Life story (William Branham)
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1 ... you for that fine compliment. And how I feel unworthy to accept it, but I with humility, I hope that I never deceive anyone and I always can keep the friendship of God's people everywhere. It's by that that I can minister to you.
2 I guess some of you seen a minister just shaking my hand then, with--with a joyful hand grip. He was telling me that one of his members, that all the best doctors around Cleveland, hospitals here could do nothing: tumor in the head. And something had happened to her that it was for the time of life (you know what I mean), had been with her for six years. And the other night in the meeting God healed that mother yet... She went home and in the... It's her stran... Think it not strange before this audience, but I'm just your brother. The menstruation periods which had not been for six years, happened that night, again, right back again, regular again. Oh, He is the Lord Jesus. That's right. His power is here. After all the doctors had given her up, nothing could be done, but now God has healed her. And you know what those tumors in the head go if they become malignant, is cancer, is what it is, and--the growth, if it becomes malignant and--and bursts here and kills the patient right over. But God is our Saviour.
3 And I was looking this afternoon around upon this tent and the audience; it just reminds me of days gone by when we used to have the old Gospel tents filled up, and the people praying, way back in the days. I used to read when Finney, and Wesley, and Sankey, Moody, and all those used to have meetings and the people gathered around, unroll tents. Won't it be wonderful when we meet them again? Oh, my, what a time.
4 Last night and today has been very glorious to me, loosed from under the anointing so that I could preach and to--and to speak to the people. And today I was to tell my life's story. And last night I just had a glorious time within myself as the Holy Spirit was blessing me. And today it's... After I went home last night and had a glorious night's rest--never woke up till about eight-thirty this morning. And I feel good today, and I'm just sure tonight's going to produce a great meeting for us all. To get to meet these minister brothers, the greatest privileges as I have is to give to God's people of the things of this earth, is to get to meet fine ministers.
5 Yes, Brother Gordon, this has been one of the smallest audiences we've had for this much time, but it's been one of the sweetest meetings of just cooperation, everything wonderful. So we're thanking God for it. It's been prayed that God will send Cleveland an old fashion revival that'll just sweep throughout the entire country. That's right. God bless you all.
It's been my privilege to minister as much as I could to all that possibly could get into the lines as much as I was permitted to stand at the platform. Many, many testimonies are coming in. Three or four cases of paralyism, setting paralyzed in chairs and things, most of them called right from here... I see what's happening, then when God heals...
You wouldn't expect me to tell a man or woman to stand up and walk or something if God hadn't showed me he was healed. He could not stand up and walk. But when God showed me that they're healed, they're bound to walk then (See?), because God said so, and I wouldn't say it until God told me. And then when He tells me... And what I tell you to do, you do it and be assured that I'm speaking from the Master. That's right. I'll never tell you nothing 'less it's so. Now, if you want to turn it down when I tell you, you want to refuse it, why, that--that's up to you and God. You see? But if He is... If He tells me anything to tell you, well, I'll--I'll tell you right from the platform and then God will... You just follow what I told you to do and I'll assure you by the Word of God, that God will bring it out, and you'll--you'll be all right.
6 Now, we're very happy that everything's coming along just fine. I don't have as much chance to talk to you like this, the people came in, was taking some pictures out there. I got to shake their hands and things. I just love to do that: to shake people's hand and meet them. There's some of them little old girls along there, little old boys and girls, little old fat chunky things, I just autographed them and...
Over in Finland they just... In Sweden, everywhere you go, they all wanted your autograph. You know, I love to do that. They're... That's God's men of tomorrow in those little children. I just love the little fellows, and I got to talk to them out there a few moments ago, and very, very happy to get to do so.
And for pictures and things, oh, I just love to think... See, I was talking to my wife not long ago about something like that, and how God had blessed, and how I love people. And He give me the opportunity to get to meet them, and it's--it's fine.
7 And now, just a little statement here that I want to make... Was asked me a few days ago... It's concerning some things here at the tent and about our situation, how we're set up and how we operate. I might go into that just for a moment so that it would be clear before everyone's mind.
Personally, myself, and owning things, and property... I own nothing. The only thing that I have is what clothes that I have and an automobile that some people gave me because my old Ford was backslidden. Oh, my, it was in an awful shape... I couldn't get from place to place. And they bought me a '30, '49 car and gave it to me, which I greatly appreciate. And it's never used for nothing else but the Gospel. I dedicated it for that.
8 A few years ago, I lived the seven years of my married life in a--a two room shack, and was very, very poor. And I was in Calgary, in Canada, where we was having many, many thousands, and great signs... One person had searched Canada, till they drove three thousands miles in a taxi cab just to get to the services. Three thousand miles in a taxi cab, and by day, sometime there'd be as many as twenty and thirty ambulances lined all around, couldn't even get near the place, hardly, for the place... Having a glorious meeting, and my wife and babies at home were in this little old cabin, shack, that we lived in. We only had to pay just a few dollars a month rent. We couldn't afford it. Now, that's right.
9 I never took up... I tried to take one offering in my life, and I failed on that. But I didn't... I never--wouldn't let me do it. I worked and pastored the Branham Tabernacle at Jeffersonville, which is a interdenominational institution. I worked every day, sometime with a pick and shovel, sometimes on patrol, sometimes in line work, and so forth: worked twelve years and pastored a church and never received one penny, not one cent. I was able to work. Now, not as I got anything against anyone... A minister, he's to live by the Gospel. But I was young; I was healthy, why shouldn't I work and not be an obligation to the people? Not because that they wouldn't do it; they would be glad to do it. But I just felt like if the rest of them worked, then I'd work also. So I worked and--and paid my tithings right at the church. I believe in tithe paying. Now... God has blessed to me millions of times. And I never would take up offerings.
10 I told you, believe the other day, how I tried to take up my first offering. Wife and I would get a tough spot where we couldn't make the ends meet, and I... Many of you know what I'm talking about. So I--I told her, I said, "Well, I'll just take up an offering over at church."
She said, "Well, I'm coming over to watch you do it." And she set down in back a little piece from me. And all the time my heart was failing; I just kept talking around different things. Directly I said, "Oh, I forgot," I said, "I got to take up an offering tonight for myself." I said, "If ever you... I hate ask you, but I've just got a snag that I can't get through." And I looked around, and bless their hearts, I believe some of them that are in here this afternoon was right there.
And I happened to look, setting to my right, and a little old mother, was wearing a little old gingham, I guess, or whatever kind of clothes... I don't know nothing about goods that women wear, so little old dresses on, you know. She had little pockets beneath her apron, and she went down there like my grandma used to have. She brought out one of them little old long pocketbooks, you know, that you snap over the top. She was reaching down after those nickels, and I looked around. I thought, "Oh, my." That would haunt me as long as I lived if I took that. I couldn't do that. That...
11 The deacon had went and got my hat and was going to pass the hat. I looked at that, and my, I felt a big lump come up, and I said--well, I said, "Now, look. I was just teasing you, but I didn't mean that." I said, "I just wanted to see what you would say." And my wife looked at me.
And we really had an obligation had to be met. But you know what, I had an old bicycle over home, and I went and sold that old bicycle, and we got to meet the obligation, didn't have to take up the offering after all. I never want myself tied to any earthly thing. I want to be free where I can study the Word of God.
12 Now concerning the tent here, the tent does not belong to me, or none of the equipment belongs to me. It belongs to the "Voice of Healing," a inter-evangelical paper which is published in Shreveport. A little paper, the paper once was mine. When I started, we--the ministers kept telling me that, "You need a paper to carry your articles in." And, well, I told Brother Lindsay, the one who was very much interested in that; I said, "Brother Lindsay, all right, we'll start it." And I, one day while in praying, God gave me the--the name, the title, "Voice of Healing." And it will--will rank right with my ministry, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness," and so forth. And so I gave it the name of "Voice of Healing."
13 I stayed so long in the platforms and things until I had to take a eight month's rest. I was off the field when they thought that I would leave the world. You've heard the story of that. And while I was gone, why, some of the other ministers that were following along behind my ministry, but going ahead praying for the sick, and they were carrying articles and so forth. So the suggestion was made that we make it a inter-evangelical paper, and just not have any--representing any one certain man. And that's the way I like to see things. I don't want things that are looked as to myself; I want it for the church of the living God, for everybody.
You know, Jacob dug three wells. The one well, they drove him away, and he called it "strife." And another one was "malice," I believe, or "hatred," or something. He dug the third well and he said, "There's room for us all." So I think that's what it is now: there's room for us all.
Way down in Kentucky where an old Missionary Baptist Church, we used to sing the song, "Room, room, yes, there is room. There's room at the fountain for me." Did you ever hear of it? It's a little old song, and that's what it is.
14 Brother Lindsay then, taken the paper and made it a non--I believe into a non-profited organization, of the paper, representing all the ministers of the land who carry a Divine healing ministry that's living the right kind of life and above reproach. Brother Lindsay looks into those things. And then, my... He wanted to make me president of it. He wanted to give me what more. But I said, "Brother Lindsay, I want to be just--just in the paper. That's all. And make my articles the smallest one in the paper. If nothing else, the itinerary so the people will know where I'm at. That'll be all that's necessary. I don't want one thing out of the paper but telling of the meetings and do what you want to, for I'm for anything that represents God." And the little paper does. It's a very fine little paper.
15 Then the tent problem was named and overseas. First thing, it come by inspiration. Our auditoriums would just take two or three nights, have to leave. Some cities, dear Christian people crying and begging, we'd have no place to go. Brother Moore, crossing a bridge at Little Rock, one morning from the meeting where many great signs and wonders were being done, Brother Moore had a inspiration that the Lord told him to build a tent. Brother Moore went out and had this tent built by Brother Welch in Pensacola, Florida. While there, overseas... Brother Moore is a businessman as many of you know him. He's a contractor. He allowed a half million dollar job while he was gone to some more people, come back, found hisself broke. And there he was and couldn't take the tent.
Then it fell to the hands... Me, I have nothing. And so it--it fell to the hands of Brother Lindsay to save the--the--the tent. He goes and buys the tent himself, and puts it in the name of "The Voice of Healing." Therefore, the tent does not belong to me or any certain person. It belongs to the "Voice of Healing," and I just pay rent on it while I'm here. Everywhere I go, I pay rent. I'd rather... I like auditoriums, have nothing against auditoriums, but if this tent is going to be used for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the tent rents cheaper than an auditorium. But I would rather pay three hundred dollars a day extra for the tent to know that the tent was going to be used for preaching the Gospel than to be at the auditoriums where they sponsor dances and everything else of the world. I'd rather do that. So anything to...
16 Therefore, the tent could be mine if I wished for it, but it's not that. Brother Lindsay's a very fine man to work with. Brother Lindsay, and Brother Hall, Brother Baxter, all those men are very fine. But then, the people made up a donation to buy me a home. They built me a little five room house. The day when I walked into it, I looked up there and I seen it... I'd always been a pilgrim; never has a Branham never owned nothing; we're vagabonds. And I--I looked at--at that--at our little house, and I said, "Lord, I'm not worthy to walk into it." I knelt down at the gate and took my wife by one hand, little boy by the other and I said, "Father, I thank You. As long as You let me live, I'll remember everyone that put even a penny on here." But I said, "Now, I--I won't have this for myself, for when I leave, let it go to Your ministry."
17 And the little church had no parsonage, and I went out and give it to the little church. And it belongs to the church; it doesn't belong to me. I live there. When I go, another minister will step in. It'll still be used for God. It can't be sold for nothing else but go for the church. The church property was give to me. The city... When I had my first revival... It's about what's here this afternoon, is about the crowd that we would have for revival. The city built for the--the tent--tabernacle and give it to me, and I turned it over to a group of people or made, not an organization, but just a--a incorporation out of it, so I own nothing of this world, nothing but just what people give me. And that is clear now, everyone knows that what it is, I--I appreciate...
18 And every penny that's left from our meetings (Brother Lindsay and them knows just what we needed, and so forth) we turn right straight back into the Gospel work then, and try to live just as cheap as I can. When I go to the cities, I don't look for big hotels. The cheapest one I can find is what I want. See? I want to be just as poor as everyone that comes to me to be prayed for. That's right. If I'd accepted the money that's offered me, I'd be a multimillionaire.
I had one man out of California, after his wife had a cancer of the breast, they had to fly quickly because they thought she was dying. And when that cancer left her, the window curtain rolled up tight like that before hundreds of those Armenians and let down like that. And the demon power left the woman, and the doctor said she couldn't live till morning. And now she's a well woman today, walking around. And that man owned that--part of that big Mission Bell Winery, and things, and sent me a--a--a check, bank draft for a million, five hundred thousand dollars. And I refused to put my hands on it and look at it. The Baxters had brought it to me. I said, "No, sir, I don't want to see it."
"But Reverend Branham, it was sent to you."
I said, "I do not want to see it. I don't want nothing to do with money." When a man gets his mind on money, he loses God. That's right. And that's right... You can't keep your mind on... You got to be...
19 Here's three things that I've noticed in reading of other ministers. If this ever gets ahold of a minister, it's got him. And there's a weak spot: money, women, popularity. That's right. Dodge the very appearance of it. That's right. For money, I care not for it.
I've got a little old fat wife here, that I think's the sweetest woman in the world. That's right. That's right. She's the only one I've ever cared for, and that's--and some little children. When I was a sinner I lived clean, and when I'm a Christian... And for popularity, who am I? Six foot of dirt, that's all: sinner saved by grace. And if it wasn't for God, where would I be? So I... We're nothing. That's right. And we're... And you pray for me.
