Let us pray.
Gracious heavenly Father, we want to commend ourselves to You tonight and hopefully, unreservedly, to Your goodness and grace, Lord, knowing that You work no ill toward anybody, but always good, and we don’t understand Your goodness many times.
Many times we not only misunderstand Your ways, but in understanding, do not fulfill them. So, we pray tonight for abundant grace and mercy, Lord, as we come before You, unworthy as we are, but thanking You for the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and himself who now intercedes for us and stands before You, making representation for us. We thank You, Lord, that all things are working together for our good, and we praise You for that, Lord.
After we leave this service, it shall be for thine honor and glory and to the great good of the people. We trust that; we have to believe that, Lord. You put these things upon our hearts to say them, and we believe they are better said than not said, but, Father, they’d be better unsaid, if they’re not said right and in the right spirit.
So, help us to have the right spirit above all and, then, the right words to match them, so the life can come forth from Your Word, and we obey and walk in that Light, having fellowship, the Blood cleansing us, just going on with You harmoniously, riding one of those great clouds of glory, Lord, which one day we’ll be soon in another cloud when the glory of the dead come out of the ground, another cloud of glory, Lord, as we’re changed, and another cloud as we’re caught up.
We thank You, Lord, for the clouds of glory that have been ours, Lord, to this point, coming from Luther on upward until even today, Lord, we have that one which will never fade away. Father, we cannot thank You enough, but we do praise Thy Name.
Give a blessing to every need; meet every need, we pray. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
You may be seated.
Now, as I mentioned, we’re departing from “Christ, the Mystery of God Revealed”, and tomorrow morning we’ll continue with number twenty-four.
Now the reason for this message tonight is we read either last Sunday or the Wednesday before… not quite sure when it was, but Brother Branham mentioned that there was a possibility of people letting go the importance and the greatness of this Message through the cares of this life and those things which could take away our great desire to be one with this Word, which, of course, is going to bring forth eternal life, immortality.
And the subject I’ve taken is “Stewardship”, which I mentioned before I’d like to speak on.
Now this message is calculated to help us to know and to maintain the right attitude toward earthly things, some of which we call our possessions and rights.
And we do own things, we do possess things, and we do have our rights, as we call them, but they’re very limited, if we really understood that.
Now, to recognize that in this life we are but stewards, is the correct place to start. Now, if you look at the word ‘steward’, the definition usually is something like this: “One who has charge of the household or estate of another, especially a person employed in a household, or an important domestic establishment of any kind, to superintend financial affairs as by keeping accounts, collecting rents, or other revenue, and dispersing money for the household expenses. He is also manager, who controls expenditures; he’s a disperser.”
Now, that might seem kind of vague to you, and so I kind of like my own meaning, what I gather from the Scripture, from what a steward is today.
He is really one who is accountable to somebody else because he is in control or managing somebody else’s money, somebody else’s business, doing something for somebody for which he is paid.
So, I put it this way: the across the board meaning to me is: ‘a steward is someone in care of what is another’s, and he is responsible for it, and actually, he lives by it’.
Now, that’s pretty well what I see in a steward. He’s a person who doesn’t own it, but he’s a part of it by reason of the fact that he’s been employed to do something about that which is another person’s.
Now we’re going to just quote you some Scripture here as I read them off. It’s Psalms 24:1. It says:
(01) The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Now, that’s a pretty broad statement. It lets you know that God is in control or says that He owns everything, from everything that’s on the earth to every person that’s on the earth. And Paul puts it quite well.
(28) In Him we live and move and have our being.
(02) He’s the author and the finisher of our faith, [and so on. In,]
(12) If I were hungry I would not tell thee: for the earth is mine and the fullness thereof.
(11) The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine.
(36) For of him and through him and to him are all things. [Now, that’s getting right down to the very, definitive statement.]
(04) Behold, all souls are mine.
And in 2 Corinthians 5:10, we are told:
(10) We must all appear before the judgment seat of [Jesus] Christ; [to give an account of the deeds done in the flesh]. [And…]
(02) Moreover it is required in [stewards], that a man be found faithful.
Then, I read one here that’s not abstract, but it’s very true:
(18) Thy wrath [has] come… that… [thou] should destroy them that destroy the earth.
Now to see this perfectly, we’ll go back to Genesis 1:28, which is what we want to look at, and God speaking.
(28) God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that [creepeth] upon the earth.
Now you put that in the context that “the earth is mine and everything that’s in it, and the heavens are mine,” and you’ll find here, then, that Adam and Eve were literally put into a stewardship over the earth.
And let’s just go to Hebrews 2, and we’ll see pretty well the perfect thought there, likewise, reading from 6 to 8a:
(06) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
(07) Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
(08a) Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet…
Now we know that is concerning the future, where all things are put under the feet of Jesus before they’re handed back to the Father on the Mount of Zion, or New Jerusalem.
But it is a very true statement concerning man, when you go back to Adam, who was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, and “what is man, then, that thou art mindful of him,” that you gave him jurisdiction over everything that you made, entrusted it to him as a steward.
What is this anyway? Well, that lets you know that man was put into a very trusted position, a tremendous position, and, of course, we know that he did not do what was right.
But, let’s go back to Genesis again, and this time it’s Genesis 2:15. It says here:
(15) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and to keep it.
And with that we read Ezekiel 28:13, speaking of Satan in a type of the king of Tyrus:
(13) Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God.
And what we’re looking at here is the fact that Eden is called the “Garden of God.”
Now, most of us have sort of the idea that God made them Adam and Eve, and then, He wanted a very special place for them, so He made this very special garden and said, “Here, it’s yours.”
He did not do that. That was His garden.
As Brother Branham categorically stated in “Satan’s Eden”, that that was God’s headquarters, that was the Kingdom of God on earth, and He put Adam and Eve in there, and they were stewards, literally stewards, because they were taking care of, for a wage, or hiring out to God, what was not theirs but was Almighty God’s.
Now it is evident that Adam, and consequently mankind, has been given the position of stewards over God’s property, and mankind is accountable to God for the responsible use of that property. And you notice we read in Revelation 11:18 that God was going to “destroy those who destroyed the earth.”
So, God is holding people accountable, not only for their sins, as far as receiving the salvation atonement through the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving the Word of God, but they are also very responsible for what we are doing, and have done, to this earth, and we know the earth’s in pretty bad shape.
Now it is also evident from other Scripture that, when one studies ‘stewardship’, one must recognize the fact that men are also stewards to other men and are responsible to their superiors, masters or employers, as we see over here in,
(01) And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
(02) And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
And if the man, of course, was found to be doing a good job, he would say, “Well, I heard things that were wrong, and you’re able to stay on the job. But if I’ve heard the things that are wrong concerning you in the sense that you have done wrong, then you won’t have a job any longer because you must be responsible.”
So, it’s good we read a little further in there, and we’ll read continuing maybe to about verse 13:
(03) Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. [Now, you see, he’s out of a job.]
(04) I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
See, he’s going to curry favor with the people. He’s now going to do something that’s going to be helpful to him. So, don’t take this in a wrong way; take this in a positive, corrective way when we go into it.
(05) So he called unto every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much do you owe my lord?
(06) And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Evidently the man’s books were in disarray, too. Now he’s going to make a new set of books. Have you ever heard of double bookkeeping? This is one of the originals.
This occurred two thousand years ago. This is not something the IRS looks into now and says, “This fellow’s got two sets of books.” This is an old dodge, see?
