|Sermons The Eleventh Commandment / 57-0000 / Canada, USA || -
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The Eleventh Commandment
1 Good evening, friends. I wish to speak to you tonight on the subject "When Love Projects, Grace Takes Over." Taking my text from St. John, the 3rd chapter, the 16th verse: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." This scripture deals with love, and we know there is no power, or teaching, or rule, that will come up to the Christian love of God. No one can explain the love of God, though many have tried. The poets and the songwriters have failed, and we, as ministers, preach the love of God but we can not fully explain His wondrous love. One poet wrote of the love of God like this:
If the oceans all were ink, and the skies of parchment made,
And every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
I have often thought of the great poet who wrote this:
Ever since by faith I saw that stream Thy flowing wounds supplied,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
2 I think if one thing is needed in the great universal church of God tonight, it is love. We do not need our gifts and our emotions as much as we think we do, though they are wonderful and to God we give praise that we have them--but if these gifts are not governed by love they are not effective. Love should govern the home--a home that is not disciplined by love is not much of a home. If the husband and wife do not solemnly love one another, they cannot trust one another. Remember, love is the strongest force in the world--and instead of resting our faith upon some emotion, which is alright--or on some gift, which is alright--like shouting or speaking in tongues, etc., we should rest our faith upon the love of God. We must come back to this principle--love first, then those other things. If we did this our churches would progress much faster, for God is love. Now love has two different meanings, with two different words to describe it. In the Greek one love is called "phileo" --that is the natural love that you would have for your wife; but "agapao" love means divine love--and these two loves are very contrary to each other. For example, with the love that you have for your wife, if a man would insult her you would kill him on the spot--that would be phileo love; but with agapao love, or divine love, you would pray for the man's lost soul. That is the difference. I'm almost sure many of us have been deceived with having phileo love, and thinking it was agapao love. Phileo love is intellectual, whereas agapao love comes from the heart. Human love, or affectionate love, is from the mind--the love of God is from the heart. Now phileo love will always doubt and question, but agapao love will always rest and be at peace. Human love is always reasoning--Godly love never does. Godly love is perhaps in its trust, and it produces faith when you really love with God's love.
3 Many who are here tonight might say, "You mean that you are going to read only that little verse of scripture, and that's all?" Oh but my friends, there's enough in this little verse of scripture to send you to heaven or condemn you to hell for ever. Your attitude toward this little scripture will seal your eternal destination, so now let us think on that scripture for awhile. Like the scripture being little--there are many little things that we may do in this life--but Jesus said if you but give a cup of cold water in my Name, you will be rewarded. I'm so glad He sees the little things we do. Love is a powerful force, and when love is projected, and when it comes to the end of its strength, then sovereign grace will take it up from there and will grant the object that love has asked for. That is the reason we have a Saviour tonight, God so loved the world, and His love being projected toward the world produced a Saviour. God wanted so much to see you well that His love went out and it produced an atonement for your sickness as well as your sins. It was the love of God that constrained Him to do it. Nothing is greater than love--it brings trust, it brings faith, it brings pardon. Love has no fear, love casts out fear. I have found a great deal of fear among Christians--this is not right and should not be so. Fear is the lack of confidence, but if you love and have confidence you will cast away fear. God wants you to have love and confidence in Him--this will cast away your fears and bring you to serve Him with a greater love. Love is not based on legalistic laws that we have to keep, love is based on faith in one another, faith in God, trust in God, confidence in God. And I will tell you this my friends, when the love of God comes into your heart, you won't go around hurting, or being hurt. When you believe God, really believe Him, and get married to Him, you die out to the things of the world, then God projects His love, and His love makes you what you are.
