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Life Story
51-0415A, Life Story, Shriner Temple, Phoenix, AZ, 113 min

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L-1 Just ask if everybody can, just to leave the platform, just let maybe one or two that's going help the people. Then if anything does happen, then I'm--we're better prepared for it. You understand, don't you? Trust that you will.
I've done all that I could this past week to--or the both weeks to try to see our Lord help you dear people here. There's been many things that I've wished would've taken place, and may yet tonight. And I pray that it--that it will. And I--I have been trusting to see everyone healed at one time.
Then in the meeting, I see many things that--that's been done, many things that people... I see them setting out there sometimes, looking at me, trying their best. And I'll think, "Oh, I've seen that they were healed. But I'll test them in a few minutes." But it--it's done past my mind; I forget about it. And they're healed.
L-2 For instance, there was a little girl here the other night. She was in the building. She was suffering. She was... Probably wasn't over eight or ten years old. She may never be back in the building again, as far as I know. But the child had a burst appendix; the parents didn't know it. The appendix was bursted inside the child. That baby's healed, healed setting here in the meeting. I know that.
There's a lady here that's got a little baby that's got a--a affliction on its arm. And it's a very serious thing. They had it here last night. I seen the baby setting before me. That baby's going to get well. That's right. See, that's right.
But there's many of those things that I--that I--I see, but I don't have time. But what it is, friends, that--that doesn't mean so much. The thing of it... As long as their faith will touch God, they'll see theirself that it's done. You see? So... that it's over...
L-3 If I speak it, what I speak here confirms what I'm talking about. If I speak not God's Word... But I--I have a Witness, and God is my Witness. It--it... I'm thankful to have my brothers as--as witness of the Gospel. But I have a--a witness with my brethren and my friends. And I have a... The greatest Witness is my heavenly Father Who confirms what I'm saying to be the truth. And I'm so thankful for that. Then it isn't I that does the healing, which you know.
So if you say it to the people, as long as I see they got healed, that's all I care for (You see?), to see that they got the blessing. [Hebrews 11:4]
L-4 Now, tonight will probably be the greatest of all the nights. The great anticipations, the great strain, the people are pushing, trying to get in, trying to get healed, will be the--the great time. And many will be healed tonight. I just have a feeling that tonight will be one of the greatest times of healing we've had in all the meeting. And I--I believe that it'll be tonight.
Now, as we're speaking today of "Life Story," I... While I'm--I'm telling my part of things... And I know that I have many fellow citizens here that have had like manner of things. And let us all...
L-5 How many people here is away from home? Let's see. This is not your native home, let's see your hands. You're from some other city, somewhere else. Oh, my, half of us, oh, more than half is away from home. And no matter what city we're from, or where we come from, if it's just a little...
As the minister said the other day, the little church in the desert he was pastoring. No matter what it is or how humble it is, it's like the old proverb, or the old song, "There's No Place Like Home." Isn't that right? No place like home...
L-6 And if you'll notice, always before a people die, you'll--you'll notice they'll always have a longing to go back to the old home place again.
My father, before he left, he hadn't been down to his old home place for many, many years, some twenty-five years, I guess. I seen him setting on the beam of--of the plow one day, he was crying. I was just a little lad; and I didn't know very much about it. I said, "What's the matter, dad?"
He come over, said, "You don't understand, Billy. But someday you will." He said, "I want to go home. I--I want to see the old home-place again." You know, it wasn't but a little bit till he... After he visited his old home, he--he went away.
L-7 My father-in-law, he went squirrel hunting one day, and I said--he said, "Brother Billy, you want to go with me?"
And I said, "No, Brother Frank, I don't want to go."
He was born up above Utica, at that place called Battle Creek, old home place. There's an arsenal up there now. Oh, my. And there's an arsenal, Indiana Arsenal's there. But that was just before the arsenal was built.
L-8 He went up there, and he come back down, and he--he was crying. And I was going with his daughter. And I said, "What's the matter, Brother Frank?"
He said, "Billy, I set upon the old place up there today," and he said, "where the old house used to stand," said, "the old spring along over on the side of the hill." Said, "I could just hear my old mother say, 'Oh, Franky.'"
Well, a few days, I buried him. Maybe it was a call coming from another land. He could hear the echoes across the earth.
L-9 Did you ever notice a person when they're going? I've stood by many a person, held them in my arms and watched them when they were going. I find it very strange.
Please, ministers, excuse this. This is not a doctrine. I don't want this congregation to think that this is a doctrine. But I often wonder if when we are going... I'll give my story first here.
L-10 I stood by a man not some five or six years ago when he was going. He'd just been saved a little while. He was setting in a chair. He was all swollen up with heart trouble. He belonged to a certain church there in the city. And I said--went to him; I said, "How do you do, Mr. Bledsow. Do you know me?"
He said, "Yes. I know you, Billy." He said, "Billy, I think I'm going."
I said, "Are you ready, Mr. Bledsow?"
Said, "Oh, yes, Billy. I've--I've made my calling with God. I've answered the call." He said," I'm ready to go if He calls me." And said, "I believe He's calling me."
I said, "Well, if you're ready Mr. Bledsow, are you willing?"
He said, "Yes, Billy, I'm willing."
And I had prayer with him, and went out, was talking to his wife, setting there. And he was looking across the room, talking. And we'd just been in prayer, and the Holy Spirit was in the room. And he raised up; he said, "Mother, why, I haven't seen you for years."
Mrs. Bledsow said, "Dad, are you delirious?"
He said, "Well, don't you see her? There she is." He said, "Sis?" Wasn't a little bit till he was gone.
L-11 I went to a man here sometime ago, killed in an accident. He was just dying. Come out of the accident, like manner. I seen many of them going that way. And I just wonder, that if when we're coming... Even death is hard. Jesus fought against it: "Is it possible this cup should pass?" But when we're coming right down to the end of the road... And I watched my wife when she went.
And I--I wonder, when we get to the end of the road there, if God just doesn't say to mother or some of them on the other side, "Look, daughter's coming home this morning. Go down there at the bank of the river, watch for them."
We get to see them when these eyes are becoming transformed from the natural to the supernatural. In that vision, when it's catching on us... It's a fog just dries away there, and we can look the other side and see them coming down to the river. I hope that's so. I don't know. I couldn't say it's true; I don't know. But I've seen that many times. Our loved ones pass on... [Matthew 26:29-42]
L-12 Many of you here, most of you are more like myself. Seems like yesterday I was just a little bitty old boy. And here I am. I look at my hands, and I think, "Oh, my." And I--I see myself, as--as just creeping along. I'm getting up in the years. I've yet... Well, it seemed like yesterday I just a little boy playing marbles. But here we have no continuing city, but we're seeking one to come whose Builder and Maker is God.
I think of when I was a little boy, we used to live in a little old cabin. There was a bunch of trees around it, a little old apple trees, and some big ones.
And I remember dad used to come home from work. He was a real full-blooded Irishman. His black wavy hair and blue eyes, small man about my size, but he's sturdy, husky built. He was a logger.
I'd see him roll his sleeves up like that, and his muscles in his arms. Oooh, my. I wanted to be like my daddy. And I thought my daddy will live to be a hundred years old. But he died with his head on my arms at fifty-two. We don't have any continuing city here, but we're seeking one to come. [Hebrews 13:4]
L-13 I used to look at the little old house we lived in, little old log house boarded over. I thought that house will stand for a hundred years--hundreds of years. But there's a housing project there now. We don't have any continuing city here.
I used to see out in front of the door when a bunch of those Branhams... There was ten of us in the family, nine boys and a girl. And when there was about five of us, when we... I was...
To begin with my life story there, we used to have a place wallowed off out in front of the grass--or the porch. Look like where a bunch of little opossums had been playing, wallowing around, all of us. [Hebrews 13:4]
L-14 Mama used to call dinner. And she would have a big old kettle. Did you ever see one of them big old kettles, had three legs? Great big old kettle, you put...?... How many ever seen one of the old kettles? Oh, my, just look at that. Ha. We all know what good eating is then, don't we? Just as slick as it could be on the inside.
And she'd cook mulligan stew. That's very Irish. How many knows what mulligan stew is? It's beef, barley, potatoes, yes, there you are, carrots. We chop it, put it all in together, cook it up, and then leave it set for two or three days, keep eating out of it. Last day it was better than the first, because the cabbage got the taste; and potatoes, potatoes, and cabbage, and licked it all up. Dip it out with a teacup. Yes, sir. Mama got a big old dipper.
L-15 And we had a spring down below the house. And--and I used to go down there, and had a gourd. Used to dip the water up in an old cedar bucket with a gourd. How many knows what a gourd is? Say, I'm not the only country boy here today, am I? No, sir. I feel better now. Makes my clothes fit me better. I know what you're talking about.
All right. Had an old gourd, lay on that old spring. My, what a time. And back under a rock, had the butter setting there, you know. All right. Couldn't keep the cream there, because there's too many little Branhams, and that... Yes, sir. We all liked it.
L-16 So pop used to get seventy-five cents a day and a bucket of milk every night. Mama would skim the cream off of it to save for the butter. And so that'd keep as long. Sometimes it'd sour, nearly before you got to churn it. We used to churn it in a... Had an old churn, and had a lamp chimney setting on top of it, you know. You rise it up-and-down. Did you ever do that? My, just looky here, brother. My, did you ever grind coffee? Have the coffee mill set... Oh, my, that does it. Well, how many's here from Kentucky anyhow? Let's see your hand. Oh, my. Well, anywhere along here... We're in a different day now, aren't we? You press a button, and the nation goes to work. That's right. So them was good old days, I guess. Anyhow, we had a little more brotherly love and feeling for one another in them days than what we do now. And...
L-17 I remember when dad used to make seventy-five cents a day, he'd come in home... Now, my daddy did that which was wrong. He drank. And he'd go pay off his bills, and what he had left, he--he'd drink it. And I hate to say that, and it's... But it's truth. If I have to tell anything, I--I must tell the truth. No matter if it's black against me, why, it--it's black. That's all. See? If it's something scarey to me, well, I might as well tell it here, because it's going to be on the canvases of the skies someday for everybody to look at. Not only had--would I confess it, but I'd been lying. So I'd just rather go right along and just tell the truth about it, and let it be just the way it is.
Daddy drank. Not only drink, but he made the--the whiskey. And when he would come in at home and--and drink right after he'd get his groceries all paid, so forth, he would--he would drink up what he had left. But I don't care what he ever done; I love him today in his grave. That's right. He was my daddy.
L-18 And look, young children, young folks, I don't care what it is; you always have a respect to your father and mother. I think one of the awfullest things that I can hear little children say, or young folks, "the old man" and "old woman." Listen. That's not the "old man" and "old woman"; that's your daddy and mother. And someday, when you see them going out of the room head first, and the wheels beneath the casket, squeaking, you'll know it isn't the "old man" or "old woman" then. That's right. You hear the preacher say, "Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust," you realize the best friend you ever had on earth is going down.
The trouble of it is, you learn too late. Don't weep, and cry then, and send lots of flowers, give them to them now. Be a good boy or good girl.
L-19 I remember when old dad used to come in, his shirt patched upon patch. And he'd stand there, and sun burned his back into his shirt, till mama'd take the scissors and cut it loose from his back. Seventy-five cents a day in the log wood to make me a living? Sure I love him. Yes, sir.
Every time that I pass by the grave and see the snow banked up there, I just feel like if I'd just throw myself down there, warm up the ground where his body lays beneath there.
But he's not there. I had the privilege of leading my daddy to Christ before he left. And I seen him stare and fall back across my arms and looked up at me. "Honey." He went out to meet God.
I baptized my mother just a little bit after my conversion. And last Easter morning, I baptized my boy. I've got a little girl five years now; she's been dedicated. She's coming on. And if God lets me live, I'll do everything I can to see her baptized in...?...