(07) [And] he said to another, And how much do you owe? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said, Take your bill, and write fourscore.
Now see, he’s leveling things out as to what you can cleverly conceal or get away with. The man’s sharp, like that fellow in New York, you know… New Jersey, was it? That fellow had these tanks of so-called soy bean oil, and different things.
And when they finally tapped on the tanks, they were hollow. The guy used up all the oil and people didn’t like that. Then, the same thing pulled by a fellow down in Texas with the wheat storage; he didn’t have the wheat.
(07) …[So] write fourscore.
(08) The lord commended… [Now, listen:] the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
Now he’s telling you something here about worldly affairs and stewardship that the Christian never seems to understand.
And when it comes to this, he’s evidently not too bright; he doesn’t savvy. These people savvy. I’m not telling you to be crooked. There’s a lesson here, see? Do you follow me? Okay.
(09) And I say, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, [That when you should run into a problem, you run into an exigency or a circumstance that can be tough, maybe through your own fault, maybe through someone else’s… and] they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
Something will come on the scene somewhere to compensate and to help you. See, this is like the reverse type of Romans where Adam, the failure, types Jesus.
The complete failure puts us into this world of sin; Christ comes as a reverse type and puts us into the positive. So, you got here like a reverse typing.
Now he said, “Look around you, learn how the world does it, and you realize there are principles laid down for you as Christians also.”
You don’t follow the crooked way. You follow the right way. There is a way, and most people do not understand it, or they take it the wrong ways.
(10) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: [Now what is the least? This mammon here, this money bit. See?] and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. [Now, listen:]
(11) If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Where would there be promotions for this fellow caught in his act? He’s kicked out. But he’s smart; he knows how to work it so he’ll be taken care of. The Christians aren’t that smart.
They don’t know how to work it so they can be taken care of. There are little rules that God lays down, that if you catch the spirit of it, that’s what I’m trying to talk about tonight, hopefully.
And this should take six and seven hours, which we’re not going to do that, so I’m hoping you will get between the lines a lot of things on your own.
As I hinted over a period of years how there is something wherein you trust God, and you know that He takes care of you. And it’s not something you think you’ve trumped up because “I believe God, hallelujah!”
It’s something you know that’s based upon something that’s done, because this is something that’s done.
(12) And if you’ve not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give unto you that which is your own?
This can be a stumbling block to people, then, who don’t do right and yet want something to come their way. Oh, many things have come your way, but not by God; come by the devil… but to know that you will receive because you have done right by somebody else’s.
There’s a pattern here. It’s like a promotion in the world. You’ve got an employment; you’ve got a responsibility; and you have done well in acquitting that; then there comes a promotion.
There comes something in here that we should learn about concerning the material things that Brother Branham said could easily trip us and take us away from this Message.
In Colossians 2:20-22, and this isn’t exactly… Well, this is the exact Scripture I want. Put it this way, but I’m going to chop into it, so you’ll understand what I’m saying.
He’s talking about the rudiments of the world that people say, “Stay away from.” They’re merely physical things, “touch not, taste not, handle not,” and so on.
(20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances,
(21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
(22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
And the thought I want to bring out here is that you’re dealing with perishable substances, and yet the Scripture unequivocally shows a spiritual impact upon how you’re dealing with the physical.
Now most of us have a thought in mind which is from 1 Corinthians 2 comparing spiritual to spiritual. And then, you get to the place where a fellow that was in Canada… I don’t know if he’s dead or alive anymore; he’s older than I and could be still living.
But he took out of John erroneously “that which is of the flesh is flesh, and spirit, spirit.” You can do anything you want in the flesh and operate in the spirit.
And you can bet you can, if you’re false anointed. Oh, you can! You can be harem-scarem and you can be louse of the lice, and God will bless you, looks like, on the surface.
You’ll cast out devils right there with Judas, and you can do all those things. We’ll talk about it later. But you’re wrong. But there is just not an affinity, there is a direct relationship.
So, we’re going to go back to Luke 16, and reading again,
(09) And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness;
In other words, learn to be closely associated to the degree that you’re understanding these things and know the implications of their use and their value.
In other words, make yourself at ease with it. Make it so that you’re not betrayed by it, but actually you’re fortified by it.
(09) …that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
I’d look at that and say, “Well, when you die, and the period of your little trials and errors, your experiences over here on earth, you’ve got something that has already worked out itself in your life to even stand you in good stead way down the road, which is on the other side.”
We’ve got Scripture for that. Just keep that in mind. If I don’t use it tonight, it certainly is there, and I can point it out to you.
(10) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
(11) If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
(12) If you’ve not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
Now it is agreed, of course, that this is a parable, but its truth cannot be set aside as a definite reference to our conduct as a Christian, and especially our attitudes. That this meaning is correct can be better seen and fortified by,
(19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal:
(20) Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves [do not] break through [and] steal:
(21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Now, watch the follow up.]
(22) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
(23) If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Now you say, “Now I don’t think, Brother Vayle, that that belongs to that top verse.”
Let’s read the last verse:
(24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
There is a very strong meaning in here, and we’ll go into that as we go along. Now, in my opinion, from the Scriptures we’ve read, and all the Scriptures that I know, and we haven’t read them, there is a definite link, and especially referring to this, between the material and the spiritual.
There is a direct link. One is based upon the other, whether you want to recognize it or not… a definite link between the material and spiritual so that the right attitudes in dealing with materiality speeds us on our way in the course of divine revelation and divinely knowledgeable ways of living, and the wrong attitudes and dealings within our stewardship hinders us in the course of divine and providential revelation.
So, we look at Matthew 6:22-23 again:
(23) If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
I should read 22 first, I beg your pardon.
(22) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light.
(23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Now, what I’ve said here is: you’d have to recognize that there is a connection between the material and the spiritual so that, if the channel of the material is clogged, the channel of the spiritual is clogged.
Now you can say what you want, but I’m giving you Bible. Now this is where we’ve got to come to grips with what I’m talking about tonight is an attitude, a spirit, and an understanding of material things.
And I don‘t say I’ve got them, but I do realize over the years, and that’s back since l960, which is twenty-six solid years, I’ve practiced what I’ve preached.
And I’m going to tell you something: the more I really practice it, the more the spiritual lines are open, and when I don’t, the spiritual lines can close down.
And you may be living tonight, some of you, and those that hear this tape in your euphoria, a Pentecostal or denominational euphoria, that you’ve got it made, and you might have no more made than nothing.
You can be a million miles off just on one thing. This is where we have to learn a bit because I believe that is what I’ve been talking about to you, hinting over a period of time. I want you to see these things with me.
So therefore, there is an absolute connection between the two so that a wrong attitude, a wrong principle, a wrong conduct will positively stop you, your channels of opening up to Almighty God for His richest blessings of revelation.
Now this to me, there is no argument. As It says in 3 John 2, “For beloved, I wish above all else that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.”
So, there is a very definite link from the center to the circumference because the center is the soul, and the prospering will come in the physical manner to help us in the realm of the financial or whatever we need to live by, the processes whereby we live, and also to the physical, the healing.
That’s why Brother Branham could say that this is a message of restoration, and also, “You take this Message whereby you receive your healing.”
And there was an example of that, as I mentioned before, talking to Lloyd just the other night about it, Brother Branham was in… was it Wichita, Kansas? I can never remember where he was. Anyway, we were there.