Thank you, friends. Now, I'll hurry right through with just the high points of my life's story. Mother can't stay very long, because in this I have to bring in dad. And you know how it is. All right.
20 Let's read some of the Scripture first, now. And remember, let's be out tonight early and expect God to not leave a--a person... I want to come in tonight, if the Lord's willing, after speaking last night and tonight, come right straight in, start the prayer line, just immediately. And next week, I'm going to, if I possibly can, average a hundred people a night, if I possibly can in the prayer line, until we're through. You've been so nice. I'm going to, if they have to hold me by one arm and the other, stand here at the platform again. You've been so nice and so reverent, I'll do everything that lays within my power to help you, that I can. You've waited; you've been patient. Many has been healed, and great signs and wonders has been done. And I trust that this week will be the greatest of all, and it's the last, the longest service I've ever held any time, of any time of meeting.
21 Now, in the 13th chapter of the Book of Hebrews, we read these words, beginning with the 10th verse. I'm so happy today to know that my minister brothers can set here on the platform while you all are looking for the Scripture. When I ask them to leave the platform when they go at night, it isn't because I don't want my brethren around me; but remember they're human, and I--I'm conscious of somebody around me. You see? And they would set down there and pray for me. They're good brothers, and I put my endorsement upon any of their ministries. And they're good God saved brothers, but what it is, if there's somebody... Vibrations coming from here, and from here, and from here... You see, if I can keep the people away just so I can single them out one by one and talk to them...
22 And now, I wish to read now out of the Word, beginning with the 10th verse and 14th verse inclusive:
We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
I wish to make that my text for my life's story this afternoon: Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Shall we pray.
23 Our heavenly Father, oh, I'm so happy today to be here at Cleveland, this great city, one of the major cities of our beloved nation, and to be here to give a testimony of Thy Son Jesus, Who has died to redeem this lost races of people throughout all the world. And now, as You've gathered us here together this afternoon... pour out of Your Spirit upon us. I believe You.
May every man, woman, boy, or girl, and every church, every creed, denomination, race, color, forget all about the past now. Let's look to the future. Let's look to that continuing city that is to come. Cleveland is home to many thousands, yes, millions, over a million people here. God, we pray that men and women will never be satisfied until they've met peace with You so that we can go to that continuing city.
Looking upon the giant skyscraper in the city, looking upon the fine buildings and structures, but there'll be a time when there won't be one stone left upon another. We believe that these cities in this great major conflict that's coming, will be rocked with atomic powers, and millions will die in hours, blowed to bits, even the earth shook from its orbit, going into the sun. Great heat shall scorch men as the Scripture says in the book of the Revelation.
Now, help us, God, to get our mind on You, settle down. To go into this bloody trail, I review it, Lord, the best of my knowledge. You help me as I start back from the beginning, when You put Your hand on Your poor humble servant. And may all my mistakes today, may others and young boys and girls that's coming on, may they be stepping stones to bring them to Thee. May they profit from my errors and suffering, that they might know You in the power of Your resurrection. For we ask it in the Name of Thy beloved Child Jesus. Amen.
24 Now, those outside, can you hear all right out there, outside? Well, I'm sorry you have to set there in that sun. It's awful bad, but we just haven't, look like, the room right here.
Now, every one of us are minded at--at this time when anyone goes to talking about a home, it--it reminds us of--of some similar experience that we've all...
How many strangers here that's away from home, let's see your hand. My, there's many of you. All right. Frankly, all of us are pilgrims and strangers of this earth. We're seeking a city to come, whose Builder and Maker is God. Abraham left the land of Chaldee and the city of Ur, going out sojourning, professing to be a pilgrim and stranger, for he was seeking a city whose Builder and Maker was God. Inspiration, something telling him that there was a city somewhere, and Abraham went to find it.
And John, on the isle of Patmos saw our future home coming down from God out of heaven, where we're going someday. The great inspiration of God tells us that the home is just beyond the gloom where we all go.
25 Let's take a little trip, will you? I just want to talk to you just from the bottom of my heart. Let's take just a little trip. I'm just going to let myself forget about even being a minister, just talk to you. Let's go down home just for a while. Everybody likes to do that. Wouldn't you like to go back to the old trail again... or standing there rather, and kinda begin to think about it. I can just see every little path, when I was a little boy.
Many of you remember those experiences, little girls... Think of them, most of those little girls... That old mother used to hold her apron strings, done gone to be with Jesus. Them little girls that you played with and borrowed the pencils in school from each other, many of them's done crossed the border...
The old dad and mother, and so forth, that used to get you ready go to school: gone. Here we have no continuing city but we're seeking one to come.
26 When I was borned, I weighed five pounds, little bitty boy. And I haven't growed very much since. But then my mother, she carried me around on a pillow. I was borned in a little log cabin, way in the mountains of Kentucky, Cumberland County, near a little creek called Renox. There's only one way you get through there, that's you go through the creek. That's the only way to go is by the creek. It's a little isolated place, way down near the Tennessee line on the Cumberland River.
My father was a logger. My mother, her father was a school teacher, and the principal of the rural school. Didn't get to go to school very much in Kentucky, you know, the creek could get up; you couldn't go. In the summertime they had to take a gooseneck hoe and chop out the corn, tobacco, and stuff that they raised in the hills, make a living.
I was down, standing by the little old cabin, not long ago, and took a picture of it. I think it appeared in my book: a little old two room cabin. The porch... The end of the kitchen had fallen down. I looked at it. I could imagine seeing my mother there. My dad was just a young man, mother, only fifteen years old when I was born. A little mountain children... And my dad worked hard all of his life. He died young: fifty-two. I'm thankful that mother's still living today, could be here with me.
27 All my life, I guess I was a misunderstood person; no one understood me. When I was a little boy, I could... Just as I can barely remember... My mother knows behind that, how the Angel of the Lord came to the room. And I--I do not know... I know this, I mean, that it was not goodness of my father and mother; they were both sinners. Never was no merits of my own, it was a merits of Jesus Christ.
Our family... Later on, we... Poor, oh, my, I'm just almost ashamed to tell you, that I--how poor that we had to live.
28 I was setting... And I was misunderstood so much till when I'd be talking on the street to someone, somebody else would come up, well, they'd walk away and leave me stand. And I love people, but no one had nothing to do with me. I was what they called the black sheep. I'd go downtown when I was a little boy... School, they had nothing to do with me. I wouldn't smoke and things with the rest of them, so they had nothing to do with me. When I was a... become aged to go out with girls, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old, why, because I didn't go to dances, and parties, and things like that, I was a wallflower. So they had nothing to do with me.
When I become a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, I was a fanatic. So God finally got me to the place where He was bringing me to (You see?), to the people of His call.
29 And I was setting not long ago on the porch. I'd just come in from a meeting. I was so tired I couldn't hardly go. My, I was so tired. I just got most of the crowd away from the house. I set down on the porch, and my poor old wife, she was just thirty years old but turning gray. I put my arm around her and set out on porch, and we was rocking a little bit. She said, "Are you tired, honey?"
And I said, "So tired I can hardly stand up." Just then a car drove up. It was my piano player from over at the Tabernacle. She seen me setting there, and she got... She run up to the porch and just started crying, laid something in my lap and run away. She said, "I--I won't take your time. You--you rest while you got this minute. I won't..." And she run away. And I picked it up. I looked at it. There was a little picture on there. I looked up. I seen some big old sand cranes. We have them in Indiana; I don't know whether you have them here or not. They was down at the ponds all day, feeding. The sun was going down in the west. I looked over here and had that poem,
Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me.
May there be no mourning at the bar,
When I put out to sea.
30 You've heard it. It had a picture of a ship coming in a window open, the water, the sun going down, the star coming out. Now, I looked there, and I said, "Honey, think of it. A few years ago I'd go down on the street, be talking to somebody. Why, somebody else would come up to talk to them, why, they'd go away." And I said, "Now, I have to almost hide out somewhere in the woods, to get out. And stop on an airplane somewhere, and they know you're coming through; they'll have sick people laying right on the ramps to be prayed for." I said, "Think of it now." I said, "What did it? My education? I have none. My personality? I have none. What did it? The Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who redeemed me. He was the One Who gave me friends.
31 I looked; I seen those little sand cranes going down, squawking. And I looked at two or three of them flying. I said, "Look, darling, they have been... God has provided for them all day long. They've eaten crawfish, and minnows, and so forth, out in the ponds, and it's coming night now; they're gathering down on the Ohio Falls there where all the cranes come and gather at night. And they set there and chatter together like they were on a picnic, just having a--and sleep together through the night. God provides for them."
32 Just then, two of my favorite birds... You might know what they were: robins. Oh, how I love a robin. Every since I heard that story, little fiction story, when Jesus was dying at the cross... Listen, little boys and girls; don't never shoot my little robin. Leave him alone. He's a fine little bird. And I think the little fiction story and the song, you know, of how that when Jesus was dying, no one would come to Him. And a little brown bird flew into the cross to try to save Him, to pull the nails from His hands. He got his little breast all red with blood, and he flew away. And from then he had a red breast. I--I think of it and I think, "God, let me seal my breast with Your Blood too, there when I come before You."
And that's just the little thing, that I like robins and... And two of them flew up in the tree and went to their nest, the little ones "Churrr" a little. I said, "Look, God has fed them all day long. They're tired and weary now. They've come into their nest to their little ones to gather in for the night. Now, O God, someday when life is all over and I've done the best that I can do, won't You let me gather in with the people I preached to?" As sure as God has a place for the birds to gather, He has a place for us to gather. Someday we'll gather together at the setting of the sun we're going to gather.
33 Well, I remember the days when a little boy, about... There was about four of us in family. I'm... My mother's the mother of ten children, nine boys and a girl. I was the oldest of the family. Then they come about a year and something different, all the way down to a little girl. And now, she's married, has a child.
But I can remember when we was just three or four in a group, and we used to live in a little old place, and they left mother Rush's place, I'm speaking of, a little two room cabin, slat, old clapboard shingles, you know, little old side down like that. And where we'd all had gathered around out there and--and little old... Before the--the door, I can just remember it, all the grass was wallowed down where these bunch of little Branhams wallowed out there like a bunch of little opossums around a den. Little old boys...
34 And we had a table and didn't have very much furniture in the house. I can remember two old beds, the old great, big... high post beds and old walnut, I believe they were. We had straw mattresses. Did you ever sleep on a straw tick? Yes, you know what I'm ta... Oh, I'm not the only country boy, am I? So an old straw tick... And they had an old wash stand, mother had, right between them. And it had marble in the middle here, and two little things on the side, little drawers you pull out. I remember that. And over on the other side they had an old trunk that had those little... in it, you know. It was them little tick-tack or ever what you call it on the--on the--the metal. And mama's safe, out in the kitchen had the same kind of stuff on it. And papa give us a--a bench that we set behind the table to eat.
35 And look, I never will forget. Did you ever eat on a old wooden bench in the kitchen? Oh, my, my. And I remember mother used to holler at dinner time, and all those little Branhams would wash their face, and under the table, you know, and up on the bench on the other side. And we'd have a great big pot dinner, Mulligan stew, mainly. And each one would get him a plate full. And we baked our bread, mama baked it in a--in a--a bread pan, corn bread. And she'd cut it in the middle and put it, and set on the table, and... You know Jesus broke bread and blessed it; He never cut it, so each person broke his own piece of bread. That's Kentucky, brother, a way down there.
So she'd get this unbolted meal and make the flour. And I used to set right next to dad, where the bread did, and I'd always manage to get a corner of the bread. It was brown and crusty, you know. I'd get that part there and then we'd have--had bean soup and I'd... You'd crumble the corn bread. And you know, that wouldn't go bad right now (That's right.), just to think of it; it'd be fine.
36 And I remember we'd set there and eat. I've eaten many places since then, but, oh, brother and sister, if I could only go back to that one more time (That's right,), to those old times back there, and all the loved ones. How we'd gather around there.
And I remember when they moved from there to another place. And how dad used to take us down to town on Saturday night. That was a big night. They had a little old Jersey wagon, drove a little mule. I remember his name: "Cootsie," they called him. And a little old mule, and dad would go get it. And I seen him come in when he... My dad was a small man, was about my size. And I used to see him when he would roll up his sleeves. We had a glass tacked on a tree on the outside and a wash bench. You remember when you used to have that, and the... Mom would make the hand towels out of an old meal sack, pull the hems of the strings out, you know, make a little fringe on them. They was rough. That was... When she'd get my ears, I thought they were all rough. And she would stand me up and make me wash myself, and she'd use it rough, and...
37 And I remember seeing dad when he'd roll his sleeves up and--and wash, and I thought, "Oh, my, my daddy; he'll never die. Look at those big muscles." He was a logger and great big strong arm. I thought, "Oh, my, look at him; he'll never die," but here we have no continuing city. He left, a young man, a lot younger looking when he died than I am now.
38 And then, when... A little later on along, I remember then, the old house where it stood. I look at that old house and I thought, "Oh, my, isn't that strong. How wonderful, what the structure of it is." I said, "That house will be there for many generations." I was passing by just before I come down here, and they had the housing projects built there now. Nothing to represent...
I remember the old field out through there where we--brother and I used take and catch those little old meadowlarks, go out and try to get them out in the field. Run down through there... And my, my, you don't know what I'd give to get to run down that path again barefooted, to meet dad when he come across the field: pick one up in one arm, one the other, walk with us to the house. Oh, my, those golden days.
