E-1 I don't have punches. I got some hugs. I used to box, as you know, before--just to kind of--going to make a profession out of it. So I quit that punching a long time ago, only at the devil. I was thinking here this morning, eating these--watching around the table, these different ones, how they're--they eat. Some of them had eggs, and some had pancakes and sausage, and so forth. And--and yet, we're all human. It's strange, isn't it, we'd be all human, and have such a variety of eating?
I think that's just the way it is in our religious thoughts. See, see? I think we are... Some here said they belonged to the Foursquare, and some to the Assemblies, and some this, that; but after all, we're all Christians. You see? It's just the--that's the way it is. And that was Brother Courtner, I was trying to think about from the Foursquare, Brother Courtner. Is he still with them? Courtney. He's sure a fine man.
E-2 Eating pancakes, I have a little story on that. I know it's aside, though it might not go good right now, but we understand. I--I love to fish, and I love pancakes. And so, I was up in--way up in New Hampshire. I'd been trout fishing. That's kind of the home of the little brook trout. And I was packed in about two days with a pack on my back, and I was way high in the mountains. And I--I would catch them, you know. When I got two or three to eat, turn the rest of them loose. Just loved to catch them. So I--there's some willows back behind me--moose willow that was catching my fly all the time. I had a little pup tent, and I thought, "Well now, next morning I'm going to get up early, and go down there, and cut them willows loose." So oh, there was just trout playing all under that, you know, where the water had washed out, you know, back under the bank--some nice ones. And I'd catch him, play with him, and jerk him in real quick, you know, keep from killing him, and then turn him loose again. So I... Oh, I was having a real time.
E-3 And so, I went down there early that morning. I thought, "Just about two of them brownies for breakfast would be just about right with some pancakes," you know. So I get it already mixed up, because I can't mix it, you know. I--I can't boil water without scorching it. So I--I just got to... And so I got up there, and I got my fly line, took off about daylight, cut those bushes, and caught me a couple of fish, and then turned some loose, and hurt a couple, and I brought them back.
On my road back is... You brethren that hunt, you know what it is for a little old black bear to be prowling in the district. So a old little old sow bear there with two cubs had got into my tent. Honest to goodness they had--they'd just torn it to pieces, and there they was. I heard something raking. I looked over, and here set this old mother setting there with these two cubs--had just tore everything I had up.
E-4 I knowed I'd have to go back. It isn't so much what they eat, it's what they destroy. And so, I had a little axe in my hand, and I had an old rusty pistol laying back there, but it was in the tent. And so, she'd--and they're... Oh, a mother bear will kinda charge; anything will, you know, if you're bothering around where they got the cubs. And I kinda kept my distance, and I seen a tree where I could get into it right quick. And I wouldn't want to hurt her, and leave two orphans in the woods anyhow, you know. So I had this little old axe in my hand. So I said, "Get out of there," and she turned. Well, she, instead of coming to me, she run off, and she cooed at these cubs, you know. And one of the cubs took out for her. The other little fellow had his back to me, just setting like this. Well, I thought, "Why didn't you go, little fellow?" And she kept cooing around, to get that cub to come. He wouldn't do it.
E-5 Well, I moved around sideways. Said, "What's the little fellow so interested in, that he won't go to his mother?" And she run back a little piece like that. And I watched my tree. So she--she--she was going towards the cub, over to get him to come on. And she was afraid to get close to me, and then she was afraid to get to the cub. And she cooed around two or three times, and then went back to her other cub. And this little fellow was just setting there doing something, and I wondered what in the world was he doing. So I kept watching my tree, getting around sideways.
E-6 You know what that little fellow done? I had a bucket of molasses there for my pancakes, 'cause I like... I'm a--used to be a Baptist, you know, and I don't like to sprinkle them. I like to really baptize them, pour it on, you know. I had a nice bucket of molasses about this big, and that little fellow had got into this bucket of molasses. And you know how they like sweets? And he had the lid off of it, and had it hugged up in his arms. 'Course, he didn't know how to eat it, and he was socking his little paw down in it, licking it like that, you know, like that, licking the molasses. Well now, that was the last of the pancakes and molasses; I saw that.
E-7 So I said, "Get out of there," and he wouldn't listen to me, you know. After while he turned around, and looked, and he couldn't get his eyes open, molasses pulling his eyes back and forth like that: cutest thing I ever saw. Without a camera, you know... And he was molasses from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. And I stood there and laughed till my sides hurt. I said, "That's just like a good Pentecostal gathering." See? That's right. Get your hand in a honey bucket plumb up to your elbow, and just start licking, you know; and no condemnation or no fear...?...
E-8 Strange thing, after I got him away from there... He got to all the molasses, he finished them before he left. And he run out there to where his mammy and little brother was, and they started licking him. That's the way we hope this meeting turns out; the rest of them will try to lick some of the honey. You know...
That's a rude way to introduce yourself, isn't it? But I--that's only way I have of doing it. You know what I mean, and I'm sure you understand it that way. It's such a grand privilege to be here with you brethren this morning, and to know that--that you sponsor me under difficult. 'Course, as you know He reveals to me on the platform, He... I under... You know what I mean. See? Under difficults you do it.
E-9 Many times among the meetings, I don't know why, but sometimes people has got the wrong opinion of what I am trying to do. I'm trying to break down a barrier to make all men that's Christians brothers in Christ. See? And sometimes, that way I rap down on organization. It isn't that I'm against an organization (See?), not at all. My, I didn't join any, because that I felt if I stayed in the breach, I could have more influence than I could throwing what little influence I can on one certain group of people. And I'm very zealous of the Pentecostal move. I was a missionary Baptist minister. When I seen this, this was it. And ever since then, I've been very zealous of the people. I love them.
