KEYWORDS: lord, god, thy, jesus, john

Christmas 1968--Huntington Beach--The Lightclub

David Berg


—During the Birth of the Family!—Dad in Action!—By Father David

1. (PROPHECY:) "WHO IS MY MOTHER & WHO ARE MY BRETHREN & MY SISTERS? BEHOLD, THESE THAT DO THE WILL OF GOD!" Hallelujah! Thank You Lord for these that have forsaken houses & families, mothers & fathers, brothers & sisters to be a part of Thy Family, Lord. We know that You're not ashamed to be called their God‚ because they have forsaken all, because they have here no abiding place & they seek not to return to this home, Lord, but they seek a city whose builder & maker is God‚ which hath everlasting foundations, eternal in the heavens! Hallelujah!

2. LORD, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PILGRIMS & STRANGERS HERE. We have here no constant place to rest our heads, Lord, but we seek Thy will, we seek only, Lord, to rest in Thee. We seek only to follow Thee. We thank You, Jesus, we thank You Lord! We praise You, Lord, for this little motley band, this little bedraggled group of little nobodies, these teenagers, Lord & yet these teenagers have made more news for Thee, Lord‚ in the past month than all the churches in this country put together have in the past century!

3. WE THANK YOU‚ JESUS, THAT THOU HAST TAKEN THESE LITTLE ONES & HAST USED THEM, LORD! We give all the glory to You, Jesus, You did it all, Lord, we didn't have anything to do with it, we have done only that which was our duty to do. We are nothing but servants, & unprofitable servants at that, Lord, compared to what we might be. Help us, Lord! TYJ! We have done that which was our duty to do, Lord.

4. WE DESERVE NO PRAISE, WE DESERVE NO COMMENDATION, LORD, WE JUST PRAISE THEE‚ LORD, YOU'VE DONE IT ALL! You put the things in the newspaper. You laid these things upon the hearts of these, Lord. You gave them the courage to do them. You gave them the Word. You gave them the inspiration. You gave them the anointing. You gave them the power of the Spirit. You gave them the boldness‚ Lord. You gave them the ideas. You gave them the leading‚ Lord‚ it's all for Thee. You did it all, Lord! We can't but bow down at Thy feet, Lord, & all we can say is hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah to the King of Kings! All glory & praise to the Lamb which was slain!

5. WE THANK YOU FOR THE TESTIMONY THAT THE ASTRONAUTS WERE ON TELEVISION, LORD. (The astronauts had read Genesis 1!) We thank You that on this Thy birthday, Lord, Thou hast glorified Thyself when all the eyes of all the World & all mankind were focused upon Thy creation, Lord‚ Thy moon that Thy hands hath made, Lord, where Thy fingertips rest. That there these three men had the courage to glorify Thee & give Thee the credit for it all! Thank You Lord for such a testimony! Bless them for such a testimony! Bless them for such a witness! Lord‚ if it be Thy will, bring them home safely that they may continue to testify & glorify Thee, Lord.

6. WE KNOW THE ENEMY HATES THAT TESTIMONY, LORD! They really pulled a fast one on the Devil, Lord, & we thank You for that, Lord! They slipped it in there, Lord, it wasn't on the program for sure. They knew it wasn't on the schedule, but they slipped in that prayer & they slipped in that passage of Scripture, & the whole World was compelled, Lord, to glorify Thee! The whole World was forced to listen to Thy Word, Lord, whether they liked it or not‚ compelled to hear Who made the World, Who made the Heavens, Who made the Earth! We thank You‚ Lord, that Thy Word has gone out throughout all the Earth, Thy Words to the end of the World! Hallelujah! TYL! "There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard, for their Words have gone out through all the Earth, even to the ends of the World." (Ps.19:3‚4.) TYL! PYJ!

7. HERE THESE MEN WERE, LORD‚ IN SUCH A POSITION TO BE USED OF THEE & THEY WERE WILLING, they just were obedient‚ they just did what You certainly led them to do‚ Lord. What more beautiful testimony could it have been? How much more significant could it have been? As one commentator, Walter Cronkite, said, "What more could we say?" It could not be said more beautifully! TYL! We thank Thee, every knee shall bow & every tongue shall confess Thee, Hallelujah! Whether they want to or not, Lord. Even in commemorating Thy birthday today they're forced to commemorate Thee! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! The Enemy is angry, You had so much glory‚ Lord, this Christmas, more glory than we've seen on any Christmas ever before! The whole World listening to Thy Word, the whole World viewing Thy creation, Lord!

8. WE'RE SURE, LORD, AFTER THOU HAST STRUCK SUCH A VICTORIOUS BLOW THE ENEMY WILL TRY TO STRIKE BACK, BUT, LORD, WE'RE READY. Help us to be ready, Lord. This may be Thy last glorious testimony & witness before You allow the blows of Thy judgements to fall. The last chance, the last testimony to this whole World, Lord! Lord‚ surely they are without excuse, surely this whole World is without excuse, Lord. You have glorified Thy name, amen, Lord, & yea, Thou shalt continue to glorify it! Praise Thy precious name, Lord!

9. BLESS NOW THE READING OF THY WORD, LORD, AS WE READ THIS BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL STORY THAT NEVER GROWS OLD. It's always fresh, Lord. "And there was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias of the course of Abia: & his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, & her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments & ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, & they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord." (Lk.1:5-9.)

10. IN THE DAYS OF OLD‚ IN THE DAYS OF JUDEA‚ IN THE DAYS OF ISRAEL, NO ONE MAN WAS A DICTATOR WHO DID EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME & all the people just sat & did nothing, but they took turns. Did you know that? The priests & the Levites took turns in the duties of the Temple. Don't read ahead or behind, 'cause I'm going to read this to you in what they call a harmony of the Gospels, in the order of the story‚ weaving the various accounts together in the actual order in which they happened, God willing.

11. "AND THE WHOLE MULTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE WERE PRAYING WITHOUT AT THE TIME OF INCENSE. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense." God is not against incense, Beloved. Like everything else, it's all in how it's used & unto whom it's used, praise God?—It says that "the fragrance of the Lord is the perfume of His people‚" praise God?-The altar of incense which perfumed the temple, & the incense was a type of the prayers of God's people rising to the Lord. Isn't that beautiful? PTL!

12. EVERYTHING THEY DID IN THE TEMPLE WAS AN ILLUSTRATED SERMON OF CHRIST & HIS CHURCH—THE WHOLE THING! The Temple itself, every little thing, & it's a whole course of study in itself. Beautiful! And like giving a miracle play or a Bible play to children, God was continually giving them an illustration of what He intended for His Church & Himself to be like. This is why when Jesus finally came‚ then the Temple & all of that shadow was done away with. Because as far as God was concerned, "that which was perfect had come," in Jesus, & all of that which was merely a picture, as Paul calls it, "a picture of things to come," that was all done away with then because we have the real thing—Jesus—& the real Church—you, His Body, & that ministry.

13. BUT THEY WERE STILL GOING THROUGH THE ILLUSTRATIONS IN ZACHARIAS' DAY, not long before it was to be done away with. When was it done away with, Beloved? When Jesus died it was really done away with because the veil of the Temple was rent in twain! When Jesus was on the cross & at the moment of His death that four-inch veil was rent in twain & the Holy of Holies was exposed! The very place of the presence of God was exposed & was now accessible to everyone. No longer just the High Priest & the priests‚ but now anyone could come in. Well, of course that was pretty much covered up & patched up in Jewish history. I'm sure they didn't want to let that out to the general public, but it happened! God really put an end to it when that happened, 'cause Jesus' sacrifice was the final sacrifice as far as God was concerned. God put a stop to it then.

14. WHEN DID GOD SEE TO IT THAT ALL SUCH WORSHIP WAS STOPPED? (70 AD.) Right! Emperor Vespasian sent General Titus down there & the city & the Temple were destroyed & all sacrificial worship ceased. This is only about 40 years after Christ's death, & they have not sacrificed since. As Hosea the prophet said, "Thou shalt abide many days without a priest, without an ephod, without a Temple, without a sacrifice, & without a king." Many many years‚ a remarkable prophecy. (Ho.3:4.)