I remember when dad, standing out there... And I thought, "Oh, how great, how this all is." Many of you have similar experiences, but them cities is passing away. Those houses are gone. Here where the old spring where I used to lay down and drink cold water... in there no more. We have nothing earthly here that'll last very long.
39 Notice, down there toward the school... Oh, how I remember going to school, those great days. I remember dad and mother used to go to town on Saturday night. Us kiddies would want to go with them. And they'd pay their grocery bill. Pop made a whole seventy-five cents a day. Great money then, but he had to feed five children on it.
And look, all of you know from my testimony, when I'm telling things, whether it's good or bad, I've got to be truthful and honest. You'll know it at the judgment, though I know it here. My father'd drink very, very heavy. Irish and he just... Fact, it's what killed him.
40 Notice, and I remember when he would come in, and we'd go to town on Saturday night. We'd all get in a little old Jersey wagon, go to town, pay the grocery bill. We'd wrap up in blankets if it was wintertime. In the summertime we'd set on some straw. We'd stop down at the corner, the old feed store... And I remember when they'd pay their grocery bill, pop would get a sack full of candy for a treat. And he'd bring it out. That was for us boys. Boy, there'd be five little pair of blue eyes looking at that sack of candy, and every stick... That old peppermint candy was good. And every stick must be broke equally. And if there'd happened to be one that'd come up not enough sticks, every eye see that would go just exactly right. Yes, sir. And we'd set there and divided up that candy, and we would eat it. And I would sometimes try to play when I'd suck on my piece of candy awhile, and put it in my pocket, and keep it. And Monday mom would say, "William."
I'd say, "Yes, ma'am."
"Come get me a bucket of water."
I'd say to my brother, "Humpy, I'll let you suck on this piece of candy if you'll go get that bucket of water for me." Oh, I let him have two licks off of it. And I'd run. It was easy day for me, if I could just resist the temptation of eating that candy. Old peppermint sticks, do you remember it? It was good. Oh, my. I guess I could go out tomorrow and buy me a box of Hershey's, but it would never taste like that. That's the best candy I ever eat. And we'd keep it over, you know. And we'd hire one another about [Gap in the audio]... limited amount of food and stuff with what we could bill. And listen... mama...
41 Look, friends, it isn't a sin to be poor. No, it isn't. And maybe none of you has had to go down this trail; you don't know what it is. That's the reason that I could never be a rich man when I see poor little children on the street without clothes to wear, and people without coal in the wintertime. How could I set and hold money in my hands and such as that going on? I couldn't do it. No one with any kind of a heart could do it. That's right. I don't see how rich people can heap theirselves together treasures like that. No, sir. God have mercy. I'm seeking a city that is to come whose Builder, and Founder, and Maker is God.
42 And I remember, just a little brief case. I remember one year I went to school all year without a shirt. There was a rich woman my daddy was working for; she give me a coat. I never will forget it. When I went to school first, mama made me a pair of... some clothes, I think it was out of pop's coat when he got married [Gap in the audio]... had great big white buttons on it. [Gap in the audio] little pantywaist type, you know. All the kids laughed at me, said I looked wimpy. I didn't care what they said. If that was my daddy's coat, if it was good enough for daddy, it was good enough for me. I wished I had it today.
I remember that winter I had no coat to go to school. I remember one day going to... It was getting up towards March. I had this old coat and had it pinned up like this. It get wet or anything in school, I had to wear this little old coat. I didn't have nothing on, for I couldn't have none.
I remember the teacher said to me, said, "William, why don't you take off that coat."
I said, "Teacher, I--I'm cold." I wasn't. I couldn't take it off.
She said, "Move over there at the stove." She fired that stove up, and sweat run down my face. She said, "Aren't you warm yet?"
I said, "No, ma'am." Now, I couldn't take it off; I didn't have on nothing under it (See?), had it pinned up like this.
And she said, "Well, you've got to--a bad cold. You got to go home." And she'd send me home.
43 I remember the first shirt that I got after that. My father's sister's children come over. And one of them was a girl about my age. They stayed two or three days, and when they went back, the girl left a dress there, one of her dresses. I got to looking at that dress. It had short sleeves; I thought, "I can make a shirt out of it." And I cut the--the dress part off and put it on, you know, and took off my coat: looked pretty good. So... Only the buttons was in the back of it. But I got into it and had went down to school, and all the kids begin to laugh at me. I remember though that they had that little dugey-ma-flock stuff on it, you know, little what-do-you-call-it?. What is it? Rick-rat (That's right.), rick-rat all over it, you know, up and down the sides like that, and--and it... I said that wrong, didn't I? Rick rack? Rick rack. That's right. All right. Then I had all up and down it...
And I said, "You're laughing at that," I said, "Look, you just don't know. That's part of my Indian suit." Indian suit? My cousin's dress. They all laughed at me and made so much fun I had to go home crying. Oh, my. What crosses... That's right.
44 All right. Now, those old times pass by. I remember going to school. We kids, we couldn't take our dinner like other children. Lot of them had--would... Their mothers would bake bread; they'd make sandwiches, you know, and put stuff between them. But we couldn't afford that kind of bread. I had a little half of gallon syrup bucket. And we'd take a little jar in there, and had greens in one. The other one had, maybe, beans or whatever we had left over: a piece of corn bread laying there and two spoons. And we--we're ashamed to eat before the other children, brother and I. And we'd slip out and go over the hill, go down to the edge of the woods, and we'd set there and eat between us.
45 Look, that brother's in glory today. Oh, my, how I wished he was here. I--I tell you... Not long ago I was coming out of Texas, from a meeting. Oh, I was so tired. Why, I said, "Let's ride up the road." And we ride up the road and passed by the old school where we used to go to school at. I would look at the place and I thought, "Oh, my..." I stopped. I said, "I want to drink from that old well over there." And I went over to get a drink of water and I pumped it and drink. I leaned across the fence like this, was looking. The baby and wife were picking some violets there in the yard. I begin to think of different things and remember seeing all of us little old boys lined up there: time of the First World War. And they'd...
I was a little old boy and we'd have our hands leaning on their shoulders... them stockings down, what had stockings, and--and or shoes, and the toes all out of them, standing there. I remember a time; it's right after Christmas. Mama popped some corn. And we taken some in a sack to school. That was a rare. She popped it to string on the Christmas tree, what she had left over. A little old cedar tree, it was cut down out in the field, put the popcorn around it, get some papers, and make them loops, you know, put it around we got at school.
46 And I remember setting there, looking. I remember mother give us that sack of popcorn, and we put it in the cloak room where we used to have to keep our--our coats or our lunches. And I happened to think about that popcorn. I raised up my hand. Teacher said, "What do you want, William?"
I said, "May I be excused?"
I went out to the cloak room, and reached down in there, and got me a great big hand of that popcorn, went out and stood out behind the schoolhouse, and eat that popcorn, and come back in. When dinner time come, we went in to get our lunch and went over the hill. And Edward said to me, he said, "Say, brother, something's happened to that popcorn."
"It sure has, hasn't it?" I knowed what had happened to it. I'd eat it.
47 Standing there leaning over the fence and thinking about that, I said, "God, I'd give all the world and my life now if I could take him that handful of popcorn to where he was at and give it back to him. He died before we ever come to a place where we'd have very much, just enough to barely live on. God called his precious life.
I was out west working on a cattle ranch, and he died in the hospital calling for me. You could hear his screams plumb down the street, a hollering, "Bill, come to me." One of these days when I cross the portal, I'll be there. That's right. He got saved just before going.
48 I remember looking at it there and thinking about that. I thought... I looked up on the hill where we used to sleigh ride. I remember it about 1930--1917. Mama worked for the government, sewed shirts for the soldiers. They had bundles of shirts, and that's how we lived. They have to go down of a weekend, take the shirts down. She got four dollars and forty-four cents to make a bundle of shirts. That's what we lived on.
49 All right. When she was going down, I remember us little boys... She couldn't buy us a sled. And all the boys had sleds out on the hill riding. Come a great snow and sleeted and froze over the top, and we would slide down the hills on our sled. Brother and I didn't have any sled, so we went out to the old country dump, got a big old dish pan. And we'd set in the dish pan and put our legs around one another and hugged each other. Down the hill we'd go. We might not have been as much class as the rest of them, but we were riding just the same, so we... That done all right until the bottom came out of the thing; then we couldn't ride no more in that. So we went down and got us an old log. We'd get up on the hill and get on this log, and here we would go down the hill on the log. Oh, my.
50 I remember during the time I wanted to be a soldier. I'd see those soldiers come up from Utica Pike, that flag a flying, my, the banner is rolling, the drums a beating. I'd stand there, a little bitty boy, and my mouth open, my hair hanging down in my face. Oh, when I get to be a man, I'm going to be a soldier. I'd seen with them leggings on and standing. They'd holler, "Attention," and everybody'd stand... I'd say, "Oh, my." And when I got old enough and the war come on, they wouldn't receive me. One thing, being a minister, and another thing, I guess I just wasn't man enough to go. They wouldn't take me. I tried many times, tried to volunteer, and they said, "We'll call you if we need you. Reverend Branham, go on back."
I thought, "Well..." But friends, I finally got to put on a uniform. That's right.
51 I remember Lloyd Ford, a friend of mine. He used to ro--belong to what they call the Lone Scouts. They sold papers called "Path Finder" or something. And he got a Boy Scout suit for that. Now, I... Oh, I admired that boy. I said to him, I said, "Lloyd, when you wear that out will you give it to me?"
He said, "Sure, I'll give it to you." But my, that suit lasted a long time, looked like it. It got to a place till I thought the thing never would wear out. So finally he said he'd give it to me when it wore out. Well, I went on for a while. After while I missed him wearing it. I said, "Lloyd, what become of the suit."
He said, "Well, Billy, I'll see if I can find it." He looked around, and come back, and said, "Well, Billy," he said, "the--the last piece of it," said, "just went to pieces, and--and mother taken the coat and made the dog a pallet." And said, "It's all ruined and gone now." Said, "I couldn't find a piece of it, only just one legging."
I said, "Well, bring that to me." Just one legging, a little--had a drawstring, little legging about like that. And he brought that one legging to me, and I thought, "Oh, my, how I like that legging." So I put it on at home, you know, and I thought, "How dandy. If I can just let the school kids see me with that legging on..."
52 So I went down that day. I remember going to school. And I got up on the hill just right, and I thought, "Now, how am I going to do? I've got to find excuse to put that legging on so they won't know that that's the only legging I got. So I--I don't know what to do." And I put it back in my coat, and I went on to the school. And there Edward and I were riding down the hill on this old log, and I--I turned over on the log, and I act like I hurt my leg. I said, "Oh, my. " Never hurt. I said, "Oh, my, mmm, whew, that was a strain on my leg." I said, "It just reminds me; I've got one of my leggings... in here." I said, "That'll help my leg a whole lot." And I put it on and went into school.
I was going to... You know the old blackboards we used to have at school? I was going to write on the blackboard, so I did this-a-way (See?), put my leg like this one the outside--one that had the legging. I turned sideways like this and write... Everybody and--and all the kiddies got to laughing at me, and... like that, and they... I got to cry. The teacher made me go home. Had one legging...
53 But brother, sister, today I've got a uniform, and I'm in the army, the army of the Lord, fighting the foes of the wicked, dressed... You might not be able to see it, but I know it's there; I feel it, the armor of God: the full Gospel in my heart; baptism of the Holy Spirit; God working signs and wonders; the helmet of faith--shield of faith; and the helmet of--of salvation; shod with the Gospel; the sword in hand, joined with you, ranks out here now, that our armor's inside of us.
54 Looking up there and think of the those old times, I started crying; wife said, "I thought you come home to rest."
I said, "Honey, I think about those things. I think, 'Where is Ralph Fields?'" Said, "Gone." "Where's Wilmer?" Gone. "Where's my brother, Edward?" He's gone. "Where's Rollin Halloway?" Gone. Here we have no continuing city.
I looked back up on the hill to see where the old place was. I thought if I can just visualize seeing that little old line, little old--through that broom sedge there, going up to the house... Gone. The house is gone. Daddy's gone. Oh, my, here we have no continuing city, but we're seeking one to come whose Builder and Maker is God.
My friends are gone; my brother's gone; daddy's gone; my home's gone. Mother and I left, for the story.
55 Notice, then... Think of all those things and how I cheated my brother out of a handful of popcorn. It all come back to me then. Brother, sister, don't never do anything wrong, for it'll come back to you just as sure as you're living. Do right; you're bound to come out right.
56 And then, I remember... I'll have to hurry 'cause it's getting late, get right down now, it's... Have to leave in a few moments. And you'll give me your attention as you have been, I think you're awfully nice.
On down I wish I had time to move in and get the story of the coming of the gift and so forth, but I'll have to kindly skip that. I remember the time (many of you'll read it in book and so forth), how the Angel of the Lord appeared to me down, told me never to smoke or to drink or defile my body in any way, that there'd be a work for me to do when I got older: appeared to me in that bush, and how they have misunderstood it. My mother could give you the story, standing here. And how that even my best girlfriend, one time, called me a big sissy because that I wouldn't smoke a cigarette.
57 And I always had my opinion of a cigarette smoking woman and I haven't changed it. That's right. It's the lowest thing that women ever done. That's right. To see them setting in a place... The other day I started to holler, "Fire." right here in this city. A woman setting there, and smoke coming all out around her like that, and a poor little baby laying in her arms; I thought, "You want that baby eyes being ash trays? God never give you that baby for that purpose: your duty to raise it right."
