I'm going to get him some cards and some chips. We'll play strip poker (You see?) celebrate Christmas."
Others said, "I've got a carton of cigarettes for mom; what'd you get her?"
Oh, God, He's lost. They lost Him in Christmas. They lost Him in Easter, a bunny rabbit or a new hat, not the resurrection, not the birth of Christ. They lost Him in their creeds when they made three gods out of Him, chopped Him to pieces and made a idol, instead of knowing Who He is. "I and My Father are One." You lost Him.
32-3 He's lost in the religious crowd. How'd the religious crowd... He's lost to His church. In the Laodicean the last church--church age, it said He was on the outside of the church, knocking, trying to get in. The most pathetic sight in all the Bible is the condition of the church in the last days before He comes. Not another church age ever put Him out. They didn't know any difference. Now, when they really know the true power of the Holy Ghost, they kicked Him out of the place. On the outside knocking at the door, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." [Brother Branham knocks on pulpit--Ed.] Sure.
32-4 They lost Him in their commercial crowds. They lost Him in their religious crowds. That's right. They made creeds out of it. They made denominations out of it. They lost it. They took the--they took the ritual instead of the Bible. They took a bunch of man's ideas instead of what God said. They said, "Put your name on the book. Shake hands. That's all you have to do. Be baptized: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
The whole thing's false. That's right. There's where the church crowd lost Him. When they lost Him, why? Not in their church buildings, not in their what-you-call-its, their--their group of people, but they lost Him when they left the Word. "If that--if ye abide in Me and My Word in you, ask what you will; it'll be given to you. It'll be done for you, if ye abide in Me and My words abide in you," 'cause it's God made flesh again. See? "If ye abide in Me and My Word in you, then just ask what you will, it'll be done for you." That's it. But today they're not abiding; they're this day a Methodist, tomorrow a Baptist, next day a Presbyterian; ain't got nowhere yet. "If My Word abide in you..." And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us. Hallelujah. Brother Neville, that's so true, the Word made in your flesh, speaking through you.
33-1 The Pentecostals lost Him. Oh, yes. They had Him a few years ago, but they lost Him. How'd they do it? By seeing who could build the biggest building, who could have the biggest church, the best trained choir.
If there's anything I don't like, is an over-trained voice, that'll stand up and sing like they got the colic, that [Brother Branham illustrates--Ed.] hold their breath till they're black in the face. They're not singing; they're just making a noise. But what I like is a good old fashion, heartfelt, Pentecostal, borned again person singing from their heart. If they can't carry a tune in a bucket, they still got the Spirit there; you can feel It tearing through you. Hallelujah. I like that--I love that aftereffects, the Holy Spirit blessing it, you know. I love that. That's just real to me. Yeah.
33-3 But they lost Him. Well trained choirs and well trained preachers... Yeah! Oh, my. All kinds of curly hair, you know, and bow their head over this way to get their picture taken, and oh... Yeah, well trained, they sure are; that's well trained.
Large Sunday schools... Sure. Each church trying to outdo another one in Sunday school. And Sunday school's not even spoke of in the Bible. That's a Methodist dogma. It was first called ragged school. Everybody now goes to Sunday school that can't stay for church, because they took something besides what God said. That's right.
And remember, I never said I preached anything in inspiration in my life I had to take back, like I did the altars the other day and things, you know. Serpent's seed or any of that, let someone come and tear it down with the Word of God.
33-6 No, that's where they lost Him. Large Sunday school, or the biggest tent there is, the best dressed group in the town; that's Pentecost. "Why, we belong to the First Church; the best group in the town goes there." Deacons married three or four times, deacon on the board, maybe the pastor too, all kinds of nonsense in the churches today... See? Where did they do? They lost Jesus.