15. THE HISTORIANS SAY THAT JUST BEFORE THE TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE at Jerusalem by Titus, that for some weeks they heard a voice crying in the Temple area constantly: "Woe, Woe‚ Woe! Woe, Woe, Woe!" (Dad weeps:) "The Spirit says that this voice shall also cry again in the last days of this nation!" Hallelujah! My God, the Spirit of God is grieving over our nation, even as He grieved over Israel!

16. THEY SAY THAT THE SHEKINAH GLORY HOVERED FOR SOME DAYS ABOVE THE TEMPLE, left the Holy place & hovered above the Temple, & then finally departed entirely. As the prophet had said, "Ichabod—the glory hath departed!" God's presence was no longer in a temple built with hands—it never had been really, except symbolised by the Shekinah Glory—but the glory departed. But now, thank God, where is that temple? In our hearts, in the only temple left to God today, & that's you & me! Praise the Lord? Isn't that beautiful? TYL! So the actual going through the motions didn't cease until 70 ad, but as far as God was concerned, He was through with the Temple when Jesus died, that was the end.

17. MUCH OF THAT IS LOST, YOU SEE, THEY COVERED IT UP & TRIED TO CONCEAL MUCH OF WHAT HAPPENED. Most of what the historians have on it are more like rumours & legends about what happened as a result. Of course, only the priests were allowed to go into that part of the Temple, so only the priesthood would have known that the Temple veil was rent in twain. And of course a very great company of the priests believed & were saved, so no doubt the priests who entered in must have known about it & that's how you have the record here, because they knew what happened to the veil of the Temple. But you couldn't expect the High Priest & the Temple authorities to ever admit it, so there's not much about it in other recorded history. Man's history, secular history is not going to admit this sort of thing.

18. (QUESTION: WAS THERE EVER ANY HIGH PRIEST THAT WAS STRUCK DEAD IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES?) I don't recall any of them ever being struck dead as far as I know. Isn't the Lord merciful? He always Forgave them. As far as the record in the Word is concerned, I don't recall any of them who were killed. These Bible movies are interesting to a point, but they always grieve me in the Spirit when they contort the truth & don't give you the whole Word & the whole counsel of God. Now in that "King of Kings" there was a lot of Scripture‚ but so many of the facts were twisted & some of them absolutely against the truth‚ it was pitiful! Therefore unless you know the Word it's not really safe for you to see it because you get a distorted & an untrue idea of actual events. So watch out for what you've learned from Bible movies. Be sure you have studied the Word because that's the only thing that's reliable. These dramatists twist it around any way they think will make a good story.

19. PRAISE GOD! TYL! WELL, I DIDN'T INTEND TO GIVE YOU A LESSON IN HISTORY RIGHT NOW, but just to give you the background of what Zacharias was going through. "And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense." As I recall, the altar of incense was right against the veil in the center where they faced the Holy of Holies. In fact, you may have a chart in the back of your Bible showing the location of these things. "And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, & fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; & thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, & thou shalt call his name John."

20. WHO WAS THIS JOHN? (Family: John the Baptist.) And who named him? God named him, praise the Lord, no doubt a messenger from God, the name John. "And thou shalt have joy & gladness; & many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord." How great did Jesus say he was? He was the greatest man as far as God was concerned‚ ever born! Boy, that's a big statement—"none greater born of women"! Greater than Moses‚ greater than Elijah, Abraham. Why was he so great? Honey, you're sitting on that hard floor! Can't somebody furnish a cushion for Becky? I appreciate your sitting at my feet but why don't you sit back there against the wall, Honey, where you can lean against something? Becky has chosen that good part which will never be taken away from her, praise the Lord! TYJ! I'm not the Lord, but He's in me‚ & this is His Word.

21. "WHEN ZACHARIAS SAW HIM HE WAS TROUBLED & FEARED"—DO YOU THINK YOU'D BE AFRAID IF YOU SAW AN ANGEL? Both times I ever saw angels‚ the first time it really scared me half to death, the next time I rejoiced, but I was frightened too. It's a thrilling experience! "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord." We're going to learn what made him so great. "And shall drink neither wine nor strong drink & he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb." Is that possible? Don't you have to get saved first & then tarry awhile & be sure you go to a Pentecostal church & hear all about it & sure you speak in tongues & so on & so on? You know how they try to pour God in a box, they've gotta put Him in a mold, it's got to be this way, it's got to be that way. Peter soon found out that it didn't have to be just that way‚ right? God could do it any way He wanted to! Praise God!

22. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, A PROPHECY LIKE THIS WAS UTTERED OVER ME WHEN I WAS JUST I YOUNG MAN, before I was married & I was on the threshold of a great decision. I went into a church where the Spirit of God was manifest, in fact, it was a group which was under great persecution because they were not a part of the System‚ & they had a number of prophets there, real men of God. They called those who wished to be ministered to to the front, & I was weeping very heavily because I was under a great burden of what God wanted me to do.

23. SO I WENT FORWARD FOR PRAYER & THEY LAID HANDS ON ME & the leading prophet prophesied over me, & my mother & my father, of all things, were there in the back of the room. It was the first time we'd ever been there & we never got there again. And when they said this, my mother broke down & wept—they said, "Thou hast been filled with the Holy Ghost from thy mother's womb" & went on to tell about what I was to do. I wish I could remember it all. It was a wonderful thing the Lord encouraged my heart with that day.

24. AND I WENT BACK TO MOTHER & SHE SAID, "HONEY, I BELIEVE THAT!" See, I was the only child born after she was saved, after that miraculous experience of her literally being raised from her deathbed & converted from atheism. She said, "I dedicated you to God from the moment I knew that I had conceived. I prayed for you, like Hannah & like Elisabeth, & I dedicated you to the Lord." She said, "I believe it," because she felt that that had actually happened. And this I know: I can never remember the time that I didn't know the Lord—never!

25. SO ALL I KNOW IS WHAT THE LORD SAID THAT DAY, & I TRUST THAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN TRUE. The first thing I thought about was, "Oh Lord‚ now is that Scriptural? Is this true? Could it be possible?" Immediately I thought‚ "Maybe this is some kind of false doctrine, to say that somebody's filled with the Holy Ghost from their mother's womb! My Lord, how could that be? Don't you have to be a believer first?" And immediately that Scripture came to me about John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb, so praise the Lord!

26. YOU KNOW, GOD HAS HIS RULES, BUT HE APPARENTLY CAN MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THEM & do some very unusual things whenever He wants to. So here we have John the Baptist before he was born, filled with the Holy Ghost! Could we say that he didn't have Jesus? With man it is impossible, but with God nothing shall be impossible! (Mt.19:26; Mk.10:27.) So back to the story, PTL! "And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb." Now we're going to have some proof of this in a few minutes, & we'll have some evidence of the fact that he was filled with the Holy Ghost, while still in his mother's womb!

27. "AND MANY OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL HE TURN TO THE LORD THEIR GOD." What was his ministry?—Turning God's children to the Lord! "And he shall go before him in the spirit & power of Elias"—that's the Greek form of the Hebrew name Elijah—"to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children & the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

28. (QUESTION: IS THERE ANY REASON WHY THE LORD SAID HE SHALL DRINK NEITHER WINE NOR STRONG DRINK?) In several cases in the Bible it was a sign of utter dedication. The children of Rechab were commanded & it was a sign of their obedience to the Lord. Jesus Himself drank wine, which in His case apparently was not required. But evidently it was simply a sign, it was a part of the sign, because it was a rare thing in those days for anybody not to drink wine. It was about the only safe thing there was to drink. the water was not always safe‚ like water in Mexico & Southern countries. As I told you when my mother was in Europe, the guides advised them not to drink the local water in certain places, that the only safe thing there to drink was wine because the water sometimes made them sick. But this was an exceptional thing‚ every time that abstaining from wine was commanded or predicted.

