The Ephesian Church Age (Series)
Preached on Monday, 5th December 1960 at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S.A. (2 hours and 18 minutes)
1 Lord bless you.
Anyone in here driving a–a Dodge, new Dodge, license number WX-2129, parked across the street there, has left their lights, headlights and all on. And if that someone is driving that car, why, you slip out and turn your lights off. It’s just on the left-hand side of the street, right down Eighth Street. I guess that’s a New Albany number, WX-2129. A red Dodge, new Dodge, that’s at least a ’59, ’60, or somewhere along there. And I didn’t know whether there was someone in here or someone had just–from somewhere else. All right, it was. And so that’s a good thing. Now, I ain’t going to say just the ladies forget that, because I do too.
2 Well, it’s certainly good to be back again tonight in the service, and to have this fine time of fellowship together around the Word. Are you enjoying it? [Congregation says, “Amen”–Ed.] Oh, that’s right; we’re just having a wonderful, wonderful time. And now, we are trusting that God will help us to continue on.
Now, my brother went and got a blackboard here, but it’s–it’s too short; it just don’t reach up high enough. So tomorrow, well, I’ll try to fix it up here, swing it up above and make it so… I want to draw out some different things that I’d like to explain, so you can just–and just so you’d be sure that you really get it.
4 There was a… Last night, or yesterday it was, my little girl, Sarah, was kind of cute. Mother and I was looking over a little paper; she was taking my notes. And she had everything down just right, Isaiah and Matthew and everything. And right at the end of the–the paper, she had, “And–and death… The grave hasn’t got anymore victory in it, and the death had its stinger pulled out.” She’s about seven years old. And then she instead of having the “Revelation,” she said, “The book of revolutions.” Well, that shows they’re interested in trying to get something anyhow, aren’t they? I think Brother Collins’ little girl, she’s setting back there, they wrote “revolution”? Did they… “Day of revolutions,” Brother Neville says. He’s agreeing with her. I guess we all have to do that.
5 Well, we’re really having a great time. My, the Lord is blessing. I went in to study this morning in a room, just right after I got the children to school, and just come out awhile ago; just having a wonderful time. Last night, studied kinda late too.
And about two-thirty in the morning some people come down from up north; they’d got us–got me up to pray for a little girl that was dying. And I’m sure the Lord will let her get well. They just come down all the way from Bedford, Indiana, to ask the request that the little girl be prayed for then. Two men had been in the service last night and drove all the way up there, then all the way back down, then all the way back again, probably all night in driving. And so it’s good to know that people has that kind of confidence and believes God.
7 Oh, it’s a great day that we’re living in. And we’re expecting now, on these church ages to just get more and more.
Now, we’re trying to start just a little early each night, so we let out early. You like that better? And that let’s the people that has to work, get home so they can go to work. Last night we were out at about five, ten minutes after nine, or at least I was finished.
And so we’re happy to have all the visiting ministers in with us tonight. And I–I… Brother Junior Jackson, Brother Carpenter, and our brother from the church there, and many others on the platform here and out in the meeting.
9 And I was told today that a very precious friend of mine that was with me in the mission fields, Brother and Sister Andrew from way into deep China was in the meeting last night. What a wonderful time we had together over in the–Jamaica this last year. We had a great time; I was up to their home. And my, if–I wonder if Brother and Sister Andrew is present tonight here in the–in the meeting? This building’s not built just right, so… Yeah, setting way back in the back. I wonder if you can just do as much as stand up to your feet, Brother and Sister Andrew, just a moment. The Lord bless you. We are so glad to see you, Brother and Sister Andrew. I invited them to come by last year when I was over there.
10 Now, not saying it in their Presence (I was going to say more, but I won’t say it now.), but they are what I call real missionaries. If they get in tomorrow night, have them to speak here just before we come in. I want you to hear what really a mission fields mean, when they was back to far in the interior till they didn’t even have nothing to… Well, they’re… I think it was years and years and years they was back there, and they never even had as much as seen an automobile, or a train, or anything else for years and years. And how sister would make their bread out of… How she’d beat it up. And… Now, that’s real missionary. Brother Andrew had a needle and thread, and he was the doctor; he sewed them all up when they got ripped up. And I think when the child’s–children come along, Sister Andrew was probably midwife and Brother Andrew the doctor. They just depended on them.
11 And then when the missions from England, the Pentecostal Missions of England said they were too old to go back in the field (I’ll just tell you how much missionary they are.), they wasn’t going to take no easy chair and set down; they went right back on their own, back out into Jamaica and out there missionary now. Brother Fred Sothmann and I here had the privilege of going to their home and visiting with them, and what a lovely time they showed us; as–as sweet as Christians could be. And I tell you; I don’t say this to… I’d rather give a little of rosebud now than a wreath after they’re gone. I tell you; they’re really Christians.
And I told my wife that Sister Andrew was one of the sweetest, nicest Christian women a person could ever meet. She’s just… Her character is molded into Christ too; and Brother Andrew too. So I’m sure if you all seen them who just stood up; I wanted all this church to shake their hands and to hear them before they get away.
12 Now, tomorrow, the Lord willing, why, we’re… Tomorrow night we’re starting on this second church age. Tonight we’re starting on the first church age. I’m sure the Lord has a blessing in store for us.
And remember, as I’ve said before, sometimes on these things we might disagree upon them as far as–as the theology is concerned. And most of my dates I take from the authentic historians, which really not interested in any side; they just wrote down facts, whatever it was, what the churches did. And I… Of course, the Divine part of the interpretation, I try to place it upon there myself, the best that I know how. And sometimes if I speak a little harsh or rash, or like that, I don’t mean it in that way. Everybody knows that, that knows me, that I don’t mean to do that. I just want… But in order to make a point stick, you… Just like driving a nail in a board, if you just tack it on there, it won’t hold. You’ve got to drive it down and clinch it to make it hold. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
So it–it isn’t that I would try to disagree, ’cause I speak for all denominations and so forth, so it doesn’t… That…
14 I always said, like branding cattle. I remember years ago I was setting one day when they was–had the spring roundup, taking the cattle up into the forest, and I’d helped drive the cattle up to the, what they called the drift fence where the Hereford Association grazes the–the Troublesome River Valley. And I was setting there with my leg hung over the horn of the saddle, watching the ranger as he was watching these cattle go through the drift fence.
Now, you have to have… That’s when you’re going over on government property, and you have to be able to raise a ton of hay before you can put a cow on the pasture. And each ranch produces so much hay, so many cattle, then they can have them.
16 Now, they was going through there with all kinds of brands on them. Some of them had the “Bar X.” Mr. Grimes right next to us there had the “Diamond T,” a T on one end, a diamond. There was that “Lazy K,” right up the head of Troublesome River. Ours was the “Turkey Track.” Just below us was the “Tripod.” And there was all kinds of brands going through that gate.
And I noticed the ranger never paid much attention to those brands; he never looked at them. Sometime they was on the left side of the cow, so he couldn’t have seen the brand. So it–it wasn’t that he was watching the brand. But one thing he was sure of, that no cow went through there ‘less it had a blood tag in its ear. It had to be a thoroughbred Hereford or it couldn’t go on that forest. The brand didn’t make much difference, but it was the blood tag.
And I think that’s what it’ll be at the judgment. It won’t be what brand we’re wearing, but He’ll look for the Blood tag, “When I see the Blood, I’ll pass over you.”
[Brother Branham speaks to brother Gene about the microphone system–Ed.] Now, am I just a little wrong, Gene, am I? Rebound. All right… It’s a transposition between the two, is that right? All right. Thank you Brother Gene, all right.
18 Now, we’re going to try to get out early again tonight, so we can get back tomorrow night and take these ages. And I tell you; it’s so hard for me to hold back some of them great things laying down along the edge of the road: just try to get them out all in one night. You know, that’s kind of my nature, but we just have to hold it back a little till each night.
Now, just before we start opening the grand Book, wonder if we could just stand for just a moment for change your position and it’s a–as we stand up, those who can. And let’s bow our heads now, solemnly, for a word of prayer.
20 Our heavenly Father, we are again approaching Thy great holy throne, coming without waving of faith, because we are coming, because we been bid to come. We could not say we’re coming in the name of a certain church or a denomination, or in the name of this church, or in our own name, because we would not be sure of that, whether we could get this audition with God or not. But when Jesus told us, “You ask the Father anything in My Name, I’ll do it,” then we know we come in Jesus’ Name, You’re going to hear us, Father.
We’re so glad as we read of the martyrs of the days gone by, how they sealed their testimony with their own blood; then, Father, it makes us feel that we’re doing so little in this day. And I pray Thee, Lord, that Thou will forgive our–or our negligence, as we are, about Thy business. And we pray that You’ll anoint us afresh as we read of Thy Word, and see the suffering that has been brought about in the days gone by to make up the canon of this great ransomed church of the living God.
22 I pray Thee, heavenly Father, to speak tonight through us because we don’t know what to say; we’re just waiting and we’re asking this prayer here because we’re in the Presence of God in His church, and we ask that the Holy Spirit that’s on these people will unite its powers together tonight and shake forth the Gospel into every heart, that’ll give us a new stand and a new hold for the age that is coming on. Grant it, Lord, for we see the fig tree putting forth its buds, and Israel becoming a nation, and the Gentile days fading away and numbered, and we’re looking for the coming of the great Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Walk among us, Lord. As was said tonight, “You walk in the midst of the candlesticks,” then walk among us tonight, Lord, and warn our hearts of the evil that’s ahead, and give us understanding of Thy Word, for we ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen. (Can be seated)
24 Now, as I have said, each day I try to get just as much wrote down on paper as I possibly can of times, places, and so forth, because it’s a historical event that we are approaching. It’s been a history, and now we’re coming down, also patterning it to the time.
Now, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon–or Sunday evening, rather, we had a glorious time. I’m sure we did. I did, myself.
26 And of the Revelation… Now, what are we studying? The Revelation of Jesus Christ. And what did we find that God showed the revelation and Who He was? The first thing we find of all revelations, that God made known Who He was, that Jesus was no third person of a trinity; He was the trinity in full. He was both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And that was the revelation: Four times spoke in the same chapter, that He was the Almighty God, He that was, which is, and shall come, the Root and Offspring of David.
27 Now, we find out then, that in these things we’re going to try to clear up the whole matter, because I don’t know when we’ll ever hear it again, maybe never, until time shall be no more and fade into eternity. And now, as I say, there may be many brethren, teachers far better qualified to speak this than I am, and probably could get a better interpretation to it, but God has placed it upon my heart to do it; and therefore, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t say just exactly what I thought was right. See? So I–I always want clear before God at all times, that “I have not shunned,” as Paul said, “to warn you day and night with tears, that the church might be in standing.” Then if there’s any lost, the blood be not upon my hands, because I want to be clear of all men’s blood at that time. So if you differing, why, that’s just in a nice friendly way; that’ll just be fine. Now, but, maybe the Lord will reveal something that will help us all together.
28 Now, the first thing, we see that He revealed Himself. Now, we understand Who He was.
Now, on down, as I made that quotation about the sprinkling, and baptism in the “name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” being a Catholic baptism and not a Protestant or a New Testament baptism, I hope I’ve made that clear. And I’ve asked any person that would show a text of Scripture where anybody was ever baptized in the Bible or until the Laodicean Council where they formed the Catholic church, where anybody was ever baptized in the name of “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” please come show me. And I’d put on my back, “a false prophet,” and go through the street.
Now, I just make that, not to be hard, but just to show you that it’s the Truth. See?
30 Now, then the Bible reveals Him here, that He is the Almighty God flesh among us. See? No Father, Son, Holy Ghost, it’s not three gods, or one God chopped in three places. It’s one God that worked in three offices: the Fatherhood, Sonship, and the Holy Ghost. God condescending from the garden of Eden, trying to make His way back into human hearts, to live and be sons and daughters of God again with Him, that’s God above us, God with us, God in us. That’s the difference. See?