"Well, you know our denomination is the biggest one in Pentecost. Our men are the best trained men there is in there." They may be all that; I don't deny that. That goes to lodges and--and the theological fields. But I'm wanting to know a man that knows Jesus, has seen Him, and been borned again, and the Word's reflecting Itself in his word. You can see It isn't his, It's... He's give hisself so completely over till it's Christ speaking through him. There you are. That's why the signs and wonders follows that Word, because It's God's Word. But if God's Word says a certain thing and this group says, "Oh, no, no, no, our organization will kick us out if we believe that," then he's done right there; he cut hisself off right there; that's all. You might mechanically work up something; you might put some kind of a hoax out and imagine this, that, or the other; but the real genuine thing isn't there. Yes, sir. Oh, sure.
34-1 The churches--the churches are swapping Christ for the world and creeds. The church is on a swapping program. Oh, they sure want to--to swap. Yes, sir. They'll go and they'll swap. They want--on a swapping program. They want to swap what God says for what the denomination says. They want to swap what God says to the--follow the pastor. They want to swap what God says to the--follow the organization. They're swapping. Do you know what? The people's shopping. Oh, there's a big commercial going on now. It's another Christmas, just a bogus made-up. (We had just a little more time, I'm going to get back on this subject again one day. Passing too much up here that the Holy Spirit give me awhile ago. See?)
While the church is swapping, the church is shopping, the people are, so-called church. Yes, sir. They're swapping; they sure are. Shopping and swapping, they're shopping for what? The biggest church, the best dressed crowd, the biggest denomination. And the people (I'm going to say something.), the people is trying to find (even Pentecostals)...
34-3 The Pentecostal women is trying to find a place that they'll let them get by with more things of the world: shorts, bobbed hair, paint. They're shopping. "Bless God, I'm Pentecostal. Hallelujah, I belong to this," and; "Oh, our pastor don't believe..." See? You're shopping for the ones that'll let them live the dirtiest (God, have mercy.), the one will let them live the filthiest and the most like the world that they can. They're shopping from place to place, turning down Christ. That might grind like everything. It was meant to do it.
The people's shopping. They're Christmas shopping where they can find bargains, bargain hunters. "Well, I'm Pentecostal too. Well, we don't have that old narrow-minded stuff." But the Bible says so.
35-1 If he's a true disciple of Christ, he'll lead you to the cross. "Oh, Brother Branham, I went out and spoke in tongues." That don't mean nothing; a mule did that one day. Yes, sir. That's... Yeah, I don't mean to make fun of God's holy Word. I believe in speaking in tongues, but devils speak with tongues. A people can speak in tongues and live any kind of a life. But I mean that the devil's got a--a copy of everything that God did. And he can copy everything but the genuine birth of Christ; and he can't do that, 'cause you have to die first, then the Word raises you up. How do you know when you're alive? When that Word, every word of It's made flesh in you; everything that the Bible says, you say the same thing, and it comes to pass, just exactly like He said it. That's when it is. When you--when your spirit agrees with Him (He is the Word.), when your spirit agrees with what He said and the Spirit makes Itself manifest through His Word, then you're living. See? You're through shopping then, and swapping, and all the rest of it. It's all settled.
35-2 Yes, the people are shopping to find where they can live the worldliest at: Pentecostals and all. Don't you Pentecostals make fun of them Baptists and Presbyterian. Pot can't call kettle dirty. No, sir. No, indeedy. It's all the same.
So they're shopping to find where they can go into a church and join an organization, that they can be popular, well thought of in the city, the mayor of the city goes to the church (which now, he could go to a church and be borned again. Now, I'm just saying in--in the run), the biggest church in the city.
35-4 I know people right today that belong to a little organization up here on the road, a little church, but it was too little; so they said, "So our--our children will--and we can be a little better thought of," they took their letter from one church and went down to another, a bigger organization. And besides, this other one had a picture show in the basement and they had play bunco, and everything like that, you know, and have these games, and so forth like that. So they got the children down there; they had a--got a pool table down in the bottom (See?) so they can play pool, and have recreation, and things like that, and have a ten minute Sunday school class and a coffee break, and a break so the pastor can smoke cigarettes, get outside. Oh, yes, that's right; I wouldn't say it 'less I knowed what I was talking about. That's right. Oh, sure. See, they're shopping.