L-20 My little boy now, I took him right out of col--out of his high school. I'm going to send him up here if I can to this Assemblies of God, or whatever it is up here, around Dallas somewhere, to finish up his high school, and on to college; to get him in amongst Christian people where he can work and people that's got the Holy Ghost, that'll help him come through and put the right thing before him.
And if he goes wrong, he will go over the Bible, over the Holy Spirit, and over a daddy's prayer that prayed. That's right. He will have to cross over all that before he can ever go to hell. And I--I believe if you'll pray and hold on, God will answer your prayer.
L-21 And my daddy, just before he left, he--he--he called for me. He'd been... He'd... Poor old fellow, I hate to say this. It just kills me to say it here; he died hungry. That's right. My daddy died hungry. And he... It was during the time of the depression. We work--couldn't work, and couldn't find nothing to work, and he was sickly, and we was just barely making on it, just--just dividing what we could divide. But I know he was hungry, 'cause we hadn't eaten since the day before.
And he had a heart attack, and I stood by his bed. And I picked him up on my arms, like that, and he looked at me, and went out to meet God. I believe someday I'll see him again.
Mother, she's getting aged. It won't be but very much longer. Every time when I leave her, her old quivering lips when she kisses me, she says, "Honey, someday, you'll return and mother will be gone."
I said, "Then mother, I will come where you are someday." That's right. I'll get there.
L-22 And so I remember one day we were getting mar... When they were young, when I was just a little bitty fellow... Daddy was eighteen years old; mama was fifteen when I was born, just children. And we was children with them, growed up with them. I think that's a good thing. I do.
My little girl, when she gets to be any age, and she finds a good Christian boy that she wants to marry, I'd rather she marry him and settle down, be a lady, than be out in some of these roadhouses running around and what they call, "having a good time." That's right. The Bible said, "Let your daughters marry young." Some's already turned aside after Satan.
And I ain't meaning for little bitty kids to get married now. Let your father and mother, they know. They're Christians; they can instruct you.
L-23 And I remember how we used to go to town on Saturday night, go in and pay the grocery bill... We'd all get a treat of candy. You remember when we used to get a treat? Oh, my, that old peppermint stick candy, remember that? Boy, wasn't that real candy? Oh, my.
I remember we'd all get in the little old jersey wagon, we called it up there. You all called it buckboard here, I believe. We put some straw in the back and a whole lot of quilts, and get in there, and all that bunch of kiddies. We had a little old mule. We'd drive about seven miles down to the city and stop. Dad would go in, he and mother and get the groceries and come back out.
And I remember we used to have a--a two gallon can of coal oil. We burned coal oil lights. You've done that, haven't you? Many of you, burn the coal oil light. Did you ever get to a place where you didn't have enough oil for the wick to reach in there, pour water in it, and let it get up there so you... Oh, my. That's... Take a big old potato, and stick it over the stop, so going home, you know, wouldn't shake the coal oil out of the can, get it on the groceries. Them was great days, wasn't they? That's right.
L-24 So we remember going up, we'd set there. And when pop would pay the grocery bill, and come out with a little sack of candy. Mr. Grower would gave us--us a sack of candy when we'd pay the grocery bill each week. And then we'd come out. And maybe there'd be about five sticks, or maybe four sticks, and five little Branhams for it be divided amongst. Boy, there'd be about five sets of little blue eyes, every one of them watching that candy and if see it was equally divided. Had to be equally divided. We'd break that candy, you know, suck on it.
I had a little trick I'd do. Here am I. Monday wasn't a blue day for me. I'd take a suck on my piece of candy a little bit, wrap it up in a piece of paper and put it in my pocket. Then on Monday morning, mama'd say, "William."
Say, "Yes, mama."
"You have to go to the spring and get a bucket of water."
I'd say, "Humpie, if you'll go get the bucket of water, I'll let you suck on my candy till I can count ten." I said...?... I'd have this old piece of peppermint, you know. Oh, my. It was the real thing. Did you ever eat it with salted crackers...?... My, oh, my. Listen. I guess tomorrow, I could go and get me a whole box of Hershey's if I wanted to, but I... There's no candy like that. That's the best there is. Like when you're just a little kid, that old peppermint...
My, I'd get... long as candy lasted, I loafed. I'd keep that candy and wait for the--for the work, something hard I didn't want to do, you know, and then I'd get my brother to do it, some of them, you know. And they'd go ahead and eat their candy up, and I'd save mine.
L-25 I--I remember when daddy used to shave. He used to have a shaving brush made out of shuck. How many ever seen a shuck shaving brush? Well, some of you has. I shaved with them. Take the old shuck like that... Did you ever have shuck pillow, where you take the pillow, and strip the shuck and put it in there? Why sure, and a straw mattress... And take this old...
Had a little piece of glass drove up where we used to wash out there, you know, at the old wash bench. And them little fellows would slick their hair down so tight on those little...?...
They had an old bench built back behind the table. And mother would call dinner, and all of them... We'd go under the table and everywhere getting up there. And she'd set the great big bowl out in the middle of the table, like this, and--and bake the corn bread in the pan. How many ever ate corn bread baked in a pan. Oh, isn't that fine?
L-26 And you know, I used to set right on the corner next to daddy. And we'd pass the bread, and I'd break the corner off so I get plenty of crust around, you know. That was good, down on the corner. Go around... And you know, we broke bread then. Now, you cut it with a knife. Well, then you'd--you'd--you broke bread. Used to say that Jesus broke bread and blessed it. He never cut it. So... And so that wasn't our reason of it; we'd just break it. Each fellow'd break him off a piece, and go right around the table.
And that great big old pot of beans there, with that big piece of jowl in it. Say, you know, that wouldn't be bad right now, would it? That--that would be fine, even right now. That's good eating. Yes, sir.
L-27 And then we would have a big day. And Sunday, we'd have a pudding. How many ever had the old sweet pudding, you know? You used to make it up in the pan. We had a little, some kind of a little dabs of stuff right out in the middle of the pan, you know. And that was a rarity. My, be glad to get a hold of that.
Brother and I used to argue who would sop the pan. Did you ever sop the pan? Oh, my. We're just a big bunch of kids growed up yet, aren't we. So we'd get out there and sop the pan. My, what a time we would have.
And I'll tell you; that puts me in the mind of an old fashion Holy Ghost meeting. But one good thing: we're not sopping the pan any more now, all this old... We ain't just getting a taste now. That's right. And God comes right down with us and gives us a foretaste of glory Divine.
L-28 And then, not long ago, I was coming out of a meeting. I--I passed by and seen that old place. You don't know how it made me feel.
I remember when we used to go to school down there, a little old fellow. I didn't have no clothes to wear, and getting ragged. I remember I went to school all winter one time with a coat on. A rich lady had give me that. And I didn't have no shirt. I took this coat, it had a little old eagle on the arm. And I thought that was the prettiest thing. And--and I'd take this coat. And I had a big catch then, I'd pin it up like this. And so kinda got on till the springtime, and it was awful hot. Teacher said, "William, why don't you take off that coat."
I--I said, "I'm chilly." I couldn't take that off; I didn't have on no shirt.
So she said, "Well, you're probably catching a cold, William. Come over here to the stove." My. She put on that stove on over there, an old country school there, you know, and the sweat just run off of me. She said, "Are you comfortable?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
I--I couldn't get that coat off there, why, I had no shirt on, I just couldn't do it. I went home. And they had to be some arrangements made for that, you know, because I didn't... I'd... She'd see me... I'd just set all winter with that coat on, till...
L-29 I remember one of my cousins that come over to see us. And the... She... They had the three of them, two boys and a girl, and the girl was about my age. So she left one of her dresses there. See? I took the skirt part, cut it off real low down here and put it on for a shirt. I went to school, you know. And it had that little, you know, little stuff on it. What is it they call it? Riff-raft? That... Rick-rack. That's what it is. Little rick-rack all over the sides of it. [Congregation laughs--Ed.] I said something wrong there, didn't I? What is it? That's what it was. Yes, sir. It was all over it, you know. And so I--I... Some of them said... laughing at me.
And I said, "Why, what do you think that is? That's part of my Indian suit." Sure looked funny with all that stuff on it. Oh, my, what a life.
L-30 I remember in 1917, we were in school. And come a great snow in Indiana, and the... Oh, the drifted sometimes as much as seventeen, eighteen feet high. And it started raining and sleet. It froze a crust, oh, some inch and a half thick.
And all the boys at school went sliding, you know, on their sleds and things. We was too poor to have any of that. We got something to eat, we done well. So they... We didn't have...
Brother and I didn't have any sled, but we got us a big old dishpan out of the dump. We'd put our legs around one another and slide. We wasn't in as much class as the rest of them, but we were sliding just the same. So we were--we'd go right on down the hill turning around, and around, and around in this old dishpan.
That served as a sled till the bottom come out of it. So we went down and got us a log. And we took pop's axe and we chopped it up like that, the end of it. We made us a sled. We'd pull this little log, you know, and go on to school. We got down there.
L-31 And I remember, that winter there was a--used to be a--a magazine they sold, called "Pathfinder." I don't know whether you ever heard of the old "Pathfinder." My, I might be talking to a lot of b--boys that sold it.
Anyhow, and that was of the time of war, and everything that was big enough to put on a uniform had a uniform on. Everything was... Oh, the highest respect was for a uniform.
When I used to see those soldiers come up the road. We had a big old sassafras pole out there, and we'd run the flag up on it. We'd get that flag up and see all those soldiers have to stop and salute that flag, 'fore they passed it at--at school, you know. And oh, my, we'd have a big time out of that.
L-32 And I'd see those soldiers, them wrapped leggings, you know, and everything. Oh, my, how I wanted to wear a uniform. I said, "When I get to be a man, I'm going to be a soldier."
Well, I was too little then. And when I this other war come along. I guess I wasn't man enough. I tried to enlist, and then they wouldn't have me.
So I finally got to join the army, a uniform. I might not show it on the outside, but I got it on the inside. That's right. I joined the ranks of Christianity. In there I have a uniform on called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I'm in a great battle, doing everything I can. And I--I might not be able to... I can feel It. I know It's there. And that's the main thing.
L-33 And Lloyd Ford, a friend of mine, he went to school down there. I guess Brother Curtis is laughing now, the boy that's here. One of my friends, remembers Lloyd. And he--he was selling this "Pathfinder," and he'd got him a little Boy Scout suit. And oh my, how he--he looked so nice in that scout suit. I said, "Lloyd, after you wear that out, will you give it to me?"
He said, "Yes, I'll give it to you."
My, how that old suit lasted. Went off a long time. One day I said, "Lloyd, what about that suit?"
He said, "Well, Billy, I'll see if there's--where it's at." He come back, and he said... Next day at school, he said, "Well, Billy," said, "I tell you." Said, "I wore it out, and my mama taken the--the part of the salvage and patched dad's clothes." And said, "And the--they made dog pallet out with the coat, and it's all gone." Said, "I haven't got a thing of it left but one legging."
I said, "Bring me that." I wanted something.
L-34 So he brought his little old legging, about that long, had a little draw string in it. Many of you remember what they was. I wore that around the house, and I thought, "Oh, if I could only wear that to school. Wouldn't I--wouldn't the kids look at me, (you know) this legging on?" So I--I went out to school, and I put it back in my coat.
I was riding down on the sled, on this old log sled, you know, down to the bottom of the hill; and the log turned over and over. And I wanted to get some excuse to put that legging on. So as soon... I said, "Oh, I hurt my leg." Not half as bad as I was acting like. I said, "Oh, my leg. It hurts." I said, "Um."
All the boys standing around, saying, "You hurt yourself, corn-picker?" Kentucky.
I said, "Yeah, I hurt my--my leg." I said, "Oh, it just reminds me, I've got one of my leggings to my scout suit here, that'll help it a whole lot. I put it on. They all got away from me.