And women, listen here, take my advice, if you do smoke, oh, in Jesus' Name forget about it. Never do that; that's awful. Don't do that for I know if this spirit that bothers me... Now, don't get up and go, everybody will know how guilty you are. See?
Now, and I know one thing, if this Angel of the Lord comes from God, as I know It does, you'll certainly answer at the day of judgment for doing it. We're in the spirit of the latter days: people, heady, high-minded, can't tell them nothing; they know it all. They won't stop and listen to human, to reasoning. Listen. Stop those things. Live right and live before God.
58 I tell you one thing, you get the Holy Spirit, and then you can go ahead and smoke after you get the Holy Spirit. Someone said to me the other day, "Did you ever baptize anybody that smoked?"
I said, "Look here, brother, I haven't a yardstick at my church. (See?) I teach the people what's the truth, and then when they receive Christ, Christ takes care of the rest of it."
Here's there's an old oak tree out here. It holds its leaves all the year through, all the winter. Springtime come, there's them old dead leaves hanging on it. You don't have to go pick the leaves off to make new ones come on. Just let the new life come up, the old leaves goes off. That's right. Let the Holy Spirit come into a person's heart, they clean up and fix up and a few things like. That's right. Just get them to Christ; that's all. Then it's God's business from then on.
59 Now, I never tell people what they have to do, and what they can't do, and what... That's up, between them and God, but I know that one of the lowest things that I ever see women do is smoking. I stand here and see them set there and act like that, it's just something in me. I wished I didn't feel that way, but it's something in me makes me feel that way. And I... It's not me; it's Him. And I know by that what it'll be at the judgment; so escape that. You don't have to do it. Get away from it. Stay away from it. You can't come in this prayer line without it being called out on you; that's one thing for sure. He'll call it every time.
60 And notice this one thing now. Later on down through life, I--I had girlfriends like all boys. And I remember I was a little skeptic of girls; I seen the way women act. And frankly, I never did have very much use for women. I don't mean you sisters, now, but I... Just to see how untrue they were, some of them... I was around, watched my father drinking and hung around those places, and maybe I'd be around, and I'd see how women come out and living untrue. And a lot of them women's done gone on to meet the judgment now, and will have to stand there in that day.
And I said I'd never get married; never want nothing to do with one. I'll be a trapper and a hunter all my life, and I'll never have nothing to do with the girl. So when I got to be about... When I was even seventeen, eighteen years old, I'd pass down the street. I'd see a girl on one side, and I thought she was going say something, I'd cross over and go over on the other side, because I just didn't want nothing to do. That's all, didn't want to hook up--caught up with it or anything, I wanted to keep away from it. And so I went ahead. But finally I found a girl that was a real girl. She was--was a Christian. She afterwards become my wife.
61 I guess you wonder how I ever got married being so bashful. I tell you how that happened, just quickly as I can. I met her. She was a--a pretty girl, but she was such a lady, the way she carried herself. And I'm so glad that her little boy, hearing--this afternoon he's hearing this, and I can say his mother was a genuine lady. Yes, sir.
And I met her; she was a member of a church up there. And she asked me to go to church with her, and I did. I kept going with her a long time, and I--I thought she was pretty. She was a real girl, so I... But the only thing was, I'd been going with her for about a year and something, and I knew a girl like that, I couldn't take up of her time if I wasn't going to get married, so I'd have to let somebody else that wanted to get married have her, and that was going to be an awful spot to pull away from me.
62 So you know how you think they all look, you know, with teeth like pearl, and eyes like a dove, you know, and on like that. All of you get them...
Don't you think that of your wife, you know? You ought to continue thinking that of her too. That's right. That's right. Keep that thought in mind, just as sweet... Wait till she's made immortal on the other side, then look at her. She won't need any--what do you call them manicure stuff you put on your face here to make her look right then. God will have it...
63 I believe if a... I can't believe scientists that women, when they was a ugly looking thing, and whatever they was with men with hair out his nose like that and look a prehistoric animal. I believe that when God woke Adam up to look at Eve, she was the most beautiful thing that eyes has ever looked at. That's right. It goes to show that man, even this day, the desire in men, craves--look at a beautiful woman. Why? Because that--that strain comes down through that time (See?) like that, to know that, that that was given plumb from garden of Eden.
And I can see her setting there, her lovely hair hanging down around her hips. Adam looked at her: it was the flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. And see him take her by arm and walk down through Eden, oh, my. Don't worry, mother, it'll be that way someday again. That's right. There'll be no old there, and there'll be no babies; they'll all be about one age, marching on.
64 Notice, then what happened? I thought, "Well now, I've got to ask her, and I just haven't got the heart to ask her. I don't why. I've got to let her go if she won't marry me.
Now, her father was making about five hundred and something dollars a month, and I was making twenty cents a hour digging ditches. My... I had an old crippled up Ford, was in awful condition. And then I had a... That's about all I had. I didn't even have a suit. I had a trousers of one kind and a coat of another. But she loved me, I know; and I know I loved her.
And I'd go to church with her and she was very sweet girl. She was just peaceful and nice. The I thought, "Now, I've got to do something about it. And what am I going to do?" And I didn't have nerve enough to ask her. Do you know what I done? I wrote her a letter. Sure did. That's an awful way to become married but (See?)-- but I would...
Now, it wasn't just, "Dear Miss..." it had a little, you know... I fixed it up the best that I could, and I--I got it all fixed out, you know. I took it going to work, and I--I--I dropped it in the mail. Well, when Wednesday night was coming, we had a date to go to church, and I--I begin to think, "What if her mother got ahold of that?" Oh, my.
65 Now, her father was a good hearted Dutchman and... But her mother is a fine woman, but one of those prissy types, you know, and I... She didn't like me very well. So never mistreated me, that... She just didn't like me. So I thought, "Oh, how am I going to get by her?" So I begin to think when Wednesday night come on, "What if she got that letter and she's the one that meets me on the porch? Now what am I going to do?" I begin to think, "I just won't go." Then I thought, Well, if I don't, I've lost my girlfriend. Now what am I going to do?" I had to do something. So I went on up. I thought, "Oh, I'll take a chance."
66 And I went up there and nobody out. I knowed better than to blow the horn for her to come out. She'd tell me about that if I wasn't man enough to walk up the door and ask for her, I didn't go out. I think that girls that takes that attitude now, would be a lot better off. That's right. That's right.
And so I went up to the door, and I knocked at the door, and getting kind of warm, you know. And I thought, "Who's coming to the door."
And she opened the door, she said, "Oh, hello, Billy."
And I said, "Hello, honey." She looked at me and I thought, "Oh, my, my, my, here it is."
Then she said, "Won't you come in?"
I thought, "Oh, they get me in there, then I know I'm in for it." You know. I said, "I--I--I'll just wait right here on the porch."
"... step in." Said, "Mother's here."
And I thought, "I know not to step in." So...
Said, "Mother... Step in."
I said, "Aw, well, now. Is it all right if I wait right..."
And she said, "No, step in."
67 So I stepped and just stood, and just barely stepped in too. She shut the door, and I waited a little while and I thought, "Oh, my." She got ready to come out. I thought, "Well, must be all right." So I thought, "What's she going to say now? This is my last day. I know that. Boy, she's going to tell me, twenty cents a hour, I could never make her a living like that, living in a home that she does. So I went on, went down to church that night, and I was thinking, "Oh, my." right after church, had it made up to...
See there, you cross the bridges before you get to it? I said, "Now, well she'll tell me after church, 'Well, Billy, I'm sorry but is our last night together.'" I could just hear her say it. Oh, I just knowed she was going to say it. So I went out. I never heard a thing that Dr. Davis said, and he just preached on. I never heard a thing. I--I was worrying about what was going to happen when I got outside the church.
68 That night when we left the church and we started walking home, you know, I was walking down, and the moon was shining bright. She said, "Did you work hard, Billy?"
I said, "I sure did." I thought, "She never got that letter. (See?) She never got that letter. It hung up in the mail box, or it hasn't been delivered." I got pretty brave then. And I said, "All right." I begin to look over at her, look her right in the face. And I thought she passed through, and that moon shine on her, how pretty she looked. You know? So I thought, "Oh, my, whew, I hope she don't get that letter now 'cause I..." going on like that, and I was getting pretty brave, you know.
She said, "Billy."
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "I got your letter."
Thought, "Oh..." I said, "You did?"
She said, "Uh-huh." Just kept on walking...
I thought, "Well, woman, say something. Tell me... something." You know how women can keep you in suspense. You brothers know what I'm talking about. And I'm... I just kept walking on, so I... I said, "Well, maybe she never read it." I said, "Did you read it?"
She said, "Uh-huh." She kept walking on. I thought, "Oh, my, say something 'fore you get up there at the house, sure enough." So...
And I said, "Did you read all of it?"
She said, "Uh-huh."
I said, "What'd you think about it?" you know.
Said, "It was all right."
69 Well, we got married. There you are, so she... We got married. And just before we got married I knowed I had to--to ask her parents for her. She said, "You'll have to ask mother and daddy."
I thought, "Oh, oh. I'm in for it again." I said, "How about just asking your daddy?"
She said, "Oh, either one of them."
I said, "Thank you, honey." I went out and remember that night, I was going to ask her daddy and I set down so nervous. He lightened at... So I said... I was so nervous, and she'd look over at me, laughing. And then so I got up off the--the duofold. I walked over, and she said, "Good night."
And I said, "Good night." I said, "A-hem, Mr. Brumbach..."
He said, "Yeah..."
I said, "Could I--I--I speak to you just a moment?"
He said, "Sure."
He come walking out, you know, great big fellow, walked out on the porch, and I said, "Sure is a fine night."
He said, "Yes, it is, Billy."
I said, "My, I like this weather, don't you?" And I'm so nervous I didn't know what to do.
He said, "Yes." Said, "Go ahead, Bill, you can have her."
I said, "Do you mean it, Charlie?"
He said, "Yeah."
I like him today. My, I thought just then, I thought, "Oh, my, that was fine. I said, "You talk to mother about it. Will you do it?"
He said, "Oh, yes, I'll fix that up; it's all right."
70 I said, "Charlie, look," I said, "I can't make her a living the way you do." I said, "I--I--I'm only making twenty cents an hour." I said, "I--I can't make her... But Charlie, I love her with all my heart, and I'll work as hard as I can to make her a living."
He put his hand on my shoulder, a fine man, said, "Billy, I'd rather you have her than anybody I know of." He said, "You'll be good to her. And after all, happiness don't consist of how much the world's good you own." That's right, friend.
And I said, "Charlie, we'll be happy."
And he said, "Well, I hope that you are, Billy." And he said, "Be good to her."
I said, "I will."
He said, "I'm glad to know that you're going to get married."
71 When we were married, we were happy. And oh, my, we didn't have nothing. I remember when we went to housekeeping, we rented two rooms, and I went out and bought an old second hand cooking stove, and I paid a dollar and seventy-five cents for it and paid a dollar for the grates to go in it. Somewhere I went to Sears and Roebucks and got one of them tables, breakfast sets that's not painted. And I remember I painted a big shamrock on it, 'cause I was Irish. I painted a big shamrock on it; she just laughed about it.
We had an old folding bed. Anybody know what a folding bed is? Somebody give it to us and we had two linoleum rugs, and an old folding bed. We went to housekeeping, but brother, it was home. We had each other and that's all we cared for.
72 I become a minister and was preaching the Gospel then, and I had a little church and was preaching the Gospel. I didn't make very much. And after awhile God blessed us in our home, and my little Billy Paul, which is setting back there in the audience, come on the scene. I asked God to give me a little boy, and when he was born in the hospital, I first heard him scream in the room, delivery room; I said, "Lord, it's a boy, and I now give him to you. His name shall be called Billy Paul." And the doctor come out in a few minutes, said, "You have a fine boy in there. You like to see him?"
I said, "Yes, his name is Billy Paul." And so he come out and here he is with me today."
73 Went on and we struggled and worked and tried to make a living and go on the best we could. I'll hurry right through now as quick as possible to this tear strained part.
And then, why we're doing fine. We saved our money. I was still paying for my old Ford. And I--I remember, we got a time where we was--I could go up to Dowagiac, Michigan. Old Brother Ryan, he's somewhere in here today. I believe you'll see him along here. He's coming in. He's an old man. I used to thought he belonged to the House of David, 'cause he had a long beard and hair. I went to see him at Michigan to fish a little while. We'd saved our money, and she wanted to stay home 'cause they had a--a working group in the church, and she couldn't leave to go with me. And I could drive. It was about two hundred or better miles up there. I went up and spent two or three days fishing.
74 And on my road back, I passed through Mishawaka, Indiana. And there was a people out there, and the worst church manners I ever seen in my life: they were screaming and... Well, I never seen anything act like that. So I thought, "I believe I'll see." And it was a Pentecostal group of people. The minister was named Raugh, where they was holding... Might somebody might know Reverend Mr. Raugh from Mishawaka, Indiana.
And they had a Pentecostal group. Well, I went and stopped and went to the door and police was directing the traffic on the outside. They was all up and down through there, and those people were clapping their hands, and screaming, and running up and down the aisles and shouting. I thought, "My, my, what a group." Why have you heard that little song, "Something got a hold of me"? It beginning to work on me a little bit, you know. Well, I thought, "Well..."