And there was a black brother sitting there, and he was back-slidden, and Brother Branham called him out by name, told him his name, as I recall, told him his problem and said, “You’re healed.”
And then, he said, “You’ve also been back-slidden, and,” he said, “you’re forgiven.”
And right away he caught it. He said, “And you in the audience…” He caught them on the fact that they were saying, “Well, who is he to say that a man’s sins are forgiven? Who does he think he is?”
And he said, “The same One that told me what his diseases were, and he’s healed, is the same One Who told me to tell him his sins are forgiven.”
And that’s what Jesus said, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Take up your bed and walk or your sin forgiven?”
So, you see, we’re looking at an understanding in here that could be very powerful in its motivating effects of our faith toward God and that life toward God which we want to live.
Now we’ve got to be careful here because I’m not saying that this is the one and only channel of revealed truth, because it isn’t the channel of revealed truth.
It’s something that can block the channel because you know that you cannot receive a revelation unless you are ordained to it.
Now you know that many people are ordained, and yet they fall away from what they were ordained to. And I can’t say that Barnabas was one hundred percent a man of God. He could have been; I don’t know.
But I do know the Holy Spirit said, “Separate me Paul and Barnabas unto the work wherein I have called him.”
But then, Barnabas got down in that council in Jerusalem where false brethren were brought in unaware, and he got carried away with their dissimulations, and he wanted Titus to be circumcised and Titus was a Greek.
And Paul said, “Hold it. You’re out.”
Now, you see, he got blocked channels in there. He could have been perfectly ordained, but he got his channel blocked by listening to something which was contrary to the Word.
Now we believe we can be divine servants of God, and I use the term ‘divine servants’ in the sense that God’s divine blessing is upon us, if we’re in the divine channel. But, if we’re off that Word, we’re going to hurt somebody.
But we can be off more than just the revelation of that Word. We can be off because we’re not following in the conduct, the pattern that God laid down for us.
So, the one channel I’m speaking of, so that we understand from Scripture here, Jesus speaking, “It’s a very fearful thing to be wrong in a material concept,” as much as we know.
Now, some things we may not know, and so, therefore, you know, I’m not saying we’ll continue in darkness, but we have to keep walking. And, if we’ve been wrong in the past, we have to begin to live as we have not lived before.
So, Jesus said, “If you fail in your responsibility to your stewardship, which stewardship involves both God and some other person or persons, you will not be in a position to receive the true riches of your day.”
Now, that’s what the Bible teaches. You’ll fumble over the true riches that there lie in the Word of God.
Now I’m not saying this is the only channel. This is one of the channels that we have to watch because we can watch it. In other words, there’d be a certain, real problem for this person.
And I think maybe over here in 1 John 1, John sort of brings this out, too. And he says in verses 5-7:
(05) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(06) And if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
(07) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Now, that’s where we want to get to: we want to walk in any obedience wherein it is laid before us and we are able to do it. Now we are well able to do it.
Like Brother Branham said… This little remark here is something like Brother Branham said, he said, “If you say you believe me, then why don’t you obey me?”
Here is something in here where a person could say, “Well, I’m in the truth. I believe the truth and yet fall into a certain error,” which, I think we could get out of the way by studying the Word of God.
Now I’d like us to realize that we stand to lose or gain from this principle as he set forth here and we’re looking over here in Luke 19 this time and we read a little bit of this, maybe more perhaps than we would like to, but I’ve got to read It I think. Beginning at verse 11:
(11) And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
Now I’m putting emphasis where I want to put it. And, remember; this Book here is current for this hour, because remember; He is appearing in the form of the Holy Spirit and doing for the Gentiles exactly what He did for Israel when He was there in the body-form.
Now, of course, we know now that is passed over now. The prophet is gone and the days of the Son of man is gone. We’ve seen them.
The Appearing is still on because the Pillar of Fire is here. We know what God we’re following, and all these things. We’re looking for the Kingdom.
(12) And he said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
(13) And he called his ten servants, delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
(14) But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
(15) And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
(16) Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained [thee] ten pounds.
(17) And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
(18) And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained (thee) five pounds.
(19) And he said likewise to him, Be also over five cities.
(20) And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
(21) For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reap [what] you didn’t sow.
(22) And he saith unto him, Out of your own mouth will I judge thee, wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not, and reaping that I did not sow:
(23) Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
(24) And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound that he hath, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
(25) (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
Now, see, there’s an argument coming up here. He’s going to take from the fellow and give it to the guy that’s got the most.
Now that’s like, “The rich get rich.” It’s like the old saying, “He that has, gets.” Just a spiritual phraseology here.
(26) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.
(27) But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay before me.
Now, of course, this is a parable, and the object of this parable is not simply one where he’s citing materiality, but he’s using it as an example.
And I’m taking it to the point where I can see something in here, Christ using it, where we have to be careful concerning this stewardship in the financial realm because it is there in the Bible, staring us in the face very, very evidently.
Now with this in mind, having shown you that there is something in here that is of great necessity that we learn to be correct concerning it, we just want to look at the present ungodly conditions that are in the world today.
Because the people are not listening to the Word of God when it comes to the fact that everybody is a steward under God, and they deny their stewardship, their responsibility to Him and to others, and they count things as though they can do what they want with what is here, regardless.
And that is the fallacy all through the Scripture. Eve got the same mess. Adam got the same mess, and today this is iniquitous Laodicea.
Now, let’s take a look at government. Now, let’s go to Romans 13 and examine government just casually. I’m not going to go into this a great deal.
(01) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
(02) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, [That’s the authority] resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves [judgment and be under condemnation.]
(03) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [authority]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
(04) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(05) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(06) For this cause pay we tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
(07) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Now, that’s as far as we need to read there. So, you can see here that God’s attitude toward government is this: all government is responsible to God.
Now the Constitution of the United States, based upon the set-forth declaration of those who came from Europe to establish this nation, had this thing in God: that God was the supreme ruler, the supreme judge, and all things, then, must lie open and exposed before Him.
And they were those men who constituted the authority to see that God was honored and the nation was a nation under God because that’s exactly what the Oath of Allegiance is, and your Declaration exactly is. It’s a nation under God.
But you know government doesn’t want that anymore, and even though there are those who call themselves to be Christians, and they want to leave that in there and a little bit of writing on the coin, “In God We Trust,”
There are those, of course, who don’t want it, but even those who do want it, when, as soon as they get into power, they fail to realize that they are absolutely responsible to God.
You elect anybody… he goes in under the election promises that he’s going to listen to you. He no more listens to us as a people, he no more represents us as nothing.
It’s all twisted to the extent, “I will vote this person in, and he will do what he wants concerning me because I figure I can trust that he will do more for me than anybody else who gets in there.” It is not what God ordained.
I’m going to tell you something: this nation is going to pay for it. You don’t think for one minute they can bandy the name of God, bandy the program of God here. They are responsible to Almighty God.
The President is responsible to God, not simply by lip service and not simply by some little thought, but absolutely, he is responsible to Almighty God.
That’s why you and I pray for the President, the governors, and those in authority every single day. I wonder how many do it.
It’s easy to say, “Hey, I’m just going to think it over, but maybe I’ll do something about it,” but you know God wants us do something about it. And what He wants to do about it is to literally pray for them.
We think about him, but I realize that government is not going to do very much for us. I don’t say the government should do a lot of things for us, as people think they should do, but the government is basically there to honor Almighty God.