L-35 And I went--I went to the board. You used go up to those old blackboards, you know, to work your problems? Just wash one hand, the one you had to hold up to the teacher, you know. So I got around like this, and I put both legs together like this so they wouldn't know, and hold out like this, and stand sideways to work my problems. Begin... Everybody looking at me with that legging on. All the kids got to laughing at me, and teacher made me go home. I got to crying, so she run me home. So I had to go home. I... Oh, my, that's...
As I say, God finally dressed me up on the inside. I'd rather have it on the inside anyhow.
L-36 I'm American; I love my nation; I'm willing to go to war any time it goes to war. There's just Branham after Branham laying dead around France there and Germany. That's right. Many of them are laying there waiting for the resurrection. And I'll... If it would come necessary for my country, I'd be very happy to lay myself with them, to keep freedom where we can have religion, and like we've got it now. No greater nation in the world than our America. I mean that from my heart.
Long may our lands be bright,
With freedom's holy light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
But dear Christian friends, I had rather be in the army of the Lord, than any place I know of. That's right. 'Cause I know that someday we're going to a land where there's ceaseless ages; we'll live there forever.
And--and if I'm not man enough to be out in the army to fight with the armed forces, then God give me a job here to fight the powers of the enemy. And I am a soldier after all, one in the ranks with you, dressed with your type uniform and your brother in--in the service.
L-37 Now, how them old days, they really tantalize us. And there's many things happened that I wouldn't have time to tell you, along the road. But you know how it is in old school days. Wouldn't you like to go back there again? My, go back to just...
I wished I could live one day again. I wished I could get by that old table that my daddy built on top of a stump. And I--I would like to go back there, and set down there, and just live one more day. I'd give all, if I had a hundred million dollars laying on this platform. God knows my heart.
And I realize that night after night, I wrestle with demon powers, and I'm not immune from them. They can come to me.
Remember one time, some boys who thought they had a gift of healing? Said to a man who had epilepsy, "I adjure thee by Jesus Who Paul preaches, come out of it."
The devil said, "Paul I know, and Jesus I know, but who are you?" Is that right? You have to watch what you're doing now. Be sure that you're called for these things. And the men was jumped on, stripped the clothes off, and run through the streets naked. [Acts 19:13-16]
L-38 Now, if I had this platform laying full of money, millions of dollars, and could pass it every bit away, just to see one more scene; and that is, if I could see my old dad enter that tent right there, come walking right down this way, and reach up his hand, and catch me by the hand, I'd give it, everything I ever had in my life, or ever would have, if I could just hold his hand one more time.
The real things of life are right around you; you don't see them. That's all. You don't know it till it's gone. That's right. If I could just once more see dad, but I can't; he's gone on.
L-39 On down through life, many times I... You seen in my little book there how the Angel of the Lord appeared back in those days when I set right on a keg, when I was only about eight years old, or nine, watching the whiskey still run all night long, and get right up and started down packing water back to this still.
And it was right down my road back from the pump where the Angel of the Lord spoke to me, said, "Don't you never drink, or smoke, or defile your body in any way; for there'll be a work for you to do when you get older." Like scared me to death.
L-40 I remember one day, my daddy was going down to the river, he and another man. I was trying to find favor with this man, 'cause he had a good boat. I wanted to pull the boat.
We got ten cents a dozen for finding bottles for them who was--the moonshiners that was fixing the whiskey. And I had a--an old paddle, and we'd... That river'd be up. We'd have to paddle, we didn't have no rudder on the old boat. And had to bail the water awhile and so forth, trying to get along to find the bottles, the brother and I.
And this man had a fine duck yawl. And I... He acted like he liked me, and I--I wanted to keep favor with him.
L-41 And we started across a little tree. And dad just set his leg across like that, to cross over the little blown down tree. And when he did, he stopped, pulled a little flat bottle of whiskey out of his pocket, handed it over to the next man to take a drink. And the other man taken a drink and handed it to me for me to take a drink. I said, "No thanks, I don't drink." I was about eight, nine years old.
He said, "What? A Branham and don't drink?" Most all Branhams died with their shoes on. So he... I said, "No, sir, I don't drink."
My daddy said, "No, I raised one sissy."
Oh, my. A sissy. I said, "Give me the bottle." And my daddy looked at me. I took the bottle, pulled the stopper out of it, just as determined to drink it as I am to finish up my service this afternoon. I turned that bottle up, and started to take a drink. When I did, I heard them leaves in that bush again going, [Brother Branham illustrates.--Ed.].
That's the way It appeared to me when at first, just like a roaring of leaves. Looked up and seen about the size of a barrel going back and forth through the trees. And there a human voice spoke to me and said, "Don't never smoke, or drink, defile your body." And I... Now, He said to me, "Don't smoke or drink."
L-42 Now, I'm not preaching against one thing or the other. He told me not to smoke or drink. If you smoke and drink and say you're a Christian, that's up to you and God. But He told me not to do it (See?), not to do it. And so I didn't.
I've heard many people say, "Well, I--I drink a little bit, a sociable drink. And I... And I use... I smoke, and it don't condemn me."
Well, maybe you just ain't went far enough yet. That's right. That's all. You get a little farther on and you'll--you'll understand. That's right. That's right. You won't have no desire for that.
L-43 And so then when I was standing there, and I took the bottle just as determined to drink it as I could be. And I heard that going, [Brother Branham illustrates.--Ed.]. I dropped the bottle, and screamed, and run up across the hills through the fields. And they laughed at me.
Then along about... When I got to be about eighteen, seventeen, eighteen years old, like all boys I got a little girlfriend, you know. You know how that goes. Now, don't you men look at me like that. You did the same thing. See?
And you know how pretty she was. You know, she had eyes like a dove, and teeth like pearl, and a neck like a swan, you know. And there you are. And I just... You loved her, and the prettiest thing you ever seen. And oh, she was pretty.
L-44 And a little country boy that lived there by me, he said he could get his old daddy's--daddy's old Ford. We had to jack the back of it up and crank it, you know, with that back wheel, you know, going. We got us a couple gallons gasoline. I had about forty cents. And we got our girls, and going to go riding. So we went out.
I was so bashful. My, I set way over on one side of the car and looked at her. She was pretty. My. She was from the city, and she just moved out there. And I thought, "My, she's a pretty thing." And I looked at her, and I'd say, "Yes, ma'am. No, ma'am." Watch her, you know.
L-45 And so we stopped to get some sandwiches. And I went in, got the sandwiches: Get a ham sandwich for a nickel. So I got some Cokes and come back out. And we started eating the sandwiches, drinking the Cokes, having a wonderful time. I took the bottles back. And when I come back out, to my surprise, my girlfriend was smoking a cigarette.
Well, that was just about the time that girls started smoking cigarettes. Well, I've always had my opinion of a woman that would smoke a cigarette, and I haven't changed it a bit. That's right. It's the lowest, most degrading thing that a woman ever done was smoke a cigarette. Worse than being drunk on the street. Now, watch your face get red. That's right.
L-46 Listen. Let me tell you something. Brother, that's the biggest fifth columnist we have in America. I'm not afraid about Russia coming in and whipping us, or some other nation come in and whipping us, we're whipping ourselves by our own morals is degrading us... That's right. Brother, it ain't the ap... It ain't the robin that pecks on the apple, that hurts the apple; it's the worm at the core that kills the apple. That's right.
And I tell you, brother: You let a woman get an old time taste of salvation, and it'll straighten her up. That's right. It puts you in the... or a man, either one. That's exactly right. Amen. That's right.
L-47 Well, I'm not here to preach the Gospel; these preachers do that for you. You see? You don't want me to go to preaching to you like that. I tell you, that's... You would hate me, sure enough. 'Cause I believe in a real old fashion Gospel that straightens a man or woman up, and makes me puke up the devil (That's right.), and get right with God. That--that's just little... I oughtn't to... I mean vomit it up, and that, instead of that... use that word. Well, I'm just as sick when I'm puking as you are when you're vomiting; I'll tell you that. So it's all just the same, you know. All... Some them fine words, I don't know much of them about it. But it's the truth anyhow.
I'll tell you though, you get God in your heart, and It'll sure make you fix yourself up. That's right. It'll bring the real thing out.
L-48 I wanted to find a girl that... Didn't want nothing to do with one that smoked cigarettes. And you know, sir, I get the statistics from the government. And they claim that eighty percent of the women that has their babies today can't raise them as mothers ought to. Cigarette smoking mothers, their babies don't reach eighteen months old. They take nicotine poison and kill them. They have to raise them on the bottle, on cow's milk. Talk about a fifth columnist. What all will America be?
Here not long ago, I was in a barber chair. And there was a fellow setting there, and he was just a shaking and a trembling. And he got up and said, "Aren't you Preacher Branham?"
And I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "I--I--I appreciate..." And just smoked as hard as he could, "I appreciate your--your--your comments the other--the other day on the cigarettes." Then he give me his story. He said, "My father and mother both smoked. And when I was born," said, "I cried the first six months of my life." And said, "They couldn't understand it. And one day when the doctor came," said, "stand there. My father lit up a cigarette and was smoking," and said, "I quit crying. The doctor said, 'Wait a minute here.' Said, 'Take that baby outside.' Took outside, I started crying, brought me back and smoking cigarette smoke into me." And said, "I quietened." Cigarette nerves... "They had to give him nicotine from that time." Said, "Looky here at me now; I--I just can't stop it. My daddy and mother, oh, said they was the cause of it."
What will his children be? There you are. There you are, brother.
L-49 I tell you: It's a shame and a disgrace. If you women smoke cigarettes, for goodness sakes, today, get away from it and stay away from it. Be a real lady right to the core. That's right. Yes, sir, stop it right now.
And I tell you now: If God don't think no more of you than the Angel of the Lord does against that stuff, you have a slim chance when you get to the--to the gates of ever getting in. And that's--that's right. You don't have to do that. There's no sense of it.
Now, if it's something to eat, or something like that it would be different. But that's something that's no--no need of, no sense of it.
L-50 Now, watch closely as we have to hurry. I'll get started over on the Gospel and forget about my life's story. But anyhow, I remember her setting there, you know, when she was smoking that cigarette. I said... She said... Blowing it out of her nose, you know. And that fire fly. If God expected you to smoke, He'd put smoke stacks on you. So she setting there blowing it out of her nose like that. Now, that just degraded her to me right then. And she said, "Will you have a cigarette, Billy?"
I said, "My." I said, "No, ma'am. I don't smoke."
She said, "You don't drink now, and you don't dance, and you don't smoke," said, "what do you like to do?"
And I said, "I like to go fishing and hunting."
'Course, that didn't interest her. So she was... She didn't care about that. She said... And she got to laughing at me. She said, "You big sissy."
Oh, my. My girl called me a sissy. I said, "Hand me that package of cigarettes." And I got a hold of one, just as determined to smoke it. God is my Judge, when I started to light that cigarette, before I could strike the match, I heard that come again, [Brother Branham illustrates.--Ed.].
L-51 And they turned... I got out of the car, crying, and they turned the lights on me, and let me walk up that road, following me with their lights on me, singing to me and making fun of me, because I was too much of a sissy to smoke a cigarette.
It wasn't I was too much of a sissy, but God was preserving that gift for this day. That's all it was. And me, I was determined to do it. But it was God protected it in that day, course...
L-52 Thank you, honey girl. Thank you, sweetheart. Ain't that lovely? Let's say "Praise the Lord" for the little girl. [Congregation says, "Praise the Lord."--Ed.] God bless you, sweetheart. Fine, fine. God bless you, honey. God bless you. Look at her little...?... Well, bless her little heart. [A sister speaks to Brother Branham--Ed.] What... God bless you...?... Well, God bless her little heart.
I want to give this testimony here. The little girl was unable to speak or anything when she come four years ago. And she brought this as a little commemoration for healing, as she was healed four years ago. Let's say, "Praise the Lord," every one. [Congregation says, "Praise the Lord."--Ed.]