4 I wish to tell you a personal testimony of some of my experiences with love: my life is not mystic as people think, it isn't, its love, that's the main thing, its loving Christ. Not just saying you do, but from your heart loving Him. I've seen the cruelest of devils conquered, I've seen wild animals floor themselves in the presence of God's love. Love casts the fear away. Some of you here tonight may remember the night in Portland, Oregon, when that maniac faced me, and spit upon me, and cursed me. Many pastors fled from the platform, they were afraid of him. There were those who thought the law should be summoned, and by force they should bind him and take him away to prison again. Instead of hating that man I loved him. I thought, "That poor man doesn't want to hurt me--that's the devil in that man, he wants to hurt me. That man probably has a family, who loves, likes to eat, and associate, and be a citizen, but it's the devil in him that's doing this." I thought, "That poor brother!" He walked up close to me and said, "I will show you if you are a man of God or not!" Well, I said nothing, I just looked at him. Everything was quiet, then the man said, "You snake in the grass!" I said nothing, but remember this, I was not afraid, for I stood there with God's love, and faced him. Then as he raised his fist to strike me, I said, "Satan, come out of that man," and he spun around and fell prostrate upon my feet, pinning them to the floor. Don't be afraid my friends, love instead. Now remember, the devil will make you prove every inch of ground you claim, but if you love God there is no fear left, and you can stand upon what you believe and not be defeated.
5 I remember this: when in Mexico last year it was reported we could get no place to accommodate the crowd, so all the people who came to the meetings had to assemble in the open field. There were no chairs to sit in, they leaned against each other to hear the word of God--young and old together, and the very weary who had perhaps walked all day to get to the meeting. As I saw them standing there in the cold I thought, "How they must love the Lord!" In the day of judgment how they will stand out against the self-styled church members who wouldn't even darken the door of such a meeting. As the meeting was about to close one night the rain began to pour down very hard, and we were all soaking wet when a great disturbance began taking place in the crowd.
My son Billy Paul came to me and said, "Daddy, there is a little mother down in the crowd--her baby is dead and she is fighting her way past the ushers, and screaming so hard to get to you that none of us can hold her." I said, "Tell Bro. Moore to go and pray for her." With that Bro. Moore made his way toward the little Mexican woman in the audience who by this time had pressed nearly to the front. As he went toward her I saw a vision of a little baby rising up. The little mother was looking to me and screaming, "Padre, Padre!" I said, "Bring the little baby here." I noticed it was motionless under a rain-soaked blanket. She told me it had died hours earlier but she would not forsake it to the doctors or the funeral parlor, but brought it to me for prayer. I laid my hands over on the little baby and offered a simple prayer to God, and God being my witness, that little baby let out a squeal and began to kick as hard as he could. That alarmed all Mexico.
A mother's love projecting, God's grace taking over. Amen.
6 The next night they brought to me a wrinkle-faced man who was very old, and his clothes were so ragged. As he stood before me he took out a string of beads and began to pray--I said, "Put them away my brother, you have no need of them now." Oh how I loved that old man, and felt so sorry for him--then I saw his poor feet, no shoes, and his pants so ragged. With all this against the man, I just couldn't believe that nature too would be against him--but he was stone-blind! Looking upon this my heart gave way to a great surge of love and sympathy, and I cried to God above, "Jesus, please have mercy on this old blind daddy. Will you help him Father?" and I heard the man shout "Glory Adios !" and his full sight came back. What was it? It was entering into that fellowship of His suffering. You must do it! If ever I've had success in praying for someone it was when I could enter into fellowship with them, feel their infirmities, feel their condition; then something in you goes down beyond reason and prays the prayer of faith for the sick. You've got to feel for a man, you've got to sympathize with him, you've got to be with him before you can help him--then you enter into some sort of deepness--it's the love of God that's beyond human love.
I am going to tell you something else--you may class me a fanatic after this, but I'll tell you anyhow. All my ministry has been wrapped around love--if I can love, or be in sympathy with whatever is before me--something happens! When I was a game warden some years ago, I was out in the woods and fields going about my job when I remembered that not far from where I was patrolling was a friend who was sick and needed me. I thought I would just go to this friend now while I was so near, so I started across a field that had been fenced knowing this was the shortest route. So I laid my gun down in the seat of the truck, hurdled the fence, and started across the field to my friend's house.