And now those things… And the Bible reveals that and has thoroughly said it in the 1st chapter of Revelation, which is the only Book in the Bible, in the New Testament, the whole canon of the New Testament, is the only Book that Jesus put His own seal upon. And He said, the first of It, “Blessed is he that readeth and he that heareth.” And at the end He said, “If any man shall take away any part of It or add anything to It, the same will be taken, his part out of the Book of Life.” So it’s a curse for anyone to take anything away; this is the complete Revelation of Jesus Christ. So if we make Him three, you know what’s happened. See, your name goes out.
32 And no one, no Protestant, no early church was ever believed in three gods. It was a great issue at the Nicene Council, and both of them went on–went on limbs, out this a-way, as to say. The trinitarian, the triune people that believed in the trinity, which finally formed in the Catholic church, they went to complete trinity, making God three people. And there was one that believed that God was one, and they went on the other side to be a unitarian. Both of them are wrong. God can’t…
Jesus could not be His own father, and neither can Jesus have a father and Him being–be three gods. It–it could not work. Because if He’s got a father, and a father is another man besides Him, then He had–and the Holy Ghost is another one, He’s a illegitimate child. The Bible said that the Holy Ghost was His Father. And if we have the Holy Ghost, then it’s not the Holy Ghost; it’s the Father in us in the name of the Holy Ghost using the office in us, because it was once in a man called the Ghost, It comes back and It’s in us now, the same Jehovah God. See?
34 There’s not no three gods. Three gods is pagan and heathen, and it was brought over. And if you’ll just stay through the week and not be prejudice, but watch, take it in history. Take the same histories I do or anybody, any history. Just let’s know it. All histories agree the same. Them historians have nothing to do with any sides; they just interested in stating facts, what happened. And watch exactly how that thing creeped in through Luther and come out through Wesley, and then exposed in the last days, the baptism in the “name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Just watch where it come into the Catholic church in the dark ages, come out through Luther, down through Wesley, but between Wesley and the Laodicean (at the end) it was to be exposed. That’s right. Now, and this is all history, and not only history, but it’s the Bible.
35 And now, tonight we are approaching seven church ages which were seven churches that was in Asia Minor at the time of the writing of the Book. These churches, at that time, must’ve had the characteristics of the church ages that was to come, because that… There were more churches than that, the Colossian church and many others at that time, but God picked these churches because of their characteristics.
Now, we find that Him standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, He had in His hand a seven stars. And those seven stars, He said, in the 20th verse of the 1st chapter, that they are seven Angels to the seven churches.
37 Now, in the Bible they did not understand this Revelation. Because what good would it do them to watch and wait if they knowed there’d be thousands of years before Jesus came? It was not give to them.
And I say to this, to you people here, you Catholic people, to you Lutheran, to you Methodists, and so forth, it was not give to Martin Luther, the Light that’s on the Word today. Neither was it give to John Wesley. John Wesley preached sanctification that Luther passed over. And the Light comes as we have need of Light. God says It, and It isn’t opened up to us because It’s hid to our eyes until the day that God’s able to reveal it. Wonder what it’ll be after we leave? Yea, I’m persuaded that there’s very, very much more that we know nothing about. That is right. There’s Seven Seals, if we just take the complete Book of Revelation, that’s sealed on the back of the Book. It ain’t even, isn’t written in the Book. And them Seals are to be opened during this church age, and the seven last mysteries of God is to be made known. Oh, I’d like to just keep it all winter and go through It. Yes, sir. The seven church ages…
39 As Daniel heard the seven thunders and forbidden; and John heard the voices, and this Book was sealed, and the back of the book was sealed with Seven Seals; but in the days of these Seals to be opened, the mystery of God would be finished. In other words, God would be known to His church, not in three people, but as one Person. The mystery of God would be revealed, and when that was completely revealed, then the seven mysteries would open to the church; because in there, the church would be living under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Him moving in and out and showing His signs of being alive and among us, living among us, and we’re then worshipping the living Christ that’s among us.
40 Don’t never look for big churches and big things. When we get to this Pentecostal age, you’ll certainly see where they lost out. The very church “Laodicea” means “rich, need of nothing,” and naked, wretched, blind, miserable, and don’t know it. See? They went off after like great money, and buildings, and everything else, when the church has always been the–the out-scours of the earth. They were hated by all people, cast out, in alleys, anywhere they could live. Read Hebrews 11 and take the last six or eight verses of it, how, “They wandered about in deserts, and–and wearing sheepskins and goatskins, and was destitute, and afflicted, and tormented.” Those people there, how will our testimony stand up against theirs in the day of the judgment (See?), those people in that day?
42 Now, in this church age… We have seven churches. Now, I want to get it placed out. I don’t think you can see it from here; maybe if some of you could. I doubt it very much, but I’ll try to make it (I know you couldn’t, setting down in here.), make it seven church ages. I’ll hold it on my hand so you’ll understand.
It begins, the church begin at Pentecost. Could anybody deny that? No, sir. The church begin at Pentecost with a Pentecostal blessing, and was ordained by Jesus Christ to continue on until the last day with the same message and the same blessing working in them: His last commission to His church, Mark 16, “Go into all the world, preach the Gospel; these signs shall follow them that believe.” Now, whereabouts? “To all the world.” To who? “Every creature.” Black, brown, yellow, white, whatever creature it was, preach the Gospel to every creature. “These signs shall follow them that believe.” Now, tonight we’re edging in on that, just start cutting in tonight, each night cut off a bigger hunk of it until we get down to our own church age. Now, we find that that was His commission.
44 Now, the first church age was the church of Ephesus. The second church age was Smyrna. The third church age was Pergamos. The fourth church age was Thyatira. The fifth church age was Sardis. And the sixth church age was Philadelphia. And the seventh church age was Laodicea.
Now, the first church age started about A.D. 53, when Paul established the church in–in Ephesus. On his missionary journey he established the church at–at Ephesus, the Ephesian church, and was the pastor of it till when he was beheaded in 66–make him about twenty-two years the pastor of the Ephesian church. After his death then we’re told that Saint Paul–or Saint John the Divine became the pastor of the church and carried it on up into this age, and the church age lapped over to 170.
46 Then after the Ephesian Church Age, from A.D. 53 until A.D. 170, then started in the Smyrna Church Age which lasted from A.D. 170 until A.D. 312. Then come in the Pergamos Church Age, and the Pergamos Church Age begin at 312 and lasted till A.D. 606. Then come in the Thyatira Church Age, and the church age of Thyatira begin at 606 and went to 1520, the dark ages. And then the Sardis Church Age begin at 1520 and lasted till 1750, the Lutheran age. Then from 1750, the next age come in was the Philadelphian, Wesley age; that begin at 1750 and lasted till 1906. And at 1906 the Laodicean church age set in, and I don’t know when it’ll end, but I predict it’ll be done by 1977. I predict, not the Lord told me, but I predict it according to a vision that was showed me some years ago, that five of those things has (out of the seven)–has already taken place about…
47 How many remembers that vision here in the church? Sure. Said that how that even Kennedy would be elected in this last election. How that women would be permitted to vote. How that Roosevelt would take the world to war. How that Mussolini would go towards Ethiopia, his first invasion, and would take it; that’d be the end; he’d die off after that. How these great isms would rise up and all fall back into Communism; Hitlerism, and Mussolini, and Nazism, and so forth, would all fall back into Communism. And eleven years beforehand, it said that we’d go to war with Germany, and Germany would be fortified behind concrete, the Maginot Line. It happened just that way. Said then, after that, would come to a place that–come to pass that science would increase so greatly until they would invent a car, the cars would become more like “egg” all the time. And that vision was told right here where the Church of Christ stands now, at the old orphans home. Charlie Kurn, perhaps in the building tonight, was living at the place at the time.
One Sunday morning about seven o’clock it happened. And It said, “Then there would come to pass that they’d invent a car that they didn’t need a steering wheel in it; it’d be controlled by some kind of a power.” They got it now. They got it now, a magnetic power, radar control. They don’t even… Just set your radar to where you’re going, it takes you yourself; you don’t have to steer it.
48 Now, and it said in there, “At that time, there’d be a great woman stand up in the United States.” And she was dressed and beautiful, but she was cruel in heart. And I got a parenthesis on the vision, even yellow paper, said, “perhaps the Catholic church.” And the women being permitted to vote would help elect the wrong person for this nation. And that’s what they done. Exactly. Now, said, “That would be the beginning.”
Now, another thing it said, that… Then immediately after that, I saw this nation become as a smolter, just blowed to bits. Now, if them things has happened, so will this other. We’re at… That’s the reason I’m here tonight trying to bring this and set it to this people at Jeffersonville, ’cause I’m fixing to enter the mission fields pretty soon again, and don’t know what time that I may be called away or caught away. I–I… We don’t know that. And I want to be sure that I’m–let the church know the hour they’re living, ’cause Almighty God will hold me responsible for it.
50 Now, now, each one of these churches, according to the Scripture there, had an angel. And the angel was a… How many knows what an “angel” means? It’s a “messenger,” a messenger. And there–there was seven angels to the seven churches, meant “seven messengers.” Now, and they was stars in His hand. And in His hand these–these twelve–these seven stars that was to reflect the Light of His Presence in the day of night that we were living in, as the stars reflects the sun to the earth, makes it light so we can walk, and get around at nighttime.
Now, we find out then, that during this time, that each one of those angels had a position and place. And, brethren, tonight we don’t get to it, because we know this angel of the first church, but it’s going to be a mysterious and glorious thing to find and pull out of history before you, the angels of these other churches. The angel of the first church was Saint Paul; he founded it, God’s messenger. The angel of the church of Ephesus was Saint Paul. The church… Now, the reason I…
52 Now, these others you might disagree, but I’ve set there for days and days under inspiration till I felt the Holy Spirit strike me and anoint me for it. That’s the reason I know. And watch these men that has been picked, if you’re a historian, they… The same men that I have got here, and know by revelation that they was the angels to the church, they had the same ministry that these did at the beginning. And that ministry cannot change; it must stay Pentecost all the way through.
53 Now, historians setting here is going to disagree with me on this man; but on the church of Smyrna, Irenaeus is who I know that was the angel of that day. Polycarp, many of you will say it was Polycarp, rather, you’d say it was him. But Polycarp leaned more to the organization and to the Catholic coming-on religion. But Irenaeus was a man that spoke in tongues, and had the power of God, and signs followed him. That’s it. He was God’s angel light, and he pulled the Light on over after Polycarp had been crucified or murdered, assassinated, then Irenaeus was one of his students, and Polycarp was a student to Saint Paul–or Saint John. And then Irenaeus taken his place, and he brought the light.
54 And the angel of the light of–of Pergamos was the great Saint Martin. I don’t believe there was a greater man ever lived on earth, outside of Jesus Christ, than Saint Martin. Power? The assassinist come to him to cut his head off (He believed in signs and wonders, and the Pentecostal blessing.), and when they went to, they was going to assassinate him, he pulled his cloak back and held his neck out to them. And when the assassinater drawed the sword to chop his head off, the power of God knocked him plumb back out from him, and he crawled on his knees to ask…?… He was an angel to the church.
Other things. Watch how he… One of his brethren had been hung, be was on the road to try to find him, see what taken place. And when he got there, they done hung him. He was laying stretched out, dead, and his eyes pushed out of his head. He went in to him, and fell down upon his knees, and laid his body across him for an hour, praying to God. And the power of God come upon the man, and he raised up took his hand and walked away with him like that. That’s history, just like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or whatmore. It’s history.
Yes, sir. Saint Martin was the angel unto the Pergamos church, which the marriage church that takes them over into Catholicism after that.
57 The angel of the church of–of Thyatira was Columba. The angel of the church of Sardis, the dead church… The word “Sardis” means “dead,” come out with a name, not His Name, “But a name that you live, but you’re dead.” Watch how they brought out that baptism in that day. See, come from it. The angel of the church of Sardis was Martin Luther, the first reformer.