29. NOW THE IMPORTANT PART ABOUT THIS WAS THAT HE SHALL BE GREAT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD; he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost from His mother's womb; & now what was his ministry to be?—17th verse. (Family: Prepare the way of the Lord.) "He shall go before Him." Who came first? John the Baptist or Jesus? (Family: John the Baptist.) Both of their births were announced ahead of time, both of their births were predicted ahead of time, both of their births were really miraculous. John was six months older than Jesus. They were literally cousins & God had chosen that John was to do what for his cousin Jesus? To prepare the way, to go before Him.

30. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN‚ "IN THE SPIRIT & THE POWER OF ELIJAH"? Elijah was a mighty man of God, a very courageous man of God who‚ by the way, bucked the System. "In the spirit & the power of Elijah." What spirit & power was that?—The Spirit & power of God! In other words, John the Baptist was supposed to be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; he was to have the spirit & power of Elijah.

31. JESUS LATER SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, THAT "IF YOU WILL RECEIVE IT, THIS IS ELIJAH WHICH WAS FOR TO COME." (Mt. 11:14.) Be cause the prophets of old had testified that before that great & notable day of Lord should come, that Elijah should come first to prepare the way of the Lord. (Mal.4:5.) Now this was prophesied after Elijah was long gone & dead. So because of their interpretation of this, they thought Elijah was going to be raised from the dead & appear to them again just before the Messiah was to come & to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.

32. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO STILL BELIEVE THAT ELIJAH IS YET TO COME TO PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, & that one of the two witnesses of Revelation will be Elijah. Personally, I think Jesus made it very clear & very plain, & even right in this passage it said again that John the Baptist was that Elijah which was for to come. John the Baptist was the one who came in the spirit & power of Elijah to prepare the way of the Lord. Anybody have that reference? (Aaron: Matthew 11:14: "And if you will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.") Let's turn to that for a minute, because that has something else very interesting to say in that passage about John's ministry.

33. BEGINNING WITH 11:7: "WHAT WENT YE OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS TO SEE?"—He's talking to the multitudes concerning John—"a reed shaken with the wind?" Some little preacher preaching his pious pulpit platitudes from behind some pulpit? Huh? A little rustling of the wind in the wind in the reeds? Is that what they went out to see? Let me tell you something, they went out to see a tornado! They went out to see a hurricane for God! Apparently John was like a wild man! They went out to see him burn!

34. APPARENTLY ALMOST FROM THE VERY BEGINNING JOHN LIVED IN THE WILDERNESS, IN THE DESERT. He didn't go to anybody's Bible college, he didn't go to anybody's seminary, he didn't go to anybody's denomination or the Sanhedrin or get an ordination from man. Until his ministry began, he lived out in the wilderness, apparently alone with God. Oh, there might have been a few followers with him, who knows? We don't know. Like David in the cave of Adullam. And he didn't start his ministry to announce the coming of the Lord until Jesus was about to begin His ministry & be baptised of John, then John began his ministry preparing the way of the Lord.

35. NOW JESUS LATER SAID‚ "WHAT DID YOU GO TO SEE? A MAN CLOTHED IN SOFT RAIMENT? Behold they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses!"—The usual preacher all dressed up in his nice pretty clothes? The usual priest or member of the Sanhedrin, is that what they went to see? The usual Scribes & Pharisees? They were a dime a dozen, like preachers today! They don't create any sensation when they walk down the street! But if they walked down the street in a camel's hair‚ rough-looking toga of some kind, with probably pretty wild hair & beard, people would take another look! I'm sure they didn't have any barbers out there in the wilderness or the desert & he probably had a nice husky beard! From all the artists' conceptions of him, he was a pretty wild-looking character, probably bare-footed or sandal-shod & he probably attracted some attention! When he walked down the street, people took another look!

36. ONLY HE DIDN'T WALK DOWN THE STREET, HE STAYED OUT THERE ON THE BANKS OF THE JORDAN IN THE WILDERNESS & THE PEOPLE CAME OUT TO SEE HIM! How about that? There must have been something very unusual about him. He wasn't working any miracles, as far as we know. We know that he predicted a few things & he made one condemnation that lost his head! He told off the king, bawled him out for marrying his brother's wife, & that eventually cost him out for marrying his brother's wife, & that eventually cost him his head. He rebuked the government‚ in other words, he told off the president. How about that? And according to history‚ the president or the king of that day, Herod, had a great deal of respect for him, he didn't want to throw him in prison and he finally didn't want to cut off his head. It just shows you how the members of the System are bound by the System.

37. SO, "WHAT WENT YE OUT FOR TO SEE? A PROPHET?" What did they go to see? The average preacher? The average priest? No! They went to see a prophet! Now, what was John noted for? His miracles? His signs? His wonders? His wonders? Maybe a little bit for his odd looks, his odd dress, his odd appearance, but he was noted most of all for his message‚ that he was a prophet! He was noted most of all for what he was proclaiming‚ what he was saying. They came out for to see a prophet!—Not some little run-of–the-mill preacher, not some little run-of–the-mill robot of the System!

38. "AND FROM THE DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST UNTIL NOW THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN SUFFERETH VIOLENCE, & THE VIOLENT TAKE IT BY FORCE!" "The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence!"—It sounds as though He's talking about those who have suffered for the Kingdom of Heaven, as John did. "And the violent take it by force." A lot of people get violent & want to persecute us. Some have different ways of interpreting this passage. Some interpret it to mean that as John was persecuted & killed by force, speaking of persecution. Kingdom of God by violence, by force, speaking of persecution.

39. BUT THERE'S ONE SCHOOL OF THOUGHT ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THIS VERSE WHICH IS VERY INTERESTING, meaning that John the Baptist was a rather violent man with a rather violent ministry, & that those who really take the Kingdom sometimes have to do it by force, by storm, somewhat violently, maybe yelling in department stores & churches! There have been a number of prophecies in our midst saying that our ministry was like that of John the Baptist, preparing the way for the coming of the Lord.

40. "FOR ALL THE PROPHETS & THE LAW PROPHESIED UNTIL JOHN, & if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come."—John! "He that hath ears to hear let him hear!"—You know, this particular phrase is not used very often in the Gospels‚ although it's used very much in the Book of Revelation, but Jesus uses it here. Now why does He use it so often in the Book of Revelation? The Book of Revelation is a pretty complicated book with a lot of hidden meanings. And Jesus is as good as saying in this very passage here where He's talking that there's a meaning here that you may not get unless you listen carefully! And the meaning here‚ I think, is clear, that John the Baptist was that Elijah which was for to come, because Jesus said so! "This is Elijah which was for to come." Not just will be or this was, but "this is", He's saying. John the Baptist & his ministry was the Elijah which He was speaking of which was for to come before the coming of the Lord.

41. BUT THE LORD HAS SPOKEN TO US MANY TIMES THAT WE TODAY, THIS GROUP, LIKE JOHN BAPTIST, ARE ALSO PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD, turning the hearts of the people to the Lord, preparing the way of the Lord, warning them that Jesus is coming soon, warning them that the judgements are coming soon, warning them that the end is nigh & that now is the time to repent & turn unto the Lord! Hasn't that been your ministry? Hasn't that been your message? Hasn't that been your cry? Haven't those been your prophecies? So like John the Baptist, you're preparing the way of the Lord! PG!

42. ALL RIGHT, BACK TO OUR CHRISTMAS STORY!—The prophecy which the angel was making about John the Baptist was what brought all of this on in the first chapter of Luke, & we were going through of this on in the first chapter of Luke‚ & we were going through the 17th verse, "And he shall go before him in the spirit & power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children." I wonder how successful John was at that? We haven't been very successful along that line. How are you doing with your father, Barbara? How you doing with your father, Becky? It's a little problem, turning the hearts of the fathers to the children! So a part of our ministry is to try to turn the hearts of the fathers, the parents, to the children. But apparently it must be a difficult ministry because it was one of the ministries of John the Baptist, to try to turn the hearts of the parents to their children, think of that, a part of his ministry! This guy had a lot of tough jobs, let me tell you!—Looking like a wild man, screaming out in the wilderness like a wild man‚ behaving like a prophet & trying to turn the hearts of the parents to their children!