Now, notice what he says here, that, “The government is to be a terror to evil.”
Is the government today a ‘terror to evil’? No way. Look at your crooked judges, your crooked cops. Years ago, simply rum runners… It wouldn’t be bad if it were simply cigarette runners, but it’s cocaine and heroin, every drug runner.
Look at the cops that Miami bought off. How many around here are bought off? See? They don’t realize stewardship. And when you don’t realize stewardship, God is going to judge. That’s why Laodicea will be judged because of lawlessness.
They won’t listen to nobody… a little lip service, a little mouth service. Shall I mention these guys like Tony Hall; nothing against him. He claims he’s born again.
Hatfield… claims they’re born again. Look at their records; look at their records. They haven’t got one record that will line up with the Word of God.
Now, does that mean the people should disobey the law? No. All we need is anarchy, then everything is gone. And it’s difficult not to indulge in anarchy; it’s difficult not to be a lynching committee; difficult not to do something about it.
But the Bible says, “Don’t do a thing about it.” It says, “Whosoever resisteth authority, resists the ordinance of God,” because God has set government in its place. But men have not believed that they are stewards.
They think, “Oh, I can do what I want.” See? And it’s not right, and therefore, God is going to bring upon this nation His wrath. Laodicea—peoples’ rights. They don’t have rights.
Like Brother Branham said, “You don’t have a think coming.” You and I don’t either.
Now, people should be more careful who they put in their government. Who gets into government? Lawyers and rich people. A poor man cannot run anymore, see.
Now I know the government is trying to set up funds whereby… and we put in our little income tax: a dollar, two dollars, one for each party. I must be honest; I only put in a buck for the Republicans. I’m a million miles off the Democrats.
I’m not going to trust one, period, ever since they put a Catholic in there. That’s it. And the people vote for him, when you know what they do, just the way we talk about the bishops’ letter, pretty soon: what’s going on with the churches.
(02) [He that] resisteth [authority] resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [or judgment].
(03) For rulers are not a terror [Let’s put it this way: For rulers are not supposed to be a terror] to good works, but to the evil.
But they are a terror right now, if you want prayer in the schools. Now you can have all kinds of sex films, and abortion clinics that absolutely get young kids into illicit sex and a depraved life, but you cannot show them the truth. See.
Not servants to God anymore, but servants to the devil. But I want to tell you something: the devil won’t judge them. God will judge them.
That’s why you and I just wait our turn. That’s all, because we’ll be sitting there, too. We’ll be sitting on the right side of the ledger, not on the wrong side.
(03) [Now] rulers are not a terror [They’re supposed to be a terror to evil.] Wilt thou then not be afraid of the authority? [Now, He said,] do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
(04) For he is the minister of God to thee for good.
Now, right in here there’s a promise of God to you and me, that no matter what that fellow does, if we’re right and we’re true stewards, there’s nothing can touch us.
Well, death could, but that’s not the Word, see. Why? Because God will get us ready for death. But how can we be ready for death resisting this? See? Stewardship is way off.
(04) For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger…
An avenger, see. In other words, he’s supposed to be there to adjudicate the government and say what is right and what is wrong, and when you’re right, you’re right; when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.
But you can’t do that because the lawyer makes all the laws. It’s just like that cartoon in the paper: after they just passed this new law, the tax law, one congressman or senator, he said to the other, he said, “I think we better go consult our tax consultants to see what we just voted in.”
See what’s ahead for us? That’s what they do. But I’m going to tell you something, brother/sister: they are accountable to God. Whether they like it or not, they are God’s ministers.
They’re not some lobbyist’s ministers, the oil clique, or the union’s, or this or that. They’re God’s, and they’re going to pay for it. In the meantime, let them go ahead; don’t resist.
The only place you and I resist is when they try to tell us that we can’t go to church, we can’t do this, we can’t do that. We’ve got God’s Word ahead.
(05) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(06) For for this cause pay you tribute also…
For this cause, pay taxes. One of the biggest things in the world is the tax dodge. Now there’s nothing wrong when you have deductions. There’s nothing wrong with that little carnal word ‘loophole’—not one thing wrong. It’s there.
You’ve got a right to take advantage of everything the government allows you, but then not to take what isn’t ours. There’s a very touchy point, but it’s also there. It says, “pay your taxes.”
(06) …for they are God’s ministers, [Now, watch:] attending continually upon this very thing.
You bet they are: that’s all they know is how to collect taxes. That’s a prophetic input. That’s about all they do know.
And it’s known, it’s been said by many philosophers and many true economists, “Democracy is a failure because, once the guy in power knows he can get his hand in your pocket, he’ll never take it out until there’s nothing left.”
Oh, I think the Kennedys, they are the most abysmal of the whole works. They were trying to copy Roosevelt, but they got worse.
They elbowed everything out of your pocket. Why don’t they give their billions and millions of dollars for the token? There’s a big McCormick plow in Chicago, I suppose it brings in 400 millions a year.
Let them give the 400 millions as the token, but they’re not doing it. They’re going to tax everybody out of existence. They’ll do it.
Do you know why? Because it was a time of terrible taxation that Jesus was born, and it was under the publicans his ministry suffered. You’ve got the same thing right today because the conditions must obtain in the spirit when they’re in the flesh.
These men are stewards, but they’re not ‘just’ stewards, and God will not back this nation or back anything to do with it. Look at the mess the President is in right today… bad as Carter, bad as Nixon.
I think he’s been a good President, but there’s something fishy in Denmark right now. Maybe what he tried to do was very good, but somebody got messed up in it.
So therefore, our attitude toward government and, consequently, those attitudes towards government are our attitudes toward God. Now, the government should have the right attitude as stewards looking unto God.
Now they mouth a lot, but that’s where it ends. You can have a nice guy like Peter Marshall as the chaplain; it doesn’t do one bit of good. What Peter Marshall had, didn’t rub off. What Billy Graham has, doesn’t rub off, or anybody else.
They’re responsible. Their attitude is what makes or breaks them, and our attitude towards what we have will make and break us in the sight of God also, if we’re not careful, because God is behind it all. We’ve got to watch our attitude.
The next thing we think of is business. Let’s take a look at business, and I’m not going to dwell a long time on this, but we might need more than a ninety-minute tape. I hope not. Isaiah 5, I hope it is. If not, I’ll quote it anyway. Isaiah 5:8, I believe. It says here:
(08) Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
Cartels, monopolies. One of the worst things the government ever did was to give any businessman a monopoly. Competition alone is the secret, but when you got a monopoly, they’ll do whatever they want, they’ll rob you more and more and more.
Let’s go to James 5 and see what James has to say. We’ll put the two together. This is not a political speech; don’t think for one minute.
(01) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
(02) Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
(03) Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days. [Somebody’s going to take it all over.]
(04) Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of [harvest, or the Lord of hosts].
(05) You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
(06) You have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
(07) Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the [presence] of the Lord. [To this very hour. The showdown is in this hour, see. And remember; the showdown of the present is deceit, deceit, deceit; corruption, corruption, corruption… illegalism of authority, all of these things there.]
(08) Be patient [therefore], establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
(09) Grudge not against one… another… [and so on.)
Now, what I was looking at here: under Teddy Roosevelt, they brought in the Fair Trades Act which was going to limit the people who had enough to take over anybody else, illegally.
Under the Reagan administration, which appalls me that that man can be as gross as he is in these things… He tips the courts and the scales of justice to allow people under fraud to come in and take over other firms and whereby they do it, you can see what happened to Boesky.