E-10 And then... A long ways from being a historian, but from reading a bit of history, and finding out that it's usually the--the organization that's--that, when it becomes so organized till it can't recognize the next man, God just lays it up on the shelf, doesn't use it anymore.
Now, I don't want our groups to be like that. I--the think organization is a wonderful thing. It keeps a good clean brotherhood, and, you know, it serves its purpose. But I always want them to a place till one could put his arm around the other one, and, you know what I mean, have fellowship.
As old Brother Bosworth said to me one time, the godly, saintly, old man. Many of you knowed him, F. F. Bosworth. He said to me, said, "Brother Branham, you keep speaking of fellowship. You know what it is?"
I said, "I think so."
He said, "It's two fellows in one ship." So I--I thought that was a very good expression (See?), two fellows in one ship. Then there's room for all of us.
E-11 If I seen our brother here, some brother, going down a swift river in a little boat, that I knowed that boat wasn't going to make the riffle (See?), and I begin to scream at him; it isn't I got something against the brother, it's love that makes me do that. See? It's the boat that he's in; it won't pack him. See?
Now, when organizations--I think if the organization would organize and then end their doctrine with a comma, instead of a period: "This is this, and this is that, and that's all of it." If they just make a comma, "We believe this, plus as much as the Lord can add to it." That's where Luther made a mistake, justification by faith, that was it. Wesley made a mistake by sanctification, second work of grace, and refused to see--receive the Holy Ghost when It come in. If you end it with a comma, all right.
E-12 So you see, God is so great, the tent stretched over us all. And we, eating different foods, dressing different, look different, we are different. But God is a God of variety. He isn't a God--He isn't a Sears and Roebuck, Harmony House. See? He... God is a God of variety. Look out here: big mountains, little mountains, green trees, deserts, white flowers, blue flowers, pink flowers, red flowers, red-headed people, black-headed, and--and gray-headed, and then none at all. See? See, He's a God of variety. He... I believe He--He likes it that way. That's the way He made it. I think that in our organizational life that God has it that way.
E-13 I'm a southerner. The big boss up here says (this nation) what they say is all right. I think in the segregation condition of the south, some of them said to me one time, said, "Brother Branham, being a southerner, what do you think about segregation?"
I said, "It's not for me to say. The boss, government, said, 'Let it be what it is, permit them to marry, and so forth.'" I said, "That's--that's up to them. As an American, I abide by the laws." To me, you ought to leave it the way God had it. He made white men, black men, brown men. He's a God of variety. Let them stay the way God made them. That's what I think. If I was a black man, I'd--I'd want--I'd want to stay in my class of people. If I was a Chinese, yellow, I'd want to stay that way. Being that I'm Anglo-Saxon, white, let me marry amongst the white, teach my children the same, and just stay the kind of a flower and the color that God made us at the beginning. After all, He's the One that made it.
E-14 If I belong to the Assemblies of God, I'd be Assemblies of God. If I belong to the Foursquare, I'd be Foursquare. See? But I'd always want to reach my arms out for each one (See?), get them all together. See? That--that's it, fellowship one with another. That way I've been misunderstood.
Sometimes... I had a tape got out here not long ago about serpent's seed. That caused a great conflict. Sorry those boys let that out. That was in my--in my... They are not with me no more. But sorry they let that get out. And after all, if it got out amongst churches, I understand that ministers are shepherds. They're watching their flock for every... And if they don't do it, they're not good shepherds. That's right. See, they--they got to watch their flock, and so--that the Holy Ghost has made them overseer.
E-15 There's been many things that's been spoke, different ones. Everyone has his idea about things. We have a right to that (See?), to our ideas. But that, I--I sure wouldn't let that got out. It was my own idea about what I thought in the Scriptures of--of, that it wasn't apples that Eve eat that caused the sin. And that... From that, though, it seemed to cause a sour, biting down amongst some of the brethren. I--I wish it hadn't have got out, because (See?), I'm not out here to try to hinder my brethren. I'm here to try to help my brethren. I'm working for one purpose, and I think we're all trying to do that.
And the Assemblies, and the--the Foursquare, and the Oneness, and whatever they are (See?), they're all brethren. And we ought to be trying to make one achievement: That's the Kingdom of God. See? And as many souls as I can gather with my net to send up there, I want to put it with yours, and yours, and all the rest of them. There's where we're going to, and that's where we're working for, is up there.
E-16 And you realize, fifteen years on the fields with the brethren, there's bound to be little things come up in difference of ideas. Here we are setting here this morning as much in harmony as men could be, I suppose. But let us set here a little while and begin to talk. First thing you know, there'd be some brother say something; the other might disagree with him a little bit. Now, it takes real man, real Christians, to withstand that and still feel like a brother. You see? You've got to have it in your heart. You just can't--you can't--you can't deceive by that. If you say you are, and you're not, that's what held--that's what--that's what does the hindrance. You got to be clean and clear with it. You see? And we--we would be different. Like if, take a certain--if a brother was out somewhere, and get amongst a certain class of people...