The angel of the church of Philadelphia was John Wesley, the messenger.
And the angel of the church of–of Laodicea is not known yet. It will be someday, but perhaps he… on earth… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… “He that has an ear…” [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.]… know this is the age we’re living in. God will do the judging of that.
61 Now, notice now, and we’ll get now to the Scriptures, back to the first church age. Now, I would like… I got some little things wrote down here that I wished you would listen closely.
The first church, the Ephesian church, the works of the church, what God condemned them for, was works without love. Their reward was the Tree of Life.
The church of Smyrna was a persecuted church, went through tribulation: reward was crown of Life.
The third church, Pergamos, the age of false doctrine, Satan’s lying, the foundation of the papacy rule, marriage to church and state. The reward was hidden manna and a white stone.
The church of Thyatira was the church of the papal subduing, the dark ages: reward was power and rule of nations and the Morning Star. That’s the little minority that went through.
66 The church of Sardis was the reformation age, the great missionary–or not missionary, but the hidden names; they had their own names. And the reward was white raiment, and name on the Book of Life (which has to come in the judgment). We had that the other day, the Book of Life; you’re to be judged from the Book of Life. The saints are translated and taken without that, they don’t go to that.
The Philadelphian church age was the age of brotherly love, the great commission age, and the great missionary age, the open door. And the reward was a–a pillar. Reveal the names of God was to be in during–during this age, when it went out around 1906. All right.
The Laodicean age was the lukewarm church, rich, increased in goods, having need of nothing, but was wretched, poor, blind, and miserable, and naked. And the reward was to set on the throne with the Lord, those who overcome that age.
69 Now, to break down tonight to show you a little bit about the service tonight, we’re going to take the 2nd chapter, the first church age. Now, we… He’s revealed and we know Who He is; He’s God.
Now, the church age begin as I said, around 53 to 170. And (a) the city of Ephesus, one of the three great cities of Asia, often called the third city of Christian faith (First was Jerusalem; second, Antioch; and third, Ephesus.). (c) a city of great commerce and trade… (e) The government was Roman. (f) The language was Greek. Historians believe John, Mary, Peter, Andrew, and Philip were all buried there. And Ephesus was knowed for its beauty.
72 Christianity at Ephesus was where the Jews lived, at Ephesus. And it was founded about A.D. 53 or 55. Christianity was planted there by Saint Paul. Later, Saint Paul spent three years at Ephesus. Paul’s teaching bore great influence to the believers at Ephesus. Next, Timothy was the first bishop of the church at Ephesus. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. In Paul’s time it was a great church.
“Ephesus” means, the very name “Ephesus” means “let go, relax, backslidden,” called by God, “The backslidden church.” God–God acknowledged first their works, their labor, and their patience. God rebuked their living–leaving their first love, for backsliding, and for no longer bearing Light. Ephesus was not a deceived church; it failed itself by not continuing in perfect love.
74 Summary of Ephesus’ fruits: without love, led to apostasy. The promises: Paradise promised to the overcomer of the saints of Ephesus in the church age, given to the Tree of Life.
Here’s a beautiful thing. The Tree of Life is mentioned three times in Genesis, three times in Revelation. The first time it was mentioned in–in Genesis was in Eden, and Christ was the Tree. The three times it was mentioned in Revelations, was Christ in paradise. Oh, that’s rich. The Lord bless.
76 Now, we’re begin the 1st chapter of Ephesus–or the 1st verse of the 2nd chapter, the Ephesian church:
Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
John is the–the messenger at that time. Walking in the midst of these seven golden candlesticks was Jesus Christ, the Almighty God. What is He doing? He didn’t say He was walking in one candlestick; He was walking in the midst of all of them. What does that denote? That He is the same God yesterday, today, and forever, and in every church age to every believer. He comes to–with the Holy Ghost to every age and to every person: same yesterday, today, and forever.
78 “Holding in His right hand…” “Right hand” means His “authority and power.” Holding in His right hand, under controlled, the seven messengers to the seven church ages. Oh, I like that. See Him walking around through these church ages, the Christ, making Hisself known to His people down through these dark ages, down through every age; while the church got formal and pulled out, and some went one way and some another, but that little minority of the church still held on, and Christ worked with them, confirming His Word; winds it right through.
79 It’s so easy to see how that we’ve got what we have today, when you begin to study this. Now, here at the beginning… I believe all of you could see this high. Here’s one church age, that’s Pentecost. The second church age, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh church age. Now, if you’ll notice this real close, the church begin at Pentecost. How many believes that? You see what happened at Pentecost, then we watch the church as it goes on down. It just starts fading out a little more, a little farther, a little farther; little bit, it’s down like that as the real true church goes out.
Now, the Christ… No matter how small the church is, “Wherever two or three are assembled together in My Name, I’ll be in their midst.” When they assemble together in what? In the name of the Methodist? name of the Baptist? name of the Pentecostals? Name of Jesus. Wherever two or three are assembled together, no matter how little it is… And they’re going to be so small in the last days, till He said He’d have to come quickly and cut the work short or there’d be no flesh saved for the rapture. “Wherever two or three are assembled in My Name.”
81 Now, the first round, the apostles. Now, we see this is the beginning, Pentecost. He’s walking around, the same great God, the same great signs was to take place all down through these ages because He walked among each age. Blessing what? His people that’s assembled in His Name.
I want you to watch in this as we go through the church. This church had Jesus’ Name. This church had Jesus’ Name. This church had Jesus’ Name. And this church lost It. This church come out, the Lutheran age, with “a name that you live, but you’re dead.” And goes right on down until the end of this age; and between this age and this age there’s an open door set that brings back that Name again to the church. Now, watch and see if that isn’t true, after we get it here in the Scriptures. There between the–the ages…
83 Now, tomorrow night I’ll try to have this setting up here so we can all see it. And I’ll come down maybe tomorrow afternoon and draw out for–some of the–or the plans that I want to speak to you about. And if any of you’s got the histories, bring them along. Or take your notes and go down to the library or somewhere, and get the history, and read it, and see if this is right.
84 Now, the 1st verse. What’s He doing? He’s saluting them.
Unto–unto the angel of the church of Ephesus… (to John)… write; These things saith he that hold the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (It’s a salute.)
Now, the 2nd verse and the 3rd verse, He commends them.
I know thy works, and thy labors, and thy patience… how that thou can not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
See, that apostasy had already begin to set in in this first age, already started right there; because the elect and true church who wanted to keep the precepts of the Bible, and keep the Words that Jesus said in His testimony, they’d already begin to pull away. Something begin to happen, and there’d been false teachers rise up, people who were teaching wrong, contrary to the Scripture, trying to bring in something or add something.
That’s the reason He gave this revelation to the church and said, “Whoever takes away or adds to, your part will be taken out of the Book of Life.” That’s lost, brother. Just don’t meddle with God’s Word. Just no matter who It hurts or what It hurts, just say it anyhow. Just the way it’s wrote there, that’s the way. We don’t need any great something else; we don’t need any priest or anything to interpret it to us. God the Holy Spirit is the Interpreter. He gives the interpretation.
88 Now, if you notice, turning from the evils and finding the false prophets, after that they were proven false, having a form of godliness… See how the church begin to get formal during that time? They begin to kinda break down the people under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, begin to cause people to kind of make fun of them.
Well, didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are you when you’re persecuted for righteousness’ sake”? He never said to start getting formal. He said, “Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for they persecuted the prophets which were before you.” He said that in the beatitudes in Matthew 5, “Blessed are you.” Why, to have people to make fun of you because you love the Lord Jesus is a blessing just to have them to say it. They’re only… When they’re cursing you, they’re bringing God’s blessings down on you. It backfires on them, like it did on Balaam that time. It–it backfires on them. When they try to make fun of you being a Christian, why, it backfires on them, and God gives a blessing, because “Blessed are you when men shall persecute you for My Name’s sake.” For His Name’s sake, “Blessed are you.”
90 Now, we find out that they wanted to start and get into a form of godliness.
Now, I could stop right here and say something: believe I will, Did you notice that every revival… Now, minister brethren, you check this. Every revival produces twins, just as Jacob and Rebekah produced twins: Esau and Jacob. I mean Isaac instead of–Isaac and Rebekah, instead of Jacob. Isaac and Rebekah produced twins. Their father was holy; the mother was holy; but they had two boys born: Esau and Jacob.
Now, both of them was religious. But Esau, when it come to works and deeds, as a good legalist, he was probably a better boy all the way around than Jacob was. Did you know that? Jacob was just a little boy that hung around his mammy all the time. But Esau got out and worked, went out and got venison and give to his old blind daddy who was a prophet; he tried to take care of him. But Jacob only had one thing in mind; he wanted that birthright. He didn’t care how long he had to hang around or whatever he had to do; the main thing in his life was the birthright. And Esau despised it.
93 Now, don’t you see the natural man, the natural man? When a revival comes, there’s two classes of people comes out of every revival. There’s a natural man that goes, and he’ll come up to the altar and say, “Yes, sir, I accept Christ as my Saviour.” He’ll go out, and what does he happen? The first thing you know, he’ll wind up in some good cold, formal church, because he thinks, “Well, if I join church, I’m just as good as the next man. Am I not just as good as So-and-so? What difference does it make as long as I belong to church and make my confession?” Why, it’s a whole lot of difference. You’ve got to be borned again. You’ve got to have the birthright.
And Jacob didn’t care how much he was laughed at. He wanted that birthright, and he didn’t care how he had to get it.
95 Now, a lot of people don’t want to get the birthright, because they think that it’s just a little unpopular. They don’t want to get down at the altar and cry a little bit, or go without a few meals, and–and something another. They–they–they don’t want to do it. A lot of the women with a lot of, you know, mani–makeup on, they think if they’d cry they might wash it off, have to put it on again. Why, they… it’s… And I don’t mean to say that sacrilegious; I hope it don’t sound that way; but that’s the truth. They just don’t want it.
They don’t want the new birth, because the new birth is kinda messy. It’s like any other birth. Any birth is a mess, I don’t care where it’s at. If it’s in a pig pen, or in the barn, or if it’s in a pink, decorated hospital room, it’s a mess.
And so is the new birth a mess. Amen. It’ll make you do things that you didn’t think you’d do: stand on a corner and beat a tambourine, or sing “Glory be to the God. Hallelujah. Praise God. Glory to God.” Why, you’ll act like a maniac. That’s what it done to the apostles; that’s what it done to the virgin Mary; she act like she was drunk. She was a mess in society, but it takes a mess for life to come out of. Amen.
97 Unless anything dies and rots, life can’t come from it. Unless a man dies and rots in his own thoughts, Christ can’t get into his heart. When you’re trying to think for yourself, “Now, if I walk up to the altar and say, ‘Yes, Lord, I’m–I’m a fine fellow; I’ll take You. I’ll pay my tithes. I’ll do this,'” you got to die and rot right there to your thoughts. Let the Holy Ghost take over and just do whatever He wants to with you. Get kind of messy with it. That sounds horrible, not sacrilegious, but it’s the truth. It’s the only way I know how to punch the thing out to make you understand it.
What was more of a mess than that dignified bunch of Jews that day, than to see these people coming out there with stammering lips? You know what a stammer is? [Brother Branham demonstrates what a stammer is–Ed.]…?… Other tongues, and acting like drunk people. [Brother Branham demonstrates how a drunk person acts–Ed.] That’s exactly what they were doing. They looked messy.
And he said, “Are these men all full of new wine?”
100 But after one kind of got to himself, he said, “Let this be known to you, and hearken to my words; these are not drunk like you suppose it is.” But he went right to the Scripture, “This is that that was spoke of by the prophet Joel, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last day,’ saith God, ‘I’ll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.'”