7 When I was about 200 yards or so from the fence I saw a great black bull rise up before me. Oh where did he come from? Then I remembered it was a killer bull that had been taken from the Burk's farm. Only a few months before he had killed a man, but being a real fine breeder bull they had sold him to this farm--and I had forgotten he was here. There he stood but 30 yards from me--I reached for my gun but it wasn't there, it was in the truck where I'd left it. Oh I'm glad I left it there, otherwise I'd have killed the bull, then gone and paid for him. He pawed the ground a little and started for me. I knew the fence was too far away, and all there was near me were the little scrub oak that he'd been lying behind. Oh what could I do? No matter where I turned he had me--it was death! Then I thought of my Lord, and in my heart I said, "I'll walk to my death just as brave as I CAN walk, trusting Jesus Christ." No sooner had that come from my heart (now please don't take this as juvenile) than something happened. Oh I wish it would happen right now! Always in these cases "that something" happens. Instead of hating that bull I sympathized with him, I loved him, and I was no more afraid of that animal than I am standing here with my brethren. All fear had left and I thought, "Poor creature. I am on your territory--you're an animal and you don't know any difference--you only know to protect your rights." Then I said aloud to the bull these words, "Oh creature of God, I am a servant of God and am on my way to pray for my sick brother. I am sorry I disturbed you, but in Jesus' Name go lie down." With that he threw his hoofs forward into the dirt and stopped. I stood there just as calm as I am now. That great killer bull had stopped his on-coming charge to kill me only 5 feet from me. He was so bewildered he looked this way and that, then turned around and went over and laid down, and I passed within 5 feet of him and he never moved any more. Oh, when love is put to the test it will defeat every enemy and torment that there is on earth. The God that closed the lions mouths in the den still lives today, my brother!
8 My wife, who is here somewhere tonight, always got after me for mowing the lawn with my shirt off. I have about a half acre of grass where I live, a lot of lawn in front of the house as well as the back. While mowing I would get too warm in the bright sun so I would slip off my shirt while in the back yard, and mow for all I was worth. Directly a sick call would appear and I would run into the house, change from jeans and sweaty clothes, and reappear in a few minutes more presentable. Well, this would keep up until the front lawn would have grown up before I finished the back lawn for I could get in only a few rounds a day.
One hot afternoon I was in the back yard and no one was about to see me so I pulled off my shirt and mowed hard and fast. I had forgotten that in the corner of the fence was a nest of hornets, and I rammed the mower into that nest, and friends, God being my judge, in a moment's time I was covered all over with hornets. Now you know how dangerous is the sting of a hornet, it can kill you--and I was standing there with no shirt on--then something happened! Love, that's what it is. Instead of hating those hornets I thought, "Poor little creatures of God, I have nothing against you. That is your home and I disturbed you." Then I said aloud to the hornets, "I am so sorry I forgot your home was there, and I startled you and disturbed you--please forgive me." That sounds childish, but I think it is better we are as children of God than always going about acting like grown-ups taking things into our own hands so much. The hornets were all over me but I wasn't afraid of them and I said, "Little creatures, go back into your nest, I will not harm you." And as God lives, those hornets whirled around me three or four times and went right straight back into their nest. It was love--oh the power of love my friends!
9 Another time when love appeared to move me with nature was this: Last summer I was sitting on the porch with my good friends Leo and Gene teaching them the word of God. We had been in a deep lesson on the subject--a mother's love. That morning in the paper was a story of a beautiful young Negro girl who had borne an illegitimate child, and she had taken it to the bridge over the Ohio River and dropped it into the water wrapped in its blanket. The cab driver reported it to the authorities and they investigated and found it so. We had been discussing this matter of how the woman surely had no love--she was a female who gave birth to a child, but she was certainly no mother.
Directly we saw an opossum coming up my driveway. It had passed other yards which had no fencing and came here to mine which was all fenced about, and as if it knew its way, for it didn't try to crawl under the fence, it came to the driveway, turned in, and on up toward my front porch. I said to the boys, "It must have rabies or something, for opossums travel only at night--they can hardly see during the day." We went part way down the drive to meet it. I picked up a garden rake that Brother Woods had left there from the day before and placed it over her carefully. Instead of playing 'possum as she should have done she began gnawing on the rake. This surprised me for at the slightest sign of danger they will always play 'possum--that is the origin of the expression.