E-17 A brother was testifying to me this morning. He was called to the ministry when a little boy. And then he fell, he said. And I... And he said, but then he came back with more of a call to preach than ever before. You see what it was, when he become a Christian he got in the wrong environment. See? And that environment influenced him. See? And you just keep holding around with that kind of environment, you--it--it influences you. I hope you're reading between the lines what I'm saying. See? It influences you in that environment. And the first thing you know, you become a part of that environment. You go into it.
And just like a good clean man, that's clean and moral, and he begins to associate with a bunch of people who's not. See, you take up the spirit of that.
Everything is governed by a spirit. Nations are governed by a spirit. When I go into different nations, see the way they act and do, you can see it's the spirit of that nation.
E-18 I was going to the market (Excuse me, sisters); I was going to the market with my wife the other day, and we thought it was something strange; we seen a lady with a skirt on. They're nearly all naked, you know, with them little shorts on. And she said--and she said... And I knowed many of them there sing in choirs, and you know, just fine, you know, a celebrity of the city.
And my wife is one of these old fashion girls, you know. And she said, "I wonder why they do it."
I said, "Honey, it's a spirit. See? It gets on them. See? It's a spirit. Them women don't mean--they don't realize what they're doing. See? They don't mean that, but it's a spirit that gets on them." And the first thing you know, they just start a little bit, then a little bit more, and sin is so (What would I say?) subtle, yes, subtle--just so subtle. It comes in, it's so beautiful, and it's so subtle, that's the way it takes you.
E-19 Well, I think, many times, that good, sound thinking men comes into an organization, and you get sometimes that you get a place in there that's kind of a--begin to come, "We are the group." See? And it isn't actually the brotherhood. There's just a spirit gets among them (See?), and it don't give enough room for the next brother. You see? I--I think that's right. And I find it in all and we know that's good.
So I am here, my brethren, to pitch in my net with you all to do everything I can for our--our lovely Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I--I--I don't have no... I'm not a preacher, just to say a preacher, like you men who are learned and called to that. I have a little gift that God gave me, and it's just like getting into a gear. I can't put myself there.
E-20 I met a brother here this morning called Bacon, I believe it was, or, Bacon, I believe it was, up there at the...?... Said he was here years ago when I was in the meeting. At that time it was just a little phenomena of put my hands on somebody, and then would know what it was. Then, you remember, I told you that He told me that it'd come to pass I'd know the very secret of their heart. Now, you watch the meeting. See? Now, that--that is true.
But it--what is it? Where I lack in something, God, perhaps knowing that I love the people, and He just give me something else to work by. You see? And I don't want--I--I want to make it for the whole body of Christ, everybody (You see?), for to try to influence everybody I can to serve the Lord Jesus. May be strange to some of the people, but I'm trying to encourage them, set down and see it Scripturally. If it wasn't in Scripture, then don't believe it. No, sir.
E-21 In the Old Testament they had a way of knowing whether it was the truth or not. If a prophet prophesied, dreamer dreamed a dream, they took him before the Urim Thummim, and then... That's the breastplate on Aaron. And--and no matter how real it sounded, if them supernatural lights didn't flash with that Urim Thummim, they didn't believe it (See?), 'cause it had to be the supernatural. And if the Urim Thummim didn't prove it, no matter how real the dream sounded, or what the prophet said, it was wrong. Now, that was in the Levitical priesthood. And that priesthood, done away with, takes away that Urim Thummim, but God still has a Urim Thummim. That's His Word. No matter how anyone sounds--sounds good, or whether it sounds so fine it would be the program, to me, it's got to flash on that Urim Thummim. It's got to be that Word, or it isn't...
E-22 See, now, God can do things, and we've had all kinds of things going on, and, no doubt, godly men, good men... But we like different things, of sensations, and blood, and oil, and everything. Them might be all right. See, God can do that. I don't say He can't do it. He can do what He wants to. He's God. And I ain't got no business telling Him what to do. He does what He wants to. But to me, let it be Scriptural. Then I know it's right. See? Let it flash on the Scripture there. Then that--that's all right, because I know He will stand behind this; I don't know about the other. But trying to keep it that way the best that I can...
E-23 And I never let my meetings get big, where it could be that I'd have to allot a... Like some of our precious brethren, fine men, like Brother Oral Roberts... When Oral and I first met, he had a little ragged tent, and I was over on one side of Kansas City, Kansas, and he was in Kansas City, Missouri. I got our pictures standing there together. He said, "You think God would answer me for..."
Well, there was a man; smart, intelligent, great man of God, good faith. I said, "Brother Roberts (just a young minister)," I said, "God will answer anybody's prayer that'll be sincere." Here he goes.
The other day... Such a precious brother. I had a meeting, Business Men, Tulsa. Then I had a meeting down at the auditorium, and Oral came in. He'd hurt his leg, and he called me out of the platform. I went and prayed for him. Said, "You seen my building yet?"
I said, "No, Brother Roberts, I haven't."
He said, "Well, want you go over and look at it?"
E-24 So the next day slip in around so he wouldn't be there. You know, I don't want to--a big man--a man like that, I know his time's precious. So I went, set down in his home. I couldn't have been treated any nicer if I'd been in my own home. Oral Roberts, such a swell fellow...
Tommy Osborn, oh, my, they just don't wear shoe leather any better. That's all. He's just a--he's a precious boy. I was over at his place. And oh, such nice men. And as they all claim, that I got started on the field first, and they seen it, and that's what made them go.
I went over then, Brother Fisher, I was with his group in South Africa. He showed me around through Oral's building. I looked: such a mammoth place, beautiful. If you never seen it, be sure to see it. Oh, you've never seen anything like it anywhere in the world.