L-53 Going to get well? [The sister continues talking to Brother Branham--Ed.] What? What was the matter with him? Her husband was healed a few nights ago. Said he was setting near the post there and was called out with cancer. And he's healed. There he is standing in the aisle back there. Let's say, "Praise the Lord." [Congregation says, "Praise the Lord."--Ed.]...?... Let's say, "Praise the Lord" for that. How wonderful. [Congregation says, "Praise the Lord."--Ed.] Her husband. That's fine. Said he come up from down around Douglas, or somewhere, that--that the--from Brother King's church. All right.
We're thankful to hear of them. That's mighty nice, a little commemoration to come back just to--to give it me. I'm... A little Spanish girl. She was awfully afflicted, and she couldn't speak. And her little hands was just growed together, or something another, as little stubs then. I believe the child will be all right now.
L-54 Now, back to the life story, of when we were in the... That night, the--the girl, when they turned the light on me and let--made me walk up the road. And I went up and set down in a field and cried. And I was ready to try to take my life. I said, "Oh, I just don't know. I--I'm ready to--to--to end this thing." I said, "How in the world could I ever go through life and--and everybody against me?" Looked like when I'd go home, they'd have parties and so forth. Then when I would--when I would try to get out with people, I was misunderstood. I never was understood right until I got amongst this group of people. That--that's exactly right. Then I had people who understood me and loved me.
And then on down, some of you might wondering, being so backward and bashful, how I ever come to get married. I'll tell you about it as quick as I can.
L-55 Oh, my. That... After that girl done me like that, I just soured myself against the women. I said, "I didn't have nothing to do with them at all." And I thought that was horrible. I said, "I'll never have nothing to do with any more girls. I'll never go out with one as long as I live."
I'd go down the street, and I'd see one on one side of the street, I'd cross over and get on the other, if I thought she was going to speak to me. I was really against it.
L-56 So, one day I happened to be out making a high-dive somewhere, out of a tree. And a car drove up, and a young lady stepped out. And there it was again. So there it all started. She happened to be a Christian girl, my little boy's mother.
And she started me going to church. And I went with her for about six or--six or eight months. And she was such a nice girl, so friendly, and nice, and ladylike. That's the type of girl that I liked. Only her father was... Well, he done pretty well. He had a good job, making about five hundred and something dollars a month on Pennsylvania... organizer on the Pennsylvania Railroad. I made twenty cents a hour. He drove a--a Buick, and I had an old T-Model Ford, backslid. So I... Quite a difference in the way we had to--to live.
L-57 So I liked her, and I went with her. So I remember... I know I had to either marry her, or--or ask her if she would marry me, or--or let somebody go. She was too good a girl just to take up her time like that. She'd make somebody a good wife. So I didn't... I wanted to be... I loved her well enough, that I didn't want to ruin her life like that.
So I said, "I got to make up my mind now, and I haven't got the nerve to ask her." So I--I said, "Now, what can I do?"
So I guess you wonder how I ever asked her. Well, I--I--I tried to ask her. And you know how that great big lump comes up in your throat here, and you can't swallow, you know, when you're trying to say anything? I'd say every time I'd go... "Now, I'm going to ask her tonight. Yes, sir, I'll do it." And I'd be telling her say, "Now, ten minutes more by my watch, I'll ask her." I'd--I'd say. Then she'd roll those eyes, didn't do any good. I couldn't ask her.
So guess you wonder how I ever got married. I wrote her a letter and asked her. Yes. I wrote her a letter, and I... Now, it wasn't a "Dear Miss..." It had a little more mush, as we call it, than that. And I wrote it.
L-58 And I remember I wrote it all out, and I asked her if she'd marry me. And I didn't have nerve enough to give it to her, so I just put it in the mail. So I put it on--on Monday morning, went on to work.
I had a date with her for Wednesday night to go to church. And so I... As Wednesday night begin to come along, I--I--I begin to think about it, "What if her mother got a hold of that letter, and that... and she didn't get it?"
And then her dad and I were very good friends. Her mother too, but her dad was just a fine old Dutchman. And he... But her mother, she was a--she was kind of a little fritzie, you know, and she... I guess she thought I was a little trashy for her--her daughter. And so I... She was a good woman, but I was--just wasn't up in the place to marry her. That was all I know. And she didn't think so much of me. But I tried to treat her nice, but I just couldn't get on the good side of her somehow.
L-59 So--so I remember, I got to thinking about it, and I was scared to death to go up there that night. So I got my old Ford finally, dressed up with the best that I owned, you know, and went up there and stopped in front of the house. And I knowed better than to blow the horn. Oh, my. She was a lady. Yes, sir.
If your girl... If you love her enough to go with her, go in like a man and enough to get her. That's right.
L-60 So I'm... I knew better than to blow my horn. So I got out, walked out of the car, and walked up to the door. And I thought, "Oh, my, this is all of it." I [Brother Branham knocks--Ed.] knocked at the door like that. And oh, my heart was racing as hard as it could, you know. And I thought, "Who's going to come to the door." I could just see her mother come look at me, "William, I got that letter." Oh, my.
So I said... Hope come to the door, and she said, "Oh, hello, Billy."
And I said, "Hi, Hope." Her name was Hope. And I said...
She said, "Come in."
I thought, "Oh, oh. Uh-huh, they're getting me inside. And then I know I haven't got a running chance then. What--what will I do about that?" So I said, "Well, I--I--I will just wait out here. It's awfully warm."
And she said, "Oh, step in. Mother wants to see you."
And I thought, "Oh, no."
You know how Satan can lie to you, you know, and tell you, that's it. That's it. So don't never... Circumstantial evidence won't do every time (You see?), so...
L-61 I stepped in the door with my hat off, with all my Sunday manners. My, I was just best that I knowed how to act. And I said, "Sure is warm, isn't it? My." Just going.
She said, "Yeah, I'll be ready just in a few minutes."
And so her mother come in, and she spoke just as nice. And I thought, "Oh, oh. She never got that letter. Uh-huh."
So then I got feeling pretty good. And so, I went on down; we went to church, and she said, "Let's just walk to church tonight instead of going in the car."
I thought, "Oh, oh. She got it." Ha...?...
So we went down and walked to church. I never heard a word Doctor Davis said that night. He preached and preached, and I was setting there thinking, "Yep, this is my last date. She'll tell me as soon we get out here, 'That's all off now. I got your letter, and that's... '" You know how...?... think, you know. You keep thinking, it'll be a realizing to you after while, you know.
L-62 I could just hear her saying this was all, and I thought. "Oh, isn't she pretty. Isn't she a nice lady. Don't I hate to hear this time come." I didn't even hear what the preacher was saying.
After the service was over, we started walking on down home. She never said nothing. I go along. When we come out from under the trees, you know, the moon shining bright. And I'd look over in those dark eyes, you know. And I said, "I hate to hear her say it, but I--I..."
After while I got pretty brave. I thought, "She never got the letter. It just stuck in the box; that's all." Got to breathing better. I said, "She'd done named it to me before now, if she'd have got that letter." So I was going along, you know, feeling pretty good then. And I was walking right along.
We was walking along, she said, "Billy."
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "I got your letter." Oh... Oh, my. And then she just walked on, never said a thing.
I said, "You did?"
She said, "Uh-huh." That's all. Just went walking... You know how a woman can do, just--just keep you in suspense, you know. She said... Just walked on, never said a thing.
And I said, "Uh... Hmmph... Well, uh... Well, uh, did you read it?"
She said, "Uh-huh." Oh, she'd got it.
I said, "Did you read all of it?"
She said, "Uh-huh." That's all she said, just kept on.
And I thought, "Oh, girl, do something and...?... kill me." And just on like that. And she just kept on going like that. And after while, oh, I said, "What'd you think about it?"
She said, "It was all right."
Well, we got married...?... We got married; that was it. So...
L-63 But one more thing. When she was... I remember she told me I had to ask her mother for her. Oh, my. I said, "Honey, look. Let--let's you and I make an agreement. See, we're supposed to be fifty-fifty on these things. You ask your mother, and I'll ask your daddy."
She said, "All right. Very well."
I said, "That's all right."
And so, I thought I could get by pretty well with Charlie, 'cause I'd... He liked me real well. And I... He understood me more.
L-64 So that night, I remember I had to ask. I sat there and I... My, I wasn't having me a good time at all. He was playing the victrola, you know. And I went outside. I got to the door, and she looked at me. You know, I was going to go without asking him, you know. And I said... And Charlie was setting there typing on the typewriter, you know, and it was nine-thirty. Time I had to go...?... He said...
I walked to the door, and I said, "Hmmph, Charlie?"
He said, "Yes, Bill."
I said, "Uh--uh... Could I speak to you out here just a minute?"
He said, "Yes?"
He looked over at Mrs. Brumbach, and she looked at me, you know. Oh, oh, oh, oh. And I said, "Here's where it all ends is right here."
We went outside. Then I thought maybe that Hope had already told her mother, and her mother had done told him to say "No," you know. So I had it all fixed out how it was going to be.
"Well, how are you, Bill?"
I said, "Oh, pretty good." I said, "Sure is a nice night tonight, isn't it, Charlie."
He said, "It sure is, Bill." He said, "Yes, Bill. You can have her." I started... Oh, my, what... I like him yet today. He just went home to glory a few weeks ago. God bless his soul. You don't know what he saved me then.
L-65 I said, "Charlie, look. I'm as poor as I can be. I'm working down here in a ditch for twenty cents an hour." But I said, "I love her with all my heart. I can't clothe her, and feed her, dress her the way you can. But, Charlie, I'll say this: I'll be as good to her as I know how to be. I'll work until my hands run blood to make her a living."
He put his hand over on me, he said, "Billy, look. I'd rather you to have her and be good to her. After all, happiness does not consist of how much of the world's goods you own, but how contented you are with the portions that's allotted to you." That's right.
I said, "Well, Charlie, I'll be just as good to her as I know how to be."
L-66 And we was married. And when we got married, we didn't have nothing to go to housekeeping with. We was very poor. I didn't... I--I was the one married her, and she was the one taken me to... 'for I to support. And we were happy, just as happy, some of the happiest days of my life.
I'd just... Along during that time, I'd just been ordained to be a--a minister. I didn't have no church as yet but we was just preaching around wherever I could in tent meetings and so forth. And I went to work.
And I never will forget how we set up housekeeping. We went and rented two rooms for four dollars a month. Who doesn't know, that wasn't much. And some lady give us an old folding bed. Did you ever see one, the folding beds? And I went down to Sears and Roebuck and got me one of these little breakfast sets without being painted. And I remember, I painted them. And right... On the seat and on the table, I painted a big shamrock, being Irish, you know. And so I--I painted a big shamrock. And--and we went to housekeeping. I went over to Mr. Weber's, Brother Curtis back there, one of his--some of his people, and he dealt in used goods. And I bought an old second handed cooking stove for a dollar and seventy-five cents. And I paid, I believe it's a dollar for new grates and put in it. And we--we started to housekeeping.
L-67 But we were happy. We were happy as we could be. We just had one another, and that's all we cared for. We loved the Lord with all of our hearts. And that's how we lived, just as happy as we could be.
And I remember one day then I wanted to go on a little fishing trip up at Mishawaka, Indiana. That was my first time to ever come in contact with any Pentecostal people. And I went up to old Brother Ryan's and went fishing. On my road back, they was having a... It was the--the P. A. of W., I believe it is, or P. A. of J. C. I think the organization's died out and gone now, but--or reunited with some other organization.
L-68 But anyhow, there's a preacher by the name of Rowe at Mishawaka, had the tabernacle. Some of you might know him, a Reverend Rowe. Well, yes, there's people with their hands up knows Reverend Rowe. Well, it was at his tabernacle.
