This king got along fine until he found out that all the nations was fearing him. He'd become largely populated; his kingdom got built up; and he got lifted up in his heart with pride. You see, we're just-- "I'm just a big man now," and that's the way out.
The way up is down. How do you know which is up or down? 'Cause if the world's standing in space, how do you know which is up or down? So always, he that humbles himself, God will exalt; he that exalts himself, God will bring to abase. He'll bring him down.
Always keep humble, and be little in your own sight. No matter what God does for you, just see how much more humbler you can be all the time. More God blesses you, just keep getting more humble all the time. He can continue to bless.
But when you get to a place that you think, "I've got it," you haven't got it, you're on your road out. That's right. See? You lose your influence. You lose the--your strength of your testimony.
When you women begin to want to be like the rest of the women, there's something wrong. When you men, you ministers…try to…pattern after somebody else, when you businessmen try to do business on the scale that somebody else would do it on, because they're prosperous—
Prosperity don't always represent success in Christ, sometimes very much to the contrary. See?
Now. Pride, he got lifted up and he thought, "What a great fellow I am." So much he got lifted up, till he tried to take the place of a minister. He goes into the temple, which took--picked up the censor of fire, and went up to the altar of incense. Now, that was-- Only consecrated men could do that.
Now, as I have said before, so say I again. Businessmen are not preachers. We preachers have enough time to try to keep this thing straight, let alone businessmen. You all are businessmen, not ministers. And don't take the place of one, or try to, because you're not called for such. If you want somebody to speak at your conventions, get a preacher, somebody that's called to do so, because-- You see what a struggle us ministers has got. And so, you see what you do?
And Uzziah here, he tried to--to take the place of a priest. He thought, "Well, God's blessed me. Why can't I do it?" Don't you never get that in your head. God calls, and predestinates, and foreordains to His glory. Nothing--
You remember in the Bible when Moses was bringing Israel out of Egypt across through to the promised land? Do you remember one in there, Dathan and those who got lifted up, and said, "Now, wait a minute. Moses, you try to be the only one on the beach. There's other holy men among here."
And God said, "Separate yourself, 'cause I will destroy them."
God had ordained a certain thing to be done, and it must be done that way. We're not to inject our own ideas. We're to respect His idea and His commandment.
And I'm not referring back to our sisters, but at the-- No matter what the other woman does, God's got your pattern laid here. No matter what some other layman done in the Bible, God's got your pattern here what to do. We'll get to it after while, perhaps, what the layman is to do and the minister. All of us has our places, and we must abide in our calling.
Now, we find out that this man got lifted up. So he took the censor and went forth to the altar, which was only permitted by God to consecrated men to that office. He tried to take the minister's place, and then the minister tried to correct him. We find out that fourscore priests, besides the high priest, come after him and told him, "Sir--" In other words, like this, "God has blessed you. You're an honored man. You're a great man. And God has blessed you in your work. But you--you shouldn't do that. You're getting off of the beaten road."
Oh, how I could say some things here. Yes, getting off the beaten road-- But the-- Being that the thing is the way it is, let's try to conserve what we can get ahold of. See?
He said, "You're off the track, for the Word of God says so-and-so. Only Aaron's generation shall do this. That's for Aaron and him alone, and his children. So King, we honor you; we respect you. You're a great man. But don't try to do that."
And was he humbled? No, sir. He thought, "God's blessed me, so I'll just do what I want to."
Now, watch, my brethren. Be careful there. Because, no matter how much God has filled you with His Spirit, and how much that you have done, and how well that you been blessed, you stay with the calling of God. Don't get off on some traditions, and organizational schemes, and so forth. You better come back to the path, better come back to what God laid down at the beginning.
Now, so we find out that this man, when he was corrected instead of humbled himself and admitting that the Word was right, and God was right, he become angry. In other words, he was ready to kick him out of his organization. He was very upset about it, very perplexed. And oh, he got angry just to turn around and say, "Now, you just wait a minute. Do you realize who I am?"
Now, when you're corrected by the Word of God, you must be subject to the Word. And he said he would do as he pleased. He was the head of the thing, so he'd just do as he wanted to. And you know what happened? He was smitten with leprosy. And while his anger, rage was upon him, the priest detected the leprosy in his face.
Now, you say, "Well, what? You mean?" Leprosy represents, is a type, rather, of sin. And when a man won't stand correction by the Word of God, he's full of leprosy, blows up and carries on…What do you do? You ruin your influence. See? Something happens. People knows, and can tell, the word that you're corrected by, that you're not going to do it. Therefore you ruin your influence. And it hurt this fellow. Anger got on him. And while he was in his anger, leprosy was in his face.
And we find out that he--not only did he drop the censor, but he ran from the house of God to never be able to return again. Because no matter how great he was and how much influence he'd had, he-- When he was corrected, then he refused to take his correction, because his social standing had become more to him than the Word of God had become. I'm sure you understand what I'm driving at. See? It become more to him--his position as king become more to him than the Word of God.
-- Brother Branham
January 12, 1963