I'd just been to Brother Tommy Osborn's and seen his great place. Hundreds of IBM machines setting, running that--human hands never touch the letters at all. Just run through just like that. My. Money coming by the loads, and dumping into a conveyer, and going down. I thought, "Oh, my." See, he has to have it, he... Listen, that's a great work.
E-25 And I stood out there on the outside. I thought, "God, how grateful I am. Looky here at this building here about two and a half million dollars, I guess, the achievement of one little Pentecostal boy." What God can do... See? One little Oakie out of a dugout down there, what God can do. Just goes to show... And I seen Tommy, Tommy Osborn.
Standing there in Oral's yard, I--there was a bunch of people, you know how they do you, waiting on the outside. And a policeman taking me through, and showed me out the back, how to get around where I could get in the car. And Brother Fisher was going to go around, pick up, and come get me around the back. And I was standing back there looking, my hands behind me, looking at that big building, how beautiful, and--and looking at the mirror in there, you know, the reaching of them hands. And I said, "Well, I got..." Something just said to me, "Well, what about you?" I thought... And then the brothers said that my little ministry helped put them on the field. See, each one of them set and tell me that...
E-26 And I thought, "Well, I guess maybe, why didn't--where... If I was out there, why didn't I have something like that?" I thought, "I'd sure hate for them to come to my place, one little typewriter setting in the end of a trailer; and begging somebody to come help me to get the letters out." I thought, "Well, you see, maybe God couldn't trust me. See? Maybe if I'd got like that, well, I might not have been myself." And I thought, "But I'm so thankful to God that He could find somebody that He could trust like that."
I wouldn't want you to say nothing about... I don't mean this any different, but while I was standing there I got crying. And I thought, "Well, Father knew that I--no education. Them boys, how lovely, precious..." I just turned around and started walking back, waiting for the car to come. I stood there and looked at that great big building. Just as plain as I ever heard a voice, it said, "I'm your Portion." Now, that's--that's all right. "I am your Portion."
I said, "Thank You, Lord. Then what little I have, I'll do the best I can to put the portion that You give me to the Kingdom of God."
E-27 Now, that's the way I've tried to stay, little. I don't have nothing. We got some books, but they don't belong to me. They belong to Brother Gordon Lindsay. We just buy them on forty percent that we can... And I have to give the men money to get back home on, since they come up the west coast with these books. And many of them got ruined; give them to people, anybody wants them, they ain't got any money, why, they can have them anyhow. See?
So I've tried to shun money. I never took a offering in my life. And I thought, "What would I do if I had to sponsor something big?" I--I couldn't do it. Just, I just couldn't do it. That's all. So the great, infinite God knew that.
E-28 So what little I have got that He has given me, I'm trying to share it with you brethren. See, you--you are the church. And may we all just stay one (See?), and--and just stay together as brothers. And let's share what we got with each other. See? That way, we're--we're in a great battle, and we're--we're battling sin--not one another. If we're going to fight one another, then--then Satan can set back and just let us fight it out. See? But let's turn our--everything we got towards the Kingdom, and put our shoulders one with the other, start moving upward, and work for there, because I don't think we got too much longer. I think we're right at the end of the road. Maybe just 'cause I'm getting to be an old man that I think that. But I--no, it isn't that, because I've thought that all the time. I--I believe that we're at the end of the road. And let's pray, and help, and support.
E-29 Now, there's Brother--Brother Roberts and them, they--they--they got... See, now, I don't want you to think that I'm saying anything against Brother Roberts. He's one of the finest men I ever met, and Tommy Osborn, many, and Tommy Hicks... And those brethren are fine brethren. What I'm trying to say. You see, with... Now, Brother Roberts, I think, has a college education. He's smart. And he... And God has just blessed that man in such a way, he's just got everything around him there to look... All of us people, if we... God has 'lotted us our part, and 'lotted him that part, but all the parts make one part. It goes to the Kingdom of God. You see? We want to put ourselves together.
Now, if I try to separate myself from Brother Roberts, that would be doing the same thing that I've been talking about: one organization separating itself from the other. Let's be one big group (See?), just one big group.
E-30 Speaking to Christian Business Men, I've been with them. They've kind of been an oasis for me. And because that--that in letting them sponsor, the businessmen of the churches will come. And, of course, that kinda makes it look like that the pastor almost has to do it, you know, on account of letting down before the congregation. But I told the Business Men here not long ago, I said, "Brethren, I'm, as the brother said, I have never, never been hypocrite enough to pull a punch from anything. If it's so, it's so. If I say it, not with any hard feelings, but with love I say it."
If your little boy, or little child, was setting out there in the street, and you'd say, "Junior dear, if you don't come in you might get hurt," that's not love. Real love will go out there, and get him, and shake him, and make him stay off that street. See? That--that's real love. See? See, and that's--that's what it is, brethren. I don't mean it for anything... Now, you keep that in mind. See? Now, don't pet Junior. You see? We got to tell Junior, and make him line up. See?
E-31 Now, the love of brotherhood, fellowship together working together... And just like working agreements and so forth, that's what we're trying to do in the Kingdom of God.