I was coming back, and I--I seen such a crowd of people and heard such a noise, and I thought, "Well, where in the world's all that noise coming from." And I went down there. It was religious people. And they was a screaming, and shouting, and jumping, and running, and carrying on. I thought, "What kind of a bunch of people is that?"
So I drove my old Ford over to one side. I only had about a dollar and a quarter, and to live on. And so... Enough gasoline to get back home, about two hundred and fifty miles.
And I walked over there and went in. And those people, I never seen such church manners in my life. Umm, my. They were dancing; they were running; they were screaming.
L-69 Why, I said, "What kind of a people is this?" I thought, "I'll just slip inside the door and watch what they're doing." Why, they're clapping their hands, and they're screaming, and some of them beating the tambourine, and some running up and down the boards, and some dancing and running around." I thought, "Well, what's wrong with those people?" Never seen anything like that. So I got inside the door.
Now, it never rubbed off, but it begin to get on me. I begin to looking around; I thought, "Well, you know what? They're awful happy, awful free. They're just a little bit more freer than I am." So I said, "Maybe the Lord's got something that I don't know nothing about." So I begin to look at them.
And somehow, I begin to get a love. I seen they loved one another. And those women would grab one another, hug one another, and kiss each other; and the men throwed their arms around one another, and hugged each other. Why, I never seen that before.
I said, "Say, this is--looks good to me. Believe I'll just stay. They said we're going to have services tonight."
L-70 So I had a dollar seventy-five cents. And I said, "No. I've got to spend at least one more dollar of that to go home on. Now, it'll leave me seventy-five cents. I can't rent a room." So I went down and got me a--about two dozen rolls. And I said, "I can live off these for a few days. I'm going to look around here and see what this is all about." So I went out in the--got me a place in a corn field located, where I could sleep that night.
I come back down to the service. And that night, he said, "I want all the preachers to come to the platform." And I guess there's three or four hundred preachers got on the platform.
They was having a conference. And they had to have it up there on account of the... Well, the southern states wouldn't let the colored and white together. So they was having it up there. And I noticed all them preachers.
L-71 And that night, they had their main speaker was an old colored man. They had to lead him out to the platform. Had on one of them little bitty--them cut away preacher coats, you know, the belt and collar. Just a little rim of white hair, and the poor old fellow come out there.
And all that ministers that day had been speaking about Christ, and how great He was and everything. I was listening to them.
Said, "All the preachers come to the platform." I went up and set down with them. "We only have time," they said, "just to have the preachers say who he is and where he's from."
I just raised up, and I said, "Billy Branham, Jeffersonville," set down. The rest of them along like that. Went on along down the line.
L-72 This old preacher come out to preach. He said he had--was going to preach the message that night. And the old fellow come out. And I thought, "Poor old brother. He was just all crippled up like this."
He come out. And he took his text from over in, I believe, in Job 7:27, or somewhere there. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?" Said he, "When the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy." And instead of preaching what He'd been done out here on earth, he took Him up back yonder about ten thousand years before the world was ever formed, brought Him on down across through the skies, and come down the horizontal rainbow back yonder in eternity somewhere. [Job 38:4]
When that old fellow got anointed, he jumped up in the air, kicked his heels together, hollered, "Whoopie." Walked off of that platform, looked around. He had more room than I've got up here. He said, "You ain't got room enough up here for me to preach." Walked off.
I said, "That's what I want. If--if It'll make an old man act like that, what would It do to me?" I said, "That's the thing I want. That's what I want." I said, "My, what a wonderful people."
L-73 I went out that night, and I got down in the old corn field, and I prayed and I prayed. Nobody knowed me. So I took my trousers and put them between the seats of the Ford and pressed them, you know. Took the back seat out and the front seat out, put them down. Probably you've done the same thing, pressed them overnight. I laid down over there in the grass, and I prayed nearly all night.
And next morning they said they was going to have breakfast at ten o'clock. I wouldn't eat with them, because I had no money to put in the offering. And I just had my rolls. So I--I eat my rolls, and come by a hydrant down there, and got me some water, come on down. Now, I'd been welcome, but I just didn't want to do it, because I couldn't help them out. So I didn't have the money to... But I was wondering what they had spiritually. And I...
And then that morning, they started singing that little song, "I Know It Was The Blood, I Know It Was The Blood." And oh, my, they was having a real time.
L-74 So after they got through with all the jubilee part, then he said, "Last night on the platform, there was a--a young minister by the name of Billy Branham."
I thought, "Oh, oh."
Said, "If he is in the building, tell him to come forth and speak for us this morning." Well, I never even seen a microphone before. And I was sitting back there with a pair of seersucker trousers on and a little T-shirt. I just hunkered down real easy, you know.
So they said... That fellow come up again, Mr. Kurt, you all may know of him. Yeah...?... from Cincinnati. Reverend Kurt, he's a chart teacher he was there at the meeting. He said, "Anybody outside know where Reverend William Branham from Jeffersonville." Said, "Tell him to come up at the platform and come to the service."
I got down real low like this. I was setting right beside of a colored man. He looked over to me; he said, "Do you know that guy?"
My, what was I going to do? I just couldn't lie. I said, "Yes, sir."
And he said, "Well, go find him."
Well, what was I going to do? I--I--I just couldn't lie to the man. I said, "Hold over here a minute, brother, and I'll tell you something...?..." I said, "I'm he. But I can't..."
"You is?"
I said, "Yes." I said, "I can't..."
Said, "Go on up there."
I said, "Let me...?..." I said, "I--I got on these seersucker trousers and this T-shirt." I said, "I can't go up."
Said, "Them people don't care what you dress like. Get on up there."
I said, "No, no."
And in--and in just in a few minutes, he said, "Did anybody find Reverend Branham?"
That colored man said, "Here he is. Here he is. Here he is."
Seersucker trousers, T-shirt, talk about...?... Wonder what...?... My...?... you know.
All them people looked at me, them people who really have their religion, you know. And me up there my old cold Baptist ways, you know, and the... got up there, you know.
And I said, "My." I thought, "Lord, if You ever helped anybody, You help me." I said, "I'm grateful to..." I finally thought, "Well, what am I going to read? Or what am I going to do?" I was so nervous, I just couldn't hardly hold myself together.
L-75 And I got over here, and I jumped over to Luke there where It said, "The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell and then he cried." I just happened to fall on, "And then he cried." I took that little three words, "And then he cried." I started talking. Everybody got to hollering, "Amen." And then I cried.
First thing you know about--about two hours later, become... []
Outside. The next thing I know, It done got on me or something. I got out of that...?... []
Some fellow walked up with a big pair of boots on, big Texas hat, said, "I'm Reverend So-and-so." Elder, I believe he called his name.
I said, "Are you a preacher?" Them Texas boots on, and a big hat. Well, I'm not so bad off after all. I said, "You a preacher?"
"Yes, sir. I'm a Pentecostal preacher. I..." Said, "Why don't you come down to Texas and hold a revival for me."
I said, "Me?" He said... I said, "Look--look, brother," I said, "I--I just don't know religion that good."
He said, "I don't care. Come on down, I like it," he told me.
L-76 About that time a fellow tapped me on the shoulder, said he was a preacher. And he had on a little old knickerbocker golf pants like, you know. He was a preacher from Florida.
I said, "Well, my seersucker trousers are not so bad after all."
Well, I looked around like that, and they had...?... A woman come up was a missionary to the Indians. And why, I had all kind of places to... Why, my, you don't know the places I had to go.
And I went out there and got down in the corn field, and I just praised the Lord for giving me the opportunity, jumped in my old Ford, making forty miles an hour: Twenty miles this way, and twenty miles up-and-down this a way. Down the road...?...
L-77 When I come home... When I got home, my wife, bless her heart, she was waiting as usual. She'd run out and meet me. She seen me coming. She's real... had a little old long black hair, pretty eye--brown eyes. She come running to me. She threw her arms around me, her and the baby. And--and she said, "Oh, I just know you've had a good time fishing and... up there in the lake."
I said, "Honey, I want to tell you what I done." I said, "I--I met the best people in the world."
She said, "Well, what?"
I said, "The best people in the world. You talk about people that's not ashamed of their religion, you ought to see them." I said, "They clap their hands, and they scream, they run all over the floor, and everything."
She said, "What?"
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "Where they at."
I said, "Up at Mishawaka." I said, "I'm going to tell you something. Looky here." I pulled out a long piece of paper. I said, "They want me to hold revivals for them all over the country."
She said, "You?"
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "Sure enough. Is that right?"
And I said, "Yes, sir. They told me I could hold revivals for them."
And she said, "Well..."
I said, "Will you go with me?"
She said, "Sure." Bless her heart. She said, "Sure, I'll go." And that's a real wife, go with you through thick or thin.
L-78 Well, now, when I started out to hold the meetings then, I was going to go to hold them. And I went and told my mother. She said, "Well, God bless you, honey." She said, "Years ago down in Kentucky at the old Lone Star meeting house, we used to hear the people shout like that long time ago, and had that kind of a demonstration." Said, "But it faded out."
And--and--and I said, "Well, mama, these people, It ain't faded out of them." I said, "They sure have got a...?..." And so she went...?... things.
L-79 When we got to her mother--got to her mother...?... When we got over there, why there's where the trouble started, right there.
She said, "William Branham, do you mean to tell me that you'd take my daughter out amongst a bunch of trash like that?"
I said, "Well, look, Mrs. Brumbach. They're not trash."
She said, "That's a bunch of holy-rollers." She said, "And you take her out of here, she'll starve to death." She said, "Today she might have something to eat, and tomorrow she might not have nothing to eat."
But brother, I come to find out what she called "trash" was "the cream of the crop." And bless my heart...?...
And said, "You mean to tell me that you'd take..." Said...
And Hope started crying. And she said, "Mother..." She said, "I--I--I want to go with him."
And she said, "Very well, Hope. If you go, your mother will go in a grave heartbroken. That's all." And then Hope started crying.
L-80 And--and there, friends, is where my sorrows started. I listened to my mother-in-law in the stead of God. He was giving me the opportunity. And there this gift would've been manifested long time ago, if I'd just went ahead and done what God told me to do.
But instead of that, I didn't want her to be angry, and I didn't want to hurt nobody's feelings. And so I just--just let it go like that. Just walked, I just said, "All right, we won't go."
And right there, the sorrows started. Immediately after that, my father died. My brother was killed a few nights later from that. I almost lost my own... I lost my father, my brother, my wife, my baby, and my sister-in-law, and almost my own life within about six month's time. And just started going down. My church, pretty near everything went down, down, down. Hope taken sick.
L-81 Just right after that, the 1937 flood come on. And when it did, the... I was--got a job then. I went to working for the conservation. And I was patrolling out in the... So when I--the floods begin to come up and you remember hearing it here. Many of you was there, and how people being washed away and things.
And Hope taken sick. She was going over to get me a--a Christmas present. And... the Foxe's "Book Of The Martyrs," is what I wanted for a Christmas present. And she got me a little fish box.
And when I come in that afternoon, she was laying on the floor, fainted. And I called our family doctor, Doctor Adair. And he--he came up there, and he said, "Well, Bill, she's got pneumonia." So he said, "You have to stay up all night...?... nights." And during that time...
Before that, a little girl baby, little Sharon Rose (Bless her little heart. She's in heaven too today.), she had been born into our home, just the sweetest little thing you ever seen, just a few months old.
L-82 And so then I remember that Doctor Adair told me, he'd say, "Have to stay up late, Billy, keep the children out of the room here." And said, "Stay up and--and--and give a lot of fluid that night." And I did. And the next morning her mother wanted to take her down at the house. And she didn't care too much about Doctor Adair, and taken her out and throwed her into the--the tubercular.
So then, I remember the flood coming on; they rushed her out to the government depot, out there for the hospital. And--and, oh, that part of the night, it raining, twisting, blowing; and how brother, sister...?... now.