43. (JETH: MAYBE THEN HIS MINISTRY WAS TO THE CHILDREN, THE YOUTH.) That could be! Jeth has a thought there, that largely his ministry, therefore, must have been the youth, trying to get the fathers, the parents, on the youth's side. (Job: They must have thought of his appearance the same way they do of ours now, huh!) I thought you got that point several times! I didn't think I had to explain that! Ha! I kept emphasising that! I thought you got it by inference! But I see I've got to spell it out for some of you. By all means! I kept saying, he looked like a wild man! Ha! To the establishment we look pretty wild! And he yelled like a wild man, no doubt, as a prophet. He was no little reed shaken in the wind‚ no little breeze, he was a hurricane, praise God? He probably roared some of those warnings, as you have!

44. "AND THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST." Wow! Who's the major body of disobedient people you know today?—The church! Well, you can't expect much of the ungodly unsaved World, can you? You wouldn't expect them to obey. But what about the people who are supposed to be obeying, the church? And this is what was said of him, & in another passage, "to turn Israel to the Lord." Israel was whom?—A type of the church. It was the church of his day. Israel was the church of that day.

45. SO A LARGE PART OF OUR MINISTRY HAS BEEN TO TRY TO DO WHAT? (Family: To get the church to obey.) They say we attack'm, well‚ in a way we do. They say we go there to disrupt & to disturb. We don't intentionally go there to disrupt & disturb. If they will behave, & if they will be obedient‚ & if they will follow the Lord, it won't disrupt or disturb them. The only thing that disturbs them is the fact that when they hear your message, they know they're not obeying it! That's what disturbs them! The only thing that disturbs them is the fact that when they hear your message‚ they know they're not obeying it! That's what disturbs them! The only thing that disrupts is the fact that you're preaching something that is contrary to what they're doing & that disrupts what they're doing, & they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing! You're disrupting their usual pattern; you're disrupting their conformity & their traditionalism & their ceremonialism & you're trying to get them to do the will of God!

46. SO THAT'S NOT AN EASY JOB "TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST." What do you think the wisdom of the just is? (Family: The truth.) Amen, it's right here. (Taps Bible.) Praise God? "And to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Would you say the church of Jesus Christ in general is prepared for the coming of Lord today? I don't think in any time in history it's been so unprepared! I don't think any time in history has the church been less prepared & really less looking for His coming. Oh, they talk a lot about it, they say a lot about it: "Oh, if Jesus would just come today!" But they are living & they are building as though they expected to live here forever!

47. WHAT CHRISTIANS DO YOU KNOW OF THAT ARE LIVING AS THOUGH THEY REALLY EXPECTED THE LORD TO COME BACK AT ANY TIME? They're all proclaiming it, but most of them won't believe our message, that the Antichrist & the Tribulation are going to come first. "Oh no no no, that's wrong! He's going to come any minute! Jesus is coming right now, any day!" But how are they living? They're not living like they expect Him to come back any minute. They don't even live like they expect Him to come when we think He's going to come. They live as though the never expected Him to come back for a hundred or a thousand years! God help us! They're not preparing! They're not ready! They're not prepared for the Lord, much less the Antichrist!

48. "AND ZACHARIAS SAID UNTO THE ANGEL, WHEREBY SHALL I KNOW THIS? For I am an old man, & my wife well stricken in years." "Come on Lord, who're ya kidding? We can't have children now!" Ha! "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God; & am sent to speak unto thee, & to show thee these glad tidings." He's saying‚ "Listen man! Whaddya think this is? I'm an angel! Take a look!—You don't even believe me?" Ha! "And behold‚ thou shalt be dumb, & not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season."

49. DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME AN ANGEL COULD APPEAR TO YOU & TALK TO YOU & YOU WOULDN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT? Jesus Christ appeared unto many people & talked to them personally & they didn't believe it! And the church says today "Oh yes, but if He would come today‚ oh, how wonderful that would be & I would believe it!" Baloney! They don't believe this! "Neither would they believe though one should come back from the dead!" (Lk.16:31.)

50. "AND THE PEOPLE WAITED FOR ZACHARIAS, & MARVELLED THAT HE TARRIED SO LONG IN THE TEMPLE. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: & they perceived that he had seen a vision in the Temple: for he beckoned them, & remained speechless. And it came to pass that as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished‚ he departed to his own house." Did he quit working because he couldn't talk? Did he stop working for the Lord? He kept on working, doing the best he could.

51. NOW YOU SEE THEY TOOK THEIR TURNS: THEY CAME, MINISTERED IN THE TEMPLE, & WENT HOME. They didn't just have one guy that did all the ministering all the time, some preacher that was a big shot all the time, but they took turns. The Jewish Temple was a very democratic set-up. They had a lot of priests & a lot of laymen who ministered there, & nearly everybody had their chance. I think we're more like that than any church I know of. The old Quaker church used to be that way, they deliberately sat around in a circle, the Brethren Church is that way. They deliberately didn't have a stage up front or a pulpit, to show that God could work through anybody in the circle. In form, at least‚ they're supposedly sharing the ministration of the Spirit.

52. BUT I THINK OF ANY CHURCH I KNOW OF‚ YOU GUYS HAVE MORE TO SAY THAN ANY CHURCH I EVER PREACHED TO, THAT'S FOR SURE! In fact‚ I have a hard time sometimes getting through what I'm trying to say! Ha! But I like that! Like school, I loved to teach school because the students could participate, ask questions‚ make comments & get answers, & that's the way you learn. People that just sit around & go to sleep while the preacher is droning on & on, learn little or nothing. And as my wife was remarking after service last Sunday morning, how in the World do they expect those people to learn anything when they only go to church one hour a week? What do they expect to accomplish? She said she discussed it with a reporter.

53. SHE SAID, IN ANYTHING YOU DO, WHAT CAN YOU ACCOMPLISH IN ONE HOUR? What job of any kind that you know of can you really accomplish in one hour? You can hardly even see a movie on TV in one hour! You don't go to school for just one hour a week! You don't go to work just one hour a week! You don't take exercise just one hour a week! You don't study just one hour a week! You don't eat just one hour a week! My God! What does the church expect to accomplish in only one hour a week? Well, I'll tell you what you've accomplished, they've accomplished little or nothing! That's the mess they're in today!

54. WHAT COULD THEY EXPECT TO ACCOMPLISH IN ONE HOUR A WEEK? About all they've got time to do is make the announcements & raise the offering so they can build another building & add a little spiritual thought on the tail end. Oh, give'm a lot of entertainment & music—of course they've got to plug right through those real fast with the war department. That's what my grandfather used to call it in his church. He was a builder of churches many years—50 of'm in his lifetime!—& he always called the Musical Department the War Department!—Ha!

55. IN EACH OF THE CASES WHERE THE PASTORS HAVE INVITED US TO THEIR CHURCHES, I have asked the pastor, "You know, we've got some very talented young people who play guitar & sing. Of course, it's folk music but they have a few conservative numbers that they could offer, or maybe even one little number in church"—I asked hesitantly, timidly. And they all hesitated & cleared their throats & said, "Well, you know, I'll have to consult my musical director on that or my choir director on that" & so on. I said, "Yes, I know. I was a pastor for years too, & my fathers before me‚ & I know how it is with the War Department!" Ha!

56. YOU MUSICIANS HAVE A REPUTATION OF BEING TEMPERMENTAL!—90% TEMPER & 10% MENTAL! Temper-mental! I hope our musicians here are not like that! But they're notoriously sensitive, so you have to handle the choir & musicians with kid gloves, let me tell you! You don't dare eliminate one number to squeeze in something else at the last minute, or you may lose some members! And after all‚ members are everything, because you'd do anything to get members, 'cause that's more money & more buildings & more power!

57. WHAT CAN THEY DO IN ONE HOUR IN THE MORNING?! Just take the collection, make a few announcements & add a little Scripture, maybe, & that's supposed to do the people how much good all week? What kind of Christians is that going to make'm all week long? For after all, they're doing what they're supposed to do according to the church—get out there, work their eight hours a day, earn enough money so they can come back & put plenty in the offering next Sunday. You support me & I'll do the job! Well, we've kind of got it reversed in this church! I do my best to support you & I try to get you out to do the job! Praise God? That's the way Jesus did it, amen? Well, TYL!