That’s the way the church was born first. How many believes that God is infinite? See? Then He cannot change. And if that was His idea of a church at the beginning; that’s the kind of church He’ll have at the end. He cannot change. So how you going to substitute shaking a hand, or sprinkling, or–or some other thing that it didn’t happen right there? Each one of the apostles went right back to that.
102 After they done all these… Holy Ghost had fell on them, Peter said, “Can we forbid water, seeing that these has received the Holy Ghost like we did at the beginning?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. That’s right.
Paul went over and found people shouting, having a big time, bunch of Baptists glorifying God, and he said, Acts 19, he said, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?”
They said, “We know not whether there be any Holy Ghost.”
Said, “How was you baptized?”
They said, “We been baptized by the same man baptized Jesus: John the Baptist.”
He said, “Yeah, it won’t work anymore.” See? Peter done sealed it on the day of Pentecost. He had the key. See?
Said, “It won’t work anymore; you got to be baptized over again.” So he baptized them over again in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, laid his hands upon them, and they had the same kind of results that they had there at the beginning. The Holy Ghost fell on them; they begin to speak in tongues and prophesy.
109 Now, that’s been the church down through the age. Now, it started right here at the beginning.
“I know your patience. You’re awful long-suffering. I know that… Now, remember, I’m He that walks in amongst the candlesticks. I know your patience, and your work, and your labor, and your love, and so forth. I know all that you’ve done. And I–I know that you’ve tried these people who call themselves prophets, apostles, and found that they are liars.” Oh, that’s pretty flat, isn’t it? I’m not responsible for that; He is. He said they were liars.
111 But the Bible said, “Try a man. If there be any among you who’s spiritual or a prophet, or says he is, I the Lord will make Myself known to him. I’ll speak to him in visions and in dreams. And if what he says comes to pass, then hear him; don’t be afraid of him (See?), because that I am with him. But if it doesn’t come to pass, then don’t hear him; he hasn’t got My Word.” See, if it’s His Word, it happens.
Now, they found out these fellows wasn’t carrying on according to the Bible. See, they were trying to get something else. (I want you to keep your thinking cap on now, where we get down to the nugget just in a few minutes.) Now, then He said, “I see what you–that you have long-suffering, and patience and with them. You’ve tried them and found out they’re not apostles. They’re not.”
113 Now, as I said to begin, ‘fore we start off on this again, every revival produces a pair of twins. One is a spiritual man; the other one is a natural man of the earth, “I joined the church; I’m just as good as anybody.” And that’s what this revival produced. That’s what, every revival. That’s what Luther’s produced; that’s what Irenaeus’ produced; that’s what Saint Martin’s produced; that’s what Columba’s produced; that’s what Wesley’s produced; and that’s what Pentecost produced. Just exactly.
You see how they’ve gone to seed, built their churches, and went on off, and big fine places, and (my, goodness) stand up and repeat the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the Holy Roman Catholic church, and the communion of saints.” Anybody that believes in the communion of saints is a spiritualist. Anything communes with the dead is of the Devil. That’s exactly right. We have one Mediator between God and man, that’s the Man Jesus Christ. That’s right. That’s what Peter said.
115 And you dear Catholic people call him the first pope, and Peter being the first pope who walked with Jesus… And then he said, “There’s no other Mediator between God and man.” And these, you’ve got ten thousand others today. Why has it changed so much, if the church is infallible and doesn’t change? And all your masses are said in Latin so it won’t change. What happened? Where’d you ever find the Apostles’ Creed in the Bible? If the apostles had any creed, was “Repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sin.” There’s no other creed I ever heard them knowing or ever recited anything.
116 But when it come the “holy Roman church” and all these other things, and “God the Father Almighty that preserveth heavens and earth.” That’s nonsense. That’s right. It ain’t in the Bible. There’s no such a thing as that in the Scripture. It’s a made up creed that they made up, But it’s… All the prayers and everything is a made up thing.
We can see today that our Protestants, when we get down in here, just went right off of them. And just like Billy Graham said Sunday, “The people has been in wrong so much till they think they’re all right while they’re wrong.” That’s right. It’s the truth. I’m glad that I’m… ‘Course I know Billy Graham received the Holy Ghost under George Jefferies over there, but some of these days he’ll come out of that. God’s using him right there now, ’cause he can shake that kingdom that nobody else probably could get into. But you can see his preaching, that there’s something behind that, because of some of these here shaking-hand Baptists. Yes, sir.
I know thy works,… and thy patience,… how that thou can not…
Let’s see now, I got the…
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience… how that can not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say that they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
He found them to be liars. How’d they know that? They wasn’t quoting with the Word.
Now, if a man says that… If this Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever,” and the man said, “Aw, the days of miracles is past,” then that man’s a liar.
If the Bible said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins,” and every place in the Bible says the same thing, and everybody that was ever baptized in the–in the Bible time was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, and he commissions them to be baptized, sprinkled, or something else like that, that man is a liar, found out a false prophet.
I hope I ain’t hurting feelings, but I… Brother, you–you–you can’t baby this; it’s time to take the gloves off and handle the Gospel. See? That’s the truth.
124 Now, show me something different. Show me where one person was ever baptized any other way than in the Name of Jesus (See?), outside of the Catholic church. So if you’re baptized that way, you’re not in the Christian church; you’re in the Catholic church ’cause you’re baptized. Their own “Sunday Visitor,” the catechism said, the question, “Will any Protestants be saved?” Said, “Many of them, because they have our baptism and many things like that.” Said, “They claim about the Bible, and the Bible said baptize in the Name of Jesus Christ, and we’ve taken it from there and put it ‘Father, Son, and Holy Ghost’ and they knuck down to it.” Certainly. See? Not a–not… It’s not a–it’s not a Christian baptism; it’s a Catholic baptism.
Did you hear me of a night, “Have you ever been baptized in Christian baptism?” Christian baptism, Christ, Jesus Christ, not in some title.
126 Now, the 3rd verse now… All right, 2nd and 3rd verse… Now, the 3rd verse…
And hast borne, and had patience, and for my name’s sake has laboured, and has not fainted.
“For My Name.” Did you notice they had patience? Laboured for what? His Name. See that Name holding in that church? Now, watch it, when we get down through the week how that fades out and goes into another name. See? “Had–had patience, labored, and so forth, and for My Name’s sake.” He… They labored for His Name.
To keep the Name of Jesus Christ above any church, above anything else, let it be first, and… “Whatever…” The Bible said, “Whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the Name of Jesus Christ.” Is that right? “Whatever you do in word or in deed…” If you marry, marry a person. If you can’t, if they’re all scrupled up in their marriage, don’t marry them at all. See? If you can’t freely say, “I pronounce you husband and wife in the Name of Jesus Christ,” let them go. All right. If you want to baptize them, baptize them in Jesus’ Name.
129 If you have to do something that you can’t do in Jesus’ Name, let it alone. Somebody said, “Take a little drink.” You can’t do that in Jesus’ Name, so let it alone. Somebody said, “Play a little cards.” You can’t do that in Jesus’ Name, so let it alone. A little, dirty, smutty joke at your bridge party, you can’t tell that in Jesus’ Name, so let it alone. See? You can’t wear shorts in Jesus’ Name, so let it alone. I could go on, but we–you know what I’m talking about. All right. You can’t do that. What you can’t do in His Name, leave it alone. Because he said, “Whatever you do in word and deed, do it all in the Name of Jesus Christ.” All right, now.
130 Now, we’re going to… That’s the… He commended them for that. Now, I’m going to talk about the complaint now in the 4th chapter–or 4th verse, rather.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love.
Oh. “I have something against you. You’ve been patient; you’ve held up for My Name.” Wouldn’t that be just a good thing of this Tabernacle today? Yes, sir. “You’ve been all right, and you’ve had a lot of patience, and bore a long time, but the thing of it is… You’ve held up for My Name. I appreciate all that. I–I commend you for that; it’s all right. And I’ve seen that you’ve tried them who say they’re apostles and so forth, and found they’re liars, they don’t cope with the Word. I–I appreciate all that. But there’s something I got against you, and that is that you’ve left your first love. You left that love that you once had for them good old fashion, Holy Ghost meetings, and you’re begin to kind of slide backwards into that formal, come in with, “Our Father…” and a… Nonsense. See?
132 All this here society, and someone has to come out with a big robe on them, you know, to sing in the choir, you know, and the manicured all over their hair and everything, and a lot of makeup around their face, and they sing like I don’t know what…
Here not long ago, if it hadn’t been in Oral Roberts’ meeting, I sure would’ve called a bunch out. I was–I was at the…?… Business Men’s convention, and it was held… We didn’t have… That night I was going to speak. They couldn’t hold it over there in the hotel, and they took me to–to Oral Roberts’ building. And when I was setting in Oral’s study, there was a bunch of Pentecostal children (Oh, young men and women, sixteen, seventeen years old, eighteen) all standing out there; about thirty or forty of them going to sing some kind of a–a little, sounded to me like some kind of an overture by someone like Becky talks about, Tchaikovsky, or some of them kind of things like that; I don’t know, some of them kind of a songs, classical songs. And here they was, the brethren was going to take up an offering out in the meeting, and each one of these went along and had them a little cup, act like they were blind, and all the jokes and carrying on you ever heard, between them boys and girls, and talking like everything. And them girls with enough paint on, could’ve painted Oral’s building, almost. And there they was like that, and calling themselves Pentecostal. See? They lost their first love.
134 I sure go with David duPlessis, “God has no grandchildren.” No, sir. We got Methodist grandchildren. We got Baptist grandchildren. We got Pentecostal grandchildren. But God don’t have any. They’re sons and daughters. You can’t come in on your mammy or your daddy because they were good men and women; you’ve got to pay the same price they did. You got to be born just like they was. God don’t have no grandchildren at all. You’re a son or a daughter, or, you’re not a grandson; that’s one thing sure.
135 Went to a meeting there, and they there–to a fine Pentecostal Assembly church. Boy, you ought to see them women scatter when they seen me coming in: with that short, bobbed hair, and those little old half-dressed, like a wiener almost, you know, skinned down in those dresses like that, Pentecostal women, dressed so sexy…
You’re going to have to answer for it at the day of judgment. You’re going to be guilty of committing adultery. Jesus said, “Whosoever looked upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” And if you present yourself to a man like that, who’s guilty, you or the man? Be right. Shun the very appearance of evil. See? So there you are.
137 What’s do? Lost their first love. Oh, you couldn’t get them on a corner with a tambourine to clap their hands and praise God. Oh, no. They’d sing some kind of a classical something with a bunch of robes around them. See, they lost their first love. That’s what’s the matter with the first church. See?
They just have to act like the world. They have to dress like the world, look like the world, act like the world, and have their favorite television star, you know; they just can’t keep from seeing it. “We Love Susie” or something another, you know, they just have to see it. They’ll stay home from prayer meeting and everything else to see it. And if they don’t, they give their pastor a good bawling out, to let them out in time till that program comes on so they can get home to see it. The love of the world more than the love of God…
Oh, too formal, they can’t say, “Amen,” no more. My, goodness, it’d break some of the makeup. See? They don’t have it. No, that’s Pentecost. That ain’t Baptists. They ain’t never had it to begin with, the–the Presbyterian. I’m talking about Pentecost. That’s right. I know it’s awful sickening, brother, but we want a birth out of this thing now: got to bring death before you can have birth. See? It’s the truth. But there you are, left your first love. I…
140 If God had that against this church, He’s got it against that one too. “Because you left your first love, I’ve got it against you. I have something against you; that’s My complaint. You once had a great time, but you let the world begin to creep in, and you got to acting a little formal. You still holding My Name, and you’re still doing the things that’s right, and you got a lot of patience and so forth, and you labor, and you’re like a mule, you just labor and work.” My, my, my.