75 I counted my money. I had exactly two dollars and seventy-five cents and had to go home. So I counted how much gasoline it would take me: a tank of gas to get home. I had seventy-five cents left. So they... Going on, their meeting was going on, they was having a conference, a national conference. And I went down and got me a whole big bunch of stale rolls with sugar on them and wrapped them up and put them under my seat. And I knowed I could live off of that. Although they was having dinner there, and so forth, but I had no money to put in, so I didn't want to eat from them when I couldn't put nothing in the offering. So I couldn't find a place to stay, so I went out in the country in an old corn field and stretched out my seat out of my car, and put my trousers under there to press them that night, and laid down.
76 And I know that night they had a big bunch there, and they begin to preach, and they said, "All the preachers come to the platform." Two or three hundred preachers walked to the platform. And they had different ones, they said, "Now we haven't got time for all of you to preach. Just stand up and give your name, and where you are. And when it come my time, I said, "Reverend Branham, Jeffersonville, Indiana." Set down. "Evangelist," like that. Just on next like that and went on through.
And directly he said some man was going to preach, a colored man. They had to have it in the north, 'cause they couldn't have it in the south on account of the colored and white together. They brought an old fellow out there; he had on one of those great big old preacher coats, you know, them long... Old colored man, a little bit of a rim of hair around like that come walking out like this, you know. And I'd heard all good preaching that day. He walked up.
77 First time I ever seen a microphone. And I was watching the public addressing outfit, little bitty thing hanging there at the big tabernacle. My, it all looked good to me. And I was looking around, you know, but what amazed me is those people so free and happy. My, I didn't--was used to that.
And then this old man come out there. I thought, "Look like they'd have some of the young men preach instead of that old man, about dead. And he come walking out there like this; he said, "Well," he said, "Children..." He got to talking, you know. He took his text.
Now preachers been preaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and I was listening close, and all these things. But he took his text from back over in Job: "Where was you when I laid the foundations of the world, when the morning stars sang together and sons of God shouted for joy?" and he begin to preach on that and him... They preach those things down here, but he went up, back there with Job, plumb down through eternity, and down, and come back on the horizontal rainbow coming. About time he got preaching there about five minutes, that old stoved up man let out a yelp, and screamed and jumped up in the air, and clicked his heels together, throwed his chest back, tipped off that platform like a little bantam chicken, said, "Well, you ain't even got room up here for me to preach."
I looked at that, and I said, "My, that's what I want. If it'll make an old man act like that, what would it do to me?" If it's that... Why, I thought, "That's what I want." And I said, "I ain't going home till I find out more about this."
78 That night, out there I knelt down. I said, "Oh, God, them people's got something that I want." I said, "Let me have some of that." And I was... Listen, I said, "Now, give me favor with them somewhere. When I go down there," I said, "May I'll just... Maybe just them things get all over me and I'll feel that way."
So I went on down there. You know the Baptists don't act like that, you know, they have the... You know. And now, no disregards to the Baptist church, now, and that's all right. If the Baptists would've stayed back...
79 Listen, not long ago I was preaching in a Baptist church just as hard as I could preach, and all of them setting there just as starchy. I said, "Say, is this the Baptist church?"
Pastor said, "Yes, sir."
I got up preaching again, and I was getting a little wild, I guess you know that. So I got a... preaching up like that, nobody said, "Amen." I said, "Say, is this the Baptist church?"
Said, "Yes, sir."
I said, "Look, you all not Baptist; you're just church joiners. Down in Kentucky where I come from when we Baptists down there, when we get saved, we'd be down at the altar and beat one another on the back till we come through. That's real Baptists, brother." That's right. That's the kind of Baptists we need today. That's right. That's exactly right.
80 And then I... But these people... I remember going on and praising the Lord. And I went out and I prayed, "God, let me get some of that. That's what I want."
Next day, I went out to church about ten o'clock. They just got through breakfast, and I'd had my rolls. And I come down and got me a drink at a fountain down there in the city, drove my old Ford up, got out. I put on a pair of them seersucker trousers that morning, and a little old tee shirt. "Nobody knowed me, not a soul." I walked in, set down by a colored man. And I was setting there, you know, and I thought, "Oh, my. " All of them was clapping their hands and singing and shouting and screaming. I thought, "Oh, my, if I just had grace enough to do that. If I can just get loose to do that, I want that."
And I was watching. And bye and bye after awhile the little fellow come up to the microphone. His name was Kirch, from Cincinnati, and--Ohio. And he said, "There was a young minister on the platform last night by the name of Branham." Said, "We want him this morning to come to the platform for the morning message." Seersucker trousers, tee shirt... My... Not me.
81 I was way back there; I just kind scooted down in the seat like this. So they begin and he went in and he sang another song. He said, "Anybody inside or out know the whereabouts of Mr. Branham?" I was the youngest preacher on the platform. He said, "Come to the platform," said, "we--you're to bring the morning message." I just set real close, never said nothing.
That colored fellow looked over at me said, "Do you know him?"
Oh, my. What could I say? I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "Go get him."
Oh, I--I--I couldn't lie to him. You see? I said, "Listen, fellow, I want to tell you something."
Said, "Yes, sir."
I said, "I--I--I'm--I'm Brother Branham, you see," but I said, "I can't get up there." I said, "Look at these trousers. See? Look at this tee shirt."
He said, "Them people don't care how you dress."
I said, "But look, I--I--I can't go up there." I said, "You just keep still. Don't tell them I'm here. (See?) Just keep still."
He said, "Anybody know where Reverend Branham is?"
That colored man said, "Here he is. Here he is." Seersucker trousers, tee shirt, my... My face was red, you know. Oh, my. What was I going to do? I got ahold of my Bible. I said, "Lord, I prayed last night for something, maybe it's You." I said, "I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't preach around where them fellows are." I'll go up there. And I started to walking up there. Everybody was looking at me, you know, and them seersucker trousers. And you know how they'd be pressed under a Ford seat, so... This--this old tee shirt, and it stained all over, you know.
82 I started walking up... I was up fishing. So I--I started walking up there and I said, "Why, why, people," I said, "I'm just a little bit... I don't know what I am," I said. "I--I--I feel kindly funny," I said, "I--I--I'm not used to your all's religion," I said. "And..." And I said, "I--I--I wanted to speak just a little; I'll do the best I can." And so I got up over there--over there where the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, and my, something got ahold of me. The next thing I knowed it was about a half-hour later. I was out in yard just. My, what a time we had.
83 Here come a fellow up with a big pair of Texas boots on, a big hat, said, "I'm Reverend so-and-so." I thought, "Well, I ain't so bad dressed after all." I said, "Are you a minister?"
He said, "Sure." Said, "I heard your message." Said, "I heard you was a evangelist." Like for you to come down to Texas and hold me a revival." I said, "Well, look, I'm just a young preacher. I just started." I said, "I ain't--hadn't got into this way just right, with you all. Oh," I said, "I like it."
84 A fellow tapped me on the shoulder. And he looked and he had on a pair of those there knickerbocker pants, bloused at the knees, like I used to wear when I was a little boy: golf clothes. He said, "I'm Elder so-and-so from Miami."
I said, "You a preacher?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
I thought, "Well, I'm all right then."
So he said, "Why, here." Said, "Will you come and hold a meeting for me?"
85 And a lady come up from some, oh, way up in the Indian country, said, "Oh brother, we need you up there."
I thought, "Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Maybe this is what You're going to do something for me." I got on over there; and I begin to take down their names and address. I said, "I'll find out. I'll talk it over with the Lord, with my family..."
When I went home, I'll never forget. Running in... My wife always met me with her arms stretched out; I can see her yet today, bless her heart. She come running to the door; I said, "Oh, honey, I got something to tell you. I met the best bunch of people in the world. I begin to tell her all about how they was acting. She said, "Well, where they at?"
I said, "Up at Mishawaka, Indiana." I said, "You think they're ashamed of their religion? They just scream and shout, run, shake one anther's hands." I said, "They don't care. They're just as free like birds in the air." I said...
86 She said, "Were they at?"
And I said, "Up in Mishawaka. A whole bunch of them up there." And I want to show you something. Reached down in my pocket. I said, "They have given me invitations to come to their churches to preach." I said, "You believe it?"
She said, "Is that true, honey?"
I say, "Yeah."
She said, "Well, maybe you couldn't preach in their kind of church."
I said, "That's what they asked me to do." I said, "Well, I'll go." So she... Well, I said, "Would you go with me?" God bless her heart, she'd always go.
She said, "Yes, honey, wherever you go I'll go with you." We didn't have no money. We went in and counted our money, what we had, and I didn't have even enough to make the payment on the car. I said, "Well look, honey, the--the--the Bible said don't take nothing and take no thought." I said, "The Bible said if you got two coats, give one of them to your brother and go on out and He'd supply." Now, I said, "Do you think if you and the baby could go on and be..."
"Yes, yes, we'll do it."
87 Next thing we had to tell our parents then. And I went and told my mama here. Of course mama, it's all right with her. I'm thankful for a good mother and said, "Sure, honey, God bless you."
Then we had to go. And this time her father and mother had separated, so I had to go to her mother. And when I went to her mother, she said, "William..."
Oh, my. I knew what was up. She said, "You cannot take my daughter."
I said, "Look, a... Look, them's the nicest bunch of people."
She said, "I've heard of that bunch of people; they're holy rollers." Then she said, "You're not pulling my girl out across this world. Today she's got something to eat and tomorrow she's starving amongst that bunch of trash." And brother, I come to find out this, and I say it from my heart. "What she called trash is the cream of the crop." That's exactly right. I say that with reverence. That's true. Now.
88 She said... And I said, "Well, she's my wife and she wants you..."
She said, "Well, mama, I want..." Well, there it was.
And I said... She started... She said, "Well, if she goes, her mother will go to the grave broken hearted." And the wife started crying.
Well now, I couldn't stand that, so I told her; I said, "Well, we'll wait and go later." Now, there's where I made my mistake." Now, if I would have went on, this gift would have been in operation way before that, 'cause I'd come amongst people who would recognize it. You see? But I said, "Well, we won't go."
And brother, sister, from right then my trouble started. The first thing, you know, my church begin to drop off. My brother was killed, having his neck broke in the street. He was riding in a car like this with his arm out; his neck was broke; his blood poured out on my other brother's body. And I run to meet him, but it was too far, died before I could get to him. My sister-in-law died a few days after that. My father died in my arms. Everything begin to go wrong.
Then the '37 Flood came on. You heard about it, many of you on your radios and things. The Ohio River, spread out through the country.
89 My wife taken pneumonia. Little old Dr. Adair, I shall never forget him. He come. We're buddies. We'd fish together, and hunt together, and everything: one of the best doctors, medical doctors there is in the country. And he... We went to school together. He come up there and looked at her, said, "Billy," said, "that girl's got pneumonia." I'd just taken him his Christmas present. He--he never...
God had give us a little girl between that time, little Sharon Rose. I couldn't call her the Rose of Sharon, but I could call her Sharon Rose. And I called her Sharon Rose. And God gave her to us and she was a sweet little lump, and we just loved her so much. And she'd just got to a place to where, the mother would set her in her little, the "four corners," you know, out in the yard, and I'd come up, and I'd blow the horn on the car like that. She'd recognize and lift her little arms and go, "Goo, goo, goo, goo." My, how I loved that little lump of human flesh. I'd hold her in my bosom and kiss her and love her. My little boy...
I just love little children, and God had give them to me. And I'd put them both on my back and piggyback and ride around, you know, just as happy as we could be, nothing... but just... She had just the two children in a little over two years. And then...
90 But she taken pneumonia when she went to get the children a Christmas present. And the doctor said she'll have to lay right here, Billy, 'cause she's--probably will die if--if she ever moves. But her mother come up and said she was going to move her down to her house. And Dr. Adair said, "She'll have to get another doctor, 'cause I wouldn't do it, Billy," wouldn't permit it.
So they--she went and dismissed him and got another doctor and taken her down there. And the flood broke through, and then all of us was put on the rescue to--to work with the flood. We rushed her out to the government hospital where they temporary placed the hospital. The dikes was breaking through; the city was washing away.
91 I'll never forget those nights. I remember they called me. Both babies was sick with pneumonia, and she was laying sick with pneumonia, out in the hospital there with a fever a hundred and five and both babies sick.
And I come up... I come up and had my car, and I had a boat and I was raised on the river and said... I operated a boat pretty well. And everybody was just pulling people out of the flood, and people drowning and everything. I got my boat... I was working on a wall and some of them come, said, "Oh, the--get down here, preacher, right quick and get your boat in down here." The dike broke, you know, over on Chestnut Street, and the houses are washed away, and there's a mother on top of the house out there with a bunch of little children, about eleven o'clock at night.
92 I rushed down there real quick and throwed my boat in the water, started it up. And I had to buck those waves as high as this tent, almost, up in there where they just a dashing against the side of those buildings like that. And I heard a mother screaming. I looked over there, and she was standing on the top porch, out over her house, and the--the waves just shaking that house like that with four or five little children standing around her. I said, "See where the street lights hadn't went out yet, down through there." And I went up through the alley like this with the boat and it just washing things from under it. Went down through that way. Finally caught to the post and throwed the rope around and run in, the mother fainted. And I picked her up and pulled all the children, packed them, put them in the boat and got back.
93 Just as I got to the bank I heard her say, "Oh, my baby, my baby..." Well, I thought she'd left a little baby in there. "Where's my baby?" though she was talking about a little--a little about three year old child she had there.