Always mind God. No matter what it is, God says for you to do. And I tell you, today, that God in heaven, Who looks down upon me standing in this platform, will forgive me. I know that many thousands of souls that I'll have to answer for at that day, for listening to somebody else instead of God. That's true.
Now, I remember out there that night. They taken her out to the government barracks where, used it for people who are in hospitals. And the floods were on.
L-83 And I was down trying to patrol. I slip out to see her. And she was sick, and both babies had taken pneumonia. And they were laying there sick and... And I'd worked back. They was calling me everywhere in patrol car I was in... I went downtown. And--and I was coming up the street along about eleven o'clock.
And the old dike had broke through up there. And down through the other part of the city it'd washed, just washed out. And they didn't know how many was killed or--or nothing. And such a horrible time.
And I remember I heard somebody hollering and screaming. I looked way over there past Chestnut Street, a big two story building and it was shaking like this. And there stood a mother out there with her baby in her arms, and the building going down, screaming for mercy.
L-84 Well, I lived on the river, and I thought I was a pretty good boatman. I'd get... went and got my boat out of the back of my car, and set it in the water, the little patrol car I had. And I set the boat in the water.
And I got out there to her, and got her in and two or three other girls in the--in the room. And I got them out. And just the time I got them to the bank, they heard... She said, "My..." She fainted. She hollered, "My baby, my baby. Get my baby." I thought she'd left her little bitty baby in the room, and I'd left it.
L-85 So I started back. And the water just a twisting; I couldn't hardly make it. And I finally got way up this way and come down, and caught a hold of the--of the--the outside post and tied my boat, and went in. The baby she was talking about is the baby she had in her arms, about two and a half years old.
And then when I heard the building go out from under me... And I run out real quick, and I fell in the water, probably twenty-five feet. And I fell in the water, and just got a hold of the boat like this to pull the... keep it from pulling my boat down too. And undone the... loosed the--the knot in the rope, fell into the boat.
Then came freezing like that. I couldn't get the outboard motor started on it. Out into the river, I whirled right out into the main part of the current, me pulling and pulling. And it wouldn't start. Them great waves, almost as high as this building here, licking up like that, and that little bitty boat like that, and me out there...?... Ohio Falls, just about a mile and a half below me there, going right to them, which meant death at any minute... And there, brother, I had to think it over, whether it was trash or not. I was going out to see.
L-86 There, pulling on that rope, and it wouldn't start, and I'd pull again, and it wouldn't start. Sick wife and baby laying out there, just lost my daddy and everything, I knelt down in the boat, and I said, "Oh God, have mercy. Have mercy. I don't want to die out here in this river like this. And I want to raise them children. Please, dear heavenly Father, if You'll just let it start, dear God."
And that boat rocking from side to side like that, me trying to pull then. I thought, "Oh, it--it can't be but just a little bit farther to the falls. I knowed that was the end of all of it then, 'cause them big waves like that, and they're coming back this way, take me right into the whirlpool there. And it's seventy or eighty feet deep right straight down through there. In normal times if anybody ever goes in there, that's all of it. And hang on those big rock ledges down through there. And there seldom ever find their body.
L-87 And so I just praying out there, and I said, "God, I know I've done wrong. I know I oughtn't to have listened to what I did. Please, dear heavenly Father." Just trying to start. And just in a few moments, it give a couple of little sputters and started. "Oh, Lord."
Back in. I landed, come back and give it all I could, and heard... cutting this way, and praying my gasoline hold out. Finally landed way down towards New Albany there, the other corner. And--and got in and went back and got my boat--or got my car.
And when I got up there and found out about the mother, and everything was all right. I slipped out to the ho--or the government hospital to find out how my wife was. I was going to talk to her about it. And I went out there, and they was just laying in little old army cots.
And when I got there, it was all covered over with water. Where were they at? Then I started screaming to the top... And I got excited then.
L-88 Major Weekly, a friend of mine there at the government, he walked up to me. He said, "Reverend Branham?"
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "I don't think your wife is gone." Said, "I think they got everybody out of there." Said, "I think they went to Charlestown, a city about twelve, fourteen miles above here." Said, "I think they went out in a cattle car." Her with pneumonia and it sleeting and blowing like that. Two sick babies and them with pneumonia, one of them just eight months old. I thought, "Oh mercy, they was on a cattle car."
Then I jumped in my truck and run out there towards--to get the road to go to Charlestown. There's about six miles of water where the Lancassange Creek had come through like this to get back. I run down and got my speed boat, and I'd tried my best to get through them waves. I'd hit like this and go plumb back around like that, and I tried to duck the waves.
L-89 And out there, I got cut off from everything, out there myself. And I set out there marooned for about eight days where they had to drop me something to eat. I had a lot of time to think over on who I was going--going to listen to, God or somebody else, let it be one who loves his mother or whoever it was. You listen to what God's got to tell you...?...
I'd set there and I prayed and cried... [] Got to make your stand. And then instead of standing up against it, I thought more of some--what some woman respected than what my own conscience and God was planting in my heart. I said, "Oh, God, what can I do?"
I looked down there and I met another fellow, and I fixing...?... "Did any of them in the hospital get drowned, you know?"
He said, "No, I don't think there was." He said, "I think they all escaped." And said, "Reverend Branham, I think your wife was on a box car, and they took her out to Charlestown when that boat went up."
L-90 Well, I run down to my car and got my speedboat, and come back up and put it on the back of my truck. Run up and started to cross. I set up there to...?... was back to it, and about six miles of water just waves through there.
Some of them said, "That train?" Said "It washed off the trestles right up there." Oh, my. There it was again. I tell you, brother, back down in behind this heart, there is sorrows that you know nothing about...
Then I put that boat in the water, and I tried hour after hour to pierce that current. And I couldn't do it. And then the water cut me off, and there I was marooned out there for about seven days I set out there. I had plenty of time to think things over. When the waters got down...?... I had two choices. I walked up there...?... []
L-91 They had on boots. I was going just as hard as I could. I run up to an old friend of mine, Mr. Hayes, called him Colonel Hayes, superintendent of the public service company. I went up to him, and I said, "Mr. Hayes." I said, "Did that train come through with that bunch of people fr..."
He said, "I don't know, Billy."
I said, "Let's go." We went on down through... Just a little bitty city there, about two or three thousand people. We went everywhere. Nobody had heard anything of my wife.
Oh, I thought, "Wife and babies are wound around some bailing wire or something or other down there in one of them swamps, and maybe plumb down in the south somewhere; swelled up, laying there in a bunch of bushes, drowned."
"Oh God," I said, "what can I do? What can I do?"
L-92 I went out. We went down to the railroad station. And there's a dispatcher there said, "Just a minute." Said, "I believe that train come through." Said, "The engineer of that train is here in the city today." Said, "He was supposed to be down here in a little bit to take a train out." Said, "I'll ask him." After while, he... I run to him as soon as they told me that was him coming."
I said, "Sir, did you drive the train from the government depot that come through?"
He said, "Yes, I drove that train."
I said, "Do you know Charlie Brumbach?"
Said, "Certainly." He said, "His daughter was on the train on back there with two sick babies."
And I said, "That's my wife, sir." I said, "Where they at?"
Said, "They're--they're somewhere. I let them off at, I believe at--at the Kokomo, Indiana."
And I said, "You did?"
He said, "Yes."
L-93 And I started at foot to walk. Could... I was going to get there some way. I begin to come almost beside myself. I started off. I met a man. He said, "I know who you're looking for, Billy." It was a friend of mine. Said, "You're looking for Hope, aren't you."
And I said, "Jim, you know about her?"
Said... I mean at... not at Kokomo, it's Seymour, Indiana.
He said, "She's laying up there in the Baptist church at Seymour, Indiana, dying with tuberculosis, laying by the side of my wife." And I... or "my girlfriend."
And I said, "Dying with TB?"
Said, "Yes, Bill." Said, "I hate to tell you, but you wouldn't know her."
I said, "Is the babies alive?"
Said, "I don't know nothing about the babies."
Oh, my. I said, "Oh, can we get there?"
Said, "I got a secret road." Said, "I can take you."
And we got in there late that night, in the--the basketball arena where the Baptist church was fixed up for the--the refugees to come in. And they said she was down there. And I run through there screaming top of my voice, "Hope! Hope, honey! Where are you? Where are you?" And I looked.
L-94 Oh, I will never forget that. Back over there on this old government cot, I seen a little bony hand raise up. That was my darling. I run to her real quick. I fell down at her. Those dark eyes was sunk way back in her head. She'd falling lots of weight.
I said, "Sweetheart?"
She said, "I look awful, don't I?"
I said, "No, honey. Is the babies all right?"
"Yes," she said. "Mother has the babies." Said, "Billy's been awfully sick; Sharon's a little better." And she said, "I'm awfully sick."
I started crying, I said, "God, don't--don't take her from me. Please don't, Lord."
L-95 I felt somebody touch me on the back. It was a doctor. "You're Reverend Branham?"
And I said, "Yes, sir."
"Come here just a minute." Said, "Aren't you a friend of Sam Adair?"
And I said, "Yes, sir, I am."
He said, "I hate to tell you this, Reverend Branham, but your wife's a dying." Said, "Your wife's got tubercular. Sam told me to tell you just to make her comfortable, and not to be excited around her."
I said, "She dying, doctor?" I said, "She can't, doctor. That's all. She can't do it." I said, "I love her with all my heart, and I'm a Christian." And I said, "I just--I just know she ain't going to die. I just can't think of the thoughts to think that she'd be taken away from me here, and with these two little babies, how could I stand it?"
He said, "Well, I hate to tell you, but," said, "there's nothing can be done as far as I know."
L-96 I went back to her, trying to brace myself up and talk to her. A few days we took her home. She just kept getting worse and worse and worse. Went to Louisville, and they had specialists and everything. Took her out to the hospital. Doctor Miller from the sanatorium come down and looked. He called me out to one side, said, "Reverend Branham, she's going to die." Said, "There ain't nothing can be done for her." Said, "She's--she's going to die."
I said, "Doctor Miller, honest, isn't there something I can do? Could I take her to Arizona? Could I do something for her?"
Said, "t's too late now, Billy." Said, "That--that's a... That's galloping tubercular." Said, "It--it kills them right away." Said, "Her family's had it back behind there," which I knew later that they--they did. And said, "She's just broke with it, and it's got such a hold on her." Said he'd give her pneumothorax treatments and everything. And said...
L-97 And I'd hold her hand when they were boring that hole in her side to collapse them lungs. If I had it to go over, it wouldn't be done. And she'd hold my hand there, bless her heart. I'd have to almost pull her hand off of mine from suffering, holding where they'd bore that hole in there and collapse the lungs on the side. And that was tubercular traveling right on up like that. I knew she was going, and I was doing all that I could do.
And I'd work at night. I remember, I was out, and I heard a patrol sign come through. It said, "Calling William Branham. Come to the hospital immediately, wife dying."
L-98 I never will forget; I took off my hat. Setting in the truck, I held up my hands, and I said, "O Jesus, please don't let her go. Let me talk to her once more before she goes. Please do save her." I was about twenty miles away from home. I turned on lights and everything. I went down the road real swift, stopped in front of the hospital, and throwed off the gun belt, and into the place I went real quick. I started walking down through the Clark County Memorial Hospital.
As I started down through there, I looked, and I seen poor little Doctor Adair come walking down through there with his head down. God bless that man. And he--he looked at me like that when he seen me. He throwed his hands up like that and started crying and run in the halls. And I run up to him, put my arm around him, I said, "Sam, is it?"
And he said, "Billy, I'm--I'm afraid she's gone now."
I said, "Come, go with me, Doc. Let's go in."