See, you’ve left grace and faith and power to swap it for labor and works. “Well, I tell you, Brother Branham, I–I help every widow woman I can.” Well, that’s a good thing; I commend you for that. But where’s that first love you once had? See? Where’s that joy you used to have? As David once cried, “O Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation.” Where is them all night prayer meetings and tears on your cheeks? My, goodness, the Bible’s even dusty and got cobwebs on It. You read old love stories, and news things, and things that oughtn’t to even be allowed to be published and put out for a–a trash can, and we Pentecostal people pick them up and just loft over them like a bunch of flies on a garbage can. That’s right.
Oh, mercy. What we need is: Back to our first love. Back to Pentecost. I’d better get away from there. All right. But you understand, “Leaving that first love…”
142 The 4th verse, 5th verse now, a warning, the 5th verse, a warning: “Remember and repent.” See?
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,… (Where did you come from? From Pentecost you fell down to where you are now, backsliding.)… and repent, and do thy first works;… (go back to Pentecost again)… or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove the candlestick out of h-i-s… (See who it is, don’t you?)… his place, except thou repent.
Other words, if you got a God-filled pastor, filled with the Holy Ghost, and you try to hold him under your finger, say, “Well, if he says anything about us having a robed choir, if he says anything about us wearing makeup, we’ll just excommunicate him.” Don’t you worry; God will do it before you get a chance to. He’ll go out and preach to stones on the street before he’d compromise with that kind of stuff. You got a pastor that really tells you the truth, you ought to honor God and stay in the Spirit, and worship God, realizing that you’re going to be lost if you don’t. See?
144 But people live today like they was going–this is the only thing there was, “live here on earth, that’s all.” You don’t realize you got a soul that’s going to leave here and go somewhere. And you seal your destination right here, the way you live and the way you do: out holding grudges, and mean, and everything, and then run to church. Oh, mercy. Whew. Shame on you.
You bring a reproach up–upon the cause of Christ. Isn’t that right? Don’t we do it? The bootleggers ain’t hurting the church. It isn’t that. It isn’t the prostitute that’s hurting the church. It’s the people who profess to be Christians that’s hurting the church. We know what the bootlegger is, know what the prostitute is. When our sisters dress like a prostitute, that’s different; that’s what hurts the church. When the men drinks like the bootlegger, well, then, that’s what hurts the church. They’re professing to be a Christian and then do that. The people look for you that name… “Let him that even names the Name of Jesus Christ depart from sin.” See? Get away from it.
Oh, we’re so short, brethren. Me, you, all of us, we’re–we’re short of what Christ wants us to be. And right here in this day it’s time to lay aside every sin that’s easily beset us, and run with patience the race that’s set before us. Preachers, that’s right, brethren…?… That’s exactly right.
147 “Remember and repent, or I will remove the Light of the star out of his place.” What’s his place? In the church. “But if you don’t repent and go back to where you was at the first place, I’ll take your pastor right away from you and move him out of his place; I’ll put him somewhere else where his–where I’ll reflect My Light that’ll shine.” Um. Wasn’t that solemn?
It’s time for the churches to repent. It’s time for Pentecost to get a lot of the little polished scholars out of the pulpits, and get the old fashion preacher in there that’ll tell you the truth, not pat around and use the church for a meal ticket, big wages, and something like that, and psychology, and a few horse races, and soup suppers, and everything else. It’s time to get back to the Gospel. I don’t care how little you are, “Where two or three are gathered, I–I’ll be in their midst.”
“Repent, unless I come and remove the candlestick; send him away, else to shine his light.”
150 Now, the 6th verse. Now, here’s the one we’re going to have trouble with. Now, except you repent, He’ll come and move the pastor away.
But this thou has,…
Now, remember. Oh, don’t miss this now. This is going to lock the rest of it together plumb on down to this age we’re in now. Everybody feeling good, first? [Congregation says, “Amen.”–Ed.] Are you in a hurry? [Congregation says, “No.”–Ed.] All right, now. All right, bear just a little bit then. [A brother in congregation says, “Stay all night.”–Ed.] Now… Thank you.
But this thou has,… (They had something then, didn’t they? Now, what did they have?)… that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
“You hate those deeds of the Nicolaitanes.” Setting in the study today up there, I wrote something here on that; I want you to listen closely now in a couple pages here. The 6th verse, praises and agreed; that’s God and the church agreed upon one thing, that they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. The true vine, the true vine, the true church that was in this Ephesian church…
153 Now, remember, each church has its formals and each church has its spirituals. That’s the twins that’s born in every revival and lives in every church. They started it right in this age and it ends up in this age. And finally, the formals took it over in the Thyatira age, and Luther pulled it back out again. And now it’s swinging right back in again. Can you see that formal religion? There’s no difference between that and Catholicism. It’s all the same thing. Every organization’s butchered right into it. God never did organize His church. That’s exactly what they was trying to do here. And you watch and see now if that isn’t right, just show you how cursed an organization is. It was–it was foreign to the new church, the New Testament church. See?
154 But… thou… But this thou has, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
The true vine hated the formal deeds of the Nicolaitanes; so did God. What was deeds in the Ephesian church, in the church of Ephesians, became a doctrine in the Pergamos church. In Ephesus the first church, it was a deeds, in the next church it become a doctrine. Can you hear it? Do you understand it now? It was a deed in Ephesus, and watch, over here in Pergamos it became a doctrine. It just started here in a little baby form. Now, in a minute we’re going to find out what that was. Here is Paul’s wolves: “deeds of the Nicolaitanes.”
155 Now, what… Let’s break that word down and find out what we got before we go any farther. The word “Nicolaitane” is kind of a foreign thing to me. I got every Greek lexicon that I could find. “Nicolaitane” come from the word of Nicko, N-i-c-k-o (Wait, I believe I wrote it down here.) N-i-c-k-o, Nicko, which means “to conquer or to overthrow.” Nico-laitanes, “overthrow or conquer the laity.” What they were trying to do here was trying to take the church where God had pastors, and the Spirit of God moving by gifts in the church of the living God, and they were having a doctrine start that they were going to have some priests, and bishops, and popes, and so forth. That God said He hated. He hates it yet today. Nico-laitanes (Nico, “overcome”) or, “overthrow the laity.” The laity is the church. How many knows the laity is the church?
156 All right, “Overthrow or conquer, or take place of the laity…” In other words, take all of the sacredness, all of the power from the church, and put it over on the priests; “Let the congregation live the way it wants to, but the priest is the holy one.” Taking the Holy Ghost away from the people with signs and wonders following them, and take that away and give them a holy priesthood: taking away the Holy Ghost and swapping It for a priesthood. You see what it was? It was a… It finally became…
In this church here it was a deeds; and this place it become a doctrine; and Thyatira, it took over. And when Luther came out, it couldn’t stay that way; it went right back and took over again: bishops, cardinals, archbishops. Who in the world’s the head of God’s church but Him Himself? Amen. Whew. Now, I feel religious. The Holy Ghost was sent to rule the church, not just the preacher, the whole congregation. Just the preacher be holy? It’s all the church has the Holy Ghost.
And instead of that, instead of having the Spirit to make it, they’ve taken a little wafer, and a cracker, and some wine, and call it “the holy Eucharist” which means “Holy Spirit.” How in the world can a cracker and a piece of wine be a spirit? Now, if–if that’s the way, you have to read Acts 2 like this: “When the day of Pentecost was fully come, here came a Roman priest up the road, and he said, ‘Lick out your tongue,’ and he laid the wafer on him; he drank the wine, said, ‘Now, you got the Holy Ghost.'” Now, now, we think that’s terrible. It is.
158 Now, let’s go down, I was ordained in a Baptist church; let’s take us Baptists. See? The Methodist, what do we do? “If thou will confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, you’re saved.” The devil believes He’s the Son of God and trembles at it; probably believes it more than a lot of church members does. The devil believes the same thing and trembles, because he knows he’s doomed.
Now, we take it the Methodist form. Then they say that John did not baptize, that he sprinkled. Said, “There was a lot of gophers in the country, and–and the water come up in the places. And he had a muscle shell and scraped out a gopher hole.” And they actually preach that. “And got some water in this gopher shell, or this muscle shell, out of the gopher hole, and sprinkled the people.” Why, nonsense. Oh, brother.
160 Well, here we’ll take it, “When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one place, in one accord. And the pastor came down and preached a fine sermon and say, ‘Give me the right hand of fellowship, and we’ll put your name on the book.'” That don’t sound right, does it? You might get that… You couldn’t get that in an almanac; they know better than that. The old Ladies Birthday Almanac is more correct than that would be.
Well, what’s caused that then? The Nicolaitane bringing in a bunch of men to twist up the Scripture and make a denomination that can’t let God move in it. It dies right there. See? And it said here, “You’re dead. You got a name you’re living, but you’re dead.” Many of them’s dead and don’t know it.
162 Me and my brother was fishing when we was little boys, up here. And I caught an old snapping turtle, and I cut his head off, get him off the line; I didn’t want to fool with that thing; and throwed him up on the bank there. And my little brother come along, and he said, “What’d you catch awhile ago?”
I said, “A turtle.”
He said, “What’d you do with him?”
I said, “There lays there, and his head’s laying up there.”
And he went up there. And he said, “Is he dead?”
I said, “Sure, separated his head from his body, he must be dead.”
So then he picked up a stick, and started to reach down to throw this turtle head back in the river, and when–or in the creek. And when he did, the old turtle grabbed it. You know, they’ll snap for a hour or two. He jumped back; he said, “Hey. I thought you said it was dead.”
I said, “It is.”
He said, “Well, he don’t know it.”
So that’s the way a lot of people are: dead and don’t know it. Nicolaitanes… Oh, my. Oh, He said, “You hate that.” Taking all the…?… fine holy priests, holy cardinal, holy bishop.
168 And some of you Pentecostals, “The great overseer, let him come down, the general overseer, he’ll tell you whether you can have the healing service here or not.” Hallelujah. The Holy Ghost is the One to say that or not; It’s God’s eternal Word.
“Well, Brother Branham, we believe that the Bible does teach baptize in Jesus’ Name, but the general overseer said if we started that in our church, he’d kick us all out.” Go ahead. That’s right. I’d rather be kicked out here than kicked out there. So if you take anything out of here, you’re going to kicked out there, anyhow, so you might as well get kicked out here. If he kicks you out here, you’d be kicked in There. So that’s just the same thing, so stay right with it.
We want to be right. Oh, my, it’s a serious thing, brother. We’ve got to get this thing right. We’ll never be able to have a church until God gets a foundation to lay it on. He’ll never build His church upon a bunch of nonsense. He has to come on His Word or He won’t come at all: right on His Word.
171 Somebody, not long ago, up there, said, “Brother Branham, come out to the Chatauqua.” How many was at the Chatauqua? Why, just looky here, a third of the church or more was at Chatauqua. Which… Now, that man got up there that afternoon, and you all heard him, not knowing that I’d know about it. God can reveal in the room up there what they’re saying down there, and, you know, He did do it. Come up there, said, “Now, Brother Branham, oh, he’s a servant of the Lord. When the Spirit is upon him, he’s anointed prophet; he sure knows; God tells him what is and what’s going to be; but his theology, don’t listen to that.”
What a scrupled up idea. How a man can say that? Why, I haven’t… Well, if you didn’t know split beans from coffee, you’d–you’d know better than that. How can you ever think of such a thing as that? “Why?” Why, the very word “prophet” itself means “a Divine revelator of the Word.” How can you… The Word of the Lord came to the prophet. I never said I was one; they said it. But there you are. See?
173 How men… To hold up a little church doctrine somewhere, because their organization wouldn’t agree with it: selling your birthrights for a mess of pottage, Esau, you miserable hypocrite. That’s right. They’re selling your birthrights for a mess of pottage, for a mess of denomination, a mess of organization that God hates. Just remember, you say “organization?” God hates it. It’s the thing that separated brothers, and broke down… There’s a many a Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian, tonight would like to have the fellowship around the table of God. But if they do, they’d get kicked right out the first time they start into it. That’s exactly right.
