The Lost are Saved
Here some time ago in Ohio, I learned a lesson the hard way. I was having a meeting down in Ohio, and I was staying out in the country. Because of the masses, I could not stay in the city. We'd been eating at a little Dunkard restaurant. And such lovely little waitresses, and decently dressed, and clean as they could be, very ladylike, waited on us. It was a little spot of heaven to eat in such a place. Their kitchen was spic-and-span. And on Sunday they closed up and they went to their church. I got a little hungry; I was going to preach Sunday afternoon. And I went over to an ordinary little, just a common little American restaurant to get something to eat. And when I walked in the door, what did I hear but a slot machine going. And was standing there a man of my age, which perhaps was a married man, with his arm around a woman, playing a slot machine. Our very law, the protection of our righteousness, of our goods, was standing there violating a thing that he was supposed to be protecting. Because it's illegal to gamble in Ohio, playing a slot machine. And I turned and looked towards the back of the building, there was a bunch of teen-age boys, and an old rock-and-roll records on the machine, playing. A young lady of about eighteen years old, very neatly and in her anatomy as a woman. But she was standing there with her dress hanging low in the front, and one of those boys with his hands on the girl, where they did not belong, and they were smoking and drinking... And I thought, "O God, how can You stand it?"
And I looked over to my right, when I heard someone make out a big groan. And there set an aged woman, probably sixty years, or seventy years old. She had on those little old vulgar clothes, just about half-way up her limbs, and her poor old wrinkled flesh was just as flabby as it could be. And she had on this here lip makeup, and a great big purple thing on the side of her face, painted: a little pair of shoes on, sandals, with purple toenails, painted; purple fingernails, painted. And her hair was cut real short, and curled up, and dyed blue. And I looked at her. And across the table set two men, drunk. One of them (It was summertime.) with a big old army overcoat on, with a gray scarf wrapped around his neck, and the whiskers all over his face, a-belching and going on. And they excused theirself, the men did, from her, and started walking out like this to the restrooms.
I stood there. And I said, "God, why don't You destroy the whole thing? Why don't You just sink it beneath the earth?" I said, "Is my little Sarah and Rebekah going to have to grow up under such stuff as that?" I said, "How can You, God, in Your great holiness, ever stand to look at such a thing like that and not send an earthquake and sink it?" And as I was standing there condemning the woman, as I was, I stepped back behind the door. I felt the Spirit of God come to me, and I stepped behind the door. And I seen like something whirling. And when it was, in the vision it was the world turning around and around. And as I noticed, around the world was a scarlet streak, around the world. And as I got to the world, I seen myself, just a little boy, doing things that I ought not to do; maybe not like that, but it was sin. And every time I did anything, I seen that great black shadow go towards heaven. Which God would've killed me at that minute. Then I seen standing between me and God, stood that perfect Sacrifice. I seen Him standing there with the thorns on His head, and the spit hanging on His face. And every time my sins would start towards God, He'd reach out and catch it like the bumper on the car. He was protecting me from death. And every time I'd do anything wrong, God would've killed me. Certainly, His holiness requires it. His law requires it. And every time I'd do anything, or you do anything, the Blood of Jesus Christ acts like a bumper. And I seen that scarlet streak meant that then, that the Blood still holds the earth.
And as I stood looking, I got a little closer to Him as I noticed Him. And I could hear Him say, "Father, forgive him, he doesn't know what he's doing." And I looked down, and there laid a book. And there's a recording Angel there, and standing by His side. And every time I sinned, it was put down on the book. And my name was on it. And I realized that someday, I--that Blood streak would be lifted and I'd have to stand in the Presence of God with my sinful life. But I seen by His mercy He was holding off my judgment. I went to Him, humbly. I knelt on my knees, and I said, "O Jesus, Thou Son of God, I am unworthy to come in Your Presence. But will You please forgive me for what I have done?" He touched His side with His hand, took the old book and wrote "pardoned" on it, throwed it back behind Him, and my sins were gone. Then He looked me stern in the face; He said, "Now I have forgiven you, but you want to condemn her." Then I seen what it meant.
As I come out of the vision, I walked over to her. I said, "How do you do?" She was drinking. She looked up at me and she said, "Oh, hello." I said, "Could I set down?" She said, "I have company." I said, "I don't mean it in that way, lady. I just want to speak to you a minute." She said, "Be seated." And I said, "Lady, just a few minutes ago, standing yonder behind that door..." I begin to tell her. And as I begin to look, the tears begin to run down her cheeks. And she told me... I said, "Lady, you don't mean to do these things. Jesus died, and the judgments of God is held off by His Blood. You don't mean to do this." And she said, "No, sir." She said, "My father was a deacon in church. I was raised in a Christian home. My husband and I were charter members and lived a Christian life. She begin to tell me, after his death... She had two young girls, and she went astray. And how the girls had left her, and she'd throwed her life away. And she thought there was no more hope for her. But I said, "God, be merciful. Those who He has foreknew, He has called." The said, "Are you Reverend Branham, from down there?" I said, "I am." She said, "I'm ashamed of myself to be setting here like this." She said, "Do you think there would be a chance for me?" I said, "Jesus has His arms stretched out, waiting for you to come, lady." And the other people begin to take up. And I said, "Would you walk out here in this floor with me?" She said, "I will, sir." I took her by the hand, I said, "You're about the age of my mother. Would you kneel here with me in the floor?" And there in the floor we broke up that place that afternoon to an old fashion meeting. And God saved that woman by His grace. She dressed herself and come to the meeting, and, as far as I know, living a Christian life tonight.
What is it? Oh, God requires perfection. He requires your repentance. He requires your loyalty to Him. But He's lookingtonight. No matter how much you've sinned, how little or how much, you arestill a sinner, andcannot get in no other way but by Jesus Christ, God's all-sufficient Sacrifice. And in Him you areperfected forever. Think of it. It's not nothing you do. It's not new pages you turn. It's not a newlife you start. It's a confession of your wrong, and God's grace to you. That brings you toperfection, and then you are perfected in Jesus Christ.
(Extract fromPERFECTION preached by Bro. Branham at Jeffersonville on19th.March 1957)
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