He said, "Bill, please don't ask me to do that." Said, "Oh Bill, I love you." He put his arms around me. Said, "I love you, Billy." He said, "We've been bosom friends." He said, "I can't go in and look at Hope again." Said, "That's like my sister laying there." Said, "She's baked me pies and everything." Said, "How--how could I go in and see her going like that."
Said, "Come here, nurse."
I said, "No. No, let--let me go myself."
L-99 And the nurse said, "I'll take you in, Reverend." Said, "Here's some... Here's..." Tried to give me some little old medicine there to quieten.
I said, "I don't want that."
I walked on into the room, shut the door behind me. I looked over there. They done had the sheet pulled up over her face. I pulled that sheet down and looked. She was real thin, and she was drawed up like this.
I put my hands on her; perspiration's real sticky; her face was cold. I shook her. I said, "Hope, Sweetheart? Please speak to me once more."
I said, "God, have mercy." I said, "Never again will I think them people are trash. I'll make my stand." During that time, we'd both received the Holy Ghost. So I said, "Please, will You, Lord?" I shook her. I said, "Oh, please speak to me once more." And I--I shook her again like that.
Those great big dark eyes looked up at me. She said, "Come near." And I got down real close to where she was. She said, "Oh, why did you call me, honey?"
I said, "Call you?" I said, "Sweetheart, I thought you were gone."
She said, "Oh, Bill..."
About that time the nurse run in, said, "Reverend Branham, here." Said... "You had that little medicine?"
I said, "No."
She called the nurse, Miss Cook. She said, "Come here." She said, "Set down just a minute. I've just got a few minutes left."
And she was Hope's friend. And she was biting her lip.
She said, "When you get married, I hope you get a husband like mine." And that... You know how it made me feel. She said, "He's been good to me, and we've loved each other the way we have." And said, "I hope you get a husband like mine."
I--I turned my head; I couldn't stand it...?... walked out of the room.
L-100 I walked over to her I said, "Sweetheart, you're not going to leave me, are you?"
She said, "Oh Bill." She said, "You've talked about it; you preached about it, but you don't know how glorious it is." Said, "Just before you called me, there was something in white was taking me home. I was going down through a great big place where there was pretty trees and big birds and swings. I was at perfectly at peace being taken my home." I believe she seen paradise as sure as I'm standing in this platform.
She said, "You've talked about that wonderful Holy Spirit, Bill. But you don't know how wonderful it is when you come to cross. That's the reason I'm going, brother. I know it's real. I've seen it at the end of the road." Yeah, you can call me holy-roller, if you want to but let me die one; that's the way I want to go. Yes, sir.
She said, "Oh, you don't know how wonderful it is." She said, "Sweetheart, you know I'm going, don't you."
And I said, "Yes."
L-101 She didn't mind going. She said, "Oh, it's all right, Bill. I hate to leave you and the children. But oh how wonderful that place is over there." She said, "I want to go back." And she said, "You know why I'm going don't you?" And oh, that's what killed me.
I said, "Yes, honey, I know it." I said, "If we'd have minded God instead of your mother, it wouldn't have been this a way." I said, "I'm going with them, don't you worry."
She said, "Promise me that you'll preach it as long as you live."
I said, "So help me, God...?..." I said, "I'll do all that I can, honey."
And she said, "I want you to do a few things for me. Will you?"
I said, "Yes, I'll--I'll try." I said, "I'll do all I can."
And she said, "Remember that time when we was in Louisville, and--and you wanted to buy that rifle to go hunting."
And I just love guns. And she... And it taken three dollars to make a down payment on it.
And I said, "Yeah, I remember it."
She said, "We didn't have no money to pay for it then."
And I said, "No."
She said, "Sweetheart." She said, "I wanted to get you that rifle so bad." She said, "I've been saving for about eight months." And she said, "After I'm gone, would you go home, look up on the folding bed under that paper, and you'll find the money there. You'll..."
L-102 I think she had a dollar seventy-five cents saved towards it laying up there. You don't know how I felt when I picked up that dollar seventy-five cents and looked at it.
She said, "And another thing..."
One time I bought the wrong pair of stockings for her, I'd never--didn't know what kind of goods to call for, and I called for the wrong thing. And she told me about that.
Then she said, "I don't want you to live single. I want you to promise me that you'll take my children and promise me you'll get some good girl that's got the Holy Ghost, and get married, and she'll be good to the..." She said, "Then they won't have to be pulled about from pillar to post."
And I said, "Honey, I--I can't promise that." I said, "I love you too much to ever get married."
And she said, "Please, please." And I said... She said, "You can't take care of that little girl and little Billy."
I said, "Oh honey, don't make me promise that."
She said, "I made you promise me you'll do it."
L-103 And I seen her going fast. And I said, "Sweetheart, are you going?"
And she said, "Yes."
I said, "Is...?... If I'm alive, I'll be on the battlefields somewhere preaching the Gospel when Jesus comes. But if I'm not," I said, "I'll be planted by your side." And I said, "When the dead in Christ arise, if I happen not to be right with you, if I'm out in the field somewhere, and you go...?..." I said, "You go over to the east side of the gate. You stand there. When you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob coming up, you scream, 'Bill' just as loud as you can." I said, "I'll get the children together, and I'll meet you there."
She said, "I'll be looking for you." She threw her hands up like that. And I kissed her good-bye. She went to be with God.
That's my date with...?... I'm living as true as I know how to keep it. Someday I'll be there by God's grace.
L-104 When I returned home, oh, how I felt. I just couldn't hardly stand it, how they'd--they taken her down to the undertaker morgue and then they embalmed her body and laid her out.
I was laying there that night; I happened to look. Somebody knocked at the door, Mr. Broy come up, he said, "Billy," said, "I hate to tell you the bad news."
I said, "Brother Frank, I know she's down there in the morgue." I said...
He said, "That's not all of it." Said, "Your baby's dying too."
I said, "My what? Sharon's dying?"
Said, "Sharon's a dying." Said, "They just took her to the hospital, and Doctor Adair said she can't live but just a little bit longer."
L-105 I couldn't stand up. They picked me up. I set in a little old Chevrolet truck. We went out to the hospital. I jumped out of the car, started in.
Nurse said, "Reverend Branham, you can't go down there." Said, "That's... She's got tubercular meningitis. She's caught it from her mother, and it's went to the spine." Said, "You can't go in there on account of the little boy."
And I said, "Nurse, I got to see my baby."
She said, "You can't do it."
When she turned her back, I went in anyhow. And I went down there in the room. And there, flies was in her eyes. Just a little old hospital out there. And I took this little old mosquito bar, what it was, shooed the flies away from her. And I looked down at her. Her little fat legs was moving up and down. Looked like she was waving her little hand.
L-106 I remember when she used to... The wife would put on her the little three corners and set it out there in the yard. And I'd come along that... Just the way I touched that little siren, and she'd know it was me. And she'd just jump and go "Goo, goo, goo." And I'd pick her up in my arms, and she'd love me.
And I seen my baby going. Oh, God, I just couldn't stand it. I thought, "Oh, God, what could I do? What can I do?"
I knelt down, I said, "Heavenly Father, please don't take her. Take me in her stead." I said, "Let me go. You're--You're tearing me to pieces. Let--let me go."
Just then as I raised my eyes up, I seen a dark-like veil floating down through the... I knowed she was going. I raised up and looked down at her, at the bed at her, her little fat arms, waving. It was a spasm like. And I looked at her. Why, she was suffering so hard till her pretty little blue eyes were crossed, one of them was.
L-107 That's the reason I can't stand to see a cross-eyed child hardly. I seen four hundred and some odd cross-eyed children healed in three months time in my meeting. I've never seen one cross the platform without being healed. And then I think of my little baby. Sometimes God has to crush a rose to get the perfume out of it, you know.
I seen little Sharon, and her little eyes crossing, her little lips quivering. I said, "You know daddy, honey?"
And her little lips quivering like that. I seen her little mouth coming open. I knowed she was going. I laid my hand on top of her like this. "God bless you, darling. You're an angel. You're going to be with mama. Someday dad will see you by God's grace."
I raised my hand, I said, "Lord, I know I've done wrong. But as--as Job of old, though You slay me, yet I love You. I can't help it. I love You in my heart. You're just about to kill me, Lord." But I said, "I--I love You anyhow. Take her, Lord. Not my will, but Thine be done."
Felt like every bone in my body come unjointed. I...?... In a little bit, the Angels of God come took the little thing, took her home. I took her down, and put her in the casket... her mother. [Job 18:15]
L-108 We took her out to the cemetery. The minister stood there. He took a handful of ash--of dirt. Said, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and earth to earth." I heard the ropes squeaking as they let them down. Then like the breeze coming down through them old maple trees, said,
There's a land beyond the river,
That they call the sweet forever,
We only reach that shore by faith's decree.
One by one we'll gain the portals,
There to dwell with the immortals.
Someday they'll ring the golden bells for you and me.

I returned home. I couldn't be satisfied. I could see my wife going, but that baby, how could I give it up? What could I do about that?
My, I went on back to work. One morning I was climbing a pole working as a lineman. I hooked my belt like that. And I was singing up there, working around the primaries. I was singing,
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The sun was just coming up. That cross-arm on the pole made my shadow on the side of the bank look like a body on the cross the way I looked. "Yes, it was my sin and shame that put Him there. And I was the one who nailed Him to the cross, the Prince of Life."
I said, "O God, but in heaven somewhere, You've got my little girl." And there, I become almost frantic, almost a mental collapse. I took off my rubber glove. Twenty-three hundred was running right by the side of me. I said, "God, I hate to be a coward, but Sherry, honey, I'm... Daddy's coming to see you this morning," as I laid my hand down on that wire.
Why, it broke every bone in my body. How I don't know, unless God had foreordained that this gift should go forth.
L-109 The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the ground, perspiration running off of my face. I took off my spurs, put them in the truck, went down and went home. As I went around the house, I picked up the mail. Went around the house... And few months had passed, turned cold weather, frost was coming up through the floor there.
I wouldn't go nowhere. I said, "We didn't have very much, but what we had..." We--she and I had lived together with it. It was home sweet home to me. I don't care how it was, it was... It was her furniture, and I wanted to stay at home.
When I went in the house, first letter I looked at, Miss. Sharon Rose Branham, eighty cents, Christmas saving. Oh, my, it was all over again.
I knelt down on the floor there. I started crying. I said, "God, please have mercy upon me. I'll take my own life."
L-110 I'd been a warden. In the room I had a gun. And I went in to get this gun. And I put the shells in it. And I pulled the hammer back on the gun. I said, "Lord, I--I'm... I've gone wild." I don't know. I was out of my head. I put it up beside of my head like this. I said, "Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name," squeezed the hammer, it wouldn't fall. I said, "O, Lord, I can't even take my own life."
I threw the gun down, shot it off through the house. Went on like that. I thought, "O God, why, I've gone crazy. I've lost my mind." And I...?... on at work.
L-111 I went to sleep. And when I went to sleep, I dreamed. I thought I was out west here somewhere. I always loved the west. And I had on one of these big hats like the cowboys wear. And I was going walking down through the prairies; there's an old prairie schooner laying there and a wheel broke down on it. I was singing,
The wheel on the wagon is broken,
Sign on the ranch, for sale.
Going along like that, I looked standing there, and there stood the most beautiful young blond-headed woman standing there that wou--hair blowing; she was dressed in white. That's the prettiest girl I ever seen. I tipped my hat; I said, "Howdy do, sister."
And then she said, "Hi, dad."
And I looked around; I said, "Dad?"
She said, "Yes."
And I just said... I said, "Well, I don't understand this." I said, "You call me your daddy."
She said, "Dad, you just don't know where you're at." Said, "This is heaven." Said, "Down on earth I was your little Sharon Rose." Said, "Don't you remember your teaching of immortality?"
L-112 I teach that there won't be little bitty babies like that in heaven. We'll all be one age and one size, immortal. You have to always be that way. We'll just be... There'll be no real old people and no real little bitty babies; we'll be just one age, the youth forever.