“Mama belonged to it,” and they’re just a grandchild to begin with. Oh, my. I don’t care what mama belonged to. Mama lived in all the light she had in her day; you’re living in another day.
175 Science once proved, about three hundred years ago, by spinning a ball around the globe, said, “If a–any vehicle would ever move the terrific speed of thirty miles an hour, gravitation would lift it from the earth and take it out in space.” You think science today believes that? They’re running nineteen hundred miles per hour. They’re not looking back to see what they said; they’re looking back, see what they can see looking forward.
But the church always wants to look back and see what Wesley said, what Moody said, what Sankey said. All things are possible to them that believe; let’s look ahead. Only thing in the Bible looked backwards… Do you know what kind of an animal always looks back? The lowest life there is. How many knows what the lowest life there is that moves? A frog. A frog is the lowest life there is, and a man is the highest life there is. And a frog looks backwards. I don’t like that old low life. I want to look forward, believing, trusting, walking in the Light as He is in the Light (Amen.), as He shines the Light.
177 One time down in Kentucky I was having a meeting, an old fellow come out and said, “Oh, I don’t believe that healing.”
And I said, “Well, it’s all right; you’re an American.”
He said, “I–I don’t believe anything ‘less I see it.”
And I said, “Well, it’s all right.”
He said, “Now, I ain’t got nothing against you, but I–I don’t believe what you’re saying.”
I said, “It’s your own American privilege; you don’t have to.
He said, “Now, I never accept nothing ‘less I can see it plainly. Uh-huh?”
I said, “Well, that–that’s–that’s good; you must be from Missouri.”
Said, “No, I’m a Kentuckian.” See?
“Don’t sound very good for Kentucky,” I said. “But anyhow,” I said, “if you, that’s the way you think, you go ahead.” And he said–he said… I said, “How you going home?”
He said, “I’m going across the hill. I live over… Want to go over with me.” Nice man, said, “Go home with me, stay all night, Brother Branham.”
I said, “I wished I could, brother. But I said, “I’m going up here to my uncle.” And he said… I said, “You want to ride over?”
No, I got to go across the hill up there, up this way, and down a hollow, and up,” you know how it is down there.
And I said, “Well,” I said, “how you going to get there?”
He said, “I’m going up the path there.”
“Why,” I said, “you can’t even see your hand before you.” I said, “How you going to get up there?”
Said, “I got a lantern.”
And I said, “Well, how do you… What do you do, light that lantern and then walk with it?”
He said, “Yes, sir “
I said, “When you light that lantern, can you hold it up high like this? I’d like to see your house.”
He said, “You can’t see it.”
I said, “Then how you going to get there?”
“Oh,” he said, “I’ll just light the lantern; and as I walk, it… I just walk as the light…”
I said, “That’s just it.” Amen. I said, “Just walk in the Light.”
198 Just keep walking. Don’t stand still, you’ll never get nowhere. If you’ve been saved, walk to sanctification. You say, “How do I get there?” Just keep walking. “Is the baptism of the Holy Ghost after sanctification? How do I get that?” Just keep walking in the Light. “Is signs, wonders, and miracles?” Just keep walking in the Light. See? Just keep on. Every time you make a step, the Light will jump just a little ahead of you; ’cause He’s always ahead of you. He don’t push; He leads. He is the Light. Oh, I’m so glad of that. Aren’t you? He is the Light, in Him there’s no darkness.
199 “Thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitane.” Become a doctrine… Now, let’s see what Paul… Now, who’s church… Who founded this church now? Paul, Ephesus.
Let’s turn back now to Acts the 20th chapter, just a minute, in Acts the 20th chapter, and see what Paul… Do you believe Paul was a prophet? Sure, he was. Certainly, he was. Remember that night the vision on the stormy sea and so forth? Now… And all about it… Now, the 20th chapter of Saint–of Exod–or of Acts, and let’s begin now about the–the 27th verse, and listen close now as we read. Now, this is Paul, a prophet, foretelling what would come to pass.
For I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God.
That blessed man… Oh, I want to stand there that day and watch that martyr’s crown put on his head. If there’s such a thing as I can weep, then I’ll weep. I’ll shout to see Paul.
See Saint Paul, that great apostle,
With his robe made bright and fair;
And I’m sure there’ll be some shouting
When we all get there. (Aren’t you?)
I’ve not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God.
Is that right? Now, Christians, look this a-way; I’m going to ask you something. Who was it that commanded the people that had been baptized another way besides the Name of Jesus Christ to come and be baptized over again? [Congregation says, “Paul”–Ed.] He preached the whole counsel. Is that right? Well? And what did Paul say in, I believe it was the… I’m not sure now whether it’s Thessalonians the 1st chapter and the 8th verse. “If we or an angel from heaven would preach any other gospel, if a angel come down from heaven and preached any other gospel than this” (than commanding men to be baptized again in the Name of Jesus Christ, and the Gospel that Paul preached)… If any angel from heaven (Not a… let alone a bishop, or a cardinal, or a general overseer, or a pastor, or–or something)… If a angel come down from heaven and preached another gospel besides this, let him be cursed.” That’s right. Is that right? What he said, that’s Galatians 1:8. I just happened to think of it. All right, Galatians 1:8, if you want to put that down, see what Paul said.
204 Now, here he says… Now, the 27th, I believe the 27th verse:
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Now, listen what this… This is a prophecy.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over… which the Holy Ghost… made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
Who purchased? Whose Blood was that? The Bible said it was God’s Blood. God, with His own Blood… Is that right?
… feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
The Bible said we’re saved by the Blood of God. Did you know that? Certainly, It does. All right.
… he purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock,
Also of your own selves… (Watch, that man could look down through that and see that thing coming.)… of your own selves shall men rise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
208 [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] Years later as he… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] Or a bunch of men that want to make an organization and take the–the sacredness and the Holy Spirit away from the church, and put it on bishops and popes and priests, to… They’ll be holy, and the congregation live any way they–way they want to. And they’ll pay the priests, and he’ll pray them out of hell, and everything like that. And it’s a Nicolaitane. God said, “I hate that.” Now, listen.
“Let me see, and you say, ‘God said He hated it’?”
Now, let’s see if He did.
But this thou has, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes which I also hate.
God hates an organization. That right? Now, you see exactly what they were going to do; you see what they did do. Now, watch down through the church if they don’t do that. He hates an organization.
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;…
212 Now, Paul’s wolves had become Nicolaitanes. They were trying to form a priesthood like the Levitical priesthood, which was foreign to the New Testament doctrine. Amen. The word “Nico,” the Greek word “Nico” means “to conquer, overcome.” Overcome what? The laity, the Holy Spirit: take out of the church the resurrected Lord Jesus with signs and wonders among the believers, and put men voted in to be a pope, or a carnal–cardinal, or an overseer, trying to take the Holy Ghost away from the laity and give it to a order called the holy order of men, placing them over the laity; not to call them pastors which means “shepherds,” but “father”; which Jesus said, “Don’t you call no man father on this earth.” See that evil thing? And what did we do?
213 Oh, if we could stop. Wish we didn’t have all these nights bundled up like this; I’d like to take tomorrow night on the 12th chapter of Revelation and show you that old prostitute woman setting up there, the whore. And she… The reason she was, because she committed fornications with God, and called herself a widow, and also she was a mother of harlots. Is that right? Now, we know that was Rome, because she’s setting on seven hills, and everything just exactly, a man in her, and is the number of the beast, and so forth. We all know that from previous teachings who it was. But the sad thing of it, she was the mother of harlots. This is the beginning of her right here, begin in Rome as a bunch of Christians, so-called Christians.
214 Listen. God help me to make it real. A bunch of Christians in a church like this, they got formal, and indifferent, and pulled off, and set themself up an organization, and then united that in the dark age with the state. And state and church became one what? Christian church, “Holy Catholic church” it was called, (The word “catholic” is the word means “universal.”), the great universal Christian church, and called the people that spoke in tongues, and shouted, and healed the sick, and so forth, heretics. And finally made it so constrainuous until anybody was caught worshipping that way was throwed into the lion’s den if they wouldn’t embrace Catholicism. That went for all these hundreds of years back there of that persecution. But that church never died. You can’t kill it. God said it would live to the end and then He’d give it a crown of Life. Come down through those ages of persecution…
215 Then along come Martin Luther to continue the age, and he swung the church out under justification. What happened when Luther died? They organized it, made it a Lutheran church; they got a doctrine. When they organized it, what did they do? Give it a birth right back into Romanism again. Exactly right.
Then the Holy Ghost moved out of that, and Wesley saw it. And Wesley, and Whitfield, and George Whitfield, and many of those others, and–and Asbury, and many of them were great revivalists. They saved the world in that day. They had a revival in that Philadelphian age that saved England and the United States too. They had meetings where they kicked out and called “holy-rollers.” You Methodist was done that; they’d fall on the floor under the power of God, and they’d throw water in their face and fan them. That’s right. And they jerked so hard under it, till they got the–said, “they had the jerks.” They–people would jerk and shake under the power of the Holy Ghost. That’s Methodist history. From there come the Quakers and so forth that’s now.
217 They organized it. They made this Methodist, Primitive Methodist, and this kind of Methodist, and that kind of a Methodist, until it’s got so lowdown until the Methodist people wants to take the “Blood” out of their song books.
Here the other night on a television program (my mother called me), they had a Methodist pastor, right here in Indiana, teaching rock-and-roll in the church. Said, “It’s a shame that we have failed to see this beautiful art that goes into the church.”
That’s the Devil and a false prophet. Right. Don’t want to hurt your feelings, but, brother, that’s the God’s truth. I’d rather anger you a little bit this way and make you study the Scripture, maybe get right with God, than to be lost at the end. You might not like me now, but someday you’ll put your arm around me, say, “Brother Branham, that’s true.” Here it is right here, and their going into that. That’s where they… It’s just there. The Bible said they would do that.
220 Then from Wesley, if Wesley did that, then along come the Pentecostals. And they got the restoration of the gifts, started speaking with tongues, the Holy Ghost baptism.
Just like a grain of corn comes up out of the ground. The first thing, it rots, brings forth couple blades. Then it… You got a field of corn, you think. That blade grows up and makes a tassel. This first was Lutheran. The tassel, what was it? Methodist; the pollen, the brotherly love, the evangelize, the pollen going out into others.
Why, even nature claims these church ages. Methodist coming out of chaos–or, I mean, Lutheran coming out of chaos, Methodist shaking off its brotherly love, and evangelistic day, and the–and the day of–of missionary. The greatest missionary day the world’s ever known was Methodist time. That’s right. Shaking off its pollen…
223 What happened out of there? Out of that pollen come a ear of corn, Pentecostals, a grain, just like the same thing went in. Not a leaf, not a tassel, but a grain. And now, the–the Pentecostals has got fungus all over that grain, till it–you can’t even see the grain hardly. It’s time to clean it off. Amen. What did they do? Did the same thing the Methodists did. One organized them a bunch, said, “We’re the Assemblies of God.” The other one, “We’re Pentecostal Holiness.” Another one, “We’re the Oneness.” “We’re the Twoness.” And–and there’s so many of this, and so many of them (my,) riding one-hump-back camel, two-hump, three humps, everything… Oh, there’s sixty, or thirty, or forty different organizations of them.
224 What did they do? Throwed it right back into Romanism again, baptized in the baptism of the Roman Catholic church. I ask any Pentecostal to show me where anybody in the Bible was baptized in the name of Father, Son, Holy Ghost. I ask any bishop, cardinal, any teacher, to show me where it was ever, ever done outside of the Catholic church. And Luther brought it with him; he brought catechism and everything else out of it. Methodists continued with it. Pentecostals, you ought to be ashamed. Clean up. Go back to the Word. Repent or God will take the candlestick away from you, the Light that you have got. Amen. All right.