And I said, "Oh, my, a little baby laying in that house..." And I went back again, and I knowed the poor little thing, how I love children. And the waves were horrible then. I just got to the house, and throwed the rope around again, and went in, looked at all around, and I couldn't find no baby, and just then I heard the house give away. And just as it give away I run real quick to the porch and grabbed the--the rope at the column, went down and pulled the slip knot out of it, and then the current caught me and out to the river I went, like that.
94 And I got out there and I couldn't get my outboard started on, like that, the string just froze. Sleeting and snowing, and I was trying to get it started. It wouldn't start. And the current caught me, and there the falls just below me. And I knowed what was going. And there, setting in that boat, out there, rocking back and forth, and the waves twisting like this, me pulling on that string, and it wouldn't start. And I'd pull again, it wouldn't start. I thought, "Oh, my, a half a mile farther, and down through that chute I'll go and they'll never find a piece of me, when I go down through there." I thought, "Oh, God, the wages..." The way of a transgressor's hard, friends. Don't you never get that, but what it is. And I thought, "Oh, God..." I begin to remember it. I begin to remember Him then, that He called me to go and I didn't go and I refused to go. During that time though, we'd went ahead and received the Holy Spirit, both of us.
95 And I was pulling the string; it wouldn't start. I got down, I thought, "There's little Billy Paul. I'll never see him again. There's little Sharon Rose. I'll never see her again. There's wife laying there in the hospital, right at the point of death. I'll never see them when they break the news to her that I'm gone and find my truck setting there, and then it... Well, some of them might've seen the house move away. What will happen?" I said, "God, have mercy upon me. Please, dear God, I don't want to die. I'm sorry that I did what I did." I said, "Help me to start..." I pulled the chain and away it started. Cut through and come way down by Howard's Park and come back. Went and got my car real quick, left my boat tied up, top of the tree where I could get back to it. And I come up and got my car real quick. And some of them said, "Why, they're telling the depot washed away awhile ago," where the wife was.
96 And I run up through there real quick, and I met a major there. And I--I stopped and I said, "Major Wheatley..." I knew him. I said, "Is it true, that I...?"
He said, "Yes, the water broke through." said, "All that hospital bunch was taken out though." Said, "I think that all of them got on a car, a train, and they've gone to Charlestown, Indiana, and you can find them up there."
I jumped in my car. I remember the last time I seen my little associate pastor. He grabbed me by the hand; he said, "Brother Branham, if I never see you again, I'll see you in the morning." And that's the last salutation one another as we saluted one another. He died during the time of the flood. And all... Oh, he never died; he went home to be with Jesus during the time of the flood: a little boy, filled with the Holy Ghost, a little Frenchman, DeArk was his name.
97 And away we went. I--I went out there to try to--to get across and when I got my boat down there and got up there, the Lancassange Creek up there was backed through for about eight miles of water through there, twisting. There wasn't a river where it cut around. And some of them said, "Well, last train that crossed, went on a trestle. The trestle washed away and every one of them was drowned right by the..."
Oh, my, I said, "It can't be? It can't be," and I tried again; I tried to pierce it. And I couldn't... try into the night. The waters taken me back. Come to find myself cut off from everybody, setting out in the room, up on a hill. And there, for about five or six days I had plenty of time to think all over my wrong, when God called me to go and I didn't go. And setting there thinking, "My baby and wife has drowned. My mother, where was she at? I didn't know where she was at. I didn't know where no one was at.
98 And finally when the rivers dropped enough that I could get a boat across, I rushed across. And I said, "Maybe they went to Charlestown..." They told me the boat--the boat got through--I mean, the train got through. And I went to a great big place at Charlestown where they was keeping all the refugees. And I went in there; they knowed nothing about nobody named Branham in there. And I walked out under a tree and met old Colonel Hay, a very good friend of mine, he said, "Billy," he said, "that train went through here. I don't think it even stopped, was ran on through the dispatcher's office."
He went down there and said, "Yes," said, "the engineer of the train will be in just in a few moments that drove that train through." Said, "It was a cattle car." Her father was a brotherhood organizer on the Pennsylvania, drives the south route through now. And there it was going out on a cattle car. And the sleet and rain upon them. I knowed they couldn't live like that, and I had... [Gap in the audio]
99 Two sick children... And so how could I get to Columbus, I was cut off. And there, walking down the street, crying, wringing my hands, don't know what would take place, I... Someone wal--run up to me, said, "Billy, you're looking for Hope, aren't you?"
And I said, "Yes." That was my wife's name. They used to call her Hope, me Faith, and little baby, little Billy Charity.
So they said, "You looking for her?" And I said... Said, "My girlfriend is at Columbus, Indiana, and your wife is laying by her side dying with... tuberculosis."
I said, "No, it can't be."
Said, "Yes, she is."
I said, "Can you get me there?"
Said, "Yes, if you can walk a ways."
I said, "I can walk anywhere."
100 We got up and got in the car, and I went to Columbus. I went up there and I thought, "Where's she at?" I run into that... They had her in a--in a Baptist church, down on the basketball court, gymnasium. And I started down through there, hollering... There's cots everywhere, and people was stretched all like this, and every sickness and everything. I started screaming top of my voice, "Hope, oh, Hope, where are you, honey? Where are you?" I loved her. I love her yet. She's in her grave out there, but God knows she was a good God saved woman.
And I looked and I was crying, screaming, "Oh, where are you, Hope?" I looked over there, and I seen an old poor, bony hand go up in the air. It was her. I'll never forget how I felt. My heart begin to drop. And I run over to her, and fell down, and grabbed her hand. She did weigh about a hundred and thirty pounds; she probably weighed sixty or seventy then.
101 I was crying. I said, "Where Billy? Where's Sharon?" She said, "They're in a home somewhere." Said, "I'm going... I, aren't I Bill."
And I said, "No, honey, you look all right. You're going to be all right." I said, "Oh, God, have mercy. Please, dear Jesus," I said, "will You have mercy. Let my wife get well."
And I was praying; somebody was patting me on the back. It was the doctor, said, "You Reverend Branham?" And I said... Said, "Come aside a minute."
I went over; I said, "Yes, doctor?"
Said, "Isn't Sam Adair your doctor at home?"
And I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "Well, I'm going to tell you," said, "you better get ready for this." Said, "Your wife is going to die," said, "she's got TB."
And I said, "That's galloping consumption."
And said, "She won't last for just a little while."
I said, "Doctor, no, she can't go." I said, "You looked at my babies?"
Said, "Yes, they both been sick, but they're getting better."
And I said, "Oh, look, I'm going to take her home."
And he said, "You can't do that." Said, "You just stay right here." Well, after finally, when I did get her down home, she just kept getting worse, worse, and worse all the time.
102 Dr. Adair came back to give her pneumothorax treatments. They done everything that could be done. She kept getting worse. I'd pray, and cry, and beg with all my heart. Looked like it was just black before me as it could be.
Finally, they taken her out to the hospital. They sent and got doc--a doctor from Louisville. He come over and looked at her, and he said, "No." Dr. Dillar from the TB sanatorium, and he said, "There's nothing could be done for her, reverend," said, "she's going to die; that's all." Said, "Just might as well make ready for her to die," said, "because it's down in both lungs and has just got such a hold of her till there's no hopes of saving her."
What was I going to do? Oh, my. All the time I could hear that ringing in my ears, "I called you and give you the opportunity. You wouldn't go," like that. You reap what you sow, every time.
103 And I remember, I went ahead trying to work, trying to get things so we could eat, and I could pay my bills. And I was working one day. Getting worse all the time, she was. And I heard it come in, said for me to report at once at the hospital for my wife was dying.
And I never will forget; I took off my hat, took off my coat, laid it down. I said, "O God, have mercy on me, and let me speak to her again before she goes." I turned the car, and I was just close to Henryville, Indiana, or at Underwood, I mean. And down the road I came, rushed to the hospital, jumped out of the car, and run up the steps real quick, going into the hospital. And after I went in, I seen little Doctor Adair coming down the hall with his head down. He looked at me like that. Tears broke through, and He turned his face and started running and motioning to me. And I went up to him; I put my arm around him; I said, "Doc, look Sam, come here. What's wrong."
And he said, "I believe she's gone, Bill."
I said, "Surely not." I said, "Go with me, doc."
He said, "Billy, how could I go in there?" Said, "The girl cooked me a many a dinner. She was like my sister." Said, "How could I go in to do it?" Said, "I don't want to see her no more." He said, "You stay out here."
And I said, "I'm going to see her."
Said, "Don't go in there, Bill."
Well, I said, "Yeah, I'm going..."
He said, "Here." Called one of the nurses, "You go with him." She had a little red medicine or something or other. The little thing said, "Take this."
I said, "I don't need that."
104 I walked in. I said, "I want to go alone." I pulled the door behind me. I looked over there. She had real dark eyes and black hair: German girl. She was all doubled up like this. I looked down upon her, and just as still. I put my hand on her forehead. It was real sticky, didn't look like she had any life. I put my hand over on her head, and I said, "O God, please." I said, "That's my baby's mother. Let me tell her good-bye. Will You do it, Lord? Let me tell her good-bye. I don't want her to go without telling her good-bye. Will You help me, dear God, if there's forgiveness in Your great heart. Will You just let me say good-bye to her?"
Her head moved. I looked down. If I live a hundred years, I'll never forget those big, dark eyes looked at me. She couldn't talk. She motioned her finger. And I--I got down. She said, "Why did you call me?"
I said, "Why, honey, you're not going."
She said, "Yes, I am." She said, "I don't mind it, Bill, I just hate to leave you the babies." She said, "But I know..."
Well, then I said, "Honey, you--you're not going. No--no you'll get all right; you're going to be all right."
She said, "Now, Bill..."
105 Just then the nurse broke in. She said, "Reverend Branham, you come on out."
She said, "Come here," to the nurse. And she said out, "Evelyn," she knew her, a schoolmate. Said, "If you ever get married, I hope you have a husband like mine now."
And I said, "Oh, honey, don't say that."
She said, "I..." Evelyn started crying, went back out. She said, "I want to tell you something honey." She said, "I'm going," and she said, "It's glorious to go." She said, "I was on my road, and I had someone by each arm, looked like white angels, and they were taking me down through a white path to my home." Said, "I could hear you calling way back up the road." Oh, oh. Said, "Honey, you're just as peaceful," said, "great palm trees, and birds like the dawn of a morning, and... tropics."
106 You know what I think? I think she was just on that breach between the natural and the supernatural. She said, "I been taking a walk." Said, "Promise me one thing, that you'll always preach this glorious Gospel of the Holy Spirit," she said, "for it sure pays when you're going, Bill." She said, "I guess you know why I'm going, don't you, honey?"
And I said, "Don't say it."
She said, "No, not your fault; it was mine."
I said, "Yes, honey, if I wouldn't have listened to your mother, would've listened to God instead of some woman, I'd been better off, wouldn't I?"
She said, "That's right, honey, but it'll come out all right for you."
I said, "Hope, don't leave me.
And she said, "I have to go, honey." Said, "I hate to leave you and the babies." She said, "Promise me something, will you?" Said, "I got some things to tell you."
And I said, "All right."
107 Said, "I have to tell you quickly, 'cause I'm going back; they're waiting on me." She said, "Don't think I'm beside myself; I'm not." She said, "You remember that time you was in Louisville and you wanted to buy that little old .22 rifle, and you didn't even have enough money to make a down payment?"
I said, "Yeah."
She said, "I always wanted to get you that rifle." She said, "I've been saving the nickels to try to get enough money to make that down payment for it: three dollars." And she said, "After I'm gone, when you go home, look up on the top of the old folding bed, under that newspaper. And promise me you'll get the rifle. You want it so bad."
You'll never know how I felt when I went back home and found about two dollars and seventy-five or eighty cents laying there in nickels where she'd saved it, allowancing herself, do without stockings, mainly, to put it up there. That's a real wife.
108 "Now," she said, "another thing I want to tell you." She said, "You remember that time that you bought me them stockings, I sent you down to get stockings?"
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "Them was the wrong stockings."
How it was, we were going to Fort Wayne. I was going to preach that night up there. And I was going up to Fort Wayne, and she sent me down to get some stockings. There's two different kinds. One's called chiff--chiffon? That's them. What's the other one? Ray--rayon? Rayon and chiffon. And she told me; she said, "Go get me a pair..." Is the rayon the best? All right. She said, "They cost sixty-nine cents." She said, "Go get me a pair of--of rayon stockings while I'm--while I'm getting ready."
And I went down to get it. And I was going down the street. I never did buy any clothes for women, didn't know any clothes. I was going down... She said, "Chiffon."
"Chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon..."
Somebody said, "Hello, Brother Branham."
I said, "Hello... Chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon..."
Go on down, say, "How you getting along, Billy?"
I said, "Fine... Chiffon, chiffon, chiffon, chiffon..."
And I passed around a corner, and a--a fisherman friend of mine met me at the corner. He said, "Oh, Billy, Perch out on the piers are biting."
I said, "Sure enough. Crawfish is what they're hitting?" I said, "Well, I got to go to Fort Wayne." I said, "I'll meet you Monday," and we're talking like that. Then when he left, I forgot what it was.
109 Well, she sent me to Penney's to get it. So I used to go with a little girl by name of Thelma Ford, and she was working at Newberry's and I know that the--that they set them stockings in there, so I went in and thought I'd ask her. Well, I didn't want to show my ignorance to the people. And I went over there, and I said... She said, "Hello, Billy."