And she said, "Don't you remember your teaching of immortality?"
I said, "You're not Sharon?"
She said, "Yes, daddy."
I said, "Well, Sharon, honey, I don't understand."
She said, "Where's Billy Paul?" That's her little brother, the one that's here.
I said, "Well, I left him just awhile ago. But I don't understand."
She said, "Daddy, mother's waiting for you up home."
I said, "Home?" I said, "Honey, I never had a home. Branhams are vagabonds like." I said, "I never had a home."
She said, "But dad, you got a home up here." She said, "Turn, look this a way."
I looked back there and I seen the glory of God coming up. And I seen a great big pretty mansion there.
She said, "That's your home, daddy." Said, "Mother's waiting for you." She said, "You go on. Mother wants to see you. I want to wait here for Billy."
L-113 And I took right up through there. I got to the door, and there she come out to meet me as she always did, not sickly, not all drawed up and eat up with tubercular. She come out with her arms out, that black hair hanging down her back, dressed in white. And she said... Held out her arms to me and I run to her, grabbed her by the hands and knelt down.
I said, "Oh, Hope, honey." I said, "I met Sharon. Didn't our darling make a pretty woman?"
Said, "Yes, Bill." She said, "You're worrying too much, honey."
I said, "Worried? How could I keep from worrying?"
And she said... She said, "Look." Said, "You're just worrying about Sharon and I." Said, "Don't worry about us. We're so much better off than you are."
And I said, "Well, honey, everything's been going wrong, and everything..."
She said, "I know all about it." She said, "Now, stand up."
L-114 And I stood up and I looked at her, and oh, she looked like she did the night I married her. And I looked at her building. She said, "Won't you set down?"
And I looked, and there's a great big Morris chair setting there. And I looked over at her.
She said, "I know what you're thinking."
When we didn't have any chairs... We had the old hickory bottom chairs. You know what they are, cane bottoms? We had two or three of those. And I wanted a--a Morris chair to set in. They could finance us fifteen dollars, and I paid three dollars down and a dollar a week.
And I got one; and I paid up to about eight or ten dollars on it. And I just couldn't make the payments. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't shave that dollar out. And I went about two or three weeks behind, and I... They sent me a dun; they was going to come get it. And I wrote them, told them they'd have to come.
L-115 And I remember the day they come and got my chair. Wife baked me a cherry pie, and she had it all fixed for me when I come in: a real wife. God bless her. Her grave may be white with snow, but I still love her.
And then she... When she had this pie, I thought there was something happening. I went in; she was talking. She said, "Now, I had some of the boys to dig some fishing worms." Said, "We're going down to the river." She knowed I love to fish. Said, "We're going down to fish tonight."
I said, "Well, honey, what's the matter?"
She said, "Nothing."
After supper, I felt something. I said, "Let's go in the front room."
She said, "Bill, let's go fishing first."
I--I knowed what it was. And I walk--got up and started walking to the door, and she come put her arms around me. They'd come got my chair. I'd work all day and preach half the night, then I'd set in this chair and study when I'd rest and go to sleep. And they'd come gotten it. I owed money on it and couldn't pay it. They had to come and get it, and I never will forget how we felt.
L-116 And she'd recognized that when we were standing talking. She said, "Do you remember that chair they come and got?"
And I said, "Yes, honey."
She said, "They'll never come get this one. This one's yours." She said, "Set down." Said, "Promise me you won't worry."
She put her arms around me, and I said, "Honey, I promise you I'd never worry again."
I woke up and I was in the room, and I could still feel her arms around me. But from that day to this, I haven't worried about it. They're beyond the blue.
L-117 Someday, I got to go too. Each one of us has to make that journey here. Oh, my, a life, brother, sister. Scars and cuts, and went through that stream of poverty, and tears that paved the way...?... You don't realize. No wonder that sometimes it saps the very life from me.
But today, I'm trying to be as reverent as I can be before you. I'm trying my best, coming right back serving that same people that was considered trash at one time. They're my brother and sister, and I love them with all my heart. And I'm taking that gift and going day and night. We been here two weeks when it's nearly got me to a place I have about an hour and something sleep last night.
What do I... I was keeping my promise to God. Yes, sir...?... into all the parts of the country wherever I can go with a reverent, sincere heart. I want to serve God until the day He calls me home. There's a beautiful home, oh, over the sea somewhere.
L-118 Some woman said to me not long ago, said, "Brother Branham, when you going to get some rest?"
I said, "When I cross over the river. I got a home over there and loved ones. I got a chair to set in. I'm going to cross over one of these days."
She told me, said, "You're so tired and...?..."
I said, "Yes."
Said, "You been praying for the sick so much." I never prayed for the sick like that before.
So one of these days, setting on the platform like this, God will open up the windows. I'll be a--maybe an old man shaking on a cane. But He won't turn me down. I'll cross over as sure as I'm standing here, if I can only prove faithful to my Saviour is my plea. He will bear me away in that day. Don't you believe that? We'll be faithful. That's right.
Time is filled with swift translation,
Naught on earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.
L-119 Friends may come and go. When the way growing drear, precious Lord, lay Your dear hands. When my life is almost gone, at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hands. Blessed Lord, take my hand and lead me home. Let me...?... my Saviour. If I'm faithful to Him, someday He will guide me to the other side.
I trust that every one of you here, friends... If there's one here who's not ready to meet God, listen to me as I speak to you in the Name of the Lord. You've got the good opportunity now. You've got a wonderful time to come and accept Him. With my Bible over my heart, someday, everything that you've ever done in this life will be naught unless you give your life to Christ. Come with me. If you love me, let's us go together. [John 3:16], [Acts 2:37-39]
There waits for me a glad tomorrow. (Sing it with me.)
Where gates of pearl swing open wide,
And when I cross this veil of sorrow,
I'll stand upon the other side.
Someday beyond the reach of mortal Kin
Someday God only knows just where or when,
The wheels of mortal life shall all stand still,
Then we shall go to dwell on Zion's hill.
L-120 O God, someday these wheels are going to stop this old body, all of mortal life will stand still. Then oh, like a tooth coming from a body, been extracted, He's going to go...?... on will break through, and our souls will plunge into an eternity. Help us, God. Help us today. Grant it, Lord. May sinners without a way come in today, Lord, and be saved. Come to the fold, come to the Shepherd, find faith and shelter. And may they see that by Your poor disobedient servant's mistakes that they can be blessed.
O God, I think years ago if I'd have went on and done what You told me to do, how many more people'd been saved today. I'm sorry, Lord. Help me now, will You, Lord? Bless everyone that's here, and the sinners here, bless them, Lord.
While we have our heads bowed, the sister's playing there... the brother, "There Waits For Me A Glad Tomorrow," I wonder how many sinners in here, put up their hands and say, "Brother Branham, pray for me. I--I'm unsaved and I want to be saved." God bless you. Oh, my, hands up everywhere.
L-121 Look, if God will hear my prayer to heal the sick, don't you think He will hear my prayer to help save your soul? How many now, while we're singing that song in a few minutes, "There Waits For Me A Glad Tomorrow." Will you come down here and shake my hand, stand here at the altar just a moment that we have prayer. Don't you love Him? Oh, what could you do?
Here the other day, a young fellow come hear me in the meeting. He set here, and he just give his life to Christ, and went out and was killed instantly on a tractor. Another man standing the other night holding his hands went home and died in a little bit.
Oh brother, if you know not God, how about coming down. Won't you come right now while we stand and sing, if you be will. You that wants to find peace with God, believe that He is, my brother. If you need something from God--salvation--won't you come just now.
All right. All right. Give us... All right, that's... All right, that's okay. That's all right. "Almost Persuaded." All right. "Almost Persuaded." God bless you.
L-122 Just comes down and shakes my hand. Come all the way from South America to meet this time. Won't you come too? Come down. God bless you, sister. That's the way to come. Now, remember, friends, this may be...?... your opportunity. God bless you...?... Oh, that's all right. Come, stand right here.
Just stand right here. Come right around and stand. God bless you, brother. That's wonderful. God bless you, sir. Oh, my, look at them coming. Won't you come?...?... God bless you, brother. Oh, that's marvelous. Come right ahead. All of you today that needs, come right here. Gather around the altar in an old fashion altar call.
Now, everybody together now while we sing. Come right on down. We'll get down here with you people. I believe God will save everybody that's unsaved...?...
... now to believe;
"Almost per..."
Come right down this way, brother, so I can see you just in a moment. Won't you come now?
... to receive;
Seems now some soul to say, "Go, Spirit, go Thy...
God bless you, young lady. That's right. Come right on in.
... most...
Christians, pray, everywhere now. Everybody not stirring, less you're coming to the altar.
... on Thee I'll call."
Friends, God is here. He's calling for you. If you're backslidden, come on. You need God, come on. This is the time. Make your calling now. What a wonderful time to know right in this revival you were saved, resurrected in by the Holy Spirit here...?...
... Oh turn not away;
Jesus... (Come down to the altar. That's... )
...?... dear Lord, Angels are lingering near,
Prayers rise from hearts so dear;
O wand'rer, come.
L-123 Won't you come now? People coming. Just think, what if you could step over and open up the gates of hell and look down in there. There's a people set right on them same benches where you set. Yes, sir...?... They had the same opportunity that you have.
Mothers and daughters are weeping. Fathers and mothers holding each other's hands. Won't you come? You're invited now, Christian, today.
We believe that the Holy Spirit's going to fall in here in a few minutes. It's a great... Isn't this wonderful? Can't you feel that, friends, that heavenly atmosphere around the people now? Angels of God mingling near.
L-124 Won't you come? This is the hour... You've always wanted to be saved, haven't you? This is the time to fulfill the things that you've promised God. Remember when He took the baby? Whenever it died, or some of them, you said, "I'll be a Christian." You haven't fulfilled that yet, won't you come on down? Take your stand. Come on now while we gather around, everyone. Everyone, backsliders, and sinners, gather around the altar now for an old fashion altar call.
Christians, pray now. Reach to somebody setting near you. Ask them if they're a Christian. Say, "Come on down at the altar." We want those who are backslidden. Here's many of the Spanish standing around, Indians.
L-125 Oh, Jesus is concerned about this. What's this meeting been going on for? What's the Supernatural showed? Here He is. He's here now. Hear me, believe me. Everybody that'll come here believing, will be saved right now if you'll just come. The doors of mercy is open now. In the morning may be too late for you. Won't you come?
How many here has not received the Holy Ghost, let's see your hands, that wants the baptism? A few of you, walk right down...?... Come right down the aisles. Come right on down. Won't you believe He will...?... give you the Holy Ghost now? Without being born again you're lost. That's--that's right. Come right on down the aisle. How wonderful.
Christian, get your sinner friend, come up around the altar here where...?... one of the greatest times that you've ever witnessed, I believe.
L-126 Here comes a poor boy walking on crutches. God bless you, boy. Have faith in God. Give your life to Him right here. Throw your old crutches away and walk out without them. God will heal you while you're standing there.
Come near now, you that has a need of Him. Oh, my. Just look now, coming down the aisles...?... Gathering in closely everybody now.
I believe God is going to pour the Holy Spirit upon this building here in a few minutes. The Glory of God will be falling. People will be coming through with the baptism. Sinners will be saved, backsliders returned. It's here. Walk up, dear friends, a little closer. Come a running...?... Now's the time.
Sinners, ask God to forgive you. Raise up your hands and say, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner, for Christ said it." Oh, my. Here it is all over the building, everywhere now. Hallelujah.
Thank you, Jesus. O God, baptize them with the Holy Ghost. Forgive these sinners of their sins, Lord. Return faith that they'll...?... the glory of Jesus.

LWB is dedicated to all who are looking for the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ; to you we owe credit for the materials used herein."Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."[Heb 10:25]."So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."[I Cor 3:7]
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