225 Take the Holy Ghost out as a Leader and give them a holy order of men, and place them over the laity, and don’t call them pastor, shepherds (We’re supposed to be called pastors, “shepherds,” the word “pastor” means.), but father, cardinal, archbishop, or general overseer. The true ones hated this thing. And God endorsed it for them and said, “I hate it too.” Because He’s supposed to be the general overseer, the archbishop, the pope. He works with each individual, not an organization, but a person.
Now, strangely… Listen, as we’re coming to the close. We just got one more verse.
227 Here we have the dogma of Catholicism’s beginning, apostolic succession. How many knows that? Apostolic… Now, the Catholic says that the pope today is a successor of Peter: apostolic succession. There’s no such a thing. How is your carnal, sexual desire… How was it that Esau and Jacob was both borned of a holy father and a holy mother, and one of them a Christian and the other one a devil? See? How can it be? Because sin is sin, and sex is sex, but God gives the birth.
God chooses us from the foundation of the world. Did you know that? Wait till we get to reading these historians, and watch how Irenaeus, how he gives God praise for choosing him before the foundation of the world; how that Saint Martin, and all of those, giving Him praise, God, praise. Said, “Because…” And people speaking of him, saying, “He was chose before the foundation of the world.” That’s Scripture. Those brothers was lined up with God. But this old black church come through them fifteen hundred years of dark ages, smothered the whole thing like a lamp smoking, blinded the lights. “But it shall be Light in the evening time,” the Lord said.
229 Apostolic succession, one after the other one; one pope, and it has to be in a lineage of popes before you can be a pope. Oh, my, my. That’s nonsense. The–the laity… Not the holy and just, but the… Let the–let the priests pray for them and bring them out of their sins, forgiving their sins, paying money for a confession.
Protestants do the same. They try to be–pat their pastor on the back and live as the rest of the world. And he know no more about God than he does, lets them stay in his church and calls them members of his church, and letting them stay in there and professing to them that they are saved. How they’ll be disappointed on that day if they’re not born again. Without the Holy Ghost you’re lost. No man can say, “Jesus is the Christ,” only by the Holy Ghost.
231 The true church at Ephesus was not deceived by this polished, intellectual speeches, He… They hated it. They wasn’t deceived; they know; the true church wasn’t.
False revelation that these fellows had, called Nicolaitanes, which did not cooperate with the Word of God. Tell me where you ever see a priest in confession taught in the Bible here.
Where do you ever see sprinkling taught in the Bible here for remission of sins? Where do you ever see anybody baptized in the name of Father, Son, Holy Ghost for the remission of your sins? Where’d you ever see, giving the right hand of fellowship, and putting their name on the church books in there? Where do you ever see all this stuff at? What is it? It’s a priesthood, or a–a clergy that’s not right with the Word. And they’re Nicolaitanes, and God said, “I hate them.”
Get back to the Word. Oh, I–I know that’s strong, brethren, but I–I–I’m not responsible; fuss at Him.
233 False revelation, not with the Word, but called them liars, false apostles, false prophets. But the true church held on to the original teaching of Saint Paul and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with signs following and confirming the Word that Paul taught. Amen. Show me where God will ever confirm the word of sprinkling. Show me where God will ever confirm, and bring speaking in tongues and great things, just by shaking hands with the pastor somewhere and putting your name on the book, and still chewing, smoking, drinking, telling lies, card parties, having a little fun, going… Oh, mercy. That’s carnal, false prophets, friends. Yes, sir.
234 The way of God is holiness. Let this be known to every member here of the body of Christ: until you live a holy life, God refuses your sacrifice. The sacrifice must be offered with holy hands. That is…?… right. The high priest before he could even come in to offer the sacrifice, he had to be holy, and dedicated, and anointed, and perfumed, and everything, before he could even walk in the Presence of God to offer the sacrifice. Is that right? Then how can you go out here and cheat, and steal, and fuss, and fight with your neighbors, and everything else, and carry on the way you do, and then come in and say, “O Lord God. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah.”
People say, “I see them speak in tongues.” That still don’t mean they got the Holy Ghost. “I hear them shout.” That still don’t mean they got the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the Life.
236 The Bible said, “The rain cometh upon the earth oft to prepare it, to dress it for which it’s prepared for (Hebrews 6), but thorns and thistles which is nigh unto rejection, whose end is to be burned…” The sun shines on the just and the unjust. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. The rain comes to make the wheat crop (we’ll call it), and every weed that’s in the field, if the wheat’s thirsty, then the weed’s thirsty. And the same rain that waters the wheat, waters the–waters the weeds also. The little old wheat will raise its head up and holler, “Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. I’m so glad to get this rain.”
The little old weed will holler, “Glory to God. Praise God. Hallelujah. I’m glad to get it.”
But by their fruits you shall know them. That’s right. By their fruits you shall know them.
239 7th verse, and then we’re closing; this is the last of the church age. Now, we’ll be about five minutes late, or ten, just a minute.
He that has an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Now, look, friends; here’s the way you overcome. First you have to overcome, then you can eat the fruit. It’s the overcomer. You remember the other night, our teaching last night? John had to get in the Spirit before he saw anything. And how you going set, saying, “If he’s not Baptist, I ain’t going to listen to him”? “If he ain’t Presbyterian, I ain’t going to listen to him. If he don’t teach just exactly what my church teaches, I…” You–you–you ain’t going to overcome; you ain’t got in the Spirit yet. You’re all out of order.
Get in the Spirit and say, “Lord Jesus, I love You; now reveal to me anything that You see fit, just bring unto me.” Then you’re–then you’re getting all right. That’s right.
242 Notice, three times the Bible speaks of–of the Tree of Life in Genesis, three times in the Book of Revelation. The other day we had that. Remember? Sunday, yesterday. The only… The Devil hates every bit of Scripture there is, but he hates worse Genesis and Revelation. He attacks Genesis because the authenticity of it, because he wants to make people believe that It wasn’t so; “Genesis didn’t come about the way that God said they did, had something else caused this creation and thing.” Then he attacks it that way. And he takes people away from Revelations because it reveals Jesus as being God, and him being the devil and he’s doomed, and the glory of the sanctified church going home to God, and the doom of the false prophet, and all them that lie and do everything going to be cast into the lake of fire. It’s no wonder he keeps them away from it.
But remember, both places speaks of the Tree of Life in paradise.
243 Now, let’s take this just a minute, and now the “Tree.” Saint John the 6th chapter, if you want to mark it down, Jesus said, “I am the–the–the Bread of Life.” Now, remember.
Now, we’re going to use these two posts as a symbol here. So just before closing now. Now, on my right hand is the tree in the garden called the Tree of Life; on my left hand is the tree in the garden that’s called the tree of knowledge. How many knows that the Bible says that there’s a Tree of Life and a tree of knowledge? Now, man was to live by this Tree of Life, not to touch the tree of knowledge. Is that right? And the first time he touched it, he separated himself from his Creator. He lost his–his fellowship with God when he took his first bite of knowledge. Now, think hard now. And you writing your notes, I’ll give time so you can get it, ’cause I don’t want you to miss this.
245 Jesus, in Saint John 6… They were drinking from a fountain, and throwing up their hands and putting on a mockery there, that their fathers drank from the spiritual Rock, and so forth. He said, “I’m that Rock that was in the wilderness.”
And they said, “Here you’re saying that you was before Abraham, and you’re a man not over fifty years old. And you say that you saw Abraham? We know that–now, that, you’re mad; you’re a devil.” See?
He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” I AM was in the bush with Moses: the burning bush, I AM. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Not, “I was.”
Now, you people that say the days of miracles is past, you’d have to make that Scripture say, “I was the great I was.” See?
Not “I was,” or “I will be”; “I AM,” that’s all the time. He’s eternal. The word “I AM” is an eternal, all their age, all the time, in all the seven golden candlesticks, every church, every place, every heart, “I AM,” not “I was” or “I will be.” “I am right now as I always was. (See?) Always, I AM.”
250 They said, “Our fathers… We don’t know you. We know you’re a devil.” Said, “Our fathers eat manna in the wilderness for a space of forty years.”
And Jesus said, “And they’re every one dead.” That right? “They’re all dead. But I (Oh.), I am the Bread of Life that come from God out of heaven. If… A Bread of Life… If a man eats this Bread he shall never die.”
“Will this man give his body, to eat that? Now, he’s mad, sure enough.”
The Bread of Life was from the Tree of Life, where they was eating, from the garden of Eden. He was the Tree of Life. Now, if the Tree of Life was a Person, then the tree of knowledge was a person. Now, say the serpent didn’t have a seed. If life come by man, death come by the woman. All right, she was the tree of death.
254 As soon as–as this one defiled her, which he did (the serpent), she said, “The serpent beguiled me.” That’s right. Not a snake; he was the most subtle of all the beasts; he was between a chimpanzee and a man. Seed of a animal won’t cross with a woman: won’t do it; but this fellow was; he was the next link to it. And God put such a curse on him, He put him plumb back on his belly, and no legs, and took every bone in him and changed it from anything like a man. Science trying to dig it up in a field… That’s hid in the mysteries of God, in the middle of the paradise of God. There’s your revelation.
255 She brought forth her first son which was Cain (Is that right?), the son of Satan, son of Satan. If they didn’t, where’d that–where’d that evil come from? Out of Adam which was the son of God? Come from the Devil, his father. And he murdered; first murderer was the Devil, the Devil’s son.
Watch what happened after that, watch the lineage of Cain. On down through that generation that followed after Cain, was every one scientist and great men. Read the Bible. They build houses; they work with metal, and they were scientists. But everyone that come from Seth (which Abel died, a type of Jesus, died; and Abel died, and Seth took his place: death, burial, and resurrection)… from his; come humble peasants, sheep herders come down through that.
257 Now, Jesus said, “Your fathers eat manna in the wilderness and they’re all dead. But I am that Bread of Life (What Bread of Life? From Eden.), that a man may eat of this Bread and never die.” Now, God put an Angel around that Tree of Life to guard it, that no one could touch it, unless they would eat that Tree and live forever. Is that right?
Because they had to continue on this tree and die. Is that right? ‘Cause as long as they had to eat to that, they died. And just as sure as you die because you eat from that tree of knowledge…
Now, let’s look at that tree of knowledge now. Look what it’s done. Now, let’s see what it’s done. The first thing, let’s see, it… Well, let’s see one that they… It invented gunpowder. It kills our comrades. That’s right, kill one another with gunpowder off the tree of knowledge. The next thing we done, my, let’s see, we–we invented the automobile off that tree of knowledge. It kills more than gunpowder does. Oh, yeah. Now, we’ve got a hydrogen bomb. God don’t destroy nothing; man destroys himself by his knowledge.
259 But all that belongs to God, God will raise it up again; God loses nothing. Jesus said so. That’s right, “He that eats this Bread has Eternal Life, and I’ll raise him up again at the last day.” That’s His promise. Now, God…
They went ahead eating on the tree of knowledge and dying. But as soon as they could get to this Tree, they would live forever.
So now, instead of an Angel out there keeping them away from this Tree; it’s out there driving them around to this Tree; the angels of the churches, “It’s to every person,” bringing them back to the Name of Jesus Christ Who is the Tree of Life that stands in the paradise of God. Whew. My. I hope you get that. The Tree of Life, standing in the paradise of God, that you may partake of Him and become son and daughter of God and live forever. “He that heareth My Words and believeth on Him that sent Me has Eternal Life, and shall never come into the judgment, but’s passed from death unto Life.”
262 Brother, sister, now I’m–I… Sure, I’ve… I–I’ve cut you, hurt you. I–I didn’t mean to do it that way. See? God knows that, but I’ve got to do it this way to let you see where we’re at. I don’t believe we have very much longer to stay. I’m not trying to unchristianize you because you belong to an organization. That’s not it. The people are a victim of circumstances. They don’t know nothing to do; all their parents has always done is go join church and things.