58. THIS WAS A TOUGH MINISTRY DEAR JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD, & he wasn't a member of the Baptist church incidently! He didn't even found the Baptist church. In fact, he'd probably be ashamed of the Baptist church. God bless the Baptists who love the Lord, don't misunderstand me. Thank God for all Christians, thank God for all true churches of Jesus Christ, whatever their denomination, don't misunderstand me. I really get teed off at'm sometimes. I get so mad, I scream! Maybe that's why the Lord's keeping me from screaming for awhile. It just makes me angry!

59. BUT HOW ARE THEY GOING TO KNOW UNLESS YOU TELL'M? Their preachers aren't telling'm. And how's the preacher going to know unless you tell him? Because their seminary didn't tell'm. And how's the seminary going to know unless you tell'm? Because the denomination didn't tell'm. How's the denomination going to know unless you tell'm? Their forefathers didn't tell'm!

60. THEY'VE BEEN IN THE SAME RUT FOR GENERATIONS, same rut ever since they cleaned out that pagan temple in Rome in 222 AD & put up new idols & new pictures & a new priesthood & called it Christian—sad day for the church! Before that they were doing a pretty good job, up till then, but that was the beginning of the end. That was the first church building in history. First building ever used exclusively for the purposes of Christian worship recorded in history is that building in Rome 222 AD, & it was an old renovated pagan temple. All right, where are we?

61. "AS SOON AS THE DAYS OF HIS MINISTRATION WERE ACCOMPLISHED‚ HE DEPARTED TO HIS OWN HOUSE." They took turns ministering in the Temple. He went home. "And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived & hid herself five months, saying‚ Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." Was she thankful? (Family: Amen!) What did she mean by "take away my reproach"? You mean it was a reproach to have family planning? It was a reproach to restrict the population explosion? You mean to tell me that birth control was a reproach? That it was a reproach not to have children? Yes!

62. IT WAS A SHAME & A REPROACH TO A WOMAN NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THAT DAY! I think maybe a little bit along that line even today unless God has separated you utterly to His service. Even Paul who seemed to sound like he's so much against marriage sometimes, says "nevertheless let the younger women marry & bear children!" (1Tim.5:14.) He doesn't say the old woman or the old maids, but the younger women!—And you can have kids pretty young‚ as a lot of girls have found out! But that was God's plan‚ that was God's way, & if a woman didn't have children in that day it was considered a terrible reproach that God must have cursed her, she must be a terrible sinner of some kind—struck barren! And some women are struck barren, did you know that? Some women couldn't have children if they tried.

63. IN THAT RECENT REPORT ON HUMAN SEXUALITY WRITTEN BY THOSE TWO DOCTORS‚ MASTERS & JOHNSTON, they discovered that certain women who cannot have children have some kind of acid or fluid or something in their female organs which kills the sperm the minute it hits that organ! It doesn't last a fraction of a second‚ it kills it. And it's not a disease, not diseased women, either. It's not women that have some kind of disease, but perfectly healthy normal women in every other respect. There's something there that God has allowed that kills the sperm immediately. They've been struck barren by the Lord, couldn't have a child no matter how hard they tried. So it was a reproach to be barren in those days.

64. "AND IN THE SIXTH MONTH THE ANGEL GABRIEL WAS SENT FROM GOD UNTO A CITY OF GALILEE NAMED NAZARETH, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary." What does this mean, "espoused"? Let's don't use that word "engaged," it doesn't mean a thing today. Betrothed, promised! They hadn't actually lived together yet. "And the angel came in unto her, & said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

65. I'M GOING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING VERY SHOCKING HERE! I don't know whether you're strong enough to bear it or not. I don't know just what this means or how it happened or how God did it, but I will tell you this much: From constant usage in the Scripture throughout the whole Bible, this terminology here "came in unto her" usually meant the sex act! Now Jesus was the child of God, He was the Son of Jehovah, right? But if God means by this that He used the Angel Gabriel as a part of God Himself, representing God to accomplish the act, that I don't know, but it's something to think about for people that theorise about how God did it. I don't know‚ I'm just telling you the meanings here as they are in other passages.

66. DON'T GO OUT OF HERE & SAY THAT I SAID JESUS WAS THE SON OF GABRIEL—HE WAS NOT! HE WAS THE SON OF GOD! But God had to do it somehow. The Mormons have a theory that God took on human form, a so–called theophany, or a godly body, & accomplished the purpose this way. Well, what happened, we don't know, you can theorise all you want, but God did it—that we know! Amen? No man had done this thing, she was a virgin. Some theorise that perhaps an angel was the instrument‚ but personally I'd come closer to agreeing with the Mormons, that God Himself took on a body to accomplish it, or God could have created His own within the womb. "But the angel came in unto her & said, Hail‚ thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, & cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be." Certainly she was surprised! "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God."

67. HISTORIANS THEORISE THAT HER AGE WAS ABOUT 16 AT THIS TIME. I don't know where they get that, but that's what they say, about 16. "Oh no," society would say today, "she should have waited till at least she was 18 or 21! I wonder if her parents gave acceptance! You've got to finish college first. You can go out & live all you want to with any number of men‚ but just don't get married yet!" Our modern society & its mores & its standards of morality so–called, or standards of immorality, & its laws‚ literally encourage the immorality of youth today! We have had parents tell us with their own mouths, they offer to set the young people up in an apartment & let'm live together rather than let them get married. "We don't mind you living with a girl, but just don't marry her!"

68. MODERN SOCIETY CONDONES IMMORALITY! IT ENCOURAGES IMMORALITY! Its laws almost compel immorality amongst young people, forbidding them to marry without parents' consent, & the parents forbid them to marry, so my God, what are they going to do? We've got cases in our own midst where they've had problems along that line. Society, parents & the laws forbid them to obey the will of God! Now you can understand with wicked parents having wicked children, why they should be concerned about these things & figure, well, they don't have enough sense to get married until they're 18 or 21. Let me tell you, if they haven't got God, they'll never have enough sense to get married! And it doesn't matter how much they marry or how many times‚ they'll still not have enough sense to stay married or have a decent marriage or a happy marriage! I don't care how old you are, age has nothing to do with it. If God is in it they could get married at 12 & it still be of God!

69. NOW TAKE THAT OUT & SHOCK SOMEBODY WITH IT! Ha! But please don't, because, boy, they think we're crazy enough as it is! Please don't tell them I said so! They'll come right down here with a warrant for encouraging juvenile delinquency & contributing to the delinquency of a minor! Oh, they're probably going to try that on me one of these days. They're probably preparing their cases now, saying I caused it all & I encouraged all this & you're breaking the law in school because I encouraged you to do so. I had two principals challenge me and tell me that very thing. So I have an idea the way they're beginning to work.

70. WELL, THE CHURCH HAS MADE ALL THESE THINGS SO ETHEREAL & SO SPIRITUAL & SO FAR AWAY! I'm trying to bring it down to Earth & show you how human in was, how literal it was, how real it was, it happened to a woman, who was a woman just like you! And it happened literally! She literally conceived and bare a child without any human agency! How it happened, I don't know. We have God's Word‚ & that's all we know. How the Holy Ghost did it, we don't know.

71. "AND BEHOLD, THOU SHALT CONCEIVE IN THY WOMB & BRING FORTH A SON‚ & SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS. He shall be great & shall be called the Son of the Highest: & the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; & of His Kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"—which shows obviously she hadn't yet married her husband. "And the angel answered & said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, & the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

72. "AND BEHOLD, THY COUSIN ELISABETH, SHE HATH ALSO CONCEIVED A SON IN HER OLD AGE: and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren." Now where was Mary? What was her hometown? Where was she living? (Family: Nazareth.) Where was that? Well, it was way up North near the Sea of Galilee, quite a ways North of Jerusalem—a long journey. I think it was about a three days journey, they figured about 25 miles a day in those days, it was quite a distance North. Where did Elisabeth & Zacharias live? Well, apparently they must have lived fairly close to Jerusalem, because he was a Levite & a priest & a regular minister there. So later when Mary came to visit her cousin Elisabeth, she had to make quite a trip! So God is appearing, His angel is appearing to these two different women in two different places, & also to the husband Zacharias.