36-1 If they can go ahead and live the kind of life that they want to live, do anything they want to, and still be promised Eternal Life hereafter, they're shopping for that. I'm telling you: if you want to shop, come to Calvary. That settles it. Die to your dirty self, your sins, and be borned again anew. "And if you love the world or the things of the world, the love of God's not even in you." That's what the Bible says. That's right.
36-2 Say, "I don't believe in holiness." No wonder you can't. But the Bible said, without it no man shall see God. God's holy. If God lives in you, you're holy too. And tell me you can go out on these parties and drink a little sociable drink. Why, the Pentecostals do that: go out on these parties, and take them women out there and live in these places, and go down and strip theirself off in bathing suits, and go in swimming before men, when your husbands, and brothers, and sisters and so forth, and Pentecostal people going out in bathing suits and calling yourself a member of the Bride? The Bride of Christ don't do them things.
36-3 Oh, he's shopping, sure, getting the easy way, then promised Eternal Life hereafter. You don't have it, 'less it's living in you, the Word of God being a living witness that He's alive and you're alive in Him. Oh, my.
Sirs, we would see Jesus. Oh, not these creeds, not these things that the people make up; we would see Jesus. But He's lost to them. Uh-huh.
Why? (Just a moment.) Why? Why is He lost to them? Why is He lost to Pentecost? Why is He lost to the Methodists and Baptists? Why is He lost to those organizations? Because they won't take their corn of wheat, and drop it down at Calvary, and die to their creed, and be born of the Word.
36-6 Then we are washed by the water of the Word (Amen.), become new creatures in Christ Jesus, and the signs that Christ said follow Him will follow them. Every woman will come to her place; every man will come to his place. The Spirit of God will come to Its place, and the Church of the Living God will be spotless. Sure. Amen. Yes, sir. That's the way it's done.
No death to their corn of wheat, they won't drop their denomination; they won't let it die. If the Baptist organization would drop that Baptist corn of wheat into the ground and let it die, if the Methodist would drop its corn of wheat in, if the Assemblies of God, and the Pentecostal Jesus' Name, and the oneness, and threeness, and all the different ones, Church of God, and all them others would drop that corn of wheat into the Word, and let it die to its own thoughts, and let this Word abide and come to life, then they'd say, "If you don't believe me, believe the works that I do, for they are they which testify of me." What is the works? Jesus said, "These works, the works that--that God gave Me to do." And said, "As the Father sent Me, so send I you." The very works that God did was in Him, made Him and the Father One; and the same works that Jesus did, and--the Holy Spirit of Jesus in you will make you do the same works. "The works that I do shall he do also." Sure. Won't let the corn...
37-1 What did they do? Only dead members, dead in sin and trespasses, dead in education, dead in the things of the world. It counts to them; that's the reason they're not born again; that's the reason the signs can't follow. Because why? Only dead members have to be... A minister has to have a Ph.D., double L.D., before he can pastor some churches. And maybe he don't know the first alphabetical letters: A-B-C, "Always Believe Christ." If he believes Christ...
37-2 Some guy got after me the other day and said, "Why don't you leave them people alone, always hammering at them about the way they dress and the things they do? If you're a prophet..." They said, "People think you're a prophet."
I said, "I know. They've been--said that; I'm not." But I said, "They--they..."
Say--said--said, "Well, they believe you to be, then why don't you teach them how to see visions and walk before God."
I said, "If they don't know abc, how am I going to teach them algebra? If they don't know kindergarten, don't know how to behave themselves, don't know how to look, and act, and dress, and be decent, how you going to teach them prophetic things?"
Jesus said, "If you don't believe the things that's a--here--the earthly things, how you going to believe if I tell you heavenly things?" The things that you can do yourself, stop doing these things. Can't even do that, how are you going to find spiritual things, people. Isn't that right? Yes, sir.
Only dead to their education, they got educated crowd...
38-1 Now, I'm going to close by saying this, just these few words. My Christmas message is: Let me point you tonight to the cross. Amen. And you, the corn of wheat, fall into Christ there and die. There you'll find His Life in His Word being the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let that be my Christmas message to you. I ain't pointing you to a manger, to a cradle, to a church, to a denomination, but "Sirs, we would see Jesus." Then I'll point you to Him; He points you to His death, burial, and resurrection. And you let your own corn of wheat fall in there, and let His Word become real in you, and you'll see that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "Sirs, we would see Jesus." He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let us pray.