You can read it in the paper, exactly what he’s done and the men in Wall Street with him and Levine and the whole bunch deliberately pulled deals whereby they’ve joined corporation to corporation, caused problems as they lay off thousands of people, spent billions of dollars. On what? Nothing.
No more jobs created, but take-overs that take away jobs.
Now, what has business done? Look. Our forefathers… And you know it. Some of you sitting here may be descendants from those fine, old people that got this country going.
Now, what’s happened since then? You have people who have no more input into those businesses than nothing. They’re worse than the doctors, who think they can charge any amount they want because they say, “Oh, look; we’ve spent years in college; we’ve spent a lot of money.”
Hogwash! Those colleges were endowed by billions and billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and people who want to see this nation get ahead. So, the only money they spent is next to nothing, but they act as though, “Oh, what a great thing.”
Listen, brother, that attitude before God is antichrist, and this nation cannot survive. You can see why judgment heaped up. They care little or nothing about anybody, so when they get to be president or certain… Look. Who put the money in General Motors?
Ford! Poor old Henry wasn’t even in his grave, as far as I recall, when they had Layman, a Jew, running the Ford Foundation, pouring money into UNICEF and places, which are antichrist… men running vast empires, who care nothing about the Word of God, haven’t put one thing in it, but work themselves up and say, “Look at me, what a great guy I am!”
Do you know that’s Belshazzar’s feast? You bet it is. And there’s a reckoning day, and that reckoning day is here, starting with the presence of the Lord.
And notice; since He has been present, it’s these things I’m talking about have come to the ‘fullness of the cup’, which God demands before He destroys the earth.
Look at these big chemical companies. Go down to Louisiana, if you dare, and try to find some water unpolluted in the bayous. They’re still dumping, I guess, tons and tons of pollutants.
They’re killing everything. Find one spring that’s safe anymore; find anything that’s safe anymore. Money, money, money! Not stewards of God!
Years ago our forefathers said, and Henry Ford, I admit, was great at this. He gave the people five dollars a day, when no one was getting anywhere near five dollars.
And I think he said in 1950, or I forget when his prophecy was, “Men would earn fifty dollars a day.” He had a vision of plowing money back in to create jobs. Who’s doing it now?
The very thing Reagan hoped, by taking the pressure off the corporations, the vast sums of money that they’d save by taxes, and yet we had to pay for it. What happened? They took all that money and bought firms out.
Stewards of God, brother/sister, stewards of God! Yes, they will account to God, and don’t tell me they won’t because they will. It says right here.
He said, “Your silver and your gold is corrupted,” and you’re just waiting for the fire. That’s business.
What about labor? That’s important to know about laborers, too. Now, you all hold jobs. You hold jobs, most of you, that you didn’t put a nickel into. What’s your attitude toward the job you hold?
Now there’s such a thing as entrepreneurs… entrepreneurs, I don’t care how you want to pronounce it, they’re both right, purely out of Canada definitely entrepreneurs, the French side. On the American… you’re going to put this accent someplace else.
You’re in business for yourself, that’s fine. There’s some… They’ll perhaps know more than the man that just tires out. Why? Because they’ve got to foot all the bills.
But I want to ask you a question, and I’ve talked about this before. I know it’s hard to work in certain places, and I know we get our hackles up and everything else, but do you realize it could cost as much as ten thousand to half a million dollars to give one of you people a job tonight?
Just even sitting at a desk. What does that desk cost? What did that typewriter cost? You’re plugged into a computer. What did that cost? You’re sitting in a building. What did that cost?
You’ve got investors behind you. What did that cost? Now, what is your attitude toward your job? Many people walk in a job… They don’t give a rip.
“Oh, the tools, they can go down the drain!” “Oh, we won’t take care of tools.”
“Oh, we’re slubbin’ it. That’s okay, everybody’s slubbin’ it.”
Listen, this started way, many, many years ago in the Second World War. It just got on. So, I decided I’d go and work in a ship yard, and I like to work.
And first of all, you bolt up the plate, and then, the welders come by, and they weld, and then, you take the bolts out. That’s how you build those ships from those great big hunks of steel, massive pieces.
And I like to work because I’m a fast talker, fast thinker, fast worker. Maybe I peter out, but while I don’t peter out, I do good.
This old fellow, he said, “Now, come on, Vayle, slow down.” He said, “We take days to do what you’re doing.”
I said, “Don’t be a nut! I can’t… I’m bored stiff.”
He wanted to crank up one, sit back, and…
And, listen! There was a war on, with people dying. They needed those ships. Stewards! Doing something with somebody else’s money; they’re paid to do it, and not doing it.
Listen, that’s criminal. That’s against God! I can point the finger now. I’m trying to point out… I want to show you these things to get right attitudes, brother/sister, because there’s no way anybody can tell me you and I can get next to God and get the riches of the depths of the riches of Almighty God and pull these stunts.
I didn’t mean to have to go in to work yourself to the bone. When my wife worked for a while, I had to slow her down. She wouldn’t slow down. In fact, she hasn’t slowed down yet.
And I think maybe forty-eight hours after she’s dead, she’ll quit quivering for four days. I know for four years, whatever it’s going to be! She always worked too hard where she was.
Now I’m not saying go into the plant, and you work your head off to show people up, because there’s those people who just work, work, work. Don’t be ridiculous.
But listen; there’s such a thing as an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay and respecting what people have put behind you on the job.
And do you think for one minute… Well, I know the COA, or the GSA. I don’t know what those initials are, but they’re in government.
Look at Proxmire, always giving the, you know, the eagle feather, or whatever it is, yeah, the Golden Fleece Award, the award for slovenliness and sloppiness. And every place you go, you will see government not caring two bits what’s happening to the taxpayers’ money.
Listen, they’re stewards to God, my brother/my sister. I’m trying to get this across: there’s not one person, and I don’t care if he’s even serpent seed, that’s not a steward to Almighty God or steward to somebody under the jurisdiction of Almighty God.
Now, let’s begin to see if this isn’t the truth. When God puts His Kingdom once more on earth and nothing will defile it, do you think there’s going to be any shoddy stuff going on as we see today?
No way, shape, and form. God is against it. That’s why He’s going to destroy it. Like Brother Branham said, “The flames are going to go a thousand miles high and even get rid of germs.”
And I said, “Praise God!” I don’t know why. Why get rid of the germs? Nobody can attack you, but you see the beauty? They won’t be there; they’re hybrid. They develop from something. They’re wrong. God is against it.
Now, listen; I’m not against the unions. Brother Branham wasn’t against unions. But you know where the unions are today? Way, look, back in the ‘50’s. I don’t know.
I think it was Pope Pius went to Lake Geneva, think it was the ‘50’s, could have been the 60’s and he talked to the World Congress of Labor.
Now, you people, you’re smart; you read the newspaper, and you always read of these bishops’ letters. Who are the bishops?
The Roman Catholics, and they’re trying to take the unions over, and they always go to the unions, and talk nice talk, and they say, “You deserve this, and you deserve that.”
Why don’t they tell you: “Listen, you people, the best system is cooperation, it’s profit sharing.”
“Get in there and work! Do your job!”
But they say, “We don’t quite want that, we just want to share the profits and do anything you want.”
See? Business is wrong, unions are wrong, because neither one recognizes a stewardship to Almighty God. Now, listen: I’m saying something right now that could secure people their jobs.