73. SO IT WASN'T EASY, BUT NEVERTHELESS, LISTEN TO WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY—a little 16-year-old girl who loved & believed God so much! They say, "Ah, these teenagers, what do they know? What can they do?" I'll tell you what they know, they know enough to know the World's in a mess! And I'll tell you what they can do, they can take it over! And they can even be the Mother of the Son of God! She was! "Oh, how could my daughter, only 16, know anything about God or religion at that age? She's crazy! She's gone fanatical on religion down at that Light Club!"

74. MARY WAS SO YIELDED TO GOD, SO DEDICATED, SO CONSECRATED, & LOVED THE LORD SO MUCH‚ that though she was already betrothed to another man, she was willing to say what? What was her answer? (Family: "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy Word. And the angel departed from her.") "Here am I, Lord! Take me! Whatever You want to do‚ Lord!" Are you willing? Even if it almost breaks up your engagement? Even if your loved one maybe can't understand? Are you willing to say, "Lord, here am I! Behold, I'm Your handmaiden, I'm Your servant!"

75. YOU KNOW, WE GLOSS THESE THINGS OVER WITH SUCH BEAUTIFUL LITTLE SUNDAY SCHOOL PICTURES & we don't really know the agony & the torment of soul & the battle that some of these people may have had! Mary was just as human as you are! Joseph was just as human as you are! All these characters were. But the churches gloss them & glaze them over into a separate sphere of the untouchables: "These holy ones! Nobody ever like them any more! Nobody could ever be like them any more! This is something special, it only happened once and there's not going to be any prophets or any priests or anything like that any more! No more. It all happened way back 2,000 years ago & forget about it. We've got our own way now; we've got our own system now. The church can't be expected to live that way today." How many times have you heard this?

76. BUT MARY SAID, "BEHOLD THE HANDMAID OF THE LORD; Be it"—how?—"Be it unto me according to Thy Word." Not according to the System, not according to her betrothal, not according to her love for her loved one, not according to her family‚ not according to the society of even her day‚ but "be it unto me according to Thy Word." Are you willing to say that: "Be it unto me, O Lord‚ according to Thy Word?" Not according to what they say, not according to what they do‚ not according to what they preach, but according to Thy Word. Wow! This gal must have had a lot of faith in the Word of God! Amen? TYJ! TYL!

77. WELL, THIS IS SUCH A BIG SUBJECT IT MAY TAKE US ALL WEEK TO GET THROUGH IT! "The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."—Let's finish this part, anyhow, and perhaps we can go on and continue it. I didn't get here before Christmas‚ but we might be able to have the Christmas Story all week. "And Mary arose in those days & went into the hill country with haste into a city of Judah & entered into the house of Zacharias, & saluted Elisabeth."

78. "AND IT CAME TO PASS THAT WHEN ELISABETH HEARD THE SALUTATION OF MARY‚ THE BABE LEAPED IN HER WOMB!"—What babe? (Family: John the Baptist!) Why? (Family: Because he knew that Christ was there.) He was filled with the Holy Ghost, even in His mother's womb, & the Holy Spirit within him, even though he was not yet born, caused him to leap at the sound of Mary, His Lord's mother's voice—as you'll see by what she said!

79. "AND ELISABETH WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST." "Oh, you mean people got filled with the Holy Ghost even before the day of Pentecost?" Certain special people. And she spake out with a loud voice & said one of the most beautiful of all prophecies! What was she doing?—Prophesying! This is commonly known in the liturgy of the church a "The Magnificat," this & Mary's prophecies together. "Blessed art thou among women, & blessed is the fruit of thy womb." How many times have you heard that? In the Rosary they say this seven times to every time they mention the Lord, they praise Mary. I think that's a little out of proportion. "Hail Mary full of grace, blessed art thou among women‚ & blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Very good saying, praise God‚ but it's not to be used out of proportion, above praising the Lord, amen?

80. "AND WHENCE IS THIS TO ME, THAT THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME? For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy! And blessed is she that believed." Now who's she talking about? The Spirit is speaking through whom? (Family: Elisabeth.) And who's the Spirit speaking about, "blessed is she that believed"? (Family: Mary!) Mary, because she believed the Word of the Lord. Did it take faith for Mary to accept what Gabriel said?—It took faith! "Blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, & my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."

81. (SINGS:) "MY SOUL DOTH MAGNIFY THE LORD!" This is a part of that beautiful Magnificat in the "Hallelujah Chorus" of Handel's "Messiah", one of the most beautiful Scriptural pieces ever written, inspired of God by that Jew who was converted to Christ! PTL! Beautiful, beautiful thing, I wish you could hear it some time. "My soul doth magnify the Lord, & my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden."

82. DID SHE THINK SHE WAS SOMEBODY? She felt she was very small & insignificant‚ a humble little 16-year-old girl. "For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." Have they? "Hail Mary full of grace, blessed art thou among women & blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." The whole Catholic church call her blessed‚ hundreds‚ thousands‚ no doubt millions of times every day, & have for centuries, generations! "All generations shall call me blessed!"

83. "FOR HE THAT IS MIGHTY HATH DONE TO ME GREAT THINGS; & Holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, & exalted them of low degree." Did God pick for the mother of His Son the wife of the wife of the High Priest? (Family: No!) The wife of the Roman Governor? The wife of the King? Huh? (Family: No!) Wake up! Did God pick the husbands or the wives of the leading citizens of this community to bring the message? Well, perhaps a few. But the Lord regarded the low estate of His handmaiden, He picked a child—the children!

84. "HE HATH FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; & THE RICH HE HATH SENT EMPTY AWAY."—There's one for you to mark! Those over- stuffed toads up there in the average church—over-stuffed materially‚ over-stuffed even with churchianity—they think they have everything. Are they the ones that have received the news? Are they the ones where God is working? Are they the ones that have been baptised with the Holy Ghost? Are they the vessels that God has chosen? No! He passed right over them & came down to a few little humble hungry teenagers—hungry! He came to the hungry.

85. WHO ARE THE HUNGRY?—THOSE WILLING TO RECEIVE HIM, RIGHT? The hungry! "He hath filled the hungry with good things." Has He satisfied your hearts, Beloved? But those rich He hath sent empty away! Think not that they shall receive anything from the Lord. Empty away! What can you give the man who has everything? (Family: Jesus.) They've got everything, they don't want Jesus or anything else. They think they've got everything. What can you give the man who has everything? He doesn't even want Jesus! He sent the rich empty away. They think they're full‚ but they're empty.

86. "HE HATH HOLPEN HIS SERVANT ISRAEL, IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIS MERCY." Now that has great significance. Through sending Jesus, how did He help Israel? Who are Israel? Who were Israel at that time? The Jews, His church of that day. "In remembrance of His mercy. He remembered what He promised, & in mercy He gave them the Messiah, amen? "As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham & to his seed forever." See? In other words, He's fulfilling His Word to Israel.

87. "AND MARY ABODE WITH HER ABOUT THREE MONTHS, & RETURNED TO HER OWN HOUSE." How do you think Mary looked by this time? (Family: She was about three months pregnant.) Do you think it was easy to go home? When do you think it was that Joseph discovered that she was with child? Probably after this visit with her cousin Elisabeth. Do you think it was easy for her to go home? To face Joseph? Gone from home for three months, comes home pregnant? It you were Joseph, what would you think? "My wife was gone to visit her cousin for three months & comes home pregnant!" Do you want to know that he thought? Because this is probably about the time that she came home. Let's turn to Matthew 1:18:

88. "NOW THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST WAS ON THIS WISE: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man & not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." Apparently Mary hadn't had the courage to tell him what the Lord had said, or if she had, he didn't believe it. Would you believe it if your wife came home from a visit with her cousin & told you‚ "Well, an angel came along & did this to me." Or, "the Spirit of God came & did this to me." Would you believe it? I doubt if you'd believe it! He probably thought, "Well, my poor wife got in trouble so she's just kind of gone off her rocker & this is the story she cooked up!" So what did God have to do? (Mt.1:20-21.)