And I said, "Hi, Thelma."
Said, "What do you want?"
I said, "A pair of socks for Hope."
Said, "A pair of what?"
And I said, "Socks."
Said, "Hope don't wear socks."
And I said, "Yes, ma'am. She wants socks, and she wants that full style, that thing in the back, you know, and ever what it is, you know." I said...
She--she said, "She wants stockings."
I said, "Well, ever what you want to call them..." Then I thought I'd already showed how dumb I was, and I didn't want to get into it worse.
110 She said, "What kind does she want?"
I said, "What kind you got?"
And she says... What's that pronounced? As rayon? Chiffon? Is that the kind? Well, she starts and said, "Well, we've got some rayon." Well, I never heard...
I said, "That's what she wants." See? Sound like chiffon to me, chiffon, rayon. See? And I said, "That's what she wants."
And she said, "She don't want rayon."
I said, "That's what she wants." And so she went and got them. It was only about twenty something cents.
Why, I said, "Give me two pair of them."
She said, "Are you sure of that?"
Said, I said, "That's what she wants."
So I took them up there. You know how you went--brothers like to show off to your women, you know. And I said, "Oh..." I said, "I'm Abraham's son, little Yiddish." I said, "You know how to shop. Huh?" She said, "Did you get me chiffon stockings?"
And I thought, "Yes." That was what the good kind was. And I said, "Yes, ma'am. That's what I got." And she was lady enough not to tell me about it. And when she got to Fort Wayne, I thought it was strange, she had to have another pair of socks.
111 But what it was, she told me, said, "Honey, I didn't want to tell you." She was too much a lady then. Said, "I had to give them to your mother. It was for an older person." Said, "I'm sorry I kept it back from you, but I just couldn't tell you."
I said, "Bless your heart, sweetheart."
"There's one more thing I want you to promise me: you won't live single."
I said, "Oh, Hope, I can't promise that."
She said, "Don't live single, and have my children pulled about from post to post." She said, "I--I'm--I'm going, Bill." She said, "Will you promise me?"
I said, "Honey, I can't promise that."
Said, "Promise me, won't you?" the poor old feeble hands reaching up to me. Said, "Get a good girl that's got the Holy Spirit. She'll take care of the children." She said, "Bill, I'll meet you there."
I said, "All right, honey." I said, "Are you really going?"
She said, "Yes, I'm going."
I said, "Sweetheart, someday, so help me God..." I said, "I'll take you out here to Walnut Ridge and I'll bury you, and I leave a place there for myself and the kiddies."
She said, "Do one thing. Promise me too, that you'll never let loose, but you'll preach this Gospel that you heard up there at Mishawaka."
I said, "I promise."
She said, "It's glorious to die by, Bill." And said, "I hate to leave you and the babies, but it's so good to go back."
And I said, "Honey, on that day the sun will be as black as sackcloth, bloody. The skies will be waving and gray too." I said, "If I'm alive, I'll be on the battlefield, but if I'm not, I'll be sleeping by your side. And if you go before I do, if I'm alive, and you go before I do, when you see the city coming lowering down from God out of heaven," I said, "go over to the east side of the gate; stand there under the big pillar. When you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and them coming by," I said, "scream my name as loud as you can: Bill, Bill." I said, "I'll gather the children together, and I'll meet you there at the gate."
She said, "I'll meet you, honey." And I kissed her. That was my last date with my wife." And brother, sister, if sometimes I get weary and tired, but I'm going to keep that appointment. One day I'm going to meet her.
112 I walked out of the building, went home, oh, my, my heart breaking. I couldn't stand it. Mother told me, "Come to her house." I couldn't do it. I went over that night. I was going around the house. I went in the room, laid down. I shut the door. When I shoved the... I was laying on the cot and I shoved my foot, shoved it together; and when I did, there was her coat hanging on the back of the door. I--I... It was all over again.
Just then, somebody knocked on the door, said, "Billy?"
And I said, "Yes."
Said, "I got some bad news to tell you."
I said, "Well, I was right there when she died."
"That's not all of it. Your baby's dying too."
I said, "No."
"Yes." Said, "Dr. Adair just left and said not let you come to the hospital; it's dying now with tubercular meningitis."
I couldn't stand it no longer. Then got--I got up. Two men setting in an old truck, we went out there to the hospital, and I went in. Doc said, "You can't go in there."
I said, "Yes, I can."
"No, you can't," said, "Billy, you got to think about Billy Paul." Said, "See, she's got meningitis. She's contracted that from her mother," And he said, "if you go in there, you might take it to your boy."
I said, "Doc, I must go."
He said, "You can't." So he set me down in a room. As soon as he got away, I slipped in anyhow.
113 And I went down there. It was a little old hospital, and there, when I walked into the room... I'll never forget it, there laid my little eight month old darling, little Sherry, laying there. And she was suffering so hard, her little legs was moving up and down like that, fast. It looked like her little hands was waving at me: good-bye. I looked at her and she was suffering so hard, I said, "Sherry, do you know your daddy, honey?" I shooed the flies out of her eyes. And when she looked at me... She was suffering so hard till one those little baby blue eyes had crossed.
I never could stand it to see a cross-eyed child from then. I've never seen one pass the platform but what was healed... That right? I seen four hundred and something cross-eyed children healed in six months. Oh, when I see a cross eyed child I think of my little Sherry laying there. She was suffering so hard until that that--her little eyes crossed and her little hand tried to wave at me.
114 And I said, "Know, daddy, honey?" and her little lips trying to speak to me like this, "goo" to me, and they were quivering; she's a dying. I put my hand over on her; I said, "O God, please God, don't take her. You took my wife; You took my daddy, and You've took... O God, isn't there forgiveness in Your great heart?" I said, "Please, dear God, please spare my baby." I thought, "Whatever I've..." I said, "Won't You do it, Lord? Looked just looked like a black sheet begin to unfold, coming down. Oh, I knowed she was gone.
I looked at her; I thought, "Oh, my, if I had it to live over again, they would never be trash. I don't care who would..." I thought, "Oh, if I could just go back, I'd never listen to another thing anybody told me; I would listen to God and Him alone. I'd listen to Him."
I looked down at her and I knowed she was going. I said... sweetheart, daddy's going to... you. You won't be so... just wave at me. I just done been... took up home. I said, "You're worried about... whether... street. I placed my hand over on her little head; I said, "Lord, You gave her and You taken her away. Though You slay me, yet I'll trust You. You're still my Saviour. I love You." I'm not a baby. But when I think about it, tears me to pieces.
115 I thought, "Oh, God, how You will just take that precious thing from my heart?" Then... yonder I said, "Not my will though, let thine be done. God, if You slay me, I'm just going to trust You." I said, "God bless you, honey. Good-bye, Sherry. You're... I will put you in mother's arms in a few hours up there in a casket where she's laying now. And one day daddy will see you again." I stepped back and every bone in me seemed like, went to pieces. I dropped to the floor. The Angels of God come down and packed her little soul to be with her mother. She went to meet mother, tucked her little helpless body in the arms of her dear mother. We went out there to the graves and buried them. Reverend Smith from the Methodist church, walked up there and got the handful of dirt, said, "Ashes to ashes and dust unto dust and earth to earth." Them old clods begin to beat on top of that casket as it went down in the grave. I raised up, I couldn't stand it.
116 Way back up on the side of the hill was some big cedar trees. I heard the wind whistling through there. It seemed like the song said,
There's a land beyond the river,
That they call the sweet forever.
And we only reach that shore by faith's decree.
One by one they gain the portals,
There to dwell with the immortals,
Someday they'll ring those golden bells for you and me.
Last Easter a year ago, her little son there, Billy and I, we'd go to the grave early of a morning, I had a little bundle of flowers under his arms, I said, "Let's go visit mama's grave."
We were going along there with the flowers, coming day. I took off my hat, and the little old fellow took off his hat. I heard... I said, "Don't cry, sonny." I put my arm around him. We set it down by the side of the grave. I read it: "Right there lays Hope Amelia Branham and darling daughter, Sharon Rose." I said, "Sweetheart, the re--re--reason we're kneeling here Billy, in Jerusalem there's an empty grave this morning. That's right. And your mother died in Him Who rose again." I said, "Someday, we'll see mama and sissy again in a better land."
117 After my wife, they'd buried her, I went home. I tried to go to work. I had thousands of dollars in debt, and frankly on that till just recently got out of it.
... father had died, no insurance. We couldn't afford insurance or nothing and there he was. By the way I'm not an insurance person.
Buy insurance... One guy come to me the other day, said, "I want to sell you some insurance."
I said, "I... Listen, don't talk to me about that." I said, "I have insurance."
Said, "Oh, you have insurance?"
I said, "Yes, sir."
Said, "What is it?"
I said, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine."
He said, "That'll not put you in the grave up here."
I said, "I'm not worried about getting in there. That'll bring me out." I said, "I'm worried about coming out, not going in." I said, "That's right." I ain't got nothing against insurance, it's all right. You see? That's all right. And some people's insurance poor. That's right. But I tell you of an insurance you can collect on it right now: Just now the Holy Spirit of God. Is right. The assurance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and we'll come out again.
118 Then when I was there, laying on the bed one morning... I remember getting up on a post. I was working for a electrical company, trying, the Public Service Company of Indiana. I was working real early one morning. I was taking down some taps. I was singing, "On the hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame." I noticed the sun coming up, shine against the telephone pole--or the electric pole and that cross arm looked like the picture of someone hanging on the cross, wiggling out there on the hill, the shadow. I said, "Yes, it was my sins that put Him there. It was my disobedience that put Him there. He died for me." I just got so... I was... I could see my wife going, but I couldn't see that baby going. I just couldn't do it, and I said, "O God, why did You take that precious little thing from me. Here I am left alone in the world, me and the boy to wander around together." I said, "Why did You take her, Lord?" I got so worked up till I said, "Sherry, honey, daddy's coming to see you this morning." I pulled off my rubber glove. There laid twenty-three hundred running right by me; break every bone in your body. I said... Gone crazy... I pulled my glove. I said, "Sherry, daddy's coming to see you. I can't stay away from you any longer." I said, "God, I hate to be a coward, but I can't stand it; my heart's a breaking. I can't stand it." The next thing I knew I was setting on the ground. How I ever got down from there, God only knows. And I believe that if that gift hadn't been foreordained to put in there, I'd have been gone right there, 'cause I made up my mind I was going to take my life as a suicide case. I'd lost my mind. I'd gone crazy. And I got--went home. I said, "Oh..." I put my tools in the car, I said, "I'm going home, I've gone crazy."
119 And I went home and stayed with mama that day and that night I was going around the house and I picked up the mail. And as soon as I went there... I fast it back in a little old room there, a little old fireplace, and I mean, a little old stove setting there, a little old cot. I stayed right there at the home. It wasn't... I didn't want to go no where else. There wasn't very much there, that old furniture, but she and I lived together with it, and it was ours. It was a whole lot. That's right. It ain't the value of anything; it's the way you look at it. That's right. And I've always lived together here in... She loved it and kept clean. I want to stay right here with it till I die too.
And I was staying there, and I'd come in of a nighttime look around over her things, then I would lay down. That night when I come in there, looked at these letters, and the first one had on it, said "Miss Sharon Rose Branham," her little Christmas saving: eighty cents. And I looked at it; I thought, "O God..." I knelt down on the floor; I said, "O God, I can't stand it; I'm going to die." I said, "Please, forgive me. Will You always... me, Lord. Please have mercy on my poor, sinful soul." I said, "Don't let me be here. I've... You... I've died to myself, why am I on the earth?" I said, "I can't stand it, losing my baby and all I got." And I said, "It's just after me day and night."
120 And I went to praying. I got real sleepy, that haze come upon me. I went to sleep. I dreamed that I was out west, and I was walking down by the side of a--a prairie, as it used to be. I seen an old prairie schooner and a wheel was broken a laying down sideways; and I was singing that song, or whistling, "The wheel on the wagon is broken..." 'course that was our broken family (You see?) then. And--and it won't run no more. And I was whistling like that, "the wheel on the wagon's broken," going along. And there stepped out from the side that wagon was the most beautiful blond-headed girl I ever seen. She was dressed with snowy white, her pretty little blue eyes a shining, her blond hair; she said, "Hello, dad."
I tipped my hat up; I said, "How do you do, miss?"
And she said, "Hello, dad."
I said, "Dad? I beg your pardon."
She smiled and I said... She said, "Well, don't you know me?"
I said, "Well, lady, you're as old as I am. How could I be your father?"
And she said, "Don't you know your teaching, dad? You teach immortality."
121 See, I don't believe there'll be little babies in heaven. If they're resurrected little babies, they'll always be little babies. If they're real old people that resurrects on a cane or crutch, it'd be that way with immortality don't know. We'll be one age, one thing forever. We'll be of one age, I believe with all my heart, about the age of Jesus. I... That's just might be a thought but I don't... I know immortality, if it's resurrect a little baby that big, it will always be that way. I believe we'll be one age; there'll be no old or young. We'll be just in that middle age right there forever. I believe men and women...
Like God when He didn't tell Eve she was a little bitty growed up, or Adam, He just made them in His own image, and that's when He'll do it again, they're a full grown stature of people.
122 And she said, "Don't you remember your teaching of immortality?"
And I said, "Oh, who are you?"
And she said, "Down on earth I was your little Sharon."