I’ll be honest with you. Over the years I’ve hinted these things, but we’re coming out straight on the barrel this morning. All right. It’s government and business get together. Yep. And it breeds corruption.
Now, let’s look at America. They said, “All right, we’ve got to have protection from tariffs to give the businessman a break. That means they’re going to take it out of your pocket.
They say… Now, listen; they say, “Oh, the unions got to have some, labor’s got to have some.”
It’s got to come out of somebody’s pocket. Now, are they going to rob the guy that gave the money in the first place? No, because he’s lobbying to keep the thing in balance.
Now the third thing they say is, “Now the next thing is: we’ve got to help the farmers.”
And pretty soon the government is in everything. Where do you find that in the Bible? Patronage? Corruption?
There’s a stewardship to Almighty God that this nation has cast to one side, brother/sister. There was a time when America was that godly nation, but it’s gone far, far from what it was planted to be.
So, we look at business, we look at government, we look at all these things, but tonight let’s look at the Christian because that’s the important thing, that’s what we’re talking about tonight. With a little bit of help we can get through very quickly here. If we can’t… I don’t know. We’ll read out of,
(07) [Ye have gone] from the days of your fathers; you’ve gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
(08) Will a man rob God? [Yep. In other words, man is out of line with God. You’ve left… You’ve left stewardship, plump, straight English, just the way Adam did… He thought he was boss; he thought he could run it. He left it.] You have robbed me. But you say, Where did we rob you? In tithes and offerings.
(09) You’re cursed with a curse: you have robbed me, even this whole nation.
(10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse…
Now, I’m not preaching this message for money. You’ll find that…
Listen, I’ve always been taken care of. When my wife and I lived on thirty-five bucks a week, when you were making $99 or $l00 to $150, I said, “We got it made because I follow God’s law.”
I’m going to tell you about those laws. We’ll have time, if we sit here quite a while, it’s okay, because I don’t like preaching sermons like this.
I like preaching from Brother Branham’s tapes, word by word. This, to me, is necessary. It is not boring. It is necessary. We need it, but I like the other. See? That’s what I like about… Well, I just don’t bring pastoral messages too good, like I used to.
(10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD, if I will not open upon you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Now, remember; the Bible says the tithe is the Lord’s. It’s not ours in the first place. It’s something we’re entrusted with—stewardship. Now, he said, “You’ve botched your stewardship, you’ve thrown it out the window.”
(11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
(12) And all nations shall call you blessed: for you should be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. [Now, notice; He says, “a delightsome land.”]
(13) Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet you say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
(14) Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
(15) And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up [That’s your church system now; that’s the Cain church.]; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered (Under anointed ones. Now, watch:)
(16) Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: [Now you know what that is, [Now you know what that is. That’s this Message, and Brother Branham said in “The Token” that they had not yet come together to talk the Word. The people will come together like we try to do here.] and the LORD hearkened, [Now they weren’t talking to God, they were talking to each other, like you and I are talking tonight, getting right down to the nitty-gritty because that’s what preaching is… not preaching… just talking. Maybe a lot of us are still talking.] and heard it, [The Lord hearkened and remembered.] and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and thought upon his name.
(17) And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his only son that serves him.
(18) Then shall you return, [That’s under Elijah… hearts turned back to the fathers.] and discern [judge between and know] righteousness [from wickedness, and contrary, righteousness from wicked, Cain from Abel, false church from true church.] between him that serves God and him that doesn’t serve him.
Now, listen; this on money was put here as a part of the end-time Message—stewardship. So, there’s something necessary that we have to know about these mundane, material things in our lives.
Just get the right attitude. That’s all you have to do. Just get the right attitude and begin to understand and do what we should do.
Now It mentions the tithe here. Okay, let’s talk about tithing, just barely, and we’ll just read It, 1 Corinthians 9. This is about tithing. Paul says:
(01) Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are you not my work in the Lord?
(02) If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
(03) Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
(04) Have we not authority to eat and to drink?
(05) Have we not [authority] to lead about a wife, [A wife who is a sister, see?] as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
(06) Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
(07) Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock?
(08) Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
(09) For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? [He cares for sparrows. Sure He does. He cares for all…]
(10) Or [does] he altogether for our sake? [He said, “You know the oxen is going to eat anyway, and you’re going to feed him because he’s going to die and won’t be any good to you. Now, he’s going to talk about this. This is] For our sake, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
(11) If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
(12) If others be partakers of this [authority] over you, are not we [much more so]? Nevertheless we have not used this [authority]; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
(13) Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
(14) Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live by the gospel.
(15) But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
(16) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
(17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: [and] if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
(18) What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, I abuse not my [authority] in the gospel.
Now we don’t have to talk about the tithe. You know that the tithe is the Lord’s is a system that God set up. It’s not anything to do with a type or a shadow, it is to take care of the ministry. That’s what the tithe is all about.
Now, let’s just take a look with this to,
(04) Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
(05) And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
(06) But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, [That’s Melchisedec.] and blessed him that had the promises. [And we’re children of Abraham.]
(07) And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
(08) And here men that die receive tithes; but there he… of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. [Therefore, the tithe is still God’s.]
Now this is paid into the ministry. We don’t have to talk about it and worry about it at all. We understand here perfectly all about it.
I heard Dr. McGee one day, and he’s a doctor all right. You can sure tell that. He said that tithing was under the law, and not under grace, and you don’t need to tithe. He doesn’t even know this verse. How do you get your doctorate, when you say everything wrong.
He said a lot of good things. I wouldn’t discredit the man there, but he’s way off here. Tithing is a type of nothing, just like, when did God ever tell women to take their clothes off and cut their hair? I’m not typing anything.
That’s something we’re supposed to do. People think ‘once you’ve got grace, anything goes’, but they are the first ones who try to put you in bondage with something else. Why don’t you just go the way of the will of God? That’s all.
So, we know all about tithing to that particular instance, but let’s go a little further to talk about tithing, and here’s where I’m going to talk mean because I’m able to do it on the grounds of what my own practice has been over twenty years.
Years ago, as I said, my wife and I had literally nothing, which was true. What we did have was more or less a non-asset because you had to… You know, it bugged you to have it, being on the road and this and that, expenses both places.
So, I knew we were hard up against it. So, I said, “Well, now, there’s only one thing I know in the Bible, and that’s the thing I’m going to have to be able to do, which is to give in order to get, and we’ll go into that more thoroughly than what I’m saying now.
But what I did then, I began doing something which most people never think of doing, and that is to take a ten percent from the gross and another ten percent from the same gross; not ten percent from the deducted amount, but a straight twenty percent across the board.
Now, that is not true tithing, to be honest with you, because it’s the businessman, the same as the farmer.
And the farmer plows his ground up and he puts down what it cost him. He sows the seed, and he puts down what that cost him. And then he has to get the weeds out and he puts down what that cost him. At the end of the season he’s got to take it off and puts down what that cost him.
And finally when he sells it, he takes out all his expenses, and he says, “Look, it cost me… I’ve got $25,000 in the bank, and it cost me $10,000 to get this $25,000. I owe ten percent of $15,000. He owes $1500.
Now I could do the same thing, and any businessman can do the same thing.
Now, what about labor? He’s not investing anything. Now I’m not trying to… because we’re not going to apply this rule in this church.
Brother Branham didn’t, and I’m not going to either, but I just want to let you know something. Let’s say I work for a company, and my fringe benefits are $15, through a pension, and this and that and the other thing, and you haven’t put one cent in it.