10 I turned her over on her back and found she was badly injured--she had a broken leg and one side of her head had been mashed in and was filled with dried blood. Flies had blown the wound causing maggots to form, and it smelled like foul rotten flesh, being badly infected. As she lay on her back a few moments her pouch in which she carried her young came open from weakness--her muscles were so tired and weakened she could no longer hold the pouch closed. Nine little babies were there, and she had been nursing them. Oh just think of that will you! With her dying breath and strength she was nursing her little babies, and trying to protect them. I said to Leo and Gene, "Look boys, here is a real mother--she is using her last breath to fight for her babies, where that colored woman threw her's into the river. Here is the real genuine love of a mother for her offspring. Oh my heart was touched! just then she tried to get up again, so I let her, and she started up the drive toward my house while we stood watching her. That opossum went right to my front steps and collapsed, she never took another step. We walked over to her and at that moment brother and sister Woods came up. Sister Woods who is a veterinary herself said to me, "It is hurt too badly to live so you'll have to kill it Brother Branham." "Oh," I said, "I can't!" And she said, "But she will die and the babies will starve to death." She said, "Just take the babies and kill them quickly." She assured me that it would be better to kill them than let them suffer--but oh I couldn't do that. So she said, "Well, go get a gun and shoot the poor thing Brother Branham." I said, "No, I don't believe so Sister Woods. I just couldn't." Then she said, "You're a hunter, aren't you?" and I said, "Yes, but I am not a killer." So she said, "Well get my husband to do it then." But I didn't quite see that that plan should go through either, so I said, "Well, let's wait for awhile."
11 The day wore on, and that evening I went out for a ride with my family. When we returned I went to see if the 'possum was still there. She was there alright, nearer death than ever. I knew that if she had had any strength at all she'd have moved as soon as it was dark for they move at night--but she laid there and her babies were still trying to nurse. Oh I felt so sorry for that poor wounded little animal lying there dying.
Early the next morning my daughter Rebekah came to me--it was about six in the morning and I had just gone to my den room to meditate upon the Lord. She said, "Daddy, I just can't get that old mother opossum off my mind." I said, "I can't either Becky," so we decided to go look at her and as we stood over her there in the early morning she seemed worse than ever--her breathing was so slow you could scarcely detect it. Becky started to cry so we went inside and I sent her on back to bed. I returned to the den room and sat down, I thought, "Oh God, how that poor mother 'possum must be suffering--how she must love those babies. I hope I don't have to see her killed." And as I was sitting there something said to me, "You were preaching yesterday about her, you used her as your text." I said, "That's right." "You said she was a real mother." I said, "That's right." "But I sent her to your door, and she's stayed at your door like a lady for 24 hours waiting for her turn to be prayed for, and you've never said a word." I said, "Well, I didn't..." I said, "Who am I talking to? Am I talking to myself?" I jumped up and I thought, "Oh, is that you God?" I bowed my head and cried, "Oh merciful God, forgive your humble servant for not knowing. I am sorry dear Lord to be so stupid and so lacking in wisdom. Forgive me I pray dear Lord." With that I hurried to the old mother opossum and kneeling down by her I raised my head to God in prayer for her recovery, I laid my hand upon her near-lifeless body and reverently prayed. As I stood to my feet again life began to come afresh into her body--she jumped to her feet, gathered up her babies, looked up at me as if to say, "Thank you, kind sir," and started off across the lawn for the driveway. Down the driveway she went, then turned and went right straight down the road the way she came and on into the woods! How I did rejoice, oh how I praised God! He had led a poor old dying opossum to my door for prayer, and had raised it up into life--an animal that doesn't even have a soul for the Holy Spirit to dwell in--yet God led it by His mighty hand. As far as I know she is living today, and has raised her little family.