I said, "Sherry, that's not you, honey?"
She said, "Yes, it is, daddy." She said, "Where's Billy Paul, my brother?"
I said, "Well, honey, I don't understand."
She said, "Mother's looking for you."
And I said, "Where's Mother at?"
She said, "Up at your home, your new home."
I said, "My home?" I said, "Honey, I--I--I--I--I--I never had a home." I said, "Branhams don't have homes."
She said, "But, dad, you got one here." And I turned to look, and there was a great mansion, glory to God coming up.
And I said, "Is that mine?"
She said, "Yeah, mother's up there waiting for you."
I said, "All right."
She said, "I'm going to wait for Billy. I'll stand right here. I'll be up there after while." Said, "Mother wants to see you."
I took off as hard as I could running. When I got up there, I started to run up them big steps like that. And I looked, coming walking out on the steps, here she come in all of her beauty, white robe on, dark hair hanging down, her arms reaching out. I run to her and grabbed her hands and knelt down. I said, "Oh, Hope, honey, I said, "I can't stand it no longer. I'm just about to go wild. And I--since you've left."
She said, "I seen all's went on, Bill." She said, "Promise me something."
I said, "What?"
She said, "Promise me you won't worry no more."
I said, "I seen Sherry, honey. Didn't our girl make a beautiful woman?"
Said, "Yes." Said, "She's waiting for Billy here to see him?"
I said, "Yes."
123 She said, "Promise me you won't worry, will you?" Said, "Sharon and I are better off than you are. Oh, honey," she said, "Just promise me you won't worry."
And I said, "All right. I won't worry no more." And she kinda raised up like this, and looked around, and she said, "Will you set down." And I looked, there's a great big chair setting there. And I looked at that chair and I looked back at her. She said, "I know what you're thinking. Here's what it was." While we was a preaching... Now we didn't have nothing, just them old hickory bottom chairs. We was living in a house. And I--I'd preach half the night, work all day long with a air hammer, and pick and shovel. I'd come in at night, and I wanted to buy one of them chairs, them, you know, Morris chairs, you call them, whatever it is, you know, lounge chairs. And I wanted to buy one. They was for sale then for fifteen dollars and ninety-five cents. And I would just pay a dollar down and a dollar a week to pay for it. And I had got one and moved it into the house, and my, I'd set there of a night and just relax when I come in, studied the Bible till I'd go to sleep.
And one day while I come in, and I'd got a dun, I couldn't make the payment that week. The next week passed; I couldn't make the payment and they sent to come get my chair. And so I--I just couldn't make the payment, I just couldn't do it. So I told her; I said, "You call them up and tell them to come get it, honey."
124 And so, I remember coming in that evening. She'd baked me a cherry pie. I--I love cherry pie so well. And I went in, she'd had some of the boys to dig some fishing worms so I could go fishing. They was setting out. She was a real girl. And so, and she had set out there and we come in to eat supper. I seen she was extremely happy, or seemed to be, or putting on something. She had her cherry pie and I was eating it. And afterwards I kind've suspicioned something. So I said, "Let's go in the front room."
She said, "Oh, let's go fishing first, down at the river."
I said, "No, let's go in the front room." And she put her arm around me. When I walked in the room, the chair was gone.
She started crying, put her head over on my shoulder; she said, "I'm sorry, honey, I tried everything to borrow two dollars even," but said, "I couldn't do it." We'd paid about ten dollars on it, and said, "I couldn't do it; we just had to let it go." And then she looked at me and she said, "Can we..." and I said, "Yes."
She said, "Well, sweetheart, there'll never be nobody come and get this one. It's already paid for. It belongs to you." Said, "You've been so tired; you been preaching and praying for the sick."
I--I wasn't praying for the sick then. So I know that sometime my going will probably be from the platform, praying for the sick. That been the thing that was a help... to get up.
125 She said, "But they'll never come take this." Said, "It's yours. Now set down and rest awhile." One of these days, friends, I don't know if day and night, I tried all that I can do to live and do what's right before God. One of these days I'm going home to rest. That's right. One of these times you'll see it the paper, I want you to stop and sing, "Only Believe." They're going to play that when they put me in the grave, they're going to... or go before Jesus comes, they'll put me in the grave and when I do, I'm going to go on to where there's chairs set down in to rest a little while. Come over, I wish I'd meet every one of you over there. I believe there's a land beyond this here, beyond the vale of tears and sorrows and heartaches. I have preached day and night; I've stayed till eyes shut crying; I've stand at the platform until they had to pack me out. Why? Because I've tried to make up for the time that I lost back there.
Brother, sister, you look down there and say, "Oh, this is easy, these here things. You don't know what's behind the life. That's right. This old heart's been broke and tore to pieces until God gets out, but someday it'll be over. There forever home. Won't you meet me over there? Would you like meet me? I'd like to make an appointment with you.
126 Just as sure as I stand on the platform I believe there's a heaven to go to. I believe there's a land of rest where we live at. I don't care if I had to eat soda crackers and drink branch water, I wouldn't compromise on this Gospel. It's the truth of God. I don't care if I'm called "Holy roller" or whatever you want to call me. That's all right. I know it's the truth. I've stood by them when they were dying and hear them say,
Happy day! Happy day,
Since Jesus washed my sins away.
He taught me how to watch and pray
And live rejoicing every day.
It ain't what you do here; it's the way you go out of this life. And I know without the Holy Spirit, you're lost. Won't you receive Him this afternoon?
127 Let's bow our heads. Our times has gone on. Heavenly Father, O God... O God, when my mind goes back to all those old tracks down along the time... I was laying there in the hospital there, I... When she looked around and... Oh, it was so perfect. And I thought, "O God, I know she's at rest now. My little baby, little Sherry's over there. O God, there's brother... Oh, soon I shall go, Lord. Help me. Help me to be true; help me to be faithful. I'm sorry that I did what I did in the beginning, Lord, how I shunned to preach the Gospel; how I failed, and maybe men will be lost because of it, but, O God, help me now to make up for it.
Here we are here in this city. I'm passing by, doing all that I can, Lord, to exalt Thy Son, Christ Jesus, Who died, and when He did, He saved. Maybe here this day, Father, there's those who are lost, don't know where they're standing. I don't know where in sin and darkness, lost, wandering in darkness, someday shall wind up in a Christless grave, in a devil's eternity to spend. Oh, help, dear Father.
128 Bless my poor little orphan boy, setting this afternoon, weeping, looking on, thinking of his dear mother that crossed the veil. But You had to break our hearts. But now, You've give me another lovely, little sweet Rebekah. How I thank You, Lord. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. Another companion to live with... Trying to do all that I know how to do to reach people... I'm so glad, happy for this meeting here. I realize that our parting down here we'll--may never meet again until we meet up there to face all the deeds that's done in our life. Then, Father, what will be then? Help us to meet each other there, won't you, Lord. Those hands went up this afternoon, showing Your appointment, we can meet together someday in a better land, where we won't cross the deserts and plains and around the countries to pray for the sick no more; it'll all be over then. They'll be no sickness or sorrow.
Bless, will You, Lord, today. Bless all those who are here. Bless those that are in need of Christ just at this moment. Won't You grant it, Father? In Jesus' Name.
129 While you have your heads bowed, in prayer if you will, how many in here would like to say, "Brother Branham, going put up my hand. I want you to pray for me right now that I'll be a Christian. Put up your hand. That's... God bless you, you, and you, and you. Oh, my. Outside, way out there, is there some? God bless you out there; I see your hands. Oh, my, hundreds of hands up.
What a marvelous time the Holy Spirit gives us. I looked upon you... I know a while ago the offering was taken up for me to help me to live. You put your substance in there; part of you're living, you're sharing it with me. Oh, it's... I... Won't you please accept Jesus so we can live together forever? Oh, if it--if it return... to Jesus, go home that you can live forever. Will you come while the sister goes to the piano?
130 I'm going to ask, "How many here would like to receive Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit life today?" Come and say, "Brother Branham, by the grace of God, I'm accepting Christ now as my Saviour and I'm coming right forward. Give me my hand, standing here on this platform. You pray with me. I want to go to heaven too, when I go." Will you come while they're playing, "Almost Persuaded Now to Believe"? Will you do it while we all stand all over the building, everywhere, or in the tent, however many here. Ever... People keep your places. Christians pray like not before. This may be the last time that we meet on this earth. Will you come right down here now around the platform while we pray. God bless you, sister. Someone else now while we all sing. God bless you, sister. God bless you. God bless you, sister, and you too, God bless you, brother.
131 Will you come now, all of you that would like to get a blessing from God... the saving of your soul to salvation. Mother coming with her two little girls, God bless... God bless you, honey. Come here; let's have your little hand. God bless you, sweetheart. Oh, my, God spoke to you. A little girl setting here, her little dark eyes looking up, full of tears... The Bible said, "A little child shall lead them." The grandmother... God bless you, mother. Good old mother with a scarf around her head is coming. Won't you come? All of us together now, as they're singing,
"Almost persuaded," Now to believe; (God bless you, brother, sister. That's where you start life. Come, sister.)
"... most persuaded," Oh, Christ to receive;
Seems now some soul to say...
"Go..." (God bless you, sister. God...)
Won't you come? Won't you come? Let every sinner come forward, will you now? Come forward by this confession of Jesus Christ. No matter what church you belong to, if you haven't been borned again, won't you come forward now? Your name on a church book doesn't settle it, dear friends. This might be the last time that there's ever a altar call that you'll set by.
Remember, a crowd of this size, six months from today, there'll be a group of you won't be on earth. Think of it. Remember, there's at least two dozen people in here that won't be here a year from today, about three or four thousand people gathered, or more, here, this afternoon. There won't... There'll be as many as maybe a fifty of you in a year from today will be gone. This may be your last opportunity. All the experience you have in putting your name on the book, don't believe that. Come forward if you believe me to be God's servant. Accept my word. If you're not borned again, will you come just now while we sing that verse again? Come on, everybody.
"Almost persuaded," Now to believe;
"Almost persuaded," (God bless you, sister.) to receive;
Oh, seems now some soul to say,
"Oh, go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day. On Thee I'll (All right...)
132 What if that day comes for your convenience, but it isn't convenient for Him then?
I stood not long ago, by the side of a man that was dying, who refused Christ. He screamed and told, "Take those demons away from me. They're wrapped in chains. Don't let them get me."
I stood by a woman's side, who had abortion cases, killing little children. She said, "A little cold babies hands are running through my hair." She said, "Let that... away from the window there with those great big heads on it.
Brother, I seen a man who shot another one, calling of his blood on his hands, he'd dodged the law, but he was standing before God then.
I stood by a Christian not long ago, old Daddy Hayes, his white flowing beard, said, "Raise my hands." Said, "A happy day since Jesus washed my sins away." I've seen them go in all kinds of conditions. And you're going to go in some condition, and there'll be a many many of you will have to meet that before a year from today, maybe all of you for all I know, but you know you got to. Won't you come here now?
Previous to the 2003 release, the remainder of this sermon was incorrectly located at the end of 50--0813A.Christians over to my right, in here? Wonderful. Outside, anybody hasn't been borned again? How many is borned again and raise your hand. That's it. Wonderful.
Why then, looky here, friends. Here is the cream. There's not one sinner left in the building. Here's the sinners are standing here at this day, praying for mercy.
Ministers of the Gospel, you come here. Come right around where these people are, stand right along them. Now, look, I want you to be... Just stand where you are for a few moments.
Come, sister. God bless you. God grant it. God bless you.
You all want to believe now and accept Him just now. Ministers of the Gospel, mingle right among the people here. Let some good Christians from this side drop right in here, if you will.
God bless you, dad. Many of you weary days is passed by. Now, I'm coming home. God bless you, dad. Grant to you... Dear old father, standing here, shaking my hand, and another one.
Let's bow our heads everywhere. Accept Him now. Though your sins be as scarlet, they'll be as white as snow. They are see Him dying yonder for You. All Christians praying everywhere, heads bowed, very sacred moment. Come right on up, young man. That's right. Join right in with them. Bow your head.
See Him mid rendering rocks and darkening skies, my Saviour bowed His head and died. Accept Him now as your Saviour. He promised that, "He that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out." Young people, life is before you.
All right, every one's bowed. Heavenly Father, today these dear people has gathered up here to the altar, an old, old sawdust trailed tent, gathered up here by the wooden bench to give their lives to Thee... O God, in the mercies of Christ, and by His merits they come, not in themselves, but in the grace of Christ they come, trusting only in Him, knowing that someday death's going to come into the room.
One morning the doctor will probably leave the room saying there's nothing else can be done. Loved ones will be standing and wringing their hands, crying. The cold vapors of death floating over the bedside, cold chilly winds of death sweeping, their pulse coming up their sleeve. Then breaking through the mist will come the old Ship of Zion. The morning star will come down in the valley of death to light up the road. They'll see two glossy wings of the Holy Spirit reach across Jordan, say, "Come, you blessed of My Father. I seen you that day in the little old tent meeting down there in Cleveland when you come accepted Me, now I'm accepting you." Grant it, Father, just now.
May Your Spirit woo each one of them, knowing nothing they can do, but just accept Him now, to believe on the Lord with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; he shall be saved. Grant it, Father.
With your heads bowed, just in prayer, every one of you. Accept Him now.
Ministers, while you're in there moving... Every Christian praying. Let's keep a praying.
Father, bless this people now. May Your Spirit move upon them just now. May they accept You as their Saviour.
God bless you, Brother...