38-2 Heavenly Father, though the hours sweep along, and the Holy Spirit moves among the people, and tomorrow is supposed to be the worship of the day that You sent Your only begotten Son into the world... And I have tried tonight, not to point the people to a manger where He was born, for He was just a baby then; but I'm trying to point them to the purpose to which He was born for: that He might become their Saviour; that He might become their God, their--their--their--their King, their All in All; that they might know Him Who fills all space; that they might know Him, not One that begin at Bethlehem, but One that never had a beginning, One that's the eternal God, that could stand on the earth and say, "I and My Father are One." I'm trying to act like a--a disciple the--the best that I know how.
When hungry-hearted people come to the disciples that were true, Philip and Andrew, they took them in the Presence of the Lord Jesus; and He pointed them to a death that was coming, so that they would know Him and could see Him.
38-4 And tonight, Father, likewise, I point them to a Calvary, where the Son of God, God made manifest in flesh took on the form of a human being and was tabernacled (changed His cast, become from a--the eternal God in glory with eternal), become a human being, and pitched His Tent among us, and become one of us to be a Kinsman Redeemer, to bring us back to a--a recollection of a mighty God Who created us. There He died at Calvary, and there we must die with Him, as He died, the Son of God. To be sons of God we must die also, and let our corn of wheat fall into the ground with Him, our lives be dead and hid in Him, oh, and then raised in His resurrection to carry on His work, to let His--same God that was in Him bring forth the manifestation of the Word of the Church in this last days as He promised.
39-1 And, God, we're so glad to see that He's vindicated every bit of it. To show that He's God, He keeps His Word. The great Pillar of Fire is still among us. The great signs and wonders that He promised is still happening. O God, we are so happy that tonight, that the purpose that brought Him to the earth, that we have a right to possess His Spirit in our lives that gives us Eternal Life, His Word made flesh in our own being.
Let us surrender ourselves tonight, Lord, surrender completely to everything of this world, that we might be dead to the things of the world and rise again to a new life in Christ, to go forth in this coming year (if the year lasts through or if it even gets here), Lord Jesus, to be new consecrated vessels of God, washed by the water of the Word through the Blood, and set aside for service for Christ. Grant it, Lord. We commit ourselves to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
39-3 Close to Thee, close to Thee,
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
Let's raise our hands and our hearts as we sing it.
Close to Thee, close to Thee,
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
Let's bow our heads and our hearts and sing it quietly but--to Him now, like you're looking right to Him.
Close to Thee, close to Thee,
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
If that's your testimony, now raise your hand, say:
Close to Thee, (Truly, Lord, not the church, You; not a creed, but You; not a crib or a cradle, You. Oh, God, let Your Word be in me, so I'll be close to You.)
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
40-1 Now, while we sing again, take hold of somebody's hand, say, "I'll pray for you, Christian." When you take their hand, that's saying that, "I'll pray for you, Christian; you pray for me."
Close to Thee, close to Thee,
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
Now, as you have your heads bowed...
In a manger long ago,
I know it's really so,
A babe was born to save man from their sins.
John saw Him on the shore,
The Lamb forevermore,
Oh, Christ, the Crucified of Calvary.
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
You love Him? Isn't He wonderful?
The lame was made to walk;
The dumb was made to talk,
That power was spoken with love upon the sea.
The blind was made to see,
I know it could only be
The mercy of that Man of Galilee. (Now.)
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along life's pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
40-2 That your desire tonight? Say, "Amen" if it is. [Congregation says, "Amen."--Ed.] Oh, how wonderful.
All along life's pilgrim journey, (We're pilgrims.)
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.
God bless you. Not exactly a "Merry Christmas," but God's blessings of Christmas be upon you. May the Christ of Calvary hide you in Himself, and blanket you, and so wrap you and enshroud you in His Word till His Word will be made flesh in you, is my prayer. God bless you. The pastor now, Brother Neville.