They put it in, and you get another $15 and you got $30, but you pay tithes on $15 per hour. Do you see what I mean? You don’t do what the businessman does. You would owe literally another ten percent on that $15.
Now, look; we don’t do that here. Brother Branham didn’t say do it. But in Canada the government has taxed the fringe benefits. If that happened here, how would you respond as a tithe payer?
I’m interested, see, because I do it all the time, I don’t have a bit of trouble. I did it on $39; I did it on $50; I did it on $1,000; I did it on $10,000, $25,000, $35,000, $55,000, $65,000, $100,000—not all at one time.
But never sent out from me until first of all God took that. I preached for Brother Branham down in Louisville, Mississippi. I went there at my own expense. Due to a cross-up, I got $34; my hotel bill was $36. I paid out of that $36, twenty percent.
Now you’re very quiet. You’re thinking, and so you should think because you see, brothers, I’m not asking you to… You know I’m not interested in money.
I’m interested in only knowing one thing: there is a law that God has laid down, and we must have a right attitude toward everything we do in these laws in order to make sure we are getting all the eye single to the open Light of this hour.
And remember; God is here, present, and He’s condemning this generation of wicked Laodicea… the people’s rights: do what they want; it doesn’t matter… not responsible.
Everyone is responsible. We’re responsible for the Holy Spirit He gave us to nourish us by the Word of Almighty God. We’re responsible for every single thing in this life.
I’m not saying that I’m a perfect example here, but I’ve gone through twenty-some years of what I’m talking about, and I know what I’m talking about. Believe me, I am right, or I wouldn’t be telling you.
And I find I have to keep watching my life and correcting my life on financial matters because it is only too easy to go haywire.
Remember, Brother Branham said the minister’s got three things to watch out for: popularity. I don’t have it, and you know it. The prophet said I wouldn’t.
He said his gift was just like mine: nobody wanted it. And that’s exactly true, when you don’t want the gift, you don’t want the guy that’s got it either, let’s face it.
I don’t give a rip about that. I’m happy with you people here. That’s wonderful. I can live my life in peace this way. “Money, women, popularity.” I’m not popular.
Women are no more attractive to me than anything else, since the Word. I’ve had my share of desires, like anybody else has. Women have them, the same as men have.
Don’t sit here, women, and think men lust after you; you lust after men, too. Let’s be honest. We don’t play games anymore, and you don’t have to see X-rated movies to find that.
We knew it all the time, if you have half an ounce of brains, you know. That’s the way people are. But that hasn’t got to me, the popularity.
But what would get to me? Money. But you can get that knocked out of you, too. We know it doesn’t pay…Twenty-some years it takes.
You don’t have it maybe licked even then, but you keep on working on it with your conscience, with the Word of Almighty God.
I just wanted to lay that across the line with you, see, because many times people think, “Well, hey, I pay my tithes. That’s great”
Have you really, honestly, then, paid your tithes in the light of the Word of Almighty God? So, that’s where I come off the hook.
So, let’s talk about giving. Giving is over here in 2 Corinthians 9. Remember 1 Corinthians 9 is tithing; 2 Corinthians 9 is what? Giving.
Okay, let’s go back and talk about it. This is where we kind of talk where we can help you tonight and get some attitudes right.
Now, remember; this is not in any sermon kind way to say, “Hey, I’m laying the foundation; I’m going to ask you for money.” Forget it. My trustees know me.
For the sake of the ministry, the tapes are going out. If necessary, I would pay the rent on this building every month, and you can sit here as my guests. My trustees know me; my deacons know me; and I think everybody here by now ought to know me.
If you don’t, you’re in for a surprise because that’s the truth. I foot an awful lot of bills. I’ll foot everyone of them, if necessary, because I’m going to be a winner, see.
I’m not saying this to hurt anybody’s feelings, but I want you to know where I stand in case you think I’m laying a foundation somewhere. Uh-huh. This must be right, brother/sister, because I know it in my heart it’s got to be right.
Let’s read It:
(01) For as touching the ministering to the saints, [Giving to the saints.] it is superfluous for me that I write to you: [because you already know it.]
(02) For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
(03) Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
(04) Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we [that we say not, ye] should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
(05) Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
In other words, he’s saying, “Look, I want your hearts all lined up. I’m not trying to get money from you guys, but, look; you have been provoked -That word means ‘excited’- to a godly sense to do this.”
And he said, “Look, have it all ready, we’ll just come and pick it up. No fuss, no bother,” you know. Now listen; once what he said, the promise:
(06) But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
(07) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. [This is not tithing; this is giving, not for the ministry but for somebody else.]
(08) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’ve got money to give to everybody and just throw it around. It means when a legitimate, honest cause comes before you, you will have enough to give to that person to tide him over, and he will learn how to have enough to give to somebody else to tide him over. It’s a chain reaction. It’s a chain reaction.
“If you’ve had a kindness shown, pass it on. It was not meant for you alone. Pass it on.” See? Remember that old bit of poetry: “Let it wander though the years, let it wipe another’s tears, ‘til in heaven the deed appears. Pass it on.” This is one of those things: sowing, sowing, sowing.
(09) (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth…
(10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) [Ah! Notice: “Increase the fruit of your righteousness.”]
(24) There is that [that] scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, [and] tendeth to poverty.
Look; I want to see a generous church here. I was anything but generous. I was too scared to be. Let me be honest with you: I couldn’t afford it; I was sure I couldn’t.
And you know something? Your hand shows it, even your handwriting. I don’t think I was ever more thrilled in my whole life…
Of course, I was glad when my sister told me about Brother Branham, and I was glad to see him thrilled when she said, “There’s no guile in that man, and said, “No deceit. What’s with this fellow, no deceit.”
And she looked at me, and she said, “Hey, you’re generous.”
I’m glad to be generous. Oh, I’m not a ‘free-for-all’, just give it away. I can clam right up and be tight as the skin on a drum, don’t worry, because I’m not here to make anybody’s living.
They’re not here to make my living. We’re not here to take care of somebody. That person takes care of himself. Oh, no, we don’t preach that nonsense.
Oh, nothing doing. You don’t rob your family to take care of somebody else. There’s a promise in the Word of God. See?
(10) …Your righteousness increase.
(11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
(12) For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.
Notice what It says: Helping people: how happy they are, if anybody helps them. How it relieves the stress and the burdens because you took care. You looked out for somebody.
How in the world can anybody expect anything, if they don’t do something? How can you reap, if you don’t sow? How can you receive your own, if you withhold?
See, we’re laying down a spiritual law here, brother/sister, in the material, that if we obey cheerfully, knowing that God has made a promise, and our hearts are right, God comes back on that thing and blesses it.
I remember when I was giving my tithes that time. I said, “Okay, I’ve got two hundred dollars, so I’ll give twenty bucks to a friend of mine who’s a minister who needed it; and I sent twenty dollars to a widow whose husband had just died and he was a very fine… Brother Hausmann.
I don’t know if anybody knows him. He was west of Lima, by almost to the Indiana border, if not on the other side there. He was a wonderful brother, a Christian Jew. He’s a Russian Jew, a very fine fellow.
I really loved him, and he was such a nice person, very godly, generous, and he’d earn his own living: selling, anything else, preach the Word of God, just a fine brother, wrote a little book Under the Red Star.
And when he died I felt very, very sorry for his wife, and so I thought, “Well, I’ll do something for her.”