89. "BUT WHILE HE THOUGHT ON THESE THINGS, THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM IN A DREAM, saying, Joseph‚ thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, & thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." You know, Mary apparently was so in touch with the Lord & in the Spirit, did it say that the angel appeared to her in a dream? (Family:No.) You know, some of us God has to put to sleep before He can get us in the Spirit. Sometimes God can talk to some people easier in a dream or asleep in the Spirit than face-to-face while they're awake. Praise God, I must be one of those, I've gotten a lot of revelations in my sleep. But I've had a lot of them awake too.

90. "NOW ALL THIS WAS DONE, THAT IT MIGHT BE FULFILLED WHICH WAS SPOKEN OF THE LORD BY THE PROPHET‚ saying‚ Behold‚ a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." So then what did Joseph do? "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, & took unto him his wife: & knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn Son: & he called His Name Jesus."

91. NOW WE'VE GOT SOMEBODY ELSE EXERCISING FAITH! Do you think that was easy? He was willing to live separately from her for nine months, at least six months after he probably discovered it, until the baby was born! Amen? Here's another man obedient & had faith! He was a little confused at first & it wasn't easy‚ but he obeyed. Praise God? Well, let's just finish this about John & we'll conclude for today. Because we've been reading the story about Elisabeth & Zacharias & John, so we'd better finish it.

92. "NOW ELISABETH'S FULL TIME CAME THAT SHE SHOULD BE DELIVERED; & she brought forth a son. And her neighbours & her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; & they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; & they called his name Zacharias after the name of his father. And his mother answered & said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made sings to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, & wrote, saying, His name is John." Why? The angel of the Lord told him to call him John!

93. SEE THAT? AGAIN, OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD, AMEN? Obedience is so important! You see, disobedience struck him dumb, but when he finally exercised faith & obeyed the Lord‚ what happened? Read it: ("His mouth was opened immediately‚ & his tongue loosed, & he spake, & praised God.") Hallelujah! Now get this next verse: "And fear came upon all them that dwelt round about them: & all these sayings were noise abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea." (Family: Like the newspapers!) That's exactly what I thought about when I read it.

94. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE? WHY ARE THEY SO AFRAID OF US? Let's face it, it's the power of God! They're afraid of God, & you represent God! They're afraid of God! You may be sorry you wanted me to come back down here, 'cause it seems like every time I come down here, I not only keep you a long time, but we stir up more trouble! Praise God! "Fear came on all that dwelt round about them."

95. THIS COMMUNITY IS ACTUALLY AFRAID OF US! Why do they get all uptight when we walk into a church? They're scared! They're afraid! What are they afraid of? I don't think they know what they're afraid of, but it's God, let's face it! Part of it's the fear of the unknown, no doubt, they don't know what you came for, they don't know what you came to do, afraid of what you might do; people are just afraid of the hippies‚ period!—& a lot of people are afraid of teenagers! You got'm scared, kids! Hallelujah! You got'm scared!

96. "AND ALL THEY THAT HEARD THEM LAID THEM UP IN THEIR HEARTS, SAYING, WHAT MANNER OF CHILD SHALL THIS BE! And the hand of the Lord was with him." Who? (Family: John.) Praise God! "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, & prophesied." Wow! Now how many prophets have we got? Elisabeth prophesied, Mary prophesied, & now Zacharias is going to going to prophesy! Praise God‚ aren't they beautiful? It sounds like Old Testament poetry, doesn't it? Just beautiful! Beautiful, beautiful! "Saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited & redeemed His people, & hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the World began." How long had this event been predicted?-Since God talked with Eve in the Garden of Eden! "Her seed shall crush thy head." (Gen.3:15.)

97. "THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED FROM OUR ENEMIES‚ & FROM THE HAND OF ALL THEM THAT HATE US." Do you need that? Do you need that today? God bless you! Get excited! Did you hear what the Lord just promised you? He's going to save you from your enemies & the hand of all that hate you! You'd better remember that, the next time you go yelling through some department store! Now‚ that doesn't mean they won't arrest you & take you to jail, that's maybe where God wants you. Amen? The guys in jail may need it.

98. "TO PERFORM THE MERCY PROMISED TO OUR FATHERS, & to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us‚ that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear‚ in holiness & righteousness before Him, all the days of our life." You mean we're not supposed to be afraid of our enemies? No indeed! The Devil tries to make you afraid, sometimes he does, but that's Devil tries to make you afraid, sometimes he does, but that's one thing they marvelled at them, their boldness, that they weren't afraid! Who gives you that kind of courage?-When you want to prophesy in that church? God has to, praise God!

99. "AND THOU, CHILD, SHALT BE CALLED THE PROPHET OF THE HIGHEST." Beloved‚ I believe God is speaking to you here—can you receive it? "And thou child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways: to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness & in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Praise God? Hallelujah? TYJ! Amen amen amen! "And the child grew, & waxed strong in spirit‚ & was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." PG!

100. WELL, THAT WAS MOSTLY ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST, because this was a kind of a private session this afternoon just for you. I guess tonight we can have the Christmas Story if you want anymore. PTL? Hallelujah? TYL! Can you take that to heart? Does that sound like your ministry? "To give light to those that sit in darkness"? Isn't that beautiful? Does that sound like what you're doing? Does it? "To give light to them that sit in darkness & in the shadow of death". How about these kids you're talking to, that are on dope & drugs & whatnot? Let me tell you, they're in the shadow of death!

101. "TO GUIDE OUR FEET INTO THE WAY OF PEACE." You say, "Wow, Lord, most of the place our feet are guided to seem to bring trouble!" It will bring you peace with God. It may mean war with man, but it's peace with God. How did you feel when you came home last night? Did you feel when you came home last night? Did you feel at peace with God? You may have had a little war with man, but you felt that wonderful satisfaction, that peace with God, "I've accomplished what God sent me to do!" PG?

102. LET'S STAND, SHALL WE‚ & GIVE THANKS. (Everyone praises!) Amen, Lord, have You anything to add to that? Thy will be done‚ TYJ! "Even so be it unto Thy handmaiden according to Thy Word." Maybe the Lord's trying to speak through a handmaiden. (A handmaiden prophecies: "For I have heard & regarded the low estate of these My handmaidens & these My servants, & I have heard their cry & will answer them & will fulfil the desires of their hearts because they been faithful unto Me. Therefore, saith the Lord, incline you ear unto Me, incline your ear unto the Words of My mouth, for I will say unto thee a parable, that I would desire thee to be as the wheat in the field when the wind bloweth over it, it is planted & firmly grounded. Therefore My children, stand fast, have faith in Me, & I will hear & regard Thy cry.") Isn't that beautiful? TYL!

103. THE WIND REPRESENTING A TIME TO TROUBLE, but your roots are going to be strong & the Lord's going to uphold you in that time soon to come. When the winds of adversity & the storm strikes, God is going to cause you to stand! Isn't that wonderful? Because He hath beheld your low estate & your obedience & you've been faithful, when all others are falling, you're going to stand! Hallelujah! TYL! PYL! (Another handmaiden prophesies: )

104. ("MAKE IT KNOWN‚ MY PEOPLE‚ THAT THY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED, that the Lord has heard thee. That thy prayers are as sweet-smelling burning incense unto My nostrils, that the Lord has lifted up His countenance unto His babes & His lambs, & that He loves thee, My people, & that He abides & manifests Himself in thee. Make known, proclaim the good news of the Gospel, Emmanuel‚ the Lord Jesus Christ! So therefore go & preach the Word, preach the Gospel, be instant in season & out of season, proclaim the good news through all the land, in the highways & the streets & the hedges. Go therefore, My children, go forth & tell them of My love, My wondrous love, My great love & My mercy that endureth for ever! Cease not to teach & preach the Love of Jesus!") Amen, Lord. "I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, & your sons & your daughters shall prophesy, upon My servants & upon My handmaidens will I pour out of My Spirit!" TYL! (A prophet prophecies:)

105. ("THE WORD OF THE LORD HATH THIS DAY COME UNTO ME saying that there would be many, yea, many among you that shall see the dawning of a new day! And in this new day shall come persecution. For yea, the Lord would say unto thee, through persecution I did make My children white, that I may see them. For yea‚ I do not want to look upon them for they themselves are evil, but yea as they are persecuted they find in themselves nothing & turn to the Lord & God Himself. Therefore the Lord would say unto thee, I will send this persecution, let it be known unto thee that it shall be a blessing unto thee. For yea, I say unto thee‚ in the time to hardship I shall be made strong within thee. The Lord hath chosen thee & asked thee & told thee which way thou shalt go, & the Lord hath said unto thee, go ye therefore to the temple, proclaim unto them the truth, & they shall know when the destruction is come that a prophet has been among them!")