But, brother, one thing before we leave, let me make this one more quotation. The prophet said… You believe the prophets? The Bible said to listen to them. The prophet said there would come a time that there wouldn’t be neither day nor night, but it’d be a kind of a dismal day. But in the evening time, just before the sun set, it shall be Light. Is that right?
264 Now, look what we’ve had. Now, let’s just look. How does the sun… Where’s the sun raise? Geographically in the east. Is that right? It sets in the west. I wished I had… I’ll take the map tomorrow night and show you. When the Holy Ghost fell in Jerusalem, It made a perfect figure eight, Its tracks. It goes right straight across up into Ireland, right back around, right over, and comes to the west coast, and falls right back again; a perfect figure eight where the Gospel went. Now, civilization has traveled with the sun. How many knows that? You’ve been taught that and know it. The oldest civilization we have is China, and then from that she come right on across in the oriental. And when the Holy Ghost, not s-u-n, but S-o-n…
265 When the sun, the s-u-n, begins to shine down through the fog and mist of night, no matter where the seed is, it’ll live; because all botany life lives by the sun. We know that. You could pour concrete right across a piece of grass, and next spring where is the thickest grass? Right out at the end of the concrete. Why? It’s that life beneath there. You can’t hide real life. That little life, as soon as it knows that sun’s a-bathing through there, it’ll worm its way for a half a city block almost, getting around under that concrete, till it can stick its head right up in the air and go to praising God.
You can’t hide Life. That’s right, Life. When you’re borned again you can’t hide it. Something’s got to cry out when you got Life.
267 Now, all things that’s dead now, and the–the little old seeds are bursted open, the pulp’s run out, and it’s dead, but the life is still there. Now, when the sun begins to shine in spring, the little flowers will come up, and everything will stick its head up again, out from under the chips, out from under the logs, out from under the rocks, it’ll raise up again and live again (Is that right?), because the s-u-n is shining.
Now, someday the S-o-n will shine, which is the Author of Eternal Life, and everything that’s been germitized to Him for Eternal Life, He said, “I’ll raise it up in the last day.” You see what I mean? Eternal Life will be raised in the last days. If they bury you in the sea, they burn your body and swing it to the four winds of the earth, God will raise it up in the last days. If you have to fill the belly of a hungry lion, or–or go into a flaming pits, that’ll take all the–the–the sixteen petroleums, and cosmic lights, and everything out of you, God will raise it up. “The very hairs of your head is numbered.” Amen. God will raise it up.
Now, look here. Now, if every man dies by the woman, then every man lives by the Man. Partake of the woman in that kind of life, you know you’ll die. There’s no way out of it; you’re going to die. And as sure as you take of That, you’re going to live; there’s no way out of it; you got to live. Amen. If that produces death positive, this produces Life positive. That’s the only way you can receive it, is to have Life.
270 Now, the prophet said, that, “It’ll be Light in the evening time.” Now, look. He said there’ll be a day that would be dismal; it wouldn’t be called a day or night. It’s kind of a cloudy, misty, cold day, but yet the sun’s a-giving the Light. Way up above that fogs and clouds and so forth, the sun’s giving the Light. It gives enough Light you can walk, and you can see how to get around, and so forth, but yet it–it isn’t bright, pretty day. See? Now, nothing hardly can live in that day.
You can plant anything under where the sun don’t hit it, it’s dwarfed. Isn’t that right? You farmers know that. Put the corn over in the shade or somewhere; watch, it dwarfs it. Fred, you ought to know that by your wheat. You put it out there, and if you have a bad summer, oh, cold and rainy, it dwarfs it.
272 Well, that’s what’s the matter with the church down through these ages; it’s been dwarfed. It’s been dwarfed by denominations, “Put your name on the book. We’ve had enough Light to know that there is a God.” I’m glad of that. “We’ve had enough Light to know that there is a Christ; there’s a coming judgment. We’ve had Light; so we put our names on the books; we shook hands with the pastor, so forth, and done that.” All right, but now it’s evening time.
Now, civilization come from the east unto the west, and now we’re on the west coast. We can’t go no farther; we cross over, we’re back in the east again. We can’t go no farther; we’re at the west coast.
274 Now, the Bible said, “In the Evening time the Light would come.” Now, what kind of a sun that shines in the evening time? Is it a different sun from rises in the morning? It’s the same sun. Is that right? Well, then what did God promise? Now, we’re going to get to this, hold it, right down here at this age. The Bible said so; I’ll prove it in these church ages as we go on, that in the evening time there would come a Light break forth in the west that would bring back the Son of righteousness again with healing in His wings. And the same signs and the same wonders that was done back here in the east will be done over here in the west, with another pouring out of the Holy Ghost in the last day.
It shall be Light in the evening time,
The path to glory you will surely find;
In that water way, It’s the Light today,
Buried in the precious Name of Jesus.
Young and old, repent of all your sins,
The Holy Ghost will surely enter in;
The evening Lights have come,
It is a fact that God and Christ are one.
Oh, it shall be Light in the evening time,
That path to glory you will surely find;
In this water way is the Light today,
Buried in the precious Name of Jesus.
Young and old, repent of all your sins,
The Holy Ghost will surely enter in;
Those evening Lights have come…
Same thing that Peter said, “Let it be known to you, that God has made this same Jesus, Who you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Repent, every one of you,” he said, “and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.”
276 Let me tell you something. As I was speaking the other day upon the doctor’s prescription. People don’t like to take the doctor’s prescription. If he’s got a–a remedy that’ll cure your sickness, and you refail–you refuse to take it, it ain’t the doctor’s fault that you died. No, sir. It’s your fault, because you refused to take it.
And now, if the doctor writes a prescription and he–and you take that prescription to a quack druggist, and he puts something in there that oughtn’t to be in there, it’ll kill you too. Is that right? That doctor has studied that till he knows there’s so much of that prescription that’s poison to kill them bugs that’s in your body; and there’s enough antidote in there to upset the poison that it won’t kill you. And it’s got to be level. If you put too much antidote, it won’t help the patient; put too much poison, it’ll kill him. It’s got to be balanced.
278 The question was, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” said the prophet. “Then why is the disease of My daughter not healed.” What’s the matter with the church? What’s the matter we got too many old sick churches? Because we’ve had some quack druggists giving out the Prescription wrong. That’s right. He never said Father, Son, Holy Ghost. He…
What did the Prescription say? Here’s Peter. How many knows he had the keys to the Kingdom? Jesus said so. What’d He say? In other words, he’s got the ink pen for the Prescription.
When they heard this all noise abroad (they was screaming, shouting, speaking in tongues, and having such a time), and they said, “These men are full of new wine.”
Peter said, “These are not full of new wine, as you suppose, seeing it’s the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoke of by the prophet Joel, ‘It’ll come to pass in the last day,’ saith God, ‘I’ll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and upon My handsmaids and maidservants will I pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I’ll show signs in the heavens above, and in the earth below: fire, and smoke, and vapor. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will call upon the Name of the Lord shall not–shall be saved.'”
282 And furthermore did he say about David, he said, “Patriarch David foresaw it, and he said, ‘Moreover my flesh shall rest in hope, because He’ll not leave My soul in hell, neither will He suffer His holy One to see corruption.’ Let me freely speak to you, brethren, of the patriarch David. He’s both dead and buried, and his sepulchre’s with us unto this day. See, but he, being a prophet, saw the resurrection of Christ. Let it be known to you, that this Jesus, that you have crucified with wicked hands, God has made Him both Lord and Christ.”
When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said, “Men and brethren,” or, “Dr. Simon Peter, write us a Prescription. How can we get This? We want a cure for sin.” Oh.
284 Now, watch him, what he said. Now, you find out where these churches got off the track. He said, “Wait a minute. I’m going to write a Prescription, and it’s going to be an eternal Prescription. It’ll be for you, and to your children, and to them that’s far off, and as even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
What did he say? How did he fix it? Like the Catholic has it? Like the Baptist has it? Like the Methodist have it? Every one of them has added something or taken something from It. Like the Pentecostals? They added and took away. But what did he say? “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.” An eternal Prescription, “It’s for you, and to your children; this will last all down through every church age; give it to every one of them.”
286 O God, cleanse my hands. Cleanse my heart, Lord. May, if it takes every friend I got, let me give the Prescription the way the Doctor said give it.
That’s the reason they got so many dead churches, so many dead members. You’re adding antidote, and taking so much away from it till the Prescription ain’t itself at all; it won’t even heal nothing. Shaking hands, and joining churches, and sprinkling, oh, mercy, that’s not the Prescription; that’s death. If you want Life and want the Holy Ghost, follow what God said do. Take the Prescription. That’s exactly the way he said, “Don’t add to it or take away from it.” Then here comes the Revelation right over and said, “Whoever will take away or add to, the same will be taken (his part) out of the Book of Life.” Oh, my, that’s the main Doctor. Oh, I love Him. Don’t you?
288 Oh, to that great age of the Ephesian age, when this heresy just begin to creep in, to make organizations. And pastors and deacons–or not deacons, but pastor–not pastors… But Cardinals, bishops, popes, overseers of the church, telling the Holy Spirit, telling the church, “Now, you cannot have that in here.” Who’s the boss anyhow?
Peter was asked that one time. Said, “You can’t preach any more in Jesus’ Name. You can preach if you want to, but not in Jesus’ Name.” Oh, the Devil hates that Name.
Peter said, “Is it right for me to…” The Bible said, “Peter being full of (the denomination? oh, of) the Holy Ghost.” Said, “Wait, I’ll go see the general overseer, see what he tells me to do about this.”
291 Let me tell you. Did you know the Assemblies of God has a psychiatrist to judge, and to go take their missionaries before a psychiatrist, to see if that man is mentally able to be a missionary? Pentecostal Assemblies of God. How many ever heard that? Sure, it’s all through, everybody knows. Sure. Who is to look the missionary over and be the judge, the psychiatrist or the Holy Ghost? See, that’s what you get in having men (See?), manmade theories, manmade doctrines. Wait till we get down to that Pentecostal age. God will burn that thing up just as sure as the world. Yes, sir. Yes, indeed. And you’ll see it’s catching afire all the way down. You see? Exactly.
292 But some glorious day He’ll come. And remember, listen; there’s seven church ages. Is that right? There’s seven church ages. And remember when they went out to meet the Bride–Bridegroom, some fell asleep in the first watch (Is that right?), the second watch, third (not–not died, fell asleep), third watch, fourth watch, fifth watch, sixth watch; and in the seventh watch a sound came, “Behold, the Bridegroom coming. Go ye out to meet Him.” What happened? All those virgins that slept, wakened.
On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise (cloudless, the evening Lights will be shining)
And the morning breaks Eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved on earth shall gather to their homes beyond the sky,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
When the roll is called up yonder,… (Every child of God raise your hands now.)
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Oh, we appreciate You.)
294 In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
You love the old songs of the church? Oh.
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of His love,
And the blessings that hallow our day.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
Now, shake hands with somebody around you, all around like that. That’s good.
… sweet by and by (Say, “I’ll meet you brother.”)
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore,
The melodious song… (Everybody sing now.)
And our spirit shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for our blessings of rest.
Everybody, with your hands up:
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
297 With our heads bowed now, let’s say this [Congregation repeats after Brother Branham–Ed.]: “Lord Jesus, I love You. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God made manifest in the flesh to take away my sins. I do not trust my merits; I have none; but I am solemnly trusting in the merits of Jesus Christ Who is my Saviour, my God, my King. I love Him. Amen.”
298 Tomorrow night at seven o’clock, the Lord willing, we’ll take the church of Smyrna.
In the sweet, (With our heads bowed now.)… (Oh, by and by),
We shall meet on that beautiful shore, (By and by);
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
Now, softly, everyone, sweetly:
Oh, to our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of His love…
And the blessings that hallow our day,
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.