Now, in this great time that we're living, where we're at the end time, I think... (I don't know how much time I got here. Just about fifteen minutes?) We're working for life. We're struggling for life. And we're--and in this life struggle, we find out that we're different, but we're the same. I find out that my finger's not my ear, and my ear is not my eye. And I--but I find out that they've got to work together to get the job done. And that's the way we got to do. You see? We got to work together to get the job done, and that's why I'm here, is trying to get the job done. Not to do the job, I can't do it. I'm here to work with you brethren to get the job done. I think the possibilities, and it's possible and probable too, that right now something could take place right here that would send a revival through every one of your churches, and you see, it could do it.
E-32 Now, what little I have to do with, I'm putting it with you brethren, laying it upon God's great golden altar, with our sacrifice and common grounds, Jesus Christ. See? There we're working. I'm going to work with everything I can, and anything that I... If you see that I could--think I could do a little better, you just be at liberty to tell me (You see?), and I'll sure do it. I'll do everything I can to work right with you and do all that I can for the Kingdom of God. And then, at the end time then, we all want to hear, say, "It was well done, my good and faithful servant."
Remember, this meeting here, it'll be history in another five days. See? And then it'll meet us again someday. So let's do everything we can to make it good.
E-33 I just feel like I'd like to say a word or two here if it's all right just on a little... I want to--I want to quote His Word once, and just maybe, just a little, like a text and I'll watch real close. Let's take Saint John 5:24. If you want to think of it, it's one of my favorite texts, a handful and two dozen of eggs (See?), 5:24. "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath Everlasting Life."
See? "Life," what a word, "Life." What are we doing? We're... That's what we're trying to hold: life. It's what we're trying to find: life. It's the greatest thing there is: life.
E-34 Here not long ago I was setting with my secretary on a little run that come up to the house. And we picked up an old piece of a fossil, been in there. He said to me, said, "How old is that?"
I said, "Oh, perhaps a chronologist would say it'd be--or archaeologists would say it'd be about several million years old."
Said, "How short human life is to that."
I said, "No, no, no." I said, "When that's no more, I'll still be living." I got Eternal Life (See?), and therefore...
And if we look around I think, brethren, that we can notice that everywhere we see is life: life. I--If you look across here you can see, maybe, say, see a orange tree. It's expressing life in its own way. Here's a palm tree. It's expressing life. Here's the pine tree. It's expressing life. There's a flower, red one. It's expressing life. The blue one standing by it, it expresses life. See our organizations. See? See, each one expressing life.
E-35 We notice the little flower. Let's take the--the significance of a little flower. It stands up there beautiful, and it's serving a purpose, serves it well. And when the frost hits it in the fall of the year, that's it. Young or old, it dies. That's death. Its little petals drop off, and a little black seed drops out of it. Let's see whether God's interested in what we're struggling for. A little black seed drops out of it, and after while then, it--as strange as it seems, God's so interested in that little life until He has a funeral procession for it. It is. The fall rains come, great big tears drop down out of the skies, and buries that little seed. Now, is that true? It sure is; buries it under the ground.
Along comes the winter freeze, freezes over several inches under the ground. The little bulb dries up, freezes, gone. The petal drops off, gone. The leaf's gone. The little seed freezes, bursts open. The pulp runs out. That poor little life that God made. Is it finished? Not by no means. Oh, no.
E-36 See, the solar system controls botany life, the sun, s-u-n. And just us soon as that warm sun moves from around behind the earth, and gets back around here, there's a germ of life somewhere in there that no scientist can find, but that little flower lives again. It's served its purpose. It lives again, because it's life.
Well, if God made a way for the solar system to raise up again a life that served Him, what about the S-o-n when He comes with Eternal Life? And we have Eternal Life. We're going to rise again some of these days. Let's just serve our purpose well. Whatever we are, let's serve it. Whatever place God's put you, let's serve it. For the S-o-n is going to rise one of these days with healing in His wings. I want to come forth then, in the brightness and the glory of His resurrection. I want to walk arm-in-arm with each one of you, up before His Presence. Until then, remember, we're the little leaf on the tree.
E-37 I like to hunt. I guess you see my face blowed up. I always wanted a Weatherby Magnum. Some precious... I wouldn't let no one... I couldn't afford to buy one. They're very expensive. Someone would've bought me one. There's a man setting right here now would've bought me one. I couldn't afford to let him do that, when I got missionary friends with no shoes on. I couldn't do that, can't think of it.
That's the reason I tried to give these pancakes to somebody this morning. I know what hunger is. I know what them people over there are suffering. I can't see wasteful things, when you know that brothers that believes the same thing I believe are over there under difficult.
E-38 I couldn't let them do it. Art Wilson give me a--give Billy Paul a model 7, or model 70, .257 Roberts. Billy, my boy, is left-handed. He couldn't use a right hand bolt. A friend of mine that runs a Weatherby Company said, "Well, let me send that to Weatherby and have him rebore it, make you a Weatherby out of it." Said, "It wouldn't... Said, "It'd cost you about thirty dollars; cost me about ten." He did it.
He didn't bore it right. First shot blowed it all over my face; like to killed me, and...?... was about six weeks ago. Just, see the place there? Knocked the top of that tooth off, where it went through there, and then cut the side of my face. Three of them went right around there, sticking in the sinus glands, and in the bone. Fifteen of them went straight in behind the sight like that, almost cut the sight in two. Just goes to show...
I got a message out of it. These "shake-hand conversions," that's what that was. See, if that gun had been started in the dies as a Weatherby Magnum, it would've held the load. But being it was tampered with and tried to be re-bored... 'Course, any gunman knows what happened, had pressure this side. See? It blew it.