And back in those days, that was what? about 1960, and you know, twenty bucks was a whole lot more than it is today, and so I said, “Well, I’ll send her twenty.”
That’s ten percent off for widows and orphans and ten percent for the ministry.
And you know, right after that, my nephew, for some very strange reason, he got a job and he began sending me twenty dollars at a crack, and exactly twenty times twenty, he stopped giving.
Do you know the Bible mentions that? “Give and it shall be given to you; for what measure you mete will be measured unto you.”
What if you haven’t given a measure? Now guys like Wyatt would come along and he would incite the people down south with his Pentecostal attribute by saying, “Oh, you might give a hundred dollars and get back a million.”
Oh, they just went crazy! That’s a lie! With what measure you mete is measured to you. You give dollars, you get dollars; you give five dollars, you get five dollars, multiple. You give tens, you get tens.
I’ve worked myself up from one… no, tens… started with tens, sometimes got back to ones and twos ‘cause that’s all I had. Thirty-nine dollars, you give $3.90 cents. Right? What are you going to live on?
Well, God took care of it. Don’t ask me; got me out of debt. I’ve been out of debt for twenty-four solid years. Won’t do a thing, but by the help of God. I don’t know that I can sustain myself this way, but look at that, twenty times twenty.
You know it’s like people who say, “Well, you give nickels and get dollars back.” No.
But what you sow, and God blesses it, like you sow wheat. And it’s just like the Bible says, “They that go forth bearing wheat shall likely come again bearing seed.”
And that according to an Eastern custom. A man’s got so much seed left over… I mean grain he’s got to sow it. Now his wife and kids need food; there’s been a famine.
He said, Look, now they can eat it, but” he said, “they’ll die later anyway. Tighten your belt.”
So, he puts that seed in the ground, and he’s weeks while doing it. It cost him something. It’s tough, but he survived. The harvests come, and God begins to bless.
Now, brother/sister, maybe some of you have tough luck today because you never learned these little things. And it’s not just that. It’s not just a financial act; it’s that “you may prosper in your soul.”
We understand. See. Don’t get wrong ideas what I’m preaching because I am not preaching, and you know, I’ll repeat that, I am not preaching here for money. Forget it! See?
Why? Because I have done my sowing. Have you done yours? There’s a depression coming on, for all we know.
Brother Branham said it makes it look like a Sunday school picnic. He said, “They’ll close these buildings.”
What have we done to forestall it? Where have we protected ourselves? You know, look at the old Chinese proverb, “No ticky, no washy!” Aha! No planting, no reaping.
No Chinese proverbs up here. No! It’s just Word of God… proverbs… God’s proverbs. Now It says here… Look at the beauty that comes out of this:
(08) …That you [may have] all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: [And He describes how it’s done.]
(09) …dispersed abroad; give to the poor [widows and orphans], his righteousness remaineth…
(10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruit of your righteousness; [God’s promises to you and me.]
(11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes us [to give] thanksgiving [And many people are starting to give thanks back] to [Almighty] God, [too].
Let’s go to Luke 6:38.
I don’t want to belabor these points because we want to go to the Communion service, but I just want you to have some understanding and get some good feelings about, and get the Spirit of God moving in your heart as to not wanting doing this for the specific reason of wanting something back, but fortifying yourself, looking into the spiritual aspect of it.
Look, I don’t want to open my heart and tell you everything I’ve gone through the last few years. That’s off the record. That’s my business and God’s business.
Let me tell you something: I’m telling you the truth, or I wouldn’t be up here preaching. Forget it. I’d like to quit tonight, just go home and go to bed. I get so tired over nothing. I don’t work hard enough, that’s the trouble. If I worked harder, I’d feel better.
(38) Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete shall be measured to you [all].
Okay. Let’s go back to James 1:27, just hitting these verses and then we’re going to stop because I know you know me well enough to know what I’m trying to tell you.
(27) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
It tells you right there: if we get so busy doing this, the world won’t have any power over us.
Let’s go to Matthew 5:38-48, just back and forth here. All right.
(38) You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
(39) But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(40) And if any man shall sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
(41) And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Now, I had that in my own experience, like a voice said to me, “Now you know you can go the extra mile.” I’ve got witnesses here. I can go and bring ole Big Red, and I can tell you flat, as God is my judge, and Gene Petry is my witness, whether he wants to or not.
He knows the day I told him about what was going to happen to me. I wrote a letter and I said, “You watch, another letter is going to get fired right back demanding a further apology.”
And it came right back vindicating both the letters. That’s when that Whatever speaks to me said, “Now you know you can go the extra mile.” I gave the apology.
I’m watching, brother/sister. I say things like this… I’m not liked; I know it. It doesn’t bother me too much, except it does. But I know what I’m talking about.
I’m not trying to tell you something I’m lying about because I’ve got a stewardship. I’ve got to account to God, and I am going to answer to God. I’ve got no problem there.
(42) Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
(43) You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
(44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [See, that has to do with government and everything else in there.]
(46) For if you love them which love you, what reward do you have? do not even the publicans the same?
(47) And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(48) Be you therefore perfect, even as [I am] perfect, [saith the Lord God].
So, there you are. We’re looking at that end right there.
Now, let’s just talk about ministers, five-fold, deacon, elders and even the whole Bride. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 4.
In other words, it’s going to cost you something to do these things, but, look; it’s not all that bad. I had to pray food on the table way back there for wife and child.
I thought I was the most abused person in all the world. I didn’t know I was the luckiest because I could do it, not that I could do it, God was good.
(01) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, [verse 1] and stewards of the mysteries of God.
(02) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. [Faithful to what? Faithful to the Word of Almighty God.]
1 Peter 4:10. Just look at that. Verse 4:10. Okay, It says:
(10) As every man receive the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of [Almighty] God.
2 Corinthians 3:18. Brother Branham was a good steward and look what he did: he fulfilled the Apostle Paul here.
(18) But we all, with open face beholding in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(01) Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not. [A good steward.]
Brother Branham was a good steward, giving us the Word that is going to transform us, after gifts of the Holy Spirit under the control of Almighty God. Stewards.
Gifts of the Spirit, people think they own it, but they don’t own it because the Bible says, “What did you receive, but that you got from God?” What have you got? God gave it to you, then put it under God’s jurisdiction. Ephesians 3.
Now, in all this, we’re saying this: let the Spirit of God lead us. We will not be selfish then, but generous, knowing as It says in Ephesians: “Him that stole, let him steal no more, but let work with his hands the thing that is good that he may have to give to him that hath not.”
Always we’re looking at the other fellow. This helps us to realize what we read over there in Luke 16:11-13.
It was a special freedom of grace that unfetters us from the necessity of worrying and trying to get ahead but always looking out for others as Christ looked out for us; being generous… not overdoing it.
Look, brother/sister, please get this before God. Don’t misunderstand me. Don’t misunderstand me. Don’t you dare. You be led of God’s spirit in what I’ve told you tonight so that your motives are right, your heart is right, everything is right.
Then, do those things, and watch how God begins to move in your life. And these things are real. They’re simple things; anybody can do them, but get your motive in your life right in these things because I tell you: it pays off.
Don’t be cluttered; don’t be encumbered; get free, and seek God with all your heart, and know how you can be taken care of because the chips are down, and the tough time is coming on. We’ve just seen a little rim of it. It’s getting worse and worse.
[End of tape recording.]