12 If God, by His Holy Spirit, could lead a poor dumb opossum to me for prayer that her life might be spared, of how much more worth are you than an opossum? Haven't you also come here tonight for prayer, my dear brethren? Surely if God could raise up an opossum, He could raise you. Oh let us look to Him with all our hearts! You who are lying here sick, don't you know the King of Kings is watching over you? Don't worry, don't be afraid. You may say, "Oh but I am so insignificant to God," but I say this—you are His child and God wants you, He loves you. He so loved you that when His love was projected, sovereign grace took its place and sent a Saviour to redeem you back to Himself; in this Saviour He was wounded for our transgressions because He loved you. God saw the afflictions of His people and with His stripes you were healed--God's grace making a way, for His love required it. And when His love projected His feelings, Christ stepped out to take His place--it required something to take the place--His love alone went for you, and grace provided a sacrifice for you. Now you are only asked to believe it--"Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." I trust that you catch the vision.
13 Love is one of the greatest instruments there is in God's economy. God IS love, the Bible says He is love, and when you become one of His children you become a part of that love, a part of God's economy, you become a subject of His domain. When you do that you become a son or daughter of God, and He said He would give you everlasting life.
Now the word used for everlasting life in the Greek is "zoe," which means the life of God; then God's love projected to you makes you a part of Him after your conversion--then you become a child which is "born of" or "come from" and that puts you in relationship with God so much that you are now a son or daughter.
God the Creator created all things by His power through His spoken Word, and everything that is the Word of God made manifest. The entire world was made by Him, and how we do err when we try to ignore God's Word, or try to limit God's power by our own imagination. The very earth that we stand on tonight is only the Word of God made manifest--God made the world by His spoken Word. Oh my! Why have you come here tonight to be prayed for? Where is your soul standing with God is my question? Let us bow our heads now and speak to Him...and remember dear friends, if this were to be the last message I ever preached, my word is truth, because the Bible says it's the truth, the Holy Spirit operating in my ministry proves it to be the truth, and the scientific world knows it's the truth for it has actually been photographed. Believe and see God work among you... For I believe that the light which is present now while I pray for you, is the same as that which was photographed in the meeting in Houston, Texas. I also believe--before God my Creator and Saviour--that it is the same pillar of light that led the children of Israel with Moses as their leader. I believe that the pillar of fire which is here now, and will reveal the secrets of men's hearts here tonight, is the same pillar of fire that came down and was made flesh and dwelt among us in the form of the son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I came from God, and I go back to God," and I believe when He returned back to God He returned in the form of this light, the same form in which He appeared to Moses and to the other prophets throughout the Bible. I believe it to be the same light that Paul saw on the road to Damascus, even though they who were with him saw nothing. I believe the light which is here beside me now is the same as that which led Peter out of the jail.
14 He is here right now answering prayer to a little woman sitting right here, she is a little black-haired woman who is suffering with a nervous trouble. The man sitting next to her is suffering with back trouble--you are husband and wife--raise your hands if that it true. I don't know you and have never seen you, but the Lord Jesus Christ makes you well. You are both healed. Amen. I see the light now go to a man who has gall bladder trouble. Sir, your name is Clarence, and you come from a place called Grand Prairie. That is right, is it not? Well, your gall bladder trouble is ended, sir. You can go home and be well. Amen.
15 You say, "Brother Branham, you called that man's name." Did not Jesus Christ when He was here in a body of flesh tell Simon that his name was Simon, and that his father's name was Jonas, and that he would be called Peter thereafter? Right! He is still the same. Amen.
The pillar of fire is now above a woman who suffers from high blood pressure. Your name is Mrs. Fishbrook, and you're from this city, you live on a street called 125th Street, your house number is 13104.
If that is right, raise your hand. Alright, go home, you are healed, lady. Jesus Christ makes you well.
Oh I challenge you people to believe. Look to God, and live, and believe! The light now comes down here over this lady in the front row--Miss Pharr--have a heart trouble, have you not? Do you believe God will make you well? Your father beside you has spiritual troubles. You're not from this city, you're from the states, from a place that has hills. Its Warren, Pennsylvania. If that is right, raise your hand. You're healed now, both of you. Jesus Christ makes you well. Amen.