E-39 That's the way it is with some of this "shake-hands" religion. I believe in being born again: go back to the beginning, and die out, and be re-molded. See? If you don't, there's going to be a blowup somewhere down along the road. It'll blow up on you when the pressure comes. So let's hold the pressure.
I was down in Kentucky with a friend of mine selling books here in the meetings, Mr. Wood. He's a Jehovah Witness that was converted by polio boy he's got with him (married now), leg drawed up under him. Maybe get a chance to have him testify. He got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost.
E-40 His brothers come. His fathers was a reader. They excommunicated him from all their being. One day his brother came in. I was home on vacation, or resting, and he went down to his brother. He said, "Banks, what..." that's the one here? Said, "What in the world have you got tangled up with?" He said, "The bunch of fanaticism..."
He said, "They're not a fanaticism." He said, "Look at David's leg."
He said, "Aw, nonsense." Said, "Your daddy's raised you, raised us from kids not to believe them hell-fire-burning preachers, and so forth like that. Said, "You shouldn't do a thing like that." Said, "What kind of a quack are you listening to?"
Said, "There he is out there in the field, pitching hay."
Called me in. I guess I looked like everything but a minister. And he said, setting there, he said... I was talking to him. Said, "How do you do?" Very cold, indifferent...
E-41 So a vision came (Just speaking, it's done it right here, three or four times since I've been standing here.), and I said, "You're a--why'd you leave your wife for? Them two little boys?"
He looked over to Banks, as if his brother had told me about it.
I said, "Don't look to him." I said, "He never told me that." I said, "What about the night before last? Your wife's a blond-headed woman; you was with a woman who had auburn hair. That man knocked at the door, and you went to the window. It's a good thing you didn't go, or you'd got your head shot off. The man had a pistol in his hand."
And he tumbled over on the floor. He gave his heart to Christ, and became saved. Now, his whole family's saved by the same way, each one of them. See? We were... Filled with the Holy Ghost...
E-42 Then down--we was hunting down in Kentucky, and was squirrel hunting. I like to squirrel hunt, just the sport of squirrel hunting. We love them to eat. I trained my rifle at fifty yards for an eye shot (See?), just--just at fifty yards. So we had a... Hunting is very--if you ever hunted gray squirrel, you have, I guess, in Oklahoma up there. They're... You talk about Houdini being an escape artist, he isn't an escape artist at all, side one of them, how quickly he can get away like that.
So it was real dry. We couldn't get close to them, so he said, "There's a place down in here. And here a old man that we could hunt down in the hollows where it's damp." You know what a hollow is? What we call a hollow, it's a valley where the hills come down. And then, you walk up through this place, you watch both sides of the hill. It's damp where the water flows.
E-43 He said, "But he's an infidel, and one of the roughest in the country." And said, "Oh, he's awful." He said, "He know you being a preacher," he said, "hm."
I said, "Well, let's go try it."
So we went down through ridges, and over hollows, and everything, till we got back, way back in the field. There set a nice little house back there; an old fellow with a big old flop-down hat: two setting there, you know, under the tree. Said, "There he is."
So I said, "You do the talking." So we drove up close. He got out. He spoke to him.
Said, "Come in." You know how the Kentuckians, southerners... Said, "Come in."
E-44 Set down there a little bit, and said, "My name is Wood." Said, "I'm Banks Wood." Said, "I wonder if we could hunt." Said, "A friend of mine is down here." Said, "We've been hunting over here on the other creek." Said, "It's so dry, we thought maybe...
He said, "What Wood are you? Are you Jim Wood's boy?"
He said, "Yes."
He said, "Jim Wood was an honest person in this country. " Said, "Any of him or his people, I got hundreds of acres here. Help yourself."
Said, "Thank you, sir." Said, "Is it all right for my pastor (Didn't aim to say that. See?), my pastor to go with me?"
He said, "You don't tell me that a Wood has got low down enough to have to carry a preacher with him wherever he goes."
Said, "Yes." Said.
I thought it was time for me to get out, so I got out of the truck, walked around. I said, "How do you do?"
He said, "And you're the preacher?"
Hadn't took a bath in two weeks, you know, and squirrel blood, and whiskers that long. I said, "Yes, sir." I said, "I guess I don't look like one."
E-45 He said, "Well, that part's all right." But said, "You know, I'm supposed to be an infidel."
I said, "That's not much to brag about, is it, sir?"
He said--he said, "I reckon not." He said, "But the only thing that I'm--I'm thinking is..."
I thought, "Lord, if You ever helped me, You do it now, 'cause I got... Something must happen."
He said, "Well, the only thing I got against you fellows, you're just barking up the wrong tree." Does anybody know what that means? A lying dog, you know, one barking up this tree, and 'coon's in another tree, you know. So he said, "You're barking up the wrong tree." He said, "You're talking about something, there's just nothing up there."
I said, "Well, maybe that's to opinion. See?" I said, "Maybe the dog sees something that you don't see."
He said, "Well, there ain't nothing up there to begin with." He said, "There ain't no such a thing as God."
I said, "Well 'course that's your American privilege to believe that."
E-46 And so, there was an old apple tree standing there, and--and a lot of them falled on the ground, you know. It was around about the middle of August, and yellow jackets was... You know what a yellow jacket is? They was sucking around on them apples, you know. So I said--thought I'd better change the subject right quick, you know, so I said, "You mind if I have one of them apples?"
He said, "Oh, not at all." Said, "Yellow jackets are eating them." So I got down, got a hold of one, and just rubbed it on the dirty overalls. When you're in Rome, you have to be a Roman, you know.