106. PRAISE GOD! TYJ! THAT'S THE MINISTRY, THE MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight! TYJ! Well, I think your dinner is waiting, we're going to open the gifts, I believe now. You've heard from His Word, from the Lord, wonderful beautiful things. The Lord sure must love you, He's so good to you! Amen Lord‚ we thank You for confirming Thy Word with signs following.

107. I'LL TELL YOU SOMETHING VERY REMARKABLE THAT HAPPENED JUST NOW when we got up to pray and ask the Lord to speak. Remember the Scripture that came about His handmaiden? I knew the Lord was wanting to speak through you girls. You see, the emphasis of the passages we've been studying had a lot to do with women, right? So the Lord wanted to use you women & show you what He could do through you to speak to us today. I knew that Cheryl had a message‚ I could feel it through her hand, praise God, she was just quivering with it! I thought surely she was going to be first, but the Lord wanted to show that He could speak from any direction, & it was beautiful, all of it! TYL! PTL! TYJ!

108. THE LORD'S SO FAITHFUL! If you'll just mind those little quickenings of the Spirit, those little things that God speaks to your heart, & trust & have faith that it's of God & act on it, you'll see that it's true! That's all I do, that's all anyone does that's used of the Lord in any way. PTL! That's what they had to do. It takes faith to speak in tongues, it takes faith to prophesy, it takes faith to interpret. It takes faith! You have to go step by step, word by word, praise the Lord!

109. AMEN, LORD‚ WE THANK THEE FOR THESE LOVELY GIFTS‚ LORD‚ THAT THOU HAS PROVIDED through the loving care & thoughtfulness of loved ones who gently wrapped them & tied them & made them look so pretty. Bless them Lord for this little touch. We're not much on Christmas in that respect, Lord‚ we put Thee first & Thy work; & yet, Lord, there are those who have had a little thoughtfulness for our material needs & desires, & we thank Thee for providing these things. Bless them for their kindness & their generosity, Lord, & their thoughtfulness, Lord, & their time that it took. Bless them for it, Lord, those that minister to our bodies, in Jesus' name. Amen! TYL!

110. (A BROTHER: I GOT SOMETHING FROM THE LORD, "cause us not to turn & run". I know all the guys that went on the attack with me yesterday, I know I did‚ I started giving the message & then as soon as I stopped, I didn't stick around to wait to see if there was any more, & I really felt convicted for it. Some of the guys got the whole thing out & a lot of the guys got scared out of it. So let's just pray that we could have the boldness just to stand there until they kick us out! Just keep giving it until they kick us out.)

111. I'M BEGINNING TO THINK SOME OF YOU GUYS WANT TO GO TO JAIL! His will be done. Well, I'm glad‚ maybe it was for my sake that you didn't have to go to jail on Christmas, I'm glad you're still here & we had Christmas together. Now Christmas is over, I don't know! Remember when Jeroboam stretched forth his hand to arrest the young prophet? It withered right up & he couldn't have bring it back again. (1Kg.13:4.) I think maybe times like that are coming!

112. AT LEAST THEY KNOW US NOW, SO THEY KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. The Lord has caused that to let'm sort of tolerate you. They figure, well, you'll just go to jail & that will be a whole lot of trouble & expense, they might as well just shoo you off & get rid of you! And they know that you're not some Communist or something now & that they don't have to fear any violence or riot from it, so in other words you're not really a threat to the peace. It's a good thing they know what you are. Just like John the Baptist, the king even got familiar with him & to respect him & to know that he was a man of God & preaching the truth. Of course‚ he finally killed him, but in the meantime he let him get away with it for a long time. PTL? Amen! And sometimes" they durst not touch Jesus for fear of the people." (Mk.12:12; Lk.20:19.)

113. (PROPHECY FROM AARON: "WILT THOU BE A PROPHET OF THE LORD? THOU MUST PAY THE PROPHET'S COST‚ thou must pay the price of being a prophet, saith the Lord. For behold, I have said, because thou servest not the Lord thy god with joyfulness of heart & gladness, therefore shall many curses come upon thee. I have said this to others, let it not happen to thee! I have said now therefore mend your ways & your doings & the Lord will repent Him of the evil that He hath pronounced against you, & obey the voice of the Lord your God, even as I have said this through the mouth of My prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 26:13, even so do it, saith the Lord.

114. ("FOR BEHOLD I HAVE SAID MAKE NOT PROVISION FOR THE FLESH TO FULFIL THE LUSTS THERE OF, but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. I have said that I will supply all your needs according to My riches in glory by Christ Jesus, & I have said seek ye first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness & all these things shall be added unto you. I have said that if any man will leave houses or loved ones or wife or children or the ones who he loves, then shall he receive an hundredfold now in this life of houses & mothers & brethren & sisters & children & lands, with persecutions‚ & in the World to come life eternal!

115. ("I HAVE STATED ALL THESE THINGS & I HAVE PROMISED THAT I WILL COME QUICKLY & will give to every man according as his works shall be. For my reward is with Me. Behold‚ I come quickly to give to every man according as his works shall be. And think not to say within yourself, the cost is too great, I cannot do it: thou canst do all things through Me, saith the Lord. Say not I cannot give this one up, I cannot give that up, I cannot do this. Thus saith the Lord, thou shalt look back on all these things‚ for in all these things one day thou shalt say in thy heart, I have forsaken my own way & walked the way of the Lord. Thank You, O God‚ that Thou didst cause me to forsake my own way & walk in Thy way.") TYL! Amen.

116. THAT ALSO IS A WARNING TO YOU NOT TO DISOBEY THE LORD! God's given us a lot of encouragement & blessings tonight, & He leaves you with a warning that you'd better obey, you had better do what He told you do & walk in His way. TYL! And remember when that persecution comes, when the officers do lay hold on you & the authorities do grab you & things like that do happen, don't resent it. Remember, God won't let a thing happen to you but what He has designed & ordered it to happen. So remember, it's God, God is doing it to you for His glory, amen? Praise God!

117. YOU KNOW, I HAD A WONDERFUL LITTLE SOMETHING FROM THE LORD WHEN WE WERE PRAISING THE LORD SO MUCH A MOMENT AGO. I could hear James over here, former robber & burglar praising the Lord like an old time saint! I was thinking, Lord God, I haven't heard praises like this amongst saints that have been saints many years! And instantly the Scripture came by the Spirit, I believe it's in Isaiah, "I have called them to be a people which were no people!" (Weeps.) Hallelujah! TYL! "I have called them to be a people which were no people!" We're nothing, you're nothing‚ but He's making a people out of you. Praise God? TYL! (Ho.2:23; Ro.9:25; 1Pe.2:10.)

118. WELL, WE COULD JUST STAY HERE & WORSHIP THE LORD ALL NIGHT, but we do have guests coming & we're supposed to open up & we're got to think of others too. So I suggest maybe we sit down now & pass around these gifts that we have over here. Do you want to sing the Lord's Prayer? Hallelujah! (Everyone sings the Lord's Prayer.)

119. (P.S. 1981: AMEN! PTL! TYJ! Thank God for those good ol' days!—The glorious days of days of our beginnings! TYJ!—And for the still more glorious days of today!—& the most glorious days yet to come! Hallelujah! TYJ! It's all of You‚ Lord! "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven!"—Amen? PTL! GBY & help you to continue to fulfil those great visions of Heavenly power & glory on Earth through your witnessing for Jesus from now till Kingdom come!—Amen? Hallelujah! TYJ! For Thine is the Kingdom & the power & the glory forever & ever!—In Jesus' name, amen!—Amen?—Amen!—ILY!)