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Smoking Man's Filter

John Collins3/11/2012 1:33:00 PMPeople outside the Message have debated whether WMB really had literal conversations with the Lord about a pack of cigarettes as he led us to believe, or whether he only experienced an overactive imagination.

So I turned around and went down by the river, and I thought, "I'll go down here and hide till they get done so I can get out." And on the road down, I happened to draw... My attention was drawn to look over to my right side, and as I did, there laid a empty cigarette package, where one of them had throwed down in all the running of the--when the squirrels were going through the bushes. And I picked up this certain cigarette pack and was look... I never picked it up (I beg your pardon.); I looked down at it. I didn't pick it up, 'cause I don't like the smell of the things to begin with. And I looked down there, and it's a--a certain tobacco company that I guess I shouldn't call their name, but you'll know. It said on there, "A thinking man's filter and a smoking man's taste ."
A Thinking Man's Filter, August 22, 1965 (tape #65-0822E)

I was going, walking through the woods; I was squirrel hunting (this fall) and I looked down. And, of course, I can't call the cigarette company. You know it. And there laid a--a cigarette pack laying there. And I just passed by it, looking for--in the woods. And I seen that package laying there, and I looked back again, it said, "A thinking man's filter, a smoking man's taste ." I just started walking on through the woods. And Holy Spirit said, "Turn and pick that up." I reached down and picked it up, "A thinking man's filter, a smoking man's taste ."
Leadership, December 7, 1965 (tape #65-1207)

The question is raised, did he pick them up, or did he leave them on the ground? Did he obey the Lord or not?

I started walking on down a little further in the woods, and Something attracted me, "Go back to that cigarette pack." I thought, "Heavenly Father, I'm going down here to that tree where those squirrels was spoke into existence by You one morning. Why would You call me back?" And Something said, "You've got a sermon coming for Sunday. Your text is wrote on it." I thought, "On a cigarette pack?" I went back. And I begin to think, "A thinking man's filter," what a deception that is. If a man was a thinking man, he wouldn't smoke at all. But, you see, people swallow that.
God's Power to Transform, September 11, 1965 (tape #65-0911)

He felt so condemned by this sermon that he found himself asking forgiveness if the text of his sermon was sacrilegious. This sparks quite a debate, because if the Lord is the that told him to pick it up, whether he obeyed and picked it up or disobeyed and did not pick it up, it was the Lord that instructed him to do so.

I pray for myself with them, that, Lord Jesus, that You'll hold Your Filter. And if I'm saying anything sacrilegious, Lord, I--in my heart I don't know it. I pray that if it's wrong for me to take Your Word and use such a thing as that, You forgive me for it. But, Lord, I thought when You spoke to me there in the woods, You know the time and the morning, it just--I couldn't get it off my mind. I accepted it as coming from You.
A Thinking Man's Filter, August 22, 1965 (tape #65-0822E)

People completely miss the most important question:

Why would he give such a long, drawn out story about the Lord telling him to pick up (or not pick up) the filthy object, when he actually got the sermon from Billy Graham???

120 How many heard Billy Graham today? It was a wonderful sermon he preached on, how that a people could believe a lie and just keep on in that lie and--and even justify themself and think that they were doing what was right. The American public taking, he said, and saying, "A wise man's filter, and the smoking man's cigarette," taking one of the Devil's lies, and instead of making him a fool, whatever he is, to smoke such a thing and try to make him a wise man. He's a fool to even smoke it, when the... when it's full of death and cancer and everything else, and still he puffs it down his lungs. He's a fool. Not a--not a--a wise man'sfilter, and there is no such a thing. A wise man don't use the stuff.
"There's no life unless it's in Oertel's 92," or something like that. There's no Life outside of Christ, that's the real true Life. What makes men and women drink that stuff? Because they're trying to satisfy that thirst in there that God put in there to thirst after Him, and they're trying to satisfy it with the things of the world. And that's the reason we have those things. That's the reason people act like that, because they're trying to quench that thirst that's in them for God, and the Devil's giving them death instead of Life."

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