So I said, "Well..." I took a bite of the apple, and stood there a little bit.
He said, "Yeah, that's the thing against you fellows. You're always..." Said, "The only thing it is, you're just sponging off the people, living off of charity."
I said, "Yeah, that's true. We live by the alms of the people, free will. They don't have to come. See? They believe it, and they support it."
E-47 He said, "Well," he said, "there is no such a thing. I've never seen anything declare such things. I can look plumb up as far as my eyes can see, I don't see no God, see nothing else." So blind, you know. And so, he said, "I don't see nothing. Don't see no God. I've been here for seventy-six years, and I ain't seen nothing yet."
He said, "I'll say one thing. There was one preacher one time, about two years ago, that come up here to Acton, at the Methodist campground." Said, "He was a fellow from out in Indiana." He said, he... "Old lady Casshorn (I believe was her name)," said, "lives here up on top of the hill, right up yonder." And said, "She had cancer in the stomach." And said, "Me and my wife had been going up there of a morning." Said, "We couldn't put her on the bed pan no more (Excuse this sisters, you all...?...)," but said, "we just had to use a draw sheet (rubber beneath, you know), and pull the draw sheet." Said, "Me and my wife went up there every morning and every evening, and changed her bed and fixed her. Her and her husband lives up there." And said, "Doctors had been seeing her." And said, "She'd been doctoring this cancer for about a year." And said, "She had got to a place till they didn't even come back no more, just staying alive on dope."
E-48 Said, "This preacher from Indiana never was down in here before," and said, "and they, having a meeting up there." Said, "It was--I guess it was close to fifteen hundred people in this..." That Acton is just a little bitty, tiny... I think the population is about twenty (See?), but they have a campground there.
And so, he said, "The second night there when preaching," said, "he looked back in the audience, and said to this woman's sister... Called her by name, and told her when she left home she took a little white handkerchief with a little blue figure in the corner of it, and she had it in her pocketbook; she had a sister named So-and-so over here was dying with cancer, come, put this handkerchief upon her, and she'd get well."
And said, "That night about ten o'clock," said, "I thought they had the Salvation Army up there on top of the hill. I never heard so much noise in my life. We thought the old lady had died. So..."
E-49 Kentucky, they go to bed at seven o'clock with the chickens, you know, when they... So then--so they said... And that was big Ben, you know, that took that handkerchief, and went up there with that lady to lay it on. And he can squall like a panther, anyhow, you know, so...?... So he was up there.
And said, "The next morning we went up to find what we could do to help them." 'Course way back in there, they couldn't get an undertaker in till morning, you know. Said, "Went--went up there to see what we could do, wife and I." And said, "When we got up there, that woman was eating fried apple pies, setting at the table, drinking a cup of coffee, her and her husband."
You know what fried apple pies is? Half moon? See, you pull out the dough like a pancake, and put the... You know what--you know what leather britches is? Leather britches mean? See, beans that, you know, hang them up to let the sun dry them; and dry the apples, you know, the same way, on top of the house. Then take these apples and put them in this, turn them over like that, and fry them, make what they call half-moon, put sorghum molasses on top of them, they're really good. And they are, sure are. Amen.
E-50 Said, "She was eating fried apple pies, her and her husband." And said, "She don't only do her own work, but she does the neighbor's work ever since then. So now, I wanted to know how that man knowed that."
And Banks was looking at me. I shook my head at him like that.
And he said, "I'd like to know..."
I said, "You don't mean that's the truth." I said, "You wouldn't believe a thing like that."
"Well," said, "I can take you up yonder and prove it to you." See, now he was preaching back to me then. You see? He said, "I can take you up there and prove it to you."
I said, "Oh, I take your word." See? I said, "I take your word."
He said, "Well, she's right up there. And if you don't believe it, just go up there and ask. And ask any of the neighbors around here. Any of them can tell you about it."
"Oh," I said, "I... you--you mean that's right?"
He said, "It sure is right."
E-51 I thought, "Uh huh. Now, you've preaching back to me." You see? I just stood there a little bit, and I said... He said... I said, "Well, what's so... What-- what was you wanting to see the preacher about? What was his name?"
Said, "I don't know." Said, "If I ever see him, I'm going to ask him about it."
I said, "Yes, sir. Well," I said, "I hope you do."
And he said, "Well," he said, "you know," he said, "what I can't understand was what he--he was talking about when he could stand over there, and never been in this country before, and know that woman got that handkerchief, and sent over there, and laid it on that woman, and told her exactly what was going to happen. And that's been two years ago, and she's perfectly well," said, "and she's all right."
Said, "There she is. Doctors said she'd die at any minute. They opened her with cancer, and just sewed her back up, couldn't do nothing about it; done taken a hold. See?" So said, "Wrapped around her..." And said, "There she is."
I said, "Well, that sure is strange, isn't it?"
And he said, "Sure is."
E-52 I said, "Boy, that's a good apple."
And he said, "Yeah, that's a good one." Said, "That's right."
I said, "How old's that tree?"
He said, "Young fellow (all my fifty years, you know)," he said, "young fellow," he said, "I used to live up yonder on top of that hill. Me, and my pappy, and mammy, and all of us lived up there, where that old--old fireplace, old log house." Said, "Pappy built this house, and we moved down here." And said, "When he died, I took it over," and said, "I've raised my family here." Said, "I'm seventy-six."