I'm going to do something now. Everyone who has grown cold in their hearts toward the Lord Jesus Christ, all who are far from victory tonight, all sinners, come now to Christ who has just proven Himself to you. Come now to the Lord Jesus all who want to lose their guilty stains... Christ is here! Come forward now while He is here. Will you do it? Come sinner friend, backslider, cold, lukewarm, indifferent; come from the balconies, we are giving you the opportunity to come now and accept this Lord Jesus who takes the sting out of death. Surely I know what I am talking about. He would not let me do these things to prove that He is here. You want to lose your guilty stains? Come right on down now, each one.
16 What is the matter with you Canadians? What is the matter? It is a good thing to be conservative, but don't be too starchy. You will grieve the Spirit away from you, and you won't have a revival. Listen to me. I speak in the Name of the Lord! Break up that stubbornness, and that starchiness that is among you; get to your knees; you know you need repentance. I speak in Jesus Christ's name! If you want to have a revival, warm your hearts to God. I am a servant of God, a prophet of God, and there are those among you here tonight who need to be around this altar. You better get right with God for the hour is coming when you're going to scream to find this and you won't find it. That is "Thus saith the Lord!"
That is God speaking. Find your way to this altar, you who are indifferent--shame on you! When the Holy Spirit will come and do the things He is doing right in the midst of you--and you sit here like you're frozen to death! Get out of your seats and get to the altar. Repent or perish! I don't know why I am saying this, but something is saying to me to say it. I am giving you a warning, this may be your last one too!
Repent! I don't care what church you belong to--if you're not repented and the love of God is not in your hearts, you're sinners and on your road to Hell! That is "Thus saith the Lord."
The same God who discerns the spirits here and tells them their condition, is speaking right now. I speak in Jesus Christ's name. Fly to the altar, get to your repentance quickly before God turns the page over on you, and you're doomed forever! That is "Thus saith the Holy Spirit," that is in the midst of us now!
17 That is blunt, but that is Him--I can only speak it. God knows I would not speak these things of myself for anything. Something grabbed me and said to say that. I only obey God. While we sing one more verse of There is a Fountain Filled with Blood, you better come. Oh how this country needs a breaking-up, you have to have a breaking up before you can be re-molded again. You've just gone to church so long you've gotten moss-backed and stiff about it. You need a repentance, you need an old-fashioned experience of God's love in your heart. And you remember--my voice will haunt you as long as you're a mortal! That is true! I speak in Jesus Christ's name. Amen.
Let me say another thing: if you've got something against anyone, you better make it right, right now! It is shutting off dark in this building. "My spirit will not always strive with man!" I believe I'd raise right out of my seat and come if my heart was not just warmed up to God--I'd make my may to the altar. Friends, I have not seen this happen in years. I never had such a feeling as that which came on me just a few moments ago. When I saw it look like blackness waving through this building, something struck me, and those were not my words, nor my will for my words. God knows that is the truth. There is something wrong, just remember that. Listen friends, I am not a compromiser, nor one who is wishy-washy. I tell the truth, and God vindicates that I do tell the truth. You just get so "churchy" you leave Christ out! I am so glad to see your convictions, and this altar filled with honest hearts--it shows God is moving. Now all of us together, let us pray and call upon our Lord while He will hear us. God will give Edmonton a revival if you will obey... come let us call upon God. And remember this, we need a revival, and your blood is not on Me in the day of judgment. I speak in Jesus name! Would you like to see another night of Pentecost? It is up to you. The giver of Pentecost is here--the Holy Spirit. Pray, call upon God!
18 Oh, eternal God, I come in the name of Jesus Christ. Now the devil has been rebuked, sickness has been made well, the gospel has been preached, and the power of God removed every demon power away from this exhibition building. Oh Lord, break down every middle wall of partition, tear down denominationalism, tear down ideals of that type, and let the Holy Ghost come just now to every heart like a rushing mighty wind. Fill this great big audience here with the illuminating power of the Holy Ghost, set a flame of fire in every heart. Oh, eternal God, who knows the hearts of men, who revealeth thyself as a flaming fire, forgive every sin, take away trespasses, and make these people pure and white. Grant it Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Lift your hands ye people, give Him praise... give Him praise!