He said, "I planted that tree there about forty-five years ago." And said, "She's produced a good crop of apples for me ever since she started producing."
I said, "Wonderful." I said...?... I said, "I notice the leaves are all falling off that tree."
See, my old mama used to tell me, "Just give a cow enough rope, she'll hang herself." See? So just tie your horse back on the end of the rope. Watch him while he get his foot over after while, you know. That's the way, without any--any... I just have to depend on God, just the simplicity of listening at His, going the way He leads. You see? With no mental powers of my own to cut them smart guys off, you know, you just have to let Him do it. You see?
E-53 So he said, "Well," he said, "yeah, the leaves are leaving."
I said, "Now, that's a strange thing, isn't it, sir." I said, "Here you are, here it is the middle of August, we have... (It was still hot, about ninety right then in the shade)," and I said, "The middle of August without any frost or anything, and yet them leaves are falling off the tree." I said, "I wonder what does that."
"Oh," he said, "the--the life left them."
"Oh," I said, "I see. The life left them. Where'd the life go?"
He said, "Down in the roots, the sap."
"Oh," I said, "it does?" And he said--I said, "What does it do that for?" I said, "You mean that life ain't up in that tree in the wintertime?"
He said, "Oh, no. It'd kill it. The germ of life would be killed in the tree if it was up there." Said, "The life goes down in the roots."
"Uh-huh," I said, "comes back up next spring, bring you another bunch of apples."
E-54 I said, "I want you to answer me a question." I said, "Tell me, that tree doesn't have any intelligence, but there's some super-intelligence that tells that tree that 'it's coming wintertime, get away from there, and go back down in the roots, and hide down beneath the dirt. Next spring you got to bring this guy up some apples.' And if it doesn't mind Him, it dies. If it does mind Him, it continues to live, that intelligence. It's got to mind this intelligence."
He said, "Well, that's just nature. "
E-55 I said, "What is nature?" I said, "You mean just geographically, and the rocking of the earth?" I said. "Set a bucket of water out there on the post in the middle of August. Let's see it go down to the bottom of the post, and then--then in the springtime come back up, and have another bucket of water."
He said, "It won't do that."
I said, "Well, then, it's got to be some intelligence controlling this." See?
Said, "Never thought of it just like that, but I guess you're right."
And I said, "Well, then, when you find out what intelligence that tells that--that sap in that tree to go down in the root to hide, to come back again, and bring up something to benefit somebody, I'll tell you the same intelligence was what told me that that woman was laying over there dying with a cancer, if she'd obey the commandments of God, she'd be healed."
He said, "You're not that preacher?"
I said, "I am."
"What's your name?"
I said, "Branham."
He said, "That's the guy. Can you prove it?"
I said, "Well, I guess I could. " And there under that apple tree, with that simple little thing, life, I led him to Christ.
E-56 Last year I was down there again. I walked up to the tree, and a woman was setting over behind there, his wife, peeling apples. I asked for him. He was gone on.
She said, "Mr. Branham, God ever be with you." She said, "Year after year we tried; we done everything. But that simple little story about this apple tree, brought him to Christ."
So life is so simple; but yet, it's so great. Let's just put what we got, so that we'll have a resurrection someday. And not only us, let's bring forth somebody else with us when we come to that day. Is that all right? Can we pray?
E-57 Heavenly Father, You've made life so simple, the way so simple, so plain. Let it be far from us to try to ever twist it in such a way to bring in our own, what we think, intelligence. Let's just take the simplicity that God has placed before us, and there use that to win souls for Christ.
Father God, we're here now. We're here opening this meeting. There's sinners all around here. I don't know who they are, or where they are. Here I set with men and women this morning that I believe that through the ceaseless ages to come that we'll live together.
As we set here this morning, looking across the table one to another, I watch down along the line, seen gray-headed men who was probably on the field, preaching, when I was a sinner. We shook each others' hands. We fellowshipped around our breakfast.
E-58 We may never meet at another breakfast, but there's one thing sure: we're going to meet at a supper someday. That's a wedding supper, when that great table is stretched across the skies, reaching from star to star. We look across the table one to another, there's bound to be a little tear drop from our cheeks, as we think, as we shake each other's hand, say, "I remember the Salem meeting. Here's Brother So-and-so. He was the one that come in at that time, this one down here."
Then the King in His beauty will walk out in His white robes, wipe all tears away from our eyes, say, "Don't cry, children. It's all over. Enter into the joys of the Lord that's been prepared for you since the foundation of the world."
God, let us have many setting around the table because of this effort that we're putting forth. Now, we'll do all we can, Lord; we're depending on You to help us. We're Yours. We're in Your hands, Lord. Do with us as You see fit.
E-59 We thank You for the fellowship with one another, and with the Son of God, whose Presence is with us now. May He ever remain, and may we ever remain faithful and true to the calling, that we might go out, not in the power of money, in the power of great things of the earth; but in the power of humility, in sweetness and humbleness of the Spirit, as He will make us and mold us into images of sons and daughters of God, that we might win others to Him. In Jesus' Name, we ask this blessing to honor God. Amen.
Thank you very kindly, friends. If you will, I'll--I'll pay your breakfast for you. I had this time of fellowship. I'll be glad to do it. [A brother says, "We don't like to be stubborn, but we don't want to do it that way."--Ed.] Well, I'll--I'll be glad to do it. See? I--I'll be happy to do it. I've certainly enjoyed being here and being with you. And now, till I see you tonight, our brother, chairman.